CERG had the privilege of joining the Biralee International School Science Fair in Trondheim to witness the brilliance of young scientists in the making.
Everyone at the school (from the very young 3-4 year olds to the 10 graders) participated in the science fair.
The youngest pupils focused on a single project and tried to find out if the seed can grow when things it needs to become a plant are taken away or what happens to fruit when it is exposed to air and water.
The advisory unit concerns the dissemination of knowledge about exercise training as treatment for people with coronary heart disease, heart failure, peripheral artery disease and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). The service is involved in education, research and promotion of exercise training as medicine for those cardiopulmonary conditions.
It is well documented that physical activity has favorable health effects, but does it matter where you exercise? Are there more health benefits of exercising outdoors compared to indoors?
Some prefer working out in the gym or in the privacy of their own home, while others enjoy getting out for some fresh air. Exercise is good for you whether you prefer doing it indoors or outdoors. However, according to a systematic review that included more than 800 adults, outdoor exercise was associated with more health benefits compared to indoor activity.
Data from eleven controlled trials were included in the study. The results showed favorable effects on self- reported mental health after exercising outdoors. These effects were not seen after exercising indoors. Exercising outdoors was associated with decreased depression, anger and tension.
We all know that a sedentary lifestyle is unhealthy and that we should be physical active. However, why is that? Why does evolutionary biologist describe natural selection as survival of the fittest meaning that the “fit” has a greater probability for survival than the “unfit”. Under follows a brief and simplified history lesson on why we become “born to be active”.
Once superior locomotive skills and physical capacity were essential for human survival and certainly a reason that Homo sapiens developed and prospered. Physical capacity was important in order to evade predators and secures food supply. Comparative physiologists (Hochachka et al., 1999) together with anthropologist (Bramble and Lieberman, 2004) has hypothesized that superior traits of endurance capacity together with an impressive ability to thermoregulate was essential for ancestral humans from the high plains of East Africa to succeed as game hunters. A success which ensured high protein sources of food which again was important for the development of larger brains and complex cooperative behavior compared to other primates. Simply stated: Physical capacity was necessary for human survival and development.
“This is based on solid medical research. We have developed an algorithm, PAI – personal activity intelligence, which relies on the data from The HUNT Study,” CERG leader, Professor Ulrik Wisløff, explained to Adresseavisen.
Wisløff thinks the app could revolutionize the measurement of exercise effects.
“PAI score adapts the individual user’s lifestyle and creates customized targets that are realistic to achieve. As long as the heart rate reaches a certain zone for a certain period, the user will achieve maximum health impact”, Wisløff told the Norwegian newspaper.
PAI is based on incredibly robust data. With a large population we have studied over many years, through The Hunt Study, this is unique.
Guest blog: Collaborator Jasna Marinovic, Assistant professor at University of Split School of Medicine Department of Integrative Physiology
Membrane potential is one of the most basic properties of all living cells that is vital for proper cellular function and homeostasis. At rest, most cells in our body exhibit negative membrane potential, which is primarily established via continuous efflux of potassium (K+) ions through their respective channels. In excitable cells, such as cardiac myocytes, K+-channel opening affects cellular excitability, action potential frequency and duration, with resulting impact on contraction strength, ionic balance, oxygen demand, etc.
Among different subtypes of channels specialized for conducting potassium, a unique group, which is expressed at high density in membrane of cardiac cells, are the ATP-sensitive K+ (KATP) channels. Although under no-stress conditions they do not actively participate in action potential formation, their evolutionary conservation and abundance implicate their physiological importance. Indeed, the KATP channels serve as cellular metabolic sensors, opening in situations of cardiac stress and translating metabolic changes into alterations of membrane potential. Intactness of the KATP channels was shown essential for cardiac tolerance to stress and adaptations to increased workload, such as during increased blood pressure, chronic exercise, oxidative stress, as well as acute damage by cardiac ischemia. In humans, mutations in KATP channel subunits were found in a subset of patients with idiopathic heart failure and were associated with worse clinical outcome as compared to patients without the mutations.
There are several large ongoing project in CERG and OptimEx is one of them. OptimEx is a large multicentre project financed by the European Union and researchers, engineers and technicians from several countries and institutions are involved. I am working with OptimEx as a PhD student and therefore I will give the readers of our blog a short version of what OptimEx is all about and why it is invested so much in the project.
As we already know, lifestyle diseases are a huge and increasing burden on the healthcare system. One of the lifestyle diseases that are continuing to grow is heart failure with preserved ejection fraction named HFpEF. HFpEF is one of two types of heart failure affecting more than 7 million Europeans and accounting for 50% of all heart failure cases.