Winter Issue January 2019
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Better Living Through Well Being

“What is needed is a real grass-roots, bottom-up, locally-managed restoration mass movement of informed people, a groundswell of popular opinion driven by a green ethos, to regreen our planet and recarbonize our soil,” quoted from the book Geotherapy.

In answer to the above quote, Michael “Skeeter” Pilarski of the Friends of the Trees Society is launching the first ever Global Earth Repair Conference May 3-5 in Port Townsend, Washington. This will be the nonprofit’s biggest endeavor yet, expecting to bring together over five hundred people dedicated to earth repair in its many forms. Over 100 national and international experts will present topics such as ecosystem restoration, biomediation, regenerative farming, permaculture, and indigenous perspectives on land stewardships.

According to Pilarski, everyone at the conference will be an ambassador representing their own community and corner of the world. “Together we will brainstorm how local earth repair strategies can inspire broader movements and impact the global whole. Our goal is to produce a compendium of biomediation models and earth repair projects that can be implemented around the world,” he said. The conference will highlight viewpoints not heard at international climate negotiations, honoring the voices of indigenous people, subsistence farmers, grassroots organizers and earth repair practioners. It will feature keynotes, workshops, panels, round-table discussions, hands-on activities, and field trips.

Pilarski was influenced by the “well-thought out and comprehensive list of actions to achieve global earth repair" known as the Earth Repair Charter created by Franklin Scarf, founder of the Earth Repair Foundation in Australia. Pilarski attended one of these conferences in 1991 and has dreamed of organizing one himself ever since. The Global Earth Repair Conference will be held at the Fort Worden Conference Center in Port Townsend.


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Scientists have long been seeking an alternative to non-renewable fossil resources in making consumer products out of plastic. Many challenges had to be addressed on the way to this discovery, but a research team from the Tokyo Institute of Technology believes they have found the most promising strategy. They have discovered an efficient energy catalyst in the chemical process for transforming biomass to an attractive bio-polyester as a raw material for many applications. Unlike conventional plastics production from fossil resources that release CO2 in the process, contributing to global warming, the plastics production from biomass fixates CO2 in mid process, sequestering it inside the material.

The aim of the research is to ensure that renewable raw materials will be available to mankind to avoid all types of shortage crises.

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A new scientific paper reveals the factor behind most types of breast cancer. It not only identifies the factor but also explains how a variety of latent viruses commonly found in humans can interact with it to trigger changes in the genes responsible for repairing DNA and promoting normal cell growth in the breast. It is well known that most people have at least one of these latent viruses, so why do only a few of these develop breast cancer? The answer involves a number known as a copy number or viral load. An increase in this number determines an increased risk of breast cancer; not merely the presence of a mutation in those genes themselves.

This information highlights the importance of maintaining a strong immune system. Of additional importance is the fact there are currently no approved drugs that target latent viruses. Current antiviral drugs can only target replicating viruses in an active state. Certain events such as stress, drugs, aging, surgery, chemotherapy and radiation can damage the immune system, and when those latent viruses are present in high copy number, a person may be completely unaware that they are at risk.

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A special issue of The Journal of Applied Laboratory Medicine features research advances in laboratory tests crucial to correct and fast diagnosis of sepsis that can save many lives. One test finds an immune-system signaling receptor that can enable physicians to treat the highest risk patients, and another test finds a protein for indicating presence of sepsis even before symptoms manifest.

Sepsis, which develops when the immune system has an extreme reaction to an infections, is a life-threatening condition that kills more people in the U.S. than heart attacks every year. The current standard treatment of broad-spectrum antibiotics is begun early in order to save the patient, even before test results identifying the specific microorganism responsible for the infection have returned. This saves lives but also leads to a vicious cycle because overuse of broad spectrum antibiotics is driving greater antimicrobial resistance in the general population. More resistant microorganisms mean more people getting sepsis.

This special issue takes an in-depth look at emerging tests that rapidly detect pathogens and could enable prompt treatment os sepsis patients with specifically targeted antibiotics.


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Other articles of interest in this Winter 2019 TMIS eNewsletter:

* The Parental Warmth and Flourishing in Mid-Life study finds increased parental warmth in youth contributes significantly to postive behavioral outcomes in later life.

* Historic signing of U.S. Farm Bill shepherds hemp industry back into the American mainstream.

* More time spent staring at screens causes digital eye strain - tips to protecting sight and health.

* Incorrect self-diagnosis of back and neck pain could lead to permanent problems.

* Real change in recovery from an eating disorder or addiction takes time and patience, not mere resolution - Recommit, Restore, Rejoice are better “R” words.

* California’s transit bus fleet will be carbon-free by 2029.

* A majority of job applicants consider health and wellness programs important, yet not all employers are providing them.

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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


From the Front Page of TMIS News
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Global Earth Repair Conference to Be Held May 3-5 in Port Townsend, Washington
Port Hadlock, Washington

The Global Earth Repair Conference will bring together an international coalition of 100+ presenters and 500+ attendees May 3-5, 2019 at the Fort Worden Conference Center in Port Townsend, WA. It will be an international symposium focused on the grassroots level of regenerative agriculture and ecosystem restoration. "Together we'll explore the cutting edge of bio remediation, envision a thriving planet for our descendants seven generations from now, and strategize the many steps it will take to get there," says Michael "Skeeter" Pilarski of the Friends of the Trees Society, organizer of the event.

One of the goals is an event where voices can be heard that aren't heard at the big climate negotiations such as grassroots movements, small-holder farmers, indigenous people, local conservation groups and nature intelligences.

A first-of-its-kind event, the Global Earth Repair Conference will bring over 500 people from around the world to unite for three exhilarating days of learning, celebration, and collective action. The Conference will focus on the grassroots level of restoring the vitality of our world. More than 70 presenters will weave together their expertise in various fields, including restoration ecology, agroforestry, permaculture, carbon sequestration, and myco-remediation. Together we’ll envision a thriving planet for our descendants seven generations from now, and strategize the many steps it will take to get there.

The Global Earth Repair Conference is for people who have devoted their lives to Earth repair or who wish to. Restoration efforts in the world are already substantial and there is a lot of experience and knowledge to draw on. It will be an exchange of information between earth repair practitioners. The conference addresses both the technical and social aspects of planetary regeneration. There will be international participation via internet.
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Green catalysts with Earth-abundant metals accelerate production of bio-based plastic
Tokyo, Japan


Scientists at Tokyo Institute of Technology have developed and analyzed a novel catalyst for the oxidation of 5-hydroxymethyl furfural, which is crucial for generating new raw materials that replace the classic non-renewable ones used for making many plastics.

It should be no surprise to most readers that finding an alternative to non-renewable natural resources is a key topic in current research. Some of the raw materials required for manufacturing many of today's plastics involve non-renewable fossil resources, coal, and natural gas, and a lot of effort has been devoted to finding sustainable alternatives. 2,5-Furandicarboxylic acid (FDCA) is an attractive raw material that can be used to create polyethylene furanoate, which is a bio-polyester with many applications.

One way of making FDCA is through the oxidation of 5-hydroxymethyl furfural (HMF), a compound that can be synthesized from cellulose. However, the necessary oxidation reactions require the presence of a catalyst, which helps in the intermediate steps of the reaction so that the final product can be achieved.

Many of the catalysts studied for use in the oxidation of HMF involve precious metals; this is clearly a drawback because these metals are not widely available. Other researchers have found out that manganese oxides combined with certain metals (such as iron and copper) can be used as catalysts. Although this is a step in the right direction, an even greater finding has been reported by a team of scientists from Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech): manganese dioxide (MnO2) can be used by itself as an effective catalyst if the crystals made with it have the appropriate structure.
Full Story

What is the Cause of Breast Cancer? A New Paper in a Medical Journal Presents a Surprising Answer
Valley Cottage, New York

The Center for the Biology of Chronic Disease (CBCD) announces the publication of a new paper [1] in the science journal 'The Bosnian Journal of Basic Medical Sciences.' Dr. Hanan Polansky's new paper is titled "How latent viruses cause breast cancer: An explanation based on the microcompetition model." The paper is important since it answers the biggest question in breast cancer research today: What causes breast cancer in most patients?

Scientists know that certain genetic mutations in genes, such as the famous BRCA1, can cause breast cancer. However, "only a small proportion of breast cancer, 5-10%, has a hereditary cause." This means that only a small number of patients have a mutation in their genes. Most patients don't have any mutations. The factor that causes breast cancer in the majority of breast cancer patients has been unknown. The paper identifies this factor. According to the paper, certain latent, or hidden viruses can disrupt the expression of certain genes, including the BRCA1 gene, and cause breast cancer. These viruses interact with a unique human factor called GABP, which turns on the BRCA1 gene. The virus prevents GABP from turning on the gene, which causes a decrease in the BRCA1 expression, which can lead to breast cancer.
Full Story

Sepsis Kills More People Than Heart Attacks; New Tests in AACC's The Journal of Applied Laboratory Medicine Could Help Rein In This Deadly Condition
Washington, DC


In this special Sepsis Issue, AACC's The Journal of Applied Laboratory Medicine highlights the cutting-edge clinical tests that laboratory medicine experts are developing to combat sepsis, a life-threatening condition that kills more people in the U.S. than heart attacks every year.

Sepsis develops when the immune system has an extreme reaction to an infection such as the flu, pneumonia, or even a urinary tract or skin infection. Every year, 1.7 million Americans get sepsis and about 270,000 die from it - and some data suggest that this death rate is climbing due to factors such as increasing antimicrobial resistance. The most effective way to combat sepsis is to catch and treat it as quickly as possible -the survival rate is relatively high for patients in the earliest stages of the condition, but within hours of onset septic shock can kick in, at which point the mortality rate rises to 40-70%. Physicians still struggle with identifying sepsis early, however, because many clinical conditions exhibit the same symptoms as sepsis in its initial stages.

The clinical laboratory plays an integral role in detecting sepsis, and advances in laboratory tests will be crucial to improving diagnosis of this condition and bringing the sepsis mortality rate down. This special issue of The Journal of Applied Laboratory Medicine features research on two such advancements: One study in the issue shows that a new test for an immune-system signaling receptor predicts risk of mortality for sepsis patients, which could enable physicians to treat patients at the highest risk of death more aggressively. A second study shows that a test for a protein central to sepsis onset could detect the development of sepsis before symptoms even manifest.
Full Story

New Harvard Study Finds That Parental Warmth in Childhood is Associated with Subsequent Flourishing Across Multiple Domains
Cambridge, Massachusetts

A childhood with loving parents can lead to life as an adult with flourishing in multiple domains, a new study from the Human Flourishing Program at Harvard University's Institute for Quantitative Social Sciences has found. The study, Parental Warmth and Flourishing in Mid-Life, marks an important advance in the study of flourishing. The paper reveals that people's childhood relationship with their parents has a positive influence on their emotional, psychological, and social well-being in adulthood.

While prior research on parental warmth has analyzed its influence on individual aspects of well-being, considered separately, the Harvard study's new contribution to the literature is its holistic examination of parental warmth in relation to multiple measures of well-being.

"Much of the past research on childhood antecedents of health has focused on identifying risk factors for illness such as parental neglect and parental abuse. In contrast, positive factors that help promote health and well-being later in life are relatively understudied," said lead author Ying Chen.
Full Story

Farm Bill Plows Fields of Opportunity for CBD, Farmers, Environment
Boulder, Colorado


An historic signing of the US Farm Bill shepherds the hemp industry back into the American mainstream, fostering immense entrepreneurial energy and commercial promise. CannaInsider applauds Congress and the executive branch for signing into law the 2018 US Farm Bill, a sweeping piece of legislation that for the first time in 81 years makes the cultivation and sale of hemp legal nationwide.

"Since we launched in 2014, we have closely tracked the status of hemp and hemp products like CBD within Congress, and have cheered as acceptance of hemp grew from a seedling into what it is today - a towering plant offering opportunity for people across the nation," said Matt Kind, CannaInsider's founder and CEO. "We look forward to working with all industry stakeholders to help make sure this miraculous plant's manifold benefits are allowed to firmly root, and fully flower."

The bill comes just in time. As President Trump's trade tariffs begin to sting farming communities, hemp offers the promise of a new crop, one with uses in health, food, textiles, building materials and more. Meanwhile, China has become the world's leading supplier of cannabis, with most of it being THC-free hemp. As domestic attitudes evolve, and new applications for the plant emerge, the Farm Bill gives American farmers and workers a fresh chance to compete with China and lead the world in hemp cultivation and manufacturing.
Full Story

The Vision Council Shines Light On Protecting Sight - And Health - In A Multi-Screen Era
Alexandria, Virginia


With an increase in digital technology more than half of American adults suffer adverse effects from overexposure to screens. The Vision Council calls this collection of symptoms digital eye strain.

According to its annual VisionWatch survey, close to 49 percent of American adults say they don't know what digital eye strain is, and nearly 35 percent aren't concerned about the impact of digital device usage on their eyes.

Ignorance, however, isn't bliss when it comes to the eyes and overall health - especially when there are eyewear and contact lens solutions readily available to combat digital eye strain.

Americans are spending more time staring at a variety of screens like those of desktop computer monitors, laptops, tablets and smartphones. More than 80 percent of adults report using digital devices for over two hours per day, and nearly 67 percent say they use two or more devices simultaneously. Moreover, close to 55 percent report looking at some type of screen in the first hour they're awake, and nearly 80 percent say they use digital devices in the hour just before going to sleep.

So what's wrong with that? Dr. Justin Bazan, optometrist and medical adviser to The Vision Council, has the answer.
Full Story

Spine Center Network Cites The 5 Most Serious Mistakes You Can Make When You Have Back or Neck Pain
Fort Worth, Texas


It's estimated that 4 out of 5 adults will have an attack of back pain at some point in their lives. That's the bad news. The good news is that 80% of the time, simple back and neck pain can go away on its own. However, the spine specialists at SpineCenterNetwork.com, a national network of independent spine centers, note that there will be thousands of Americans who will self-diagnose themselves incorrectly in 2019, which could lead to permanent problems.

According to Mark Palumbo, MD - a fellowship-trained spine surgeon, professor of spine surgery at Brown University in Rhode Island, and a founder of the Center for Spine Health - the most serious problem is that people don't understand the emergency symptoms of back pain, which can lead to nerve symptoms that become permanent and lifelong. "We recognize that people will self diagnose themselves, but they usually do it with the wrong information," Dr. Palumbo explains. He cites the 5 most serious mistakes a person can make in 2019 related to back or neck pain.
Full Story

Say Goodbye to New Year Resolutions and Hello to Real Change
Chicago, Illinois


As we enter the new year, the leading story on every media outlet and social media post is centered on "new year's resolutions." Resolutions are a way for people to feel as though they are setting a goal. It gives them a start date, but more importantly, it gives the diet and other "self-improvement" industries an incredibly profitable opportunity.

"Every year, losing weight tops the list of resolutions in America," said Kirsten Haglund, national eating disorders awareness advocate, Miss America 2008, and community relations specialist for Timberline Knolls Residential Treatment Center. "We need to recognize that we don't have to wait for a certain date in order to commit to health, well-being, greater self-compassion, better relationships, or other worthwhile goals. We can recognize and reject New Year's resolutions as the purely moneymaking strategies they are, especially when it comes to products promising miraculous weight loss, cleansing from toxins, or other transformations."

Real change takes time and practice. Resolving to change or better oneself is a process that requires patience. For those in recovery from an eating disorder or addiction, gearing up to make a New Year's resolution and the pressure to stick with it can be a setup for a setback. Recovery is a process that began before the first of the year and will continue long after it.
Full Story

CARB Requires Newly Purchased Buses to Be Carbon-Free by 2029
Cleveland, Ohio


The California Air Resources Board (CARB) decided to require all newly purchased transit buses to be carbon-free by 2029, committing the state to phasing out all fossil fuel models from its 12,000 transit bus fleet by 2040. Electric and hydrogen fuel cell-powered buses are among those expected to replace diesel and natural gas models. A number of cities in California have already committed themselves to the phase-out, with Los Angeles and San Francisco setting target dates of 2030 and 2035, respectively.

The Freedonia Group's global automotive and heavy equipment analyst Gleb Mytko assessed the significance of CARB's decision: "Although California is already at the forefront of the shift to electric, hybrid, and other alternative fuel buses in the US, this move solidifies its commitment to reducing the environmental impact of the state's public transportation system". Many other states are expected to follow California's lead in the future.

The distant target date for the phase-out attests to how much more is still left to be done. Currently, there are approximately 150 zero-emission transit buses in use in California, a tiny portion of the overall fleet. Gleb Mytko points out that "due to the high upfront cost of many electric and alternative fuel models, the state will have to allocate a large amount of public funds in order to fully phase out the use of fossil fuel buses by 2040." The availability of high-quality, reliable electric and fuel cell will also have to increase for the transition to accelerate and California will have to invest heavily in developing an extensive network of charging stations.
Full Story

Survey: 73 Percent Of Workers Consider Health And Wellness Offerings When Choosing A Job
Menlo Park, California


Workers are looking to their employers for some help in meeting their health and wellness goals, new research from staffing firm OfficeTeam suggests. Seventy-three percent of professionals surveyed said a company's health and wellness offerings influence their decision to work there. Employees place the greatest weight on wellness incentives that reward healthy behavior (26 percent) and fitness facilities or programs (23 percent). Fortunately, these are the resources most commonly offered by organizations (43 percent and 41 percent, respectively).

The survey found that wellness incentives and fitness amenities are most commonly sought by employees and provided by companies, yet one-fifth of organizations don't have any health and wellness programs.
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