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Tag: science blog

NeuroCOVID: NIH Launches Database to Track Neurological Symptoms of COVID-19

A fever. Cough. Fatigue. Sore throat. New loss of taste or smell. By now, we’ve all learned to stay on guard and watch for the common symptoms of COVID-19.

Although COVID-19 is regarded as a respiratory disease, it can have a wide range of effects throughout your body: including effects on your brain.

In light of this, the National Institutes of Health recently announced the launch of “NeuroCOVID,” a database designed to track neurological symptoms associated with COVID-19.

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The “SAD” Truth About How Cheat Days Could Impact Your Health

Added sugars. Saturated fats. Sodium. Mmm, tasty, right? These are the food groups The U.S. Department of Agriculture says our population is over-indulging in.

But hey, they can’t hurt in moderation, right? Alright, alright. If balance is key, then surely cheat days shouldn’t make too much of a difference, no?

Well, according to a study in the Neurobiology of Pain journal, eating healthy most of the time (five days a week) might not be enough to curtail the negative impact cheat days could have on your health.

More specifically — the impact cheat days could have on your ability to heal from inflammation, which is a staple of chronic pain.

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What Happens to Your Blood After it’s Tested?

After you’ve been pricked, prodded, and poked, pretty, little, crimson vials of your blood are shipped off to a lab, never to be seen again.

But what happens after it’s been tested? Is your blood fed to vampires in government warehouses to keep them from prowling the streets and feeding on people? Is it stored away in towering, futuristic refrigerators along with thousands of other samples for further experimentation?

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5-HT2A: From Psychedelics to Psychiatry

“Serotonin” (5-HT) is more than just a buzzword tossed around by Gen Z and Millennials when something benign boosts their mood.

The beloved hormone has an array of functions throughout the body, with seven types of receptors nestled in your brain and peripheral organs. Each of these receptors has subtypes with labels A through D, as well.

But there’s one serotonin receptor that’s often shrouded in mystery and intrigue — the 5-HT2A receptor. This is the serotonin receptor infamous for its role in the psychedelic experience.

But there’s hardly any discussion of its functions beyond its role in tripping your face off and how that’s tied to your mental health.

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The Underground Entheogenic Plants and Fungi Movement

Amidst the buzz and bumble between your college campuses and local town halls, the murmur of four seemingly-alien words grows louder and louder.

“Entheogenic plants and fungi. Entheogenic plants and fungi. Entheogenic plants and fungi.” The phrase has a magical, mystical intrigue — and rightfully so.

Entheogenic plants and fungi refer to naturally-occurring psychedelic plants, such as psilocybin mushrooms, ayahuasca, and the peyote, iboga, and San Pedro cactus.

These species have been almost-globally outlawed since the United Nation’s Convention on Psychotropics in 1971. Until recently, the only countries where psychedelics remained legal or decriminalized were countries where they held historic and cultural importance.

But that’s starting to change.

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What is the Solar Cycle?

So, you’ve heard of the water cycle, the menstrual cycle, bicycles… But have you heard of the solar cycle?

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September is National Honey Month

As sunflowers put on a show for us this month, it’s also important to pay homage to another black and yellow marvel of nature: bees.

September is National Honey Month, a time in which we honor the byproduct of the five-eyed, six-legged, insects that have soared through our skies at 20mph for the last 30 million years.

Bee pollination adds approximately 14 billion dollars to improved crop yield and quality annually in the United States, according to NASA. And while we all know the “BEES ARE DYING,” which will inevitably wreak havoc on agricultural output, did you know that honey may have played a critical role in human evolution?

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An Abbreviated History of Neuroscience

Ah, neuroscience, the study of the squishy, slimy, three-pound computer that rests between our ears. Although the brain is the most complex organ in the body (or as a Trends in Cognitive Sciences Journal review aptly put it, “one of the most complex multicellular structures in biology”), neuroscience itself is only a mere 55 years old.

That’s right — the study of the brain, this omnipotent, protein and fat blob of soft tissue, is probably much younger than your grandparents.

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