General anesthesia and normal sleep affect brain in an amazingly similar way as consciousness fades

What happens in the brain when our conscious awareness of the surrounding world and of ourselves fades during general anesthesia and normal sleep? This fundamental question was studied with novel experimental designs and functional brain imaging by Finnish scientists. They succeeded in separating the specific changes related to consciousness from the more widespread overall effects, commonly misinterpreted as the neural correlates of consciousness. The effects of anesthesia and sleep on brain activity turned out to be surprisingly similar. These novel findings point to a common central core brain network that is fundamental for human consciousness. Explaining the biological basis of human consciousness is one of the greatest challenges of science. While the loss and return of consciousness, as regulated by drugs or physiological sleep, have been employed as model systems in the study of human consciousness, previous research results have been confounded by many experimental…

BEST OF THE WEB: Actual science: University of Florida researchers find no asymptomatic or presymptomatic spread of Coronavirus

Four researchers from the University of Florida Department of Biostatistics co-authored a study published online by the Journal of the American Medical Association. They performed a meta-analysis of 54 studies looking at the household secondary attack rate of SARS-CoV-2. According to the CDC, the secondary attack rate is the number of new cases among contacts divided by the total number of contacts. The researchers confirmed that SARS-CoV-2 is more contagious than other coronaviruses, with a secondary attack rate of 16.6% (95% CI 14.0%-19.3%) compared to 7.5% (95%CI 4.8%-10.7%) for SARS-CoV and 4.7% (95%CI, 0.9%-10.7%) for MERS-CoV.

The ‘F Scale’: Theodore W. Adorno’s ‘authoritarian personality’ revisited

Revisiting Theodore W. Adorno’s work on the ‘authoritarian personality’ and the ‘F Scale’ reveals that in 2020, it is actually liberals, progressives and the so called ‘Left’ that manifest 8 out of the 9 most problematic, antidemocratic and authoritarian attitudes. The theory of an authoritarian personality was introduced in the 1930s in an attempt to explain the mass appeal of fascism and right-wing ideologies. It came to life in the wake of a sharp rise in the popularity of fascist movements in many European societies in the inter-war period. At the time, many European ideologists and intellectuals were deeply inspired by Marx and Freud. Marxism predicted that the great depression would translate into a vast shift in working class conciousness, materialising into a global socialist revolution. Of course, this didn’t happen. The economic crisis resulted instead in mass support for nationalist and fascist movements that were often deeply anti-Semitic. The rationale behind the above…

Have we got it all wrong? Depression as a survival strategy

For generations, we have seen depression as an illness, an unnecessary deviation from normal functioning. It’s an idea that makes sense because depression causes suffering and even death. But what if we’ve got it all wrong? What if depression is not an aberration at all, but an important part of our biological defense system? More and more researchers across specialties are questioning our current definitions of depression. Biological anthropologists have argued that depression is an adaptive response to adversity and not a mental disorder. In October, the British Psychological Society published a new report on depression, stating that “depression is best thought of as an experience, or set of experiences, rather than as a disease.” And neuroscientists are focusing on the role of the autonomic nervous system (ANS) in depression. According to the Polyvagal Theory of the ANS, depression is part of a biological defense strategy meant to help us survive.

SOTT FOCUS: Psychopathy and the Origins of Totalitarianism

Comment: It looks like James Lindsay, coauthor of Cynical Theories (with Helen Pluckrose), has read Andrew Lobaczewski’s Political Ponerology. By our estimate, he’s one of the first prominent academics to do so, and to write anything substantial about it (though without citing it, unfortunately). Given his background tackling Critical Theory, he’s the right guy for the job, and his treatment below is well worth reading. We have added a few comments correlating some of his ideas with the terminology in Lobaczewski’s work. Many of the greatest horrors of the history of humanity owe their occurrence solely to the establishment and social enforcement of a false reality. With gratitude to the Catholic philosopher Josef Pieper and his important 1970 essay “Abuse of Language, Abuse of Power” for the term and idea, we can refer to these alternative realities as ideological pseudo-realities. Pseudo-realities, being false and unreal, will always generate tragedy and evil on a scale that is…

Scientists scramble to identify culprit behind covid vaccine allergic reactions

All is not going according to plan in the global rollout of what is arguably the most important vaccine in a century, and it is not just growing mistrust in the covid injection effort that was rolled out in record time: an unexpected spike in allergic reactions to the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine may prove catastrophic to widespread acceptance unless scientists can figure out what is causing it after the FDA’s rushed approval. So in a welcome development, the WSJ reports that according to scientists, the potential culprit causing the allergic reactions to the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine is the compound polyethylene glycol, also known as PEG. According to the CDC, at least six severe allergic reactions to the vaccine have been reported so far in the US out of 272,001 doses administered through Dec. 19, while at least two cases of anaphylaxis have also occurred in the UK. Polyethylene glycol – a polyether compound derived from petroleum with many applications, from industrial manufacturing to…

Doctor reportedly has severe allergic reaction to Moderna COVID vaccine

A Boston doctor suffered a serious allergic reaction to Moderna’s coronavirus vaccine, the first of its kind documented, a report said Friday. Dr. Hossein Sadrzadeh, a geriatric oncologist at Boston Medical Center, became dizzy and felt his heart racing minutes after receiving the vaccine on Thursday, he told The New York Times. “It was the same anaphylactic reaction that I experience with shellfish,” Dr. Sadrzadeh told the paper, noting that his tongue became numb, his blood pressure plummeted and he broke into a cold sweat.

A brilliant analysis of vaccination, by Richard Moskowitz, MD and homeopath

In the age of COVID, vaccination looms large. As in mandatory. And of course, toxic. I’ve already covered two new vaccine technologies, one of which has already been pushed forward, to “protect” people from a virus that has never been properly proven to exist. DNA vaccines, aka gene therapy, permanently alter recipients’ genetic makeup in unknown ways. RNA vaccines (Pfizer’s and Moderna’s, just approved for COVID) can cause auto-immune reactions — which means the body attacks itself. [1] [2] In this piece, I want to take a look at a few fundamentals about vaccination. In particular, the claim that vaccines have done a fantastic job of reducing case numbers of diseases, and therefore all criticisms of these injections are irrelevant. From his bio [3]: “Richard Moskowitz was born in 1938, and educated at Harvard (B.A.) and New York University (M.D.). After medical school he did 3 years of graduate study in Philosophy at the University of Colorado in Boulder on a U. S. Steel…

EPM301: The synthetic & patented cannabis compound ‘more potent than CBD & THC’

Professor Raphael Mechoulam, also known as the “father of cannabis research,” revealed his latest discovery, cannabidiolic acid methyl ester (EPM301), only a few months ago. The introduction of this new, patented compound (synthetic, fully stable acid-based cannabinoid molecules) caused a wave of excitement around the future of medicinal cannabis. The compound in question was presented to the world in partnership with EPM, a global biotechnology company based in the U.S. that aims to bridge the gap between the cannabis and pharmaceutical industries. Comment: That sounds like a possibly ominous partnership. During a recent, exclusive conversation, CEO Reshef Swisa and Dr. Mechoulam, shared the history of the journey behind this revolutionary process and its significance in evolving the use of CBD as a pharmaceutical drug.

Did you know you have a second brain?

Our guts operate on a quite separate nervous system. Learning more will help control gastrointestinal diseases Our huge gastrointestinal tracts operate their own nervous system, using neurons that follow different principles from those of brain neurons, according to recent findings: Our approximately seven-meter long gastrointestinal (GI) tract has its own functionally distinct neurons. Since this enteric nervous system (ENS) operates autonomously, it is sometimes referred to as the “second” or “abdominal” brain. While the ENS controls muscle movement (peristalsis) in the gut and its fluid balance and blood flow, it also communicates with the immune system and microbiome. Karolinska Institutet, “New fundamental knowledge of the ‘abdominal brain'” at Medical Xpress (December 7, 2020) Paper.