Best Magnesium Supplements to Take: Top 17 Product… – Islands' Sounder

Are you searching for magnesium supplements to boost up your immune health? I have tried out several magnesium products, and I know how taxing it can be to choose the correct form of magnesium. So why bother going through the numerous supplemental choices and make yourself more confused?
Here, in this article, we enumerated the best magnesium supplements that will keep your health in top shape.

Top 17 Magnesium Supplements of 2021

Here are some of the best quality magnesium supplements I have listed. These supplements will take care of your body’s magnesium needs.

Magnesium Breakthrough

If you are hunting for a magnesium supplement, then the Magnesium Breakthrough product will do wonders for you. Most of these supplements do not absorb correctly, but this particular product has a blend of various magnesium types that allow fast absorption.
These types include magnesium citrate, magnesium chelate, magnesium orotate, and magnesium bis-glycinate. This magnesium mineral is an essential component that your body requires. The lack of magnesium will make you suffer from sleep issues, anxiety, depression, and damage to your heart health.
Overall, this Magnesium Breakthrough product can offer support from a cellular level to help prevent such disruptions from occurring.

Magnesium L-Threonate

The best way to ensure magnesium sufficiency is by incorporating Magnesium L-Threonate in your diet. Their supplements contain the most sought-after magnesium L-threonate component, which absorbs super quickly.
Alongside its fast absorption, this magnesium form can efficiently increase brain magnesium levels to enhance your cognitive function.
This essential mineral takes care of blood pressure, nerve function, and muscle health. So you can imagine what magnesium deficiency can do to your body. However, incorporating this magnesium form can help improve your cognitive abilities and keep you healthy.
Since about 80% of your metabolic functions depend on magnesium, this magnesium L-threonate product will be an excellent choice for you.

Barton Nutrition EasyRelief Magnesium

Sometimes instead of a cocktail of magnesium forms, just a key ingredient may work more potently. The Barton Nutrition EasyRelief Magnesium contains a 100% magnesium chloride hexahydrate component.
This supplement not only helps with insulin sensitivity issues but also assists in keeping your blood glucose control.
An advantage of this magnesium product is that you do not have to take it orally. I know some people find oral supplements of such kind to be uncomfortable. Luckily, this product comes with a magnesium spray formula that you spray on your body.
All in all, you can keep your magnesium levels in check by getting this product.

Natural Stacks MagTech

A company uses distinctive magnesium forms to ensure their supplement contains the necessary magnesium components for your betterment; the Natural Stacks MagTech. The three forms are taurate, L-threonate, and glycinate. You can improve your brain health, muscle and nerve function, and overall muscle health.
What makes Natural Stacks MagTech stand out from other supplement companies? They provide third-party lab testing of their magnesium products.
Not many magnesium tablets out there undergo the testing procedures. Therefore, all of their label claims are authentic, and your body’s magnesium needs will not be insufficient.
So, you can take the Natural Stacks magnesium supplements to sleep better and support your nervous system.

Organixx Magnesium 7

As you can guess, this Organixx Magnesium 7 contains seven different supplemental magnesium forms that work together to provide the ultimate boost your body needs.
The blend of these magnesium forms helps deal with muscle cramps, blood pressure control, sleeplessness, anxiety, depression, heart problems, leg cramps, etc.
Dealing with a magnesium deficiency can be difficult, but the Organixx product comes at a reasonable price with superior benefits; you will not regret purchasing this supplement. Additionally, they provide the necessary third-party lab testing for each of their supplement bottles.
It also contains magnesium aspartate, a form that helps keep your cognitive abilities in a top-notch shape. Hence, the Organixx product delivers superior results.

1MD MagMD Plus

Sometimes, magnesium deficiency will occur even if you incorporate healthy food into your diet. That is because the absorption rate of magnesium varies a lot. Therefore, a healthy alternative is the 1MD MagMD Plus supplement because it contains forms that ensure elevated magnesium levels.
This magnesium supplement allows your body to function healthily, supports cardiovascular function, and improves your overall bone health. Long-time usage of MagMD Plus will result in all of these improvements, and you can check with your healthcare provider for the dosage level.
Moreover, aside from magnesium, this product has zinc and vitamin D3, which help to enhance the absorption rate, among other beneficial functions.
The MagMD product is extremely inexpensive compared to some other supplements, so that it will be an excellent magnesium tablet of choice for you.

Activation EASE

Are you in the search for a magnesium supplement that does not come in tablet form? Then check out the Activation EASE supplement that comes in a spray formula.
This natural magnesium solution can enter your bloodstream quickly. With each spray of Activation EASE, you get about 22 mg of magnesium. Hence, the higher absorption rate of magnesium also helps with the absorption of calcium.
Ultimately, it leads to downstream reactions that keep your body’s metabolic functions up to speed. Compared to some of the transdermal products out there, this magnesium supplement does not cause irritation or burning sensation when you spray it.
Therefore, the lack of elemental magnesium will not be an issue anymore if you introduce this magnesium supplementation in your diet.

Live Conscious MagWell

Choosing the correct magnesium supplement is problematic because it is a commitment. A small magnesium dosage may not provide you results.
Hence, you will have to repurchase the magnesium supplement of your choice quite a few times. So, an affordable product like the Live Conscious MagWell will come in handy.
This product helps support the musculoskeletal and cardiovascular systems of your body. Elemental magnesium helps to improve your body’s overall health. In particular, the MagWell product contains vitamin D3 alongside both zinc and magnesium.
Therefore, daily intake of the MagWell product will provide efficient results. Do not sleep on this excellent magnesium product that is super affordable.

Essential Elements Magnesium Plus

One capsule of magnesium a day can keep muscle soreness away. It may sound cheesy, but magnesium supplements can benefit you in several ways. Hence, let me introduce the Essential Elements Magnesium Plus product. It contains a trio of zinc, vitamin D3, and of course, magnesium.
Furthermore, you can significantly improve your health conditions thanks to this magnesium product. The forms of magnesium this product includes are magnesium malate, magnesium glycinate, and magnesium citrate. Plus, this product contains 180 capsules per bottle which last a long time.
Overall, the Essential Elements supplement is an excellent choice if you want to include a magnesium supplement.

Nuzena Magnesium Pure

If you want a magnesium product with a higher dosage and potency, then the Nuzena Magnesium Pure will be perfect. This product will provide about 400 mg of magnesium, especially the magnesium glycinate form. It contains the glycine amino acid that helps with sleep issues.
Moreover, the great thing about Nuzena Magnesium Pure is its packaging. Our human body requires magnesium for better calcium function and absorption. And this Nuzena product can do precisely that to keep your body healthy hence, one capsule of this supplement will help your bodily function.
If you are looking at the price and magnesium-related benefits, this Nuzena product delivers results flawlessly.

Transparent Labs Magnesium Bisglycinate

One of the most affordable forms of magnesium is bis-glycinate. This element provides anxiety relief, improves bone and heart health, helps with sleep issues, etc.
So, how can you make sure bis-glycinate is in your diet? Since your body cannot naturally produce bis-glycinate, a supplement like Transparent Labs Magnesium Bisglycinate will do the job.
This dietary supplement has a higher dosage of magnesium than your average supplements in the market. Furthermore, their clinical study ensures that the magnesium content of this product is enough to help improve your mood and deal with stress.
Interestingly, Transparent Labs also mentions how their product prevents genotoxicity, which affects your genes. So, you can benefit from this gluten-free magnesium supplement.

Pure Essence Iconic-Fizz Magnesium Plus

Just like any other supplement, magnesium supplements also require some time to show results. So, you may end up purchasing the same supplement several times, and that can be rather expensive.
The Pure Essence Iconic Fizz-Magnesium Plus is an excellent choice because it provides all magnesium-related benefits at an affordable range.
Each of its dosages contains 300 mg of magnesium carbonate, and overall, you get about 71% daily value. Additionally, it also contains potassium, beetroot powders, boron, etc. The critical point of the Fizz Plus product is that you can directly drink it. So you can say goodbye to magnesium tablets or sprays.
This magnesium product will be excellent for overall cardiovascular support, blood pressure maintenance, and healthy sleep pattern.

Moon Juice Magnesi-Om

Are you looking for ways to support your immune health from a cellular point? The Moon juice Magnesi-Om supplement will be perfect for you. This product contains three different bioavailable magnesium forms that work together to restore your cellular balance.
Unlike the other conventional magnesium supplements, this one helps keep your sense of focus at a top-notch state. Each Magnesi-Om dosage provides a mixture of 204 mg of magnesium citrate, 28 mg of magnesium taurinate, and 77 mg of magnesium gluconate.
The incredible thing about the Moon Juice is its transparency. Their magnesium product comes with all the information to know what you incorporate for educational and informational purposes.

Elm & Rye Magnesium

The essential mineral magnesium plays a crucial role in keeping your body in good shape. For this reason, the Elm & Rye Magnesium product will be a good option. Their minimalistic packaging also acts as an attraction.
Compared to the conventional magnesium supplements, the Elm & Rye one is more on the expensive side. However, they provide a highly potent magnesium product that primarily has magnesium gluconate and no fillers/preservatives.
If you prefer natural ingredients in your supplement rather than preservatives, the Elm & Rye will be your go-to option.
Overall, it is an excellent magnesium product that is gluten-free, soy-free, and dairy-free.

Natural Vitality Calm

Are you tired of magnesium supplements that come in tablet form? Here is the Natural Vitality Calm supplement that provides an excellent powder version of the supplement.
It contains several flavor forms; however, this particular Vitality Calm product is unflavored. Therefore, this supplement will be a great addition to your drinks.
Add 1 or 2 gm of the Natural Vitality supplement in the water of your favorite drink for easy preparation. Supplement incorporation in your diet will never get easier than this system. Furthermore, it contains a good amount of magnesium citrate and carbonate.
Interestingly, this Vitality product also provides a laxative effect. Compared to any other fiber drink, this magnesium product will help with your stool problems.

Thorne Research Magnesium Bisglycinate

A crucial element like magnesium can help with stress, depression, sleep issues, and so much more.
So, take a look at this Thorne Research Magnesium Bisglycinate product. With per serving, this magnesium product will provide 200 mg of the element. Such an amount is necessary to maintain the magnesium level of your body.
Not only does it provide optimal muscle support, but it also helps manage your blood glucose, heart, and brain health. If you did not know, this magnesium product might also help with menstrual cramps.
It contains bis-glycinate, monk fruit concentrate, citrate, among other forms of magnesium. Compared to other supplements, this Thorne one is an excellent choice.

Ancient Nutrition Magnesium

Sometimes, you can have magnesium-rich food in your diet, but that will not be enough. Dietary supplements like the Ancient Nutrition Magnesium ensure your body has sufficient magnesium for energy production.
This ultimately allows your bone strength, sleep, heart condition, etc., to improve immensely.
It contains a bunch of extracts and elements alongside zinc and magnesium to offer a range of help. Ancient Nutrition recommends three tablets for adults, but I suggest getting professional medical advice before incorporating this magnesium product.
Thanks to the Ancient Nutrition product, this crucial mineral may be hard to incorporate into your diet, but your magnesium needs will stay balanced.

How We Ranked The Top Magnesium Supplements

Here is how we ranked this magnesium product review to make sure you find the correct magnesium product.

Types of Magnesium

All these supplements contain several magnesium types that provide a range of effectivity.

Magnesium Oxide

Most magnesium supplements contain this magnesium oxide element. It not only helps with insomnia but also provides a pleasing laxative effect. So, incorporating magnesium oxide into your diet can be helpful.

Magnesium Citrate

Incorporating magnesium citrate will be a great option if you want to strengthen your heart, muscle, and bone health.

Magnesium Sulfate

This form of magnesium is essential for both plant and animal foods. In the case of animal foods, it primarily provides a laxative effect.

Magnesium Chloride

The magnesium chloride form helps deal with depression, lowering blood pressure, and can even help with inflammation.

Magnesium Glycinate

This popular magnesium glycinate form helps with your sleep problems. Since magnesium glycinate can enter the blood-brain barrier, it improves your brain’s health.
Overall, magnesium aspartate, magnesium oxide, magnesium sulfate, bis-glycinate, malate, etc., help manage your body.

Magnesium Supplement Dosage

Low magnesium levels can be problematic. Hence, the dosage of your magnesium product matters a lot. In this review, I have provided several magnesium dosage options that you can check.
Research shows that for adults, 350 mg of magnesium is more than enough. So the best magnesium dosage will be below 350 mg.

Top 17 Magnesium Supplements of 2021 Final Words

Since your body cannot create magnesium on its own, diet and supplements are the only ways to prevent magnesium shortage. But choosing the correct magnesium product is extremely difficult. Especially since dosage, forms of magnesium, and the price comes into play.
Hopefully, my list of the best magnesium supplements will help you choose more easily.
RELATED: Best Eye Vitamins for Vision Support (Top Supplements List)
Affiliate Disclosure:
The links contained in this product review may result in a small commission if you opt to purchase the product recommended at no additional cost to you. This goes towards supporting our research and editorial team and please know we only recommend high quality products.
Please understand that any advice or guidelines revealed here are not even remotely a substitute for sound medical advice from a licensed healthcare provider. Make sure to consult with a professional physician before making any purchasing decision if you use medications or have concerns following the review details shared above. Individual results may vary as the statements made regarding these products have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The efficacy of these products has not been confirmed by FDA-approved research. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
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Researchers Engineer a Mini CRISPR Genetic Editing System That Could Be Easier To Deliver Into Cells – SciTechDaily

CRISPR illustration. Credit: National Institutes of Health
A compact and efficient CRISPR-Cas system, named CasMINI, could be broadly useful for cell-engineering and gene-therapy applications because it is easier to deliver into cells. The findings appear in a study that was published on September 3, 2021, in the journal Molecular Cell.
“This is a critical step forward for CRISPR genome-engineering applications,” says senior study author Stanley Qi of Stanford University. “The work presents the smallest CRISPR to date, according to our knowledge, as a genome-editing technology. If people sometimes think of Cas9 as molecular scissors, here we created a Swiss knife containing multiple functions. It is not a big one, but a miniature one that is highly portable for easy use.”
The development of CRISPR-Cas systems for human cells has revolutionized genome engineering. These systems offer opportunities for the development of gene therapies for a variety of genetic diseases. But their large sizes often restrict delivery into cells and thus impede clinical applications. For example, adeno-associated virus (AAV), a vector widely applied for in vivo delivery, has limited packaging capacity of the payload (less than 4.7 kb), and many Cas fusion proteins are beyond this limit. As a result, there is a need to engineer highly efficient, compact Cas systems to facilitate the next generation of genome-engineering applications.
One potential solution is Cas12f, also known as Cas14. Ranging between 400 and 700 amino acids, the protein is less than half the size of currently used CRISPR systems such as Cas9 or Cas12a. But until now, it was not clear whether this compact protein could be used in mammalian cells. “Recent years have identified thousands of CRISPRs, which are known as bacteria’s immunity defense system,” Qi explains. “More than 99.9% of discovered CRISPRs, however, cannot work in human cells, limiting their use as genome-editing technologies.”
In the new study, Qi and his team applied <span aria-describedby="tt" class="glossaryLink" data-cmtooltip="

Ribonucleic acid (RNA) is a polymeric molecule similar to DNA that is essential in various biological roles in coding, decoding, regulation and expression of genes. Both are nucleic acids, but unlike DNA, RNA is single-stranded. An RNA strand has a backbone made of alternating sugar (ribose) and phosphate groups. Attached to each sugar is one of four bases—adenine (A), uracil (U), cytosine (C), or guanine (G). Different types of RNA exist in the cell: messenger RNA (mRNA), ribosomal RNA (rRNA), and transfer RNA (tRNA).

“>RNA and protein engineering to the Cas12f system to generate an efficient miniature Cas system for mammalian genome engineering. Derived from archaea, the natural Cas12f protein and its single-guide RNA showed no detectable activity in mammalian cells. By optimizing the single-guide RNA design and performing multiple rounds of iterative protein engineering and screening, the researchers generated a class of Cas12f variants named CasMINI.
The engineered Cas12f protein variants combined with engineered single-guide RNAs exhibited efficient gene-regulation and gene-editing activity. The researchers demonstrated that CasMINI can drive high levels of gene activation comparable to those associated with Cas12a and allows for robust base editing and gene editing. Moreover, it is highly specific and does not produce detectable off-target effects.
“Here we turn a non-working CRISPR in mammalian cells, via rational RNA engineering and protein engineering, into a highly efficient working one,” Qi says. “There were previous efforts from others to improve the performance of working CRISPRs. But our work is the first to make a non-working one working. This highlights the power of bioengineering to achieve something evolution has not yet done.”
The size of the engineered CasMINI molecule is only 529 amino acids. This small size makes it suitable for a wide range of therapeutic applications. For example, the CasMINI fusion proteins are well suited for AAV packaging. In addition, CasMINI mRNA can be easily packaged into lipid nanoparticles or other RNA-delivery modalities, potentially enhancing its entry into cells. Its small size and non-human pathogen source might make it less likely to produce immune responses than large protein payloads would be.
More work is needed to further optimize the efficiency of CasMINI for base editing and gene editing and to test the performance of the system in vivo with different delivery modalities. The researchers plan to test the system for in vivo gene-therapy applications.
“The availability of a miniature CasMINI enables new applications, ranging from in vitro applications such as engineering better tumor-killing lymphocytes or reprogramming stem cells to in vivo gene therapy to treat genetic diseases in the eye, muscle, or liver,” Qi says. “It is on our wish list that it will become a therapy to treat genetic diseases, to cure cancer, and to reverse organ degeneration.”
For more on this mini CRISPR system, see “Mini” CRISPR Genetic Editing System Engineered.
Reference: “Engineered miniature CRISPR-Cas system for mammalian genome regulation and editing” by Xiaoshu Xu, Augustine Chemparathy, Leiping Zeng, Hannah R. Kempton, Stephen Shang, Muneaki Nakamura and Lei S. Qi, 3 September 2021, Molecular Cell.
DOI: 10.1016/j.molcel.2021.08.008
This work was supported by the Pew Scholar Foundation, the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, and the Li Ka Shing Foundation. L.S.Q. is a founder and shareholder of Epicrispr Biotechnologies and Refuge Biotechnologies. L.S.Q. is a member of the scientific advisory board of Epicrispr Biotechnologies and Refuge Biotechnologies. The authors have filed provisional patents via Stanford University related to the work.
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Delhi – Jaipur Highway To Be Made Electric Highway With Buses And Trucks Powered By Electricity Like Rail Engines – Swarajya

The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways is in talks with a foreign company to construct an electric highway from Delhi to Jaipur.
While reviewing the Delhi – Mumbai Expressway (DME) at Dausa in Rajasthan, Union Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari said that, like electric railway engines, buses and trucks will also be powered by electricity on an electric highway.
“It is my dream to build an electric highway from Delhi to Jaipur. It is still a proposed project. We are in discussion with a foreign company,” he said, reports The Indian Express.
On a two day visit, Nitin Gadkari reviewed work progress on the Delhi-Mumbai Expressway at Sohna in Haryana, Dausa and Bundi in Rajasthan, Ratlam in Madhya Pradesh.
Being developed at Rs 98,000 crores, the 1,380 km long Delhi Mumbai expressway will be the longest in India.
The greenfield expressway is expected to halve the commute time between Delhi and Mumbai from nearly 24 hours to 12 hours and shorten the distance by 130 km.
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COVID vaccines and blood clots: what researchers know so far –

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A health worker administers the Oxford–AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine in Mexico City. Some countries have restricted its use.Credit: Leonardo Montecillo/Agencia Press South/Getty
It was when the second person with unusual clots came in that Phillip Nicolson knew something was wrong. Blood clots are uncommon in young people, and it’s even rarer to see a combination of blood clots and alarmingly low levels of platelets — cell fragments that help to form clots.
Yet in the space of one week in March, two young people with this pairing of symptoms had arrived at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham, UK, where Nicolson works as a haematology specialist. And both had recently been given the Oxford–AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine.
Nicolson had been on call at the hospital all weekend, and had been looking forward to a rest on Monday. Instead, he found himself rushing around to get consent to collect samples to study in the laboratory. By the time he arrived at the second patient’s bedside, a third had been admitted.
That week, Nicolson was among the first to witness what researchers now call vaccine-induced immune thrombotic thrombocytopenia (VITT), a life-threatening and mysterious condition that affects a very small number of people who have received the Oxford–AstraZeneca or Johnson & Johnson (J&J) COVID-19 vaccines. It is now estimated that VITT occurred in about 1 in 50,000 people aged under 50 who received the Oxford–AstraZeneca vaccine1. This and similar observations in other countries have led some officials to delay and then scale back the deployment of these vaccines.
Despite fervent work by researchers such as Nicolson, the mechanism that links the vaccines and VITT is still uncertain. Establishing a mechanism could reveal ways to prevent and treat the condition, and improve the design of future vaccines. Over the past few months, researchers have gathered clues and developed a host of hypotheses.
Working through these possibilities is a daunting task. “You can have your hypothesis, but how do you find which is the one that caused an event in maybe 1 in 100,000 people?” asks John Kelton, a haematologist at McMaster University in Hamilton, Canada. “It’s really, really hard.”
The unusual constellation of symptoms was immediately familiar to some haematologists, particularly those with experience of treating people with a rare reaction to the anti-clotting drug heparin. That syndrome, called HIT, is also characterized by low platelet counts and sometimes the presence of clots.
HIT is caused by heparin, a negatively charged molecule, binding to a positively charged protein called platelet factor 4 (PF4) that is produced by platelets to promote clotting. In some people, the immune system views this complex as foreign, and develops antibodies against it.

COVID vaccines and safety: what the research says
These antibodies can also bind to and activate platelets, priming them to clump together and trigger clotting. The clots can clog up important blood vessels, and the condition can be fatal, although some treatments improve the chances of survival.
Only a handful of labs around the world study HIT, and those that do scrambled to get samples from the few people who had been diagnosed with VITT. When researchers analysed the samples, it was clear that vaccine recipients who had this mysterious clotting reaction were also producing antibodies against their own PF424. But it was anyone’s guess as to what had triggered these antibodies. Kelton, who has been studying HIT for decades, had to wait to get precious specimens from people with VITT, and then his team had to wade through samples of varying quality. Some were contaminated by treatments the people with VITT had received. “Many, many samples were not what I would call pristine,” he says. “These people are as sick as can be, and the physicians throw the book at them. They have every kind of chemical in them.” And about two-thirds of the samples his team received lacked the PF4 antibodies altogether, suggesting that the patients did not have VITT, but instead had developed a clotting disorder that was probably unrelated to their vaccination, Kelton says.
Eventually, his team was able to get five samples taken from people before treatment for VITT. When researchers characterized antibodies in the samples, they found that some were binding to PF4 at the same site as the one used by heparin, and that they were also capable of activating platelets5. The results suggested that the mechanism behind the vaccine-linked syndrome was similar to that of HIT — but the trigger seemed to be the vaccine rather than heparin.
Something in the vaccine or the body’s response to it must be binding to PF4 — but what? VITT has been linked to two COVID-19 vaccines, both of which use disabled adenoviruses as a ‘vector’ to shuttle a gene encoding a coronavirus protein, called spike, into human cells. Once there, the gene is expressed and the protein is made. The immune system detects spike and generates antibodies against it that are crucial for protection against coronavirus infection.
Some researchers have proposed that impurities in the vaccines left over from the manufacturing process — such as snippets of DNA floating around in the solution, or proteins in the broth used to grow the virus — are interacting with PF4 to generate the clumps that are then targeted by antibodies6.
Platelets (white) are fragments of cells that encourage clots to form.Credit: Lennart Nillson, Boehringer Iingelheim International
Others think the culprit could be the adenovirus itself. Previous work has shown that adenoviruses can bind to platelets and trigger their depletion in mice7. It’s conceivable that those mice might also have developed clots if they had been followed for longer, says Maha Othman, who studies blood clotting at Queen’s University in Kingston, Canada, and was lead author of the study.
Before the COVID-19 pandemic, adenovirus-based vaccines were being developed against infections such as HIV and Ebola, but had not yet been used in large populations. There have been no reports that these vaccines produced a VITT-like condition; however, they were not tested in nearly as many people as have received the Oxford–AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine.
Haematologist Mitesh Borad at the Mayo Clinic in Phoenix, Arizona, and his colleagues have analysed the structure of the chimpanzee adenovirus used in the Oxford–AstraZeneca vaccine and determined that it has a strong negative charge. Molecular simulations suggest that this charge, combined with aspects of the virus’s shape, could allow it to bind to the positively charged PF4 protein8. If so, it could then set off a cascade much like the rare reaction to heparin, says Borad, although it remains to be seen whether this happens.

How could a COVID vaccine cause blood clots? Scientists race to investigate
Even if the adenovirus is to blame, Borad says he would not advocate that vaccine developers stop using adenoviruses in vaccines. Some adenoviruses could be engineered to reduce their negative charge, he says, and some are less negatively charged than others; the Ad26 adenovirus used in the J&J COVID-19 vaccine does not have as much of a charge as the chimpanzee virus, which might explain why VITT seems to be less common in recipients of the J&J vaccine. And so far, no link to VITT has been reported for the Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine, which uses both Ad26 and another adenovirus called Ad5 that has still less negative charge, he adds.
Then there’s the spike protein itself. One team of researchers wondered whether the antibodies that bind to PF4 in people with VITT are an unintended by-product of the body’s immune response to spike. But they found that the PF4 antibodies can’t bind to it, suggesting that they are not part of the immune response to the viral protein9.
But cancer researcher Rolf Marschalek at Goethe University Frankfurt in Germany and his colleagues have shown that the snippets of RNA that encode spike can be cut apart and stitched back together in different ways in human cells; some of these forms, called splice variants, can generate spike proteins that get into the blood and then bind to the surface of cells that line blood vessels10. There, they cause an inflammatory response that is also seen in some SARS-CoV-2 infections, which in severely affected people can lead to the formation of clots.
And the lower rate of clots in J&J’s vaccine compared with Oxford–AstraZeneca’s could be because the version of spike generated by the J&J vaccine was engineered to remove the sites that allow the RNA to be processed into splice variants, says Marschalek.
Marschalek thinks that if this idea is borne out, then the Oxford–AstraZeneca vaccine and other adenovirus-based vaccines could be rendered safer if their versions of spike were similarly engineered.
There are reports that the teams behind the Oxford–AstraZeneca and J&J vaccines are working to develop safer adenoviral vectors, and Marschalek says he would be surprised if companies abandoned adenoviral vectors altogether. Others agree. “I think they are very popular and will remain popular,” says Othman, citing the ease with which the vaccines can be produced and manipulated, and the wealth of data suggesting that, for most people, the vaccines are safe. Instead of abandoning them, she says, “we should study more about the immune responses to them.”

Why is it so hard to investigate the rare side effects of COVID vaccines?
One possible factor affecting the safety of adenoviral vaccines is how they are administered. The COVID-19 vaccines are given as injections into muscle, but if the needle happens to puncture a vein, the vaccine could enter the bloodstream directly. Leo Nicolai, a cardiologist at Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich, Germany, and his colleagues found in a mouse study that platelets clump together with adenovirus and become activated when the Oxford–AstraZeneca vaccine is injected into blood vessels, but not when it is injected into muscle11.
It’s possible, says Nicolai, that on rare occasions, a vaccine is inadvertently injected into a vein — as was done in the earlier mouse studies that found that adenovirus could bind to platelets. If so, many cases of VITT might be avoided by asking vaccinators to first draw a small amount of fluid from the injection site with the syringe to check for blood before they actually push the plunger to administer the vaccine. This is already standard practice in some countries, and Denmark has added it to its official guidelines for COVID-19 vaccine administration.
Better treatments are still needed for VITT, which according to a UK study1 killed 49 of the 220 people who were diagnosed with the condition between March and June 2021. Currently, doctors treat VITT by giving anti-clotting treatments other than heparin, and administering high doses of naturally occurring antibodies from blood-plasma donors. The antibodies compete with the anti-PF4 antibodies for binding sites on platelets, and reduce the latter’s ability to promote blood coagulation. “The hope is to try to confuse the body and hide the dangerous antibodies within a huge fog of normal antibodies,” says Kelton. “That’s a very, very blunt tool.”
In Birmingham, Nicolson has been working to develop more-specific approaches. He has tested blood serum from people with VITT to see whether he can repurpose drugs developed for other conditions to treat it. In particular, he is focusing on treatments that interfere with a protein on platelets, to see whether any drugs can prevent platelet activation and the cascade of events that leads to clots in VITT.
But even if he were ready to launch a clinical trial of these therapies, there are few people in whom to test them. Since he saw the first cases in March, the United Kingdom has changed its vaccination policy, and now recommends the Oxford–AstraZeneca vaccine only for people over 40. VITT is more frequent in younger vaccine recipients, possibly because of their more-robust immune responses.
It is unclear whether other countries will have the same luxury of restricting Oxford–AstraZeneca vaccines to older people, given that it is relatively cheap and widely available compared with the mRNA vaccines, for example. Until now, VITT has primarily been reported in Europe and the United States, but researchers don’t yet know whether this reflects regional differences in susceptibility to VITT, or differences in reporting systems that gather data on potential vaccine side effects. In Thailand, for instance, researchers reported in July that there had been no cases of VITT after 1.7 million doses of the Oxford–AstraZeneca vaccine were given12.
Nicolson says the number of people referred to his hospital with VITT has declined drastically: “We’re not seeing it any more, it’s almost stopped happening.”
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This Is The Best Feature Of The 1965 Ford Mustang – HotCars

The Ford Mustang wasn’t loved for it’s precision handling, comfortable driving position, or high-quality interiors. Something else stole the show.
The Ford Mustang started breaking records the day it was released, 22,000 orders for the new pony car were put in on the first day. A record that has yet to be broken. The first year of the Mustang, 1965, had one clear goal- to sell to the younger generation. It worked.
The Mustang is still one of the most beloved sports cars (or muscle car, or pony car, whichever you call it) today. According to a Hagerty survey of the most insured classic cars, the 1965 Ford Mustang is the most popular. For the second year in a row, the Mustang is the “world’s best selling sports car,” selling 80,577 ponies around the globe. The Mustang has had several evolutions since its inception yet has always remained a staple in pop culture and motor enthusiasts.
But what makes the 1965 Ford Mustang one of the most iconic cars ever built, and what is it that attracted buyers the most?
To create the ‘next big thing’ for the company, Ford held an intramural contest to produce the design. The winner came from Ford’s own design team, under Project Design Chief Joe Oros and his team of L. David Ash, Gale Halderman, and John Foster. The design was dubbed the “Cougar,” a name that was later used for the Mercury Cougar, the more luxurious “Mustang in a tuxedo.”
During a later interview, Oros states that, “I told the team that I wanted the car to appeal to women, but I wanted men to desire it, too. I wanted a Ferrari-like front end, the motif (the iconic Mustang-horse) centered on the front… and I wanted air intakes on the side to cool the rear brakes. I said it should be as sporty as possible and look like it was related to European design.”
Ford had also done their due diligence in researching the youth markets and inserting the Ford Mustang in popular films such as the 1964 James Bond film, “Goldfinger” and the 1965 movie “Thunderball” and “Bullitt.” Ford’s marketing team put the new Mustang name on television commercials, newspaper ads, and print articles to get the name out before it made it’s official debut at the 1964 New York World’s Fair.
The marketing hype and sporty design was a clear success; the Ford Mustang sold 559,500 units within the first year. The Mustang began production in August of 1964, so some may be marked as 1964 or 1964½ , but were all sold by Ford under the 1965 model year. Total number of reported 1965 Ford Mustangs sold is 680,989.
RELATED: Here's Why We Love The '67-'69 Camaro
The starting price for the first ever “pony car” was $2,320, or about $21,000 in today’s money, a price that was attainable for many working Americans. The coupe and the convertible were available upon release and a fastback followed later in 1965. The most popular was the cheapest, the notchback coupe for $2,320. The convertible sold for $2,557 and the fastback was a hair cheaper at $2,553.
Nearly 75% of buyer’s chose a V8 and to avoid the 2.8 L Inline-6 that only made 105 bhp. It was later replaced with a 3.3-liter Inline-6 that made 120 bhp. The initial V8 option was a 4.3-liter (260 cu in) that was rated at 164 bhp. It was soon replaced in the 1965 model year by a 4.7 L (289 cu in) that had two-barrel carb or four-barrel carburetor configurations. The two-barrel made 200 bhp, whereas the four-barrel could be had in a 210-bhp, 225-bhp, or Hi-Po 271-bhp configurations. An alternator also replaced a generator later in the model year, along with the addition of a few interior options and paint colors.
The interior came standard with adjustable driver and passenger bucket seats, an AM-radio and a floor mounted shifter in several color options. A nationwide survey by “Popular Mechanics” found that the least favorite feature of the 1965 Mustang is the lack of legroom. Ford also had optional sun visors, a floor console, a bench seat, and a remote-operated mirror. The later refresh also allowed for an optional under-dash air-conditioning unit.
Boil it all down, and the feature that led to the success of the launch of the Mustang was its beautiful, sporty design. The Ford Mustang wasn’t loved for it’s precision handling, comfortable driving position, or high-quality interiors. Performance was adequate but not worth putting money down at the drag strip. Dodge and Chevy quickly put them behind in the dust when they answered back with the Challenger and Camaro.
The Mustang has remained one of the top-selling cars in America for one dominant reason – it looks damn good. There's a reason the top YouTube complaint about a newly designed sports coupe is, “it looks like a Mustang.” The shape is iconic, and it’s difficult to make a front-engine coupe look much better – for the price, that is. The 1965 Ford Mustang hit the nail on the head with the styling from the start, it’s no surprise they switched back to the retro, fastback styling in 2005.
RELATED: 10 Sports Cars We'd Rather Drive Over The New Mustang GT (And 6 We Wouldn't)
If you’re looking to buy a 1965 Ford Mustang, you’re in luck, they made about 600,000 of them and there are plenty to buy. Prices drastically vary due to the several variations in engine size, trim levels, and modifications done over the years. One can be picked up in a neighbor's backyard for a couple of thousand bucks, or you can find a pristine level Shelby GT350R for $3.85 Million.
On average, the cheapest option is going to the be most popular, the 260 Coupe, which sells for about $23,000 when in #2 conditions. For $70,000 and in like condition, you can get into the bigger-powered GT 289/271. It’ll cost you about 10% more to get into a four-speed manual.
Whether it’s in concours condition or a DIY project car, a 1965 Ford Mustang never goes out of style. It is a staple in American automotive history and culture, setting the path for some of the best sports cars created today.
For many, this coupe variation of the 124 collections became especially full-size given its glossy sports activities styling and inline-six engine.
Evan is a writer, content creator, and nature-enthusiast based out of sunny San Diego, CA. His first car was a 1979 Corvette rebuilt and painted by his father. His career began at a local news station, but a life-long love for cars led him to working for a dealership until becoming an auto journalist.


5 Athletes to Watch at the 2020 Classic Physique Olympia – BarBend

Outside of the Mr. Olympia contest itself, the Classic Physique Olympia may be the most popular division in the IFBB Pro League. It also may be the most unpredictable. The reigning champion, Chris Bumstead, is looking to repeat and the previous champion, Breon Ansley wants the title back. There are also numerous talented contenders there are looking to knock those top dogs out of the way. 
George Peterson finished third in this contest last year, but he moved on to the 212 division. That means someone could seize the opportunity and move up the ranks and face the favorites. Here’s a look at the two favorites going into this contest as well three men who want to join them.
A post shared by Chris Bumstead (@cbum)

[Related: How Bodybuilding is Judged, Different Divisions, and Scoring]
After wearing a silver medal around his neck in 2017 and 2018, Chris Bumstead finally usurped the title from the two-time Classic Physique champ Breon Ansley in 2019. In preparation for his return to the stage as champ this year, he’s leaving no stone unturned. He has shared insights into his prep on his YouTube channel, including having an inversion table to help him maximize his height. Another area he has emphasized has been his arms, which had been the subject of criticism in the past. He has stated they will be better this year, and yes, he will have his now-signature mustache.
Ansley is a two-time Classic Physique Olympia champion but was knocked off the top spot last year by Bumstead. This is the fourth year in a row that these two are considered the favorites going into the contest. There have been rumors that Ansley plans to change divisions next year. Before he does, he wants to win a third title. He’s been working with trainer and bodybuilding legend Chris Cormier for this prep. One area he has been paying extra attention to is his chest. Based on his social media posts, he feels very confident he will take the title back.
Cambronero is the guy that is considered the one who could spoil the Bumstead-Ansley party. He’s been a popular competitor in the classic division, but he made his biggest splash when he won the Arnold Classic Physique contest in March. That was his first major title, and now he wants the biggest one of all. Cambronero has been working under the tutelage of Neil Hill —who famously trains James “Flex” Lewis — and wants to be the most conditioned athlete onstage.
A post shared by ALEX CAMBRONERO (@fello_cambronero)

[Related: What You Need to Know About How to Build Muscle]
Franklin won the New York Pro earlier this year, and his presentation there was arguably the best of his career. He started his career in Men’s Physique before moving on to this division. He has held his own on the stages he’s been on so far, but the Olympia is the biggest one of all. If he’s able to bring his best — and the other favorites are off their A-game — then Franklin has a legitimate shot. 
Campbell could be the X-factor competitor of this lineup. That’s because he hasn’t competed in the Olympia before this year. He earned his position this year by winning the Tampa Pro, but the competition he will be facing in Orlando is the best of the best. His back is one area of his physique that stands out because of the width and detail. John Meadows is working as his trainer for this contest.
The 2020 Olympia is set to take place in Orlando, FL from Dec. 17-20, 2020. The bodybuilding shows will be happening from Dec. 18-19, 2020. Check out our article on how to watch the 2020 Olympia or watch the video below.
Also, be sure to stay tuned into BarBend as we’ll be covering all of the action over the weekend. 
Featured Image: @cbum on Instagram

BarBend is an independent website. The views expressed on this site may come from individual contributors and do not necessarily reflect the view of BarBend or any other organization. BarBend is the Official Media Partner of USA Weightlifting.
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AUKUS Fallout: Angered Over Scrapping Of $90bn Nuclear Submarine Project, France Recalls Its Ambassador To U.S And Australia – Swarajya

Angered over announcement by United States of an agreement to sell nuclear-powered submarines to Australia that will scrap an existing $90 billion French contract, France on Friday (Sep 17) said that it has recalled its ambassadors to Washington and Canberra.
U.S Britain and Australia recently unveiled a new trilateral security pact, named AUKUS, under which U.S will supply Australia with nuclear submarines to be deployed in the Pacific region. The deal incurred the wrath of Paris as it scraps an existing French contract with Australia for conventional submarines.
In 2016, Australia had signed a contract to buy 12 Attack-class submarines from the French shipbuilder Naval Group worth nearly $ 90 billion.
The new trilateral security deal is widely viewed as a strategic moved towards curtailing China, which has recently mounted multiple manoeuvres in the Pacific region, especially in and around the South China Sea, where it has expansive territorial claims.
French foreign minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said the decision was made by French President Emmanuel Macron. Drian had called the deal a “stab in the back”.
The French minister also said that his country was not going to let the Australians get away with ditching the contract, which can be expected to lead to some job losses as well.
“At the request of the President of the Republic, I have decided to immediately recall our two ambassadors to the United States and Australia to Paris for consultations,” the foreign minister said. “This exceptional decision is justified by the exceptional gravity of the announcements made on 15 September by Australia and the United States.”
Australia’s Foreign Minister Marise Payne said the decision to scrap the $90 billion submarine project with France in favour of a new alliance with the US and UK to build nuclear powered subs at home was due to national security.
‘Australia understands France’s deep disappointment with our decision, which was taken in accordance with our clear and communicated national security interests,’ she said.
‘Australia values its relationship with France, which is an important partner and a vital contributor to stability, particularly in the Indo-Pacific. This will not change.’ she added

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Pro Bodybuilder and Coach John Meadows Dies at Age 49 – BarBend

John “Mountain Dog” Meadows, a professional bodybuilder, trainer, and nutritionist based out of Ohio died at the age of 49 on August 8, 2021. The news was shared on his verified Facebook page in the afternoon on behalf of his wife (Mary) by a person named Brooke Nappo.
“Dear Friends and Family, I am posting this on behalf of Mary. This morning John passed away unexpectedly and peacefully in their home,” the post read. “As you can imagine, this is a complete shock to her and the boys. She will update as soon as she can.”
A post shared by John Meadows (@mountaindog1)

No cause of death was announced as of this writing. Meadows did have a history of medical issues. In 2005, he was diagnosed with a rare colon disease called Idiopathic Myointimal Hyperplasia of the Mesenteric Veins. He would need to have his colon removed, but he recovered and resumed his then amateur bodybuilding career as well as his coaching business.
In May of 2020, Meadows suffered a heart attack that was caused by blood clots which resulted in a long hospital stay. He eventually recovered, but doctors confirmed that part of his heart wasn’t working properly at that time. He would go on to return to training and coaching. By the end of 2020, he had played a coaching role in the victories of 212 Olympia Champion Shaun Clarida and Fitness Olympia winner Missy Truscott.
Meadows had a love for training and bodybuilding going back to his childhood. He was also involved in powerlifting early on, having trained at the legendary Westside Barbell in Columbus, OH. After his stint at Westside, he pursued his ultimate goal of becoming a professional bodybuilder. That goal was realized at the 2015 NPC Team Universe contest. He immediately began competing on the pro circuit, placing in the top five of his first three contests, and narrowly missed qualifying for the Mr. Olympia that year.
Meadows’ last pro contest was the 2017 Muscle Mayhem Kansas Pro, where he placed 14th. His focus then shifted to coaching fellow pros full-time. Aside from Clarida and Truscott, he had worked with numerous pros in various divisions including Fouad Abiad, Theresa Ivancik, and Ivana Ivusic, to name a few. His last post on Instagram was on August 7, 2021, in recognition of client Brooke Walker, who had won the 2021 Tampa Pro Women’s Physique contest.
A post shared by John Meadows (@mountaindog1)

His impact on bodybuilding went beyond the stage. The one-arm row exercise with a barbell in a landmine base became known as the Meadows Row. He was also involved with various companies in both bodybuilding and powerlifting including EliteFTS and Iron Rebel. He started his own supplement company, Granite Supplements, in 2016.
Shortly after the news of Meadows’ death broke, coaches and competitors quickly shared their condolences. 
“I was and always will be proud and glad to have been able to call John a friend and a mentor. My heart goes out to his family. I’m grateful for the Thursday nights we got to train together in London (Ohio).” 
“I am at an incredible loss and in complete shock to hear I just lost a very special person in my life. I never would have thought in a million years this would be the last time I would see my coach! John Meadows was a legend in the fitness industry…and not only a coach but a best friend! We have created such a strong bond in such a short period of time. He is and always will be such a huge part of my life. I am so heartbroken to hear we lost one of the best in the industry. Many prayers to his wife, Mary, and the boys, along with friends, family, and everyone he has helped and taught so much knowledge to. You will be incredibly missed but never forgotten!”
“I hate now more than anything that we didn’t get a chance to show the world at Chicago all the work we’ve done but I swear to God I’m gonna show the world next month. The bodybuilding world lost one of its best contributors and role models.”
“With tears rolling down my face I remember you telling me how much family meant and kept reassuring me how much more life there is after the stage when I told you I was retiring. You helped me so much not just in my prep but with life. I was supposed to come out and train with you this year and build some content with you — we had so many plans. I don’t even know what to say but you’ll forever be a legend and such an inspiration to me.” 
Meadows is survived by his wife, Mary, and their twin sons. Everyone at BarBend extends their condolences to Meadows’ family, friends, and supporters.
Featured Images: @mountaindog1 on Instagram 

BarBend is an independent website. The views expressed on this site may come from individual contributors and do not necessarily reflect the view of BarBend or any other organization. BarBend is the Official Media Partner of USA Weightlifting.
Have a question or comment? Get in touch:
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Simone Biles Stumbled At Tokyo Olympics Because Of The Twisties : Live Updates: The Tokyo Olympics – NPR

U.S. gymnast Simone Biles watches the artistic gymnastics women’s team final during the Tokyo Olympics at the Ariake Gymnastics Centre on Sunday. Loic Venance/AFP via Getty Images hide caption
U.S. gymnast Simone Biles watches the artistic gymnastics women’s team final during the Tokyo Olympics at the Ariake Gymnastics Centre on Sunday.
TOKYO — At Thursday’s Summer Olympics, the women’s all-around gymnastics winner was … not Simone Biles.
The title and gold medal went to Sunisa Lee of the U.S.
Biles’ absence hung over one of the most anticipated events at the Games, an event she won at the Rio de Janeiro Olympics in 2016. Biles withdrew after first dropping out of the women’s team finals, while it was underway, earlier this week, citing mental health challenges.
She hasn’t detailed much about what those challenges are.
But she has acknowledged suffering from a phenomenon known as “the twisties.”
In her one, and perhaps only finals performance of these Olympic Games, Biles launched herself into a vault that, once airborne, would require 2 1/2 twists of her body. As she recounted afterward, it didn’t work.
“I was trying a 2 1/2,” Biles said, “and I ended up doing a 1 1/2. Just got a little bit lost in the air.”
An ocean away, in California, former competitive gymnast Catherine Burns watched and winced.
“I know that feeling so deeply in my body,” Burns said, “of being, like, I’m lost, I came out [of the move] too early, where am I? And all of that is happening in the course of split seconds, that recognition of something’s not right and I need to be able to complete the trick without injuring myself.”
Burns competed through high school in gymnastics and diving. She was nowhere near the elite world Biles inhabits. But anyone who has honed their airborne skills in sport can experience the frightening sensation of suddenly being lost in air.
It’s called the twisties.
Simone Biles competes in the vault during the women’s team final on Sunday at the Tokyo Games. She withdrew after this run and hasn’t competed since. Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images hide caption
Simone Biles competes in the vault during the women’s team final on Sunday at the Tokyo Games. She withdrew after this run and hasn’t competed since.
“You can get it on twisting moves,” Burns said, “but you can also get it on any kind of rotational move. [And] you can get lost in the air on a really simple trick that you’ve done a thousand times before.”
Burns said gymnasts, especially elite ones, do so much work to be able to gain muscle memory and awareness of knowing where their body is in the air.
“Having that spatial recognition, being able to see yourself doing the trick, it becomes a point where it’s like built into your body,” Burns said, “and you do it sort of without thinking about it cognitively. And then sometimes you get these twisties [and] it’s sort of like a mental block that some people refer to as if you’re starting to cognitively think about [it] again.”
Burns likened it to other things we do over and over, with their execution locked into our muscle memory. Similar to walking down a flight of stairs.
“If you think too hard about picking your feet up at the right rate going down the stairs,” she said, “and you start to get overwhelmed and you’re going to trip over yourself. That’s sort of the feeling of, like, thinking too hard or being too aware of something that you shouldn’t really have to think about anymore.”
After Biles withdrew from the team final on Sunday, she acknowledged to reporters “having a little bit of the twisties.” And she’s had them before. She told that at the beginning of 2019, she forgot how to twist and flip.
A teammate from the 2016 Olympics, Laurie Hernandez, called the twisties painful.
“Hated it, so much,” Hernandez said, adding, “it actively makes you feel like you’re not the caliber of athlete that you are.”
Stress can be a trigger. Biles has talked about having the “weight of the world on her shoulders” when she came into these Games as the preeminent star — someone so dominant that everyone else would be competing for second.
In the aftermath of Biles’ ordeal in Tokyo, Catherine Burns posted a long Twitter thread describing the twisties. It got the predictable trolls calling Biles a quitter and soft.
“I think there’s a lack of understanding of what this sport requires of people,” Burns said. “I think in general these obscure sports [that] people love to watch every four years, they don’t really think about the level of training that goes into it. So this idea of quitting or choking to me is just like setting the expectation of, you’re a product, you perform for us, you are entertainment for me. And if you don’t go out and entertain me, then what’s your value?”
Burns heads an educational nonprofit in Oakland that teaches girls to, in her words, exercise the power of their voice. She said Biles’ withdrawing from the world’s biggest sporting event is an example of that power. And it’s especially significant, she said, after Biles and so many other gymnasts were sexually victimized by the infamous former team doctor Larry Nassar.
Simone Biles cheers during the women’s team final on Sunday. Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images hide caption
Simone Biles cheers during the women’s team final on Sunday.
“I really see her as making a statement to other young girls,” Burns said, “especially other young gymnasts who have experienced sometimes these levels of abuse from their coaches and USA Gymnastics, where they can say, ‘no, this doesn’t feel right to me. I know what I need. I know how to advocate for myself. And I want to stand up and represent myself in a way that would make me proud.’ “
Many agree. Biles tweeted Thursday that “the outpouring [of] love and support I’ve received has made me realize I’m more than my accomplishments and gymnastics which I never truly believed before.”
Will that realization be enough to counteract the twisties and free her up to compete at these Games? Many hope so. But it appears the world will be OK, if it doesn’t.
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Discovery about cells' 'batteries' boosts battle against many diseases – Science Daily

A top exercise researcher at the University of Virginia School of Medicine has revealed how our bodies ensure the proper functioning of the powerhouses of our cells. The findings could open the door to better treatments for many common diseases, including Alzheimer’s and diabetes.
The new research from UVA’s Zhen Yan, PhD, and colleagues reveals how our cells sense problems and perform quality control on cellular “batteries” known as mitochondria. Yan has spent many years seeking to better understand the workings of mitochondria, and he calls the new discovery the most exciting of his career.
“Mitochondria are the center of universe to me since literally all cells in our body rely on mitochondria for energy production and must have a bulletproof system to ensure the powerhouses are functioning properly,” said Yan, the director of the Center for Skeletal Muscle Research at UVA’s Robert M. Berne Cardiovascular Research Center. “Chronic diseases, also known as noncommunicable diseases, such as diabetes, heart failure and Alzheimer’s disease that catastrophically impact so many individuals, families and the whole society are caused by problems of the mitochondria in the cells.”
Stress Detectors
Yan and his team discovered special sensors on the outer membrane surrounding the mitochondria in various tissues in both mice and humans. These sensors detect “energetic stress,” such as caused by exercise or fasting, and signal for damaged mitochondria to be degraded and removed. This essential cleanup process is known as “mitophagy,” and its existence was first suggested more than 100 years ago. But how it works has never been fully understood. Yan’s new research offers long-sought answers.
Yan and his colleagues found that the mitochondrial sensors, known as “mitoAMPK,” exist in slightly different forms in different tissues. For example, one type seemed particularly active in skeletal muscle. In a new scientific paper outlining their findings, the researchers describe the variety of sensors as “unexpectedly complex.” They go on to outline how these sensors provide a vital damage-control system that safeguards our cellular energy supply.
One finding of the study that Yan finds extremely exciting: Treating mice with metformin, the most effective, first-line anti-diabetes drug, activates mitoAMPK in skeletal muscles without activating AMPK in the other parts of the cells. The finding is the best illustration of the importance of activating mitoAMPK and mitochondrial quality control in treatment of a common chronic disease that is known to be caused by accumulation of dysfunctional mitochondria in our body. It also explains why regular exercise is so powerful in preventing and treating such diseases.
The new insights gained into mitochondrial quality control will boost efforts to develop new treatments for non-communicable diseases that have reached pandemic proportions and are estimated to cause 71% of all deaths.
Yan, who is part of UVA’s Division of Cardiovascular Medicine, says it will be important for doctors to better understand how specific diseases interfere with mitochondrial function. And his new findings set the stage for that.
“We have developed genetic models for pinpointing the key steps of mitoAMPK activation and are on our way to discover the magic molecules that are controlled by mitoAMPK,” Yan said. “The findings taught us a lot about the beauty of the sensor system in our body. Society should definitely take advantage of these findings to promote regular exercise for health and disease prevention and develop effective exercise-mimetic drugs.”
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