by Mike Adams

the Health Ranger

December 11, 2010
from NaturalNews Website

Spanish version

 

Mention the word "astrology" and skeptics go into an epileptic fit.

 

The idea that someone's personality could be imprinted at birth according to the position of the sun, Moon and planets has long been derided as "quackery" by the so-called "scientific" community which resists any notion based on holistic connections between individuals and the cosmos.

According to the conventional view,

  • your genes and your parenting determine your personality

  • the position of planet Earth at the time of your birth has nothing to do with it

Then again, conventional scientists don't believe the position of the Moon has anything to do with life on Earth, either.

 

They dismiss the wisdom that farmers have known for ages - that planting seeds or transplanting living plants in harmony with the Moon cycles results in higher crop yields.

 

Even the seeds inside humans are strongly influenced by the Moon, as menstruation cycles and Moon cycles are closely synchronized (28 days, roughly).
 

 


Researchers demonstrate scientific principle of astrology


Skeptics must be further bewildered by the new research published in Nature Neuroscience and conducted at Vanderbilt University which unintentionally provides scientific support for the fundamental principle of astrology - namely, that the position of the planets at your time of birth influences your personality.

In this study, not only did the birth month impact personality; it also resulted in measurable functional changes in the brain.

This study, conducted on mice, showed that mice born in the winter showed a "consistent slowing" of their daytime activity. They were also more susceptible to symptoms that we might call "Seasonal Affective Disorder."

The study was carried out by Professor of Biological Sciences Douglas McMahon, graduate student Chris Ciarleglio, post-doctoral fellow Karen Gamble and two additional undergraduate students, none of whom believe in astrology, apparently.

 

They do, of course, believe in science, which is why all their study findings have been draped in the language of science even though the findings are essentially supporting principles of astrology.

"What is particularly striking about our results is the fact that the imprinting affects both the animal's behavior and the cycling of the neurons in the master biological clock in their brains," said Ciarleglio.

This is one of the core principles of astrology:

That the position of the planets at the time of your birth (which might be called the "season" of your birth) can actually result in changes in your brain physiology which impact lifelong behavior.

Once again, such an idea sounds preposterous to the scientifically trained, unless of course they discover it for themselves, at which point it's all suddenly very "scientific."

 

Instead of calling it "astrology," they're now referring to it as "seasonal biology."
 

 


How to discredit real science


It all reminds me of the discovery of cold fusion in 1989 by Fleishmann and Pons, who were widely ridiculed by the arrogant hot fusion researchers who tried to destroy the credibility (and careers) of cold fusion researchers.

 

After the very idea of "cold fusion" was attacked and demolished by these arrogant scientists, it soon returned under a new name: Low-Energy Nuclear Reactions (LENR).

LENR has now been verified as true by none other than the U.S. Navy - along with hundreds of other researchers around the world. And yet, even today, the conventional scientific community still insists cold fusion doesn't exist and cold fusion researchers are frauds.

Just as there is a solid scientific basis for LENR, there is a scientific basis for astrology, too.

 

The relationship between the Earth, Moon and Sun naturally alter light exposure, temperature, gravitational pull and other conditions that may be sensed by living organisms. To believe in astrology, all that's really required is to grasp the basic concepts of the interrelationships between all living things.

 

Does the position of the sun or Moon influence life on Earth?

 

Of course it does:

Life as we know it wouldn't even exist without the Moon tugging on Earth and preventing its rotational axis from shifting around to the point where radical changes in seasonal temperatures would make life far more challenging.

 

(The Moon, in other words, is one of the key "stabilizers" of life on planet Earth because it tends to stabilize the seasons and keep the Earth on a steady rotational plane.)

None of this, of course, means that the position of Saturn today is going to make you win the lottery or find a new love.

 

That's the tabloid version of astrology, not real astrology.
 

 


Don't confuse tabloid astrology with real astrology


Even astronomy has its tabloid versions, too, which are entirely non-scientific.

 

For example, every model of our solar system that I've ever seen is a wildly inaccurate tabloid version of reality, with planet sizes ridiculously exaggerated and planet distances not depicted to scale. These silly, non-scientific solar system models imprint a kind of solar system mythology into the minds of schoolchildren and even school teachers.

 

Virtually no one outside the communities of astrophysics and astronomy has any real grasp of the enormity of not merely our solar system, but of our galaxy and the space between neighboring galaxies.

To show a giant sun the size of a basketball, with a depiction of the Earth as a marble-sized planet three inches away is the astronomical equivalent of a gimmicky horoscope claiming you're going to win the lottery today because you were born under the sign of Pisces. Both are fictions. And both are an insult to real science.

In fact, even the whole idea that an "electron" is a piece of physical matter, made up of other "particles" is an insult to real science.

 

The sobering truth of the matter is that "particle physics" doesn't have much to do with actual particles at all. It's all about energies that might, on occasion, vibrate in just the right way so that they momentarily appear to take on the illusion of a particle as measured by our observers - observers who inevitably alter the outcome of the entire experiment, by the way, once again proving the interrelated nature of things in our universe, including observer and experiment.

The horoscope predictions in the Sunday paper - as well as much of the hilarious mythology found in the modern description of an atom - are both simplified, comic-book versions of a larger truth - the truth that we live in a holistic universe where every bit of physical matter, every bit of energy and every conscious mind impacts the rest of the universe in subtle ways.

 

There is no such thing as an individual who is isolated from the Cosmos, because we are of the Cosmos and we exist as the physical manifestations of energies that, for our lifetimes, are momentarily organized as beings.

 

We are made of star stuff, says Carl Sagan.

 

He's right:

We are not only made of star stuff, we are influenced by that stuff, too.

And finally, modern science is beginning to catch up to this greater truth that astrologers have known since the dawn of human existence on our tiny planet.

 

 


 

 

 

 

 


Babies’ Biological Clocks Dramatically Affected by...

Birth Light Cycle

by Chris Ciarleglio
December 6, 2010

from VanderbiltUniversity Website

Spanish version

 

Media Contact:
David Salisbury, (615) 322-NEWS
david.salisbury@vanderbilt.edu


The undergraduate contributors to the study were John Axley and Benjamin Strauss, who have graduated and gone onto graduate school and medical school.

Karen Gamble, the contributing post-doctoral fellow, is now a faculty member in the psychiatry department at the University of Alabama Birmingham.
The research was funded by grants from the National Institutes of Health and was conducted in association with the

Silvio O. Conte Neuroscience Research Center at Vanderbilt.


The season in which babies are born can have a dramatic and persistent effect on how their biological clocks function.

That is the conclusion of a new study published online on Dec. 5 by the journal Nature Neuroscience. The experiment provides the first evidence for seasonal imprinting of biological clocks in mammals and was conducted by Professor of Biological Sciences Douglas McMahon, graduate student Chris Ciarleglio, post-doctoral fellow Karen Gamble and two undergraduate students at Vanderbilt University.

The imprinting effect, which was found in baby mice, may help explain the fact that people born in winter months have a higher risk of a number of neurological disorders including seasonal affective disorder (winter depression), bipolar depression and schizophrenia.

"Our biological clocks measure the day length and change our behavior according to the seasons. We were curious to see if light signals could shape the development of the biological clock.

 

"Our biological clocks measure the day length and change our behavior according to the seasons. We were curious to see if light signals could shape the development of the biological clock," said McMahon.

In the experiment, groups of mouse pups were raised from birth to weaning in artificial winter or summer light cycles.

 

After they were weaned, they were maintained in either the same cycle or the opposite cycle for 28 days. Once they were mature, the mice were placed in constant darkness and their activity patterns were observed.

The winter-born mice showed a consistent slowing of their daily activity period, regardless of whether they had been maintained on a winter light cycle, or had been shifted to summer cycle after weaning.

 

When the scientists examined the master biological clocks in the mouse brains, using a gene that makes the clock cells glow green when active, they found a similar pattern: slowing of the gene clocks in winter-born mice compared to those born on a summer light cycle.

"What is particularly striking about our results is the fact that the imprinting affects both the animal’s behavior and the cycling of the neurons in the master biological clock in their brains.

 

"What is particularly striking about our results is the fact that the imprinting affects both the animal’s behavior and the cycling of the neurons in the master biological clock in their brains," said Ciarleglio.

In addition, their experiments found that the imprinting of clock gene activity near birth had dramatic effects on the reaction of the biological clock to changes in season later in life.

 

The biological clocks and behavior of summer-born mice remain stable and aligned with the time of dusk while that of the winter-born mice varied widely when they were placed in a summer light cycle.

"The mice raised in the winter cycle show an exaggerated response to a change in season that is strikingly similar to that of human patients suffering from seasonal affective disorder," McMahon commented.

Exactly when the imprinting occurs during the three-week period leading up to weaning and whether the effect is temporary or permanent are questions the scientists intend to address in future experiments.
 

 


Seasonality and Personality

The new study raises an intriguing but highly speculative possibility: Seasonal variations in the day/night cycle that individuals experience as their brains are developing may affect their personality.

"We know that the biological clock regulates mood in humans. If an imprinting mechanism similar to the one that we found in mice operates in humans, then it could not only have an effect on a number of behavioral disorders but also have a more general effect on personality.

 

"We know that the biological clock regulates mood in humans. If an imprinting mechanism similar to the one that we found in mice operates in humans, then it could not only have an effect on a number of behavioral disorders but also have a more general effect on personality," said McMahon.

"It’s important to emphasize that, even though this sounds a bit like astrology, it is not: it’s seasonal biology!" McMahon added.

Mice in this study were raised on artificial seasonal light cycles in the laboratory and the study was repeated at different times of the year.

 

In humans, studies conducted in the northern and southern hemispheres have confirmed that it’s the season of winter - not the birth month - that leads to increased risk of schizophrenia. There are many possible seasonal signals that could affect brain development, including exposure to flu virus.

 

This study shows that seasonal light cycles can affect the development of a specific brain function.

"We know from previous studies that light can affect the development of other parts of the brain, for example the visual system. Our work shows that this is also true for the biological clock," said Ciarleglio.



Background

The experiment was performed with a special strain of genetically engineered mice that it took McMahon two years to develop.

 

The mice have an extra gene inserted in their genome that produces a naturally fluorescent green protein causing the biological clock neurons in their brains to glow green when they are active. This allows the scientists to directly monitor the activity of the master biological clock, which is located in the middle of the brain behind the eyes in a small area called the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN).

For the study, the researchers took three groups of six to eight newborn pups each and placed them (and their mothers) in environments with controlled day/night cycles.

  • one group was placed in a "summer" cycle with 16 hours of light and eight hours of dark

  • another group was placed in a "winter" cycle with eight hours of light and 16 hours of dark

  • a third group was placed in an equinox cycle with 12 hours of light and 12 hours of darkness

They were kept in these environments for three weeks until they were weaned.

"When they are born, the brains of mice are less developed than those of a human baby. As a result, their brains are still being wired during this period," McMahon said.

Once they were weaned, half of the summer-born mice were kept on the summer cycle and half were switched to the winter cycle for the following 28 days as they matured.

 

The winter-born mice were given the same treatment. The equinox-born mice were split into three groups and put into summer, winter and equinox cycles.

After the mice matured, they were placed into an environment of continuous darkness. This eliminated the day/night cues that normally reset biological clocks and allowed the scientists to determine their biological clock’s intrinsic cycles.

The scientists found a substantial difference between the summer-born and winter-born groups.

The summer-born mice behaved the same whether they had been kept on the summer cycle or switched to the winter cycle. They started running at the time of dusk (as determined by their former day/night cycle), continued for ten hours and then rested for 14 hours.

The behavior of the winter-born mice was much different. Those who had been kept on the winter light cycle through maturation showed basically the same pattern as their summer cousins: They became active at the time of dusk and continued for 10 hours before resting. However, those who had been switched to a summer cycle remained active for an extra hour and a half.

When they looked at what was happening in the brains of the different groups, they found a strikingly similar pattern.

In the summer-born mice, the activity of the neurons in the SCN peaked at the time of dusk and continued for 10 hours. When the winter-born mice were matured in the winter cycle, their neuronal activity peaked one hour after the time of dusk and continued for 10 hours.

 

But, in the winter-born mice switched to a summer cycle, the master bioclock’s activity peaked two hours before the time of dusk and continued for 12 hours.

When they looked at the equinox group, the scientists found variations that fell midway between the summer and winter groups. Those subjected to a summer cycle when they matured had biological clocks that peaked one hour before the time of dusk and the biological clocks of those subjected to a winter cycle peaked a half hour after the time of dusk.

 

In both cases the duration of SCN activity was 11 hours.

Their analysis showed that these variations are caused by alterations in the activity patterns of the individual neurons, rather than by network-level effects.

"It is quite striking how closely the neuronal wave form and period line up with their behavior. It is quite striking how closely the neuronal wave form and period line up with their behavior," McMahon said.

Ciarleglio completed his graduate studies and is now assistant director of the Vanderbilt Brain Institute.