This week in Science was full of experiments on mental illness, with one experiment finding a link between anxiety and a fast heart rate while another was a breakthrough in “psychedelic therapy.” When it comes to India, India’s ISRO is making progress on Chandrayaan-related progress while the country should also prepare for some big guests from Colombia.
1- A fast heartbeat can cause anxiety, a study in rats shows
It is common for thoughts of fear and anxiety in the human brain to cause physical changes elsewhere in the body. For example, some people may have an increased heart rate and breathing in such a situation. But scientists have always wondered if the opposite is also possible. Now, with a bunch of mice, researchers have found that the opposite may be true.
Carl Deyserth of Stanford University California and his team of neuroscientists artificially increased a rat’s heart rate (from 660 beats to 900 beats) and concluded that increased heart rate in mammals leads to feelings of anxiety.
So, why is this research important? Further research may help to better understand the origins and treatment of chronic anxiety in humans. As it seems obvious how to test any and every human problem, our scientists resort to testing these problems in mice first. The origin of the word “labrate” seems clearer than ever.
2- Cryogenic engine test of Chandrayaan-3 is successful. The mission will begin in June 2023.
On February 28, the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) announced that the flight acceptance heat test of its CE-20 cryogenic engine was successful. This engine is crucial as it will power the upper stage of the launch vehicle for the upcoming lunar mission Chandrayaan-3.
The test was conducted for 25 seconds on 24 February at the High Altitude Test Facility of the ISRO Propulsion Complex in Mahendragiri, Tamil Nadu. The Propulsion Module, Lander Module and Rover Module are the three main components of the interplanetary Chandrayaan-3 mission. Due to the complexity of the mission, radio-frequency (RF) communication channels must be established between all these modules.
The mission is a follow-up to Chandrayaan-2 and will prove ISRO’s capability to land and roam safely on the Moon. The mission is expected to launch in June if all tests go according to plan.
3- New research suggests that psychedelics can increase cellular growth, offering hope for the future of antidepressants.
Gone are the days when psychedelic substances were simply viewed as “trippy drugs” as scientists are actively trying to understand the depth behind their mind-altering effects under a field known as psychedelic therapy. Now, a new study has been published science The magazine suggests that psychedelic compounds like DMT can actually promote cell growth in the human brain. Essentially, these substances can lead to the regeneration of dendrites that receive signals from other brain cells.
Also Read: Psychedelics Can Make Your Brain Grow More Cells But They’re No Magic Solution
Since many mental illnesses have been linked to damaged dendrites, this has significant implications for the treatment of many psychiatric disorders.
This is good news because psychedelic therapy can work faster and more effectively than conventional antidepressants, which can take a while to work. It is crucial that research continues to see if these substances can further help people with mental health problems. With that being said, it is advisable to have a skilled professional provide psychedelic therapy in a safe environment.
4- Pablo Escobar’s new population control plan for hippos: send them to India
Notorious drug kingpin Pablo Escobar imported four hippopotamuses to his country of Colombia. After Escobar’s death in 1993, humungous mammals continued to reproduce and initiate new generations, only putting more pressure on the Colombian government. Now, under pressure from animal rights activists, authorities plan to move some of the hippos to Mexico and India.
The hippos will be lured with food in iron containers that will take them to their new habitat. It is still uncertain why Mexico and India are considered the new home of Escobar’s hippo as their species is actually endemic to the African region. If Indian authorities confirm this news, it will mean that African cheetahs are not the only new guests in our country!
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