What a Brain on that One…

Our brains are made up of 60% fat. It is the organ in the body composed of the most fat. It is important to feed your brain and body good healthy fats to stabilizes the cell walls of the brain. It was formerly believed that brain functions decline as we age. New studies such as the one done at Harvard University show that arithmetic skills peak at 50 and that cumulative intelligence (all the facts we have learned in life) peak at 70. A fallacy is that the size of a person’s brain increases intelligence and that a person’s IQ is permanent. However, IQ can go up or down at different stages in our life. The brain has extreme plasticity which means just as a person can adapt to a missing limb so to can the brain adapt to a damaged section. Problem solving, judgement and complex planning do not fully develop in the frontal cortex until age 25 which is why teenagers can sometimes make irrational decisions. The brain itself feels no pain. It is the nerves and blood vessels surrounding it that have to be deadened during surgery. The brain is wired to make neural connections with others which is why good friends often enjoy the same activities and musicians can form such a tight union. The neurons in your brain produce enough energy to light a 20 watt bulb daily. It is faster then any computer and messages are sent from the arms and legs at 150 MPH. How do we keep the brain healthy? Is there a way to strengthen the capacity of this organ? Research is showing that healthy gut bacteria, sex, vacations, laughter, exercise, healthy eating and meditation are important factors.

Longer Telomeres, Longer Life…

Exercise, especially aerobic, affects the way cells communicate with each other in a positive way. Exploring deeper inside the body and looking closely at our DNA, we are able to see just how important activity is to overall health. At the end of each chromosome, our DNA is protected during replication by what is known as a telomere. It is what holds our DNA strands together and prevents each strand from fraying. A telomere is similar to an aglet on a shoelace which prevents the shoelace from coming apart. As we age these telomeres begin to wear away until the cell no longer is capable of replicating. This is what in turn leads to disease and premature old age. It was previously believed that when this occurs that there is no chance of reversal. According to studies published in the European Heart Journal, Stanford Medicine News Center and Lancet Oncology, all results showed a sizable increase in the proteins responsible for lengthening these telomeres with lifestyle, especially aerobic activity. All evidence points to finding an enjoyable aerobic activity that speeds up your heart rate to the point that you are able to enjoy a good sweat.

Tricking Your Taste Buds…

The human tongue has about 2,000–8,000 taste buds. On each one there are hundreds of thousands of receptor cells. Since the number of taste buds is so different from person to person, taste sensations vary greatly. However, taste buds can be fooled. For example, spoons made from copper or zinc can enhance a food’s saltiness. Temperature is another important factor. Warm beer may taste bitter and cold ham may taste saltier. Recalling a pleasant memory of an item on your plate will actually make it taste more delicious. Color can also influence temperature. Forty eight participants in a French study actually preferred soda from a blue glass because they felt it tasted colder. Our environment can play a big part as to what degree we enjoy our food.

Surgeons use Holograms to Operate…

Projecting a three dimensional image of a person’s brain, heart, lung or any organ in question while operating may be the future of medicine. The ability to look through aBrain holograms person in a 3 dimensional way can help physicians more accurately plan and perform surgeries. This will help in removing tumors, taking biopsies and even guiding the placement of catheters in the brain. Within the next 10 years surgeons will be able to glance at these holograms and not be restricted to looking up at a screen. Progress is already under way at Duke University Robotics Program’s Brain Tool Laboratory. A proposal for a Hololens Development Kit was already accepted by Microsoft and is in development.