From ancient byways to modern highways, glimpses of faith are everywhere...

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Moving through Menopause

Nordic Walkers   (Photo by Malcolm Jarvis)
Because menopause is often not the pause that refreshes, researchers have been seeking ways to alleviate some discomfort.

Moving through this transition can quite literally help.  Dr. Chip Lavie of the John Ochsner Heart and Vascular Institute in New Orleans has stated that “only small improvements in fitness are needed” to induce benefits regarding cardiovascular health, moods, sleep patterns, hot flashes, etc.

How small is small?  Dr. JoAnn Pinkerton of the North American Menopause Society asserts that “only 30 minutes of any aerobic exercise… three or more times per week” can make a real difference.  She theorizes that increased levels of serotonin and dopamine might be at least partially responsible for these improvements.


Copyright February 18, 2017 by Linda Van Slyke   All Rights Reserved

Friday, February 17, 2017

Nasally-induced fatherly love

Model of Oxytocin Molecule   (Image by MindZiper)
Why do some fathers literally embrace their babies, while others hide behind a newspaper? Could it be the difference between a little or a lot of oxytocin?

Oxytocin, otherwise known as “the love hormone,” ebbs and flows within new mothers.  Research shows that new fathers also “undergo hormonal changes that are likely to facilitate increased empathy and motivation
to care for their children.”

And if not, there’s a spray for that.  When dads received nasal squirts of oxytocin, their “MRI brain scans revealed… increased activity in brain areas associated with reward and empathy when looking at pictures of their toddlers.”

Oxytocin therapy might therefore help to bridge fatherly-bonding gaps.  This could be instrumental to a child’s healthy development.  Hands-on fatherhood has been known to enhance childhood resistance to “illness and death.”    


Thursday, February 16, 2017

DNA editing: Just around the bend

DNA Section  (Image by Zephyris)
Does part of your double helix spell double trouble?  If so, the offending DNA piece can be snipped away with a “molecular scissors” known as CRISPR-Cas9. 

Snippy trials have already been planned for folks with “diseases caused by a single gene mutation, such as sickle cell disease.”  Such experiments have been approved because they allegedly “affect only the patient.”  This may not seem so risky, unless of course, you’re that patient.

The proposed “gene editing of human reproductive cells” is even riskier, since offspring would then also be affected.  Nevertheless, research along these lines “is plowing ahead.”

Will the genetically-altered fruit from such karmic seeds be rotten to the core?  Ready or not, we may soon find out.


Copyright February 16, 2017 by Linda Van Slyke   All Rights Reserved