The EMINENT token: Your Token to Creating Kindness

Today, it’s almost impossible to imagine a world where progress isn’t defined by how far we’ve come along with technology. It’s simply true that gigantic technological developments such as the Internet and its plethora of facets have given us convenience in ways that previous generations of people have only begun to imagine.

It’s undeniable that in a huge way, the Internet shapes the way our global economies and political landscapes are evolving. However, in small ways, it also shapes how people interact with each other now. Insofar as technology sometimes gets in the way of real face-to-face social interactions, it also has the enormous potential of improving our relationships.

The BeepBeep Nation app wants to utilize that potential in its mission of making the world a better place. By providing a platform to connect a person who needs help (requestor) and a help provider (helper), it promotes and encourages a helping economy. With this, every kind of help is always just one beep away. Simply put, the app offers the means towards sharing our lives to others and creating kindness in the world.

And how do we get started? A token especially made to fuel the BeepBeep Nation app will be launched soon, and it will be our token to creating kindness and experiencing human interaction on a whole new level of warmth. The EMINENT (EMN) token will be used by requestors to pay for their help requests called Beeps or to give Gratitude Tips to their helpers, though the latter is not required. After all, the goal is to build this helping economy on the willingness of people to help out.

Cashless, seamless, and convenient for users, the EMINENT (EMN) token fuels the BeepBeep Nation app and enables people to be more compassionate in a truly efficient and effective way. With just the push of a button, you can easily ask for help from people nearby or easily offer help to those who need it. By constantly giving people opportunities to help out,  wherever they may be and whatever kind of help is needed, the EMINENT token will ultimately fuel a culture of kindness. By joining the mission of creating kindness in the world, people will be able to lead more fulfilled, meaningful lives.

The word”EMINENT,” if used in the context of a person, means “respected”; and as an attribute of a person, it represents a positive quality that is noticeable. EMINENT is what BeepBeep Nation users should aspire to be when they use the app. And it might only take a little effort to get going on creating kindness and being eminent, yet the results might be huge. After all, through the EMINENT token and the BeepBeep Nation app, we could see a future where kindness is shared everyday, human-to-human. A future where the world functions on both technology and compassion.

I’m sure all of us have reasons to help people in need. They might include these: being able to make new friends or business contacts, getting to have a truly engaging conversation with someone, feeling good about doing something good, and most importantly, participating in an inspiring mission of planting seeds of compassion in the world. So don’t be afraid to contribute to this helping economy soon, for yourself and for others.

Creating kindness through the EMINENT (EMN) token is not only convenient, it might just make big waves of change. Truly, with just one Beep, you could make the world a better place. ICO coming soon!

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Extreme Diet Reversed Diabetes in 86% of Patients

For many folks, a “plant-based” or “Mediterranean” diet has been proven by nutritionists as the healthiest. It is linked to many benefits including healthy aging, lower risk of heart disease, improved cognitive function, slower neurodegeneration, and many others. However, for some people who have specific conditions, other regimen — perhaps in some cases, a more extreme diet — may be necessary.

That was the finding of a clinical trial from last year which involved patients with type 2 diabetes. The disease is believed to be reversible even with those who have had it for years, and the trial which made patients engage in an extreme diet attests to this belief; about 86% of those who took part in the study arrived at remission.

“These findings are very exciting,” said diabetes researcher Roy Taylor from Newcastle University. “They could revolutionise the way type 2 diabetes is treated.”

298 adults (20-65 years old) who had been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes within the previous six years participated in the Diabetes Remission Clinical Trial (DiRECT). The participants were randomly assigned to a control group who went under the usual diabetic care or to an experimental group who went under an intensive weight management program. The latter group had to limit their food consumption to 825-853 calories for about three to five months, taking only health shakes and soups.

After this extreme diet, they were slowly reintroduced to more food for a period of two to eight weeks. Alongside it, cognitive behavioral therapy was also provided so that the patients may continue their weight loss and improve their level of physical activity.

Almost 90 percent [or about 86 percent] of those who lost 15 kilograms (33 lbs) or more, successfully reversed their type 2 diabetes. More than half (57 percent) of those dropping 10 to 15 kilograms (22 to 33 lbs) achieved remission also . . .  the control group receiving standard diabetic care management only saw a 4 percent remission rate . . . the average weight loss in the weight management group was 10 kilograms — whereas the control group participants only lost 1 kilogram.

Of course, the remission might not be permanent if patients revert back to unhealthy eating. But the researchers were able to conclude this: dietary intervention can help develop treatment options for type 2 diabetes, a disease that is no longer lifelong or chronic, but ultimately reversible.

The DiRECT program will continue to monitor the groups’ weight loss success and diabetes status. Now here’s to hoping the participants are on the direct path to healthier lifestyles.

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Helping Out: the Latest Lifestyle Trend

Every so often, I write about a current or emerging lifestyle trend that isn’t only able to influence our own personal choices but also to shape the culture we engage with. In fact, this is one of my favorite topics to write about. It’s certainly my life goal to stay trendy and support sustainability at the same time, and I love spreading the word about it. Here are some of the lifestyle trends that I’ve previously written about and remain beloved to me:

1. Sustainable fashion

Making your wardrobe eco-friendly isn’t really as difficult as it sounds. The key, as I often point out in other aspects of daily life, is to organize. From your old ones, pick your favorite and essential clothing items then decide on what you don’t need. Go on to sell or donate them. Whatever you do, don’t throw stuff away!

As for shopping for new items, be aware of your sources. Do your research in advance. Shopping local is usually a good way to support the community. Avoiding items that might have come from animal cruelty is a good principle. At the end, I guess it’s a matter of principle and knowing which fashion companies mirror yours.

2. Food choices — organic, local, and balanced

Sustainability, though it is also seen in other aspects of daily life like fashion, most often comes up in conversations about food choices. So it’s safe to say updating your lifestyle means supporting sustainable food production. Millennials, they say, are effecting some big changes in the food industry: they opt out of GMOs, go organic, and support local. And I believe those are very good choices. Now more than ever, people are encouraged to produce their own food by growing their own gardens and such.

However, in addition to sustainable, what should food choices be if not healthy? Research says that a Mediterranean or a plant-based meal plan can give us the most health benefits. So don’t go for those heavily advertised crash diets. Choose the most balanced — thus sustainable — one for your body as well.

3. All-around mindset

Here’s the thing. Doing healthy things and following lifestyle trends without reflecting on why you do them could suffice, but they cannot ensure  long-lasting effects on your well-being. What’s really important is how you think about your life and how you let that process manifest into actual decisions. Some things that really helped me be more conscious of my choices are lagom and mindfulness. Lagom has helped me achieve balance in my daily life — from arranging my apartment furniture to reducing my work-related stress. Mindfulness has helped me embrace my mental illness, commit to a self-care regimen, and even seek help when I need it.

Now you may ask, why am I listing all of these things? It’s because I want to reflect further on what makes a certain lifestyle trend so important to me. And I’ve been thinking, in the end, it’s all about kindness, isn’t it? Sustainable fashion is all about being kind to the earth. Sustainable food choices is about being kind not only to the environment, but to your own body as well. Certain mindsets like lagom and mindfulness are about being kind to yourself and the people that you love and that love you.

I realize, maybe the next thing that I want to commit to is being kind beyond my self and my inner circle. So here’s another lifestyle trend that I believe should go viral:

4. Kindness, kindness, kindness.

Maybe it’s not even simply the latest lifestyle trend, maybe kindness is a more timeless choice that we need to make chic now. After all, it even has some amazing health benefits. So go outside and volunteer. Help out a stranger in need — whether he is in a medical emergency or simply needs a ride home — because you don’t know what impact it will make on his life. And for the matter, you don’t know what impact it will make on the world. Maybe one little favor can push someone to pay it forward and eventually end up creating an entire culture of helping other people out.

Sustainable fashion or food choices make us feel good, but what can make us feel better than being compassionate to others? And in the way that choosing organic for your salad today can be great for the environment, helping someone out may end up making the world better. Now that’s chic.

Final tip: you can actually use technology to start on this kindness lifestyle. Use the BeepBeep Nation app in reaching out to those who need your help, and learn more about the EMINENT token to get started. And hey, honestly, helping out has never been this trendy.

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Making a Better World One Beep at a Time

Last time, I wrote about little ways to answer this big question: how do I find my purpose in life? Simply reading books or going outside may be a far cry from what you expect of an intense introspection, but it won’t hurt to try. And even if it doesn’t enlighten you about the meaning of your own life, well, at least you got to enjoy your day.

I myself have gone on the life purpose spiral quite a few times, even as a woman whose business is doing okay and whose family gets along well, and it has led me before to another particular question. Am I being selfish when I concentrate on my personal life? What if my purpose in this world has to do with being more in the world, whatever that means?

More daunting than discovering your life path, perhaps, is asking this: what can I do to help make a better world? I know, I know. With bills to pay and children to raise, it seems like too much. Most of us are not presidents or billionaires; it’s not part of our everyday routine to have great impact on making a better world. But, as with all things, it can’t hurt to start small. As long as you start. I think, even in our ordinariness, there is much to be done.

It’s okay to focus first on those near you. Do more for the people you love. Cook your friends a hearty meal and have everyone get together, just like the old times. It may not seem like much, but in a world where interactions mostly happen through chat or our newsfeed, it’s a radical step to foster social bonds. Leave a sweet note in your kid’s lunch. Your baby girl or baby boy might be having a bad day in school, and needs to be cheered up. Who knows, they might remember small acts like this in the future and use it someday as inspiration to fuel their own dreams of creating a better world. Never underestimate the loving things you do for your inner circle.

Never underestimate the power of a smile, either. I know, I know. That seems cliche. But niceness is definitely a good icebreaker. Make a stranger’s day better by greeting them a good morning. Ask an acquaintance how they’re doing, mean it, and really listen. Spend time with the elderly, hold their hand, and enjoy their stories — there is much to learn and they have much to share. Praise your co-worker for his or her hard work this week. Again, in a world where it’s so easy to hate and judge, showing someone your attention and appreciation could be a big thing.

Yes, society has much, much bigger problems than stray kittens. All over the world, political, cultural, and economic tensions exist. But remember that small changes are still changes. You may not have the resources to fly to a third world country and start a charity, but you can go to your local health center and donate blood. You may not have the time to arrange a fundraising event for the environment, but surely you can eliminate your use of plastic. If you are good at certain skills, mentor or coach someone in your community. If you do have the resources, make sure you donate them to foundations with causes you feel the most about. Again, if you don’t, you can always share your knowledge. Advocate. Raise awareness.

And keep being aware. There are always new ways to make a difference. With the pace that technology is evolving, I’m sure the industry also wants to do its part in making a better world. Keep your eyes peeled for these opportunities. One such app to join the mission of making a difference and offer us opportunities to do so is BeepBeep Nation.

The BeepBeep Nation app provides a platform for people to request for help whenever they need it — and in whatever form, such as needing a ride or a place to stay — and for other people to respond and help out. It hopes to redefine and encourage human interaction in the technological age, through technology itself. Visit the BeepBeep Nation website to find out more about how to make a difference in the world, one beep at a time.

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The Science of Gratitude (or Why It’s So Healthy to Say Thanks)

When I was a kid, my parents taught me what they call “magic words.” This includes saying please, I’m sorry, and most importantly, thank you. Vague memories of preschool also have a similar lesson; I remember my playmates and I practicing that habit as encouraged by our awesome teacher Mrs. Silverstone. When Nick lets you borrow his toy truck, say thank you. When Amy shares her fruit bites, say thank you. When Karl and Jessica make you join in their game involving color blocks, say thank you.

I myself don’t have a kid yet, but I’m pretty sure I’ll definitely teach my son or daughter the same thing. Especially after reading stuff here and there proving that something like it really exists — the science of gratitude.

In a research study involving around 300 adults who sought psychological counselling services at a university, it has been found that feelings of gratitude do not only help well-adjusted individuals, but also those who had mental health concerns. The participants — most of whom reported clinically low levels of mental health, and struggled with depression and anxiety — were divided into three groups. Although all three groups received counselling services, Group 1 was additionally asked to write one letter of gratitude every week. Group 2 was asked to write about their deepest negative thoughts and feelings. Group 3 didn’t do any writing.

Those who wrote gratitude letters reported significantly better mental health four weeks and 12 weeks after the writing exercise ended. The researchers then decided to delve into the more physical science of gratitude  and found out that their gratitude exercise had actual lasting effects on the brain. Using an fMRI scanner to analyze how the participants’ brains were processing information, the researchers asked Group 1 (gratitude letter writers) and Group 3 (people who didn’t write) to do “pay-it-forward” tasks. They were to be given money by a benefactor, and they can decide how much of it they were going to give back to a cause of their choice.

The researchers found out that across participants, the brain activity of people who felt grateful and the brain activity of people who felt mostly guilty and obligated to do the task were very distinct. When grateful people donated more, their medial prefrontal cortex became more sensitive. This is a part of the brain associated with learning and decision-making. Interestingly, this higher sensitivity was also more identified in the group who were gratitude letter writers in the previous experiment.

Other studies involving the science of gratitude also yielded fascinating results. It has been linked to better quality of sleep, as well as decreased blood pressure. And in seeming accordance with the neurological findings of the study I described a while ago, gratitude has been linked to a boost in willpower and impulse control, helping people make better decisions like avoiding overeating, exercising more and attending regular checkups.

So don’t be afraid to need help. What’s important is to remember to feel grateful and to express it to the people who are there for you.

If you want to read more about the science of gratitude, here’s a link to various research projects. If you want to participate in a cause that encourages people to get help and feel grateful, check out the BeepBeep Nation App. It provides a platform for people to request for the help they need (called requestors) and for other people to respond (called helpers).

Once the task is done, requestors may give a gratitude tip to their helpers. However, it’s not mandatory, because as we have seen scientifically, gratitude is so much more real if it’s willingly felt and reciprocated. Of course, requestors themselves may also want to be helpers to somebody else if they want to pay it forward. Visit this article to know more about BeepBeep Nation’s take on motivation and gratitude.

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5 Amazing Health Benefits of Lending a Hand

I don’t know about you, but providing help to those who need it is an fulfilling experience for sure. Whether it’s helping an old lady reach a food item at the top of the grocery shelf, volunteering at a nearby animal shelter, or organizing my own fundraising event, acts of kindness make me feel super good. If you feel the same, have you ever asked yourself why?

Well, there are probably many reasons — social, cultural, philosophical, spiritual, and the like. But did you know lending a hand also has some amazing health benefits? Let me list some of them.

1. Kindness makes you happier (through your brain chemicals!)

There’s something called the helper’s high, which is typically identified as a state of euphoria after doing something good. Charitable acts usually raise your dopamine levels, which gives you the same feeling you have after an intense exercise. Kindness also boosts the production of serotonin, which calms you down and lifts your mood.

2. Kindness lowers the risk of heart disease.

This one can be credited to a hormone called oxytocin which, when transmitted to the brain, facilitates social bonding and emotion recognition.  This means that when you’re in love, for instance, you’re producing oxytocin. Now interesting research has found that oxytocin also has a huge role in the cardiovascular system; it is also produced in the heart. Once it travels through our blood vessels, it supposedly increases nitric oxide production which reduces your blood pressure.

So yeah. I suppose making a stranger smile today can keep the cardiologist away.

3. Kindness boosts your immune system.

Some experiments proved that even just thinking kind and loving thoughts towards people around you or watching other people show compassion have some great health benefits. It helps you have better heart rate variability and also raises your protective antibodies, both of which mean enhanced immune responses. Amazing, right?

4. Kindness makes you less anxious.

Doing good deeds have been proven to lower social anxiety. People who are socially anxious are not only shy, they tend to fear social interactions. But kindness helps them break these barriers. Some experiments have this cool conclusion: after trying to perform kind acts, anxious people tended to view social interactions in a new light.

5. Kindness can literally ease pain.

We already know that giving and receiving help makes us feel good because we realize that we are not alone when we suffer, that people are there for us. But medically speaking, kinder people also tend to have lessened physical suffering. People who volunteer tend to report less body aches and pains. And interestingly enough, those volunteers aged 55 and above have also been noted to have a 44% lower likelihood of death i.e. longer, healthier lives. I mean, wow.

I guess what’s surprising about researching all of it is this: contrary to popular belief, helping actually seems more beneficial to givers or helpers than to receivers. There might not be any obvious reward when you act kindly, but these health benefits far outweigh anything material and instant that you could get in return. So don’t worry, just keep doing kind things. It’s good for your heart. Literally.

If you’re looking for more ways to offer or receive help, check out the BeepBeep Nation App and this video on how to get started. You might not profit immediately, but these health benefits will surely be good for you in the long run.

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The Science of Compassion (or Why It’s Really Human to Help Out)

Everyday, a plethora of stories arise on the Internet. A huge part of the content is probably fun, entertaining, and/or informational. Some, however, tell the tragedy of the world we live in. And if you read the news, you know that it’s so real. Other stories tell how people address that tragedy and do their share in alleviating the suffering of their fellow human beings. In our blog, we frequently showcase this kind of content — stories of people with exemplary acts of devotion and compassion or even people who do random little acts of kindness in their everyday lives.

Some people who enjoy helping out tend to do so for religious or spiritual reasons. And whether it’s Buddhism, Christianity, Islam, or others, the religions of the world do have discourses of compassion. Though I myself have always been curious about a different but equally important aspect of this human tendency: is there a science behind this?

I’m glad to report: yep, there is. A study done by experimental social psychologists tested how the experience of compassion affected people’s behavior. First, participants were told that they were supposedly part of an experiment about mathematical ability and taste perception. Ostensibly, these were the instructions: participants were supposed to solve as much as they can of 20 math problems, in which they would receive 50 cents for each problem they solved correctly. After being checked and getting paid, they would proceed to the taste perception phase. Here, participants were asked to prepare taste samples for each other by pouring extra-hot hot sauce.

It seems absurd, but here’s the catch. The experimenters hired confederates to pretend to be fake participants. Let’s call the first one Dan and the second Hannah. In one version of the experiment, Dan was asked to cheat badly and very obviously on the math problems, so that the real participants would see. Afterwards, in the taste perception phase, the experimenters noticed that the real participants poured bigger servings of hot sauce to Dan the Cheater. But doesn’t this show revenge instead of compassion?

Well, in another version, Dan the Cheater was asked to do the same thing but now Hannah was gonna play a role. Before the taste perception phase, Hannah would cry and the experimenters would ask why. She’d say she recently found out about her brother’s terminal illness. Increasingly emotional, Hannah asked to be excused from the experiment. In this version, even though the participants still witnessed Dan cheating, they did not pour bigger amounts of hot sauce in the taste perception phase.

What does this show? First, the compassion that the participants felt predicted how much hot sauce they were going to give to another person. And second, more importantly, the compassion that people feel towards one person can predict how they will act towards others.

This experiment is only one of many studies that are now delving into the idea and reality of compassion. Recently, a conference has even been held to discuss it, joined by representatives from different fields such as evolutionary psychologists, clinical psychologists who deal with children suffering from trauma, charity owners who conduct social and emotional skills workshops for the youth, and others.

Using brain scans, one doctor even explained how different parts of the brain are activated when people are in a “compassionate state” or “non-compassionate state.” So interestingly enough, compassion actually seems to have physiological, neurological effects.

But now here’s the thing. My personal epiphany, if you will. We can participate in all these discussions, conduct our own experiments if we’re in the field, compile all these data, but maybe it’ll be a bit more exciting to see for ourselves. There’s all this science about compassion, we know that. But somehow I think the reality of compassion can’t be proven by numbers. Tall order but maybe here’s what we can do: go out there, help people out, and prove it for ourselves.

If you are interested in reading more scientific information about kindness or compassion, here’s a list of various quantitative and qualitative studies about the topic. Then again, if you are more keen to join the action, check out the BeepBeep Nation app and this fun video on how to get started. You might be surprised at the many ways you’ll see how compassion exists.

 

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4 Unexpected Little Ways to Find Your Purpose

So it’s Saturday morning, you’ve just woken up — perhaps well-rested, perhaps still a bit tired from going out and having a little fun last night with your colleagues. Nonetheless, you’re ready to chill out for the next 48 hours or so because it’s finally the weekend, work has been hellish recently, and well, you deserve it. So you take a step back and try to wipe out the stress. You sink a bit more under your comforter. You plan a relaxing day ahead.

Suddenly, in the span of a split-second, the big questions come. What am I doing with my life? Is there something missing? Am I making a difference in the world like I want to? Do I even want to? Do I have any life purpose at all?

I’m sure all of us have been in this spiral at some point in our lives. Maybe you’re slowly realizing you don’t like your job. Maybe you like your job enough, yet still feel a little lost about your career path. Maybe you keep constant communication with your friends, but you’re not as fulfilled with your relationships anymore. Maybe you have hobbies, but no passions.

There can be an infinite number of reasons why any of us would question our purpose. A Google search will probably yield a thousand other posts about it already. And while it’s good to have perspective, personally I think it helps to zoom in and try not to think so big. Instead, think deeper. Look inward.

And sometimes, thinking deeper or looking inward means simply moving along with your weekend plans to take a step back and relax. Sometimes, it means doing little, ordinary things. Here are a few suggestions:

1. Read.

Remember that book you bought months ago, tucked in your shelf, and accidentally forgot about? The one you saw at the bookstore and were too eager to read? Yes, that one. Pick it up. Sit comfortably. Sip your tea.

Reading about another person’s life, whether fictional or real, might just give you insight about your own. Seeing what motivates the characters — or perhaps the historical figures or artists — in the book might help you answer questions about your motivations as well. Aside from that, reading about the great ideas that shaped the world might also inspire you to participate and do good yourself. Who knows? After all the crisis, you might even end up writing your own story someday.

2. Dress up nicely.

I know, it seems exhausting after a week of making yourself presentable in meetings or the workplace or whatever. You just want to stay on the couch in your jammies and a cozy sweater all day. But for once, won’t it be fun to dress up for yourself? Put on your Sunday’s best. Your favorite little black dress. Or experiment with a new outfit. Wear whatever makes you feel good.

And then: look. Feeling confident could be an ideal place to start your self-evaluation. It seems petty to appreciate your appearance, but appraisal of the outside could lead to a fruitful introspection. List your strengths in your head. (Or actually on paper, if you want.) Look good, feel good, and think about the best version of yourself that you want to become.

3. Do something messy.

Get those hands dirty. Try finger painting. Dig around and fix those flower beds in your garden. Lay out those baking tools, don’t be afraid to get flour all over your kitchen, and make something sweet. This way, you’ll loosen up. Minus the pressure of failure, you’ll allow yourself to explore what you can really do. It’s gonna be a good experience. At the end, when you look at your artwork, cupcakes, or dahlias, you’ll see it was worth making such a mess. Know that the same is true for the mistakes you’ll make in your life.

4. Go outside.

Literally and figuratively. Remind yourself that you’re not the only person in the world, because sometimes, finding your own life purpose means sharing your life with others. Volunteer in a community activity like fund drives or clean ups — you might just discover a passion and a vocation. Get to know your neighbors — you might see the community in a new light. Plus, don’t be afraid to help out a stranger — you just might make new friends and feel fulfilled at the same time.

If you want to learn about various ways to help people in need near your area, you can check out the BeepBeep Nation app. You can also watch this video for more information on how to get going. Helping out and perhaps finding your purpose along the way has never been this easy.

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Organic Matter Found on Mars — Two NASA Studies

For many decades, the idea of life outside Earth has intrigued many of us, but most especially scientists, astronomers, and well, sci-fi writers. For them and other Mars enthusiasts (a.k.a. people who eagerly believe that Mars can harbor life), the recent year has shown us great updates. Snow has been discovered in the planet. Soil made to simulate the planet’s conditions has grown earthworms.

Due to updates like these, some organizations are being inspired to plan ahead for life on Mars. MIT designed dome forests that will adapt to the environment there. The UAE is building a Mars-like metropolis as well, in preparation for a future in that planet. And it looks like they are bound to be more inspired as NASA releases the results of two new major studies about the Red Planet in the journal Science.

The first study centers on methane, a simple organic molecule that forms the basis for natural gas. Biological sources produce most of the methane on Earth, so researchers suspected that methane on Mars could point them towards biological sources — life! — on Mars.

Astronomers were already detecting methane in Mars as far back as 2003, but they first confirmed its presence there in 2015. After analyzing years worth of data, they realized that the methane was probably coming from pockets of ice. When these ice pockets melt during “summer” in Mars, methane slips out and methane levels go higher. Scientists say the seasonal presence of methane might clue us in on how there used to be life in the Red Planet, though the current study is still inconclusive about that.

The next study, however, also implies the idea of ancient life, as scientists find evidence of organic matter in soil that came from Mars.

In the second study, [NASA’s Curiosity rover] collected soil samples from two spots in Gale crater estimated to be about three billion years old. When Curiosity heated them up, the researchers recognized several organic molecules commonly found in Earth’s organic-rich sedimentary rock.

The discovery of methane in the Martian atmosphere and organic matter on Martian soil suggests interesting similarities between that planet and ours. Thus, it further spurs the question of life on Mars. And since the Curiosity rover is still roving around and looking for signs, one can only hope its next breakthrough will finally answer that question.

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New App Alerts Deaf Parents to When and Why Babies Cry

Many innovators have focused on helping children have fun living their lives and/or helping parents have a little ease in raising their children. A high-tech clothing line is producing wearable stuff that adjusts and grows along with the kids. A startup has created emotion-tracking smart glasses that can improve the social skills of autistic children. The latest to contribute is a mom doctor who developed an app that addresses a few problems in the parenting experience of deaf parents.

As parents spend time around infants, they start to learn the difference between when a baby is crying from pain, rather than fussiness. Deaf parents, on the other hand, have no way of understanding whether their baby’s cries mean something more serious.

That’s why Dr. Ariana Anderson at the UCLA Medical Center and Semel Institute developed the Chatterbaby app.

Anderson, herself a mother of four, discovered that she had been continuously learning how to interpret what her babies’ crying means over her years of motherhood. When she realized that deaf parents needed more assistance in this area, she thought of creating an app that could guide the deaf community.

By compiling a database of over 2,000 baby cries, Anderson’s app can interpret a baby’s needs with 90% accuracy. For instance, if there are long periods of silence between cries, it usually means that the baby is just finicky. But if the infant is uttering long, sustained, high-pitched wails, it means that the baby is in pain.

The app is still going through further development, but those who tested it have already given positive feedback. Deaf parents who participated in the test run stated that the service is indeed an important innovation.

Of course, every future parent would have a different parenting experience. However, innovations like this could surely bring a little convenience to the great challenge.

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