Post Of The Week – Sunday 14th October 2018

1) Body Clock – What Makes Us Tick

This programme from the BBC is about circadian rhythms. It mixed a partial replication of Siffre’s pioneering research and attempts to alter the 24 hour cycle to replicate jet lag with stories of people with problems with sleeping and waking. The science was clear in separating endogenous pacemakers from exogenous zeitgebers. The programme spoke about pacemakers inside the hypothalamus and throughout the body. There was an explanation of Jeffrey Hall’s research into how genes work in the cells which act as endogenous pacemakers. These biological clocks work to a cycle of about 24 hours. Light as an exogenous zeitgeber fixes these clocks so that we can live in synchrony with the cycle of day and night. This is important because changing people’s experience of light is an important way of helping them to sleep better and be healthier. If you want to know more about the science of this, here is a lecture by Michael Rosebush, one of Jeffrey Hall’s collaborators. They won the Nobel Prize for Physiology and Medicine in 2017.

And here is a clip from the programme.

This article looks at one effect of not getting enough sleep.

2) Francis Galton

Galton is a controversial figure. This video does a fine job of explaining those controversies in a calm and objective manner.


3) Missing Heritability

This article looks at how much is known about the heritability of some common diseases. It explains missing heritability. Conditions are more heritable than our knowledge of individual genes currently allows. In connection with one of the issues raised, this article explains how samples in genetic research do not reflect all social groups proportionately.


4) Global Mental Health Stigma

Graham Thornicroft explains here a project to address stigma across the globe.


5) Both Sides Of The Brain

In Year 2, we have been writing about lateralisation of brain function. It has been known for a long time that the right brain controls movement on the left side of the body and vice versa. As an evaluation point, we look at how modern research tries to understand integration of function, not separation. This article explains recent research which suggests that both sides of the brain are involved in movement.


6) Food Preferences

We are going to be looking at food preferences in Year 2 soon, with some experimental work thrown in. This article explains a study of an innovative approach to healthy eating in adolescents.


7) Social Change

This article explains scale of the change necessary to enable the planet to be protected.


8) Hippocampus

This article explains more about the role of the hippocampus in our understanding of events.


9) Jason McAteer: Through The Storm

This video from LFC TV is about male mental health and deals with suicide. It is sombre, grown up stuff and for that reason I was reluctant to put it up here. It is brilliant though.


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