Friday, September 27, 2013

Fighting fears possible during sleep, study shows

It is interesting to see that we can fight fears during sleep. Normally, phobia's are addressed by gradually showing that person the phobia they have little by little. It would be even better to fight fears during sleep because we are not fully aware of what is happening. I believe this can be potentially a great way to address fears and phobia especially starting from a young age. 

For many patients with phobias, typical treatment involves gradual exposure to the feared object or situation. But researchers have now found that emotional memory can be manipulated during sleep, paving the way to new phobia treatments as we dream.
The researchers, from Northwestern University, published the results of their study in the journal Nature Neuroscience.
They note that previous projects have demonstrated spatial learning and motor sequence learning can be strengthened during sleep, but until now, emotional memory has never been manipulated during slumber.
In the study, the researchers gave 15 healthy volunteers mild electric shocks while two different faces were presented to them. The volunteers also smelled different odorants - such as clove, new sneaker or mint - while looking at each face and being shocked.
This linked the face and the smells with fear for the volunteers, say the researchers.
As the subjects were sleeping, one of the odorants was released, but this time the faces and shocks were absent. The researchers released the odorant during slow wave sleep, which is when they say "memory consolidation" occurs.
After the subjects awoke, they were then shown both faces. However, when presented with the face linked to the odor they smelled during sleep, their fear levels were lower than when the saw the other face...

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Friday, September 20, 2013

Modern Diet Is Rotting Our Teeth

I am not surprised to find out that our modern diet is rotting our teeth. Our diet now compared to back then has changed drastically. A lot of our foods now have been modified & have tons of unknown ingredients. The stuff we consume is heavily processed and modified and cannot be good for our oral health. Back when we used to be hunter-gathers, people never brushed their teeth or had good oral hygiene  The foods that they ate were not modified and processed. I believe there needs to be more research into the types of things that are put into our food and how it affects our oral health. 

A study of the evolution of our teeth over the last 7,500 years shows that humans today have less diverse oral bacteria than historic populations, which scientists believe have contributed to chronic oral diseases in post-industrial lifestyles.

The researchers, from the University of Adelaide's Australian Centre for Ancient DNA (ACAD), the University of Aberdeen (Dept of Archeology), Scotland, and the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, Cambridge, England, published their study in Nature Genetics.

The authors say that analyzing the DNA of calcified bacteria on the teeth of humans throughout modern and ancient history "has shed light on the health consequences of the evolving diet and behavior from the Stone Age to modern day".

The scientists explained that there were negative changes in oral bacteria as our diets altered when we moved from being hunter-gatherers to farmers. Further changes were observed when humans started manufacturing food during the Industrial Revolution....

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Friday, September 6, 2013

Conjoined Twins are Successfully Separated in Dallas

It is amazing to see the miracle that doctors can perform today. Twins can be successfully separated without to much complications. It is cool to see how technology has changed and how much we can do with it now. 
Two conjoined infants have successfully been separated through an operation last Saturday, Dallas hospital officials confirmed.
Owen and Emmett Ezell were born conjoined from their breastbone to their hip bone. Before the surgery they shared a liver and an intestinal tract.
Five days after their surgery, the six-week-old infants are reported to be in stable condition at the Medical City Children's Hospital.
Dr. Clair Schwendeman, a neonatologist treating the twins, said he was "cautiously optimistic" for the twins' recovery.
"They're on some breathing support, but they've stabilized," said Schwendeman.
Schwendeman said incidents of conjoined twins are extremely rare and are estimated to occur at a rate of between one in 50,000 to one in 200,000 births. Depending on where the twins are conjoined, the survival rate for the infants is often extremely low.
Schwendeman said that the Ezell twins were estimated to have a 40 to 50 percent chance of survival.
The twins' mother, Jenni Ezell, has been writing about her experiences on her blog.
Writing about the morning of the surgery, Ezell wrote that she and her husband, Dave Ezell, had a few moments alone with the twins before they were taken away to the operating room.
"I hope I never have to experience a moment like that again," Ezell wrote. "I didn't know if I would see my babies alive again, if I would see only one, or if I would see them after they had gone to be with their creator."
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