Tag Archives: science

Dogs like humans are wired to run

27 May

As we do, dogs experience a « runner’s high » i.e. a jump of their endocannabinoid blood level after running.

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It appears that we and our dogs are wired to run, a scientist says, as a consequence of the brain production of endocannabinoid that triggers our shared appetite for running.
Prof Raichlen and colleagues wanted to “to test the hypothesis that neurobiological rewards are linked to high-intensity exercise in cursorial mammals” (quoted). Their results just confirmed their hypothesis: “We show that humans and dogs share significantly increased exercise-induced eCB signaling following high-intensity endurance running” (quoted).

There are many similarities between the dogs and us, beside being mammals, loving our babies, loving to play (especially with balls or balloons), having a great sense of property, we also share, as I just have discovered it, thanks to Professor David Raichlen, the delights of the runner’s high.

As for us, human beings, running is for dogs a necessity, be it for hunting and chasing their prey or fleeing a danger such as a mightier predator.

So the evolution made the fact of running a real pleasure for our two species using for that purpose a little molecule secreted by our brain: the endocannabinoid. It acts as a reward for the individuals who manage to train and maintain their running capacities.

Professor Raichlen’s merit, as an anthropologist, stands in the fact that he demonstrates the phenomenon is not a human specificity but exists also for some other mammals close to us like dogs. (Note that non cursorial mammals like ferrets are excluded from this encouraging, rewarding mechanism).

Photos credits and writting by Philippe Ha-Vinh

More information and content:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22442371

Raichlen DA, Foster AD, Gerdeman GL, Seillier A, Giuffrida A. Wired to run: exercise-induced endocannabinoid signaling in humans and cursorial mammals with implications for the ‘runner’s high’. The Journal of experimental biology. 2012 Apr;215(Pt 8):1331-1336. Available from: http://dx.doi.org/10.1242/jeb.063677.

The way forward

28 Apr

Why western governments should increase budget spending instead of cutting them.

Nouriel Roubini, Turkish economist, professor ...

Nouriel Roubini, Turkish economist, professor of economics at the Stern School of Business, New York University. From the Confederation of Norwegian Enterprise conference, 2009. ‪Norsk (bokmål)‬: Nouriel Roubini, tyrkisk økonom, professor ved Stern School of Business ved New York University. Fra NHOs Årskonferanse 2009. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Public budget spending cuts induce a lowering of consumption that is inevitably followed by a slowdown of the economy’s pace and ultimately unemployment which also results in the lowering of consumption of goods; but moreover governments spending cuts reduce the efficiency or research by hampering the integrity of the scientist’s behaviour as we will see below.

Public budgets should instead be invested in enhancing the level of infrastructure, research and education in the aim to create the jobs and opportunities of tomorrow. High ranked economists and financial law scholars of the University of Cornwell and of the University of New-York describe what should be the way forward for western governments to follow in the present worse economic crisis since 1930 crossed by the developed countries.

Research is one of the sector in which governments should spent more money as written by Dr Ferric C Fang editor in chief of the journal Infection and Immunity in an editorial that quoted the here above economists report. The editorial of Dr Fang pointed the fact that he observes more and more misconducts in science articles because researchers are desperately lacking of financial supports and grants from the government.

More content:

1) The Way Forward

Moving From the Post-Bubble, Post-Bust Economy to Renewed Growth and Competitiveness
  • By Daniel Alpert, Westwood Capital; Robert Hockett, Professor of Law, Cornell University; and Nouriel Roubini, Professor of Economics, New York University

October 10, 2011 |

2) Reforming Science: Structural Reforms

  1. Ferric C. Fang, Editor in Chief, Infection and Immunity and
  2. Arturo Casadevall, Editor in Chief, mBio

Gross National Happiness

23 Apr

News from the front line.

A Good Dog Can Bring Happiness to Your Life

A Good Dog Can Bring Happiness to Your Life (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

An handful of scholars, idealists, politicians, spiritually minded and visionary people are in the pass of creating the forthcoming scale to measure the way of tomorrow life, i.e. the way of life and the wealth of our children and grand children. Those pioneers have attempted an assembly in New York the 1st and 2nd of April. Here below is the report of thoughts inspired by this meeting to one of its participant, who is also an actor of this coming revolution in the economic metrics:

http://havinhtho.blogspot.fr/2012/04/looking-back-at-new-york-meetings-on.html

A scientific speech addressed to medical journalists

21 Apr

When Gary Schwitzer talks at a health care journalists congress the result is the below brilliant course of medical research methodology.

The way health care journalists report the lowering of risk linked to a medical or pharmaceutical intervention has an impact on the size of the interest the public will give to the so-called innovative therapy. The example chosen by Gary with Nolvadex and breast cancer risk is very striking (see slide 36).

Thank you Gary Schwitzer for this very informative lecture which benefits not only to journalists but also to health care consumers (i.e. all of us).

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