Monday, December 22, 2014

Oh the Joys of Mucus!

The Struggle!
So a month and a half later I decide to blog! But this topic is so necessary to discuss at the moment.  I have bee sick for over two weeks now... and I am struggling to say the least.  One thing I despise about having a cold is the whole sneezing, mucus thing.  It is a pain in the ass if you ask me!  All I keep thinking is how I can sneeze almost every five minutes, blow my nose and still have enough mucus to keep this process going.  I need a miracle!

Have you ever wondered why you even have mucus?  I am a weirdo and that is something I have thought about since I was little.  Our bodies have things called mucus membranes.  Those membranes consist of passage ways that allow for a connection between our bodies and the world around us.  Our mouths, nose, respiratory, digestive, and reproductive tracts are all considered mucus membranes. 

Holy Sneeze
The main substances that make up the mucus liquid are water, certain proteins (mucin), antibodies, and antiseptics. Each substance has a specific job to do in the body to help fight off a disease or infection.  So yes mucus is actually considered to be helpful to our bodies, as much as I hate to admit it.  Mucus has the ability to destroy bacteria and viruses, but also can help trap dust and dirt from getting into the body.  The presence of mucus in the body can be seen as your body's way of telling you that something is wrong, but will fixed in due time.

I guess I have to look at my extreme mucus issue as a positive to my body trying to fight off this horrible cold.  I will still cringe and complain each time I sneeze and have to blow my nose for the 1,000th time though!

To read more on how mucus helps protect other parts of your body click here: Mucus in The Human Body
Substances found in mucus

 

Monday, November 3, 2014

Never to Late For Yoga and Meditation

Yoga
Hello there!  I know it may seem like a lifetime since the last time I have updated this blog... It actually has been, but I give my most sincere apology!  I have a some interesting information to share about two of my favorite practices, yoga and mediation.  As I have mentioned before, I am a strong advocate for practicing daily yoga and meditation.  I began my yoga journey about a year ago and have learned so much about my mind and body.  Meditation is still a new practice for me, but I plan to continue in the future. 
Telomere



The practice of hatha yoga and mindfulness meditation can have a positive affect on the body of cancer survivors.  A group of scientists found that the length of a protein found at the end of chromosomes, known as a telomere, will remain longer in length in those survivors who practice hatha yoga and meditation compared to those who do not.  You may be wondering what a telomere has to do with cancer.  Well, the length of a telomere can be associated with disease.  Shorter telomeres are often present in individuals who are diagnosed with a disease such as cancer.  Longer telomeres are said to be protective against disease. 

Research was conducted on a group of cancer survivors.  The study called for the participants to practice mindfulness mediation and gently hatha yoga for a three month period.  Participants also attended support groups and practiced yoga in the home daily as well.  Each participant had their telomere length measured before and after each practice concluding that the telomere length in those survivors were longer in length.  Even though the study was only carried out for a short amount of time the findings show a promising future.  This new research gives hope for a future where simple practices such as yoga and meditation can be used in the medical world to help in ways that were once not thought to be possible! 

To read the full article and learn how the study was fully conducted click here: Clear new evidence for mind-body connection demonstrated in study
Mind, Body, Soul

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Dirty Fun Fact


Body language

Hello there!  I know I have gone M.I.A for a while, and I apologize.  But I have the most interesting fun fact to discuss.  It may get a little intense, so if you are to young for the topic of sex close your freaking eyes and do not read on!


So recently I have been experiencing some weird body numbness during intercourse.  A little too much information I know, but I have a good point lol.  I was initially freaked out when I could not feel my hands and then it got worse.  I suddenly could not feel my bottom lip.  It was like I went to the dentist and got novocaine injected into my gums.  This has never happened to me before so I thought something was wrong with me medically.  Before I  made an ass out of myself and called my doctor to ask him why I felt like I was paralyzed during sex I decided to do some research. 

I came across many blogs where other females have had the same issue.  It is not one to get bent out of shape about, which is a good thing.  Long story short, it is common for females to experience body numbness during an orgasm or after.  Crazy right!  Apparently most females go through a type of hyperventilation, hence the heavy breathing, which can also lead to body numbness.  During intercourse blood flow is directed to the areas that need blood most at that time such as the heart, lungs, and brain.  Blood flow is being diverted from other areas of the body like the hands and face resulting in numbness. 

I no longer so concerned when my whole body goes numb during sex, just means someone knows what they are doing! To read more on this interesting topic click here: Glamour and here Healthtap

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Love or Lust?

Hello there!  I have been slacking on my post lately, I apologize for my rudeness!  But I have a great topic to discuss.  Love or Lust?  A question I know I ask myself when it comes to the opposite sex. New research has indicated that eye movements and location can determine whether or not your current situation is love or lust and spare you some of the disaster lol.
LOVE

Have you ever wondered what your date was thinking as they gazed into your eyes or as they creepily undressed you with their wandering eyes?! I will help you out by explaining what the eyes can reveal between these two actions.  Eye patterns that are concentrated more on a strangers face are associated with the idea of romantic love, whereas eye contact with the body more over the eyes indicates a sexual desire.  The brain and eyes make that automatic judgment in less than a half of a second! 

LUST





The researchers behind this study used black and white photographs of couples looking into each others eyes or interacting with each other and then photos of single individuals of the opposite sex looking directly into the camera.  A group of students were used as test subjects and their task was to look at the images and determine quickly if the image showed romantic love or desire.  Results proved that those individuals who associated the photo with romantic love were more visually fixated on the face.  If the individuals thought the image was more of a sexual desire image their eyes move from the face then fixated on the rest of the body.  These results were found in both male and female cases.

This research gives insight into the first clues of how automatic attention processes can distinguish between the pure feeling of love or just feelings of desire at first sight.  There is not much known behind the science of love, but this is a great start.  I may have to use this tactic to on my next date!

To read the full article and how the study was carried out, click here: Eye movements reveal difference between love and lust

Monday, July 14, 2014

Cannabis not so bad after all

Medical Cannabis
Ever since I was a little girl I was told the horrible stories about cannabis.  For my younger generation it is known as weed, dope, and Mary-Jane to name a few!  As I grew older, I could not seem to understand why there were so many negative connotations surrounding cannabis.  I mean it grows from the earth for goodness sakes! But I will not get off topic.  I recently came across and article that I am dying to share.  New research has proved how cannabis can be used to decrease tumor growth in cancer patients. 

A group of Scientists from the University of East Anglia were able to use the main psychoactive ingredient found in cannabis to target breast cancer cells. THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol) is the main ingredient and the amazing properties it retains are anti-cancer properties. To complete this study mice were induced with samples of human breast cancer to encourage tumors.  Once the tumors were detected in the mice, the THC was used to target the tumors with results showing a decrease in tumor size.


Chemical molecule for THC
Researchers have found that two main receptors in the cannabinoid receptor family are responsible for the tumor shrinkage, but are unaware of exactly which one does so.  The effects of cannabis in the medical world has been of great interest over the years and is steadily increasing.  With this new found result, some of the effects of THC being used at different doses on cancer tumors can now be explained in a more thoroughly.  Pharmaceutical industries can hope to work towards a future where safe synthetic counterparts can be created that have similar anti-cancer properties as THC.  

This was one of my favorite blog posts to present to you!  I am intrigued with the new research surrounding ways to fight cancer and will enlighten you each time I found something new on this topic.  I hope that one day scientists have the technology and research to do exactly what no one ever thought was possible, cure cancer!

To read the full article and how the doctor mentions that patients "should not be tempted to self-medicate" (lol) click here: How cannabis compound could slow tumor growth

Monday, July 7, 2014

Eye Regeneration


Cornea
There are many people around the world who are diagnosed with blindness due to accidents, disease, and chemical injuries.  Some even experience partial blindness from cataracts and glaucoma.  In the past tissue or cell transplants have been used to restore the cornea.  The problem with this method is that the end result is not successful.  New research has been conducted on limbal stem cells and a molecule known as ABCB5 with results proving that it is possible to regrow human corneal tissue to restore vision.
Restored functional cornea


Limbal stem cells are rare and have the ability to maintain and regenerate eye tissue. Researchers used antibodies to detect the ABCB5 molecule in stem cells of deceased donors, (those who donated their body to science for research), and then regrew functional human corneas in mice.  The mice who did not have functional ABCB5 molecule had a loss in limbal stem cells and their corneas did not heal properly.  That finding alone shows that ABCB5 is essential to the survival and maintenance of the limbal stem cells. 

The current research is the first known example of creating a tissue from an adult human stem cell! This is an example of how basic research is moving in the direction of transplants and more advanced processes.  With this finding corneal restoration can be completed more easily and those people around the world who suffer from blindness may have a chance to restore their own vision. I find this research to be impactful and gives hope for a future where more tissue restoration can be completed.

To read the full article and how the researchers conducted their study click here: Researchers regrow corneas, first known tissue grown from an adult human stem cell

Monday, June 30, 2014

Emotional Disposition

Soooo Emotional!
Ever since I was a little girl I can remember being extra sensitive when it came to certain things in my environment.  I tend to cry at sad movies more than normal, feel sympathetic for those who are not at their happiest moments, and sometimes let my feelings get the best of me!  I recently came across an article discussing the topic of sensory processing sensitivity (SPS).  SPS is a personality trait that is defined by the sensitivity throughout an individuals social, emotional, and physical environment.

Research is now showing how SPS is associated with certain behaviors, genes, and specific brain patterns than was known before.  Those who experience high levels of SPS are known as high sensitive people (HSP) whereas those who have low levels are known as low sensitive people.  HSP is a new found concept where the individuals show more reaction to subtle stimuli, process information more thoroughly, and are more emotionally reactive than those who have low levels of SPS.

Shine Bright
A study was carried out and the results proved that those with HSP had much more blood flow to areas of the brain that are responsible for awareness and emotion (the empathetic section of the brain).  The conclusion of the study allows for researchers to continue to learn more about this topic and shows that HSP individuals actually do respond more strongly to social interactions that can cause emotion.  So the next time you catch yourself tearing up at an emotional scene or because the triangle sounded beautiful during the National Anthem (yea... I'll admit that happened to me!) tell your friends not to make fun of it's because you are classified as an HSP and your feelings define you!

To read the full article and how the study was carried out with images of married individuals and their spouses, click here: Sensitive? Emotional? Empathetic? It could be in your genes


Thursday, June 26, 2014

Fun Fact

Rainy days
Have you ever gone outside after a fresh rain storm or shower and noticed the distinct earthy smell? I know I have and it is one of my favorite smells in nature. Most would describe the smell as musky or dirt like, but there is an exact reason for why rain smells the way it does. 

Petrichor is the officiall name for the smell of rain.  There are several factors that help make up this naturally producing smell. There is a type of bacteria found in the soil during moist conditions known as Actinobacteria.  During dry conditions this bacteria will release spores, but once the soil is disturbed by the rainfall, some of the spores will be released into the air.  Geosmin is another factor responsible for the smell of rain.  It is an organic molecule that has the distinct earthy smell due to the bacteria it is composed of. Cyanobacteria and actinobacteria are the bacteria that produce geosmin and are released upon the death of microbes. The ozone, a variety of oils from the vegetation, and the overall acidity of rain are also factors involved in the petrichor smell.


Petrichor Chemical Structure
Now after it rains you can go around telling people it smells of Petrichor or Geosmin! It's okay to sound smart and impress people with your new found chemistry skill! If you want to impress someone even more try telling them they smell like (4S,4aS,8aR)-4,8a-Dimethyl-1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8-octahydronaphthalen-4a-ol (chemical name of petrichor).
LOL yeah... don't be discouraged, I can barley pronounce it either and I had to learn this in college.







To read the more about the smell of rain and how the earth around us contributes click here: The smell of rain: petrichor explained

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Nice Weather = More Headaches

Holy Headache
Summer is finally approaching!  I was skeptical for a while due to the bipolar weather we experienced this winter in Ohio.  I naturally look forward to the summer months because it gives me a chance to be out in nature, get some fresh air, and my summer wardrobe is always my favorite!
I recently just came across an article about cluster headaches being triggered by the summer season.  I have suffered from migraines for a many years now, but have not been diagnosed with what type of migraines I actually have.  Some doctors say I get tension headaches or migraines and others have said that I suffer from cluster headaches.  I often read up on both types of headaches to see if I can learn anything new to help prevent them.  According to the article I read, 1 million Americans suffer from cluster headaches during the approaching summer months due to the Earths rotational shift towards the sun.  Since the human biological rhythm is tied into the Earth's rotation, those who suffer from these headaches will experience more pain than usual.

Cluster headaches come in clusters, hence the name.  Cluster attacks can last for weeks or months, but usually occur after a period where there were no headaches.  There are several symptoms for this type of headache; comes without a warning, extreme pain around the eye but may spread to other areas of the face and neck, excessive tearing, pain on one side, and even swelling around the eye.  Due to the seasonality of these headaches, people are often misdiagnosed with having sinus headaches instead of cluster.  To help prevent misdiagnosis,  The Montefiore Headache Center has suggested that patients keeps a diary or log when they get headaches. The logs help doctors detect how frequent the headaches occur and what the symptoms are.  I plan to start my log the next time I experience a headache and use some of the techniques mentioned in the article to help prevent the onset of cluster headaches. 

If you suffer from headaches or migraines that have similar symptoms as the ones mentioned up above and want to learn the onset prevention techniques click here: Summer season springs cluster headaches into action

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Fun Fact

It is approximately 4:55am and what am I up doing... fixing my blog! I some how deleted all the pictures on my blog from my phone.  Now I am putting them all back up, but this gives me a reason to give a fun fact!

Lucid

Have you ever heard of lucid dreaming?! Well this idea involves actually being conscious while dreaming.  It has been scientifically proven as possible where your conscious and unconscious mind end up colliding.  While in this conscious state you have the ability to control your dreams!  With lucid dreaming you can explore your dreamland, get over fears, and even fulfill fantasies. There are many benefits to lucid dreaming as well. Lucid dreaming allows for more conscious self-awareness during your dreams instead of your unconscious providing the basis of your dream. You can choose your environment, the people you interact with, and how you feel. During lucid dreaming you can ask your unconscious mind a question such as, "what career path should I take?" and your unconscious mind will respond.  The response to the question may be presented in a surprising form.  The answer could be written in the sky or come from a burst of flames.

Lucid dreaming is an action that can be performed by everyone, but only a few really learn how to use it effectively and on a regular basis.  After reading a few articles on the topic I may have to try this myself. 

To read more and learn the steps to lucid dreaming click here: World of Lucid Dreaming: Learn How to Control Your Dreams

Monday, May 26, 2014

Medical Avatars Become a Divine Teacher

I have been slacking on my blog posts lately, but I have an important subject to discuss today!


Stupid Cancer!
Cancer is one disease that has the ability to affect millions of people each day.  It is a major public health concern where one in four people will die from the disease.  I'm sure you at least know one person in your life who has unfortunately been a victim to cancer, I do too.  But I am a firm believer that with improved research and technology that a cure for cancer may one day be discovered.Researchers have created a type of "cancer avatar" by replicating cancerous cells through computer simulations.  The study focused the research on those who suffer from glioblastoma which is a very aggressive brain cancer. 

Through computer simulation a virtual healthy cell can be created.  The researchers can then change the healthy cell into a cancerous one by distorting it's normal metabolic pathway.  Long story short, changing the cells properties to those that are found in cancerous cells.  Once the healthy cell becomes the cancerous cell, it is then known as the patients "cancer avatar".  Since no two cancers are alike, it has been difficult of for researchers to determine which drugs will do more good than harm.  Researchers say that it does not make much sense to give patients the same types of drugs if their cancer types are different. Certain drugs may be beneficial for one type of cancer, but do more harm for another type.  The computer simulation allows for the computer model to determine which drugs can kill the cancerous cell based on the cells function.  I find that fascinating!  So those who have brain cancer versus those who have lung cancer can receive the best treatment and drugs based on function of the cell rather than just distributing the drug because it may work due to it being a drug for cancer.  Not only will patients be able to get a more personalized treatment for their type of cancer, but also receive treatment in a faster, more cost efficient way.  Cancer research continues to proceed forward!

To learn more about cancer avatars and how the researchers conducted their study read the article titled: Cancer avatars for personalized medicine help researchers find genomic signatures of cancers

Monday, May 19, 2014

Transfuse life.

Transfusion
One of my daily rituals is to sit and listen to my mother converse with her friends about the world.  I enjoy their perspectives on science especially.  We had a weird discussion about blood transfusions the other day.  One individual thought that when a blood transfusion is performed, all the unhealthy blood is pumped out and the new blood is pumped in.  Another individual thought that you could receive any blood and survive.  Let's just say there was a lot of confusion on blood types and the transfusion process.


Bloody Hell!



Blood transfusions are used to replace lost blood during surgery or after a serious injury.  An IV is used to insert the new blood into your body through the blood vessels.  The overall procedure does not take long, but may depend on how much blood you need.  The new blood just replaces what you have lost, but does not replace all of your original blood.  Blood transfusions are fairly common as well.  Many people in America have to receive transfusions each year.  One of the most important factors involved in the transfusion process is blood type.  There are four blood types and everyone in the world has one of those types.  A, B, AB, O.  There is also something called Rh-positive or Rh-negative that is attached to each persons blood type.  When a person needs a blood transfusion the blood that they receive must match up.  If the blood types do not match the antibodies in their blood will see the antibodies of the new blood as foreign, attack them resulting in sickness.  So if you are type A blood your transfusion must come from another A blood type.  There are some exceptions such as blood type O.  People who have type O blood are also known as the universal donors.  This means that any person in the world can receive type O blood as healthy transfusion blood.  Type AB blood is known as the universal recipient and can receive any type of blood.

This was an informative post to allow some insight on blood transfusions. The transfusion process and why type O and AB blood are so critical to human life have always been topics I've continued to research.  To read more about why blood types match up and details on blood transfusions read the article titled: What are Blood Transfusions?

Thursday, May 8, 2014

The Secret Life of The Toothbrush!

Smile Like You Mean It!
Confession time... I have a weird obsession with teeth! I floss almost six times a day and brush my teeth three times.  I know, I am a little crazy.  While on my daily researching kick I came across an interesting article about teeth.

Did you know that there are dangerous microorganisms living on the same toothbrush you use to clean those pearly whites?  Bacteria such as Staphylococci, yeasts, intestinal bacteria and even fecal matter can be found on your toothbrush! Gross, I know.  But don't get discouraged just yet. There are ways to help reduce the amount of bacteria housed on your toothbrush.  The proper cleaning and storage of your toothbrush are the most beneficial ways to fix this dilemma. 



Below are a list of ways to clean your toothbrush:

1. Rinse toothbrush with water after brushing to eliminate excess toothpaste and debris particles.
2. Soak toothbrush in antibacterial mouth wash to decrease bacteria build up.

Proper ways to store toothbrush:


Brush Up!

1. Do not store in a closed container because damp areas attract more bacteria
2. Set upright and allow to air dry until next usage.
3. More than one toothbrush; keep them separate to avoid cross contamination of germs.

When it comes to being sick and using your toothbrush, it is highly recommended that the toothbrush be thrown out.  I never thought to throw my toothbrush out after being sick, but it makes sense to do so.  Those same sick fluids that are transferred to the toothbrush while your sick can therefore be transferred back into your healthy mouth when your no longer sick.  It is also important to get a new toothbrush every three to four months.  Keeping your toothbrush for too long will ensure more bacterial build up. 
Just when I think my floss work is enough to keep my teeth properly clean... now I have to worry about bacterial build up on my toothbrush!

To read the full click here: Clean before you clean: What's on your toothbrush just might surprise you


Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Bring On The Beer!

Beer is one of my favorite alcoholic drinks, especially during the summer. My beer preference has changed over the years from liking nasty old Bud Light, to a wide variety of Pale Ales, and now I have a thing for Lager beers.  Yuengling to be exact! 
Beer is life!

While researching the positive effects beer has on the body I came across an article discussing how beer can be used to marinate meat for grilling.  I have heard of people using alcohol to marinate meat, but not beer, so I read on.  I am not a big meat fan, as I have mentioned in previous posts, but I do like to learn about healthier ways to cook meat.  I have to inform the meat lovers in my family! The article explained how grilled meat has been linked to colorectal cancer due to Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) forming when the meat is cooked at very high temperatures. 

When grilling or charring meat the exposure the chemical is greater.  So you are probably wondering what PAHs are right? When products like coal, gas, oil, and even garbage are burned but the entire burning process is not complete, the end result are PAHs.  Do not get me wrong there are natural PAHs as well that can affect us.  Fumes from a car exhaust, wildfires, hazardous waste sites are all ways to be exposed.  High levels of this chemical are found in cigarette smoke and also associated with cancers in animals.

Research has concluded that beer, wine, and tea marinates are able to reduce the amount of PAHs present when meat is grilled!  It's amazing that something so simple as beer can have that great of an affect on the food we eat.  As soon as I completed the article I told my mom how my beer drinking will come in handy with her meat cooking this summer!

To read the full article and learn more on PAHs click here:
Beer marinade could reduce levels of potentially harmful substances in grilled meats

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

"You're A Vegetarian? You Must Be Crazy!"

Such a vegetarian!
Every time I tell someone that I am a vegetarian the response I get is, "You're a vegetarian? You must be crazy!" I used to get offended by the response, but over time I realized that many people fear what they do not understand.  My whole life I was taught that meat is something you need in your diet. Many people would say, "Meat is how you get your protein, it is good for you!" Now that I am older and can make food choices for myself, I have become a Lacto-ovovegetarian.



Veggies on the brain
 The definition of vegetarian is someone who does not eat meat, poultry, or fish, but there are different variations to the vegetarian lifestyle.  A Lacto-ovovegetarian is someone who does not eat meat, poultry, or fish but does eat eggs and diary products.  So you may be wondering why I decided to be vegetarian in the first place.  For me it was after I got sick for about a week and did not eat meat that whole time.  Once I was no longer sick and tried to eat meat again the taste was different and I would feel sick after.  My reduction in meat intake was more taste conscious before health.  After I had stopped eating meat for a year or so, I had noticed that I was no longer sick as often and began to lose a significant amount of weight.  Then the second year of my vegetarian lifestyle approached and I still was not sick, except for a sniffle here there.  I also continued to lose weight.  With my new found vegetarian lifestyle came my over thinking ability and I needed to research the benefits of being a vegetarian to see if the results I was seeing were evident in other vegetarians.   I also wanted to inform those who had been blinded their whole lives just like I had been in thinking meat was the only way to go! Here are a few health benefits of becoming a vegetarian; lower risk for chronic diseases such as heart disease and diabetes, lower risk of cancers, more energy, less chemically processed intake, improved digestion, and healthier skin to name a few. 

Many people believe that meat is the only source of protein when that is not true!  Protein can be found in both PLANT and animal products.  It is a known fact that eating a variety of foods with the right amount of calories throughout the day will complete your protein needs.  I continue to live my life as a Lacto-ovovegetarian for health reasons stated above and also because my body has significantly felt better over the years. Feel free to research this subject yourself and see if this lifestyle is something to look into!
Vegetarian Humor!

To learn more on why many people become vegetarians and on the difference between being a vegan, vegetarian, and Lacto-ovovegetarian read article from Brown University titled Being a Vegetarian.


Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Global Warming/Climate Change?!

http://tgeink.com/the-world-waits-anxiously-for-climate-change/
Climate
Hello there! So my senor year of college I took an environmental class for one of my Biology electives and had to write a twenty page research report on the topic of "Global Warming". After completing the report, I took an interest in the subject that I would like to discuss.

This is a topic that most are familiar with and many have different opinions on whether this is a serious issue or not. I feel that knowledge is the best solution for this debate. I want to provide some insight about global warming and climate change. Scientists have found that the earth's temperature is warming at a rate that is causing significant changes in the weather and climate around us.  Globally the issues at hand range from severe rainfall leading to floods, droughts due to not enough rain, and even ice glaciers are melting causing a rise in sea levels.  So you may be wondering how the earth is just warming and causing environmental problems all around you. I'll explain is the simplest way possible, humans are mainly responsible for the current destruction! There has always been natural causes that have contributed to the change in climate such as volcanic eruptions, but humans have taken it to another level. Activities like burning fossil fuels for energy have caused greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide, to act as a blanket around the earth. That blanket traps the energy from those gases in the earth's atmosphere causing it to warm, therefore a build up of greenhouse gases is not good for the earth. Scientists have found ways that we can contribute to the earth and stop this issue from getting any worse. Driving a vehicle, not recycling, and even using to much electricity are common ways we all put greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.  Scientists suggest riding your bike more often than driving and recycling are both great ways to move in a positive direction regarding emission of greenhouse gases. Turning off electronics and switching over to energy saving light bulbs are other ways to help.

A warming climate will affect everyone in the long run. The amount of water we have access to, the type of agriculture, our health, and safety can all be diminished. My goal for this post is to not force the issue down anyone's throat, but to give information for people to want to research the issue themselves. Be open minded, do not just let one persons beliefs shape your own!


Let's try to save the world

To learn more on this important issue visit the EPA website: Climate Change



Saturday, March 15, 2014

A New Way To Detect Disease

Strip of paper used for testing. Bottom line indicates presence of disease.
I often find myself reading up on new research developments in science and came across a post involving a new way to detect disease. Most people are familiar with how a pregnancy test works, so I will not get into the details! But the simple process of combining urine and a stick that detects pregnancy is now being used in research for cancer and heart disease. 

This new test only involves two steps. The first step involves an injection given to the patient by the doctor.  After the injection is given, the patient has to urinate on a strip of paper and if the disease is present the paper will change color. Simple as that! This test also proves to be cheap and easy which is a good advancement in the medical industry.  Normal testing for cancer and heart disease can be expensive. The researchers of this study used mice and their urine to detect disease.  When the mice urine was placed on the strip of paper, there was a color change which proved those mice to have blood clots (from heart disease) or cancer. The positive results that are being seen from these mice test show future prospect for this test to be used on humans and get the same results.  The only problem with detecting cancer with this test is the fact that there are many different types of cancer, and they may not all show up on the screenings in humans. Besides that small downside in the research, the overall future of this test being used on humans seems bright! I highly suggest reading the full article here: Simple test for cancer and heart disease

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Yoga On The Brain

Sun Salutations
Hello there! I have been slacking on my blogging, but have an interesting post!


I am a firm believer that yoga is the key to a stress free and peaceful mind. My yoga ritual tends to be once in the morning to help me start my day with good energy and high vibes. I also do a little yoga before bed so my over thinking mind has a chance to rest. I am just now venturing into the world of meditation to see if it can also contribute to a peaceful state of mind.
The health benefits of yoga have been known for centuries and those are the main reasons many people have become so familiar with the technique. Lower blood pressure, heart rate, better mood, and self-control are a few of those benefits.  Science today is focusing more on how yoga actually affects the human body.  Researchers have found that yoga has a psychological affect on the body, which was not known before. Stress-related diseases such as mental stress are common. Many people around the world are treated for this type of disease on a regular. The cause is vulnerability to disease by inflammation and cellular aging. The relaxation yoga gives to the body has proved to change the way the genes associated with stress-related diseases are expressed. Yoga helps decrease inflammation and slow down the cellular aging process. There is even evidence that yoga may be able to take the place of high blood pressure medicine in most who suffer from the disease! I can do without all the useless medications in the world, but that's a topic for another blog.

Meditation

Research on how mediation affects the body is being looked into as well.  The prefrontal cortex region on the brain has been studied in long term mediation users compared to those who have not participated in mediation as much. The results have shown that the way those who meditate cope with stress and their mood is more positive. Even overall life behaviors and habits can be shaped from the good of meditation.

I am not the most advanced at the art of yoga, but I plan to try and increase my positions and keep working towards and overall positive way of thinking in life.  I also think I am going to try mediation a little more. Yoga is like the new cross-fit to me! Still have no idea what cross-fit is...


Good Vibes

To read the full article: "Your Brain on Yoga – The Science Behind the Health Benefits"

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Painless Needles?!

Ouch!
Avoiding the doctors office when I know I need to get a shot of some sort is typical behavior for this girl. The uneasy feeling of a large needle going into my arm just doesn't seem to sit well with me!  But wait, there may be a bright side to my dilemma and anyone else who feels my pain.

The Bite
Japanese scientists have discovered an almost painless needle. Yes, I said painless! With the use of the normally considered pestering mosquito, a mechanical engineer named Seiji Aoyagi and his team have created a semi-painless hypodermic needle. They have based this needle on the proboscis of the mosquito.  You are probably thinking that a mosquito bite does hurt.  But the truth is, the bite is painless. What you feel is the itching due to the bacteria mixing with your blood after the feeding of the mosquito is complete.  The jagged edge of the proboscis is the reason for the painless bite. It only affects a small surface area of the nerves, therefore causing little to no pain.  Aoyagi has created a similar jagged needle to have the same affect on human patients.  The normal smooth needle tends to affect a larger surface area of the nerves, therefore causing more pain.  Aoyagi plans to further his research in hopes to perfect the almost painless needle to be completely patient friendly, and painless!  I may now respect my mosquito bites a little bit more, since they seem to be doing more good than evil!

To read the full story and learn more about how the research was conducted here is the full article: Mosquito inspires near-painless hypodermic needle

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Fun Fact

 

Having trouble falling asleep? That seems to be the case for me too. Random google searches about science fun facts are how I find myself killing time.

My first late night fun fact deals with the ocean tides.  The Moon and the Sun are responsible for the low and high tides.  Due to gravitational attraction, the moon's position above us causing a high tide makes sense, right? But we still experience low tides! The Moon not only has a gravitational affect on the water, but the land too. That means the part of the Earth closest to the Moon is actually pulled towards it, creating the low tide.  The Earth becomes egg shaped at that time! I learn something new everyday, or should I say night.


The soothing sound of the ocean often helps me sleep. Google searching ocean sounds at the moment!

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Your Brain on Music




Music Keeps me sane!
One thing I do on a daily basis is listen to music. I know many people around the world are exactly like me in regards to their love for music. I often say "music is the one thing that keeps me sane". That quote is relevant more than ever to me now.  









Music on the brain
While searching for some new musical artists to listen to, I came across a news story NPR presented about the human response to music.  Research on how music affects the human brain has taken place for years now, but more current research being conducted deals with music being used as a healing tool.  Some stroke patients are using a technique known as "melodic intonation therapy" to allow the undamaged parts of the brain to take over for the damaged areas through music coaxing, with the end goal to help them regain speaking abilities.  Scientists believe that more neurological diseases may have hope for future healing power through something so simple as music. 




 


Music World Wide
Music is everywhere around us. My generation especially seems to be fixated on the latest music and artists.  Bet you would have never guessed to think that your favorite song could have the potential to one day "keep you sane"!  Read the full NPR new report here The Power Of Music To Affect The Brain