Monday, December 22, 2008

Vibrating Keeps You Slim (WARNING: May Contain Gratuitous Use of the Word "Bone")

Oh, the things they do to mice, in those science labs of theirs. Recent studies have shown that exposing mice to "high frequency and low magnitude mechanical signals" (read: vibrations) can keep them from developing fat, and also helps to regulate their bone production. This sounds to me a lot like those old school exercise machines with the belt that would jiggle you around, but I'm sure that this study was done for valid medical reasons and not just because the mice wanted to be members of a very tiny gym.

Somebody with deep pockets had to see some sort of potential in it, because they're handing out a grant for $1.8 million to study the phenomenon further. Okay, you twisted my arm, the "somebody" issuing the grant is the National Institutes of Health.

It does seem like good news, in that this is supposed to be research that will treat diabetes and osteoporosis. More than 60% of Americans are overweight and obese, while approximately 200 million people worldwide are struggling with osteoporosis. Still, if I was going to use loaded words like bone, vibration, and possibly vibrator in a story of my own, I think it would steer clear of fatties and old people. And it probably wouldn't be something that was safe for kids to read.

And yes, I could have put a Beach Boys joke about "good vibrations" in this post, but I chose to take the high road.

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The header image is adapted from a photo taken by Bill McChesney and used under a creative commons license.
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