Saturday, March 31, 2012

If you know Swedish you are most welcome to visit one of Swedens most visited Science blogs tomtit.se/hem/blogg and follow us on twitter @tom4nyfikenhet.
Hope to see you there!
Hugs

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Just a short notice

As you have noticed I have been on summerleave. Also I have been employed by one science museum here in Stockholm to write blogs for them FOR SALARY  yay!!!! so I plan to be back here in the end of August to further explore my own interest once the museum blog is up and running!

Best wishes
Anna

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

We dance to the beat

University of Uppsala live streamed the conference “Strings 2011” on its website June 29 through July 2 (wonderful initiative with live stream). The conference's message made me think of Robyn's song "We Dance to the Beat" and Yoda, and I'll explain why.

Strings 2011 gathered the world's leading string theorist / physicist to discuss the universe's building blocks and building, from the small to the large.
Physics had for a long time an identity crisis. Some theories could explain why stars and galaxies behave as they do, other theories could explain why small micro-particles behave as they do, but these theories failed to merge. The conflict has been between relativity and quantum mechanics. Einstein worked for 30 years on a theory that would unite the various branches of physics, a theory that would explain everything. He did not succeed with this, but he came a long way.

From the star wars homepage. Yoda
is a Jedi Master, and supercute. I want
one for christmas!


Einstein showed that time and space are malleable structures whose appearance depends on the observer's motion states. This truth was further developed, space and time can also be distorted and bent due to the presence of matter or energy. Gravity can move from one place to another. It sounds like something one learns from Yoda in the Jedi school on the planet Coruscant (for those of you who may be Star Wars).


Brian Greene, known physics, author and VIP invited speaker to String 2001 string theory explains this:
"String theory is, strictly speaking, the history of space and time since Einstein. Most of us take for granted that our universe has three spatial dimensions. But that is not according to string theory, which argues that our universe has many more dimensions than those we see, the dimensions are tightly curled in the universe ‘s pleated fabric. "

Jedi Knights are taught that not everything is as it looks. This seems to be correct according to modern physics. How many dimensions are rolled up right in front of us? The physicists have worked on this and the number of "extra" dimensions have varied over the years. Right now it is believed that there are 11 dimensions all in all, including our three dimensions and time.
How to relate the string theory to our world that we see and can interact with?
Matter consists of atoms which in turn are composed of quarks and electrons (there are a whole bunch of different small particles). All these particles are actually tiny vibrating strings. What has previously been seen as a point, is now perceived as a movement. The string theory explains distinct characteristics of various small particles that these reflect the different ways that a string can vibrate.
Everything is dancing to different rhythms, like Robyn sings the song "We Dance to the Beat". String theory seems to be the longed-for "theory of everything". I have read some physics at university level but despite that string theory is more understandable when I think about what they are talking about Star Wars. Yoda would fit up there on the podium.


The conference live streamed  from; http://www-conference.slu.se/strings2011/
There is an associated site to Brian Greene’s work called The elegant universe. It conveys knowledge of the vibrating universe we live in, here are videos and information for teachers who want to use them in their teaching;
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/elegant/
http://www.dn.se/nyheter/vetenskap/universum-bestar-av-vibrerande-strangar

Robyn's song We Dance to the Beat; http://www.robyn.com/wedancetothebeat/
Do not know who Yoda is so check out www.starwars.com

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

play my strings!

Right now world leading scientists are meeting at my old uni in Uppsala to discuss the latest in string theory. And we are invited to participate through a live stream;

http://media.medfarm.uu.se/live1

Monday, June 27, 2011

My little pony helps explaining magic....


Science lessons can be found all around us, everywhere magic is happening and science is the tool that explains it. For example, science provides us with profound explanations of the magic happening in my little pony.
I am so jealous of this guy, I wished I had thought of this when I was in school. 

Monday, June 20, 2011

One flew over the cuckoo's nest, on acting and thinking outside "the box"

What does it mean, being crazy? I am not suprised that they have a hard time finding genes for various mental states.  I have met 30 doctors with my migrains, and they have not managed to "make the same analysis" and only one managed to make the right one. But certain "hard core" states are well defined, which means that we can help more people today.

Vintery, mintery, cutery, corn,
Apple seed and apple thorn,
Wire, briar, limber lock
Three geese in a flock
One flew East
One flew West
And one flew over the cuckoo's nest
 This is the rhyme that inspired the book and later the film "one flew over the cuckoo's nest" (according to wikipedia) about institutionalization of the human mind. You could say that mental illness and creativity does the opposite, deinsitutionlize it, liberates it. I might be the same neurological processes that are involved, and if so why is it expressed in different ways in different humans?
A study from my old “hood” Karolinska Institute studied the old myth; is there an association between mental disorders and creativity. 
The family study combined the Swedish registers and included 300 000 people with severe mental disorder. It was a so called nested case–control study which looked at the likelihood of holding a creative occupation in individuals who had received in-patient treatment for schizophrenia, bipolar disorder or unipolar depression between 1973 and 2003 and their relatives without such a diagnosis was compared with that of controls.
The results in the paper; “A familial cosegregation of both schizophrenia and bipolar disorder with creativity is suggested.” People with manodepression were overrepresented among those with creative jobs. They were also doing "very well" in their professions.
People that held “creative” jobs were found more often in families with mental disorders than in the controls. This indicate a biological process, but could also be environmental, after all families are like small countries with different cultures. Karin Bojs who reports in DN automatic exchanges creative person with genius.
I have a dualistic worldview. I see that imperfections are the drive for movement and evolution, and that this is true for every level of existence, from quantum mechanics, to cell biology, evolution and personal development. If things were perfect we would not exist cause there would be no motivation for movement and change. What some people judge as good other people judge as bad. The presence of cystic fibrosis gene in our gene pool is an example of that (see previous posting http://annabirgersdotter.blogspot.com/2011/06/i-am-mutant-and-i-am-proud.html)
It is chance and change, an ongoing process that is both aiding us and also creating diseases.
Creative states and the mental disorders are related. It is different expression of the same process, can we have one without the other? Can this be a hint of how people with mental disorders can be helped?  Is this something that can be manipulated with therapy?

I am just playing with the how future of psychiatry could look. Instead of trying to kill whatever processes we think are responsible, could their expressions be manipulated? I know people who rely on neuropharmacological treatment to be able to leave their house so I am not having a go at the medical industry (well maybe a bit). I am playing with the thought of instead of hitting what we want to kill, we could hit something that change how the process is expressed in the individual. Can it be supported and other pathways be manipulated...

Yes it is way out and probably wrong....outside the box...hmmm.....should I be worried?

No great genius has ever existed without some touch of madness.
says Aristotle.
The Image of Jack Nicholson comes from girlsonfilm.blogspot.com

http://bjp.rcpsych.org/