Better Living Through Well Being
In recognition of the United Nations’ General Assembly call to action and need to tackle global antimicrobial resistance, members of the global animal protein community met at the One Health Summit in Washington, D.C. As a result a path forward to meeting this challenge has been mapped.
Antimicrobial resistance occurs when microorganisms such as bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites change in ways that render the medications used to cure the infections they cause ineffective. When the microorganisms become resistant to most antimicrobials they are often referred to as “superbugs.” Resistant microbes are increasingly difficult to treat, requiring alternative medications or higher doses, which may be more costly or more toxic. Rising drug resistance can be attributed to abusive over use of antibiotics in the human and animal populations and spread of resistant strains between humans and non humans. With resistance to antibiotics becoming more common, there is a greater need for alternative treatments.
The World Health Organization concluded that inappropriate use of antibiotics in animal husbandry is an underlying contribution to the emergence and spread of antibiotic-resistant germs, and that the use of antibiotics as growth promoters in animal feeds should be restricted.
In a media statement issued from the participants of the One Health Summit in September, members of the global animal protein community pledged to support efforts to combat antimicrobial resistance as part of producing a safe, sustainable food supply by each doing their part to help maintain antibiotics’ long-term effectiveness to ensure the health of people, animals and that planet. The industry’s priorities are to develop global standards of responsible antibiotic use in livestock, and continue to identify new and better ways to care for animals to enhance animal welfare and reduce the need for antibiotics, including fostering an environment that stimulates innovation. Members of the signed agreement also aim to support increasing veterinary training and capacity, particularly in developing countries, to ensure proper use of antibiotics and other tools, and improve antimicrobial resistance monitoring and reporting to identify issues and track progress against resistance.
Households headed by Millenial parents are the biggest organic-buying group, according to a survey by the Organic Trade Association. The food purchasing choices of these 18 to 34-year-olds are changing the landscape of the food industry. Knowledge about organic food is also growing across the generational spectrum of families, but Millenials in particular view themselves as very knowledgeable, with 8 in 10 reporting they are very well informed. With that knowledge comes a great deal of trust for the organic label. Parents’ trust in organic labeling is the strongest among Millenials of whom 60 percent say the organic label is an important part of how they shop for food. Their’s is the generation that grew up eating organic and seeing that organic label, so it is not surprising they have a greater knowledge of what it means to be organic and consequently a greater trust in the organic label.
According to a recent Harris Poll, a majority of Americans say appearance is important when shopping for fresh produce, but due to the increasing priority of choosing healthier and more natural products, more people admit to being comfortable eating “ugly produce.” For some, this means transparency in labeling, opting for foods with basic ingredient lists or embracing fruits and vegetables, blemishes and all. Most say they are at least somewhat concerned about the issue of food waste. Choices Americans are making to solve the issue include using better storage for fresh produce, buying less food more frequently, better meal planning, and making smaller package sizes available in stores.
A research team at Harvard University has broken through the paradigm barrier for transporting vaccines and other biomolecules used in diagnostics and therapy to rural areas that are difficult to reach or lacking electrical power to reach them in time without requiring refrigeration. This new portable molecular manufacturing method uses a freeze-dried process. It is a novel method that uses two types of freeze-dried pellets. The first kind of pellet contains the cell-free “machinery” that will synthesize the end product. The second kind contains DNA instructions to tell the “machinery” what compound to manufacture. When the two types of pellets are combined and rehydrated with water, the biomolecular manufacturing process in triggered. The pellets are extremely stable and safe for long-term storage at room temperature for at least a year.
Other articles of interest in this Fall 2016 TMIS eNewsletter:
* Scientific poll shows voters think both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton fall short in stress tolerance, problem solving and perception of reality.
* Millenials, the younger generation, are far more likely to use digital health solutions and employee wellness programs than Gen Xers or Boomers.
* Chronic pain needs to be addressed first as the solution to over-prescribing opioids using an integrative patient-centered approach with access to insurance-covered non-pharmacologic treatments, not just a campaign to get doctors to stop prescribing them.
* Research has just discovered a connection to neurodegenerative diseases from human pathology caused by bacterial viruses; microbiota diseases from bacteriophage infection leads to “leaky gut” syndrome, a trigger associated with inflammatory bowel disease, Crohn’s disease, cancer, Alzheimer’s, autism, diabetes, heart conditions, rheumatoid arthritis and more in a manner that can now be considered contagious.
* DEA ban of natural herb Kratom could cause billions in industry losses and harm more than three million Americans.
* Rwandan president addressed the U.N. and stressed the need to uphold the climate accord, and work together to combat violent extremism by improving lives of women and increasing global access to the Internet.
* Study published in The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association found that sitting in the rear of a roller coaster may help pass small kidney stones.
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Taking Action: Global Animal Protein Leaders, Public and Private Organizations Outline Future Path for Combatting Antimicrobial Resistance
More than 250 global food and health leaders representing the public and private sector gathered in Washington, D.C. at the One Health Summit, and declared priorities to help combat antimicrobial resistance as part of efforts to produce a sustainable food supply. The One Health Summit explored the following three core areas and created outcomes to help animal agriculture deliver on their commitments to combat antimicrobial resistance:
1. Increasing veterinary oversight: Veterinarians play a critical role in maintaining animal health and making the appropriate treatment decisions. Further, veterinarians are a critical link in preventing disease and antimicrobial resistance spread. However, there is a significant gap in veterinary availability and training in some countries, and even in parts of the United States. Outcome: Summit participants formed a working group to establish a pilot project to develop and test a model for increasing veterinary capacity and training. The World Veterinary Association (WVA) has agreed to chair the working group. The American Association of Veterinary Medical Colleges (AAVMC) has offered to convene stakeholders to explore funding opportunities and build capacity. Finally, the Gates Foundation stated they will work with stakeholders to build connections and consider funding support in countries aligned with the Foundation's strategy.
2. Improving antimicrobial resistance monitoring and reporting: The lack of effective global measures and transparent reporting processes hinder the ability to track responsible antibiotic use, determine where progress against antimicrobial resistance is occurring, and where improvements are needed. Outcome: The Summit participants agreed to continue working together to develop a process to collect and harmonize data on global antibiotic use and resistance across all livestock sectors.
3. Accelerating innovation: Innovation is a critical pathway to address the challenge of antimicrobial resistance. Summit participants recognized there are significant barriers across regulatory, legislative and marketplace segments. Outcome: A cross-functional working group formed to advance innovation and build public confidence in innovative solutions.
Millennials and Organic: A winning combination
America's 75 million Millennials are devouring organic, and they're making sure their families are too. Parents in the 18- to 34-year-old age range are now the biggest group of organic buyers in America, finds a new survey on the organic buying habits of American households released today by the Organic Trade Association (OTA). Among U.S. parents, more than five in 10 (52 percent) organic buyers are Millennials. And this influential and progressive generation is stocking their shopping carts with organic on a regular basis.
"The Millennial consumer and head of household is changing the landscape of our food industry," said Laura Batcha, CEO and Executive Director of the Organic Trade Association. "Our survey shows that Millennial parents seek out organic because they are more aware of the benefits of organic, that they place a greater value on knowing how their food was grown and produced, and that they are deeply committed to supporting a food system that sustains and nurtures the environment."
OTA has partnered with KIWI Magazine to conduct surveys of the organic buying patterns of households since 2009. This year's survey marks the first time that generational buying habits have been studied. The survey looked at Millennials (born between 1981-1997, currently age 18-34 years), Generation-X (born between 1965-1980, currently 35-50 years old), and Baby Boomers (born between 1946-1964 and currently 51-69 years old).
Compared to Millennials who account for 52 percent of organic buyers, Generation X parents made up 35 percent of parents choosing organic, and Baby Boomers just 14 percent.
OTA's U.S. Families' Organic Attitudes and Beliefs 2016 Tracking Study, a survey of more than 1,800 households throughout the country with at least one child under 18, found that more than eight in ten (82 percent) U.S. families say they buy organic sometimes, one of the highest levels in the survey's seven-year lifetime. The number of families never buying organic has steadily decreased, going from almost 30 percent in 2009 to just 18 percent today.
Eight in Ten Americans Say Appearance is At Least Somewhat Important When Shopping for Fresh Produce
New York, New York
No matter how many times we've been told not to judge a book by its cover, waiting to pass judgement on something until after we get past its outside has never been an easy task for people to accomplish. Whether it's what we're reading or who we're meeting, people have a tendency to set expectations based on surface assessment. But does the same hold true for what we eat? According to a recent Harris Poll, about eight in ten Americans (81%) confirm that appearance (i.e., not blemished or misshapen in any way) is at least somewhat important to them when shopping for fresh produce (i.e., fruits and vegetables), with 43% saying it is very or extremely important.
When listed alongside other fresh produce descriptors, appearance proved to be more important than provenance (i.e., locally grown or sourced), the retailer's food waste practices, and organic. However, the price and seasonality are more likely to be important to a purchaser than appearance.
"Whether 'ugly' or not, produce is on the rise, up 5% in U.S. dollar sales in the latest 52 weeks ending July 30, 2016," said Jen Campuzano, Director Fresh Perishables at Nielsen. "Choosing healthier and more natural products has become a priority for households across the country. For some, this means transparency in labeling, opting for foods with basic ingredient lists or embracing fruits and vegetables, blemishes and all."
These are some of the results of The Harris Poll of 2,025 U.S. adults aged 18+ and surveyed online between August 10 and 12, 2016. Complete results of this study can be found here.
Just add water: Biomolecular manufacturing 'on-the-go'
Even amidst all the celebrated advances of modern medicine, basic life-saving interventions are still not reaching massive numbers of people who live in our planet's most remote and non-industrialized locations. The World Health Organization states that one half of the global population lives in rural areas. And according to UNICEF, last year nearly 20 million infants globally did not receive what we would consider to be basic vaccinations required for a child's health.
These daunting statistics are largely due to the logistical challenge of transporting vaccines and other biomolecules used in diagnostics and therapy, which conventionally require a "cold chain" of refrigeration from the time of synthesis to the time of administration. In remote areas lacking power or established transport routes, modern medicine often cannot reach those who may need it urgently.
A team of researchers at Harvard's Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering has been working toward a paradigm-shifting goal: a molecular manufacturing method that can produce a broad range of biomolecules, including vaccines, antimicrobial peptides and antibody conjugates, anywhere in the world, without power or refrigeration.
Now, in a new paper published September 22 in Cell journal, the team has unveiled what they set out to deliver, a "just add water" portable method that affordably, rapidly, and precisely generates compounds that could be administered as therapies or used in experiments and diagnostics.
"The ability to synthesize and administer biomolecular compounds, anywhere, could undoubtedly shift the reach of medicine and science across the world," said Wyss Core Faculty member James Collins, Ph.D., senior author on the study, who is also Professor of Medical Engineering & Science and Professor of Biological Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)'s Department of Biological Engineering. "Our goal is make biomolecular manufacturing accessible wherever it could improve lives."
The approach, called "portable biomolecular manufacturing" by Collins' team, which also included Neel Joshi, Ph.D., a Wyss Core Faculty member and Associate Professor of Chemical and Biological Engineering at Harvard's John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS), hinges on the idea that freeze-dried pellets containing "molecular machinery" can be mixed and matched to achieve a wide variety of end-products. By simply adding water, this molecular machinery can be set in motion.
Compounds manufactured using the method could be administered in several ways to a patient, including injection, oral doses or topical applications. As described in the study, a vaccine against diphtheria was synthesized using the method and shown to successfully induce an antibody response against the pathogen in mice.
Data Confirms U.S. Voters Find Emotional Intelligence Deficit at Top of November's Election Ballot
As the United States looks to conclude one of the most controversial general elections in history, new data from Multi-Health Systems Inc. (MHS), an international leading publisher of scientifically validated assessments, demonstrates that the two primary candidates simply do not measure up when it comes to critical leadership characteristics.
MHS set out to define which emotional intelligence characteristics voters looked for in presidential candidates, as well as where this year's candidates stand. The company polled 2,000 adults in the U.S., which were fairly evenly divided among Republican, Independent and Democratic voters. A group of 1,000 adults were asked to rate the emotional intelligence skills of their ideal presidential candidate. The second 1,000 adults were asked to rate their perception of the emotional intelligence skills of Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. The ratings were done on a five-point scale.
Overall, voters identified the following as the top three key characteristics they look for in a presidential leader:
* Stress Tolerance (4.62): The ability to remain calm and focused and to constructively withstand adverse events and conflicting emotions without caving in.
* Problem Solving (4.59): The ability to find solutions to problems where emotions are involved, using the right emotion at the right time and level.
* Reality Testing (4.58): The ability to see things as they actually are, rather than the way they wish or fear they might be.
Compared to Older Generations, Millennials Are More Likely to Prefer Speed and Convenience over Personal, Comprehensive Interactions with Healthcare Professionals
Millennials are more likely than Gen Xers and Baby Boomers to prefer speed and convenience from their healthcare professionals over a personal connection, which may result from their perceived lack of free time, pressures associated with work-life balance or comfort with digital technologies, according to a new report, Insights Into the Millennial Market, from WebMD Health Services.
The independent survey of more than 1,000 U.S. consumers, which was conducted by Blue Research on behalf of WebMD Health Services, compared the health and wellness attitudes and behaviors of Millennials (18-35 yrs.), Gen Xers (36-51 yrs.) and Baby Boomers (52-70 yrs.). At 53.5 million workers, Millennials now represent the largest number of people in the workforce, surpassing Gen Xers in 2015 (52.7 million). Both Millennials and Gen Xers make up 34% of the workforce, with Boomers at 29%. The survey findings underscore the role of digital fluency, the rise of healthcare consumerism, and the impact of work-life demands on the generations currently in the U.S. workforce.
Millennials are far more concerned about issues of work-life balance than older generations, with more than 40% saying they "work more than they should" and 36% indicating they "never have time to do the things they want to do." Only 29% of Gen Xers and 20% of Baby Boomers feel the same about time spent working, with 29% of Gen Xers and 13% of Boomers saying they don't have enough free time.
These differing attitudes on work-life balance appear to influence Millennials' preference for speed in their interactions with healthcare professionals. Unlike Gen Xers or Baby Boomers, nearly half (49%) of Millennials prefer that interactions with healthcare professionals be "fast, convenient or instantaneous" compared with 40% of Gen Xers and 28% of Baby Boomers. Older generations, instead, value a more personal exchange, with 60% of Gen Xers and 72% of Boomers favoring the relationship with their provider over speed of interaction
Academy of Integrative Pain Management Past President's Response to the Surgeon General's Opioid Pledge: First Come to Terms with Chronic Pain, then with Patient Access to Covered Non-Pharmacologic Treatments
The Academy of Integrative Pain Management (formerly the American Academy of Pain Management) held its 27th Annual Meeting, educating attendees on a broad range of non-pharmaceutical treatments they could use to effectively, safely, and sanely treat patients in pain. Given the national furor over opioid prescribing, the meeting provided timely alternatives for nearly a thousand participants.
In his keynote session, AIPM's immediate past president, Robert A. Bonakdar, MD FAAFP, Director of Pain Management at Scripps Center for Integrative Medicine and Assistant Clinical Professor at UCSD School of Medicine, addressed the evolution of alternative pain treatments used around the world and showed how they may inform and improve access to and quality of US pain care.
In his talk, Dr. Bonakdar shared that on the same day he received the Surgeon General's unprecedented letter to all physicians urging restraint in opioid prescribing, he also received two denials from insurance companies for patients to be treated with biofeedback and acupuncture - two proven-effective therapies.
New Research Indicates Alzheimer's and Other Neurodegenerative Diseases Are Contagious
New York, New York
Alzheimer's, cancer and other incurable diseases such as Parkinson's and dementia can be contagious, according to researchers at the Human Microbiology Institute, who have published research linking the diseases to newly discovered bacterial viruses.
In a recent article published in Gut Pathogens, HMI researchers George and Victor Tetz said they have linked the diseases to bacteriophages.
"This is a revolutionary discovery that completely changes views on the causes of incurable diseases like Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, dementia and other," said George Tetz, head of research and development at HMI. "To our knowledge, this is the first study to indicate that bacteriophages can cause human diseases. Infection from bacteriophages that are known solely to target bacteria may be harmful to mammals and humans, opening new ways to prevent and cure these diseases."
Their research links the bacterial viruses to what they have named "microbiota diseases." Microbiota diseases caused by bacterial viruses lead to so-called "leaky gut" syndrome, which has in recent years been found to enable the translocation of bacteria that triggers chronic inflammation associated with inflammatory bowel disease, Crohn's disease, cancer, Alzheimer's, autism, diabetes, heart conditions, rheumatoid arthritis and more.
"Our findings indicate that bacteriophages, which were previously not considered mammalian or human pathogens, can promote microbiota diseases and, thus, indirectly cause pathological conditions of mammals that are associated with leaky gut," the researchers wrote.
DEA Ban Of Natural Herb Kratom Could Cause Billions In Industry Losses, Harm More Than Three Million Americans
The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) could impose a ban on the coffee-like herb kratom. The Botanical Education Alliance (BEA) has released data showing the resulting economic harm ranging from at least $1.2 billion and as high as $5 billion that would be suffered by 10,000 kratom-related vendors. Also, the American Kratom Association (AKA) has revealed that its internal data indicates there are three to five million kratom users in the United States.
Available online at https://www.botanical-education.org/economic-impact-kratom/, the BEA analysis is based on a sample of 163 kratom companies with $1.13 billion in total revenues. The companies projected a loss of 18 percent of business overall if a DEA ban is imposed. Half of the respondents would suffer greater than average losses, since kratom accounts for at least 90 percent of their businesses. The $1.2 billion-$5 billion loss estimates are based on projecting the BEA survey findings to the larger universe of 10,000 kratom-related firms.
The AKA estimate of the total number of customers in the United States reflects a range of proprietary data, including tonnage of shipped kratom and consumption estimates as measured by the average cost of kratom products.
Travis Lowin, director, Botanical Education Alliance (previously the Botanical Legal Defense), said: "With the stroke of a pen, no public comment period, and a trumped-up panic about a nonexistent 'epidemic' of abuse, the DEA is poised to wipe out a legitimate multi-billion-dollar, above-ground business that pays taxes, hires thousands of people, gives to charities, and meets a bona fide consumer demand. This is the very definition of government overreach and it should send chills down the back of every American who is concerned about their right to live freely."
UN 2030 Agenda and climate accord must transform peoples' lives says Rwandan President
New York, New York
Recalling that over the past year, the United Nations concluded landmark agreements on sustainable development and climate change, and renewed its commitment to work together to combat violent extremism, Paul Kagame, the President of Rwanda, told the General Assembly today that these are the most serious issues before the international community “and our efforts offer the prospect of transforming our world as a whole, rather than just part of it. After all, the progress of one country is closely linked to the progress of every other, and we all have a role to play,” he told the Assembly's annual general debate, adding: “Now is the time for implementation.”
The international community could stay on course if it recognized that the ultimate purpose of all these efforts is to transform the lives of real people by enhancing their well-being, safety, and access to opportunity. Member States should also realize the importance on building on lessons learned, especially ensuring that such goals and targets are inclusive, particularly of women. “If they are not reaching their potential then none of us are,” President Kagame said, expressing pride that he has joined the HeForShe campaign and encouraged others to support it.
He went on to stress that access to technology must be part of the strategy for achieving all the global goals, he said. Everyone in the world needs access to high speed Internet. Rwanda has seen the importance of forging meaningful partnerships with the private sector to improve the speed and scale of delivery. Rwanda was pleased to host the new Sustainable Development Government Centre for Africa.
Real continuity between the 2030 Agenda, the Paris Agreement and the other frameworks that guides the international community's collective action is necessary, he stressed. “These agreements are not slogans or fashions, but hard-won statements of global consensus,” he added.
Researchers Find Certain Roller Coasters May Help Small Kidney Stones Pass
Riding a moderate-intensity roller coaster can facilitate passage of small kidney stones, according to a report published in The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association that attempts to corroborate patients' accounts of spontaneously passing kidney stones after riding a specific Disney World roller coaster.
The foundational study was designed to validate the effectiveness of a 3D printed model kidney used in the research, led by a Michigan State University College of Osteopathic Medicine professor of urology. Dr. David D. Wartinger, currently professor emeritus, initiated the study when a series of patients reported passing kidney stones after riding the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad roller coaster at Walt Disney World in Orlando. In one case, a patient said he passed one kidney stone after each of three consecutive rides on the roller coaster.
Dr. Wartinger and co-author Marc A Mitchell, DO, used 3D printing to create a clear silicone anatomical model of that patient's kidney. The model was filled with urine and three kidney stones of differing sizes, which researchers used to evaluate the roller coaster effect. The purpose of this initial study was to validate the effectiveness of the model and support the case for further research.
"Preliminary study findings support the anecdotal evidence that a ride on a moderate-intensity roller coaster could benefit some patients with small kidney stones," Dr. Wartinger said. "Passing a kidney stone before it reaches an obstructive size can prevent surgeries and emergency room visits. Roller coaster riding after treatments like lithotripsy and before planned pregnancies may prevent stone enlargement and the complications of ureteral obstruction."
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