Posts Tagged ‘Science’

If boredom is an issue, you are not using the mind properly!

tianya1223: Pixabay

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From the book Buddha’s Brain: The Practical Neuroscience of Happiness, Love, and Wisdom by Rick Hanson.

“The brain is the primary mover and shaper of the mind.

It’s so busy that, even though it’s only 2 percent of the body’s weight, it uses 20–25 percent of its oxygen and glucose.

Like a refrigerator, it’s always humming away, performing its functions; consequently, it uses about the same amount of energy whether you’re deep asleep or thinking hard.

The number of possible combinations of 100 billion neurons firing or not is approximately 10 to the millionth power, or 1 followed by a million zeros, in principle; this is the number of possible states of your brain.”

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My two cents: “1 followed by a million zeros”, possible states of our brain.

To me, it seems imperative we keep our minds focused, calm, aware.

That means the mind performs best going slow, focused, aware of where it is directing the mind or just being in the moment.

All those opportunities could be such a distraction, confusing, tiring, emotionally unnerving.

Be the captain of your mind, keep your ship calm and focused.
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The brain is directly connected to the immune system by vessels

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They’ll Have to
Rewrite the Textbooks: Josh Barney
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It’s a stunning discovery that overturns decades of textbook teaching: researchers at the School of Medicine have determined that the brain is directly connected to the immune system by vessels thought not to exist. “I really did not believe there were structures in the body that we were not aware of. I thought the body was mapped,” said Jonathan Kipnis, a professor in the Department of Neuroscience and director of the University’s Center for Brain Immunology and Glia. How these vessels could have escaped detection when the lymphatic system has been so thoroughly mapped throughout the body is surprising on its own.
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But the true significance of the discovery lies in its ramifications for the study and treatment of neurological diseases ranging from autism to Alzheimer’s disease to multiple sclerosis. Kipnis said researchers no longer need to ask questions such as, “How do we study the immune response of the brain?” or “Why do multiple sclerosis patients have immune system attacks?” “Now we can approach this mechanistically — because the brain is like every other tissue connected to the peripheral immune system through meningeal lymphatic vessels,” Kipnis said. “We believe that for every neurological disease that has an immune component to it, these vessels may play a major role.” Kevin Lee, who chairs the Department of Neuroscience, recalled his reaction the first time researchers in Kipnis’ lab shared their basic result with him.
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“I just said one sentence: ‘They’ll have to rewrite the textbooks.’ There has never been a lymphatic system for the central nervous system, and it was very clear from that first singular observation — and they’ve done many studies since then to bolster the finding — that it will fundamentally change the way people look at the central nervous system’s relationship with the immune system,” Lee said.
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The discovery was made possible by the work of Antoine Louveau, a postdoctoral fellow in Kipnis’ lab. The vessels were detected after Louveau developed a method to mount a mouse’s meninges — the membranes covering the brain — on a single slide so that they could be examined as a whole. After noticing vessel-like patterns in the distribution of immune cells on his slides, he tested for lymphatic vessels and there they were. The impossible existed. “Live imaging of these vessels was crucial to demonstrate their function, and it would not be possible without collaboration with Tajie Harris,” Kipnis noted. Harris is an assistant professor of neuroscience and a member of the Center for Brain Immunology and Glia. Kipnis also saluted the “phenomenal” surgical skills of Igor Smirnov, a research associate in the Kipnis lab whose work was critical to the imaging success of the study.
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The unexpected presence of the lymphatic vessels raises a tremendous number of questions that now need answers, both about the workings of the brain and the diseases that plague it. For example, take Alzheimer’s disease. “In Alzheimer’s, there are accumulations of big protein chunks in the brain,” Kipnis said. “We think they may be accumulating in the brain because they’re not being efficiently removed by these vessels.” He noted that the vessels look different with age, so the role they play in aging is another avenue to explore. And there’s an enormous array of other neurological diseases, from autism to multiple sclerosis, that must be reconsidered in light of the presence of something science insisted did not exist.
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MIT Wristband Could Make AC Obsolete

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Wristify, as they call their device, is a thermoelectric bracelet that regulates the temperature of the person wearing it by subjecting their skin to alternating pulses of hot or cold, depending on what’s needed.
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The prototype recently won first place at this year’s MADMEC, an annual competition put on by the school’s Materials Science and Engineering program, netting the group a $10,000 prize, which they’ll use to continue its development.
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It’s a promising start to a clever approach that could help alleviate a serious energy crisis.
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But as Sam Shames, the MIT senior who helped invent the technology, explains, the team was motivated by a more prosaic problem: keeping everyone happy in a room where no one can agree where to set the thermostat.
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Shames runs hot. His mom runs cold.
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He figured there must be a way for them to coexist peacefully. So he started researching, digging into physiology journals to get a better understanding of how we experience temperature. One paper held the key to the Wristify concept.
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It detailed how locally heating and cooling different parts of the body has all sorts of effects on how hot or cold we are–or, more accurately, how hot or cold we think we are.
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“There’s a big perceptual component to it,” Shames says.
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