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The new virtual reality universe uses a computer simulation called Illustris

Move over, Matrix - astronomers have done you one better. They have created the first realistic virtual universe using a computer simulation called Illustris. The computer simulation, Illustris can recreate 13 billion years of cosmic evolution in a cube 350 million light-years on a side with unprecedented resolution. You may wish to check out the May 7, 2014 article in Nature, "Model Universe recreates evolution of the cosmos."

The new virtual reality universe uses a computer simulation called Illustris.
Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics.

Until now, no single simulation was able to reproduce the universe on both large and small scales simultaneously," says lead author Mark Vogelsberger (MIT/Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics), according to the May 7, 2014 news release, "Astronomers create first realistic virtual universe." Vogelsberger conducted the work in collaboration with researchers at several institutions, including the Heidelberg Institute for Theoretical Studies in Germany. These results are being reported in the May 8, 2014 issue of the journal Nature. You may wish to check out the study abstracts, "Properties of galaxies reproduced by a hydrodynamic simulation," (M. Vogelsberger) and another abstract, "Cosmology: A virtual Universe."

Previous attempts to simulate the universe were hampered by lack of computing power and the complexities of the underlying physics. As a result those programs either were limited in resolution, or forced to focus on a small portion of the universe. Earlier simulations also had trouble modeling complex feedback from star formation, supernova explosions, and supermassive black holes.

Illustris employs a sophisticated computer program to recreate the evolution of the universe in high fidelity. It includes both normal matter and dark matter using 12 billion 3-D "pixels," or resolution elements.

The team dedicated five years to developing the Illustris program. The actual calculations took 3 months of "run time," using a total of 8,000 CPUs running in parallel. If they had used an average desktop computer, the calculations would have taken more than 2,000 years to complete.

The computer simulation began a mere 12 million years after the Big Bang. When it reached the present day, astronomers counted more than 41,000 galaxies in the cube of simulated space. Importantly, Illustris yielded a realistic mix of spiral galaxies like the Milky Way and football-shaped elliptical galaxies. It also recreated large-scale structures like galaxy clusters and the bubbles and voids of the cosmic web. On the small scale, it accurately recreated the chemistries of individual galaxies.

Since light travels at a fixed speed, the farther away astronomers look, the farther back in time they can see

A galaxy one billion light-years away is seen as it was a billion years ago. Telescopes like Hubble can give us views of the early universe by looking to greater distances. However, astronomers can't use Hubble to follow the evolution of a single galaxy over time.

"Illustris is like a time machine. We can go forward and backward in time. We can pause the simulation and zoom into a single galaxy or galaxy cluster to see what's really going on," says co-author Shy Genel of the CfA. The team is releasing a high-definition video, which morphs between different components of the simulation to highlight various layers (e.g. dark matter density, gas temperature, or chemistry). They also are releasing several smaller videos and associated imagery online at the Illistris Project website.

Headquartered in Cambridge, Mass., the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA) is a joint collaboration between the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory and the Harvard College Observatory. CfA scientists, organized into six research divisions, study the origin, evolution and ultimate fate of the universe.

Negative emotions people may have suffered as young adults can have a lasting grip on their couple relationships, well into middle age

How do you decode the recipe for happiness? Early depression, anger may taint love life even 20 years later, a new study shows. A University of Alberta study, "Depression and anger across 25 years: Changing vulnerabilities in the VSA model," published in the April 2014 issue of the Journal of Family Psychology, is helping to decipher the code to happiness by exploring the long reach of depression and anger over more than two decades. When it comes to decoding, one doesn't 'crack' the code, because cracking is criminal.

One decodes or one deciphers, or if the code is technical, one back-engineers the code to understand whether the sum of its parts is equal to its whole entity. After all, depression is internalized anger. But do the same negative thoughts and emotions last a lifetime?

In the case of the new study, researchers followed 341 people for 25 years, and found that negative emotions they may have suffered as young adults can have a lasting grip on their couple relationships, well into middle age

The fact that depression and anger experienced during the teen years clung to people, even through major life events such as child-rearing, marriages and careers was surprising, said University of Alberta researcher Matthew Johnson, according to the May 7, 2014 news release, Early depression, anger may taint love life even 20 years later, study shows. "We assume or hope that high school experiences fade away and don't necessarily resonate 25 years later. The fact that symptoms of depression and expressions of anger can endure over many large events in life shows how important it is to deal with mental health early. Sometimes, problems don't just dissipate. How you grow and change over those early years becomes crucial to future happiness," said Johnson, an assistant professor of human ecology in the Faculty of Agricultural, Life and Environmental Sciences. What happens when anger, negative emotions, or depression (internalized anger) are followed by researchers over a period of at least 25 years?

The research, drawn from a larger study begun in 1985, surveyed 178 women and 163 men through their transition to adulthood from age 18 to 25, again on their perceived stress levels at age 32, and on the quality of their intimate relationships at age 43, to find out whether anger or depression they may have felt as young adults was still affecting those bonds.

Findings point to the importance of recognizing that early mental health does influence couple relationships and that in turn, can have social costs later on, such as divorce and domestic violence.

As individuals, people can help themselves by "recognizing the fact that where they are in their couple relationship now is likely shaped by earlier chapters in their lives," Johnson added. "It's not only your partner's current behavior or your current behavior shaping your relationship, but the story you bring with you." There's also an older study by different researchers, "Early childhood adversity and adolescent depression: the mediating role of continued stress."

A Mother's Day study on how and why we should celebrate that day

Also you may wish to check out the abstract of still another study, "How (and why) we should celebrate Mother's Day." That research asks how can experience feel slow on one timescale, yet fast on another? And is there something about raising children that generates or exaggerates the mismatch? A lot of people aren't happy with research suggesting that time appears to accelerate the older we get. Then again, for some older people with little contact from other people not contacted much by children or for those afraid of their own children, (not in the study) time seems to stand still, except as etched on one's face, hair, and energy or gait.

My how time seems to fly by when you're older

You can check out the abstract of another study, "Assessment of time perception: The effect of aging," about how fast time seems to fly by when you're older, especially when each day seems a lot like the day before, as in the movie, (not mentioned in the study) "Ground Hog Day." But, unlike that movie, in the study's abstract, researchers found that studies concerning time perception lack a validated assessment tool and a consensual “gold-standard” measure.

If you look at whatever research that exists on how time flies by as you get older, the present evidence suggests modification of timing with aging. In the study of time perception, the research aimed to develop and validate a neuropsychological tool to measure time perception and to study temporal perception with aging.

Eighty-six healthy participants, aged 15–90 years old, were asked to verbally estimate and produce empty intervals signaled by auditory beeps, of 7-, 32-, and 58-seconds duration. Two tests were used as “gold-standards”: estimation of the duration of time necessary to draw a clock (“clock time”) and estimation of the duration of neuropsychological evaluation (“global time”).

Results showed a correlation between estimation and production and a correlation between estimation or production and “global time”. The correlation between either estimation or production and age, suggested a faster “internal-clock” in the older participants. However, this finding lost significance when controlled for literacy.

The results suggest that these tests are potentially a useful tool to measure subjective perception of time. They also corroborate the hypothesis of a change in subjective time perception with aging. It was not possible to conclude if this effect was a specific result of aging or biased by the interference of literacy, the study's abstract explained. On another note, when you're waiting your turn for a medical or dental procedure that you're not looking forward to, and you experience time flying by, or you're waiting for it to end, that's one happy note if you're an older adult, because soon as it's over, there's the thought of the good times ahead.

FDA Doesn't Want You To Automatically Gulp Down an Aspirin Daily If You Didn't Already Have a Heart Attack

Remember how many times you heard on the news or from doctors (in general) to take an aspirin a day to prevent a heart attack? Often, over the years, doctors and/or the ads said, "a low-dose aspirin." Now the FDA says not to take that daily aspirin unless you already had a heart attack. You may wish to check out the article, "FDA Says Not To Take A Daily Aspirin If You Haven't Had A Heart Attack."

Or you can peruse the latest ScienceWorld Report, "Daily Dose of Aspirin may not be Safe for Everyone: FDA," appearing online May 7, 2014. Or see the May 5, 2014 article appearing on FDA's Consumer Updates page, which features the latest on all FDA-regulated products. The news appears in a variety of publications. The moral of this story is science changes with the times. A lot of money has been made selling daily aspirins to adults, especially the low-dose aspirins. The issue is now, whether or not you need aspirin, actually depends. And those who had a heart attack need to know what caused it, thick blood that clotted, unstable plaque, or an emotional experience? If it was an emotional experience, are your arteries clogged, too narrow, wide and open, or otherwise clean and functioning normally?

In the meantime, the FDA, US Food and Drug Administration's latest press release in its Consumer Updates section, "Can an Aspirin a Day Help Prevent a Heart Attack?" says that depends. Scientific evidence shows that taking an aspirin daily can help prevent a heart attack or stroke in some people, but not in everyone. It also can cause unwanted side effects.

Notice, you won't hear the government advising you to take other blood thinners found in food ingredients or supplements such as cod liver oil, resveratrol, vitamin E (all 8 parts), ginko biloba, aged garlic extract, or any other blood-thinning supplement or food extract. The FDA generally speaks for the majority of the public who don't read nutrition studies or books on which foods have medicinal qualities, but find the word 'aspirin' familiar from childhood or constant advertising as in the old adage attributed to doctors in the past "take two aspirin and call me in the morning." How different is that familiar saying from hearing "take one baby aspirin daily, if your doctors tells you to," heard repeatedly on TV, radio, and in print advertising for at least the past decade.

So whether a aspirin a day helps you ward off a heart attack or stroke depends on whether you already had a stroke or heart attack. And what kind of a stroke, an ischemic stroke from a blood clot or piece of broken-off plaque? Or is your blood so thin already that the stroke you had was caused by bleeding in the brain, a different type of stroke not caused by blood that's too thick? The answer the FDA has is that depends.

According to Robert Temple, M.D., deputy director for clinical science at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), one thing is certain: You should use daily aspirin therapy only after first talking to your health care professional, who can weigh the benefits and risks. The only issue consumers may have with that is whether their doctors are trained in alternative foods and supplements that affect the blood in different ways, whether to thin or thicken.

Who Can Benefit?

"Since the 1990s, clinical data have shown that in people who have experienced a heart attack, stroke or who have a disease of the blood vessels in the heart, a daily low dose of aspirin can help prevent a reoccurrence," Temple says, according to the FDA's news release. (A dose ranges from the 80 milligrams (mg) in a low-dose tablet to the 325 mg in a regular strength tablet.) This use is known as "secondary prevention." However, after carefully examining scientific data from major studies, FDA has concluded that the data do not support the use of aspirin as a preventive medication by people who have not had a heart attack, stroke or cardiovascular problems, a use that is called "primary prevention." In such people, the benefit has not been established but risks—such as dangerous bleeding into the brain or stomach—are still present.

Caution Needed With Other Blood Thinners

When you have a heart attack, it's because one of the coronary arteries (which provide blood to the heart), has developed a clot that obstructs the flow of blood and oxygen to the heart. Aspirin works by interfering with your blood's clotting action. Care is needed when using aspirin with other blood thinners, such as warfarin, dabigatran (Pradaxa), rivaroxaban (Xarelto) and apixiban (Eliquis).

What about people who have not had heart problems or a stroke but who, due to family history or showing other evidence of arterial disease are at increased risk? Is an aspirin a day a safe and effective strategy for them? Again, Temple emphasizes, the clinical data do not show a benefit in such people. He adds, however, that there are a number of ongoing, large-scale clinical studies continuing to investigate the use of aspirin in primary prevention of heart attack or stroke. FDA is monitoring these studies and will continue to examine the evidence as it emerges.

In the Meantime

The bottom line is that in people who have had a heart attack, stroke or cardiovascular problems, daily aspirin therapy is worth considering. And if you're thinking of using aspirin therapy, you should first talk to your health care professional to get an informed opinion, Temple says, according to the FDA's news release.

Finally, how much aspirin you take matters. It's important to your health and safety that the dose you use and how often you take it is right for you. Your health care professional can tell you the dose and frequency that will provide the greatest benefit with the least side effects.

If your health care professional recommends daily aspirin to lower the risk of a heart attack and clot-related stroke, read the labels carefully to make sure you have the right product. Some drugs combine aspirin with other pain relievers or other ingredients, and should not be used for long-term aspirin therapy. If you're older than 65, there's the chance aspirin could cause stomach bleeding.

That's why it's necessary to find out what is the best solution for you and your health condition

For more information, check out articles such as, Before Using Aspirin to Lower Your Risk of Heart Attack or Stroke, Here is What You Should Know, Use of Aspirin for Primary Prevention of Heart Attack and Stroke, or Aspirin for Reducing Your Risk of Heart Attack and Stroke: Know the Facts. If most HMO doctors are telling patients for years to take a daily aspirin, and suddenly the FDA says don't take a daily aspirin unless you already had a heart attack or stroke, you have to know what type of stroke: one caused by bleeding and too-thin blood?

Or is a blood clot caused by having too thick blood or unstable plaque moving around? And with a heart attack, did you already have one? If so, what caused it, hardened arteries, a blood clot, or an emotional experience on whistle-clean arteries? You need to know where you stand before you take any type of medicine.

On the other hand, you'll find because food is uncontrolled when used as medicine, you'll rarely hear about diet, holistic health alternatives, or how to use food or supplements as medicine. Then again, there's more money in medicine than in foods and various extracts, and some of them can lead to too much bleeding in people with naturally thin blood. That's why you need to find out where your health stands.

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