From the ancient Egyptians to popular fiction, the question of whether an afterlife exists has puzzled and intrigued us for millennia. Now mainstream physicists have turned their focus to the subject, but few can agree on an answer.

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Artistic impression of man walking up stairs to the afterlife — Source — Pixabay

In the words of the now famous scientist, Aaron Freeman, who wrote Eulogy from a Physicist, “According to the law of the conservation of energy, not a bit of you is gone; you’re just less orderly. Amen.” Whether your views on his remarks align or not, he does make a valid point. …

According to new research, the types of foods we eat have a direct impact on how well our brain ages. A study at Iowa State University, found data to indicate that moderate cheese eaters showed fewer age-related problems in their neural pathways, and that those who drank red wine over the span of the experiment, actually improved their cognitive abilities.

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Red wine and cheese — Source — Pixabay

Now before we all start dancing and whooping at the thought of binging over Christmas using these findings as our excuse, the team at Iowa say it’s too early to tell whether this is because people who consumed red wine and cheese were more affluent or had healthier lifestyles to begin with, or whether compounds within the products are influencing our brain functions. …

Having portable diagnostic equipment is the dream of every practical scientist and medic across the world. The ability to identify and isolate specific pathogens or trace contamination sources on the spot has, up until now, been a thing of fantasy. Now, new developments at the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory has taken us one step closer to a hand-held tricorder of Star Trek fame.

The mobile genome sequence analyser uses Apple based software to enable the user free rein to sequence DNA without the need for heavy laptops or larger equipment in the field. …

We often think of anxiety and nervousness as a modern ailment, something that has developed in response to our ever more complex world, but it’s not a new phenomenon. The reasons for worrying may have altered but the condition is still as valid today as it was for our Bronze Age ancestors.

While our doctors, scientists, therapists, and wellbeing experts may suggest new drug regimes or long-term behaviour management, our forefathers could forage and create treatments for all their ails. …

As one of the oldest crops for food and fibres in the world, flax or linseed has been a part of our lives since civilisation began. In fact, the earliest evidence of humans using wild flax was found in the present-day region of the Republic of Georgia, where dyed, spun, and knotted flax fibres were discovered in the Dzudzuana Cave, dating back 30,000 years.

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Blue flax flowers — Source — Pixabay

The plant prefers cool conditions, generally has blue flowers and two distinct forms of seeds; golden and brown. Both are edible and contain incredible properties that aid good health.

Not only are the seeds great for creating quality textiles, they are rich in protein and fibre, and low in carbohydrates, they have minimal saturates and are lauded as a great source of omega-3 fatty acids. While our bodies can make most types of fats it requires from the products of digestion, we cannot make critical omega-3 fatty acids. …

A study published in the journal, Psychological Science, claims that some sound combinations of words elicit different emotional responses in our brains. Even before the current pandemic hit the headlines, the sound of the word ‘virus’ triggered a measurable reaction.

It seems that the researchers of the study, “Affective Arousal Links Sounds to Meaning”, also investigated the correlation between shapes and sounds. …

A recent study into the impact of exposure of electromagnetic frequencies on blood sugar regulation has uncovered some surprisingly positive benefits. In a fortunate accident, a collection of genetically altered mice borrowed from another study left researchers utterly baffled.

Sunny Huang at the University of Iowa, a research student interested in metabolism and diabetes, approached a colleague to arrange an opportunity to practice drawing blood from mice and measuring the blood sugar levels. The colleague, Carter, offered to let her borrow some mice from a study he was running on the effects of EMFs on the brain and behaviour.

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Sample tubes of blood in the laboratory — -Source — Pixabay

Both anticipated the predictable results of high blood sugar, since the mice were genetically modified to make them diabetic. What Huang found was that the rodents exposed to EMFs had normal blood sugar levels. With this puzzling find, they designed a new study to test this revelation. …

In the resolute words of scientist, Dr Jinhua Li; “Tea has been a popular beverage since antiquity, with records referring to consumption dating back to the dynasty of Shen Nong, approximately 2700 BC, in China.”

That being said, many of the studies relating to tea have been undertaken across the globe by all nationalities, representing the universal popularity of the drink.

Green tea steeping in a cup
Green tea steeping in a cup
Green tea steeping in a cup — source — Pixabay

While many nations, including Britain, favour black tea, the processing which takes place to prepare the leaves for market has a massive impact on its chemical composition. In fermenting black tea, the bioactive polyphenols are oxidised into pigments which may alter their anti-oxidant properties. …

Every year, studies are published that reveal more efficient and effective techniques to control the expression of genes within plants, animals and worryingly, in humans. While I can see the enormous benefits of down regulating genes involved in disabilities and disease, I can also see how the system might be abused.

Using biomechanisms within specific bacteria to edit the genes of another species has been around since 2012, giving us an exciting glimpse into what the future might hold. …

Herbal remedies get a rough ride within the media. Articles are written with such unashamed bias that a culture of smirking and ridicule has blossomed in society. Those brave enough to speak out about the efficacy of plant extracts are branded as flaky hippies, or met with an eye-roll and a sigh, followed by “Placebo, darling. Go see your doctor/pharmacist/specialist.”

For years, this damaging view of plant-based medicines has led people to believe that they can only be treated by drugs and chemicals cooked up in a lab and prescribed by doctors. Certainly, in some instances, that is correct. I wouldn’t suggest that anyone should completely ignore pharmacology in favour of teas and tinctures, but folk remedies have been in use for thousands of years. …


Sam Nash

Sam writes scifi thrillers & also historical fiction under the pen name Sam Taw. She’s fascinated by the untapped potential of the mind.

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