Author Archives: Prucia Buscell

Athletes, Scholars, Gut Microbes Have Their Own Circadian Rhythms

  Circadian Timing: Vital to Us and the Microbes Living in Us Circadian rhythms are the 24-hour cycles of physiological processes that take place in all living things, including fungi, cyanobacteria, plants, insects, animals and humans. These rhythms are important in the sleeping and eating patterns of all creatures, and in humans their influence ranges from moods, metabolism and obesity to health and illness, mental acuity and the performance of sports teams. Scientists at Harvard,

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Teacher Plays Saxophone as His Brain Tumor is Removed

For Love of Science, Music,and Medicine When a young music teacher stayed awake and played the saxophone during surgery to remove his brain tumor, it was part of an extraordinary six-month collaboration. The teacher wanted to be reassured he wouldn’t lose his musical ability. The medical team wanted to know more about how the brain processes music. Dan Fabbio was teaching music and finishing his Master’s degree in music education in the spring of 2015

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Infections May be the Key When Genes and Cells Go Rogue

A gene believed to have protected human survival in ancient times may have become a rogue agent that nudges many contemporary humans toward Alzheimer’s disease. Dr. Ben Trumble is an anthropologist trained in evolutionary medicine who spent years learning about the lives of the Tsimane people, an indigenous forager-farming group in Bolivia. Interviewed in a New York Times story by Pagan Kennedy, Trumble observes that most medical research focuses on people who live in modern

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An Open Mind and a Permeable Consciousness

Do you ever get a scrambled mash-up picture in your mind when different visual images appear simultaneously in your left and right fields of vision? If you do, it may just be the price you pay for being open minded. Luke Smillie, a senior lecturer in psychology and director of the Personality Processes Lab at the University of Melbourne in Australia has been studying open-mindedness and traits that seem to relate to it. One such

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The Music of the Spheres is Jazz

Astrophysicist Finds Planets in Orbital Resonance When the discovery of TRAPPIST-1, a system of seven earth sized planets orbiting around a sun 39 light years from our sun, was announced earlier this year, astronomers were excited by the possibility of life in these distant worlds. It appeared there might be lakes and oceans on the surfaces of three or more of these planets. Daniel Tamayo, an astrophysicist at the University of Toronto at Scarborough’s Center for Planetary Sciences and the Canadian Institute for Theoretical Astrophysics, had a different

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Do We Have Imagination Deficit Disorder?

Imagination and Creativity are Different Are we so enamored with technical innovations, with the incremental improvements to all our gadgets, devices and the latest trendy life styles fads that we forget the possibilities of grander visions? Brian Reich thinks so. In his new book, The Imagination Gap, Reich argues that the pace of change today is so rapid that it’s easy to become focused on small novelties that we think will make our lives dramatically

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We’re Smarter with People Whose World Views Differ

We’re Also More Diligent and Thoughtful Researchers say we try harder, make better decisions and achieve more when we work in groups that have racial, ethnic and gender diversity. A Scientific American story by Katherine Phillips describes research showing that scientists, businesses, banks, juries and groups collaborating to solve problems do a better job when people from diverse viewpoints and life experiences come together. People who differ from each other bring differing information, perspectives and

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Leadership Lessons from the Birds and the Bees

Communication, Decisions and Smart Swarms – A Different Set of Rules The Digital Age is challenging all our assumptions about the ways we work together as the Internet transforms the world into an interconnected network that was inconceivable a mere 20 years ago. While the technology revolution continues to expand the power of our possibilities, it also brings with it an unprecedented combination of accelerating change and escalating complexity that is severely testing the limits

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Fractal Fields and Self Organization:These Commons Aren’t Tragic

Water Temples Sustain Intricate Systems Balinese farmers who maintain their ancient terraced rice fields and self organized networks of villagers cooperating in an intricate system of irrigation and shared decisions achieve rare successes. Without central planning, their planting practices create fractal patterns of growing that promote resilience and optimal harvests. The collective water systems are known as subaks, which are made up of forest that protect the water supply, the terraced landscape and rice fields

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