Potential drug to kill cancer tumors discovered

By Kayla Overbey

Friday, March 30, 2012

  • Gizmodo reports that a newly discovered drug could potentially kill all forms of cancer. The Proceedings of the National Academy of Science released an article stating that the drug manipulates the immune system to attack cancerous tumors regardless of “go-away” signals they emit. The drugs have moved from mouse trials to human trials.
  • A campaign called “D.C.’s Doin’ It!” has given away 500,000 female condoms to the nation’s capitol, according to The New York Times. The campaign has prevented 23 infections, at roughly $18,000 per infection. When compared to the lifetime cost of H.I.V. medical care of roughly $367,000, the efforts are worth it.
  • A study conducted by Boston University research assistants revealed that pharmacies’ age restrictions are inconsistent, which could result in teenage pregnancies. The research assistants surveyed over 950 pharmacies, finding that misinformation is a common problem. The FDA recommends removal of all age restrictions for women seeking Plan B medication from pharmacies, reports CNN.

Alternative exercise boosts workout effects

By Kayla Overbey

Friday, March 16, 2012

Top story

Click here to read my article on rock climbing as an alternative sport and watch the video.

Other health news

  • Despite research that states the newly-labeled carcinogen 4-methylimidazole is not harmful to humans, Coca-Cola and Pepsi are changing their formulas. BBC News says the famous soda is being altered to avoid a legally-required cancer warning label.
  • The New York Times reports that the United States Preventive Services Task Force has issued new guidelines for women’s health care. Pap smears are now required every three years instead of annually. Cervical cancer has drastically become less common, and the focus is now on breast cancer and other severe illnesses experienced by women.
  • CNN reporter Susan Hendricks says that weight loss comes not with a “quick resolution,” but many diligent steps. Recommended ways to help weight loss are keeping a food journal, counting calories and excluding empty calories, like sodas and alcohol, from the diet.

Students rock climb for alternative exercise

By Kayla Overbey

Friday, March 16, 2012

The steady rhythm of feet hitting treadmills and sounds of physical exertion fill the air. People walk around, red-faced and tired. But in the basement of the David A. Ambler Student Recreation Fitness Center at the University of Kansas, student Kevin Dinh sits on the ground, positions his feet onto the wall and climbs.

Kevin Dinh is a rock climber. He completes the 45-foot-tall roped course in less than ten minutes. During those minutes, he burned roughly 100 calories.

According to nutristrategy.com average, a 200-pound man can burn over 1,000 calories during an hour spent ascending a rock wall. The intense workout is what initially attracted Dinh to the sport.

“I think the real reason I climb is because I know I need to work out, and rock climbing offers so many different ways to work out,” Dinh says. “And it’s not the same thing every day.”

Dinh is one of many students who have turned to the alternative sport of rock climbing to increase muscle development in atypical parts of the body.

Climbing benefits

While spending 30 minutes on an elliptical or treadmill is sufficient for a routine workout, it can be boring. Varying exercise improves stamina, strength, flexibility, and coordination. Dinh says he hasn’t noticed significant change himself, but his friends and family disagree.

“A lot of people freak out because of how huge my forearms are,” Dinh said. “I don’t see the difference, but everyone keeps telling me I’ve changed. So I’m assuming I’ve changed.”

Rock Climbing Club President Ryan Surface says that although the changes are subtle, muscle development does occur in unexpected areas of the body.

“Generally, your biceps can be sore, your forearms can definitely be sore. Those are usually the first thing to fail [when climbing],” Surface said.

Surface also described how different routes target different muscle groups.

“Climbing definitely works your core, especially on overhanging routes. There are some routes that are kind of like corners, like a dihedral. Oftentimes those are really leg, foot intensive,” Surface said. “It can definitely be a full-body workout.”

Climbing styles

Surface said that three of the most popular styles of climbing are sport climbing, bouldering, and traditional climbing. Sport and traditional climbing are vertical climbs and use safety equipment.  These types of climbing are most popular in North America, Surface said.

Bouldering, on the other hand, requires no gear except for a mattress-like pad below the climber. Bouldering is limited to sequences of no longer then 15 or 20 feet, and requires more muscle concentration than the other two styles.

“Bouldering, to me, really seems like getting down there and doing the most difficult moves you can do. It’s kind of acrobatic, gymnastic kind of stuff,” Surface said.

Because climbing is so physically demanding, the International Olympic Committee is considering lead climbing (similar to traditional climbing), bouldering, and speed climbing for inclusion in the 2020 Olympic summer games. KU student Daniel Siegel understands why.

“There are definitely forms of rock climbing that are legitimate [for competition]. Bouldering is a good example,” Siegel said. “It’s just as much of a mental game, just like chess, as it is physical.”

New climbers

While watching climbers scale KU’s 45-foot rock wall can be intimidating, those new to the sport shouldn’t be shy.

There are five routes on the main wall, each a different skill level. The easiest route is on the far right, and students familiar with climbing are available to belay. There are countless student-created routes on the bouldering walls.

The KU recreation center’s Outdoor Pursuits room rents out free climbing shoes and harnesses to students without equipment. Those who do own equipment are welcome to bring it.

The climbing gym is publicly open to students Monday through Thursday from 4:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. and Sundays from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. From 8:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday, the wall is exclusive to the KU Rock Climbing Club.

Dinh says he’ll continue rock climbing to introduce variation into his workout and simply because he enjoys it.

“I always have fun rock climbing, that’s why I do it so often,” Dinh said. “There’s always an ending feeling where you feel good.”

Exercise nightclub beats the workout blues

By Kayla Overbey

Friday, March 9, 2012

  • A nightclub for working out is gaining traction in New York City as the newest hot-spot, reported the New York Times. Instead of partying and regretting their evenings the next morning, New Yorkers are interacting with people and getting a good workout at the same time.
  • The friendly network that Twitter creates can bring a positive light to daily exercise. “I love checking my Twitter stream and reading the chatter about morning workouts, friendly fitness challenges, and weight loss successes,” said Sherry Pagoto, Ph.D., of KevinMD.com.
  • Popular women’s magazine Self is launching an online social community game that will hopefully encourage women to get active, the New York Times says. The game play, though sedentary, is meant to be physiologically motivating, said vice president and publisher Laura McEwen.

Students are unsure and excited about Kony 2012 movement

By Kayla Overbey

Friday, March 9, 2012


On Monday, March 5th, Facebook, Youtube, and Twitter all started receiving spam comments titled “KONY 2012”. The non-profit organization Invisible Children posted a video about Ugandan indicted criminal Joseph Kony, and his “crimes against humanity.” The video started gaining attention immediately, and now Americans across the nation are in an uproar. However, some students at the University of Kansas are unsure about what’s happening, or why it’s happening now. For some, the video and its responses are creating more questions than concerns.

On Monday, March 5th, the non-profit organization Invisible Children released a video about Ugandan militia leader Joseph Kony. University of Kansas students are both strongly in favor and wary of the cause. The video about his crimes went viral almost overnight and has some students confused.
“I saw the stuff for the Kony campaign last night. Still not really sure what’s it’s all about,” said Taylor Genrich, KU student from Lincoln, Neb. “I know it’s something with the invisible children. There’s a lot of Facebook buzz and Twitter buzz happening, though.”
Some students are frustrated by the mass posts and spam-like nature of the campaign. The immediate responses on Facebook left KU student Beth Buchanan from Kansas City, Kan. critical of college students.
“Facebook is such a wildfire that everyone just blindly posts and it’s easy for students to be like, ‘Oh, I support this cause, I’m educated, I’m making a difference by spreading this word.’ But it’s one thing to watch a video, and it’s a completely other thing to be educated on foreign policy and be educated on what is going on in other countries,” Buchanan said.
Students across campus have already jumped to action by means of Facebook. Allen Schaidle, KU student and activity leader of the KU chapter of Invisible Children from Peoria, Ill., explained that he is in support of the cause and is excited about the eager attitude of the student body. He said that the Invisible Children organization wants to handle all campus events itself.
“Already I know there’s been a couple events started for this,” Schaidle said. “But the president of the KU group of the Invisible Children is asking for those events to be shut down and all the focus be directed toward the Invisible Children group.”
The history of Joseph Kony, and many leaders similar to him, is not short. Genrich said she isn’t surprised by how quickly the word has spread over the past week, but wishes the news could have been publicized and gained such popularity sooner.
“So, I think it’s not surprising because we do have that technology,” Genrich said. “I think it’s surprising because it has been going on for so long. You’d think something would have been done, but with a lot of issues like this, nothing ever actually happens.”
To watch the Kony 2012 campaign video, click here and scroll down.


This is unlike my other posts. It does not relate to articles on condoms, or women’s health, or the right foods to eat. But I do believe it relates to each one of us as individuals and members of this world. I also believe it is more intrinsically important than any article I can write. This issue strikes a chord deep within me, and I can’t help but follow the trend of spreading it.

To my professors who grade my posts: I’m sorry if you do not approve, but I must write about this.

Joseph Kony is the #1 most wanted man in the world. He has been indicted by the International Crime Courts. He has committed heinous crimes against women and children for 20 years. And in this new, modern world of instant communication and technology, he is finally receiving the worldwide press he truly deserves.

Watch this video, please. Spread the word. If you do nothing else beneficial today, tonight, tomorrow, this week, or even this month… Please. Just spend 30 minutes and raise your awareness of what’s happening around you. Leave behind Kim Kardashian, Mitt Romney, and “Charlie bit me!” and pay attention to something that really matters.

Make a difference.

#Kony2012 #STOPKONY

Coded condoms show popularity of contraception

by Kayla Overbey

Friday, March 2, 2012

  • The New York Times reports that the republican effort to let employers deny their employees of health insurance coverage for contraception has been killed by the senate.