तिल

तिल का तेल … पृथ्वी का अमृत*
अपने पुरखे कितने वैज्ञानिक थे खान पान और हम कितने अवैज्ञानिक कि जो tv पर ऐड देख कर अंधे हो जाते है ।

यदि इस पृथ्वी पर उपलब्ध सर्वोत्तम खाद्य पदार्थों की बात की जाए तो तिल के तेल का नाम अवश्य आएगा और यही सर्वोत्तम पदार्थ बाजार में उपलब्ध नहीं है. और ना ही आने वाली पीढ़ियों को इसके गुण पता हैं.

🔹 क्योंकि नई पीढ़ी तो टी वी के इश्तिहार देख कर ही सारा सामान ख़रीदती है.
और तिल के तेल का प्रचार कंपनियाँ इसलिए नहीं करती क्योंकि इसके गुण जान लेने के बाद आप उन द्वारा बेचा जाने वाला तरल चिकना पदार्थ जिसे वह तेल कहते हैं लेना बंद कर देंगे.

🔹तिल के तेल में इतनी ताकत होती है कि यह पत्थर को भी चीर देता है. प्रयोग करके देखें…. 
🔹आप पर्वत का पत्थर लिजिए और उसमे कटोरी के जैसा खडडा बना लिजिए, उसमे पानी, दुध, धी या तेजाब संसार में कोई सा भी कैमिकल, ऐसिड डाल दीजिए, पत्थर में वैसा की वैसा ही रहेगा, कही नहीं जायेगा… 
🔹लेकिन… अगर आप ने उस कटोरी नुमा पत्थर में तिल का तेल डाल दीजिए, उस खड्डे में भर दिजिये.. 2 दिन बाद आप देखेंगे कि, तिल का तेल… पत्थर के अन्दर भी प्रवेश करके, पत्थर के नीचे आ जायेगा. यह होती है तेल की ताकत, इस तेल की मालिश करने से हड्डियों को पार करता हुआ, हड्डियों को मजबूती प्रदान करता है.

🔹 तिल के तेल के अन्दर फास्फोरस होता है जो कि हड्डियों की मजबूती का अहम भूमिका अदा करता है.

🔹और तिल का तेल ऐसी वस्तु है जो अगर कोई भी भारतीय चाहे तो थोड़ी सी मेहनत के बाद आसानी से प्राप्त कर सकता है. तब उसे किसी भी कंपनी का तेल खरीदने की आवश्यकता ही नही होगी.

🔹तिल खरीद लीजिए और किसी भी तेल निकालने वाले से उनका तेल निकलवा लीजिए. लेकिन सावधान तिल का तेल सिर्फ कच्ची घाणी (लकडी की बनी हुई) का ही प्रयोग करना चाहिए. 
🔷तैल शब्द की व्युत्पत्ति तिल शब्द से ही हुई है। जो तिल से निकलता वह है तैल। अर्थात तेल का असली अर्थ ही है “तिल का तेल”.
🔹तिल के तेल का सबसे बड़ा गुण यह है की यह शरीर के लिए आयुषधि का काम करता है.. चाहे आपको कोई भी रोग हो यह उससे लड़ने की क्षमता शरीर में विकसित करना आरंभ कर देता है. यह गुण इस पृथ्वी के अन्य किसी खाद्य पदार्थ में नहीं पाया जाता.
🔹सौ ग्राम सफेद तिल 1000 मिलीग्राम कैल्शियम प्राप्त होता हैं। बादाम की अपेक्षा तिल में छः गुना से भी अधिक कैल्शियम है।
काले और लाल तिल में लौह तत्वों की भरपूर मात्रा होती है जो रक्तअल्पता के इलाज़ में कारगर साबित होती है।
🔷तिल में उपस्थित लेसिथिन नामक रसायन कोलेस्ट्रोल के बहाव को रक्त नलिकाओं में बनाए रखने में मददगार होता है।
तिल के तेल में प्राकृतिक रूप में उपस्थित सिस्मोल एक ऐसा एंटी-ऑक्सीडेंट है जो इसे ऊँचे तापमान पर भी बहुत जल्दी खराब नहीं होने देता। आयुर्वेद चरक संहित में इसे पकाने के लिए सबसे अच्छा तेल माना गया है।

🔷तिल में विटामिन सी छोड़कर वे सभी आवश्यक पौष्टिक पदार्थ होते हैं जो अच्छे स्वास्थ्य के लिए अत्यंत आवश्यक होते हैं। तिल विटामिन बी और आवश्यक फैटी एसिड्स से भरपूर है।
इसमें मीथोनाइन और ट्रायप्टोफन नामक दो बहुत महत्त्वपूर्ण एमिनो एसिड्स होते हैं जो चना, मूँगफली, राजमा, चौला और सोयाबीन जैसे अधिकांश शाकाहारी खाद्य पदार्थों में नहीं होते।

🔹ट्रायोप्टोफन को शांति प्रदान करने वाला तत्व भी कहा जाता है जो गहरी नींद लाने में सक्षम है। यही त्वचा और बालों को भी स्वस्थ रखता है। मीथोनाइन लीवर को दुरुस्त रखता है और कॉलेस्ट्रोल को भी नियंत्रित रखता है।

🔷तिलबीज स्वास्थ्यवर्द्धक वसा का बड़ा स्त्रोत है जो चयापचय को बढ़ाता है।
यह कब्ज भी नहीं होने देता।
तिलबीजों में उपस्थित पौष्टिक तत्व,जैसे-कैल्शियम और आयरन त्वचा को कांतिमय बनाए रखते हैं।

🔷तिल में न्यूनतम सैचुरेटेड फैट होते हैं इसलिए इससे बने खाद्य पदार्थ उच्च रक्तचाप को कम करने में मदद कर सकता है।
सीधा अर्थ यह है की यदि आप नियमित रूप से स्वयं द्वारा निकलवाए हुए शुद्ध तिल के तेल का सेवन करते हैं तो आप के बीमार होने की संभावना ही ना के बराबर रह जाएगी.

🔹 जब शरीर बीमार ही नही होगा तो उपचार की भी आवश्यकता नही होगी. यही तो आयुर्वेद है.. आयुर्वेद का मूल सीधांत यही है की उचित आहार विहार से ही शरीर को स्वस्थ रखिए ताकि शरीर को आयुषधि की आवश्यकता ही ना पड़े.

🔹एक बात का ध्यान अवश्य रखिएगा की बाजार में कुछ लोग तिल के तेल के नाम पर अन्य कोई तेल बेच रहे हैं.. जिसकी पहचान करना मुश्किल होगा. ऐसे में अपने सामने निकाले हुए तेल का ही भरोसा करें. यह काम थोड़ा सा मुश्किल ज़रूर है किंतु पहली बार की मेहनत के प्रयास स्वरूप यह शुद्ध तेल आपकी पहुँच में हो जाएगा. जब चाहें जाएँ और तेल निकलवा कर ले आएँ.

🔷तिल में मोनो-सैचुरेटेड फैटी एसिड (mono-unsaturated fatty acid) होता है जो शरीर से बैड कोलेस्ट्रोल को कम करके गुड कोलेस्ट्रोल यानि एच.डी.एल. (HDL) को बढ़ाने में मदद करता है। यह हृदय रोग, दिल का दौरा और धमनीकलाकाठिन्य (atherosclerosis) के संभावना को कम करता है।
कैंसर से सुरक्षा प्रदान करता है-
तिल में सेसमीन (sesamin) नाम का एन्टीऑक्सिडेंट (antioxidant) होता है जो कैंसर के कोशिकाओं को बढ़ने से रोकने के साथ-साथ है और उसके जीवित रहने वाले रसायन के उत्पादन को भी रोकने में मदद करता है।

🔹 यह फेफड़ों का कैंसर, पेट के कैंसर, ल्यूकेमिया, प्रोस्टेट कैंसर, स्तन कैंसर और अग्नाशय के कैंसर के प्रभाव को कम करने में बहुत मदद करता है।
तनाव को कम करता है-

🔹इसमें नियासिन (niacin) नाम का विटामिन होता है जो तनाव और अवसाद को कम करने में मदद करता है।
हृदय के मांसपेशियों को स्वस्थ रखने में मदद करता है-

🔹तिल में ज़रूरी मिनरल जैसे कैल्सियम, आयरन, मैग्नेशियम, जिन्क, और सेलेनियम होता है जो हृदय के मांसपेशियों को सुचारू रूप से काम करने में मदद करता है और हृदय को नियमित अंतराल में धड़कने में मदद करता है।

🔹शिशु के हड्डियों को मजबूती प्रदान करता है-
तिल में डायटरी प्रोटीन और एमिनो एसिड होता है जो बच्चों के हड्डियों के विकसित होने में और मजबूती प्रदान करने में मदद करता है।

🔹उदाहरणस्वरूप 100ग्राम तिल में लगभग 18 ग्राम प्रोटीन होता है, जो बच्चों के विकास के लिए बहुत ज़रूरी होता है।
गर्भवती महिला और भ्रूण (foetus) को स्वस्थ रखने में मदद करता है-

🔹तिल में फोलिक एसिड होता है जो गर्भवती महिला और भ्रूण के विकास और स्वस्थ रखने में मदद करता है।

🔹शिशुओं के लिए तेल मालिश के रूप में काम करता है-

🔹अध्ययन के अनुसार तिल के तेल से शिशुओं को मालिश करने पर उनकी मांसपेशियाँ सख्त होती है साथ ही उनका अच्छा विकास होता है।

🔹 आयुर्वेद के अनुसार इस तेल से मालिश करने पर शिशु आराम से सोते हैं।
अस्थि-सुषिरता (osteoporosis) से लड़ने में मदद करता है-

🔹तिल में जिन्क और कैल्सियम होता है जो अस्थि-सुषिरता से संभावना को कम करने में मदद करता है।

🔹मधुमेह के दवाईयों को प्रभावकारी बनाता है-

🔹डिपार्टमेंट ऑफ बायोथेक्सनॉलॉजी विनायक मिशन यूनवर्सिटी, तमिलनाडु (Department of Biothechnology at the Vinayaka Missions University, Tamil Nadu) के अध्ययन के अनुसार यह उच्च रक्तचाप को कम करने के साथ-साथ इसका एन्टी ग्लिसेमिक प्रभाव रक्त में ग्लूकोज़ के स्तर को 36% कम करने में मदद करता है जब यह मधुमेह विरोधी दवा ग्लिबेक्लेमाइड (glibenclamide) से मिलकर काम करता है। इसलिए टाइप-2 मधुमेह (type 2 diabetic) रोगी के लिए यह मददगार साबित होता है।

🔹दूध के तुलना में तिल में तीन गुना कैल्शियम रहता है। इसमें कैल्शियम, विटामिन बी और ई, आयरन और ज़िंक, प्रोटीन की भरपूर मात्रा रहती है और कोलेस्टरोल बिल्कुल नहीं रहता है।

🔹तिल का तेल ऐसा तेल है, जो सालों तक खराब नहीं होता है, यहाँ तक कि गर्मी के दिनों में भी वैसा की वैसा ही रहता है. 
तिल का तेल कोई साधारण तेल नहीं है। इसकी मालिश से शरीर काफी आराम मिलता है। यहां तक कि लकवा जैसे रोगों तक को ठीक करने की क्षमता रखता है।

🔹इससे अगर महिलाएं अपने स्तन के नीचे से ऊपर की ओर मालिश करें, तो स्तन पुष्ट होते हैं। सर्दी के मौसम में इस तेल से शरीर की मालिश करें, तो ठंड का एहसास नहीं होता।
🔹 इससे चेहरे की मालिश भी कर सकते हैं। चेहरे की सुंदरता एवं कोमलता बनाये रखेगा। यह सूखी त्वचा के लिए उपयोगी है।

🔹तिल का तेल- तिल विटामिन ए व ई से भरपूर होता है। इस कारण इसका तेल भी इतना ही महत्व रखता है। इसे हल्का गरम कर त्वचा पर मालिश करने से निखार आता है। अगर बालों में लगाते हैं, तो बालों में निखार आता है, लंबे होते हैं।

🔹जोड़ों का दर्द हो, तो तिल के तेल में थोड़ी सी सोंठ पावडर, एक चुटकी हींग पावडर डाल कर गर्म कर मालिश करें। तिल का तेल खाने में भी उतना ही पौष्टिक है विशेषकर पुरुषों के लिए।इससे मर्दानगी की ताकत मिलती है!

🔹हमारे धर्म में भी तिल के बिना कोई कार्य सिद्ध नहीं होता है, जन्म, मरण, परण, यज्ञ, जप, तप, पित्र, पूजन आदि में तिल और तिल का तेल के बिना संभव नहीं है अतः इस पृथ्वी के अमृत को अपनावे और जीवन निरोग बनावे ।

Generating New Size-Specific Nanoparticles

Nanoparticle generation is notorious for being a clumsy, awkward process that can take months to perfect. This means that research which involves multiple different types of nanoparticles is often held back by the creation of the nanoparticles themselves. To address this problem, VSPARTICLE have developed a new instrument that uses spark ablation to produce particular nanoparticles, of a set size distribution, all in one afternoon.

  

What are the conventional problems associated with the creation of nanoparticles? How does the VSP-G1 nanoparticle generator avoid these?

The problems faced in nanoparticle production are threefold. The process is time-consuming and it is not interchangeable for different materials, meaning a new method must be used to generate different nanoparticles and, in addition to this, reproducibility is also a big issue.

Because of this, researchers spend years of their Ph.D. on the synthesis of nanoparticles, instead of on the actual application of them. Conventional methods rely on carefully tweaked chemistries, which makes it difficult to tune the size, composition or scale of a synthesis.

Another problem is post-processing – conventional methods provide a powder or suspension as an end product. This is problematic as powders need to be re-dispersed before use, whilst suspensions require the surfactants and solvents to be removed. Both are costly procedures and often involve the risk of worker exposure.

VSPARTICLE aims to provide a complete solution from nanoparticle synthesis to the immobilization of nanoparticles on or into your product. The VSP-G1’s settings can be adjusted without effort, making changes in nanoparticle size and composition trivial and helping in scaling up.

The method used in the VSP-G1 (spark ablation) is easy, fast and reproducible. Because spark ablation is a purely physical process, the fabrication of particles and the integration of them into your device always works in exactly the same way, enabling you to start working on your product without the hassle that comes with conventional production.

A pie chart demonstrating the wide range of application areas of nanoparticles. An interactive copy can be found here.

What materials can the VSP-G1 nanoparticle generator create nanoparticles from?

The VSP-G1 can create nanoparticles from any (semi-)conducting material, allowing researchers to create nanoparticles from 90% of the elements in the periodic table. Furthermore, materials that are normally immiscible on the macroscale can be alloyed on the nanoscale using spark ablation technology. An example of this are Au-Cu particles, created using sparks between an Au and a Cu electrode.

The particles are created in a continuous flow of gas, typically argon or nitrogen. The gas can easily be delivered through post-processing stages, which facilitates size-selection, or modifications such as oxidations.

As particles become larger, they nucleate and form solid particles. The morphology and primary size that is favored during nucleation can easily be tweaked using the VSP-G1.  Depending on your substrate, VSPARTICLE can also provide different solutions to immobilize the produced particles.

How precise is the nanoparticle creation process?

In terms of stability, the standard deviation of the particle size output can be reduced to less than two percent. Particles produced by the spark have a primary particle size, which can be tuned by altering the annealing temperature. Particle size distributions typically have a geometric standard deviation of 1.3-1.4 nm. For specific applications, size distributions of +/- 0.2 nm or better can be achieved.

The VSP-G1 is most precise in the 0-20 nm range. However, with additional equipment, particles can be selected on their size, accurately down to 0.1 nm.

In which fields do you see the VSP-G1 nanoparticle generator making the biggest impact?

There are four fields in which we see a great future for the VSP-G1: microelectronics, catalysis, energy and healthcare.

Compared to printing electronics with conductive inks, using beams of pure nanoparticles to print conductive lines allows for sintering at lower temperatures. The outcome of this is the creation of conducting lines which possess a higher conductivity.

‘Printing’ with a nanoparticle spray can also be achieved for the coating of an entire surface, to produce a porous later that could be used for sending – the porosity of laters produced by the VSP-G1 makes it possible to detect even the lowest amount of gas or biomolecules.

The use of nanoparticles in catalysis is already established, but a reliable method of creating nanoparticle catalysts for size and composition comparisons is not. Differing metal and metal-oxide nanoparticles of various shapes can be easily compared against one another using the VSP-G1 allowing the optimal nanoparticle properties for a particulr catalytic process to be determined. Using the new VSPARTICLE accessory particles can be directly deposited onto an in-situ TEM grid for analysis.

Because nanoparticles have strong applications in the fields of electronics and catalysis it is inevitable that they will influence the production and storage of energy as well.  Nanoparticles are currently being used to improve solar cells absorption of sunlight. A higher absorption of solar enables a higher energy production, during sunny days, nanoparticles enable nano-structured super capacitors to store more energy.

In the healthcare field, scientists working on nanoparticle therapies, such as iron oxide nanoparticles for hyperthermia and enhanced MRI, antibacterial nanosilver or gold nanoparticles for targeted drug delivery are struggling to get FDA approval. This is mostly due to the presence of chemical contaminants in their nanoparticle formulations. By using spark ablation, researchers can produce nanoparticles which are contaminant free, speeding up the approval process and working faster to nanomedicine end-user applications.

Shutterstock |  Andrey VP

What advantages do your nanoparticles provide for the Semiconductor and other patterning industries?

The extremely small size of nanoparticles makes them very sensitive to external stimuli. This sensitivity can be used to develop novel sensors or used as a way to create metallic interconnects using low-temperature processes.

Nanoparticle generators make it possible for a semiconductor manufacturer to have full control over their entire production chain – from nanoparticle generation to the integration of the nanoparticles in the devices they create.

What inspired the team at VSPARTICLE to develop the VSP-G1? Why did you choose to use Spark Ablation?

While we were at the Delft University of Technology, we noticed many people had difficulties in adapting nanoparticle recipes for their need. These were researchers in a multidisciplinary environment, with expertise in fields such as materials for energy conversion and storage, photovoltaics, healthcare and catalysis. We saw researchers spend months to obtain the nanoparticles they required before they could carry on with their research.

In contrast, students in our lab would receive 2-hours of training, and would have nanoparticles of the composition and size they wanted by the end of the day. This is largely due to the flexibility of spark ablation: if we can make the bulk electrode, we can make the nanoparticles. We want to give other people the same possibilities.

Can VSPARTICLE help their customers develop their own nanoparticle production processes tailored to their application?

Using VSPARTICLE spark generators, the need to change the particle production process is taken away. VSPARTICLE means researchers don’t have to worry about particle production and lets them focus on their true application from day one.

By considering the whole process, from nanoparticle production to application and bringing solutions in deposition/integration, VSPARTICLE can speed up research and facilitate industrialization.

Melatonin that regulate sleep cycles

1. Melatonin is a hormone produced in the pineal gland of the brain that is responsible for regulating sleep cycles.

2. Melatonin is often considered to be the body’s natural pacemaker. It plays an instrumental role in signaling time of day and time of year, helping to regulate your body’s internal clock.

3. To adjust the body’s internal clock and fall asleep more easily, many people take melatonin supplements in pill form. This is especially common among; shift workers (people with irregular hours), when experiencing jetlag, insomniacs and blind people.

4. Blue light: Melatonin’s arch nemesis. Studies have shown that blue light emitted by screens (TV, computer, phone etc.) suppresses melatonin levels making it more difficult to fall asleep. Red light: Melatonin’s best friend. Red lights are the least likely to suppress melatonin levels and shift circadian rhythms. This makes red light a perfect option for before bed lights and nightlights.

5. Just as different types of light affect melatonin levels, so too are melatonin levels affected by varying degrees of light. Light sensitive receptors in our brains trigger the hormones responsible for melatonin secretion. Because these light sensitive receptors in our brain play such a vital role in melatonin regulation, blind people must often take melatonin supplements to regulate the body’s level of melatonin.

6. We’ve stressed before the importance of regulating your sleep schedule and trying to go to bed and wake up at the same time. Melatonin levels begin to increase approximately two hours before a person goes to sleep, so keeping a rigid sleep schedule will aid in the regularity of melatonin secretion.

7. Melatonin plays a role in regulating the female menstruation cycle. It is responsible to regulating the hormones that affect the onset, frequency and duration of menstruation cycles, including the onset of menstruation later in life

8. Melatonin is also helpful for children with developmental disabilities such as ADHD, and autism.

9. Though melatonin supplements help people to fall asleep more easily, they do not help people to sleep more soundly or regularly throughout the night.

10. We mentioned that melatonin levels increase just before bed and begin to suppress as a person wakes up. Cortisol, a stress hormone operates on the opposite cycle, decreasing just before bed and increasing as a person wakes up. If a person is experiencing higher levels of stress, these two hormones will become misaligned causing a noticeable decline in sleep quality.

 

Sleep is a chance for your heart

Sleep is a chance for your heart to slow down, even though it has to keep working. Only a little larger than a fist, your heart works hard to pump about 2,000 gallons of blood each day. On average, your heart also “beats” (expands and contracts) 100,000 times a day.

I. Sleep and The Heart

The process of sleep is made up of the following two primary stages:

  1. Rapid-eye-movement (REM) sleep
  2. Non-REM sleep

When you first fall asleep you are in the non-REM stage. The non-REM stage of sleep is a time when your heart does not have to work so hard. About 80% of a full night’s sleep is spent in this stage. During non-REM sleep, your heart rate, breathing and blood pressure all drop to levels below those that occur while you are awake.

REM is the stage of sleep when you have most of your dreams. It is only about 20% of your total sleep time. Your blood pressure and heart rate can go up and down during this stage. If you have a nightmare that wakes you up, you may find that your heart is racing.

When you wake up in the morning, your blood pressure and heart rate both go back up. It is time for you to be active again, and your heart has to get ready for a long day of work.

II. Sleep and Cardiovascular Disease

Sleep and sleep disorders both play a role in cardiovascular disease (CVD). The exact role that they play is still not quite clear. One thing that is certain is that there is a higher risk of sudden cardiac death in the first few hours after you wake up. This may be due to the amount of work your heart has to do when your body gets up and moving again. CVD is a leading cause of death in the U.S. It takes the life of nearly 2,600 Americans every day.

Common forms of CVD include the following:

  • High blood pressure
  • Coronary heart disease
  • Heart attack
  • Chest pain
  • Congestive heart failure
  • Stroke
  • Congenital heart defects

People with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) have been shown to have higher rates of coronary heart disease and strokes. People who have had a heart attack are more likely to have OSA than those without heart disease. It can be even harder for someone to fully recover from a heart attack if their OSA is not treated.

OSA is a sleep disorder that occurs when the tissue in the back of the throat blocks the airway. This is very common, because the muscles inside the throat relax as you sleep. You stop breathing, keeping the oxygen you need from getting to the lungs. When you stop breathing, your body wakes up. It happens so quickly, you aren’t even aware of it. You can stop breathing hundreds of times in one night. Being treated for OSA reduces your risk of death due to CVD.

Sleep and High Blood Pressure (hypertension)

Several studies have shown that people with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) are at a much greater risk of having high blood pressure. OSA causes your oxygen level to drop. Your heart beats faster due to the lack of oxygen. This causes your blood pressure to rise. Over time, this can lead to an ongoing increase in blood pressure. It is important to treat high blood pressure since it is a proven cause of other forms of cardiovascular disease. This includes heart attack, heart failure and stroke.

But treating high blood pressure may not be enough. When high blood pressure does not respond well to treatment, it is often due to the presence of untreated sleep apnea. Once the OSA is treated, then the high blood pressure tends to improve as well. It is vital for your doctor to determine if a sleep disorder such as OSA is a factor in your high blood pressure.

Sleep and Coronary Artery Disease

People with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) have been shown to have higher rates of coronary artery disease (CAD). There are two main reasons why this may occur:

  1. OSA increases the risk for high blood pressure, which is a known cause of CAD.
  2. The events that occur during OSA can put great stress on the heart and worsen existing disease.

CAD limits the flow of blood due to narrow arteries. This prevents the right amount of oxygen from reaching the heart. Sleep apnea also causes the blood oxygen level to drop during pauses in breathing. This leads to a rise in the heart rate and blood pressure. An extra strain is put on the heart. The amount of oxygen sent to the heart decreases at the time when the heart needs more oxygen. Studies have shown that the presence of OSA increases the risk of death from CAD. But if the sleep apnea is treated, death due to CAD is reduced.

Sleep and Congestive Heart Failure

Damage to the heart that hurts its ability to pump blood is called congestive heart failure (CHF). Sleep disorders can be both a cause and an effect of CHF. The low oxygen levels and high blood pressure related to obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) can cause the kind of damage that leads to CHF. The heart muscle is unable to handle the stress caused by the OSA. People who have CHF from another cause will see it get worse if they then develop sleep apnea. If sleep apnea is treated, however, patients with CHF will see their heart function improve.

About 40% of people with CHF have a sleep disorder called central sleep apnea (CSA). CSA occurs when the brain fails to tell the lungs to breathe. As this signal is lost, the lungs do not take in the oxygen that your body needs. This happens most often as people are falling asleep. CSA also causes people to wake up many times in the night. When they wake up, their heart rate and blood pressure both rise.

The low levels of oxygen that result from CSA are very harmful. The result is that CSA may worsen heart failure. In return, the heart failure may promote CSA. This causes a horrible cycle of declining heart function. Properly treating the heart failure is the best way to prevent CSA. If CSA still develops, there are treatments that can be used to keep it from occurring.

Sleep and Stroke

A stroke damages the brain when the blood supply to the brain is cut off. This occurs when an artery that brings blood to the brain either clots or bursts. Brain cells can die if the flow of blood to the brain stops for longer than a few seconds. This can cause permanent brain damage. The part of the body controlled by that section of the brain will not be able to function normally. Strokes are the cause of one out of every 15 deaths in the U.S.

High blood pressure is the most common cause of a stroke. Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) may indirectly lead to a stroke by causing a rise in blood pressure. Sleep apnea can also directly cause a stroke by reducing the blood flow to the brain. This occurs when the level of oxygen drops during pauses in breathing. It is also common for OSA to begin to occur after someone has had a stroke. This may hinder a person as he tries to recover from the stroke.

III. The Effects of Heart Disease on Sleep

Heart disease can affect your ability to sleep in subtle ways. People with congestive heart failure (CHF) often have a hard time falling asleep or staying asleep. This is due to the shortness of breath that is caused by CHF. This shortness of breath is often made worse when you lie down. The blood in your legs flows back into the heart. This can bring the heart more blood than it is able to pump.

People who have these symptoms may feel like they have insomnia. Doctors call these symptoms:

  • Orthopnea (shortness of breath when lying down)
  • Paroxysmal nocturnal dyspnea (waking up from sleep feeling short of breath)

Heart disease also causes people to worry about their health. They are often afraid that they might have a heart attack or stroke. This anxiety can make it very hard to sleep at night. Over time, this sleep problem can develop into chronic insomnia.

IV. Sleep and a Healthy Heart

There are many things you can do to keep your heart healthy. You should be sure to do the following:

  • Eat a balanced diet
  • Avoid being overweight
  • Get plenty of exercise
  • Watch out for and treat high blood pressure
  • Get regular medical check-ups

Another thing you can do is to make sure that you get enough sleep to keep your body well rested. You can often sleep better by simply following the practices of good sleep hygiene. Sleep hygiene consists of basic habits and tips that help you develop a pattern of healthy sleep. See the Resources section of this site to find out how you can start down the path to better sleep.

Watch for signs that you may have a sleep disorder. Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a sleep disorder that can put great stress on your heart. Men who are overweight and have large necks are most likely to have OSA.

Symptoms of OSA include the following:

  • Loud snoring
  • Gasping for breath or choking while asleep
  • Trouble staying awake during the daytime

You may not be aware of these signs because they only occur while you are sleeping. Your breathing is normal when you are awake. Ask a bed partner or someone else who has observed your sleep to find out if you snore or stop breathing during your sleep.

Talk with your doctor about your risk of having a sleep disorder. This is very important if you already have high blood pressure or cardiovascular disease. People with congestive heart failure must be monitored for CSA and other sleep disorders. In contrast to OSA, people with heart failure and CSA are often thin and may not snore at all.

If your doctor thinks that you have a sleep disorder, he or she may suggest that you take a sleep study. This is called a polysomnogram. A sleep study is usually done overnight in a sleep center. It charts your brain waves, heart beat, and breathing as you sleep. It also records your eye and leg movements as well as muscle tension.

A sleep specialist will be able to see if there are any problems in the quality of your sleep. Your primary doctor is then given the results of the study. The two of you can decide on the best course of treatment. It is important to remember that sleep disorders are common and treatable. Treating your sleep disorder can help you have a healthier heart.

HUMON BODY

There are around 1014 atoms in a typical human cell.Another way of looking at it is that this is 100,000,000,000,000 or 100 trillion atoms. Interestingly, the number of cells in the human body is estimated to be about the same as the number of atoms in a human cellMost of the human body consists of water, which is made from hydrogen and oxygen.

 

MAJOR CLASSES OF COMPOUNDS IN THE HUMAN BODY

Most of the elements are found within compounds. Water and minerals are inorganic compounds. Organic compounds include fat, protein, carbohydrates, and nucleic acids.

  • Water: Water is the most abundant chemical compound in living human cells, accounting for 65 percent to 90 percent of each cell. It’s also present between cells. For example, blood and cerebrospinal fluid are mostly water.
  • Fat: The percentage of fat varies from person to person, but even an obese person has more water than fat.
  • Protein: In a lean male, the percentages of protein and water are comparable. It’s about 16 percent by mass. Muscles, including the heart, contain a lot of muscle. Hair and fingernails are protein. Skin contains a large amount of protein, too.
  • Minerals: Minerals account for about 6 percent of the body. They include salts and metals. Common minerals include sodium, chlorine, calcium, potassium, and iron.
  • Carbohydrates: Although humans use the sugar glucose as an energy source, there isn’t that much of it free in the bloodstream at any given time. Sugar and other carbohydrates only account for about 1% of body mass.

ELEMENTS IN THE HUMAN BODY

Six elements account for 99% of the mass of the human body. The acronym CHNOPS may be used to help remember the six key chemical elements that are used in biological molecules.

C is carbon, H is hydrogen, N is nitrogen, O is oxygen, P is phosphorus, and S is sulfur. While the acronym is a good way to remember the identities of the elements, it doesn’t reflect their abundance.

  • Oxygen is the most abundant element in the human body accounting for approximately 65% of a person’s mass. Each water molecule consists of two hydrogen atoms bonded to one oxygen atom, but the mass of each oxygen atom is much higher than the combined mass of the hydrogen. In addition to being a component of water, oxygen is essential for cellular respiration.
  • Carbon is contained in all organic compounds, which is why carbon is the second most abundant element in the body, accounting for about 18% of body mass. Carbon is found in proteins, carbohydrates, lipids, and nucleic acids. It’s also found in carbon dioxide.
  • Hydrogen atoms are the most numerous type of atom in a human, but because they are so light, they only make up around 10% of the mass. Hydrogen is in water, plus it’s an important electron carrier.
  • Nitrogen is about 3.3% of body mass. It’s found in proteins and nucleic acids.
  • Calcium accounts for 1.5% of body mass. It’s used to build bones and teeth, plus it’s important for muscle contraction.
  • Phosphorus is about 1% of body mass. This element is found in nucleic acids. Breaking bonds connecting phosphate molecules is a major component of energy transfer.
  • Potassium is around 0.2-0.4% of the mass of a person. It’s used in nerve conduction. Potassium is a key cation or positively-charged ion in the body.
  • Sulfur is found in some amino acids and proteins. It’s about 0.2-0.3% of body mass.
  • Sodium, like potassium, is a positively-charged ion. It’s about 0.1-0.2% of body mass. Sodium helps regulate the electrolyte balance in the body and maintain homeostasis with respect to the volume of water in the blood and cells.
  • Although aluminum and silicon are abundant in the earth’s crust, they are found in trace amounts in the human body.
  • Other trace elements include metals, which are often cofactors for enzymes. Trace elements include iron, cobalt, zinc, iodine, selenium, and flourine.
Element Percent by Mass
Oxygen 65
Carbon 18
Hydrogen 10
Nitrogen 3
Calcium 1.5
Phosphorus 1.2
Potassium 0.2
Sulfur 0.2
Chlorine 0.2
Sodium 0.1
Magnesium 0.05
Iron, Cobalt, Copper, Zinc, Iodine trace
Selenium, Fluorine

NATURAL REMEDY FOR COUGH

1. Turmeric

The herb turmeric has a therapeutic effect on coughs, particularly a dry cough.

 

  • Heat half a cup of water in a boiling pot. Add one teaspoon turmeric powder, and one teaspoon black pepper. You may also add cinnamon sticks. Boil this for about two to three minutes. Add one tablespoon of honey. Drink this daily until the condition improves.
  • Alternatively, make an herbal tea by adding one teaspoon of turmeric powder and one teaspoon of carom seeds to a cup of water, and boil it until water reduces to one-half cup. Add some honey and drink this herbal solution two to three times a day.
  • Another way to use turmeric is to roast turmeric root and grind it into a smooth powder. Mix it with water and honey, and drink it twice a day.

2. Ginger

Ginger is one of the most popular natural cures for a cough.

  • Cut fresh ginger into small slices and crush them slightly. Put them in a cup of water and bring to a boil. Drink this herbal solution three to four times a day for relief from sore throat, non-stop coughing and even congestion. You can also some lemon juice and honey to it.
  • Another option is to chew fresh raw ginger on and off throughout the day to reduce your cough.

3. Lemon

Lemons can be used in a variety of ways for curing coughs. Lemons have properties that reduce inflammation and also provide a dose of infection-fighting vitamin C.

  • A simple cough syrup can be made by combining two tablespoons of lemon juice and one tablespoon of honey. Drink this healthy syrup several times a day.
  • Another way to use lemons is to blend lemon juice with a little honey and a pinch of cayenne pepper and then drink it.

4. Garlic

Garlic has both antibacterial and antimicrobial components that help treat coughs.

  • Boil two to three cloves of garlic in a cup of water and add a teaspoon of oregano. Allow it to cool to room temperature, add some honey and drink it. This will help your breathing and alleviate other cough symptoms.
  • Eat a clove of crushed garlic mixed with a few drops of clove oil and some honey for sore throat relief. You can also use garlic in your cooking.

5. Onion

One of the simplest home remedies for a cough is to cut onions. Breathing in the strong vapors can help stop coughing.

  • You can also make a cough syrup from baked onion juice, comfrey tea and honey. Drink it daily to get relief from a dry cough.
  • Another option is to combine one-half teaspoon of onion juice with one teaspoon of pure honey. Swallow this solution at least twice a day to alleviate a cough and soothe your throat.

6. Hot Milk with Honey

Hot milk with honey can relieve a dry cough and reduce chest pain you may be experiencing from continuous coughing. For best results, drink it before going to sleep. For added benefits from the analgesic properties of honey, swallow a teaspoon of plain honey on empty stomach. This will help clear the mucus and soothe your throat.

Remedies for Scar

 When skin is injured, fibrous tissue, known as scar tissue, forms over the wound to repair and protect it. This leads to the formation of scar.

You can get a scar on your skin due to accidents, insect bites, scrapes, acne, burns, chickenpox, piercings, surgical cuts and vaccinations.

Scars come in all shapes and sizes, and can affect your appearance and make you self-conscious.

The human body is capable of taking care of scars and they tend to get lighter with time. To speed up healing, you can try some home remedies. The focus of scar removal remedies is to support effective cell growth, minimize scar tissue and create healthy skin.

Here are the  remedies for scar removal.

  1. Aloe Vera

Aloe vera is a natural scar removal remedy due to its anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties.

It works as a natural emollient to help repair damaged skin and promote growth of healthy skin. In addition, it will improve your skin texture.

  1. Peel the outer green cover off an aloe vera leaf and scoop out the gel-like substance.
  2. Apply the gel on your scar and massage in circular motions.
  3. Leave it on for about 30 minutes, then wash it off.
  4. Apply aloe vera gel twice daily.

Note: Do not apply aloe vera gel on open wounds.

  1. Coconut Oil

Coconut oil is another excellent ingredient that can help fade scars. The vitamin E, an antioxidant, in coconut oil accelerates the healing time and prevents new scars from forming. In addition, the lauric, caprylic and capric acids found in coconut oil stimulate collagen production, promote healing of damaged skin and reverse free-radical damage.

  1. Heat some extra-virgin coconut oil to liquefy it.
  2. Put the warm oil on your palm and massage it onto the affected area for 5 to 10 minutes.
  3. Leave it on for at least 1 hour so that the skin absorbs the oil.
  4. For best results, repeat 2 to 4 times a day.
  1. Vitamin E Oil

Vitamin E oil is an effective antioxidant that can help fade scars. Its moisturizing property hydrates the skin and helps repair damaged tissue and improve the appearance of scars.

  1. Open some vitamin E capsules to get the oil.
  2. Smear the oil onto the scar and massage gently for 10 minutes.
  3. Leave it on for about 15 to 20 minutes, then wash it off with warm water.
  4. Do this several times a day.

Note: Test this on a small patch of skin first, as vitamin E oil may cause an allergic reaction in some people.

  1. Olive Oil

Olive oil is another effective natural scar removal treatment. It is rich in vitamin E and helps keep the skin soft and moisturized. This in turn promotes the healing of damaged skin. For best results, use extra-virgin olive oil.

  • Apply some warm extra-virgin olive oil to the affected area and massage using small, circular motions. Wait 30 minutes, then wipe off the oil with a clean cloth. You can also leave the oil on your skin overnight.
  • Another option is to mix a little lavender oil in some extra-virgin olive oil, apply it on the affected area and massage gently for a few minutes. Leave it on for 20 to 30 minutes, then rinse it off with lukewarm water.

Repeat either of these remedies several times a day until you get the desired result.

  1. Lemon

Lemon contains alpha hydroxy acids, which have healing properties that can help treat scars of all types. Lemon can remove dead skin cells, promote the growth of new skin cells and improve skin elasticity. The vitamin C in lemon also helps regenerate and repair damaged skin. In addition, the bleaching property of lemon helps lighten scars.

  1. Apply some lemon juice on the affected area. Those who have sensitive skin can dilute the lemon juice with equal amounts of rose water or vitamin E oil and then apply it on the scar.
  2. Wait 10 minutes, then rinse it off with warm water.
  3. Repeat once daily until the scar fades.

Note: As lemon can make your skin photosensitive, avoid going out in the sun immediately after use and be sure to use sunscreen when you go outside.

  1. Honey

Honey is a natural moisturizer, making it an effective scar removal treatment. It prevents accumulation of dead skin cells and stimulates skin tissue regeneration.

  • Apply some honey on the scar, cover it with a bandage and leave it on overnight. The next morning, wash it off with warm water. Repeat daily before going to bed.
  • Another option is to make a scrub with equal amounts of honey and crystallized sugar. Apply it on the affected area and scrub gently for a few minutes. Rinse it off with warm water, pat dry and apply a moisturizer. Use this treatment once or twice a week.

 

 

 

 Remedies for Scars

 

 

  1. Lemon Juice: Take a fresh lemon and cut it into half. Rub the juicy part on the scar. Lemon works as a natural bleach and thus, reduces the blemishes and scars. Drink lemon juice (without mixing sugar in it) twice a day for 15 days.
  2. Rosehip Seed Oil: Rosehip seed oil is used most commonly in cosmetics, especially in the scar removal creams. Take a few drops of rosehip seed oil on your fingers and gently massage it on the scars. Do this twice a day. It can be applied directly on the skin.
  3. Ice Cubes: Ice cube is a very easy and simple home remedy for fading the scars. Take an ice cube and rub it gently on the scars.
  1. Aloe Vera: Take an aloe vera leaf and cut it into half. Squeeze out the gel and apply it on the scar.
  2. Tea Tree Oil: Tea tree oil is a very effective natural remedyfor removing scars. It works like a charm on scars. Make sure, you use the diluted tea tree oil.
  3. Honey: Apply honey on the scar. It works great in removing scars.
  4. Sandalwood Powder: Sandalwood powder is a very good home remedy for removing scars from face. Take sandalwood powder and mix it with rosewater or milk. Rub it on the scars, gently. Leave it on for an hour and wash it off with cold water.
  5. Almonds: Take 2-3 almonds and soak them in water. Leave them overnight. In the morning, peel off the skin from the almondsand mash them. Add a few drops of rosewater and apply on the scars.
  6. Potato: Take a raw potato. Extract its juice and apply it on the scars. This will let the scars fade away. You can also rub a slice of potato on the scars, directly.
  1. Coconut Oil: Whenever you get a scar, apply coconut oilon it. This will reduce the scar, ultimately making it invisible.
  2. Lavender Oil: Take a few drops of lavender oil and apply it on the scars.
  3. Fenugreek : Fenugreek can be used in many ways in reducing the scars. You can take fenugreek leaves and make a fine paste and apply it on the scars. Take fenugreek seeds and boil them. Make a paste and store it in a cool place. Apply it on the scars.
  4. Olive Oil: Olive oil is said to be really effective when it comes to scar removal. Take a few drops of olive oil and apply it on the scars on the daily basis. Olive oil will also moisturise the skin.
  5. Cucumber: Place a slice of raw cucumber or apply its juice on the scar.
  6. Tomato: Apply a slice of tomato on the scar or massage with tomato juice. Like lemon, tomato also works as natural bleach.
  7. Yogurt Mix: If you have a burned scar, then, this home remedy will help you out. Take barley, yogurt and turmeric in equal proportions and make a paste. Apply it on the scar.
  8. Vitamin E Cream : Apply vitamin E cream on the scars.
  9. Cocoa Butter: Apply cocoa butteron the scars. It will not only help the scars to fade away, but also moisturise the skin, making it smooth and soft.
  10. Baking Soda: Take 5 tablespoons of baking soda and 1 tablespoon of water. Mix it until you make a fine paste. Apply this paste on the scars and let it dry. Wash it off, later on. Repeat this natural remedy thrice a week.
  11. Apple Cider Vinegar : Dab a cotton ball in apple cider vinegar and apply it on the scars. This will fade the scars. Wash it off after 10 minutes. Else, take 1 part of apple cider vinegarand 2 parts of water. Wash your face with this solution after cleaning the face and before going to bed. Apply skin moisturiser afterwards. This will also help in fading the scars from face.
  12. Salt Scrub: Use a salt scrub which contains papaya. Papaya will provide a new shine to your skin while salt scrub will exfoliate and remove the dead skin, making the scars almost invisible.
  13. Camomile Tea: Wash your scars with camomile tea. It will help the scars to fade away.
  14. Cod Liver Oil: Apply cod liver oil on the scars for making the scars invisible.
  15. Aspirin: Take 2 aspirins and crush them. Add a few drops of water to prepare a paste. Apply it on the scar.
  16. Azadirachta Indica (Neem): Take few Azadirachta indica leaves (neem leaves) and make a paste. Apply it on the scars. It can also be used as a face pack. This will not only fade the scars, but also solve the skin problems, like acne, etc. It contains anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties, which works great if applied on the skin.
  17. Fuller’s Earth: Take 1 tablespoon of fuller’s earth and 1 tablespoon of rosewater, along with 1 tablespoon of lemon juice. Mix them all together to form a fine paste. Apply it on the scar and rub it gently. Then, apply 1 more layer on it and leave it for 15 minutes to dry. Wash it off afterwards.
  18. Garlic Oil: Take a few drops of garlicoil on your fingers and apply on the scars. Let the oil stay for 15 minutes. Garlic contains antibiotic properties and is a natural remedy for scars.
  19. Gotu Kola: Take leaves of Gotu kola and make a paste. Apply it on the scars. It will not only reduce the scars, but also speed up the healing process. Also, it will improve the blood circulation.
  20. Salicylic Acid: Salicylic acid is available in various forms, like creams and lotions. It’s a good remedy for severe scars.

 

 

Graphene-Based Tattoo Functions as Wearable Electronic Device

Researchers have designed a graphene-based tattoo that can be directly laminated onto the skin with water, similar to a temporary tattoo. But instead of featuring artistic or colorful designs, the new tattoo is nearly transparent.

The graphene tattoos retain their full function for about two days, but can be peeled off by a piece of adhesive tape if desired. (Credit: Shideh Kabiri Ameri et al. 2017 American Chemical Society)

Its main attraction is that graphene’s unique electronic properties enable the tattoo to function as a wearable electronic device, with potential applications including biometric uses (such as measuring the electrical activity of the heart, brain, and muscles), as well as human-machine interactions.

The researchers, led by Deji Akinwande and Nanshu Lu at the University of Texas at Austin, have published a paper on the new graphene electronic  in a recent issue of ACS Nano.

In some ways, the graphene electronic tattoo is similar to commercially available electronic devices for health and fitness tracking: both kinds of devices are capable of heart rate monitoring and bioimpedence (a measure of the body’s response to an electric current). But because the ultrathin graphene tattoos can fully conform to the , they offer medical-grade data quality, in contrast with the lower performance of the rigid electrode sensors mounted on bands and strapped to the wrist or chest. Due to the high-quality sensing, the researchers expect that the graphene tattoos may offer promising replacements for existing medical sensors, which are typically taped to the skin and require gel or paste to enable the electrodes to function.

“The graphene tattoo is a dry physiological sensor which, because of its thinness, forms an ultra-conformal contact to skin, resulting in increased signal fidelity,” coauthor Shideh Kabiri Ameri at the University of Texas at Austin told Phys.org. “Conformability results in less susceptibility to motion artifacts, which is one the biggest drawbacks of conventional dry sensors and electrodes for physiological measurements.”

The new tattoos are made of graphene that is coated with an ultrathin backing layer of transparent polymer poly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA). During fabrication, the graphene/PMMA bilayer is transferred to a piece of ordinary tattoo paper, and the bilayer is then carved into different patterns of serpentine ribbons to make different types of sensors. The finished tattoo is then transferred to any part of the body by bringing the graphene side in contact with the skin and applying water to the back of the tattoo paper to release the tattoo. The tattoos retain their full function for around two days or more, but can be peeled off by a piece of adhesive tape if desired.

Since the researchers previously showed that, theoretically, a graphene tattoo must be less than 510 nm thick to fully conform to human skin and exhibit optimal performance, the tattoo they fabricated here is just 460 nm thick. Combined with graphene/PMMA bilayer optical transparency of approximately 85%, and the fact that the tattoos are more stretchable than human skin, the resulting graphene tattoos are barely perceptible, both mechanically and optically.

Tests showed that the graphene electronic tattoos can be successfully used to measure a variety of electrophysiological signals, including skin temperature and skin hydration, and can function as an electrocardiogram (ECG), electromyogram (EMG), and electroencephalogram (EEG) for measuring the electrical activity of the heart, muscles, and brain, respectively.

“Graphene electronic tattoos are most promising for potential applications in mobile health care, assisted technologies, and ,” Kabiri Ameri said. “In the area of human machine interfaces, electrophysiological signals recorded from the brain and muscles can be classified and assigned for specific action in a machine. This area of research can have applications for the internet of things, smart houses and cities, human computer interaction, smart wheelchairs, speech assistance technology, monitoring of distracted driving, and human-robot control. Recently we have demonstrated the application of  tattoos for sensing human signals to wirelessly control flying objects. That demonstration will be reported in the near future.”

Graphene Nanocomposite to Improve Desalination Processes

The use of reverse osmosis desalination technology has gathered more and more usage and interest over the last few years. It is responsible for producing a large amount of fresh water for the growing populations around the world.

Despite their widespread usage, there are still fundamental issues that need to be addressed, and in an effort to expand this technology to more desalination plants worldwide, a team of Researchers from Australia and Egypt have created a new thin film nano-composite (TFNC) membrane to address the issues surrounding water flux, salt rejection and biofouling in these processes.

Currently, reverse osmosis (RO) desalination technology is used in more than 50% of the world’s desalination plants for the production of fresh water. Within these technologies, thin-film composite (TFC) membranes are the most common material utilized for nanofiltration processes.

However, even though this technology is used across most of our drinking water purification processes, they are still privy to some drawbacks, namely a trade-off between both water flux and salt rejection, chlorine degradation and biofouling- all of which lead to the loss of membrane flux and salt rejection performance.

Biofouling is currently the biggest challenge facing desalination plants. Biofouling in these desalination processes has been linked to microorganisms that attach themselves to the filter membrane, where the membrane(ligand)-organism(receptor) interactions cause the formation of extracellular polymeric substances which increase the adherence of bacteria to the membrane.

To combat this, the Researchers required a material with a large (and smooth) surface area for filtering processes, which also possessed biocidal properties.

Naturally, a derivative of graphene is the obvious choice and the Researchers decided upon graphene oxide (GO) nanosheets that help improve the flux, selectivity and antibacterial properties of TFNC membranes.

The Researchers created the composite by incorporating the graphene oxide nanosheets into a thin polyamide (PA) active layer, in the form of poly tannic acid-functionalized graphene oxide nanosheets (pTA-f-GO).

The layers were produced through interfacial polymerization. The graphene oxide was first functionalized with tannic acid (TA) followed by polyethyleneimine (PEI). The tannic acid groups were found to bind tightly to the graphene oxide surface whilst the PEI groups provided free amine groups which helped to facilitate crosslinking to both the tannic acid groups and the polyamide active layer.

The crosslinking chains were found to interact very strongly with the graphene oxide sheets and tightly integrate them into the nanocomposite matrix.

The Researchers characterized the new TNFC using Transmission electron microscopy (TEM, FEI Tecnai G2 Spirit), atomic force microscopy (AFM, NT-MDT NTEGRA SPM), Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR, Nicolet Nexus 8700 FTIR Spectrophotometer, Thermo Electron Corporation) with a smart orbit attenuated total reflectance probe, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS, Kratos Axis-Ultra DLD, Kratos Analytical) with CasaXPS software (Neal Fairly), electrokinetic analysis methods (Anton Paar) and captive bubble techniques.

By incorporating the pTA-f-GO layer into the TFNC membranes, the Researchers achieved a filtration material with a thinner PA layer, lower surface roughness and a higher hydrophobicity. The presence of such properties increased both the membrane water flux by up to 40% and the salt rejection by 8%.

In addition, the biocidal properties of the graphene sheet within the active layer improved the antibacterial properties of the membrane by 80% compared to standard non-composite membranes.

The process of fabrication was also found to be practical, scalable, versatile, of lower energy consumption, have an improved performance and possess an increased cost-efficiency against current methods. Such production benefits lend the nanocomposite membranes to be implemented across a wide range of applications.

Couple this with the TFNC’s excellent separation and anti-biofouling properties, and the material is one that could easily see itself become a commercially used membrane in the near future, and will perhaps help to increase the number of desalination plants around the world which use of reverse osmosis desalination methods.

Human pheromones

The existence of human pheromones remains controversial. It’s clear that many plants and animals species use hormonal secretions to communicate information relating to reproduction. For example, in 1959 researchers discovered that female silkworms secreted a powerful aphrodisiac, called bombykol, that can attract male silkworms from miles away. To date, however, ironclad evidence that human behavior is governed by pheromones remains elusive.

Nevertheless, there are a number of intriguing studies, which suggest the surprising ways that scents, secretions and body odors containing pheromones may influence human behavior unconsciously.

Unconscious communicationAccording to Bettina Pause, a psychologist, “We’ve just started to understand that there is communication below the level of consciousness. My guess is that a lot of our communication is influenced by chemosignals.”

Scientists explain that pheromones in animals are released in sweat, urine and saliva. These chemical messengers appear to have both an emotional and physical effect on other members of their species.

In mammals, for instance, pheromones are detected by a structure in the nose called the vomeronasal organ, which relays signals to the hypothalamus a region of the brain that controls emotional states, hormonal regulation and sexual arousal.

Some of the most important evidence for the existence of human pheromones comes from a 1998 study by Dr. Martha McClintock, who found that women who live in close proximity (the same dorm, for example) tend to have synchronized menstrual cycles. Scientists believe that chemical messages in sweat are responsible for this harmonization of periods.

Pheromones and brain imagingResearchers have found that certain smells activate the part of the brain related to sexuality.

One powerful form of evidence that pheromones exist comes from PET scanning technology, which can examine the effect of chemical odors on male and female brains. In one study, researchers found that certain hormone-like smells activated specific areas in the hypothalamus related to sexuality, which are not triggered by other odors.

In the words of Dr. David Berliner, “These findings corroborate that human pheromones do exist, and that women can communicate chemically with men and vice versa. This is a very important finding because it shows specific areas of the brain that are activated by these chemicals.”

As you might expect, the brains of heterosexual men and women respond very differently to specific chemical messengers. For example, the brain regions in the female hypothalamus are highly active when women are exposed to testosterone-like chemicals (while exposure to estrogen-like messengers has no effect). Conversely, the brain areas in the male hypothalami light up like a Christmas tree when men are exposed to estrogen-like hormones.

Scientists believe this gender-specific response to chemical secretions shapes the way men and women to perceive each other on an unconscious level.

Can pheromones make you more attractive?

If pheromones govern sexual arousal, then can they be harnessed to make people more attractive? More specifically, could pheromones be added to perfumes, which could be used to lure desired mates?

One study from the University of Chicago found that pheromone-type chemical can heighten the heart rate, increase body temperature and change mood. As of yet, however, scientists have been unable to isolate the specific chemicals that trigger attraction and sexual desire.

Of course, many perfume manufacturers claim that their fragrances can spark desire. In fact, most of these products contain pheromones from animals. However, most scientists insist that pheromones are species specific. In other words, until researchers can isolate specific human pheromones or develop synthetic analogs, then a true love potion of love will remain elusive.

Nevertheless, scientists are continuing to investigate pheromones for their scientific, commercial and therapeutic potential. For example, a company called Pherin Pharmaceuticals is looking into ways to use pheromones messengers to alleviate stress, anxiety and menstrual cramps.

How pheromones may influence human behavior

  • The odors breastfeeding women emit from their nipples attracts infants and primes women without children to be more sexually aroused.
  • A compound derived from testosterone (called androstadienone) has been shown to make women feel more relaxed.
  • Scientists are investigating something called the histocompatibility complex. This refers to a genetically-based “odor print,” which involves scents that reflect certain characteristics found in the genes and the immune system.
  • According to the olfactory neuroscientist Charles Wysocki, “With the exception of identical twins, no two individuals are likely to have the same odor print.”

Research by Wysocki and others indicates that women prefer the musky scent of men who happen to have gene characteristics that match up well with their own DNA. In other words, the nose knows. That is, odor prints may be a huge driver of attractiveness in so far as they help people pick mates with DNA that complements their own. This unconscious form of selection benefits offspring.

Love is in the air

Scientists are still a long way off from unraveling the mysteries of attraction and the role that pheromones may play in influencing sexual behavior. For centuries, people have used expressions like “love is in the air” and “love is a matter of chemistry.” The emerging science of pheromones suggests that these proverbial adages may be far truer than anyone imagined.