Gallup Poll Surveys Which Countries Are Perceived as Greatest Threat to World Peace

Social Sciences

Date: Jan, 2014

Source: Huffington Post

In 2013, Gallup Poll and Worldwide Independent Network made a survey of 66,000 people around the world and ask them questions such as their preferred home and the greatest threat to world peace. Twenty four percent identified the United States as the greatest threat, followed by Pakistan at 8%, China at 6% and Afghanistan at 5%. At the same time, it is noteworthy that the survey found the United States was also the country that they  wanted most to move to.


In the survey, Americans considered the US was the third greatest threat to world peace after Iran and Afghanistan, and tied with North Korea.

 

 

Sprawling Maya network discovered under Guatemala jungle

Archeology

History

Date: Feb, 2018

Source: BBC

Archaeologists have discovered a large network of Mayan structures in the jungles of Guatemala that would alter our understanding of Mayan civilization. Using a laser technology called Lidar (light detecting and ranging), the researchers were able to see 60,000 ruins beneath the forest canopy.

 

“I think this is one of the greatest advances in over 150 years of Maya archaeology,” said Stephen Houston, Professor of Archaeology and Anthropology at Brown University.

 

“Lidar is revolutionizing archaeology the way the Hubble Space Telescope revolutionised astronomy,” said Francisco Estrada-Belli, a Tulane University archaeologist. “We’ll need 100 years to go through all [the data] and really understand what we’re seeing.”

 

The Mayan civilization ​is believed to have attained its peak 1,500 years ago, and was estimated to have five million people. “With this new data it’s no longer unreasonable to think that there were 10 to 15 million people there,” said Mr Estrada-Belli, “including many living in low-lying, swampy areas that many of us had thought uninhabitable.”

 

 

Note: The Secret Doctrine refers to the work of Auguste le Plongeon “Sacred Mysteries among the Mayas and the Quiches, 11,500 years ago”,​ who shows the identity between the Egyptian rites and beliefs and those of the people he describes.The ancient hieratic alphabets of the Maya and the Egyptians are almost identical.
H.P.B. suggests that there was an ancient connection between the Central American peoples, the Mayas and other races, and the Egyptians by means of a connecting Atlantis.

Creating Babies with no Egg or Sperm

Biology

Health and Medicine

Date: April, 2018

Source: New Scientist

A number of discoveries and researches have opened up the possibility of making babies without the use of egg or sperm from the parents. A bioengineer of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Yue Shao, published in 2017 his findings when he was still at the University of Michigan that the cells he was working with seemed to have assembled themselves into what appeared to be early-stage human. A year before that, Japanese researchers in Kyoto University were able to produce mice babies from eggs that were made from adult skin cells.
 
This has important implications on the possibility of having babies for people who are infertile. Coupled with growing research on the possibility of letting the fetus grow outside the body using artificial sacs, a new way of reproduction seems no longer remote.
 
Hank Greely, a bioethicist and lawyer at Stanford University in California, said, “My guess is this would be a major way of having babies 100 years from now.” 
 
​Source: New Scientist, April 14-20, 2018;​

Yoga and Mindfulness Improve Emotional Health of Third-Graders

Psychology

Education

Health and Medicine

Date: December, 2017

Source: Science Daily, Psychology Research and Behavior Management

A study made by Tulane University showed that third graders who manifest anxiety were helped in their well-being and emotional health after practicing yoga and mindfulness activities.

A group of 20 students underwent special yoga practice while a control group of 32 students underwent the usual school care including counseling. The yoga practice included breathing exercises, guided relaxation and yoga postures. The researchers used two instruments to assess the change in the students: the Brief Multidimensional Students’ Life Satisfaction Scale-Peabody Treatment Progress Battery version and the Pediatric Quality of Life Inventory.

“The intervention improved psychosocial and emotional quality of life scores for students, as compared to their peers who received standard care,” said principal author Alessandra Bazzano, associate professor of Global Community Health and Behavioral Sciences at Tulane University School of Public Health. “We also heard from teachers about the benefits of using yoga in the classroom, and they reported using yoga more often each week, and throughout each day in class, following the professional development component of intervention.”

Sources:

  • www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/04/180410100919.htm
  • Alessandra N Bazzano, Christopher E Anderson, Chelsea Hylton, Jeanette Gustat. Effect of mindfulness and yoga on quality of life for elementary school students and teachers: results of a randomized controlled school-based studyPsychology Research and Behavior Management, 2018; Volume 11: 81 DOI: 10.2147/PRBM.S157503

4 days after death, hundred of genes still active

Biology

Health and Medicine

Date: June, 2016

Source: Science Alert; Science

A team of researchers from the University of Washington found that genes continue to be active in mice and zebra fish even days after their death. This research was triggered by a previous finding that genes in human cadavers were still active more than 12 hours after death. What they noted was that the gene activity after death was not sputtering but rather they became more active after death. In the case of zebra fish, “548 genes retained their function for four whole days after the animals had died before showing any signs of winding down.” This finding raises the question on when really is the time of death. It also has implications on the state of the organs after death when they are being considered for transplant.

What surprised researchers was the fact that the genes which were activated after death were those which were active during the formation of the embryo and which become inactive during one’s lifetime.

Sources:

Restrictions on religion

Religion

Social Science

Date: April 13, 2017

Source: Pew Research

Brazil and Japan Least Restrictive Towards Religions; Russia and Egypt Most Restrictive

In a study by Pew Research Centers among the 25 most populous countries in the world, Brazil, Japan, South Africa, Ethiopia and the Philippines were the countries with the least restrictions and social hostilities towards religions. The survey was based on 2015 data. Russia, Egypt, India, Pakistan and Nigeria on the other hand, had the most restrictions and social hostilities.

“In India, for example, some state governments restricted religious conversion and others ban cow slaughter,” says the report.