Trapped Chile miners to pack bags ahead of `move`

The 33 miners have been trapped deep underground for nearly two months.

Copiapo: The 33 miners trapped deep underground for nearly two months in a Chilean mine must prepare for their move back up to the surface and clean up their underground shelter, psychiatrists have said.

The men, trapped 2,300 feet below the surface since an August 05 cave-in have received "many things" sent down narrow shafts and will need to tidy up the mess before they are pulled out some time after early November, said Alberto Iturra, who heads a team of psychiatrists evaluating them.

"They have lots of stuff down there. They will have to tidy up and see what they can bring with them, put it aside ahead of time in order to avoid stress in the final days," Iturra said yesterday.

"There are lots of personal items, souvenirs, like soccer jerseys, all of which are part of their story," he added.

"There are many things they want to bring with them because it`s part of the experience they went through down there."

In addition to daily supplies of food, medicine and letters, the miners have received many gifts since they were discovered in late August, including a video projector, mini game consoles, books, pictures, rosaries blessed by Pope Benedict XVI, clothes and soccer jerseys signed by stars of the game.

The miners -- 32 Chileans and a Bolivian – are "balanced, healthy people who managed well on their own. They are dealing very well with all this," Iturra said.

A tall, thin cage has been designed to be sent down a bore hole, and allow the men to be pulled out one by one in a little over a month.


Washington: In a bid to uncover why obese people tend to overeat, researchers have found evidence of the vicious cycle created when an obese individual overeats to compensate for reduced pleasure from food.

Obese individuals have fewer pleasure receptors and overeat to compensate, according to a study by University of Texas at Austin senior research fellow and Oregon Research Institute senior scientist Eric Stice and his colleagues.

Stice shows evidence this overeating may further weaken the responsiveness of the pleasure receptors ("hypofunctioning reward circuitry"), further diminishing the rewards gained from overeating.

Food intake is associated with dopamine release.

The degree of pleasure derived from eating correlates with the amount of dopamine released.

Evidence has shown that obese individuals have fewer dopamine (D2) receptors in the brain relative to lean individuals and suggests obese individuals overeat to compensate for this reward deficit.

People with fewer of the dopamine receptors need to take in more of a rewarding substance -- such as food or drugs -- to get an effect other people get with less.

"Although recent findings suggested that obese individuals may experience less pleasure when eating, and therefore eat more to compensate, this is the first prospective evidence to show that the overeating itself further blunts the award circuitry," said Stice.

"The weakened responsivity of the reward circuitry increases the risk for future weight gain in a feed-forward manner. This may explain why obesity typically shows a chronic course and is resistant to treatment,” he added.

Using Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI), Stice``s team measured the extent to which a certain area of the brain (the dorsal striatum) was activated in response to the individual``s consumption of a taste of chocolate milkshake (versus a tasteless solution).

Researchers tracked participants`` changes in body mass index over six months.

Results indicated those participants who gained weight showed significantly less activation in response to the milkshake intake at six-month follow-up relative to their baseline scan and relative to women who did not gain weight.

"This is a novel contribution to the literature because, to our knowledge, this is the first prospective fMRI study to investigate change in striatal response to food consumption as a function of weight change. These results will be important when developing programs to prevent and treat obesity," said Stice.

The study has been published in The Journal of Neuroscience.


By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. You can find out more by clicking this link