COVER: HEALTH FOR LIFE. "Fertility & Diet" (p. 54). The latest chapter
of Newsweek's "Health For Life" series focuses on the newest research on
how foods impact the odds of getting pregnant. Harvard University
researchers Jorge E. Chavarro, M.D., Walter C. Willett, M.D., and Patrick
J. Skerrett, authors of the new book "The Fertility Diet," break down the
roles diet, exercise and weight control play in conception and weigh in on
their surprising findings. Some of the keys to their diet plan include
eating slowly digested carbohydrates such as brown rice, dark breads,
beans, vegetables and whole fruits; adding in unsaturated fats while taking
out trans fats, and getting more protein from plants and less from animals.
They also found that a daily serving or two of whole milk and foods made
from whole milk-full-fat yogurt, cottage cheese, and even ice cream-offer
some protection against ovulatory infertility. The Fertility Diet also
stresses the importance of exercising and maintaining a Body Mass Index
between 20 and 24.
"A Changing Portrait of DNA" (p. 63). General Editor Mary Carmichael reports on some of the latest insights into the complex machinery of genetics and life itself. For years scientists have known that certain genes can be turned on and off by chemical switches, but only recently have they begun to understand that these switches are a crucial link between the DNA and the outside world. Researchers once saw the order of the base pairs in DNA as a sort of unchanging blueprint. Researchers now know that chemical switches are responsible for directing almost all of the body's fundamental functions. As much as the genes themselves, they are the biological builders that make us who we are.
"Jogging Your Memory" (p. 68). Reporter Anne Underwood reports on memory loss and the ways people can keep their minds sharper than ever. There are many hypotheses about why our powers of recall go awry over time, but it's clear that both committing new information to memory and retrieving it become more difficult. Now scientists are busy looking into the workings of how the mind creates and stores memories to better understand age-related declines in retention as well as developing drugs and exercises that help push your aging brain to recall more.
"Bones of Invention" (p. 88). Contributing Editor Barbara Kantrowitz reports on the new research and insights into the complex hormonal symphony sustaining the human skeleton, and why fractures are caused by the most common bone disease, osteoporosis. In the last 15 years, scientists have focused on drugs that slow bone loss; the most well known of these are part of a group called bisphosphonates. But a new generation of drugs aims to build bone. These could work in concert with bisphosphonates or other medications that slow bone loss to re-create the balance necessary for the growth of healthy bone. Other researchers are looking at ways of using stem-cell technology to produce new bone.
IRAN: "The Gates Keeper" (p. 32). Deputy Washington Bureau Chief Dan Ephron, Senior Editor Michael Hirsh and Editor-at-Large Evan Thomas report that Defense Secretary Robert Gates is seen as the best insurance that the Bush administration will not leave a legacy of ashes in Iran. Gates gives the Washington foreign-policy establishment hope that the pendulum is swinging back, that it is possible to forge a foreign policy by consensus and common sense and not wishful thinking or righteous zeal.
IRAQ: "The Sunni Civil War" (p. 36). Baghdad Correspondent Larry Kaplow and Chief Foreign Correspondent Rod Nordland report that divisions are growing within the Sunni community-between the new tribal levies and old politicians, Baathists and anti-Baathists, fundamentalist mosque-goers and secular whiskey drinkers-that could affect reconciliation in Iraq. Shiite leaders warn they can't be expected to find common ground with Sunnis who cannot find it among themselves.
POLITICS: "Putting On Their Game Faces" (p. 40). Senior White House Correspondent Richard Wolffe reports on how both Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama are working to prove they can win the 2008 election. Obama and Clinton have spent weeks trading off between first and second place in Iowa polls and are now putting nearly all of their efforts into exploiting each other's vulnerabilities rather than focusing on issues. Many party activists fear that an unpopular war, worries about the economy and Bush fatigue alone won't be enough for Democrats to regain the White House, especially if, like John Kerry, their candidate turns out to be no match for the GOP's disciplined attack machine.
"The Qatari Connection" (p. 42). Investigative Correspondent Michael Isikoff reports that a 2005 contract through GOP hopeful Rudy Giuliani's privately owned management-consulting firm, Giuliani Partners, and Qatar's government to provide "strategic advice" on counterterror issues and protection of the country's oil and gas pipelines and ports, is getting a lot of attention. Giuliani has insisted his business dealings are "totally legal, totally ethical," but has never disclosed all of his clients, raising inevitable questions about financial ties that face all presidential candidates. Some campaign-finance experts say Giuliani's current posture-maintaining a major interest in a privately held international firm while seeking the presidency-is potentially unprecedented.
JONATHAN ALTER: "Dubuque's Got the 'Joe Mo'!" (p. 45). Senior Editor and Columnist Jonathan Alter writes that there may still be chance for a white male Democrat to get the party's nod. "If [Hillary] Clinton and [Barack] Obama were arguing about anything other than experience, it wouldn't be possible for [Joe] Biden, Chris Dodd or Bill Richardson to get the slightest traction, even with a better-than-expected finish," he writes. "But by staking her claim on her preparation for the White House, Clinton has kicked off a fuller discussion on what constitutes real qualifications. Experience usually counts for nothing in presidential politics ... , but this time a 'double E' candidate-experience and electability-could at least become a factor. After Iowa, the surviving white guy in a shrunken field will get a chance to stress his record, especially when the usual 'buyers' remorse' sets in about the front runner."
TIP SHEET: "Start Your Planning Now" (p. 105). Contributing Editor Jane Bryant Quinn reports on the fate of the alternate minimum tax and offers tips on how to help save money this tax season. Tax professionals are already advising clients to include the proposed AMT change in their estimated tax payments for the year. They also recommend tips such as adding year-end cash to retirement plans and investing in a flexible spending account at work.
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