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Weight-Loss Surgeries May Beat Standard Treatments for Diabetes

MONDAY, March 26 (HealthDay News) — A new international analysis comparing weight-loss procedures to standard diabetes treatments contends that surgery is more effective at helping people combat type 2 diabetes.

‘Freezing’ Secondary Breast Cancer Tumors Shows Promise

MONDAY, March 26 (HealthDay News) — In a small and preliminary study, researchers report that they successfully froze secondary tumors in patients with incurable breast cancer.

Ob/Gyn Visit a Good Time to Screen for Heart Disease: Study

MONDAY, March 26 (HealthDay News) — Women should be screened for heart disease — a leading cause of death among women in the United States — during routine visits to obstetrics and gynecology clinics, a new study suggests.

Studies: Surgery can put diabetes into remission

New research provides clear proof that weight-loss surgery can reverse and possibly cure diabetes. Doctors say it should be offered sooner to more people with the disease — not just as a last resort.

Timberwolves’ Kevin Love’s Case for MVP, Another Most Improved Player Award

The Minnesota Timberwolves lost Ricky Rubio a few weeks ago and, with him, any real hopes of winning a playoff series this season. Budding star Nikola Pekovic is hampered with bone spurs in his ankle, and depending on the team’s success, he might be shelved for the rest of the year.

Kevin Love, who won the NBA‘s Most Improved Player last season, might actually be in line to win it a second consecutive time. Since the award’s inception in 1985-86, no player has ever won it twice, let alone in consecutive seasons. 

When Love first won the award, he improved his scoring from 14 points per game to 20, and improved his rebounding from 11 per game to just over 15. This season, he is averaging over 26 points, just under 14 rebounds, two assists and a block per contest. 

The biggest statistic for Love is the wins and losses. In this lockout-shortened season, Love has the Wolves at 22 wins. Last season they only managed 17 wins in a full season. 

Love is taking ball games over this season. There is not a defender in the league who can contain him.

In the month of March, when wins matter most, Love is averaging 31 points and 14 rebounds per game. In a double-overtime thriller against the best in the West, the Oklahoma City Thunder, Love poured in a franchise-record 51 points and grabbed 14 rebounds. 

When the Wolves need a big basket, or several, Love has stepped up. I know the MVP is almost exclusively from a winning team, but isn’t the true spirit of the award to reward the player who is most valuable to his team while exhibiting an elite level of personal excellence? 

Never has the award been given to a player on a losing team. The Wolves still might end up with a winning record and may even sneak into the playoffs,  but will that be enough to give Love any serious MVP consideration? It probably won’t, but it should. 

No other player in the league is capable of dominating a game like love can. He is maybe the best rebounder in the game, and can go for 30 points and 20 boards on any given night. After Love trounced his Denver Nuggets on Sunday afternoon, Nuggets coach George Karl had some thoughts.

“I think we used to call him kind of a poor man’s Larry Bird,” Karl said. “I think you can take ‘poor man’s’ off that comparison now. His ability to rebound is incredible and his offensive tools and skills are growing.”

He is right on point. Love looks like he can do whatever he wants on the basketball court. He made himself into a dominant three-point shooter over the offseason and will most likely improve another aspect of his game this coming offseason.

How good this kid can be is mind blowing. It is tough to remember sometimes that he is just 23 years old. 

Timberwolves’ fans must have thought they were spoiled by having Kevin Garnett‘s talents here for so long—now they must be rejoicing at their future. Love is on pace to make several runs at MVP awards over his career, and the Timberwolves will only improve around him. Rubio will be back next season, Derrick Williams will be one year seasoned, and maybe Wes Johnson will keep improving.

Love might be overlooked in the MVP discussions this year, but I would expect him to be a serious candidate as soon as next season.

It almost goes without saying, but he is a favorite to be the league’s most improved player again. His stats along with his team’s success this year show how much better he is from last season’s version.

You have a lot to look forward to, Minnesota fans. Enjoy the ride—I have a feeling it’s going to get a whole lot better in the next decade. 

Timberwolves’ Kevin Love’s Case for MVP, Another Most Improved Player Award

The Minnesota Timberwolves lost Ricky Rubio a few weeks ago and, with him, any real hopes of winning a playoff series this season. Budding star Nikola Pekovic is hampered with bone spurs in his ankle, and depending on the team’s success, he might be shelved for the rest of the year.

Kevin Love, who won the NBA‘s Most Improved Player last season, might actually be in line to win it a second consecutive time. Since the award’s inception in 1985-86, no player has ever won it twice, let alone in consecutive seasons. 

When Love first won the award, he improved his scoring from 14 points per game to 20, and improved his rebounding from 11 per game to just over 15. This season, he is averaging over 26 points, just under 14 rebounds, two assists and a block per contest. 

The biggest statistic for Love is the wins and losses. In this lockout-shortened season, Love has the Wolves at 22 wins. Last season they only managed 17 wins in a full season. 

Love is taking ball games over this season. There is not a defender in the league who can contain him.

In the month of March, when wins matter most, Love is averaging 31 points and 14 rebounds per game. In a double-overtime thriller against the best in the West, the Oklahoma City Thunder, Love poured in a franchise-record 51 points and grabbed 14 rebounds. 

When the Wolves need a big basket, or several, Love has stepped up. I know the MVP is almost exclusively from a winning team, but isn’t the true spirit of the award to reward the player who is most valuable to his team while exhibiting an elite level of personal excellence? 

Never has the award been given to a player on a losing team. The Wolves still might end up with a winning record and may even sneak into the playoffs,  but will that be enough to give Love any serious MVP consideration? It probably won’t, but it should. 

No other player in the league is capable of dominating a game like love can. He is maybe the best rebounder in the game, and can go for 30 points and 20 boards on any given night. After Love trounced his Denver Nuggets on Sunday afternoon, Nuggets coach George Karl had some thoughts.

“I think we used to call him kind of a poor man’s Larry Bird,” Karl said. “I think you can take ‘poor man’s’ off that comparison now. His ability to rebound is incredible and his offensive tools and skills are growing.”

He is right on point. Love looks like he can do whatever he wants on the basketball court. He made himself into a dominant three-point shooter over the offseason and will most likely improve another aspect of his game this coming offseason.

How good this kid can be is mind blowing. It is tough to remember sometimes that he is just 23 years old. 

Timberwolves’ fans must have thought they were spoiled by having Kevin Garnett‘s talents here for so long—now they must be rejoicing at their future. Love is on pace to make several runs at MVP awards over his career, and the Timberwolves will only improve around him. Rubio will be back next season, Derrick Williams will be one year seasoned, and maybe Wes Johnson will keep improving.

Love might be overlooked in the MVP discussions this year, but I would expect him to be a serious candidate as soon as next season.

It almost goes without saying, but he is a favorite to be the league’s most improved player again. His stats along with his team’s success this year show how much better he is from last season’s version.

You have a lot to look forward to, Minnesota fans. Enjoy the ride—I have a feeling it’s going to get a whole lot better in the next decade. 

MIT Prof Predicts the End of Disabilities In Next 50 Years



judgecorp writes “MIT professor Hugh Herr, describes how technology can end disability in 50 years — with a big incentive from the need to support injured war veterans. A champion climber, Herr lost both legs below the knee, returned to climbing and designed improved climbing prostheses. From the article: ‘Herr believes the work he is doing won’t just have humanitarian benefits. There’s money to be made too. And if there’s a market here, it means more people will receive help. Despite all the horrors and injustices the Iraq and Afghanistan wars spawned, they have helped make the biomechatronics industry a lot more viable. Back in 2007, Herr gave Garth Stewart, a 24-year-old Army veteran who lost his left leg below the knee during the conflict in Iraq, a bionic ankle. It used tendon-like springs and an electric motor to provide support for Stewart.’”

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Notre Dame Recruiting: 4-Star QB Commit Proves Brian Kelly’s Recruiting Prowess

Brian Kelly and Notre Dame are at it again.

The Irish picked up 17 recruits in 2012, including several 5-star players, making them one of the top recruiting programs this year. It’s not even April yet, and the Irish have already landed seven players for the 2013 class. Many of those recruits committed over the weekend, but none is as big as the pickup of 4-star quarterback Malik Zaire.

“A degree from Notre Dame is a great insurance policy for later in life,” said Zaire. “It really hit me that my decision was not a four-year decision but a forty-year decision.

“I think that is what definitely got to me as you can have a degree from Notre Dame and it is something special.”

Zaire is a dual-threat quarterback who will be adding his talents to an already loaded position with the likes of Tommy Rees, Gunner Kiel, Andrew Hendrix and Everett Golson already on the roster.

But this isn’t about the talent that Kelly is able to bring in, because Notre Dame has always recruited well. It’s about where he’s getting these players that sticks out the most and shows that he’s one of the better recruiters out there.

Zaire is from Kettering, Ohio and had an offer on the table from Ohio State but instead decided to go with Notre Dame and compete among four other quarterbacks. Not to mention, his dual-threat ability would have fitted perfectly in Urban Meyer‘s spread offense.

“They run a lot of similar things on offense as we run and the terminology is about the same,” Zaire said. “I also loved the drills Coach Kelly has the quarterbacks doing and how intense he is as I know he’ll really get after you. I think that is something that will push me to get better and be motivated to compete even harder.”

Other players to commit this season include tight end Jacob Matuska from Columbus, Ohio and 4-star offensive tackle Steven Elmer from Midland, Mich. Both had offers from Michigan, while Elmer also had offers from Wisconsin, Stanford and Michigan State, among others.

Nearly all of the commitments so far have come from the Midwest, and landing these players that have offers from other prestigious programs says something about head coach Brian Kelly. It also says a lot that they’re recruiting so early when signing day is still nearly a year away.

The past year or so Kelly has been accused of a lot of things as Notre Dame hasn’t lived up to expectations the last two seasons under him (16-10 combined record). But bringing in the talent has never been a problem for him and is something you can’t deny.

Notre Dame Recruiting: 4-Star QB Commit Proves Brian Kelly’s Recruiting Prowess

Brian Kelly and Notre Dame are at it again.

The Irish picked up 17 recruits in 2012, including several 5-star players, making them one of the top recruiting programs this year. It’s not even April yet, and the Irish have already landed seven players for the 2013 class. Many of those recruits committed over the weekend, but none is as big as the pickup of 4-star quarterback Malik Zaire.

“A degree from Notre Dame is a great insurance policy for later in life,” said Zaire. “It really hit me that my decision was not a four-year decision but a forty-year decision.

“I think that is what definitely got to me as you can have a degree from Notre Dame and it is something special.”

Zaire is a dual-threat quarterback who will be adding his talents to an already loaded position with the likes of Tommy Rees, Gunner Kiel, Andrew Hendrix and Everett Golson already on the roster.

But this isn’t about the talent that Kelly is able to bring in, because Notre Dame has always recruited well. It’s about where he’s getting these players that sticks out the most and shows that he’s one of the better recruiters out there.

Zaire is from Kettering, Ohio and had an offer on the table from Ohio State but instead decided to go with Notre Dame and compete among four other quarterbacks. Not to mention, his dual-threat ability would have fitted perfectly in Urban Meyer‘s spread offense.

“They run a lot of similar things on offense as we run and the terminology is about the same,” Zaire said. “I also loved the drills Coach Kelly has the quarterbacks doing and how intense he is as I know he’ll really get after you. I think that is something that will push me to get better and be motivated to compete even harder.”

Other players to commit this season include tight end Jacob Matuska from Columbus, Ohio and 4-star offensive tackle Steven Elmer from Midland, Mich. Both had offers from Michigan, while Elmer also had offers from Wisconsin, Stanford and Michigan State, among others.

Nearly all of the commitments so far have come from the Midwest, and landing these players that have offers from other prestigious programs says something about head coach Brian Kelly. It also says a lot that they’re recruiting so early when signing day is still nearly a year away.

The past year or so Kelly has been accused of a lot of things as Notre Dame hasn’t lived up to expectations the last two seasons under him (16-10 combined record). But bringing in the talent has never been a problem for him and is something you can’t deny.

John Wall vs. Rajon Rondo: Addressing Weakness Differently

John Wall and Rajon Rondo squared off last night, which is more fun for me than it is for the Wizards.

This is not because I’m a Boston guy–I loathe the cradle of U.S. liberty just like any right-thinking American sports fan does. It’s that this is a battle of similar players, expressed through different means.

This is not a matchup of clones so much as it’s a matchup of say, twins who were raised apart from one another. And yes, Wall is a bit larger than Rondo, with better hops. Rondo has a better handle and a better sense of pace and place, for now. They are not exactly the same in innate ability, but both can race with the ball faster than your vision can process, and both are transition assassins that can’t shoot worth half a damn.

So, they share elite skills and this particular, glaring flaw. Wall just shoots incorrectly, objectively. His dominant elbow juts out in the shape of a shark’s nose, and his off hand plants on the back of the ball’s top, like a balding man’s strategically placed yarmulke. This is more the “safety” symbol in football than proper jumper form. I’m thankful it shanks, because if it didn’t my sense of order would be compromised. It would be like watching a juggler juggle his own arms.

Rondo may just have an intrinsic issue to grapple with. His hands are thought to be too large for a normal form, and perhaps that excuses the mess. Rondo’s elbow is jutted even more acutely and the ball is held directly in front of his face. From the back angle, it looks like the least majestic solar eclipse ever.

If both are embarrassed by this, then only Boston’s guard goes through significant measures to avoid embarrassment. And this is the difference, this is where paths diverge. Rondo rarely, if ever, shoots a jumper, slinging two fewer from between 10-23 feet per game than Wall does (both avoid threes like they count for negative points).

Rondo’s “strange” stat lines are as attributable to this reckoning with weakness as they are to his top-level strengths. In a Friday loss to the Sixers, he attempted five shots and had 17 assists. In Sunday’s victory over the Wizards, he again attempted five shots, and this time totaled 11 dimes.

Yesterday, John Wall was content to keep firing. He shot 17 times and missed on all but five tries. Wall might be a hideous shooter, but he’ll shoot when open. Many possessions are sacrificed to the ugly monster known as “John Wall’s jumper.”

So it seems, prima facie, that Rondo’s way is better. He maximizes his points of strength, minimizes his points of weakness. If only it were that simple. Rondo’s unwillingness to hoist makes him—and by extension his team—predictable to play. Even if Wall would have made William Tell’s kid sweat the apple off his head, the defense has to honor a shooter.

With 7:36 left in the third quarter of Wizards, Celtics game, Wall is freed by a Jordan Crawford screen above the arc, as Rondo tries to do something between flop and go “over” the pick. Paul Pierce recovers while leaving Jordan Crawford (his guy), and does a strong contest of the jumper Wall shoots off the dribble. In this moment, Crawford is open and Paul’s lunging contest has opened some floor space. The result is a miss, and a lucky Kevin Seraphin put back. 

On the next Celtics possession, Pierce sets a screen near the elbow, hoping to free Rondo from Wall. Wall simply sags under the screen, making it easy for Crawford to quickly “show” and get back on Pierce. Rondo does not shoot the open jumper. No one is open. With his hand forced, Rondo dribbles at Wall, attempts an errant, Ewing-style runner that the Wizards recover. 

There are situations in which a team would have played Wall like the Wizards played Rondo, and situations where a team would have played Rondo like the Celtics played Wall. But I cite the consecutive possessions because they demonstrate how “acting as if” can change how a defense addresses you. Wall acts as though he should be shooting and Rondo does not. In part due to this, Wall has 2.8 fewer assists, but defenses often play him differently, in a way that opens up more space for his teammates. 

So which point guard is better right now? I’d favor John Wall, though it is difficult to call this one way or the other. Both are going about being the same in a different way.