10 Great Reasons Why You Need Some Time On Your Own

Most people don’t really like spending time on their own. I think that’s because they feel somewhat socially rejected if they are often alone. However, solitude and loneliness are not exactly the same thing. Solitude actually means that you choose to spend some time alone because you enjoy it.

Solitude can make you more self-sufficient, add to your confidence, and help you get to know yourself a lot better. If being alone scares you, bores you, or just isn’t your favorite thing, here’s how you can make your time more productive.

1. You can reboot your brain and unwind.

You certainly need to give your brain a chance to rest and replenish itself. Being by yourself with no distractions gives you the chance to clear your mind, focus, and think more clearly. It’s an opportunity to revitalize your mind and body at the same time.

2. You can learn something new.

Learning is the most important aspect of living alone. It gives you something to talk about when you do have to actually enter society. Learning is also incredibly more efficient when you don’t have social responsibilities like family to take care of, or a girlfriend or boyfriend to entertain. Learning isn’t just exclusive to books (although they are a great source of knowledge). You can learn to do anything by just practicing – such as a new language.

3. You learn to be independent

Self-reliance is a worthy goal. Get closer to reaching it by increasing your time alone. Independence of mind and lifestyle can lead to productivity and fulfillment. Once you have a solid solo approach to things, there’s nothing you won’t be able to do. You will be able to follow your dreams – even if this means that you will have to do it on your own! You will become your own supporter.

4. You can become more creative

Your creativity flourishes when you are removed from outside influences.
If you want to paint your house, paint a picture, design something, write something, invent something, spend quiet time allowing your imaginative genius freedom to explore possibilities. It can be a most rewarding experience. Explore your abilities and interests. You may come up with something that will change your life.

5. You can set up new goals and see how to achieve them.

During your alone time, you can think about your dreams, set up new goals, see what you really want in your life and make a plan with clear steps to achieve them.

6. You can improve your relationships with others.

By spending time with yourself and gaining a better understanding of who you are and what you desire in life, you’re more likely to make better choices about who you want to be around. You also may come to appreciate your relationships more after you’ve spent some time alone.

7. You will put things in perspective

Put your day, week and year in perspective by reflecting on where your life is headed. In the absence of other people’s influence, you are free to reevaluate what’s important to you, be it your JOB, your friends or your loved ones, and set yourself on the appropriate course of action. Think about what you want; then, follow through on your own time.

8. You can listen to your inner voice.

When your mind is calm, when there is no rush, you can hear your inner voice. You have time to listen to yourself, to discover your dreams, to believe in yourself and focus on your beauty.

9. You get to do whatever you want

Some people don’t hate being alone so much as they find it boring. When you’re with others, you have the advantage of multiple minds thinking of an enjoyable activity. When you’re alone, you’re left with the JOB entirely. Keep eyes and your mind open! 😉

10. Quiet time can help you sort through problems.

Just sitting down and thinking through a problem, thinking about what caused it and how best to resolve it can result in very effective solutions. But even if a solution is not forthcoming, just having taken the time to think things through and to understand the problem more thoroughly can bring peace and a certain courage to carry on. – See more at: http://www.thinkinghumanity.com/2014/10/10-great-reasons-why-you-need-some-time-on-your-own.html?m=1#sthash.Ux36B3BU.dpuf

The Best Ways to Give by Dean Karlan .

The holiday season is a time of charitable giving. For many, it is also a period of indulgence ahead of the diet season, when we wonder why we failed to rein in our impulses.
During this holiday season, we would be wise to use what we know about successful dieting to inform our charitable giving. As with eating, when it comes to fulfilling our natural desire to help other people, following our immediate impulses does not always yield the best result.

Over the last decade, my colleagues and I at Innovations for Poverty Action have identified some of the best-performing non-profit organizations around the world and researched the most effective ways to give. Here are four things I have learned about how to get the most out of your charitable donations.
First, follow your head, not just your heart. Do not accept uplifting anecdotes as evidence, or be swayed by glossy charity gift catalogs. Celebrity endorsements are like celebrity fad diets – good for the marketing department, but not necessarily an indication of a smart choice.
For example, giving textbooks to a child in a poor country like Kenya might seem like a good idea. But research shows that textbooks primarily help children who are already doing well. A better use of your money would be to sponsor programs like Pratham’s Read India, which pairs children with volunteer tutors. Such programs help kids more – especially those at the bottom of the class who need the most support. We know this because Pratham is among the growing number of organizations that rigorously evaluate the effectiveness of their work.
Next, it is important to know which numbers matter. How much a charity spends on administrative expenses is an easily available figure. Unfortunately, it tells you nothing about the effectiveness of what the charity is doing. Keep your eye on what really matters: the final impact on the world.
When I compared the effectiveness ratings and overhead expenses of 293 charities, I found that the more effective charities actually had higher expenses. I suggest ignoring administrative expenses unless they are over 30%. After reviewing 55,000 charities’ tax returns, I found that few organizations spend above this amount; if they do, it could be a sign of potential fraud.
Your third step should be to craft a charity “investment portfolio” that aligns with your goals. Consider carefully what you want to accomplish. Do you want to improve learning around the world? Are you trying to help eradicate malaria? There are charities that try to meet immediate needs and charities that address long-term problems – disease research is a good example – by devoting their resources to long-term solutions. The important thing is to treat your giving like an investment and concentrate on getting the greatest returns.
Finally, make sure you commit to a financial plan – the simpler, the better. Many people neglect to save enough to give as much as they would like at the end of the year. Would you ideally like to donate 10% of your income? Five percent? Twenty percent? Calculate how much you are spending on charity this year. If it is lower than you would like, arrange to have your donations automatically withdrawn from your bank account every month. Doing so means not needing to remember; it also provides charities with a regular cash flow, helping them to plan more efficiently.
My personal charity portfolio includes giving to organizations that help people immediately. These “short-term investments” include Evidence Action, Seva Mandir, Pratham, and Trickle-Up, organizations that either run proven programs or actively produce evidence showing them how best to operate. This year, the fifth group in this part of my portfolio is the International Rescue Committee, which is working in Sierra Leone and Liberia in the fight against Ebola.
I allocate the remainder of my charitable funds to what I view as long-term investments: organizations researching the most effective approaches to aid, so that others can craft the best possible programs. (Full disclosure: I founded Innovations for Poverty Action, which does this kind of work.) This type of giving does not feel as immediately satisfying as addressing some urgent need. But with higher risks come higher rewards; in the long run, such giving is a good use of charitable funds.
To return to the dieting analogy, whatever your most cherished cause, remember not to binge on an impulse. Use your head and, come January, you will have many reasons to feel better about yourself.


How movies embraced Hinduism (without you even noticing) .

From Interstellar to Batman and Star Wars the venerable religion has been the driving philosophy behind many hit movies. Why?
Interstellar’s box office total is $622,932,412 and counting. It is the eighth highest-grossing film of the year and has spawned an endless raft of thinkpieces testing the validity of its science and applauding the innovation of its philosophy. But it is not so new. The idea that propels the plot – there is a universal super-consciousness that transcends time and space, and in which all human life is connected – has been around for about 3,000 years. It is Vedic.

When the film’s astronaut hero (Matthew McConaughey), declares that the mysterious and all-knowing “they” who created a wormhole near Saturn through which he travels to save mankind – dissolving his sense of material reality in the process – are in fact “us”, he is simply repeating the central notion of the Upanishads, India’s oldest philosophical texts. These hold that individual human minds are merely brief reflections within a cosmic one.

McConaughey’s character doesn’t just talk the talk. He walks the walk. So, the multidimensional tesseract – that endlessly reflective prism he finds himself in as he comes to this realisation, and in which he views life from every perspective – is the film’s expression of Indra’s net, the Hindu metaphor which depicts the universe as an eternal web of existence spun by the king of the gods, each of its intersections adorned with an infinitely sided jewel, every one continually reflecting the others.
Of course, Hollywood’s eager embrace of Buddhism, yoga and other esoteric Indian systems is not new. David Lynch is an outspoken exponent of transcendental meditation, Richard Gere follows the Dalai Lama and Julia Roberts affirmed her Hinduism in the wake of Eat, Pray, Love – a movie that tells the tale of a modern American woman’s journey towards peace through Indian spiritual practises that grossed over $200m (£128.6m). Hinduism can get the tills ringing even when it urges parsimony.

Nolan has long been a devout subscriber to the cause. A director famed for being able to get a multimillion dollar project off the ground with only his own name as collateral, he clearly knows the value of pre-existing brands such as Hinduism. His breakthrough hit, Memento, had Guy Pearce as an amnesiac whose unreliable consciousness is the faulty lens through which we see the story of a murder, told both in chronological and reverse order. This notion of distrusting individual reality and looking beyond it for truth was extended in Nolan’s Inception, in which Leonardo DiCaprio leads a team of “psychonauts” on a heist deep within the recesses of a billionaire’s mind – a spiralling adventure of dreams within dreams in which the laws of nature increasingly bend and warp – before finding its purest expression in Interstellar.
Interstellar … spiritual journey? Photograph: Sportsphoto/Allstar/Legendary Pictures
“Look at the first Matrix movie,” says producer Peter Rader. “It’s a yogic movie. It says that this world is an illusion. It’s about maya – that if we can cut through the illusions and connect with something larger we can do all sorts of things. Neo achieves the abilities of the advanced yogis [Paramahansa] Yogananda described, who can defy the laws of normal reality.”
Rader’s latest movie, a documentary about Yogananda, who was among the first gurus to bring Indian mysticism to North America in the 1920s, has been a sleeper hit in the US. The film documents how influential Hindu philosophy is in American culture, with contributions from the likes of the yoga-devoted hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons. “There’s a big pent-up demand,” thinks Rader. “There are a lot of closet spiritualists who are meditating, doing yoga, reading books and thinking about a bigger reality. And now they can come out and say, ‘Yes, I’m into this.’ Steve Jobs read Yogananda’s book once a year. He bequeathed a copy of it to everyone who attended his memorial. It helped inspire him to develop products like the iPad.”

But before Nolan, before the Matrix, before, even, the iPad, there was Star Wars. It was the film, with its cosmic scale and theme of a transcendental “force” that confers superhuman powers on those who can align with it, which opened up mainstream American culture to Indian esotericism more than anything else. George Lucas was influenced by the mythologist Joseph Campbell, whose work A Hero With a Thousand Faces traced the narrative arc common to all mythic heroes that Luke Skywalker would embark upon. Campbell himself lived by his Upanishadic mantra “follow your bliss”, which he derived from the Sanskrit term sat-chit-ananda.
“The word sat means being,” said Campbell. “Chit means consciousness. Ananda means bliss or rapture. I thought, ‘I don’t know whether my consciousness is proper consciousness or not. I don’t know whether what I know of my being is my proper being or not, but I do know where my rapture is. So let me hang on to rapture, and that will bring me both my consciousness and my being’.” His mantra was the paradigm for Skywalker’s own realisation of the force, the sense of peace, purpose and power gained once he allowed himself to accept and unify with it. “If you follow your bliss,” thought Campbell, “you put yourself on a kind of track that has been there all the while, waiting for you, and the life that you ought to be living is the one you are living.”

As his mastery of the force neared its peak, Skywalker comes perilously close to taking Vader’s sinister path. With this, Star Wars established the principle in Hollywood of superheroes having to overcome an inner darkness while battling an external enemy, and finding an enlightenment in the process. Nolan’s trilogy of Batman movies – in which a tortured protagonist struggles as much not to become his nemesis as to defeat it – have introduced a whole new generation to the Indian god-myths and the teachings of yoga that emphasise the priority of one’s internal journey while facing the challenges of the outside world. Next year, even younger recruits to the cause will feel the force of the new JJ Abrams’ Star Wars movie.

“Spirituality is the open-secret,” says Rader. “A lot of people know that if we quieten down we can tap into a deeper power. And the movies that tap into that, like Star Wars and Interstellar, are hugely popular. Audiences know what the film is telling them, they have a sense that this story is working on a deeper level. It’s telling them that there’s more to life than just the ordinary. That there’s something much bigger, and they’re a part of it.”

A philosophy to which many are keen to subscribe is what makes religions successful. Movies, too.

‘Temperature Training’ May Be Your Next Fitness Exercise

“Temperature training” may be what is missing from your weight-loss plan. New evidence suggests that regular exposure to mildly cold air may help people lose weight by increasing the amount of energy their bodies have to expend to keep their core temperature up, researchers say.
In other words, warm, cozy offices and homes may not be ideal places for those who want to lose weight. In fact, being able to control the ambient temperature might be partly responsible for the rise in obesity rates in industrial societies, said researchers from the Netherlands in a study published today (Jan. 22) in the journal Trends in Endocrinology & Metabolism.
“Since most of us are exposed to indoor conditions 90 percent of the time, it is worth exploring health aspects of ambient temperatures,” said study researcher Wouter van Marken Lichtenbelt of Maastricht University Medical Center. “What would it mean if we let our bodies work again to control body temperature?”

The human body withstands the cold by shivering, which produces heat; this provides one explanation for why cold temperatures may promote weight loss. Studies have shown that people expend five times more energy when shivering, compared to when they are resting.
The body uses more energy when the mercury drops for other reasons, as well. For example, a type of fat called brown fat, which burns calories rather than storing them, is activated in response to cold. In young and middle-aged people, heat production through brown fat can account for up to 30 percent of the body’s energy budget, the researchers said.
A previous study from researchers in Japan found a decrease in people’s body fat after they spent two hours per day for six weeks in a room with a temperature of 62.6 degrees Fahrenheit (17 degrees Celsius).
The new study also found that people get used to the cold over time. After spending six hours a day at 59 degrees Fahrenheit (15 degrees Celsius) for 10 days, people in the study not only had more brown fat, the participants also said they felt more comfortable and shivered less when exposed to lower temperatures.
Although a 59-degree room would likely be too cold for most people, it’s possible that room temperatures in the mid-60s would also activate brown fat, the researchers said.
The long-term effects of regular exposure to cold are still unclear and require further investigation, but evidence suggests training the body to tolerate cooler air may indeed help burn calories, the researchers said.
“Similarly to exercise training, we advocate temperature training,” the researchers said. “More-frequent cold exposure alone will not save the world, but is a serious factor to consider in creating a sustainable environment together with a healthy lifestyle.”

Caffeine’s effects differ when sugar is included .

Consuming caffeinated or sugary drinks can affect the body’s metabolism, causing changes in heart and respiratory rate and weight gain. The results of a new study exploring whether individuals respond differently to caffeinated drinks that do or do not contain sugar and to sugar alone are published in Journal of Caffeine Research: The International Multidisciplinary Journal of Caffeine Science.

The article entitled “Caffeine With and Without Sugar: Individual Differences in Physiological Responses During Rest“, by Elaine Rush, PhD and coauthors, Auckland University of Technology (Auckland, New Zealand), describes a study in which heart rate and carbon dioxide production (as a measure of respiration) were measured 30 minutes before and after individuals consumed a defined quantity of sugar, caffeine, or sugar and caffeine. Responses to the different treatments varied widely among individuals.

“Given the caveat that sugar itself affects brain reward just as caffeine does, and this effect will in itself cause variations, this is still an essential paper for the scientist and the lay person to read,” says Patricia A. Broderick, PhD, Editor-in-Chief of Journal of Caffeine Research, Medical Professor in Physiology, Pharmacology & Neuroscience, The Sophie Davis School of Biomedical Education, The City College of New York, The City University of New York, and Adjunct Professor in Neurology, New York University Langone Medical Center and Comprehensive Epilepsy Center.

Science Confirms Turmeric As Effective As 14 Drugs .

Turmeric is one the most thoroughly researched plants in existence today. Its medicinal properties and components (primarily curcumin) have been the subject of over 5600 peer-reviewed and published biomedical studies. In fact, our five-year long research project on this sacred plant has revealed over 600 potential preventive and therapeutic applications, as well as 175 distinct beneficial physiological effects. This entire database of 1,585 ncbi-hyperlinked turmeric abstracts can be downloaded as a PDF at our Downloadable Turmeric Document page, and acquired either as a retail item or with 200 GMI-tokens, for those of you who are already are members and receive them automatically each month.

Given the sheer density of research performed on this remarkable spice, it is no wonder that a growing number of studies have concluded that it compares favorably to a variety of conventional medications, including:

turmeric powder 300x225 Science Confirms Turmeric As Effective As 14 Pharmaceutical Drugs
  • Lipitor/Atorvastatin (cholesterol medication): A 2008 study published in the journal Drugs in R & D found that a standardized preparation of curcuminoids from Turmeric compared favorably to the drug atorvastatin (trade name Lipitor) on endothelial dysfunction, the underlying pathology of the blood vessels that drives atherosclerosis, in association with reductions in inflammation and oxidative stress in type 2 diabetic patients. [i] [For addition curcumin and ‘high cholesterol’ research – 8 abstracts]
  • Corticosteroids (steroid medications): A 1999 study published in the journal Phytotherapy Research found that the primary polyphenol in turmeric, the saffron colored pigment known as curcumin, compared favorably to steroids in the management of chronic anterior uveitis, an inflammatory eye disease.[ii] A 2008 study published in Critical Care Medicine found that curcumin compared favorably to the corticosteroid drug dexamethasone in the animal model as an alternative therapy for protecting lung transplantation-associated injury by down-regulating inflammatory genes.[iii] An earlier 2003 study published in Cancer Letters found the same drug also compared favorably to dexamethasone in a lung ischaemia-repurfusion injury model.[iv]  [for additional curcumin and inflammation research – 52 abstracts]
  • Prozac/Fluoxetine & Imipramine  (antidepressants): A 2011 study published in the journalActa Poloniae Pharmaceutica found that curcumin compared favorably to both drugs in reducing depressive behavior in an animal model.[v] [for additional curcumin and depression research – 5 abstracts]
  • Aspirin (blood thinner): A 1986 in vitro and ex vivo study published in the journalArzneimittelforschung found that curcumin has anti-platelet and prostacyclin modulating effects compared to aspirin, indicating it may have value in patients prone to vascular thrombosis and requiring anti-arthritis therapy.[vi]  [for additional curcumin and anti-platelet research]
  • Anti-inflammatory Drugs: A 2004 study published in the journal Oncogene found that curcumin (as well as resveratrol) were effective alternatives to the drugs aspirin, ibuprofen, sulindac, phenylbutazone, naproxen, indomethacin, diclofenac, dexamethasone, celecoxib, and tamoxifen in exerting anti-inflammatory and anti-proliferative activity against tumor cells.[vii] [for additional curcumin and anti-proliferative research – 15 abstracts]
  • Oxaliplatin (chemotherapy drug): A 2007 study published in the International Journal of Cancer found that curcumin compares favorably with oxaliplatin as an antiproliferative agenet in colorectal cell lines.[viii] [for additional curcumin and colorectal cancer research – 52 abstracts]
  • Metformin (diabetes drug): A 2009 study published in the journal Biochemitry and Biophysical Research Community explored how curcumin might be valuable in treating diabetes, finding that it activates AMPK (which increases glucose uptake) and suppresses gluconeogenic gene expression  (which suppresses glucose production in the liver) in hepatoma cells. Interestingly, they found curcumin to be 500 times to 100,000 times (in the form known as tetrahydrocurcuminoids(THC)) more potent than metformin in activating AMPK and its downstream target acetyl-CoA carboxylase (ACC). [ix]

Another way in which turmeric and its components reveal their remarkable therapeutic properties is in research on drug resistant- and multi-drug resistant cancers.  We have two sections on our site dedicated to researching natural and integrative therapies on these topics, and while there are dozens of substances with demonstrable efficacy against these chemotherapy- and radiation-resistant cancers, curcumin tops both lists:

We have found no less than 54 studies indicating that curcumin can induce cell death or sensitize drug-resistant cancer cell lines to conventional treatment.[x]

We have identified 27 studies on curcumin’s ability to either induce cell death or sensitize multi-drug resistant cancer cell lines to conventional treatment.[xi]

Considering how strong a track record turmeric (curcumin) has, having been used as both food and medicine in a wide range of cultures, for thousands of years, a strong argument can be made for using curcumin as a drug alternative or adjuvant in cancer treatment.

Or, better yet, use certified organic (non-irradiated) turmeric in lower culinary doses on a daily basis so that heroic doses won’t be necessary later in life after a serious disease sets in. Nourishing yourself, rather than self-medicating with ‘nutraceuticals,’ should be the goal of a healthy diet. [learn more atSayer Ji’s new collaborative project EATomology]

Global Increase In ADHD Diagnoses Due To Drug Company Marketing And Lobbying, Study Shows | The Galactic Free Press

Like many other so-called “behavioral” disorders, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD, is a completely fabricated condition that was invented for the sole purpose of turning normal behavioral variances into “diseases” that require costly drug interventions. This crafty pharmaceutical scam is now spreading around the world, according to a new study, with drug companies effectively lobbying foreign governments to loosen their marketing restrictions on mind-altering drug treatments in order to get more people hooked on legal drugs.


ADHD diagnoses spreading from America to Europe, Ritalin prescriptions follow

It used to be that ADHD primarily existed only in the U.S., with an overwhelming 90 percent of the world’s Ritalin prescriptions being filled in the States. But this plague of intentionally drugging children with unique personality traits is now spreading to Europe and beyond as American influences progressively topple regulatory restrictions that protect the public from becoming Big Pharma victims, and replace them with policies that treat every child like a defective human in need of mind-altering drugs.

Published in the journal Social Science and Medicine, the study looked at the growth of ADHD diagnoses in places like the U.K., Germany, France, Italy, and Brazil. Together, these countries have captured at least 15 percent of Ritalin prescriptions over the past decade, reducing America’s share to 75 percent. Psychological problems that used to be treated with non-drug interventions like talk therapy are now embracing biological psychiatry – that is, forcibly changing people’s brain chemistries with pharma poisons.

“More European and South American psychologists and psychiatrists are adopting the American-based Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM) standards, which are broader and have a lower threshold for diagnosing ADHD,” explains a news release summarizing the study’s findings. “Vocal ADHD advocacy groups work closely withdrug companies to promote pharmaceutical treatment.”

Sweeping diagnosis questionnaires label virtually everyone as behaviorally ‘ill’

But how do you effectively convince otherwise healthy people that they have a behavioral disease in need of drug treatments? One way is to offer online self-assessment questionnaires that are carefully designed to categorize normal behavioral differences as flawed, manipulating individuals to believe that they are sick.

When searching for health information online, web users are increasingly redirected to drug-promoting “resources” that ask generic questions like “Do you fidget a lot?” and “Is it hard for you to concentrate?” Most people would probably agree that they feel this way at least some of the time, and by ignorantly answering “yes” to these and other self-diagnosis questions, they end up being funneled into the system and signed up as new drug customers for completely made-up diseases.

“These checklists turn all kinds of different behaviors into medical problems,” explains Peter Conrad, a professor at Brandeis University and one of the study’s lead authors. “The checklists don’t distinguish what is part of the human condition and what is a disease.”

Many people don’t know that they’re being scammed when they fall into these crafty drug industry traps, and the result is that many of them end up becoming pharma addicts for life. According to the study, less than one percent of children in the U.K., for instance, were behavioral drug addicts in the early 1990s. But today, about five percent of the population is a behavioral drug user.

In Germany, the increase has been even more stark. Between 1998 and 2008, ADHD drug use soared by more than 500 percent, jumping from 10 million daily doses to roughly 53 million daily doses.

“There is no pharmacological magic bullet,” adds Conrad, noting that pharmaceutical drugs are not the answer to behavioral difference. “I think we may look back on this time in 50 years and ask, what did we do to these kids?”





Scientists inject human brain cells into mice, making them ‘significantly smarter’

Scientists from the University of Rochester say they have made mice significantly smarter by injecting them at a young age with human brain cells, according to a study published in the journal Cell Stem Cell.


The researchers used immature glial cells removed from human fetuses that had been donated for research. Glial cells are a type of nerve cell that do not transmit signals (as neurons do) but provide a wide variety of other important functions for the nervous system, including forming the myelin sheath around nerve cells and supporting the neurons.

Once injected, the human cells began to destroy native mouse glial cells and began to take over the animal’s brain.

Mouse cells wiped out

“We could see the human cells taking over the whole space,” researcher Steve Goldman said. “It seemed like the mouse counterparts were fleeing to the margins.”

The immature glial cells took the form of mature glial cells known as astrocytes, due to their star-like shape. Astrocytes are known to help strengthen the connections (synapses) between neurons and help coordinate electrical communication across synapses.

Within a year’s time, the 300,000 injected human cells had multiplied to 12 million astrocytes and had completely replaced all mouse astrocytes. The mouse neurons, however, seemed unaffected by this process.

Because human astrocytes are 10 to 20 times bigger than mouse astrocytes and have 100 times more tendrils, they can coordinate many more neuronal signals at a much higher speed. Therefore, the researchers hypothesized that mice with human astrocytes would be smarter than other mice.

A series of standard cognition and memory tests seemed to confirm this hypothesis. The mice with hybrid human brains learned significantly faster, navigated mazes better and had better memories than a control group with non-modified brains.

“These were whopping effects,” Goldman said. “We can say they were statistically and significantly smarter than control mice.”

Ethical questions

Creating a life form that combines human and animal traits raises a series of ethical questions, of course. The researchers made several attempts to allay such concerns. They noted that the purpose of their research is not to create smarter mice, but to create a better model of the human brain to enable medical research into human diseases.

Goldman has already performed one such study on mice with a hampered ability to produce myelin, which insulates neurons. Destruction of myelin is associated with diseases such as multiple sclerosis (MS).

In these mice, the human glial cells took the shape not of astrocytes, but of oligodendrocytes, which specialize in producing myelin. Goldman has already applied for permission to test such a therapy on human MS patients.

The researchers also sought to downplay concerns that the brains of the modified mice were in any way human.

“It’s still a mouse brain, not a human brain,” Goldman said. “But all the non-neuronal cells are human.”

The degree to which the mouse brains have become human is unclear, however.

“It would be interesting to find out whether the human astrocytes function the same way in the mice as they do in humans,” said stem cell researcher Fred Gage, of the Salk Institute in La Jolla, California. “It would show whether the host modifies the fate of cells, or whether the cells retain the same features in mice as they do in humans,” he said.

Yet Goldman acknowledged the validity of such concerns, noting that the researchers themselves had decided against injecting human cells into monkeys for just such reasons.

“We briefly considered it but decided not to because of all the potential ethical issues,” Goldman said.

“If you make animals more human-like, where do you stop?” asked Wolfgang Enard of Ludwig-Maximilians University of Munich in Germany, who has engaged in similar research.






Why Do People Kiss?

Her eyes are wide as they stare into yours. You wrap your arm around her waist and pull her in close. She touches your face and you lean in, tilt your head — to the right, of course — and your lips connect. The rushing sensation leaves you little room to wonder, “Why the hell am I doing this anyway?”
Of course, the simplest answer is that humans kiss because it just feels good. But there are people for whom this explanation isn’t quite sufficient. They formally study the anatomy and evolutionary history of kissing and call themselves philematologists.
So far, these kiss scientists haven’t conclusively explained how human smooching originated, but they’ve come up with a few theories, and they’ve mapped out how our biology is affected by a passionate lip-lock.

A big question is whether kissing is learned or instinctual. Some say it is a learned behavior, dating back to the days of our early human ancestors. Back then, mothers may have chewed food and passed it from their mouths into those of their toothless infants. Even after babies cut their teeth, mothers would continue to press their lips against their toddlers’ cheeks to comfort them.
Supporting the idea that kissing is learned rather than instinctual is the fact that not all humans kiss. Certain tribes around the world just don’t make out, anthropologists say. While 90 percent of humans actually do kiss, 10 percent have no idea what they’re missing.
Others believe kissing is indeed an instinctive behavior, and cite animals’ kissing-like behaviors as proof. While most animals rub noses with each other as a gesture of affection, others like to pucker up just like humans. Bonobos, for example, make up tons of excuses to swap some spit. They do it to make up after fights, to comfort each other, to develop social bonds, and sometimes for no clear reason at all — just like us.
Today, the most widely accepted theory of kissing is that humans do it because it helps us sniff out a quality mate. When our faces are close together, our pheromones “talk” — exchanging biological information about whether or not two people will make strong offspring. Women, for example, subconsciously prefer the scent of men whose genes for certain immune system proteins are different from their own. This kind of match could yield offspring with stronger immune systems, and better chances for survival.
Still, most people are satisfied with the explanation that humans kiss because it feels good. Our lips and tongues are packed with nerve endings, which help intensify all those dizzying sensations of being in love when we press our mouths to someone else’s. Experiencing such feelings doesn’t usually make us think too hard about why we kiss — instead, it drives us to find ways to do it more often.

Conquer Painful Fibromyalgia The Natural Way .

What is Fibromyalgia?

The Mayo Clinic describes fibromyalgia as “ a disorder characterized by widespread musculoskeletal pain accompanied by fatigue, sleep, memory and mood issues. Researchers believe that fibromyalgia amplifies painful sensations by affecting the way your brain processes pain signals.”

Who gets Fibromyalgia?

Anyone can get fibromyalgia, but women are more likely to have fibromyalgia than men.

Many times fibromyalgia can show itself after a trauma or an accident.

Conquer Painful Fibromyalgia The Natural Way

How to diagnose Fibromyalgia?

There is no one test to diagnose fibromyalgia, but it is usually diagnosed by a Rheumatologist. If the individual has had overall body pain which has lasted for more than 3 months and reacts to at least 11 of 18 tender points which are located all over the body, then fibromyalgia is indicated.

Take your life back

Dealing with fibromyalgia can be challenging at times, but there are a few things you can do to help cope with your pain.

1. Proper nutrition-

Nutrition is so important and reducing inflammation in the body is key. Testing for food allergies, sensitivities and candida is a good place to start. Eliminate gluten, dairy and sugar from your diet as they are acidic to the body. Keeping the body alkaline is a sure way to reduce inflammation in our bodies. Having 75% of your plate being green vegetables is a great rule of thumb to keep you more alkaline.

2. Meditation-

Thirty minutes of meditation or mindfulness a day, has shown to reduce pain and anxiety for those with fibromyalgia.

3. Hypnosis-

Hypnosis is a wonderful tool to learn about your past and you may have an underlying trauma or issue that is causing your fibromyalgia. The field of mind body medicine and epigenetics is showing us how our thoughts and beliefs can affect our health and well being.

4. Gentle Exercise-

Walking, swimming, yoga or qigong are excellent ways of aligning our breath with gentle exercise which can help with pain management.