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Better Living Through Well Being


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Better Living Through Well Being

Thousands of bacteria and microorganisms living in our guts maintain our health by aiding in digestion and communicating with our immune systems to guard against infection. This is an ecosystem of the body known as the microbiome. Researchers are discovering that certain environmental factors, like a person’s diet, can favor production of intestinal bacterial that fuel or dampen a person’s susceptibility to autoinflammatory disease. The exact scientific mechanism involved is now becoming understood.

While research has not yet begun with humans, animal studies have shown remarkable reversals in osteomyelitis, arthritis, periodontal disease, and other inflammatory disorders by changing the nutritional composition of the diet. Changes in diet led to marked increases and decreases of certain intestinal bacteria. This shows how diets that limit growth of certain bacteria reduce production of the immune molecules that promote inflammation leading to various disorders.

Probiotics are bacteria and other microorganisms with a demonstrated health benefit. In a series of probiotic experiments, researchers discovered that transplanting the intestinal microbiome from healthy mice protected the at-risk, mutant mice from developing disease, suggesting that probiotics might provide a more targeted method for suppressing production of the microorganisms that promote autoinflammatory diseases.

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High caliber collaborative research studying the impacts of organic management on soil, and the health effects of pesticide exposure continues at The Organic Center, a nonprofit and educational research organization. Preliminary findings of this research support the benefits of organic food and farming for the health of humans and the environment.

In collaboration with the National Soil Project at Northeastern University, The Organic Center is examining differences in soil health between organic and conventional soil. They are looking at the level of sequestered carbon in soils to investigate potential benefits of organic farming on soil health. The sequestered carbon content of a soil is a key component of the organic matter of a soil, which helps the soil retain water, acts as a buffer, improves soil texture, helps regulate the climate and supports many other soil functions. Massive quantities of synthetic fertilizers used in conventional farming can jeopardize the long-term health of the soil. Preliminary evidence of this research suggests that organic soil has more sequestered carbon than conventional soil, and that synthetic fertilizers can strip the soil of organic matter. This same research suggests that organic farming may also play an important role in climate change because organic soils contain higher levels of sequestered carbon. The Organic Center is seeking more soil samples from organic farms to test his research. They are offering organic farmers free soil analyses if they send them a few tablespoons of soil. Information on submitting samples can be found on The Organic Center site.

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A 4 minute film highlights the critical need to stay below 2 degrees Celsius, a critical point in increasing global warming, by reducing carbon emissions and preventing them from entering the atmosphere. It points out that while zero-carbon renewable forms of energy use is increasing, it is not keeping up with the increasing use of energy from fossil fuels. A solution offered is the use of carbon capture and storage (CCS), a technology that keeps CO2 out of the atmosphere by returning emissions below several layers of rock into the planet’s geosphere.

Applying a tariff on CO2 emissions by volume would be an incentive to deploy CCS extensively by industry. The maker of this informative and starkly engaging film, the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD), is committed to galvanizing the global business community to create a sustainable future for business, society, and the environment.

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National Geographic Society’s Greendex, an 18-country survey measuring consumer trends related to housing, transportation, food and consumer goods, shows that consumers are adopting some sustainable behaviors, but that change is not keeping pace with concern about environmental problems. The top-scoring consumers of 2014 are in the developing economies of India and China, followed by South Korea, Brazil and Argentina. More and more consumers are embracing local and organic foods and lightening their environmental footprint in the food category. Nearly all consumers believe that we need to change the way we produce and consume food in order to feed a growing population. Many say it is very important to know how and where their food is produced, yet relatively few people report that they do.

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Terrestrial Energy, Inc., a Canadian-based company, has developed a non conventional nuclear technology that uses a molten salt reactor with liquid fuel rather than solid fuel, and it operates at atmospheric pressure rather than being highly pressurized. A spokesman for the company says their Integral Molten Salt Reactor (IMSR) will be much less expensive to build and operate, and it will have a “walk away safe” level of assurance with zero operator intervention even with a total loss of site power. He says the IMSR consumes one-sixth the fuel to produce the same amount of electricity, and it can be designed to consume the spent fuel of today’s conventional nuclear reactors. He estimates that the IMSR will demonstrate the lowest Lifetime Cost of Energy of any known technology.

Terrestrial Energy, Inc. intends to commercialize its IMSR by early next decade. “The world is changing. Voters are turning their backs on technologies that they believe pose a risk to their environment. Public policy has been moving, and will continue to move, in only one direction, rewarding carbon-free alternatives and making it tougher for the others,“ the spokesman said.

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Other articles of interest in this Fall 2014 TMIS eNewsletter:

* Transcranial Electromagnetic Treatment, a non invasive therapy for Alzheimer’s, shows promising results.

* GENiSYSS launches thumb-drive sized devices for storing DNA and crucial information for your family and future generations.

* Annual survey of American’s views on health care and the ACA finds nearly half of remaining uninsured are unaware of the individual mandate or of the exchanges.

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I am grateful to be in a collaborative business with many talented and skilled professionals. Additional feedback and recommendations for our products and services at TM Information Services are always welcome.

- Mary Michele McLaughlin


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