Better Living Through Well Being
When I first came across news of a breakthrough in killing cancer by academic researchers repurposing the arsenic poison, the old expression “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” came to mind. Only in this case it would be more accurate to say “what doesn’t kill any of your healthy cells and succeeds in killing only cancer cells inside malignant tumors will make you stronger and potentially cure your cancer.”
The research team knew there had been high success in curing a type of blood cancer using low doses of arsenic trioxide, but the roadblock to finding a broader application was its toxicity. The key to their success came through the use of nanobin technology. A nanobin is a tiny droplet of fat (liposome), so small it is only visible through a microscope, which when injected into the bloodstream will release the arsenic it contains only once it is inside the cancer cell. The nanobin is able to do this because the biology of a cancer tumor uses angiogenesis, the ability to stimulate blood vessels to grow to it, through it and around it to nourish its growth. Because these new blood vessels are inferior with tiny gaps and holes large enough for nanobins to slip through but too small to leak the red blood cells they carry, the arsenic-loaded liposomes enter and build up inside the tumor. Since the cells of cancer tumors are slightly more acidic than normal cells, they dissolve the arsenic particles inside the nanobins, releasing the active drug inside the tumor.
Animal studies so far have shown that nanobin injections effectively kill breast, ovarian and lung cancer cells. These models reveal that unlike other drug regimens, nanobin treatment is “ferto-protective,” preserving fertility while killing cancer. The nanobin treatment is also proven to protect the heart by avoiding the toxicities of common cancer drugs.
This cutting-edge cancer research is now being tested to track nanobins injected inside the body after certain molecules used by the cancer cells to survive have been attached to their surface. Like a trojan horse, these decorated nanobins are lured by cancer cells where they attach to their surface and then the cancer cells open up and bring the lipid vessel, the whole kit and caboodle, into the cell.
Most significantly, these decorated nanobins are able to cross the blood-brain barrier and release arsenic to kill brain tumors metastasized from the breast. Thus, these findings show great promise for the cure of glioblastoma, a notoriously aggressive brain cancer with virtually no effective treatment.
Future public access is envisioned for a hidden Sonoma County gem thanks to the recent acquistion of the 730-acre Harold Richardson Reserve by the Save the Redwoods League. The property that had been kept preserved by private ownership for generations will soon become the first new old-growth redwood park in decades. This 730-acre section is part of the 8,000 acre Richardson Ranch established by Harold Richardson’s grandfather in 1876. The family’s method of selective harvesting rather than clearcutting contributed to the remarkable health of the old growth forest on the ranch. Harold Richardson was always fond of the 730-acre section with its hundreds of 300-foot-tall old-growth redwoods, including the 1,640-year-old McApin Tree with its 20 foot wide trunk, and he refused to ever harvest any of its trees. After his death at age 96 in 2016, Richardson left the nearly pristine 730 acres of ancient giants within the larger family ranch to his heirs, who in turn have worked with Save the Redwoods League to protect it for generations.
Eden Green Technology, a vertical farming company in Texas, aims to expand its proprietary vine-like system of growing produce into local markets beginning with Walmart stores in Dallas. Crisply is its non-GMO, pesticide-, herbicide- and chemical-free produce line, which includes multiple lettuce, greens and herb varietals. Their produce is grown inside greenhouses in vertical racks that provide each plant a hydroponic flow of nutrients but use natural sunlight to save on energy. They expect to grow 10 to 15 harvests a year, compared to an average of two harvests for conventional soil-based farms. The produce is planted, picked and packed at the same facility and kept in an unbroken cold chain to the retailer, decreasing the chances of contamination. The company's goal is to eliminate the problem of fresh food accessibility for every family no matter their economic situation.
Nature’s Path Foods, one of the first certified organic companies in North America and, ironically, a founder of Organic Merchants in 1971, a predecessor of the Organic Trade Association (OTA), has just resigned from the OTA. They did this in protest of OTA’s new agenda that supports a vague and misleading national GMO labeling law, and allows hydroponics to fall under the organic certification label regardless of using no organic agriculture or soil. The company plans to continue to invest in farming, research and associations that best reflect its vision for how organic can protect and enhance the health of both people and planet.
Other articles of interest in this Summer 2018 TMIS eNewsletter:
* New web-based National Resilience Strategy Blueprint has been launched to help communities deal with drug, alcohol and suicide crises.
* Farm Aid issues a statement on the CDC’s retraction of farmer suicide statistics, claiming that farmer stress, mental health and suicide are still serious issues needing to continue to be priorities.
* Cox Conserves Heroes program opens national competition to award $130,000 to local environmental nonprofits.
* Award-winning landscape designer selects top five plants to thrive in the heatwave.
* Mind-blowing research, including new understanding of enhanced senses and schizophrenia, is changing the landscape of brain science.
* Three-quarters of both NRA and Greenpeace members believe in rewarding clean energy producers, and both Red (77%) and Blue (80%) states overwhelmingly support government incentives for renewable energy businesses.
* Company sees possible access to universal donor stem cells to treat cancer associated cachexia under “Right to Try” law.
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
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Northwestern University: Fighting Cancer With A Famous Poison
Some of the most potent cancer drugs ever made include metals and other inorganic compounds." Chemist Tom O'Halloran is a world-renowned expert on inorganic compounds — metals, specifically — and how these compounds function in the body. He believes certain inorganic elements and compounds could be used more broadly to kill cancer.
Like arsenic. Arsenic is known more for its use as a poison than as a cancer drug. Arsenic poisoning is said to have killed Napoleon Bonaparte and Simon Bolivar. And paradoxically, arsenic exposure is associated with an increased risk of cancer.
Yet low doses of arsenic trioxide have shown a 95 percent remission rate in acute promyelocytic leukemia (APL), a type of blood cancer. Arsenic can shut down the growth of other cancers as well, O'Halloran says, but conventional arsenic delivery methods have not been successful in solid tumors in the breast, lung, ovaries and elsewhere.
"What limits arsenic's broader application in cancer is its toxicity," O'Halloran says. "So, we asked whether we could control that toxicity but still allow its destructive effect to manifest only in cancer cells."
To do this, O'Halloran and his team put insoluble particles of arsenic into a liposome, a tiny droplet of fat about one-hundredth the width of a human hair, creating what they called a "nanobin." These nanobins, when injected into the bloodstream, release arsenic only once they reach cancer cells. Healthy cells remain unscathed. But how?
To understand how nanobins work, O'Halloran says, it's necessary to understand tumor biology. Cancer cells need to recruit a source of oxygen and nutrients in order to survive and grow. Through a process called angiogenesis, tumors send out signals that stimulate blood vessels to grow toward, in and around the tumor. Those new vessels, unlike others throughout the body, are leaky, with gaps and holes several hundred nanometers in diameter. These new vessels don't leak red blood cells, which are too big to move through nanometer-sized holes, but nanobins can slip through the gaps to collect in the tumor.
"The tumors start collecting the nanobins in ways that normal tissue doesn't, building up the concentration of these arsenic-loaded liposomes in the tumor," O'Halloran says.
Largest Old-Growth Coast Redwood Forest in Private Hands Now Permanently Protected by Save the Redwoods League
San Francisco, California
Save the Redwoods League, celebrating their centennial year as the only nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting and stewarding coast redwood and giant sequoia forests in California, has announced that it has acquired the 730-acre Harold Richardson Redwoods Reserve in Sonoma County to permanently protect hundreds of old-growth redwoods and provide future public access to them. The property is the largest old-growth redwood forest remaining in single private ownership, owned by the Richardson family for generations.
"It's as if we've discovered an ancient civilization; an oasis of towering redwoods hidden from public view for over a century," said Sam Hodder, president and CEO of Save the Redwoods League. "We are grateful for the Richardson family's foresight in stewarding this forest with such care and allowing us the opportunity to save it. The League envisions stewarding this property as a public park in the future for all to enjoy — the first new old-growth redwood park in a generation. Harold Richardson Redwoods Reserve, named to honor the legacy of the family's patriarch, will be the newest gem on California's crown of redwood parks, providing inspiration, recreation, and clean air and water."
Located fewer than 100 miles north of San Francisco and just a few miles inland from the Sonoma coast, the Richardson Reserve looks much as it did thousands of years ago when it was part of the Kashia Band of Pomo Indians' territory. The property is 30 percent larger than Muir Woods National Monument, and it contains 47 percent more old-growth redwoods. More than 300 old-growth redwoods stand over 250 feet tall, with many over 300 feet — as tall as the Statue of Liberty. The oldest known coast redwood south of Mendocino County and the largest diameter (widest) coast redwood south of Humboldt County has been discovered on the property; it is estimated to be 1,640 years old with a trunk diameter of 19 feet (as wide as a two-lane street).
This rare old-growth forest provides habitat for the northern spotted owl, marbled murrelet, foothill yellow-legged frog, Townsend's big-eared bat, Pacific giant salamander, red tree voles, steelhead trout, and coho salmon. The League's science-driven Vibrant Forests Plan scores the Harold Richardson Redwoods Reserve as a 99 out of 100 for redwoods conservation values because of its large, high-quality redwood forest, proximity to other protected forests, and riparian habitat along a tributary to the Wheatfield Fork of the Gualala River. These factors made it the League's highest conservation priority in the coast redwood range to protect it from development, fragmentation, and stream sedimentation. If left unprotected, it could have been commercially harvested for its valuable old-growth timber.
Eden Green Technology, a Next-Generation Farming Company, Debuts Crisply, a Freshly Picked, Pesticide-, Herbicide- and Chemical-Free Produce Line
Eden Green Technology, a next generation vertical farming company, has unveiled Crisply, a locally grown, freshly picked produce line.
Eden Green Technology's Crisply produce, which is non-GMO and pesticide-, herbicide- and chemical-free, can be found in Walmart stores beginning in Texas next month. Eden Green Technology is believed to be the first vertical future farm able to scale to meet the produce needs of existing regional food distribution systems. Eden Green Technology will be the first company to offer freshly picked produce, grown locally at next-generation vertical farms, on a large scale.
"We are elated to make fresh, handpicked greens available to everyone who wants to eat high quality, nutrient-rich produce without spending an entire paycheck," said Jaco Booyens, co-chair of Eden Green Technology, a privately held Dallas-based company, which has been in stealth mode for two years.
"We pick our produce, package the same-day, and stamp the date when they are harvested on the package so consumers know exactly how fresh their salads are. We also make it possible for our retail partners to put our produce on their shelves immediately after they've been harvested, in some cases that same day. No other company does that," Booyens added.
Eden Green Technology's Crisply produce grows in greenhouses in proprietary vine-like systems. The company's technology encloses each plant in a medium less (no soil), microclimate bubble, which is monitored and optimized for growth and mitigating contamination. Engineers Jacques and Eugene van Buuren, who initially built their first greenhouse in South Africa, created the novel technology.
Eden Green Technology expects to grow 10 to 15 harvests a year, compared to an average of two harvests for conventional, soil-based farms. The company's technology enables plants to feed on a continuous flow of nutrient-filled water and natural sunlight instead of LED lights; this enables the company to save on energy and optimize produce growth and nutrients. The greenhouse also captures carbon gas, which the plants absorb for fuel. With the use of sunlight, Eden Green Technology facilities use less electricity so that their energy cost is one-eighth the cost of cooling regular greenhouses.
Nature's Path Leaves Organic Trade Association as Protest to Save Organic
Nature's Path Foods, North America's Largest organic breakfast company, has announced its resignation from the Organic Trade Association (OTA) citing concern the OTA is shifting its commitment from supporting and representing the core principles of the organic food movement, to begin pushing a non-organic agenda which threatens the future of organic. Recent actions by the OTA that have driven the company's decision include misrepresenting organic food companies and US consumers to support a vague and misleading national GMO labelling law, and allowing hydroponics to fall under the organic certification label where there is no organic agriculture nor soil present.
"Our departure from the OTA is an act of protest to raise awareness of our concern that the important role organic plays to support the health of consumers and our planet is being compromised," says Nature's Path founder and co-CEO Arran Stephens. "We believe giant food corporations, that also happen to own small organic brands, use the OTA to influence policy decisions to protect the best interest of their large, non-organic food portfolios."
In 2016, the OTA actively worked to pass the first-ever national, GMO food labelling law in the US (Stabenow-Roberts Bill) that pre-exempted strong, state-led GMO labelling laws. The OTA support of the new mandatory bill was without the knowledge or expressed consent of many organic members like Nature's Path. Having been open to public comments until July 3, 2018, the new law could exclude almost three-fourths of products with genetically engineered ingredients and use confusing new GMO terminology and symbols for on-pack disclosures.
"We believe organic can protect and enhance the health of people and planet. Organic can build a better world, free from food with chemical residues, free of toxic environments for farmers, and free of catering to big business at the expense of real people," adds Stephens. "We're alarmed the new bill works against our basic human right for food transparency which exists in 64 other countries around the globe with clear GMO labels."
National Resilience Strategy Blueprint Launched to Raise Awareness of and Offer Solutions for Drug, Alcohol and Suicide Crises
A new web-based blueprint designed to help communities deal with the drug, alcohol and suicide crises has been launched.
In November of 2017, Trust for America's Health (TFAH)and Well Being Trust (WBT) released Pain in the Nation: The Drug, Alcohol and Suicide Crises and the Need for a National Resilience Strategy. The report detailed the growing number of "despair deaths" — deaths due to drug and alcohol misuse and suicide — and more than 60 evidence-based programs proven to help fight contributing factors and save lives.
This companion piece, the Pain in the Nation: National Resilience Strategy website, will help policy-makers and community leaders access critical data and prevention-oriented programs and policies — including promotion of responsible opioid prescribing practices, enforcement of underage drinking laws, and anti-bullying and social-emotional learning programs in schools, among others.
The website also provides state level data on how the drug, alcohol and suicide crises are impacting lives across the country and includes case studies describing community and school-based prevention programs that work.
"The numbers of these deaths are staggering and tragic. They are also preventable," says John Auerbach, president and CEO of Trust for America's Health. "As a nation, we need to apply what we know about prevention to address the root causes of this epidemic of substance abuse and suicide. The time to act is now."
Farm Aid Statement On CDC Retraction Of Farmer Suicide Statistics
Based on a 30 percent increase during 2018 in calls to their farmer hotline and feedback from family farm partners around the country, Farm Aid says it will continue to prioritize farmer stress, despite a retraction from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) of their finding that farmers and agricultural workers have the highest suicide rate in the country.
Farm Aid released a statement on this issue from Communications Director Jennifer Fahy.
"Increased calls to Farm Aid's hotline and our work with partners around the country confirm that farmers are under incredible financial, legal and emotional stress. Bankruptcies, foreclosures, depression and even suicide are some of the tragic consequences of these pressures. America's family farmers — reduced in numbers since the Farm Crisis of the 1980s — have approached endangered status.
Net income for farmers is estimated to be more than 50 percent lower in 2018 than it was in 2013. Rural families, particularly those in agricultural communities, are suffering no matter which way you slice the data. It is also deeply concerning that farmworkers are so vulnerable to suicide. That points to an urgent need for Congress to pass sound immigration reform policy that addresses the on-the-ground needs of farmers and the needs and rights of farmworkers.
The coverage of the suicide rate for farmers has served as a critical reminder to the public about the condition of our farms and our rural economies, and it's crucial to uncover the full picture. At Farm Aid, we spend our time on the phone with anxious farm families who cannot make ends meet, and who will not be able to improve their situation simply by working harder. Confusion and lack of resolution on policies like trade, immigration and healthcare accelerate the crisis.
We urge the administration and Congress to pay attention to the root cause of rural communities' stress. For several decades, farm and trade policies have forced farmers to produce as much as possible, leading to boom-and-bust cycles that drive small farms out of business and compel mid- and large-sized farms to keep getting bigger. We need farm policy that delivers fair prices to farmers and the resources that provide a safety net when farmers need it."
Cox Enterprises and The Trust for Public Land Launch National Cox Conserves Heroes Awards
Cox Enterprises and The Trust for Public Land have opened the nomination process for the Cox Conserves Heroes program. The program serves to honor environmental volunteers who create, preserve or enhance shared outdoor spaces in their local communities.
Celebrating its 10th year, the nomination process is open in eight select Cox markets: Atlanta, Arizona, California, Florida, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Virginia and Washington. Once a winner from each market has been chosen, these winning individuals will be the candidates to win the national competition that the public will vote on in October.
Beginning this year, Cox has evolved the program to increase the levels of support for the winners. Local winners in the above-listed markets will receive $10,000 to donate to their environmental nonprofit of choice, with an additional award of $50,000 to the national winner's chosen nonprofit.
Nominees and nonprofits of choice must be located within a Cox service area in the eight participating markets.
The public can nominate volunteers by filling out a brief online form on coxconservesheroes.com now through July 31. A panel of local and environmental leaders will select the winner in each market. The winners will then become candidates for the national title. National voting starts Oct. 1, and anyone can nominate at the local level or cast a ballot for their favorite finalist in the national competition.
The winner of the national competition will be announced in late October.
Award-winning Landscape Designer Selects Top Five Plants to Thrive in the Heatwave
Amid soaring temperatures and hosepipe bans, Pelargonium for Europe shares the top five plants chosen by award-winning landscape designer Claudia de Yong, to withstand the heat. Lots of garden plants will benefit greatly from the Mediterranean heat the UK is currently experiencing and once established they will become drought tolerant. There are many plants to select, but below are 5 great plants that can withstand the summer heat:
Pelargoniums (geraniums) are the ultimate summer sizzler - drought tolerant, brilliantly colorful and extremely easy to care for. The scented varieties are particularly good in the hot sunshine which is especially good news if they have been planted in pots or hanging baskets. There is a huge selection of varieties available too.
Cistus - the bushy rock rose is a sun loving evergreen plant that carries mounds of bright colored flowers from white through to bright magenta. It is ideal in sunny borders or large containers.
Perovskia - the Russian Sage has aromatic silvery foliage and violet blue flowers and they can be used as cut flower and great as a companion to other late summer flowering plants like Gaura and ornamental grasses.
Echinops are easy to grow, big thistles that have globes of tightly packed blue flowers which open into tiny stars carried on slender stiff stems, and are very attractive to bees and butterflies. 'Veitch's Blue' is great for the smaller garden.
Sedums which are often found in rock gardens along with succulents and house leeks never flag due to their plump foliage which acts as water storage tanks. These plants are great for a green roof too.
Researchers at University of Nevada, Reno rethink future of neuroscience
If schizophrenia could be detected at a young age rather than when it explodes into someone's twenties, treatment could start years before symptoms occur. Millions of lives could be dramatically improved; billions of dollars in care could be saved in the U.S. alone. And what if it could be cured?
Professor Christopher von Bartheld at the University of Nevada, Reno found that a pesky eye condition known as exotropic strabismus (a.k.a. "wall eye") might be responsible for the twenty-year time bomb that is schizophrenia.
Mind blown: How researchers at the University of Nevada, Reno are rethinking the future of neuroscience explores von Bartheld's research and other neurological research that is heralding in a new understanding of the brain and overturning long-held assumptions.
Before diving into the world of wall-eye neuroscience, von Bartheld turned the world of brain-cell counting on its head with some scientific sleuthing, refuting a piece of long-held conventional wisdom that even Nobel Prize winners clung to for decades.
New Study Shows Everyone From NRA to Greenpeace on Board for Clean Energy
Swytch, a blockchain-based clean energy incentive, has announced the results of a new study that reveals Americans across the country, from the National Rifle Association (NRA) to Greenpeace, are supportive of renewable energy.
Recent innovations in renewable energy technology have significantly lowered costs and made renewables an economically viable option. To better understand attitudes and choices around renewables and clean energy trends, Swytch commissioned a survey of over 1,000 consumers across the United States.
Nearly 73% of respondents in Republican (Red) States and 74% of respondents in Democratic (Blue) States are worried that there isn't enough being done to reduce climate change. Well above three-quarters of residents in both Red (77%) and Blue (80%) States believe that the government should offer incentives such as tax credits for renewable energy businesses to expand. In addition, over 60% of those surveyed in Red States and about 63% of those surveyed in Blue States think the government should subsidize renewables.
The survey also found that an overwhelming majority (92%) of Americans believe that renewable energy is either very important or somewhat important to the world's future and over 81% of respondents believe that solar power is the most important. Surprisingly, NRA members are over twice as likely (38%) to have solar panels than the general population (17%). Generation wise, Millennials are the most likely (21%) to have solar panels when compared to Gen X (12%) and Baby Boomers (11%).
Creative Medical Technology Holdings Aims to Treat Cancer Associated Wasting (Cachexia) Using AmnioStem Universal Donor Stem Cell
Creative Medical Technology Holdings, Inc. has announced initiation of a program aimed at treating cancer associated wasting entitled "Treatment of Cachexia Using Stem Cells and Products Thereof".
Recently the Company announced data that the AmnioStem stem cell was superior to other stem cell types at reducing inflammatory mediators, including TNF-alpha(1). It is well known that inflammatory mediators generated by cancer have a pivotal contribution to cancer associated weight loss, formally termed "cachexia". The Company believes that through suppression of inflammatory mediators, as well as direct anticancer effect of amniotic fluid stem cells(2,3) that AmnioStem may provide value in the treatment of advanced cancer patients.
Cachexia is a very severe complication of cancer: weight loss during treatment is associated with more side effects of chemotherapy, fewer cycles of chemotherapy, a lower response to therapy, and even decreased survival. It is estimated that more than 20% of cancer patients die due to cachexia, and more than 50% of patients die with cachexia(4).
"One of the most horrific aspects of having cancer is associated cachexia, which to date is not a major focus of research for the Pharmaceutical and Biotechnology industry. I strongly support the innovative approach that Creative Medical Technology Holdings is taking at dealing with this terrible condition," said Santosh Kesari, MD, PhD Chair and Professor of Department of Translational Neurosciences and Neurotherapeutics at Pacific Neuroscience Institute and John Wayne Cancer Institute at Providence Saint John's Health Center in Santa Monica, CA.
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