Biggest Breakthroughs In The Field Of Biology In 2016

The field of biology had a big year in 2016 with several amazing breakthroughs making the news all around the world. Here are two of the biggest advancements biology saw last year.

The origin of multicellular life

When scientists found GK-PID, a molecule almost as old as life on this planet, they knew right away it was special. It was found that this particular molecule was a catalyst for what was to be one of the most important steps in the evolution of life on the planet. Around 800 million years ago, GK-PID was responsible for the transformation of single-celled organisms into multi-cellular organisms. GK-PID acted as a molecular carabiner by pulling chromosomes together before latching them onto the inner wall of a cell membrane. This leads to non-cancerous cell division. However, what scientists find fascinating is the fact that the ancient GK-PID wasn’t always like that. It only became a carabiner because it mutated.

Image source: unicellularorganisms7thblock.weebly.com

Stem cells and stroke patients

One of the most important discoveries last year happened at a clinical trial at Stanford University School of Medicine. Modified human stem cells were injected into the brains of several patients who suffered from chronic stroke. The experiment was a success, with no negative side-effects afflicting the patients. The worst were mild headaches due to the procedure. All the patients (18 in total) had a much more significant rate of healing, which included those confined to wheelchairs to stand up and walk.

Image source: sciencemag.org

Anouk Govil is a biology major at California State University Channel Islands. For more on her, visit this blog.

Colossal Investment Risks And How To Deal With Them

There are a lot of risks when it comes to investment. They can be confusing and intimidating. Some moves may seem conservative, but if increasing interest rates factored in, then it would seem like a bad idea in the first place.

Take for instance the volatility of the stock market. The prices of stocks and bonds can change at a moment’s notice. This is enough to cool the jets of even the most iron-willed investor. However, with a bit of research, this can be handled. How long can the money grow before it’s accessed? Questions like that arising from research can prepare people and help them avoid panicking and making bad decisions.

Image source: cu.edu

Another huge risk is a total loss, which can be easily achieved through being reckless. A total loss can end any plans a person has for the future, even ones made for retirement. A risk management strategy for this is to look into companies that pay dividends with high rates. Budget restructuring and lifestyle changes are also some ways of avoiding a total loss.

Image source: Forbes.com

Inflation is one of the biggest headaches investors encounter since it involves a lot of computation, and it’s a sure thing. Inflation causes people to buy less and fewer things. People should stay clear of bonds when it seems that a high inflation rate is on the horizon.

Anouk Govil is a risk analyst. Learn more about Anouk by subscribing to this Twitter account.

Three Specific Health Benefits Of Swimming

Swimming is a low-impact aerobic sport that offers multiple health benefits. It is the exercise of choice for overweight individuals as it burns calories without placing a lot pressure on the joints. This also makes it an ideal sport for injured athletes, the very old, or very young. Swimming also provides three specific health benefits.

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Builds bone mass: Several medical studies have been conducted on the relationship between swimming and bone mass. It was initially believed that this density was only strengthened through weight-bearing exercises. However, the studies showed that swimming did increase bone mineral density and femoral bone weight. Admittedly the growth is not as strong as other types of sports such as running but the effects are still profound. Scientists are recommending further research into this.

Reduces inflammation: Water takes away much of the person’s physical weight. This allows better movement and encourages improved activity. Swimming has been linked to significant improvements in the cardiovascular system but the benefits of the aerobics also extend to its ability to reduce inflammation related to severe heart conditions. There is also evidence that atherosclerosis buildup is lessened when a person goes swimming often.

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Improves exercise-induced asthma: Swimming reduces the risk of running short of breath because of extreme physical exertions. Again, swimming is a low-impact sport and the water helps people breath moist air while they train. There is further research that suggests that swimming improves the overall condition of the lungs – further decreasing the risk of asthma-like symptoms.

Swimming is beneficial both as a form of exercise and a survival skill. It is encouraged that even basic swimming techniques be learned.

Anouk Govil loves water and tries different water sports. Learn more by following this Anouk Govil Google+ page.