Ever make a from scratch Rueben Sandwich? Start off with corned beef, smoke it then steam it! Its wonderful!

What we are reading today:

“The research was led by Doris Tsao (BS ’96), professor of biology, Tianqiao and Chrissy Chen Center for Systems Neuroscience Leadership Chair, and Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator. A paper describing the work appeared online in the March 13 issue of Nature Neuroscience.

“Face cells will produce the maximum response when a subject is observing faces, but they will also produce a small amount of activity when a subject is looking at round objects like an apple or a clock,” says Tsao. “There has been a long debate in cognitive science: Is the brain actually using these small responses to generate perception? Do face cells help us perceive clocks and apples?”

“The lead author, Dr Cassandra Gould van Praag said, “We are all familiar with the feeling of relaxation and ‘switching-off’ which comes from a walk in the countryside, and now we have evidence from the brain and the body which helps us understand this effect. This has been an exciting collaboration between artists and scientists, and it has produced results which may have a real-world impact, particularly for people who are experiencing high levels of stress.””

“Mihaela Pavličev, PhD of the Center for Prevention of Preterm Birth, Perinatal Institute, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center and colleagues use the word “negotiation” to describe the unique relationship that must be established early in a pregnancy and then maintained, for a birth to result.

“We cannot understand pregnancy by focusing on the fetal side (placenta) alone, or on the maternal (uterus) alone. How do we maintain stability, not as a war, but rather without damage to mom or fetus? Most pregnancy defects can be seen as interrupting this temporary stable unit. But to be able to study that, we need to know which cells are talking to which other cells,” explains Dr. Pavličev.”

“In a new study, researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine and their colleagues have identified a handful of nerve cells in the brainstem that connect breathing to states of mind.

A paper describing the findings were published March 31 in Science. Mark Krasnow, MD, PhD, professor of biochemistry, is the senior author. The lead author is former Stanford graduate student Kevin Yackle, MD, PhD, now a faculty fellow at the University of California-San Francisco.

Medical practitioners sometimes prescribe breathing-control exercises for people with stress disorders. Similarly, the practice of pranayama — controlling breath in order to shift one’s consciousness from an aroused or even frantic state to a more meditative one — is a core component of virtually all varieties of yoga.”

“Hamster pups are born with weakened immune systems and impaired endocrine activity when their parents don’t receive a natural mix of daylight and darkness prior to mating, found researchers at The Ohio State University.

“This suggests that circadian disruptions can have long-ranging effects in offspring and that’s concerning,” said lead author Yasmine Cisse, a graduate student in neuroscience at Ohio State. The study appears in Scientific Reports.


11 Comments

kayleeroe · April 23, 2017 at 4:47 pm

I loved reading the study, “How Slow Breathing Induces Tranquility”, because I can relate to the topic on a personal level. Whenever I get stressed about anything I try to steady my breathing and focus on taking deep breaths because it can usually help me calm down a bit. I never knew the reason behind why this helped calm me down, but this article clearly addressed the science behind it. I will definitely continue to use this as a technique to help when I get stressed, and now can know for sure that focusing on calm breathing truly does help!

MaxDiep · April 26, 2017 at 9:00 pm

I was especially fascinated by “the sounds of nature” because I was able to relate to this on a personal level. When I study, I use a website called “A Soft Murmur” which plays sounds of nature, such as: fire, wind, meditation bowl, and waves. It allows me to calm down and not get anxious. Also, after a stressful studying session, I immediately go outside and just start walking in nature to get my mind off of things and to let go. I understand how my focus goes from internal to being external. When I am in outside listening to the grass and wind, all of a sudden I stop thinking about myself and the voice stops.

-Max Diep

MaxDiep · April 26, 2017 at 9:05 pm

I found “night time light exposure. harmful??” especially frightening as I am a night owl and stay up late using my laptop. I am actually kind of freaked out as I have been doing this for many years and will be for many other years. Considering that everywhere I go outside at night is lit using artificial light I am starting to wonder how this is affecting nature. We invaded mother nature’s environment and we do not understand the possible damage we are inflicting in nature or ourselves. It is now impossible to escape technology at night as it is permanently integrated into our lives.

Max Diep

kayleeroe · May 2, 2017 at 12:57 pm

I read the article, “How The Sounds of Nature Help Us to Relax”. I enjoyed reading this article because it is beneficial to know how the environment and sounds of nature can help calm down an individual who is in a stressed state of mind. Personally, I enjoyed learning this information because I love the outdoors and spending time hiking and camping. Knowing that these activities can truly help with relaxation and relieving stress, I will continue to implement them into my life as much as possible, and recommend these activities to others who I believe would benefit as well. I believe these findings will be able to help a lot of people when they need to be able to relieve stress in a healthy way.

dariamajlessi · May 8, 2017 at 12:58 pm

I read “How The Sounds of Nature Help Us to Relax,” and I found it very interesting because I tend to try to do a lot of my homework with music. I realize that I always struggle to stay focused on my work when I listen to music, and rather think a lot about other things. The reading suggested that this is because when we listen to artificial sounds, we tend to have an inward directed focus of attention, while when listening to the sounds of nature, our focus is more outwardly directed. This is good to know because I do get easily stressed and knowing that the sounds of nature are actually proven to reduce stress can better help me destress and focus more on the homework at hand, than all the nonstop thinking in my head.

dariamajlessi · May 8, 2017 at 3:29 pm

I loved the article, “How Slow Breathing Induces Tranquility,” because I like to meditate a lot, and breathing is a big part of it. I learned that there is a cluster of neurons that act as a pacemaker for the respiratory system. Because there are so many different kinds of breaths, the cluster of neurons have to do a lot of work. It is interesting to know that these neurons give information from the brain’s respiratory system to the parts of the brain that are linked to arousal. This means that my mood can also be changed by the way I breathe. I am usually very relaxed when I am taking long breaths, so I will make sure to keep taking long and deep breaths because now I know the science behind it all.

Nicole Sacco · May 9, 2017 at 8:33 am

I found the article, “Harms of Nighttime Light Exposure Passed to Offspring: Hamster Study Finds Evidence of Immune, Endocrine Problems,” to be very eye-opening. As someone who needs to watch TV or scroll through Twitter to fall asleep, I found myself reconsidering my life choices after reading this article. Since disruptions in circadian rhythms led to long-raging effects in the hamsters and their offspring, this could show a correlation in humans due to the linkage of human and animal health problems. I want to know more about light pollution and if it actually leads to an increase in cancers, cardiovascular disease, anxiety disorders, diabetes, and depression, as the article states, or if there is only a correlation. The answer to that could really push me into ending my late night dim-light exposure.

MaxDiep · May 11, 2017 at 9:21 am

I agree with “finding tranquility” as I have meditated frequently throughout my life. I always knew it had an effect on my state of mind. This science now reinforces the idea of deep breathing to calm down. From now on I will be more aware of my breathing to realize how I feel. Furthermore, it has been shown throughout history that deep breathing or meditation brings serenity and calm.

Nicole Sacco · June 2, 2017 at 3:41 pm

Since finals week is coming up, I thought that the article “How The Sounds of Nature Help Us to Relax” would be very relevant in my life. I did not know that there was an actual affect in bodily systems that are associated in the resting activity of the brain from listening to nature sounds. I also found it interesting that the brain connectivity could reflect different directions of attention when listening to natural versus artificial sounds. This new discovery could be very beneficial in helping college students who have big projects or finals coming up.

nicoleconyers1 · June 8, 2017 at 2:10 pm

I personally enjoyed reading this blog because it reflected a technique I use quite often when I am feeling stressed or anxious. I agree that breathing is related to your state of mind. When you focus on decreasing your breathing rate it takes your mind off of the situation at hand and helps to calm or focus your thoughts. I do this quite often when studying for a big test or during the test when feeling overwhelmed and panicked. It helps to compose yourself and your thoughts.

egonz124 · December 1, 2017 at 2:36 pm

I read the article about how our body is affected by sounds of nature. The article suggested that we tend to react with more anxiety when we listen to artificial sounds, and also mentioned an increase in relaxation activity responses when listening to sounds of nature. Personally, I cannot listen to any kind of music because no matter what type of genre I find myself distracted, perhaps it’s our bodies way of recognizing a foreign sound. We have evolved to not be startled or distracted by the various sounds of nature, which probably explains why we don’t show anxiety on that evening walk.

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