Russian Invasion of Ukraine

Russian Invasion of Ukraine

The Russian Invasion of Ukraine

In our latest episode, we will be talking about the Russian invasion of Ukraine and their attempts to seize control over this country. 

A Story in History

We all want to know what is the reason behind this attack, so we did a little digging and found out interesting facts regarding Ukraine and Russia’s conflict:

Ukraine

Ukraine is the second-largest country in Europe after Russia. The country also shares boulders with Poland, Slovakia, Hungry, Romania, and Moldova. The government also has a coastline along the Sea of Azov and the Black Sea. 

After the Russian Revolution, a Ukrainian national movement for self-determination emerged and was internationally recognized as the Ukrainian People’s Republic on 23 June 1917. 

In 1922 the Ukrainian SSR helped establish the Soviet Union. Ukraine then regained its independence in 1991 after the dissolution of the Soviet Union. 

Kiev

Kyiv is said to be the birthplace of Russia. So naturally, Ukraine’s move toward the Western bloc has made the Russian establishment feel betrayed in the name of having a democratic state. 

The national identity and history of Kyiv are more linked to Russia than Turkic states in Central Asia or Baltic states in Eastern Europe. 

In addition to that, Moscow’s ruling establishment feels so emotional because the first Russian state was called Kievan Rus, which was established in Kyiv 12 centuries ago. 

Even the name of Russia originated in the name of this loose confederation of Eastern Slavic, Baltic and Finnic nations. 

Rurik, the founding leader of the Kievan Rus dynasty, has been considered one of the godfathers of the Russian state. Interestingly, Rurik did not have Slavic origins, but he had Viking blood in his veins.

Russian Aggression 

Russia has been aggressive with shifting its borders for the past decade. After the dissolution of the Soviet Union and the breakdown of the KGB, rumors started circulating. The story was that Russia wanted to regain its lost lands, and this began with Crimea in 2014. 

Crimean Peninsula became a part of post-Soviet Ukraine in 1991, of which Crimea was a part since 1954. In 2014, Russia annexed the peninsula and established two federal subjects there, the Republic of Crimea and the federal city of Sevastopol. 

However, the territories are still internationally recognized as being part of Ukraine. In 2022 Russia again stepped into Ukraine, this time with unknown goals. 

Why did Russia attack Ukraine?

There is much speculation about the rationale for Russian President Vladimir Putin to launch an invasion of Ukraine. No one knows what is going on, and it is hard to tell. We live in the age of the internet and the age of information. 

The problem with that is that there is so much information that it is hard to tell what is correct and false. We know that the U.S. has been involved in Ukrainian politics for many years now. 

Ukraine’s natural resources may be a reason for this Russian invasion

Ukraine has an abundance of some of the most valuable resources. The extraction of natural gas in Ukraine accounted for one-third of the Soviet Union’s total output in the early 1960s. Although largely unexploited, the country also has the second-biggest known gas reserves in Europe, apart from Russia’s gas reserves in Asia. 

Ironically enough, Ukraine depends on gas imports primarily because the USSR began extracting gas on a large scale in Siberia in the 1970s. Germany is also a big consumer of Russia’s natural gas. The country gets 55 percent of its natural gas from Russia, and the bulk of it goes through Ukraine, which earns a transit fee equivalent to $7 billion. 

Much of the gas exploration and production have been transferred to Russia, due to which Ukraine’s resources remain untapped. Presently, Russia supplies 40 percent to 50 percent of Europe’s gas consumption via the Nord Stream 1 pipeline and the Ukrainian network. 

Apart from natural gas, Ukraine is rich in minerals such as iron, coal, titanium, and other non-metallic raw materials. It’s the leading nation for reserves of titanium, iron, and non-metallic raw materials. Many believe that Ukraine’s abundance of minerals could also be one of the probable reasons for this Russian invasion. 

Ores such as iron, titanium, and non-metallic raw materials are some of the country’s major exports, iron ore ($3.36 billion), corn ($4.77 billion), semi-finished iron ($2.55 billion), and seed oils ($3.75 billion). Ukraine was the fifth largest exporter of iron ore in the world in 2019, and in the same year, iron ore was the third most-exported product in the country. 

Lithium and titanium are some of the precious metals on earth today. The Dobra and Donetsk mines were up for grabs, and there has been cut-throat competition between Chinese Chengxin Lithium and Australia-listed European Lithium. Both the companies want a foothold in the European lithium industry. Some estimates indicate that up to 20 percent of the world’s titanium reserves are situated in Ukraine [1]. 

Fear of Ukraine Entering NATO and the E.U.

Relations between Ukraine and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) started in 1992. Ukraine applied to begin a NATO Membership Action Plan (MAP) in 2008. However, plans for NATO membership were shelved by the country following the 2010 presidential election, where Viktor Yanukovych won. He preferred to keep the country non-aligned with NATO.

Following the Russian military invasion in Ukraine and parliamentary elections in October 2014, the new government prioritized joining NATO. ​​According to polls conducted between 2005 and 2013, Ukrainian public support for NATO membership remained low. However, since the Russo-Ukrainian War and Annexation of Crimea, public support for Ukrainian membership in NATO has risen dramatically. 

Since June 2014, polls showed that about 50% of those asked supported Ukrainian NATO membership. Some 69% of Ukrainians want to join NATO. According to a June 2017 poll by the Democratic Initiatives Foundation, it was compared to 28% support in 2012 when Yanukovych was in power. 

President Putin has made clear that he sees the country’s aspirations to join the group as a threat to Russia’s borders and its sphere of influence. “Ukraine is an inalienable part of our history, culture, and spiritual space. These are our comrades, those dear to us – not only colleagues, friends, and people who once served together but also relatives, people bound by blood, by family ties.” [2].

Putin’s speech from 2/24/2022 mentions how NATO has broken treaties and international law, instead emphasizing the circumstances they interpret as they think necessary. One reference is the NATO bombing of Yugoslavia, and the airstrikes lasted from 24 March 1999 to 10 June 1999. 

NATO’s intervention was prompted by Yugoslavia’s bloodshed and ethnic cleansing of Albanians, which drove them into neighboring countries and had the potential to destabilize the region. Then he mentions Iraq, Lybia & Syria. The illegal use of military power against Libya and the distortion of all the U.N. Security Council decisions on Libya. 

Syria is another example of the combat operations conducted by the western coalition in that country without the Syrian government’s approval. He quoted, “In many regions where the United States brought its law and order, this created bloody, non-healing wounds and the curse and international terrorism and extremism.” 

The U.S. Sanctions that they gave to Russia

Banks/Financials

U.S. President Joe Biden announced sanctions on VEB bank and Russia’s military bank, referring to Promsvyazbank, which does defense deals. The Treasury Department said, “All assets under U.S. jurisdiction will be immediately frozen, and U.S. individuals and entities are prohibited from doing business.”

  • According to Russia’s central bank data, total Russian banking foreign assets and liabilities stood at $200.6 billion and $134.5 billion, respectively.

One of the harshest measures would be to disconnect the Russian financial system from SWIFT, which handles international monetary transfers and is used by more than 11,000 financial institutions in over 200 countries.

Individuals

The U.S. imposed sanctions on working directly with individuals based out of Russia. They also imposed sanctions against Russian elites close to Putin.

Energy Corporates & Nord Stream 2

America and the E.U. already have sanctions on Russia’s energy and defense sectors, with state-owned gas company Gazprom, its oil arm Gazpromneft and oil producers Lukoil, Rosneft, and Surgutneftegaz facing various types of curbs on exports/imports and debt-raising.

  • Nord Stream is a system of offshore natural gas pipelines in Europe, running under the Baltic Sea from Russia to Germany.

Chips

The White House has told the U.S. chip industry to be ready for new restrictions on exports to Russia if Moscow attacks Ukraine, including potentially blocking Russia’s access to global electronics supplies [3].

Final Thoughts on This Russian Invasion

We don’t want another world war to erupt at this point. The ongoing crisis has left many of us on the edge of our seats. Hopefully, it can still be resolved so that we can all live in peace.

And if you want to watch the full episode on this, click here for more:

TIME STAMPS:

00:00 Intro
00:41 Plugs
01:54 Episode Beginning
06:04 About Ukraine
09:54 Is the birthplace of the Russian Empire in Ukraine?
12:57 When did Russian aggression start?
13:58 Possible reasons why Russia attacked Ukraine
16:39 Ukraine has a lot of natural resources
19:32 Russia’s fears of Ukraine entering NATO and the EU
25:52The Hypocrisy of the West
29:54 The sanctions only affect innocent citizens
36:00 The Financial Sanctions
39:44 Cryptocurrency dragged into war. Is it good or bad?
43:20 The dangers of the government abusing its authority
47:42 Wrapping up the episode

 

 

Importance of Sunlight and How Light Affects the Eyes

Importance of Sunlight and How Light Affects the Eyes

Importance of Sunlight and the Negative Effects of Artificial Light

the importance of sunlight plays a crucial part in human health and well-being. Among the benefits associated with sunlight are Vitamin D production, promoting sleep, and bone formation. It also helps with depression and anxiety.
 
Artificial light is something that has become a growing concern. Light from our phones, lamps, and TVs also has an impact on us. Some research has been showing blue light in particular has a harmful effect on the eyes and brain.

Benefits and Importance of Sunlight

There are many benefits of sunlight that your body can use. The main ones are vitamin D production which promotes sleep, helps with bone formation, and treats anxiety, and depression.

We can all say getting your skin hit by the sun is a simple pleasure we’ve all experienced. It’s interesting to note that almost all animals on this planet need sunlight. 

Vitamin D production

Vitamin D is a little different than the rest of the fat-soluble vitamins. Unlike the other four vitamins, Vitamin D is actually produced in the body. It is also available in small amounts in egg yolks and fish. But for it to be useful, it is first converted by the body. Sunlight’s ultraviolet B energy converts the precursor to Vitamin D3 in the body [1]

How the body converts vitamin D precursor to useable vitamin D:

  • Sun gives off UVB radiation that hits the skin and converts cutaneous 7-dehydrocholesterol to pre-vitamin D3.
  • It is converted in the liver and kidneys to vitamin D3.
  • The type of vitamin D3 that is able to be used by the body is 1,25-dihydroxy vitamin D3. 

Fun fact: Vitamin D is one of the oldest hormones. It was the earliest life form for over 750 million years. Plants and animals that are often exposed to sunlight have the capacity to produce vitamin D.

It is why this is critically important for the development, growth, and maintenance of a healthy skeleton from birth until death. The major function of vitamin D is to maintain calcium homeostasis [2]. 

It accomplishes this by increasing the efficiency of the intestine to absorb dietary calcium. 1,25(OH)2D receptors (VDR) are present not only in the intestine and bone.

However, it is also found in a wide variety of other tissues, including the brain, heart, stomach, pancreas, activated T and B lymphocytes, skin, gonads, etc. 1,25(OH)2D is one of the most potent substances to inhibit proliferation of both normal and hyperproliferative cells and induce them to mature.

Sleep Promotion

Once light enters the eye, it is then sensed by a particular group of cells on the retina. It is then carried to the brain and interpreted as information about the time of the day. The brain will then send signals throughout the body. This is to control organs and systems according to that time of day.
 
Natural sunlight affects your circadian rhythm. Sunlight regulates the circadian rhythm. It helps the body know when to decrease or increase melatonin levels. During the day, daylight lessens your melatonin. At night when there is no sunlight, melatonin is higher. It also prepares your body for sleep. It is also why you feel tired once the sun goes down.
 

Bone formation

Another importance of sunlight is bone formation. Vitamin D allows your body to absorb calcium. Calcium is necessary for building strong, healthy bones. Without these, bones cannot form in childhood. It can also lose mass, becomes weak, and breaks during adulthood. Even if you get enough calcium in your diet, your body will not absorb that calcium if you don’t get enough vitamin D:

  • Osteoclast: large multinucleated cell responsible for the dissolution and absorption of bone.
    • Take calcium out of the bone and release it into the bloodstream.
    • If there is not enough calcium in the blood there will be a problem with:
      • Nerve function
      • Muscle contraction
      • Blood clotting
      • Cardiac function
  • Osteoblasts: large cells responsible for the synthesis and mineralization of bone during both initial bone formation and later bone remodeling.

One study looked at the importance of sunlight in the production of Vitamin D on bone, muscle, and cartilage health. The study looked at all the receptors that are associated with vitamin d and the connection to certain vitamin D  deficient diseases. It concluded

“Understanding the relative contributions of direct and indirect actions of vitamin D on bone is complex. The cells in bone and cartilage contributing to skeletal formation and maintenance have both VDR and CYP27B1 and respond directly to both circulating 25OHD and 1,25(OH)2D (circulating and endogenously produced).”

Dietary Calcium and Phosphate

However, these cells are also responsive to blood levels of calcium and phosphate, elements required for bone formation. Dietary calcium and phosphate can to some extent compensate for deficient vitamin D signaling, and vitamin D can compensate to some extent for deficiencies in calcium and phosphate. But all are involved.

Defining the optimal level of vitamin D to maintain bone health remains under debate. But achieving a level of 25OHD around 30 ng/mL is both safe and effective. Additional research will be necessary to determine whether this is the optimal level,” [3].

The second study said, Vitamin D is a secosteroid hormone essential for calcium absorption and bone mineralization which is positively associated with bone mineral density [BMD]. It is well-established that prolonged and severe vitamin D deficiency leads to rickets in children and osteomalacia in adults.” [4].

Anxiety and Depression

The importance of sunlight and darkness triggers the release of hormones in your brain. Exposure to sunlight is thought to increase the brain’s release of a hormone called serotonin. Serotonin is associated with boosting mood and helping a person feel calm and focused.

When sunlight enters your eyes, it stimulates the parts of your retina that then cue your brain to produce serotonin. Serotonin appears to play a role in regulating mood, emotions, appetite, and digestion. The body uses serotonin to send messages between nerve cells, but it cannot cross the blood-brain barrier, which means that the brain has to produce any serotonin it needs to use [5].

Scientists don’t know exactly what causes depression, but one theory is that it’s due to an imbalance of neurotransmitters, like serotonin, in the body. 

Evidence Supports a Causal Role for Vitamin D Status in COVID-19 Outcomes

Analyzed global daily reports of fatalities and recoveries from 239 locations from 22nd Jan 2020 to 9th April 2020. This is a previous study we mentioned from Cup of news EP 10.

We present historical evidence that vitamin D supplementation prevented past respiratory virus pandemics. There is a discussion on how molecular mechanisms of vitamin D action can prevent respiratory viral infections and protect against ARDS. In the study, they highlight vitamin D’s direct effect on the renin-angiotensin-system (RAS), which in concert with additional effects, can modify host responses thus preventing a cytokine storm and SARS-CoV-2-induced pathological changes.

Unfortunately, about 42% of the US population is vitamin D deficient with some populations having even higher levels of deficiency, including premenopausal women, those with poor nutrition habits, people over age 65, and Caucasians who avoid even minimal sun exposure, and those who take prescription medication long term.

*Note that screening for Vitamin D deficiency is not part of the standard protocol in the US

Study on Sunlight

The present study examined the influence of simulated sunlight and relative humidity on the stability of SARS-CoV-2 in aerosols generated from viruses suspended in either simulated saliva or a culture medium at 20°C (68F). Simulated sunlight rapidly inactivated the virus in aerosols in either suspension matrix, with half-lives of less than 6 minutes, and 90% of the virus inactivated in less than 20 minutes for all simulated sunlight levels tested. 

Harmful effects of artificial light

Our bodies are evolved to the rhythms of the natural light-dark cycle day and night. The spread of artificial lighting means most people never experience truly dark nights anymore, which can cause problems with sleep patterns as humans’ circadian rhythm regulates core functions such as sleeping or waking up on an internal clock that depends upon darkness for validating information received through our eyes—such us noticing whether it’s daytime by judging how much brighter things appear than during “nighttime”.

Research suggests that artificial light at night can negatively affect human health, increasing risks for obesity, depression, sleep disorders, diabetes, breast cancer, and more.

Exposure to blue light at night is particularly harmful. Unfortunately, most LEDs used for outdoor lighting — as well as computer screens, TVs, and other electronic displays — create abundant blue light.

Blue Light

Nighttime exposure to blue light is particularly harmful [6]. LEDs used for outdoor lighting, computer screens, and TVs all emit a lot of that troublesome color which makes it hard for your body’s sight receptors to adjust accordingly- this causes insomnia as well as issues with hormonal regulation!

Maintaining an indoor ambiance during daylight hours can help you get better sleep at night time by giving those tired eyes something else other than bright displays or harsh florescent lights nearby so they don’t have any choice but close themselves off from the world due to lack of fatigue

Experts think digital eye strain, or computer vision syndrome, affects about 50% of computer users. Symptoms include dry, irritated eyes and blurred vision.

Blue light may also damage your retinas. That’s called phototoxicity. The amount of damage depends on wavelength and exposure time. Animal studies show even short exposure (a few minutes to several hours) may be harmful. A filter that cuts 94% of blue light has been shown to lessen the damage.

There’s evidence blue light could lead to permanent vision changes. Almost all blue light passes straight through to the back of your retina. Some research has shown blue light may increase the risk of macular degeneration, a disease of the retina.

Research shows blue light exposure may lead to age-related macular degeneration or AMD. One study found blue light triggered the release of toxic molecules in photoreceptor cells. This causes damage that may lead to AMD.

Blue Light and Sleep

Screen time, especially at night, is linked to poor sleep. The blue light from electronic devices messes with your circadian rhythm or sleep cycle. It signals your brain to wake up when it should be winding down. In one study, as little as 2 hours of exposure to blue light at night slowed or stopped the release of the sleep hormone melatonin [7]. Powering down your digital devices at least 3 hours before bedtime can help.

Blue Light and Cancer

Blue light exposure might raise your risk for certain cancers. One study found that people who work the night shift are at greater risk for breast, prostate, and colorectal cancers.

  • Study participants subjected to higher levels of blue light (lights on during sleep cycles) had a 1.5 times higher risk for developing breast cancer and a two-fold higher risk of developing prostate cancer compared to people who had less exposure to artificial light, the study researchers say [8].

Blue Light and Mental Health

Nighttime exposure to blue light was linked to depressive symptoms in animal studies [9]. But exposure to blue light during the day may have the opposite effect. It’s been used to treat a seasonal affective disorder or SAD. That’s a form of depression related to the changing of the seasons. Research shows 20 minutes of blue light exposure in the morning helps ease SAD symptoms. 

  • One study found that blue light deprivation (BLD) induced depression-like behavior in gerbils. Melatonin lost its rhythm, and corticosterone (CORT) levels decreased in the morning in the BLD group [10]

Learn more about the importance of sunlight by watching the full Episode 77 here 👇

SHOW NOTES:

0:00 Cup of Nurses Introduction
2:22 Episode Introduction
7:32 Benefits of Sunlight
7:59 Vitamin D Production
13:20 Sleep Promotion
13:45 Bone Formation
19:20 Anxiety and Depression
​​22:16 Evidence Supports a Causal Role for Vitamin D Status in COVID-19 Outcomes
26:55 Harmful Effects of Artificial Light
27:50 Blue Light
35:00 Blue Light and Mental Health

 

No Nut November

No Nut November

Benefits of Sex

In this episode, we will talk about no nut November and if it is something we should practice. We’re all adults here, so we can admit that sex is great. It’s something that everyone has the urge to do, it’s programmed in nature, and it’s in our genes to procreate. It’s something that we do to keep our species going.

Sex During the Pandemic

We took a look at how the pandemic has impacted no nut November and sex worldwide. When the pandemic hit, it forced many businesses to close; many of those businesses were where people went to socialize, so one can hypothesize that there would be a decline in sex [1]

We looked at a meta-analysis that included a review of 34 articles from 18 countries, and their finding was quite stunning.

  • About 43% of people had a worsening or a decline in sexual intercourse.
  • A 28% increase in solo masturbation has been reported.
  • Increase in desire but no increase in sexual intercourse.
  • 32% of people that had planned on having children abandoned the idea. 

We also took at birth trends from March 2019 to 2020, and there was a decline of 0.91%, about 1.5 million less than the prior year. It makes sense because people were not sure about the effects of Covid-19 on newborns and pregnant women [2]. 

The Health Benefits of Sex

According to the American Sexual Health Association, being sexually healthy means :

  • Understanding that sexuality is a natural part of life involves more than sexual behavior.
  • It is being able to experience sexual pleasure, satisfaction, and intimacy when desired.
  • It is about being to communicate about sexual health with others, including sexual partners and healthcare providers.
  • Having access to sexual health information, education, and care.

1. Headache relief

One observational study looked at 800 migraine patients and 200 cluster headache patients, asking for experience with sexual activity during a headache attack [3].

  • In total, 38% of the migraine patients and 48% of the patients with cluster headaches responded. In migraine, 34% of the patients had experienced sexual activity during an attack. Out of these patients, 60% reported an improvement in their migraine attacks.
  • In cluster headache, 31% of the patients had experienced sexual activity during an attack. Out of these patients, 37% reported an improvement in their cluster headache attack. 91% of them reported moderate to complete relief.
  • Researchers concluded that sexual activity could lead to partial or complete relief in some migraine. It can also help a few cluster headache patients.

2. Good cardiovascular exercise

The objective of this study was to determine energy expenditure in kilocalories (kcal) during sexual activity in young, healthy couples in their natural environment.

  • The energy expenditure and intensity during the 30 min exercise session in men were 276 kCal or 9.2 kCal/min and 8.5 METS, respectively, and in women, 213 kCal or 7.1 kCal/min 8.4 METS, respectively.

Just like any physical activity, healthy sex is good for your heart. A study published in January 2015 in the American Journal of Cardiology found that men who had sex twice weekly or more had less risk of cardiovascular diseases, like stroke or heart attack than those who had sex once a month or less [4].

3. Helps with menstrual cramps

One study took a look at if there is any benefit of sex for menstruating women.

  • We hypothesized that pain relief evoked by viewing pictures of a romantic partner would be associated with neural activations in reward-processing centers. This functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) study examined fifteen individuals in the first nine months of a new, romantic relationship.
  • Greater analgesia while viewing pictures of a person’s romantic partner was associated with increased activity in several reward-processing regions, including the caudate head, nucleus accumbens, lateral orbitofrontal cortex, amygdala, and dorsolateral prefrontal cortex – areas not associated with distraction-induced analgesia. The results suggest that the activation of neural reward systems via non-pharmacologic means can reduce the experience of pain [5].

4. It makes you happy 

One study we looked at examined how long does the post-sex glow last.

  • We explored how long sexual satisfaction would remain elevated following sex and predicted that stronger sexual afterglow would characterize more satisfying partnerships.
  • 214 couples were surveyed
  • Spouses reported their daily sexual activity and sexual satisfaction for 14 days and their marital satisfaction at baseline and 4 or 6 months later. Results demonstrated that sexual pleasure remained elevated approximately 48 hr after sex, and spouses experiencing a stronger afterglow reported higher levels of marital satisfaction both at baseline and over time [6].

Effects of Porn

It has been reported that porn addiction has risen here in the US. The internet is vastly used. The ease of access to any search puts almost no limitation on what you can view. Porn addiction has become natural for 5-8% of men. 

What is Porn Addiction?

Thanks to the internet, everyone has access to porn sites these days. If you are addicted to porn or have a developing porn addiction, you should watch out for the warning signs and seek help before it’s too late [7].

  • People addicted to porn spend at least 11 to 12 hours per week viewing porn.
  • Most people who have a porn addiction say that porn hurts their relationships.
  • Many conditions co-occur with porn addiction, including anxiety, depression, sex addiction, social anxiety, and substance use disorders.
  • The prognosis for porn addiction is good with cognitive behavioral therapy and counseling.

Effects of Porn Addiction

The purpose of one study was to examine the relationship between men’s pornography use. It also shows their frequency and problematic use. This study also showed the effects on their heterosexual female partners. It includes the psychological and relational well-being among 308 young adult college women.
 
Results showed that women with male partners who view porn often have a negative impact on their relationships. It has affected their self-esteem, relationship quality, and sexual satisfaction.
 
Additionally, a woman’s self-esteem and their partner’s problematic porn use affect the quality relationship [8].

Have you participated in the No Nut November? Watch here for more 👇👇👇

SHOW NOTES:

0:00 Cup of Nurses Intro
1:45 Episode Introduction
4:00 Sex During the Pandemic
8:03 Health Benefits of Sex
10:24 Headache Relief
13:49 Good Cardiovascular Exercise
15:40 Helps With Menstrual Cramps
17:23 Makes you happy
20:57 What is Porn Addiction
25:15 Effects of Addiction

 

New Brain Implant Treats Severe Depression

New Brain Implant Treats Severe Depression

New Brain Implant Treats Severe Depression

A new brain implant gave a patient with depression a new shot at life. Thanks to the researchers from the University of California San Francisco Health. The brain implant is helped by targeting specific brain circuits. It is where brain patterns are and then resets them.
 
The implant called Deep brain stimulation is a promising treatment for neuropsychiatric conditions. These include conditions like major depression. It is used to identify neural biomarkers that trigger therapy when a symptom elevates. These neural biomarkers are specific to brain activity. It indicates the onset of the symptoms.

New Brain Implant Treats Resistant Depression

A group of scientists developed an approach that first used multi-day intracranial electrophysiology. It is used along with focal electrical stimulation to identify symptom-specific biomarkers. and a treatment location where stimulation improved symptoms. They then implanted a chronic deep brain sensing and stimulation device. It implemented a biomarker-driven closed-loop therapy in an individual with depression [1].
 
Closed-loop therapy resulted in a rapid and sustained improvement in depression. The patient’s depression symptoms alleviated almost immediately. It lasted over the 15 months they had the implanted device. It needs more work to determine the results and approach. This is to prove if this n-of-1 study generalizes to a broader population.
 
Scangos says, “We need to look at how these circuits vary across patients and repeat this work many times. And we need to see whether an individual’s biomarker or brain circuit changes over time as the treatment continues.”

Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP)

Neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) is a psychological approach that involves analyzing strategies used by successful individuals and applying them to reach a personal goal. It relates thoughts, language, and behavioral patterns learned through experience to specific outcomes. Neuro-linguistic Programing is reprograming your nervous system through the use of language.

In the 1970s, the University of California, Santa Cruz, developed Neuro-linguistic programming. Its primary founders are John Grinder, a linguist, and Richard Bandler, an information scientist and mathematician.

How Neuro-linguistic Programming Works

There are three crucial elements of neuro-linguistic programming. They are modeling, action, and effective communication. When a person understands how another accomplishes a task, the process is repeated. It is then communicated to others so they too can achieve the task. 
 
Neuro-linguistic programming proposes that everyone has a personal map of reality. Those who practice NLP analyze their own as well as other perspectives to create a systematic overview of one situation. By understanding a range of perspectives, the NLP user gains information.
 
Advocates of this school of thought believe the senses are vital for processing available information. It also teaches that the body and mind influence each other. This is the neuro-linguistic programming is an experienThusoach. Thus, if a person wants to understand an action, they must perform that same action to learn from the experience [2].

Neuro-linguistic Programming and its Beliefs

NLP practitioners believe there are natural learning, communication, and change hierarchies. The six logical levels of change are:

  • Purpose and spirituality can involve something more significant than oneself, such as religion or another system. It is the highest level of change.
  • Identity: Identity is the person you perceive yourself to be and includes your responsibilities and roles in life.
  • Beliefs and values: These are your belief system and the issues that matter to you.
  • Capabilities and skills: These are your abilities and what you can do.
  • Behaviors: Behaviors are the specific actions you perform.
  • Environment: Your environment is your context or setting, including other people around you. It is the lowest level of change.
Each logical level aims to organize and direct the information below it. As a result, making a change in a lower level may cause higher levels. But, according to NLP theory, making a change in a higher level will also result in lower levels.
 
“The map is not the territory” because it highlights the differences between belief and reality. It points out that each person operates within their perspective besides the place of objectivity. The proponents of NLP believe in everyone’s perception of the world. They think that it is distorted, limited, and unique.
 
Thus, a therapist who practices NLP must understand how a person in treatment perceives their “map”. And if this perception may have an effect on that person’s thoughts and behavior. 

NLP Technique

Example: A technique attempt to remove negative thoughts and feelings linked to a past event

  • Anchoring: Turning sensory experiences into triggers for particular emotional states.
  • Rapport: The practitioner tunes in to the person by matching their physical behaviors to improve communication and response through empathy.
  • Swish pattern: Changing patterns of behavior or thought to come to a desired instead of an undesired outcome.
  • Visual/kinesthetic dissociation (VKD): Trying to remove negative thoughts and feelings associated with a past event.

NLP also seeks to build effective communication between conscious and unconscious mental processes to help people increase creativity and problem-solving skills. Some advocates of NLP compare the approach to cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) but assert positive changes may be made with NLP in less time [3].

Difference between NLP vs. CBT

Neuro-linguistic Programming (NLP) is the practice of understanding how people organize their thinking and language and how this affects behavior. On the other hand, CBT is focused on managing problems by changing how we think and behave.

Want to know more about brain implants? Check the full Episode 73 here 👇

SHOW NOTES:

0:00 Cup of Nurses Introduction
2:12 Episode Introduction
8:12 New Brain Implant Treats Severe Depression
12:00 Brain implant treats resistant depression
17:35 Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP)
18:40 How Neuro-linguistic Programming Works
19:00 NLP Technique Difference between NLP vs. CBT

 

 

 

Mu Covid Variant & Abortions

Mu Covid Variant & Abortions

Mu Covid Variant & Abortions

The World Health Organization has another variant in the sight and this time it is the Mu variant. Many people don’t know that there are different strains. Like certain types of bacteria, there are also different strains of a virus. Mu variant is another variant that has been seen and there can be many more that we do not know of [1]

What do we know about the variant so far?

  • First discovered in Colombia in January 2021. So far it has reached 39 countries. The good news is that so far it is not overtaking the delta strain [2].
  • Preliminary findings are showing that the Mu variant can potentially evade the antibodies created from the vaccine.
  • Vaccine manufacturers are turning their focus on the Delta and Mu variants. There is a potential for “escape variants” to come into existence. An escape variant is a variant that has different spike proteins and other components that would render our current vaccines useless. 
  • So far there are around 2,000 cases the most in California, Florida, Texas, and New York. 
  • Fauci stated that the Mu variant can evade certain antibodies, among them those associated with the vaccines. 

How do Viruses Mutate?

A virus’s goal is to enter a host and replicate. When the virus replicates there are instances that go through replication errors and those errors lead to mutations. Sometimes those mutations make the virus weaker but often times it strengthens it. 

The virus’s antigens can change and that’s when our immune system, specifically our antibodies, is not able to recognize the invading virus. 

  • Influenza is another RNA virus. When comparing Influenza and Covid, Covid replicates slower than influenza at a rate of about 4 times slower.
  • Scientists think that Covid has the ability to proofread newly-made RNA copies. 
  • Scientists also don’t see an “antigen shift” coming soon. Antigen shift is when the 2 different strains of the same virus infect a host and their genomes merge together to create another strain. This leads to the immune system’s inability to recognize or combat the virus. This usually leads to pandemics or worsening of pandemics. 

Antibody-dependent Enhancement

Antibody-dependent enhancement (ADE), sometimes less precisely called immune enhancement or disease enhancement, is a phenomenon in which the binding of a virus to suboptimal antibodies enhances its entry into host cells, followed by its replication. Suboptimal antibodies can result from natural infection or from vaccination.

ADE may cause enhanced respiratory disease and acute lung injury after respiratory virus infection (ERD) with symptoms of monocytic infiltration and an excess of eosinophils in the respiratory tract. This along with type 2 T helper cell-dependent mechanisms may contribute to the development of the vaccine-associated disease enhancement (VADE), which is not limited to respiratory disease.

Some vaccine candidates that targeted coronaviruses, RSV virus, and Dengue virus elicited VADE and were terminated from further development or became approved for use only for patients who had those viruses before.

ADE was observed in animal studies during the development of coronavirus vaccines, but as of 14 December 2020 no incidents had been observed in human trials. “Overall, while ADE is a theoretical possibility with a COVID-19 vaccine, clinical trials in people so far have not shown that participants who received the vaccine have a higher rate of severe illness compared to participants who did not receive the vaccine.

Mechanism of ADE

ADE has been documented to occur through two distinct mechanisms in viral infections: by enhanced antibody-mediated virus uptake into Fc gamma receptor IIa (FcγRIIa)-expressing phagocytic cells leading to increased viral infection and replication, or by excessive antibody Fc-mediated effector functions or immune complex formation causing enhanced inflammation and immunopathology

Abortion

An abortion can also be called a “termination of pregnancy”. It is when a pregnancy does not end with a birth of a child. 

History of Abortion

By the 1900s abortion was a felony in every state with some acceptions in limited circumstances when the woman’s life was in danger, rape, or incest. Abortions did continue to occur and reached about 800,000 a year by the 1930s. American Birth Control League was founded in 1921 and then changed to Planned Parenthood Federation of America in 1942 [3].

Pre Roe vs. Wade

  • In 1964, Gerri Santoro died trying to do an illegal abortion, and her photo became the symbol of an abortion-rights movement. Some women’s rights activist groups started developing their own skills in abortions. In Chicago, a group known as “Jane” operated a floating abortion clinic throughout much of the 1960s. Women seeking the procedure would call a designated number and be given instructions on how to find “Jane” [4].
  • In 1965 the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) issued a medical bulletin accepting a recommendation that clarified that “conception is the implantation of a fertilized ovum” and birth control methods that prevented implantation became classified as contraceptives, not abortifacients.
  • In 1967, Colorado became the first state to decriminalize abortion in cases of rape, incest, or if pregnancy would lead to permanent physical disability of the woman. Similar laws were passed in California, Oregon, and North Carolina. 
  • In 1970, Hawaii became the first state to legalize abortions on the request of the woman, and New York repealed its 1830 law and allowed abortions up to the 24th week of pregnancy. Similar laws were soon passed in Alaska and Washington. 
  • In 1970, Washington held a referendum on legalizing early pregnancy abortions, becoming the first state to legalize abortion through a vote of the people. 
  • A law in Washington, D.C., which allowed abortion to protect the life or health of the woman, was challenged in the Supreme Court in 1971 in the United States v. Vuitch. The court upheld the law, deeming that “health” meant “psychological and physical well-being”, essentially allowing abortion in Washington, D.C. 
  • By the end of 1972, 13 states had a law similar to that of Colorado, while Mississippi allowed abortion in cases of rape or incest only and Alabama and Massachusetts allowed abortions only in cases where the woman’s physical health was endangered. In order to obtain abortions during this period, women would often travel from a state where abortion was illegal to one where it was legal. 
  • The legal position prior to Roe v. Wade was that abortion was illegal in 30 states and legal under certain circumstances in 20 states.

Roe vs. Wade

  • Roe vs. Wade was a landmark decision of the U.S. Supreme Court in which the Court ruled that the Constitution of the United States protects a pregnant woman’s liberty to choose to have an abortion without excessive government restriction. It struck down many U.S. federal and state abortion laws and prompted an ongoing national debate in the United States about whether and to what extent abortion should be legal, who should decide the legality of abortion, what methods the Supreme Court should use in constitutional adjudication, and what the role of religious and moral views in the political sphere should be.
  • The decision involved the case of Norma McCorvey (Jane Roe) who in 1969 became pregnant with her third child. McCorvey wanted an abortion, but she lived in Texas, where abortion was illegal except when necessary to save the mother’s life. She was referred to lawyers Sarah Weddington and Linda Coffee, who filed a lawsuit on her behalf in U.S. federal court against her local district attorney, Henry Wade, alleging that Texas’s abortion laws were unconstitutional. A three-judge panel of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas heard the case and ruled in her favor. Texas then appealed this ruling directly to the U.S. Supreme Court.
  • In January 1973, the Supreme Court issued a 7–2 decision ruling that the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution provides a “right to privacy” that protects a pregnant woman’s right to choose whether or not to have an abortion. 
    • But it also ruled that this right is not absolute, and must be balanced against the government’s interests in protecting women’s health and protecting prenatal life. The Court resolved this balancing test by tying state regulation of abortion to the three trimesters of pregnancy: 
      • During the first trimester, governments could not prohibit abortions at all
      • In the second trimester, governments could require reasonable health regulations 
      • During the third trimester, abortions could be prohibited entirely so long as the laws contained exceptions for cases when they were necessary to save the life or health of the mother.
    • The Court classified the right to choose to have an abortion as “fundamental”, which required courts to evaluate challenged abortion laws under the “strict scrutiny” standard, the highest level of judicial review in the United States.

What’s Going on in Texas?

There is a new anti-abortion law that went into effect in Texas. It’s named the Heartbeat Act, which bans abortions after about six weeks of pregnancy. Many women don’t even know they are pregnant before then.
 
The law allows private citizens to sue abortion providers and those who help a woman get an abortion. It includes those who give a woman a ride to a clinic or provide financial help to get an abortion. Private citizens who bring these suits don’t need to show any connection to those they are suing.
 
The law bans abortions as soon as cardiac activity is detected. This is interesting because when we have brain-dead patients their heart is still beating but we still don’t consider them “dead”.
 
Groups that pushed for this law are hoping to make it hard for the federal courts to knock it down. Instead of having public officials enforce this law, it allows individuals to bring civil lawsuits against providers or anyone who aids abortions
 
Anyone that would sue can win $10,000 or more and there is even a whistleblower page being created. It feels like they are placing a bounty on people that seek help with abortions [5].

Know more about this law by watching the full video here 👇👇

SHOW NOTES

0:00 Introduction
1:31 Episode Introduction
2:38 What is Mu Covid Variant?
8:20 Antibody-Dependent Enhancement
20:25 Abortion History
29:32 Texas Abortion Law