Meditation Helps Fight Loneliness

FRIDAY, Aug. 24 (HealthDay News) — A simple form of meditation can help stave off feelings of loneliness and may cut the body’s inflammatory response — which can trigger serious illness — to distressing emotions, a small new study suggests.

Researchers from the University of California, Los Angeles and Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh found that older adults who participated in an eight-week program of mindfulness-based stress reduction — which attunes the mind to the present and avoids dwelling on the past or projecting into the future — reported a reduced sense of loneliness on an established ratings scale. Blood tests also indicated a significant decrease in the expression of inflammation-related genes.

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Cliodynamics – Numbers that predict revolutions

Interesting article in NEW SCIENTIST looking at Cliodynamics - mathematical modelling of social events that looks for patterns from which to make predictions of the future.

Reminds me of the  section in the film Choice Point that talks about understanding patterns







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Tracking your life from food to mood – the future of preventative health?

Interesting article in NEW SCIENTIST on the rise of the consumer health gadget. Putting the power back in to the hands of the consumer?

Track your every move, brainwave and bodily function with a new breed of personal gadgets and you could become fitter, healthier and happier

IT IS a few minutes before midnight and I am pacing around my living room in circles. My wife appears at the top of the stairs looking concerned. Glancing at the display of a small black box attached to my belt, I tell her that I’ll come to bed soon. I need to reach 15,000 paces. She is not placated.

No, I haven’t lost the plot. I have temporarily joined ranks with a growing number of people who measure many aspects of their lives, often in minute detail. Leading the charge is the Quantified Self movement, and they want to know whether all this information could be useful, helping them to lose weight, become fitter or even anticipate medical problems.

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Its the environment stupid!

Interesting Ted talk about the link between form and function…


Make your own drugs with a 3D printer – what implications does this have for the medicine of the future

Computers used to be just for programmers, but these days most people own at least one. Now a similar revolution in access to drugs and other chemicals could be on the cards.

A team of researchers led by chemist Lee Cronin at the University of Glasgow, UK, has made a selection of chemicals using a digital blueprint and a 3D printer costing $2000. The printer prints the lab equipment and then squirts the ingredients into the right places to make the desired chemicals.

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Biomimicry and Architecture for the Future: Janine Benyus

An interesting Audio clip on the world tipping point site….

I am ecstatic to have Janine Benyus in the tipping series not only because its relevant to have a few scientists in these dialogues, but also because she is one of the leading voices in the emerging field of Biomimicry, which can be explained quite nicely as:Innovation inspired by nature.

In our interview Janine calls human beings ‘toddler’s with matches’, and I just love this phrase!  She gives us necessary perspective that in biological terms we are a very young species, one which has evolved to the point where it will either destroy itself or transform into it’s next stage of development.

On the hopeful front, I find the type of science the Biomimicry represents as a potential harbinger regarding where we are on the evolutionary path.  I mean, how COOL is it that science has evolved to the point of recognizing that certain things in nature work while certain things do not, and that we can consciously choose to study the things that are working, learn from them, mimic them, and give ourselves the best chance of continuing on.

Biomimicry looks to the natural world for successful organisms, things that have been here for millions of years, and searches for helpful clues as to their longevity.  We can then put these design features into use in real-world architecture and creation.  Buildings based on the principles of a tree, water systems flowing like the contours of a leaf….incredible stuff!

Biomimicry is a breath of fresh air, utilizing the best of human consciousness, awareness and compassion. Imagine designing buildings, cities and even whole countries based on the principles of how nature works…this is the tipping point in action!

Deprived of Sex, Jilted Flies Drink More Alcohol

Some interesting psychobiology news that may shed light on alcohol drinking choices….

Newswise — Sexually deprived male fruit flies exhibit a pattern of behavior that seems ripped from the pages of a sad-sack Raymond Carver story: when female fruit flies reject their sexual advances, the males are driven to excessive alcohol consumption, drinking far more than comparable, sexually satisfied male flies.

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