Author Archives: Julia R Martini

Foreign Language Learning Disability- A Real Thing.


Ever met someone that learns subjects like Spanish and algebra with no complications- while you struggle with learning the difference between the imperfect and preterite? Well, I have. I have been a victim of the inability to learn the language Spanish for 11 years now. Some would say I’m suffering from a “Foreign Language Learning Disability”. The first to use this term was Professorartboard-1 Richard L. Sparks, he spent many years researching the validity of this disability. He even published an article,  Journal of Learning Disability, but in that he stated that the “Foreign Language Learning Disability” was premature because of the lack of evidence to support it. So now I know I’m not the first person to question, why do some people learn new languages easily and some don’t?

Alternative Hypothesis: People who can’t learn a foreign language have a learning disability

Null Hypothesis: People who can’t learn a foreign language don’t have a disability, they just need to put in more effort to learning the material

How we Learn Languages 

Remember talking about classical conditioning in your freshman Psych 100 class? That usually still applies with how most human learn things. Mammals, especially when young, are like sponges. They soak up a ton of knowledge and apply it the same way they learned it. You would think that learning a foreign language would come the same way as any other thing you learn. You learn it, study it, and then know it. That’s not the case for everyone. To some, Spanish comes very easily.

The cerebrum is what controls our thinking, reading, and learning. It’s the outermost and largest part of the brain. The two half, left and right, control the opposite sides of our body, meaning, the left side controls the right and the right side controls the left. This is also where our lobes are located. The frontal, parietal, temporal, and occipital lobes have different functions but once all these parts are put together with the spinal cortex, this makes the brain the central nervous system.


Leonore Ganschow, EdD, is an associate professor for psychology at Miami University. He conducted a study comparing successful and non-successful foreign language studentcollege students. He measured their intelligence, foreign language aptitude, and native and oral written language. No significant differences were seen in the intelligence and reading comprehension but significant differences where found in the Morden Language Aptitude Test. The conclusion of the study was that students with a foreign language disability may have underlying native language problems, especially in the syntax and phonology. They are working towards being able to diagnose someone with Foreign Language Learning Disabilities.

Another study conducted by Dr. Kenneth Dinklage of Harvard University, was conducted by interviewing students to determine their anxiety level with learning a new language. He found that a number of the failing foreign language students had previously be diagnosed with a disability but have overcame it, and now that disability has re-surfaced in the foreign language class. The problem is related to some other learning disability, not lack of motivation.


Every person struggles in one subject, even if they get an A, it takes them more effort to learn things in certain classes. Learning foreign language happens to be more common subject to struggle in than others. Neither the alternative hypothesis or null hypothesis can be determined completely correct, but eventually after more tests are done on this topic, there will be a definite answer.


Cancer, is it just chance?


Admit it. At some point in your life you have thought about what you would do if a doctor said the three life-altering words, “you have cancer”. Not too long ago, people would start checking off things listed on their bucket list, saying goodbye to friends and family, and determine how they want to spend their final days. Thankfully now, we can thank scientists for creating multiple treatments for this this potentially deathly disease.

what-is-cancerInstead of writing a blog about how cancerous treatments work, I wanted to go a step before that. Why do some people get diagnosed with cancer and others don’t? Being that almost 50% of my family has been diagnosed while I have some friends who can only think of distant relatives that have been, this has always been a question pondering in the back of my mind. Is it the luck of the draw (paradoxically)? Or are cancerous cells in peoples genes?

Alternative Hypothesis: Cancerous cells are in peoples genes making it hereditary, meaning if someone in their family had or has cancer, the chances of them getting cancer increase.
Null Hypothesis: Cancerous cells are not in peoples genetic. One is simply un-lucky if they get diagnosed with it.

What is Cancer? 

How normal cells work: Every day, each cell in our body has a different job to complete.  The cells could either get damaged or die while completing this special job. If they get damaged, they can repair themselves, which is also known as DNA repair. During DNA repair, the cells use a series of enzymes to restore the DNA the cell was originally holding. If this fails, the cell will self-destruct and grow into a new, healthy cell so our bodies can operate properly. diagram-showing-how-cancer-cells-keep-on-reproducing-to-form-a-tumour_0

How cancer cells work: Unlike normal cells, cancer cells do not die. They make an abundance amount of cells until they start to crowd out the normal cells. The part of the body that is overpopulated with the cancerous cells begins to work inefficiently. The cells are usually found in lumps, also known as tumors. And the worst part of it all is when metastasis occurs. Metastasis is when these cells could potentially spread to other parts of the body.

With having to consider multiple variables, scientists are still unsure if and how cancerous cells are created or if the normal cell is “triggered” into a cancerous one. So what increases our chances to get cancer more? Anything that falls under genetics such as family genes and age or our environments impacts such as smoking and being overweight.

Genetic Ways
Typically, if a family member has been diagnosed with cancer, the risk of that person
getting cancer is higher. Cancer is a genetic disease, meaning our genes control the way our cells function. But have no worry! Genetic changes develop throughout our lifetime
ttac-some-get-cancer-graphic-1024x683from the cells dividing wrong. This could be a disadvantage if a person smokes, or
develops an unhealthy lifestyle. This is an advantage if a person does just the opposite of that. Only about 5% of cancer diagnoses are hereditary, the most common being breast cancer. BRCA is a test to see if breast
cancer runs in your genes. Even if tested positive, there is a slim chance that person may not develop cancer. Not considering breast cancer, 95% of cancer diagnosis are by chance.


Ways to Reduce your Risk 

  1. A Healthy Immune system
    1. This is a persons’ #1 defense mechanism against diseases. Chronic diseases can hurt the cells, making them more vulnerable.
  2. A Healthy Lifestyle!


I’m going to leave you with one question: Why do only some people get sunburnt?

Think of the sun as the cancer. It surrounds us, just like the cells make up our being. Some people get burnt, just like some cells overpopulate. While others don’t get burnt, just like some cells don’t overpopulate. Our genetics are all different, everything happens by chance. In the end, the Null Hypothesis was correct.




Drug & The Brain

Introduction to the Human Brain

A 3-pound mass of grey and white matter controls our every move, word, and breath. This complex organ regulates every body function we undergo- from opening a lid to running a marathon, it’s all controlled by the same place. Although the human brain is the essence of our being, it is hard to understand the brain itself. It’s many mysteries get even more amplified when considering how drugs alters these necessary life-living functions.

Brain Functions with Drugs 

First , let’s go over the basic functions of the brain:

_8300594The Cerebral Cortex– This is the most developed part of the human brain. It processes most things an individual experiences by controlling their thoughts, language, and perceiving events around them. It is divided into 4 lobes: frontal lobes, parietal lobes, temporal lobes, and occipital lobes. Each of these lobes have a cortex that has a specific job but we will only need to know the basics.

The Brain Stem– This is most basic and easiest part of the brain to remember. It controls the one thing in life we need to live, breathing. It has other small jobs as well.

The Limbic System– This is a series of structures consisting of the amygdala, hippocampus, thalamus, hypothalamus. This system controls our emotions, perception of emotions, memories, and learning. It is activated by healthy activities such as being social and eating. It is also activated by drugs, which explains why drugs are mood-altering. I’ll get more into this later.

How Brain Transmits Information

Neuron– Think of neurons as relay race. There’s tons of different people with different jobs and once that job is over, they hand something to the next person indicating it’s their turn to do their job. Neurons receive the the messages that the nerve cells send from the brain.

Receptors– Think of these are the door before the message that the neurotransmitters have been carrying stop at. They attach to a receptor and this receptor is what makes the message act correctly.

How Drugs Effect the Brain

Ever wonder why drugs work so fast? It’s because they immediately attack the neurons working in our brain. The chemicals that are released from the drug gets trapped in the communication part of the brain. This interferes with how the neurons communication with each other. Since most drugs mimic the brains real chemicals, they fool the receptors and allow the drug to attach itself to a neuron. Heroine and marijuana activate these neurons because the chemicals that make them, resemble a neurotransmitter. Drugs basically trick the brain into thinking these chemicals are good for it.dopaminetransporters

After drugs make their way through the gated doors of our brain, they create this amazing sensation that spread over the body. This is because the chemicals in the drugs attack the brains rewards system. The brains reward system consists of releasing amounts of dopamine by how good a person feels. Dopamine is a chemical that is released when we feel good. With abnormally high numbers running through the veins, it makes for a strong reinforcement to do it again. Since our brain is wired to repeat things that make us feel good, these mood-high drugs become addictive. Eventually, the neurotransmitters cannot keep up with the amounts of dopamine running through the body so without these drugs the person usually becomes sad.


A study done by H. F. Fraser and G. D. Van Horn conducted a short, double blind study to see if direct addiction was satisfactory for developing a dependence on morphine and codeine- like drugs. They needed additional studies to determine the reliability of this theory to measure how dependent a person become and what compounds in certain drugs make them so addictive.


Drugs are mind-altering chemicals that could damage a person for longer than a short period of time. They effect most parts in the brain and should only be used if prescribed. The danger of prescribed drugs is a treat as well. Everything in moderation or it could be harmful to an individual.


Biology Expert, Regina Bailey. “Brain Anatomy: Cerebral Cortex.” Education, 15 Aug. 2016. Web.
Tim Taylor, Anatomy and Physiology Instructor. “Brain Stem.” InnerBody. Web.
“The Limbic System – Boundless Open Textbook.” Boundless. Web.

Americas Fastest Growing Epidemic: Diabetes


The fastest growing American epidemic is diabetes. Each year the number of obese people in America increases, and not in a slight way. Tablets and video games are taking away from the physical play that children need in order to stay healthy. Without the physical activity being prevalent, many children become obese, and in the worst case, it leads to a life-long diseases called diabetes. diabetes-management-training-causes-treatment-prevention-c8

What is Diabetes? 

Diabetes is when an individuals blood sugar, also commonly known as blood glucose, is too high. Glucose is made in our liver and muscles and found in most of the foods we eat. It’s job is to distribute the glucose to each cell to give our bodies energy. Our pancreas is the organ that breaks down the food we eat by releasing a hormone into our bloodstream called insulin. This hormone helps the cells carry the glucose to each cell. If the body doesn’t make enough or work correctly with the insulin the glucose can’t reach the cells. If the levels of glucose are too high, a person gets diagnosed with diabetes.

Some signs and symptoms of diabetes are:

-Being hungry

-losing weight without trying

-Being thirsty

-Dry & itchy skin

-blurry eyesight

Types of Diabetes

There are three types of diabetes, type 1, type 2, and gestational diabetes. Type 1 is developed usually at a young age. This is when the body cannot make insulin anymore and the immune system attacks the cells that are supposed to make insulin. Treatment includes taking shots of insulin, being physically active, and controlling cholesterol levels.

Type 2 diabetes, also the most commonly diagnosed one, is more common in adults until recently most children have been diagnosed with it. It usually starts when the liver and muscles don’t produce cells to carry the insulin throughout the body. The pancreas cannot keep up with the amount of insulin needed for the high blood sugar in the body and eventually stops making it. This is the type of diabetes that most obese children are experiencing.

Gestational diabetes is more likely to develop in pregnant woman or overweight people. It usually goes away after some extended periods of time.

The Studies
overcoming-laziness-1Now that the background on what diabetes is covered, the question then becomes, why is obesity increasing in america and is it correlated to diabetes? My first answer to this question was because kids are lazy. As Americans, our family traditions drastically differ from other countries. Our traditions have also greatly changed over a short period of time. The common belief that women stay home to be the rock of the household isn’t the norm anymore. Most children are lock-key kids, who let themselves into the house after school, make themselves an unhealthy snack, and wait until their parents get home from work. Looking at this simple change, it’s no surprise that children are becoming lazy, and no surprise again, lazy is the number one cause of obesity.

Dr. Dexter Canoy conducted a systematic review to answer the following questions: What are the effects of lifestyle interventions for the treatment of childhood obesity? What are the effects of surgical interventions for the treatment of childhood obesity? They resulted that obesity is the result of a long-term energy imbalance (laziness).


It can be concluded, the obesity is the cause of most diabetes in children and obesity is caused by laziness. Being lazy causes people to eat bad food. This is both a direct causation and if you read my post backward, it could also be proven that reverse causation could be a possibility. Overall, children need to change their ways, get involved in sports and do something active in order for this epidemic to be fixed.



Secret Benefits of the Sun


Living in this modern society, we have the world at our fingertips. Any questionpositively-smitten or concern could be answered and validated within milliseconds. Contrary to that, the tall tale saying the sun is bad for our skin has been passed down generations by word of mouth. We’ve been told to cover up in the sun at the risk of getting skin cancer without any concrete proof. Now, with multiple experiments and evidence to support this theory, the internet would agree with the statement that the sun is harmful to our skin, but has new evidence about what the sun is doing to the inside of our bodies.

Evidence that Sun is Bad 

To answer the question everyone is probably thinking right about now is yes, the sun is bad for
the skin but only if it’s been over-exposed. It will increase a persons chance of getting skin cancer and leave dark or aging tumblr_lmxnhsvhzh1qcovl2spots on the body. Evidence in this statement is found Sara Gandini’s 2004 study, which was an observational meta-analysis experiment on melanoma. Extreme sunburns and exposure to the sun was proven to be a large factor of getting melanoma, a rare skin cancer whose aspects are poorly understood by most. Although these factors were supported fairly, the participants skin was qualified as sensitive, making the data very controversy. Even with that factor, the conclusion of this study was determined that too much sun exposure will increase the likelihood of getting skin cancer. The key word is too much, being over-exposed to the sun is harmful, but what happens to the body if it gets the correct amount of sunlight?

Evidence that Sun is Good

The correlation between a sunny day and being in a good mood is scientifically undetermined, but I can personally validate that the two are correlated. The sun is a free mood enhancer because of the serotonin that is released in our bodies after. The science behind why  Serotonin is a chemical that is released only when we are satisfied with something. That is why it’s also referred to as the happy chemical. Serotonin levels are higher during the summer because people are exposed to more sunlight so they are usually more content then. Being in the sun is a good way to get these chemical pumping through our bodies so if a person is not exposed to the sun as much as they are needed to, it is possible that they may develop Seasonal Affective Disorder. Also known as SAD, this condition is a mild case of depression. This usually is diagnosed in the winter, when the sun shines for less than half the day. During that time, people amy experience less energy which then leads to having less motivation to do things.

The biggest benefit the sun gives people is the abundance amounts of Vitamin D that it releases. This vitamin is essential for our bone growth which is why it may also be referred to as  the sunshine vitamin. It absorbs calcium and phosphorus which is necessary for our immune system and also fights depression, so overall, its a good vitamin to have lots of. A randomized double-blind, placebo controlled study was conducted to determine if a Vitamin D supplement and fat mass loss in females was correlated. They added a calcium supplement and no statistical significant fat mass loss in the study. When low-calcium supplement was taken, a significant decrease in fat mass was seen. They concluded that the supplement had effect but many other factors were needed for it this theory be considered fully true.


Humans are like plants, they absorb and process the sunlight in order to grow. The suns rays  do have a high risk but the benefits of them outweigh the bad. Some tips to getting only the benefits out of the sun:


-Sit in the sun in intervals (20 minutes of sun, 10 minutes of shade)



Rachel Nall. “What Are the Benefits of Sunlight?” Healthline. N.p., 9 Nov. 2015. Web.





Sugar (a toxin)

Healthy living is on the rise! America has changed their so called slogan from the “Big Mac” to juice cleanses. Healthy foods and living styles are endorsed by many industries, spokes-perons, and universities. Since healthy foods are becoming so popular, many foods, even if not healthy, will claim the title of it. The following list are foods that claim to be “healthy” but aren’t:

  1. Granola
  2. Fruit Juices
  3. Veggie Chipsjuice-from-various-fruits-1024x640
  4. Gluten-Free Foods
  5. Frozen Yogurt

Granola– granola is a healthy snack alternative compared to eating pretzels or chips, but once a person eats more than the reccemended serving size, it could be a huge no-no. The good parts of granola are packed with fiber and iron, but the bad side is that the nuts lead to a high number in saturated fats. Making your 120-calorie bar contain 12g of fat. Granola bars contain lots of oils and artificial flavors. Don’t get me wrong, granola is a good food compared to most, but if you’re gonna eat it make it a meal replacer, since it does contain most of the ingredients a meal would give you.

frozen_yogurt_picFruit Juices– (the supermarket kinds) Most juices have small amounts of real fruit in them. They are filled with artificial flavors, A LOT of sugar, and water. Juice strips the healthy parts out of the fruit and leaves immense amounts of sugar. Fruit is high in sugar alone so by taking away everything else in it, it leads to one big sugary drink.

Veggie Chips– The only appeal to these are because they have the word veggie in them. These chips are still made of potatoes and many other ingredients that are used to make actual chips. The veggie taste people taste is from the pounds of artificial flavors they pack onto these CHIPS. There’s a reason they kept the title chip.

Gluten-Free Foods– Gluten-free always sounds healthier than the alternative. Many people have said that cutting gluten, which is found in grains, wheat, and rye, has made them loose a
lot of weight. That is true but eating a gluten-free muffin isn’t the same. Instead of using gluten, manufactures fill the foods up with potatoes or some sort of starch. They are loaded with artificial flavors and many other fake ingredients.

Frozen Yogurt– Frozen yogurt is healthier than traditional ice cream. It doesn’t have the same amount of calories or fat but it is loaded with sugar.


The foods listed above share one ingredient, SUGAR. Sugars new reputation is it’s considered to be a toxin. It creates fat, gives a higher chance to get diabetes, harms the heart, on top of many other non-beneficial effects. It is also extremely addictive. It is believed that the average person eats 32 teaspoons of sugatoo-much-sugarr a day. Even when looking at the nutrition facts, most people focus on the calories and fat when they should be focusing on the sugar as well!

Sugar is addictive because the energy it gives our bodies. Our bodies almost rely on the sugar in take we eat each day. Glucose must be regulated in the blood and our bodies do a great job of doing so by releasing insulin. This takes away any extra glucose floating around in the blood. By eating too many sugary foods, our bodies develop a tolerance and can’t break it down on it’s own anymore. This is also known as diabetes and people start to inject themselves with insulin.

A meta-analysis was performed by Sam Sun, a nutritionist scientist at Archer Daniels Midland (food corporation), where he analyzed the sugar consumption of more than 25,000 individuals. He found no correlation in positive attributes for the body from the ingredients found in sugar.

What to eat: 

cn1b01_oven-baked-salmon_s4x3-1-jpg-rend-sniipadlargeIf a person wants to be on a healthy diet they should stick to foods with not a lot of sugar. Fruits are okay in moderation. Salmon, chicken and all vegetables are the healthiest things that a person could eat. They are loaded with good fats and will give the body healthy and necessary nutrition instead of the toxin, sugar.


CAROLINE PRADERIO. “15 “Healthy” Foods That Aren’t.” Prevention. 17 Feb. 2015. Web.
Ferris Jabr. “Is Sugar Really Toxic? Sifting through the Evidence.” Scientific American Blog Network, 06 Jan. 2013. Web.
Dr. Mercola. “What Happens in Your Body When You Eat Too Much Sugar?” Marcela. 2013. Web.


Bad news with Nail Polish?

Most people are familiar with the brands OPI, Essie, CND, and Sally Hansen. They have ads in almost every magazine and are even featured on some commercials. Each brand debuts a new long lasting polish about twice a year that gets girls in a frenzy. But do girls really know what affects nail polish has on their bodies other than it looking nice? Recently, society has been asking, are people doing more than just applying a pretty color to their nails when applying nail polish? Recent studies will have women thinking as to if they should keep up with their weekly manicures after reading new studies.

The Studies:

The nail salon industry is raising with each day. The demand for salons has created cities like New York to have one salon every 3 blocks. This has done great things for the economy but has it worsened things like health? After reading many headlines reading, “The truth about nail polish” I decided to see if nail polish has as bad as a rep that lately people have been giving it.

Nail polish contains the “toxic tri173993-425x283-getting-a-manio” (as researchers have named them), toluene, formaldehyde and dibutyl phthalate. Toluene is what creates the shinny finish that typical people love (some people have been switching to matte finish but it’s just a phase). This chemical is also used in gasoline so questions of how it affects the nervous and reproductive system have surfaced. Formaldehyde disinfects the manicure tools. and dibutyl phthalate is a major component in nail polish.

There is no question that when walking into a nail salon, the fumes you ingest are questionable. It is common for people to get headaches or pass out when being inside for too long. This is why doors and windows are usually open. With only about 10% of the chemical used in a manicure have been developed, how can it be safe to say that the workers are healthy? Nail polish workers get a starting salary of minimum wage, which is a high cost to pay for not knowing what these chemicals are doing to their health. Studies conducted by Cancer Prevention Institution of California have concluded small effects of the workers. Some have breathing problems, skin irritations and headaches. Minor effects but still prominent. Other chemicals such as TPHP affect the body once applied to the nails.

Most nail polish contains TPHP, triphenyl phosphate. This chemical is commonly used in the eco-friendly nail polishes that are supposed to be free of cancer causing chemicals. It also makes the polish more durable so it last longer, which is an appeal to most women so it is more likely for women to buy the product. It wasn’t until recently that this chemical essie-wiosna-2012-butelki-1developed theories of disordering the healthy development of cells and mimicking healthy hormones. Duke University-EWG teamed up determine if there was truth behind this theory. Their experiment required 26 women to apply nail polish that is sold at department or pharmacy stores. They also tested 10 different polishes for TPHP and 8 were positive for this chemical. It was found in Sally Hansen, OPI, and Essie. Although the study was only conducted on a small sample size, it is said to likely be widespread. They concluded that it is unaware as to if this chemical is correlated to harmful affects on the body but they do recommend reducing the amount of paint used.

Nail polish may not cause any harm to the body but does the remover? Fortunately, remover doesn’t contain any bad chemicals, just solvent. Solvent dissolves the polish, hence nail polish remover. Though solvent is extremely flammable so people should store them in room temperature. Acetone is mostly used in nail polish remover and when people hear the word, they think it is a toxin. Acetone is not a toxin it will have the same effect as over solvents on the nail.

Nail polish hasn’t had a break through of the intensive harmful affects yet or else every nail salon would have been shut down already. So ladies, keep getting your weekly manicures, just be aware of the potential effects it has on the body.


Megan Boyle. “Bad News About Nail Polish.” EWG, 19 Oct. 2015. Web.
Stanford University. “The Hidden Risks in Nail Polish.” Live Science, 21 May 2015. Web.

What coffee is REALLY doing to your body


There’s a lot of truth behind Dunkin Donuts slogan, “America runs on Dunkin”. Until four years ago, I would cringe at the thought of coffee, but as evolution does, it altered my taste buds to savor the taste. Not only do I enjoy a hot cup of coffee to start off my day, I have fallen into the same category as most Americans and need at least two to get through it. Slowly, we are transforming as a society that needs coffee to get through a day instead of it being an added bonus. So why is coffee so addicting? What does it do to the human body that makes people crave it so much?

Facts about Caffeine in Coffee:

arod1375814405534Dunkin Donuts, Americas largest retailer of coffee-by-the-cup, sells 1.7 billion cups of iced or hot coffee per year. Since 77% of Americans drink coffee, it can be predicted that the $18 billion U.S industry of coffee will be on the rise. Most coffee drinkers don’t think about what’s in the drink that makes their world spin round. No surprise, caffeine in the first and only ingredient that most people think of. Caffeine shares the same ingredients of Alkaloid plan toxin that cocaine and nicotine, two very addictive substances, do. Alkaloid plant toxin is a killer of bugs that works by blocking the neuroreceptors from adenosine. Adenosine is a chemical in the human body the makes it feel sleepy. By taking away this feeling, the body feels more awake. The water is used to bring out the oils and taste in the beans. This is also a reason that new coffee drinkers have to use the bathroom more than usual, but eventually they will develop a tolerance to the water.

The Experiment:

Caffeine is a mood-altering drug. It creates happiness, energy, and enjoyment for most who intake it. These positive moods are addictive but the symptoms after these moods are not. According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, studies have shown by drinking more than 200mg of caffeine, it increases the rate to experience anxiety and panic attacks. Studies have also shown that drinking caffeine through out the day will interrupt sleep by decreasing the quality of sleep. This developed the question of does caffeine lead to insomnia? Researches have used caffeine as a challenge in their studies but have not found a concrete answer as to if it the two are correlated. Since caffeine is a drug, people can experience withdrawals from it. Multiple double-blind studies have been conducted to test if caffeine withdrawals cause impairment in a person. Meaning, are there any physical attributes that develop from not drinking a cup of coffee a day. People who drink a cup or more of coffee a day had to withstand from it for 24-hours. 50% of people experienced headaches, drowsiness, and irritability. This is not enough data to create a conclusion with.

M. Jackman and P. Wendling conducted an experiment to examine the effects of caffeine intake on the body when exercising. The examined muscle metabolism and endurance during small amounts of high endurance exercise. Of the 28 subjects, half were asked to take a placebo caffeine pill and then cycle for 2 minutes and rest for 6. This process was repeated two or three times. The subjects who got the real caffeine pill showed increase in endurance and concentration. They concluded that caffeine has a positive affect on endurance when exercising but has no correlation to muscle metabolism.


cup-of-coffeeAlthough I have been targeting the caffeine in coffee, since it does have the highest amount, almost every drink has some sort of caffeine in it. Some drinks, for example 5-hour energy and red bull, are made solely to get energy. There are approximately 750 drinks that have caffeine in them. These drinks have a direct affect on the nervous system in the body. Unless a person only drinks green tea and water, a persons body will always receive some sort of caffeine. Don’t stop drinking coffee or any other drinks that contain caffeine, it does give many temporary benefits. But remember that caffeine is like any substance, if abused, it could damage many parts of the body.


“Coffee Statistics.” Coffee Statistics. Web.
DI JUSTO, PATRICK. “What’s Inside a Cup of Coffee?” Conde Nast Digital, 21 Sept. 2001. Web.
Jackman, M. “Metabolic, Catecholamine, and Endurance Responses to Caffeine during Intense Exercise.” ARTICLES. 1 Oct. 1996. Web.

Yoga for ADHD

In a previous blog, I wrote about the benefits of the life-changing practice of yoga, how it benefits humanity, and how it could cure certain diseases. The feedback I received encouraged me to take my studies further into the idea that yoga is directly correlated to an ADHD cure. ADHD is a chronic condition when a person cannot control their impulsivity, sit still, or focus on a topic for extended periods of time. Signs of this disease range from each individual, but most symptoms consist of inattention and distraction. Still unknown as to why, the diagnoses of this disease have increased over the years. This increase in diagnoses calls for an increase in treatments to suppress or cure this disease. To date, yoga, the practice of body and mind control, has been named the healthiest cure for this disease.

When I was 14, I attempted to participate in my first yoga class. Being accompanied by multiple friends, you can assume that it didn’t live up to the meditation expectation I planned it would. Each time “om” or “namaste” was chanted, we would laugh instead of embracing the psychological meaning behind it. Since then, many elements of my practice have changed. Although maturing was a huge part broadening my yoga experience, people with ADHD benefit from the 3 C’s:  Concentration, Control, and Confidence.

ADHD impairs the ability for people to be in control of their thoughts and actions. Yoga is used to promote health through spiritual and physical discipline. This trains the brain how to control energy through breaths. Having ADHD means your brain is almost always in frantic, making it normal to have shallow and short brestudent-yogaaths. With the concentration of pranayama (breaths), the deep and long breath gives more time for the oxygen to reach the brain. The simple exercise of breathing reduces the amount of anxiety and irritability a person usually experiences with ADHD. They feel the foreign feeling of calmness. But the exercise of breathing is harder said than done. It takes amence amounts of concentration, which trains the person to focus on this exercise. ADHD, an attention deficit, makes the person become aware of this focus and it strengthens their self-control. It trains their brains to stay in one place. After undergoing control and concentration, the person tends to feel confident since they are experiencing feelings that are almost always out of their control. They become confident with their poses and start to master the practice.

The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey and University of Pennsylvania underwent multiple experimens to see the effects of yoga and its physical outcome on children. The most prominent one was conducted with controlled and pilot studies, mainly randomized and cohort control trials that examined the intervention it had on children. The experimental study was filled with clinical treatment accompanied with a control condition. The childrkids-yogaen were randomly assigned to groups. Each group either experienced breathing exercises (pranayama), physical postures, or meditation. The experimenters compared exercise with a placebo, controlled comparison or standard care. The conclusions were that yoga had a positive impact on motor performance in children. It also suggested that yoga increases working efficiently and increases the ability to concentrate and focus, making it easier to put their energy into goal-driven tasks.

Although my argument throughout this blog was to demonstrate that yoga is a natrual cure for ADHD, yoga is also a cure for many other things. You don’t need to have ADHD to practice. A rough day could require some individuals to get to yoga. It clears the brain and creates an organic meditation. I encourage everyone to try at least two classes to see if it works for them.



Galantino, Mary Lou, PT, PhD, MSCE. “Therapeutic Effects of Yoga for Children: A Systematic Revie… : Pediatric Physical Therapy.” LWW. Web.
Miller, StudioD By Ashley. “What Are the Benefits of Breath Control Yoga?” Healthy Living. N.p., n.d. Web.
Turis, Stacy. “Say Yes to Yoga for Kids with Attention Deficit.” ADDitude Magazine. Web.
Picture 1:
Picture 2:

Teeth or Soda. You Choose

Society has started to create a big distinction between a sugar-free or diet soda compared to a regular soda. We are all under the impression that since diet or sugar-free sodas have no calories and barely contain any fat, that they are good for our health. Well, we are wrong. Although diet coke may not have a drastic affect on your weigh in every month, it does damage to other places in your body. The famous saying, “Sip a day, get decay” doesn’t strictly apply to regular soda. All sodas have harmful effects on teeth, just in different ways.
Diet soda and sugar-free drinks are very unique. They don’t contain the same sugars or acids as a regular soda but they do have their own acids. Tyellow-teethhese acids flare up the moment soda touches a mouth. Billions of acids start to attack the enamel, weakening and yellowing the teeth. These attacks last for about 20 minutes after each sip. These acids are called, phosphoric and citric acids. Phosphoric acids are a clear and odorless liquid that feels the same way syrup would. It is used to give coca-cola it’s taste. These acid wear down the tooth enamel. The acids react with the plaque on our teeth which contains multiple bacterias. These bacterias lead to tooth decay, breakdown in gums, and attacks about any other substances that are supposed to support the teeth.

The pH of a liquid under 5.0 has the power to cause tooth decay. Although most acidic drink that are good for us, for example orange juice or lemon juice, have a low pH which causes tooth decay, they do good things in different parts of our bodies. Like I previously stated, soda doesn’t have any benefits to our bodies and with a low pH, ranging from 2.5-4.0, you might think the same question I did: Why drink it?

As a non-soda drinker, I was very interested to see how people would answer this question. I decided to conduct my own survey with 25 Penn State students. My null hypothesis was that people who drink soda have the same amount of cavities as a person who does’t drink soda. My alternative hypothesis was that people who drink soda have, on average, more cavities than a person who does not drink soda. My results concluded that my alternative hypothesis was correct.

Diet soda

Diet soda

How I did the experiment:  I asked each of the 25 people two questions.

1. Do you drink soda?

2. How many cavities have you had in your life.

My results were not surprising. 16/25 people drank soda and of that 16, 60% that had 4 or more cavities in their life. Only 30% of the non-soda drinkers had 4 or less cavities in their life. Correlation? I think so.  My conclusion was, if you drink soda, your teeth will rot in the ways that I listed above. To support my conclusion, Business Insider wrote about a study done by Temple University. It compared three adults mouth’s: one 29 year old who was addicted to meth, one their early thirties who drank 2-liters of diet-soda a day, and a 51 year old who was addicted crack for 18 years. Mohamed Bassiouny, the head director of the experiment, found that each of the adults had almost the exact amount of decay happening to their teeth. He controlled most of the other factors so his findings were correct. His conclusion was, if you drink soda, your mouth can be as damaged as a person that has abused substances.  Now, if that doesn’t stop a person from drinking soda I don’t think anything will.


Spector, Dina. “This Is What Drinking Too Much Soda Does To Your Teeth.” Business Insider.Business Insider, Inc, 2013.  Web.
Department, By. “Content – Health Encyclopedia – University of Rochester Medical Center.” Content – Health Encyclopedia – University of Rochester Medical Center. Web.

Yoga for everyone

My senior year of high school was the most laid back as well as hectic year of my life. I would work everyday after a 6 hour day at school with 3 children until 7pm every weeknight. My days consisted of 12 constant hours of thinking or working. Due to my energy from moving around all day, once arriving home I couldn’t sit still. I took up yoga in hopes to relax my insane jittery body. Not only did yoga calm my physical body down, it slowed my mind. It made me think more about things that mattered and less about things that did’t. Yoga doesn’t only do wonders for me.

Yoga is unlike any form of exercise because it challenges not only your body physically and mentally but a persons soul. Yoga changes the brain by enlarging certain parts of the brain. A study done by Chantal Villemure and Catherine Bushnel gives yoga an explanation through a series of MRI conducted on regularly yoga students. These areas that were enlarged wfree-yogaere the areas of self in the posterior cingulate cortex. This is truly a one of a kind of practice.

Yoga mainly focuses on breath, mind, and soul. Throughout the classes the instructor will remind you that breathing correctly can make or break your class. It’s more a workout for a persons brain instead of physically. To understand the science behind yoga, a person must experience a true yoga experience. Yoga is an enlightenment for most because you practice to be one with nature and what to focus your bad tensions on. Body treatments usually treat depression or anxiety but yoga transforms all parts of the body with bad intentions to create a relaxed and independent person.

Scientists are now undergoing multiple experiments to test if yoga can fix trauma or ADHD. Rick Hanson, a neuropsychologist, said the brain clings onto bad experiences and loses happy ones quick. Meaning us as a society highlight the negative more than the positive because we were born with that instinct. Psychologists are in constant want to see actual results if yoga not only expands the brain but if it can heal damaged parts. (Huffington Post)

Yoga differs on many different levels as you change which practice you participate it. You can do classes that strictly focus on breathing or you can do an intensive yoga that focuses on the poses. Each class is made differently because each practice an individual experiences is different. This is a workout designed to please the person preforming it, not make it dreadful.

If you wanna read a cute and quick reasons as to why yoga is beneficial:

Happy Place

What is a happy place? A place where you feel most comfortable? A place where you can be the barest you? Oxford Dictionary defines this multipurpose term as, a happy place which a person associates with happiness, visualized as a means of reducing stress, calming down; a happy state of mind. That is on a broader sense, to say the least. Each person has a different reason of why they are happy in a particular setting. After a stressful week or even just a day, a person can be cured simply by going to a certain location. That is why I’m typing away in the corner of my happy place. 108 W Beaver Ave, also known as Saint’s Café, but to me, the best location in State College, PA.



As I sit here, content and relieved, I started to think about if I shared this happy place with anyone else in the room. So I looked around. Most people are older than me, being that I am 18 most people in this college town are older than me, but these people look a lot older. I could guess about 3 out of the 25 people sitting here are undergraduates. Where do the majority of students that attend this school  go for their necessary times of relaxation? Each college students needs at least an hour a day to relax, most don’t take it. For me, an hour at this cafè or a simple run could relax me but each college student has their own copping mechanisms.

A lot of characteristics in a person change once coming to college. A child becomes and adult and with that comes a lot of responsibilities. Many colleges undergo survey’s in hopes to uncover what makes college kids stressed or overwhelmed. They always receive the same results and claim stress is generated from many different areas such as environmental or social factors, but I challenge that.

In my psychology class we have been discussing adolescence and how it effects a person as they get older. After learning about many different ways children can be negatively effected by certain events that happened in their adolescences, I have developed a theory of why college kids need a happy place. Serotonin is a natural neurotransmitter that is released when a person is experiencing happiness. Most people believe that college will be the best four years of a persons life, and they probably will be, but nobody mentions the other stressful side that every college kid experiences. Most college kids say their happy place is at a bar or frat house. That is probably where they are experiencing the most fun they will have but a happy place is different than a fun place.


Serotonin will be released the most when in a persons in their happy place. This neurotransmitter regulates most things in the body that make a person feel content. It is also connected to depression, not scientifically proven yet, but most scientists believe that low levels of serotonin will increase the likelihood of becoming depressed. These are just a few reasons to why every college student needs a happy place. If each college student went to this place for an hour every few days, I strongly believe that their stress or uncomfortableness will decrease tremendously.

Work Cited:

Mclntosh, James. “Serotonin: Depression and SSRIs.” Medical News Today. MediLexiconInternational,

Breaking Fast

Typically, when my environments undergo a big change, it takes about two days to develop a new routine. The first two days consist of many stressful and unexpected events and since I’m me, I hate that. Most of my friends criticize me for my tendency to plan most of the things I do. But I will repeat to you what I always respond to them and say it wasn’t in my control that I was given a crazy brain, deal with it. Since arriving at college my routine has usually been like this:

  1. Wake up 45 minutes before my first class starts
  2. Go to the bathroom to wash my face and brush my teeth but I ALWAYS forget my toothbrush so I have to make two trips to the bathroom
  3. Make myself a cup of coffee (keurig was the best purchase I’ve ever made)
  4. Do my makeup
  5. Get dressed
  6. Sit on my desk and eat a yogurt
  7. Proceed to my class (at a fast pace because I never give myself enough time to get to class early)

Now why did I make my routine public to all of you? Take a look at #6 again. Many of you may think this is not unusual. Eating before class, yeah, what’s so great about that? But for me it’s a huge deal. Since arriving at college, my eating habits have drastically changed. Before here, I would never eat breakfast. I was the crankiest girl to walk into Pascack Hills until 11:53 when lunch would begin. By adding this little detail to my routine, I have felt a tremendous difference in myself: a good one.


The saying is right! Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Although many of you may argue with that statement and claim coffee does the trick I will tell you this, coffee won’t help when your professor asks you a question about the reading you were suppose to do the night before. Coffee speeds up your brain, making most of your thoughts jumbled into the web with all your other thoughts. Anyways, before eating breakfast, I would eat anything and everything that was put in front of me during lunch. Now adding breakfast to my diet, preferably with lean protein in it, it gives me that boost to feel full until lunch. (Born Fitness) So when lunch finally does come around, I’m not scavenging for more food.

The benefits in breakfast start with it’s name. Break-fast. You are breaking your fast from sleeping. If you skip your morning meal, it can throw off your body’s routine of fasting and eating. So right now I want you to think about when you wake up. Your arms and legs are usually flimsy, your thinking capabilities aren’t on full alert as they usually are, and you’re just overall not 100% the best you. Breakfast replenishes the nutrients and sugar that your body needs. (WebMD)


You don’t need to have a breakfast as yummy and big as this is. My promise to you: Just a little something to get your juices pumpin’ and you’ll feel amazing.



Bornstein, Adam. “Breakfast Is Not the Most Important Meal.” Born Fitness, 2015.
Zelman, Kathleen. “The Many Benefits of Breakfast.” WebMD. WebMD,  2016.



Science & Its wonders

Hi Science 200! My name is Julia Martini and I live in a small town in Bergen County New Jersey. I am currently a freshman in the communication school and majoring in advertising/PR but I don’t really know what I want to do yet so I should actually be undecided. Science has never been a strong subject of mine. I only passed chemistry and physics because of the many after school review sessions I attended. My most proud science moment was coming in 1st out of 98 kids for my egg drop project. The egg sat in only paper and tape and didn’t crack when I dropped it from 12 feet high. I know. I killed the game. Although I didn’t succeed much in my science classes I feel that this class will be better because it’s more than just memorizing formulas and facts. In this class we think outside of the norm and ponder what may be real in this world. For example knowing that I share 60% of the same items that make a banana. I wouldn’t know that fact if it weren’t for this class.


Fun Fact: Never seen a full episode of this show.

I enjoy science because it makes me wonder. I chose this class because I think the conspiracy theories and unknown in science will draw me in. What intrigues me the most is space. I cannot comprehend the limits in outer space and if there may be another world with life on it. Click HERE and read about if there is other signs of life not on earth and comment what your opinion is. One of my favorite things to do is to lay on my back and look up at the stars. They are more fascinating to me than planets.


Even though the chances of this picture being photoshopped are high. I still think it’s pretty cool to look at.