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Project Endo

The endo warrior's guide to living and winning with endometriosis. Jo trials our LitePod http://projectendo.co.uk/2012/11/20/light-therapy-for-winter/


Hello Darkness my old friend (with apologies to Simon and Garfunkel)

The Travels of Dr Alexander Kumar and a LitePod in Antarctica







You think the weather is dark and dismal here, spare a thought for the crew living at Concordia Station in Antarctica who are about to experience 4 months of complete 24-hour darkness with temperatures below minus 80 degrees Celsius.

 Dr Alexander Kumar FRGS is the Expedition Station Doctor and the European Space Agency Sponsored Research MD overwintering as the only British member of the European crew in Antarctica at Concordia Station- an Antarctic research station run by the French Polar Institute (IPEV) and the Italian Antarctic Programme (PNRA)- located in the world’s most extreme environment. 

 He will spend one year there to conduct human spaceflight research to understand the effects of the loss of the daylight cycle, isolation and chronic lack of oxygen on the crew.
 This research will be used to help understand how far human physiology and psychology can be pushed on a future manned mission to Mars.

 Dr Kumar has taken one of our LitePods with him to help him during the 4 months of darkness. He will be using the lightbox to help regulate his sleep patterns and fight his light deprivation. He is eager to find ways to lessen the psychological and physiological burden on his crew which may become relevant on future long haul spaceflights.

 “I asked for a LitePod because I was curious about the effects – I guess I am one of those doctors and scientists that is happy to use myself as a subject in my experiments.  I will start using the LitePod in May when darkness falls over us and the sun disappears – and will be sure to share my experience”.

 Concordia station is located at 75°06'06''S - 123°23'43''E and the crew will live on site for nearly one year.  They are isolated and alone from February to November for a period over 8 months. 

 Follow Dr Kumar’s blog at www.AlexanderKumar.com specially the ‘Swimming in Antarctica’ blog, it makes you shiver (and laugh) just reading it.

 By the end of the first week of May, the crew at Concordia will start a period of 4 months living in complete darkness with only the Aurora Australis and Milky Way Galaxy as company.

 Dr Kumar is both "anxious and excited" about his time South and looking forward to spending winter in the company of his13 fellow Europeans crew members. He says, “I have read the accounts from the Heroic Age of (Polar) Exploration and their experiences of winter-over in Antarctica over 100 years ago.  It seems you can never get a better opportunity to work as a team and fighting to survive in a hostile and remote environment.  I hope the LitePod brings additional strength and helps our crew cope.  I know we have a strong team and good friends – and we will remain strong.  Overwintering is not just a personal journey of inner discovery, it measures how well your team can adapt and survive together.  We have a varied team with 4 nationalities and enjoy each other’s company.  I hope to learn a lot to be able to bring back such skills and experience to the NHS – one of the world’s largest and international workforce, where teamwork is crucial!” 





News Art Installation in London


There is an interesting new art installation in London, which the presenter likens to a 'bus shelter which has landed in your back garden' .  

The over head lights mimic daylight, you can watch a small piece about it on the BBC Website at http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-15799324

The only thing to remember is that the research for SAD advises that you have your eyes open to take a treatment.

Did you see us on Embarassing Bodies?  If you missed it you can read the article at: 

http://www.channel4embarrassingillnesses.com/conditions/seasonal-affective-disorder/