Amazing And Weird Things The Body Is Capable Of
The human body is a complex mechanism capable of doing incredible things. It can predict the weather, shut down certain functions to give us a boost of energy, heal internal damage, and even glow.
Deciphering all of the myths and nutty claims people have about the body can be hard, but this list outlines the wild things that are actually true. Though some may be considered creepy, it is interesting to learn about things you can do that you may not have been aware of. Vote up your choices for the coolest things the body can do.
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While Still In The Womb, Fetuses Can Heal Their Mothers' Damaged Organs
Fetal cells can remain in their mothers for years, even decades after the end of a pregnancy. These fetal cells that are left behind are more than just souvenirs from the baby; research shows that they can be used as an aid if the mother suffers an injury, such as a stroke.
Louise McCullough, director of stroke research at the University of Connecticut Health Center, conducted a study with colleagues that found that fetal cells can act like stem cells.
McCullough studied fetal cells in mother mice who had suffered strokes. These cells quickly found the location of the area of the brain where the stroke had occurred, and within 72 hours, the fetal cells were surrounding the area of the clot.
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Your Digestive System Can Shut Down To Give You Extra Energy
Desperate times call for desperate measures, and your digestive system can shut down in times of need to give other systems in your body energy. So, yes, you may be able to feel "super strength" when trying to pull a person out from under a car.
Whenever the sympathetic nervous system alerts your brain of danger, adrenaline is released that can increase respiration, accelerate your heart rate, and relax the muscles of the stomach and intestines to decrease the flow of blood to these organs - which can slow down or even stop digestion.
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Your Nose 'Tastes' Bacteria To Determine If They're A Threat
Noam Cohen, the director of the Rhinology Research Lab at the University of Pennsylvania, says our sinuses have the same kind of bitter taste receptors that operate in our mouths, and they use these receptors to assess the molecules that pass into the respiratory tract. Harmful bacteria trigger these bitter receptors, just like contaminated food warns our tongues it's not safe to eat.
The lungs and nasal passages are filled with thousands of tiny hair-like projectors called cilia. These fine hairs are responsible for detecting impurities in the body. According to a 2009 study published by the American Association for the Advancement of Science, once the cilia catch wind of a bitter impurity, they get to work to brush it out of the body.
Cilia are capable of responding to bitter flavors like nicotine, sweeping away the impurities as soon as they taste them.
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Your Brain Keeps You From Using Your Full Strength
For centuries, men and women have used their muscles to allow them to compete in the hardest sporting competitions in some of the most intense locations on earth. Doing this requires the body to go past the point of comfort, but the brain doesn't always allow the body to use its full strength.
According to E. Paul Zehr, a professor of neuroscience and kinesiology at the University of Victoria in British Columbia, Canada:
Our brains are always trying to make sure we don't get pushed too far to where we actually damage something. If you actually used all the possible force or all the possible energy you could to complete exhaustion, you'd wind up getting into a situation where you might die.
The human brain works as a computer, monitoring and programming our muscles through learned thoughts and behaviors. However, elite athletes learn to train their "computers" to go beyond their normal operating limits.
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Joints Can Predict The Weather
Can your joints really predict the weather? Rheumatologists have been trying to answer this question for years, and research shows that your joints most likely can. According to orthopedic surgeon Robert Tait, MD:
When a storm front moves in, the atmospheric pressure drops. Major joints' sensory nerve endings register a relative increase in joint fluid pressure, resulting in increased pain.
A 1997 study published in the International Journal of Biometeorology found that there is a correlation between the pain of arthritis and the different weather variables of temperature, relative humidity, barometric pressure, wind speed, and precipitation.
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You Might Be Able To Cool Down Your Brain By Yawning
Though yawns have traditionally been considered a sign of sleepiness or boredom, evolutionary psychologist Andrew Gallup says, "Recent evidence suggests that yawning may function to promote brain cooling."
This "cooling" effect happens when you breathe in deeply, stretching the jaw to increase blood flow, causing a downward flow of spinal fluid and blood from the brain. This allows the incoming air to slightly cool the fluids heading downward.
And why do we do it at night? According to Gallup, "At night time when we're about to go to sleep our brain and body temperatures are at their highest point throughout the day."