If you sprain an ankle and cannot use one of your limbs, the muscles will weaken and shrink — unless you exercise those muscles in your other limb. According to a fascinating study, working out the muscles on one side of our bodies can keep the muscles on the other side strong and fit, even if we do not move them at all. Volunteers who had not exercised after a month showed muscle atrophy with about 3 percent less muscle mass. But the group that had exercised their right wrists’ flexor muscles had maintained almost all of those muscles’ original size and strength on the left.

Inducing labor at full term may be best bet

Whether to induce labor for babies at or beyond full term is a difficult decision. Waiting to give birth after 41 weeks’ gestation may slightly increase the risk that the baby will die before or shortly after birth. But there are also risks in inducing labor, including lowering the baby’s heart rate and an increased likelihood of infection. A review in the Cochrane Library of 30 randomized trials involving more than 12,000 women found that induction at or beyond 41 weeks of gestation was associated with fewer perinatal deaths, stillbirths and Caesarean sections.

The big influencer in cell’s health, life span

Once there was a mutant worm in an experiment. It lived for 46 days. This was much longer than the oldest normal worm, which lived 22.

Researchers identified the mutated gene that had lengthened the worm’s life, which led to a breakthrough in the study of aging — it seemed to be controlled by metabolic processes. As researchers studied these processes, all signs seemed to point to the nucleolus.

If building a cell were like building a building, and the DNA contained the blueprint, the nucleolus — in every nucleus of every cell in your body — would be the construction manager. “It knows the supply chain, coordinates all the jobs of building, does quality control checks and makes sure things continue to work well,” said Adam Antebi, a cellular biologist. How well it balances these tasks influences a cell’s health and life span.

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