Made my chemistry professor pee her pants by writing a funny story to go along with my demo write-up. So now I can do anything durning my demo on wednesday and still get an A+ :D
End your chances naturally.
It is important to note that American have on average an overly acidic blood pH because of our animal based diet, along with all of the processed food. Our blood has to achieve homoeostasis between the narrow pH levels of about 7.3 and 7.4 most Americans are closer to 7.3. If you got too high or too low meaning if you even hit 7.3 or 7.4 you will pass out, a self defense mechanism designed to keep you from screwing up anymore while your body re-balances. Chemistry is my college major and we have been talking about this lately in lecture. And it is very much true that a slightly more alkaline blood pH, meaning closer to 7.4 is far healthier and greatly decreases your chances of getting cancer because the cancer cells simply can not survive in a higher pH. The best ways to raise your blood pH is by eating more vegetable and drinking more water, that along with eliminating animal products from your diet.
Nothing like cysteine-tyrosine-isoleucine-glutamine-asparagine-cysteine-proline-leucine-glycine-amine to get you in the mood
Love has always fascinated mankind. Whether we are searching for it, or dying over it, or sitting in dark rooms writing depressing poetry about it as if we knew what it was. Well, Science it would seem may have found the cause of our sweet suffering; and that is oxytocin. “Love” cannot be narrowed down to a single chemical reaction in the brain let alone a single compound. However, science has been able to show us a more clear idea of what causes “love” or in the very least, that passionate “warm fuzzy” feeling that has caused people to kill thousands of others in it’s name. And so while literature has spent thousands of years trying to explain why love is beautiful and worth killing over, Science has started to look into what causes it, and what it actually does for our species. It would turn out that “love” is more of a survival instinct than a cause for war, it is a way of making sex worth while, not romantic.
Oxytocin is now commonly referred to as the “love hormone” and that is because it appears to be directly linked to mammalian behavior in regard to life-partners, and inter-being relationships, particularly among those of the same species. Oxytocin acts a neurotransmitter in the brain, produced by the hypothalamus. Oxytocin levels spike in the brain during such activities as intimate touching, kissing, hugs, sex, birth, and breastfeeding. In those kind of situations oxytocin acts as a way to create trust, and concern for person or thing you are interacting with. Oxytocin can also spike during other pleasurable activities such as eating chocolate or reading a good book. The levels of oxytocin will not be as high in those activities, but it is the source of that “warm-fuzzy” feeling that one experiences at those times. It causes an emotional connection that, as history shows, can often take president over physical connections or needs. It goes against the laws of survival for a mother to risk her life for the sake of her child, but doing so increases the chance of the species continuing in the surviving offspring. So while hormones such as epinephrine and cortisol cause the “fight or flight” response to support individual survival, oxytocin performs the opposite duty that is cooperation and self-sacrifice for the sake of communal survival. The highest peak in oxytocin levels occur during birth. With the mother’s and the child’s systems flooded with oxytocin, they form an emotional bond that would hopefully persuade the mother to watch over her child, this swarm of maternal instincts is nature’s way of ensuring that we take care of our young, keeping the species alive and well.
Oxytocin was first recognized for it’s role in Birth. In fact, “oxytocin” is derived from the Greek word: ὼκυτοκίνη (ōkytokínē) meaning “quick birth,” it was named so by Sir Henry Hallet Dale in 1906. Dale was a British pharmacologist who recognized the compound for its uterine contracting properties. It turns out that the compound works a hormone throughout the body at the same time that it acts as a neurotransmitter in the brain. It not only causes love and affection between mother and child, but it helps cause the uterine contractions during labor, and stimulates the mammary glands during breastfeeding. Oxytocin was not available for any practical use until 1953 when Vincent Du Vigneaud produced it as the first synthesized polypeptide, he won a Nobel prize in Chemistry for this in 1955. Synthesized oxytocin is now used most commonly to induce labor and to further contract the uterus after birth to prevent bleed-out. However, the most modern use of the hormone is in psychological research. Some psychiatrists are considering oxytocin to be a medicinal solution to extreme shyness or social anxiety. Dr. Shelly E. Taylor, PhD. says that oxytocin is the “tend and befriend” hormone, apposed to “fight or flight.” A lovely sentiment to be sure, the tend and befriend attitude is certainly the more “civil” approach to social interaction, though the controversy might be that if we start treating “shyness” and a medically treatable condition, what other part of the normal human psyche will we attack next?
Perhaps the reason using oxytocin as a medicinal tool in psychotherapy is somewhat alarming is that oxytocin is also the foundation of our sense of trust and interpersonal relationships. Using oxytocin as a way to be more trusting of people could turn someone who was too shy, to someone who trusts too easily. The code of ethics for a psychotherapist is rigid as it is, but when we start manipulating hormones that determine things as vital to our social existence as trust and love, we start walking a fine line between curious scientific endeavor, to seriously harming peoples mental and social lives, and people have died for less. As I mentioned earlier, oxytocin is the source of a “feeling” that people have killed over, so it seems like it might not be the best thing to start playing around with.
It is easy for people to talk about oxytocin as “just” another hormone. We can say so many arbitrary things about it such as its molecular formula is C43H66N12O12S2, or that its molar mass is 1007.19g/mol, or that it has a systematic name of cysteine-tyrosine-isoleucine-glutamine-asparagine-cysteine-proline-leucine-glycine-amine.
The problem with oxytocin is that that is not just another amino acid chain that you can make a chart of foods for or a recommended dosage to be fit and happy. Every hormone/ neurotransmitter should be treated with respect because they are so influential to our behavior and our sense of being; but oxytocin is the cause of such feeling that people have died and killed to protect those feelings. Oxytocin may not be the most significant hormone in the body or even the most necessary, but we have treated its symptoms to that level of importance in almost every aspect of our culture. To treat oxytocin as any other behavioral medication is like treating nuclear warfare as we treat the educational system: without thinking.
That being said, we cannot classify oxytocin (or any other hormone) to be purely emotionally relevant. Oxytocin levels rise mildly with every affectionate touch from wither other humans or emotionally close animals. Physical contact, it would seem, is quintessential to our survival. Dr. Ben E. Benjamin, PhD. explains that physical contact results in “physiological reactions necessary to survival.” Before this connection was recognized orphans would die without out physical causes, such as infection or disease. the condition they developed became known as “marasmus” not proper diet and exercise, nor sterile environment cured the condition. Only when physical nurturing was emphasized did the children start getting better. Upon further research with other mammals Dr. Benjamin makes this claim, “the way an infant is touched, even in tis first few hours of life, influences how it copes in the world as an adult.” The studies show that mammals that where deprived of physical contact from their mothers suffered noticeable brain damage if not death. Oxytocin plays a role not only in how we behave, but if we live. These finding of course cannot be pinned solely on oxytocin, but it is clear that it operates not only as a linchpin for psychological survival, but physiological as well.
What makes things like oxytocin truly interesting is not just what they do or how they do it, but what they are. Hard to imagine how an obscure combination of lifeless blocks of matter can combine in a way that would have such an effect on our lives. Strange how the thing that makes up diamonds or burning stars can also float through our blood changing the way we feel, and the things we care about. Horrifying even to consider that the emotion that many base their self worth upon is really just a few carbons, hydrogens, nitrogens, oxygens, and sulfurs moving from place to place in our brains and bodies. Elements that we find in stinky rocks and black oil, defining our existence. The concept is both beautiful and depressing. But that is what is special about things like oxytocin, we can think what we like about it, but it will make us feel wether we like it or not. And who knows, maybe it is love that the orphan children were missing. Maybe oxytocin is not just the cause of something that we claim to live and die for, but is something that keep us alive in the first place. When Shakespeare wrote the infamous words: “Tis better to have loved and lost, then to have never loved at all” it is worth wondering if he knew that to have never loved at all would mean our death; both metaphorically and literally. Maybe none of that is true and oxytocin really isn’t that important, but so long as we believe that it is, then it is. We will continue to use cysteine-tyrosine-isoleucine-glutamine-asparagine-cysteine-proline-leucine-glycine-amine to get us in the mood. And we will continue to blow it out of proportion. Then again, oxytocin probably isn’t worth dying for; but love might be.
Well my essay on Oxytocin went from “going to be about chemistry” to “let me ponder about the moral implications of using hormones medicinally.”
eh. My professor will like it :) I might post it later if any one would read it :P
Remember that essay I mentioned, about writing it in 30 minutes and then turning it in two minutes before it was due?
yeah I got an A
Well I am about to go blow my chemistry exam. Why? because I have not been able to focus on my school work for the last few days so I have not really practiced the stuff we are doing, and I lent out my calculator to a friend who had theirs stolen forgetting that I had a test today. So. I am SOL. I just hope my professor understands when she sees that my grade is far below my norm. :/
AP Score, bust.
So turns out that a 5 on the AP literature test does very, very little for someone going for a Biochemistry major. Well that was eighty bucks down the drain. :/
It was fun I guess so gotta keep that in mind :)