How to short-cut iPhone screen red – for night vision

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Colour Tint is a feature of iOS 10 buried so deep in the settings it was almost missed. Its quite different from NightShift mode as it acts like a red filter over the entire screen, turning all the light red.

NightShift on the other hand, only removes some of the blue light, wavelengths, but not all.

Colour tint set to red not only removes all blue wavelengths so protects your melatonin rhythm but can also protect your ‘night vision’ as red light is harder to see than other wavelengths, so your eyes remain dilated – in night vision mode, and better able to re-adjust to the dark afterwards. This is perfect if you have to look at your phone in the middle of the night eg. to check the time.

Here is how a how to video-

or here’s the step by step-

Go to Settings –> General –> Accessibility –> Display Accommodations.

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Next, enable “Color Filters” with the switch at the top of the screen, then select “Color Tint” as your filter. From here, scroll down just a little further, then use the Intensity and Hue sliders to make the red effect more prominent. Both should be in the far right position for maximum redness.

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Next Set up a short cut so you can triple-click the home button to turn the screen red

Go to Settings –> General –> Accessibility, then scroll all the way to the bottom and select “Accessibility Shortcut.” Choose the “Color Filters” option from the list, and you’re done. Now every time you triple-click the Home button (or Side button on the iPhone X), it’ll switch between normal screen and red tint.

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Now click three times and ENJOY!

Baking Soda may fix cancer cell’s broken clock

A recent study by Ludwig Cancer Research demonstrated that by restoring the pH of cancer cells by using baking soda (bicarbonate of soda) in the drinking water of mice, they restored the function of the cancer cells’ circadian clock. Only cancer cells which have this tick tock rhythm remain susceptible to cancer therapies.

This acid-mediated effect, the Ludwig researchers assert, can be reversed by sodium bicarbonate. When the researchers gave tumor-xenografted mice water that had been supplemented with sodium bicarbonate, the acidity of hypoxic patches in the tumors was neutralized. This reversal, the scientists say, was achieved by bringing mTOR1 and RHEB back into proximity with each other.

Acidification breaks the clock by moving constituent parts away from each other. See diagram above and explanation below. Bicarbonate of soda reverses this process.

Deprived of oxygen cancer cells survive by shifting their metabolism which creates a chain of consequences: increased acid production; dispersed perinuclear lysosomes to the periphery of the cell; separation of perinuclear-resident and peripheral-lysosome-resident signalling factors; signalling shift inhibits production of circadian clock components; collapse of circadian clock; and entry in to a quiescent cancer therapy resistant state. Bicarbonate of soda may break the first link in this chain by buffering against acidification, ultimately preserving the effectiveness of cancer therapy.



10 ways to protect your body clock, sleep and health.

  1. Get warm side lights for evening and turn off over head lights at sunset.
  2. Download F.LUX onto your computer
  3. Add Twilight app for android phones and tablets or use orange screen protectors.
  4. Ensure NightShift is on Sunset to sunrise and on warmest setting.
  5. Add NightVision short cut if you use your phone late at night or in a dark room.
  6. Turn phone off or turn airplane mode on, if you sleep near your phone
  7. Turn wifi off at night
  8. Get 30 mins to an hour outside every morning (or more if you can!)
  9. Turn the colour temperature on your TV to ‘WARM’.
  10. Use orange glasses in places where you can’t adjust the light source.

Body clock scientists win Nobel Prize

The Nobel Assembly at Karolinska Institutet awarded the 2017 Nobel prize jointly to  Jeffrey C. Hall, Michael Rosbash and Michael W. Young for their discoveries of molecular mechanisms controlling the circadian rhythm

Life on Earth is adapted to the rotation of our planet. For many years we have known that living organisms, including humans, have an internal, biological clock that helps them anticipate and adapt to the regular rhythm of the day. But how does this clock actually work? Jeffrey C. Hall, Michael Rosbash and Michael W. Young were able to peek inside our biological clock and elucidate its inner workings. Their discoveries explain how plants, animals and humans adapt their biological rhythm so that it is synchronized with the Earth’s revolutions.

Using fruit flies as a model organism, this year’s Nobel laureates isolated a gene that controls the normal daily biological rhythm. They showed that this gene encodes a protein that accumulates in the cell during the night, and is then degraded during the day. Subsequently, they identified additional protein components of this machinery, exposing the mechanism governing the self-sustaining clockwork inside the cell. We now recognize that biological clocks function by the same principles in cells of other multicellular organisms, including humans.

With exquisite precision, our inner clock adapts our physiology to the dramatically different phases of the day. The clock regulates critical functions such as behavior, hormone levels, sleep, body temperature and metabolism. Our wellbeing is affected when there is a temporary mismatch between our external environment and this internal biological clock, for example when we travel across several time zones and experience “jet lag”. There are also indications that chronic misalignment between our lifestyle and the rhythm dictated by our inner timekeeper is associated with increased risk for various diseases.

Our inner clock

Most living organisms anticipate and adapt to daily changes in the environment. During the 18th century, the astronomer Jean Jacques d’Ortous de Mairan studied mimosa plants, and found that the leaves opened towards the sun during daytime and closed at dusk. He wondered what would happen if the plant was placed in constant darkness. He found that independent of daily sunlight the leaves continued to follow their normal daily oscillation (Figure 1). Plants seemed to have their own biological clock.

Other researchers found that not only plants, but also animals and humans, have a biological clock that helps to prepare our physiology for the fluctuations of the day. This regular adaptation is referred to as the circadianrhythm, originating from the Latin words circa meaning “around” and diesmeaning “day”. But just how our internal circadian biological clock worked remained a mystery.

Mimosa plants in window

Figure 1. An internal biological clock. The leaves of the mimosa plant open towards the sun during day but close at dusk (upper part). Jean Jacques d’Ortous de Mairan placed the plant in constant darkness (lower part) and found that the leaves continue to follow their normal daily rhythm, even without any fluctuations in daily light.

Identification of a clock gene

During the 1970’s, Seymour Benzer and his student Ronald Konopka asked whether it would be possible to identify genes that control the circadian rhythm in fruit flies. They demonstrated that mutations in an unknown gene disrupted the circadian clock of flies. They named this gene period. But how could this gene influence the circadian rhythm?

This year’s Nobel Laureates, who were also studying fruit flies, aimed to discover how the clock actually works. In 1984, Jeffrey Hall and Michael Rosbash, working in close collaboration at Brandeis University in Boston, and Michael Young at the Rockefeller University in New York, succeeded in isolating the period gene. Jeffrey Hall and Michael Rosbash then went on to discover that PER, the protein encoded by period, accumulated during the night and was degraded during the day. Thus, PER protein levels oscillate over a 24-hour cycle, in synchrony with the circadian rhythm.

A self-regulating clockwork mechanism

The next key goal was to understand how such circadian oscillations could be generated and sustained. Jeffrey Hall and Michael Rosbash hypothesized that the PER protein blocked the activity of the period gene. They reasoned that by an inhibitory feedback loop, PER protein could prevent its own synthesis and thereby regulate its own level in a continuous, cyclic rhythm (Figure 2A).

Simplified illustration of the feedback regulation of the period gene

Figure 2A. A simplified illustration of the feedback regulation of the periodgene. The figure shows the sequence of events during a 24h oscillation. When the period gene is active, period mRNA is made. The mRNA is transported to the cell’s cytoplasm and serves as template for the production of PER protein. The PER protein accumulates in the cell’s nucleus, where the period gene activity is blocked. This gives rise to the inhibitory feedback mechanism that underlies a circadian rhythm.

The model was tantalizing, but a few pieces of the puzzle were missing. To block the activity of the period gene, PER protein, which is produced in the cytoplasm, would have to reach the cell nucleus, where the genetic material is located. Jeffrey Hall and Michael Rosbash had shown that PER protein builds up in the nucleus during night, but how did it get there? In 1994 Michael Young discovered a second clock gene, timeless, encoding the TIM protein that was required for a normal circadian rhythm. In elegant work, he showed that when TIM bound to PER, the two proteins were able to enter the cell nucleus where they blocked period gene activity to close the inhibitory feedback loop (Figure 2B).

The molecular components of the circadian clock.

Figure 2B. A simplified illustration of the molecular components of the circadian clock.

Such a regulatory feedback mechanism explained how this oscillation of cellular protein levels emerged, but questions lingered. What controlled the frequency of the oscillations? Michael Young identified yet another gene, doubletime, encoding the DBT protein that delayed the accumulation of the PER protein. This provided insight into how an oscillation is adjusted to more closely match a 24-hour cycle.

The paradigm-shifting discoveries by the laureates established key mechanistic principles for the biological clock. During the following years other molecular components of the clockwork mechanism were elucidated, explaining its stability and function. For example, this year’s laureates identified additional proteins required for the activation of the period gene, as well as for the mechanism by which light can synchronize the clock.

Keeping time on our human physiology

The biological clock is involved in many aspects of our complex physiology. We now know that all multicellular organisms, including humans, utilize a similar mechanism to control circadian rhythms. A large proportion of our genes are regulated by the biological clock and, consequently, a carefully calibrated circadian rhythm adapts our physiology to the different phases of the day (Figure 3). Since the seminal discoveries by the three laureates, circadian biology has developed into a vast and highly dynamic research field, with implications for our health and wellbeing.

The circadian clock

Figure 3. The circadian clock anticipates and adapts our physiology to the different phases of the day. Our biological clock helps to regulate sleep patterns, feeding behavior, hormone release, blood pressure, and body temperature.

Key publications

Zehring, W.A., Wheeler, D.A., Reddy, P., Konopka, R.J., Kyriacou, C.P., Rosbash, M., and Hall, J.C. (1984). P-element transformation with period locus DNA restores rhythmicity to mutant, arrhythmic Drosophila melanogaster. Cell 39, 369–376.

Bargiello, T.A., Jackson, F.R., and Young, M.W. (1984). Restoration of circadian behavioural rhythms by gene transfer in Drosophila. Nature 312, 752–754.

Siwicki, K.K., Eastman, C., Petersen, G., Rosbash, M., and Hall, J.C. (1988). Antibodies to the period gene product of Drosophila reveal diverse tissue distribution and rhythmic changes in the visual system. Neuron 1, 141–150.

Hardin, P.E., Hall, J.C., and Rosbash, M. (1990). Feedback of the Drosophila period gene product on circadian cycling of its messenger RNA levels. Nature 343, 536–540.

Liu, X., Zwiebel, L.J., Hinton, D., Benzer, S., Hall, J.C., and Rosbash, M. (1992). The period gene encodes a predominantly nuclear protein in adult Drosophila. J Neurosci 12, 2735–2744.

Vosshall, L.B., Price, J.L., Sehgal, A., Saez, L., and Young, M.W. (1994). Block in nuclear localization of period protein by a second clock mutation, timeless. Science 263, 1606–1609.

Price, J.L., Blau, J., Rothenfluh, A., Abodeely, M., Kloss, B., and Young, M.W. (1998). double-time is a novel Drosophila clock gene that regulates PERIOD protein accumulation. Cell 94, 83–95.


Jeffrey C. Hall was born 1945 in New York, USA. He received his doctoral degree in 1971 at the University of Washington in Seattle and was a postdoctoral fellow at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena from 1971 to 1973. He joined the faculty at Brandeis University in Waltham in 1974. In 2002, he became associated with University of Maine.

Michael Rosbash was born in 1944 in Kansas City, USA. He received his doctoral degree in 1970 at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge. During the following three years, he was a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland. Since 1974, he has been on faculty at Brandeis University in Waltham, USA.

Michael W. Young was born in 1949 in Miami, USA. He received his doctoral degree at the University of Texas in Austin in 1975. Between 1975 and 1977, he was a postdoctoral fellow at Stanford University in Palo Alto. From 1978, he has been on faculty at the Rockefeller University in New York.

The 2017 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine – Press Release. Nobel Media AB 2014. Web. 6 Apr 2018.

Make Lighting Healthier

Artificial illumination can stop us sleeping and make us ill. We need fresh strategies and technologies, argues Karolina M. Zielinska-Dabkowska. 


Life on Earth evolved in day-and-night cycles. Plants and animals, including insects such as the fruit fly, have a biological clock that controls their circadian rhythms — as the 2017 winners of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine showed. Now, humans’ increasing reliance on artificial lighting is changing those rhythms1.

Read full article here


For all these reasons, I still use the old incandescent light sources in my home, sleep in complete darkness and spend at least one hour each morning in bright daylight to activate my circadian clock — as do many lighting designers, physicians and chronobiologists. It is imperative that we return to the bright day and dark night cycle that evolution engraved in us.

Firefly torches and Mela book launch at Steiner Advent Fair


A huge thanks to everyone who visited our stall and bought firefly torches at the Steiner Advent Fair.

If you want to buy more Fireflies I have just opened my shop on Etsy – fireliteflies 

We also had ‘Mela and the Fireflies’ book out on display and collected a list of interested people to help us get it published.


Below are the How to Firelite tips to warm up your evenings!

  • Download FLUX for laptops/desktops – free software to warm up screen tones after dark.
  • Turn on NIGHTSHIFT mode on iPhones (sunset to sunrise.)
  • Add Twilight free app for android phones and tablets or use orange screen protectors.
  • Use warm side lamps in the evening after dark avoiding bright white lights.
  • Turn the colour temperature on your TV to ‘WARM’.
  • Turn off wifi at night.
  • Yellow/amber glasses can be worn after dark if you feel the urge.

Daytime wounds heal 60% FASTER than night time wounds

A study published in Science Translational Medicine, examined 118 patients at NHS burns units. They found night time wounds took an extra 11 days to heal. As each cell in the body has a biological clock. Our cells have evolved over millions of years, anticipating damage during the day but not at night.

Detailed lab work showed skin cells called fibroblasts were changing their abilities in a 24-hour pattern.

Fibroblasts are the body’s first responders, rushing to the site of injury to close a wound.

During the day they are primed to react, but they lose this ability at night.

Boost your antioxidants by adjusting your TV’s colour temperature to ‘WARM’

For millennia we have gathered round a fire at night and gazed into the warm red flames. Now we gather round a cool white LED fire bursting with blue light.

TV manufacturers have been making their TVs as bright and as blue as possible. Our brains perceive blue light as brighter and it is more engaging. It makes our brain think that it is still day time so it suppresses our night time physiology which is awash with the most potent antioxidant melatonin.

There is now a colour temperature adjust setting which manufacturers leave preset at the bluest or coolest setting 10,000K+. Despite the fact that 6500K is considered daylight by industry standards on some televisions this is considered ‘warm.’

Cool/Cold: 10000K+
Neutral/Normal: 7500K 9300K
Warm 1: 6500- 7500K
Warm 2: 5000- 6500K

I am writing this blog in Autumn and daylight saving time is upon us. This means the evenings are darker earlier and there is an opportunity to get long evenings full of melatonin rather just the few hours we are asleep.

I would advise everyone to check there TV settings and adjust them to warm. Especially if you mainly watch TV after dark. For day time use TV Neutral may look better.

Staring at blue light after dark is not a good idea as it shifts your body clock, suppressing your melatonin rhythm. Melatonin the ancient molecule of darkness is vitally important for sleep, detoxing, hormone balancing, cancer prevention and reduction.

Melatonin is the most potent anti-oxidant known. It is both fat and water soluble and crosses the blood brain barrier.

More rights for night shift workers

The numbers of people working night shifts has increased by 275,000 in the last 5 years to 3,135,000. The TUC have called for greater protection night shift workers after publishing research showing this massive rise.

Women have had the biggest increase in numbers working at night accounting 69% of the growth over the last 5 years. However men still have a larger proportion of night shift workers compared to women with 1 in 7 men (14%) working the night shift compared to 1 in 11 (9%) female employees.

London has seen the largest growth in night shift workers with an increase of 98,000.

The TUC says the introduction of the Night Tube in London, and proposals for a seven-day NHS, are likely to lead to further increases in night work in coming years.

The negative health impacts of night work are already well-documented, such as heightened risks of cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes and depression. However, less attention has been given to the impacts on home life and relationships.

The TUC does not oppose night-working, but argues that employers must properly consider and address its impact on staff. Decisions to extend night working should always involve talks with unions.

Fairness and safety for night-workers

The TUC recommends that:

  • Employers and unions should ensure that night-working is only introduced where necessary.
  • Where night working is introduced into a workplace, no existing workers should be forced to work nights.
  • Shift patterns should be negotiated between unions and employers.
  • Workers should have some element of control over their rotas, so that they can ensure that the shifts they work are best suited to their individual circumstances.
  • Workers should always have sufficient notice of their shift patterns so they can make arrangements well in advance. Changes at short notice should be avoided.
  • The remuneration paid to those working nights should properly reflect the likely additional costs of childcare and inconvenience that night shifts can entail.


Anti-cancer effects of melatonin

Every cell in the body, including cancer cells have receptors for melatonin. Known as the chemical expression of darkness, it tells our cells that it is night time, and time to stop.

  • Powerful antioxidant.
  • Activates the immune system.
  • It prevents cell mobility that causes cancer to spread
  • Prevents the growth of blood vessels that provide nourishment for cancer cells.
  • Blocks oestrogen’s cancer stimulating effects
  • Blocks the ability of tumours ability to stimulate localised production of oestrogen.
  • It interferes with the cancer cell cycle leading to cancer cell death
  • Blocks Telomerase’s ability to make cancer cells immortal.
  • Promotes normal daily rhythms which helps prevent cancer and prevents the cancer promoting action of certain genes.
  • Accelerates the process by which immature cells become differentiated mature cells- preventing cancer.
  • Melatonin alters fat metabolism and interferes with the ability of many tumours to use the fatty acid linoleic acid as a growth signal, this causes tumour metabolism and growth to be shut down.
  • Blocks uptake of glucose (the Warberg effect) by cancer cells.
  • Melatonin has been shown to greatly enhance the effectiveness of tamoxifen a drug used to treat breast cancer.
  • A robust melatonin rhythm has also been shown to enhance the effectiveness of chemotherapy (Blask- citation needed)