It has already been demonstrated that cigarette smoke contains numerous compounds that are harmful to health and has been linked to a reduction of cortical thickness, involving such areas as the medial and lateral frontal cortex and a decrease in activity of the occipital cortex. Some studies investigated the effects of cigarette smoking on cognitive function, but few have evaluated the effects of cigarette smoking on spatial and color vision. A new study tends to indicate that heavy long-term smokers (i.e. tobacco addiction users) have lower contrast sensitivity and poorer color discrimination abilities than their non-smoking peers.
Sleep increases chromosome dynamics that clear out DNA damage accumulated during waking hours. A new study shows that sleep can heal DNA damage induced by many causes, including radiation, oxydative stress, . . . According to current state-of-the-art, sleep process is still far from being understood : “Nevertheless, the core cellular function of sleep is unknown, and there is no conserved molecular marker to define sleep across phylogeny“, “. . . however, why sleep has evolved and which fundamental ancestral functions it regulates, remain enigmatic.“
Meat production doesn’t just affect the ecosystem by production of gases, and study now question the system of production’s direct effect on global freshwater use, change in land use, and ocean acidification. A recent paper in Science claims that even the lowest-impact meat causes “much more” environmental impact than the least sustainable forms of plant and vegetable production.
Mme Blavatsky wrote (The theosophist, Vol. III, N° 4, January 1882) : “The phenomena of sensation and volition, of intellect and instinct are, of course, all manifested through the channels of the nervous centres, the most important of which is the brain. . . Yet while this physiological office is distinguished, or divided by Science into three kinds – the motor, sensitive and connecting – the mysterious agency of intellect remains as mysterious and perplexing to the great physiologists as it was in the days of Hippocrates. The scientific suggestion that there may be a fourth series associated with the operation of thought, has not helped towards solving the problem; it has failed to shed even the slightest ray of light on the unfathomable mystery. Nor will they ever fathom it unless our men of Science accept the hypothesis of DUAL MAN.“
We all like to think of ourselves as totally unique, independent individuals, in charge of our own destinies. But new research has found evidence that our behaviour, and maybe even our personalities, could be influenced by something totally unexpected – our immune systems.
Theosophical literature often points out that our personal consciousness is not a single entity but, rather, the sum total of many different influences, including our bodies, elementals, skandhas, the higher consciousness, and more.
Soil from Ireland long thought to have medicinal properties contains a previously unknown strain of bacteria which is effective against four of the top six superbugs that are resistant to antibiotics, including MRSA. This area was previously occupied by the Druids, around 1500 years ago.
Madame Blavatsky, talking about the Science of the Druids, said (Isis Unveiled, Vol. I, p.18) :
“On the dead soil of the long by-gone past stand their (the druids) sacred oaks, now dried up and stripped of their spiritual meaning by the venomous breath of materialism. But for the student of occult learning, their vegetation is still verdant and luxuriant, and as full of deep and sacred truths, as that hour when the arch-druid performed his magical cures, and waving the branch of mistletoe, severed with his golden sickle the green bough from its mother oak-tree..”
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: 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.”
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 study. Psychology Research and Behavior Management, 2018; Volume 11: 81 DOI: 10.2147/PRBM.S157503
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.
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.