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So, Mistletoe Is Actually A Tree-Sucking Parasite
Mistletoe is an essential decoration at any adorable holiday party. But if you knew about mistletoe’s true origins, you’d be less than tickled by its presence. Trust us. Mistletoe is a semiparasitic plant that attaches to trees and sucks out their water and nutrients. Trees afflicted with mistletoe die prematurely, thanks to these giant parasitic balls that grab onto branches and weigh up to 50 pounds, according to the National Wildlife Federation. Mistletoe berries are poisonous to humans and many animals. In short, this plant is anything but romantic IRL: You’ll never guess where mistletoe g...
Source: Science - The Huffington Post - December 6, 2016 Category: Science Source Type: news

Christmas Trees Are Dying From Drought
For 23 years, Curtis Abbott and his family have been growing and selling Christmas trees on their farm in the town of Charlton, Massachusetts. Photos from previous harvests show picture-perfect trees — towering evergreens with sturdy branches dusted with white snow. But this year, Abbott Tree Farm has shared no photographs. Instead, a couple of days before Thanksgiving, the farm posted an unexpected message on Facebook: “Sorry we are closed.” Drought, said Abbott, had forced the farm to shutter its doors this year — only the second time it’s done so in over two decades. “We feel it ...
Source: Science - The Huffington Post - December 5, 2016 Category: Science Source Type: news

Holiday Plants Can Pose Health Risks to Kids, Pets
Mistletoe, holly berries and poinsettias should be placed out of reach, expert advises Source: HealthDay Related MedlinePlus Pages: Children's Health, Pet Health (Source: MedlinePlus Health News)
Source: MedlinePlus Health News - December 25, 2015 Category: Consumer Health News Source Type: news

Natural chain that hangs the mistletoe
Mistletoe is a wonderful plant, and not just for Christmas. It is actually a vampire, a parasite which sucks water and minerals out of the trees it grows on, drawing the sap out with such power it can leave the trees short of water.For Christmas, though, this has been a great year for mistletoe. The season began well in February and March when the flowers came out in dry, sunny, weather and were pollinated well by early flying insects. “You could walk into an orchard and hear the buzzing from early emerging insects looking for nectar,” says Jonathan Briggs, an ecologist and mistletoe specialist. Sunshine and sh...
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - December 23, 2015 Category: Science Authors: Paul Simons Tags: Plants Birds Climate change Wildlife Trees and forests Christmas Science Environment Source Type: news

Top 10 stories from 2015 every resident should read
The past year proved lively for residents as they broke records for the highest number of fellowship applicants, charted creative burnout solutions and discovered new ways to thrive in the profession. Look back at some of the top resident moments and headlines of 2015.  1. Physicians rank residency work-life balance by specialty Physician network Doximity and U.S. News & World Report asked physicians to rate residency programs based on work hours and schedule flexibility. This resulted in more than 90,000 physician comments, which were used to create a peer-ranked list of the best—and worst&mdas...
Source: AMA Wire - December 9, 2015 Category: Journals (General) Authors: Troy Parks Source Type: news

Why Scientists Need to Embrace Crowdfunding
From the junior physician attempting to start a pilot study to the seasoned researcher in the final years of an academic grant, the harsh reality of medical research funding constantly looms. Young researchers have faced the worst funding in half a century. The competition for public research grants has intensified to the point where less than 15% of proposals obtain funding. The $1.55 billion budget cut to the National Institute of Health (NIH) in 2013 alone resulted in an estimated 640 fewer research studies receiving funding. Researchers are now encouraged to prepare for grant applications years in advance and to expect...
Source: Science - The Huffington Post - November 19, 2015 Category: Science Source Type: news

IU biologists find mistletoe species lacks genes found in all other complex organisms
(Indiana University) IU scientists have discovered the first known instance of a plant or animal lacking several key genes involved in energy production in cells. (Source: EurekAlert! - Biology)
Source: EurekAlert! - Biology - June 22, 2015 Category: Biology Source Type: news

Isn't it time we acknowledged the potential of immunotherapy?
Immunotherapy has few side effects for cancer patients compared to chemotherapy, and research - including some into therapies involving natural products such as mistletoe - is advancing (Source: The Telegraph : Health Advice)
Source: The Telegraph : Health Advice - May 26, 2015 Category: Consumer Health News Tags: cancer treatment Immunotherapy Judith Potts mistletoe chemotherapy alternative Source Type: news

Isn't it time we acknowledged the potential of immunotherapy?
Immunotherapy has few side effects for cancer patients compared to chemotherapy, and research - including some into therapies involving natural products such as mistletoe - is advancing (Source: Telegraph Health)
Source: Telegraph Health - May 26, 2015 Category: Consumer Health News Tags: cancer treatment Immunotherapy Judith Potts mistletoe chemotherapy alternative Source Type: news

​7 surprising facts about mistletoe
The kissing plant holds some sinister secrets (Source: Health News: CBSNews.com)
Source: Health News: CBSNews.com - December 25, 2014 Category: Consumer Health News Source Type: news

Kiss goodbye to fat under the mistletoe! Plant could help fight obesity
MISTLETOE is not only good for sealing a Christmas kiss... it could help fight obesity-related diseases. (Source: Daily Express - Health)
Source: Daily Express - Health - December 20, 2014 Category: Consumer Health News Source Type: news

27 Vegan Christmas Recipes For A Holly, Jolly, Meat- And-Dairy-Free Holiday
Some dream of a white Christmas. Others dream of a vegan one. While holiday precipitation is out of our control, a festive, meatless and dairy-free dinner spread is not. This holiday season, if you're fantasizing about a vegan dinner table, make it a reality with dishes like lentil shepherd's pie, warm caramelized onion and kale dip, vegan beet wellington and so much more. These 27 recipes are all so divine, you'll want to meet us under the mistletoe. And for dessert: Want to read more from HuffPost Taste? Follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Tumblr. (Source: Healthy Living - The Huffington Post)
Source: Healthy Living - The Huffington Post - December 19, 2014 Category: Consumer Health News Source Type: news

How to End 2014 With a Bang: 101 Ways to Ring in the New Year!
New year! New you! New opportunities! New energy! Below is a list I created largely based on experiences I had and questions I have asked of friends. Some of the suggestions below are solely for the holiday season leading up to the new year, while other suggestions can be applied throughout the year. The point of the list is to give you ways to end the year on a great note and tips to begin the new year and be applied throughout the upcoming year! Enjoy! To do by yourself: 1. Do something different with your hair -- get a trim, highlights, or dye it. 2. Sport a magazine cover look! In other words, go all out and take ...
Source: Healthy Living - The Huffington Post - December 18, 2014 Category: Consumer Health News Source Type: news

Not just for the holidays, mistletoe could fight obesity-related liver disease
Mistletoe hanging in doorways announces that the holidays are just around the corner. For some people, however, the symbolic plant might one day represent more than a kiss at Christmas time: It may mean better liver health. Researchers have found that a compound produced by a particular variety of the plant can help fight obesity-related liver disease in mice. (Source: ScienceDaily Headlines)
Source: ScienceDaily Headlines - December 17, 2014 Category: Science Source Type: news

Not just for the holidays, mistletoe could fight obesity-related liver disease
(American Chemical Society) Mistletoe hanging in doorways announces that the holidays are just around the corner. For some people, however, the symbolic plant might one day represent more than a kiss at Christmas time: It may mean better liver health. Researchers have found that a compound produced by a particular variety of the plant can help fight obesity-related liver disease in mice. Their study appears in ACS' Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. (Source: EurekAlert! - Biology)
Source: EurekAlert! - Biology - December 17, 2014 Category: Biology Source Type: news

Holiday Drinking: Starts Classy, Ends Trashy
Starts Classy (December 2010) It's the most wonderful time of the year. Right? "Eat, drink and be merry" may be a popular theme for the holiday season, but not so much if you are a recovering alcoholic -- at least not the drink part. There seems to be a new invitation to a holiday cocktail party every time I sign onto Facebook or log in to my email. It's an established fact that people drink more this time of year. The opportunity is there and let's face it: the holidays are stressful and the invites make drinking look so damn sexy. There are pictures of martini glasses rimmed with red and green sugar crystals a...
Source: Healthy Living - The Huffington Post - December 15, 2014 Category: Consumer Health News Source Type: news

Turkey, Mistletoe, and Stress
Your crazy relatives don't just bring gifts for the holidays. They ARE the gifts.read more (Source: Psychology Today Relationships Center)
Source: Psychology Today Relationships Center - December 3, 2014 Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Authors: Andrew Bernstein Tags: Happiness Relationships Resilience Stress Source Type: news

New to Nature No 117: Timorus sarcophagoides
South America's first fly-mimicking weevil convinces in both appearance and behaviourA new species of weevil from Brazil is a pretty convincing mimic of a flesh fly of the family Sarcophagidae. Timorus sarcophagoides has large reddish spots on its thorax that look from a distance like the red eyes of a flesh fly and its body colouration rounds out the act. The alternating light and dark stripes of the thorax and elytra, or hardened forewings, of the weevil mirror precisely those of a sarcophagid. Were that not enough, the latter half of the elytra changes in texture to resemble the transparent wings of a fly and the weevil...
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - January 19, 2014 Category: Science Authors: Quentin Wheeler Tags: World news Features Animals The Observer Zoology Environment Science Wildlife Source Type: news

Turned out nice: hot summer makes it a vintage year for wildlife across the UK
Though a cold start made it hard for some, the National Trust's annual audit of flora and fauna has found most species did wellAfter six consecutive years in which awful weather had blighted the UK's wildlife, 2013's cheerful summer turned around the fortunes of flora and fauna across the country, an annual audit has found.The heat of July and August was a particular fillip for insects that thrive in the warm, such as butterflies, moths, bees, crickets and grasshoppers, according to the National Trust, which publishes its report today of how the weather affected the natural world.It flags up in particular the success of th...
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - December 27, 2013 Category: Science Authors: Steven Morris Tags: The Guardian Biology News Trees and forests Birds Butterflies Features Animals Fungi UK news Weather Plants Life and style Insects Gardens Environment The National Trust Science Bees Wildlife Source Type: news

12 Days of Christmas - Holiday Plants
What's Christmas without a Christmas tree, mistletoe, holly and maybe a poinsettia or two? You've probably been warned that many of the traditional holiday plants contain toxic chemicals. Yet, how ...Read Full Post (Source: About.com Chemistry)
Source: About.com Chemistry - December 25, 2013 Category: Chemistry Source Type: news

Why do we kiss under the mistletoe?
Because it remains green year round, this parasitic plant has long been associated with fertility. Continue reading... (Source: Guardian Unlimited Science)
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - December 24, 2013 Category: Science Authors: GrrlScientist Tags: Science Biology Plants Christmas Source Type: news

Why do we kiss under the mistletoe? | @GrrlScientist
Because it remains green year round, this parasitic plant has long been associated with fertility.To the best of my knowledge, I never saw live mistletoe until after relocating to Europe. But the leafless trees in Germany make it plain that mistletoe is everywhere here. European mistletoe, Viscum album, is native to Europe and Great Britain. It is a parasitic plant that obtains water and minerals from trees and shrubs. Its waxy white berries are toxic to humans, but several bird species certainly enjoy eating them and do so with impunity. The berries are coated with a sticky substance containing mucopolysaccharides and str...
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - December 24, 2013 Category: Science Authors: GrrlScientist Tags: theguardian.com Blogposts Biology Christmas Plants Science Source Type: news

Christmas in the lab – do's and don'ts
As scientists around the world gear up for the final throes of the festive period, it's worth keeping in mind these practical survival tips from a seasoned professionalIt's that time of year here in London. The last of the anaemic-yellow leaves have fallen, the air is frosty and the party season is in full swing. Evening rush hour starts a few hours earlier than normal, and the Tubes are full of drunken people in Santa costumes and elf mini-dresses shrieking at each other and snapping selfies. Yesterday at Waterloo station a staff member on the platform spoke laconically into his microphone about 'minding the gap' wearing ...
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - December 20, 2013 Category: Science Authors: Jenny Rohn Tags: theguardian.com Blogposts Science Source Type: news

6 Ways to Avoid Cheating This Holiday Season!
Avoid cute people in elf costumes. Do not linger under doorways festooned with mistletoe. Do not purchase, or consider purchasing, items of clothing for anyone other than yourself or your spouse which would not be considered appropriate if photographed during check-out by a 15-year-old neighbor with a passion for Instagram. Avoid anyone with a passion for Instagram.read more (Source: Psychology Today Relationships Center)
Source: Psychology Today Relationships Center - December 14, 2013 Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Authors: Gina Barreca, Ph.D. Tags: Gender Relationships Sex Social Life adultery and how to avoid it don ' t give into sexual temptation elf costumes happy couples at Christmas how not to commit adultery how to remain faithful humor about adultery humor about fide Source Type: news

Is Mistletoe Really Poisonous?
Kissing under the mistletoe is a holiday tradition. Eating it is not, because mistletoe has a reputation as being poisonous. Yet many of us know someone who ate a berry ...Read Full Post (Source: About.com Chemistry)
Source: About.com Chemistry - November 29, 2013 Category: Chemistry Source Type: news

Six stubborn myths about cancer
The internet is awash with misinformation about cancer, with potentially tragic consequences for patientsThere are few illnesses as terrifying in the public consciousness as cancer. With up to a third of us getting cancer at some stage in our lives, it is almost impossible to remain untouched by the disease. As an ominous reminder of our mortality, cancer scares us to the point that discussions about it are often avoided and the language we use is couched in euphemisms.The recent Channel 4 documentary "You're killing my son" told the story of Neon Roberts, a young boy whose treatment for a brain tumour was halted...
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - August 30, 2013 Category: Science Authors: David Robert Grimes Tags: Comment theguardian.com Health Medical research & wellbeing Society Cancer Life and style Science Source Type: news

What is the evidence for subcutaneous mistletoe extract in the treatment of cancer?
Source: Regional Drug and Therapeutics Centre Area: Evidence> Medicines Q & A Whilst in vitro testing has been promising, showing a number of mechanisms by which mistletoe may be helpful in cancer treatment, clinical evidence of the effectiveness of mistletoe preparations is lacking. There are no licensed mistletoe products available in the UK.   Until more high quality evidence is available, there is currently no compelling evidence to support the use of mistletoe extracts in cancer therapy.   Currently available positive evidence is confounded by poor study design, with more high ...
Source: NeLM - Medicines Q and A - January 28, 2013 Category: Drugs & Pharmacology Source Type: news