Tag Archives: biology

The broken heart syndrome phenomenon

According to Time magazine, an immense amount of research has shown that a death or the loss of a person close to you can not only break your heart metaphorically, but it can also cause physical damage that can lead to serious heart problems.

A new study published by Dr. Simon Graff finds that people who experience a partner dying are a much higher risk for atrial fibrillation, or irregular heartbeat, and the effects are life-long.

Having a broken heart is more than just a metaphor. Graphic from Pinterest
Having a broken heart is more than just a metaphor. Graphic from Pinterest

For many years, researchers have studied the phenomena of the broken heart syndrome, or stress cardiomyopathy. This occurs when a highly stressful event, such as the death of a spouse, results in a person feeling like they’re having a heart attack. The symptoms include the same ones that occur when having a heart attack: shortness of breath and chest pain.

When an emotional event happens, researches suspect a surge of stress hormones are released which cause this feeling of having a heart attack.

Researchers looked at citizens in Denmark who were diagnosed with atrial fibrillation. Out of the 88, 600 people, 41 percent of them who lost a partner were more likely to develop atrial fibrillation within the first month of their partner’s death compared to those who hadn’t lost anyone. The researchers also discovered that the risk is higher in younger people, especially when a partner as died suddenly or unexpectedly.

A cardiologist at New York University Langone Medical Center, Harmony Reynolds, states that “We can’t stop stressful situations from coming up in our lives but there may be ways to change the way stress affects our bodies.” She says regular exercise, things like yoga, meditation, and even deep breathing can increase the parasympathetic nervous system which increase our body’s ability to handle stress. However, these activities won’t be able to reduce the risk completely.

This study, as large and somewhat thorough as it is, can’t completely confirm that the feelings of grief or loss are directly related to atrial fibrillation. “Right now our work can only point to an association, but we hope to help make a shift in society’s mindset—that a time of grief is not only a mental state but maybe also physical,” says Graff, the author of the study.

Roses conducting electricity

A team of Swedish analysts have created flexible electronic circuits — produced using pliable organic materials — inside a rose. Their material makes them conceivably compatible with tissues and has impelled research endeavors to utilize them to diagnose and treat diseases.

Their idea was to utilize the plant’s own structural engineering and biology to assist them in assembling devices on the inside. They aimed to assemble polymer-based “wires” on the inside of a plant’s xylem. They expected that on the off-chance that they could break down conducting polymer building blocks in water, maybe plants could pull them up the channels and connect them into wires.

Swedish researchers have created a circuit inside the stems and leaves of rose cuttings. Graphic from Linkoping University.
Swedish researchers have created a circuit inside the stems and leaves of rose cuttings.
Graphic from Linkoping University.

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After Magnus Berggren, a materials scientist and electrical engineer at Linköping University, Norrköping, in Sweden, and his associates tried more than a dozen different polymer electronic building blocks — all unsuccessful — they tried an organic electronic building block called PEDOT-S:H. Each of these building blocks comprises of a short, repeating chain of a conductive organic molecule with short arms coming off each section of the chain.

Each of the arms has a sulfur-containing group bonded to a hydrogen atom. Berggren’s group found that when they set them in the water, the rose stems promptly pulled the short polymer chains up the xylem channels. The intact plants pulled the organics up through the roots also, much more gradually, however, Berggren says.

Once inside, the chemistry in those channels pulled the hydrogen atoms off the short arms, a change that provoked the sulfur groups on neighboring chains to link together. The team then added electronic probes to opposite ends of these strings, and found that they were wires, directing electricity all down the line.

When that worked, Berggren’s group included other electronic patches on the surface of their rose stems to make transistors that could switch the current in a wire on and off. As they report in Science Advances, they went ahead to utilize an arrangement of different techniques to show they could get leaves to take up organic electronics, creating an array of pixels.

This isn’t the first time researchers have infused plants with electrical materials, but the first time they’ve utilized the plants’ own vascular framework to form a circuit. This innovation could give a method of controlling plant biology for experimental exploration, to collect energy — or as another option to genetic engineering.

In the long run, the development may permit individuals to collect energy from trees and shrubs, not by chopping them down and utilizing them for fuel, but by connecting them directly into their photosynthesis hardware. It also may be possible to harness plants’ photosynthesis capacities to create electricity directly, allowing us to procure the sun’s energy without destroying the plants.

Scientists prove homosexuality is in DNA

According to researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles, studies have shown that “chemical modifications to DNA that change the activity of genes without changing the gene’ information differ between homosexual and heterosexual men.” This discovery was presented on October 8, 2015 at the annual meeting of the American Society of Human Genetics.  The specific experiment including testing male twins in which one was heterosexual and the other was homosexual. The results revealed “patterns that distinguished one group from the other about 67 percent of the time.”

Tuck Ngun and Eric Vilain are the head geneticists who discovered the anomaly in the DNA of the twin boys. The research found has already provoked a controversy within the community. Some are questioning the reasoning behind the testing, saying that they will “misinterpreted [the research] as one step in an effort to “cure” homosexuality.” However, Ngun and Vilain respond by saying “it is the furthest from their intentions.” They are geneticists after all and they are interested in “what makes us tick.” Their research “isn’t about homosexuality. It’s about understanding sexual attraction, the biology of desire.”

boys hugging
“According to researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles, studies have shown that “chemical modifications to DNA that change the activity of genes without changing the gene’ information differ between homosexual and heterosexual men.””

Most arguments against homosexuality is that it’s a choice and of course many people who support gay rights argue back that it isn’t because of this reason and that reason. However, now we have actual evidence that it isn’t a choice. “The development of sexuality seems to have origins in early life, maybe even stemming from cues in the womb.” Some may argue that a youth still going through puberty can’t possibly know what their sexuality is but it turns out that it isn’t strictly about discovering one’s sexual preference but also include brain chemicals and DNA strains. It is said that “for each biological older brother a man has, his likelihood of being homosexual rises by 33 percent.” This statistic proves that many scientific factors come into play when a person is homosexual.

Being gay has now been proven that it isn’t a choice. Many scientific factors, genes, and DNA are the reason for a person being homosexual. All of you people who claim a person can choose to be heterosexual are wrong and homosexuals are, truly, born with it.

Voting: Nature or nurture?

When it comes to where people acquire their political beliefs, political scientists have analyzed many possibilities that might factor in, such as household income, gender and church attendance. It has long been thought that a person’s political ideals are something that comes mostly from their parents, friends or other environmental factors. However, there have emerged an increasing number of studies that suggest genetics may have an underlying role in both voter turnout and the way people vote. Continue reading Voting: Nature or nurture?