DISCOVERY: Luminescent “Windows” Could Transform Light Into Power
Engineers from Rice University in Houston developed a novel method of generating power through the use of glowing “windows” that redirect light to the solar cells lining their edges. The windows, known as luminescent solar concentrates (LSCs), are composed of a conjugated polymer sandwiched between two acrylic panels.
The polymer, a light-emitting compound dubbed PNV (poly[naphthalene-alt-vinylene]), is designed to absorb light from the sun and other light sources indoors before channeling it toward the solar cells along the edge of each window pane. The solar cells then convert the light into electricity as usual.
PNV initially absorbed and emitted only red light. But the engineers modified it so that it can absorb light in a variety of colors. Lead author Yilin Li said he began the project as part of a “smart glass” competition. But it quickly grew into a study motivated by the need to solve energy issues for buildings.
Solar rooftops have long been the mainstream solution to that problem. But according to Li, solar panels need to be oriented toward the sun to maximize their efficiency. Their appearance is not very pleasing either. The solution Li and his team came up with was integrated photovoltaics. He said the idea was to build colorful, transparent, or translucent solar collectors and apply them to the outside of buildings.
Their research paper appeared online in the journal Polymer International.
“Windows” could generate power from light
Conjugated polymers are organic macromolecules that can be modified to have specific properties, physical or chemical, for a variety of applications. Today, conjugated polymers are typically used to fabricate organic light-emitting diodes (LED) and optoelectronic devices because of their unique optical properties.
Experts have developed many kinds of luminophores–atoms that manifest luminescence–over the last decade. But experts have rarely done the same using conjugated polymers, said Rafael Verduzco, a professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering at Rice University who also took part in the research.
Part of the problem with using conjugated polymers is that they can be unstable. They can also degrade rather quickly. “But we’ve learned a lot about improving the stability of conjugated polymers in recent years,” said Verduzco. In the future, they may be able to engineer the polymers for stability and optical properties.
However, it is worth noting that the amount of power generated by the luminescent panels is far less than that collected by the average solar cells used in commercially available panels. Those panels routinely convert roughly 20 percent of sunlight into electricity.
But the good thing about the group’s luminescent panels is that they never stop working. The panels routinely convert light from inside the building into electricity even after the sun has gone down.
When the group tested how the panels convert sunlight and ambient LED light into electricity, they found that the panels had a power conversion efficiency of 2.9 percent in direct sunlight and 3.6 percent under an ambient LED light. This means that the panels were more efficient at converting ambient LED light into electricity.
The group also simulated the return of energy from panels as big as 120 square inches. They found that panels like these would provide less energy. But they would still contribute to a household’s needs.
Li suggested that their polymer compound could also be modified to convert infrared and ultraviolet light into electricity. Both lights would allow the panels to remain transparent instead of colored.
PNV may even be printed in patterns on the panels so that they can be turned into artwork, said Li.
For full references please use the source link below.
The Lancet and Nature have both promoted the natural origin theory for SARS-CoV-2 and protected the theory by refusing to publish counterarguments and/or publishing scientific statements by individuals with serious conflicts of interest
The Lancet’s COVID-19 Commission included Peter Daszak, Ph.D., president of EcoHealth Alliance, a nonprofit organization that collaborated with various universities and organizations on research in China, including the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV). He was recently taken off the Commission due to controversy over his large number of conflicts of interest
The Lancet’s COVID-19 Commission also includes Danielle Anderson, an Australian WIV virologist who left Wuhan shortly before the pandemic broke out. Anderson says she “does not believe” the virus is manmade. Anderson’s Commission biography does not mention that she worked at the WIV
In January 2021, 14 global experts submitted a letter to The Lancet in which they argued that “the natural origin is not supported by conclusive arguments and that a lab origin cannot be formally discarded.” The submission was rejected with the justification that the topic was “not a priority” for the journal
Richard Horton, the editor-in-chief of The Lancet is now being criticized for his long defense and support of the Chinese regime and is accused of using The Lancet to pursue political causes and stifle scientific debate
More than a year ago, in February 2020, a group of 27 scientists wrote a letter published in The Lancet condemning “conspiracy theories suggesting that COVID-19 does not have a natural origin.”1
Although The Lancet — like other medical journals — requires contributors to disclose financial or personal interests that might be viewed as possible conflicts of interests with their submissions, the 27 authors declared they had “no competing interests.”
June 21, 2021, The Lancet published an addendum admitting that “some readers have questioned the validity of this disclosure, particularly as it relates to one of the authors, Peter Daszak.”2
As a result, The Lancet asked the 27 signers to “re-evaluate” their competing interests and to declare any “financial and non-financial relationships that may be relevant to interpreting the content of their manuscript.” So far, Daszak has updated his previous claim of having no competing interests to include a 416-word disclosure statement clarifying that, indeed, he had several conflicts of interest.
First, he is the president of EcoHealth Alliance, a nonprofit organization that receives funding from a “range of U.S. Government funding agencies and non-governmental sources.”
Second — and most importantly — Daszak also explained that, although its work with China is currently unfunded, he and the Alliance have collaborated with various universities and organizations on research in China, including the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV). Specifically, this work includes studies of bats and viruses, including “the isolation of three bat SARS-related coronaviruses that are now used as reagents to test therapeutics and vaccines.”
The Lancet Accused of Kowtowing to China
The COVID pandemic has brought attention to any number of problems within the academic arena. Disturbingly, we’ve discovered that scientific journals held in high regard for many decades — The Lancet has been around for 198 years — are colluding to censor important facts and stifle scientific debate. The Lancet statement deriding the lab leak theory as a conspiracy theory to be ignored is a prime example. As reported by the Daily Mail, June 26, 2021:3
“The Lancet letter, signed by 27 experts, played a key part in silencing scientific, political and media discussion of any idea that this pandemic might have begun with a lab incident rather than spilling over naturally from animals.
It was even reportedly used by Facebook to flag articles exploring the lab leak hypothesis as ‘false information’ … Yet it emerged later that The Lancet statement was covertly drafted by British scientist Peter Daszak — a long-term collaborator with the Wuhan Institute of Virology, which was carrying out high-risk research on bat coronaviruses and had known safety issues …
Four months later, The Lancet set up a ‘Covid-19 Commission’ to assist governments and scrutinize the origins. It was led by Jeffrey Sachs … Incredibly, he backed Daszak to lead his commission’s 12-person taskforce investigating Covid’s origins — joined by five fellow signatories to The Lancet statement …
Last week The Lancet finally ‘recused’ him from its commission and published an ‘addendum’ to its statement detailing some of his Chinese links. Yet critics say the journal has still failed to admit that six more signatories to that February statement have ties to Daszak’s EcoHealth Alliance as directors or partners.
‘It would have been better for The Lancet to have stated that Daszak’s and other signers’ previous declarations were untruthful and to have attached an editorial expression of concern,’ said Richard Ebright, a bio-security expert and professor of chemical biology at Rutgers University in New Jersey.
Now The Mail on Sunday has learned that The Lancet is set to publish a second statement by these signatories that presses the case that Covid probably emerged through natural ‘zoonotic’ transmission from animals to humans.”
Richard Horton, the editor-in-chief of The Lancet is now being criticized for his long defense and support of the Chinese regime and is accused of using The Lancet to pursue political causes and stifle scientific debate.4
In January 2021, 14 global experts submitted a letter to The Lancet in which they argued that “the natural origin is not supported by conclusive arguments and that a lab origin cannot be formally discarded.” Horton rejected the submission, stating it was “not a priority” for the journal.5
Any medical journal worthy of a good reputation needs to be an open platform for wide-ranging debate. Horton’s refusal to publish the other side of the origins argument has without a doubt damaged the credibility and reputation of the journal. Tory MP Bob Seely told the Daily Mail:6
“The claims of a cover-up over the most important scientific issue of our time grow stronger by the day. It is vital we get to the truth over what appears to have been a cover-up on the pandemic origins with the collusion of journals such as The Lancet.”
Let’s also remember that The Lancet published an entirely fake study claiming hydroxychloroquine was dangerous. This paper using completely fabricated data made the media rounds and led to countries banning the drug’s use against COVID-19.
This too raises serious questions about the journal’s credibility. How was this fraud not discovered during the peer review process? Could it be that The Lancet allowed it because it would help protect the roll-out of profitable new COVID drugs and “vaccines”?
What’s Behind Science Journals’ Censorship?
What could possibly be behind science journals’ decision to silence debate in what appears to be a concerted effort to protect Chinese interests? In a June 18, 2021, article,7 Matt Ridley suggests it might have to do with the fact that “scientific papers have become increasingly dependent on the fees that Chinese scientists pay to publish in them, plus advertisements from Chinese firms and subscriptions from Chinese institutions.”
The Lancet is not alone in its less than objective stance on China. In 2017, the Nature journal admitted it censors articles containing words like “Taiwan,” “Tibet” and “cultural revolution” in its Chinese editions at the request of the Chinese government.8 “In April 2020 Nature ran an editorial apologizing for its ‘error’ in ‘associating the virus with Wuhan’ in its news coverage,” Ridley writes.9
Nature also attached an editorial note to several old articles, saying they were being misused “as the basis for unverified theories that the novel coronavirus causing COVID-19 was engineered,” and that “there is no evidence that this is true; scientists believe that an animal is the most likely source of the coronavirus.”
One of those articles, published in 2015, was titled “Engineered bat virus stirs debate over risky research.” The research being questioned was done by WIV researchers.
Gaslighting Alert: Abusers Now Play the Victim Card
For the past year and a half, scientists, doctors, reporters, and anyone else who dared point out blatant discrepancies in the natural origins narrative have been attacked and painted as quacks and dangerous conspiracy theorists. They’ve been censored, de-platformed, and publicly defamed and shamed. Many a fine career has been ruined or seriously tarnished by baseless personal attacks.
Now that undeniable evidence is finally reaching critical mass, natural-origin defenders are playing the victim card. For example, Amy Maxmen, Ph.D., a journalist for Nature for the past 13 years, has been covering the SARS-CoV-2 origin debate. In a May 26, 2021, tweet, she stated the “debate over a lab-leak has become toxic and risky.”10
Angela Rasmussen, Ph.D., a natural origin proponent, responded saying that “the origins debate has become a toxic milieu dominated by opportunists, dilettantes, racist/misogynist assholes, and trolls.”11 Rasmussen claims she’s been personally attacked and abused for trying to explain the natural origin theory.
The irony is that the same people who abused others for talking about the lab leak theory are now getting a taste of their own medicine, and they don’t like it. They’re the ones who have been peddling misinformation all along, and as the masses are catching on to the deceit, they’re catching heat.
To deflect and finger-point yet again, abusers are now playing the victim. Another tactic is to claim that attacks on them are attacks on science itself. Dr. Anthony Fauci, for example, has stated this on more than one occasion already.12,13 In a June 2021 MSNBC interview, Fauci said criticizing him was “very dangerous,” and that:14,15
“A lot of what you’re seeing as attacks on me quite frankly are attacks on science because all of the things I have spoken about from the very beginning have been fundamentally based on science … If you are trying to get at me as a public health official and scientist, you’re really attacking not only Dr. Anthony Fauci, you are attacking science.”
His comments didn’t go over well, based on social media responses.16 Reporter Glenn Greenwald’s Tweet will suffice to summarize the general consensus:17
“Beyond the dangerous arrogance and pomposity of proclaiming ‘anyone who criticizes me is attacking Science’ — thus placing himself off-limits from questioning — he *admitted* he purposely issued false, anti-science, politicized claims … Once you *admit* that you made false statements in violation of The Science™, you don’t then get to equate yourself to The Science™ such that attacks on you are attacks on it.”
Another example is that of Dr. Peter Hotez, one of the most shockingly hateful people in the medical field who has publicly stated he wants to “snuff out” vaccine skeptics and has called for cyberwarfare measures to be deployed against me and others who share vaccine safety information. Coincidentally, this public plea was published in the journal Nature.18
This man, who has spewed all sorts of vile language at parents of vaccine-injured children and called for physical harm and imprisonment of people who don’t agree with the one-size-fits-all vaccine agenda is now complaining about getting bombarded with “anti-vax hate speech.”19
Billions of Dollars at Stake
To circle back to the question of why prominent and previously respected science journals are publishing propaganda and suppressing open discussion, the most likely reason — aside from their dependence on Chinese publishing fees and advertising dollars — is the fact that if SARS-CoV-2 is proven to be a manmade virus that escaped from a lab (regardless of its location), billions of dollars in funding for gain-of-function research and even vaccine research could evaporate.
As a publisher of research, it makes sense that journals would be willing to protect the research industry as a whole, and provide a platform for chosen spokespeople — such as Hotez — who shamelessly promote the official narrative, no matter how tenuous or unscientific it might be, or how clear the conflicts of interest.
Here’s another case in point: On June 28, 2021, Bloomberg tweeted out a short video featuring Danielle Anderson, an Australian WIV virologist who left Wuhan shortly before the pandemic broke out. Anderson says she “does not believe” the virus is manmade. In response, Hotez tweeted:20
“And we’re in agreement: SARS-2 coronavirus has natural origins, was not produced through GOF [gain-of-function] research, and probably has nothing to do with the Wuhan Institute of Virology.”
Coincidentally, Anderson is also on The Lancet’s COVID-19 Commission,21 the same Commission that Daszak was on. Her Lancet Commission bio22 says nothing about her work at the WIV, only that she is a senior research fellow at the University of Melbourne, Australia. Why is that? Is Anderson’s link to the WIV yet another “random coincidence” that has no bearing on her message? Or is it part of a pattern?
I believe the engineering of viruses and other pathogens is one of the greatest threats to life on earth at this point. We lucked out with SARS-CoV-2, as it turned out to be far less lethal than initially predicted. The next time we might not be so lucky.
As reported in July 2020, China has plans to erect high-security Biolabs in all of its 23 provinces, despite concerns about leakage risks.23 Worldwide, there are hundreds of laboratories where this kind of research is taking place on a daily basis. Considering the history of lab leaks, it’s only a matter of time before something truly nasty gets out.
This is why we must get to the bottom of where SARS-CoV-2 came from. We must know if it was manmade because, if so, we need to ban gain-of-function research aimed at making pathogens more dangerous to humans.
Yes, there are harmless gain-of-function experiments, and that’s not what we’re talking about here, although, harmless experiments can, of course, be steps in a process that ultimately results in a dangerous bioweapon. Overall, I think we need to seriously reconsider the need and value of genetic manipulation of viruses and the creation of synthetic ones.
For full references please use THIS source link.
The Largest Meat-Eating Dinosaur: 11 Facts About the Spinosaurus
Dinosaurs are some of the most fascinating and astonishing creatures ever to walk the earth. Some of the most popular meat-eating dinosaurs are the Tyrannosaurus rex, velociraptor, and Spinosaurus.
While the Spinosaurus is popularly seen in many movies, video games, and cartoons, most people aren’t too aware of details about it, aside from the fact that it’s a carnivore. To learn more about this fantastic creature, here are some exciting facts and theories.
1. Spinosaurus Means’ Spine Lizard’
The name Spinosaurus is fitting because it means ‘spine lizard’. However, its scientific name is Spinosaurus aegyptiacus, which is a mouthful. It was the name given by Ernst Freiherr Stromer von Rechenbach all the way back in 1915. He was a German paleontologist, which means he studied fossils to classify organisms and learn more about how they lived with other creatures and their environment.
2. The First Remains Were Found In 1912
The first partial remains of this carnivorous semi-aquatic dinosaur were found in 1912 by Ernst Stromer. Unfortunately, complete remains haven’t yet been discovered. But, here are what Strormer found:
Lower jaw bone
Other bones that belong to the jaw area
Two cervical vertebrae
Seven dorsal vertebrae
Three sacral vertebrae
One caudal vertebra
Four thoracic ribs
One exciting finding about the spine is that the longest one measured up to 5.4 feet or 1.65 meters. There were some drawings of the fossil remains, but the teeth, vertebrae, ribs, and gastralia were not illustrated.
3. The First Fossil Remains Were Destroyed In World War 2
Although the remains found survived through World War 1, they wouldn’t make it past World War 2. They kept the bones in the Deutsches Museum in Munich. However, an Allied bombing raid in 1944 completely devastated the Spinosaurus remains. Since then, plaster casts were used as fossils of this specimen are rare.
4. The Spinosaurus Lived In The Cenomanian Period
After finding and examining these remains, Stromer believed that this particular Spinosaurus lived in the early Cenomanian period, about 97 million years ago. However, the species is believed to have existed somewhere between 112 to 97 million years ago.
5. They Lived In Northern Africa
When Ernst Stromer found the first Spinosaurus remains, he was in Egypt. Thus, ‘aegyptiacus’ was used. However, the species, including its other types, is believed to have lived all over Northern Africa, specifically Egypt, Algeria, and Morocco. It probably lived somewhere near the seashore as well.
6. They Might Have Been Swimmers
Based on where they lived and how they were built, experts believe that the Spinosaurus was semi-aquatic. This means that they could have been able to swim around and also live on land. For instance, their cylindrical and widely-spaced teeth in their long narrow jaws indicated that they could have had a fish diet. In addition, their skull was shaped a lot like a crocodile’s
The nostrils were also different from other dinosaurs as the Spinosaurus’ were nearer the eyes, on top of the nose. So, you could imagine how this made it easier for them to breathe while they waded and hunted for food in bodies of water. It’s also notable that other species from the spinosaurid family were fish-eaters too.
7. They Might Have Had A Fin
Another thing that’s unique about the Spinosaurus is that they might have had a large sail-like fin on their backs. Unfortunately, it’s challenging to be sure of what they were for, but here are some theories:
But, did you know that scientists aren’t exactly sure if the spine had a fin or a lump on the back? With only bones to help them out, there are limitations to what they could accurately propose a Spinosaurus looked like.
8. They Weren’t Restricted To Eating Fish
It’s believed that they mostly ate fish, but not tiny ones as it wouldn’t have sufficed. They probably caught massive fish species that also existed in their era. But, they probably hunted other prey too. However, experts could only theorize what other creatures were hunted, depending on other species that lived in the ecosystem.
Here are some possible food sources for the Spinosaurus:
Polycotylidae incertae sedis
9. They Probably Walked On Twos
The next fact about the Spinosaurus is that it was a theropod. This means that it walked on twos. The name ‘theropod’ was derived from Greek, which essentially translated to ‘wild beast’ and ‘foot’.
On the other hand, the velociraptor is a different kind, belonging to dromaeosaurid theropods. Dromaeosaurid indicates that velociraptors were a kind of theropod that had feathers. The Spinosaurus didn’t have feathers, but what sets theropods apart is that they had hollow bones and limbs characterized by their three toes. Other theropod groups include:
However, the Spinosaurus’ long front limbs indicated to experts that it might have been able to walk on fours too. If not, it’s believed that it evolved from being quadrupeds to theropods.
10. They Might Have Been The Biggest Meat-Eating Dinosaur
While the Tyrannosaurus rex is the most popular meat-eating dinosaur, it’s not the biggest. The ferocious Spinosaurus is believed to be the biggest carnivorous dinosaur, measuring an average of 50 feet long. It also weighed somewhere between 7-23 tons, so it was probably one of the most fearsome predators at that time.
11. There Could Have Been Two Kinds Of Spinosaurus
Although it’s pretty challenging to find their remains, there were two types of Spinosaurus species that had been named. The first is the Spinosaurus aegyptiacus, which was what Ernst Stromer found in Egypt. Its name translates to ‘Egyptian spine lizard’.
There’s also the Spinosaurus maroccanus found in Morocco and was described by Dale Russel as an entirely different Spinosaurus species. He made this determination based on how long the neck vertebrae were. However, experts debate the Spinosaurus Maroccanus’ validity as an entirely different species because Spinosaurus aegyptiacus possibly had varying neck lengths.
Because dinosaurs are believed to have become extinct due to an asteroid, it isn’t easy to be precise about specific details of dinosaurs, including the Spinosaurus. Thankfully, with discoveries and studies from experts like paleontologists, one could get an idea about how big they were, what they ate, and how they lived in their age. It also helps to imagine what they could have looked like, especially their color and how they moved.
The Benefits and Risks of LSD: Everything You Need to Know Available on Psychable
LSD is a potent psychedelic that has been around for a long time, but what exactly is it? Why do people take it? What are the risks and benefits of LSD use? Psychable is an online community connecting those interested in psychedelic therapy with professionals that can support them. We have gone through Psychable’s content library on LSD to gather information for you on the benefits and risks of LSD.
What is LSD?
Lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) is a psychedelic substance derived from the ergot fungus that is found in rye and other grains. Ergot was once called “common spirit” and was used medicinally by midwives to help ease labor pains as early as the 1500s.
LSD was discovered in 1938 by Swiss scientist Albert Hofmann, who experienced its mind-altering effects firsthand when he accidentally ingested it while studying ergot in a lab. It wasn’t until 1943, however, that he intentionally ingested LSD to study its hallucinogenic effects. It was studied by other scientists in the 1950s and 1960s, and gained popularity among members of the counterculture movement during the 1960s and 1970s, but it still retains an aura of a mystery today.
In recent decades, research on LSD has been conducted by private institutions in Europe and North America. The substance remains illegal worldwide under UN conventions on narcotics and is considered a Schedule 1 drug under the Controlled Substances Act and is illegal for use in the United States.
How does it work?
“LSD interacts with chemical messengers (serotonin) within your cells to produce an altered state of consciousness and change how you experience things; for example, music may sound better or colors may look more vivid than usual”, explains Matt Zemon, Psychable Chief Strategy Officer and Co-Founder.
Matt Zemon, Psychable Chief Strategy Officer and Co-Founder
LSD is typically taken by placing a tab underneath the tongue, but can also be administered in liquid form or in gelatin or sugar cubes. By placing a blotter paper or tab of LSD underneath the tongue, the chemicals dissolve into mucous membranes and enter into circulation quickly without being metabolized by stomach acids first. The onset of effects usually begins in the first 30-60 minutes and has an average duration of about 12 hours depending on the dose and how it was ingested.
The Importance of Set & Setting
There are two fundamental factors that go into the experience of taking LSD; set and setting. Set refers to both the short-term mindset one is in as well as one’s overall outlook on life, including any past traumas that may affect the psychedelic experience. Setting refers to the physical surroundings where one takes LSD, as well as the people involved in the experience. These two elements combined will determine how an individual will react to the drug. It is also important to note that set and setting may be different each time a person experiences a psychedelic trip, meaning that the same person can react differently each time.
If someone has a positive outlook on life, they may have a better time with their trip than if they were feeling anxiety or fear about it beforehand. If somebody takes LSD at home alone or with a sober guide, rather than out in public, it is less likely that they will experience an adverse reaction.
Is there a safe dose for taking LSD?
Although lethal doses have been determined from experiments in several animal models, there has never been a recorded case of death exclusively attributed to LSD in humans. The appropriate amount of LSD to take will depend on the desired outcome.
Dosage can vary depending on the type of LSD as well as where it is sourced from but generally falls into one of two categories: a full dose, or a microdose. A full dose (100-200 micrograms) is typically used for spiritual purposes and will produce mind-altering effects. A microdose, which is a sub-perceptual amount of LSD (usually 20-30 micrograms) is often used to increase creativity and can be taken while going about one’s daily activities. While a full dose of LSD can last for up to 12 hours, a sub-perceptual amount can last up to six or eight hours.
What are the benefits of taking LSD?
“LSD has been shown to help people have meaningful experiences, giving way for insightful new ideas,” says Jemie Sae Koo, Psychable CEO and Co-Founder. “Some people report that LSD helped them gain insight into themselves, their lives, and the nature of the universe. In one study, healthy subjects who were given a single 200 μg dose of LSD reported positive mood changes, positive social effects, and positive attitudes about life”.
The benefits of taking LSD in sub-perceptual dosages (microdosing) may include feeling happier, increased self-awareness or insight into oneself, heightened sensory perception and increased creativity and productivity.
There has been clinical research conducted on the use of LSD as a therapeutic tool to treat alcoholism and addiction to drugs such as heroin, morphine, or methadone. While more research is needed, clinical trials have shown promising results so far. The studies have shown that LSD may be able to help an individual break the cycle of dependency by effectively altering their mental state and their self-perception, which is a huge factor in the success of curing alcohol dependency.
What are the risks of taking LSD?
Studies have shown that no severe acute adverse effects have been observed when administering LSD to healthy subjects in double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled studies. Mild adverse effects in some people included psychological reactions such as:
paranoia and feelings of confusion
and physical reactions such as:
increased heart rate
numbness or tingling sensations around the mouth or extremities (hands/feet)
In those who experienced them, these effects were shown to have completely subsided within 72 hours of dosage.
People who have a personal or family history of psychotic disorders such as schizophrenia should not take LSD. In such individuals, there is an increased risk of prolonged psychosis or chronic depression.
Probably the most common psychological risk of LSD is the fear of having a “bad trip” or what the psychedelic therapy world refers to as a challenging trip, so as to not label the experience good or bad, as many insights that are beneficial can come from difficult journeys. Psychedelics have a way of bringing up memories and emotions from the past. Though this is not necessarily a bad thing, it can sometimes lead to intense bouts of anxiety or depression. Additionally, altered perceptions of time and reality can lead to paranoia. Taking time to properly prepare for a psychedelic experience can help reduce the chances of experiencing a bad trip.
How to Minimize the Risk of a Challenging Trip
If you’re looking to have a psychedelic experience, it is recommended that you find a trained guide who is not under the influence of LSD as well. The role of this guide is to prevent you from engaging in dangerous activities and to help bring you back to a state of calm if you begin to feel scared or anxious.
A trained guide or “sitter” can help you ground your mind in the present moment by doing things like helping you focusing on an object or listening closely for familiar sounds around yourself like the sounds of birds singing or of soft music. The guide should also help you address physical needs, like staying hydrated.
If you begin to feel like you’re having a challenging trip, there are a few things you can do (with the help of your guide).
Try to keep calm and focus on your breathing. You can do this by sitting down, closing the curtains or blinds or turning off the light, and turning off any music that might be playing loudly nearby.
You can also try to remember that hallucinogenic drugs can make you see, feel, and even hear things that are distorted or have no basis in reality. This is why it’s important to be in a safe space and with people you trust. Your sitter or guide can help remind you of this.
Knowing that time will return to its normal state of consciousness is also important. Those who understand this are less likely to experience anxiety or bad trips, making it an easier and more enjoyable journey overall.
Are there any long-term effects of taking LSD?
Research subjects given a single dose of LSD reported some long-lasting positive effects. These positive effects include increased optimism about the future and a sense of increased well-being and self-esteem as long-lasting changes.
Physically, LSD is considered to be one of the least toxic drugs. This is because it does not have any addictive properties and can be used in small doses. There are no documented deaths from an LSD overdose. LSD does not cause users to commit violent crimes or act recklessly without regard for their own safety.
It is important to note that scientific research on the use of LSD is ongoing, but survey data indicates that LSD is one of the least dangerous recreational drugs, along with psilocybin mushrooms and cannabis. Even so, if you are considering using LSD you should be sure to weigh the potential risks and benefits for your unique situation and make an informed, educated decision.
Scientists Prove What Causes Aurora Borealis for the First Time
Since the dawn of time, humans have been mystified by what causes the aurora borealis or northern lights. However, a group of scientists has finally uncovered what causes the dazzling light show that has captivated people for so long.
Researchers at the University of Iowa have proven that the shimmering auroras are the result of powerful electromagnetic waves during geomagnetic storms, according to a newly published study.
According to the study, phenomena known as Alfven waves propel electrons toward Earth and cause the particles to produce the brilliant display of northern lights seen in the higher latitudes of our planet,
“Measurements revealed this small population of electrons undergoes ‘resonant acceleration’ by the Alfven wave’s electric field, similar to a surfer catching a wave and being continually accelerated as the surfer moves along with the wave,” Prof. Greg Howes, a co-author of the study, told CNN.
Scientists have long understood that the aurora was the likely result of electrons surfing across the electric field, at least since the theory was introduced in 1946 by Soviet scientist Lev Landau.
However, the University of Iowa professors were able to finally put the theory to the test through a simulation at a lab at the Large Plasma Device (LPD) in the Basic Plasma Science Facility of the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA).
Using a 20-meter-long chamber to simulate the magnetic field of the Earth through state-of-the-art magnetic field coils, scientists were able to generate plasma similar to that which exists in space.
“Using a specially designed antenna, we launched Alfven waves down the machine, much like shaking a garden hose up and down quickly, and watching the wave travel along with the hose,” said Howes.
While this didn’t result in the type of auroras we might see in the sky, “our measurements in the laboratory clearly agreed with predictions from computer simulations and mathematical calculations, proving that electrons surfing on Alfven waves can accelerate the electrons (up to speeds of 45 million mph) that cause the aurora,” Howes noted.
Scientists across the country were elated by the results of the experiment.
“I was tremendously excited! It is a very rare thing to see a laboratory experiment that validates a theory or model concerning the space environment,” said Patrick Koehn, a scientist in the Heliophysics Division of NASA.
“Space is simply too big to easily simulate in the lab,” he added.
Researchers are hopeful that a greater understanding will allow forecasters to better understand weather conditions in space.
New Discovery Shows Human Cells Can Write RNA Sequences into DNA
Cells contain machinery that duplicates DNA into a new set that goes into a newly formed cell. That same class of machines, called polymerases, also build RNA messages, which are like notes copied from the central DNA repository of recipes, so they can be read more efficiently into proteins. But polymerases were thought to only work in one direction DNA into DNA or RNA. This prevents RNA messages from being rewritten back into the master recipe book of genomic DNA. Now, Thomas Jefferson University researchers provide the first evidence that RNA segments can be written back into DNA, which potentially challenges the central dogma in biology and could have wide implications affecting many fields of biology.
“This work opens the door to many other studies that will help us understand the significance of having a mechanism for converting RNA messages into DNA in our own cells,” says Richard Pomerantz, Ph.D., associate professor of biochemistry and molecular biology at Thomas Jefferson University. “The reality that a human polymerase can do this with high efficiency, raises many questions.” For example, this finding suggests that RNA messages can be used as templates for repairing or re-writing genomic DNA.
The work was published June 11th in the journal Science Advances.
Together with first author Gurushankar Chandramouly and other collaborators, Dr. Pomerantz’s team started by investigating one very unusual polymerase, called polymerase theta. Of the 14 DNA polymerases in mammalian cells, only three do the bulk of the work of duplicating the entire genome to prepare for cell division. The remaining 11 are mostly involved in detecting and making repairs when there’s a break or error in the DNA strands. Polymerase theta repairs DNA, but is very error-prone and makes many errors or mutations. The researchers, therefore, noticed that some of polymerase theta’s “bad” qualities were ones it shared with another cellular machine, albeit one more common in viruses—the reverse transcriptase. Like Pol theta, HIV reverse transcriptase acts as a DNA polymerase, but can also bind RNA and read RNA back into a DNA strand.
In a series of elegant experiments, the researchers tested polymerase theta against the reverse transcriptase from HIV, which is one of the best-studied of its kind. They showed that polymerase theta was capable of converting RNA messages into DNA, which it did as well as HIV reverse transcriptase, and that it actually did a better job than when duplicating DNA to DNA. Polymerase theta was more efficient and introduced fewer errors when using an RNA template to write new DNA messages, than when duplicating DNA into DNA, suggesting that this function could be its primary purpose in the cell.
The group collaborated with Dr. Xiaojiang S. Chen’s lab at USC and used X-ray crystallography to define the structure and found that this molecule was able to change shape in order to accommodate the more bulky RNA molecule—a feat unique among polymerases.
“Our research suggests that polymerase theta’s main function is to act as a reverse transcriptase,” says Dr. Pomerantz. “In healthy cells, the purpose of this molecule may be toward RNA-mediated DNA repair. In unhealthy cells, such as cancer cells, polymerase theta is highly expressed and promotes cancer cell growth and drug resistance. It will be exciting to further understand how polymerase theta’s activity on RNA contributes to DNA repair and cancer cell proliferation.”
More information: Polθ reverse transcribes RNA and promotes RNA-templated DNA repair, Science Advances (2021). DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.abf1771
In a major scientific leap, University of Queensland researchers have created a quantum microscope that can reveal biological structures that would otherwise be impossible to see.
This paves the way for applications in biotechnology and could extend far beyond this into areas ranging from navigation to medical imaging.
The microscope is powered by the science of quantum entanglement, an effect Einstein described as “spooky interactions at a distance”.
Professor Warwick Bowen, from UQ’s Quantum Optics Lab and the ARC Centre of Excellence for Engineered Quantum Systems (EQUS), said it was the first entanglement-based sensor with performance beyond the best possible existing technology.
“This breakthrough will spark all sorts of new technologies—from better navigation systems to better MRI machines, you name it,” Professor Bowen said.
“Entanglement is thought to lie at the heart of a quantum revolution.
“We’ve finally demonstrated that sensors that use it can supersede existing, non-quantum technology.
“This is exciting—it’s the first proof of the paradigm-changing potential of entanglement for sensing.”
Australia’s Quantum Technologies Roadmap sees quantum sensors spurring a new wave of technological innovation in healthcare, engineering, transport, and resources.
UQ team researchers (counter-clockwise from bottom-left) Caxtere Casacio, Warwick Bowen, Lars Madsen, and Waleed Muhammad aligning the quantum microscope. Credit: The University of Queensland
A major success of the team’s quantum microscope was its ability to catapult over a ‘hard barrier’ in traditional light-based microscopy.
UQ team researchers (counter-clockwise from bottom-left) Caxtere Casacio, Warwick Bowen, Lars Madsen, and Waleed Muhammad aligning the quantum microscope.
“The best light microscopes use bright lasers that are billions of times brighter than the sun,” Professor Bowen said.
“Fragile biological systems like a human cell can only survive a short time in them and this is a major roadblock.
“The quantum entanglement in our microscope provides 35 percent improved clarity without destroying the cell, allowing us to see minute biological structures that would otherwise be invisible.
“The benefits are obvious—from a better understanding of living systems to improved diagnostic technologies.”
Professor Bowen said there were potentially boundless opportunities for quantum entanglement in technology.
UQ’s quantum microscope, ready to zero in on previously impossible-to-see biology. Credit: The University of Queensland
“Entanglement is set to revolutionize computing, communication, and sensing,” he said.
“Absolutely secure communication was demonstrated some decades ago as the first demonstration of absolute quantum advantage over conventional technologies.
“Computing faster than any possible conventional computer was demonstrated by Google two years ago, as the first demonstration of absolute advantage in computing.
“The last piece in the puzzle was sensing, and we’ve now closed that gap.
“This opens the door for some wide-ranging technological revolutions.”
The research is published in Nature.
Michio Kaku’s Lifelong Search for ‘The God Equation”
Michio Kaku talks about his lifelong search for ‘The God Equation” (the theory of everything) and some of the mysteries that the equation would solve
Fuel For the Future: Chemist Develops Ammonia Fuel Cells that “Bottle” Sunshine and Wind
Ammonia may become the foundation of the future of sustainable energy. But until recently, the production of ammonia has been extremely energy-intensive. At the core of each ammonia, the factory is steel reactors that still use a century-old recipe for making ammonia: the Haber-Bosch process.
The recipe entails generating up to 250 atmospheres of pressure to split the chemical bond that holds together the molecules of nitrogen and then combining the atoms with hydrogen to make ammonia.
In 2018, Douglas MacFarlane, a professor of chemistry at Monash University in Australia, developed fuel cells that can transform renewable electricity into ammonia. Fuel cells normally use the energy stored in chemical bonds to make electricity. MacFarlane’s fuel cells operate in reverse, making carbon-free fuel from electricity.
“This is breathing nitrogen in and breathing ammonia out,” said MacFarlane, showing his fuel cell. It is almost the size of a hockey puck and clad in stainless steel. Two plastic tubes on the cell’s backside feed it nitrogen gas and water. It has a power cord for electricity and a third tube on the front that silently exhales ammonia.
Tapping into the potential of ammonia as a carbon-free fuel
Ammonia is a colorless, pungent, and irritating gas. The human body produces ammonia, which is essential for creating proteins and other complex molecules. In nature, soil also produces ammonia through bacterial processes. The decomposition of organic matter like plants and animals also produces ammonia.
Most of the ammonia produced worldwide is used as fertilizer. Plants need nitrogen to grow and bear fruit and ammonia delivers that nitrogen in a more biologically available form.
Companies around the world produce $60 billion worth of ammonia annually, primarily as fertilizer. However, the current method used to produce ammonia, the Haber-Bosch process, has changed very little since its development in the early 1900s. It consumes vast amounts of fossil fuels and causes air pollution.
MacFarlane’s reverse fuel cells might allow ammonia manufacturers to do away with this energy-intensive and environmentally damaging technique altogether and produce ammonia more efficiently in the process.
But MacFarlane’s fuel cells may do more than just help farmers grow food. By converting renewable electricity from the sun and wind into an energy-rich gas that can be easily cooled and squeezed into liquid fuel, the cells effectively “bottle” sunshine and wind, turning them into commodities that can be shipped worldwide.
The bottled carbon-free fuel can then be converted back into electricity or hydrogen gas to power cars. And the best part about the fuel is that it is environmentally friendly. “Liquid ammonia is liquid energy,” said MacFarlane. “It’s the sustainable technology we need.”
Research also indicates that the energy density by volume of ammonia is nearly double that of liquid hydrogen, its primary competitor as a green alternative fuel. Ammonia is also much easier to ship and distribute. “You can store it, ship it, burn it and convert it back into hydrogen and nitrogen,” said Tim Hughes, an energy storage researcher at Siemen, a manufacturing company based in England. “In many ways, it’s ideal.”
For starters, the ancient, arid landscapes of Australia are fertile ground for new growth. Additionally, Australia receives more sunlight per square meter than just about any other country. Its south and west coasts are also buffeted by powerful winds. Overall, the country boasts a renewable energy potential of 25,000 gigawatts.
And if scientists harness this renewable bounty, ammonia could become the most dominant form of renewable and transportable energy in the future.
Go to Power.news to learn more about how scientists are using ammonia to create fuel.
The Gambles released Thrive II: This Is What It Takes in October 2020. They had found the answers to the questions they raised a decade ago and share them in this amazing documentary. Thrive II explores breakthrough innovations from around the world, shows the principles they have in common and offers insights, tools, and strategies for reclaiming our lives and our future. Foster and Kimberly have traveled the world for decades looking for solutions but did not plan to make a second documentary. However, what they discovered was so compelling and can provide the world with so many solutions to problems that they felt compelled to make Thrive II share the information.
One of the most important discoveries Foster made was the free energy generator developed by Sangulani (Maxwell) Chikumbutso, founder and Chief Technical Officer of Saith Holdings, in Zimbabwe. Foster explained in Thrive II that about 95% of free energy devices he has investigated failed to perform as claimed. However, when he learned about an inventor in Africa who had built a generator, car, helicopter, and drone that run on radio frequencies – a true free-energy mechanism that keeps batteries consistently charged — Foster decided to go see for himself. He asked electronics engineer and researcher Nils Rognerud of Rognerud Research Inc. to accompany him.
Will Chikumbutso’s Greener Power Machine End Use of Fossil Fuels?
Chikumbutso explained that his generator is a “Microsonic Energy Device”. It generates half a megawatt which can power about 300 homes. Chikumbutso said the generator is powered by “the natural energy that God put in the air, the radio frequency”. He explained that because the machine does not run on solar energy, it is not affected by clouds. The radio frequencies the device uses are always available. Chikumbutso said about the frequencies, “One thing we don’t know for sure is – is it man-made, alien from another planet, or from God?!”
Although the generator is not powered by batteries, it uses eighteen 12-volt batteries to channel the energy. The goal for the test was to establish that the generator could power a welding machine — which uses a lot of electricity quickly — long enough to show it wasn’t running just on batteries. Nils measured the voltage of the batteries to determine if what Chikumbutso claimed was real or not.
The test was successful! Foster said, “A final check of the battery voltage revealed a shocking result. Not only had the machine outlasted the expected battery life, but the batteries were still fully charged! This proved that the device was being powered by an unknown energy source!”
This means the batteries won’t need to be replaced often – or perhaps at all – saving lots of money! Foster hugged Chikumbutso and said, “This is one of the happiest days of my life and I am so proud of this man who has gone through so much. He’s listened to the voice of the Divine coming through him and he’s done whatever it takes to bring this through for humanity.”
The next day, Nils said “The test is historic. I am still digesting it because basically, it means the end of fossil fuels!” Free energy is the fulfillment of the dream of the legendary Nikola Tesla discussed below.
Chikumbutso’s Electric Car Doesn’t Need To Be Charged!
Man One Ups Tesla By Inventing An Electric System That Charges Itself, says: “A few years ago multiple media outlets began to report a new development designed by a man from Zimbabwe named Sangulani (Maxwell) Chikumbutso, who claimed to have successfully created an electric-powered vehicle and system which runs on a battery that has the ability to charge itself, making it the first-ever electric vehicle that never needs charging.”
Despite fact-checkers labelling this information as false without any investigation, new energy enthusiasts and makers of one of the most viewed documentaries in human history, THRIVE: What on Earth Will It Take, Foster Gamble and Kimberly Carter Gamble decided to actually go to Zimbabwe and vet the technology for themselves. Since Foster has been looking into and studying new energy technologies for more than 30 years, this was both an exciting moment but one filled with careful consideration, as the vast majority of claims like this are in fact false.
The Thrive team met Maxwell when they landed, and quickly sensed that Maxwell was a good hearted soul who has the desire to change the world. But did his technology truly work? The next morning, Maxwell took them to see a device, which uses the same technology behind the electric car mentioned above. The unit shown in the video clip below is ample enough to power 300 homes, continuously, forever. Likely with maintenance of course. Think about the implications of that…
The Saith EV car has an electric motor that runs on energy developed by the Greener Power Machine (GPM). It does not need to be recharged using a power source. It is equipped with five batteries that produce the energy to drive up to 90 km / h (56 mph). The batteries charge when the car is in motion.
Chikumbutso designed four major world-changing innovations — a green power generating machine, a helicopter, an electric car and drone using rudimentary materials sourced from the capital’s popular Siyaso market in a “Eureka” moment that could have revolutionised the country’s energy and transportation system… He has over the years attracted international attention for his innovations….
“We have built a house in Madokero, Harare, Zimbabwe, that fully runs on GPM. Amazingly, everything in the house runs on free energy! This technology violates thermodynamics laws. The stage we have now reached is a culmination of work that has been ongoing since 2003. We have finally made it! Saith Holdings is going to be listed on the New York Stock Exchange!”
“The world is in need of clean energy. We are inundated with orders coming from all parts of the world. We have received orders and inquiries from as far afield as Nigeria, Rwanda, Uganda, DRC, South Africa, Botswana, Zambia, Malawi, to India, USA, Russia, UK, Netherlands, Belgium, Australia and UAE, just to mention a few.”…
Chikumbutso is dreaming big and wants to build Saith Technologies into a billion-dollar concern that distributes electric cars, helicopters, telecoms solutions, security and surveillance, UAVs, traffic safety and lightning products as well as MSED Powered home lights.”
Chikumbutso’s hybrid helicopter (Saith Hex_Copter) has two seats. It can use any of six fuels and has a hybrid propulsion engine. Saith Hex Copter is lighter at altitude because of its use of electric flight controls to alternate manual control with electronics.
Chikumbutso’s Intelligent Drone
Chikumbutso’s intelligent drone has an automatic pilot function that allows it to operate without aid. This is extremely rare as drones usually have a remote control. The drone can be programmed to turn around when the atmospheric conditions are not good or the planned research is not fruitful. In a Great interview with Maxwell Chikumbutso, Chikumbutso explains that he didn’t know the computer language he used to program his drone with Artificial Intelligence. That information came to him through visions.
A devout Christian, Maxwell says that in September of 1997, while praying at a certain mountain he received the scripture in Isaiah 46 from where the name Saith Technologies came, as in “thus saith the Lord”. That is also the time he began receiving strange visions and visible blueprints even though he did not know any electronics at all. He says he learned most of what he knows about electronics from those visions.
Chikumbutso, born in 1980, is the inventor of the world’s first green power generator which produces electricity using radio frequencies, the electric car, hybrid helicopter, and intelligent drone. Chikumbutso wanted to be a mechanic like his father who had abandoned the family. After dropping out of school at age 14 for financial reasons, Chikumbutso worked on the farm to help his mother. He helped put his sister through school and she now works for his firm as a finance editor. Chikumbutso has no formal training in technology or science. His education came from visions and revelations of blueprints which he used to create his inventions.
In a Great interview with Maxwell Chikumbutso, the inventor explains that his Greener Power Machine harnesses radio frequencies and converts them into energy. He describes his very unconventional “education” through visions. Chikumbutso points out that Nikola Tesla began experimenting with radio frequencies in the early 20th century. Chikumbutso says God gave him the calling to finish that work.
Chikumbutso explains that science and spirituality go hand in hand. This is the reality Foster Gamble and Kimberly Carter Gamble show in their documentaries. In 13 years from 2007-2020, Chikumbutso made seven ground-breaking inventions. He believes he is fulfilling what God sent him on Earth to do. He says there is nothing he can take credit for. He says he’s just a simple person and he likes it that way. Tesla also thought his mind was just a receiving station rather than the originator of his ideas.
The Genius of Nikola Tesla
The Croatian genius Nikola Tesla came to the US In the early 20th century where he worked briefly with Thomas Edison who was promoting the use of direct current (DC) electricity. However, with a DC system, a power station could deliver electricity only about one mile while with Tesla’s alternating current (AC) system, one power station could deliver electricity across many miles.
Before the turn of the 20th century, electricity remained a mere scientific curiosity. Nikola Tesla, arguably more than anyone else, changed that. But Tesla’s pioneering research in electricity represents only a portion of the scientific and technical innovations that elevated him to science godhood.
Our world has discovered the greatest genius in the field of electrical energy since the days of Nikola Tesla. It’s Mr. Maxwell Sangulani Chikumbutso from Zimbabwe. Maxwell’s technology breaks some physical laws in the form of their current knowledge. It is time to open our eyes and move towards clean, green, decentralized electrical energy. This is the beginning of the new era, free energy is real. Many thanks to all the people who are helping Maxwell on his journey to help Zimbabwe, Africa, and the world. GOD BLESS YOU.
Chikumbutso’s Goal: Free Energy For Everyone
In Maxwell Chikumbutso – TV news in Zimbabwe (September 2020), Chikumbutso points out that he was poisoned (when the government jailed him to stop his inventions), but he believes he has to keep on fighting so everyone can have free energy. Chikumbutso is giving the blueprints for his Green Power Machine generator to poorer African communities for free.
In the Presentation of breakthrough free energy technology by Maxwell Chikumbutso, Foster and Kimberly Clarke Gamble hosted an after-party following the initial showing of Thrive II. The video features Chikumbutso giving a demonstration of his Greener Power Machine. Since Chikumbutso can’t patent his inventions because they are said to “defy the laws of physics”, he is re-writing science!
Even if I am killed today, this invention will move forward because the IP is in secure locations around the world and there are people who will take over and ensure that the work is successfully executed. God will always win.
Foster Gamble says open-source technology is the best way to protect groundbreaking inventors and inventions. Chikumbutso chose to work with the Gambles because he wanted to use open source. Kimberly explains that even some of the early oil families recognize that the handwriting is on the wall now and want to be in on what’s next.
In addition to his Greener Power Machine, the car, helicopter, and drone, Chikumbutso invented a mobile broadcast communication backpack, intelligent IP Mesh backpack, MSED powered home lights, and a household transformer that can multiply power a hundredfold. His innovations provide clean energy with no carbon footprint. The decentralized energy provided by Chikumbutso’s inventions will play key roles in The Greater Reset. See The GREATER Reset — Inspiring Vision For Humanity!
Study Shows Stronger Brain Activity After Writing on Paper Than on Tablet or Smartphone
A study of Japanese university students and recent graduates has revealed that writing on physical paper can lead to more brain activity when remembering the information an hour later. Researchers say that the unique, complex, spatial, and tactile information associated with writing by hand on physical paper is likely what leads to improved memory.
“Actually, paper is more advanced and useful compared to electronic documents because paper contains more one-of-a-kind information for stronger memory recall,” said Professor Kuniyoshi L. Sakai, a neuroscientist at the University of Tokyo and corresponding author of the research recently published in Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience. The research was completed with collaborators from the NTT Data Institute of Management Consulting.
Contrary to the popular belief that digital tools increase efficiency, volunteers who used paper completed the note-taking task about 25% faster than those who used digital tablets or smartphones.
Although volunteers wrote by hand both with pen and paper or stylus and digital tablet, researchers say paper notebooks contain more complex spatial information than digital paper. Physical paper allows for tangible permanence, irregular strokes, and uneven shape, like folded corners. In contrast, digital paper is uniform, has no fixed position when scrolling, and disappears when you close the app.
“Our take-home message is to use paper notebooks for information we need to learn or memorize,” said Sakai.
In the study, a total of 48 volunteers read a fictional conversation between characters discussing their plans for two months in the near future, including 14 different class times, assignment due dates, and personal appointments. Researchers performed pre-test analyses to ensure that the volunteers, all 18-29 years old and recruited from university campuses or NTT offices, were equally sorted into three groups based on memory skills, personal preference for digital or analog methods, gender, age, and other aspects.
Volunteers then recorded the fictional schedule using a paper datebook and pen, a calendar app on a digital tablet and a stylus, or a calendar app on a large smartphone and a touch-screen keyboard. There was no time limit and volunteers were asked to record the fictional events in the same way as they would for their real-life schedules, without spending extra time to memorize the schedule.
After one hour, including a break and an interference task to distract them from thinking about the calendar, volunteers answered a range of simple (When is the assignment due?) and complex (Which is the earlier due date for the assignments?) multiple-choice questions to test their memory of the schedule. While they completed the test, volunteers were inside a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanner, which measures blood flow around the brain. This is a technique called functional MRI (fMRI), and increased blood flow observed in a specific region of the brain is a sign of increased neuronal activity in that area.
Participants who used a paper datebook filled in the calendar within about 11 minutes. Tablet users took 14 minutes and smartphone users took about 16 minutes. Volunteers who used analog methods in their personal life were just as slow at using the devices as volunteers who regularly use digital tools, so researchers are confident that the difference in speed was related to memorization or associated encoding in the brain, not just differences in the habitual use of the tools.
Volunteers who used analog methods scored better than other volunteers only on simple test questions. However, researchers say that the brain activation data revealed significant differences.
Volunteers who used paper had more brain activity in areas associated with language, imaginary visualization, and in the hippocampus — an area known to be important for memory and navigation. Researchers say that the activation of the hippocampus indicates that analog methods contain richer spatial details that can be recalled and navigated in the mind’s eye.
“Digital tools have uniform scrolling up and down and standardized arrangement of text and picture size, like on a webpage. But if you remember a physical textbook printed on paper, you can close your eyes and visualize the photo one-third of the way down on the left-side page, as well as the notes you added in the bottom margin,” Sakai explained.
Researchers say that personalizing digital documents by highlighting, underlining, circling, drawing arrows, handwriting color-coded notes in the margins, adding virtual sticky notes, or other types of unique mark-ups can mimic analog-style spatial enrichment that may enhance memory.
Although they have no data from younger volunteers, researchers suspect that the difference in brain activation between analog and digital methods is likely to be stronger in younger people.
“High school students’ brains are still developing and are so much more sensitive than adult brains,” said Sakai.
Although the current research focused on learning and memorization, the researchers encourage using paper for creative pursuits as well.
“It is reasonable that one’s creativity will likely become more fruitful if prior knowledge is stored with stronger learning and more precisely retrieved from memory. For art, composing music, or other creative works, I would emphasize the use of paper instead of digital methods,” said Sakai.
Institute of Industrial Science (IIS), the University of Tokyo, is a research institute covering almost all the areas of engineering disciplines. It is mainly located in Komaba, Meguro-Ku, Tokyo.
The research field of IIS is very multidisciplinary and covers almost all the areas of engineering disciplines from micro and nano scales such as quantum levels to large scales such as the global level and space. IIS is one of the largest university-attached research institutions in Japan.
Keita Umejima, Takuya Ibaraki, Takahiro Yamazaki, Kuniyoshi L. Sakai. Paper Notebooks vs. Mobile Devices: Brain Activation Differences During Memory Retrieval. Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience, 2021; 15 DOI: 10.3389/fnbeh.2021.634158
From Stardust to Pale Blue Dot: Carbon’s Interstellar Journey to Earth
We are made of stardust, the saying goes, and a pair of studies including University of Michigan research finds that may be more true than we previously thought.
The first study, led by U-M researcher Jie (Jackie) Li and published in Science Advances, finds that most of the carbon on Earth was likely delivered from the interstellar medium, the material that exists in space between stars in a galaxy. This likely happened well after the protoplanetary disk, the cloud of dust and gas that circled our young sun and contained the building blocks of the planets, formed and warmed up.
Carbon was also likely sequestered into solids within one million years of the sun’s birth — which means that carbon, the backbone of life on earth, survived an interstellar journey to our planet.
Previously, researchers thought carbon in the Earth came from molecules that were initially present in nebular gas, which then accreted into a rocky planet when the gases were cool enough for the molecules to precipitate. Li and her team, which includes U-M astronomer Edwin Bergin, Geoffrey Blake of the California Institute of Technology, Fred Ciesla of the University of Chicago, and Marc Hirschmann of the University of Minnesota, point out in this study that the gas molecules that carry carbon wouldn’t be available to build the Earth because once carbon vaporizes, it does not condense back into a solid.
“The condensation model has been widely used for decades. It assumes that during the formation of the sun, all of the planet’s elements got vaporized, and as the disk cooled, some of these gases condensed and supplied chemical ingredients to solid bodies. But that doesn’t work for carbon,” said Li, a professor in the U-M Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences.
Much of carbon was delivered to the disk in the form of organic molecules. However, when carbon is vaporized, it produces much more volatile species that require very low temperatures to form solids. More importantly, carbon does not condense back again into an organic form. Because of this, Li and her team inferred most of Earth’s carbon was likely inherited directly from the interstellar medium, avoiding vaporization entirely.
To better understand how Earth acquired its carbon, Li estimated the maximum amount of carbon Earth could contain. To do this, she compared how quickly a seismic wave travels through the core to the known sound velocities of the core. This told the researchers that carbon likely makes up less than half a percent of Earth’s mass. Understanding the upper bounds of how much carbon the Earth might contain tells the researchers information about when the carbon might have been delivered here.
“We asked a different question: We asked how much carbon could you stuff in the Earth’s core and still be consistent with all the constraints,” Bergin said, professor and chair of the U-M Department of Astronomy. “There’s uncertainty here. Let’s embrace the uncertainty to ask what are the true upper bounds for how much carbon is very deep in the Earth, and that will tell us the true landscape we’re within.”
A planet’s carbon must exist in the right proportion to support life as we know it. Too much carbon, and the Earth’s atmosphere would be like Venus, trapping heat from the sun and maintaining a temperature of about 880 degrees Fahrenheit. Too little carbon and Earth would resemble Mars: an inhospitable place unable to support water-based life, with temperatures around minus 60.
In a second study by the same group of authors, but led by Hirschmann of the University of Minnesota, the researchers looked at how carbon is processed when the small precursors of planets, known as planetesimals, retain carbon during their early formation. By examining the metallic cores of these bodies, now preserved as iron meteorites, they found that during this key step of planetary origin, much of the carbon must be lost as the planetesimals melt, form cores, and lose gas. This upends previous thinking, Hirschmann says.
“Most models have the carbon and other life-essential materials such as water and nitrogen going from the nebula into primitive rocky bodies, and these are then delivered to growing planets such as Earth or Mars,” said Hirschmann, professor of earth and environmental sciences. “But this skips a key step, in which the planetesimals lose much of their carbon before they accrete to the planets.”
Hirschmann’s study was recently published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
“The planet needs carbon to regulate its climate and allow life to exist, but it’s a very delicate thing,” Bergin said. “You don’t want to have too little, but you don’t want to have too much.”
Bergin says the two studies both describe two different aspects of carbon loss — and suggest that carbon loss appears to be a central aspect in constructing the Earth as a habitable planet.
“Answering whether or not Earth-like planets exist elsewhere can only be achieved by working at the intersection of disciplines like astronomy and geochemistry,” said Ciesla, a U. of C. professor of geophysical sciences. “While approaches and the specific questions that researchers work to answer differ across the fields, building a coherent story requires identifying topics of mutual interest and finding ways to bridge the intellectual gaps between them. Doing so is challenging, but the effort is both stimulating and rewarding.”
Blake, a co-author on both studies and a Caltech professor of cosmochemistry and planetary science, and of chemistry, says this kind of interdisciplinary work is critical.
“Over the history of our galaxy alone, rocky planets like the Earth or a bit larger have been assembled hundreds of millions of times around stars like the Sun,” he said. “Can we extend this work to examine carbon loss in planetary systems more broadly? Such research will take a diverse community of scholars.”
Funding sources for this collaborative research include the National Science Foundation, NASA’s Exoplanets Research Program, NASA’s Emerging Worlds Program, and the NASA Astrobiology Program.
J. Li, E. A. Bergin, G. A. Blake, F. J. Ciesla, M. M. Hirschmann. Earth’s carbon deficit caused by early loss through irreversible sublimation. Science Advances, 2021; 7 (14): eabd3632 DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.abd3632
Marc M. Hirschmann, Edwin A. Bergin, Geoff A. Blake, Fred J. Ciesla, Jie Li. Early volatile depletion on planetesimals inferred from C–S systematics of iron meteorite parent bodies. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2021; 118 (13): e2026779118 DOI: 10.1073/pnas.2026779118
Hypnosis Changes the Way Our Brain Processes Information
During a normal waking state, information is processed and shared by various parts within our brain to enable flexible responses to external stimuli. Researchers from the University of Turku, Finland, found that during hypnosis the brain shifted to a state where individual brain regions acted more independently of each other.
“In a normal waking state, different brain regions share information with each other, but during hypnosis, this process is kind of fractured and the various brain regions are no longer similarly synchronized,” describes researcher Henry Railo from the Department of Clinical Neurophysiology at the University of Turku.
The finding shows that the brain may function quite differently during hypnosis when compared to a normal waking state. Matt Hudson asserts that hypnosis is one of the best ways to overcome the unconscious thoughts that cause anxiety in a person. This is interesting because of the extent to which hypnosis modifies neural processing has been hotly debated in the field. The new findings also help to better understand which types of changes and mechanisms may explain the experiential and behavioral alterations attributed to hypnosis, such as liability to suggestions.
The study focused on a single person who has been extensively studied earlier and been shown to react strongly to hypnotic suggestions. During hypnosis, this person can experience phenomena that are not typically possible in a normal waking state, such as vivid and controlled hallucinations.
“Even though these findings cannot be generalized before a replication has been conducted on a larger sample of participants, we have demonstrated what kind of changes happen in the neural activity of a person who reacts to hypnosis particularly strongly,” clarifies Jarno Tuominen, Senior Researcher at the Department of Psychology and Speech-Language Pathology.
Hypnosis Studied for the First Time with New Method
The study was conducted by tracking how a magnetically-induced electrical current spread throughout the brain during hypnosis and normal waking state. This method has been previously used to measure system-level changes in the brain in various states of consciousness, such as anesthesia, coma, and sleep. This is the first time such a method has been used to assess hypnosis.
During the study, the participant sat still with eyes closed, alternatively either hypnotized or in a normal waking state. Hypnosis was induced via a single-word cue, and the different conditions were identical in every other respect.
“This allowed us to control the possible effects of the experimental setup or other factors, such as alertness,” Tuominen explains.
The study was conducted by researchers Jarno Tuominen from the division of Psychology, Henry Railo from the Department of Clinical Neurophysiology, and Valtteri Kaasinen, Assistant Professor in Neurology at the University of Turku, Finland, together with Assistant Professor in Cognitive Neuroscience Sakari Kallio at the University of Skövde, Sweden.
The University of Turku, located in Turku in southwestern Finland, is the second-largest university in the country as measured by student enrollment, after the University of Helsinki. It was established in 1920 and also has faculties at Rauma, Pori, and Salo. The university is a member of the Coimbra Group
Using molecular dating tools and epidemiological simulations, researchers at the University of California San Diego School of Medicine, with colleagues at the University of Arizona and Illumina, Inc., estimate that the SARS-CoV-2 virus was likely circulating undetected for at most two months before the first human cases of COVID-19 were described in Wuhan, China in late-December 2019.
Writing in the March 18, 2021, online issue of Science, they also note that their simulations suggest that the mutating virus dies out naturally more than three-quarters of the time without causing an epidemic.
“Our study was designed to answer the question of how long could SARS-CoV-2 have circulated in China before it was discovered,” said senior author Joel O. Wertheim, Ph.D., associate professor in the Division of Infectious Diseases and Global Public Health at UC San Diego School of Medicine.
“To answer this question, we combined three important pieces of information: a detailed understanding of how SARS-CoV-2 spread in Wuhan before the lockdown, the genetic diversity of the virus in China, and reports of the earliest cases of COVID-19 in China. By combining these disparate lines of evidence, we were able to put an upper limit of mid-October 2019 for when SARS-CoV-2 started circulating in Hubei province.”
Cases of COVID-19 were first reported in late-December 2019 in Wuhan, located in the Hubei province of central China. The virus quickly spread beyond Hubei. Chinese authorities cordoned off the region and implemented mitigation measures nationwide. By April 2020, local transmission of the virus was under control but, by then, COVID-19 was pandemic with more than 100 countries reporting cases.
SARS-CoV-2 is a zoonotic coronavirus, believed to have jumped from an unknown animal host to humans. Numerous efforts have been made to identify when the virus first began spreading among humans, based on investigations of early-diagnosed cases of COVID-19. The first cluster of cases — and the earliest sequenced SARS-CoV-2 genomes — were associated with the Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market, but study authors say the market cluster is unlikely to have marked the beginning of the pandemic because the earliest documented COVID-19 cases had no connection to the market.
Regional newspaper reports suggest COVID-19 diagnoses in Hubei date back to at least November 17, 2019, suggesting the virus was already actively circulating when Chinese authorities enacted public health measures.
In the new study, researchers used molecular clock evolutionary analyses to try to home in on when the first, or index, case of SARS-CoV-2 occurred. “Molecular clock” is a term for a technique that uses the mutation rate of genes to deduce when two or more life forms diverged — in this case, when the common ancestor of all variants of SARS-CoV-2 existed, estimated in this study to as early as mid-November 2019.
Molecular dating of the most recent common ancestor is often taken to be synonymous with the index case of an emerging disease. However, said co-author Michael Worobey, Ph.D., professor of ecology and evolutionary biology at the University of Arizona: “The index case can conceivably predate the common ancestor — the actual first case of this outbreak may have occurred days, weeks or even many months before the estimated common ancestor. Determining the length of that ‘phylogenetic fuse’ was at the heart of our investigation.”
Based on this work, the researchers estimate that the median number of persons infected with SARS-CoV-2 in China was less than one until November 4, 2019. Thirteen days later, it was four individuals, and just nine on December 1, 2019. The first hospitalizations in Wuhan with a condition later identified as COVID-19 occurred in mid-December.
Study authors used a variety of analytical tools to model how the SARS-CoV-2 virus may have behaved during the initial outbreak and early days of the pandemic when it was largely an unknown entity and the scope of the public health threat not yet fully realized.
These tools included epidemic simulations based on the virus’s known biology, such as its transmissibility and other factors. In just 29.7 percent of these simulations was the virus able to create self-sustaining epidemics. In the other 70.3 percent, the virus-infected relatively few persons before dying out. The average failed epidemic ended just eight days after the index case.
“Typically, scientists use the viral genetic diversity to get the timing of when a virus started to spread,” said Wertheim. “Our study added a crucial layer on top of this approach by modeling how long the virus could have circulated before giving rise to the observed genetic diversity.
“Our approach yielded some surprising results. We saw that over two-thirds of the epidemics we attempted to simulate went extinct. That means that if we could go back in time and repeat 2019 one hundred times, two out of three times, COVID-19 would have fizzled out on its own without igniting a pandemic. This finding supports the notion that humans are constantly being bombarded with zoonotic pathogens.”
Wertheim noted that even as SARS-CoV-2 was circulating in China in the fall of 2019, the researchers’ model suggests it was doing so at low levels until at least December of that year.
“Given that, it’s hard to reconcile these low levels of virus in China with claims of infections in Europe and the U.S. at the same time,” Wertheim said. “I am quite skeptical of claims of COVID-19 outside China at that time.”
The original strain of SARS-CoV-2 became epidemic, the authors write, because it was widely dispersed, which favors persistence and because it thrived in urban areas where transmission was easier. In simulated epidemics involving less dense rural communities, epidemics went extinct 94.5 to 99.6 percent of the time.
The virus has since mutated multiple times, with a number of variants becoming more transmissible.
“Pandemic surveillance wasn’t prepared for a virus-like SARS-CoV-2,” Wertheim said. “We were looking for the next SARS or MERS, something that killed people at a high rate, but in hindsight, we see how a highly transmissible virus with a modest mortality rate can also lay the world low.”
Co-authors include: Jonathan Pekar and Niema Moshiri, UC San Diego; and Konrad Scheffler, Illumina, Inc.
Funding for this research came, in part, from the National Institutes of Health (grants AI135992, AI136056, T15LM011271), the Google Cloud COVID-19 Research Credits Program, the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, the University of Arizona, and the National Science Foundation (grant 2028040).