Author Archives: Rachael Moyer

Benefits of delaying the clamping of umbilical cords

Most of us love cute, adorable little babies. Some of us dream of the day we will have our own child, and the emotional moment in the hospital when you hold your own baby in your arms. I recently saw an article that related to babies right after they were born, and a study shows that delaying the cutting of the umbilical cord can actually benefit the baby.

baby blog

Research has found that delaying the clamping can increase fine-motor skills and social scores in children once they reach the age of 4. A study was done in a hospital in Sweden to see the effects that delayed clamping  of the cord can have long term. 263 children took IQ tests, and participated in other assessments dealing with behavior and development. 141 children had delayed clamping, which was considered to be 3 minutes after birth or more. While 122 children had early clamping, which was 10 seconds or left after birth.

The IQ test didn’t show much variation in the results between the early and late clamping. Instead, an observation was made that involved the immature pencil grip of the kids. This immature grip was found less in the delayed cord group. This delayed cord group also performed better in the assessments involving motor skills and social skills.

Although the study doesn’t have the medical reason behind the link, there is a correlation between delayed clamping and an increase in skills. Another study was done that showed the benefits of delayed clamping when it comes to congenital heart disease. Infants here didn’t need as many red blood cell transfusions as the early clamping infants. Apparently the delay in time of clamping gives the baby a higher blood volume, which most likely improves the flow of blood in the infant. This could be beneficial to those with the heart disease.

Further research and studies should be done to find the connection between the late clamping and benefits. Although there is an apparent connection, it would be good to try more studies to improve the validity of the theory. Maybe sometime in the future all babies will have their cord cut later than usual, as their mother waits anxiously to hold her newborn baby.

Can walking improve creativity?

Most of us can relate to the stressful time when you can’t seem to write a decent essay, or you can’t figure out how to make your art project better. I recently was looking for inspiration for my art project, and decided to walk around campus. This short walk seemed to have a positive effect on my brain, and I was able to finish my art project easily after taking time to just explore. I was then surprised when I read that there is an actual link between walking and creativity.


A recent study by Stanford showed a link between creativity and walking. The study consisted of a group of undergraduate students who would be observed after walking to test their creativity. The participants were placed in a boring room, with homely walls, a desk, and one treadmill. They first sat down and completed tasks that involved creativity, like finding multiple uses for one object. Afterwards, they were asked to walk on the treadmill at a decent pace, and perform the same creativity activities during their walk. For most students, the creativity displayed went up drastically. They were able to find more uses for the object as they were walking, compared to sitting down.

The same study then went on to test if creativity increased after walking, not just during the walk. Another group of students was used, and they sat to take the test first. The group then walked for around 8 minutes, and sat down again to take the test. After walking and sitting down to take the tests, the results were the same. If you are taking the test while walking, or sitting after walking, more creativity is presented.

Another very interesting fact is that Steve Jobs was known for walking during his meetings. Steve Jobs is the creator of Apple, a brand that has created the widely popular iPhones, iPads, iPod touches, and other smart technology most of the population uses today. The creation of Apple as a brand required a lot of creativity, and it is interesting to see that Jobs was known for walking in his meetings.

The reason behind walking and creativity could have to do with the exercise that come with walking. It makes new connections between brain cells, increases volume of the hippocampus (memory part of brain), allows the heart to pump faster, and circulates more blood and oxygen to the brain. All of which helps people perform certain tasks, much like the creativity ones in the study above.

The results of these studies show a connection between walking and creativity. The study was performed well, and I believe the results are accurate and prove a connection between the two. It would be interesting to do a study and see how walking effects artists and their drawings. I know now that when I’m having trouble getting things done, I can go walking to build up creativity and inspire me.

Who wants to try the Mediterranean diet?

After looking at my Twitter feed, I came across an article about a diet that can reduce aging. When taking a closer look, I was able to dive more into there specifics behind the intriguing diet. This diet is called the Mediterranean diet, which consists of an abundance of olive oil, fruits, nuts, vegetables, legumes, grains, wine, and a high intake of fish. So who would be willing to try this diet if it reduced aging?

medditerean diet

It might be beneficial for all of us to try this diet, it has real effects on the brain. One of the interesting ways the diet effects the brain, is by increasing telomere length. Telomeres are located in the brain, and are at the end of chromosomes. They essentially keep the chromosome in the best shape possible, preventing them from fraying. It is important for telomeres not to fray, because the shorter the chromosomes, the shorter the life, and a potential increase in certain diseases that come with aging. This diet is believed to increase the length of telomeres, which in turn can increase life expectancy.

A study was done by the Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School that involved 4,676 participants. These participants were all women who were in good health. They were all asked on a scale of 0-9, how much their diet matched the Mediterranean diet. The results showed that the closer the participants were to 9 on the scale, the longer telomeres they had. This shows that there is some type of link between this diet and life expectancy.

Another study was done in New York City, where 700 people were questioned about their diets for 7 months, and had their brains scanned with MRI’s. Those who were close or had a Mediterranean diet had different MRI results, because they had a greater brain volume than those who weren’t eating what foods where in the diet. These results show that this diet is closely linked with the brain, and it’s functions.

These studies both prove that this diet in some way effects the brain in a positive way. The results show that there will be  longer life expectancy on this diet, and a potential increase in cognitive abilities with larger brain volume. So should we all be trying this diet? It would certainly benefit those who try out the diet, but it’s all up to individual preferences. So would you try this diet?

Should all men get married?

Many women dream of their wedding day, and their life after being married. In fact, when thinking of marriage society often views the women as the one eager to get married, and the guy wanting nothing to do with it. But maybe guys shouldn’t be so resistant to marriage, it is actually proven to have major health benefits for men more than women.


It has been found that men tend to be healthier when in a marriage as opposed to men who are single. Married men experience less stress, which reduces the chance of disease and illness. In 1996 a study called “Marital Status and Mortality: The Role of Health”, found that men in their 50s or older had lower mortality rates when involved in  marriage. The study came to the conclusions that this could be due to not smoking, avoidance of huge amounts of alcohol, better eating habits, and being cared for when sick. Due to their marriage, the men would be more likely to stay away from potentially risky actions.

Researchers from the University if Chicago took at look at stress levels in marriages. A study was conducted on 500 students who were given the task of playing difficult, stress inducing video games. In this group forty percent where men, and 53 percent where women who were married. Afterwards, the saliva of the participants was tested. The test of saliva was to check the cortisol levels from before the game, to after the game. Cortisol is a steroid hormone associated with stress. The researchers found that there was more cortisol in single men and women than in their married participants. Having less stress as a married man can lead to a longer life, less chance of getting heart disease, and even reduce the chance of cancer development.

Men are better off than women in marriage because their health can improve by a lot, whereas single women and married women remain at almost the same level of health regardless of their relationship. According to one source, “researchers revealed that middle-aged women who had never married had virtually the same chance of developing metabolic syndrome – a combination of diabetes, high blood pressure and obesity – as their married counterparts.” Women who are married, have very similar health to those who are not.

The studies above were well conducted, and shed light on the health benefits of marriage for men. The conclusion of men being better off in marriage is contrary to what society and the media portrays. Although there will still be many girls dreaming about their perfect wedding day, it might be time for men to truly consider marriage. It can truly impact their health.

Why do we sing in the shower?

Many of us can relate to the moment when you are taking a shower, and before you know it you’re belting out your favorite song. For most of us the singing seems to occur naturally in the shower, and our voice even tends to sound better. So why do we sing in the shower? And why do we sound better?

singing in shower blog

According to Music Mic, your voice in the shower bounces off of the tiles, making it louder and more powerful to your own ears. The shape of the shower directly effects the way the the sound waves travel. The shape usually causes the sound waves to travel longer, making the sound resonate in the air. As the sound lingers for longer, it gives it a richer sound. The sound waves as they linger vibrate at about 100 times per second, which makes the voice sound deeper,and enhances the bass. This all contributes to a richer, deeper voice that sounds less pitchy than usual.

It has also been proven that singing has beneficial psychological effects on humans. Whether starting off your day with a shower, or ending your day with a shower, it will most likely boost your mood. Singing releases endorphins and oxytocin in the brain, hormones that bring pleasure and relaxation. Endorphins in particular reduce our perception of pain, lead to feelings of euphoria, and enhance the immune response. This contributes to less stress, and a more relaxing shower.

In addition, you are never too old to sing in the shower. In fact, a study shows that singing at old age can improve mental and oral condition of the elderly. Forty-four subjects were recruited for the study, 60 years or older. All participants were currently on medication for respiratory or cardiovascular diseases. They were all measured of height. weight, blood pressure, and heart rate right before they were asked to sing. They also participated in a questionnaire beforehand.  All participants sang 3 songs in a row, which totaled to about 3 or more minutes. Afterwards, saliva and blood samples were taken. Results revealed a decrease in pulse rates after singing, a decrease of cortisol (a steroid hormone that is connected to stress) in saliva, and answers to the questioner involving the words: relaxed, comfortable, pleasurable, relieved, and released. These words show that there is an improved mental state for the elderly.

This study shows that singing is beneficial to the elderly, but it seems that it could also have positive effects on those who consistently sing in the shower from childhood into old age. The study above was well conducted, and in the future I would recommend a similar study done to children, teenagers, and adults who sing.

So why do we sing in the shower? And why do we sound better? I have come to the conclusion that singing in the shower increases our mood, and quality of life even if we don’t realize it. This pushes us to sing in the shower, in need of more relaxation, and positive physical effects for our bodies. When it all comes down to it, the shower provides the right acoustics to make our voices sound better than usual, and we should take the opportunity to sing along to our favorite songs in the shower.

Can the ingestion of young blood decrease aging?

The newest season of American Horror Story showed its first episode last week, exciting many with the appearance of Lady Gaga as one of the main characters. The pop star plays a character called, “The Countess”, who in an attempt to maintain her youth feasts on the blood of others. This character is based off of Elizabeth Bathory, who was countess in real life and also happened to be a serial killer who bathed and drank the blood of over 100 young female victims. Can young blood actually reduce aging?


After researching this topic, an experiment with mice seemed to have results that align with the ideas of both Countess’s. Over time studies have shown that young blood can have positive effects on older mice. An experiment took place in which two mice were joined together, along with their circulation system. The older mice suddenly had improvements in muscle and brain function. This study was one that led paths for recent studies that are showing that young blood might actually create effects of anti aging.

One team that looked further into this issue was led by Lee Rubin and Amy Wagers from Harvard. They worked at Birmingham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, and isolated a protein within the blood of young mice. They were in a search for the protein they believed was having positive effects on older mice. The proteins name is GDF11, or growth differentiation factor 11. This protein ended up reducing the thickening of the heart in older mice. Also, the protein helped with recovering from injury and increased their ability to perform certain tasks.

Another research team also studied this topic, led by Tony Wyss-Coray of Stanford University. In their study, they found the effects of young blood on the tissue of the brain. There is a increase in neurogenesis in the brain that produced young neurons. These neurons can help with many things, including the area of the brain associated with memory. There was more connections made between nerve cells, which enhances memory. This naturally allows the older mice to be better at certain tasks. It is still unknown as to what part of young blood helps with memory.

These experiments were both done with mice, so the idea of young blood helping older humans is prominent, but we can’t be sure if it will work. The above experiments certainly raise some intreresting ideas, and I believe the scientific teams did the best experiment possible in the safest way. But now, I would recommend trying to use young blood to help human elders, including those who are experiencing memory loss and loss of specific functions as they age. Even if we can’t use actual young blood, it would be beneficial to isolate the GDF11 protein and give this to older patients. This experiment could led to many new treatments.

The above question I had raised about the ingestion of human blood may receive an answer soon based on the experiments and progress each day. Unlike the Countess, fortunately we won’t be have to actually drink the blood or bathe in it to recieve its effects. There are other ways to use young blood without the horror of being a human vampire. There is a great potential for a new treatments with the use of young blood.

Does exercise actually help reduce pain from menstrual cramps?

All of us ladies have been in the same position, where it is our time of the month and we want nothing more than to eat food and watch Netflix as we are overcome with cramps. I have always heard that exercise is good to relieve cramps, but I have never given it a true try. So is exercising worth it? Or will I just cause myself more pain?


After doing research, exercising when having cramps is something that all of us women should try out. According to Web Md, when exercising our bodies release beta-endorphins, which has been referred to as “human morphine.” This helps get rid of some of the pain. Also, when exercising the body has increased blood circulation, including in the pelvic region, which can help relieve pain from cramps as well.

According to Kotex, some of the best exercise to relieve cramps are walking, biking, dancing, and certain yoga poses. Some other exercises include swimming, or even ice skating. The release of endorphins can certainly help you overcome some of the pain. It may be hard to find motivation to do these certain exercises, but it helps!

If you are really opposed to exercise, there are some other ways to relieve cramps that don’t involve physical activity. You can take a warm bath, have gentle abdominal massages, or using a heating pad. There is also pills that help with cramps that can be bought at stores. These are all good techniques, but when using them with exercise the combination is sure to have you feeling a whole lot better.

Should we use our phones at night?

Many college students can relate to using their phones right before they fall asleep. Whether its laying in bed texting friends, or going on their favorite social media apps on their smart phones, phone use before falling asleep is an everyday staple for young adults in todays world. I always notice that I am tired at night, until I check my phone before I sleep, and suddenly I am up for hours before even closing my eyes. So does using our phones before we fall asleep keep us awake for longer? Should we not be using our phones if we want a good night of sleep?


Despite keeping us awake due to addicting apps, and the appeal of texting friends, using you phone at night is actually believed to have a negative physical impact on your sleeping patterns. According to Business Insider, “exposure to the artificial blue light that emanates from our smartphone screens can damage your sleep cycle and your health.” The blue light changes the production of melatonin in the body, and essentially tricks your mind into thinking that it is morning instead of night. This understandably keeps you awake for longer, when you should be sleeping.

As Huffington Post stated, a study was done in which 12 participants used an iPad for 4 hours before trying to sleep, for 5 days straight. The same participants then read a printed book for 4 hours before trying to sleep, for the next 5 days. The researchers found that the, “iPad readers took longer to fall asleep, felt less sleepy at night and had shorter REM sleep compared to the book readers”. When using the iPads the participants were overall more alert at night, keeping them awake and making them tired the next day. Not getting sleep can overall effect the mood and energy level of the person, and it is necessary for the body to properly function on a daily basis.

Although phones indeed physically keep you awake, it doesn’t mean that our generation will stop using our phones before we sleep. Our phones are filled with apps that contain constant streams of information that entertain us at any moment. In fact, many of us look forward to checking our phones before we fall asleep, and just relaxing by investing ourselves into the world of social media, games on our phones, or texting our friends.

So should we stop doing something that we enjoy? The answer will always be different for each individual. The effects are clearly negative for our sleeping patterns, but some may not be bothered by this concept at all. For me, I definitely might consider spending less time on my phone before bed. It will be a hard adjustment, but it will be beneficial in the end.

Does listening to headphones ruin your hearing?

I use my headphones at least once everyday, whether it’s listening to music, or watching Netflix on my laptop. My mom always used to tell me that I was going to ruin my hearing because of always listening to my music too loud with my headphones. The younger generations especially love to blast their music at the highest volume possible, even if they are wearing earbuds. Can this actually ruin our hearing?


According to the American Osteopathic Association, “Today, 1 in 5 teens has some form of hearing loss – a rate about 30% higher than it was in the 1980s and 1990s.” This is believed to be linked to an increase in headphone use. Also, the new technology that has come out, such as iPhones, allows for music to be played at a louder level than before. So teenagers especially find themselves at risk for hearing loss, because they are enabled to turn the music up loudly on their individual devices.

Also, the duration at which one listens to audio through their headphones can effect their hearing in different ways. About 60% volume level for 60 minutes a day is healthy, anything more than that can become dangerous. According to WebMD, listening to music continuously with headphones can actually damage hair cells in the inner ear. This effects hearing as well. With easy access to hours of music streaming on kids cell phones today, this could be a huge problem.

Despite the possible risk of hearing loss, these younger generations refuse to stop listening to music and audio through headphones. With popular new apps for cell phones like vine, snapchat, youtube, and other social media sites it becomes easier to keep using earbuds on a daily basis. The younger generation is surrounded and very much involved in their cell phones and the apps and music they contain, which all boosts headphone use in some way.

Overall, hearing loss can gradually occur if one listens to music or audio too loudly, for too long. From here on out, it is safe to say that I should turn down the volume a little bit, while also not listening as long. It might be hard to accept change, but these tiny adjustments might just save my hearing.


Does chicken noodle soup actually help get rid of a cold?

Recently I have been stuck in my dorm room with a nasty cold and I have been taking medicine non stop to try and reduce the common cold symptoms. Not being able to leave my room, I decided to heat up some chicken noodle soup in the microwave for lunch. I had always heard that when you are sick this was the best soup to have. This got me thinking, can chicken noodle soup actually help get rid of my cold? Or is it just a myth?

chicken noodle soup

In a study conducted by Dr. Stephen Rennard, he took blood samples from volunteers that had eaten his grandma’s chicken noodle soup and came to the conclusion that the soup hindered the movement of neutrophils. This is a positive thing because neutrophils are the a type of white blood cells that defend against infection. When these cells can’t move around, it reduces upper respiratory symptoms. Therefore the person effected by the cold experiences less things such as congestion, headaches, coughing and other common symptoms.

Another important aspect of healing yourself when you are sick, is by staying hydrated as much as possible. According to The Oz Blog, the soup is filled with electrolytes which can help the body retain liquids . This soup may work even better than drinks such as Gatorade, which contains many electrolytes and is typically drank by athletes during intense sport matches. Also, the steam and the heat from the soup are vital and can help thin down mucus, making it easier to get rid of, and relives irritated passageways in you nose and throat.

Although there are clear benefits to eating chicken noodle soup during a cold, some still think that this technique to cure a cold is just a myth. According to Food Network, one theory is that soup is no different than drinking hot water. The heat is what helps cure a cold, not the ingredients in the soup itself. Also, eating the soup itself can psychologically make you feel better, because of your preconceived ideas that the soup will help. It is the ultimate comfort food, and can make you emotionally and psychologically better, but maybe not physically better.

So can chicken noodle soup cure a cold? The soup might not be able to cure the entire cold itself, but it can reduce irritating symptoms of the common cold. Even for those who claim there are no actual physical effects, it can emotionally and psychologically make you feel better. Overall, eating chicken noodle soup during a cold certainly is not a bad idea. I know for a fact that whenever I am sick, I am going to eat a few bowls of chicken noodle soup.

Is it better to play an individual sport rather than a team sport?

Recently, I have been watching the U.S Open, a huge tennis tournament held in New York every year. I have always had a great appreciation for the sport and have been playing since third grade. One of my favorite aspects about tennis is that it is an individual sport, meaning that for the most part you are out on the court playing by yourself. This got me thinking, is it more beneficial to play an individual sport rather than a team sport?


According to NY Metro Parents, “In a sport like tennis, a player is responsible for every move he makes. His success is his own, but so is his disappointment — a combination that can quickly build confidence and self-esteem along with coping skills and resilience.” Individual sports have a very positive effect on psychological aspects of the athlete, especially if the athlete is a child. By being all by themselves, they are forced to make the best decisions on their own to ensure a win and in turn learn responsibility and independence. These abilities being absolutely vital through life outside of the sport.

Also, individual sports create an environment in which the athlete has to motivate themselves in order to reach their goals. Learning self motivation is clearly important in the real world, in which the athletes can motivate themselves well in order to reach goals without being dependent on others.  Recently in the U.S Open a match with Andy Murray and Kevin Anderson lasted over 4 hours, and both men were clearly tired. Eventually, the underdog, Anderson, won the match. He had to rely completely on himself for over 4 hours, in order to keep going and play his hardest to win. Moments like these deserve appreciation, especially for individual sports.

Although these sports have obvious benefits, team sports still have a lot to offer. In a team setting it shows the importance of relying on others, and working together to reach a common goal. Family Fitness states, “ the responsibility for success is equally shared out between all members of the team.” Due to this, there is less pressure on each athlete, which decreases stress and establishes strong bonds between team members. Being able to work with others is important in the real world as well.

So are individual sports better than team sports after all? The answer is really based on each athletes preference, and what they want in a sport. Trying out a bunch of sports is important, and eventually you will find a sport that fits your personality and what you like. I will always have a stronger preference towards individual sports, but everybody is different. Either way, sports are psychologically and physically beneficial.


Initial Blog Post

Hey everyone! My name is Rachael Moyer and I am from Reading, Pennsylvania. Some interesting facts about me are that I have a twin sister, I am currently enrolled in DUS, I love making music playlists and I enjoy playing tennis. One of my favorite songs is Be Still by The Killers, you can listen to it by clicking on the song title above. Also, tennis is my absolute favorite sport, and I actually was able to go to the U.S Open last summer. Here is a picture I took when I was there:


I’m taking this course because in high school I never enjoyed my science classes, especially classes like chemistry and biology. By choosing this class it fills my general education requirement, but also allows me to enjoy a new type of science class that is more about critical thinking towards relevant topics. I am not planning on being a science major because I have never enjoyed my previous science classes, and can’t picture myself having to be in a job that requires a significant amount of scientific knowledge on an every day basis.