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The Fourth Phase of Water

Dr. Mercola | Waking Times

Water is clearly one of the most important factors for your health—especially when you consider that your body actually consists of over 99 percent water molecules! I sincerely believe water is a really under-appreciated part of the equation of optimal health.

I’ve previously interviewed Dr. Gerald Pollack, who is one of the leading premier research scientists in the world when it comes to understanding the physics of water, and what it means to your health.

Besides being a professor of bio-engineering at the University of Washington, he’s also the founder and editor-in-chief of a scientific journal called Water, and has published many peer-reviewed scientific papers on this topic. He’s even received prestigious awards from the National Institutes of Health.

His book, The Fourth Phase of Water: Beyond Solid, Liquid, and Vapor, is a phenomenal read that is easy to understand even for the non-professional.

It clearly explains the theory of the fourth phase of water, which is nothing short of ground-breaking. The fourth phase of water is, in a nutshell, living water. It’s referred to as EZ water—EZ standing for “exclusion zone”—which has a negative charge. This water can hold energy, much like a battery, and can deliver energy too.

For years, Dr. Pollack had researched muscles and how they contract, and it struck him as odd that the most common ideas about muscle contraction do not involve water, despite the fact that muscle tissue consists of 99 percent water molecules.

How could it be that 99 percent of the molecules were ignored? How could it be that muscle contracts without involving the water in some way? These questions help catalyze his passionate investigation into water.

So You Think You Understand Water?

Gilbert Ling, who was a pioneer in this field, discovered that water in human cells is not ordinary water (H2O), but something far more structured and organized.

“I began to think about water in the context of biology: if water inside the cell was ordered and structured and not bulk water or ordinary water as most biochemists and cell biologists think, then it is really important,” Dr. Pollack says.

Dr. Pollack’s book also touches on some of the most basic features of water, many of which are really not understood. For example, how does evaporation take place? Why does a tea kettle whistle? Also, despite the fact that conventional science tells us freezing is supposed to occur at zero degrees Celsius, experiments show that it can freeze in many different temperatures down to minus 50 degrees Celsius.

There’s actually no one single freezing point for water! Other experiments show that the boiling point of 100 degrees Celsius (or 212 degrees Fahrenheit) does not always hold true either.

“There’s a famous website1 put together by a British scientist, Martin Chaplin. Martin lists numerous anomalies associated with water,” Dr. Pollack says. “In other words, things that shouldn’t be according to what we know about water…

The more anomalies we have, the more we begin to think that maybe there’s something fundamental about water that we really don’t know. That’s the core of what I’m trying to do. In our laboratory at the University of Washington, we’ve done many experiments over the last decade. These experiments have clearly shown the existence of this additional phase of water.”

The reason this fourth phase of water is called the exclusion zone or EZ is because the first thing Dr. Pollack’s team discovered is that it profoundly excludes things. Even small molecules are excluded from EZ water. Surprisingly, EZ water appears in great abundance, including inside most of your cells. Even your extra-cellular tissues are filled with this kind of water.

Read the Entire Article.

 




Despite Negativity in Our Media, Scientists Say There is Universal Human Bias for Positive Words

By Peter Sheridan Dodds et al |www.sciencedaily.com | Story is based on materials provided by University of Vermont. The original article was written by Joshua E. Brown. Note: Materials may have been edited for content and length. Originally titled: “F-bombs notwithstanding, all languages skew towards happiness: Universal human bias for positive words”

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Arabic movie subtitles, Korean tweets, Russian novels, Chinese websites, English lyrics, and even the war-torn pages of the New York Times — research examining billions of words, shows that these sources — and all human language — skews toward the use of happy words. This Big Data study confirms the 1969 Pollyanna Hypothesis that there is a universal human tendency to “look on and talk about the bright side of life.

In 1969, two psychologists at the University of Illinois proposed what they called the Pollyanna Hypothesis — the idea that there is a universal human tendency to use positive words more frequently than negative ones. “Put even more simply,” they wrote, “humans tend to look on (and talk about) the bright side of life.” It was a speculation that has provoked debate ever since.

Whether it’s Arabic movie subtitles, books in Chinese, Spanish Twitter, German websites, or music lyrics in English–a study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, by scientists at the University of Vermont and The MITRE Corporation, found a clear positive bias in human language. In other words, we–humanity– “use more happy words than sad words,” says mathematician Chris Danforth who co-led the new research. This graph shows distributions of perceived average word happiness from 24 sources in ten languages. Spanish is most skewed toward the positive and Chinese books the least–but all sources showed the same trend: humans tend to look on, and talk about, the bright side of life. The yellow and blue graphs, called histograms, each represent the 5000 most commonly used words from each source; yellow indicates positivity; blue indicates negativity.

Whether it’s Arabic movie subtitles, books in Chinese, Spanish Twitter, German websites, or music lyrics in English–a study published in the … Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, by scientists at the University of Vermont and The MITRE Corporation, found a clear positive bias in human language. In other words, we–humanity– “use more happy words than sad words,” says mathematician Chris Danforth who co-led the new research. This graph shows distributions of perceived average word happiness from 24 sources in ten languages. Spanish is most skewed toward the positive and Chinese books the least–but all sources showed the same trend: humans tend to look on, and talk about, the bright side of life. The yellow and blue graphs, called histograms, each represent the 5000 most commonly used words from each source; yellow indicates positivity; blue indicates negativity.

[Read more here]

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Robert O’Leary, JD BARA, has had an abiding interest in alternative health products and modalities since the early 1970’s, and he has seen how they have made people go from lacking health to vibrant health. He became an attorney, singer-songwriter, martial artist and father along the way and brings that experience to his practice as a BioAcoustic Soundhealth Practitioner, under the tutelage of the award-winning founder of BioAcoustic Biology, Sharry Edwards, whose Institute of BioAcoustic Biology has now been serving clients for 30 years with a non-invasive and safe integrative modality that supports the body’s ability to self-heal using the power of the human voice. Robert brings this modality to serve clients in Greater Springfield (MA), New England and “virtually” the world, through his new website, www.romayasoundhealthandbeauty.com. He can also be reached at romayasoundhealthandbeauty@gmail.com

 




No Big Bang? Quantum Equation Predicts Universe Has No Beginning

Phys

This is an artist's concept of the metric expansion of space, where space (including hypothetical non-observable portions of the universe) is represented at each time by the circular sections. Note on the left the dramatic expansion (not to scale) occurring in the inflationary epoch, and at the center the expansion acceleration. The scheme is decorated with WMAP images on the left and with the representation of stars at the appropriate level of development. Credit: NASA

This is an artist’s concept of the metric expansion of space, where space (including hypothetical non-observable portions of the universe) is represented at each time by the circular sections. Note on the left the dramatic expansion (not to scale) occurring in the inflationary epoch, and at the center the expansion acceleration. The scheme is decorated with WMAP images on the left and with the representation of stars at the appropriate level of development. Credit: NASA

The universe may have existed forever, according to a new model that applies quantum correction terms to complement Einstein’s theory of general relativity. The model may also account for dark matter and dark energy, resolving multiple problems at once

The widely accepted age of the , as estimated by , is 13.8 billion years. In the beginning, everything in existence is thought to have occupied a single infinitely dense point, or . Only after this point began to expand in a “Big Bang” did the universe officially begin.

Although the Big Bang singularity arises directly and unavoidably from the mathematics of general relativity, some scientists see it as problematic because the math can explain only what happened immediately after—not at or before—the singularity.

“The Big Bang singularity is the most serious problem of general relativity because the laws of physics appear to break down there,” Ahmed Farag Ali at Benha University and the Zewail City of Science and Technology, both in Egypt, told Phys.org.

Ali and coauthor Saurya Das at the University of Lethbridge in Alberta, Canada, have shown in a paper published in Physics Letters B that the Big Bang singularity can be resolved by their  in which the universe has no beginning and no end.

read rest of the article here




Rupert Sheldrake – The Science Delusion BANNED TED TALK

Source:revolutionloveevolve

Rupert Sheldrake’s theory of morphic resonance challenges the mechanical-chemical premise that all modern medicine and science is based on. His TEDx talk must have caused outrage by establishment scientists because TED censored the video.




Reinventing the Wheel, Just So the Greedy Can Patent & Profit from it: Focus on Alzheimer’s

By Robert O’Leary, J.D., BARA

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I have recently read 2 articles, and received a plea for pledges, regarding Alzheimers. So, I began to reflect upon how, and question why, in the quest to blaze new trails on which to diagnose or fight a disease, our scientific and research programs often do not look at the tools around them and fashion those tools to do the job just as well.

Even if they were willing to do so, it is highly unlikely any funding would be made available to test a naturally occurring substance or modality because it cannot be patented in its natural state.

Yet, conditions like Alzheimer’s are here and now, causing suffering for individuals and families, as well as loss of consortium, memories, and productivity. The book, “Slow Dancing With A Stranger: Lost And Found In The Age Of Alzheimer’s”, by Meryl Comer, is said to chronicle the experience that she had as a caregiver for her husband, who was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s at the age of 58 years. This story recounts what occurred in the 20 years after she gave up an award-winning journalistic career, and time as a television personality, to care for her husband as well as what she sees as the importance of making “our public conversation about the disease to be about earlier diagnosis, so our brain span can match our lifespan.” See https://www.usagainstalzheimers.org/press/meryl-comer-joins-diane-rehm- discuss-new-book-and-caregiving. This is just one story among millions…crying out for help…right now.

The organization, USAgainstAlzheimers informs us that 5.4 million Americans suffer from Alzheimer’s. See USAgainstAlzhemiers.org/crisis. I received the above-mentioned plea from them. This organization has, as one of its stated goals, “Demand Action to Stop Alzheimer’s by 2020.” See USAgainstAlzheimers.org. It has advocated for Congress to fund more research in Alzheimer’s. And Congress did, indeed, increase spending in the most recent budget, by $25 million. See Mac McLean, “ALZ Gets Funding Boost: Federal Budget Increases Funding for Alzheimer’s Research”, The Bulletin, January 2, 2015, https://www.bendbulletin.com/lifestyle/ 2737432-151/alz-gets-funding-boost

Yet, even with money rolling in, how long will it take to come up with (a) better diagnostic tests; and (b) a medicine that will either cure, or diminish the severity of, this condition. According to the online resource, medicinenet, it takes about 12 years for a medicine to get to market. See “Drug Approvals – From Invention to Market … A 12-Year Trip”,  https://www. medicinenet. com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=9877. The cost of doing so, depending on who you talk to, is between $161 million and $2.6 billion!?! See Aaron E. Carroll, “2.6 Billion to Develop a Drug? New Estimate Makes Questionable Assumptions”, The New York Times, November 18, 2014, https://www.nytimes.com/ 2014/11/19/upshot/calculating-the-real-costs-of-developing-a-new-drug.html?abt=0002&abg=0

The two articles, that I mentioned above, were written by Dr. Joseph Mercola and are entitled, “Antiperspirants Can Make You Smell Worse, by Altering Armpit Bacteria” and “New Warning About Common Exposure That’s Likely Fueling Alzheimer’s”. See Joseph Mercola, “Antiperspirants Can Make You Smell Worse”, January 28, 2015, https://articles.mercola.com/ sites/articles/archive/2015/01/28/antiperspirants-alter-armpit-bacteria.aspx and Joseph Mercola, “New Warning About Common Exposure That’s Likely Fueling Alzheimer’s”, January 27, 2015, https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/ archive/2015/01/27/glyphosate-gmo-pesticide-residue.aspx, respectively.

The first article has this pertinent quote: “Aluminum is also widely recognized as a neurotoxin, and Alzheimer’s patients typically have elevated levels of Aluminum in their brains. While there are other sources of Aluminum, antiperspirants are a major one, as most people use it on a daily basis.” See Joseph Mercola, “Antiperspirants Can Make You Smell Worse”, January 28, 2015, https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2015/01/28/ antiperspirants-alter-armpit-bacteria.aspx. The other article indicates how the herbicide, Glyphosphate, among other things has a substantial connection to Alzheimer’s.

So, it seems that we have some toxic biochemicals that may be causing or contributing to the high incidence of Alzheimer’s. What if we could have a way of detecting if any of these toxins are in the body and what effects they are having upon the body? And what if we had a way of taking that information and, having at our fingertips, some ways of neutralizing these toxins or purging them from the body?

And what if we had a way of predicting the indicators of Alzheimer’s months or years before it draws the veil over a loved one’s consciousness?

Well, we do have exactly that in the work of Sharry Edwards. You have heard me talk about her before. She is the founder of the Institute of BioAcoustic Biology in Albany, OH. She has trained many Soundhealth Practitioners, including yours truly, and she has focused some of her valuable time and expertise upon the condition of Alzheimer’s.

She has a software, on the subject of Alzheimer’s, called the “Grey Matter of Alzheimer’s” which evaluates the Frequency Equivalents (™) of biochemicals and toxins that might cause or contribute to Alzheimer’s. She bases her programs on the latest literature about Alzheimer’s and also based upon her experiences with clients as well as research information culled from the experiences of her practitioners.

Based upon this work, she has been able to determine certain frequency-based antidotes and protocols that are supportive of the body’s ability to manage and self-heal from this condition.

This software also may have the additional benefit of forecasting onset of an Alzheimer’s condition. Edwards showed this by analyzing, of all things, a phonograph record of President Ronald Reagan that he recorded in 1961. She recorded a part of this album into her various softwares, including the Grey Matter of Alzheimer’s Software and discovered mathematical, frequency-based evidence – that suggested he had the indicators of an Alzheimer’s condition – thirty years before they supposedly manifested. See Sharry Edwards, https://soundhealthinc.com/ political/Ronald_ Reagan. pdf

Edwards’research work is ongoing and you, the reader, can become a part of it because a public version of this software is available to the public. Edwards and her institute invite you to get the software, record voice prints for your family and friends, and send in the reports to her so that these prints will inform the ongoing research.

In fact, after I saw the articles, mentioned above, I heard from my teacher that she will be having a radio show, about this very software, and that during the show the names of 5 or more audience members will be drawn in order to win a copy of this software. I understand that this will take place, via internet, on Tuesday, February 3, 2015, on Blog Talk Radio, at 6:00 P.M. EST. You can listen to the show by going to www.blogtalkradio.org or by clicking on the following links:

https://www.soundhealthoptions.com/#!happy-hour/c1a5v or

edwards/2015/02/03/the-gray-matter-of-alzheimers (Blog Talk Link) or

https://soundhealth.webex.com/mw0401lsp11/mywebex/default.do?siteurl=soundhealth (WebEx Link).

If you can’t manage to attend this radio show on Tuesday night, you can listen to a repeat of the show at the first or second link.

So, while big companies and greedy people waste their time reinventing the wheel because they seem to value profits over people and patents over peace of mind, let’s work with the “wheels” we have, get out on the road to better health, and arrive at to our destination of an Alzheimer’s-free world much, much faster.

Disclaimer: These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. They are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Sound Health and Beauty, Human and Beauty, Human BioAcoustic Biology, Sonistry and Vocal Profiling are intended to benefit normal structure and function and are not prescribed as treatment for medical or psychological conditions, nor for diagnosis, care, treatment or rehabilitation of individuals, nor to apply medical, mental health or human development principles. All issues are expressed in terms of frequency equivalents.

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Robert O’Leary, JD BARA, has had an abiding interest in alternative health products and modalities since the early 1970’s, and he has seen how they have made people go from lacking health to vibrant health. He became an attorney, singer-songwriter, martial artist and father along the way and brings that experience to his practice as a BioAcoustic Soundhealth Practitioner, under the tutelage of the award-winning founder of BioAcoustic Biology, Sharry Edwards, whose Institute of BioAcoustic Biology has now been serving clients for 30 years with a non-invasive and safe integrative modality that supports the body’s ability to self-heal using the power of the human voice. Robert brings this modality to serve clients in Greater Springfield (MA), New England and “virtually” the world, through his new website, www.romayasoundhealthandbeauty.com (now mobile & tablet-ready, with a fresh new look). He can also be reached at romayasoundhealthandbeauty@gmail.com




Scientific Proof That You Become What You Think

 

Source:Infinite Waters (Diving Deep)

Ralph Smart (Infinite Waters Diving Deep) turns explains in scientific terms why  we become what we think.  It all really boils to his final statement:

To break it down simply, the more you feel a certain a way, the more peptides you create that create cells that have receptors looking for the same peptides. Your body literally becomes dependent on and addicted to certain emotions.

That’s why when you’re angry, everything makes you more and more angry. The same with depression, anxiety or joy. You become what you think. Be aware of your thoughts.




Cancer Develops from Fungal Infections, like Candida

By: Derek Henry | Natural News

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The numbers related to those who are diagnosed with cancer and who die from it are sickening, to the point that cancer is on the doorstep of knocking out heart disease as the number one killer in the United States.

It is estimated approximately that 1 in 3 people will be diagnosed with some type of cancer, and recent data shows that cancer claims at least 576,691 people per year, or nearly 23% of ALL deaths.

There are very few common threads among experts on what causes cancer, aside from obvious lifestyle choices like smoking and alcohol. However, to think cancer is largely caused by one thing is a bit too simplistic…or is it? Turns out, it may not be that complicated.

A simple fungal infection can cause cancer

According to The Home Medical Encyclopedia, in 1963 about 50% of all Americans suffered from an “unrecognized” systemic fungal infection. These infections can be brought on by many different factors that alter the optimal state of our intestinal ecology, most notably antibiotics, birth control pills, excessive processed sugar and grain consumption, heavy metal contamination, xenoestrogens, alcohol, smoking, and chronic stress.

These factors, in combination with diets severely deficient in active enzymes and probiotics, have paved the way for the most prevalent fungal infection to take over, Candida Albicans. But how does a fungal problem like Candida lead to an eventual cancer diagnosis?

According to Dr. Robert Young: “Bacteria, yeast/fungi, and mold are not the cause of a cancerous condition but are the result and the evidence of cells and tissues biologically transforming from a healthy state into an unhealthy state.”

Dr. Young astutely observed that, “over-acidification of the body leads to the development of chronic yeast and fungal infections and ultimately a cancerous condition of the cells and tissues.” Further backing this theory is the understanding that yeasts like Candida are anaerobes – which means they generate their energy in the absence of oxygen.

Once in the blood stream, they can colonize in certain areas of the body and dramatically reduce oxygen levels. This results in local cells switching their energy system from oxygen based to one that doesn’t use oxygen. This is the system used by cancer cells, which do not use oxygen to generate their energy. Otto Warburg won a Nobel Prize in 1931 for informing the world of this property of cancer cells and that oxygen was their enemy!

It has also been shown that beneficial bacteria in your intestine are known to direct up to 85 per cent of your immune response, to release anti-cancer vitamins (like biotin, B-12, folic acid, and vitamin K) from your foods and even to produce a compound (sodium butyrate), which causes cancer cells to self-destruct.

Beneficial bacteria don’t work well if the acidity of the gut increases, and they will be severely impaired in their anti-cancer function if you have a systemic Candida infection. The Mayo clinic has also confirmed that cancer is a fungus, can be caused by a fungus, or is accompanied by late stage fungal infections. Johns Hopkins found that the drug Itraconazole, commonly used to treat toenail fungus, can also block angiogenesis, the growth of new blood vessels commonly seen in cancers which allow metastases (spreading of cancer throughout the body) to occur.

Knowing these truths, is it any surprise that cancer is so rampant? How many people do you know that have:

  • Taken antibiotics (or any other prescription medication)
  • Used birth control pills
  • Eaten non-organic foods, high in sugars, grains (especially gluten) and starches (like potatoes)
  • Have metal dental fillings and have been vaccinated (exposed to mercury)
  • Consumed foods and beverages out of plastic containers
  • Drank beer, wine, or hard alcohol regularly
  • Consumed caffeine on a daily basis
  • Smoked cigarettes
  • Live with chronic underlying stress

[Read more here]

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Robert O’Leary, JD BARA, has had an abiding interest in alternative health products and modalities since the early 1970’s, and he has seen how they have made people go from lacking health to vibrant health. He became an attorney, singer-songwriter, martial artist and father along the way and brings that experience to his practice as a BioAcoustic Soundhealth Practitioner, under the tutelage of the award-winning founder of BioAcoustic Biology, Sharry Edwards, whose Institute of BioAcoustic Biology has now been serving clients for 30 years with a non-invasive and safe integrative modality that supports the body’s ability to self-heal using the power of the human voice. Robert brings this modality to serve clients in Greater Springfield (MA), New England and “virtually” the world, through his new website, www.romayasoundhealth andbeauty.com (now mobile & tablet-ready, with a fresh new look). He can also be reached at romayasoundhealthandbeauty @gmail.com

 




Why Can’t the World’s Greatest Minds Solve the Mystery of Consciousness?

“Right now you have a movie playing inside your head,” says philosopher David Chalmers. It’s an amazing movie, with 3D, smell, taste, touch, a sense of body, pain, hunger, emotions, memories, and a constant voice-over narrative. “At the heart of this movie is you, experiencing this, directly. This movie is your stream of consciousness, experience of the mind and the world.”

This is one of the fundamental aspects of existence, Chalmers says: “There’s nothing we know about more directly…. but at the same time it’s the most mysterious phenomenon in the universe.” What is the difference between us and robots? Nobody knows the answers.

Chalmers believes the questions answered so far — mainly, about what parts of the brain do which bits of processing — are the “easy” (in comparison) problems. The hard problem is why is it that all that processing should be accompanied by this movie at all.  Read more about “The Hard Problem of Consciousness” in the article below:

One spring morning in Tucson, Arizona, in 1994, an unknown philosopher named David Chalmers got up to give a talk on consciousness, by which he meant the feeling of being inside your head, looking out – or, to use the kind of language that might give a neuroscientist an aneurysm, of having a soul.

Though he didn’t realize it at the time, the young Australian academic was about to ignite a war between philosophers and scientists, by drawing attention to a central mystery of human life – perhaps the central mystery of human life – and revealing how embarrassingly far they were from solving it.

The scholars gathered at the University of Arizona – for what would later go down as a landmark conference on the subject – knew they were doing something edgy: in many quarters, consciousness was still taboo, too weird and new agey to take seriously, and some of the scientists in the audience were risking their reputations by attending. Yet the first two talks that day, before Chalmers’s, hadn’t proved thrilling. “Quite honestly, they were totally unintelligible and boring – I had no idea what anyone was talking about,” recalled Stuart Hameroff, the Arizona professor responsible for the event.

“As the organizer, I’m looking around, and people are falling asleep, or getting restless.” He grew worried. “But then the third talk, right before the coffee break – that was Dave.” With his long, straggly hair and fondness for all-body denim, the 27-year-old Chalmers looked like he’d got lost en route to a Metallica concert. “He comes on stage, hair down to his butt, he’s prancing around like Mick Jagger,” Hameroff said. “But then he speaks. And that’s when everyone wakes up.”

The brain, Chalmers began by pointing out, poses all sorts of problems to keep scientists busy. How do we learn, store memories, or perceive things? How do you know to jerk your hand away from scalding water, or hear your name spoken across the room at a noisy party? But these were all “easy problems”, in the scheme of things: given enough time and money, experts would figure them out.

There was only one truly hard problem of consciousness, Chalmers said. It was a puzzle so bewildering that, in the months after his talk, people started dignifying it with capital letters – the Hard Problem of Consciousness – and it’s this: why on earth should all those complicated brain processes feel like anything from the inside?

Why aren’t we just brilliant robots, capable of retaining information, of responding to noises and smells and hot saucepans, but dark inside, lacking an inner life? And how does the brain manage it? How could the 1.4kg lump of moist, pinkish-beige tissue inside your skull give rise to something as mysterious as the experience of being that pinkish-beige lump, and the body to which it is attached?

What jolted Chalmers’s audience from their torpor was how he had framed the question. “At the coffee break, I went around like a playwright on opening night, eavesdropping,” Hameroff said. “And everyone was like: ‘Oh! The Hard Problem! The Hard Problem! That’s why we’re here!’” Philosophers had pondered the so-called “mind-body problem” for centuries. But Chalmers’s particular manner of reviving it “reached outside philosophy and galvanized everyone. It defined the field. It made us ask: what the hell is this that we’re dealing with here?”

Two decades later, we know an astonishing amount about the brain: you can’t follow the news for a week without encountering at least one more tale about scientists discovering the brain region associated with gambling, or laziness, or love at first sight, or regret – and that’s only the research that makes the headlines.

Meanwhile, the field of artificial intelligence – which focuses on recreating the abilities of the human brain, rather than on what it feels like to be one – has advanced stupendously. But like an obnoxious relative who invites himself to stay for a week and then won’t leave, the Hard Problem remains. When I stubbed my toe on the leg of the dining table this morning, as any student of the brain could tell you, nerve fibers called “C-fibers” shot a message to my spinal cord, sending neurotransmitters to the part of my brain called the thalamus, which activated (among other things) my limbic system. Fine. But how come all that was accompanied by an agonizing flash of pain? And what is pain, anyway?

Questions like these, which straddle the border between science and philosophy, make some experts openly angry. They have caused others to argue that conscious sensations, such as pain, don’t really exist, no matter what I felt as I hopped in anguish around the kitchen; or, alternatively, that plants and trees must also be conscious.

The Hard Problem has prompted arguments in serious journals about what is going on in the mind of a zombie, or – to quote the title of a famous 1974 paper by the philosopher Thomas Nagel – the question “What is it like to be a bat?” Some argue that the problem marks the boundary not just of what we currently know, but of what science could ever explain. On the other hand, in recent years, a handful of neuroscientists have come to believe that it may finally be about to be solved – but only if we are willing to accept the profoundly unsettling conclusion that computers or the internet might soon become conscious, too.

Next week, the conundrum will move further into public awareness with the opening of Tom Stoppard’s new play, The Hard Problem, at the National Theatre – the first play Stoppard has written for the National since 2006, and the last that the theatre’s head, Nicholas Hytner, will direct before leaving his post in March. The 77-year-old playwright has revealed little about the play’s contents, except that it concerns the question of “what consciousness is and why it exists”, considered from the perspective of a young researcher played by Olivia Vinall. Speaking to the Daily Mail, Stoppard also clarified a potential misinterpretation of the title. “It’s not about erectile dysfunction,” he said.

Stoppard’s work has long focused on grand, existential themes, so the subject is fitting: when conversation turns to the Hard Problem, even the most stubborn rationalist’s lapse quickly into musings on the meaning of life.

Christof Koch, the chief scientific officer at the Allen Institute for Brain Science, and a key player in the Obama administration’s multibillion-dollar initiative to map the human brain, is about as credible as neuroscientists get. But, he told me in December: “I think the earliest desire that drove me to study consciousness was that I wanted, secretly, to show myself that it couldn’t be explained scientifically. I was raised Roman Catholic, and I wanted to find a place where I could say: OK, here, God has intervened. God created souls, and put them into people.”

Koch assured me that he had long ago abandoned such improbable notions. Then, not much later, and in all seriousness, he said that on the basis of his recent research he thought it wasn’t impossible that his iPhone might have feelings.

Read the rest of the article (there’s a bunch more)….




Why You Shouldn’t Fear Artificial Intelligence

Source:DNews

Stephen Hawking and Elon Musk have warned us of the dangers of Artificial Intelligence, but is AI really going to be the downfall of humanity?




Could Curry Banish Bad Memories? Turmeric Prevents Fear Being Stored In the Brain, Scientists Claim

 SOPHIE FREEMAN | Dailymail

 

turmericScientists found that curcumin, a compound found in the root of the Indian spice, prevented new fear memories being stored in the brain

It also removed pre-existing fear memories, researchers found

Scientists hope findings will contribute to the development of treatments for psychological conditions such as post-traumatic stress disorder

 

A spice commonly used in curry could help erase bad memories, according to a study.

Curcumin, a bright-yellow compound found in the root of the Indian spice turmeric, prevented new fear memories being stored in the brain, and also removed pre-existing fear memories, researchers found.

It is hoped that the findings will help develop treatments for people suffering with psychological disorders.

Psychologists from The City University of New York trained rats to become scared when they heard a particular sound. Scientists assumed the creatures were frightened when they froze.

[read full article here]




BIG Discovery ~ Speed of Light Not So Constant After All

 

SHIFTING SPEEDS, even in vacuum conditions, light can move slower than its maximum speed depending on the structure of its pulses. The finding could be important for physicists studying extremely short light pulses.  (Photo by Jeff Keyzer/FLICKR)

SHIFTING SPEEDS, even in vacuum conditions, light can move slower than its maximum speed depending on the structure of its pulses. The finding could be important for physicists studying extremely short light pulses. (Photo by Jeff Keyzer/FLICKR)

Light doesn’t always travel at the speed of light. A new experiment reveals that focusing or manipulating the structure of light pulses reduces their speed, even in vacuum conditions.

A paper reporting the research, posted online at arXiv.org and accepted for publication, describes hard experimental evidence that the speed of light, one of the most important constants in physics, should be thought of as a limit rather than an invariable rate for light zipping through a vacuum.

“It’s very impressive work,” says Robert Boyd, an optical physicist at the University of Rochester in New York. “It’s the sort of thing that’s so obvious, you wonder why you didn’t think of it first.”

Researchers led by optical physicist Miles Padgett at the University of Glasgow demonstrated the effect by racing photons that were identical except for their structure. The structured light consistently arrived a tad late. Though the effect is not recognizable in everyday life and in most technological applications, the new research highlights a fundamental and previously unappreciated subtlety in the behavior of light.

The speed of light in a vacuum, usually denoted c, is a fundamental constant central to much of physics, particularly Einstein’s theory of relativity. While measuring c was once considered an important experimental problem, it is now simply specified to be 299,792,458 meters per second, as the meter itself is defined in terms of light’s vacuum speed. Generally if light is not traveling at c it is because it is moving through a material. For example, light slows down when passing through glass or water.

Padgett and his team wondered if there were fundamental factors that could change the speed of light in a vacuum. Previous studies had hinted that the structure of light could play a role. Physics textbooks idealize light as plane waves, in which the fronts of each wave move in parallel, much like ocean waves approaching a straight shoreline. But while light can usually be approximated as plane waves, its structure is actually more complicated. For instance, light can converge upon a point after passing through a lens. Lasers can shape light into concentrated or even bull’s-eye–shaped beams.

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New Glasses Transform The Way Colorblind People See The World

| Huffingtonpost
This special eyewear is giving many a new outlook.

EnChroma, a company in Berkeley, California, has created colorblindness correcting glasses, which allow those who are colorblind to see hues they may have never experienced before. While the sunglasses, which are meant for outdoor use in daylight, were first released two years ago, the company’s new version is made from polycarbonate — a material that’s kid-friendly and usable in sports.

venice
Left: Venice seen by someone with colorblindness. Right: Venice seen by a colorblind person while wearing the EnChroma glasses

It’s an improvement that could help a significant number of people.

An estimated 32 million Americans experience some degree of colorblindness, according to the Wall Street Journal. The eyewear, which range from $325 to $450 and address red-green colorblindness — the most common form — have the potential to help four in five people with the condition by making everyday, outdoor tasks easier.

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Have We Found Alien Life? Microbes That Eat and Breathe Electricity Have Forced Scientists To Reimagine How Life Works—On This Planet And Others

 Corey S. Powell | PopScience

Kenneth Nealson is looking awfully sane for a man who’s basically just told me that he has a colony of aliens incubating in his laboratory.

We’re huddled in his modest office at the University of Southern California (USC), on the fifth floor of Stauffer Hall. Nealson is wearing a rumpled short-sleeve shirt, a pair of old suede loafers, white socks—your standard relaxed academic attire—and leaning back comfortably in his chair. An encouraging collection of academic awards hangs on one wall. Propped behind him is a well-worn guitar, which he sometimes breaks out to accompany his wife’s singing. And across the hall is the explanation for his quiet confidence: beakers and bottles full of bacteria that are busily breaking the long-accepted rules of biology.

Life, Nealson is explaining, all comes down to energy. From the mightiest blue whale to the most humble microbe, every organism depends on moving and manipulating electrons; it’s the fuel that living matter uses to survive, grow, and reproduce. The bacteria at USC depend on energy, too, but they obtain it in a fundamentally different fashion. They don’t breathe in the sense that you and I do. In the most extreme cases, they don’t consume any conventional food, either. Instead, they power themselves in the most elemental way: by eating and breathing electricity. Nealson gestures at his lab. That’s what they are doing right there, right now.

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Scientists Say They’ll Soon Extend Life ‘Well Beyond 120’

 | The Guardian

 “Bodybuilder Ernestine Shepherd, 78, attributes her youthful looks to diet and exercise. But scientists now say they will soon be able to do much more with drugs”

“Bodybuilder Ernestine Shepherd, 78, attributes her youthful looks to diet and exercise. But scientists now say they will soon be able to do much more with drugs”

In Palo Alto in the heart of Silicon Valley, hedge fund manager Joon Yun is doing a back-of-the-envelope calculation. According to US social security data, he says, the probability of a 25-year-old dying before their 26th birthday is 0.1%. If we could keep that risk constant throughout life instead of it rising due to age-related disease, the average person would – statistically speaking – live 1,000 years. Yun finds the prospect tantalising and even believable. Late last year he launched a $1m prize challenging scientists to “hack the code of life” and push human lifespan past its apparent maximum of about 120 years (the longest known/confirmed lifespan was 122 years).

Yun believes it is possible to “solve ageing” and get people to live, healthily, more or less indefinitely. His Palo Alto Longevity Prize, which 15 scientific teams have so far entered, will be awarded in the first instance for restoring vitality and extending lifespan in mice by 50%. But Yun has deep pockets and expects to put up more money for progressively greater feats. He says this is a moral rather than personal quest. Our lives and society are troubled by growing numbers of loved ones lost to age-related disease and suffering extended periods of decrepitude, which is costing economies. Yun has an impressive list of nearly 50 advisers, including scientists from some of America’s top universities.

Yun’s quest – a modern version of the age old dream of tapping the fountain of youth – is emblematic of the current enthusiasm to disrupt death sweeping Silicon Valley. Billionaires and companies are bullish about what they can achieve. In September 2013 Google announced the creation of Calico, short for the California Life Company. Its mission is to reverse engineer the biology that controls lifespan and “devise interventions that enable people to lead longer and healthier lives”. Though much mystery surrounds the new biotech company, it seems to be looking in part to develop age-defying drugs. In April 2014 it recruited Cynthia Kenyon, a scientist acclaimed for work that included genetically engineering roundworms to live up to six times longer than normal, and who has spoken of dreaming of applying her discoveries to people. “Calico has the money to do almost anything it wants,” says Tom Johnson, an earlier pioneer of the field now at the University of Colorado who was the first to find a genetic effect on longevity in a worm.

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In March 2014, pioneering American biologist and technologist Craig Venter– along with the tech entrepreneur founder of the X Prize Foundation, Peter Diamandis – announced a new company called Human Longevity Inc. It isn’t aimed at developing anti-ageing drugs or competing with Calico, says Venter. But it plans to create a giant database of 1 million human genome sequences by 2020, including from supercentenarians. Venter says that data should shed important new light on what makes for a longer, healthier life, and expects others working on life extension to use his database. “Our approach can help Calico immensely and if their approach is at the middle of everything.”

In an office not far from Google’s headquarters in Mountain View, with a beard reaching almost to his navel, Aubrey de Grey is enjoying the new buzz about defeating ageing. For more than a decade, he has been on a crusade to inspire the world to embark on a scientific quest to eliminate ageing and extend healthy lifespan indefinitely (he is on the Palo Alto Longevity Prize board). It is a difficult job because he considers the world to be in a “pro-ageing trance”, happy to accept that ageing is unavoidable, when the reality is that it’s simply a “medical problem” that science can solve. Just as a vintage car can be kept in good condition indefinitely with periodic preventative maintenance, so there is no reason why, in principle, the same can’t be true of the human body, thinks de Grey. We are, after all, biological machines, he says.

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From Pygmies To Hipsters, Scientists Find Music Really Is Universal

The Independent

Researchers tested Mbenzélé Pygmies' responses to western music

Researchers tested Mbenzélé Pygmies’ responses to western music

The 19th century writer Henry Wadsworth Longfellow called music the “universal language of mankind” and now there may be scientific proof he was right.

Whether enjoyed by a hipster in a dive bar in downtown Montreal or at a Pygmy ceremony in the depths of the Congolese rainforest new research has found that music can emotionally affect different groups in precisely the same way.

Academic researchers travelled to the Congo to study how an isolated group responded to music from Wagner to Star Wars. The Mbenzélé Pygmies live without radio, television and even electricity.

They compared the results with the way a group of Canadians from downtown Montreal responded to the same, largely classical, western music and that created by the Pygmies.

“People have been trying to figure out for quite a while whether the way that we react to music is based on the culture that we come from or on some universal features of the music itself,” said Stephen McAdams, from McGill’s Schulich School of Music. “Now we know that it is actually a bit of both.”

Those participating would mark the end of each clip with an emoticon expressing how the music made them feel from a range of calm to excited. There were also tests using biosensors to check heart rate and sweat on the palms, the breathing rate and little sensors to measure changes in smiling and frowning muscles.

Professor McAdams said the “arousal dimension in some of the fast-paced music as well as the slower-paced pieces caused the same response. There are a lot of different responses to music, often down to cultural issues, but there are universal ones too.”

The team, made up of researchers from McGill University, Technische Universitat Berlin and l’Université de Montréal, played both groups 19 musical extracts of between 30 and 90 seconds long. They were comprised of 11 western pieces and eight by the Pygmies.

Hauke Egermann, who is based at the Berlin institution but did part of the research at McGill, said: “Our major discovery is that listeners from very different groups both responded to how exciting or calming they felt the music to be in similar ways.”

He continued: “This is probably due to certain low-level aspects of music such as tempo, pitch and timbre, but this will need further research.”

Researchers chose western music designed to provoke a range of emotions from calm to excitement, happiness to anxiety. It included the theme tunes to films including Psycho and Schindler’s List but the list was largely classical music including Mendelssohn, Liszt and Brahms.

The Pygmy music was comprised of upbeat polyphonic vocal pieces which are performed in ceremonies to calm anger, provide comfort after a death, or bid good future before a hunting expedition.

The Canadians involved in the study were all amateur or professional musicians. A total of a 40 of each group took part.

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