Category Archives: Independent Learning

New Biology – Are Science And Spirituality More Interlinked Than We Think? PART II

Additionally, many would presume that diseases spur either from toxins, or as a result of inherited genes. This is not the case. Only 5% of diseases are hereditary, the majority instigating as a result of the mind. Consider the following:

A man found a black mark on his neck; he thought nothing of it. 22 years later, that black mark remained and a companion of his told him that it was a sign of lung cancer. He went to get it checked out. His friend had been right. He died two weeks later.

Is there not something to say here? The misfortune of lung cancer is put upon a man, who is only diagnosed 22 years later. He manages to lead a happy life in oblivion to his illness, but upon hearing the bad news, negative thoughts and fields of energy begin to take over, perhaps even become programmed into his subconscious mind in the limited time of 14 days. It is most likely that he so strongly believed that he would die very soon of the cancer that it became a truth, so much so that his body gave up the fight two weeks later.

When an individual says that they will get breast cancer because they have inherited the gene, this is strictly untrue. A predisposition to cancer means that the gene, which will most likely lead to the illness is present, however it does not guarantee the presence of said illness in the individual. If what the individual had said were true, why then, did they not begin to develop breast cancer from the moment they were born? The gene was not activated. And if it has been proven that the largest cause of disease is the mind, is it not dangerous to presume that one will get cancer if one has “the gene for it”? Perhaps the man with lung cancer would have died much later had he never found out.

Now, I do not mean to throw you off track by giving a very small introduction to physics, as I am no physicist myself. The two theories of physics that I want to discuss are Newtonian physics (Newton) and Quantum mechanics (Einstein). Newtonian physics is something that most biologists are very fond of, and essentially what they abide by. It focuses on all material things – matter. This is a very straightforward and clear way of thinking, whereby one step follows the next, and where anything that isn’t physical is ignored. Quantum physics, on the other hand, concentrates on the concept that all things are made up of three miniscule particles: protons, electrons and neutrons. These particles are waves of energy, and are therefore invisible. Quantum physics interlinks many different concepts and theories so that, contrarily to Newtonian attitude, there is no clear and strict direction of thought to be followed – it is holistic. So whereas Newtonian physics focuses on all solid, material and visible things, quantum mechanics focuses on energy; what is invisible. Is it fair to decipher our universe and everything on it by ignoring what it is principally made up of (energy)? The New Biology shows us that there will continue to be gaps in our knowledge and limits to our research unless we begin to consider quantum mechanics.

If we were to follow the line of quantum mechanics, for this purpose, we can conclude that every separate entity is in fact merged to create one complex system (reference to Gaia’s hypothesis, Lovelock 1965). Hence one entity affects the next and so on and so forth. The energy, thoughts and signals, emanated by one enter the next.

To conclude, if our brain and our environment control our cells so much more than we thought, but perhaps much less consciously than we thought, should we not be putting much more effort into the state of our mind and the state of our environment in order to maintain a healthy life with a flourishing community of cells? Perhaps the Western society of today places too much emphasis on pharmaceutical companies and not enough in what we consider to be Eastern remedies – those that are more spiritual and concentrate fundamentally on the self-renewal of cells.

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New Biology – Are Science And Spirituality More Interlinked Than We Think? PART I

In the laboratory, a cell is cultured in a medium and contained in a Petri dish. If the cell is dying or unwell, we simply have to remove it from that Petri dish and put it into another, where the medium and other environmental conditions have been altered slightly. Once this step has been accomplished, the cell automatically and autonomously regenerates itself.

Our human body is in fact a highly organized colony of cells. That in which the cells bathe is their medium: the blood. The blood carries messages, signals and hormones emitted by the brain. These enter and affect the cells, allowing us to conclude that the brain controls the wellbeing and the state of its body’s cells.

 For example, when under stress, the pituitary gland in the brain receives signals (via the control centers in the hypothalamus) and causes the secretion of cortisol from the adrenal glands into the blood stream. This steroid hormone has a direct impact on cells, depending where and what function they have. Brain cell production hugely decreases, the immune system is suppressed, and it aids fat, protein and carbohydrate metabolism.

So in the same way that an unwell cell in a Petri dish needs to be put into a new medium (different quantities of X & Y nutrients) in order to replenish, poorly cells in the human body would need the blood’s concentration of certain molecules to be altered in order to restore the cells’ welfare. However, similarly to the environment surrounding the Petri dish needing to be controlled for the health of the cell, the environment surrounding our body’s cells also needs to be controlled. By ‘environment’ I mean both our surroundings and our brain. The brain is after all the filter that allows environmental information to be passed through to the body. This could account for something as simple as a temperature change, or something far more complex such as the fields of energy and thoughts created from other organisms in the environs.

On that note, let us introduce the Brain MRI Scan. It consists of a large donut shaped magnetic tube in which the patient places their head while lying on a table. Put simply, it is able to receive fields and waves sent by the brain. However, the magnet does not share any physical contact with the patient’s head. This tells us that whatever electrical activity that takes place in the brain is emitted to its vicinity, thereby being processed by the brains of other individuals nearby. Hence, we can conclude that the thoughts and state of an organism will affect those of another. Therefore, in an environment where people are competing (under Darwinian theory) for survival of the fittest, stress and destructive fields of energy will be present and cause the detriment of cells. Surely this is not the key to evolution?

Hold that thought, and focus instead on this activity that takes place in the brain. As some of you may already know, the brain can be divided into two distinct categories: The subconscious mind, and the conscious mind. The subconscious is responsible for all our habitual behavioral patterns, such as waking up in the morning and brushing your teeth. It is essentially a preprogrammed set of information. The conscious mind is the creative part that is active when we focus on something that steers away from our daily routines. For example, when instructed to produce a painting from a blank canvas.  Less than 5% of our brain’s work takes place in the conscious mind, so in effect we are not nearly as in control as one would presume.

It is possible, however to train (and re-train) your brain to erase certain programs that are in your subconscious, or indeed to create new ones. In the past, Jesuits would take responsibility for children up until the age of 6-7. They would teach them their beliefs and their ways, and eventually return the children to the security of their families. Bizarrely enough, they were spot on in their methodology. Our subconscious mind processes and takes in information from the environment (and those present in it) up until the age of 6, at which point it has collected and created its own set of preprogrammed information. 

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Tinnitus (Ringing Ears)

Have you ever heard a ringing noise in your ears, more than often it’s high pitched? The kind that irritates you but you simply cannot do anything to make it stop? This article will helpfully give you a better understanding of what exactly that is…

Tinnitus is the name given to this ringing noise.  It affects around 1 in 5 people and is a symptom of an underlying condition, for example an ear injury or age-related hearing loss. There are 2 classifications of tinnitus: objective and subjective:

Subjective tinnitus – the most common type of tinnitus; only you yourself can hear the tinnitus. It can be caused by problems in the ear or by problems with the auditory nerves in the part of your brain that interpret nerve signlas as sound.

Objective tinnitus – the more rare type in which an external person (ie your doctor) can hear the tinnitus when carrying out an examination. This could be caused by a blood vessel problem, muscle contractions or an inner bone condition.

Inside the ear are thousnds of tiny hairs, stereocilia. These vibrate in response to sound waves. There are then cells, which convert neural signals into tension on the vibrating basement membrane. A neural feedback loop (regulated by the brain) exists to connect the sensing cells with the vibratory cells. Your ears are very delicate; therefore things such as going to concerts and listening to loud music can destroy/damage the hair cells. Studies have shown that when hair cells are lost, different neurons are activated resulting in the activation of auditory parts of the brain and causing sound to be heard (such as the high pitched ringing).

When you are played a tone at an extremely high frequency, you may not be able to hear it whereas someone else is capable. When you are younger, you are one of the more capable people. As we age, more of our cells become damaged due to things such as loud noises and our capability to hear these loud noises decreases.

So, if you have ever wondered why you can hear that loud irritating noise after going to some mental concert, you now know why… Just be careful – destroying a few of your cells will not cause devastating damage. However, no one wants to become deaf due to self-infliction.

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The Molecule Of Life, Part II

Proteins are the molecules that are actively working during reactions. For example, in order for the electron transport chain (ETC) – the third stage of cellular respiration – to flow, a number of specific proteins must be present:

NADH and FADH2 carry the electrons to the protein complexes. Once there, ubiquinone and cytochrome C transport the electrons from complex to complex within the chain. At the end of the ETC, the ATP synthase enzyme is present, whereby it acts for the principal mechanism involved in the production of ATP.

This is one example amongst many. Although perhaps very obvious to all, it is worth reiterating here that respiration would not occur if it weren’t for the proteins involved.

MRS GREN is a way of remembering the seven processes an organism must consistently perform to count as being alive.

                                                         Movement

                                                         Respiration

                                                         Sensitivity

                                                         Growth

                                                         Reproduction

                                                         Excretion

                                                         Nutrition

If we were to look into each one of these processes we would see that, at the core, they all consist of protein activity. Along the same lines, would it be fair to say that the molecule that controls life is in fact the protein and not DNA? Although unconventional and perhaps heretic, it remains a just observation.

Continuing from the above, we know that the way in which proteins work relies on their movement. If a protein is left alone it does not move, so what causes the activity of proteins? It comes down to the signals that they receive and abide by. Well where do these signals come from? The answer, very simply, is the environment. Hold that thought.

The most important statement in biology is named the central dogma. It says that biology begins with DNA, which leads to RNA and finally to the proteins. However, what is ignored in this statement is that the DNA does not control itself. Genes are activated or deactivated as a result of the movement of regulatory proteins. The positioning of these DNA proteins is in turn controlled by environmental influences. So effectively, perhaps the central dogma should be revised to say the following:

Environment > Regulatory Proteins > DNA > RNA > Proteins

The above also erases a particular argument against the protein as the molecule that controls life. One might say that in order for the protein to be present and a reaction to be carried out, the protein must first be made by the DNA (example of a reference to the central dogma). However, to this I say the following: If part of a DNA strand needs to make a certain protein, it will be able to do so thanks to the movement of the regulatory proteins (see previous paragraph).

So where does this take us?

We have devalued the importance of the DNA as the molecule that controls life.

We have disproved the myth that the “brain” of the cell is the nucleus, and have concluded that it is in fact the cell surface membrane.

We have brought attention to the protein, and stated its crucial role in living processes and hence, in life.

We have considered the activation of the protein, as we know that when undisturbed, it remains latent.

We have reiterated that the protein is in action only when triggered by a signal.

We have considered the origin of these signals, which ultimately, is the environment. This not only encompasses messages transmitted by the brain, but also those put in place by the environment: the fields, messages and molecules that are always present around us.

These concepts spur questions that unfortunately cannot all be discussed in this article, but please do not hesitate to ask. I also strongly recommend that you look up Professor Bruce Lipton, whose knowledge, studies and thoughts are what led me to write this article. 

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The Molecule Of Life, Part I

Many people live under the false pretext that life on Earth comes down to the presence of the nucleus and its DNA. If we were to abide by this assumption, we would presume that an enucleate cell (lacking a nucleus) would not be able to function as it does normally. However, this is not the case. Experiments were performed whereby the nucleus of a cell was removed in order to see what would happen. The cell not only survived but also continued to carry out its normal living functions and processes. So the brain of the cell had to be present elsewhere.

Now consider humans. Without our brains we die. This leads us to question what it is exactly that the brain does to keep us alive. Well, it assesses our surroundings, taking in environmental information and transforming this data into signals that can be understood and acted upon in the body. It is also potent in its omission of some environmental signals as well as with the emission of messages sent by the body. Does the brain’s function sound familiar? Think back to GCSE biology, and the role of the cell membrane: “The cell membrane controls the movement of substances into and out of the cell”. So essentially, the human brain has the same role as the cell surface membrane.

This links back to one of my previous articles on the impact of genetics versus that of epigenetics. Naturally, the genetics of a cell comes from its DNA information in the nucleus. The influences of the environment, however, enter the cell via the cell surface membrane. Does that not validate the importance of epigenetics over that of genetics, now that we have established that the cellular brain is in fact the plasma membrane and not the nucleus?

Let’s now go back to the title – the molecule of life. What is it that triggers life processes to occur? And once the occurrence of a reaction has been triggered, what is it that enables the process to be carried out? Surely not the DNA as it does not leaves the nucleus, and we well know that reactions do not occur in the nucleus of the cell. Rather, they occur in the cytoplasm, where hundreds of proteins are present.

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Comas – How can people be alive yet have no control over what they’re doing?

First, it helps to understand the basic functions of the brain:
 
 
Scientists believe consciousness depends on the constant transmission of chemical signals from the brainstem and thalamus to the cerebrum – neural pathways connect these areas and any interruptions to these messages can put a person into an altered state of consciousness.
 
 The difference between a vegetative state and a coma? A vegetative state is a type of coma – a person is awake but in an unresponsive state of consciousness. A person can go into a vegetative state after being in a coma. The difference is, patients in vegetative state may still have low levels of consciousness.  A comatose person is alive but is unable to respond to any stimuli or make any voluntary movement -> the brain is still functioning, just at it’s most basic level.  We’ve all seen people in comas on the television, and more than often they come out and completely recover. However, coma survival rates are unfortunately not as frequent as the television may make them seem… coma survival rates are 50% or less, and less than 10% completely recover.
 
How do people go into comas? A person can become comatose when something causes the brain to swell. Consequently there is added pressure on the blood vessels. Blood flow to certain parts of the brain is blocked, causing a deprivation of oxygen. As we know, the brain cannot function without a consistent oxygen supply and this results in certain areas of brain dying.
 
The Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) determines the degree of consciousness and impairment by adding up the scores from 3 sections: Eye Response, Best Verbal Response, Best Motor Response. The scores range from 3(very low – deepest coma) to 15(being normally awake and alert).
 
How do people come out of comas? There is no “cure” for a coma. Treatments can, however, prevent further physical and neurological damage. The speed at which a person comes out of a coma depends on the cause and how severely the brain is damages, just how the speed at which a person can become comatose can vary. One of the most important questions is, when a person is a coma in which they require a ventilator and feeding tube when do you decide to let the person die if they seem to have no hope?

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Will There Ever Be A Cure For Cancer?

Centre of the Cell, an educational charity at the Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel, is hosting a series of “The Big Question” lectures held every season (at the end of which you receive a certificate – obviously the true object of everyone’s affections!). It’s beneficial for anyone interested in science as well as philosophy. The first one was on 3rd March on the topic stated where they spoke about the progression made so far.

The first and foremost advancement in the research of cancer was the comprehension of how cancer develops – before, biologists were investigating blindly, thinking it was caused by depression but the true origin is the damage of genes which results in cells multiplying uncontrollably, forming a tumour (which is how cancers are usually detected).

At least they weren’t like The Daily Mail, who think that basically being alive will result in cancer!

There are different types of cancer according to the type of cells affected which is the main problem when producing treatment – it’s not a single disease so you can’t have one overall cure. This means the new treatments found are specific to one particular cancer which can even become resistant to the remedy over time.

What’s grabbed the attention of experts at the moment is ways of avoiding getting cancer in the first place and identifying it earlier on so it doesn’t reach its critical stage. This they recommend you can achieve by the same age-old means: not smoking, exercise, vaccinations, screenings for genetic risk etc.

So, in conclusion, give up hopes for a cure for cancer because there’ll never be one due to it being numerous different diseases categorised together, the cancer cells being just like normal cells but just too many and because cancer evolves resulting in becoming immune to medication. However, scientists are coming up with further prevention and detection methods to ensure fewer deaths occurring because of cancer, which certainly seems to be working!

 

If interested in going to any of the lectures, check out: The Big Question Lecture Series

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