Winter Issue February 2015
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Better Living Through Well Being

We're happy to announce Craftmanship, a new free online quarterly magazine created to explore the ethos of craftsmanship in its widest sense with stories primarily about the most interesting people in the world who work with their hands. Some of these may be well-known masters, some unsung, and some still on the rise. Some may be in dusty old-world shops, some in laboratories and manufacturing plants in pursuit of the new, but behind each a set of principles lies that begins with deep, often eclectic experiences and the capacity for relentless experimentation and unusual attention to detail. They are all determined to create something of enduring quality, things that are built to last. Among the questions examined in this magazine will be what will it take to revive these principles in today’s frenetic, high-tech world? This is why Craftsmanship chose to devote its first issue to sustainability, exploring problems that rarely get discussed in the world of farming and food, and presenting stories of the innovators who are forging their solutions.

The Organic Center has come out with a great list, suitable for new year’s resolutions, taken from the top ten scientific studies whose evidence proves benefits of organic food and farming for the health of humans, pollinators, and the environment. The studies, published in prominent scientific journals, cover data on the effects of pesticides in our diet, the high value of antioxidants in organic food protecting against the effects of free radicals that can damage cells in the body and trigger disease, among other significant findings. A Harvard study links neonicotinoid use in pesticides to colony collapse disorder. Research by the Rodale Institute looks at how farming systems affect greenhouse gas emission and illustrates the ability of soil to mitigate climate change when managed organically. A study on healthy soil biodiversity published in “Agronomy for Sustainable Development” found that conservation and organic farming techniques boost the number of beneficial soil organisms when managed organically. Another study shows how the “inert” ingredients in major pesticides are not taken into account in safety test trials, and that the formulations were actually as much as a thousand times more toxic than when measuring their active ingredients alone. Links to all of these studies can be found inside the full article below.

Production of advanced biofuel, a liquid fuel made from non-petroleum sources that achieves a 50 percent reduction in carbon intensity compared to petroleum fuel, has been increasing in North America. Production capacity in 2014 was double that of 2011, according to an new environmental report. Advanced biofuel, such as cellulosic ethanol, uses the waste from corn crops or other expendable organic matter. The report shows how advanced biofuel is on track to meet targeted emission reductions for clean fuel standards in both California and Oregon. Similar clean-fuel standards may soon be adopted in Washington state where many believe increased use of advanced biofuel would create local jobs and keep hard-earned money in state by reducing the billions of dollars now spent on out of state oil.

Authors of a new report bringing attention to the consequences of routine interference in women’s innate biological processes during labor and delivery expect “Hormonal Physiology of Childbearing” to be a game changer. It finds evidence about the impacts of four hormonal systems consequential for child bearing with benefits when unimpeded medically, but create challenges when disturbed. The report concludes that common maternity care interventions, such as labor induction, epidural anesthesia, and cesarean section, can disturb hormonal processes and their benefits.

The report comes at a time when there is growing recognition that patterns of maternity care in the United States are contributing to unnecessarily high rates of maternal and newborn morbidity, mortality, and excess costs. It aims at accelerating efforts to improve the quality and value of maternity care while building women’s confidence in their ability to labor and give birth without medical interventions that can expose them and their babies to unnecessary risk and higher costs.

Since the 1990's, neuroscientists have dispelled the old myth that humans stop growing brain cells after age 21. In fact, the hippocampus, the main site of learning and memory, is constantly renewed throughout life by a pool of dividing stem cells, and their other generated daughter cells can migrate to sites of brain damage to facilitate repair. Unfortunately, for reasons that are not currently understood, these migrating stem cells don’t produce enough new neurons in the damaged site for complete recovery.

A new regenerative medicine program is developing new therapies that promote the migration of stem cells to the site of injury, retain them at the damaged site, and then promote their regenerative capacities to enact a total repair.


Other articles of interest in this Winter 2015 TMIS eNewsletter:

* Mental health professionals and recovering patients discuss how to fix the broken mental health system in a new online forum.

* Study suggests a moderate fat diet that includes avocado provides greater benefits to cardiovascular risk factors than a calorie matched low fat diet.

* Phase 2 clinical trial now underway shows promise for treating patients with relapsed and refractory diffuse large B-cell and follicular non-Hodgkin’s lymphomas using targeted gene suppression therapy.

* Seeking alternatives to conventional medicine after spending an exorbitant amount of money on failed treatments, many pet owners are now turning to holistic medicine with astounding results.

* Documentary film, Dark Side of the Full Moon, brings attention to the barriers of care for new mothers suffering from depression and anxiety.

* Family in Upper State New York creates a “self-sustainable sanctuary for humans” using modern technology and the forces of nature in a symbiotic ecosystem that functions totally off the grid.


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

From the Front Page of TMIS News
Click on links below to view Full Stories.

Craftsmanship Magazine Re-examines Farming In An Age Of Climate Change
San Francisco, California

The drought that hit the American West in 2014, and its threat to our food supply, puts the future of agriculture in an entirely new light, Craftsmanship, a new online magazine, reports. For this reason, the magazine has chosen to devote its first issue (available for no charge at to examining one of farming's most often touted principles, sustainability. "Sustainability means making a food system that's built to last," said Todd Oppenheimer, a noted author and magazine writer who is founding editor and publisher of the magazine. "Building things that are meant to last is what craftsmanship is all about, making the topic an ideal focus for our first issue."

Craftsmanship examines a range of issues that rarely get discussed in the world of farming and food. These include:

* A profile of Paul Kaiser, a controversial farmer in California who is exploring an entirely new way of dealing with the West's likely future of continued droughts. Kaiser and his wife, Elizabeth, run Singing Frogs Farm in Sebastopol. Kaiser today is generating amazing results, but skeptics warn he may be creating some real environmental dangers.
* The shortcomings of common organic agriculture practices as seen through the lens of sustainability - and some ideas of what Organic Farming 2.0 might look like.
* What the tiny island of Cuba might teach U.S. agribusiness (now that relations have resumed between the two countries) about how to become more productive, and more sustainable.
* How a master composter in Oregon is raising the art of compost tea brewing to a new level.
* An expert's guide to the confusing world of non-conventional farming "camps," from the ultra-organic to the ultra-high tech.
Full Story

Make 2015 an Organic Year: Ten New Year's Resolutions from The Organic Center
Washington, DC

It turns out that 2014 was the year of science supporting the benefits of organic food and farming: for human health, pollinator health, and the health of the environment.

To help you ring in the new year and truly turn over a new healthy leaf, The Organic Center has transformed the top ten studies of 2014 into New Year's resolutions that show how to improve the state of your diet and the state of our planet by choosing organic.

One: Be health-minded. Eat organic. A review of the latest research on the effects of organic agriculture and crops on public health found a clear health advantage in consuming organically produced food instead of conventionally produced. Published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, the findings concluded the lower pesticide residue levels in organic produce were a significant factor in helping account for these benefits.

Two: Get pesticides out of your life. Pesticides, linked to numerous health problems, are still found on conventional produce in the grocery store. A study showed that eating an organic diet for just seven days can significantly reduce your exposure to pesticides. The research found pesticide metabolite levels in a group of individuals who ate a diet of at least 80 percent organic for a week were cut by up to 96 percent.

Three: Load up on antioxidant-rich foods. A key study of 2014 showed organic fruits and vegetables have higher levels of antioxidants. Researchers found that if you choose organic rather than conventional fruits and vegetables, you can get an average of 20-40 percent increase in antioxidants! Antioxidants protect our cells against the effects of free radicals, which can damage cells in the body and trigger disease.
Full Story

E2 Report: North America's Advanced Biofuel Industry Produced 800 Million Gallons In 2014
Washington, DC

North America's advanced biofuel industry reached a production capacity of more than 800 million gallons in 2014, up from the previous year and almost double the capacity in 2011, according to a new market report unveiled today by the national nonpartisan business group Environmental Entrepreneurs (E2).

This is the highest capacity since E2 released its first advanced biofuels market report in 2011, and it's more than the 787 million gallons produced in 2013. It's roughly enough to fill an entire lane of Interstate 5 from Seattle to San Diego with nothing but large tanker trucks filled with advanced biofuel.

The report, "E2 Advanced Biofuel Market Report 2014," projects that by 2017, as many as 180 companies are expected to produce 1.7 billion gallons of advanced biofuel, doubling current capacity. The report shows how advanced biofuels are on track to meet targeted emission reductions for clean fuels standards in both California and Oregon, according to E2. It also offers the latest evidence that Washington state should quickly move forward with a clean fuels standard of its own, something Gov. Jay Inslee indicated he was prepared to do in his recently announced carbon plan, according to E2.

The complete report is available at or directly through this link. E2 members on the West Coast, biofuel industry executives, and E2 Western states advocate/report co-author Mary Solecki said, "The advanced biofuel industry is meeting the growing demand for cleaner-burning transportation fuels. Americans who want more local jobs, cleaner air, and more homegrown energy should demand elected officials enact policies, right now, that will promote the growth of advanced biofuel."
Full Story

New Scientific Report: Unnecessary Medical Interventions in Labor and Delivery May be Putting Mothers, Babies at Risk
Washington, DC

The country's maternity care system is missing opportunities to provide better care and use resources more wisely by routinely intervening in labor and delivery in ways that interfere with, instead of promoting, supporting and protecting, innate biological processes that result in healthier outcomes for women and newborns. That is the conclusion of a major new report, Hormonal Physiology of Childbearing: Evidence and Implications for Women, Babies, and Maternity Care. The unprecedented synthesis of scientific research on how hormone systems function from late pregnancy through the early postpartum period concludes that commonly used maternity interventions, such as labor induction, epidural analgesia, and cesarean section, can disturb hormonal processes and interfere with the benefits they offer.

The new report was authored by Dr. Sarah J. Buckley and released by Childbirth Connection, a program of the National Partnership for Women & Families. It synthesizes evidence about the impacts of common maternity care practices and interventions on four hormonal systems that are consequential for childbearing. It finds that a large body of evidence demonstrates that the hormonal physiology of childbearing has significant benefits for the health of mothers and babies and can optimize breastfeeding and maternal-infant attachment. But it concludes that common maternity care interventions may disturb hormonal processes, reduce their benefits, and create new challenges. The report's recommendations have implications for policy, practice, education, consumer engagement, and research.
Full Story

Novogen Announces Important Discovery in Regenerative Medicine Program
Sydney, Australia

Novogen Limited, an Australian/US biotechnology company, has announced an important discovery in its regenerative medicine program that has delivered a key proof-of-concept step forward in the quest to develop drugs capable of stimulating the function of brain tissue stem cells.

Regenerative medicine is concerned with repairing or replacing tissue lost due to age, disease, damage or congenital defects. In the case of the brain, damage associated with stroke, head trauma or neurodegenerative disease represents a very significant unmet clinical need for such therapies.

Novogen scientists now in an important scientific breakthrough have identified a family of compounds with an ability to promote the growth and activity of normal brain stem cells.

The dominant approach being taken to brain regeneration is the introduction of tissue stem cells that have been cultured outside of the body. However, delivery of these cells through the skull is very invasive and, so far, these cells seem to be susceptible to the same constraints that limit the resident stem cell population.

Work in the 1990's showed that the old adage, 'We continue to grow brain cells until age 21, and from then on it's all downhill', was, in fact, untrue. Close examination revealed that part of the hippocampus, the main site of learning and memory within the brain, is constantly renewed throughout life by a pool of dividing stem cells. A second discrete pool of stem cells generates daughter cells that can migrate to sites of brain damage to facilitate repair. Unfortunately, for reasons that are not currently understood, these migrating stem cells fail to produce enough new neurons in the damage site to provide substantial recovery.
Full Story

Psychiatric Times Calls for Suggestions on How to Fix the US Mental Health System
Norwalk, Connecticutt

UBM Medica US announces that Psychiatric Times, a leading online community for mental health professionals, has introduced a series of commentaries on how we can come together as psychiatrists, psychologists, mental health advocates, and recovering patients to improve what many believe is a failed mental health system in the US. The series will continue through 2015 with more evocative commentaries and invitations to the community to comment.

Among the discussions thus far:
* How to Fix the Broken Mental Health System: Call For Suggestions Series Editor, Allen Frances, MD, opens the series with the notion that "the dream of deinstitutionalization" 60 years ago” to provide a brighter future for people with severe mental illness” has turned into a "bitter nightmare." He calls for suggestions from readers to weigh in.
* Improving the Mental Health System: Who Is Responsible? E. Fuller Torrey, MD writes that the funding of mental illness services in the US is more thought-disordered than any of the thought-disordered patients it is meant to serve.
* The Mental Health System: Snake Pits, Dungeons, and Back Alleys How do we catch up with other developed countries to create a compassionate, cost-effective mental health system? An appeal to experts in the field to answer this question.

Psychiatric Times is the country's leading psychiatric publication and regularly publishes content on key issues in mental health.
Full Story

New Research Explores Effects of Moderate Fat Diets That Include Avocados Study Examines Avocado's Effects on CVD Risk Factors
Irvine, California

A moderate fat diet that includes one fresh avocado daily showed greater improvement in certain blood lipid markers when compared to an energy matched moderate fat diet without avocado or a low fat diet without avocado, according to new research published in the Journal of the American Heart Association.

Elevated cholesterol in the blood can increase risk factors for cardiovascular disease, the number one cause of death in the United States. A heart healthy diet can play an important role in keeping your cholesterol levels within a normal range. For example, the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends limiting saturated fat and replacing it with unsaturated fats and increasing your intake of fruits and vegetables.

The research, "The Effect of a Moderate Fat Diet With and Without Avocados on Lipoprotein Particle Number, Size and Subclasses in Overweight and Obese Adults, A Randomized, Controlled Trial," conducted at Pennsylvania State University, evaluated whether incorporating one fresh avocado into the diet daily for five weeks could reduce bad cholesterol levels more than a diet that incorporated monounsaturated fat from vegetable oils high in oleic acid as a substitute for one fresh avocado. The diets were matched for calories and macronutrients, but not for fiber, phytosterols, or other bioactives.

The researchers found that only the avocado diet significantly improved the ratio of total cholesterol to HDL, or "good" cholesterol (TC-HDL/C) and the ratio of LDL, or "bad" cholesterol, to HDL-cholesterol (LDL-C/HDL-C). The low fat diet did not reduce these ratios, and the reduction with the avocado diet was significantly greater than with the moderate fat diet. Additionally, the avocado diet achieved the greatest reduction in LDL-cholesterol compared to the low fat diet and moderate fat diet without avocados.
Full Story

Mirati Therapeutics Doses First Patient in Investigator-Sponsored Phase 2 Study of Mocetinostat in Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma
San Diego, California

Mirati Therapeutics, Inc. has announced that Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York has dosed the first patient in an investigator-sponsored Phase 2 clinical trial of mocetinostat in patients with relapsed and refractory diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) and follicular lymphoma (FL). The trial will enroll patients whose tumors have mutations or deletions of the CREBBP and/or EP300 genes.

"Genetic sequencing is becoming more widely used to select patients for specific targeted therapy for cancer. We are excited to begin testing mocetinostat, an oral HDAC inhibitor, in patients with DLBCL and FL that harbor CREBBP and EP300 genetic alterations," said Anas Younes, M.D., medical oncologist, chief of Memorial Sloan Kettering's Lymphoma Service, and principal investigator in the study. "This study will help determine if these mutations are predictive of response to mocetinostat that could lead to a new treatment option for patients with DLBCL and FL."

Mocetinostat is a potent and selective inhibitor of HDAC 1, 2, 3 and 11, which are master regulators of cancer gene expression. Mocetinostat is being developed as a single agent treatment targeting mutations and deletions of the histone acetyltransferase (HAT) genes CREBBP and EP300. These genetic alterations are implicated in the pathogenesis and progression of DLBCL, FL, as well as bladder cancer and other solid tumor types. In preclinical models, mocetinostat reverses aberrant acetylation resulting from HAT mutations and is predicted to decrease tumors resulting in clinical responses in patients. The CREBBP and EP300 mutations are prevalent in up to 25% of patients with DLBCL and FL.
Full Story

When Conventional Medicine Fails Their Animals, Pet Owners Increasingly Turn to Holistic Medicine
New York, New York

Holistic veterinarian, Dr. Marcie Fallek, has seen it many times. A desperate pet owner brings in a very sick or dying animal and pleads for help while explaining how conventional medical treatments have cost a fortune and failed. "I do my best but obviously I could do a whole lot more for them if they came in before the crisis, not after," explains Dr. Fallek. "If I could start holistically with them when they're still puppies and kittens, we'd be way ahead of the game."

In her new book, Krishna's Flute, the Spiritual Journey of a Holistic Veterinarian, Dr. Fallek tells the story of Phoebe, a four year old Golden Retriever mix, whose back was broken when hit by a car. Phoebe was deemed virtually hopeless by a board certified specialist. Totally paralyzed, with completely dislocated vertebrae and screaming in pain, Phoebe responded within a few days to a combination of acupuncture and homeopathy. In a few weeks she was good as new. Read how Phoebe, in as dire a shape as Christopher Reeves, responded immediately and permanently to a combination of only energy medicine, i.e., acupuncture and homeopathy. Find out how Phoebe's board certified orthopedic surgeon praised Dr. Fallek's treatment. See amazing pictures of Phoebe six weeks after treatment.

Diablo, a Standard Poodle, was barely alive, with Addison's Disease, Inflammatory Bowel Disease, Onychodystrophy, (nails all infected and falling out), and many other problems. He responded immediately and still thrives years later using only homeopathy. Diablo, a Standard Poodle, was barely alive, with Addison's Disease, Inflammatory Bowel Disease, Onychodystrophy, (nails all infected and falling out), and many other problems. He responded immediately and still thrives years later using only homeopathy.
Full Story

Dark Side of the Full Moon: When new motherhood meets mental health complications in America, no one is listening
Miami, Florida

Dark Side of the Full Moon is the first documentary to reveal the barriers of care when mothers find themselves suffering from the most common childbirth complications. Postpartum depression, pregnancy depression and anxiety affect 1 in 7 women, but remain the most under diagnosed and untreated maternal health conditions. New mothers are left to fend for themselves, many keeping silent because of stigma and lack of understanding by health professionals. The medical community's reluctance to reevaluate how they are caring for and failing mothers has created the number one public health crisis of this century.

The video trailer of Dark Side of the Full Moon is available here.
Full Story

Creating a Self-Sustainable Sanctuary for Humans
Livingston Manor, New York

Samuel Kovalyov's plan encompasses the best of both worlds. Mr. Kovalyov lives in Livingston Manor, N.Y., a small town 115 miles north of New York City. For the past four years, he and his family have been constructing what he calls a "self-sustainable sanctuary for humans," a home and small agricultural center (biodome) that will provide food and shelter totally off the grid.

"Our goal is to use our modern technology and knowledge to reintegrate ourselves into nature," explains Mr. Kovalyov. "We want to take the fear out of the self-sustainable lifestyle and empower and inspire people to take their lives into their own hands."

The home and biodome will use renewable energy for power and heat. The biodome, a greenhouse for plants and animals that measures 60 feet in diameter, has been carefully designed by a team of engineers and biologists as well as aquaponic and hydroponic system experts. The biodome has room for more than 600 organic and aquaponic fruit and vegetable plants, a host of fresh-water organic fish, gourmet mushroom logs, fresh-water organic clams, and hundreds of gallons of fresh compost.
Full Story

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