Archive for the ‘Research’ Category


Lincoln, NE Feb. 23, 2017 – An engineering team headed by three University of Nebraska-Lincoln faculty has earned a $1.4 million U.S. Department of Energy grant to help smaller manufacturers use energy more efficiently while students learn energy management and manufacturing processes.
The department’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy announced in late 2016 that the university would be one of eight new Industrial Assessment Centers to join 20 existing centers around the country. Months earlier, the university was approved as a headquarters site and began work as the Nebraska Industrial Assessment Center. Robert Williams, associate professor of mechanical and materials engineering; Bruce Dvorak, professor of civil engineering; and George Gogos, professor of mechanical and materials engineering; direct the Nebraska group.
Faculty and student teams perform on-site assessments at small- and medium-sized manufacturing business partners – those having gross annual sales below $100 million, fewer than 500 employees and annual energy bills between $100,000 and $2.5 million.
In exchange for hosting the assessment, manufacturers get an assessment report to improve productivity, secure information, reduce waste and save energy. Meanwhile, engineering students train in manufacturing processes, energy assessment procedures and energy management systems.
The program also encourages applicants to propose creative approaches to providing IAC services in innovative “smart” manufacturing, cybersecurity, water/wastewater and energy management systems.
The Nebraska IAC’s partners include Lincoln Electric System, Nebraska Public Power District, the Nebraska State Energy Office and the university’s Nebraska Manufacturing Extension Partnership, which is led by Curtis Weller, professor of biological systems engineering.
Williams said the Nebraska IAC would have an impact over a large geographic area. The nearest centers at U.S. universities are in Utah, Illinois and Oklahoma.
“It’s a huge opportunity. We have a lot of work ahead of us,” he said. “Without us, there would be a big hole in the center of the map.”
PHOTOS: Four high-resolution color photos – including photos of Robert Williams, Bruce Dvorak and George Gogos – are available at Cutline information is provided below.

Hour-Long Nap May Boost Brain Function in Older Adults: MedlinePlus Health News

By Mary Elizabeth Dallas – Friday, January 6, 2017

Finally, we have support for our napping – if I remember right —> keith ->>>>>

HealthDay news image

FRIDAY, Jan. 6, 2017 (HealthDay News) — Napping for an hour in the afternoon may provide a mental boost for older adults, a new study suggests.

This extra daytime sleep was linked to improved memory and ability to think clearly among the Chinese study participants, the researchers said.

See details – Source: Hour-Long Nap May Boost Brain Function in Older Adults: MedlinePlus Health News

You Need to Know This Before Buying Bottled Water

When buying bottled water, consumers are advised to check the bottom of the bottle, in order to protect their health. Plastic bottles labeled with letters like HDP, HDPE, PP and a few others, do not release any toxic material in the water, and the remaining letters can represent the chemicals…

Source: You Need to Know This Before Buying Bottled Water

So important that I will include the text here.

A Complete Guide to Plastic Bottle Safety

 We have been using plastic bottles all our lives. But let’s face it – we all tend to be a bit skeptical about the actual consequences they have on our health. We are right in knowing they contain harmful chemicals, but the degree of this harm varies according to the type of plastic used. You may never have been informed of the ways plastic bottles harm us and which types of plastic cause the most harm – but the answers all lie at the bottom of your bottle.
If you flip your plastic bottle over you are likely to see letters marked on or close to its base. Some common ones include PET, PVC, HDP and PP. If these don’t sound familiar to you, you’re not alone – we are going to help you decipher their meaning. This will hopefully help you make wiser choices when buying water bottles.
Here’s what each label means:

1. PET or PETE: 

This one probably sounds familiar. It is the most commonly used plastic material in packaging and consumer products, used especially for water and soft drink bottles. This kind of plastic is only intended for single use and is difficult to decontaminate, meaning that repeated use can be harmful. The more you use it, the higher the risk of leach and bacteria. Also, the metals and chemicals released by this material may tamper with our body’s hormonal balance.


2. HDP or HDPE:

HDPE is a harder type of plastic often used for milk jugs, detergent bottles, oil bottles, toys and some plastic bags. Experts claim that this is the safest kind of plastic that you can choose when buying bottled water, because it barely releases any chemicals. This means your water will be cleaner, hence causing minimal harmful effects on your health


3. PVC or 3V:

This symbol indicates the use of PVC, a highly toxicplastic that is soft and flexible, and is generally used for food wrapping, oil bottles, teething rings, toys, and blister packaging. The chemicals it releases are said to have serious consequences on our body, since they pose effects on our hormones. Experts suggest to avoid packaging made from the PVC and try to find an alternative to it.


4. LDPE:

Although this type of plastic does not release chemicals into the water, you are unlikely to see this label on your water bottle, because the LDPE material is not used in its production. Rather, you would find it in food packaging, in the case of which you should still try to avoid it. LDPE may still release highly dangerous chemicals in the foods you eat.


5. PP:

Yogurt cups and syrup packing are made of this white-colored or semi-transparent type of plastic, referred to as PP (polypropylene plastic). This kind of material is tough, lightweight and heat-resistant. This material won’t melt easily if heated. Overall, it is a rather safe type of plastic, and  it can also block out moisture, grease and chemicals.


6. PS:

PS stands for Polystyrene – a type of inexpensive and lightweight plastic that is used for a range of products. We have often used this type of plastic for disposable styrofoam drinking cups, egg cartons, plastic picnic cutlery, and take-out “clamshell“ food containers. PS should be restricted to short-term usage only, since dangerous carcinogenic substances could be released from it when heated.

7. PC or non-labeled plastic:

This is potentially the most dangerous plastic found out there. If you ever find the “PC” label on plastic bottles (or no label at all), make sure you steer clear of it as much as possible. It refers to a catch-all category for polycarbonate materials and “other” plastics, which contain chemicals that are likely to leach into the food or drink products it makes contact with. Examples of the use of this material include sports water bottles and food containers. It is highly discouraged to reuse or recycle this type of plastic.


Note: These kinds of plastics are not only used for food and drink products. We also find them in everyday items in which they may not directly affect our health, such as water pipes, signs, clothing, furniture, shower curtains, textiles, stationery, insulation, diapers, medical equipment, etc. Nonetheless, we should always be knowledgeable about the materials and chemicals included in the products we buy, taking extra care on the ones that contain food and drinks.




Diabetes Takes Biggest Bite Out of U.S. Health Care Spending: MedlinePlus Health News

Top 5 diseases, conditions accounted for $437 billion in 2013

Diabetes — $101.4 billion.

Source: Diabetes Takes Biggest Bite Out of U.S. Health Care Spending: MedlinePlus Health News

A teaser

The top 10 most costly health expenses in 2013, according to the analysis, were:

  • Diabetes — $101.4 billion.
  • Ischemic heart disease — $88.1 billion.
  • Low back and neck pain — $87.6 billion.
  • High blood pressure — $83.9 billion.
  • Injuries from falls — $76.3 billion.
  • Depression — $71.1 billion.
  • Dental care — $66.4 billion.
  • Vision and hearing problems — $59 billion.
  • Skin-related problems — $55.7 billion.
  • Pregnancy and postpartum care — $55.6 billion


The Dangers of Aspartame Have Been Revealed | Health – BabaMail

There have been many debates whether aspartame is safe to consume. This study has shown that it isn’t (safe) and can even increase your risk of getting certain cancer.

Source: The Dangers of Aspartame Have Been Revealed | Health – BabaMail

The results of this new study showed that one 12-fl oz. can of diet soda a day leads to:

  • 42% higher leukemia risk in men and women.
  • 102% higher multiple myeloma risk in men only.
  • 31% non-Hodgkin lymphoma risk in men only.

(…)  Diet soda is the leading dietary source of aspartame in the US. Every year, Americans consume 5,250 tons of aspartame in total, and 4,500 tons of this is from diet sodas.

Nowadays, aspartame can be found in over 6,000 products, more frequently in diet and sugar-free foods.


Below are some shocking examples:

  • Chewing gum
  • Laxatives
  • Yogurt
  • Coffee
  • Breath mints
  • Pasteurized milk
  • Over-the-counter drugs

Please read the full article and share. -keith

Seniors Not Scared of Social Media After All: MedlinePlus Health News

Study also finds using it helps them feel less isolated, may boost their health

Monday, September 12, 2016

HealthDay news image

(HealthDay News) — The notion that seniors shy away from social media may be off the mark.

A new study found that many older people enjoy using social technology, and it helps them combat loneliness and might even benefit their health.

The findings challenge the popular belief that seniors aren’t interested in or have difficulty using social technology, such as email, instant messaging, Facebook, Twitter or Skype.

Michigan State University researcher William Chopik examined survey responses from nearly 600 older Americans, average age 68, and found that more than 95 percent were either “somewhat” or “very” satisfied with social technology, while 72 percent said they were not opposed to learning new technologies.

“Despite the attention that the digital divide has garnered in recent years, a large proportion of older adults use technology to maintain their social networks and make their lives easier,” Chopik said in a university news release.

“In fact, there may be portions of the older population that use technology as often as younger adults,” he added.

Chopik also found that social technology use was associated with lower levels of loneliness, which was tied to better physical and mental health. Seniors who used social technology tended to be more satisfied with life. They also had fewer symptoms of depression and fewer chronic health problems, such as high blood pressure and diabetes. But the study did not prove that social media use improved health.

The study was published online recently in the journal Cyberpsychology, Behavior and Social Networking.

SOURCE: Michigan State University, news release, Aug. 25, 2016

HealthDay Copyright (c) 2016 HealthDay. All rights reserved.
News stories are provided by HealthDay and do not reflect the views of MedlinePlus, the National Library of Medicine, the National Institutes of Health, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, or federal policy.

Source: Seniors Not Scared of Social Media After All: MedlinePlus Health News

Exercise for Seniors: MedlinePlus

As we age, exercise becomes more challenging. But it is important for seniors to get enough exercise. How much exercise do you need? Find out.

Summary – Exercise and physical activity are good for just about everyone, including older adults. There are four main types and each type is different. Doing them all will give you more benefits.

  • Endurance, or aerobic, activities increase your breathing and heart rate. Brisk walking or jogging, dancing, swimming, and biking are examples.
  • Strength exercises make your muscles stronger. Lifting weights or using a resistance band can build strength.
  • Balance exercises help prevent falls
  • Flexibility exercises stretch your muscles and can help your body stay limber

NIH: National Institute on Aging 

Source: Exercise for Seniors: MedlinePlus

Senior Years May Truly Be Golden for Happiness: MedlinePlus

A new study suggests that older adults are generally less stressed and happier with their lives than younger people are.

Source: Senior Years May Truly Be Golden for Happiness: MedlinePlus

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

HealthDay news image(HealthDay News) — In a culture that values youth, aging can seem like a dismal prospect. But a new study suggests that older adults are generally less stressed and happier with their lives than younger people are.

The study, which included adults aged 21 to 99, found that on average, mental well-being steadily improved as people grew older. And that was despite the fact that older adults had more physical health issues and problems with memory and thinking, versus younger people.

The reasons are not completely clear. But researchers pointed to some likely explanations — including the perspective and “wisdom” that comes from life experience.

Teenagers and younger adults can be upset by not getting enough “likes” on their Facebook post, noted Dr. Dilip Jeste, the senior researcher on the study.

“When you’re young, everything is so important. And getting approval from others is critical,” said Jeste, director of the Center for Healthy Aging at the University of California, San Diego.

As people grow older, they typically gain a better sense of what really matters to them and they’re less likely to sweat the small things, he said.

That’s probably part of what’s going on, agreed James Maddux, a senior scholar at the Center for the Advancement of Well-Being at George Mason University, in Fairfax, Va.

“Research shows that people get better at emotional regulation over time,” said Maddux, who was not involved in the new study. “Life experience gives you perspective. You know the downs don’t last, and the ups don’t last.”

The findings, published Aug. 24 in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, are based on surveys of more than 1,500 San Diego-area adults.

In general, physical health conditions and memory issues were more common among older adults. But people in their 20s and 30s reported the highest levels of stress, depression and anxiety. Overall, mental health steadily improved with age, the researchers found.

Since the study didn’t follow the same people over time, the findings don’t show that stressed-out young adults eventually become happier, Jeste explained. There could also be some generational differences at work, for example.

But both he and Maddux doubted that those differences would fully explain why seniors were more content.

“We can’t say for sure that you’ll be happier at 80 than at 20,” Jeste said. “But we think it’s likely.”

To Maddux, the “most reasonable” explanation for the findings is that, over time, most people develop a certain amount of “wisdom” that helps them deal with the bad times.

“Life becomes less of a rollercoaster,” he said.

And he wasn’t surprised that seniors were typically happier despite having more health problems.

According to Maddux, research shows that the “things that happen to us” — which includes aging and disease — make only a small difference in our capacity for happiness.

Genes play a bigger role. Put simply, Maddux said, some people’s brains are “hard-wired” for happiness, while other people’s brains are not. But there are also factors you can change — including the attitudes you cultivate.

Younger people, Maddux said, can try to develop the skills to manage their emotions, rather than “waiting for life experience to do it.”

That, he said, could mean anything from taking a class at a local college or community center, to practicing meditation, to using online self-help resources.

Jeste had another suggestion: Spend some time with your elders.

“That benefits both younger and older generations,” he said. Even though seniors in this study were typically happier than younger people, that doesn’t mean old age is carefree. Many older adults do suffer from loneliness and a feeling that they’ve lost their usefulness, Jeste pointed out.

As for younger adults, he said, a certain amount of stress and anxiety is to be expected, since they are building careers and families, and often feeling “peer pressure.”

But Jeste also questioned whether today’s young adults might feel stressors that past generations did not — partly because of elevated expectations. Years ago, young people typically expected to get a job — probably in their hometown — have a family and be comfortable.

“Now there are many more opportunities,” Jeste said. “But with opportunities come more expectations.”

The bottom line, he said, is that youth is not bliss, and old age is not something to be feared.

Maddux agreed. “People still look at aging as something to dread,” he said. “But as you age, you acquire wisdom. With that, life generally becomes easier and more pleasant.”

SOURCES: Dilip Jeste, M.D., director, Center for Healthy Aging, professor, psychiatry, University of California, San Diego; James Maddux, Ph.D., senior scholar, Center for the Advancement of Well-Being, George Mason University, Fairfax, Va.; August 2016, Journal of Clinical Psychiatry



Senior Living Cost Planner


The Cost Index draws on our large database of families that have moved into senior living and assisted living homes between 2012 and 2015. It is the only free data source of its kind.

Use A Place for Mom’s Senior Living Cost Planner to learn about the cost of senior living in your area.

Source: Senior Living Cost Planner

National Debt Graph by President – zFacts

This is an eye opener -keith ——>

When did the National Debt go crazy? Why? Who’s to blame? Where is the debt headed? Compared to the US economy, the national debt is smaller than it was after World War II.

Source: National Debt Graph by President – zFacts

Rural Poll shows Nebraskans’ optimism | UNL Today | University of Nebraska–Lincoln

Rural Nebraskans continue to be optimistic about their current situation and future, according to the 2016 Nebraska Rural Poll.

Click here – or read onSource: Rural Poll shows Nebraskans’ optimism | UNL Today | University of Nebraska–Lincoln


    Lincoln, Nebraska, Aug. 8, 2016 —      Fifty-two percent of respondents said they are better off this year than five years ago, holding steady from 53 percent last year, the highest proportion in all 21 years of the study, also occurring in 2008. Only 16 percent said they were worse off.
The University of Nebraska-Lincoln Department of Agricultural Economics conducts the poll in cooperation with the Rural Futures Institute at the University of Nebraska, with funding from Nebraska Extension and the Agricultural Research Division in the Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources.
This optimism was also reflected in their outlook on the future, with 46 percent believing they will be better off in 10 years. The results were similar to last year’s 48 percent. The percentage of those who thought they will be worse off increased slightly, from 17 percent in 2015 to 20 percent this year.
Respondents’ assessment of their current situation reflects a general pattern of growing optimism over the 21 years of poll results, with bigger declines occurring in 2003, 2006, 2009 and 2013. When looking to the future, there has also been a general trend of increasing optimism over the past 21 years, with two bigger declines in 2003 and 2013. This poll was conducted in the spring.
“There can be quite bit of annual variation in these confidence measures resulting from timing with regard to large events and statistical error. However, the trend over the poll’s entire 21 years has been for that confidence to slowly increase,” said Randy Cantrell, rural sociologist with the Nebraska Rural Futures Institute. “If one considers the array of the things that affect an individual’s day-to-day life, many if not most have in fact improved. If nothing else, technology has made a lot of things easier and created a new set of possibilities for individuals to learn, to participate with others in pursuing their interests, to engage in commerce, and in general to see more opportunities for themselves and their surroundings.”
Brad Lubben, assistant professor of agricultural economics, said he was surprised by the continued optimism from those employed in agriculture.
“I would have expected the ag sector to be less optimistic. They may still be better than five years ago from accumulated wealth, but the outlook for the next 10 years is surprisingly strong,” Lubben said. “Maybe they are looking past the short-run difficulties at the long-run opportunities for growth.”
In addition, most rural Nebraskans disagreed that people are powerless to control their own lives (55 percent). The proportion remained the same as last year.
Differences in satisfaction with respondents’ financial security during retirement were found by community size. Over one-half of persons living in or near the smallest communities (55 percent) report being dissatisfied with their financial security during retirement. In comparison, only 39 percent of persons living in or near communities with populations ranging from 5,000 to 9,999 are dissatisfied with this item.
Other results:
* Rural Nebraskans continued to be most satisfied with their marriage, family, friends, the outdoors, their safety and their general quality of life. They continue to be less satisfied with job opportunities, current income level, their ability to build assets and wealth and financial security during retirement.
* Certain groups remained pessimistic about their current and future situation. Those with lower household incomes, older respondents and those with lower educational levels were most likely to be pessimistic about the present and the future.
* Rural Nebraskans with lower education levels were more likely than persons with more education to believe that people are powerless to control their own lives. Thirty-six percent of respondents with a high school diploma or less education agreed that people are powerless to control their own lives. However, only 19 percent of those with at least a four-year college degree shared this opinion.
The Rural Poll is the largest annual poll of rural Nebraskans’ perceptions on quality of life and policy issues. The poll has a collection of data about rural trends and perceptions that is unmatched in the country, said Becky Vogt, survey research manager who has worked on the Rural Poll since its second year. This year’s response rate was 29 percent and the margin of error was plus or minus 2 percent.
The 21st annual poll was sent to 6,115 households in 86 Nebraska counties in April. Results are based on 1,746 responses. Complete results are available at <> .
Although the Grand Island area — Hall, Hamilton, Howard and Merrick counties — was designated a metropolitan area by the U.S. Census Bureau in 2013, the Rural Poll continues to include those counties in its sample. Also, Dixon and Dakota counties were added to the poll in 2014.

Diabetes Doesn’t Doom Seniors to Disability: MedlinePlus

Study found increase in ‘good’ years of life in recent decades

By Robert Preidt
Monday, June 13, 2016

HealthDay news imageSATURDAY, June 11, 2016 (HealthDay News) — American seniors with diabetes are starting to live longer without disabilities, a new study finds.

Researchers analyzed data from national surveys and found that adults with either type 1 or type 2 diabetes who were born in the 1940s generally became disabled at an older age than those born in the 1930s.

Still, the study also found that after age 50, those with either type 1 or type 2 diabetes had a shorter life expectancy before age 70 and more years of living with disability than those without diabetes.

“Over the past two decades, we have seen an increase in the length of good disability-free years of life in older Americans aged 50 to 70, both with and without diabetes,” said study author Dr. Barbara Bardenheier, from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“Our findings suggest that efforts to promote healthy lifestyles, advancements in the management of diabetes and other chronic conditions such as heart disease, and the increasing popularity of procedures such as hip and knee replacements have been successful in ‘compressing disability’ — reducing the number of years with disability into later years,” she said.


Full story – at Source: Diabetes Doesn’t Doom Seniors to Disability: MedlinePlus

8 of Albert Einstein’s Problem-Solving Ingredients | Spirituality – BabaMail

Have you ever had a problem that you didn’t quite know how to get to the bottom of? I know I have – we’ve all been there. Facing problems that make it seem like there’s no positive end in sight is a fact of life for all of us. How we come out the other side is all down to perspective, and no other than the greatest physicist ever to live, Albert Einstein, was a firm believer in this philosophy.

Outline here. Follow the link for details.

1. Define the Problem in a Different Way

2. View the Problem from a Higher Perspective


3. Study and Solve the Problem Little By Little

4. Use Motivating Language

5. Formulate Problems as Questions

6. Make Problems Fascinating To Solve

7. Turn the Problem on Its Head

8. Collect as Many Useful Facts as Possible

Source: 8 of Albert Einstein’s Problem-Solving Ingredients | Spirituality – BabaMail

Exercise May Keep Your Brain 10 Years Younger, Study Suggests: MedlinePlus

HealthDay news image

WEDNESDAY, March 23, 2016 (HealthDay News) — Older adults who exercise regularly could buy an extra decade of good brain functioning, a new study suggests.

The study found that seniors who got moderate to intense exercise retained more of their mental skills over the next five years, versus older adults who got light exercise or none at all.

On average, those less-active seniors showed an extra 10 years of “brain aging,” the researchers said.

Full article – Source: Exercise May Keep Your Brain 10 Years Younger, Study Suggests: MedlinePlus

Nebraska Civil War Veterans Database

Nebraska Civil War Veterans Database

A database (Nebraska Civil War Veterans Database) has been compiled that allows researchers to locate name references within the Civil War Veterans Indexes. The researcher may input a Last Name, First Name, Unit Served, GAR Unit Number, GAR Unit City, and/or GAR Unit County and will be given a listing of all the matching name index entries.

The information provided in the data files is only a partial extract. More complete information for the veteran may be found by reviewing the name in the “Index to Civil War Veterans from Nebraska,” which is a microfilm alphabetical index of approximately 45,000 Nebraska Civil War veterans at the Nebraska State Historical Society Library. Researchers who wish to obtain copies of either the GAR Roster entry or a GAR burial card for their ancestor (if the ancestor was buried in Nebraska) should contact the Library/Archives ( for pricing information.

If you entered… The search results would include…
Last NameAlexander
GAR Post County: Lancaster
All references to the last name “Alexander” from “Lancaster” County GAR Post.  Note that only one field is required for a search. If you know only a last name, you may leave the other fields blank. Also, because first names vary – e.g. Michael J. Kennedy may be entered as M.J. Kennedy – researchers are advised to search on only a SURNAME to see the FULL LIST of possible matches of interest.

Source: Nebraska Civil War Veterans Database

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