Oct 17, 2013 11:24am
A boy whose dying wish was to feed the hungry passed away just weeks after he helped start a citywide food drive that is expected to result in 200,000 meals.
Trevor Sims, 11, died of rhabdomyosarcoma, a rare cancer that develops in the soft tissue and often strikes children, according to ABC News affiliate WBRZ in Baton Rouge, La. Trevor, of Baton Rouge, La., was first diagnosed at age 5.
A few weeks before he died, Trevor was able to celebrate his two final wishes. The first was to feed the hungry. A citywide campaign in Trevor’s name galvanized the community. In one week approximately 23,000 pounds of food and $34,000 in monetary donations was donated to the Baton Rouge Food bank, enough to provide approximately 200,000 meals.
Trevor wanted to start the food drive, after experiencing what it was like to be left hungry. He told WBRZ after he initially was diagnosed, his mother was unable to buy food.
“When I was diagnosed my mom…didn’t have any money to get food and we were starving for two or three days in a row,” Trevor said. “She couldn’t get a job because she had to take care of me. I don’t want anyone to feel that way,” he said.
Trevor also said people can make a difference by doing little things for people.
“You can make a difference everyday just by helping someone who is getting bullied or helping someone cross the street,” said Trevor.
Trevor’s second wish was simple, he just wanted to celebrate his 11th birthday. He was able to do that earlier in October while surrounded by family and friends.
His mother told WBRZ, she hopes the food drive will continue annually in Trevor’s name.
SHOWS: Good Morning America
Oct 17, 2013 1:33pm
A 7-year-old Seattle boy has decided on a slightly unusual Halloween costume this year. He plans on dressing up as his surgeon, Dr. Jay Rubenstein.
Landon Browne was born deaf, but received his first cochlear implant when he was just 9 months old from Rubenstein, a professor of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery at the University of Washington. In the past seven years, Landon has grown into a precocious kid who likes to beat box.
“I’m pretty smart,” Landon told ABC News affiliate KOMO-TV. “I don’t mean to be not humble.”
He received his second implant this summer, also from Rubinstein. As a result for Halloween this year, Landon decided he wanted to emulate his hero, Rubinstein.
Landon Browne dressed up as his hero, Dr. Jay Rubenstein. (KOMO)
He showed up at the hospital for a test run on Wednesday wearing a (shrunken) lab coat, green glasses, tie and stethoscope, just like the original Rubenstein.
Rubinstein told KOMO-TV that Landon had also become an important aspect of his research into cochlear implants and in his attempts to help those with implants to hear music more clearly.
“I’m very grateful for him for all the effort he’s made on our behalf,” said Rubinstein. “For him to do this makes it clear he feels the same way.”
Rubinstein said many people with implants have trouble following melodies and pitch changes.
Landon’s mother, Alysia Browne said she hopes her son will be able to hear music more clearly in the future especially because Landon’s father is a musician.
“I completely got goose bumps, because who would want their child to not experience the beauty of music,” said Browne.
SHOWS: Good Morning America
Can’t put down the box of Oreos? There might be a compelling biological reason for that.
New research suggests that sugary, fatty treats can elicit the same reaction and activate the brain in a similar manner as cocaine and morphine, at least in lab rats.
Joseph Schroeder, an assistant professor of psychology and director of the Behavioral Neuroscience Center at Connecticut College, is expected to present the study, which has not yet been published, next month at the Society for Neuroscience conference in San Diego, Calif.
Oreos weren’t specifically singled out for their ability to trigger a snack attack, they were just a handy device to get enough fat and sugar in the rat’s habitat, Schroeder said.
A spokeswoman for Mondelez International, which owns Nabisco, the maker of the iconic sandwich cookie, cautioned people against associating Oreo with the findings since the cookies were used as “a proxy for a non-specific ‘sweet’ variable.”
“While it may seem simple to bucket foods as ‘good’ or ‘bad,’ the reality is that foods are complex, and encouraging people to enjoy a balanced diet paired with physical activity is most important,” the spokeswoman said in a statement.
The experiment was actually conceived by Schroder’s neuroscience student, Jamie Honohan, to examine the effects of high-fat and high-sugar foods on the brain. Honohan said she is interested in examining the effects of high concentrations of fatty and sugary foods in lower-income areas where there tend to be higher rates of obesity.
“My research interests stemmed from a curiosity for studying human behavior and our motivations when it comes to food,” said Honohan. “We chose Oreos not only because they are America’s favorite cookie, and highly palatable to rats, but also because products containing high amounts of fat and sugar are heavily marketed in communities with lower socioeconomic statuses.”
To examine how “addictive” high-fat, high-sugar foods could be, the rats were put into a habitat with two rooms. In one they were given an Oreo and in the other a rice cracker. Schroder and Honohan then measured the time they spent in each room to see their preference for the Oreo versus rice cake.
“Just like humans, rats don’t seem to get much pleasure out of eating” rice cakes, Schroeder said.
The experiment was then repeated with other groups of rats being offered injections of cocaine or morphine in one room and saline in the other. According to Schroder, the researchers found that the rats had an “equivalent preference” for a room when it contained an Oreo as when they were given injections of morphine and cocaine.
Further examination of the rats’ brains found that they had higher cellular activity in the “pleasure center” of their brain after eating an Oreo versus being injected with one of the drugs.
“That’s the novel finding that applies to us,” said Schroder. “We found that the high-fat or high-sugar food activated the brain to a greater extent than the cocaine or morphine.”
A 2009 study by researchers at the Scripps Research Institute in Florida found the pleasure centers in the brains of rats that were fed high-fat, high-calorie food became less responsive over time — a signal that the rats were becoming addicted. The rats started to eat more and more. They even went for the junk food when they had to endure an electric shock to get it.
“Your brain reacts almost identically to [that of] a cocaine addict looking at cocaine,” said Dr. Louis J. Aronne, a clinical professor at Weill Cornell Medical School and former president of The Obesity Society. “And the interesting thing is that someone who is obese has even more similarity to the cocaine addict. … In many ways, they can be addicted to junk food.”
Whether or not these findings could translate to people is unclear. Schroder said if these findings are replicated in studies with people, it could help the medical community and public health groups rethink how people approach obesity and diet.
“Perhaps the reason why we have the current obesity epidemic is that high fat and high sugar can be just as addictive as cocaine,” Schroder said.
In addition to their findings on fatty and salty food, there was at least one more piece of surprising data for the researchers. It turns out rats prefer the cream filling.
“They would break [the cookie] open and eat the middle first,” Honohan said.
Oct 18, 2013 11:06am
(Credit: Walter Bier/Keystone/AP Photo)
For the first time ever, Google shares (NASDAQ: GOOG) have crossed the $1,000 a share mark. Google stock is soaring in early trading, up more than $110 a share, a gain of nearly 13 percent just today. It’s been a great 2013 for Google shareholders. The stock is up over 40 percent this year and over the last 5 years shares have surged almost 170 percent.
For investors who jumped on the Google bandwagon early when it went public nine years ago, the ride has been even sweeter. Those investors have been watching the stock since its IPO price, $85 a share.
The reason for today’s triple digit dot-com-like surge is its third-quarter earnings report that blew past Wall Street’s expectation. The company earned $3 billion in the three months that ended in September, compared with $2.2 billion in the same period last year.
Today’s surge means Google’s added $35 billion in market cap, which is more than the total size of Yahoo ($34.1 billion).
Google’s big day is having a halo effect across the tech sector. Facebook shares are up almost 4 percent today, above $54 a share. FB has now doubled this year, up 103 percent since Jan. 1.
The stock of another high flyer of the year is also surging today: Chipotle (CMG) is up $55 a share, a nearly 13% rise to $494 a share. And this year two other big momentum names of the S&P 500 have posted returns of over 200%: Best Buy is up 261.9%, and Netflix is up 259%.
Google is the latest company to cross the magical $1,000-a-share mark. Just last month Priceline’s stock hit the $1,000-a-share mark and another member of this elite club is Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway. But both Google and Priceline have a long way to go before catching shares of the Oracle of Omaha’s company. Berkshire shares currently trade at around $175,000 a share.