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Scientific Breakthrough: Believing in the God is something natural!

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AIMAN INAM

LONDON: Savants have recently conducted an interesting research on relationship between logic and religious belief.

Their findings contradicted the previous convictions that those who embrace strong religious beliefs are more sensitive and less logical.

Now, academics from the universities of Coventry and Oxford are of the view that religious beliefs are not associated with intuition or rational thinking at all.

The study was conducted on pilgrims who had been made to go through different assessments including a brain stimulation experiment.

Pilgrims have been canvassed apropos the potency of their beliefs and the extent of time they spend on the pilgrimage.

Pundits observed their intuitive thinking levels via a probability task, where contributors had to choose between a logical and a gut feeling choice.

Their up shots found no connection amid strength of supernatural belief and intuition.

Similarly in the second study, they used mathematical puzzles as to boost intuition, but again no association has been found between intuitive thinking levels and supernatural belief.

In addition, in the final part of their research scientists used brain stimulation as to augment the levels of cognitive inhibition, which is thought to control analytical thinking.

The process entailed running a painless electrical current between two electrodes placed on the participant’s scalp as to trigger the right inferior frontal gyrus, a brain zone that regulates inhibitory control.

It is pertinent to mention here that atheists used this particular area of the brain more when they want to contain their feelings about the God and supernatural ideas.

On the contrary, researchers discovered that other factors like upbringing and socio-cultural processes are considered significant when it comes to play a role in nurturing religious beliefs.

This is the first sort of its study that defies the two-decade-long conviction of cognitive psychologists. 

According to them, believing in the God is something natural and intuitive. Moreover, they reckon  that a child learns to be a believer in the womb.

Journal Scientific Reports has run their findings.

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Eating dark chocolate cuts stress boosts memory

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Eating dark chocolate

ISLAMABAD: Consuming dark chocolate can reduce stress and inflammation, as well as improve memory, immunity, and mood, a new study said.

This is due to the high concentration of cacao a major source of flavonoids. The flavonoids found in cacao are extremely potent antioxidants and anti-inflammatory agents, with known mechanisms beneficial for brain and cardiovascular health, the researchers said, reported health news.

“For years, we have looked at the influence of dark chocolate on neurological functions from the standpoint of sugar content the more sugar, the happier we are,” said lead investigator Lee S. Berk, from Loma Linda University in California, US.

“This is the first time that we have looked at the impact of large amounts of cacao in doses as small as a regular-sized chocolate bar in humans over short or long periods of time, and are encouraged by the findings,” Berk added. Further, dark chocolate was also found to affect human gene expression.

It regulates cellular immune response, neural signaling, and sensory perception. Cacao consumption up-regulates multiple intracellular signaling pathways involved in T-cell activation, cellular immune response and genes involved in neural signaling and sensory perception – the latter potentially associated with the phenomena of brain hyperplasticity.

“These studies show us that higher the concentration of cacao, the more positive the impact on cognition, memory, mood, immunity and other beneficial effects,” Berk noted.

For the trial, the team for the first time examined the impact of large amounts of cacao in doses as small as a regular-sized chocolate bar in humans over short or long periods of time.

A relevant piece published earlier: Be it on ice creams or sweet dishes, dark chocolates are hard to resist. From kids to grown-ups, everyone can live on the chocolates no matter what. And now pundits give us another reason to imbibe those! Good news for chocolate buffs! Consuming dark chocolates could potentially shield our brains from age-related pressure and swelling, revealed a study. Oxidative stress and inflammation boost as we age. And both are the origins of mounting neurodegenerative disarray like Alzheimer’s disease. They located a flavanol known as epicatechin (Epi) in dark chocolate that has the potential to diminish detrimental oxidative stress and neuroinflammation. The research and outcomes: Scholars from the University of California San Diego in the US conducted this experiment on mouse model. They assessed male mice for two weeks. The samples of their heads have been assembled for the evaluation of pertinent endpoints. The review of the OS markers protein carbonyls and malondialdehyde levels demonstrate major boosts with aging that are restrained by Epi. Apart from reducing the levels of oxidative stress and neuro-inflammation among old mouse, Epi also perked-up reminiscence and anxiety levels. It is pertinent to point out here that one should always choose dark chocolate sans added sugars or flavors and consume it in moderate quantities. (Published on 25th April 2017) 

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Drinking water may boost mental skills in exercising elderly

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ISLAMABAD: Older people who indulge in physical activity should increase their amount of water intake, to reap the full cognitive benefits of exercise, a study said.

“Middle-aged and older adults often display a blunted thirst perception, which places them at risk for dehydration and subsequently may reduce the cognitive health-related benefits of exercise,” said researchers including Brandon Yates, of Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital in Boston, US, reported private news channel. The study, presented at the American Physiological Society (APS) annual meeting at Experimental Biology 2018 in San Diego, explored the association between hydration status before exercising and exercise-enhanced cognition in older adults.

The team recruited recreational cyclists (average age 55) who participated in a large cycling event on a warm day (78-86 degrees F). The cyclists performed a “trail-making” executive function test quickly and accurately connecting numbered dots using paper and pencil before and after the event. The team tested the volunteers’ urine before they exercised and divided them into two groups normal hydration and dehydrated based on their hydration status.

The normal hydration group showed noticeable improvement in the completion time of the trail-making test after cycling when compared to their pre-cycling test. The dehydration group also completed their post-cycling test more quickly, but the time reduction was not significant. 

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China’s progress on HIV/AIDS prevention hailed!

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BEIJING: With its strong leadership, innovation, and partnership, China has made huge progress in fighting AIDS, UNAIDS executive director Michel Sidibe said during his visit to China

As an advocate of the vision of zero new HIV infections, zero discrimination, and zero AIDS-related deaths, Sidibe hailed China’s efforts in boosting the accessibility of anti-AIDS drugs and medical treatment in recent years at his meeting with China’s UNAIDS branch and partners Wednesday.

China recorded a total of 747,000 people with HIV by September 2017 and around 542,000 HIV-positive people had received medical treatment by the end of June, according to the National Center for AIDS/STD Control and Prevention. “China’s effort in fighting AIDS is exceptional, given its huge population base,” UNAIDS country director and representative to China Amakobe Sande said.

“What impresses me most is that when China commits, it delivers.” To build a “healthy China,” China has launched national AIDS campaigns in recent years. By the end of 2017, China had almost stopped HIV spread through blood transfusion and effectively controlled infection through hypodermic needles and from mother to child during pregnancy.

UNAIDS pledges to work toward the goal of ending the AIDS epidemics by 2030 as well as the widely-adopted 90-90-90 target – by 2020: 90 percent of people living with HIV know their status, 90 percent of people who know their status receive treatment, and 90 percent of people on treatment have a suppressed viral load.

 

 

 

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