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Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Hidden medicinal benefits in Ginkgo and Primrose herbs

In the next few paragraphs, two herbs with precious medicinal characteristics will be introduced.

1) Ginkgo Biloba:

This is a very ancient specie of trees that has been used for a long time for its valuable leaves in Chinese Medicine. The Ginkgo leaves are used by all age groups because of the memory and concentration improvement characteristics.

The leaves are also considered effective antioxidants as they have the potential to fight free radicals - which are damaged cells strolling in the blood stream and leading to problems such as heart disease in long term.    

They also aid the Nervous System and decrease stress levels.
Taking in the points above, the fact that the larger fraction of consumers of this remedy are students and occupants of stress-related jobs, seems logical.

2) Primrose Oil:

From the past, the native Indian Americans have used the roots and leaves of this plant for healing wounds and respiratory problems, but after being introduced to Europe in the 17th century, the rich oil extracted from the seeds of the plant was put under the spotlight.  

The medical benefits of the oil is hidden in an acid called Gamma Linolenic Acid (GLA). Some of these benefits include keeping the balance of blood pressure and body temperature, relieving arthritis pain and maintaining the health of the skin. 

Monday, February 15, 2010


Diabetes is the inefficiency of the pancreas to create a hormone called Insulin. So before we discuss this disorder, it's better to have a slight review on the pancreas.

The pancreas is a gland behind the stomach and is active in both the Digestive and Immune systems. The endocrine tissues of the pancreas, create the Insulin hormone and secrete them in to the blood flow. The other key word in this essay is glucose.   

Glucose is one of the products of digestion which in the cell mitochondria is turned into energy. But in order for glucose to enter the cell, the detection of insulin by insulin receptors is necessary. In other words insulin is the key for glucose to enter a cell. 

Diabetes is divided into two groups: Diabetes type 1 and Diabetes type 2.

Diabetes type 1 is the disorder in which the pancreas doesn't produce sufficient insulin. This means that less glucose particles will be let into cells and more will be left strolling in the blood flow. The symptoms leading from this disease include high blood sugar, fatigue, extreme thirst and urination and constant hunger.

In diabetes type 2, the pancreas creates enough insulin but they are ineffective and the body can't use them. The same symptoms for diabetes type 1 also apply for the second branch of the disease as well as a few more. For example, slow healing sores, frequent infections and darkened areas on the skin.

Diabetes type 2 is more common and also a larger death threat in comparison with type 1 diabetes. It is usually diagnosed in adults and has no cure; though can be prevented and managed.

The certain cause of diabetes has not yet been discovered but smoking, extra weight (as extra fat interferes with the body's use of insulin), insufficient exercise, genetics, low HDL levels and a bad diet are considered to be some of the triggers. Some races such as the African Americans and also the Native Americans are relatively more prone to diabetes.  

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Black Holes

The name sounds really cool. Well, so are the facts about it. And for the same reason scientists such as Stephen Hawking have spent their whole lifetime researching and investigating its mysteries.

Black Holes are made when super-giant stars (at least three times larger than our own Sun) explode. The fuel of stars is Hydrogen and through complicated combinations, the core creates it and uses it to fight against the gravity (which tries to squash the star). 

A star lives for millions of years on average but at the end of its lifetime when it runs out of fuel, it won't have the strength to fight against the gravity anymore, so the gravity will compress the center of the star into a tiny ball. The speed of this action is so fast that it would have to happen a few thousand times to take up a single second. In reaction a shock wave is sent outwards from the core in every direction which causes a vast explosion. 

The release of energy till an hour after the explosion is so much that it could light up a whole galaxy.
But the reason we don't see a star in a supernova state commonly (like shooting stars etc.) is that stars live for billions of years and the visible state of supernova with a naked eye is only one hour. So the chances are one hour in a billion years or: 1 in 8,640,000,000,000.

The density of the burning ball in the center of this supernova is so much that if only one spoon of it was dropped on the ground on Earth, it would go all the way down to the core.
Now, if the original star was large enough, it will become the core of a black hole, otherwise, it will just be a Neutron Star or Dwarf Star.   

Now that we have learnt how black holes are formed, let's take a look at its structure. A good example to understand this concept is a kitchen sink. It has a round mouth on the top and a long neck attached to its end. In a black hole, the neck or whatever is inside is called a singularity. Although scientists can't see it, because light is only pulled in and there is no reflection. 

So it is a hypothesis. As expected, the gravity of the black hole will decrease as distance is gained from its core. The farthest point from the black hole core in which light can still be captured and pulled in, is called the event horizon.
Quasar is another cool thing related with Black Holes. The black hole absorbs all the surrounding gasses and this causes a massive creation of light which is said can be seen on the other side of the universe.