Weather's not to blame for your aches and pains

New research has revealed the weather plays no part in the symptoms associated with either back pain or osteoarthritis according to Science daily.

It's long been thought episodes of both back pain and arthritis can be triggered by changes in the weather, including temperature, humidity, air pressure, wind direction and precipitation.

Professor Chris Maher said: "The belief that pain and inclement weather are linked dates back to Roman times. But our research suggests this belief may be based on the fact that people recall events that confirm their pre-existing views.

Harmful effects of secondhand smoke even before pregnancy

Exposure to second-hand tobacco smoke -- even before conception -- appears to have a lingering impact that can later impair the brain development of a fetus according to Science daily.

Using rats in experiments carefully designed to mimic the second-hand smoke exposures that humans encounter, the researchers found that the chemical components of tobacco smoke affect fetal brain development throughout pregnancy.

The smoke exposure damages regions of the brain involved in learning, memory and emotional responses. Although the impact was most severe with exposures occurring in late gestation, adverse effects on the fetuses' neuro-development occurred even when the mothers were only exposed prior to conception.

"This finding has important implications for public health, because it reinforces the need to avoid secondhand smoke exposure not only during pregnancy, but also in the period prior to conception, or generally for women of childbearing age," said Theodore A. Slotkin, Ph.D.

Slotkin and colleague simulated secondhand smoke exposure by capturing and extracting the chemical compounds of tobacco smoke and administering the solution through implanted pumps in the laboratory animals.

Aspirin slows spread of colon, pancreatic cancer in tumor cells

Researchers have found that aspirin may slow the spread of some types of colon and pancreatic cancer cells according to Science daily.

Platelets are blood cells involved with clotting. They promote the growth of cancerous cells by releasing growth factors and increasing the response of certain proteins that regulate tumor cell development (oncoproteins). Low doses of aspirin, an anti-platelet drug, have been shown to reduce the risk of some types of gastrointestinal cancers, but the process by which aspirin hampers tumor growth has been unclear. "The current study was designed to determine the effect of inhibition of platelet activation and function by aspirin therapy on colon and pancreatic cancer cell proliferation," the researchers wrote.

Nutrition linked to brain health and intelligence in older adults

A study of older adults links consumption of a pigment found in leafy greens to the preservation of "crystallized intelligence," the ability to use the skills and knowledge one has acquired over a lifetime according to Science daily.

Lutein (LOO-teen) is one of several plant pigments that humans acquire through the diet, primarily by eating leafy green vegetables, cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, or egg yolks, said graduate student Marta Zamroziewicz, who led the study with psychology professor Aron Barbey. Lutein accumulates in the brain, embedding in cell membranes, where it likely plays "a neuroprotective role," she said.

Fat is GOOD for you!

For decades we were told that eating fat would clog our arteries and send us to an early grave, but a current study disproves this theory according to Daily mail. 

In fact, fat may be good for us. A mounting slew of evidence suggests that having full dairy in your diet may actually protect you from heart disease, cancer and Type 2 diabetes.

The study, found overweight middle-age men who ate high levels of saturated fats - mainly found in dairy, meat and tropical oils - and low levels of carbohydrates lost weight