A Small Diet Change Makes a Big Difference

Phramacy

Absolutely no one is shocked by new research that concludes beef is the worst thing to eat. If we’re going to feed billions of people on the planet while also having a livable planet for billions then we all ought to consume less meat. Raising cattle only to slaughter is a wasteful use of land that can otherwise feed way more people and cause a lot less damage to the environment.

The production of food makes up a third of greenhouse gas emissions so just by making a small change to your diet you can make it easier on future generations to survive. Eat less meat, eat more vegetables.

The researchers built a database that provided a consistent emissions profile of 171 crops and 16 animal products, drawing data from more than 200 countries. They found that South America is the region with the largest share of animal-based food emissions, followed by south and south-east Asia and then China. Food-related emissions have grown rapidly in China and India as increasing wealth and cultural changes have led more younger people in these countries to adopt meat-based diets.

The paper’s calculations of the climate impact of meat is higher than previous estimates – the UN’s Food and Agricultural Organization has said about 14% of all emissions come from meat and diary production. The climate crisis is also itself a cause of hunger, with a recent study finding that a third of global food production will be at risk by the end of the century if greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise at their current rate.

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Organs Made in Outer Space

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Custom made 3D printed organs in space may sound like science fiction, but it’s real and up at the International Space Station they are experimenting with how to print organs better than before. Printing organs is still a relatively new technology and we have good technology to print organs on Earth already. One problem with printing organic material is gravity, so a bunch of astronauts are flying over our heads right now trying to find out if printing organs in space can avoid problems of Earth-based organ printing.

The micro-gravity environment of the ISS was ideal for testing the Bio Fabrication Facility, which was launched into orbit in 2019 and is due for an upgrade in 2021. Developed by US companies Techshot and NScrypt, it is designed to print human cells into organ-shaped tissues. Initially Morgan was using it to test prints of cardiac-like tissue of increasing thicknesses. Ultimately, however, the team behind the technology hopes to refine the equipment so they can print entire human organs in space, which can be used in transplants.

Printing human organs is not quite as science fiction as it sounds. A number of bio-technology companies are working on different approaches, which aim to use a patient’s own cells make new tissue. In most cases they re-programme the cells by following a Nobel Prize-winning process developed a decade ago to turn them into stem cells, which are then theoretically capable of developing into any part of the human anatomy. Given the right nutrients and encouragement, these can then be induced into the cell type of choice. By suspending stem cells in a hydrogel that can be built into a scaffold to stop the growing structure collapsing in on itself, the desired cell type can then be printed layer by layer into living, functioning tissue. 

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On the Spot Water Cleaning Better Than Current Approach

Water

Access to clean water is essentially for good health, yet many around the world lack access to save, clean, drinkable water. Researchers have found a way to clean water more efficiently than previous systems by essentially cleaning water at the source using a new catalyst. The catalyst cleans the water by creating hydrogen peroxide where it needs to be used by running electricity through special metals. This good because it requires less energy and resources to clean large amounts of water.

The catalyst-based method was shown to be 10,000,000 times more potent at killing the bacteria than an equivalent amount of the industrial hydrogen peroxide, and over 100,000,000 times more effective than chlorination, under equivalent conditions.

In addition to this, the catalyst-based method was shown to be more effective at killing the bacteria and viruses in a shorter space of time compared to the other two compounds.

“We now have proven one-step process where, besides the catalyst, inputs of contaminated water and electricity are the only requirements to attain disinfection.

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Reducing Meat Consumption can Reduce the Risk of the Next Pandemic

Zoonotic diseases are nothing new and are often the cause of large outbreaks which cause great harm to humans and other animals. It’s speculated that the recent COVID-19 coronavirus popped into existence due to close animal – human contact in Chinese wet markets. History as shown us that wherever there is frequent, close contact between animals and humans there is an increase in the likelihood of new diseases. This has led to scientists calling for reduced meat conniption with the thinking that if eat less meat than the potential for human-animal transmission is reduced in markets and processing facilities.

This shouldn’t be that big of a challenge since people are already reducing their meat consumption and in Canada 10% of the population is vegetarian or vegan.

It is clear that the origins of these pandemics are not restricted to certain countries or certain practices, such as “wet-markets.” For some researchers, including Swedish chief physician and infectious diseases professor Björn Olsen, stemming rising demand for meat and dairy is a necessary part of reducing our risk for pandemics.

Olsen, who is well known for being an early critic of his government’s COVID-19 response, is now becoming known for another early warning — one he has been making in books and articles for nearly 10 years now. In a recent interview in Swedish, Olsen notes that pandemic viruses have all arisen where animals and humans meet, and raising billions of animals as food will have effects.

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Tired? Try These Restful Solutions

hands

Getting enough sleep but still feeling tired? Try taking a rest.

Physician Saundra Dalton-Smith MD has identified seven types of rest everyone needs, and some people need more of a certain kind of rest. What type of rest that helps you depends entirely on your lifestyle and working conditions. The really nice thing about this approach is that sleep isn’t the focus, many people can get the suggested eight hours of sleep and still find themselves exhausted everyday.

The third type of rest we need is sensory rest. Bright lights, computer screens, background noise and multiple conversations — whether they’re in an office or on Zoom calls — can cause our senses to feel overwhelmed. This can be countered by doing something as simple as closing your eyes for a minute in the middle of the day, as well as by  intentionally unplugging from electronics at the end of every day. Intentional moments of sensory deprivation can begin to undo the damage inflicted by the over-stimulating world.

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