Lashing out at your spouse? Check your blood sugar.


Lower levels of blood sugar may make married people angrier at their spouses and even more likely to lash out aggressively, new research reveals.

In a 21-day study, researchers found that levels of blood glucose in , measured each night, predicted how angry they would be with their spouse that evening. 

At the end of the 21 days, people who had generally lower levels of glucose were willing to blast their  with unpleasant noises at a higher volume and for a longer time than those who had higher glucose levels. 

The study shows how one simple, often overlooked factor – hunger caused by low levels of blood glucose – may play a role in marital arguments, confrontations and possibly even some domestic violence, said Brad Bushman, lead author of the study and professor of communication and psychology at The Ohio State University. 

Blood glucose levels can be brought up most quickly by eating carbohydrates or sugary foods. 

“People can relate to this idea that when they get hungry, they get cranky,” Bushman said. 

It even has a slang term: “hangry” (hungry + angry). 

“We found that being hangry can affect our behavior in a bad way, even in our most intimate relationships,” he said. 

The study, which took three years to complete, appears online in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Bushman conducted the research with C. Nathan DeWall of the University of Kentucky; Richard S. Pond of the University of North Carolina at Wilmington; and Michael D. Hanus of Ohio State. 

The research involved 107 married couples. The study started with the couples completing a relationship satisfaction measure, which asked each spouse how much they agreed with statements like “I feel satisfied with our relationship.” 

The researchers measured anger in a unique way, developed and validated by DeWall in previous studies. 

All participants were given a voodoo doll that they were told represented their spouse, along with 51 pins. At the end of each day, for 21 consecutive days, the participants inserted 0 to 51 pins in the doll, depending on how angry they were with their spouse. They did this alone, without their spouses being present, and recorded the number of pins they stuck in the doll. 

Each person also used a blood glucose meter to measure  before breakfast and every evening before bed for the 21 days. 

The result: The lower the participants’ evening , the more pins they stuck in the doll representing their spouse. This association was present even after the researchers took into account the couples’ relationship satisfaction. 

“When they had lower blood glucose, they felt angrier and took it out on the dolls representing their spouse,” Bushman said. 

“Even those who reported they had good relationships with their spouses were more likely to express anger if their  levels were lower.” 

But it wasn’t just the dolls who took the brunt of the anger. After the 21 days, the couples came into the laboratory to take part in an experimental task. 

They were told they would compete with their spouse to see who could press a button faster when a target square turned red on the computer – and the winner on each trial could blast his or her spouse with loud noise through headphones. 

In reality, though, they weren’t playing against their spouse – they were playing against a computer that let them win about half the time. 

Each time they “won,” the participants decided how loud of a noise they would deliver to their spouse and how long it would last. Their spouses were in separate rooms during the experiment, so participants didn’t know they weren’t really delivering the noise blast. 

“Within the ethical limits of the lab, we gave these participants a weapon that they could use to blast their spouse with unpleasant noise,” Bushman said. 

Results showed that people with lower average levels of evening glucose sent louder and longer noise to their spouse – even after controlling for  and differences between men and women. 

Further analysis showed that those who stuck more pins in the voodoo doll representing their spouse were more likely to deliver louder and longer noise blasts, as well. 

“We found a clear link between aggressive impulses as seen with the dolls and actual aggressive behavior,” he said. 

Why does low blood sugar make people more prone to anger and aggression? 

Bushman said that glucose is fuel for the brain. The self-control needed to deal with anger and aggressive impulses takes energy, and that energy is provided in part by glucose. 

“Even though the brain is only 2 percent of our body weight, it consumes about 20 percent of our calories. It is a very demanding organ when it comes to energy,” he said. 

“It’s simple advice but it works: Before you have a difficult conversation with your spouse, make sure you’re not hungry.”

Symbiosis between beewolves and their protective bacteria originated millions of years ago, study shows.


Like humans, many animals depend on beneficial microbes for survival. Although such symbioses can persist for millions of years, the factors maintaining their long-term stability remain, in most cases, unknown. Scientists from the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology and the University of Regensburg, in collaboration with researchers in the USA, now discovered that certain wasps tightly control mother-to-offspring transmission of their bacterial symbionts. This stabilizes the symbiotic alliance and contributed to its persistence over the past 68-110 million years.

Symbiotic associations are ubiquitous in nature and play a pivotal role for the ecology and evolution of most organisms on earth. This is exemplified by mykorrhizal fungi that are important nutritional partners for up to 90% of all land plants. Many symbioses have persisted for hundreds of millions of years, with a certain host species consistently associating with a specific symbiont. But how do these alliances persist? After all, many spend part of their life cycle outside of the host’s body. In order to prevent the acquisition of ever-present environmental microbes, the host must discriminate between friends and foes.

A particularly fascinating defensive alliance occurs in the European beewolf (Philanthus triangulum), a digger wasp that hunts honeybees and provisions them for its offspring in underground nests. Previous research has shown that bacterial symbionts of the genus Streptomyces live in the wasp’s antennae and on the larval cocoons. The bacteria produce a cocktail of nine different antibiotics that fend off detrimental fungi and bacteria from infecting the developing larva in the cocoon. This strategy to avoid infections is comparable to the combination prophylaxis used in human medicine (see press release of February 23, 2010 (“Beewolves Protect their Offspring With Antibiotics – Digger wasp larvae use bacteria against infections”).
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This shows symbiotic Streptomyces bacteria from the antennae of a female beewolf (Philanthus triangulum) (in false colors). Credit: Martin Kaltenpoth, Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology, Jena, Germany

The scientists now reconstructed the phylogenies of different beewolf species and their symbionts. An analysis of the beewolf phylogeny revealed that the symbiosis with Streptomyces first originated in the late Cretaceous, between 68 and 110 million years ago. At present, about 170 species of wasps live in symbiosis with the protective bacteria. The comparison of host and symbionts phylogenies yielded another surprising finding: The symbionts of all beewolf species are very closely related, but their phylogeny does not exactly reflect that of their hosts, although this would be expected in case of perfect transmission of symbionts from mother to its progeny. “This pattern indicates that while beewolves occasionally replace their bacteria, they always do so with the symbiont of another beewolf species” explains Martin Kaltenpoth. “Although free-living relatives of the symbiotic bacteria are very common in beewolf habitats, they are apparently not able to stably infect beewolves and replace the native symbionts.”

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To elucidate how beewolves maintain the association with their specific symbionts, the scientists generated symbiont-free beewolves and then infected them either with their native symbionts or with a related bacterium from the environment. Although both microbes grew in the wasps’ antennae, only the native symbiont was successfully transferred to the offspring. “Preventing transmission of other – possibly detrimental – microbes might be important to avoid infection of the cocoon. At the same time, beewolves ensure that their offspring inherit the true defensive symbiont”, concludes Erhard Strohm. The beewolves’ strategy to transmit the appropriate symbionts provides a unique glimpse into how a symbiosis can remain stable over millions of years, and it helps explain the abundance and persistence of symbiotic associations in insects. In the future, the scientists hope to uncover the molecular basis of how beewolves manage to selectively prevent transmission of non-native bacteria.

Ebola: A swift, effective and bloody killer


It took only moments to feel the impact of what was happening here.

We had just landed in Conakry, the capital of Guinea. In the fields right outside the airport, a young woman was in tears. She started to wail and shout in Susu, one of the 40 languages spoken in this tiny country of 12 million people. The gathered crowd became silent and listened intently.

The young man sitting next to me quietly translated, although I already had my suspicions. He told me the woman’s husband had died of Ebola, and then quickly ushered us away.

TIt is probably not surprising the airplane bringing us into Conakry was nearly empty, as are all the hotels here. Not many people in the United States have ever visited Guinea, or could even identify where it sits in West Africa. It is already one of the world’s poorest countries, and the panic around Ebola is only making that worse.

Some of it is justified. That’s because this time, the outbreak is different. In the past, Ebola rarely made it out of the remote forested areas of Africa.

Key to that is a grim version of good news/bad news: because Ebola tends to incapacitate its victims and kill them quickly, they rarely have a chance to travel and spread the disease beyond their small villages. Now, however, Ebola is in Conakry, the capital city, with 2 million residents. Equally concerning: it’s just a short distance from where we touched down, at an international airport.

It has gone “viral,” and now the hope is that it doesn’t go global.

Ebola: What you need to know

When I asked doctors on the ground about that scenario, they had split opinions. Several told me the concern is real but unlikely. Most patients with Ebola come from small villages in the forest and are unlikely to be flying on international trips, they told me. Furthermore, they don’t think Ebola would spread widely in a western country; our medical expertise and our culture — not touching the dead — would prevent it.

Others aren’t so sure.

No one wants to test that theory.

WHO: Ebola outbreak one of ‘most challenging’

With Ebola, there is an incubation period of two to 21 days. Remember these numbers. This is the range of time it takes to develop symptoms after someone has been exposed.

With an international airport close by, that means you could be on the other side of the world before you develop the headache, fever, fatigue and joint pain which make up the early symptoms of an Ebola infection. The diarrhea, rash and bleeding come later. Hiccups is a particularly grave sign with Ebola. It means your diaphragm, which allows you to breathe, is starting to get irritated.

There is a lot we know about Ebola, and it scares us almost as much as what we don’t know.

We do know Ebola, a simple virus with a small genome, is a swift, effective and bloody killer. The mortality rate is higher than 50% and in some outbreaks reaches 90%.

Ebola appears to kill in a clever way. Early on, it strategically disarms your immune system, allowing the virus to replicate unchecked until it invades organs all over your body. It convinces your blood to clot in overdrive, but only inside your blood vessels. While those blood vessels choke up, the rest of your body starts to ooze because the clotting mechanisms are all busy.

You start to hemorrhage on the outside of your body. Nose bleeds, bruising, even a simple needle stick will refuse to clot. But, it is the bleeding you don’t see — the bleeding on the inside — that causes even more catastrophic problems.

Many patients die of shock, within an average of 10 days.

What is ebola?

 

It sounds like the stuff of horror movies. But despite the real danger, Ebola is not at all easy to “catch.” If it were, my wife would have refused to let me come in the midst of an outbreak.

To become infected, you generally need to spend extended time with someone who is gravely ill, and come into contact with his or her infected body fluids. That’s why family members and health care workers are the most likely to get sick.

Over the last three weeks, at least 112 people have died, including 14 health care workers.

With some infections, you can shed and spread the virus long before you get ill. That’s not the case with Ebola. It’s only after you are sick and feverish do you become contagious. However, it only takes a miniscule amount to infect and kill. A microscopic droplet of blood or saliva on your bare hand could enter through a break in your skin. And, whether you realize it or not, we all have breaks in our skin.

Since I was a kid, I have been fascinated with outbreaks. I learned in medical school that new pathogens generally make a jump from animals to humans, a process called zoonosis.

This is happening in areas where human and animals come into continuous contact. David Quammen refers to it as “Spillover,” in his book of the same name. A stew of ducks, geese, chickens, pigs and humans in southeast Asia led to the spillover of avian flu, H5N1. Contact between pigs and humans in Mexico led to swine flu, H1N1; pigs and fruit bats were the recipe for Nipah fever in Malaysia.

The best guess is that fruit bats may be a natural reservoir for the Ebola virus too, but this has not been confirmed. Quammen makes the point: Ebola didn’t enter our world — we entered its world.

Pathogens can be predators, like lions, tigers and bears. A virus may not plan the way a big cat does, but in a sense it stalks its prey — waiting for the moment of opportunity, then attacking with fury. Because it can lie silent for years, it’s also easy to see Ebola as a killing ghost, like Jack the Ripper.

Presumably outbreaks begin through some human-animal contact, but since that contact is ongoing we don’t know what it is that leads Ebola to rear its ugly head. We don’t know how to treat the illness or vaccinate against it. We certainly don’t know how to cure it.

I thought about all of this as I left that woman in the airport, and I have thought about her a great deal since then. Her grief made an impression on all of us.

It also made this mysterious, exotic virus the world knows, but doesn’t fully understand, so much more real and frightening. For the next 21 days (the outer range of the incubation period) the woman we saw will be monitored for a fever or any early signs she may have contracted Ebola from her husband. If she exhibits symptoms, she will be isolated and treated with fluids, oxygen and nutrition.

That is all that can really be offered. Again, there is no cure for Ebola.

For her neighbors, in Guinea and across its border, another critical number is 42 — as in 42 days, or two incubation periods. If the health care teams here don’t see any new cases during that time then they officially say the outbreak is over. We are not there yet, not even close.

The clock is ticking.

“Snowflake Crystal” Traps Light and Sound


Experimentalists trap optical and acoustic oscillations together in a two dimensional structure that will make it easier to study their coupled behavior.

Figure 1

Research on cavity optomechanics, which concerns the interaction between light and mechanical vibrations in confined geometries, has blossomed during the past few years [1]. Potential applications include coherent microwave–optical conversion, sensitive mechanical measurements, quantum information processing, mechanical storage of light pulses, and coupling between different quantum systems, as well as new tests of the foundations of quantum mechanics. Of the many different optomechanics platforms, one of the most promising comprises “optomechanical crystals.” In Physical Review Letters, Amir Safavi-Naeini et al. [2] and his colleagues in Oskar Painter’s group at the California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, exhibit a novel two-dimensional (2D) structure of this type.

The engineering of wave propagation by means of periodic patterning of materials has been applied for some time to optical and acoustic waves, leading to photonic and phononic crystals, respectively. Optomechanical crystals that combine the two have emerged in the last few years, as shown earlier by the Painter group [3]. They demonstrated that optical and vibrational modes of high quality can be created in this manner at the same micrometer-sized spot, producing an optomechanical coupling that exceeded that of previous devices by orders of magnitude. This has already been employed successfully in the demonstration of optomechanical laser cooling to phonon numbers below unity [4], close to the ground state, as well as other tasks. These first devices were fabricated by one-dimensional (1D) periodic patterning of freestanding nanobeams.

Extending optomechanical crystal structures to two dimensions would allow a greater variety of designs to be built, and the first steps have already been taken. For example, “phonon shields” reduce energy loss in mechanical resonators, as reflected in their “quality factor,” which is roughly the number of oscillations before the energy leaks away. Researchers achieved this by surrounding the resonators with structures that have an acoustic band gap around the frequency of resonance, so that phonons cannot propagate and escape [4]. The new work reported by Safavi-Naeini et al. presents the first structure that has both an optical and an acoustic band gap [2]. The design is based on a triangular lattice of snowflake-shaped holes in a silicon slab. Alternatively, it can be viewed as an array of triangles connected by thin bridges of material (Fig.1).

The acoustic modes can be understood in terms of a simple model in which individual oscillators (the triangles), each with its own set of mechanical modes, are connected with springs (the bridges). As the bridges become thin, the structure becomes floppy, and the speed of sound waves, and thus their maximum frequency, decreases. At the same time, the band formed by coupling the finite-frequency normal modes becomes narrower. As a consequence, an acoustic band gap is produced between these two bands.

For the electromagnetic waves, a 2D slab can never support a complete band gap, since waves traveling nearly perpendicular to the plane will always escape. However, careful engineering can ensure that waves traveling inside the plane see a pseudo-band-gap, and that any localized modes of interest have very little overlap with the waves that can escape, so the optical quality factor will remain high.

In their new snowflake-crystal design, the authors first disrupted the regular arrangement to create a linear defect in the 2D periodic structure, which, on its own, would form a 1D waveguide. They then modified this structure along the waveguide direction to create localized modes. This approach simplifies the design, avoids overlap with waves that radiate out of the slab, and makes the structure more robust against disorder.

The authors measured two localized mechanical resonances with frequencies near 9 gigahertz, with a mechanical quality factor of more than 105, that couple strongly to an optical mode. This optical mode retains its energy for several cycles of the mechanical oscillation, so the device is firmly in the resolved-sideband limit, which is important for many applications such as sideband cooling or state transfer. The parameters of this device, including the large coupling strength between the optical and mechanical modes, are comparable to the record values that the group had previously attained for their 1D structures. Achieving them in a 2D device is very significant. For one thing, the planar geometry is much better at handling the heat load from residual laser absorption, because the heat can be transported away more easily. In addition, there is a lot of room for adding optical and acoustic waveguides and other localized modes to the structure.

Creating such 2D structures opens the door towards larger-scale optomechanical arrays and circuits, which would combine many optical and vibrational modes. The coupling between those localized modes can be pictured in terms of photons or phonons tunneling from site to site, depending on the overlap of the tails of the modes, similar to the situation for localized electronic orbitals. A periodic array of such defect modes will yield an optomechanical band structure for photons and phonons. The properties of this superlattice can easily be tuned in situ by varying the strength of the laser driving all the cells, in essence producing an optomechanical metamaterial. The features that could be explored range from slow light [5] to engineering optomechanical band structures [6] for observing graphene-type Dirac physics or generating synthetic magnetic fields for photons. In addition, optomechanical networks [7], long-range collective interactions [8], and transport [9] might be studied in such devices.

Even more intricate dynamics will be observed in the nonlinear regime. This regime would be reached if such an array is driven by a laser at higher frequencies (blue-detuned) from the optical resonances, taking the system beyond the instability towards self-induced mechanical oscillations. Coupling many such oscillators in an array gives rise to synchronization and pattern formation, as well as quantum many-body dynamics of photons and phonons [10].

The new 2D snowflake crystal structures will likely become the preferred experimental platform for exploring many of these theoretical proposals.

References

  1. M. Aspelmeyer,T. J. Kippenberg, and F. Marquardt, “Cavity Optomechanics,” arXiv:1303.0733.
  2. Amir H. Safavi-Naeini, Jeff T. Hill, Seán Meenehan, Jasper Chan, Simon Gröblacher, and Oskar Painter, “Two-Dimensional Phononic-Photonic Band Gap Optomechanical Crystal Cavity,” Phys. Rev. Lett. 112, 153603 (2014).
  3. M. Eichenfield, J. Chan, R. M. Camacho, K. J. Vahala, and O. Painter, “Optomechanical Crystals,” Nature 462, 78 (2009).
  4. J. Chan, T. P. M. Alegre, A. H. Safavi-Naeini, J. T. Hill, A. Krause, S. Gröblacher, M. Aspelmeyer, and O. Painter, “Laser Cooling of a Nanomechanical Oscillator into its Quantum Ground State,” Nature 478, 89 (2011).
  5. D. E. Chang, A. H. Safavi-Naeini, M. Hafezi, and O. Painter, “Slowing and Stopping Light Using an Optomechanical Crystal Array,” New J. Phys. 13, 023003 (2011).
  6. M. Schmidt, V. Peano, and F. Marquardt, “Optomechanical Metamaterials: Dirac polaritons, Gauge fields, and Instabilities,” arXiv:1311.7095.
  7. S. J. M. Habraken,K. Stannigel, M. D. Lukin, P. Zoller, P. Rabl, “Continuous Mode Cooling and Phonon Routers for Phononic Quantum Networks,” New J. Phys. 14, 115004 (2012).
  8. A. Xuereb, C. Genes, G. Pupillo, M. Paternostro, and A. Dantan, “Reconfigurable Long-Range Phonon Dynamics in Optomechanical Arrays,”arXiv:1312.5303.
  9. W. Chen and A. A. Clerk, “Photon Propagation in a One-Dimensional Optomechanical Lattice,” Phys. Rev. A 89, 033854 (2014).

Kick start your day with these ’10 quick mantras of success’.


The world is moving fast and our expectations from our lives have changed. We are more career oriented now, seek to beat the odds and be entrepreneurs, and strive for success in whatever we do. But what defines our professional success is purely subjective to what we aspire to be in life. It may be just earning loads of money, or to work with a global giant, have your own business, become an IAS officer, doctor, renowned photographer, dancer and so on.  But no profession brings with it a guaranteed success unless you work the right formula.

So what does it take to have a successful professional life? Not much! Let us take a look at the 10 quick mantras that can be your building steps for professional success. 1. Decide to succeed Success comes to those who dare to dream, to people who truly want to succeed. It does not come knocking the doors of people who only wait for things to take happen on their own. There is no success spell, so if you want it, go get it. 2. Be bold Success does not come easy. If life throws you a challenge, fight back hard. You might fail numerous times to achieve your ambition. But never let failure be an end as there is always light at the end of every tunnel. 3. Plan and execute your promotion Your career is in your hands. The best career map can only be made by you for yourself.

Smart work, time management, and visibility of your efforts are the essential keys of a good career plan. A manager can at best facilitate the people under him to attain their goals, but it is an individual’s responsibility to draft a career plan and execute it. 4. The Push-Pull theory One of the best ways to grow in any organization is to force the manager to grow upwards. A manager’s promotion can translate into your promotion if you are next in line. A manager can thus pull you up rather than employing a new candidate. Trying to restrict someone’s success in your group will only give birth to frictions within the team members. So, if someone has to grow up the corporate ladder, it must be you, your lead, or your manager. 5. Complain up and motivate down The higher management is responsible for any change in a company or a team. So they better be criticized to improve things.  Positive criticism brings good energy to the organization. On the other hand, a complaint downwards may be viewed as a senior’s outlet to vent out frustration. This will only increase negative energy in the company. 6. Growth is always organizational People grow as the company grows. Company profits are a result of the hard work of its employees.

SuccessSecrets

A company in loss can never assure a promising future to its employees. It is thus important that each individual must work for the best interest of the company. 7. Hard work and hardcore fun You are not a machine. So work hard, but party harder. Only work and no fun will make your life dull and stressful. Give yourself a weekend break. Open up, go out, indulge in adventure, go for a drive, a dinner, or a drink with friends. Relax and rejuvenate. A healthy body and mind will always reap superior results. 8. Work you portion but know the big picture If you are paid to do a job, you are obligated to do it on time. However, you must also be aware of why the work is done, the purpose of doing it. You must understand the goal of your project; make it your goal and then march ahead. 9. Know your company Knowing your company is important to your project. Attain the maximum possible information about your company, be it the company’s management, organizational structure, offerings (products and services) and so on. This will help you work better or even become a brand ambassador of your company, thus fueling yours as well as company’s growth. 10. Competitor analysis Know your rivals, analyze their business, and help your company counter the competitors. With you bringing profits to the company, you also pocket a promotion or a bonus. And if things don’t go as you expected, you know where to go next. Well you’ve got your recipe but do not forget to add the secret ingredient of the winning attitude. If you believe it, half is already achieved. Be passionate about your profession, love what you do and do what you love. The prize of victory may be high, but so are the rewards. Believe that you are the best and then make sure, you are! … read more on yourstory.com

Never do this in the morning.


Most adults admit to the defeating habit of hitting the snooze alarm every morning.

Experts have been debating the pros and cons of the habit for years, weighing both short- and long-term effects on the body and mind. A recent article in the Wall Street Journal, “Why You Actually Should Hit The Snooze Button,” suggests an extra nine minutes of sleep can help certain types of people to “gently awaken the mind.” I don’t buy it, and never will.

Mel Robbins says checking email on your phone is a bad way to start your day.

I’m just not a snooze alarm kinda gal. I prefer to rip the bandage off and push myself out of bed as soon as I hear the alarm.

Getting out of a warm bed is never fun, and it certainly doesn’t become any easier after you’ve hit the snooze button several times. The truth is it’s guilt that finally forces you from the sheets, yet you still don’t want to have your feet hit the floor and seize the day.

So, the piece got me thinking …

The snooze alarm might make you late or kill your plans to exercise, but it doesn’t ruin your day. There’s something else that you probably do (right before you push yourself out of bed) that is not only your worst habit, but completely horrendous for your well-being, happiness and success.

Think back to this morning: What’s the first thing you did when you woke up?

Brush your teeth? Nope. Make coffee? Guess again.

You reached for your phone.

The question is: Why? You aren’t even vertical yet. You haven’t even started the day and there you are, cellphone in hand like the world won’t start turning until you get lost in the screen.

Is there some text that’s so important you must see it immediately? No. If there were a true emergency, you’d get a call. Is there an e-mail you need to send before you wipe the sleep from your eyes? Of course not, but you open your inbox anyway.

You aren’t alone.

Recent studies suggest almost 83% of millennials sleep with their phones, and the Pew Research Center study found that 65% of all adults sleep with their phone on or right next to their bed (and that study was three years ago, so likely the number has grown).

So, why is reaching for the phone so detrimental?

Simple. There’s nothing in your inbox that will help you take control of your day or serve your goals.

What are e-mails anyway? E-mails are everyone else’s junk: things to do, things to buy, things to add to your to-do list, meetings to attend, places to be, reminders of deadlines. They amount to a long list of stuff that “other” people want you to pay attention to.

By checking your texts or e-mails first thing, you just let someone else set your priorities before you’ve had breakfast.

How you start your day sets the tone for your day, and by reaching for your phone you surrender control to others — and your well-being, success and happiness takes a hit. Those e-mails seek your time, attention, help and brain space. It’s no wonder you start your day feeling overwhelmed, sensing pressure and being in a reactive mode rather than a proactive mode.

I no longer sleep next to my phone. It’s in the kitchen, close enough for me to hear the alarm and far enough away so that by the time I reach the kitchen, I’m not going back to bed. I turn off the alarm, and don’t pick up the phone again until I’ve done a few other things to put myself in control and my priorities first.

If your phone doesn’t receive e-mails, you aren’t off the hook. I guarantee you either fire up the computer or tablet as soon as you leave your bedroom or as soon as you arrive at work. That means you check your inbox before you even get organized. Do not ever do that again. Before you read about a “25% off sale at Zappos,” before a reminder alerts you that a PowerPoint is due, before a colleague turns you into her errand boy, take control of your day.

Don’t check e-mail until you’ve had a chance to figure out your top three priorities for the day and perhaps, had a cup of coffee or tea with a clear mind.

Do a “brain dump” for five minutes by listing all projects, to-dos, reminders and priorities on a piece of paper. Then, highlight the top three things on the list to deal with today, things that matter most to you.

Forget about everything else you wrote down. This starts your day on the right footing. Next — still without visiting that inbox — open your calendar (I use an 8×11 size week-at-a-glance calendar) and find a 30-minute block in your day when you can focus on your top three things, uninterrupted.

It doesn’t matter when that block happens. It can be the first 30 minutes at work, waiting in the car for your child’s soccer practice to end, or after you watch a ball game tonight. Find the time and schedule it.

By not reaching for the phone and figuring out your three big priorities for the day, you’ve just taken control of your day and put your priorities first. You may now open your inbox.

The Mother Of All Antioxidants.


We have all heard of antioxidants, but have we heard of the mother of all antioxidants? One that is the secret to prevent cancer, heart disease, aging, neurological issues and more? This single antioxidant has been studied in great depth yet most of us know nothing about it and  many doctors have no idea how to address the epidemic of its deficiency in humans.

We are of course talking about Glutathione (pronounced “gloota-thigh-own.”) This is a powerful detoxifier and immune booster and is crucial to a healthy life. Although the body does make some of its own Glutathione, poor food quality, pollution, toxic environments, stress, infections and radiation are all depleting out bodies glutathione.

glutathione_benefits

What is Glutathione?

Glutathione is a simple molecule produced naturally in the body at all times. It’s a combination of three building blocks of protein or amino acids — cysteine, glycine and glutamine.

The best part of glutathione is that is contains sulfur chemical groups that work to trap all the bad things like free radicals and toxins such as mercury and heavy metals in our body then flush them out. This is especially important in our current world of heavy metal bombardment.

Where Can You Get Glutathione?

The body makes it, but it’s often not enough in our strenuous environment. Here are some food sources that either contain glutathione or its precursors to help the body produce more.

  • Broccoli
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Cabbage
  • Cauliflower
  • Avocados
  • Peaches
  • Watermelon
  • Cinnamon
  • Cardamom
  • Turmeric (Curcumin)
  • Tomatoes
  • Peas
  • Garlic
  • Onions
  • Red peppers

Notice they are all healthy foods we often don’t get enough of? This is another big issue with our diets. We consume a lot of junk, meat, dairy and processed foods, items that clinically have been proven to be the number one causes of heart disease and illness yet we consume  them in huge quantities. The key is to limit these and eat a lot of fresh, lively foods that provide nutrients and don’t ask the body to perform a mega job to digest.

You can also increase your exercise as glutathione production increases when you exercise. Breathing and sweating are also great ways to get rid of toxins in the body.

Glutathione Protects Against Chronic Illness

What makes glutathione so important and powerful is that it recycles antioxidants. When your body is dealing with free radicals, it is essentially passing them from one molecule to another. They might go from vitamin C to vitamin E to lipoic acid and then to glutathione where they are cooled off. Antioxidants are recycled at this point and the body can now regenerate another glutathione molecule to go back at it again.

Glutathione is crucial for helping your immune system fight chronic illness as it acts as the carrier of toxins out of your body. Like a fly trap, toxins stick to glutathione and they are carried to the bile into the stools and out of the body. Glutathione is also powerful enough that it has been shown to help in the treatment of AIDS greatly. The body is going to get in touch with oxidants and toxins, the more we can deal with those the better our body will be at staying strong, this is why glutathione is so important.

9 Final Tips

Dr. Mark Thyman has given 9 tips to increase your Glutathione levels. Check them out!

1. Consume sulfur-rich foods. The main ones in the diet are garlic, onions and the cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, kale, collards, cabbage, cauliflower, watercress, etc.).

2. Try bioactive whey protein. This is great source of cysteine and the amino acid building blocks for glutathione synthesis. As you know, I am not a big fan of dairy, but this is an exception — with a few warnings. The whey protein MUST be bioactive and made from non-denatured proteins (“denaturing” refers to the breakdown of the normal protein structure). Choose non-pasteurized and non-industrially produced milk that contains no pesticides, hormones, or antibiotics. Immunocal is a prescription bioactive non-denatured whey protein that is even listed in the Physician’s Desk Reference.

3. Exercise boosts your glutathione levels and thereby helps boost your immune system, improve detoxification and enhance your body’s own antioxidant defenses. Start slow and build up to 30 minutes a day of vigorous aerobic exercise like walking or jogging, or play various sports. Strength training for 20 minutes 3 times a week is also helpful.

One would think it would be easy just to take glutathione as a pill, but the body digests protein — so you wouldn’t get the benefits if you did it this way. However, the production and recycling of glutathione in the body requires many different nutrients and you CAN take these. Here are the main supplements that need to be taken consistently to boost glutathione. Besides taking a multivitamin and fish oil, supporting my glutathione levels with these supplements is the most important thing I do every day for my personal health.

4. N-acetyl-cysteine. This has been used for years to help treat asthma and lung disease and to treat people with life-threatening liver failure from Tylenol overdose. In fact, I first learned about it in medical school while working in the emergency room. It is even given to prevent kidney damage from dyes used during x-ray studies.

5. Alpha lipoic acid. This is a close second to glutathione in importance in our cells and is involved in energy production, blood sugar control, brain health and detoxification. The body usually makes it, but given all the stresses we are under, we often become depleted.

6. Methylation nutrients (folate and vitamins B6 and B12). These are perhaps the most critical to keep the body producing glutathione. Methylation and the production and recycling of glutathione are the two most important biochemical functions in your body. Take folate (especially in the active form of 5 methyltetrahydrofolate), B6 (in active form of P5P) and B12 (in the active form of methylcobalamin).

7. Selenium. This important mineral helps the body recycle and produce more glutathione.

8. A family of antioxidants including vitamins C and E (in the form of mixed tocopherols), work together to recycle glutathione.

9. Milk thistle (silymarin) has long been used in liver disease and helps boost glutathione levels.

Sources:

http://drhyman.com/blog/2010/05/12/what-is-glutathione-and-how-do-i-get-more-of-it/

http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2010/04/10/can-you-use-food-to-increase-glutathione-instead-of-supplements.aspx

http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-supplements/ingredientmono-717-GLUTATHIONE.aspx?activeIngredientId=717&activeIngredientName=GLUTATHIONE

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0hufj2AIPxQ

Quantum mechanics breakthrough, 3-D printed human heart, and paraplegia therapy.


It’s also been a very big week for the . A breakthrough therapy has allowed four paraplegic men to voluntarily move their legs. Funded by the Christopher Reeve Foundation and NIH, the therapy is based on an implanted epidural stimulator that delivers electric current to the lower spine. Thus far, it has allowed for movement of hips, ankles and toes. And speaking of rejuvenation, researchers at Edinburgh University in Scotland have rejuvenated a living organ for the first time—they increased levels of a protein that controls gene switching in a mouse, resulting in the rejuvenation of a thymus that had deteriorated due to age—afterward, the organ was once again able to produce T-cells. 

Also making big news this week, scientists confirmed that a scroll that mentions Jesus’s wife is ancient. After studying the ancient papyrus sheet, a team of researchers working in the U.S. concluded that it was not a forgery, a finding that is likely to cause a stir in the Christian community as it suggests that a woman played a far more important role in the life of Jesus than has been mentioned in the New Testament. 

A team at the University of Tokyo has found a way to control individual neurons in the brain of a mouse by sending reward signals to its hypothalamus, one of the brain’s pleasure centers. In so doing, the researchers discovered that they were able to get the mouse to turn on  in its own hippocampus. 

Elsewhere, another team of researchers at NYU Langone Medical Center has found that memory accuracy and strength can be manipulated during sleep by exposing rats to certain odors while they snooze. The hope is that such therapy may forestall certain neurodegenerative disorders. 



Also, there is news out of the University of Louisville as scientists try 3-D printing to build a human heart—they’ve already printed out small veins and heart valves. The research team believes they may be able to print all of the major heart parts, ready for assembly, in as little as five years. 

And at the Georgia Institute of Technology, a new study explains evolution of duplicate genes—researchers there have shown explicitly how the processes of DNA methylation and duplicate gene evolution are related and how some duplicate genes could have escaped elimination long ago from the genome, leading to the genetic innovation we see now in modern life. 

In other news, physicists created lightning in a race to develop a quantum technology microchip. Physicists working in England have developed a new microchip that can hold the voltage equivalent of a micron-scale lightning strike—it could very well prove to be the key for developing the next generation of super-fast quantum computers. And finally, scientists discovered a novel way to make ethanol without corn or other plants—they’ve used a metal catalyst that can produce ethanol from carbon monoxide at room temperature and pressure. If it can be scaled up and shown to be cost effective, the technique could prove to be a true game changer. 

Researchers find that the extremes in Antarctic ozone holes have not been matched in the Arctic.


Since the discovery of the Antarctic ozone hole, scientists, policymakers, and the public have wondered whether we might someday see a similarly extreme depletion of ozone over the Arctic.

But a new MIT study finds some cause for optimism: Ozone levels in the Arctic haven’t yet sunk to the extreme lows seen in Antarctica, in part because international efforts to limit -depleting chemicals have been successful.

“While there is certainly some depletion of Arctic ozone, the extremes of Antarctica so far are very different from what we find in the Arctic, even in the coldest years,” says Susan Solomon, the Ellen Swallow Richards Professor of Atmospheric Chemistry and Climate Science at MIT, and lead author of a paper published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Frigid temperatures can spur  because they create prime conditions for the formation of polar stratospheric clouds. When sunlight hits these clouds, it sparks a reaction between chlorine from chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), human-made chemicals once used for refrigerants, foam blowing, and other applications—ultimately destroying ozone.

“A success story of science and policy”

After the ozone-attacking properties of CFCs were discovered in the 1980s, countries across the world agreed to phase out their use as part of the 1987 Montreal Protocol treaty. While CFCs are no longer in use, those emitted years ago remain in the atmosphere. As a result, atmospheric concentrations have peaked and are now slowly declining, but it will be several decades before CFCs are totally eliminated from the environment—meaning there is still some risk of  caused by CFCs.

“It’s really a success story of science and policy, where the right things were done just in time to avoid broader environmental damage,” says Solomon, who made some of the first measurements in Antarctica that pointed toward CFCs as the primary cause of the ozone hole.

To obtain their findings, the researchers used balloon and satellite data from the heart of the  over both polar regions. They found that Arctic  did drop significantly during an extended period of unusual cold in the spring of 2011. While this dip did depress ozone levels, the decrease was nowhere near as drastic as the nearly complete loss of ozone in the heart of the layer seen in many years in Antarctica.

The MIT team’s work also helps to show chemical reasons for the differences, demonstrating that ozone loss in Antarctica is closely associated with reduced levels of nitric acid in air that is colder than that in the Arctic.

“We’ll continue to have cold years with extreme Antarctic ozone holes for a long time to come,” Solomon says. “We can’t be sure that there will never be extreme Arctic ozone losses in an unusually cold future year, but so far, so good—and that’s good news.”

Global solar dominance in sight as science trumps fossil fuels .


Solar power will slowly squeeze the revenues of petro-rentier regimes in Russia, Venezuela and Saudi Arabia. They will have to find a new business model, or fade into decline

Solar power has won the global argument. Photovoltaic energy is already so cheap that it competes with oil, diesel and liquefied natural gas in much of Asia without subsidies.

Roughly 29pc of electricity capacity added in America last year came from solar, rising to 100pc even in Massachusetts and Vermont. “More solar has been installed in the US in the past 18 months than in 30 years,” says the US Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA). California’s subsidy pot is drying up but new solar has hardly missed a beat.

The technology is improving so fast – helped by the US military – that it has achieved a virtous circle. Michael Parker and Flora Chang, at Sanford Bernstein, say we entering a new order of “global energy deflation” that must ineluctably erode the viability of oil, gas and the fossil fuel nexus over time. In the 1980s solar development was stopped in its tracks by the slump in oil prices. By now it has surely crossed the threshold irreversibly.

The ratchet effect of energy deflation may be imperceptible at first since solar makes up just 0.17pc of the world’s $5 trillion energy market, or 3pc of its electricity. The trend does not preclude cyclical oil booms along the way. Nor does it obviate the need for shale fracking as a stop-gap, for national security reasons or in Britain’s case to curb a shocking current account deficit of 5.4pc of GDP.

But the technology momentum goes only one way. “Eventually solar will become so large that there will be consequences everywhere,” they said. This remarkable overthrow of everthing we take for granted in world energy politics may occur within “the better part of a decade”.

If the hypothesis is broadly correct, solar will slowly squeeze the revenues of petro-rentier regimes in Russia, Venezuela and Saudi Arabia, among others. Many already need oil prices near $100 a barrel to cover their welfare budgets and military spending. They will have to find a new business model, or fade into decline.

The Saudis are themselves betting on solar, investing more than $100bn in 41 gigawatts (GW) of capacity, enough to cover 30pc of their power needs by 2030 rather than burning fossil fuel needed for exports. Most of the Gulf states have comparable plans. That will mean more crude – ceteris paribus – washing into a deflating global energy market.

Clean Energy Trends says new solar installations overtook wind turbines worldwide last year with an extra 36.5GW. China alone accounted for a third. Wind is still ahead with 2.5 times old capacity but the “solar sorpasso” will be reached in 2021 as photovoltaic (PV) costs keep falling.

The US National Renewable Energy Laboratory says scientists can now capture 31.1pc of the sun’s energy with a 111-V Solar Cell, a world record but soon to be beaten again no doubt. This will find its way briskly into routine use. Wind cannot keep pace. It is static by comparison, a regional niche at best.

A McKinsey study said the average cost of installed solar power in the US across all sectors has dropped to $2.59 from more than $6 a watt in 2010. It expects this fall to $2.30 by next year and $1.60 by 2020. This will put solar within “striking distance” of coal and gas, it said.

Solar cell prices have already collapsed so far that other “soft costs” now make up 64pc of residential solar installation in the US. Germany has shown that this too can be slashed, partly by sheer scale.

It is hard to keep up with the cascade of research papers emerging from brain-trusts in North America, Europe and Japan, so many brimming with optimism. The University of Buffalo has developed a nanoscale microchip able to capture a “rainbow” of wavelengths and absorb far more light. A team at Oxford is pioneering use of perovskite, an abundant material that is cheaper than silicon and produces 40pc more voltage.

One by one, the seemingly intractable obstacles are being conquered. Israel’s Ecoppia has just begun using robots to clean the panels of its Ketura Sun park in the Negev desert without the use of water, until now a big constraint. It is beautifully simple. Soft microfibers sweep away 99pc of the dust each night with the help of airflows.

Professor Michael Aziz, at Harvard University, is developing a flow-battery with funding from the US Advanced Research Projects Agency over the next three years that promises to cut the cost of energy storage by two-thirds below the latest vanadium batteries used in Japan.

He said the technology gives us a “fighting chance” to overcome the curse of intermittency from wind and solar power, which both spike and drop off in bursts. “I foresee a future where we can vastly cut down on fossil fuel use.”

Even thermal solar is coming of age, driven for now by use of molten salts to store heat and release power hours later. California opened the world’s biggest solar thermal park in February in the Mojave desert – the Ivanpah project, co-owned by Google and BrightSource Energy – able to produce power for almost 100,000 homes by reflecting sunlight from 170,000 mirrors onto boilers that generate electricity from steam. Ivanpah still relies on subsidies but a new SunPower project in Chile will go naked, selling 70 megawatts into the spot market.

Deutsche Bank say there are already 19 regional markets around the world that have achieved “grid parity”, meaning that PV solar panels can match or undercut local electricity prices without subsidy: California, Chile, Australia, Turkey, Israel, Germany, Japan, Italy, Spain and Greece, for residential power, as well as Mexico and China for industrial power.

This will spread as battery storage costs – often a spin-off from electric car ventures – keep dropping. Sanford Bernstein says it may not be long before home energy storage is cheap enough to lure households away from the grid en masse across the world.

Utilities that fail to adapt fast will face “disaster”. Solar competes directly. Each year it is supplying a bigger chunk of peak power needs in the middle of the day when air conditioners and factories are both at full throttle. “Demand during what was one of the most profitable times of the day disappears,” said the report. They cannot raise prices to claw back lost income. That would merely accelerate what they most fear. They are trapped.

Michael Liebreich, from Bloomberg New Energy Finance, says we can already discern the moment of “peak fossil fuels” around 2030, the tipping point when the world starts using less coal, oil and gas in absolute terms, but because they cannot compete, not because they are running out.

This is a remarkable twist of history. Just six years ago we faced an oil shock with crude trading at $148. The rise of “Chindia” and the sudden inclusion of 2bn consumers into the affluent world seemed to be taxing resources to breaking point. Now we can imagine how China will fuel its future fleet of 400m vehicles. Many may be electric, charged by PV modules.

For Germany it is a bitter-sweet vindication. The country sank €100bn into feed-in tariffs or in solar companies that blazed the trail, did us all a favour, and mostly went bankrupt, displaced by copy-cat competitors in China. The Germans have the world’s biggest solar infrastructure, but latecomers can now tap futuristic technology.

For Britain it offers a reprieve after 20 years of energy drift. Yet the possibility of global energy deflation raises a quandry: should the country lock into more nuclear power stations with strike-prices fixed for 35 years? Should it spend £100bn on offshore wind when imported LNG might be cheaper long hence?

For the world it portends a once-in-a-century upset of the geostrategic order. Sheikh Ahmed-Zaki Yamani, the veteran Saudi oil minister, saw the writing on the wall long ago. “Thirty years from now there will be a huge amount of oil – and no buyers. Oil will be left in the ground. The Stone Age came to an end, not because we had a lack of stones, and the oil age will come to an end not because we have a lack of oil,” he told The Telegraph in 2000. Wise old owl.