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A Process Ontology for Contemporary Biology (PROBIO)

Egenis: Centre for the Study of Life Sciences is looking for two postdocs to work on its new project of “A Process Ontology for Contemporary Biology.”  Applications are due by October 2014.  More information HERE.

This ERC-funded project aims, first, to rethink central issues in the
philosophy of biology by elaborating an ontology for biology that takes
full account of the processual nature of

Probiotics 101

Probitoics - seem to be a buzz word and you are pretty sure they do something beneficial…but what are they and why are they so important to our overall health and ability to lose fat. 

Probiotics is a term that has become much more familiar recently. From the Greek word meaning “for life,” it is an umbrella term for beneficial bacteria present in fermented foods. Our digestive systems contain a wide range of beneficial bacteria, the majority of which are found in the colon. In fact, our colon contains ten times more bacteria that there are cells in the rest of the body. These bacteria weigh in at 2 ¼ pounds and number more than 400 different species, with both beneficial and adverse effects on our health. A number of these species colonize in the gut while others are transient, but they are all effectively competing for space, which is where probiotic foods intervene, helping to promote the beneficial bacteria while suppressing whose with adverse effects.

Prebiotics, are what provide a food source for beneficial bacteria in the gut, improve bacteria balance; these include oligosaccharides (found in , tomatoes, onions, and garlic for example), inulin (found in endive and artichokes, SimplyProtein snack products), resistant starch (found in legumes and whole grains).

What negatively impacts the level of good bacteria?

  • Poor food choices (too much sugar and yeast, too little fiber)
  • Age can drastically reduce beneficial levels in the gut
  • Stomach acid kills of many probiotic bact
  • Some yogurts do not contain beneficial probiotic bacteria, they only contain bacteria of fermented foods (it is important to get 10 million bacteria per helping of fermented foods)
  • Alcohol
  • Stress
  • Antibiotic use

How does the body use bacteria?

Beneficial bacteria in the gut have amazingly broad range of influence on health and much is to still be learned. A healthy balance of probiotic bacteria can crowd out pathogenic organisms; they ferment fiber that we cannot digest directly, forming short-chain fatty acids that keep the gut acidic and help maintain a healthy level of sugar and fats in the blood; they influence the uptake of calcium; they promote the movement of food through the gastrointestinal tract; they play a role in the formation of vitamins K and B; they metabolize by bile acids; so they play a role in liver support; they protect against certain cancers – including colon cancer; they even show antioxidant properties.

Signs of an imbalance:

  • Bloating after meals and pain in the lower gut.
  • Constipation and/or diarrhea.
  • Frequent illness
  • poor skin health
  • Constipation
  • Intestinal gas
  • Chronic bad breath
  • Hormonal problems
  • PMS
  • Menstrual complaints
  • Prostate trouble
  • Breast enlargement in men
  • Need for sexual hormone medication
  • Candida infection (candidiasis)
  • Chronic anemia
  • Dairy product allergies and intolerances
  • Vitamin B deficiencies
  • High cholesterol levels
  • Severe bruising problems
  • Chronic vaginal infections
  • Chronic bladder infections
  • Chronic diarrhea
  • Osteoporosis

What can help? 

Taking a daily probiotic with at least 5 billion beneficial microorganisms (try ProBio here)

When eating high carb foods take a Slender GR (read benefits HERE. Buy HERE)

Eat fiber with your probiotic foods/supplements

Eat fermented foods like Kimchi, sauerkraut, Greek yogurt (but beware sugar in yogurt can feed bad bacteria)

Drink probiotic enhanced beverages like #kombucha or #Kevita

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