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Watching Television Does Not Damage Your Eyes

I’m sure we were all told by our mothers when we were younger to not sit to close to the television and stare at it for too long otherwise we’ll have poor eye sight. This is not the case. Such a myth has been perpetuated through the ages and stems from the time General Electric came out with colored television sets way back in the 1960s’. Because of the amount of radiation that is let off from the screen, federal health officials deemed them highly unsafe. Not wanting their product to trigger great problems for viewers, General Electric stopped selling them.

Dr. Lee Duffner of the American Academy of Opthalmology does not cause any damage to one’s vision.  Like staring at anything for too long, watching television can cause one’s ones to hurt as they are so focused on what is on the screen that the eyes get exhausted staying in one focal region for such a vast amount of time. The solution to this is simple. By turning off the television and shutting your eyes to allow them to rest will ease the tension in them and bring them back to a relaxing and natural state. Televisions pose a greater risk to weight gain and influencing somebody’s behavior than eye sight.



This claim that staring at the tube for long periods was also tested by the Lighting Research Center (LRC). The experiment went like this: have volunteers sit in front of the television for an hour while watching an action movie. The type of television in this experiment was a flatscreen television so that could always have the potential to unintentionally manipulate the results. About 50% of the volunteers were to view the film in a room that was brightly lit. After about an hour, they stopped watching and then returned to finish the film, except only this time the room was not lit up. The researchers decided to run a second trial with a different group of subjects with a twist. In this trial, they went from a non lit up room to a brightly lit up one. Throughout this movie watching in different areas of lighting and no lighting, the individuals had to press a button indicating that they were able to respond to visual cues, while the researchers measured electrical brain activity to see if there was a different from first watching the film and then resuming back to it. Blinking of the eyes were also observed for the study’s purpose. Lastly, the individuals of the experiment had to say if they felt the change in lighting had an impact on their eyesight. What the conclusion of this study showed was there was actually less straining and little fatigue of the eyes when the groups were in a brightly lit room, as opposed to watching in a darker room where eyes had a harder time paying attention. Even though it was more difficult to keep watching in the dark, the team of researchers attributed this to people being tired and that no signs were there to indicate that their eyesight was at all affected.




Can A Psychopath Have Empathy?

We all know the movie versions of psychopaths where they are either crazy or out trying to kill you, maybe even a serial killer. While they may appear like that in the movies, real life psychopaths for the most part are much different. They know how to blend in and go unnoticed, until it’s time to strike if they have a set goal in mind. One of the defining qualities of being a psychopath is their lack of empathy for other living beings. Because of this they are ruthlessly ambitious and are remorseless when stepping over other individuals to get ahead as their inability to feel for other people allows them to do so without guilt. For many, it would seem to be unimaginable that a person could truly have no conscience at all. So are there any instances, where true empathy is displayed rather than a facade to get something that they want?

The first study I looked at was performed by members of a Dutch Clinic who took 21 convicted psychopathic offenders and put them under a scanner to measure brain activity. The team wanted to measure emotional responses using an fMRI (functional magnetic resonance imaging). The test was to see how the emotional regions of their brains would react to movies displaying people hurting one another. Doctoral student, Harma Meffert, conducted the study went into the scanner room after they’ve been engaged in the movie and proceeded to slap the patients hands to localize the regions of the brain that regulate touch and pain. After doing this the images of the brain scanning could be more closely looked at to see if the patients felt any pain of their own when watching the footage. The results were concluded from 26 men of similar age and IQ. The patients who lacked the stimulation of motor, somatosensory and emotional brain regions were lower than the normal individuals. A second trial was then performed, but this time the instructions of the prisoners were to now try and empathize with those being harmed in the film. All the sudden, the regions of the brain that respond to empathy lit up and were activated as if it was a regular person expressing genuine empathy for the victims suffering. This seems to contradict the theory that they have no empathy, rather they are more able to control when to express it. In other words, the average person can feel the agony of a traumatic shooting or car accident, but the psychopath is more able to decide if they care to be empathetic or not.

To better understand this lack of empathy in this group of people, neuroscientists studied the brains of 121 inmates at a medium-security prison and used the same technique of scanning their brains with fMRIs’. The inmates were asked to look at visual images showing physical pain, for example, a finger slammed by a door or a stuck toe. Once shown these visuals, the inmates then had to visualize themselves in the same situations. They also had to imagine another person in the same predicaments. Next peaceful scenarios were shown to them where no pain was involved like a hand on a doorknob. Using the standard PCL-R, a diagnostic tool to identify their degree of psychopathic tendencies, the inmates were divided into three roughly equal sized groups. The groups were highly, moderately, and weakly psychopathic. For the highly psychopathic group, when asked to visualize pain to themselves, they had an expected neural response  to what anyone would feel when dealt physical pain. The brain regions that control empathy for pain, such as anterior insula, the anterior midcingulate cortex, somatosensory cortex, and the right amygdala all lit up showing a sensitivity to pain. The opposite can be said when pain happened to others. The regions that lit up at the thought of self pain did not do so at the thought of pain that happens to anyone that is not them. Furthermore, there was the unsettling fact that these individuals ventral striatum, a pleasure region, was quite stimulated when thinking about others’ in pain. It was as if they got real enjoyment out of it.

The conclusion to be drawn is that psychopaths don’t have an automatic response for empathy. They can use it when it’s necessary and don’t feel compelled to display it unless it serves some kind of benefit to them. Psychopaths only care about themselves if harm is inflicted towards them so they are empathetic to themselves, but when it comes to others all bets are off.



Does What You Eat Affect Your Skin?

It is no surprise that what you may eat can affect the interior of your bodies, but what about our skin? Everyone likes to have smooth and clean skin, but applying some cream to the affected areas might not be the solution. It’s time to look at what is included in your diet and how that food could be escalating the problem. It’s long been thought in the dermatology world that there was no such link between certain foods and acne, but that may not be true. Loren Cordain, a professor of health and exercise, out of Colorado State University, assembled a team of researchers to conduct a study to see if there was in fact an association to acne from eating.

What the team did was take a group of 1,200 Kitavan Islanders of Papua New Guinea, 300 of them being ages 15 to 25, and 115 Ache hunter-gatherers of Paraguay, 15 of them being ages of 15 to 25 as well. The results showed none of them had acne, which is shocking compared to the 80-95% of American teens that do have it. Wanting to know why this is, the team took a look at the two groups and analyzed their diets. For the first group, being the Kitavan Islanders, diet consisted of fish, fruit, tubers and minimal amount of processed foods. On the contrary,  Ache hunter-gatherers ate vegetables, peanuts, rice, and hunted some animals along with pasta, bread and sugar, but these three things were only on occasion. Cordain used this information to back up his claim that the reason for no acne was attributed to the contents of their diets. He elaborates, “they rarely ate refined carbohydrates like breads and sweets that have a “high glycemic load” — meaning they cause blood sugar levels to surge.” Why does Cordain believe that no other routines in their daily lives is the reason for no acne? By having a lack of carbohydrates in the diet decreases the chance of having elevated sugar levels. When sugar levels rise, the pancreas begins to increase the production of insulin more hormones are let off from the body. The result of this would be a greater presence of oil on the skin, thereby clogging cores. According to Cordain, the same can be said by examining the diets Pacific Islanders and South American Indians who have adopted Western diets had an acne problem like in the United States. The same could be said about Eskimos.

Consuming to much dairy can also be a precursor to horrible acne. According to two controlled trials, cow’s milk actually made people’s acne increase as well as how bad it would be. The issue with consuming too much milk is that it is loaded with hormones, 60 to be exact. Many of these hormones are androgens (like testosterone) and growth hormones such as insulin, for example growth factor 1 (IGF-1). As mentioned above we know that too much insulin can be a bad thing for our skin. The scary part is that there isn’t a little increase in insulin, but a jump to 300%! This can be backed up by another study done on 10,000 boys and girls who were 9 to 15 years of age. The more milk they drank the greater the breakout of acne was. Of course like many other joys in life, most things are fine in moderation and can help with different areas of our health, but there is such a thing as having to much. So avoiding carbs, dairy, and sugar more than before is a necessity. If you are looking for replacement food for a better diet and a reduction in the chance of developing acne I would recommend eating foods like yogurt which reduces outbreaks, walnuts which contain omega-3 fats and B vitamins that help strengthen skin cells to prevent moisture from prevailing, papaya, raspberries, avocado, chia seeds which attack against wrinkles, eggs smooth out the skin, and many more great items are out there to try as well. 04-Screen-Shot-2014-02-22-at-5.26.58-PM



Do Females Have Better Memory Than Males?

It’s the battle of the sexes! The never ending power struggle between man and woman, but let’s be honest both sexes excel in different areas of life. No matter how much I study for an exam, it always seems that I have a difficult time retaining the information. The opposite can be said when my female counterparts study for an exam. They always seem to do a lot better than I do even when we are in the same classes and we put in the same amount of time studying. What’s even more crazy is that we study together and compare notes. After seeing a pattern, I started to wonder maybe females are more able to spit out information on an exam than males. Of course, this is only a small group of people, but I decided to look into it. I also realized that the differences in memory didn’t just stop at studying, but in males forgetting other things like birthdays, appointments, mailing something, etc.

One researcher out of Hamilton College who dedicates her time to the gender and memory connection attributes it to females being more able to link memory to events that invoke emotions. She discusses how when girls are describing when something happened they are expressing it through their feelings. Females generally are conditioned to elaborate by adding their feelings in their memory-making, which in turn allows them to be able to remember better. This is because memory as Azriel Grysman, the researcher, explains is “a pattern of mental activity, and the more entry points we have to what that pattern might be, the more chances we have to retrieve it.” Such entry points act as triggers to memories by doing something that recalls a past event and how it made you felt. So, how does this fit into the equation? Exams can be an emotional and stressful time for people and actually associating an exam to a memory of freaking out to study for one can keep that knowledge stored in your brain to strive for a passing grade. In other words if you had failed an exam or had been cheated on in the past and then the same thing were to be repeated that would bring about feelings of pain and discomfort, which you wouldn’t want to experience again, therefore change how you combat the situation. Grysman does not state why the same does not apply to males.

A study was performed at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology and was headed by Professor Jostein Holmen, who rounded up 37, 405 men and women from ages 30 and beyond. The participants were then given a questionnaire consisting of nine total questions that relate to memory. Such questions were of the nature of whether their memory has changed since they were younger or something like if they have problems remembering dates to what events occurred a few days or years ago. The conclusion to the study displayed 1.2% of women reported memory difficulties and that 1.6% of men had problems with memory. Eight of the nine questions had men reporting the most problems. It became apparent that as age progresses the harder it is for men to remember. With that said, they were unable to find a direct link as to why that may be.

Another study seems to only support that men have greater memory struggles than females. In this instance, 1,246 people of normal brain health and who were between the ages of 30 and 95, the researchers discovered that while memory started to decline for both sexes at age 30, male memory was worse than women overall, most notably past the 40 year mark. The hippocampus in males, which is the memory control center of the brain, was smaller in size compared to women. Neurologist Dr. Charles DeCarli, states that “The men’s hippocampus starts off a little bit above average in the young people in the study…But then it falls way below average in the older men as compared to the older women.”

Females have an even greater edge in the brain in the form of hormones that act for protection. The common one is estrogen, which shields from infections, heart disease, hypertension, etc. Males simply don’t have this defense like females do and even if a woman looses this advantage at an older age, they’ve had it for their whole lives up to that point and still have some effects working in their system. Dr Charles DeCarli also offers a hypothetical in saying that it can very well be a possibility that “Women may have developed skills and strategies over our evolutionary development to keep track of stuff that helps their memory that men just never acquired.” Something else to consider is that females aren’t at as much risk for vascular disease as males, which can come from things like smoking, hypertension, or diabetes. Any type of activity that disrupts the vessels will have an negative impact on the brain. article-1253208-086ED558000005DC-708_468x236l




What Will Happen To The Planets When The Sun Dies Out?

It is inevitable that the sun will eventually run out of fuel and cease to be the fiery ball of hotness we see every day. Don’t worry it won’t happen when any of us are alive. In fact, scientists believe that we still have about 5 to 7 billion more years until this will happen. Once the hydrogen dies out, gravity will then engulf the sun and the remaining hydrogen will let off its remaining heat at which point the sun will expand and eat up the whole Earth. Lee Anne Wilson of Iowa State University explains “Earth will end up in the sun, vaporizing and blending its material with that of the sun…That part of the sun then blows away into space, so one might say Earth is cremated and the ashes are scattered into interstellar space.” Finally, the sun’s temperature will increase allowing for the helium to start burning up and the sun will shift in shape and size.

The icy planets that are farthest away from the sun will for the first time feel the heat from the red giant that was the sun. As the sun reaches the age of roughly 4 billion years old, it will transition to a reddish color do to a lower frequency energy of infrared and visible red light. What this means is that the sun will actually become even brighter then we know it to be today, yet now have a cool surface temperature. The atmosphere will then expand to swallow up the nearest planets of Mercury, Venus and yes the Earth.

So once life on Earth vanishes, is that the end of all life? Maybe not. As of now we don’t know if there is life in the outer reaches of the solar system, but there is promise according to one research paper. The piece was published in the journal Astrobiology by S. Alan Stern, Director of the Southwest Research Institute’s Department of Space Studies in Boulder, Colorado. Stern notes that “planets located 10 to 50 AU will be in the red giant sun’s habitable zone. The habitable zone of a solar system is the region where water can remain in a liquid state.” Planets like Saturn, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto are located in the 10 to 50 AU range along with their moons. These icy moons and the Kuiper Belt Objects however, have different potentials for life expectancy. For example, Neptune’s moon Triton, Pluto’s moon Charon, and the Kuiper Belt Objects will be the greatest grounds for life. The reason for this comes from the make up of their bodies, that of organic chemicals. The heat of the sun, now the red giant, will let off the heat necessary to melt their icy surfaces into forms of liquid, thereby becoming bodies of water.

Is it possible that the nearest planets to the sun could be destroyed before the sun dies out? Yes, but it is a small percentage. While there is little chance of it happening, the results would be  absolute destruction. What am I talking about you ask? There is always the slight chance that gravitational pulls of planets on each other can lead to them becoming out of their respective orbits. Studies estimate that there is a 1 to 2% chance that Mercury’ orbit could fall out of place in the next 5 billion years, which may be around the time the sun begins to die off. If Mercury were to fall out of orbit, the whole inner solar system could have a collision occurring between Earth and Mercury or Earth and Mars. If life were to still be around during such an event, life would be completely obliterated. In one of the studies that shows this other side of planetary destruction, Jacques Laskar of the Observatoire de Paris in France, “ran 1001 computer simulations of the solar system over time, each with slightly different starting conditions for the planets based on the range of uncertainties in the observations”. What he found was 1 to 2% of the simulations showed Mercury’s orbit becoming elongated over time due to the gravitational pull of Jupiter. The orbit went to an “eccentricity” of 0.6 or more (an eccentricity of 0 means the orbit is a perfect circle, while 1 is the maximum possible elongation). When that happens Mercury (6% mass) and Mars (11% mass) will collide more easily than let’s say Venus (82% mass), as they are lighter and it would not take much for them to move out of sync. dn13757-1_600


Is The Human Brain Still Evolving?

Through the ages our brains had to evolve to meet survival needs, but is it an ongoing process or have we obtained our greatest mental capacity? As time went on our brains expanded in size for a period of two million years, however that may be changing. According to an article called The Future of Intelligence, the author states “Continuing expansion of our command center is challenged by its major nutritional requirements: The brain consumes about 20% of the “basal calories” we burn each day—those that are metabolized when the body is at rest.  Enlargement beyond a certain point might place too great a demand on metabolic resources to justify it for the body as a whole.” John Hawks, who is an anthropologist at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, seems to agree that the brain can only evolve to a fault. He explains that our brains are actually decreasing in size and have been doing so for a long time, specifically looking at the male brain, which has gone from 1,500 cubic centimeters to 1,350 cubic centimeters. He found this out by reviewing archaeological data on brains that come from China, Europe, Australia, and South Africa. The female brain is closely matched to the male’s in size reduction as well. Does this mean we’re getting dumber? Not at all. In fact, thanks to DNA undergoing mutations have made our today brains more intelligent then before. We know this because neurotransmitters are still firing between nerve cells.

There are two genes that aid in the efforts to regulate the size of the brain called ASPM and microcephalin. Researchers at the University of Chicago discovered a modified version of  microcephalin that was spotted an estimated 37,000 years ago, whereas a modification to ASPM was discovered 5,800 years ago. Homo sapiens have been around for about 200,000 years so if that is to be considered, these genes have held strong through the years. To be exact, 70% of humans have this latest microcephalin gene and 30% of people have the newest version of the ASPM gene. Dr. Bruce Lahn, a professor of human genetics, led the study to reach this conclusion.  What Lahn and his team did was figure out the DNA structure of the two genes in multiple groups of primates and compared them to humans. Since specific groups had a greater presence of these genes this led to the presumption that they were needed for some purpose and carried through in the process of natural selection. To see if humans still had these gene variations occurring in them, the team randomly selected 90 individuals of a variety of ethnic backgrounds. By looking at a chimpanzee, which was part of the primate group and tracing it’s DNA make up, they were able to find the same alterations or polymorphisms in the genes to link the human to the primate.

While Hawk and Lahn have an optimistic approach to the future of human evolution, others have great concern. In a 2014 study, published in the American Journal of Physical Anthropology conducted by Chinese researchers found that a Cro Magnon man, an earlier version of the Homo sapien, had a brain that was much larger than the size that humans have today. Now, this was already known based off of the other studies conducted by Hawk and Lahn, however their fears lied in how fast our brains are shrinking in comparison to our bodies. This is known as the Encephalization Quotient (EQ). If our brains were to shrink faster than our bodies, that could be problematic. On the contrary, the majority of scientists see this study as an isolated one and agree that a greater increase in brain size isn’t necessarily a good thing. Brian Hare, who is an anthropologist out of Duke University, explains that “the decrease in brain size is actually an evolutionary advantage because it could indicate we’re evolving into a less aggressive animal. For example, the common chimpanzees have bigger brains than bonobos, but they are less likely to resolve issues through teamwork because they’re more aggressive.”

So, what does the future hold? Thomas Berger, a neural engineer out of the University of Southern California, Los Angeles is working on a memory prosthesis, which would transmit electrical activity of a short-term memory in the brain to a digital signal that will be sent to a computer. When the information is received by the computer, it would then send the feedback back to the brain, where it can be permanently stored in the brain. Can’t wait to see how that turns out!
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Does Global Warming Exist?

Global warming. It does exist. It doesn’t exist. The endless discussion continues on. According to the website for Live Science, global warming is the “gradual increase in the average temperature of the Earth’s atmosphere and its oceans, a change that is believed to be permanently changing the Earth’s climate.”

There is no question that the Earth’s climate has progressively changed through the years, but how much exactly? Is it at a level where our planet’s inhabitants should be concerned? Are we the people to blame? If you look at the facts that NASA has put out, there is an overwhelming amount of facts supporting global warming as something that is currently happening and should be watched. In fact, 97% of climate scientists agree that global warming is a result of human activity. In the last 1,300 years the warming of the Earth has sped up at a greater rate. This has been confirmed through technological means such as satellites to capture images from above the Earth as it continues to orbit. The way scientists have considered global warming to work is through the greenhouse effect. When the rays from the sun hit the Earth’s atmosphere, a portion of the heat from the sunlight is reflected back into space, while the remaining heat is soaked by greenhouse gases made up of methane and carbon dioxide, which are gases already present in our atmosphere. The problem is these gases have been increasingly lingering in the air since the Industrial Revolution. If these gases are spreading at a greater amount that means that the more the sun shines, the increase in the amount of heat that will get caught in our sphere, thereby raising the overall temperature of the planet. How is this the result of humans, you ask? The answer is that we release greenhouse gases through activities including driving cars, using an excessive amount of electricity which we receive through power plants, landfills, and so forth. By reducing any of these activities is meant to show a reduction in what has been an increase in heat because of the greenhouse gases spreading.


On the surface, this seems to be a logical explanation that the Earth’s temperature is in fact heating up, however many would disagree. While there is no question that the Earth warms in some way, there is conflict as to how much and what is the cause. A study done by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences came out stating that if you look at the leaves on plants, the amount of carbon dioxide being absorbed has been underreported by 16% meaning there has been over reporting of just how much greenhouse gases still pollute the air. So while there is warming that is occurring, the preventative measures to combat the problem have been wildly over exaggerated and are unnecessary costs as the issue isn’t as big as it seems to be portrayed. Furthermore, John Coleman of The Weather Channel has high doubts that global warming is a true event. He claims that heat waves are decreasing, polar ice and polar bears are on the rise and the amount of storms we see has remained consistent. In fact, there are reports that polar ice has increased by 50% since 2012. But how credible can this guy be? The views gathered are from findings made by the NIPCC (Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change). In these findings, the NIPCC makes the bold statement that there has been no such warming in the last 18 years.

Much concern has also been expressed about the accuracy of models showing the changes in climate. Roy Spencer, who once worked as a scientist for NASA, decided to take 90 climate models and view the results of their similarities. These models serve the purpose of showing surface temperature as well as satellite temperature. He said that these models have failed to do their job and that “more than 95 percent of the models have over-forecast the warming trend since 1979, whether we use their own surface temperature dataset (HadCRUT4), or our satellite dataset of lower tropospheric temperatures (UAH).”


Are We Really Using Only 10% Of Our Brains?

I remember when I first saw the movie, Limitless, with Bradley Cooper, a statement was made about how we only use about 10-20 percent of our brains. When I heard that, I was both fascinated, yet confused as to what the purpose was of the other 80-90% of our faculties. It seemed kind of useless to me. Well, the reason for my confusion was quite normal as that statement that we use so little of our brains is actually false. The same myth has been repeated numerous times in movies, television ads, and even books. The exact origins of this myth is unknown, but there are commonly held theories as to where it came from. Some of the most notable theories are that Albert Einstein’s intelligence stemmed from his ability to use more than 10% of his brain and that American psychologist William James made the statement that a person “develops only 10 percent of his latent mental ability.”

This myth is so widespread that a survey in 2012 showed that teachers from both Britain and the Netherlands supported this myth, with 48% of the teachers surveyed for Britain and 46% of teachers in the Netherlands. Even the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research sent out a survey with results expressing that 65% were behind this idea. Brain scans have repeatedly shown that the brain is constantly going even when a human is in a state of sleep. So why is the myth still floating around? It’s because it encourages people to strive harder as they feel there is more potential to be unlocked to accomplish greater things.

Those studying the brain hold a consensus that the brain is used for any number of tasks, some we may not known about. Whether it be from our thoughts, regulating emotions, planning, creating, dreaming, or sleeping. Every part of the brain is in effect to carry out these tasks. Behavioral neurophysiologist Eric Chudler states that, “”We use different parts of our brains in different ways when we do different things, but there are no parts of the brain sitting there unused.” This is confirmed based on what is known as a functional magnetic resonance imaging (FMRI) machine which through scanning the brain can allow neurologists to see specifically what parts of the brain are currently in use. When more oxygen released from blood is received to the brain that particular area of the brain in action will light up highlighting that it is in use. Positron emission tomography (PET) scans, are another form of technology that can show what parts of the brain are active by using a radioactive chemical given off when scanned by the machine. fmriimage7sahin_fmri_noun-verb_inflection_summary





Have you ever wondered why when a person suffers brain damage or has a portion of their brain removed that they don’t just fail to function. That’s because there is no 90% of the brain not being in use. The rest of the brain takes over to perform the tasks that it can, as not every part of the brain is affected by the trauma.




Is Depression Being Over-Diagnosed?

Everyone knows somebody or knows someone that knows a person that is battling depression if not themselves. It is a terrible disease and can have a major impact on how well an individual can function in their daily lives. For those who don’t know, depression is “a mood disorder that causes a persistent feeling of sadness and loss of interest. Also called major depressive disorder or clinical depression, it affects how you feel, think and behave and can lead to a variety of emotional and physical problems. You may have trouble doing normal day-to-day activities, and sometimes you may feel as if life isn’t worth living.” I would never say that depression is something that should not be taken seriously, but just how many actually suffer through this disorder?

A Liverpool University Professor of Primary Care, Chris Dowrick, came out in a piece in the British Medical Journal, that depression is being overly diagnosed and many people who are on medication should not be. Many of the people who are on medication for depression often have other troubles on their mind that are causing them to feel that way. He notes examples like lack of sleep, sexual issues, struggling with the loss of a person in their life. Since 2002, there has been a spike in a diagnosis for depression or anxiety of up to double the amount that previously are diagnosed, with an estimated five million people in the United Kingdom alone. Dowrick has a fear that by diagnosing too many people with depression and putting them on anti-depressants when in fact they are going through normal difficulties in life, will trigger a dependency especially considering that the medication would not have as effective of an effect of feeling better then people who truly are battling depression. He attributes this to depression having a more simpler meaning in the 1980s’ of feelings of sadness, diet changes, or sleep deprivation for a period of time. Problems that a vast amount of people face.

The same problem can be seen of over diagnosing depression in the United States. In the last 20 years, the United States has had a 400% rise in the amount of people who are on anti-depressants. Rami Mojtabai, of John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, decided to conduct a study to determine whether or not over-diagnosis was taking place. He took 5,639 people who had been diagnosed with depression in 2009 and 2010 by a clinician outside of a hospital environment. These people were then given interviews to see if they matched the requirements of havi1745-6215-12-225-3-lng major depressive disorder, which is the official name in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual that is used to diagnosed individuals with specific disorders. The requirements of having major depressive disorder state a person “had to have experienced a major depressive episode — defined as a debilitating depressed mood or loss of interest in daily activities for at least two consistent weeks — in the past twelve months.”

The conclusion to this studbigstock-Girl-Sits-In-A-Depression-On-T-52227706-300x207y showed that only 38.4% of the 5,639 people that received a diagnosis for depression actually had it. In the 38.4%, thoughts or attempts at suicide were noted. Taking this a step further, of the 38.4%, 14.3% were of the age of 65 or older. What these individuals had in common were they had gone through a divorce, suffered from poor health, or were not working anymore were more prone to truly battling depression. As for the other 61.6%, 42.7% had encountered depressive episodes in their life, but were much more minor than the group that had major depressive disorder. Another statistic that this study showed is of all the participants, 75% were prescribed anti-depressants.






Will Cancer Ever Be Eradicated?

Cancer has been a plague on our society for a long time. It is something nobody should have to experience, but yet so many of us do. Is there ever going to be a point in time where cancer won’t exist? I sure hope so. Many others if not all agree that this is a fight that we must win, but is it possible.

Researchers out of Kiel University, the Catholic University of Croatia, believe that cancer is an enemy that will continue to attack humans. They look at what is known as hydra, which are “tiny, coral-like polyps that emerged hundreds of millions of years ago — form tumors similar to those found in humans.” What this means is that because these polyps have been around through the stages of human life, it is difficult to see a way that they would go away if they have been around for this long. Thomas Bosch who is an evolutionary biologist that headed the study expresses how even if you try to attack against hydra, they keep regenerating so if you can rid of some, more will form. He states, “Cancer results from DNA mutations that throw a wrench into the molecular circuits that regulate the cell cycle. Unregulated, cancer cells multiply uncontrollably. They also evade a process known as apoptosis, in which cells with genetic mistakes essentially commit suicide.”

What Bosch and his team decided to do was take two species of hydra and make imitations of each to see what would happen over a course of five years. The female polyps seemed to have been ruined by the tumors. As they watched the hydras with and without the tumors, they noticed that the female hydra cells which turn into eggs could not stop dividing with no cells dying off (apoptosis), which signaled what occurs in women that have ovarian cancer. Next, the team studied the hydra’s DNA finding a gene that prevents apoptosis from happening, thereby allowing the growth of the tumor to continue. They then matched that with a gene found in humans that creates the same problem of uncontrollable tumor growth and no cells dying off do to apoptosis. Logically after discovering this, they decided to inject the tumors into the healthy polyps. The result found that the tumor spread across every one of the healthy polyps. This does not mean that it can’t be detected in the human body and fought against. A drug labeled Yervoy, has shown in trials over the last 12 years  to have eradicated these cells up to 20% in patients battling melanoma.  2014-190-2

A geneticist named Yusuke Nakamura, MD, PhD who has done work for the University of Chicago’s Department for Medicine & Biological Sciences, has conducted a study that has contradicted claims that cancer can’t be cured. Specific to certain cancers, Nakamura discusses a drug known as OTS964 that has performed well on ridding cancer on mice that had been inflicted with cancers. OTS964 works by obstructing a protein, TOPK, which aids in the spread of breast and lung cancer. Knowing that TOPK is very unlikely found in healthy cells is significant to understand. Nakamura explains that his team took 300,000 compounds and eventually narrowed them down to 1,000 that would be the best in treating humans with. After finding the chemicals likely needed to fight cancers, the research team injected the OTS964 into a group of mice that had cancerous human cells for a period of three weeks with injections occurring two times a week. Of the six mice that were a part of this experiment, five of them had their tumors eradicated. Interestingly enough, the team decided to try giving the drug in a pill instead of injection and actually allowed all of the mice to now have their tumors gone. The study was performed in relation to lung cancer, however, the TOPK protein is known to play an active role in liver, brain, breast, and bladder tumors, showing much promise that this drug could work very well on humans.

karcinom-635x388The problems with these studies are that they only focus on particular types of cancer, which of course is not a bad thing, yet research still needs to be done on every type of cancer known at this time. With both preventative measures and continuing studies, we could be on the way to better fighting cancers before they spread or eradicating certain kinds of cancers with an   effective drug. One thing’s for sure is that there is great hope in this fight.


Should Animals Be Used in Scientific Experiments?

I’ve often wondered if it was truly appropriate to subject an animal to testing in order to come to conclusions in medicine and science. At the same time I understand that humans are of a higher conscience and it would be morally wrong to put a human through pain and infliction that could have long lasting damage. If we didn’t have animals to test on treatments would never be known for the improvement of human lives. So what do the experts think?

When experimenting on an animal, certain procedure needs to be carried out. While the animal is put through rigorous testing, laboratories are required to make sure experiments are performed in as humane of a way as possible. They follow what is known as the three Rs’: Replace, Reduce, and Refine.  The first step of replacing is first seeing if there is an alternative to using animals for an experiment. Instead, things such as cell culture, modeling, or human volunteers are considered. If these are not plausible options, then testing goes to animals. Researchers look to see if they can use the least amount of animals possible. Those performing an experiment will discuss with other researchers and asked if they’ve done any of the experiments that the current researchers want to do. By sharing what experiments are being done by different groups of researchers allows for open dialogue to make sure that the same experiments aren’t being done, since that would put more animals then necessary through harsh experiments. This is what is known as reducing. Lastly, a step known as refining is taken.  This means making the the animals as comfortable as they can to reduce the amount of pain or stress they may be feeling. How is this done? Researchers will provide medical aid and a more home-like environment.

Animal research is used for four specific reasons. The goal is to increase our knowledge in the science community, have a better understanding of diseases, figure out solutions or treatments to prevent such diseases from happening, and to believe it or not improve the lives of humans, the environment, and animals! Animals have similar structures in their anatomy and biological processes to humans so by watching how their bodies work can give us the insight needed to protect ourselves if something harmful spreads and how to combat such difficulties to our way of living. Since animals and humans have identical traits in their body’s structure, this mean the same diseases can attack a human just as much as an animal. In fact, both species share a multitude of illnesses. In knowing that researchers are very careful in selecting what animals to use for testing based upon what they can contract that is the same as humans. For instance, rabbits are known to get atherosclerosis, emphysema, and birth defects like spina bifida. Since humans get these types of complications themselves, it makes sense to use that specific animal to find out how to handle the problem. The same can be said for using cats for experimental purposes that relate to visual impairment issues. Dogs are looked at for things including diabetes, cancer, blood disorders, especially haemophilia.

This all sounds like great reasons to have tests done on animals, but many would disagree. PETA  (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) would argue otherwise. Members of this organization say that the harsh reality is many of these animals are actually injected with diseases that they normally would not be susceptible to. According to the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine , points out that many animals are subjected to harsh treatment of being tested with diseases just to see what would happen, rather than for the purpose of actually having a disease compatible with what humans could receive. This is a concern as many people not involved in this field of animal research and testing are led under the impression that everything should be looked at in a positive light as that is how the “media, experimenters, universities and lobbying groups exaggerate the potential of animal experiments to lead to new cures”.

PETA and the Royal Society of Medicine aren’t the only ones that feel this way. Several British universities as well as Yale School of Medicine seem to agree that animal testing is pointless. They take on the perspective that a lot of what we know about diseases stems from human research such with what we know about smoking and cancer, cholesterol, heart disease, and even AIDs. Included in their argument is that at some point a human will have to participate in a trial to see if a treatment works so using animals first would be unnecessary. While I understand  what they are trying to say, it is actually a highly flawed statement to make. The purpose of testing on these animals and reaching a treatment to attack against a disease is what gives us initial hope that it will work on humans. If researchers just went straight to testing on humans without knowing before hand that a certain medicine has the potential to work, than more humans would be at risk for greater damage to their health.

In the end, there begs the question of do we sacrifice a small portion of the animal population for the greater good of human life or should there be greater regulations in place as to what to do with animals? The debate still carries on and in my personal opinion finding animals that can contract the same kinds of diseases and illnesses as humans are absolutely important to look at. On the contrary, while it’s to see how an animal reacts to a disease it’s hard to grasp that animals are often times injected with something they never had before ultimately stripping them of their health.vacanti-mouse






What Foods Cause Cancer?

It is an unfortunate part of our world that cancer is a plague that can affect any one of us, but there are ways to prevent getting certain kinds or at least lessen the chance of it happening to you. Experts studying the links between food and cancer have come out to express that as of 2014 approximately 1.6 million cases of cancer would be prevented by changing your diet. They compiled a list of foods to check out that put your body more at risk. Among the foods they recommend you avoid, are genetically modified foods (GMOs), microwavable popcorn, grilled red meat, and farmed fish. GMOs are sprayed with all sorts of chemicals and as of now an estimated 90% of the corn and soy that reach the shelves of our grocery store fall into this category. Microwavable popcorn is all around bad starting from the packaging. The popcorn is sealed in a chemically-lined bag and has shown links to lung cancer. The kernels and the oil that are the foundation that becomes popcorn,  are soaked with butter that is artificial and is made with a chemical known as diacetyl that is quite harmful to human beings. Another product that humans should stay astray from is red meat that has been grilled. This would include meats like hot dogs that when grilled let off a carcinogen labeled heterocyclic aromatic amines. The last food I want to talk about is fish that has been raised and prepared on a farm. In the places, the fish are cramped together and treated with “antibiotics, pesticides, and other carcinogenic chemicals. They also do not contain as much omega-3 as wild salmon.” AAEAAQAAAAAAAAJUAAAAJDkwOTU4MjRmLTU4MGYtNDBlYy1hNDFmLWE5Y2Q4YTQzMjMyZQshutterstock_30208567top-10-gmo-foods

Many experts have focused in on what foods cause cancer, with much attention paid towards red meat. In a study done by the University of California, San Diego has made the claim that the reason that red meat is so bad for us is because it contains sugar. A specific kind of sugar known as Neu5Gc, incites a immune response that leads to inflammation occurring. A professor out of UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center, Ajit Varki, MD, who specializes in medicine and cellular and molecular medicine, conducted a study on mice by feeding them this specific sugar. He and his team then gave the mice anti-Neu5Gc antibodies, which brought about a greater chance that the mice would start to develop cancer. Varki states, “When humans eat a diet that includes lots of red meat, the sugar molecule triggers the immune system to constantly produce antibodies to fight it off”, causing inflammation to take place. This leads to tumors developing and ultimately leads to cancer forming.

I’ve often heard that eating foods that contain a lot of fats was bad for you thinking that the fat itself was something to avoid. On the website for better health, it is explained that there is no direct link between foods heavy in fats and cancer, excluding prostate cancer. With that said, it is important to understand that if a person eats too much foods loaded in fats that can lead to obesity, putting yourself at a greater risk of getting cancers of the colon, breasts, kidney, oesophagus, gallbladder and endometrium. To combat against the likelihood of having cancer, one should start to include fruits and vegetables in their diet as they are rich in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.


Why Do Cats Land On Their Feet?

I was in Ocean City for Senior Week in high school and as I was sitting on the balcony with a friend, we noticed a cat across the way outside another building just sitting on the railing. My first thought was this cat is going to fall if it makes one false move, but my friend assured me that the cat will be fine if it falls since it will land on it’s feet. He said that all cats were like that. This got me thinking, is it really true that cats land on their feet every time? According to veterinarians, most cats will be fine and end up landing on their feet if falling from much greater  heights as opposed to shorter drops. This is because a cat has more time to figure out that it needs to extend it’s legs to land properly. The cat follows a system of what to do in a situation like this. A cat figures out that it is going down instead of up, therefore begins to position it’s body to prepare for what’s to come. Once this is determined, they adjust their backs in an arch-like manner, stick out their front feet followed by the back ones which is then brought in under it’s stomach, and raised their paws to protect their faces once they hit the ground.

The reason why they are able to do this without significant injury, stems from them having 30 vertebrae as opposed to humans who only have 24. This gives them much more flexibility in instances where they need to reposition their bodies, especially from harmful situations. This same article, also mentions that cats didn’t learn this behavior, rather picked it up through the evolutionary stages of nature. A kitten usually starts figuring out it’s body’s mechanism when it is six weeks old allowing much time to understand what happens when they are running or jumping and how the body will react.Falling-cat2

According to a researcher in Milano, Italy named Fiorella Gambale, Ph.D. for the Institute for Feline Research, she conducted a study in which a cat would be dropped at different heights to see if they would land at that height. She started from six feet high, then five feet, etc. From a height of six to two feet the cat landed all 100 times. When the cat was dropped from a mere height of one foot, it could not land on it’s feet all 100 times. Supporting the assertion that when met with shorter heights of drop, the cat is unable to realign itself to get ready for what’s to come.






How Do Genes Determine Eye Color?

Lately, when meeting people I’ve started to see their faces clearer, more specifically the difference in the color of their eyes. Why is it that our eyes give off various colors? It turns out that it has to do with how much melanin is in your iris, in relation to white collagen fibers. This can produce several shades of colors like grey, green and hazel. So if light travels through a melanin-free iris, collagen fibers within the iris disperse the specific color of light to the surface of the iris expressing that same color being let through. It is also important to note that eye color is a combination of genes working together to create it’s color, instead of one gene assuming the role. Genes known as OCA2 as well as HERC2 are the two main ones. HERC2’s job is to manage the OCA2 genes’ process. A European study that was done expressed, “a common polymorphism in HERC2 gene is responsible for the blue eye phenotype. A person who has two copies of C allele at HERC2 rs1293832 will likely have blue eyes while homozygous TT predicts likely brown eyes.” The same experiment showed SNPs (single-nucleotide polymorphisms) found in OCA2-HERC2, SLC24A4, SLC45A2, TYR and IRF4 could be used as determinants for what color the eyes will end up being. In conclusion of this experiment, chances of brown eyes were 93%,  whereas chances of blue eyes was 91% and 72% for two colored eye appearance.

eye colors

Eye color also has to do with the genes inherited from the chromosome mixture that we received from our parents. Within the genes are alleles that determine the likelihood of inheriting a dominant or recessive attribute from our mother or father. It is said that there is a greater chance of obtaining green over blue alleles, where brown alleles are even stronger to come into then both blue and green alleles. There is also a relationship that the more melanin that is let through the iris, the darker the shade of color it will be. That is why some people seem to have an alteration in eye color depending on the kind of lighting they are in.


I came across a site dedicated to the eye and written with firsthand knowledge from eye doctors. On this page, they discuss that it is more common for white children to be born with blue eyes, but as they start to grow the melanin production starts to increase transitioning to a more set eye color. When a person has blue eyes, they come from a ethnic background of American, Irish, and Northern European, but as of recent a fall has occurred with the now remaining newborn population having only 30% blue eyes. Opposite can be said about those with brown, amber, or hazel type eye color. Roughly 90% of the world population, has either one of these three colors.


Can Exercise Improve Study Habits?

It’s safe to say that most of us don’t have the best study habits and often find our brains going dead. Researchers at the University of British Columbia may have just the answer. By participating in consistent aerobic exercise, one could find that their hippocampus will increase,  helping to preserve memory and knowledge. Examples of such exercise could be walking, swimming, hiking, things of that nature. When one actively engages in such exercise the benefits are far ranging. Advantages include reduction of inflammation, insulin resistance, and kicking into gear the health of your brain cells. Along with these, mood and sleep can improve, while anxiety and stress are lessened.

When there is not enough oxygen running through a person’s blood, the ability to concentrate weakens. This is why when one engages in physical activity or exercise, the flow of oxygen will increase and strengthen the brain to have greater control over being able to pay attention. According to recent studies done on humans, doing cardio exercises regularly can actually generate up to 30% of new brain cells in the region of the hippocampus. The result being the greater you can concentrate the more able you can be in preserving your memory. In this same article, they make a point that many people struggle to stay up and study and start to load on much caffeine which makes them be up all night and missing out on a chance to get a proper good night sleep. If you do take the route of fulfilling a solid amount of sleeping the night before an exam or an assignment is due, the brain’s plasticity, or the working together of nerve cells, will contribute in enhancing the chances of remembering what you had studied during the day.  2905_lg

John J. Ratey, Ph.D., a clinical associate professor of psychiatry at the Harvard Medical School, gives credit to what is known as a BDNF (Brain-derived neurotrophic factor). This is a chemical in the brain that when stirred with hormones released from the movement of muscles can help in allowing for stronger cells, improvement of mood, and substantial learning. Furthermore, such a chemical is whats allows information to be retained when new cells are formulating. His views are shared with Charles H. Hillman, Ph.D., an associate professor of kinesiology and community health at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Hillman states, “Exercise improves attention, memory, accuracy, and how quickly you process information, all of which helps you make smarter decisions”.  78635380









Is ADHD Real?

There’s been long debate over the authenticity of whether Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD) is in fact a real disease. I stumbled upon this question on the pure skepticism of others. You see, I myself, have been diagnosed with the disorder back in high school, and from experience can say there is a notable separation from the masses. The problem comes from people saying that we all can’t concentrate and that pharmaceutical companies are just looking for an excuse to make a profit. According to neuroscientist, Dr. Bruce Perry, he believes that ADHD has more to do with symptoms experienced by people of all ages instead of an actual disease. In his view, he finds that if the child is put in the proper environment and has an appropriate influence from an adult positive changes will occur. As stated, “Part of what happens is if you have an anxious, overwhelmed parent, that is contagious. When a child is struggling, the adults around them are easily disregulated too. The negative feedback process the frustrated teacher or parent and dis-regulated child can escalate out of control.” In simplicity the child will pick up the negative behaviors on how to cope with stress if everyone else around him/her are stressed to thereby being misinterpreted as a child who can’t act in a well mannered way. I find his reasoning flawed as this isn’t sufficient evidence to suggest that a child doesn’t have an actual difference in their brain’s wiring. Perhaps, he feels this way do to the treatment of someone who’s been diagnosed with ADHD. The treatment usually consists of placing them on psycho-stimulant medications, which leads to his concern that these medications “can lead to long-term problems wherein individuals feel the need to engage in bigger and riskier behaviors in order to feel the same sense of internal stimulation.”

Perry is not the only one that feels this way. Neurologist Richard Saul released a titled, “ADHD Does Not Exist: The Truth About Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder”, to bring attention to why he argues this point. To him, receiving a diagnosis of ADHD, is simply an excuse to either score some drugs or parents being better able to control their kids. He addresses a trend in the amount of children being diagnosed with such a condition. Statistically speaking, 7.8% in 2003 then jumped to 9.5% in 2007 and as of 2011, a staggering 11%. To put that into perspective, one in nine children, two-thirds of them boys, are on stimulant medication. Many of these medications come with negative side effects like sleep deprivation, anxiety, and mood related changes.


On the contrary, there are many experts who fully support ADHD as being a real diagnostic condition. Researchers led by Dr. Philip Shaw, of the U.S. National Institute of Mental Health, came out with their findings that ADHD is very real based on two studies conducted. They found that those with a specific dopamine receptor gene were more likely to have ADHD, showing a difference from those who don’t. At the same time, not everyone with ADHD has this gene, but about “one-quarter to one-fifth of children did have it”. How this was conducted was by taking 105 kids that had ADHD and 103 kids that did not have it, and performing MRI scans on them. The kids who had ADHD brain scans expressed the dopamine D4 receptor gene (DRD4) which showed thinner tissue on the parts of the brain that deal with being able to pay attention. The other study, performed by Dr. Nora D. Volkow, who is the head of the U.S. National Institute on Drug Abuse, studied the brain scans of a group of 19 adults with ADHD and gave them the stimulant medication Ritalin. A group of 24 individuals without ADHD also received the same medication. Using a double-blind experiment, the scans revealed what happened to the individuals once they received the Ritalin or a placebo. As a result, the people with ADHD “released less dopamine into their blood than those without the disease. However, Ritalin caused less of a decrease in dopamine than usual in these individuals. This reduction in dopamine was associated with typical symptoms of inattention, the researchers concluded.” adhd-facts1

ADHD symbol conceptua;l design isolated on white background. Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder symbol conceptual design

So is ADHD the result of too many people being overly diagnosed? Is it meant to score some drugs? Is it all about making a profit? There has been many studies conducted overtime, but I wanted to focus in on the two main views of brain scans versus an excuse to control. One thing’s for sure I know first hand that it extends beyond inattentiveness, with other problems such as impulsivity, disorganization, sensitivity, constantly daydreaming, can’t sit still and the works. Here’s a little visual to convey how my mind is on a typical day.






Does Eating Healthy Enhance Your Mood?

During my freshman year of college my diet consisted of microwavable dinners, pizza rolls, and loads of sugar. I had no real problems at the time and was wondering why my mood would change to one that was more of a depressive state. My friend had told me that what you put into your body isn’t always great even if it satisfies your hunger. He got me to start eating more protein in the form of sandwiches with sides of fruit or vegetables. According to M.D., Susan Biali, who specializes in Dietetics, it is important to get your share of protein for each meal you eat. She states that “the food last longer in your stomach and bloodstream, prevents blood sugar crashes, and also keeps you “up” and alert for two to three hours afterwards.” In this same article she makes note that when stuffing foods containing a lot of carbs down your throat it triggers a response of an amino acid known as tryptophan to be released into the brain to help in the production of serotonin. When the carbs being digested has a low amount of glucose you’ll feel great then shortly after be left with a blow to your mood, quite a negative one. By switching to a meal that has whole grain and plenty of carbs, you’ll notice your mood will improve to a positive one.


This research is supported by two other dietitians, Jennifer K. Nelson and Katherine Zeratsky, who emphasize how “Omega-3 fatty acids, magnesium, tryptophan, folate and other B vitamins, low glycemic foods, and chocolate” have all been look at to see if they have a connection to the state of someone’s mood. These studies indicate that there is a correlation, however there is no 100% certainty, which leaves room to perhaps a third variable that is leading to the impact and causing the change in mood. What they do agree on is the recommendation to insert whole grains, fruits, and vegetables into your diet. They express “when you eat fruits, starchy vegetables and whole grains throughout the day you keep your body fueled and your blood sugar level on an even keel.”

Back in November of 2013, Cynthia Ramnarace, wrote a piece for CNN’s website , in which she draws attention to how intake of chocolate products and cocoa is very useful in boosting the amount of serotonin being produced by the brain. She refers to a study done by the Journal of Psychopharmacology in which people who once a day drank a polyphenol-rich chocolate drink would noticed improvement in their mood in the form of feeling much more relaxed as opposed to those who didn’t. The trial was conducted with the aid of 72 people, both men and women, between the ages of 40-65 years for a period of 30 days. The problem with this study however is that it’s only done with a specific age group of people and may not prove to be true when it comes to younger or older individuals.

Gloomy female student sitting in the cafeteria with food tray






One thing that is for sure is that there must be an increase in protein fruit, and vegetable consumption and less of sugar and gluten running through your system. Fruits like bananas are packed with dopamine which triggers the pleasure system of the brain, which already makes the chemical. Meats such as lamb can provide plenty of nutrients to keep up a healthy and happy mood. Lamb also has the added benefit of decreasing the chances of having cardiovascular disease. These are just a small sample size of foods that can get the job done.

B7JCX4 Mid Adult Woman Eating A Healthy Salad





Initial Blog Post

Hello Everybody,

My name is Zachary Lansing and I come from a little place called Baltimore, Maryland. To be specific I grew up in the suburbs of Owings Mills. This is my second year at Penn State and I am a sophomore majoring in film and video for communications. When going over my schedule of classes for this semester my advisor stated that I needed to fulfill a GN requirement and recommended this class. While I don’t want to work in the field of science because my passion lies heavily with wanting to make movies, I do recognize the importance of science in our everyday lives and am always eager to understand how everything comes together based on the evidence that is currently available. Not to mention, science allows room for change in what was previously thought and known and opens up the door for endless amounts of learning. In my spare time, I enjoy kicking it with friends, driving in my car, watching sports or movies, spending time out by my pool, and eating. If you want some inspirational quotes about film go heremychael-danna-film-composer-quotes-1374750494-view-0