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Archive for August 1st, 2016

Cinnamon ( ቀረፋ ) May Aid Learning Ability

Posted by addisethiopia / አዲስ ኢትዮጵያ on August 1, 2016

Spice consumption made mice better learners

CinnamonMouse

The 1st century Roman philosopher, Pliny the Elder, reasoned that cinnamon hails from Ethiopia. Cinnamon, he reasoned, was carried on rafts bereft of oars or sails and propelled by “man alone and his courage.

Cinnamon is a delicious addition to toast, coffee and breakfast rolls. Eating the tasty household spice also might improve learning ability, according to new study.

Cinnamon is a delicious addition to toast, coffee and breakfast rolls. Eating the tasty household spice also might improve learning ability, according to new study results published online in the July issue of the Journal of Neuroimmune Pharmacology.

The study by neurological scientists at Rush University Medical Center found that feeding cinnamon to laboratory mice determined to have poor learning ability made the mice better learners.

“This would be one of the safest and the easiest approaches to convert poor learners to good learners,” said Kalipada Pahan, PhD, the lead researcher of the study and the Floyd A. Davis Professor of Neurology at Rush.

Some people are born naturally good learners, some become good learners by effort, and some find it hard to learn new tasks even with effort. Little is known about the neurological processes that cause someone to be a poor learner and how to improve performance in poor learners.

“Understanding brain mechanisms that lead to poor learning is important to developing effective strategies to improve memory and learning ability,” Pahan said.

Cinnamon role reversal

The key to gaining that understanding lies in the hippocampus, a small part in the brain that generates, organizes and stores memory. Researchers have found that the hippocampus of poor learners has less CREB (a protein involved in memory and learning) and more alpha5 subunit of GABAA receptor or GABRA5 (a protein that generates tonic inhibitory conductance in the brain) than good learners.

The mice in the study received oral feedings of ground cinnamon, which their bodies metabolized into sodium benzoate, a chemical used as a drug treatment for brain damage. When the sodium benzoate entered the mice’s brains, it increased CREB, decreased GABRA5, and stimulated the plasticity (ability to change) of hippocampal neurons.

These changes in turn led to improved memory and learning among the mice.

“We have successfully used cinnamon to reverse biochemical, cellular and anatomical changes that occur in the brains of mice with poor learning,” Pahan said.

The researchers used a Barnes maze, a standard elevated circular maze consisting of 20 holes, to identify mice with good and bad learning abilities. After two days of training, the mice were examined for their ability to find the target hole. They tested the mice again after one month of cinnamon feeding.

The researchers found that after eating their cinnamon, the poor learning mice had improved memory and learning at a level found in good learning mice. However, they did not find any significant improvement among good learners by cinnamon.

“Individual difference in learning and educational performance is a global issue,” Pahan said. “We need to further test this approach in poor learners. If these results are replicated in poor learning students, it would be a remarkable advance.”

Cinnamon also may aid against Parkinson’s disease

Cinnamon has been a sweet spot for Pahan’s research. He and his colleagues previously that cinnamon can reverse changes in the brains of mice with Parkinson’s disease.

These studies have made the researchers spice connoisseurs: They used mass spectrometric analysis to identify the purer of the two major types of cinnamon widely available in the United States — Chinese cinnamon (Cinnamonum cassia) and original Ceylon cinnamon.

“Although both types of cinnamon are metabolized into sodium benzoate, we have seen that Ceylon cinnamon is much more pure than Chinese cinnamon, as the latter contains coumarin, a hepatotoxic (liver damaging) molecule,” Pahan said.

The study of cinnamon and learning ability was supported by grants from National Institutes of Health, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and the Alzheimer’s Association.

Source

Gernot Katzer’s Spice Pages

— Cinnamon – Health Benefits, and Other Interesting Facts

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Ethiopia: Reasons to Visit the Holy Trinity Cathedral

Posted by addisethiopia / አዲስ ኢትዮጵያ on August 1, 2016

Many may think there is not much to visit at the Holy Trinity Cathedral. Well I used to think like that too before I saw a set of tourists in a van entering into the cathedral this week. I stopped by to see what important things they were about to visit there.

“It is my first time and am so thrilled to see the tomb of Haile Selassie I, one of the most influential kings in African History!” said a tourist from France named Mariana, a 52 years old lady. She and her friends came to see Axum, Lalibela and other top tourist sites of Ethiopia but caught up in visiting the cathedral.

“It is a very interesting place. It tells history” said another tourist from Germany named Marque, 34, after visiting the museum. The museum is home for the royal crowns, robes, jewels, ornaments, dressings, and other utensils that are made of golds silver and fancy stones of the late royal family.

Getenet Teshome, an elderly man, with a deep knowledge of history serves at the cathedral as a guide. He gives detailed and vivid explanations about the cathedral and the then history of Ethiopia to visitors.

According to him, Haile Selassie I takes the major credit for Ethiopia’s first written constitution in 1931 which proclaimed all Ethiopians equal and united under one law and one emperor. Haile Sellasie also created a two-chamber parliament with a popularly elected lower house. And the traditional church law was supplanted by the country’s first legal code, and all children born to slaves were eventually freed.

Among the marvelous paintings and sculptures of the inside wall of the cathedral, there is a painting which shows the majesty’s speech in Geneva, Switzerland about his denouncing statements on the invasion of his country by Italy in 1936. Haile Selassie stood out as an international statesman. His leadership in the subsequent Pan-African movement was rewarded by the Organization of African Unity.

The two tombs hold the remains of the king of kings Haile Selassie I and his queen Menen Asfaw put to rest in 1993. The museum also holds the royal seat, ten pillars with ten commandments written on them, paintings of archangels, doomsday and what have you! There are many things that attract attention inside the cathedral.

Also the tomb has important figures, which resembles the ancient civilization bases of Axum at the top, Lalibela in the middle and lion of Judah at the bottom.

The church was started first in 1924 E.C and disrupted following the war with Italy. It was called off and then finished later on 1936 E.C

Beside the cathedral there is a museum that holds, among others, an early huge parchment bible made of horses and oxen skin which is locally called Brana.

According to Negash Tekele Tsadik, a curator at the museum, the manuscripts are dozens decades old and are different from other manuscripts by their size. The parchment bibles leave you with questions like “How did they make it?” ” How did they craft the words carefully at that time when there was no means for printing?” ” How long did it take them to finish this big sized pages ?”

Other things to see in the museum are the royal seats of Haile Sellasie, Menen and Emperor Menilk made of ebony and ivory, materials they were served with, war troops wear, blades and extra.

Foreign tourists are not the only ones who visit this touristic place. Ethiopians often pay a visit too. Arsema Bekele is a student at the Addis Abeba University. She told me that she spent her summer time heading to libraries and visiting museums. The cathedral wasn’t on her list but she told me “I wonder what took me so long to visit the Holy Trinity Cathedral. But my life has changed because of it. Especially when I saw the tombs of all renowned patriots, artist, authors, politicians, leaders , ministers, scientists, popes and the life they had and the contribution they made I felt inspired to restart my life and do something for my country.”

Source

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