Monday April 6, 2020

Science behind why monks and sanyasis have a shaved head

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BY ANIL K. RAJVANSHI

Baldness gives unhappiness to a person. People feel it as a sign of getting old and the person feels that because of his baldness his looks suffer. People will do anything and go to any length to get a good crop of hair on their head. Worldwide hair loss treatment industry is worth $ 3.5 billion/year.

However, new scientific evidence suggests that infrared (IR) radiation in solar energy is transmitted through bald head and may help in repair of neurons, their generation, and stop or reduce the ravaging affects of Parkinson’s disease.

In all ancient civilizations whether Greek, Egyptian, Indian etc. and in various religions, baldness or shaven head was identified with philosophers, monks and priests. Some say that it was done to differentiate such people from common folks. Thus a person with shaven head wearing an ochre robe is normally identified as a Buddhist monk or a Sanyasi.

The  ancients understood the power of solar energy on the bald head and hence the practice developed. Thus it is possible that our ancient tradition of invoking Gayatri Mantra and practicing Surya Namaskar could be traced to the understanding of beneficial effects of solar energy radiation on human body.

Bald human skull allows 10% of incident IR radiation to pass through it. IR radiation which has wavelength of 750-1500 nanometers is not visible to the naked eye and is the source of heat. On the other hand visible radiation has wavelengths in the range of 450- 750 nanometers.

Around 50% of solar radiation falling on earth is in the IR range. Nature uses this radiation very effectively since it helps in producing wind, evaporating sea water to form clouds and produce rain and to help the neurons function effectively in brain.

How the IR radiation helps in neuron repair and regeneration is still not fully understood. Some scientists say that IR, since it is mostly heat, helps in increasing the brains temperature and hence the activity of neurons while others say that the mitochondria, the engine which provides energy to cells gets repaired and energized by it leading to neuron repair and generation. Nevertheless the beneficial effect of IR on brain is evident and has been shown in human and animal trials.

Infrared light therapy nowadays is also being used and promoted as a powerful and noninvasive treatment for patients suffering strokes, head injuries and as an eye treatment.

The penetration of IR radiation into human brains is quite shallow and attenuates within 2-3 cms of entering the brain tissue but the blood flow in the brain allows the regenerated and repaired brain cells to be transported to different parts of brains.

Why are neurons affected by IR radiation? A possible explanation could be that during their firing they produce a feeble radiation in the IR range and by principle of equivalence they react positively to it.

So bald people, rejoice that nature and especially solar energy will help you in improving your brain and provide happiness since a supple and powerful brain is necessary for creating happiness. The main thing is to sit in the sun for 10-15 minutes everyday. Not only will your brain become better but you will also get much needed vitamin D.

(The author is the Director and Hon. Secretary Nimbkar Agricultural Research Institute (NARI). He could be reached at  anilrajvanshi@gmail.com)

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Here’s Why Autism Spectrum Disorder More Common in Boys

Autism is more commons in boys due to difference in neurons

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Neuron offers clues to why autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is more common in boys than in girls, say researchers Pixabay

Neuron offers clues to why autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is more common in boys than in girls, say researchers. They found that a single amino acid change in the “NLGN4” gene, which has been linked to autism symptoms, may drive this difference in some cases.

Researchers led by Katherine Roche from National Institutes of Health (NIH) in the US, compared two NLGN4 genes, (one on the X chromosome and one on the Y chromosome), which are important for establishing and maintaining synapses, the communication points between neurons.

Every cell in our body contains two sex chromosomes. Females have two X chromosomes; males have one X and one Y chromosome.

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Until now, it was assumed that the NLGN4X and NLGN4Y genes, which encode proteins that are 97 per cent identical, functioned equally well in neurons.

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A single amino acid change in the “NLGN4” gene, which has been linked to autism symptoms, may drive this difference in some cases. Pixabay

But using a variety of advanced technology including biochemistry, molecular biology, and imaging tools, the study, published in the journal Neuron, discovered that the proteins encoded by these genes display different functions.

The NLGN4Y protein is less able to move to the cell surface in brain cells and is therefore unable to assemble and maintain synapses, making it difficult for neurons to send signals to one another. When the researchers fixed the error in cells in a dish, they restored much of its correct function.

“We really need to look at NLGN4X and NLGN4Y more carefully. Mutations in NLGN4X can lead to widespread and potentially very severe effects in brain function, and the role of NLGNY is still unclear,” said study first author Thien A Nguyen.

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The research team found that the problems with NLGN4Y were due to a single amino acid. They also discovered that the region surrounding that amino acid in NLGN4X is sensitive to mutations in the human population.

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In females, when one of the NLGN4X genes has a mutation, the other one can often compensate. However, in males, diseases can occur when there is a mutation in NLGN4X because there is no compensation from NLGN4Y, the researcher said.

“The knowledge about these proteins will help doctors treating patients with mutations in NLGN4X better understand their symptoms,” said Dr Roche. (IANS)