You Asked: Is Cracking Your Knuckles Bad?

Is cracking your knuckles bad? Now you know ūüôā


From fingers and toes to necks and knees, everyone knows a ‚Äúcracker.‚ÄĚ And most habitual joint poppers have heard rumors their habit may cause arthritis. But are those rumors true?

First, a quick anatomy lesson: Many of your joints‚ÄĒincluding those that allow your fingers to beckon or point‚ÄĒfeature small pockets or gaps that are filled with synovial fluid. Like axle grease, this fluid allows the bones that commingle in your joints to glide close to one another without grating, explains Dr. Pedro Beredjiklian, chief of hand and wrist surgery at Philadelphia‚Äôs Rothman Institute.

When you pull, twist or otherwise ‚Äúcrack‚ÄĚ a joint, you‚Äôre expanding the volume of space between your bones, Beredjiklian says. That volume expansion creates negative pressure, which sucks the synovial fluid into the newly created space. This sudden inflow of fluid is the popping you feel and hear when you crack a knuckle, he adds.

The more…

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Nobel Prize in Chemistry – Achieving “nanoscopy”

Eric Betzig, Stefan W. Hell and William E. Moerner won the nobel prize for their inside to the nanodimensions. In this short video you will learn how they manage to accomplish a microscope that gives the opportunity to see nano resolution, passing through the theoretical limitation of 0.2 micrometres (500 times smaller than the width of a human hair). Now, scientists have the opportunity to see how molecules create synapses between nerve cells in the brain or track proteins involved in Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and Huntington’s diseases. [1]

I hope you liked it and don’t forget to check the link below (in “References and further reading.”), it has amazing curiosities and important information! ūüėÄ

References and further reading.

[1] – Microscope pioneers win Nobel Prize in chemistry: Research into capturing images at the nanoscale awarded top science accolade – Daily Mail

Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine: An “inner GPS”

Today I was reading the news and suddenly my interest was taken by the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine award. Three neuroscientists had won this magnificent award love neuroscience so for me it was a pleasant news to see that the research in this area is growing in adepts. So what did this neuroscientists did for receiving such an award?

I saw the rest of the article and got immense enthusiasm to find more about it. What was said in this quick article was that a British professor and a Norwegian couple had discovered an “inner GPS” i.e. cells that are specialized in finding patterns of the surroundings thus¬†giving the brain a positioning system. This is what makes us being able to remember the places where we’ve been and being able to¬†recognize familiarity in places with¬†similar aspect. [1]

Person’s award¬†and their work

John O’Keefe 2014 – Per Henning/NTNU

These remarkable person’s are John O’Keefe, Edvard Moser and May-Britt Moser. John

O’Keefe is a professor of cognitive science at the University of London. He discovered in 1971 the place cells in the hippocampus by studying in rats how different cells reacted to changes in the environment and how they spiked. This led him and a student (Jonathan Dostrovsky) who was collaborating with him to identify the specialized cells that were triggered with new surroundings. [2] 34 years later, Edvard Moser and May-Britt Moser make another breakthrough in this field by discovering ¬†the grid cells. This cells discovered recurring to rats gives the¬†brain the spacial position of the individual. [3]

Edvard and May-Britt Moser are neuroscientists at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology.

May-Britt and Edvard Moser -
May-Britt and Edvard Moser –

Further implications

The continuous research can prevent some brain diseases that involve the spatial memory¬†loss, as the Alzheimer’s disease. Even though that it may¬†never occur, now that we have¬†the neurobiological knowledge we can start aiming how this cells work.

I hope you liked and don’t forget to see the other winners of this enormous accolade! ūüėÄ

Postscript: See the winners of the Nobel Prize in Physics and check the announcement dates! 

References and further reading.

[1] – Nobel prize for medicine¬†awarded to British professor and Norwegian scientists behind the brain’s ‘inner GPS’ – Daily Mail

[2] – Place Cell – Wiki

[3] – Grid cell – Wiki

Workout and the Brain

EarlyBarbell - unknown
EarlyBarbell – unknown

Memory loss, Stress and Rodent

We often think that working out is wearing and leads to just a great body without any gain regarding the brain. This conception is proven to be wrong in several studies on rodents. What happens is that when working out the brain reorganizing it in manner of its response to stress diminish and anxiety too. Joining this is the development of brain cells (i.e. the growth of brain cells aka neurogenesis) in the hippocampus (the part of the brain that is responsible for the long-term memory). So as we normally hear, the stress is linked with our memory. [1]

Memory loss sparked by stress has been deeply studied and if you bear to read more about it you can look at references. [2]

Also important is to take account of the long-term effects it holds in the brain. It’s believed that working out strengths the mechanisms that prevent brain cells who response to stress and anxiety (I remember reading about this, its called Hebbian Theory, you might like to read it as well the main idea is “cells that fire together, wire together”). [3]

The importance of reflecting

If we think about, most of our decisions made under stress underlay instincts for survival. With the sparkle of our instinctive actions it difficult us to ponder in order for taking the best actions. This sometimes can even make us regretting our lives for not being able to prevent something.

Imagine a situation where someone you love is going to be physically attacked by somebody and you can prevent it if you punch that somebody that is going to attack your beloved. However you stay petrified because you have never been in this circumstance (or you are not used to violent behaviour) and so you see he/she being brutally assaulted. It will make you feel very ashamed and agonized.

Now you can understand the importance of being able to have a relaxed reaction to a stressful event.

Human Experiment

A recent experiment¬†done in humans aimed to understand how the exercise effected the brain. Although it is a rough experience it predicts that, as we’ve seen in rodents, humans can also boost their memory through working out.

In this experiment two groups were formed and both sat viewing 90 photos. After this, one group worked out lifting weights (extending and contracting each leg at their personal maximum effort 50 times) while the others just stayed on the weightlifting machine and allowed the machine and the experimenter to move their legs. To conclude they were brought all together and had to view the same photos again mixed with another 90. The objective was to see how right each group recalled the first photos (that were now mixed).

The results for the group that didn’t work out were of 50% and the group that did work out were 60%. [4]


So we can inference that, even though the experiment is very basic, it shows that resilient workout can possibly boost the memory. Hence boosting our results in stressful moments (because with work out we recall more and our brain doesn’t react so much to stressing stimulus).

As always I hope you got the motivation to go to the gym and that you have learnt something new. Last note, don’t forget…Mind the body! ūüėÄ

If you liked this, you may as well like knowing how your body expression affect the brain (Amy Cuddy ‚Äď ‚ÄúYour body language shapes who¬†you are‚ÄĚ)

References and further reading.

[1] –¬†Exercise reorganizes the brain to be more resilient to stress – Princeton University

[2] – Effects of stress on memory – Wiki

[3] – Hebbian Theory – Wiki

TED moments!

We love TED, it shares new ideas based on the activity of renown scientists, economists, artists, etc… It makes knowledge more accessible so we are proud to everyday share with you a TED video. Hope you enjoy it!


The kids are the future or maybe the present… In this talk you’ll find another amazing teenager who dare to face all the obstacles and made his idea become true. Faced rejection several times but never quitted. Hard work and study were the key recipes for his result…

Quoting corner!

A place for quotes from renown people. Quotes for meditation and acquiring different perspectives. Everyday quotes!


‚ÄúThere is no such thing as a disembodied mind. The mind is implanted in the brain, and the brain is implanted in the body.‚ÄĚ – Ant√≥nio Dam√°sio

"António Damásio" - Luiz Carvalho
“Ant√≥nio Dam√°sio” – Luiz Carvalho

Sun exposure can make you live longer!

We are used to be warned¬†about sun exposure, we know all of its risks and we know that we¬†shouldn’t look at the sun [1] neither stay too long because of sunburn [2] and skin cancer [3]. But what about its benefits?

Usually we don’t see a lot of information on this concern, but nowadays this topic is starting to have more visibility. As¬†the ancient greek proverb states, “virtus in media stat¬†“(virtue stands in the middle). This is what in fact happens with sun exposure.

The benefits include the reduction of hypertension and cardiovascular disease. As a side note, cardiovascular disease is the number one cause of death, accounting 30% of deaths worldwide. [4] Dr. Richard Weller studies have successfully showed that UVA (Ultraviolet radiation A) activates NO(Nitric Oxide) that is stored in the skin which dilates blood vessels hence making an important change in hypertension and cardiovascular disease. [5]

The following video might facilitate the comprehension of this difficult subject.


Other benefit now caused by other component UVB (Ultraviolet radiation B) is that it seems to protect from MS (Multiple Sclerosis) according to recent studies there is a strong evidence for this. [6] This happens due to the Vitamin D that is created on our body by UVB. [7]

The last benefit I will present is about SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder). This is a mood change that occurs in summer or winter. As in other animals winter brings an extremely hard survival environment and so animals tend to diminish activity. This is probably what also happens in humans setting a cosy atmosphere for humans sleep and feeling depressive. So revealing this is really a fact sun exposure is able to trigger a good mood. [8]

Conclusion, in spite of the fact that sunlight seems to attack you that is not actually the true there’s this “other side of the coin” which matters for your life span.

This is a lengthier post that I will make all possibles to not repeat. This gave me a lot of work (selection of information and selection of fonts) so I hope you like it. Give some feedback and see you next time! Quality before quantity!

References and further reading.

[1] – Snow blindness – Wiki

[2] – Sunburn – Wiki

[3] – UV and Skin Cancer – American Cancer Society

[4] – Sun, Vitamin D, and cardiovascular disease – US National Library of Medicine

[5] – Sunlight Might Be Good for Your Blood Pressure: Study – HealthDay

[6] –¬†Childhood sun exposure influences risk of multiple sclerosis in monozygotic twins –

[7] – What Causes MS? – National Multiple Sclerosis Society

[8] – Seasonal Affective Disorder -Wiki


How the sun sees you!

We are used to see in only one kind of electromagnetic waves, the visible light waves.[1]

What about ultraviolet waves, how do they make you look?

Sun has three different kinds of light that get into earth: infrared, ultraviolet and visible.[2] What we can only see is just the visible light. So have you ever thought about see in ultraviolet? How would you look?

Here is how the answer looks like…

References and further reading.

[1] – Introduction to the electromagnetic spectrum –¬†Nasa

[2] – Sunlight – Wikipedia