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死后还有生命(来生)吗?Is There Such a Thing as Life After Death?  

2010-02-07 00:37:29|  分类: 汽车 时尚 资讯 |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

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死后还有生命(来生)吗?                                 消息来源:美国《时代》周刊

  死后还有生命吗?这像是一个终极话题。也是最近在美国比较有争议的新闻故事。最近,美国一位肿瘤科医生出版一本著作《死后生活的证据》,凝聚了他几十年研究濒死经历的成果。他就是杰弗里·朗(Jeffrey Long)博士。他在接受《时代》周刊专访时表示,科学应该与宗教合二为一。我把原文找出来,内容非常充实,已整理放在后;有兴趣的话,可多花一点时间去了解一下。

  神学家们能够辩论他们想要的一切,但放射性肿瘤学家杰弗里·朗(Jeffrey Long)博士争论说如果从科学证据来看,答案毫无疑问是肯定的。通过数十年的关于濒死经历的研究——包括把1600多人濒死的故事分类——他在新书《死后生活的证据》中为这个有争议的结论提供了有力理由。药物,朗说,并不能说明在全世界人民账户中的一致性。他告诉《时代》关于濒死经历的本质,宗教、科学的的交集,以及奥普拉效应。

  从医学上讲,什么是濒死经历?

  《时代》(以下简称T):濒死经历由两部分组成。人必须已濒临死亡,这意味着身体损害已经严重到如果不采取措施可能就会永久死亡:他们处于无意识的状态,或者常常没有心跳和呼吸而临床死亡。第二部分是当时他们九死一生,他们有这种经历。它是通常清晰并且高度组织的。

  您如何回应怀疑论者说关于这种经历必须要些生物或生理基础,您在书中说这是医学上无法说明的?

  杰弗里·朗(Jeffrey Long)博士(以下简称J):这儿有超过20个的可供替代的怀疑性就“解释”来说明濒死经历。理由非常明白:没有一个或几个怀疑性解释说得通,甚至怀疑论者他们自己。或者更少的其他解释。

  T:您说关于濒死经历的怀疑比过去要少,而认识更多,为什么会这样?

  J:确实地,在过去的35年中,几百篇关于濒死经历的学术论文已经完成。除此之外,媒体还不断提出濒死经历的证据。在我们的网站nderf.org上,一个月有几十万的页面被浏览。

  T:您在书中说,一些批评者认为,有一个“奥普拉效应”:许多有濒死经历的人已经先在别处听说了他们自己。您怎样说明您研究中的这一情况?

  J:我们发布在网站上的濒死经历完全一样同我们分享。事实上,鉴于每月有300000的页面被来自世界各地超过 40000的独立访问者浏览,来自任何媒体来源的复制账户不被他们之中任何一个发现的机会是非常渺茫的。我们的质量保证检查是巨大的知名度和巨大数量的访问者。

  T:您说这个研究已经在个人方面影响您很多,是怎样的呢?

  J:我是一个治疗癌症的医生。不管我们尽最大的努力,不是所有人都将被治愈。我绝对理解的是,我们有一个来世,一个美好的来世,有利于我面对癌症,这种令人十分恐惧而危险的病,比我以前面对它的时候,我有了更多的勇气。我能成为一个对病人来说更好的医生。

  T:您说,我们能从濒死经历中借鉴以得出关于真实死亡后生命的结论。但这是苹果和橘子的比较吗?

  J:科学地说,面对已经死亡的人是一种挑战。显然,因为不可能,所以我们必须退而求其次。如果这些人已经没有大脑功能,就像你心跳已停止,我认为这是我们应该去学习的最好、最接近的模式,无论有意识的经历是否能够出现在事实上的大脑之外。研究表明大部分答案毫无疑问是肯定的。

  T:您提出思想——您的工作可能对宗教产生深远影响。但死后生命到底是一个科学问题还是一个神学问题呢?

  J:我认为我们有一个有趣的混合。这个研究直接涉及几千年来宗教一直告诉我们去接受的信仰:有来世,有宇宙的秩序和目的,有我们在地球上生存的理由和目的。我们寻找求证,如果你愿意,许多宗教这样说的目的是什么。这是争取将科学和宗教合二为一的重要一步。

  T:在人类经历上,是否有您认为科学不能触碰的一些方面?

  J:噢,绝对。在永久死亡之后发生的事——在我们再也不能去见人之后——是绝对的。就此而言,我所做的工作可能总是要求一些信仰的因素。但到时候你看着证据,你需要去相信的信仰的数量在死后将会大幅减少。

 

Is There Such a Thing as Life After Death?                     By Laura Fitzpatrick  Jan. 22, 2010

Is there life after death? Theologians can debate all they want, but radiation oncologist Dr. Jeffrey Long says if you look at the scientific evidence, the answer is unequivocally yes. Drawing on a decade's worth of research on near-death experiences — work that includes cataloguing the stories of some 1,600 people who have gone through them — he makes the case for that controversial conclusion in a new book, Evidence of the Afterlife. Medicine, Long says, cannot account for the consistencies in the accounts reported by people all over the world. He talked to TIME about the nature of near-death experience, the intersection between religion and science and the Oprah effect. **(See how you can change your genes.)

Medically speaking, what is a near-death experience?
A near-death experience has two components. The person has to be near death, which means physically compromised so severely that permanent death would occur if they did not improve: they're unconscious, or often clinically dead, with an absence of heartbeat and breathing. The second component [is that] at the time they're having a close brush with death, they have an experience. [It is] generally lucid [and] highly organized. **(See "The Year in Health 2009: From A to Z.")

How do you respond to skeptics who say there must be some biological or physiological basis for that kind of experience, which you say in the book is medically inexplicable?
There have been over 20 alternative, skeptical "explanations" for near-death experience. The reason is very clear: no one or several skeptical explanations make sense, even to the skeptics themselves. Or [else ]there wouldn't be so many.

You say there's less skepticism about near-death experiences than there used to be, as well as more awareness. Why is that?
Literally hundreds of scholarly articles have been written over the last 35 years about near-death experience. In addition to that, the media continues to present [evidence of] near-death experience. Hundreds of thousands of pages a month are read on our website, NDERF.org.

In the book you say that some critics argue that there's an "Oprah effect": that a lot of people who have had near-death experiences have heard about them elsewhere first. How do you account for that in your research?
We post to the website the near-death experience exactly as it was shared with us. Given the fact that every month 300,000 pages are read [by] over 40,000 unique visitors from all around the world, the chances of a copycat account from any media source not being picked up by any one of those people is exceedingly remote. Our quality-assurance check is the enormous visibility and the enormous number of visitors. **(See what happens when we die.)

You say this research has affected you a lot on a personal level. How?
I'm a physician who fights cancer. In spite of our best efforts, not everybody is going to be cured. My absolute understanding that there is an afterlife for all of us — and a wonderful afterlife — helps me face cancer, this terribly frightening and threatening disease, with more courage than I've ever faced it with before. I can be a better physician for my patients.

You say we can draw on near-death experiences to reach conclusions about life after actual death. But is that comparing apples and oranges?
Scientifically speaking, interviewing people that have permanently died is challenging. Obviously, given that impossibility, we have to do the next best thing. If these people have no brain function, like you have in a cardiac arrest, I think that is the best, closest model we're going to have to study whether or not conscious experience can occur apart from the physical brain. The research shows the overwhelming answer is absolutely yes.

You raise the idea that your work could have profound implications for religion. But is whether there is life after death really a scientific question, or a theological one?
I think we have an interesting blend. [This research] directly addresses what religions have been telling us for millenniums to accept on faith: that there is an afterlife, that there is some order and purpose to this universe, that there's some reason and purpose for us being here in earthly life. We're finding verification, if you will, for what so many religions have been saying. It's an important step toward bringing science and religion together.

Is there any aspect of human experience that you don't think science can touch?
Oh, absolutely. What happens after permanent death — after we're no longer able to interview people — is an absolute. To that extent, the work I do may always require some element of faith. But by the time you look at [the] evidence, the amount of faith you need to have [to believe in] life after death is substantially reduced.


** "The Year in Health 2009: From A to Z."

A to F

  1. Accidents:  Even in tough economic times, science doesn't stop. The past year was another in which we got a lot smarter — and maybe a little healthier. Here are some highlights

    Global health experts agonize over the terrible toll disease takes on the world's children, but a lot less attention is paid to how many kids' lives are claimed by accidents and injuries. Part of that is a numbers game: close to 10 million children under 5 die annually of disease. Comparatively few — 829,000 per year — die because of accidents. Still, that's 2,270 children every day. In late 2008 the World Health Organization issued its first annual report on the problem, listing the top five killers and what can be done to combat them:

    Traffic injuries: 260,000 deaths per year. In the developed world, most victims are passengers in vehicles; in the developing world, most are pedestrians or bicyclists. The solutions include seat-belt laws, speed limits and stiffer drunk-driving penalties. The key is imposing and enforcing the rules.

    Drownings: 175,000 deaths per year. Parental supervision, CPR education and fenced swimming pools are crucial.

    Burns: 96,000 deaths per year. Infants are at greatest risk. The danger is lowest for kids ages 10 to 14 and rises for 15-to-19-year-olds — perhaps because of access to fireworks and gasoline. Smoke alarms, parental policing, childproof lighters and burn centers all reduce risk.

    Falls: 47,000 deaths per year. Caregiver stress or inattention, nonchildproof environments and low levels of maternal education are risk factors. Solutions include redesigned playgrounds and furniture, parental-education programs and window guards.

    Poisonings: 45,000 deaths per year. Kids under 1 are in the most danger. Child-resistant packaging and measures like removing poisons from the house or keeping them locked up can help.

  2. Alcololism: Drinking too much is a deadly gamble at any time of year, but especially during the holidays. One answer for problem drinkers is naltrexone — a drug, taken daily, that curbs the urge to drink. But in order for the pill to work, you have to take it, making a commitment to sobriety every day. In 2006 the government approved a naltrexone injection that works for a full month. In a study conducted late last year, the injection got high marks, reducing the number of days on which the subjects drank and the amount they consumed when they slipped. These results were consistent throughout the year — even during the holidays, when the temptation and risks are greatest.

  3. Alzheimers: One of the worst things about Alzheimer's disease is the way it sneaks up on its victims. By the time the first signs appear, it may be too late for lifestyle therapies like staying mentally and socially active. But researchers at the University of Pittsburgh and the University of California, San Francisco, may have developed a way to flush Alzheimer's out of hiding. Studying a population of seniors, they considered possible signs and risk factors for the disease — age, genes, body weight and more — and arranged them on a 15-point scale. They then followed the same subjects for six years. Of those who scored 8 or above on the scale, 56% showed some mental decline at the end of the study period. Only 23% of the lower-scoring subjects showed symptoms. A similar test as a routine part of physical exams could help seniors get a jump on the disease.

  4. Babies: When a baby has repeated problems falling asleep, Mom and Dad may need to show some tough love. Lingering with cranky babies too long or bringing them into the parents' bedroom can make them likelier to become poor sleepers, according to psychologist Jodi Mindell, who gathered data on nearly 30,000 kids up to 3 years old in 17 countries. "If you're rocked to sleep, nursed to sleep, fed to sleep at bedtime, you're going to need that every time you wake up," she notes. Her advice: have children fall asleep 3 ft. away. "If they're slightly separated, they sleep much better," she says.

  5. Biobanks: At a time when most banks are struggling, one is doing things right. Folks at the National Cancer Institute are launching an effort to establish the U.S.'s first national biobank: a safe house for tissue samples, tumor cells, DNA and blood, which would be used for research into new treatments for diseases. Britain, Canada, Sweden and other countries have already begun building biobanks. Cancer is a smart place for the U.S. to start, since dozens of genes have been linked to the disease. Imagine the power of millions of samples of illnesses ranging from brain disorders to diabetes. The biobank will depend on donors, and privacy guarantees will have to be put in place. But if the idea works, we could have a bank that pays dividends in the form of something much more precious than money.

  6. Cancer:  The introduction of Gardasil, the first vaccine against cervical cancer, has raised the question of when we can expect vaccines against other cancers. The answer: sooner than we may think. This year, progress was made on two cancer vaccines that are used not to prevent the disease but to help people who already have it. Working with melanoma, Dr. Douglas Schwartzentruber, of the Goshen Center for Cancer Care in Goshen, Ind., gave patients a vaccine made up of 20 proteins specific to the disease and a dose of interleukin-2, an immune-system stimulator. The therapy caused tumors to regress in 22% of people who received it. Dr. Larry Kwak of the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston took a similar approach against non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, using proteins made from the patients' cells, plus an immune booster. This led to a 47% increase in disease-free survival time. Neither approach eliminates the need for surgery, chemotherapy or radiation, but both enlist the body's own immune system in the fight against the disease.

  7. Depression: When 12 million americans have a disease, you'd think doctors would get good at spotting it. But that's not the case with depression. According to a review published by the journal Lancet, general practitioners do not detect clinical depression in about half the patients who suffer from it. There are a few reasons for this. The stigma still associated with depression causes many people to consult not a psychologist, who is trained to recognize the condition, but a primary-care provider, who may not be. What's more, the brief 15 minutes or so that most people get with their doctor is not enough for many patients to open up. One answer is reforming health care to encourage longer appointments and follow-up visits. Another is to rewrite the diagnostic criteria for depression so that they're more specific than the loose collection of symptoms — such as fatigue and indecisiveness — that is used today.

  8. Diabetes:  A first line of defense against Type 2 diabetes is diet — but which one? A new study compared the Mediterranean-style diet (fruits, vegetables, whole grains, olive oil, lean meats and nuts, but less than 50% of calories from carbohydrates) with a low-fat diet (whole grains, fruits, vegetables and some meat, but no more than 30% of calories from fat and no more than 10% from saturated fat). The Mediterranean diet won: 56% of subjects controlled blood sugar without drugs, compared with 30% on the low-fat diet. This doesn't mean shunning drugs. It means the right diet is key to staying well.

  9. Embryos: In vitro fertilization can be risky and costly. Implanting multiple embryos to increase the odds of birth often leads to multiple babies. But a study by Finnish researchers suggests a better way to do things. Transferring a single fresh embryo to the womb, followed by transfers of individual thawed embryos in later fertility cycles if necessary, may be as effective in achieving pregnancy as implanting multiple embryos at once. The study compared outcomes from two periods at a fertility clinic: one during which double-embryo transfer was used more than 95% of the time and another in which 46% of women opted for single-embryo. In both periods, 90% delivered babies within the first four treatment cycles. The study also considered the cumulative success rate for all embryos created from a single harvest of eggs — including those that had been frozen. For each ovum pickup, the overall pregnancy rate was 38% among women who had elective single-embryo transfers and 33% among those who had multiples.

  10. Energy Drinks: Some people swear by the boost they get from energy drinks, but experts say the products may have no effect on tired muscles. Instead, they may work on your brain. British researchers had volunteers on stationary bikes rinse their mouths with either a sugary energy drink or an artificially sweetened one and then conducted brain scans. The subjects who tasted sugar had activity in the reward and pleasure center of the brain; the others didn't. That brain surge, the researchers believe, creates an expectation of more sugary fuel to come and prods the body to push on. Another researcher found that distance runners select higher treadmill speeds after they've tasted sugar. An energy drink, it turns out, may be more a metabolic pep talk than a real jolt.

  11. Exercise: Staying active is more important than ever for seniors. Adopting such painless habits as walking 30 minutes a day or parking farther from the supermarket can lower the risk of dementia and help relieve chronic pain. It can also be a great mood booster. A 2008 study of people in 80 countries found that after the onset of middle age (40 for U.S. women and 50 for men), people enter the highest-risk age group for depression. Gloom leads to lethargy, and lethargy exacerbates the sadness. Getting your blood pumping breaks that cycle.

  12. Food Safety: Some 5,000 Americans die and 325,000 are hospitalized annually as a result of food contamination. Earlier this year, the House reached unusual bipartisan consensus on the most sweeping reform of the food-safety system in at least 50 years. The bill could give the Food and Drug Administration new powers to regulate food at the farm level and review corporate records on activities ranging from processing to pathogen-testing. Eat up, America.

  13. Fruit Fly: If you lived for just two months and had nothing to worry about but mating and eating, you would think your brain wouldn't get very tired. But the fruit fly's does, and the things scientists are learning about what happens when it sleeps can teach us about what happens when we do. Fruit flies doze off, even during the day, after engaging in intense social activity such as courtship, acclimating to a new environment or fighting over mates or territory. The insect's sleep cycles are regulated by three key genes; when scientists tamper with them, it stays awake. That causes its brain to get overloaded, since it misses out on neuronal pruning that goes on during sleep, as weak connections among brain cells are wiped out. This pruning creates the equivalent of disc space for another day. Similar things may happen as we sleep. By erasing the phone number you had to remember for only a day or the details of a movie you didn't like, you free your brain to learn better things tomorrow.

G to L

  1. Gambling: It's hard to imagine sesame streeters heading for Vegas, but psychologist Linda Pagani of the University of Montreal thinks it's never too early to look for signs of problem gambling. In 1999, Pagani began a study of 163 kindergartners. She had their teachers fill out a questionnaire, rating the kids' attentiveness and hyperactivity on a scale of 1 to 9. Six years later, she did follow-up interviews with the same kids, and in 2009 she released the results. Every point higher the subjects had scored on the 1-to-9 scale, she found, increased by 25% the likelihood that they'd be playing bingo, cards and video poker for money by sixth grade. Parents, she says, must focus more on teaching young kids impulse control — and repeating the lessons until they stick. Not only may the kids' behavior improve from this, but their brains may benefit too. Kindergarten is a time when the prefrontal lobes — the seat of what's known as executive function, or what some researchers call effortful control — are just developing. The more training the brain receives at this stage, the better it will function later in life.
  2. Geography:  While the rust belt and sunbelt were the geographic definers of their day, in the current era of economic crisis, it's the Gloom Belt that matters. From 1993 to 2001 and then again from 2003 to '06, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention conducted two nationwide surveys asking a total of 2.4 million respondents about their overall mood, particularly how many days in the preceding month their mental health had generally not been good. What the researchers were looking for was what they called frequent mental distress (FMD), which they defined as 14 or more bad days out of 30. In the 1993-to-2001 study, 9% of Americans were found to be suffering from FMD; in the 2003-to-'06 survey, that number nosed up to 10.2%. The saddest state was Kentucky, with a steady 14.4% of residents reporting FMD in both surveys. West Virginia was next. Its score of 9.6% in the first sample soared to 14.9% in the second. The mood of Mississippians worsened similarly, with melancholy increasing from 9.4% of residents to 13.7%. Hawaii's average score of 6.6% topped the happy list. The next sunniest states were Kansas and Nebraska, which tied at 7.5%. But almost everywhere else — in 44 states and the District of Columbia — the trend lines were down, and they've surely sagged further along with the economy. Never mind the Dow or the S&P; the true national indicator may be the FMD.
  3. Google:  When the first U.S. patients fell victim to the H1N1 flu, they may not have first called the doctor. Instead, they probably sat down in front of their computers and Googled flu symptoms. That's exactly what the folks at Google have been counting on. Since 2008 the search-engine giant has been nurturing a service called Google Flu Trends, which aims to identify outbreaks by tracking searches for flu-related terms and providing health officials with warnings. The World Health Organization uses a similar surveillance strategy, mining media reports to suss out mentions of unusual illness. And the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has a network of physicians who routinely test a sample of patients to see which bugs might be circulating in their communities.
  4. H1N1:

    We'll never know exactly when and where it began — and we still don't know how it will end. The disease was born in a pig, the result of a series of mutations, and from there jumped to human beings in southern Mexico, where it began sickening people in the winter and spring of 2009. By late April, cases had begun popping up in the U.S. Scientists were quick to identify the new pathogen — a never-before-seen H1N1 flu virus. By the end of April, cases were occurring in North America, Europe and Asia. For the first time in more than 40 years, the world was in the midst of an influenza pandemic.

    Since the first scary headlines appeared, we've had good news and bad. Within a few months of the first cases, a new vaccine had been developed and tested and was being manufactured. Thanks to earlier worries about the threat of avian flu, the U.S. and other countries had pandemic-defense plans in place, along with stockpiles of antiviral drugs. But the response has been far from perfect, and some of the stumbles have made health experts quietly nervous about what might happen if a truly virulent pandemic strikes.

    Manufacturing and distributing the vaccine were the first big problems. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention initially promised that 120 million doses would be available by the end of October, but the true number was closer to 30 million, mostly because the antigen — the part of the vaccine that triggers an immune response — has been slow to grow.

    With the vaccine in short supply, a smart method of distribution was vital, but around the U.S., there were long lines and confusion over who was responsible for getting the vaccine to the people who needed it. And bubbling in the background, partly because of voices from the far right and left, was a reluctance by many people to get vaccinated at all, born of fears — unfounded — that the vaccine was more dangerous than the disease.

    More challenging than such political and logistic obstacles was the nature of the virus. With normal, seasonal influenza, it is the very young and very old who are most at risk. But from the first Mexican cases, doctors noticed that children and young adults were unusually vulnerable to H1N1, while the elderly showed some resistance. That set off alarm bells: a similar age distribution was seen in the 1918 flu pandemic, which killed at least 50 million people worldwide.

    Fortunately, H1N1 hasn't been anywhere near the serial killer that the 1918 flu was. By mid-October, about 1,000 people in the U.S. were believed to have died from the illness — 100 of them children. That comparatively low toll is a very good thing, especially since H1N1 has ways of getting around that its 1918 granddaddy didn't. Airplanes are hothouses for viruses, picking them up in one country, circulating them for hours in a closed environment and then releasing them on the other side of the world.

    Partly for this reason, the virus became widespread in nearly every state of the U.S. by fall, prompting President Obama to declare a national emergency. In southern-hemisphere countries like Argentina and New Zealand, where the winter flu season runs from June through August, waves of the sick nearly overwhelmed hospitals. In the event that things got severe up north — say, a quarter of the population falling ill — U.S. hospitals would lack the surge capacity to deal with the sudden influx. "If we increase by 30% the number of cases at any one moment over what we saw in June and July, we are going to overrun intensive-care units," says Michael Osterholm, director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota.

    That ominous fact makes vaccines all the more vital, and the Federal Government deserves credit for its crash program. Normal seasonal-flu vaccines take about nine months to develop and manufacture, but the H1N1 vaccine was ready to go in less than six months. Speeding things up much more would not be easy. Vaccine production is a laborious process that depends on chicken eggs as a growth medium. "We are not cutting corners," says Anne Schuchat, director of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases.

    Still, the government finds itself in a no-win situation — criticized for the slow distribution of the vaccine, even as many Americans worry that it hasn't been fully tested. In the meantime, we've had to learn to live with the pandemic, which has changed our lives in ways large and small. Beer pong is being banned on college campuses to slow transmission; Catholic parishes have restricted wine at Communion for the same reason. So far we've been lucky, but there's no guarantee that luck will hold.

  5. Incentive: Money can motivate us to do just about anything — and that apparently includes losing weight. A pair of behavioral economists ran an intriguing study in which subjects enrolled in a 16-week diet program with the goal of shedding 16 lb. Some of the volunteers became part of a lottery arrangement in which those who met or exceeded the goal would win a cash prize. Others were part of a deposit-contract arrangement in which they anted up their own cash, with the pot being split among those who did the best. The remaining volunteers had no cash incentive. The results? At the end of the 16 weeks, 53% of those in the lottery group reached the 16-lb. goal; in the deposit-contract group, it was 47%. The group with no prize on the line finished a distant last, with an 11% success rate. Once the cash dividends stopped, the weight loss did too, and most subjects gained back much of it. Still, the investigators believe that if the program ran for 12 to 18 months, participants would start to reap physical benefits that would provide a deeper incentive on their own.
  6. Infections:  Stories about killer bacteria ravaging locker rooms and nursing homes have made for grabby headlines in recent years. But the truth is that, at least in the highest-risk health care environments, the incidence of life-threatening infections with methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is diminishing. According to a 2009 study, the overall rate of MRSA infections in intensive-care units dropped nearly 50% from 1997 to 2007. That downward trend was true of all bloodstream infections among ICU patients, including infections with strains of staph that can be controlled with antibiotics. Greater vigilance on the part of both hospitals and state health departments in detecting MRSA may be one factor. Improved hygiene and isolation practices have also become more routine.
  7. iPods:  If you're one of the more than 220 million iPod users out there, hear this — if you can. Listening to music through earbuds for 90 minutes a day at 80% volume is the limit if you don't want to damage your hearing. Lower the volume to 70%, and you can boost listening time to 4½ hours. At full volume, you risk hearing loss after just 5 minutes of listening. What's full volume? In the U.S., some music players reach 115 decibels — comparable to a chainsaw or rock concert. In Europe, music players are limited to 100 decibels — like standing next to a pneumatic drill.
  8. Jobs:  Women with high levels of testosterone tend to pursue riskier jobs, according to a new study. After measuring female business students' hormone levels, experimenters had them play a complicated computer game. Those with the most testosterone tended to make riskier tactical decisions as they played. After graduation, they were also more likely to choose risky careers in finance. Does testosterone also play a role in the number of women stepping forward to serve in the military or police or fire departments? Maybe. If so, we owe the hormone our thanks.
  9. Kids:  Nobody doubts the benefits of phys ed for children, especially as national child-obesity rates climb. But kids who are active are also at risk of getting hurt, and there are a lot more injuries than there used to be. From 1997 to 2007, annual gym-class-injury rates leaped 150%, from 4.39 trips to the emergency room per 10,000 kids to 10.9 trips, according to a study by the Center for Injury Research and Policy at Nationwide Children's Hospital. Six activities — running, volleyball, football, basketball, soccer and gymnastics — were responsible for 70% of the injuries. Boys, who accounted for 54% of those injured, were more likely to get hurt in team sports. Girls were likelier to get hurt while running or playing tennis. Why the numbers rose even as budget cuts reduced phys-ed programs is unclear. It may simply be that with fewer schools hiring nurses, more accidents are being treated in emergency rooms and thus being reported. It's also possible that heavier kids are less fit, making them more apt to get hurt.
  10. Learning:  Parents know that the more they talk to their babies, the more quickly the kids learn to speak. What they may not know is that in the preverbal stage, babies get just as much from gestures. Psychologists at the University of Chicago found that at 14 months of age, babies may have a wide range of gestures that serve as stand-ins for language and that they pick them up from parents too. At 4½ years, the babies with the best gestural vocabulary had the best spoken one as well.
  11. Life-Extending Drug: Sometimes mice get all the breaks. Scientists working with an immunosuppressing compound called rapamycin have found that it can extend the lives of mice an average of 9% for males and 13% for females. The study, conducted by the National Institute on Aging's Interventions Testing Program, used mice that were about 600 days old — well into mouse middle age. The treated male mice got a maximum of 101 extra days; the females got 151. How rapamycin works is not clear, but the investigators believe it may be related to the mechanics of caloric restriction, which has also been shown to have life-extending powers. The drug may trick cells into thinking they've been depleted of nutrients, prodding them to use proteins more efficiently. Is there human-life extension in rapamycin's future? Probably not. Earlier human trials showed that it can lead to opportunistic infections, high triglycerides and heart disease. Rapamycin may work better as therapy for age-related ills like Alzheimer's disease.
  12. Longevity: Your personality may be the key to a very long life. A study examined the personality traits of 246 children of people who lived to be at least 100. (Offspring of centenarians were chosen because they tend to be long-lived and don't die as often as the very aged before research can be completed.) The study showed that those who live the longest are more outgoing, more active and less neurotic than other people. Long-living women are also more likely to be empathetic and cooperative than women with normal life spans.

M to R

  1. Migraines: Plastic surgery to cure migraines? One small study claims it's possible. Of 49 migraine patients who underwent surgery similar to a forehead lift, more than half said their migraines disappeared. The operation removed some of the muscles surrounding the trigeminal nerve branches, which have been implicated as migraine triggers. The patients' improvement may be the result of more than a mere placebo effect: a control group of 26 patients had similar surgery that did not target the trigeminals, and the migraines stopped for only one of them.
  2. Mind Reading:  "Locked in" patients, who have alert minds but cannot communicate because of brain injury or disease, may have a new way to make their needs known. University of Toronto engineers developed a system that measures blood flow to the parts of the brain that process preferences. When there are choices to be made about, say, medical care, the patient could be the one to decide.
  3. Mixed Race: It's been a long time since a mixed-race child was a rarity in the U.S., but old psychological stigmas — that those kids grow up conflicted and unhappy — have persisted. No more. A new paper in the Journal of Social Issues shows that multiracial kids have few problems establishing a comfortable identity, particularly if they embrace all aspects of their heritage rather than just one.
  4. Names:  If you had to choose between naming your son Maxwell or Michael, which would you pick? If you want to keep the kid out of prison, go with Michael. That's the conclusion of a study in Social Science Quarterly showing that people with unpopular names have a higher risk of criminality than people with popular ones. Researchers compiled a list of all 15,012 names given to boys born in one large state from 1987 to 1991 (the state remained anonymous), then tracked the crimes committed when the boys were adolescents. Boys with popular names (Michael topped the list) committed the fewest. Boys with unpopular ones, like Preston and Alec, committed the most. The study raises cause-and-effect questions: different names are associated with different socioeconomic groups, and that surely plays a role. Still, a large body of work shows that a familiar name leads to greater social acceptance, which leads to greater self-acceptance. And that, this study concludes, leads to better behavior.
  5. Negative Thinking: People spend hours in psychologists' offices trying to turn negative thoughts into positive ones. But it's possible that a lot of that time is wasted. A study in the journal Psychological Science suggests that the very effort to think positively may highlight how unhappy you are. Investigators interviewed volunteers and rated their self-esteem. All the subjects were then asked to spend 4 min. writing about their feelings. Every 15 sec., some of them heard a bell; when they did, they were supposed to tell themselves, "I am a lovable person." In that group, those with low self-esteem scores did not feel better; in fact, their writing showed that they felt worse. A better solution for some people might be to accept that negative feelings are there — and thus disempower them.
  6. NFL:  Many football players qualify as obese, yet a recent study of players, funded by the National Football League (NFL), found that they have cholesterol levels similar to those of nonplaying men and healthier glucose levels. What's more, black players show no higher risk of heart disease than white players do, even though black men in the general population have a much higher rate than whites. However, NFL players do have higher rates of hypertension. It's probably the players' level of physical activity that keeps them well. Once they retire, their health worsens.
  7. Ouch:  The most dangerous machine in your house may be your computer. Each year, 9,300 Americans suffer a computer-related injury. In all age groups, the commonest injury (39%) was laceration from a sharp corner. Among adults, falling equipment accounted for 21% of injuries. Hands, feet, arms and legs were the most frequently injured parts of the body (57%). Children under 5 suffered 13.4% of all injuries — most of them to the head, and most a result of climbing on or near equipment. The ubiquity of computers and the fact that many households own more than one are driving the numbers.
  8. Ovary Transplants:  Women with ovarian failure have new hope, thanks to ovary transplant. It's been possible since 2004 to transplant ovarian tissue between identical twins, restoring fertility to the recipient. In 2007 the first successful whole-ovary transplant was performed, also between identical twins. A method that generated buzz in the past year is self-transplant: a 31-year-old woman who received a Hodgkin's disease diagnosis when she was 20 had one ovary removed and frozen before her treatment could destroy it. The ovary has been reimplanted, and the woman hopes to become pregnant.
  9. Pain: Shouting a four-letter word when you stub your toe or hammer your thumb may ease the pain. In a British study, researchers had volunteers immerse their hands in ice water and repeatedly shout either a curse word of their choice or a neutral word like table. Those who cursed withstood the pain longer and reported that it hurt less. The reason for the difference may be the fight-or-flight response. Curse words raise your heart rate and prepare you emotionally for battle. In previous studies, aggression and pain tolerance have been linked.
  10. Painkillers: Acetaminophen, found in Tylenol and other prescription and nonprescription products, can lead to liver failure if taken in excess. This year, an advisory panel of the Food and Drug Administration recommended lowering the maximum allowable dose, making certain products containing acetaminophen prescription only and banning others. Particularly worrisome is the number of people who take the drug unknowingly in cold medicines and other preparations. The FDA website (fda.gov) has more details. So does your doctor.
  11. Placebo Effect:  Sham acupuncture using toothpicks instead of needles may be as effective as the real thing at easing back pain. That's the conclusion of a study conducted at the Group Health Center for Health Studies in Seattle. Investigators compared back-pain sufferers who received acupuncture with a group poked with toothpicks in the same spots, as well as a group who received other therapy including massage. Sixty percent of subjects in the acupuncture groups reported improvement eight weeks later, compared with 40% of the controls. The acupuncture recipients could not see which treatment they got. It's possible that more than the placebo effect was at work in the toothpick group, since real acupuncture points were poked, perhaps providing real relief. But this may also be one more example of the analgesic power of the trusting mind.
  12. Quercetin: This year's hot new performance enhancer was quercetin, a flavonoid found in some fruits and teas. In studies of mice, it boosted stamina and increased the development of mitochondria, the energy-processing centers in cells. What's more, as a natural supplement, it's legal for human athletes. Alas, tests don't confirm that it works in us. In a number of studies, people given quercetin drinks did no better on athletic tests than people given a placebo. Want to win the gold? Looks like you'll have to train. It's old-fashioned, but it works.
  13. Recession: Have hard economic times got you feeling mad? Sad? Good, say psychologists. For one thing, sadness is unavoidable, so acknowledge it. What's more, a sad population is one that's more inclined to spend money — just the boost the economy needs. A study published in the journal Psychological Science reported what happened when one group of subjects watched a few minutes of a tearjerker movie and others watched a nature clip: the folks who saw the weepie spent more money later. Just stay well within your budget. Anger, by contrast, prods people to take risks, as repeated studies have shown. Moderation is key: don't sink your life savings into a diamond mine somewhere. But you may be ticked off enough now to make that job switch you were too timid to make before.
  14. Redheads: If you've got both red hair and a fear of the dentist, you're not alone. For years, evidence has shown that the melanocortin 1 receptor gene — which shuts down a protein that would otherwise turn hair brown — also works in the midbrain, where it is thought to lower the pain threshold. That makes it likelier that a redhead who goes to the dentist will need more anesthetic. Other research shows the opposite: that midbrain involvement raises the pain threshold. Both camps agree, however, that hair color and pain sensitivity are linked in some way.
  15. Residents:Doctors in training sometimes say there's a good reason they're called residents: they live at the hospital. Many work 30 hours at a stretch with no sleep. That can be a prescription for costly — and deadly — mistakes. A 2004 study of intensive-care units found that residents working a 30-hour shift made 36% more serious mistakes than those working a 15-hour one. For this reason, the Institute of Medicine has proposed new guidelines limiting shifts to 16 continuous hours if no rest will be granted and mandating 5-hour naps for longer shifts. But not everyone agrees with the plan. Some residents believe the grind helps them learn, and they question whether they'd get any sleep during a mandatory break, having patients' cases fresh in their minds and knowing that they'd have to go back to work. An alternative would be to shorten residents' workweeks (not their shifts) and lengthen the term of residency.

S to Z

  1. Screening Athletes: It's always shocking when a seemingly healthy person dies suddenly, especially when that person is an athlete. But 1 in 15,000 to 50,000 athletes succumbs to sudden cardiac death (SCD), a rate three times higher than that of the rest of the population. Most SCD cases with athletes involve those who had hereditary or congenital cardiovascular disease but showed no prior symptoms. Almost all occur during or shortly after athletic activity. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) now recommends that athletes under 35 be tested routinely for SCD risk using an electrocardiograph. Some cardiologists disagree, citing the cost and the risk of false positives, but an IOC-sponsored study is adamant. Asks one study author: "How can you put a price on a vibrant 16-year-old dying?"
  2. Smiling: Comparing pictures of blind judo athletes in the 2004 Paralympics with sighted ones in the Olympics, a psychologist and a photographer found that gold-medal winners, blind or sighted, were more likely to exhibit genuine smiles, engaging the eye muscles, while silver medalists tended to display stiffer social smiles. Having innate roots for smiling bolsters studies showing that not only does mood drive facial expressions but facial expressions, in turn, can change mood. This is why some psychologists urge depressed or angry patients to smile more.
  3. Sperm: In a controversial breakthrough, a British team used embryonic stem cells to generate what appear to be functioning sperm cells. But the researchers do not plan to implant an embryo created with the sperm into a human carrier. It's uncertain if the sperm would function normally, and in any event, British law forbids such an experiment. But the achievement is an important proof of concept and may allow doctors to generate sperm from the cells of a male cancer patient who is rendered infertile by chemotherapy, permitting him to father children.
  4. Talk Therapy: Chronic, unexplainable pain is never good, but it's particularly cruel when it strikes kids, who could face a lifetime of suffering. A popular talking cure known as acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) may be able to help. As its name suggests, the treatment teaches kids to accept their pain and proceed with their lives. In a Swedish study, children who underwent ACT for 10 weeks reported less discomfort and a greater ability to participate in school and other activities than kids who had an average of 23 weekly sessions with psychologists, doctors and physical therapists and also took a painkiller. Parents need to help too, by knowing when kids are truly disabled by pain and when they need coaxing to press ahead despite it.
  5. Teens: It's no secret that teens take crazy risks — driving too fast, say. In some cases, the paradoxical reason may be that their brains have matured too fast. Researchers at Emory University scanned the brains of risk-taking teens and found that some had white-matter development that looked more like that of adults. These kids may be intuitively aware of their greater capabilities and frustrated that they are still bound by the rules of childhood. As a result, they may be more motivated than other teens to break those rules. Tip for parents: Take away the car keys.
  6. Tobacco: In the U.S. and other developed countries, big tobacco is on the run. Fewer than 20% of Americans now smoke — the lowest percentage since reliable records started being kept. This year, Washington boosted federal cigarette taxes from 32 cents a pack to $1 and gave the FDA the power to regulate cigarettes like any other food or drug. But the West is not the world, and elsewhere, smoking is exploding. This year tobacco companies will produce more than 5 trillion cigarettes — or about 830 for every person on the planet. In China, 350 million people are hooked on tobacco, which means the country has more smokers than the U.S. has people. Smoking rates in Indonesia have quintupled since 1970. Africa still enjoys the lowest smoking rates in the world, largely because most people there can't afford cigarettes. But the tobacco industry abhors a vacuum, and in recent years, it has been working hard to fill it. In 2003 the World Health Assembly, the decision-making body of the World Health Organization, adopted a treaty designed to attack global smoking through a mix of methods including bans and tax hikes. So far, 167 countries have signed the pact — determined to snuff the butts for good.
  7. Umbilical-Cord Blood: Stem-cell transplants that treat blood diseases typically rely on bone marrow as the donor source. But some use umbilical-cord blood — a rarer commodity. Dutch researchers believe that by modifying how donors and recipients are matched, they might make what little cord blood is available more useful. Currently, matches are determined by how many human leukocyte antigens the donor and recipient share. Another set of markers, called noninherited maternal antigens, may also be good indicators. Using these as criteria could expand the number of matches 18-fold.
     
  8. Vitamins: It's great when kids take their vitamins — as long as the right kids get them. Researchers at the University of California, Davis, found that about one-third of U.S. children ages 2 to 18 take vitamin and mineral supplements, but most of those kids come from higher-income families and are more likely to eat consistent and nutritious meals. Lower-income kids, who have the worst diets and need supplements the most, are the least likely to get them. Part of the problem is policy: 55% of U.S. infants are eligible for a federal nutrition program, but it provides food, not vitamins.
  9. Weight Guidelines: Pregnant women were once urged to eat, eat, eat — good advice when food was scarce. But in the U.S., nearly two-thirds of women of childbearing age are overweight or obese. Too much weight gain during pregnancy can lead to hypertension and diabetes for the mother and makes the kids 42% likelier to be obese beginning at age 9. The Institute of Medicine thus issued new weight guidelines for mothers this year. Women are grouped according to body mass index (BMI), a ratio of height to weight. Those with a healthy BMI of 18.5 to 24.9 are advised to gain 25 to 35 lb. during pregnancy. Overweight women, with a BMI of 25 to 29.9, should gain up to 25 lb. Obese women, with a BMI of 30 or more, should gain just 11 to 20 lb. Underweight women, with a BMI below 18.5, should gain up to 40 lb. The guidelines apply only to women in the U.S., not to those in places where moms-to-be are shorter or thinner or have inadequate prenatal care.
  10. Weight-Lifting:  As if having had breast cancer weren't enough, many women who get through treatments are left with a painful condition known as lymphedema, the result of the removal of lymph nodes under the arms. Women with lymphedema experience swelling in their hands and arms and are typically told to limit the amount they lift to 10 to 15 lb. But a new study at the University of Pennsylvania recommends just the opposite. Investigators recruited a group of 141 women with stable lymphedema and had roughly half of them participate in a regimen of biweekly, 90-min. sessions of weight-lifting training. The rest of the women did not lift weights. At the end of a year, the women who worked out were stronger than the nonlifters — some could bench-press 85 lb. — and just 14% of them reported flare-ups of their lymphedema symptoms, compared with 29% of the control group. Not only could training restore function, it could also save money: an eight-day course of therapy for lymphedema symptoms can cost $2,000. But be careful. Weight-lifting training should begin gradually, and it's best done in a class setting at a place like a gym or YMCA.
  11. Willpower: People with good self-control may make the worst food choices, says a new study. Those who score high in willpower, as measured by a questionnaire, will pick somewhat healthy foods from a list of so-so ones (a baked potato instead of fries or chicken nuggets). But when you add a truly healthy option, like a salad, they choose the fries. Why? It's called vicarious goal fulfillment. The mere presence of a healthy choice makes them feel good, causing them to let down their guard.
  12. X-Rays: CT scans, X-rays and other imaging methods save lives, but they also expose patients to high cumulative levels of radiation. In a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, researchers surveyed more than 950,000 U.S. adults in the 18-to-64 age group for two years. In that period, nearly 70% of the subjects underwent at least one imaging procedure that involved radiation. Moderate levels of radiation were experienced by 194 subjects per 1,000 per year, while 19 per 1,000 got high doses. The study raises anew concerns about how to balance the good the tests can do with the concern that the radiation exposure increases lifetime cancer risk. Canada is taking steps to correct the problem: the government is partnering with the private health care industry to establish a national radiation-dosage registry in which records of patients' radiation exposure would be stored. This could then become part of their permanent medical record, allowing doctors to consider whether a nonradiative scan like ultrasound would be a better choice. The U.S. could initiate a similar system — one that would become all the more effective as the country switches from paper to electronic medical records.
  13. Yoga: A session of yoga for teens with anorexia, bulimia or other eating disorders may provide more than a spiritual and physical boost; it could also help them get over their illness, according to a new study of 50 adolescents, mostly girls. The girls were seriously ill — nearly half had been hospitalized because of their eating disorder — and were being treated at an outpatient clinic at Seattle Children's Hospital. The teens were randomized to receive either their usual treatment at the clinic or that treatment plus two hours a week of yoga classes. The study lasted eight weeks. While the non-yoga teens showed improvement during treatment, they relapsed a month afterward. In the yoga group, improvement started slowly, but a month later, the teens were showing steady gains. The exertion required by some yoga poses had no negative effect on weight, which was reassuring — the last thing dangerously underweight subjects needed to do was shed more pounds. The researchers suspect that yoga may help by reducing the obsessive concern about weight associated with eating disorders. In their study, they wrote, "Food preoccupation may be reduced by focusing attention on yoga poses." Some subjects even expressed this idea directly to the researchers. Said one: "This is the only hour in my week when I don't think about my weight." A larger study is planned to confirm the findings.
  14. Zzz: Are you a lark, an owl or a robin? The answer may affect your grades. Psychologists at Hendrix College in Arkansas studied 89 incoming freshmen and, depending on how they described their sleep preferences, divided them into larks (early to bed, early to rise), owls (late to bed) and robins (somewhere in the middle). At the end of their freshman year, the owl group had an average GPA of 2.84. Larks and robins averaged 3.18. Comparing that performance with the kids' high school records, the researchers found that all the GPAs had slipped (typical for students away from home for the first time) but the owls' had fallen furthest. Part of the problem may be that owls are forced to adhere to larks' morning schedules: they go to bed later but still have to get up for early classes. On average, owls slept 41 min. less per night than the others — enough, perhaps, to make them sleepy in class. Another study, at the University of Pittsburgh, dug deeper into the sleep-and-grades link. Investigators had 56 kids ages 14 to 18 wear a wrist monitor that tracked their sleep-wake cycles for a week. The teens with poor sleep habits did particularly badly at math, while good sleepers did especially well at English. This may provide clues to which parts of the brain are affected the most by sleep — or lack of it.

 

**What happens when we die?

**See how you can change your genes.

A fellow at New York City's Weill Cornell Medical Center, Dr. Sam Parnia is one of the world's leading experts on the scientific study of death. Last week Parnia and his colleagues at the Human Consciousness Project announced their first major undertaking: a 3-year exploration of the biology behind "out-of-body" experiences. The study, known as AWARE (AWAreness during REsuscitation), involves the collaboration of 25 major medical centers through Europe, Canada and the U.S. and will examine some 1,500 survivors of cardiac arrest. TIME spoke with Parnia about the project's origins, its skeptics and the difference between the mind and the brain.

What sort of methods will this project use to try and verify people's claims of "near-death" experience?

When your heart stops beating, there is no blood getting to your brain. And so what happens is that within about 10 sec., brain activity ceases —as you would imagine. Yet paradoxically, 10% or 20% of people who are then brought back to life from that period, which may be a few minutes or over an hour, will report having consciousness. So the key thing here is, Are these real, or is it some sort of illusion? So the only way to tell is to have pictures only visible from the ceiling and nowhere else, because they claim they can see everything from the ceiling. So if we then get a series of 200 or 300 people who all were clinically dead, and yet they're able to come back and tell us what we were doing and were able see those pictures, that confirms consciousness really was continuing even though the brain wasn't functioning.

How does this project relate to society's perception of death?

People commonly perceive death as being a moment — you're either dead or you're alive. And that's a social definition we have. But the clinical definition we use is when the heart stops beating, the lungs stop working, and as a consequence the brain itself stops working. When doctors shine a light into someone's pupil, it's to demonstrate that there is no reflex present. The eye reflex is mediated by the brain stem, and that's the area that keeps us alive; if that doesn't work, then that means that the brain itself isn't working. At that point, I'll call a nurse into the room so I can certify that this patient is dead. Fifty years ago, people couldn't survive after that.

How is technology challenging the perception that death is a moment?

Nowadays, we have technology that's improved so that we can bring people back to life. In fact, there are drugs being developed right now — who knows if they'll ever make it to the market — that may actually slow down the process of brain-cell injury and death. Imagine you fast-forward to 10 years down the line; and you've given a patient, whose heart has just stopped, this amazing drug; and actually what it does is, it slows everything down so that the things that would've happened over an hour, now happen over two days. As medicine progresses, we will end up with lots and lots of ethical questions.

But what is happening to the individual at that time? What's really going on? Because there is a lack of blood flow, the cells go into a kind of a frenzy to keep themselves alive. And within about 5 min. or so they start to damage or change. After an hour or so the damage is so great that even if we restart the heart again and pump blood, the person can no longer be viable, because the cells have just been changed too much. And then the cells continue to change so that within a couple of days the body actually decomposes. So it's not a moment; it's a process that actually begins when the heart stops and culminates in the complete loss of the body, the decompositions of all the cells. However, ultimately what matters is, What's going on to a person's mind? What happens to the human mind and consciousness during death? Does that cease immediately as soon as the heart stops? Does it cease activity within the first 2 sec., the first 2 min.? Because we know that cells are continuously changing at that time. Does it stop after 10 min., after half an hour, after an hour? And at this point we don't know.

What was your first interview like with someone who had reported an out-of-body experience?

Eye-opening and very humbling. Because what you see is that, first of all, they are completely genuine people who are not looking for any kind of fame or attention. In many cases they haven't even told anybody else about it because they're afraid of what people will think of them. I have about 500 or so cases of people that I've interviewed since I first started out more than 10 years ago. It's the consistency of the experiences, the reality of what they were describing. I managed to speak to doctors and nurses who had been present who said these patients had told them exactly what had happened, and they couldn't explain it. I actually documented a few of those in my book What Happens When We Die because I wanted people to get both angles —not just the patients' side but also the doctors' side — and see how it feels for the doctors to have a patient come back and tell them what was going on. There was a cardiologist that I spoke with who said he hasn't told anyone else about it because he has no explanation for how this patient could have been able to describe in detail what he had said and done. He was so freaked out by it that he just decided not to think about it anymore.

Why do you think there is such resistance to studies like yours?

Because we're pushing through the boundaries of science, working against assumptions and perceptions that have been fixed. A lot of people hold this idea that, well, when you die, you die; that's it. Death is a moment — you know you're either dead or alive. All these things are not scientifically valid, but they're social perceptions. If you look back at the end of the 19th century, physicists at that time had been working with Newtonian laws of motion, and they really felt they had all the answers to everything that was out there in the universe. When we look at the world around us, Newtonian physics is perfectly sufficient. It explains most things that we deal with. But then it was discovered that actually when you look at motion at really small levels — beyond the level of the atoms — Newton's laws no longer apply. A new physics was needed, hence, we eventually ended up with quantum physics. It caused a lot of controversy — even Einstein himself didn't believe in it.

Now, if you look at the mind, consciousness, and the brain, the assumption that the mind and brain are the same thing is fine for most circumstances, because in 99% of circumstances we can't separate the mind and brain; they work at the exactly the same time. But then there are certain extreme examples, like when the brain shuts down, that we see that this assumption may no longer seem to hold true. So a new science is needed in the same way that we had to have a new quantum physics. The CERN particle accelerator may take us back to our roots. It may take us back to the first moments after the Big Bang, the very beginning. With our study, for the first time, we have the technology and the means to be able to investigate this. To see what happens at the end for us. Does something continue?

 

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