Have you ever heard about having chocolates before exams helps you to write the exams better? It has been proven that the contents of dark chocolates provide benefits to human brains.
Source: Flickr Commons by Kitty
For most people, they become very anxious and nervous before the exams or even become more nervous during the exams. Chocolates have shown to improve anxiety symptoms and help people to enhance the feeling of calmness. From one of the components of dark chocolate called polyphenols, people can be helped by improving depression and anxiety. However, no changes in mood results in the consumption of chocolate drinks, which do not contain polyphenols.
Source: Flickr Commons by Adam Abu Bakar
In addition, the components of dark chocolate help to boost memory and problem-solving skills. Dark chocolates contain a high percentage of cocoa, which contains flavanols which is beneficial for your memory ability. Flavanols may act directly on our brains to protect neurons from injury, improve metabolism and their interactions with their molecular structures that is responsible for memory. The absorbed flavanols from the consumptions of dark chocolate are accumulated in the regions of a brain which is associated with learning and memory. They protect neurons by the increase in blood flow to the brain and improve the functions of neurons. For those who have consumed high percentage of flavanol dark chocolate, they have been shown to improve their performance on memory test.
It is important to know that only consumption of 70 percent or more can provide benefits towards your better memory functioning and the improvement in anxiety. Drinking low percentage of flavanols-containing chocolates or drinks would not have much therapeutic value; it would only have placebo effects.
For more information on the benefits of dark chocolate:
With all the love and joy that pets bring us, it is no surprise that they can also help us manage our mental health. For many pet owners, the presence of their little companion is not only a great source of joy but also a comforting presence.
Additionally, a recent study done on people struggling with long-term mental health conditions found that “pets should be considered a main, rather than a marginal source of support, in the management of long-term mental health problems” – highlighting their therapeutic potential.
Public Domain on pxhere
This is especially helpful for the mentally ill who often find themselves distanced from their family and friends. Having a companion can ease the isolation and bring about feelings of acceptance without judgement.
Among the successes of NASA’s (National Aeronautical & Space Administration) Apollo program, there are a number of failures. I hope that this can enlighten the readers as to the low points of the Apollo Program. Apollo 13 became one of the most infamous missions in the program due to the dramatization of the events in the 1995 film, “Apollo 13”. Unfortunately, Apollo 13 was not the first failure of the Apollo program. Apollo 1 experienced an onboard fire while conducting simulated pre-flight checks on January 27, 1967. All 3 crew members died as a result of the accident. Following an investigation into the fire, the Command Module underwent numerous safety advancements. This was a tremendous set back for the program, and the following five missions were reduced to unmanned missions to allow for proper testing of the new command module design.
Voice recording of Commander Gus Grissom during the fire on board Apollo 1 (viewer discretion is advised)
Three years later on April 11, 1970, Apollo 13 was preparing to launch to the Moon at 1313hrs (1:33 pm). Soon after it would enter the moon’s gravity on April 13. Coincidence or not, the number thirteen seemed to be a theme for the crew of the Apollo 13. Two days into their mission to the Fra Mauro Highlands an explosion in Oxygen tank 2 led to a temporary system failure and forced the crew to power down the command module (spaceship) and transfer to the lunar module (moon lander). This meant that the lunar landing aborted and the Apollo 13 crew would be on a return trajectory back to Earth.
Apollo 13 Trajectory
Let us return back to Apollo 1 to consider the changes made in the design of the Command Module. Well, what did we learn from this event? Many lessons were noted that fateful day. For starters, the cabin atmosphere was reduced from 100% oxygen to a 60% oxygen and 40% nitrogen mix. For those who are unaware, pure oxygen is extremely flammable and NASA was welcoming a disaster with open arms. All flammable materials used in the construction were replaced with the self-extinguishing versions and all plumbing was insulated. In the redesign of the command module, the escape hatch was redesigned to allow outward opening in the event of an emergency. Since the pressure inside the pressurized cockpit is greater than external atmospheric pressure the hatch would always open outward with ease. An oversight that doomed the crew of Apollo 1.
Now carrying on to Apollo 13’s successful failure. Moments after recycling their oxygen tanks, a large bang was heard and communications were lost momentarily. Apollo 13 had experienced an explosion and was losing oxygen fast. Fortunately, through the collaboration of engineers and scientists, the crew was brought back to Earth safely in what has been described as NASA’s finest hour. Unlike Apollo 1, the lessons learned by Apollo 13 were not necessarily mechanical. Experience, training, communication and risk management is what saves lives
The horizon of manned space flight is bright as we move forward into the future. We must reflect on the past as to not repeat our failures.
I believe you have noticed, good looks are placed on a greater value nowadays. There are more and more people using different ways to lose weight for a beautiful shape. The fat on many of them is not evenly distributed on their bodies. I was thinking before, how wonderful it would be if I can transfer the fat on my legs and butt to the thin area on my body.
However, it’s hard to fight nature.
Body shapes with fruit symbolization source: kenko.do
People mainly have five different characteristics of body shape which are given the nicknames of fruits. Different shapes represent different fat storage tendency.
I found that no matter how do I control diet or do exercises, fat on my hip and legs seems never change while other areas on my body become smaller. In fact, strict dieting and physical exercising can help shape our bodies differently, but it is impossible to turn you fat naturally distributed in a different way. Why is this happening?
Hormones play a huge role in storing fat and metabolizing energy. Hormones started to be released to your body when you eat something. Base on the type of calories intake such as carbohydrates or protein, your body will determine to release different hormones. For instance, hormone insulin is released when you eat high sugar food to balance blood sugar levels. Insulin is a type of fat storing hormone which reduces blood sugar levels and have strongly effects how you store body fat.
As a conclusion, let’s back up to the very first topic —— losing weight. The only way to be more closer to this goal is keeping exercising as well as having a well balance diet. Although it is unfortunately that we do not have the magic to change the influence of hormones and transfer the fat distribution, but there are still great benefits if you have a healthy life style.
Have you ever felt lonely? Have you ever felt the need to talk to someone? Has the company of someone else ever brighten a day of yours that was not going so well?
Source: Youtube/Whats Up Dude
We have all experienced this feeling at some point in our lives. We constantly need to interact and share our feelings with other people. It is extremely common for people to feel helpless and closed-up if they have not been exposed to human interaction for a long period of time.
Scientific research indicates that social interactions are vital to good health. Good social support from your friends and family help with difficult situations and unexpected changes in life. Scientific research provides support for the idea that lonely people are more likely to suffer from depression and cardiovascular problems. Knowing that we are valued by someone else can help us forget about the negatives and obtain a positive outlook in life.
Social Interaction http://www.apa.org/action/science/social/index.aspx
This concept is particularly evident with seniors that lack human interactions. The health of these seniors is at risk since they experience a higher likelihood of depression, limited motivation to engage in physical activity and experience higher blood pressure. Consequently, these factor could contribute to pre-mature death.
The risk ofAlzheimer’s disease has been shown to decrease with increased social interaction between seniors, this is not yet to be explained but scientists theorize that the brain develops more cell-to-cell connections from social interactions, therefore protecting it from the impacts of Alzheimer related changes.
Although there are many benefits to social interactions, there are also negative impacts, this is especially the case if the reference group exhibits anti-social behaviour, including drug and alcohol abuse. This type of toxic relationship can lead to devastating outcomes on a person’s mental and physical health, which could lead to depression, and premature death.
Staying socially active and maintaining your relationships are an important part of healthy aging. Reach out to your loved ones—neighbors, friends, family members—and stay as vibrant, active, and social as you’ve always been.
It’s Friday night, school is over for the weekend and if you are a university student and over the age of 19, you may be planning to meet up with some friends to have a drink or two.
Source: Flickr Commons by Simon Leloup
You may be aware of the term ‘drunk’ and ‘tipsy’ but the science behind why so many young adults turn to alcohol consumption after a long tiring day is that alcohol releases the brains ‘feel good’ chemicals called endorphins that produces the feeling of pleasure in certain areas of the brain. Although its evident that drinking can bring some temporary pleasure, it can have some severe negative consequences, especially when one consumes heavy doses of alcohol for a long period of time.
According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse when a person drinks heavily over a long period of time may be susceptible to have damaging effects on the brain such as the ability for the brain to form new long-term memories. Long-term alcohol consumption specifically can lead to significant inhibition of neuronal activity in the hippocampus, which is the area the of the brain that plays an important role in the formation of new memories.
Anatomy of the brain: The Hippocampus. Source: The Brain made Simple Website
Alcohol’s influence on memory appears to have a primary effect during the transfer of information from short-term to long-term memory storage (see figure below). The modal model of memory originally proposed by Alkinson and Shiffrin (1968) state that intoxicated test subjects are able to recall information immediately after it is presented and are able to keep it active for 1 minute. Subjects are also able to recall long-term memories formed before they become intoxicated; however, once alcohol was consumed, test subjects began to show impairments in the ability to transfer information into long-term storage. When consumed for long periods of time even when subjects were sober again, they were unable to recall critical elements of events or the entire event while they were intoxicated.
A general model of memory formation. Source: National Institute on Alcohol Abuse website
Although occasional drinking can release some built up stress and bring temporary happiness; when consumed for long periods of time in heavy doses, it can severely hinder the brain’s ability to store long-term memories. So the next time you plan to binge drink, it may be worth considering the long-term consequences that chronic drinking can have on cognitive function.
For more information on the effects of alcohol on the brain:
Having difficulties cleaning the kitchen? Does the smell of your fridge annoy you everytime you open it? Don’t worry about them anymore because baking soda has your back.
Baking soda, also known as sodium bicarbonate (NaHCO3), is a non-toxic compound which is safe for daily use. It usually maintains an average pH (a 1-14 scale that measures how strong an acid (< 7) or a base (> 7) is) of 8.1. Since its pH is close to 7, it is considered as a weak base. There are a variety of applications of baking soda due to its reaction with acids.
Chemical Structure of Baking Soda Source: https://www.scienceabc.com/pure-sciences/whats-difference-baking-soda-baking-powder-carbonate-leavening-double-acting.html
One of the reasons why baking soda creates a huge impact on cleaning is that it reacts with weak acids such as vinegar. The reaction between vinegar and baking soda is an example of the acid-base reaction, which produces carbon dioxide gas. The carbon dioxide gas is produced in the form of bubbles. These bubbles are exactly the same bubbles as those appear in the dishwashing detergents.
A video of cleaning the oven using vinegar and baking soda/ Youtube
Another application of baking soda is due to its ability to deodorize. In a certain environment, bad smells are usually caused by strong acids or bases. Baking soda will neutralize the smell by reacting with these chemicals. If the smell is caused by a base, baking soda can even act as an acid and react with the base. This is why many households put baking soda in their fridges to avoid unpleasant odors.
Photo of placing baking soda in a fridge Source: http://www.youngauthors.info/baking-soda-for-refrigerator/
Baking soda has become more and more widespread throughout the world. Although I have only introduced two applications, baking soda can even be used in many other situations including cooking and medical purposes. In addition, it is not only easy to use and non-toxic, but also very cheap. Thus, baking soda is no doubt the best helper in our daily life.
In many aspects of the personal and professional world, visual impressions matter. Appearing to own expensive clothes, cars, or cellphones may seem shallow, but we are hardwired to express ourselves to signal status, group membership, individuality, or style. The expressions and responses to the way we showcase ourselves in public determine the two-fold relationship between our internal selves and our relationships with others.
Source: diylol.com via Pinterest
Barney Stinson was right to feel powerful when following the mantra to always wear a suit. Just as the show, How I Met Your Mother, displays Stinson’s personality shift from confident and ambitious while “suited up” to childish and insecure when dressed casually, real world situations are surprisingly similar. Researchers from Columbia University in New York and California State University have extensively proved that wearing formal clothing enhances abstract cognitive processing. All five studies within the paper show evidence that people feel more positive about themselves when wearing a suit or dress.
As we become more confident in how we look, we are able to transition more easily into roles that are unfamiliar by first dressing the part. Power roles known as powerful or wealthy in our modern society are perceived to be represented with people wearing suits or formal clothing. When we wear the clothes of people seen in power roles, we fit the mindset of what we see in them when in public. The theory here, known as Symbolic Interactionism, works on a subconscious level that matches our expectations of reality and success in the personal world we live in.
Source: AMC Opensource for Mad Men
Just as we judge ourselves, judging others aligns with our attention to expectations. When we are wearing formal clothing, we are more attentive to being in a cognitive position of power. Just as business people focus on connections and network value, we are more critical of the positions that other people fill when dressed in public. We are more open towards associating with people who are on a perceived equal level by the way they dress, regardless of the surroundings or occasion.
Source: Shutterstock Image Library
So is the solution for all of us to start wearing suits every time we leave the house to make ourselves feel better? The answer is not that simple. Psychology Today defines confidence as a belief in one’s ability to succeed. However, invoking confidence through symbolic measures, such as wearing a suit, can be an act of insecurity that masks the reality of incompetence.
Source: Getty Images
Especially when unsure of the ability to perform a role, appearing to be wealthy results in overcompensation that penalizes you in social situations. For instance, a trendsetting poor individual would feel the need to spend more money buying expensive accessories, where a self-confident wealthy individual would not focus on appearances and wear clothes that are more comfortable.
All in all, the clothes may make the person, but it’s the person wearing the clothes. Though there are benefits beyond how others see you, the truth of dressing to impress is that working toward your ideal role is equally important to how you appear to others. A suit and tie cannot solve all of your problems, but being honest with yourself just might.
Award winning mathematician and UBC professors, Dr. Stephanie van Willigenburg. The Ubyssey/Koby Michaels
Actua, a Canadian STEM education non-profit, recently released a study about coding education in secondary school. Unsurprisingly and disappointingly, young women were less likely to be interested in computer science. As Actua CEO Jennifer Flanagan explained in an interview with Toronto Star columnist Shree Paradkar, young women were less likely to be interested in computer science not because they were less skilled, but because they were less confident in their abilities. This unfortunate trend is seen across basically all STEM fields and is even more disappointing for women of colour.
The roots of this lack of confidence in STEM has a complex and tangled history. However, opportunities and role models for young women who have an interest in STEM are severely lacking. Although women make up half of the US college-educated workforce, they are vastly underrepresented in STEM fields. Women are consistently not given opportunities to rise in the racks of scientific academia and industry even though they equally qualified for these positions. As you look at the gender breakdown of people enrolled in undergraduate, graduate and Ph.D. degrees, you can see a steady falloff of the number of women. When you get to the level of tenured professors, the numbers are depressingly low.
Former UBC Faculty of Applied Science Associate Dean,
Dr. Elizabeth Croft, invites everyone to be an engineer and
recounts one of her toughest days as a female engineer.
These problems aren’t just an American problem, or a few bad-apples problem — they are everywhere and UBC is no exception. UBC’s Faculty of Applied Science is trying to increase the number of women enrolled in engineering program to 50 per cent by the 2020. Today, around 25 per cent of engineering students are female. Only 20 per cent of the faculty’s tenured professors are women.
How can these problems be overcome? Let’s start with a little exercise. Grab a blank piece of paper and a pen. Write down the name of a scientist.
Go ahead, I’ll wait.
Let me guess: you wrote down Albert Einstein, Sir Isaac Newton or Charles Darwin. Or, if you were feeling a little more daring, Alan Turing.
Now write down a female scientists. I’ll wait.
Yup, still waiting…
How did Dr. Stephanie van Willigenburg overcome prejudice as a
female mathematician? She did it by becoming one of the world's
best. Engineering Stories/YouTube
I bet it, if you could think of even one, it was Marie Curie. Congratulations. And herein lies a problem.
There are many ways to bridge the gender discrepancy in STEM, but having better representation would go a long way. As a kid fascinated in biology, I imagined myself as Charles Darwin, sailing through the Galapagos, searching for new and undiscovered sequences. I saw myself exploring the cosmos as Carl Sagan and chasing after dinosaur fossils as Dr. Alan Grant. If I had been a young girl, who would I have looked up to?
Giving aspiring scientists someone they can look up to, see themselves as, and reach out to for support would be invaluable in encouraging more women to become scientists.
So, next time you’re telling a story about science, make sure to include a fantastic scientists who just happens to a woman.
AUD is a professional term in Biology to describe a pattern of drinking alcohol that involves problems in controlling amount. AUD can cause a lot of serious problems on health, social relationships and so on. An estimate made by a recent research shows 16 million people in the United States have AUD. This great number gives us a glimpse that the population of AUD is really huge.
What causes AUD?
Youtube: Designed to Drink? The Genetics of Alcoholism
Environmental factors such as cultural background, social relationships, and parental behaviors can all largely contribute to AUD. However, the inheritance of alcoholism has been found to be the main factor of AUD, which stands more than 50% of the reasons. A researcher called Schuckit conducted a study and concluded that the adult who inherits alcoholic genes from their parents are more likely to have alcohol dependency than the one without the biological background, suggesting the significant role of genetic factors. Other studies show that the people with alcohol gene are 6 times likely to have drinking problems.
How does gene cause AUD?
Youtube: Effects of Alcohol on the Brain, Animation, Professional version.
The effects of alcohol on the brain is dropping down the brain activities by restricting GABA. In the human brain, a neurotransmitter called GABA is responsible for the movement of brain chemicals. As GABA is significantly related to alcohol effects, researchers started to identify which gene in GABA is associated with alcoholism. GABA is affected by several genes in a part of a region in chromosome 15. Among these genes, there is a special version called GABRG3. This type of gene is very likely linked with AUD. However, the scientists still have no clues of the genetic basis of alcoholism. In other words, how the change of GABA gene related to the risk of alcoholism is not known yet.
Even though I discussed the main reason for AUD is the genetic factor, you should not regard alcoholism is a thing that you cannot get rid of. Alcoholism, indeed, is terrible in every aspect. So drink less and live longer.