Scientists Discover Gut Bacteria That Eat Brain Chemicals

Scientists Discover Gut Bacteria That Eat Brain Chemicals

24th August 2016

By Carolanne Wright

Contributing writer for Wake Up World

Beneficial gut bacteria are the latest darlings of neurological health as researchers continue to uncover new and fascinating roles they play in our level of happiness, serenity and emotional well-being. Incredibly, a lack of specific types of gut bacteria (or excess of harmful microbes) are associated with autism, irritable bowel and chronic fatigue syndrome, along with a range of mood disorders — including anxiety, depression and poor response to stress. These microorganisms are so powerful that if they become imbalanced in the gut, it can mean the difference between living a joyful life or one where we can barely drag ourselves out of bed.

On top of that, cutting edge research just released by Northeastern University in Boston discovered a species of gut bacteria that “eat” brain chemicals — in this case gamma-aminobutyric acid, or GABA. What has scientists excited about the finding is the results of the study add to a growing body of evidence that show gut bacteria profoundly effect our brain and mental health.

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Affordable, Eco-Friendly and Energy Efficient: How Re-Purposed Plastic Waste is Helping to Solve Humanity’s Housing Crisis

Affordable, Eco-Friendly and Energy Efficient: How Re-Purposed Plastic Waste is Helping to Solve Humanity’s Housing Crisis

22nd August 2016

By Carolanne Wright

Contributing writer for Wake Up World

“In Latin America, Africa and Asia 40% of people don’t have access to formal housing. In Bogota alone 750 tonnes of plastic is sent to landfill every day. It can take up to 500 years for plastic to biodegrade and 75% of plastic produced globally is either sent to landfill or not formally disposed of and so is left to pollute the environment.” ~ Unilever Sustainable Living

According to EcoWatch: Enough plastic is thrown away each year to circle the earth four times. Ninety-three percent of Americans age six or older test positive for the plastic chemical BPA. Billions of pounds of plastic can be found in our oceans, and all-out bans on plastic bags and bottled water are making little headway. To make matters worse, conventional recycling programs are ineffective at best; only two types of plastic are widely recyclable, and even then, it’s downgraded into other products which cannot be recycled further, eventually ending up in landfill, or worse, in the ocean, where plastic seriously harms wildlife, the ecosystem and our health.

Continue Reading – Affordable, Eco-Friendly and Energy Efficient: How Re-Purposed Plastic Waste is Helping to Solve Humanity’s Housing Crisis

Do You Feel Like You Don’t Fit In? Here’s Why It’s a Blessing in Disguise

Do You Feel Like You Don’t Fit In? Here’s Why It’s a Blessing in Disguise

19th August 2016

By Carolanne Wright

Contributing writer for Wake Up World

As long as there have been clans, culture and civilization, humans have felt to need to fit in. Not so long ago, it was a matter of survival — people had to work together and have common goals if the group was going to weather the harshness of life. While we’re still interconnected in a variety of ways, our ability to explore our independence of spirit has become more accessible with industrialization. We simply don’t need the same level of conformity as we have in the past, in order to be able to protect, feed, clothe or shelter ourselves.

All the same, this newfound freedom has also opened the door to a crisis of sorts for some — the feeling of being at odds with society and not fitting in. As it turns out, this may not be such a bad thing.

Marching to a Different Drummer

Continue Reading – Do You Feel Like You Don’t Fit In? Here’s Why It’s a Blessing in Disguise

Why Working Less is Essential for True Wealth and Sustainability

Why Working Less is Essential for True Wealth and Sustainability

17th August 2016

By Carolanne Wright

Contributing writer for Wake Up World

Consumerism goes hand in hand with the “the good life” — at least according to our contemporary Western culture. Massive advertising, securing the bargain, garage sales and credit cards are simply par for the course and rarely questioned by the average person. Shopping during our lunch hour is a national pastime, we wander outlet malls on vacation, and make online purchases late at night. It’s not just about comfort, our way of living needs to border luxurious. The yardstick of “keeping up with the Joneses” has evolved beyond our neighbors — we’re now competing with the lifestyles of the upper middle class and wealthy. It’s a vicious cycle — and we’re miserable for it. The environment also suffers as our material aspirations climb.

The reasons behind this shift are complex and sobering. But to expect consumerism to disappear altogether is unrealistic. We can’t just shame ourselves into reforming our cultural orientation — although, many have tried. Instead, we can generate true wealth — strong communities, a healthy eco-system, creativity and a sense of connectedness. In short, a self-provisioning, sharing economy.

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Are Mood Disorders the Price We Pay for High Intelligence and Creativity? Scientists Say “Yes”

Are Mood Disorders the Price We Pay for High Intelligence and Creativity? Scientists Say “Yes”

15th August 2016

By Carolanne Wright

Contributing writer for Wake Up World

History is peppered with famous artists, actors and musicians who were highly intelligence and creative, and experienced significant mood swings. Some are quite notorious for their outbursts; painter Vincent Van Gogh and the composer Beethoven are two examples. Writers like Virginia Woolf and Silvia Plath also seemed to suffer from their exceptional level of creativity, where episodes of unstable behavior were common.

Sadly, if these great artists were alive today, they would most likely be coerced into taking pharmaceutical drugs to “temper” their moods. Unfortunately, this scenario doesn’t require any great stretch of the imagination, considering almost seventy-nine million Americans take some form of psychiatric drug — including over a million children under the age of five. But at what cost?

Continue Reading – Are Mood Disorders the Price We Pay for High Intelligence and Creativity? Scientists Say “Yes”

Our Skin Has Smell Receptors That Help It to Heal Itself, Scientists Discover

Our Skin Has Smell Receptors That Help It to Heal Itself, Scientists Discover

11th August 2016

By Carolanne Wright

Contributing writer for Wake Up World

Smell is one of the most ancient human faculties — it has also been the least understood by science until recently. Biologists first uncovered the inner workings of chemical sensors in our noses, otherwise known as olfactory receptors, in the early 1990s, a finding that lead to a Nobel Prize.

But the story doesn’t end there. Over the last decade, scientists have discovered that smell receptors are not only found in the nose, but also throughout the body — in the brain, colon, heart, liver, kidneys, spine, prostate and even sperm — and play a crucial role in a range of physiological functions. And now, a team of researchers at Ruhr University Bochum in Germany have confirmed even our skin is covered with these receptors.

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Dr. Sebi, Renowned Holistic Doctor, Dies in Police Custody in Honduras

Dr. Sebi, Renowned Holistic Doctor, Dies in Police Custody in Honduras

8th August 2016

By Carolanne Wright

Contributing writer for Wake Up World

“When an old man dies, a library burns to the ground.” – African proverb

In the wake of more than 50 holistic doctors dying in questionable circumstances over the last year, Dr. Sebi — known as the man who developed an all-natural cure for AIDS, cancer, diabetes and other diseases — has died while imprisoned in Honduras. He was 82 years old.

Dr. Sebi died shortly after he was arrested for (allegedly) being in the illegal possession of $37,000 dollars at the airport in Roatán, an island in the Caribbean about 40 miles off the coast of Honduras. While it is claimed that Dr. Sebi was arrested on suspicion of money laundering, “there are already doubters, including those close to him, that question his arrest and manner in which he died while in custody (which is shrouded in mystery),” writes Erin Elizabeth of Healthnut News.

On another occasion Dr. Sebi was reportedly detained by authorities for carrying $30,000 in cash but was released without charge when he provided proof of the money’s source.

Continue Reading – Dr. Sebi, Renowned Holistic Doctor, Dies in Police Custody in Honduras

Color, Paint, Sculpt, Write, Create! Transform Your Life (and Health) With the Power of Art Therapy

Color, Paint, Sculpt, Write, Create! Transform Your Life (and Health) With the Power of Art Therapy

6th August 2016

By Carolanne Wright

Contributing writer for Wake Up World

“Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?” ~ Mary Oliver

For over a year, Jan had been traveling the dark road of chronic illness. Once fully of energy, she could barely make it home from work as a math teacher before collapsing into bed. All the life seemed to have drained out of her. She had been to numerous doctors, therapists and alternative health professionals without success. Then a friend gave her a beautifully decorated box for her 46th birthday with the instructions: “Each morning, as soon as you wake, take one of these envelopes to a quiet place with a window onto nature, or a beautiful plant, or a candle. Sit comfortably and read the poem aloud to yourself, preferably more than once.” 

This small — seemingly insignificant — daily ritual was a major turning point in Jan’s healing journey. The end result was life-changing.

Continue Reading – Color, Paint, Sculpt, Write, Create! Transform Your Life (and Health) With the Power of Art Therapy

The Most Successful Prison System in the World is Also the Most Radically Humane

The Most Successful Prison System in the World is Also the Most Radically Humane

4th August 2016

By Carolanne Wright

Contributing writer for Wake Up World

“Every inmate in a Norwegian prison is going back to the society. Do you want people who are angry — or people who are rehabilitated?” ~ Are Hoidel, Director of Norway’s Halden Prison.

Outrage over an ABC News ‘Four Corners’ report on child torture at Australia’s Don Dale Youth Detention Centre has prompted community members to demand change to the current “justice” system. Violent footage showed “children being stripped naked, choked, and put into hooded full-body restraints resembling torture devices reserved only for the world’s most dangerous criminals.” Some were as young as 11-years-old.

The U.S. doesn’t fare much better with its detention centers and prisons — overcrowded and rampant with violence, they’re the equivalent of modern-day slave ships where inmates can earn as low as $0.23 per hour producing consumer goods for corporations. We may think this is the “way of the world” and that not much can be done about the situation overall — until we learn about the extraordinarily civilized, and effective, prison system used in Scandinavia.

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A Saltwater Powered Sports Car? It’s True — and Europe Just Made it Street Legal

A Saltwater Powered Sports Car? It’s True — and Europe Just Made it Street Legal

2nd July 2016

By Carolanne Wright

Contributing writer for Wake Up World

Not so long ago, excitement rose to a fevered pitch with the announcement of a budget Tesla car slated to hit the streets in 2017. The cars are gorgeous, seemingly easy on the environment and in a price range the average Joe can afford. But over the last few years, there have been disgruntled murmurings about how electric vehicles aren’t that environmentally sound. Some feel they can actually be worse for the planet than combustion engines, since they often rely on conventional electricity sources to recharge. So while the idea is appealing in theory, the reality isn’t so rosy when we look at their actual impact. The same can be said for other technologies like hydrogen fuel cell and hybrid cars.

There is one advancement, however, that could be a genuine game changer in the realm of eco-friendly cars: saltwater powered vehicles.

Continue Reading – A Saltwater Powered Sports Car? It’s True — and Europe Just Made it Street Legal

How Words Rewire Our Brains, For Better or Worse

How Words Rewire Our Brains, For Better or Worse

31st July 2016

By Carolanne Wright

Contributing writer for Wake Up World

“Just seeing a list of negative words for a few seconds will make a highly anxious or depressed person feel worse, and the more you ruminate on them, the more you can actually damage key structures that regulate your memory, feelings, and emotions. You’ll disrupt your sleep, your appetite, and your ability to experience long-term happiness and satisfaction.” ~ Andrew Newberg, M.D. and Mark Waldman

If you’ve ever been on the receiving end of a harsh, angry word, you are well acquainted with the racing heart and rise in blood pressure due to the fight-or-flight stress response. On the opposite end of the spectrum, kind, loving and gentle words have a calming, spacious effect. Both scenario’s tend to be familiar ground in our day-to-day interactions. What we may not realize, however, is how words restructure the physical composition of our brains in an ongoing process. And it’s not just spoken words — the same is true for those that are in written form or thoughts of particular words. As it turns out, words hold incredible power — and can determine our level of happiness, health and success in both business and relationships.

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How a City in Denmark is Fighting Terrorism With an Unconventional Strategy — and Winning

How a City in Denmark is Fighting Terrorism With an Unconventional Strategy — and Winning

28th July 2016

By Carolanne Wright

Contributing writer for Wake Up World

“Every minute, I just imagine him in that solitary confinement, facing 20 years, because I cooperated with the government. It’s a horrible feeling. I can’t get rid of it,” said Sal Shafi, father of Adam, a 22-year-old American suspected of Islamic extremism.

Last year Mr. Shafi phoned the American embassy in Cairo, Egypt while visiting family because Adam had disappeared and flown to Turkey, apparently to witness the plight of the refugees there. After the family’s return to the United States, Mr. Shafi was contacted by the FBI. Against the advice of his attorney, he answered their questions on several occasions. “We don’t have criminal minds,” Mr. Shafi told the New York Times. “Maybe I’m naïve. I’ve never dealt with the authorities before. I wanted to cooperate.” Shortly thereafter, agents showed up in the early morning hours with guns drawn, looking for Adam. Arrest and prison time is the only option in America for suspected radicalized individuals. If Mr. Shafi had known how the situation was to play out with his son, he would have chosen a different path to help Adam. As it stands, he warns “Don’t even think about going to the government.”

Continue Reading – How a City in Denmark is Fighting Terrorism With an Unconventional Strategy — and Winning