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.

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Source: Pew Research Center, April 13, 2017; http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2017/04/13/religious-restrictions-vary-significantly-in-the-worlds-most-populous-countries/

More Americans say they are spiritual but not religious

Religion

Social Science

Date: September,  2017

Source: Pew Research

In a survey conducted April 4-June 4, 2017, The Pew Research Center found that there are more Americans who consider themselves spiritual but not religious. 27% regarded themselves this way as compared to 19% in 2012. 48% think of themselves as both religious and spiritual, this group decreased from 59% in 2012. 18% consider themselves neither religious nor spiritual, Up from 16% in 2012.

Source: Pew Research, Sept. 6, 2017; href=”http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2017/09/06/more-americans-now-say-theyre-spiritual-but-not-religious/

The Block Universe

Physics

Date: July, 2017

Source: Quanta Magazine

The nature of time and its flow remains a mystery from the point of view of modern physics. Many physicists argue that Einstein’s masterpiece, the general theory of relativity, and the Standard Model of particle physics, describe a timeless cosmos, sometimes called a “block universe” — a static block of space-time in which the totality of time already exists. In this view, all points in time equally “real,” which means that the future and past are no less real than the present. The flow of time, or passage of the future into the past, must presumably be a mental construct.


Although this idea remains controversial, it bears a very interesting resemblance with how H. P. Blavatsky explained the nature of time in The Secret Doctrine:


Time is only an illusion produced by the succession of our states of consciousness as we travel through eternal duration . . . .  The present is only a mathematical line which divides that part of eternal duration which we call the future, from that part which we call the past. . . .  The real person or thing does not consist solely of what is seen at any particular moment, but is composed of the sum of all its various and changing conditions from its appearance in the material form to its disappearance from the earth. It is these “sum-totals” that exist from eternity in the “future,” and pass by degrees through matter, to exist for eternity in the “past.” No one could say that a bar of metal dropped into the sea came into existence as it left the air, and ceased to exist as it entered the water, and that the bar itself consisted only of that cross-section thereof which at any given moment coincided with the mathematical plane that separates, and, at the same time, joins, the atmosphere and the ocean. Even so of persons and things, which, dropping out of the to-be into the has-been, out of the future into the past — present momentarily to our senses a cross-section, as it were, of their total selves, as they pass through time and space (as matter) on their way from one eternity to another.” (SD I, 37)


Role of magnetic fields in star formation

Space Sciences

Date: October, 2016

Source: Nature 538,8

Because the theoretical predictions for star formation in science do not match what is actually observed, scientist have lately begun to consider the possibility that electromagnetism plays a roll in the process.

The Scientific Journal Nature (538,8),  published an article : ” Astronomy: Magnetism drives star birth”. In this article, Nature refers to an article from Astronomy & Astrophysics (593,L14, 2016), where a team of scientists made observations of a large gas cloud with the Atacama Large Millimeter/sub-millimeter Array (ALMA) telescope in northern Chile. They observed that the gas of a stellar system collapsed and fragmented, . . . forming a string of clumps. The clumps will eventually form the cores of future stars. From these observations, they ran numerical simulations to match the observations, and they discovered that these formations can be modeled, using strong magnetic fields.  The study findings confirm theoretical predictions that magnetic fields play a major part in  protostars formation.

Blavatsky proposes that electromagnetism (the primary manifestation of Fohat on the physical plane) is the main force responsible for cosmic processes. In the Secret Doctrine, she quotes an “ancient Commentary to Stanza IV,” which describes the formation of a cosmic systems in a way that matches what science observes today:

The grains (of spawn) are soon attracted to each other and form the curds in the Ocean (of Space). The larger lumps coalesce and receive new spawn . . . and at the appointed time some of the lumps detach themselves and assume spheroidal form . . . after which . . . motion (the Breath) becomes the whirlwind and sets them into rotation.” (SD vol. 1, p. 97)

see : Nature article

see : Astronomy and Astrophysics article

 

Estonia to give DNA test and advice to citizens

Biology

Health and Medecine

Date: April, 2018

Source: New Scientist

Estonia plans to test the DNA structure of 100,000 residents and give advice regarding their predispositions to certain diseases so that they could adopt healthier lifestyles and take preventive measures.
“We want to invest in preventing or delaying the onset of common chronic diseases by using genetics to identify people at high risk,” says Jevgeni Ossinovski, Estonia’s minister of health and labour.
The country plans to do it eventually for the entire population.

 

Source: New Scientist, April 7-13, 2018

Google with your Mind

Psychology

Technology

Date: April, 2018

Source: New Scientist

Two scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology has developed a device that could detect what one is thinking, send Google queries and get replies from the Internet.

Arnav Kapur and Pattie Maes, the developers, called it AlterEgo, consisting of a headset that puts sensors in seven areas on the cheeks, jaw and chin, and which detects signals in these speech-related areas. In a demonstration with New Scientist writer Chelsea Whyte,  Kapur was asked several questions such as the population of Santiago, Chile, the square root of 360,005 and the product of two large numbers. Kapur just repeated the questions in his mind. The computer responded with the correct answers. In a test with eight people, AlterEgo could recognize words and numbers with 90% accuracy.
AlterEgo is just one of several artificial intelligence softwares being developed to read thoughts through brain waves or nerve signals. The implications can be alarming. The technology now is still in its infancy, but it seems only a matter of time before such devices can really read our thoughts with high accuracy.


Source: New Scientist, April 7-13, 2018

Increased Cancer Rate in US Linked to Bad Environment

Health and Medicine

Date: May 13, 2017

Source: New Scientist

A study by Jyotsna Jagai and her colleagues at the University of Illinois compared data from the Environmental Quality Index from 2000 to 2005 with the incidence of cancer from 2006 to 2010.

Their findings reveal a correlation between increase in cancer incidence with the decrease in environmental quality, particularly in the case of prostate and breast cancer.

Source: New Scientist, May 13-19, 2017; https://www.newscientist.com/article/2130086-increased-cancer-rate-in-us-linked-to-bad-environment/

https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/cncr.30709

Why are Animals Altruistic?

Biology

Date: March, 2006

Source: Science Daily

Researchers at the Laboratoire d’Écologie at the University Pierre and Marie Curie (Ecole Normale Supérieure/CNRS) and the Royal Holloway College (London, United Kingdom) have just explained the evolution of altruistic behavior in animals.

In nature animals have been observed cooperating, and the detection of a genetic predisposition to this type of behavior contradicts Darwin’s theory of evolution which predicts a better survival rate for the most selfish animals. The use of mathematic modeling has provided a new explanation for the surprising persistence of this type of behavior which appears, at first sight, to be detrimental to the animal adopting it.

This work is published in Nature on 30 March 2006.

Source: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/04/060404201741.htm

Pope Says Even Atheists Can Go to Heaven

Religion

Date: May 29, 2013

Source: National Public Radio (NPR); New York Daily News

Pope Francis stated that even atheists can go to Heaven so long as they are good people. The Pope stated this in a letter to La Reppublica as well as in a homily through Radio Vatican.

“The Lord has redeemed all of us, all of us, with the Blood of Christ: all of us, not just Catholics. Everyone! ‘Father, the atheists?’ Even the atheists. Everyone! . . .  And we all have a duty to do good. And this commandment for everyone to do good, I think, is a beautiful path towards peace. . . . We must meet one another doing good. ‘But I don’t believe, Father, I am an atheist!’ But do good: We will meet one another there.”

These statements have serious implications on whether people need to be converted to Catholicism before they are saved. The view of the Catholic Church for centuries was that “outside the Church there is no salvation.”

In a letter to La Reppublica, the Pope wrote: “God’s mercy has no limits, if you go to him with a sincere and repentant heart, the issue for those who do not believe in God is to obey their conscience.”

Sources: National Public Radio (NPR); https://www.npr.org/sections/parallels/2013/05/29/187009384/Pope-Francis-Even-Atheists-Can-Be-Redeemed

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/world/pope-francis-atheists-heaven-article-1.1354151

https://religionnews.com/2013/09/11/pope-francis-tells-atheists-to-obey-their-conscience/

Pope Reported to Have Said that There is No Hell

Religion

Date: March 30 2018

Source: The Guardian; New York Times

The founder of Italian newspaper La Repubblica, Eugenio Scalfari, 93, wrote in an article that the Pope said during their conversation that hell does not exist. Unrepentant souls just disappear. The Vatican quickly clarified that the article was “the fruit of his reconstruction” and not “a faithful transcription of the Holy Father’s words”.

In the article, Scalfari wrote asked the Pope where “bad souls” go. The Pope, he said, replied: “They are not punished. Those who repent obtain God’s forgiveness and take their place among the ranks of those who contemplate him, but those who do not repent and cannot be forgiven disappear. A hell doesn’t exist, the disappearance of sinning souls exists.”

Such a view contradicts the standard doctrine of the Catholic Church that hell exists.

Sources: The Guardian, March 30, 2018; https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/mar/30/vatican-scrambles-to-clarify-popes-denial-that-hell-exists

New York Times, March 30, 2018; https://www.nytimes.com/2018/03/30/world/europe/pope-francis-hell-scalfari.html

Children’s Vocabulary Skills Linked to Family Income

Psychology

Education
Date: March, 2014
Source: NAEYC

Children’s vocabulary skills are linked to their economic backgrounds. A research by Stanford University shows that “by 3 years of age, there is a 30 million word gap between children from the wealthiest and poorest families. A recent study shows that the vocabulary gap is evident in toddlers. By 18 months, children in different socio-economic groups display dramatic differences in their vocabularies. By 2 years, the disparity in vocabulary development has grown significantly”.

Source: https://www.naeyc.org/resources/pubs/tyc/feb2014/the-word-gap

Telekinetic Able to Lift Table

Parapsychology
Date: June, 2017
Source: Journal of Scientific Exploration

A research on a telekinetic subject in Brazil appeared to show that he was able to lift one side of a table by putting his palms on the surface of the table. The research was done between June 2014 and December 2015, with five video cameras recording the events. Measuring instruments were used to record physical, physiological, and environmental variables.

Sources: Journal of Scientific Exploration, Vol. 31, No. 2, pp. 159–186, 2017. https://www.scientificexploration.org/docs/31/jse_31_2_Gimeno.pdf

Reincarnation Case Study in Japan Involving Suicide

Parapsychology
Date: December, 2016
Source: Journal of Scientific Exploration

This is a case study of a Japanese who remembers his past life where he committed suicide. In his previous life, he belonged to the same family and thus the claimed memories and the facts could be compared more easily. The subject was also able to describe memories of his lifebetweenlife.

Source: Journal of Scientific Exploration, Vol. 30, No. 4, pp. 524–536, 2016; https://www.scientificexploration.org/docs/30/jse_30_4_Ohkado.pdf