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Science Explains Why Certain People Experience ‘Déjà Vu’

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Photo Credit: Pexels

Déjà vu,’ the term of French origin mentions a psychological phenomenon, which occurs fleetingly at anytime and anywhere, affecting approximately 70% of the world’s population.

Most of us have had at least once in our lifetime a ‘déjà vu’ experience. It is a mysterious feeling where time seems to pass by in slow-motion, where you perceive information in such a way as if you had already experienced the current situation sometime in the distant past. However, none of us can explain it, little understand it. Researchers have mentioned numerous ’causes’ ranging from paranormal disturbances and neurological disorders and even multiple universes coexisting with ours.

When you come to experience a ‘déjà vu’ moment you feel mysteriously overtaken by a mysterious force which unconsciously tells you ‘this already happened before.’

According to a study by the Department of Neuroscience and Experimental Therapeutics at the University of Texas A & M, this psychological phenomenon has occurred in about 70% of the general population.

“Because no clear, identifiable stimulus elicits a deja vu experience – it is a retrospective report from an individual – it is very difficult to study deja vu in a laboratory,” points out Michelle Hook, a professor at the Texas A&M Health Science Center College of Medicine.

According to many studies, about two-thirds of people have experienced at least one episode of ‘déjà vu’ in their life,” added Dr. Michelle Hook.

Researchers describe the phenomenon as the result of a “technical problem” in the brain when a certain group of neurons related to the recognition and familiarity generates confusion between the present and the past.

However, Dr. Hook mentioned that according to some studies, the ‘déjà vu’ phenomenon can be attributed to a processing problem in the brain’s neural pathways.

Scientists explain it in the following way. Sensory information travels through several pathways before reaching higher cortical areas of the brain. The information travelling through different ‘routes’ usually reaches the brain at the same moment. However, there are exceptions when information does not reach the brain at the same time causing the ‘déjà vu’ feeling.

Some scientists suggest that when a difference in processing occurs along these pathways, the perception is disrupted and is experienced as two separate messages. The brain interprets the second version – coming through the slowed secondary pathway – as an independent experience. That is when the inappropriate feeling of deja vu occurs,” Hook explains.

Parallel Universe & ‘Déjà Vu.’

According to Dr. Michio Kaku, an American futurist, theoretical physicist and populariser of science, Parallel universes can explain the mysterious phenomenon and states that quantum physics provide the necessary details which suggest déjà vu might be caused by your ability to “flip between different universes.”

The idea that other universes (multiverse theory) exist has been supported by several scientists, among them Professor Steve Weinberg, a theoretical physicist and Nobel Prize winner. According to Professor Weinberg, it is possible that in the same room an infinite number of parallel realities coexist with us.

This article (Science Explains Why Certain People Experience ‘Déjà Vu’) was originally published at Ancient Code and is re-posted here under Creative Commons.

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Scientists Create Artificial Blood For All Blood Types To Save Lives

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Photo Credit: Getty

Researchers in Japan have recently invented artificial blood that can be used universally for any blood type. The scientists are mainly from the National Defence Medical College and have had good results testing it on rabbits.

One of the problems faced by trauma units around the world is identifying the correct blood type to administer transfusions. As of right now, medical staff uses Type O negative when they are unsure of someone’s blood type.

Here the team discusses clinical trials performed on a rabbit:

“In this rabbit model of lethal liver hemorrhage, we demonstrated that combination therapy with blood substitutes H12-(ADP)-liposomes and HbVs helped to maintain hemodynamics and hemostasis following severe traumatic hemorrhage with coagulopathy. The outcomes were as good as that achieved with allogeneic RBC/PRP transfusion, resulting in a drastic reduction of mortality.”

For their study, they used 10 different rabbits that had been subjected to a lethal hemorrhaging from a livery injury. Six out of the 10 rabbits ended up surviving, which they said is the average survival rate of a normal blood transfusion. The rabbits also did not show signs of having any serious side effects from the artificial blood.

As part of their artificial blood, the scientists also created “hemoglobin vesicles” that have a diameter of only 250 nanometres, which serve as an oxygen carrier. They need to create these vesicles as well because in the human body we have hemoglobin that is our natural carrier of oxygen to our body’s tissues.

The artificial blood contains both platelets and red blood cells and can be stored at normal temperatures for more than one year. They will store each one known as a liposome derived from the cell membrane to transfer oxygen and stop bleeding. The study was published in the journal Transfusion.

Manabu Kinoshita is an associate professor of immunology at the National Defence Medical College who worked on the team, he said: “It is difficult to stock a sufficient amount of blood for transfusions in such regions as remote islands, the artificial blood will be able to save the lives of people who otherwise could not be saved.”

This discovery will make both emergency health care workers and vampires very excited for the future.

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Study Says BPA Is Causing Severe Hormone Imbalances In 80% Of Teens

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Photo Credit: Getty

John Vibes, Truth Theory

According to new research, four out of five teenagers in the UK are having their hormones disrupted by chemicals found in plastics. Experts believe that the chemical responsible for these widespread hormone issues is bisphenol A, which is more commonly known as BPA. This chemical is often used to make plastics, and can be found in products that come into contact with food.

Since this chemical can mimic the sex hormone estrogen, it has been found to lower sperm count in men. The chemical has also been linked to a variety of illnesses including breast and prostate cancer.

A study was recently conducted at Exeter University, where a team of researchers tested the blood and urine of 94 different teens between the ages of 17 and 19 for a number of toxins and chemicals. The researchers found that roughly 80% of the teens had these dangerous chemicals in their bodies.

The study was led by ecotoxicology professor Tamara Galloway, who is convinced by the growing body of evidence that exposure to BPA has serious health risks.

The researchers noted that toxin levels decreased for teens that changed their diet to include more fresh produce, and thus less plastic contamination.

BPA is entirely legal in the UK, and while it is somewhat regulated in the United States, it still presents a serious threat. In 2012, the FDA banned the chemical in baby products, but still allowed it in items marketed to adults. Meanwhile, The European Chemicals Agency (ECA) recently moved to restrict the use of the chemical by 2020.

The agency pointed to BPA’s ability to disrupt the endocrine system, saying that the chemical has “endocrine-disrupting properties, which cause probable serious effects to human health.” The ECA noted that these side effects include infertility and aggression in girls as young as three.

There is still a great deal of controversy surrounding BPA, with experts at odds about whether or not the chemical is harmful at the levels currently found in most products. Defenders of BPA use the argument that “the dose makes the poison” to suggest that BPA is safe at low levels. However, studies like the one conducted at Exeter University continue to prove that this chemical is linked to numerous health problems.

Earlier this year, Truth Theory reported on a disturbing study which found that we are absorbing tens of thousands of plastic particles each year, just in the food we eat and the air that we breathe. It was also noted in the study, that drinking a lot of bottled water can nearly double the presence of toxins in our bodies.

About the Author

John Vibes is an author and journalist who takes a special interest in the counter culture, and focuses solutions-oriented approaches to social problems. He is also a host of The Free Your Mind Conference and The Free Thought Project Podcast

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A Florida High School Is The First In The World To Provide Synthetic Frogs For Students To Dissect

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Florida High School Uses Synthetic Frogs For Dissection

Over six million frogs are killed each year for use in science labs in high schools across the world. However, now we have the technology to develop an exact replicated version of the anatomy of any species in artificial form. So, there’s no reason why we should continue to kill innocent frogs.

A high-school in New Port Richey, Florida, is leading the way to a guilt-free future, with no frog-blood on their hands. J.W Mitchell High School is the first school in the world to use synthetic frogs for their dissections in anatomy class. The school is using SynFrog’s instead of real frogs. SynFrog is developed by a company called SynDaver, based in a nearby town called Tampa.

Students dissect a SynFrog. Credit: SynDaver

SynDaver makes synthetic models of animals and humans for educational and surgical simulation purposes. Each artificial frog costs around $150, which is a lot more expensive than traditional frogs used in dissections. However, the schools can re-use synthetic frogs, which will save the school money in the long run.

Students dissect a SynFrog. Credit: SynDaver

Kurt Browning, Superintendent of Schools in Pasco County, said:

“The Pasco County School District is committed to being a leader in innovation and opportunity for students, so we are excited to announce that Mitchell High School is the first in the world to use SynFrogs in science labs, giving our students a learning experience, no other students have ever had.”

The synthetic frogs are designed to look and feel just like the real thing. However, it’s much safer to dissect compared to a real preserved frog because it’s free from potentially harmful chemicals like formalin. SynFrog’s are made out of water, fibers, and salts.

Students dissect a SynFrog. Credit: SynDaver
Students dissect a SynFrog. Credit: SynDaver
Students dissect a SynFrog. Credit: SynDaver

Founder and CEO of SynDaver, Dr. Christopher Sakezles, said:

“We’re excited to announce our revolutionary SynFrog, which is a far superior learning tool as it is designed to mimic living tissue. This makes it more like a live frog than the preserved specimens currently sold to schools for dissection labs.”

Sakezles commends Pasco County Schools for taking this monumental step to advance science education even further. “We want to thank PETA for their funding support, which helped with the initial development phase of the product and enabled us to deliver it faster than previously anticipated,” he added.

Thanks to a $150,000 donation from the animal rights organization, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), the development of the SynFrog was made possible.

SynFrog. Credit: SynDaver
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World’s First 3D Printed Hearts, And Functional Beating Hearts Grown From Stem Cells

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World’s First 3D Printed Hearts, And Functional Beating Hearts Grown From Stem Cells
Photo Credit: www.nbcnews.com

More than 25 million people suffer heart failure each year. In the United States, approximately 2,500 of the 4,000 people in line for heart transplants actually receive them. That means almost 50% of the people needing a new heart to keep them alive won’t get it. But now, scientists from Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School have successfully grown a human heart from adult skin cells in a lab. In addition, researchers from Tel Aviv University have “printed” the world’s first 3D vascularized engineered heart using a patient’s own cells and biological materials. Their research may someday soon solve the shortage problem of hearts the world faces today.

Grow A Heart
“A partially recellularized human whole-heart cardiac scaffold, reseeded with human cardiomyocytes derived from induced pluripotent stem cells, being cultured in a bioreactor that delivers a nutrient solution and replicates some of the environmental conditions around a living heart.” (CREDIT: Bernhard Jank, MD, Ott Lab, Center for Regenerative Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital)
“A partially recellularized human whole-heart cardiac scaffold, reseeded with human cardiomyocytes derived from induced pluripotent stem cells, being cultured in a bioreactor that delivers a nutrient solution and replicates some of the environmental conditions around a living heart.” (CREDIT: Bernhard Jank, MD, Ott Lab, Center for Regenerative Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital)

In the study done by the scientists from Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical school, they grew a heart using stem cells then shocked it with an electric current to bring it to life.

Here’s what they did:

  • 73 donor hearts deemed unfit for transplantation were used.
  • They took skin cells and turned them into pluripotent stem cells, the kinds of cells that can be specialized to any part of the human body, using messenger RNA. Then, they caused the stem cells to develop into two types of cardiac cells.
  • The scientists stripped away cells on the donated hearts and replaced them with those transformed skin cells.
  • Next, they mimicked the environment a human heart would typically grow within and infused the cardiac cells with a nutrient solution that facilitated growth. They left the cells there for two weeks.
  • After the two weeks, they shocked the hearts with electricity and it began beating. Furthermore, the tissue inside appeared to be well-structured and functional.
  • The study has been published in Circulation Research.

The team of scientists wrote:

“To show that functional myocardial tissue of human scale can be built on this platform, we then partially recellularized human whole-heart scaffolds with human induced pluripotent stem cell–derived cardiomyocytes. Under biomimetic culture, the seeded constructs developed force-generating human myocardial tissue and showed electrical conductivity, left ventricular pressure development, and metabolic function.”

Their goal is to eventually grow an entire human heart that is capable of being transplanted.

Print A Heart
“A 3D-printed, small-scaled human heart engineered from the patient’s own materials and cells.” (Credit: Advanced Science. © 2019 The Authors.)
“A 3D-printed, small-scaled human heart engineered from the patient’s own materials and cells.” (Credit: Advanced Science. © 2019 The Authors.)

The world’s first ‘printed’ 3D vascularized engineered heart by Tel Aviv University completely matches the immunological, cellular, biochemical and anatomical properties of the patient because it uses a patient’s own cells and biological materials.

Here’s what they did:

  • First, a biopsy of fatty tissue was taken from patients.
  • Then, the cellular and a-cellular materials of the tissue were separated.
  • While the cells were reprogrammed to become pluripotent stem cells, the extracellular matrix (ECM), a three-dimensional network of extracellular macromolecules such as collagen and glycoproteins, were processed into a personalized hydrogel that served as the printing “ink.”
  • After being mixed with the hydrogel, the cells were efficiently differentiated to cardiac or endothelial cells to create patient-specific, immune-compatible cardiac patches with blood vessels and, subsequently, an entire heart.
  • Their findings were published in the journal Advanced Science.
“Concept schematic. An omentum tissue is extracted from the patient and while the cells are separated from the matrix, the latter is processed into a personalized thermoresponsive hydrogel. The cells are reprogrammed to become pluripotent and are then differentiated to cardiomyocytes and endothelial cells, followed by encapsulation within the hydrogel to generate the bioinks used for printing. The bioinks are then printed to engineer vascularized patches and complex cellularized structures. The resulting autologous engineered tissue can be transplanted back into the patient, to repair or replace injured/diseased organs with low risk of rejection.” (Credit: Advanced Science. © 2019 The Authors.)
“Concept schematic. An omentum tissue is extracted from the patient and while the cells are separated from the matrix, the latter is processed into a personalized thermoresponsive hydrogel. The cells are reprogrammed to become pluripotent and are then differentiated to cardiomyocytes and endothelial cells, followed by encapsulation within the hydrogel to generate the bioinks used for printing. The bioinks are then printed to engineer vascularized patches and complex cellularized structures. The resulting autologous engineered tissue can be transplanted back into the patient, to repair or replace injured/diseased organs with low risk of rejection.” (Credit: Advanced Science. © 2019 The Authors.)

Prof. Tal Dvir of TAU’s School of Molecular Cell Biology and Biotechnology, Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Center for Nanoscience and Nanotechnology and Sagol Center for Regenerative Biotechnology, who led the research for the study, said:

“This is the first time anyone anywhere has successfully engineered and printed an entire heart replete with cells, blood vessels, ventricles and a chamber…This heart is made from human cells and patient-specific biological materials. In our process these materials serve as the bioinks, substances made of sugars and proteins that can be used for 3D printing of complex tissue models. People have managed to 3D-print the structure of a heart in the past, but not with cells or with blood vessels. Our results demonstrate the potential of our approach for engineering personalized tissue and organ replacement in the future… At this stage, our 3D heart is small, the size of a rabbit’s heart. But larger human hearts require the same technology.”

The use of “native” patient-specific materials is crucial to successfully engineering tissues and organs. Prof. Dvir said:

“The biocompatibility of engineered materials is crucial to eliminating the risk of implant rejection, which jeopardizes the success of such treatments. Ideally, the biomaterial should possess the same biochemical, mechanical and topographical properties of the patient’s own tissues. Here, we can report a simple approach to 3D-printed thick, vascularized and perfusable cardiac tissues that completely match the immunological, cellular, biochemical and anatomical properties of the patient.”

The researchers are currently planning on culturing the printed hearts in the lab and “teaching them to behave” like hearts; then they will transplant them into animal models. Prof. Dvir said:

“We need to develop the printed heart further. The cells need to form a pumping ability; they can currently contract, but we need them to work together. Our hope is that we will succeed and prove our method’s efficacy and usefulness. Maybe, in ten years, there will be organ printers in the finest hospitals around the world, and these procedures will be conducted routinely.”

This article (World’s First 3D Printed Hearts, And Functional Beating Hearts Grown From Stem Cells) was originally created for Intelligent Living and is published here under Creative Commons.

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