Precursors Biohackers – Mr Gregor Mendel and Mr Robert Koch

Certainly, there will be people who dispute the idea of considering these two geniuses and current giants of science as ancient biohackers. However, when studying the techniques, methods, concepts, logic and methodologies for the performance of modern biohacking, it does not differ much from the initial action of these giants of science. Therefore, we can at least say that these are concrete models to the biohacking movement. The DIY and handmade technique is common in many segments, including for biology, to which many researchers and amateurs have made random discoveries and through logical methods of research.

The biohacking movement is the practice that fuses conceptual biology with the hacker movement. Although it is considered an amateur movement, the same, as in computing is on the way to professionalization, and even commercial uses and standardization of methods, such as a creation of a Hello World for biosciences and the biohacking movement, as a method for beginners. When one thinks that the biohacking movement is amateur, we must remember that the great computer hackers, for the most part, did not even have a university degree, and much of it came close to overthrowing large corporations with all their professionalism. The world changes and concepts must be rethought about what in fact is professionalization. In World War II, the elite force called the SS was considered an amateur grouping by allies, including historians specializing in tactics and war operations. When we observe the reason, we realize that they were right to consider them amateurs, not having rigid training, heavy weapons logistics, strategic tactics of mass annihilation as an army possesses. With this comparison we can realize that it is not equal to call the amateur biohacking movement, although in some cases it really is, compared to computer hackers, although they have been classified as amateurs, the damage and at the same time technological progress they brought is gigantic We may, in this case, consider that the biohacking movement is in this environment.

“We are at a time to understand more to fearless.” Marie Curie.

The reality is that the biohacking movement is having its spectrum of action and possibilities expanded. From Mendel with the peas, the discovery of the genes, the genetic sequencing, to date there has been much progress, but still incompatible with the needs, such complexity in biosciences. And the biohacking movement emerges as a third way, far beyond a world-wide brainstorm.

However, it is important to understand that at the beginning it is important to think of the alternative and low-cost tools for biohackers, and at the same time understand that this is not the focus of the biohacking movement. Pondering this detail carefully. Conform was exposed by Edsger Dijkstra: “computer science is no more about computers than astronomy is about telescopes”.

The movement of scientific progress, new tools and new means and methods of generating science and technology at lower costs is in progress. Who could even imagine someone doing genetic sequencing on the desk in their home, and even analytical software to study the results? This non-institutional movement, as a third way, equally as occurred in the progress brought by hackers in computing! The biohacking movement is an integral part of the concept of transhumanism. It is not the purpose of this article to list the possibilities of biohacking. We talk about new techniques, tools and access to high-level information in open mode, for more access. In short, more people and more brains are working and thinking in pursuit of the same and innovative goals and discoveries.

The popularization and new alternative methods for complex science is the strength of the biohacking movement. It will be through the dissemination of techniques, cost reduction of alternative equipment, materials and inputs, with methods of easy and moderate application. As include methods such as CRISPR, production of artificial bioreactors, a popularization of PCR, use of tools, such as centrifuges to separate components from blood or DNA material use of PDMS and works with tissues, cells, stem cells, serum and chemicals. Also, other diverse methods and techniques that the biohacking movement will grow.

Parallel to the biohacking movement, there are several advances and new concepts parallel to the biohacking movement. We can consider that high-definition, high-cost electronic and atomic microscopy already has the optical version, which resulted in a Nobel Prize. It will not be surprising that this equipment will soon have its cost and popularization spread throughout the land. What would Robert Koch be without the microscope?

A microscope or rather, a nanoscope capable of taking the micro/nanoworld to anyone’s access. By linking this power to computing, we will have widespread access through the earth of something that until then was restricted only to large laboratories. The biohacking movement is not amateurish! Be sure of this, things are getting messy and old concepts will soon be reviewed.

In addition to nanotechnology, and various other terms, the transhumanism refers to the forced evolution of the human body using science and technology, with biohacking techniques, nanotechnology for better handling, material control and organization of matter. By forced evolution, understand to make people see in the dark, feel the magnetism of the earth, sharpen their noses to incredible levels, etc. Some consider transhumanism as post-humanism, human bodies after biology, as an artificial being of high technological advancement. As you can see, progress is exponential, it is where we are now. As an example, there is a growing movement to generate the first global method version for biohacking. It is not so current so, the biohacking techniques and methods have already been successful There are two giants of science who started their work as real biohackers, being: Gregor Johann Mendel and Robert Koch.

Gregor Johann Mendel: His works and curiosity in a garden led him to inevitably use biohacking techniques in understanding botanical biological functioning. Many experts say that their work was critical to the progress of today’s genetics.

Robert Koch – Today is known as the largest bacteriologist ever to go around the world. The precursor of the in vitro studies by Mr Petri. He was a farmer and doctor with the limitations of the time, however, his apex was possible by his performances like a biohacker, realizing experiments in his property. About to become the first specialist in Anthrax spores. However, its name today belongs to the greats of science due to its persistence and professionalization in the field.

The purest science is based on observation, deduction, and analysis. The Austrian monk Gregor Johann Mendel, always observed the plants during his free time in the monastery, in the Order of St. Augustine, around 1844. It was his position the supervision of the gardens of the monastery in the Czech Republic. As a professor of natural sciences, specializing in studies of crosses of plant and animal species, his great achievement came from his analytical observations with the peas. Analysed the results mathematically. At present, he is considered the father of genetics, by his precise observations in changes of colour, variations, mechanism of the flowers, soon the mechanism of the heredity, that today we know like the genes. His masterpiece dealt with; hybrid plant trials and artificial fertilization. It was practically the forerunner of the treatise on the laws of heredity, now known as Mendel’s Laws, which govern the transmission of hereditary characteristics, hence genes.

What the greats of science have done in the past, in the brief actuality, is possible to accomplish in a much deeper way, at reduced costs, in the domain of the subject. It is on this path that the biohacking movement and other disciplines of advanced science and technology are walking.

Kidney Stones

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There is no denying the fact that the urinary system comprises of the kidneys, ureters, bladder, and urethra. The kidneys are two bean-shaped organs positioned beneath the ribs toward the middle of the back. The kidneys remove extra water and wastes from the blood, converting it to urine. They also keep a stable balance of salts and other substances in the blood. The kidneys bring into being hormones that help build brawny bones and help form red blood cells.
There is no denying the fact that the urinary system comprises of the kidneys, ureters, bladder, and urethra. The kidneys are two bean-shaped organs positioned beneath the ribs toward the middle of the back. The kidneys remove extra water and wastes from the blood, converting it to urine. They also keep a stable balance of salts and other substances in the blood.
The kidneys bring into being hormones that help build brawny bones and help form red blood cells. Narrow tubes called ureters carry urine from the kidneys to the bladder, an oval-shaped chamber in the lower abdomen. Like a balloon, the bladder’s stretchy walls and develop to store urine. They compress together when urine is emptied through the urethra to outside the body.
Kidney stone is a hard mass developed from crystals that separated from the urine and build up on the inner surfaces of the kidney. Normally, urine contains chemicals that prevent or inhibit the crystals from forming. These inhibitors do not seem to work for everyone, however, so some people form stones. If the crystals remain tiny enough, they will travel through the urinary tract and pass out of the body in the urine without being noticed. Kidney stones may contain various combinations of chemicals. The most common type of stone contains calcium in combination with either oxalate or phosphate. These chemicals are part of a person’s normal diet and make up important parts of the body, such as bones and muscles.
A less common type of stone is caused by infection in the urinary tract. This type of stone is called a struvite or infection stone. A bit less common is the uric acid stone. Cystine stones are rare.
Urolithiasis is the medical term used to describe stones occurring in the urinary tract. Other frequently used terms are urinary tract stone disease and nephrolithiasis. Doctors also use terms that describe the location of the stone in the urinary tract. For example, a ureteral stone (or ureterolithiasis) is a kidney stone found in the ureter. To keep things simple, however, the term “kidney stones” is used throughout this fact sheet.
Gallstones and kidney stones are not related. They form in different areas of the body. If you have a gallstone, you are not necessarily more likely to develop kidney stones.
For unknown reasons, the number of people in the United States with kidney stones has been increasing over the past 30 years. The prevalence of stone-forming disease rose from 3.8 percent in the late 1970s to 5.2 percent in the late 1980s and early 1990s. White Americans are more prone to develop kidney stones than African Americans. Stones occur more frequently in men. The prevalence of kidney stones rises dramatically as men enter their 40s and continues to rise into their 70s. For women, the prevalence of kidney stones peaks in their 50s. Once a person gets more than one stone, others are likely to develop. Doctors do not always know what causes a stone to form. While certain foods may promote stone formation in people who are susceptible, scientists do not believe that eating any specific food causes stones to form in people who are not susceptible. A person with a family history of kidney stones may be more likely to develop stones. Urinary tract infections, kidney disorders such as cystic kidney diseases, and certain metabolic disorders such as hyperparathyroidism are also linked to stone formation. In addition, more than 70 percent of people with a rare hereditary disease called renal tubular acidosis develop kidney stones.
Cystinuria and hyperoxaluria are two other rare, inherited metabolic disorders that often cause kidney stones. In cystinuria, too much of the amino acid cystine, which does not dissolve in urine, is voided. This can lead to the formation of stones made of cystine. In patients with hyperoxaluria, the body produces too much of the salt oxalate. When there is more oxalate than can be dissolved in the urine, the crystals settle out and form stones.
Hypercalciuria is inherited. It is the cause of stones in more than half of patients. Calcium is absorbed from food in excess and is lost into the urine. This high level of calcium in the urine causes crystals of calcium oxalate or calcium phosphate to form in the kidneys or urinary tract.
Other causes of kidney stones are hyperuricosuria which is a disorder of uric acid metabolism, gout, excess intake of vitamin D, urinary tract infections, and blockage of the urinary tract. Certain diuretics which are commonly called water pills or calcium-based antacids may increase the risk of forming kidney stones by increasing the amount of calcium in the urine.
Calcium oxalate stones may also form in people who have a chronic inflammation of the bowel or who have had an intestinal bypass operation, or ostomy surgery. As mentioned above, struvite stones can form in people who have had a urinary tract infection. People who take the protease inhibitor indinavir, a drug used to treat HIV infection, are at risk of developing kidney stones.
Kidney stones often do not cause any symptoms. Usually, the first symptom of a kidney stone is extreme pain, which occurs when a stone acutely blocks the flow of urine. The pain often begins suddenly when a stone moves in the urinary tract, causing irritation or blockage. Typically, a person feels a sharp, cramping pain in the back and side in the area of the kidney or in the lower abdomen. Sometimes nausea and vomiting occur. Later, pain may spread to the groin. If the stone is too large to pass easily, pain continues as the muscles in the wall of the tiny ureter try to squeeze the stone along into the bladder. As a stone grows or moves, blood may appear in the urine. As the stone moves down the ureter closer to the bladder, you may feel the need to urinate more often or feel a burning sensation during urination.
If fever and chills accompany any of these symptoms, an infection may be present. In this case, you should contact a doctor immediately.
Sometimes “silent” stones-those that do not cause symptoms-are found on x rays taken during a general health exam. If they are small, these stones would likely pass out of the body unnoticed.
More often, kidney stones are found on an x ray or sonogram taken on someone who complains of blood in the urine or sudden pain. These diagnostic images give the doctor valuable information about the stone’s size and location. Blood and urine tests help detect any abnormal substance that might promote stone formation.
The doctor may decide to scan the urinary system using a special test called a CT (computed tomography) scan or an IVP (intravenous pyelogram). The results of all these tests help determine the proper treatment.

Fortunately, surgery is not usually necessary. Most kidney stones can pass through the urinary system with plenty of water (2 to 3 quarts a day) to help move the stone along. Often, you can stay home during this process, drinking fluids and taking pain medication as needed. The doctor usually asks you to save the passed stone(s) for testing. (You can catch it in a cup or tea strainer used only for this purpose.)

If you’ve had more than one kidney stone, you are likely to form another; so prevention is very important. To prevent stones from forming, your doctor must determine their cause. He or she will order laboratory tests, including urine and blood tests. Your doctor will also ask about your medical history, occupation, and eating habits. If a stone has been removed, or if you’ve passed a stone and saved it, the laboratory should analyze it because its composition helps in planning treatment.
You may be asked to collect your urine for 24 hours after a stone has passed or been removed. The sample is used to measure urine volume and levels of acidity, calcium, sodium, uric acid, oxalate, citrate, and cretonne (a product of muscle metabolism). Your doctor will use this information to determine the cause of the stone. A second 24-hour urine collection may be needed to determine whether the prescribed treatment is working.

A simple and most important lifestyle change to prevent stones is to drink more liquids-water is best. If you tend to form stones, you should try to drink enough liquids throughout the day to produce at least 2 quarts of urine in every 24-hour period.
People who form calcium stones used to be told to avoid dairy products and other foods with high calcium content. But recent studies have shown that foods high in calcium, including dairy products, may help prevent calcium stones. Taking calcium in pill form, however, may increase the risk of developing stones.
You may be told to avoid food with added vitamin D and certain types of antacids that have a calcium base. If you have very acidic urine, you may need to eat less meat, fish, and poultry. These foods increase the amount of acid in the urine.
To prevent cystine stones, you should drink enough water each day to dilute the concentration of cystine that escapes into the urine, which may be difficult. More than a gallon of water may be needed every 24 hours, and a third of that must be drunk during the night.
Foods and Drinks Containing Oxalate
People prone to forming calcium oxalate stones may be asked by their doctor to cut back on certain foods if their urine contains an excess of oxalate:
• beets
• chocolate
• coffee
• cola
• nuts
• rhubarb
• spinach
• strawberries
• tea
• wheat bran
People should not give up or avoid eating these foods without talking to their doctor first. In most cases, these foods can be eaten in limited amounts.

The doctor may prescribe certain medications to prevent calcium and uric acid stones. These drugs control the amount of acid or alkali in the urine, key factors in crystal formation. The drug allopurinol may also be useful in some cases of hyperuricosuria.
Doctors usually try to control hypercalciuria, and thus prevent calcium stones, by prescribing certain diuretics, such as hydrochlorothiazide. These drugs decrease the amount of calcium released by the kidneys into the urine by favoring calcium retention in bone. They work best when sodium intake is low.
Very rarely, patients with hypercalciuria may be given the drug sodium cellulose phosphate, which binds calcium in the intestines and prevents it from leaking into the urine.
If cystine stones cannot be controlled by drinking more fluids, your doctor may prescribe drugs such as Thiola and Cuprimine, which help reduce the amount of cystine in the urine. For struvite stones that have been totally removed, the first line of prevention is to keep the urine free of bacteria that can cause infection. Your urine will be tested regularly to be sure that no bacteria are present.
If struvite stones cannot be removed, your doctor may prescribe a drug called acetohydroxamic acid (AHA). AHA is used with long-term antibiotic drugs to prevent the infection that leads to stone growth.
People with hyperparathyroidism sometimes develop calcium stones. Treatment in these cases is usually surgery to remove the parathyroid glands (located in the neck). In most cases, only one of the glands is enlarged. Removing the glands cures the patient’s problem with hyperparathyroidism and with kidney stones as well.

Surgery should be reserved as an option for cases where other approaches have failed. Surgery may be needed to remove a kidney stone if it
• does not pass after a reasonable period of time and causes constant pain
• is too large to pass on its own or is caught in a difficult place
• blocks the flow of urine
• causes ongoing urinary tract infection
• damages kidney tissue or causes constant bleeding
• Has grown larger (as seen on follow-up x ray studies).
Until 20 years ago, surgery was necessary to remove a stone. It was very painful and required a recovery time of 4 to 6 weeks. Today, treatment for these stones is greatly improved, and many options do not require major surgery.

Extracorporeal shockwave lithotripsy (ESWL) is the most frequently used procedure for the treatment of kidney stones. In ESWL, shock waves that are created outside the body travel through the skin and body tissues until they hit the denser stones. The stones break down into sand-like particles and are easily passed through the urinary tract in the urine.
In most cases, ESWL may be done on an outpatient basis. Recovery time is short, and most people can resume normal activities in a few days.
Complications may occur with ESWL. Most patients have blood in their urine for a few days after treatment. Bruising and minor discomfort in the back or abdomen from the shock waves are also common. To reduce the risk of complications, doctors usually tell patients to avoid taking aspirin and other drugs that affect blood clotting for several weeks before treatment.
Another complication may occur if the shattered stone particles cause discomfort as they pass through the urinary tract. In some cases, the doctor will insert a small tube called a stent through the bladder into the ureter to help the fragments pass. Sometimes the stone is not completely shattered with one treatment, and additional treatments may be needed. ESWL is not ideal for very large stones.

Sometimes a procedure called percutaneous nephrolithotomy is recommended to remove a stone. This treatment is often used when the stone is quite large or in a location that does not allow effective use of ESWL.
One advantage of percutaneous nephrolithotomy over ESWL is that the surgeon removes the stone fragments instead of relying on their natural passage from the kidney.

Although some kidney stones in the ureters can be treated with ESWL, ureteroscopy may be needed for mid- and lower-ureter stones. No incision is made in this procedure. Instead, the surgeon passes a small fibrotic instrument called an ureteroscope through the urethra and bladder into the ureter. The surgeon then locates the stone and either removes it with a cage-like device or shatters it with a special instrument that produces a form of shock wave. A small tube or stent may be left in the ureter for a few days to help the lining of the ureter heal. Before fiber optics made ureteroscopy possible, physicians used a similar “blind basket” extraction method. But this outdated technique should not be used because it may damage the ureters.

CIDPUSA has carried out a research work to provide us with herbal and homeopathic treatment that will remove all stones at home. We should try this at home at the moment. People who had surgeons should tell them that they were at surgical risk have been helped by cidpusa protocol of herbs at home.

• If we have a family history of stones or have had more than one stone, you are likely to develop more stones.
• A good first step to thwart the formation of any type of stone is to drink plenty of liquids-water is best.
• If you are at risk for developing stones, your doctor may perform certain blood and urine tests to determine which factors can best be altered to reduce that risk.
• Some people will need medicines to prevent stones from forming.
• People with chronic urinary tract infections and stones will often need the stone removed if the doctor determines that the infection results from the stone’s presence.
In view of the above, it is evident that a doctor has a held back duty to serve the patients on compassionate grounds. A doctor needs a patient and as such the patients need the service of the doctor who is found considerate as well as dutiful personality. In the above tribulations and complicity, the doctors must have accountability in order to take care of the patients.

The Laryngologist

You are an academic genius, the valedictorian of your high school class. There you stand on the commencement stage, for your parents, extended family, friends, teachers, the entire student body of your school, and a whole bunch of strangers. You deliver the valedictory speech, to sum up the essence of your graduating class, but you save something for yourself at the last of it. Everyone wants to know what you are going to do, you with the best grades and the hopes of everyone in your town riding on your shoulders. So, at the end of your speech, after they applaud for you and what you said, you say this, “By the way, I am going to be a Laryngologist!” There it is! You said it. Confidently, you stride off the stage, leaving everyone to wonder. “What?”

A laryngologist is a physician who specializes in protecting the human voice. Professional singers and speakers tend to employ them to regularly examine their larynx, an organ through which air passes to and from the lungs. This is the part of the human body that makes sound. Some folks call it the voice box. Both volume and pitch of your voice are controlled here. Given that a laryngologist is a physician who protects health, don’t confuse them with a voice (or vocal) coach, who is a music teacher that specializes in techniques for strengthening your voice to sing better, or differently.

Where do you go to college to learn to be a laryngologist? Nowhere, that I can find. Most students who want to be doctors major in biology, and when they receive a bachelor’s degree in biology, with a good academic standing, they compete to enter a reputable medical school. After four or more years to complete medical school, you would become a licensed doctor, upon which you enter three or more years in residency at a hospital (where you prove your medical skills in the presence of already proven doctors). Upon completing residency, you either enter private practice as a general physician, or you begin specialized medical training.

Laryngology is not a standalone medical field. Instead, it is grouped within the “Ear, Nose, and Throat” (ENT) specialty. Most physicians retain the ENT title in order to maximize their number of patients. Those who wish to concentrate on the larynx might choose a title that sounds more important than laryngologist, such as: Voice Surgeon, Phonosurgeon, or Phoniatrist. Think about that. As you ended your valedictorian speech, you might have told everyone that you intend to become a Voice Surgeon. For any of the other three titles, a heckler might have shouted, “Oh Yeah? Spell it!” #TAG1writer.

Human Origins – Is Science Right?

One of the most popular kinds of website these days are those providing genealogy records. They help people searching for their ancestral roots. We are uncertain about who we are. We seek identity. Where do we come from? What are our human origins?

Religious view of human origins
Up to about two centuries ago, the religious view prevailed in Western culture. Then, people assumed they were created in the image of God with an immortal soul. They were conscious of their designated place, in the grand scheme of things, as somewhere between the angels and the animals. In short, this Christian worldview gave life its meaning, a sense of our human origins and an outlook people could try to live by.

However, nowadays, in our secular times, we have lost awareness of transcendence and the sense of the sacred. A few people even think humans descend from aliens who visited earth. But even if true this wouldn’t explain how aliens came into existence.

Most people give the scientific way of knowing pride of place. Consequently, the question, ‘Who made us, God or evolution?’ is firmly answered in favour of the latter. In Darwin’s theory there is no room for divine guidance or design.

“We are the only people who think themselves risen from savages; everyone else believes they descended from gods.” (Marshall Sahlins)

The Christian fundamentalists who argue for creationism do religion no favours. They have a literal understanding of the biblical account of the 7 days of creation. So they see this as factual history. (An alternative view they don’t like is that the book of Genesis is a myth conveying a useful psycho-spiritual message relevant to personal growth.) Consequently, the ‘creationists’ make bogus scientific claims. Not surprisingly, these are easily derided by anyone with any sense. As a result, it has become next to impossible for the idea of design within our human origins to gain any kind of fair hearing.

Evolution and our human origins
It seems today that Darwinian evolution is the only possible explanation of life’s start and development. However, Huston Smith in his book ‘Beyond the Post-Modern Mind’ presents the case for further consideration of a concept of ‘great origins’.

Fossils found in the Earth’s crust show that there have been changes in the constitution of plants and animals, and with the help of radioactive and potassium-argon dating, these have been placed in historical sequence.

Moreover, higher, more complex forms of life (such as human beings) appeared later than simpler ones. All species of life on earth can be traced back through their pedigrees to the simplest forms in which life initially appeared.

Darwin proposed how all this happened saying it did so through natural selection of those fittest to survive working on chance mutations. Darwinism is popular in science because natural selection is purely mechanical and the mutations on which it works do so solely by accident. In other words, biology views the origin and development of human life as an automatic process with no room for divine providence.

Perhaps this is not surprising as all branches of science avoid any account of natural phenomena as having any design. This is because there can be no scientific instruments to observe purpose and meaning. What might be intended is beyond the ability of science to judge empirically.

Criticism of Darwinian evolution
We need to ask questions about any fossil evidence for incremental change.

“Geology… does not reveal… finely graded organic change and this, perhaps, is the most obvious and gravest objection which can be urged against (my) theory.” (Charles Darwin)

Also, there is the question about a lack of fossil evidence for intermediate forms between species.

“Evolution requires intermediate forms between species, and palaeontology does not provide them.” (David Kitts professor of geology University of Oklahoma)

A third concern is to do with non-functionality of changes that only later result in useful new body parts. How can natural selection account for the emergence of complex organs? Ones that are made of many parts that only when they work together after thousands of generations have any use for survival? In the short term what good is half a jaw or half a wing? The module of the brain that governs linguistic ability has no counterpart among non-humans. It’ has appeared in human beings suddenly in its present form.

Huston Smith points out that Darwin’s theory of evolution is rather weak but looks strong because there are no other contenders for understanding our origins.

Non-naturalistic views of human origins
I would suggest that if science has a restricted kind of knowing, then perhaps we need to re-look at other ideas for finding a sense of who we are and where we come from. The trouble with a naturalistic outlook is that it assumes that nothing that lacks any material component can possibly exist.

This way of thinking stops one from considering all sorts of less tangible phenomena – those that involve subjectivity and cannot be seen with any kind of precision, prediction or control. To illustrate, at times we can gain intuitive insight, notice fortunate coincidences, and remember dreams. In addition, we can be surprised by wonder and awe at the life force within nature. We can be willing to surrender ourselves to life’s growth and healing power.

Subjective truth may not prove anything, but it can offer reasons for what to believe. Beliefs about who we are and where we come from. And as such it can guide our decisions and conduct.

Spiritual awareness and our human origins
I would say perceiving in non-naturalistic ways is a sort of spiritual awareness. According to 18th century Swedish philosopher Emanuel Swedenborg, the spiritual inflows into the natural. The divine is spiritual, and it endeavours to flow into and enliven the natural. The divine energy is one of love wishing to share its life in human action.

Swedenborg thought that those learned people who study natural sciences are more likely to deny any divine reality due to their focus instead on natural forces. In addition he thought that for the rest of us any negative frame of mind is associated with a materialistic and self-orientated attitude. This he wrote opposes deeper understanding.

“The force or endeavour within the action or movement is, it is plain, something spiritual within something natural; for thought and will are spiritual activities, whereas action and movement are natural ones.” (Emanuel Swedenborg, spiritual philosopher)

As a clinical psychologist, Stephen Russell-Lacy has specialised in cognitive-behavioural psychotherapy, working for many years with adults suffering distress and disturbance.

Scotland’s Ancient Atlantic Rainforest Is Under Threat

Think rainforests and most of us tend to imagine a hot, exotic place like the Amazon. But there are temperate rainforests too and they matter just as much, a vital part of the planet’s forest network. It is sad to see tropical rainforests are not the only ones facing very similar difficulties. Scotland, part of the United Kingdom, is right here, at home, but even so we are failing to conserve and preserve its ancient rainforest.

About Scotland’s Atlantic rainforest

Just short of 75,000 acres of west coast Scottish woodland is referred to as the Atlantic Rainforest thanks to the very rare oceanic plants that thrive there. But over-grazing by deer and farm animals plus invasive plant species and diseases are destroying the forest under our noses.

Invasive rhododendron, found in a distressing 40% of rainforest sites, chokes woodlands with its dense knots of branches and evergreen leaves. Ash dieback is affecting northern and western ash woods. And pollution and climate change are damaging every aspect of the forest.

Charities and others collaborate to save the forest

The Atlantic Woodland Alliance is a group of 16 charities and other organisations, and they’re proposing we get rid of newcomers like Sitka spruce and Rhododendron, stripping the damaging invaders out of thousands of acres of rainforest and from nearby newer woodlands. Planting more native trees like oak and birch should help as well. But that does not solve the chronic over-grazing that has long been taking place quietly in the background.

Why Scotland’s rainforest matters

Scotland’s ancient rainforest is even rarer and more precious than tropical rainforest. It is only found on the west coast and inner isles, a fabulous place rich in native oak, birch, ash, pine and hazel. To thrive it needs mild, wet, clean air off Atlantic, and many of the remarkable lichens, fungi, mosses, liverworts and ferns that live there are super-rare. Many of them are unique to the forest.

Taking urgent action

Luckily for the planet, it is not too late to take action. There are many conservators who are keen to ensure the woodlands grow bigger, and want to achieve much better overall health. The Alliance is growing fast, adding more members to an impressive list that already contains names like Forestry and Land Scotland, Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park Authority, National Trust for Scotland, Plantlife Scotland and the Royal Botanic Garden in Edinburgh.