The Origin of the Use of Analgesia While Giving Birth

Analgesia was not an option while giving birth until the mid 19th century as pain was believed to be a crucial part of the birthing experience. In 1591, Euphemia Maclean, a woman from Edinburgh, Scotland requested analgesia during the birth of her twins and was burned at the stake for this request. Analgesia started with Queen Victoria who used chloroform for the birth of her 8th child Leopold. It was Victoria’s experience that she told to others which made the practice catch on so quickly as Victoria felt that analgesia was an amazing invention which helped her immensely. In the 1950’s, the no medication approach swung back into fashion with Dr. Grantly Dick-Read, the first modern physician to suggest against analgesia as he believed the pain of childbirth to be psychological

Botulism Toxin (Botox) Disabling Portions of the Human Brain Related to Emotion

Because human beings interpret emotions by mirroring one another, botulism toxin, more commonly referred to by the brand name “Botox”, when injected into the forehead, alters brain activity connected with various emotional states. The temporary paralysis of facial muscles from the use of Botox disables a person’s ability to mirror the person(s) they are interacting with. It also hinders their ability to read and interpret the facial expressions of others. Surprisingly, this information is being leveraged within studies of depression and patients diagnosed with borderline personality disorder, as it is believed that temporary paralysis of the forehead may help aid those who are experiencing clinical depression and/or a borderline personality disorder

The Fashion Police of North Korea

In North Korea, music that is not state approved is illegal, international telephone calls are illegal, smiling in public upon the anniversary of Kim Il Sung’s death is illegal, and perhaps most bizarre, leather coats are illegal, with this last law passed in December of 2021 to dissuade North Korean citizens from imitating Kim Jong Un who wore a black cow hide coat in public on numerous occasions. This style of black leather coat became massively popular after Kim wore it in news media coverage in 2019 and because of this, imitation coats have become more readily available in North Korea. Surprisingly, fashion police are employed by the North Korean state to patrol and search for anyone wearing this style of garment as well as to search and help take down companies found manufacturing the coat

The First Civilization to Domesticate the Horse

The first images and reliefs carved of human beings riding horses or horse drawn chariots appear 1500 years after the Botai people in 2000 B.C., specifically in Egypt. Supplementary evidence of the Botai being the first horse herders does exist, including evidence of cooking and smoking large quantities of horse meat as well as possessing large deposits of horse dung and holes dug specifically for fence posts, which indicate the Botai kept horses within corrals. The Botai most likely kept corrals to have meat readily available on demand, eliminating the need to venture into the forest, to stalk and hunt a horse, then carry it back to a settlement. Perhaps the strongest evidence of horse domestication by the Botai is the keeping of horse milk, as it is highly unlikely that hunters consistently milked wild horses

The Argument Against Stem Cell Research and Why This Will No Longer be a Problem in the Future

The reason stem cell research is controversial for some is because it is viewed as damaging and harvesting from one life to help another. This argument may be obsolete in the future as scientists are now discovering ways to create stem cells from cells within the body (e.g. skin cells etc.). The traditional method to create a stem cell was to take a skin cell, remove the deoxyribonucleic acid from its nucleus, placing it into an egg which does not have deoxyribonucleic acid but is capable of changing deoxyribonucleic acid, turning it into a stem cell which has the patients genome ascribed unto it. The new method involves placing 4 genes into the nucleus of the skin cell and allowing time to pass, as the genes reorganize the deoxyribonucleic acid so that it begins to appear as stem cell deoxyribonucleic acid, which changes the skin cell and causes it to shrink, losing its outside, converting it into an embryonic stem cell with the only difference between this method and traditional embryonic stem cell creation method being that this technique contains the deoxyribonucleic acid of the patient it is being inserted into. The 4 genes inserted into the cell create 4 proteins which exist naturally within an egg. These proteins trigger the skin cell deoxyribonucleic acid to arrange itself identically to how it would within an embryonic stem cell. Scientists refer to this type of cell as “induced pluripotent stem cells”, commonly abbreviated as “IPS cells”. Ideally, scientists want induced pluripotent stem cells to function identically to natural embryonic stem cells, avoiding the creation of unwanted cells which can lead to cancer. Researchers have discovered that some laboratory created stem cells fail to carry out the task provided and worse yet, some cause cancer to develop. Scientists are currently pursuing 2 paths to alleviate this problem, the first being the attempt to develop induced pluripotent stem cells which function identically to natural embryonic stem cells and the second being to create a system to recognize which induced pluripotent stem cells will fail in an effort to exclude these cells from being inserted into the human body

The Myth of Python Snakes Strangling Prey

It is a myth that pythons suffocate their prey into submission and eventual death as they are technically causing obstructive shock of the circulatory system. This is performed by creating force pressure capable of exceeding the ability of the heart to compress, with this pressure focused tightly within the center of the heart, causing death as a direct result. As soon as pressure is elevated above what the heart utilizes to pump and eject blood throughout the circulatory system, the cardiac system becomes unable to eject blood causing prey to pass out within 10 – 20 seconds, similar in structure to how a headlock cuts off oxygen from the brain and causes a human opponent to pass out. As a python coils, it begins contracting its muscles to generate this tremendous crush pressure, referred to as “circumferential pressure”. To provide frame of reference, circumferential pressure is the type of pressure applied when a saturated cloth is rung out to expel all liquid. The blood pressure of prey typically doubles in stature after being constricted (e.g. moving from 120/80 to 250/160 to 300/200 over the course of 12.5 minutes), enough to cause syncope, a cerebral vascular accident, and death in most mammals. Sphygmomanometers typically exert 140 – 160 millimeters of mercury during a routine blood pressure examination, enough to cause blood perfusion to be cut off during measurement and pain to develop if the duration of the examination is extended for any reason. Python snakes are capable of applying 2x – 3x this rate of pressure, directly upon the neck or thorax of their prey. It is currently unknown if this ability can be increased when required (e.g. emergency situation of an animal escaping etc.)

The Reason Most Cats Adore Cat Nip

Catnip is a perennial herb which is a member of the mint family, specifically the species of the genus Nepeta (pronounced “nah-pee-tah”) in the family Lamiaceae (pronounced “lah-me-yay-see-aye”). The chemical compound in the nepeta cataria plant which attracts and affects felines is nepetalactone (pronounced “nah-pee-tal-ack-tone”). Nepetalactone is indigenous to Southern and Eastern Europe, the Middle East, Central Asia, and parts of China. When cats consume catnip orally the compound acts as a sedative, but when inhaled for its scent, it causes short bursts of hyperactivity. Nepetalactone is extracted via steam distillation and acts as a natural mosquito and fly repellent. Several scientific studies have demonstrated that leopards, cougars, and various species of lynx often react to catnip in a similar manner to their domestic house cat cousins, whilst lions and tigers may react strongly, but may also have little or no reaction whatsoever. 33% of cats are unaffected by catnip with the behavior theorized to be hereditary in nature. In 1962, it was discovered that susceptibility to catnip may be directly related to the Mendelian-dominant gene. Other plants can have similar effects upon felines including the roots and leafs of the valerian plant, silver vine which is sometimes referred to as “matatabi”, and Tatarian honeysuckle wood. Cats who do not respond to nepeta cataria are more likely to respond to one, some, or all of these alternatives plants. In addition to its use with cats, nepeta cataria is also a popular ingredient in herbal tisanes and teas, and is highly valued for its sedative and relaxant properties”

The Study of Bacteriophages in Antibiotic Research and Why They May be the Next Major Scientific Breakthrough

Bacteriophages, which are viral infections that reproduce to target and kill bacteria, were studied in Eastern Europe during the 1950’s by countries which did not have access to western medicine, including antibiotics. In 1 milliliter of sea water, billions of phages are present, with countless different varieties. Phages have tendril like appendages which are used to probe and identify hosts, clinging onto them, then forcing its own deoxyribonucleic acid down into the bacterial host. When this genetic code is introduced, it destroys the bacteria as a direct result. This leads to a chain reaction as hundreds more are produced each time this instance occurs, copies which then fledge out and find hosts of their own, building populations exponentially and wiping out bacterial infections completely. Bacteriophages were found prior to chemical antibiotics but when Penicillin was discovered, because it is so easy to develop and administer, chemical antibiotics became the clear path of choice in medicine with scientists not realizing the severity of this error until decades later. Antibiotics are often broad spectrum which is another reason antibiotic research overshadowed bacteriophagic research as different phages affect different bacteria and are therefore not broad spectrum. Because phages are self-replicating like bacteria, they have the ability to completely annihilate all bacteria presented before them in the same way that bacteria have the ability to totally annihilate their own host as well. Because of this, bacterial infections can be knocked out with 100% efficacy in all cases, regardless of the severity of the the infection, provided the correct phage is alotted enough time to do so. This is a task antibiotics often struggle to achieve and even if achieved, cannot be guaranteed in perpetuity as reinfection or resistance can occur at any time

The Reason Aritifical Intelligence Differs From Traditional Software

Recently, many of the improvements made within the artificial intelligence sector have been due to the technology of “deep learning” which is also referred to as an “artificial neural network”. Traditional software is not intuitive as it simply follows a set of instructions predetermined by a programmer. If the software runs into a new problem which it has no answer prewritten for, it crashes. Deep learning is different as software can now write its own instructions instead of reading the instruction(s) of a programmer. Currently, as of 2021, deep learning is the equivalent of an all powerful, dim witted genie as it has the ability to evaluate the pixels of a photograph of a bottle of water, and can recognize with astonishing accuracy photographs of other water bottles, however it has no idea what the concept of water or the water bottle itself is, what the end user does to drink from the water bottle, what the end user needs the water for etc. This differs in human beings however as humans learn from a sample size of one, and are able to surmise the purpose of water and everything else which is relevant from witnessing it being used upon a single occasion

The Harvard University Hope Experiment

During the 1950’s, Dr. Curt Richter from Harvard University performed a series of experiments using water, buckets, and both domesticated and wild rats which resulted in a surprising discovery within the field of psychology. In the first experiment, Richter placed his test subjects into large buckets half filled with water with even those rats which were considered above average swimmers, giving up and dying within a few short minutes. In the second experiment, Richter pulled each rat out just as it was about to give up due to exhaustion and let them rest for a few moments. Upon inserting the rats back into the bucket of water, Richter found that the rats continued to struggle to survive for up to 60 hours as the rats now believed that if they continued to push forward with enough effort put forth, eventually they would be rescued once again. Richter recorded in his notes, “after elimination of hopelessness, the rats do not die”