Search Results for 'human biology'

Malietoa Tanumafili II, nonagenarian

Malietoa Tanumafili II, GCMG, CBE, (January 4, 1913 – May 11, 2007)
Head of state who guided Samoa’s journey to independence

Malietoa Tanumafili II

Malietoa had ruled the nation since it gained independence from New Zealand in 1962…. He was the world’s third-longest serving head of state, after King Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand and Queen Elizabeth II….

Malietoa, who was appointed for life, was the world’s oldest head of state when he died.

He was the architect of Samoa’s constitution, under which the country’s next head of state will be selected by the legislature for a five-year term.

The Times has a more complete biography and a history of Samoa. [They call Samoa a backwater which is hardly the case in Polynesia and in contributions to science (human biology), literature, and even to Alaska and Los Angeles.]

A tribal chief, Malietoa Tanumafili II was the head of state of the tiny Pacific country of Samoa from its independence in 1962 to his death, making him the world’s third-longest serving ruler. Malietoa’s quiet dignity and reassuring presence helped to spare Samoa the political turbulence to which many other Pacific nations have succumbed. He was thought to be the world’s oldest head of state when he died…. Susuga Malietoa Tanumafili was born in 1912 and educated at the government-run Leifiifi School, then in New Zealand at St Stephen’s College, Auckland, and Wesley College, Pukekohe. When his father died in 1940, he succeeded to the Malietoa title, and was appointed an adviser to the New Zealand colonial administration…

Under the Treaty of Berlin, Samoa had passed into German hands in December 1899, while the US gained what is now called American Samoa. But at the outset of the First World War, New Zealand took control of Western Samoa, replacing Germany as the colonial master. Until 1997 it was known as Western Samoa.

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Virtual aging for living in a real world

When you visit the senior center is an attempt to raise awareness by the younger or able-bodied person [especially those in power] to see what older people in Bethel have to deal with at their senior center. The images are hosted by a friend at Visit Bethel Alaska’s Eddie Hoffman Senior Center.

There are suggestions there for obscuring vision or approximating a wheelchair on gravel, etc. that anyone can do to get a feeling for whether a building or service is either dangerous (fire exits, poor seating and lighting) or inadequate for other people. Some other checklists [see categories of postings] exist for assistive living facilities, but few if any for regular community facilities.

Another way to empathize came from finding a type of Internet search tool, http://www.answerbus.com/, which allows human type questions such as How to buy furniture appropriate for elderly people? The answer led to Continue reading ‘Virtual aging for living in a real world’

Feline Alzheimer’s disease

I knew that older dogs can get a type of dementia, but wasn’t aware that cats may, also (never had a cat before to age with). A couple of points the researchers raise–

  • longer life increases the chances of age-related changes (in anything) and
  • good diet, mental stimulation, and companionship improve quality of life
    IVQ friends
  • while obvious are well worth remembering (for feline and hominid; oh, and the dog, too.

    see also

    This is a press release, so I am reprinting it in its entirety.

    Study shows cats can succumb to feline Alzheimer’s disease

    Ageing cats can develop a feline form of Alzheimer’s disease, a new study reveals. Scientists at the Universities of Edinburgh, St Andrews, Bristol and California have identified a key protein which can build up in the nerve cells of a cat’s brain and cause mental deterioration.

    In humans with Alzheimer’s disease, this protein creates ‘tangles’ inside the nerve cells which inhibit messages being processed by the brain. The team says that the presence of this protein in cats is proof that they too can develop this type of disease.

    By carrying out post-mortem examination of cats which have succumbed naturally to the disease, scientists may now be able to uncover vital clues about how the condition develops. This may eventually help scientists to come up with possible treatments.

    Scientists already thought cats were susceptible to dementia because previous research had identified thick, gritty plaques on the outside of elderly cats’ brain cells which are similar to those found in humans. But, by pinpointing this second key marker, the Edinburgh-led team says we can be sure that cats can suffer from a feline form of Alzheimer’s.

    Dr Danielle Gunn-Moore, at the University of Edinburgh’s Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies, said: “This newly discovered protein is crucial to our understanding of the ageing process in cats. We’ve known for a long time that cats develop dementia, but this study tells us that the cat’s neural system is being compromised in a similar fashion to that we see in human Alzheimer’s sufferers. The gritty plaques had only hinted that might be the case – now we know.

    “The shorter life-span of a cat, compared to humans, allows researchers to more rapidly assess the effects of diet, high blood pressure, and prescribed drugs on the course of the disease. However, we also need to understand more about our geriatric cats for their own benefit, so we can slow down the degeneration the disease brings and keep them as happy cats for as long as possible.”

    “As with humans, the life expectancy of cats is increasing and with this longer life runs the greater chance of developing dementia. Recent studies suggest that 28% of pet cats aged 11-14 years develop at least one old-age related behaviour problem and this increases to more than 50% for cats over the age of 15.”

    Experts suggest that good diet, mental stimulation and companionship can reduce the risk of dementia in both humans and cats. Dr Gunn Moore explained: “If humans and their cats live in a poor environment with little company and stimulation, they are both at higher risk of dementia. However, if the owner plays with the cat, it is good for both human and cat. A good diet enriched with antioxidants is also helpful in warding off dementia, so a cat owner sharing healthy meals like chicken and fish with their pet will benefit them both.”

    Dr Frank Gunn-Moore, at the School of Biology, University of St Andrews, said: “This work relied on a team effort with the different skills and expertise from our different institutions. It has given us an insight into the molecular changes that are occurring in the degenerating brain. From this knowledge we are now currently trying to develop new and novel treatments which will be able to help both cats and humans”.
    ###

    The findings of the study are published in a recent edition of the Journal of Feline Medicine.

    Public release date: 5-Dec-2006
    Contact: Linda Menzies, Linda.Menzies AT ed.ac.uk
    44-131-650-6382
    University of Edinburgh


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