We have all heard the infinite loop – what came first, the chicken or the egg?
Well, get ready for the new doozy – what came first, the egg or the plant?
With the entire world finally sitting up and taking notice of the precarious situation that our earth is in, designers have swiftly tried to change the way they produce, design, or market things. All to prevent waste from single-use products. Like, George Bosnas, a Greek designer, has just taken off the shroud of Biopack, an egg carton that comprises of paper pulp that is cleared, as well as starch, flour, and legume seeds. All you need to do is plant them in the ground after you are done, instead of throwing it away.
The inspiration behind this innovation is necessity. Recycling sounds good in theory, but the actual process is pretty tough, complex, and not as environment-friendly as one would have thought. It involves a lot of organization, gathering, transportation, processing, after which transporting the recycled material back again.
Therefore, the best way to get rid of single-use products is to build a product that would completely eradicate the entire procedure of recycling or waste. Enter the Biopack, with sustainable packaging that can hold up to 4 eggs.
After the eggs are taken out, one can easily plant it in the soil and water it every single day instead of recycling. Within 30 days, one would see a plant shooting out.
It has a double advantage – one, that it prevents waste. And two, that it can increase soil fertility.
So it’s your turn to do something for the environment you inhabit – go plant the trees!
It is well established that diet influences health and disease, but the mechanisms underlying this effect are not fully understood. Shedding light on the diet-health connection, a team led by researchers at Baylor College of Medicine reports today in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition an association between diet quality and microbiome composition in human colonic mucosa.
The researchers found that a high-quality diet is linked to more potentially beneficial bacteria; while a low-quality diet is associated with an increase in potentially harmful bacteria. They propose that modifying the microbiome through diet may be a part of a strategy to reduce the risk of chronic diseases.
“In this study, rather than looking at individual diets, we focused on dietary patterns as defined by the Healthy Eating Index (HEI)-2005 and how they relate to the microbiome,” said corresponding author Dr. Li Jiao, associate professor of medicine-gastroenterology and member of the Dan L Duncan Comprehensive Cancer Center at Baylor College of Medicine. “In a previous study, we found that HEI-2005 is associated with reduced risk of pancreatic cancer.”
Diet is considered a principal factor influencing the structure of the microbial community in the gut, which in turn significantly affects the ability of beneficial or harmful microbes to colonize it. The human gut microbiome also influences nutrient uptake, synthesis of vitamins, energy harvest, chronic inflammation, carcinogen metabolism and the body’s immune and metabolic response, factors that can affect disease risk, Jiao explained.
“One new contribution to this work is that we looked at the microbiome associated with colonic mucosa,” Jiao said. “Most other studies of the human gut microbiome have used fecal samples. We looked at colon mucosal-associated microbiome because we know that this microbiome is different from that in the fecal samples, and it is said to be more related to human immunity and the host-microbiome interaction than the microbiome in fecal samples.”
The researchers used next-generation sequencing techniques to analyze the type and abundance of bacteria present in colonic mucosal biopsies. The samples were obtained endoscopically from enrolled consenting 50- to 75-year-old participants who had a colonoscopy at the Michael E. DeBakey Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Houston between 2013 and 2017. The participants were polyp-free and seemingly healthy. They reported their dietary consumption using a food frequency questionnaire before the colonoscopy.
Dietary quality significantly influences the colon’s microbiome
Jiao and her colleagues found that a good-quality diet as the one recommended by the Dietary Guidelines for Americans to be high in fruits, vegetables and whole grains, and low in added sugar, alcoholic beverages and solid fats is associated with higher abundance of beneficial bacteria such as those with anti-inflammatory properties.
A poor-quality diet, on the other hand, is associated with more potentially pathogenic bacteria, such as Fusobacteria, which has been linked to colorectal cancer.
The researchers propose that the effect diet has on the structure of bacterial communities in human colonic mucosa can lead to modifications of innate immunity, inflammation and the risk of chronic diseases.
Their next step is to confirm the study findings in a larger study population. In addition, they want to investigate how bacterial products, or metabolites, such as short-chain fatty acids or secondary bile acids, can modify tissue microenvironment into one that either inhibits or promotes tumor growth or development of other diseases.
Also, Jiao and her colleagues are interested in investigating how the unfavorable gut microbiome in individuals consuming a poor diet would respond to tailored dietary intervention using diet, pre- or probiotics, as previous studies have produced mixed results.
“Other factors, such as aging, genetics or certain medications, also influence the risk of disease but we cannot modify them,” Jiao said. “Diet, on the other hand, can be modified and thus provides a strategy to develop a microbiome that promotes healthy living. We suggest that modifying the microbiome through diet may be a part of a plan to reduce the risk of chronic diseases.”
New research indicates that transgender and non-binary individuals are significantly more likely to have autism or display autistic traits than the wider population – a finding that has important implications for gender confirmation treatments.
The study, led by Dr Steven Stagg of Anglia Ruskin University (ARU) and published in the journal European Psychiatry, is one of the first pieces of research to focus on people who identify as non-binary.
It found that 14% of the transgender and non-binary group had a diagnosis of autism, while a further 28% of this group reached the cut off point for an autism diagnosis, suggesting a high number of potentially undiagnosed individuals.
These figures were primarily driven by high scoring amongst those whose assigned gender was female at birth, supporting recent evidence that there is a large population of undiagnosed women with an autism spectrum disorder.
The authors also found higher levels of systematising (a tendency to analyse, control and use rule-based systems) and lower levels of empathy amongst the transgender and non-binary group, characteristics often found in individuals with an autism spectrum disorder.
The study of 177 people reported an autism diagnosis of 4% for the cisgender group (those whose gender identity matches their gender at birth). This is higher than previously-reported estimates for the wider population and the authors believe self-selection for the study could be responsible.
Dr Stagg, Senior Lecturer in Psychology at Anglia Ruskin (ARU), said: “We found that a significant proportion of the transgender and non-binary group either had a diagnosis of autism or displayed autistic traits, including a difficulty in empathising and an overreliance on systematic, rule-based reasoning.
One of the striking findings was the number of individuals born female who met the cut off for autism spectrum disorder. This is particularly important given that individuals born female are twice as likely to be referred to gender identity clinics.
Problems interpreting social signals, a literal understanding of language and difficulty recognising and interpreting one’s own emotions could mean that individuals struggle with therapeutic interventions.
People with autism are also more likely to seek unequivocal answers to the complex issues surrounding gender identity. Our study suggests it is important that gender identity clinics screen patients for autism spectrum disorders and adapt their consultation process and therapy accordingly.
Note: This article is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment provided by a qualified healthcare provider.
Note: Natural Blaze does not receive commissions from sales related to any products or services mentioned in this article; they are strictly presented only as personal recommendations from this article’s author.
In Episode 3:Nutraceuticals vs. Pharmaceutical Drugs: Why Organic Matters, Jonathan and TeriAnn interviewed Dr. Daniel Nuzum, lead formulator of Organixx supplements. Dr. Nuzum is the author of Detox for Life: How to Minimize Toxins and Maximize Your Body’s Ability to Heal. He is an NMD, a naturopathic physician, mechanotherapist, naprapath, medical massage practitioner, tui na practitioner and Native American healing practitioner. He has been formulating supplements for more than 17 years, and is one of the leading researchers of fulvic and humic acid. His website is at: https://www.drnuzum.com.
Jonathan asked Dr. Nuzum to explain the difference between pharmaceuticals and nutraceuticals. A pharmaceutical is a patented drug, a substance that did not occur in nature. Since you can’t patent nature, a pharmaceutical has to be based on a chemical that was created or isolated in the laboratory. So, for example, dandelions cannot be patented because they are naturally-occurring substances. They weren’t created by humans.
Dr. Nuzum pointed out that 80% of the drugs in the US pharmacopeia are synthesized chemicals patterned after chemicals extracted from plants. The problem is a synthesized compound is never 100% identical to the natural compound on which it was modeled. In organic chemistry, chemicals with a right genetic spin have names that begin with a “d” (for “dextro”, the Latin word for “right”) and chemicals with a left genetic spin have names that begin with an “l” for “levro”.
In nature, almost all organic chemicals have a left spin. The natural substance has few if any negative side effects. With natural things, side effects are typically dose related because anything (even water) can have a side effect if you take too much of it.
When an organic chemical is synthesized, most of it will have a left spin, but part of it will have a right spin. That little quirk is what causes about 95% of the side effects! Synthetic versions are generally stronger than the natural version. Drugs are designed to create or stop a chemical reaction in the body – to cause the body to create a certain chemical or to stop it from producing one. To do that, they have to be very targeted, specific, and potent.
Note: While it was not mentioned in the podcast, it should be pointed out that pharmaceutical drugs are one of the leading killers of Americans. “Prescription Drugs Outpace Car Accidents as Leading Cause of Death” reports: “Car accidents have been the leading cause of death in the United States for decades. Recently, for the first time, the leading cause of death was replaced in 16 states by drugs. And not the kind of drugs you’d expect. While illegal drugs such as heroin and cocaine do contribute a fair share to the death toll, the sharpest increase in fatalities was due to prescription opiates such as methadone, OxyContin and Vicodin.”
A nutraceutical is created from one or two compounds from a plant in a high concentration to have a very specific action on the body. So, what you are consuming is almost a pure phytochemical extract. Some people consider an herbal extract a nutraceutical. However, Dr. Nuzum said he considers that a food because it is not concentrated in any way.
An example of a nutraceutical is the extraction of curcumin from Turmeric and 95% of the resulting compound is curcumin. Dr. Nuzum pointed out that curcumin is about 1% of what’s in the Turmeric root. So, you would need 95 Turmeric roots to make a 95% curcumin extract. Depending on the plant, there might be 23-30 types of curcumin in Turmeric! There are 300 other compounds in Turmeric.
Turmeric is first cousin to Ginger Root. Curcumin is the compound in Turmeric that is missing in Ginger. Almost everything else is the same. They complement each other because Ginger has some compounds Turmeric doesn’t have.
There are various grades of nutraceuticals. In the supplement industry, there are set norms. For example, you are not allowed to make a 100% curcuminoid because that’s too close to being a pharmaceutical. So, the maximum is usually a 98% standardized extract. It has to have 2% of the rest of the Turmeric root. That means that what you are consuming is almost a pure phytochemical extract.
The phytochemicals are the healing properties of the plant. A nutraceutical extracts and concentrates a phytochemical. Nutraceuticals have no or very little toxicity. Green tea extract or curcumin from Turmeric are examples of concentrated nutraceuticals. They are perfectly safe.
However, if you are taking really high doses of a nutraceutical, you should fluctuate – take it for a couple of weeks and then cut back for a couple of weeks. Although nutraceuticals are not toxic, they may overstimulate your system and could become an irritant if you don’t give your body a break. Fluctuating helps ensure the efficacy of the nutraceutical by making sure your body doesn’t get used to it.
Whole Food Concentrates
Dr. Nuzum explained that if you juiced an organic salad and put it into a capsule, that would be a whole food supplement or concentrate. They are the best nutritional supplements and it would be difficult to overdose on those! A whole food supplement is not a high concentration of any one thing. It is a broad nutrient base.
Levels of Potency
Dr. Nuzum categorizes supplements in the following way with the strongest at the top:
Nutraceutical: Any supplement that is a 20-to-1 extract. That is like concentrating 20 tea bags into one bag. So, this is much more potent and it has more phytochemicals than nutrients.
Herbal Extract: A tea is an example of a 1-to-1 herbal extract.
Whole Food Concentrate: After several organic foods are juiced and freeze-dried, sprouted nuts or seeds are added. The compound is put a humic acid or fulvic acid base and put in a capsule. This is nutrient-dense. “What’s In Your Supplements?” reviews the Organixx Episode 2 in which Dr. Nuzum described the best whole food concentrates.
Importance of Organic Supplements
Dr. Nuzum explained that we need a multi-vitamin because the Standard American Diet (SAD) supplies just trace amounts of only 17 of the 73-90 essential nutrients we need on a daily basis. Even organic vegetables now have only 17% of the nutrients they had 100 years ago! So, good supplements are essential now for optimal health. The OrganixxMulti-Vita-Max provides 21 vitamins and minerals from 36 organic superfoods and botanicals. It is fermented to maximize your body’s intake of the nutrients.
TeriAnn pointed out that the purpose of taking a supplement is to get nutrients lacking in your foods. Jonathan emphasized that while it’s important to eat organic foods, it’s even more important to take supplements based on organic whole foods. The highest quality supplements are important because the level of nutrition determines the outcome of the protocol. Organic foods are the best sources for supplements because, by law, they have 95% fewer toxic chemicals (herbicides, fungicides, pesticides, and heavy metals) than non-organic foods.
Yet, many supplements are not based on organic ingredients. “Why Good Supplements Are So Important” links to a video in which Jonathan explains the levels of supplements. In the Organixx Episode 2: Synthetic vs. Whole Food Supplements & Delivery Systems, Dr. Nuzum explained that probably the worst synthetic supplements are those made from petroleum waste products! Your body sees vitamins and minerals extracted from oil as foreign substances and eliminates them.
Synthetic vs. Whole Food Supplements & Delivery Systems | Empowering You Organically - Episode #2 - YouTube
However, synthetic supplements can be made from food products. Jonathan explained that the reason the quality of the foods that make up supplements is so important is that ingredients in supplements are highly concentrated. For instance, a lot of Vitamin C supplements come from genetically-modified (GMO) corn. So, you get a concentrated toxin!
About 95% of the “one a day” vitamin supplements advertised on TV, online, and in print media or in Walmart, CVS, Walgreens, etc. are synthetic. Since synthetic vitamins contain no trace minerals, they draw on your body’s mineral reserves and leave you more depleted! You are PAYING to be worse off! If you are not sure whether the ingredients in your supplements are synthetic, contact the manufacturers.
Jonathan explained that although all ingredients in Organixx supplements are organic, they can’t put the USDA certified organic label on their supplements yet because the capsule is not organic. However, Jonathan is working on getting organic capsules.
Media Disinformation About Food and Supplements
The 2017 CRN Consumer Survey on Dietary Supplements shows that 76% of Americans are taking dietary supplements, up from 64% in 2008. Women and men report similar reasons for taking supplements, with overall health/wellness benefits at the top of the list for both. More males (33%) cite energy while more females (28%) cite bone health. Vitamins and minerals are still the most commonly consumed supplement category, consistent with previous surveys.
More than half of adults report using dietary supplements, but new research suggests that most vitamins and minerals don’t do anything for heart health. Some products, according to a review of hundreds of existing studies, may even increase the risk of stroke.
The article/video paint drugs as safe because they are FDA approved and paint supplements as unsafe because they are not FDA approved. This leads people to believe it’s a good idea to rely on drugs and a bad idea to take almost all supplements. This is dangerous disinformation because it fails to reveal all the facts so people can make informed choices to protect themselves. That lack of information has left millions of Americans with poor health. Hosea 4:6: “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge”.
The article fails to mention that prescription drugs are one of the leading causes of death! The article fails to discuss the well-established link between the introduction of GMOs in the 1990s and the sudden epidemic in chronic illnesses for old and young alike. It fails to explain that even people who eat organic foods need good supplements now. However, the CNN article is not entirely wrong since most supplements may be worthless — and many are even counter-productive.
The weekly Organixx podcasts introduced in 2018 are SO important because they may be the only or one of the very few sources of information about what to look for in good supplements — and what to avoid. Big Tech has removed a lot of alternative health information from the internet, YouTube, Facebook, etc. Fortunately, Natural Blaze has survived, but it is under attack. See “Natural Blaze is Being Censored! We Need Your Help.” I am a Natural Blaze patreon because we can’t take the alt media for granted now in this rapidly-escalating war on our health. We must support those who support us.
Organixx “INSPIRED” Library
Jonathan referred people to the Organixx “INSPIRED” Library for articles and videos on many health topics. “INSPIRED” is an acronym for the Organixx 8 Pillars of Health: Inflammation, Nutrition, Supplements, Physical (Exercise), Immune System, Rest, Emotions, and Detoxificaiton. “Empowering Your Organically” is the Organixx motto for its podcasts and INSPIRED Library.
Organixx Targeted Whole Food Supplements
Dr. Nuzum explained that the Organixx supplements are broad organic nutrient-based whole food supplements that are designed to target certain areas and are appropriate for all adults.
Dr. Nuzum used the OrganixxDetoxx supplements as an example. Detox 1 feeds the whole body. However, it is designed to support lymphatic drainage and colon health. Detox 2, rather than flushing out the liver and kidneys, is designed to feed them so they function better.
Jonathan pointed out that the Organixx Turmeric 3D is targeted to promote a healthy inflammation response. Organixx podcast Episode 5Inflammation & Turmeric (Do’s Don’ts) explains that the Organixx proprietary triple fermentation process makes Turmeric 3D bioavailable on an unprecedented level. The Organixx podcast Episode 6 Boosting Your Immune System Using Mushrooms discusses the 7M+ mushroom supplement which is focused on supporting the immune system and is anti-aging.
Boosting Your Immune System Using Mushrooms | Empowering You Organically - Episode 6 - YouTube
TeriAnn asked if people already have a lot of a particular nutrient and don’t need any more, how a supplement which has that nutrient would affect them. Dr. Nuzum said that’s quite common and gave the example of someone who has a lot of selenium. The approach of Allopathic Medicine would be to prescribe a lot of other supplements and when those surpass the selenium, to prescribe more selenium – in a teeter-totter approach.
However, Dr. Nuzum has found that a better approach is to use a broad spectrum supplement and let the body choose what it needs. It will reject whatever it doesn’t need. Dr. Nuzum said that he has his patients take the whole food based supplements for just three months and then take just the Detoxx supplements for a month. The detox feeds the system well and doesn’t just strip things from the body.
In addition to providing an unprecedented level of information, Organixx may also be the only (or one of the few) sources of the best supplements. Jonathan and Ty Bollinger began collaborating on The Truth About Cancer docuseries in 2014. When viewers asked for recommendations for supplements, they recognized that there were none that met the standards they had learned from the physicians interviewed in the docuseries.
So, Jonathan and Ty co-founded Organixx to provide a new level of supplements. In mid-2018, Ty left to focus on The Truth About Cancer docuseries. Jonathan launched the podcasts in late 2018 to provide a perhaps unprecedented level of information about supplements.
Organixx Turmeric 3D and 7M+ Rescued My Knees
I discovered Organixx last July when I read “Five Stunning Health Benefits of Medical Mushrooms.” The article links to 7M+ which I purchased. When Organixx sent me an email about Turmeric 3D, I purchased it with the intent of taking both supplements for general health starting September 1. However, on August 15, I suddenly felt I had “no knees” and thought I might not be able to walk! So, I immediately started taking the supplements. Within a couple of hours, I could walk normally!! Two days later, I ran on the treadmill at my gym and walked home (45 minutes).
However, a few weeks later, I forgot to take the Turmeric 3D in the morning before leaving. In the afternoon, I felt like I had no knees again and thought I might not be able to get back home. When I took the Turmeric 3D that evening, my knees were restored. So, I made sure to take Turmeric 3D every morning and 7M+ every evening. Starting last month, as Dr. Nuzum suggested, I skip the supplements on week-ends so my body doesn’t begin to see them as irritants.
In late February, when my dentist discovered a large cavity that had not been there six month earlier, I realized that both the cavity and the sudden loss of my knees were probably due to the 1-2 ounces of dark chocolate I had started eating daily on August 1 last year – as recommended by a physician on a docuseries I watched in July! I immediately stopped eating the chocolate.
See “The Numerous Health Benefits of Turmeric.” The Organixx Turmeric Chart compares Turmeric 3D to other popular brands. Turmeric 3D includes fermented organic turmeric, fermented vitamin D3, fermented organic Turkey Tail mushroom, fermented organic ginger, Ashwagandha extract, and fulvic acid. Turmeric 3D’s proprietary triple fermented process is an..
Virginia Tech scientists have found that in regions where oilfield wastewater disposal is widespread — and where injected water has a higher density than deep naturally occurring fluids — earthquakes are getting deeper at the same rate as the wastewater sinks.
Perhaps more critically, the research team of geoscientists found that the percentage of high-magnitude earthquakes increases with depth, and may create — although fewer in number — greater magnitude earthquakes years after injection rates decline or stop altogether.
The study, led by Ryan M. Pollyea in the Virginia Tech College of Science’s Department of Geosciences, was published July 16 in Nature Communications. It shows that in areas such as Oklahoma and southern Kansas there is evidence that oilfield wastewater injected underground into the Arbuckle formation has a much higher density than natural fluids occurring within the deeper seismogenic zone faults.
The problem: The wastewater sinks and increases fluid pressure deep underground when it has a higher density than fluids already there naturally. Pressure changes so deep — at depths up to 5 miles or greater — can cause more high-magnitude earthquakes even though the overall number of earthquakes is decreasing.
“Earthquakes are now common in the central United States where the number of magnitude-3 or greater earthquakes increased from about 19 per year before 2008 to more than 400 per year since,” said Pollyea, an assistant professor of geosciences and director of the Computational Geofluids Laboratory at Virginia Tech. (Pollyea adds that the overall earthquake rate per year has been declining since 2016.)
“In many cases, these earthquakes occur when oilfield wastewater is disposed of by pumping it into deep geologic formations,” Pollyea added. “As wastewater is injected deep underground, fluid pressure builds up and migrates away from injection wells. This destabilizes faults and causes ‘injection-induced’ earthquakes, such as the damaging 5.8-magnitude earthquake that struck Pawnee, Oklahoma, in 2016.”
Pollyea authored the study with Martin Chapman, a research associate professor of geosciences and director of the Virginia Tech Seismological Observatory; and Richard S. Jayne and Hao Wu, both graduate students at Virginia Tech. The study used computational modeling and earthquake data analysis from across a broad region of northern Oklahoma and southern Kansas — roughly 30,000 square miles.
“This was a surprising result,” Chapman said. “It suggests that sinking wastewater increases fluid pressure at greater depths and may cause larger earthquakes.”
By analyzing earthquake data, the researchers found that the number of earthquakes greater than a magnitude 4 increased more than 150 percent from 2017 to 2018 while the number of earthquakes with magnitude 2.5 or greater decreased 35 percent during the same period. More bluntly, the overall number of earthquakes is starting to decrease, but the percentage of higher-magnitude earthquakes is increasing.
“Our models show that high-density wastewater may continue sinking and increasing fluid pressure at depths of 5 or more miles for 10 or more years after injections stop,” Pollyea said. “There is a larger proportion of high-magnitude earthquakes at depths greater than 5 miles in north-central Oklahoma and southern Kansas, but there are fewer total earthquakes at these depths. This implies that the rate of high-magnitude earthquakes is decreasing more slowly than the overall earthquake rate.”
The study also found that fluid pressure caused by sinking wastewater remains in the environment much longer than previously considered. “Our models show that high-density wastewater continues sinking and increasing fluid pressure for 10 to 15 years after injections stop, and this may prolong the earthquake hazard in regions like Oklahoma and Kansas,” Pollyea said.
It’s important to note that Pollyea and his colleagues are not saying that all oilfield wastewater disposal operations cause earthquakes, nor are they predicting a large and potentially damaging earthquake in the Midwest region. Nor does the study indicate that density-driven pressure build-up occurs everywhere that oilfield wastewater operations occur.
Researchers have known since the 1960s that pumping fluids deep underground can trigger earthquakes, Pollyea said, but this study is the first to show that the density of the wastewater itself plays a role in earthquake occurrence. The heavier the fluid, the greater the effect of displacement of natural fluids and the greater the fluid pressure change. To wit: Take a cup of salty ocean water heavy with dissolved particulates and dump it into a glass of regular tap water. Before the two eventually mix, the heavier ocean water will sink to the bottom, displacing the “lighter” tap water upward.
“Past pore-pressure models have assumed the density of injected fluids are the same as that in host rocks, but the real world begs to differ, and injected fluids are often heavier,” said Shemin Ge, a professor and chair of the Department of Geological Sciences at the University of Colorado, who was not involved with the study. “This study looks into the effect of heavier fluids on pore pressure and consequently on inducing earthquakes. Heavier injected fluids have the tendency to migrate downward, which, interestingly, tracks the occurrence of earthquakes.”
The new study offers scientists, regulators, and policymakers a new framework for managing oilfield wastewater disposal and the associated earthquake hazard, according to the research team. In places such as Oklahoma, where earthquake mitigation measures are ongoing, results from this study may be particularly important because the combination of persistent and deepening fluid pressure suggests that the rate of high-magnitude earthquakes is likely decreasing slower than the overall earthquake rate.
When cabbage looper moth larvae infest a field, sustainable growers will often try to control the pests by releasing large numbers of predators, such as ladybugs. That way they can avoid spraying expensive and environmentally harmful insecticides.
Still, farmers have mixed results when they supplement their fields with beetles or other predators.
A new study of cabbage crops in New York – a state industry worth close to $60 million in 2017, according to the USDA – reports for the first time that the effectiveness of releasing natural enemies to combat pests depends on the landscape surrounding the field.
“The landscape context can inform how to better use this strategy in field conditions,” said Ricardo Perez-Alvarez, the paper’s first author and a graduate student in the lab of co-author Katja Poveda, associate professor of entomology. Brian Nault, an entomology professor at Cornell AgriTech, is also a co-author.
The paper, “Effectiveness of Augmentative Biological Control Depends on Landscape Context,” was published in the journal Nature Scientific Reports. It showed that releasing pest predators led to fewer pests, less plant damage and increased crop biomass on farms surrounded by more forest and natural areas and less agricultural land. But on farms predominantly surrounded by other farms, the reverse was true, with more pests and plant damage and reduced crop biomass in spite of added predators.
The reasons behind this phenomenon are complex, and depend on interactions between local predators and those that are added, which can vary on a case-by-case basis.
“Landscape composition influences how predator species interact with one another and thereby mediates the potential consequences for biological pest control,” Perez-Alvarez said.
The study focused on cabbage crops and three cabbage pests (the larvae of the cabbage white butterfly, the diamondback moth and the cabbage looper moth), and their natural enemies. In central New York, there are 156 native predator species and seven parasitoid wasps that prey on these pests. Among these, two generalist predators are commonly used to augment fields with additional pest enemies: the spined soldier bug and the convergent ladybird beetle. These two generally complement each other well because soldier bugs feed on larvae and ladybugs feed on eggs.
In the study, the researchers set up experimental plots on 11 cabbage farms in central New York, which together represented a range of surrounding landscapes from agricultural lands to natural areas.
Each farm had two cabbage plots: one that was left alone so it was exposed to the naturally occurring predators, and another where soldier bugs and ladybugs were added. The researchers then collected a wide range of data that included surveys of pest and predator abundances, plant damage and final crop yields. They also conducted lab experiments to better understand the relationships between predators and how those interactions impact pest control.
Given how complex these predator-predator and predator-pest interactions and their relationships to pest control can be, more study is needed to make specific recommendations to growers. Still, the paper is a first step toward understanding how landscapes influence the effects of augmenting farms with predators for pest control.
The video documentation of teenager Muntathar Altaii, Mun’s, “real time Odyssey” for only a couple weeks regarding extreme spinal kyphosis and dead leg during chiropractic treatments he received from Gonstead Chiropractic in Australia is an example of “energy medicine” in action. Every healthcare practitioner who saw Mun was afraid to touch him, but an Australian chiropractor, Dr. Ian, actually worked healing “miracles,” as you will see.
Dr. Ian Chiropractic helps teenager’s pain for 4 months with extreme kyphosis & “dead leg”
[Real time video documentation]
Gonstead. - Dr. Ian Chiropractic helps teenager pain for 4 months with extreme kyphosis & dead leg - YouTube
I bring this true story to you because I think readers ought to know there are philosophical and ‘mechanical’ differences between allopathic [standard AMA] medicine and chiropractic healthcare.
Allopathy is steeped in over-prescribed, often-contaminated, chemical prescription drugs, which can ‘turn off’ certain enzyme systems and biochemical pathways depending upon the patient’s health problem, causing symptomatic relief ameliorating, but not actually curing, in my opinion; whereas chiropractic healthcare is about moving energy in the body and to relieve spinal subluxations impeding the flow of ‘electrical’ energy.
Neurons firing, or brain waves, are tiny pulses of electrical activity: Alpha, Delta, Theta, Beta & Gamma brain waves. The spinal column’s “electrical energy” feeds nerves, which extend outward from between each of the spinal column’s vertebrae.  They also supply energy to vital organs.
Since allopathy had a hard time accepting chiropractic care, i.e.,
“We affirm the district court’s finding that the AMA violated § 1 of the Sherman Act by conducting an illegal boycott of chiropractors, and the district court’s decision to grant an injunction against the AMA.”).
Doctors of Chiropractic now can be seen practicing in hospitals and are regarded as the “go to health professional” for back problems, especially after auto accidents.
Mun’s inspiring and uplifting story dramatizes there’s a definite place for varied healthcare modality practices, which should be covered by healthcare insurance to keep down healthcare costs. If you are in an accident and become a ‘road pancake’, allopathic surgeons work miracles and are to be applauded.
However, for chronic structural problems, chiropractic care seems to have an upper hand, as we have seen in the above video. Other healthcare modalities of “energy medicine” are Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) Acupuncture; then there’s ancient, three-thousand-year-old Ayurveda medicine, which believes in and practices delicate balancing between the mind, body, and spirit—energy!
Much of the ancient ‘healing practices’ has gone by the wayside, but Traditional Chinese Medicine and Ayurveda have been proven efficacious from using the time test: thousands of years.
Let’s not forget the ever-popular Homeopathy, another “energy-based medicine” practice using natural substances, so that the body can cure itself! What an unusual thought. Doesn’t the body always cure itself?
“The power that made your body heals your body.” 
With today’s ever-increasing costs for physicians’ services, prescription drugs and healthcare in general, maybe it would be efficacious in more ways than one to think outside the standard “healthcare box” and explore other healing modalities.
One of the main features of CES 2019 was the Verde G690 Treadmill, courtesy of SportsArt. Instead of it being your everyday treadmill that you see in gyms, this treadmill follows through with other SportsArt gear that sends energy back to the grid after a grueling workout. The Verde G690 Treadmill is the latest admission to such gear which also involves a cross trainer, ellipticals, and other cycles.
SportsArt's Verde Treadmill - The World's First Energy Producing Treadmill - YouTube
This company has always been known for bringing forth sustainable sources of energy for workouts, so this particular equipment has a way of harnessing bio-power and turning it into consumable electricity. The treadmill runs on human steps, rather than a motor, and the energy produced with each step is up to 70%, which is around 200 Watts per hour. This is keeping in line with their products in the Eco-Power line.
Then this power is sent back to the grid, thereby diminishing the individual’s carbon footprint. It also counts the amount of energy sent back to the grid. It is only due to the company’s excellent system of SA Well+, that users can observe the amount of energy that is produced and sent back to the grid. It can be operated through a mobile application too.
Although it does seem that the treadmill is more interested in transforming calories into power, it does serve all the functions of a normal treadmill – a speed limit of up to 10mph, a space for running, slatted belts, and a brake that controls the slatted belts, etc.
Anyone opting for this machine will have the option to choose from multiple modules set for a nice workout. A heart monitor placed would also help in an optimal workout without overexerting oneself. Although a fixable incline is not there, for the treadmill has been fixed at a low angle, if one were to choose for a harder workout, they can opt for any of the 6 resistance levels offered. All in all, a nice, sweaty workout.
Visit the SportsArt website, where you can find detailed information about the equipment, involving their pricing, and their availability.
College is stressful. Students have classes, papers, and exams. But they also often have work, bills to pay, and so many other pressures common in modern life.
Many universities have instituted “Pet Your Stress Away” programs, where students can come in and interact with cats and/or dogs to help alleviate some of the strain.
Scientists at Washington State University have recently demonstrated that, in addition to improving students’ moods, these programs can actually get “under the skin” and have stress-relieving physiological benefits.
“Just 10 minutes can have a significant impact,” said Patricia Pendry, an associate professor in WSU’s Department of Human Development. “Students in our study that interacted with cats and dogs had a significant reduction in cortisol, a major stress hormone.”
Pendry published these findings with WSU graduate student Jaymie Vandagriff last month in AERA Open, an open access journal published by the American Educational Research Association.
This is the first study that has demonstrated reductions in students’ cortisol levels during a real-life intervention rather than in a laboratory setting.
The study involved 249 college students randomly divided into four groups. The first group received hands-on interaction in small groups with cats and dogs for 10 minutes. They could pet, play with, and generally hang out with the animals as they wanted.
To compare effects of different exposures to animals, the second group observed other people petting animals while they waited in line for their turn. The third group watched a slideshow of the same animals available during the intervention, while the fourth group was “waitlisted.”
Those students waited for their turn quietly for 10 minutes without their phones, reading materials, or other stimuli, but were told they would experience animal interaction soon.
Several salivary cortisol samples were collected from each participant, starting in the morning when they woke up. Once all the data was crunched from the various samples, the students who interacted directly with the pets showed significantly less cortisol in their saliva after the interaction. These results were found even while considering that some students may have had very high or low levels to begin with.
“We already knew that students enjoy interacting with animals, and that it helps them experience more positive emotions,” Pendry said. “What we wanted to learn was whether this exposure would help students reduce their stress in a less subjective way. And it did, which is exciting because the reduction of stress hormones may, over time, have significant benefits for physical and mental health.”
Now Pendry and her team are continuing this work by examining the impact of a four-week-long animal-assisted stress prevention program. Preliminary results are very positive, with a follow-up study showing that the findings of the recently published work hold up.
They hope to publish the final results of that work in the near future.
Dementia is a blanket medical term generally used to describe any condition that causes a decline in mental cognition and memory loss. Unfortunately, dementia is often passed on genetically, meaning many people are predisposed to developing symptoms later on in life. Now, a new study out of the University of Exeter finds that living a healthy lifestyle may be able to offset the genetic risk of developing dementia.
Alzheimer’s disease is the most prevalent form of dementia, but any type of dementia diagnosis can be devastating for both the patient and their families. In many ways the condition is even harder to deal with and treat than a more physical ailment because it robs the individual of their very identity and cherished memories. Furthermore, dementia diagnoses are on the rise all over the world, with projected cases only expected to increase as more and more people are living longer than ever before.
That’s why it is so significant that researchers may have discovered an effective strategy to lower an individual’s chances of developing dementia. The study found that, among people with a genetic predisposition towards dementia, those who actively lead a healthy lifestyle were 32% less likely to develop it than those who lived an unhealthy lifestyle.
Furthermore, participants in the study with a high genetic risk of dementia and unhealthy lifestyle were nearly three times more likely to develop a form of dementia compared to people with a low genetic risk and healthy lifestyle.
“This is the first study to analyze the extent to which you may offset your genetic risk of dementia by living a healthy lifestyle. Our findings are exciting as they show that we can take action to try to offset our genetic risk for dementia. Sticking to a healthy lifestyle was associated with a reduced risk of dementia, regardless of the genetic risk.” Joint lead author Dr Elbieta Kuma explains in a release.
For the study, researchers analyzed data on 196,383 adults of European ancestry over the age of 60. Each person was placed in one of three groups; high, intermediate, and low genetic risk. Over the course of eight years, 1,769 cases of dementia were identified among the participants.
Researchers also placed participants in three lifestyle groups; favorable, intermediate, or unfavorable. In order to gauge each person’s lifestyle choices, participants were asked to report their diets, physical activity, and any smoking or drinking habits. Participants in the favorable lifestyle group reported no current smoking, regular exercise, a healthy diet, and little to moderate alcohol consumption.
Living a healthy lifestyle was found to reduce dementia risk across all three genetic risk groups.
“This research delivers a really important message that undermines a fatalistic view of dementia. Some people believe it’s inevitable they’ll develop dementia because of their genetics. However it appears that you may be able to substantially reduce your dementia risk by living a healthy lifestyle,” comments Joint lead author Dr David Llewellyn.
The study is published in the scientific journal JAMA.
Originally from Long Island, John has been writing professionally for over 7 years. When he isn’t writing about the latest scientific studies, you can find him working on his first horror novel. John splits his time between the United States and Kraków, Poland.