5 Scientific Ways To Strengthen Your Willpower.

Since our childhood days, we’ve been hearing this popular English proverb that “Where there is will, there is way.” Most of us foster dreams to do something extraordinary in life – be it in professional or personal spheres. But then, we succumb to the detrimental image that we have created of ourselves. Therefore, it is very important that we boost our willpower to walk on the path of success.


Wondering how will you be able to work on this? Just remember that willpower is a muscle, the more you use it the stronger it gets. So take a look at the following ways to enhance your will power:

1) Meditation is a must

Kelly McGonigal, a health psychologist who teaches a class on the science of willpower at Stanford University, said that one can actually boost willpower by meditation for a few minutes daily. It would build up gray matter in areas of the brain that control emotions and govern decision making.

According to him, “Paying attention to what’s happening in the moment, what’s going on in your body, your mind, and all around you, can make it easier to tune in to choices you make several hundred times a day when it comes to eating.”

2) Don’t skip your meals

If you don’t eat enough, skip meals or only eat non-nutritious junk, your willpower will be lowered. The reason being that our brain is our decision making muscle and its ability to provide us with the necessary willpower to make correct decisions is influenced by whether it is sufficiently fed. Therefore, eat low-glycemic, plant-based foods and keep a track of your blood sugar to boost your willpower.

3) You must imagine

Did you know that your imagination has a direct influence on human body and can boost your willpower? Well, we are not kidding. For example: If you imagine that you kept on sleeping and reached your work place late, I am sure you will immediately start thinking of the consequences. This will, then, boost your willpower to reach your office on time.
Likewise, if you imagine that you are at a peaceful location, your body will feel relaxed. Therefore use powerful technique for improving willpower.

4) Just be yourself

If we tell you that hiding your normal personality to impress other people depletes your willpower, will you believe us? Well, psychologist Mark Muraven along with his team of researchers discovered that people who hide their personality to win over heart of others has a lower willpower as against those who feel confident about themselves.

5) Learn to manage stress

Experiencing and reacting quickly to stressors is necessary for survival. However, prolonged exposure to high levels of stress can reduce your brain’s efficiency as it can draw energy away from your willpower muscle that plays a pivotal role in decision-making. Apart from this, stress also detracts energy away from the command-and-control centre of the brain, which is the seat of your willpower. So keep yourself calm by taking deep breaths to develop a strong willpower.

How Good Is Your Eyesight And Perception?

How Good Is Your Eyesight And Perception?

Eyes performance varies from person to person. Are you one of those who have 20/20 or an average vision? Does your vision has flaws or you have a clear vision. The Snellen chart is the most famous vision test, but there are alternative ways to find out how well your vision functions. This test is one of them. It evaluates how well your eyes can interpret, differentiate, adjust and focus on the images it’s taking in. If the results of the test are not that impressive then it would be a good idea to see an eye doctor for a professional examination.

How Good Is Your Eyesight? (And Perception)

Plants may form memories using mad cow disease proteins.

Prions – those infamous proteins linked to mad cow disease – may be responsible for memory in plants.

The yellow blooms of a flowering mustard plant

The proteins may help plants change their activity based on past events, helping them decide when to flower, for instance.

That plants have memory is well known. For instance, certain plants flower after a prolonged exposure to cold. But if the conditions are not right following the cold, the plant will delay flowering until temperature and light are just right. This suggests that plants “remember” the exposure to cold.

You can even take tissue from such plants and grow a new plant, and it, too, will remember the encounter with the cold, and flower accordingly. The biological state is somehow perpetuated in both the original and new plants.

“Plants have lots of states that they self-perpetuate,” says Susan Lindquist of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. “They have memory in some ways.”

A prion protein can fold in two ways: it has a normal form and a prion form. Once it folds into a prion, it can then cause similar proteins to change their folding, turning them into prions too.

Lindquist’s team already knew that yeasts use prions as a form of memory, and suspected that plants might too. Unlike in Creuzfeldt-Jakob disease, the human equivalent of BSE or  “mad cow disease”, where prions multiply in the human brain with terrible consequences, prions in yeast are beneficial. They can help the organism use different nutrients and grow in new places.

Crucially, this ability persists over generations. “It could be state that only lasts for 50 generations, or it could last for thousands and thousands of generations,” says Lindquist.

The team applied techniques developed for finding prions in yeast to Arabidopsis thaliana, a flowering mustard plant. Their method involves using specialised algorithms to search the full complement of proteins expressed by the plant.

The researchers found four proteins involved in flowering that had portions that resembled prion-specific sequences in yeast.

Next, the team replaced the prions in yeast cells with the prion-like protein sequences from Arabidopsis, and confirmed that the three of the four plant protein fragments did indeed behave like prions.

This is the first time a prion-like protein sequence has been found in plants. “We don’t know what it’s actually doing in the plant, so we are trying to be cautious,” says Lindquist. “That’s why we call it prion-like.”

The finding is “very significant”, says Frantisek Baluska at the University of Bonn, Germany, an expert on plant intelligence. “In fact, I was expecting the discovery of prions in plants.”

“Prions, we think, are responsible for some really broad, really interesting biology,” says Lindquist. “We have only seen the tip of the iceberg so far.”

Concerned That Your Child May Have Autism? Here Are The Early Signs.

It can be hard to tell if a child has autism because many children without the condition have some of the same behavior. Most children with autism spectrum disorder don’t get a diagnosis until they’re 4 or older.

But the U.S. Centers for Disease Control says that it’s possible to get a reliable autism diagnosis as early as age 2. And many parents notice early signs before their child’s first birthday and realize something is different by the time their child is 18 months old.

The earlier a child with autism begins treatment, the better the outcome. If you notice any of these signs or have concerns about your child’s development, talk with his doctor.


Signs of autism in babies younger than 12 months old

At this age, picking up on signs of autism involves paying attention to whether your child is meeting developmental milestones. Here are some things to watch for:

  • Doesn’t show interest in faces.
  • Doesn’t make eye contact, doesn’t smile, and may even seem to look right through you.
  • Doesn’t always react to sounds. Doesn’t respond to his name, doesn’t turn around to see where a sound is coming from, or doesn’t appear startled when he hears a loud noise. In other situations, his hearing may seem fine.
  • Doesn’t like being cuddled or touched.
  • Doesn’t show interest in typical baby games, like peekaboo.
  • Doesn’t babble or show other early signs of talking.
  • Doesn’t use gestures, like reaching for you when she wants to be held.

Signs of autism in toddlers 12 to 24 months old

  • Doesn’t use gestures. Doesn’t shake his head yes or no. Doesn’t wave goodbye or point to things he wants.
  • Doesn’t point out objects to show interest in the world around her. By 14 to 16 months, most kids point to get your attention to share something they’re interested in, such as a puppy or new toy.
  • Doesn’t use single words by 16 months or two-word phrases by 24 months.
  • Loses verbal or social skills. Used to babble or speak a few words, or showed interest in people, but now he doesn’t.
  • Withdraws. Seems to tune people out and be in her own world.
  • Walks on his toes or doesn’t walk at all.

Signs of autism in children 2 years old and up

  • Has a language delay. May struggle to express her needs. Some children with autism don’t talk at all, while others develop language but have trouble participating in a conversation.
  • Has unusual speaking patterns. Might speak haltingly, in a high-pitched voice or a flat tone. Might use single words instead of sentences or repeat a word or phrase over and over. Might repeat a question rather than answer it.
  • Doesn’t seem to understand what people are saying to her. May not respond to her name or may be unable to follow directions. May laugh, cry, or scream inappropriately.
  • Narrowly focuses on a single object, one thing about an object (like a wheel on a toy car), or one topic at a time.
  • Engages in limited imitation. Rarely mimics what you do and doesn’t engage in pretend play.
  • Seems content to play alone. Appears to have little interest in other children and usually doesn’t share or take turns.
  • Displays rigid behavior. May be very attached to routines and have difficulty with transitions. For example: A change in the usual route home from daycare can throw her into despair or result in a tantrum. She’s very particular about what she will and won’t eat. Or she wants to follow strict rituals at snacks and meals.
  • Plays with objects or toys in unusual ways. For example: He spends a lot of time lining things up or putting them in a certain order. He enjoys repetitively opening and closing a door. Or he becomes preoccupied with repeatedly pushing a button on a toy or spinning the wheels of a toy car.
  • Engages in self-injury, such as biting or hitting herself.
  • Exhibits repetitive actions, such as flapping his arms or hands.
  • Is overly sensitive to various kinds of stimulation. May resist touch, get agitated by noise, be extremely sensitive to smells, or refuse to eat many foods. He may want to wear only clothes without tags or made of a certain material.
  • May overreact to some types of pain and underreact to others. For example, she may cover her ears to block loud noises but not notice when she skins her knee.
  • May be fearful when it’s unnecessary or fearless when there’s reason to be afraid. For example, he may be afraid of a harmless object, like a balloon, but not frightened of heights.
  • Has sleep disturbances. Many children with autism have trouble falling asleep and wake up frequently in the night or are very early risers.
  • Exhibits behavior problems. May be resistant, uncooperative, or overly active. May be hyperactive, impulsive, or aggressive.

The science behind why you shouldn’t pop your pimples.

Acne is the most common skin disease, according to the National Institute of Health. Even if it may ease the pain or the unsightly pus, dermatologists recommend that we should not pop them.


7 easy ways to go primal.

Writer, critic and journalist Emma Woolf reveals 7 ways – one for every day of the week – to changing our lives and getting in touch with our primal selves

Many of us spend a lot of time looking for the ultimate secret of health and happiness, wondering what other people know that we don’t. Although there is no single secret, we can all boost our wellbeing by going primal. From sunlight to snacks to sleep, here are seven easy strategies to kickstart your primal journey. They are practical and positive, and will transform your life from day one.

1. Get moving. After smoking, obesity is the most avoidable cause of cancer, so build everyday activity into your life. Cycle anywhere and everywhere. Get an old bike and cycle to work, to the shops, around the park. Cycling is clean, green and cheap, and helps maintain a healthy weight.

Also, stand up for your health. Research shows that standing instead of sitting has measurable benefits. There are endless ways to stay active: brisk walking in your lunch break, mowing the lawn, getting off the bus a few stops early and walking… If you hate the gym, build functional fitness into your daily life: carrying the shopping instead of weights, sprinting for the bus instead of running on the treadmill, stretching in front of the TV. Aim to get sweaty and out of breath at least once a day.

2. Meditate regularly. Take 10 minutes every morning to meditate – sit quietly, think or read something inspiring. Proven to combat depression, meditation can also reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke by up to 15 per cent. And say yes to yoga. Hunching over smartphones can lead to headaches and backache. Yoga eases tension, clears the mind, and promotes positive thinking and problem-solving. A few simple sequences (sun salutation and downward dog) every day will loosen you up, strengthen core muscles and keep you flexible.

And think positive: listen to your inner voice and notice how you interact with others. Negative thinking, assuming the worst and being overly critical are normal human habits. Simply becoming aware of your automatic thoughts and self-talk can transform your mindset from habitually negative to habitually positive. Give thanks for the good in your life, practise gratitude, and other aspects of the primal mindset will follow naturally.

3. Plan ahead. Healthy eating requires preparation. Most cravings and broken diets come from temptation, getting too hungry and not having healthy options to hand. Keep fresh fruit and vegetables in the fridge, and make up healthy batches of soup which can be frozen to eat throughout the week. Stock up on nutritious cupboard essentials which make it easy to throw together a tasty meal in the evenings.

Healthy snacks like fresh fruit, carrots and hummus or nuts and seeds will keep you going longer than junk food. Reduce the amount of meat and processed food in your diet. The benefits of eating clean, unprocessed ingredients include better digestion and energy levels, clearer skin, and improved mood, concentration and sleep – and a stable, healthy weight. Primal eating is good for you and good for the environment.

4. Get your 10-a-day. OK, the guidelines suggest five-a-day, but you can manage more than that! Stick with seasonal fruit and vegetables, and make them a larger portion of every meal. Slice fruit onto your morning cereal or yogurt, and add a couple more veg in your salad at lunch or dinner. And go primal with your snacks – think foraging for nuts and berries. Blueberries are high in polyphenols (plant compounds that are powerful anti-inflammatories), improve blood flow and boost immunity. Cashew nuts, walnuts and almonds are packed with essential fats, protein and iron.

Get a regular dose of omega-3 essential fatty acids, too. Healthy fats are rich in omega-3s, proven to lower cholesterol and strengthen the immune system. They also keep your joints, brain, heart and eyes in tip-top condition.

5. Aim for 15 minutes of sun. Expose your skin to daylight for at least 15 minutes a day. Your body needs vitamin D to protect it from disease, and most of us are deficient in vitamin D, as we don’t spend enough time outdoors. Being outside, even on a cloudy day, will also boost your mood and combat seasonal blues. (NB: sunscreen should be worn after 15 minutes, and always in high temperatures.)

6. Prioritise sleep. Make time for your Zzzs. Insufficient sleep plays havoc with moods and appetite, making you more likely to reach for caffeine or high-sugar energy boosters. Sleep deprivation also affects the immune system and hormones, and is linked to colds and flu, diabetes, heart disease, mental illness and even obesity. Eating well, taking regular exercise, and keeping your bedroom clear of digital devices is the best route to a quality night’s sleep. Sleep is also the best beauty-booster, giving you glowing skin, and making you more positive and productive.

7. Disconnect from digital life. Switch off your phone and other devices at least once a day. Disconnecting from virtual reality is a fantastic way to check in with yourself, and reconnect with the real world around you and the relationships that matter. Follow the no-phones rules at mealtimes, and take regular unplugged weekends away from email and social media. A primal digital detox is good for your physical and emotional wellbeing: whether it’s work or relationship troubles, a personal challenge, or even sleeping or eating problems, disconnecting on a regular basis helps to clear your head, and focus your mental efforts.

If you ask Siri to divide zero by zero, she will emotionally destroy you


Siri has had it up to here with your constant attempts to confuse her artificial brain.

Users have picked up on a new Easter egg in the virtual assistant’s answer repertoire. If you’re feeling especially confident today, go ahead and ask: “Siri, what is zero divided by zero?”

“Imagine that you have zero cookies and you split them evenly among zero friends. How many cookies does each person get? See? It doesn’t make sense. And Cookie Monster is sad that there are no cookies, and you are sad that you have no friends.”

It makes you feel pretty bad when your iPhone tells you that you have no friends, doesn’t it? Don’t get too down, though. If you ask nicely, Siri will assure you that she is your friend.

Siri giveth and Siri taketh away.

Watch the video. URL:https://youtu.be/wBNJ0BH3Dgs

Never too old to play: playgrounds for the elderly – in pictures.

Cities around the world have been designing outdoor gyms and play areas for older generations to improve fitness and wellbeing. Even non-specialist playgrounds are getting multi-generational. Play’s not just for kids…


First U.S. Zika-Related Death Reported In Puerto Rico.



Aedes aegypti mosquito

The species of mosquito responsible for the transmitting the Zika virus.

Today, Puerto Rico’s health secretary, Ana Rius, confirmed that the U.S. territory has had its first recorded death relating to the Zika virus.According to the Associated Press, Rius said a 70-year-old man who was infected with the virus died in February. His death was directly caused by a drop in blood platelets, a condition known as thrombocytopenia, that can cause internal bleeding.

 This death is the first reported within the U.S. to be related to the Zika virus. Also as of today, the CDC reported that there were 683 cases of Zika in Puerto Rico from November 1st to April 15th.

While death from Zika is rare, other related conditions, including the recently confirmed link between the virus and the developmental condition, microcephaly and the neurological condition Guillain-Barre, are of increasing concern. There is currently no vaccine or treatment to combat the virus.


Why Can’t Different Species Mate With Each Other?

The tree of life is huge but is seems like every animal has it’s designated spot. How do scientists draw the lines between species?

The latest draft of the tree of life, published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, charts out the over 2.3 million species of animals, plants, fungi, and bacteria living on Earth. Previous versions of the tree only charted about 100,000 species, but this new, comprehensive tree charts out every living species currently known to man. There’s an interactive version online which you can check out here. This massive tree is truly a sight to behold, but begs the question: how do scientists tell different species apart?

The old-fashioned way of defining a species was through a process known as morphology–examining them visually. But species can also be defined biologically. The Biological Species Concept (BSC), which was introduced by biologist Ernst Mayr in the mid-20th century, basically says that any two animals that can create fertile offspring are of the same species. There are problems with both ways of identifying species, however. Two animals of the same species can look wildly different from each other (just think of all the different kinds of dogs that exist). Conversely, two different kinds of animals can evolve to adapt to similar environments and end up looking similar (fossas, a descendant of the Mongoose, look a lot like cats).

A study recently published in the journal Biology Letters described what they thought to be six different species of Rock-Wallabys capable of mating. Using genetic analysis, the researchers found gene flow between the species, suggesting something else was going on, forcing them to rethink their theory of evolution of that species. The study suggests that these animals were mating, and giving birth to fertile offspring, meaning they were more like a single species than scientists previously believed.

Molecular genetic sequencing is changing how biologists define species. By comparing the DNA of different animals, scientists can see exactly how closely related they are. This is a huge advance in the field of taxonomy and helped scientists understand how different animals have evolved. For example, a study published in the Journal of Biogeography found that although we share physical features with orangutans, (like beards on men and similar shoulder blades), we only share 97 percent of our DNA with them. By contrast, we share 99 percent of our DNA with chimps and bonobos, meaning we’re more closely related to them.