Category Archives: Scientific Research

Blame game: roosters, virus and my dorsolateral prefrontal cortex

It’s the Year of the Rooster – I was born under the Chinese sign of the Rooster.  Always thought it to be a curse I was born under a sign that wasn’t fertile enough to lay an egg or two.

imgres

According to my friend Sharon Bonin-Pratt (whose last post inspired this post) People born under the sign of the Rooster are hardworking, funny, trustworthy and talented.

I’m not hardworking, at times am funny, almost always trustworthy, and have latent talents that get laid but never hatched.

This Rooster year started off with a cold virus that delights roaming the cozy recesses of my sinus passages.   It’s day 11 (but who’s counting).  I’ve been a total slug – no energy, no resolve which gives me a perfect excuse for not making New Years’ resolutions.

(The truth be told, I never make resolutions for the New Year – learned long ago that when I inevitably fail to keep a resolution it leads to feeling badly.)  

What energy I have has been directed toward resolving to be more creative this year. 

In preparation I’ve been obsessively reading everything I can find on how to break my creative block and stop procrastinating.

Most everything I read about procrastination indicates that we procrastinate when we don’t want to do something that is not enjoyable.   Being a master procrastinator I also procrastinate with things that bring me enjoyment.

For inspiration, I read blogs of people who write, read or draw daily – all things which bring me enjoyment.  I feel badly I’m not like them  which leads me to read articles on procrastination and meeting goals (I know how to set them, just not meet them).

Finally the article below has liberated me! I know what to blame:

My dorsolateral prefrontal cortex is lazy . . . not me.

images

Creative block here’s neuroscience how to fix it.

by Elizabeth Shockman

“What is it exactly that helps us be creative? What fuels us when we get into an especially productive work flow? What makes the hours disappear when our brains focus on a task?”

“What, in other words, is happening in our brains when we’re being creative?”

“Cognitive neuroscientist Heather Berlin at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai says we know a little bit about what’s going on. Berlin studies the neuroscience of imagination, creativity and improvisation. And for those people who might be facing writer’s block? “There’s really no prescribed medication,” Berlin says. “There is no real magic pill.”’

Instead, she says, creativity depends on which part of the brain you might be using.

“When [people] are improvising, there tends to be a pattern of activation where they have decreased activation in a part of the brain called the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex,” Berlin says. “And that part of the brain has to do with your sense of self, your sort of inner critic, making sure that your behavior conforms to social norms.”

“Translation? When you’re at your most creative, “basically you lose your sense of self,” Berlin says. “You kind of release your inhibition. The second you become too self-aware that comes back online and you lose that flow state.”’

“In addition to losing inhibitions, people who are in a creative state have increased activation in a part of the brain called the medial prefrontal cortex, which has to do with the internal generation of ideas. In other words, the ideas are coming from within.”

“Some people, when they’re in the flow state … a lot of people say ‘It feels like it’s flowing through me. It’s coming from someplace else,’ you know, ‘It’s coming so naturally I don’t even have to think about it,’” Berlin says. “It’s called liberation without attention. You can only keep a certain number of variables in mind when you’re thinking about something consciously. But if you let it go, you actually can come to a greater understanding because the unconscious can do much more complex processing.”

“For those suffering from creative block, Berlin has some practical advice:”

“You have to take in all the information and then go for a walk,” Berlin says. “Go out, do something else. Because those people who sit there and just obsess over thinking about it too much, using your prefrontal cortex you’re actually limiting yourself. So letting it go can actually help you get over, let’s say a writer’s block or a creative block.”

I’d go for a walk but I have a cold.  Maybe some other time . . .

 

 

Cuddle Fish

squid-a368418e138de40e19da6a204f5a12a278df598b-s800-c85

“The team spotted this Stubby Squid off the coast of California at a depth of 900 meters (2,950 feet). The stubby squid (Rossia pacifica) looks like a cross between an octopus and squid, but is more closely related to cuttlefish. This species spends life on the seafloor, activating a sticky mucus jacket and burrowing into the sediment to camouflage, leaving their eyes poking out to spot prey like shrimp and small fish. Rossia pacifica”

 

RATS! We Inhaled

At Judy Formato’s Painting on the Patio (POP) art group the topic of marijuana came up.  

Several of the woman, who shall remain anonymous, (we are all well over the age of 50 or 60 or 70) admitted to inhaling in their youth.  It was a pertinent topic (for those of us well over the age of 50 or 60 or 70) relating to pain medication for maladies that come with maturity.

Is this a coincidence, or what? . . . I came home to read this new medical marijuana “MIND” study:  

Researcher Staci Gruber is “. . .  trying to determine the long and short-term impact of medical marijuana on cognition, brain structure and function, quality of life, sleep, and other clinical measures. 

“People drive two to three hours sometimes to get [here for] the study,” Gruber said. “They’re really committed. They really want to know what effect this will have on them.”

“As they wait for long-term results, MIND researchers have made a few interim discoveries. They have found, for example, that marijuana could possibly ease symptoms for people with bipolar disorder and that a medication for strokes and Alzheimer’s disease may reverse the cognitive effects of chronic recreational marijuana use.”

Perhaps our POP group could volunteer – we can drive and are VERY committed women.

I think we qualify.

Oh, by the way, here’s what I painted at POP.

Water-color on Yupo paper
Water-color & pencil on Yupo paper

DSCN6660

I wonder why they don’t use rats for this study – they use them for all the others?

 

Baltimore, the Snowy Owl

No energy to write my usual pithy posts . . . but here’s a Snowy Owl worth the visit:


“We followed a young owl named Baltimore’s PRECISE route from a beach in Maryland to an island in Canada.”

Frankly Freddie (parenthetically speaking)

Dear Human Beings,

Do NOT, I repeat do NOT, believe everything you read.   This article is a case in point:

New research shows why dogs don’t like hugs.

Staff writers

“PET owners beware — new research has revealed that dogs don’t like hugs from their owners, which can make them (the owners?) more stressed out.”
“According to new research published in Psychology Today, Stanley Coren from the University of British Columbia, said dogs respond differently to humans who seek comfort from hugging others.”
“Coren, who studies canine behaviour, analysed a random sample of 250 pictures of humans hugging their dogs that he could find online through Flickr and a Google image search.” (skewed data – he left out Pintrest and Instagram where the animal pictures are more photogenic)
“In using photos where the dog’s face was easily seen, he looked whether the dog appeared to be anxious or distressed, relaxed, or showed a neutral response to being hugged.”
“He found that around 82 per cent of the photographs showed “unhappy dogs” receiving hugs from their owners or children.”

Freddie Parker Westerfield, Published Author
Freddie Parker Westerfield, Published Author

He said that dogs show signs of distress when they bare their teeth (called a smile when humans do it), turn their heads away from something ( just being bored and looking around), or they partially close their eyes (doesn’t everyone close their eyes when ecstatic?).
Another sign of anxiety is when a dog’s ears are lowered or “slicked against the side of his head”. (Stanley, it’s just our coiffure)
He also said that licking lips or licking a person’s face can also be a sign of anxiety, like yawning or raising a paw. (I lick when it’s tasty)
Coren said the fact that dogs don’t like being hugged can be explained by their behavioural nature.

As “cursorial animals”, (cursorial?  I swear I never curse) they are designed for swift running. When stressed, a dog’s first instinct is to run away.
It is believed that when they are restricted from moving with a hug, it can increase a dog’s stress level and potentially cause them to bite their owners. (or bite researchers)

It’s not the hugs that stressed the dogs out it was having their pictures taken WITHOUT THEIR CONSENT to be displayed for all the world to see.

Freddie Parker Westerfield, Pulblished Poet
Freddie Parker Westerfield, Blogger

So hug away you human-beings and always follow-up with a treat for us dogs (you got your treat with the hug)

Frankly yours,

Freddie Parker Westerfield, CDT RET, CDB

Canine Dog Therapist, Retired and Certified Dog Blogger

 

Keeping the Beat

“Snowball’s public debut also caught the attention of two scientists at the Neurosciences Institute in La Jolla, Calif. John Iversen and Aniruddh Patel were interested in the evolutionary origins and neuroscience of rhythm and music. At the time, there was no documented evidence that nonhuman animals could dance — or, in more scientific terms, that they could “entrain” their movements to an external beat. “We saw this video, and it really knocked us out — it was the first time we had ever seen this,” Iversen said. “As scientists, you love these kinds of moments.”’

“Iversen and Patel tested Snowball in controlled experiments, altering the tempos of his favorite songs and observing how he responded without any training or encouragement. Snowball danced in bouts, rather than continuously, but frame-by-frame video analysis confirmed that he adapted his movements to the match the altered beats. Soon after, other studies by separate research teams showed that numerous species of parrots could entrain to a beat, as could elephants. Monkeys, on the other hand, did not display much rhythmic talent in the lab.”

Snowball (TM) is a Medium Sulphur Crested Eleanora Cockatoo that dances to the Back Street Boys and other songs that he rates as having a “very good beat.” He came to Bird Lovers Only Rescue Service, Inc. (a 501c3 not for profit bird rescue and sanctuary) in August 2007 and continues to make us laugh with his fancy footwork. We are currently raising funds to build a bird habitat for Snowball and other birds like him.”

"She has too much time on her hands . . ."
“Unlike other ANIMALS we  dance only in A-list private labs”

Click here to read the entire article Beasts that Keep the Beat and watch a seal “keep the beat”.

How ANXIETY can make you SMARTER

I tend toward the depressive end of the “depression vs anxiety” scale.  There are very few things, besides snakes, heights and being suspended in the air in gondolas, that make me anxious.  I rarely worry about them . . . unless I’m on a hike in the mountains, it’s rattlesnake season and the only way I can get down is a gondola ride.

After watching this video . . . I’m worried that I don’t worry enough . . . 

Giant Tree Lobster – pass the butter

Giant Tree Lobsters were thought to be extinct until discovered on a remote island near Australia.  And it’s not a hoax . . .  like the Tree Octopus.

To read about their “romantic” come back and take a look at what they look like full-grown click here: Meet the Tree Lobster, back from the brink

Take a look at the birth! . . . meditative and remarkable!


Green when young, and about the size of an adult human’s hand when full-grown, Dryococelus australis is more commonly known as the Lord Howe Island stick insect, or the tree lobster.
Courtesy of Rohan Cleave/Melbourne Zoo

“The nymph that comes out of the egg is about three times the size of the egg itself,” says Paige Howorth, the San Diego Zoo’s curator of entomology. “It’s just folded up in there like an origami piece or something — it’s amazing.”

It has been claimed that the males and females snooze together, cuddled up in pairs, with the male wrapping his six legs protectively around the female. But Howorth says assuming that the sleep position connotes affection would be premature.

“I don’t know if it means he loves her,” she says, laughing. “I’m not willing to say that.”

What goes UP will come DOWN

The excitement is contagious.  WATCH!!!!!!


“With this mission, SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket will deliver 11 satellites to low-Earth orbit for ORBCOMM, a leading global provider of Machine-to-Machine communication and Internet of Things solutions. The ORBCOMM launch is targeted for an evening launch from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla.”

The 11 satellites were deployed approximately 20 minutes after liftoff at 17,000 miles an hour!!!!!!!!, completing a 17-satellite, low Earth orbit constellation for ORBCOMM.

 

ORBCOMM-2 Full Launch Webcast

An easy way for you to feel grateful EVERY DAY.

My brother Rick told me about The Greater Good.  Everyday I click on 6 of the sites.  With every click I remind myself to feel grateful to be living in a free country where I have access to things much of the world does not have.

It’s free and every click counts toward making this a better world.

(plus there are some cool free-trade things to buy that help people around the world)

Click on Greater Good and subscribe to get a daily e-mail reminder to be grateful.  Here are a list of the giving sites.

Research shows that feeling grateful doesn’t just make you feel good. It also helps – literally helps – the heart.

judy's journal
judy’s journal

“A positive mental attitude is good for your heart. It fends off depression, stress and anxiety, which can increase the risk of heart disease, says Paul Mills, a professor of family medicine and public health at the University of California San Diego School of Medicine. Mills specializes in disease processes and has been researching behavior and heart health for decades. He wondered if the very specific feeling of gratitude made a difference, too.”

“He recruited 186 men and women, average age 66, who already had some damage to their heart, either through years of sustained high blood pressure or as a result of heart attack or even an infection of the heart itself. They each filled out a standard questionnaire to rate how grateful they felt for the people, places or things in their lives.”

“It turned out the more grateful people were, the healthier they were. “They had less depressed mood, slept better and had more energy,” says Mills.”

“And when Mills did blood tests to measure inflammation, the body’s natural response to injury or plaque buildup in the arteries, he found lower levels among those who were grateful — an indication of better heart health.”

“So Mills did a small followup study to look even more closely at gratitude. He tested 40 patients for heart disease and noted biological indications of heart disease such as inflammation and heart rhythm. Then he asked half of the patients to keep a journal most days of the week, and write about two or three things they were grateful for. People wrote about everything, from appreciating children to being grateful for spouses, friends, pets, travel, jobs and even good food.”

“After two months, Mills retested all 40 patients and found health benefits for the patients who wrote in their journals. Inflammation levels were reduced and heart rhythm improved. And when he compared their heart disease risk before and after journal writing, there was a decrease in risk after two months of writing in their journals.”

“Mills isn’t sure exactly how gratitude helps the heart, but he thinks it’s because it reduces stress, a huge factor in heart disease.”

“Taking the time to focus on what you are thankful for,” he says, “letting that sense of gratitude wash over you — this helps us manage and cope.”

“And helps keep our hearts healthy.”

Much is required from those to whom much is given.
–Luke 12:48

He that give should never remember, he that receives should never forget. –The Talmud

Ai yi yiiii, I’d be afraid to go to the bathroom

Did you know you can train your brain not to wake you up at night to go to the bathroom?  When you get the “full bladder” signal in the middle of the night ignore it.  Trust me you won’t wet the bed.  In about 2 nights your brain will stop signaling you that your bladder is full.  

If you don’t trust what I’m saying, try painting your floor!

unnamed-4

 

unnamed-7

unnamed-6

unnamed-5

Thanks Linda B.!!!!!!!!

Hear! Hear!

If our bodies aren’t miracles I don’t know what is.

Great 3-D animation and a dramatic classical sound track, this 7-min. video by Brandon Pletsch takes us on a trip through the ear to vividly explain how we hear. It’s a National Science Foundation award winning film.

Coming!!!! Eradication of Disease

I have no question that some day humans will be able to be CURED from disease and illness.  It probably won’t happen in my life time but research is taking huge leaps forward in replacing function, eradicating disease, recreating organs.  It will happen. 

I have two very dear friends one who had a kidney transplant and the other whose husband had a transplant.  The process of getting donors, having to do dialysis and the operation itself was formidable.  This stem-cell research is exciting.  

Stem cell research is incredibly exciting and now here’s the latest application.

Excerpt from full article:

Scientists Grow Primitive Human Kidneys In A Dish

by ROB STEIN

Image of a mini-kidney formed in a dish from human induced pluripotent stem cells. Minoru Takasato/Nature
Image of a mini-kidney formed in a dish from human induced pluripotent stem cells.  Minoru Takasato/Nature

“For the first time, primitive human kidneys have been created in a laboratory dish, by using stem cells.”

“Although the kidneys cannot perform the functions of a fully formed adult kidney, the researchers hope the achievement will someday lead to new ways to treat people suffering from kidney failure.”

“It’s really exciting,” says Melissa Little, who heads the Kidney Research Laboratory at the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute in Australia. She led the research, which was published Wednesday in the journal Nature. “I think this is a really big advance.”

“They are only able to do some of the functions that a kidney performs, such as filtering toxins from blood, Little says. The organoid is not advanced enough to do all the very complicated balancing that a completely formed kidney does.”‘

“Little’s group is hoping the organoids may eventually continue developing into more fully functioning kidneys.”

“In the meantime, the primitive organs could possibly be used to help save failing kidneys by transplanting parts of them into patients, she says. Whether that will work remains to be seen.”

“Another use may be in pharmaceutical research. Companies could use the tissues to test new drugs.”

Click on the title to read the entire article

You’ve got a Microbiome!

 They call us “home”

our microbiome.

Our body spews 

a cloud no one can see

Bacteria, viruses, fungi

intermingling you and me

Releasing microbes in the air

from head to toe where ever we go

Because they’re here to stay

Don’t waste your money

on bug spray

If you don’t believe me read: wherever-you-go-your-personal-cloud-of-microbes-follows

images-1

An excerpt:

“Each of us carries around millions of microorganisms – including bacteria, fungi and viruses — on the inner and outer surfaces of our bodies. Most of them aren’t dangerous. In fact, growing evidence indicates that they help us in lots of ways. Scientists call this collection of organisms our microbiome.”

‘”A lot of the recent work on the human microbiome has revealed that we’re kind of spilling our microbial companions all over our houses and our offices and the people around us,” Meadow says.”

“Meadow says the findings raise a number of possibilities, including, maybe, one day being able to identify a criminal by analyzing the microbial cloud he or she leaves behind at the scene.”

We know that if you live with people, and even if you just work with people, your microbial communities come to resemble theirs over time, Knight says. “And in the past we used to think that was due to touch. It may be just that you’re releasing microbes into the air and some of those microbes are colonizing the people you’re with.”

Go! Fish!

One of my favorite childhood poems:

Fishy fishy in a brook

Papa catch ’em with a hook

Mama fry ’em in a pan

Baby eat ’em like a man

Here’s my updated version based on new medical technology:

Fishy fishy in your bod

cleaning out all your sod

from top of head to little toe

Sushi, sushi on the go

"Food for thought. "
“Food for thought. “

Read this excerpt from the article that inspired me to wax poetic:

“Tiny “fish” could soon be swimming in your bloodstream.”

“Nanoengineers at the University of California, San Diego, have developed 3D printing technology called “microscale continuous optical printing” that can print hundreds of microrobots within seconds, each one smaller than the width of a single hair.

“Wei Zhu, a nanoengineering Ph.D. student who co-authored the report, wrote that “the microfish can doubly serve as detoxification systems and as toxin sensors.” When the researchers incorporated toxin-neutralizing nanoparticles into the microfish bodies, they found that their powerful swimming ability allowed them to efficiently clean out toxins from the solution. When the particles interacted with toxins, they emitted a red glow; the greater the presence of toxins, the greater the intensity of the glow.”

“The researchers are exploring the possibility of using this as a medical tool. They want to incorporate medicine into the microfish so that they can be injected into someone’s system in order to distribute drugs.”

Click on the title if you don’t believe me!

“I don’t want to talk about it”

I should go out in the garden and eat worms.  I’m exhausted.  I hurt all over.   It’s hard not to have self-pity.   I TRY to limit my public and private kvetching because I know it doesn’t help . . . me or you.  There’s scientific basis for the harm we do to ourselves when we talk about trauma – any kind of trauma. 

Acrylic on Canvas, by moi
Acrylic on Canvas, by moi

 If you or anyone you know has a “story of pain” (physical, psychological, social, economic etc) read Carolyn Thomas’ My Heart Sisters excellent post.  Here’s a teeny taste:

Rehashing a traumatic story/event does some of the following:

  • puts our system on high alert
  • triggers inflammation
  • triggers the fight/flight response
  • triggers shutdown mode

On the flip side Carolyn talks about the benefits of sharing with close friends:

“Dr. Laura Cousin Klein and her team found that the credit for women’s unique stress reactions may belong to the hormone oxytocin (also known as the “lovehormone”).  It’s the body’s own wonder drug – released when we nurse our babies, for example, as well as during a woman’s stress response. It’s instinctual, it buffers the fight-or-flight response and it encourages us to tend children and gather with other women instead – what’s called our tend-and-befriend response to stress.  This calming response does not occur in men, says Dr. Klein, because testosterone—which men produce in high levels when they’re under stress—seems to reduce the effects of oxytocin. Estrogen, she adds, seems to enhance it.”

Read the entire post “I don’t want to talk about it“- a Judy’s-Must-Read-Blog-Post.

The Ultimate DYI – I’ll make me a new pea brain

As my fibromyalgia/chronic fatigue symptoms go unabated I have asked my doctor Patricia Ahearn repeatedly to get her lobotomy certificate.  I’m sure there is week-end or on-line training for doctors.  She’s a very caring person so it’s been hard to understand why she’s been stalling.

Maybe she’s been waiting for this new research?!!!!!!

hmmm . . . speed up the evolutionary process . . . we could still rule the world . . 

Researchers Grow Nearly Complete Human Brain in Ohio Lab

“An almost complete version of a tiny human brain has been grown in a U.S. lab in a move that could bring major strides to the treatment of neurological diseases, a scientist says.
Rene Anand, a professor at Ohio State University, has grown in a dish a brain equal in maturity to that of a five-week-old fetus, his university reported.”

“It not only looks like the developing brain, its diverse cell types express nearly all genes like a brain,” Anand said.”

“Around the size of a pea, the brain in a lab dish includes multiple cell types, all major regions of the brain and a spinal cord, but lacks a vascular system, the university said.” 

“It was grown from human skin cells and is claimed to be the most complete brain of its type grown yet.”

AND!!!!!

With the new 3D printing technology I might be able to make me new brain, each morning, right at home.

If you want to remember – Forgeta bout it!

I’m so smart.  I’ve been employing this strategy for years!  The only problem is when I remember what I forgot, I forget why I needed to remember what I forgot to remember.

gettyimages-475158629edit_slide-4874e948fe7a268e4ff21523af7a56cdfcc5dfe9-s800-c85

Leigh Wells/Ikon Images/Getty Images

Trying To Remember Multiple Things May Be The Best Way To Forget Them

by CHRIS BENDEREV

“A new scientific model of forgetting is taking shape, which suggests keeping multiple memories or tasks in mind simultaneously can actually erode them.”

“Neuroscientists already knew that memories can interfere with and weaken each other while they are locked away in the recesses of long-term memory. But this new model speaks to what happens when multiple memories are coexisting front and center in our minds, in a place called “working memory.”‘
“It argues that when we let multiple memories come to mind simultaneously, those memories immediately lock into a fierce competition with each other.” When these memories are tightly competing for our attention the brain steps in and actually modifies those memories,” says Jarrod Lewis-Peacock, a neuroscientist at UT Austin.”

“The brain crowns winners and losers. If you ended up remembering the milk and forgetting the phone call, your brain strengthens your memory for getting milk and weakens the one for phoning your friend back, so it will be easier to choose next time you’re faced with that dilemma.”

It’s a strain on my brain

to remember

whether it’s June, July or December

Multiple memories,

lots of tasks

my brain crowns the winner

which I reward with dinner

Eats I never forget

Food being a permanent mind set

P.S. I forgot to tell you that you can read the entire article by clicking on the title above.

 

 

 

 

Pluto and beyond “. . . will a Race one day stand really tall”

IF ONLY WE HAD TALLER BEEN

By Ray Bradbury

O, Thomas, will a Race one day stand really tall
Across the Void, across the Universe and all?
And, measure out with rocket fire,
At last put Adam’s finger forth
As on the Sistine Ceiling,
And God’s great hand come down the other way
To measure Man and find him Good,
And Gift him with Forever’s Day?
I work for that.
Short man. Large dream. I send my rockets forth
between my ears,
Hoping an inch of Will is worth a pound of years.
Aching to hear a voice cry back along the universal Mall:
We’ve reached Alpha Centauri!
We’re tall, O God, we’re tall!

“NASA New Horizons Pluto Mission Tribute Video! | NPR Hundreds of images from NASA’s New Horizons mission to Pluto stitched together in retro newsreel form with audio of American science fiction author Ray Bradbury reading his beautiful poem “If Only We Had Taller Been.”‘

pluto-charon-false-color_wide-f242f06d28a8d782392397c78967cee8b205dda6-s800-c85

New false-color images of Pluto and the moon Charon exaggerate colors to highlight differences in their surface compositions, NASA says. http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2015/07/14/422840586/nasa-zooms-in-on-pluto-for-closest-views-yet

 


Know a Narcissist? Blame their brain

I am fascinated by our newfound ability to study the brain in real-time.  For most of my life the only way the brain was studied was by  autopsy.  

For decades, I’ve explained to clients that “feelings” are not psychological constructs but a neurochemical phenomena. I had no proof – just  trickles of brain research I read. Now that I’m retired the evidence is mounting.  I’d love to be able to say “I told you so!”

hypnotized-people-hallucinate-colors-at-will_44927_600x450-1

In psychological “terms” the proportion of outward behavior is a measure of internal feelings.  Examples:  Do you know some one who is a “control freak”?  Of course you do.

The more someone tries to exert control over everyone and everything it is usually (read “always” – I’m trying to be “politically correct, ahem . . .)  a direct measure they internally/unconsciously feel out of control.  People who “feel” in control don’t have to prove they are in control – they can collaborate, give others credit etc.

Know someone who is a narcissist – the earth revolves around them, not the sun?  Of course you do.

The more a person needs to boast about themselves, point the finger of blame at others etc. . . . the more insecure they are.  Read about some interesting brain research that substantiates this that on a neurological level.

Read more: http://nymag.com/scienceofus/2015/07/a-neurological-level-narcissists-are-needy.html

I TOLD YOU SO!

Can you imagine what it will be like 50 years from now?

Scientists have grown the entire forelimb of a rat in a lab . . . and it moves!

 Hidden in plain sight

God’s miraculous secrets*

Waiting to be found

photo curtesy of
Bernhard Jank, MD/Ott Laboratory, Massachusetts General Hospital Center for Regenerative Medicine

Dr. Harold Ott, head of the Ott Laboratory for Organ Engineering and Regeneration, and his team at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston were able to “engineer rat forelimbs with functioning vascular and muscle tissue,”  . . .

“This may be an important first step leading to the eventual creation of functional, bioartificial limbs that could be used in transplants.”

Ott says this work “finally proved that we can regenerate functional muscle.” (They know because they ran an electrical current through the muscle tissue — and the little rat limb began to twitch).”

“They’ve since applied the first part of this technology — stripping cells from the framework — to the arms of primates, showing the process might work on the human scale.”

Haiku Horizons - prompt SECRET
*Haiku Horizons – prompt SECRET

Read the article: In Massachusetts Lab Scientists Grow an Artificial Rat Limb

“Chimps are no chumps: Give them an oven, they’ll learn to cook”

For those of you aspiring script writers or producers read this article for inspiration . . .  a premise for a new reality show – The Real Housewives of the Jungle or . . .  for the Food Network – Jungle Cook-off . . . or . . .  ? 

___________

“If you give a chimp an oven, he or she will learn to cook.”

“That’s what scientists concluded from a study that could help explain how and when early humans first began cooking their food.”

“This suggests that as soon as fire was controlled, cooking could have ramped up,” says Alexandra Rosati, an evolutionary biologist at Yale and a co-author of the study  . . .  First, the researchers gave the chimps a device that appeared to work like an oven.”

Before he ate them, Kanzi cooked the vegetables in a pan on his own.

“Before he ate them, Kanzi cooked the vegetables in a pan on his own.”

“When researchers gave them a cooked potato slice, they simply ate it. But when they got a raw carrot, they immediately put it in the device. And their preference for cooked food was so strong that they would hold on to raw potatoes, or carry them to other locations, in order to have them cooked.”

“The study also offers a reminder that very few behaviors are uniquely human, Wrangham says. “What we’re seeing here is that the chimps are surprisingly similar to humans, even though the whole process of cooking seems like something that is a huge divide between humans and other animals.”

 Read the entire article by Jon Hamilton:

 

Going Viral

Scratch one more cure . . .  for now.
I started an anti-viral medication that has been successful in treating some people with Chronic Fatigue.  There is a long-held theory that virus are responsible for fibromyalgia/CFS and since I have tested positive for a viral-reactivation it seemed worth a prescription.
After taking the meds for over a month and coping with a bit of  24-hour nausea and headaches, last night I was wakened by really severe stomach pain which radiated to my back .  The cure was worse than the malady. 
Before the pain became full-blown I was playing around with some oil paint and roughed-in this face.  Now looking at my preliminary sketch it’s a window into how I’ve been feeling.  I think I’ll not “finish” the painting and leave it be  . . .  for now.
Oil
Oil

I stopped the medication this morning.  Like my painting, I’m not going to try to “finish off” the virus either  . . .   for now.

Year of the Spark, Carla Sonheim & Lynn Whipple
Year of the Spark, Carla Sonheim & Lynn Whipple

Are You a Highly Sensitive Person? You might have ADRA2b like me.

Goggle “emotional sensitivity” and you’ll find tons (well maybe not tons, but a lot) of articles, books, survival guides on how to overcome “being so sensitive”.   

About 1 in 5  fit the HSP (Highly Sensitive Person) profile.  I currently rate a 12 1/2 out of 16 traits below.  When I was younger it was 16 out of 16.  (Interestingly, artists and therapists seem to fit this profile in larger numbers than the general population . . . hmmm)

Fragile Fleur by judy
Fragile Fleur by judy

It’s baaaaaaaad:  I cry at dog food commercials and can’t tolerate anything that has a hint of violence.

My husband prefers “blow’em up – shoot ’em dead – stab ’em hard” for his watching pleasure.  He reminds me that it’s “not real” as I lock him in his room so I can’t see or hear what he’s watching.  I watch HGTV House Hunters International, preferring my suspense and intrigue to trying to guess which house the couple will buy.

However, rather than label myself as a “Highly Sensitive Person”, I prefer to think of myself as a fragile flower . . . so much more feminine.    

_____________________

Here are 16 HSP traits.  If you want to read more about each click here

  1. They feel more deeply.
  2. They’re more emotionally reactive.
  3. They’re probably used to hearing, “Don’t take things so personally” and “Why are you so sensitive?”
  4. They prefer to exercise solo.
  5. It takes longer for them to make decisions.
  6. They are more upset if they make a “bad” or “wrong” decision.
  7. They notice details.
  8. Not all highly sensitive people are introverts.
  9. They work well in team environments.
  10. They’re more prone to anxiety or depression (but only if they’ve had a lot of past negative experiences).
  11. That annoying sound is probably significantly more annoying to a highly sensitive person.
  12. Violent movies are the worst.
  13. They cry more easily.
  14. They have above-average manners.
  15. The effects of criticism are especially amplified in highly sensitive people.
  16. They prefer solo work environments.

________________________

The good news! I no longer have to read up on how to overcome, minimize, explain or justify my emotional sensitivity because I must have a ADRA2b gene.

(Now I can blame my mother for my sensitivity – aren’t mothers always the ones who get the credit for how we turn out . . .  or the blame?)

Genes might explain differences in how we experience emotions

“Your genes may influence how sensitive you are to emotional information, according to new research by a UBC neuroscientist. The study, recently published in The Journal of Neuroscience, found that carriers of a certain genetic variation perceived positive and negative images more vividly, and had heightened activity in certain brain regions.”

“People really do see the world differently,” says lead author Rebecca Todd, a professor in UBC’s Department of Psychology. “For people with this gene variation, the emotionally relevant things in the world stand out much more.”

“The gene in question is ADRA2b, which influences the neurotransmitter norepinephrine. Previous research by Todd found that carriers of a deletion variant of this gene showed greater attention to negative words. Her latest research is the first to use brain imaging to find out how the gene affects how vividly people perceive the world around them, and the results were startling.”

"Fragile flower . . . I think WUSS may be closer to the truth . . "
“Fragile flower?  HSP? . . . I think she’s just plain melodramatic. . “

Genetic Literacy Project

 

How to Control Other People with Your Brain

“Big Brother is watching you” George Orwell wrote in his novel 1984.  In 2014 BIG BRAIN is controlling you.  WATCH THIS!!!!!!

“Greg Gage is on a mission to make brain science accessible to all. In this fun, kind of creepy demo, the neuroscientist and TED Senior Fellow uses a simple, inexpensive DIY kit to take away the free will of an audience member. It’s not a parlor trick; it actually works. You have to see it to believe it.

 

“V” is for Vampire Squid

“The Vampire squid from hell

is actually rather quite swell

 He doesn’t suck blood

 or lurk in  the mud

but in chilly, dark waters drifts free

where he never eats meats

just low-calorie treats

that sink toward the bottom of the sea

A sighting is transforming

But here’s a forewarning

always go in the morning

and certainly not on a whim

For late at night you’ll die from fright

especially if you can’t swim

The scientific name for the species, Vampyroteuthis infernalis, translates to “vampire squid from hell,” but the animal’s behavior isn’t all that intimidating.

“Vampire squid drift in chilly, dark waters with low oxygen levels up to 9,800 feet (3,000 meters) below the surface. They have a low metabolism and they eat low-calorie foods — mostly “marine snow,” or clumps of particles, that sink down the water column.”

The new findings were published  in the journal Current Biology.”

http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com/
http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com/

“T” is for Terrible Terror Bird

Have you ever heard of the Terror Bird?

He was real,  it’s not absurd

At ten feet tall

his turds weren’t small

and his face alone

could turn you to stone

It would have frightened me so

to be kicked with his toe

knocked out with his breath

then  pecked to death

 What could I say to not be his prey?

“Good day, Mr Bird, I won’t get in your way”

“Whatever you want, whatever you say”

“It’s not nice to eat

my flesh for your meat”

It’s a relief to now know

His reign is no go

Terror Bird is toast

just bones at the most

or maybe . . . a 40 pound roast?

“An army of huge carnivorous “terror birds” — some as big as 10 feet tall — ruled South America for tens of millions of years before going extinct some 2.5 million years ago.”

“Now, with the discovery of a new species of terror bird called Llallawavis scagliai [in Argentina] paleontologists are gaining fresh insight into this fearsome family of top predators.”

o-LLALLAWAVIS-570

“Llallawavis likely lived around 3.5 million years ago, near the end of terror birds’ reign, according to the researchers. It stood about four feet tall and weighed about 40 pounds.”

An article describing the findings was published online March 20 in the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/04/10/terror-bird-fossil-discovered_n_7040716.html

http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com/
http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com/

“S” is for Stroke of Insight

“One morning, a blood vessel in Jill Bolte Taylor’s brain exploded. As a brain scientist, she realized she had a ringside seat to her own stroke. She watched as her brain functions shut down one by one: motion, speech, memory, self-awareness  . . . ”

One of the best TEDTalks EVER!  VIVID, moving.

Brain researcher Jill Bolte Taylor studied her own stroke as it happened.

“How many brain scientists have been able to study the brain from the inside out? I’ve gotten as much out of this experience of losing my left mind as I have in my entire academic career.” — Jill Bolte Taylor

“Amazed to find herself alive, Taylor spent eight years recovering her ability to think, walk and talk. She has become a spokesperson for stroke recovery and for the possibility of coming back from brain injury stronger than before. In her case, although the stroke damaged the left side of her brain, her recovery unleashed a torrent of creative energy from her right. From her home base in Indiana, she now travels the country on behalf of the Harvard Brain Bank as the “Singin’ Scientist.”

 

“M” is for Many Marshmallows Moving at the speed of light

Whether you mash, mush or munch them watch this Marvelously Mirthful Peep Show.  (the comments at the end are the most mirthful)

Warning!!  Innumerable Peeps were harmed in the making of this video which was not sanctioned by the SPCP*

*SPCP, Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Peeps

http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com/
http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com/

“i” is for illusion

I live a life of  illusion (and so do you).  My illusions include being a solid mass, living on a stationary planet.

My limbs don’t shake from the millions of vibrating and rotating atoms of my body, much less the vibrating chair I’m sitting which is being held together through an  electromagnetic force.  swirl-optical-illusion-300x203

I feel no pings of pain from the stream of neutrinos from space cruising through me at 186,282 miles per second.  I’m not dizzy as I hurtle through space on a planet traveling around the sun at approximately 66,000 miles per hour.

Take a look at this video – how’s your eyesight?

“The optical illusion can highlight vision problems – people who might need glasses are often unable to pick out the fine details of Mr. Einstein’s face, and are left seeing an image of Ms. Monroe – but also points out a quirk in how the human brain processes visual information.”

“The MIT team that created “Marilyn Einstein” performed a series of experiments in which they showed participants the hybrid image for different lengths of time. When people saw the picture in just a brief flash of 30 milliseconds, they could only see Monroe – their brains simply didn’t have time to pick out the fine details of Einstein’s face, no matter what how close to or far away from the image they were. When they saw the picture for 150 milliseconds, they saw Einstein but not Monroe.”

Read the full article explaining the “Marilyn Einstein” illusion.

http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com/
http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com/

A is for Anything Goes

The A-Z writing challenge is Absurdly Zonkers.  Writing a post every day (except on Sunday) using the alphabet is not for the faint of heart. So that’s why I’m absolutely doing it.

A – Haiku

It’s the first letter

the beginning not the end

“A” is not the last

__________

A Angry Doodle

IMG_0014

__________

A Saying

An apple a day doesn’t keep the doctor away

by Michael Pomranz

“Remember when you were a little kid and Mom used to tell you, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away?” And then remember when you became a snotty teenager and you told Mom she was an idiot? Well, turns out Mom was wrong, and you were right!”

“A team of researchers recently set out to see if the old apple rhyme actually held any water. After looking at over 8,000 participants, their study, published in JAMA Internal Medicine, provided no statically significant proof that an apple a day actually leads to fewer doctor’s visits.

“What researchers did uncover, however, was that apple eaters were “marginally more successful at avoiding prescription medications” than non-apple eaters. “Evidence does not support that an apple a day keeps the doctor away,” the study’s authors concluded, “however, the small fraction of US adults who eat an apple a day do appear to use fewer prescription medications.” Hopefully, Republicans are paying attention: Encouraging people to eat more apples might be a great Obamacare replacement.”

Ahhhhhhhhh.  “A down and “B” to go . . .

http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com/
http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com/

Are we alone in the universe?

One septillion stars – 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000.   That’s a lot of stars.

“The earth is but one country and mankind its citizens”  

Bahá’u’lláh, Baha’i World Faith

 

 

You Can See Invisible Images & Hear Silent Sounds

Watch and listen to this incredible technology!  AND there’s a Videoscope site where you can do it yourself

“Meet the “motion microscope,” a video-processing tool that plays up tiny changes in motion and color impossible to see with the naked eye. Video researcher Michael Rubinstein plays us clip after jaw-dropping clip showing how this tech can track an individual’s pulse and heartbeat simply from a piece of footage.”

“Watch him re-create a conversation by amplifying the movements from sound waves bouncing off a bag of chips. The wow-inspiring and sinister applications of this tech you have to see to believe.”

https://videoscope.qrilab.com/instructions.html

Videoscope

Videoscope is an online tool designed to reveal signals in recorded video that are normally invisible to the naked eye. This tool is based on methods and algorithms originally developed by researchers at MIT CSAIL and Quanta Research Institute. For more details about the algorithm, please visit the MIT project website.

Pi Day – delectable anyway you compute it.

Most of you read my blog for cultural awareness and fast breaking scientific events such as Pi Day on March 14 .  This year it’s even more special because it’s 3/14/15!!!!!

 The Greek letter “π (pronounced pi) is the symbol used in mathematics to represent a constant — the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter — which is approximately 3.14159.  That’s why Pi Day is an annual international celebration.

Now pay attention.  To celebrate you eat pie on 3/14/15 at exactly 9:26 am and again at 9:26 pm because “a sequential time occurs on 3/14/15 at 9:26:53.58979… following the sequence of pi to all digits.” Now THAT is something to celebrate.

There are NUMBEROUS* ways (over a trillion) to celebrate this most auspicious mathematical concept which you can find here: How to Celebrate Pi Day .  The best, and only way as far as I’m concerned, is to eat a pie.

Since pi is a Greek letter if you are cutting down on sugar you could eat Spanakopita (Greek spinach pie) instead.

Pi Pie at Delft University
Pi Pie at Delft University

 *”Pi has been calculated to over one trillion digits beyond its decimal point. As an irrational and transcendental number, it will continue infinitely without repetition or pattern. While only a handful of digits are needed for typical calculations, Pi’s infinite nature makes it a fun challenge to memorize, and to computationally calculate more and more digits.”  SEE!!! Culture and science can be fun!

Mooooooooo . . . dy no more

It always “cracks me up” (figuratively speaking) when I see those signs for Chick Fil A.  NOW here’s even better news . . .  whether you are a cow OR a chicken .  Listen to this Nutrition Facts short video on improving depression and anxiety through what you eat:

eat-more-chicken

http://nutritionfacts.org/video/improving-mood-through-diet/

And for those of my blog readers who are too busy (or too depressed) to listen to the video here’s the conclusion:

 “The complete restriction of flesh foods significantly reduced mood variability in omnivores…. Our results suggest that a vegetarian diet can reduce mood variability in omnivores. Perhaps eating less meat can help protect mood in omnivores, particularly important in those susceptible to mood disorders.

 

Little Miss Muffett, no pain in her tuffet

Pain Remedy Pome

by judy

Little Miss Muffett

sat on a tuffet

Eating her curds and whey

Along came a spider

Injected inside her

medicating pain away

“I don’t hurt inside”

she happily cried

and threw her curds away

“No more aches and pains

or all manner of strains

the spider has made my day”

DSCN5899

Spider Venom May Hold Chemical Keys to New Painkillers

(to read the whole article the title above)

by KATE KELLAND

(Reuters) – “Scientists who analyzed countless chemicals in spider venom say they have identified seven compounds that block a key step in the body’s ability to pass pain signals to the brain.”

“In research they said could one day lead to a new class of potent painkillers, the scientists focused on 206 species of spider and searched for molecules in the venom that block nerve activity, particular via so-called “Nav1.7 channels”.”

“Experts estimate that as many as one in five people worldwide suffer from chronic pain and existing pain treatments often fail to give sufficient or long-term relief. Pain’s economic burden is also huge, with chronic pain estimated to cost $600 billion a year in the United States alone.”

“People sense pain in a part of their body when nerves from the affected area send signals to the brain through what is called the pain pathway, and it is this pathway scientists seek to disrupt when searching for potential new pain medicines.”

DSCN6012

Click here to read my other “tribute” to the Muffett Miss: 

No Rhyme nor Reason, Muffett & the Spider Pome

Highjacked

I eat all the leftovers in the refrigerator.  I make a batch of brownies from a mix and eat the batter slowly, very slowly, breathing in the chocolately aroma, feeling the slightly gritty grains of batter between my tongue and roof of my mouth.  Spoonful by spoonful the intense sweetness permeates every sense of my being.  I eat all the batter because turning on the oven is too complicated and not understanding what temperature or how long they need to bake too dangerous.

I search all the kitchen cupboards. The only thing left that is edible is a box of Saltine crackers and ketchup, necessities of life when you are a student and working your way through college.  Intently focused, I carefully break the crackers apart into their neat little squares and slowly, carefully arrange them on a plate.  It takes time to  decorate them with swirls and globs of ketchup before I carefully spread the red with the tines of a fork marveling at the artistic lines I’m creating in the ketchup.

tumblr_low7rldARv1qhr40c“Taste this – they’re delicious, like the best pizza ever.” I walk slowly, carefully balancing the plate, into the living room toward my roommate Shelly who’s sitting on our Salvation Army couch, her feet propped up on the wooden spool coffee table that once held wire cable for telephone repair and abandoned on a Berkeley street corner. 

“Taste these – just like pizza, they are delicious,” I repeat, shoving the plate into Shelley’s line of vision as she blankly stares in the direction of the orange paper-mache flower in the milk carton that decorates the wooden spool.   Mechanically, and without the enthusiasm I think warranted, she chews slowly, very slowly, silently, reflectively.  Not waiting for her response I eat the rest of the pizza crackers while carrying the plate back to the kitchen to make more.

gourmet pizza ingredients
gourmet pizza ingredients

How Marijuana Highjacks Your Brain To Give You The Munchies

by Angus Chen

“Shortly after toking up, a lot of marijuana users find that there’s one burning question on their minds: “Why am I so hungry?” Researchers have been probing different parts of the brain looking for the root cause of the marijuana munchies for years. Now, a team of neuroscientists [led by Tamas Horvath at the Yale School of Medicinereport that they have stumbled onto a major clue buried in a cluster of neurons they thought was responsible for making you feel full.”

“An effect when cannibus is introduced in the brain . . . “creates a kind of runaway hungry effect. “Even if you just had dinner and you smoke the pot, all of a sudden these neurons that told you to stop eating become the drivers of hunger,” Horvath says. It’s a bit like slamming down on the brakes and finding weed has turned it into another gas pedal.

” . . .  Last year, researchers foundthat cannabinoids lit up the brain’s olfactory center, making mice more sensitive to smells. Before that, other researchers discovered cannabinoids were increasing levels of dopamine in the brain; that’s the swoon that comes with eating tasty things.”

“For anyone who’s experienced it — you realize that’s exactly what’s happening,” he [Horvath] chuckles. “You just can’t stop, no matter how much you put in your mouth.”

. . . and I might add . . .  

You just can’t stop no matter 

WHAT you put in your mouth.

To read the entire article click here


 

 

Instant Relaxation – It’s SHOCKING!

I’m reblogging this article in its entirety because I’m too brain fogged to make a synopsis.  I can see the possibility of decorating the Thync – like with tassels, glitter, plastic flowers – you know make it stylish . . . .

Here’s hoping it’s not a “too-good-to-be-true” hype because it sounds promising.  Electrical brain stimulation has long been used clinically for conditions like Parkinson’s and depression.

__________________________

“Thync, a wearable startup that uses brain stimulation to affect a user’s mood, claims a new study proves that its device is capable of causing wearers to “instantly relax when they want'”.

“The study, published by bioRxiv, revealed a 14-minute session using Thync’s electrical waveforms caused a significant stress reduction in 97% of the participants.”

“Following several years of research and development the company found a way to target the noradrenergic systems and locus coeruleus – the parts of the brain responsible for regulating the ‘fight or flight’ response.”‘

thync-brain-wearable-electric-shock-mood

“Until now artificial regulation of this response has been achieved using drugs, chemicals or invasive procedures.”

‘”Our results show that electrical neurosignalling can significantly reduce sympathetic nervous system activity in the face of stressful conditions,” said Jamie Tyler, chief scientific officer at Thync.”

“Our brains already have the power to combat stress and achieve a calm state. We found a way to invoke these mechanisms on demand using approaches described in our recent report. For neuroscience, and for us, this is a big deal.”

“The study showed that Thync’s electrical neurosignalling saw subjects experience reduced heart-rate variability, a galvanic skin response and significantly greater levels of relaxation.”

“Participants in the study described the effects of the technology as similar to meditating or the feeling experienced after drinking modest amounts of alcohol.”

“The potential impact of our findings becomes rather evident when we study how the ability to decrease stress on demand affects people in more natural contexts – in their everyday life at home or work,” said Sumon Pal, a PhD neuroscientist and executive director at Thync.”

‘”We find that people just felt better when they can instantly relax when they want. The program only takes about 10 minutes to run, but the acute effects last from 20 minutes to an hour.”‘

“We feel this can be a game-changing approach to managing the daily stress we all experience day in and day out.”

Mood Altering Wearable Shocks the Brain and cases instant relaxation

 

Brain-to-brain communication has arrived.

The “stuff” of science-fiction is no longer fiction.

“You may remember neuroscientist Miguel Nicolelis — he built the brain-controlled exoskeleton that allowed a paralyzed man to kick the first ball of the 2014 World Cup. What’s he working on now? Building ways for two minds  to send messages brain to brain. Watch to the end for an experiment that, as he says, will go to “the limit of your imagination.”‘

Death by SUGAR! (parenthetically speaking)

“What happens if you need to catch your own dinner, but you’re just not fast enough? (send out for pizza delivery . . . ) If you’re a slow-moving cone snail with a yen for sushi, you drug a bunch of fish.”

“The tropical sluggard kills by overdosing fish with a toxic cloud containing insulin, (the last toxic cloud of insulin I overdosed on was  Ben & Jerry’s Totally Toxic Delight – a blend of the finest refined sugar and high fat cream) . . .  Plummeting blood sugar levels throw the victims into a stupor.” (I know that feeling)

Cone Snail
Cone Snail (resembles Carmel Delight) Photo by Design Pics Inc.

“Cone snails are notorious for stinging scuba divers tempted to pick up their beautiful shells. But the geographic cone snail —the most venomous cone snail of all, with several human deaths under its belt (which is a variation of Ben & Jerry’s taking credit for expanding belts)—takes its practice of poisoning to a whole new level.”

Once the fish are in a sugar coma, the cone snail reaches out with what’s called a false mouth—it looks like it’s throwing a cape over its prey—and drags a stupefied animal into its mouth. The snail then stings the fish with another set of toxins, just to make sure its victim is completely paralyzed.”

Want to watch?  Click her for a sped-up video: Toxic Snail Puts Fish in a Sugar Coma, Then Eats Them.

(I do not currently have a sped-up video of me eating Ben & Jerry’s)

“Other compounds in cone snail venom produce similar results, says Helen Safavi-Hemami, who studies the toxins at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City. Victims become dazed and confused, leading researchers to call this group of toxins, including the insulin, the nirvana cabal.” (Ahhhhh, sugar NIRVANA, I know it well)

“But no other animal that researchers know of—except perhaps people (Jane J. Lee’s words, not mine)—uses insulin to kill like this, lead study author Safavi-Hemami says. A sensational case in the early 1980s involved a husband accused of trying to kill his very rich wife using insulin injections.” (It would have been less suspicious if he had taken her to an all-you-can-eat ice cream parlor)

“How brilliant is this,” says Meyer, who has observed a close cousin of the geographic cone snail—named Conus tulipa—hunting and killing fish in the same way in Guam. The fish almost look like they’re passed out drunk, he says, and now we know why.” Article by Jane J. LeeNational Geographic 

Me, slipping into a coma of  toxic delight

Me, looking like a fish almost passed out drunk.

 

My bathroom mirror isn’t the only thing that’s foggy

The reason my memory isn’t as good as it used to be is because the longer I live the more data is stored so it takes longer for my brain to sort it all out – like when I walk into the bathroom, can’t remember why and leave.  

I have tens of thousands of kilobytes of bathroom memory” stored: take a shower, read a magazine, brush my teeth, get an aspirin, read another magazine, put on lipstick . . .  My brain has to search decades of stored data.  It usually finds the reason within 20 minutes or so before I embarrass myself.

A judy rat
A judy rat, young man

I was excited to read that “Researchers found they could stop normal, age-related memory loss in rats by treating them with riluzole already on the market as a treatment for ALS.

another judy rat, child
Another judy rat, little girl

By examining the neurological changes that occurred after riluzole treatment, . . . researchers “discovered one way in which the brain’s ability to reorganize itself — its neuroplasticity — can be marshaled to protect it against some of the deterioration that can accompany old age, at least in rodents,

Another judy rat, female
Another judy rat, teen age girl

After 17 weeks of treatment, the researchers tested the rats’ spatial memory . . . and found they performed better than their untreated peers, and almost as well as young rats!!

 

Another judy rat, male
Another judy rat, old man

I’ve printed the article so I can read it the next time I’m in the bathroom and can’t remember why.

If you want a copy for your bathroom click

Existing Drug, Riluzole, may Prevent Foggy ‘Old Age’ Brain

 

 

Frankly Freddie – Top 10 cutest animals in science for 2014

Dear Human-beings,

It’s never to early to plan ahead.  I’m thinking to qualify for the Top 10 Cutest Animals in Science for 2015.  I just have to figure out the science part.  Any ideas?

Freddie Parker Westerfield, CA

Freddie Parker Westerfield, CA Cute Animal
Freddie Parker Westerfield, CA
Cute Animal

The ultimate Christmas present – a hand-held satellite!

When I was a child I didn’t understand what my father was talking about when he would explain to me that the future of all science was in what the naked eye couldn’t see. He was right.

“Satellite imaging has revolutionized our knowledge of the Earth, with detailed images of nearly every street corner readily available online. But Planet Labs’ Will Marshall says we can do better and go faster — by getting smaller. He introduces his tiny satellites — no bigger than 10 by 10 by 30 centimeters — that, when launched in a cluster, provide high-res images of the entire planet, updated daily.”

“He and his cofounders at Planet Labs want to show the earth what it looks like, in almost real time, via a new network of compact, capable satellites. They hope that up-to-date images will inform future humanitarian and commercial projects all over our planet and will help to enable people to make the best decisions for earth.”

 

 

How to shed 160 pounds a year . . . or less

Moderation is NOT my middle name. October did me in I started celebrating Halloween early and haven’t stopped.  Am I trying to hoist myself back on to my sugar shun track?  Yup.  Listen to this!  Astounding!

Thanks Ida for tuning me into Nutrition Facts

Here’s my original post that helped me eliminate refined sugar for an entire month – 8 Steps to Kick Sugar Cravings to the Curb – Ouch!

 

Earth Smarts

Science always amazes me even if I can’t understand it.  Watch the flow of carbon dioxide traveling across the planet come alive in spectacular color.

An ultra-high-resolution NASA computer model has given scientists a stunning new look at how carbon dioxide in the atmosphere travels around the globe.”

What Happens When Your Brain Doesn’t Sleep?

I think my brain is suffering:  Impaired Wit, Cerebral shrinkage, Eating binges, Hallucinations, Risky decisions, Anger, Lost memories, False memories, Head-in-the-clouds, slurred speech are some of the impacts from diminished or non-restorative sleep.

However, I won’t tell you which of those my brain is suffering from.  You’ll have to read my blog posts to figure it out.

I can’t read this chart.  The print is too small so click here for a larger image: What Sleep Deprivation Does to Your Brain.

How sleep impacts the brain
How sleep impacts the brain

I wonder if diminished sleep and diminished eyesight are related . . . .

EXCELLENT presentation on Brain research & Chronic Pain conditions – Stanford University

If you have a brain in your head WATCH this!   Important information for everyone, whether or not you or anyone you know has a chronic pain condition (including – MCS, irritable Bowell, TMJ, Interstitial Cystitis, Back pain etc.).  It’s well worth your time.

Although the focus is fibromyalgia Sean Mackey, M.D., Ph.D explains how the emotions, the workings of the brain impact our physical well-being.

His presentation is 51 minutes long and then takes questions and answers.

Rosemary Lee, Seeking Equilibrium posted this on her excellent blog Seeking Equilibrium.  Rosemary keeps up with the latest research and I highly recommend her blog

Only watch this if you sleep. On second thought – watch this if you DON’T sleep

Did you know your brain creates waste all day and gets rid of waste all night? Not enough sleep may be a key to Alzheimer’s disease research.

“The brain uses a quarter of the body’s entire energy supply, yet only accounts for about two percent of the body’s mass. So how does this unique organ receive and, perhaps more importantly, rid itself of vital nutrients? New research suggests it has to do with sleep.”

 

What's cooking on page 32

Sharing recipes from a huge collection of cookbooks

definearth

environmentally conscious and proud of it.

fjamesgreco

Thoughts on writing, music, news, & politics

Catnip blog

Self-help tips, tools, techniques & neuroscience research for MIND, BODY & SOUL - shared with a wink and a smile

The Circus Gardener's Kitchen

seasonal vegetarian cooking with a side helping of food politics

kateosborne

painter's progress step by step

erinhillmyblog.wordpress.com/

Finding beauty in the everyday through sketching.

Dee Berridge's Life Drawings

My head is in the tiger's mouth...

Sketch Away: Travels with my sketchbook

Just another WordPress.com site

Create art every day

Ideas and inspiration for creating art with passion!

Doodlewash

Adventures in Watercolor Painting and Sketching, Watercolour Magazine, with Charlie O'Shields

Sara Fryd

198 countries | author | 222,000 visitors

The HeART of Spirituality

"A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones." Proverbs 17:22

Judith Clemmer

Wearable Art & a bit of life

SEEKING EQUILIBRIUM

Stuff that makes me love, learn and laugh. ("It is good to laugh. Laughter is spiritual relaxation." - Baha'i World Faith)

EK, with love

We all have a story to tell...

Blog - Kathrin Werner

Stuff that makes me love, learn and laugh. ("It is good to laugh. Laughter is spiritual relaxation." - Baha'i World Faith)

Support

WordPress.com Support

Teesha Moore

Follow Your Bliss

WordDreams...

Jacqui Murray's

Where to next?

Riding in cars with dogs

"On Dragonfly Wings with Buttercup Tea"

All Is One With Our Creator

Mama Cormier

.... my journey to a healthy life, making new memories and so much more

Beguine Again

Slow Down, Beguine Again: Spiritual Practices in Context

Design of the Picture Book

the intersection of graphic design + picture books

THE BeZINE

Be inspired...Be creative...Be peace...Be

A Little More Than Ordinary...

Stuff that makes me love, learn and laugh. ("It is good to laugh. Laughter is spiritual relaxation." - Baha'i World Faith)

Unbelievable to the Max

Poems, Plays, Pictures & Prose from the Murky Recess of My Mind

Picnic with Ants

My life disABLED with Chronic Ilnnesses, it just IS. Taking one moment at a time.

poetry diary

Poetry is just the evidence of your life. If your life is burning well, poetry is just the ash. (Leonard Cohen)

Day by Day With My Adrenals

Fighting the monsters everyday of my life

Ping-O-Matic

New offsite pingomatic.com blog

sunshine and chaos

Things that amuse and bemuse me as I wander the wilderness that is invisible chronic illness.

%d bloggers like this: