(Credit: Getty Images) BY MARLA BROADFOOT-DUKE In a new study,researchers found that to knock you out, different anesthesia drugs hijack the neural circuitry that makes you fall sleep. The discovery of general anesthesia 170 years ago was a medical miracle, enabling millions of patients to undergo invasive, life-saving surgeries without pain. General anesthesia drugs induce unconsciousness by activating a tiny cluster of cells at the base of the brain called the supraoptic nucleus (shown in red), while the rest of the brain remains in a mostly inactive state (blue). (Credit: Duke) For the study, which appears in Neuron, researchers traced this neural … Continue reading WE FINALLY KNOW HOW GENERAL ANESTHESIA WORKS
This image represents the evolution of the universe, starting with the Big Bang. The red arrow marks the flow of time. NASA “It’s my life’s work to try to answer that question,” University of Toronto physicist Renée Hložek says. By Dan Falk We’ve all heard that the universe began with the Big Bang — a colossal explosion that ushered it into existence. But what if the Big Bang wasn’t the beginning? Could there have been an earlier version of the universe, with its own stars and galaxies? A universe populated, perhaps, by its own creatures, themselves wondering what came before their universe? Or might there be … Continue reading What happened before the Big Bang?
Credit: Getty Images Female puberty is starting earlier and earlier, with worrying consequences for women’s health By Virginia Sole-Smith | Scientific American Three weeks before her eighth birthday, Josie got her period at school. Magen, her mother, stopped at a drugstore for supplies before picking up her daughter. In the tampon aisle, she found a shelf of “tween” menstrual pads promising to “fit smaller bodies.” She remembers thinking, “How does this even exist as a product?” Magen was heartbroken that her seven-year-old was menstruating but not completely surprised. She had begun to notice her daughter’s body odor when Josie was six. By the … Continue reading Why Are Girls Getting Their Periods So Young?
by Vicki Batts (Natural News) Is your favorite outdoor gear contaminating the environment and destroying your health? A shocking new report finds that an overwhelming majority of waterproof clothing manufacturers (and retailers) continue to rely on toxic fluorochemicals to achieve water resistance — even though eco-friendly alternatives are readily available. Researchers from the University of Leeds say that most waterproof products are “over-engineered” for the average consumer, and that fluorochemicals are not actually necessary for waterproofing. Highly fluorinated chemicals are extremely hazardous to the ecosystem and to human health. Research shows fluorochemicals can cause immune system and reproductive system abnormalities, as well as cancer … Continue reading Why do manufacturers and retailers of water-proof clothing keep using fluorochemicals even though they have access to eco-friendly solutions?
Image copyrightGETTY IMAGES By James Gallagher Widely held myths about sleep are damaging our health and our mood, as well as shortening our lives, say researchers. A team at New York University trawled the internet to find the most common claims about a good night’s kip. Then, in a study published in the journal Sleep Health, they matched the claims to the best scientific evidence. They hope that dispelling sleep myths will improve people’s physical and mental health and well-being. So, how many are you guilty of? Myth 1 – You can cope on less than five hours’ sleep This … Continue reading Sleep myths ‘damaging your health’
Credit: Getty Images A rigorous study has intriguing results By Sam Rose You’ve probably heard about microdosing, the “productivity hack” popular among Silicon Valley engineers and business leaders. Microdosers take regular small doses of LSD or magic mushrooms. At these doses, they don’t experience mind-bending, hallucinatory trips, but they say they get a jolt in creativity and focus that can elevate work performance, help relationships, and generally improve a stressful and demanding daily life. If its proponents are to be believed, microdosing offers the cure for an era dominated by digital distractions and existential anxiety—a cup of coffee with a little Tony Robbins stirred in. So far, … Continue reading Do Microdoses of LSD Change Your Mind?
ESTHER AARTS Salmon on psychotropics, platypuses on prozac, and other strange tales from the wild by REBECCA GIGGS What impels small salmon, called smolts, out of their nursery brooks to the ocean? Across thousands of miles, the fish transmogrify from fingerlings into trollish adults—hook-jawed, toothy, and, in the case of many males, humpbacked. Though reversing the journey does not rescind their metamorphosis, the big fish famously return, waggling against currents, vaulting over dams, and pushing together, like a blade, toward the very gravel beds where, years earlier, they hatched. The salmon “pulse,” as some people describe this recurrent migration, is … Continue reading Human Drugs Are Polluting the Water—And Animals Are Swimming in It