Ant Surgery, The Science of Ghosting & The Cost of Herpes

The Weekly Dose - Episode 102

The Surprising Psychology of Ghosting…


Ghosting is considered one of the most pervasive aspects of social interactions.

Defined as the act of ending a relationship or friendship by ignoring another person’s attempt to connect. A form of social rejection with no feedback or explanation.


Interestingly, a recent study published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology revealed that ghosting isn’t necessarily a lack of care but a misguided effort to avoid hurting someone.

The “ghosters” may stop replying in order to shield the ghostees from pain. The problem is that they don’t realise being ignored is usually a worse outcome than being rejected outright – silence is a far greater wound than the truth.



The Cost of Herpes…


Both herpes simplex virus (HSV) 1 and 2 infection are widespread across the globe but beyond just being a dormant infection or resulting in warts and cold sores they have a huge societal and economic burden.

One study from BMC Global and Public Health found that HSV-2 and HSV-1 infections and their consequences cost a total of 35.3 billion dollars globally (in 2016), with 2/3rd of this global burden being from the Americas and Western Pacific regions (20.8 billion).


What can we do?

Well if it’s any consolation an HSV vaccine is in trial stages! Similar to young girls having access to an HPV vaccine, an HSV vaccine as a pre-emptive measure may be key.



How Psychedelics Can Make Your Brain More Plastic…


After over 50 years of suppression, psychedelic research is seeing an unprecedented renaissance.


A recent meta analysis from the Journal Of Psychopharmacology showed that individuals who consumed psychedelic exhibited higher level of brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) comparted to healthy non-users.

BDNF is instrumental in the brain’s ability to adapt and reorganise itself and could offer new avenues for treating mental health disorders.

BDNF is also key in the survival of existing neurons and encourages growth of new neurons and synapse (the connection between neurons) thus helping to boost memory, learning and the ability of the brain to adapt to novel experiences.

Decreases in BDNF have been linked to various disorders such as anxiety, depression and PTSD.


If you want to listen to more about how psychedelic research has been suppressed and the surprising potential of it in mental health treatment, listen to the chat I had with world leading psychedelic expert Prof David Nyutt on the Dr Karan Explores podcast:


Ants Can Carry Out Life-Saving Surgery On Other Ants?!


It sounds pretty sci-fi and something from a B-movie.

It’s not the first time wound care has been observed in ants, but it is the first example of a non-human animal carrying out life-saving amputations.

In the journal “Current Biology” , Florida carpenter ants (camponotus floridanus) were given lethal cuts by researchers on their right hand limb and the responses of their nest mates were observed for a week.


13 out of 17 ants with injuries on their femur or thigh underwent amputation by their nest mates with their limbs severed at the trochanter – the joint with the hip bone.


The nest mates would begin licking the wound before moving up the injured limb with their mouthparts until they reached the trochanter and then repeatedly on the injured leg until it was cut off!


We often have this self fulfilling idea that humans are the only species capable of adaptation but that’s more because we have only scratched the surface of understanding the world around us!



5 Realistic Microhabits To Improve Your Life…

No, you don’t need to wake up at 5am everyday, do icebaths or run marathons but you can do these…

1.     Turn off the auto replay function on streaming platforms. This is how you end up in TV binges. By turning off the auto replay, you have to break the loop

2.     Eat before you shop: Research suggests that people who shopped on an empty stomach were more likely to impulse buy food to satisfy cravings coming from their brain. Eating first makes it easier to resist the smell from the bakery section! (guilty)

3.     20-20-20 rule: every 20 minutes of screen work, take a 20 second break to look away at an object at least 20 feet away. This reduces eye strain and allows you to have a mental refresher

4.     Try new things when you go shopping: Everytime you go out shopping, grab a new fruit or vegetable you’ve never tried before, this is a simple way to improve food diversity and a way to figure how to cook new dishes to incorporate your new exotic food item!

5.     Move your phone out of your bedroom: If you need an alarm, use a clock, not your phone. The best decision I made was to sleep with my phone in another room so I don’t reflexively use it when I wake up!


If you’re looking for more simple habits to improve your life, order a copy of my book “This Book May Save Your Life”

 If you’ve already gotten a copy, I’d be grateful for a review!

Feed Your Gut:

Where Science Meets Cooking!

I started to indulge my growing passion for cooking by combining my love of food with my interest in gut health and the microbiome.

If you’ve come across my recipes on daal, kimchi, idlis and more you’ll know that there is plenty of interesting ways to make food tasty but also great for your gut health which is steeped in science.

To that end, I’ve been asked by Nuseir from ‘Nas Daily” to create a cooking/gut health challenge! In the month long challenge I’ll be sharing a number of science-based gut health recipes and doing weekly webinars to explain gut health, the microbiome and food science to improve your health and answering your questions on gut health too!

The hope is at the end of the challenge, it’ll improve your gut health, make you poop better and give you a better understand of gut science so you’re not tempted by dodgy supplements!

If you’re interested in joining along in that challenge, it’ll be taking place in the month of August and you can join along here: