Science can take awhile

The progress of scientific research builds on earlier work and goes through phases of brand new discoveries that may be thought of as odd or unnecessary until more time and more work occurs. The Nobel Prize awards includes three scientific categories, Physics, Chemistry, and Physiology or Medicine. The average time lag between the date of the research that recognition is being given for is often more than twenty or even thirty years. (1) The main thing they winners of the Nobel Prize in science categories may have in common is perseverance.

Osamu Shimomura is a Japanese scientist who won the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 2008 along with two others (Roger Y. Tsien, Martin Chalfie), for research that was published in 1954. The work was on green fluorescent dye that is now used regularly for cell staining techniques to make parts of the cell more visible. (2) Fifty four years for a discovery to progress through the stages of “How odd,” to “That is interesting but what is it good for?” to “What did we ever do without this wonderful technique?” Perseverance is essential in science.

My point is simply that science developments take time, time to do the original research and more time for it to be put to use by other researchers in various ways. Collaboration is also typical, teams tend to win the awards in science rather than individuals. Different perspective can add to a better understanding of a topic.

Courses I’m taking or have taken recently on neurobiology, I am learning more about myelin and how it is made and used in brain and nerve cells. I started writing about the topic earlier in the summer and found I needed more background information. If interested the courses are free or a certificate can be earned for a small sum of money but no college credits are earned.

My 50 plan? Keep learning more about preventative health care strategies and functional foods that help manage and prevent inflammation and oxidative stress, in order to protect my own nerves and brain cells. Pain hurts, numbness and paralysis is disabling, and cognitive skills are nicer to have than to not have. If I can record the information I discover for the use by others that may help others. The planet needs healthy people. Medical supplies and prescription medications can add to the pollution of the planet. Functional foods and preservation of health would be helping to reduce the pollution burden for the planet and reduce expense for individuals, businesses and governments.

The articles I’ve written about protecting myelin and who is at risk for demyelination include:

I probably won’t be around for another 54 years but I have a right to try to stay healthy for the years I do have left – the main point is that science takes time and it is collaborative. By sharing my notes, maybe some other people will be helped in their pursuit of individual health or research goals.

  • Disclaimer: Opinions are my own and the information is provided for educational purposes within the guidelines of fair use. While I am a Registered Dietitian this information is not intended to provide individual health guidance. Please see a health professional for individual health care purposes.
  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Osamu_ShimomuraFortunato, Santo, Growing time lag threatens Nobels, Nature, 508, page 186, (10 April 2014) https://www.nature.com/articles/508186a
  2. Osamu Shimomaru, Wikipedia,  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Osamu_Shimomura

Tips for Changing Habits

Habits are the daily routines that we don’t even think about. It saves energy and stress for the brain to have routine patterns to our lives. The more decisions we have to make about little things, the less energy we may have to focus on work or for important decisions.     

Planning routine actions in advance can help by having already made the decisions about the actions before being in a rush to get to work or school on time. Having an outfit clean and ready the night before an early day; lunch ready to go in the refrigerator; and a quick morning routine for getting dressed, having breakfast, and getting out the door, can leave you relaxed and on time for the early appointment.      

New habits can be easier to stick with when you add the new behavior to a current routine – need to take a medication or vitamin daily?  Try leaving the bottle next to your toothbrush and always take it in the morning after brushing your teeth.  Substituting a new action for a habit that you want to stop may make it easier to change the routine than focusing only on stopping an old habit – want to quit smoking? Substitute going for a very short walk instead.     

Writing down a goal with an action plan and timeline can help and then tallying the goal behavior on a daily checklist for a month or two can help reinforce the new habit long

  • More information about changing old habits or making new ones is available here: The 3 R’s of Habit Change: How to Start New Habits that Really Stick, jamesclear.com.   
  • Disclaimer: Opinions are my own and the information is provided for educational purposes within the guidelines of fair use. While I am a Registered Dietitian this information is not intended to provide individual health guidance. Please see a health professional for individual health care purposes.

Climate change, ocean currents, and an ice age

As glaciers melt at the polar regions the increase in warm water that is low in salt is likely to disrupt the currents that circulate ocean waters and which keep the United Kingdom and Europe fairly warm. (Ocean currents & circulation of heat is mentioned in: Anomalous Properties of Water) Historically a large flood is now believed to have preceded a thousand year ice age on the North American continent. Read more: Scientists may have solved a huge riddle in Earth’s climate past. It doesn’t bode well for the future. washingtonpost.com/

In case visualization is helpful, the climate scenario of a change in ocean currents leading to extreme cold in Europe and New York State was made into an action movie: The Day After Tomorrow, 2004.

The daily temperature around the globe is visualized in a color coded map at the site climatereanalyzer.org.

The most critical events that are occurring for our long term well being is the effects of pollution on the atmosphere and the oceans, and other human changes to the environment that lead to desertification or concrete instead of wetlands, both of which also increase flood risk. Climate change will be a variety of changes, erratic differences in extreme temperature and weather changes. Climate: A New Story is a book published this month which looks at the earth as a whole and discusses human effects on the atmosphere, the oceans, wetlands, soil health and other factors that all interact to  create the planet as we have known it. Geologically we have had fairly stable climate for thousands of years but over the longer eons there has been series of ice ages and more warm eras. The planet will go on, the question has more to do with how many other species, including humans, will live to see the next centuries. (Interview with Charles Eisenstein, the author of Climate: A New Story, available in a brief article: kellybroganmd.com.)

This decade is the time humans as a global whole need to seriously reduce our collective use of fossil fuels and other chemicals adding to climate change such as agricultural fertilizers in order to stop the most extreme changes in the atmosphere and ocean from occurring. Many of the chemicals involved will take decades to even centuries to breakdown. (previous post, Climate change is a 100,000 year change.) The changes in how we live and work could create more jobs and be an economic stimulus. More information is available in this article: It’s now or never on climate change, according to a new report. huffingtonpost.com/

Hotter temperatures can make it more difficult to learn or work and can increase risk of ill health in the very young or old and those with chronic illness. Building for a future with more extreme changes in temperature is a task that is already needed in some areas as seen with the heat waves and drought that have occurred this summer and in recent years. (Effects of heat on students.) (Previous post with links about Passive Energy Buildings – architecture for a more sustainable future.)

We all need to be heroes – one hero is not enough for the planet. It needs all of us to pitch in and help, if only in small ways. I care about our future and it starts today – everyday. I write about a variety of topics because life is complex and I care about all of life. We only have one planet and we and it are healthier when there is diversity of plants and animals.  Significant changes in our daily habits could help:

  • use less prepackaged foods, use a refillable water bottle;
  • walk, ride a bicycle, use public transport or carpool;
  • arrange virtual meetings and webinar conferences when possible instead of onsite meetings when people live in many different regions;
  • have virtual stay-cations and learn about interesting foreign areas online while enjoying local recreation and nature getaways;
  • work with local and state government and businesses to develop green parks and walkways that support wildlife and exercise or pedestrian travelers, and plan and fund sustainable architecture and energy resources;
  • take online courses about climate change and sustainability; such as: Act on Climate: Steps to Individual, Community and Political ActionCoursera.

My concern has nothing to do with me, I am but a drop of life in comparison to all the beautiful species who share this planet.

  • Free course on developing local water sources to help meet future water needs, starts September 24, 2018, Local Water Solutions for Global Challenges, (GaiaEducation.org).

I am serious, as serious as a melting glacier, which I saw in person one summer, when I was young, on a family trip throughout Alaska. Glaciers were really big then – they still are big, but they are smaller now. Our planet is a miracle and we are blessed to have such a paradise in which to live, let’s take care of it for all of us including our great grandchildren and their great grandchildren. Let’s not sacrifice tomorrow’s world for today’s quarterly profit or today’s comfort when we could build toward a more equitable future for all. 

Disclaimer: This information is provided for educational purposes within the guidelines of fair use.