Scientists understand that stress in early childhood can create lifelong psychological troubles, but have only begun to explain how they emerge in the brain. For example, they have observed that stress incurred early in life attenuates neural growth. Now a new study with male mice exposed to stress shows that the hippocampus reaches some developmental milestones early—essentially maturing faster in response to stress. The findings, the first to track and report signs of stress-related early maturation in a brain region as mice develop, may lend some credence to the expression that children facing early adversity have to “grow up too fast.” Kevin Bath, assistant professor of cognitive, linguistic, and psychological sciences at Brown University, became curious about whether some brain regions were maturing faster when he observed that certain traits in humans and rodents—such as fear-driven learning and memory, sexual development, and neural connectivity among some brain regions—were accelerated, rather than stunted, after early life stress. Some of these qualities, particularly memory and emotion regulation, involve the hippocampus. Read
Dangerous nitrate levels in drinking water could persist for decades, increasing the risk for blue baby syndrome and other serious health concerns, according to a new study published by researchers at the University of Waterloo. Nitrogen fertilizer applied to farmers’ fields has been contaminating rivers and lakes and leaching into drinking water wells for more than 80 years. The study, published this week in a special issue of the journal Environmental Research Letters, reveals that elevated nitrate concentrations in rivers and lakes will remain high for decades, even if farmers stop applying nitrogen fertilizers today. The researchers have discovered that nitrogen is building up in soils, creating a long-term source of nitrate pollution in ground and surface waters. “A large portion of the nitrogen applied as fertilizer has remained unaccounted for over the last decades,” said Nandita Basu, a professor in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences and Civil and Environmental Engineering. “The fact that nitrogen is being stored in the soil means it can still be a source of elevated nitrate levels long after fertilizers are no longer being applied.” Read
Suffering from chronic medical conditions and engaging in unhealthy behaviors are known risk factors for early death, but findings from a longitudinal study of over 6,000 adults suggests that certain psychological factors may be even stronger predictors of how long we’ll live. The findings are published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science. “Our study shows that two psychological variables, lower self-rated health and age-related decrements in processing speed, appear to be especially important indicators of elevated mortality risk in middle-age and older adults,” says psychological scientist Stephen Aichele of the University of Geneva in Switzerland. “This information may facilitate diagnostic accuracy and timely interventions.” Aichele and colleagues Patrick Rabbitt (University of Oxford, UK) and Paolo Ghisletta (University of Geneva, Switzerland) were interested in investigating the relative influence of cognitive, demographic, health, and lifestyle variables in predicting mortality risk. While previous research had provided some clues as to the roles played by these variables, comprehensive longitudinal studies were few and far between. Read
Today Show: Living Foods
Guest Speaker: Gary Null, Ph.D http://blog.garynull.com
An internationally renowned expert in the field of health, nutrition and research, Dr. Gary Null, Ph.D is the author of over 70 best-selling books on healthy living and the director of over 100 critically acclaimed full-feature documentary films on natural health, self-empowerment and the environment. He is the host of ‘The Progressive Commentary Hour” and “The Gary Null Show”, the country’s longest running nationally syndicated health radio talk show which can be heard daily on here on the Progressive Radio Network.
Throughout his career, Gary Null has made hundreds of radio and television broadcasts throughout the country as an environmentalist, consumer advocate, investigative reporter and nutrition educator. More than 28 different Gary Null television specials have appeared on PBS stations throughout the nation, inspiring and motivating millions of viewers. He originated and completed more than one hundred major investigations on health issues resulting in the use of material by 20/20 and 60 Minutes. Dr. Null started this network to provide his followers with a media outlet for health and advocacy. For more of Dr. Null’s Work visit Blog.GaryNull.com and Progressive Radio Network at www.PRN.FM, Dr. Null has a full line of all-natural home and healthcare products that can be purchased at his Online Store at www.GaryNull.com
Is my yellow the same as your yellow? Does your pain feel like my pain? The question of whether the human consciousness is subjective or objective is largely philosophical. But the line between consciousness and unconsciousness is a bit easier to measure. In a new study of how anesthetic drugs affect the brain, researchers suggest that our experience of reality is the product of a delicate balance of connectivity between neurons—too much or too little and consciousness slips away. “It’s a very nice study,” says neuroscientist Melanie Boly at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, who was not involved in the work. “The conclusions that they draw are justified.” Previous studies of the brain have revealed the importance of “cortical integration” in maintaining consciousness, meaning that the brain must process and combine multiple inputs from different senses at once. Our experience of an orange, for example, is made up of sight, smell, taste, touch, and the recollection of our previous experiences with the fruit. The brain merges all of these inputs—photons, aromatic molecules, etc.—into our subjective experience of the object in that moment. Read
Scientists have discovered a compound – found in interstellar dust – that also acts to generate the spark of life in every living cell in our body with nearly unlimited potential to improve human health. This compound, PQQ (short for pyrroloquinoline quinone) acts as a necessary active factor in the functioning of mitochondria, the energy producing compartments within living cells. PQQ is especially powerful in its ability to boost brain function, including memory, but it also increases general energy production throughout the body. In addition, a new study with BioPQQ – a safe form of PQQ produced through a natural fermentation process – indicates that it can lower LDL cholesterol levels in subjects with initial levels greater than 140 mg/dl. PQQ is known to activate the enzyme AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPk) that helps to regulate blood cholesterol levels (discussed below). This new study confirms that effect. Read
Our choices seem to be freer than previously thought. Using computer-based brain experiments, researchers from Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin studied the decision-making processes involved in voluntary movements. The question was: Is it possible for people to cancel a movement once the brain has started preparing it? The conclusion the researchers reached was: Yes, up to a certain point—the ‘point of no return’. The results of this study have been published in the journal PNAS. The background to this new set of experiments lies in the debate regarding conscious will and determinism in human decision-making, which has attracted researchers, psychologists, philosophers and the general public, and which has been ongoing since at least the 1980s. Back then, the American researcher Benjamin Libet studied the nature of cerebral processes of study participants during conscious decision-making. He demonstrated that conscious decisions were initiated by unconscious brain processes, and that a wave of brain activity referred to as a ‘readiness potential’ could be recorded even before the subject had made a conscious decision. Read
Sarah Ward, psychology doctoral candidate at the University of Missouri, conducted a two-pronged study investigating how people who follow their instincts behave in morally charged situations. Acting on instinct, as an area of psychological research, has seen relatively little study. This is partly due to its nebulous nature and the difficulty of pinning down “gut feelings” in an experimental setting. A new study aims to add some detail to this unmarked territory. In psychology, gut instinct – or intuition – is defined as the ability to understand something immediately without having to engage conscious reasoning. Read
The November 8 Warrior Connection was a continuing discussion on participation in medical treatment research then a discussion on basic tactics for home personal protection and past future combat operations.