Is Your Office Making You Unproductive?


Having trouble focusing at work? Blame the office.

In a new study, a large design firm responsible for creating corporate offices world-wide has found that most modern workspaces, while built to foster collaboration and ties between workers, may stifle our ability to focus and get things done.

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Global design firm Gensler found that companies’ attempts to provide space for staff to collaborate–  often via open-plan layouts or low cubicles–have compromised workers’ ability to concentrate. The study, which surveyed  2,035 employees at a variety of firms, found that the most effective workplaces include both quiet spaces and collaborative areas, and give employees a choice of where they’d like to work at any given time.

In one surprising finding, workers are spending more time in focus work, such as reading email or writing code, than in previous years, despite office layouts that seem more conducive to group work. The researchers say that that poorer focus may mean it takes longer to complete thought-intensive tasks.

Yet Gensler won’t go so far as to say open-plan offices hinder workers’ prospects for getting work done—though plenty of employees say exactly that. (For one, companies love them because they usually consume less real estate than traditional cubicle farms.)

Of course, even the workers lucky enough to have offices must struggle with digital distractions, says Diane Hoskins, an executive director of Gensler. Only 54% of those with private offices reported that their space is ideal for focusing effectively, while 38% of those in private offices reported that their concentration was often disturbed by others, the study found.

The study bolstered the “activity-based work” movement, which holds that employees should choose different types of work environments – desks, café-like settings, meeting rooms — based on the type of tasks they are doing.  At companies that give workers a choice of where to work, along with the tools for working remotely, employees were 12% more satisfied with their jobs than those at companies without remote-work options.

Still, even employees given the choice to work where they liked tended to spend the bulk of their time—some 70%–in the office.

Source:WSJ

 

 

 

 

 

The NO 1 WORST Food that HARMS Your Brain.


Some foods you might be eating daily can actually DAMAGE your brain over time.

Certain foods you eat can indeed harm your brain, both in impaired learning ability as well as impaired memory.  Even worse, the wrong food and drink choices throughout your life can even lead to the terrible and deadly disease of Alzheimers.

human-brain

A friend of mine just told me that her dad died of Alzheimers recently and it was just a terrible disease where he didn’t even know who she was anymore towards the end.  It’s time our society starts taking degenerative diseases like Alzheimers, cancer, and heart disease more seriously throughout our lives, and not just once it’s too late. Even in our 30′s, 40′s, and 50′s, the choices we make with our daily food can PREVENT these terrible diseases.

Fructose

In a 2012 UCLA study published in the Journal of Physiology, researchers found that a diet high in fructose over time can damage your memory and learning ability.

Beyond the harm to your brain, it’s well known in the research world that a high fructose diet can also cause insulin resistance in your body over time, and possibly lead to type-2 diabetes and extra body fat.  If that’s not enough, a high fructose diet also detrimentally affects your triglyceride levels in your blood as well as small dense LDL particles that cause plaque in your arteries.

So what we have here is high-fructose intake = impaired memory and learning in your brain, increased risk of diabetes, and increased risk of heart disease. Oh, and we forgot to mention extra belly fat too…  Yum – who wants another can of soda pop or a large bowl of corn syrup sweetened ice cream!

The average person eating a modern western diet of processed food consumes a LARGE quantity of fructose without even thinking about it from all of the soft drinks (high fructose corn syrup typically), sweetened juice drinks, orange juice, processed junk foods such as cakes and candies, as well as the HFCS that’s added to store-bought salad dressings, breads and cereals, and even condiments like ketchup.

Note that many sports drinks, even though marketed as “healthy”, can have large amounts of corn syrup or even crystalline fructose as their main sweetener.  These sports drinks can be equally as bad as a soda for your body and your brain.  Don’t be fooled by the clever marketing showing pictures of pro athletes guzzling this stuff.

Also note that agave syrup (aka, agave nectar) which is marketed as a “healthy” sweetener as well, is one of the most concentrated forms of processed fructose in sweeteners as well.  I personally stay away from agave sweeteners as much as possible unless the amounts are very small.

All of these fructose-laden foods and drinks are easy to avoid though if you choose to eat consciously… for example, make homemade salad dressings from your favorite olive oil and vinegar with added spices, or choose to drink unsweetened iced tea with lemon instead of sweetened drinks or juices.  If you use a lot of ketchup, try to reduce the quantity by mixing with mustard or hot sauce, which typically don’t contain HFCS sweetener in any significant quantities.

Last thing to note about fructose… Yes, natural whole fruits do contain fructose, but generally contain MUCH smaller quantities of fructose than you would consume in a sweetened juice drink, soft drink or sweetened junk foods.  Also, the phytonutrients, antioxidants, and fiber that’s contained in most whole fruits counteracts any negative effects of fructose.  I personally try to keep fruit intake to no more than 1-2 pieces a day due to the sugar and fructose content of larger amounts of fruit.

Here’s a trick:  Did you know that limes and lemons contain virtually zero fructose, and only 3-4 grams of total carbs in a whole lemon or lime, whereas a typical orange contains 6 grams of fructose and 25 grams of total sugar per fruit.  I squeeze lemons and limes daily into either water or teas for a healthy flavorful drink. Fresh lemon juice has even been shown to control blood sugar response from a meal…another bonus!

Other Foods that HARM Your Brain:

You probably already know some of the harmful health effects of these foods, but long term effects on your brain are yet another…

Trans fats – strongly inflammatory in your entire body including damage to cell membranes throughout your body.  Avoid hydrogenated oils in processed foods and deep fried foods.

Mercury – studies show that mercury from pollution (coal burning plants are the biggest source of mercury pollution to air and water) and from fish that are high on the food chain such as tuna, shark, swordfish, tilefish, etc can possibly cause long term negative effects on your brain.  Limit these types of fish to a couple times a month and focus more on fish such as salmon, trout, and many other types of smaller fish to reduce your mercury load.

Wheat-based foods – In the groundbreaking book, Wheat Belly, Dr William Davis makes a very convincing argument that wheat has addictive properties in the brain.  Wheat contains compounds termed “exorphins” that have an effect in your brain similar to opiate drugs.  This explains why people have such a hard time giving up their beloved breads, cereals, pasta, and muffins because these foods are mildly addictive.

I know personally from past experience that if I have have a pasta dinner, I’ll go back for seconds and thirds as I just can’t seem to stop eating the stuff.  And then hours after dinner, I’ll get cravings for more carb-based foods or sweets.  But if I pass on the pasta and just have meat, veggies, and salad, I find myself totally satisfied after dinner with no cravings later at night.

Source: http://csglobe.com

 

 

 

 

 

Coronal Hole Seen Over Sun’s North Pole By SOHO Spacecraft.


A space telescope aimed at the sun has spotted a gigantic hole in the solar atmosphere — a dark spot that covers nearly a quarter of our closest star, spewing solar material and gas into space.

The so-called coronal hole over the sun’s north pole came into view between July 13 and 18 and was observed by the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory, or SOHO. NASA released a video of the sun hole as seen by the SOHO spacecraft, showing the region as a vast dark spot surrounded by solar activity.

 

Coronal holes are darker, cooler regions of the sun’s atmosphere, or corona, containing little solar material. In these gaps, magnetic field lines whip out into the solar wind rather than looping back to the sun’s surface. Coronal holes can affect space weather, as they send solar particles streaming off the sun about three times faster than the slower wind unleashed elsewhere from the sun’s atmosphere, according to a description from NASA.

“While it’s unclear what causes coronal holes, they correlate to areas on the sun where magnetic fields soar up and away, failing to loop back down to the surface, as they do elsewhere,” NASA’s Karen Fox at the agency’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., explained in an image description.

These holes are not uncommon, but their frequency changes with the solar activity cycle. The sun is currently reaching its 11-year peak in activity, known as the solar maximum. Around the time of this peak, the sun’s poles switch their magnetism. The number of coronal holes typically decreases leading up to the switch.

After the reversal, new coronal holes appear near the poles. Then as the sun approaches the solar minimum again, the holes creep closer to the equator, growing in both size and number, according to NASA.

The $1.27-billion (1 billion euros)SOHO satellite was launched in 1995 and is flying a joint mission between NASA and the European Space Agency (ESA). It watches solar activity from an orbit about the Lagrange Point 1, a gravitationally stable spot between Earth and the sun that is about 932,000 miles (1.5 million kilometers) from our planet.

Source: http://www.huffingtonpost.com

Water Powered Car Unveiled: Yes It’s Real.


Everyday the world becomes aware of technologies that have the potential to halt the unnecessary damage we continue to create using fossil fuels. We’ve been talking about it for years, transitioning our way of  life to be more harmonious with the planet and its natural systems. I’m not talking about solar or wind power (although great), I’m talking about clean and green technology that  render fossil fuel burning technologies inferior and obsolete.

genepax-300x225

One of these “new” technologies is a water fuelled car, and it has been unveiled on a number of occasions. It’s an automobile that derives its energy directly from water, and water alone. It is not hard to see why it’s not available to the masses. An engine powered by water would wipe out a large chunk of the fossil fuel industry and change the way these companies do business all together. The oil and gas corporations combine to bring in trillions of dollars every year. Inventions like these are a direct threat to the industry.

A Japanese company called Genepax unveiled their water powered car in 2008 in Osaka, Japan(1). It doesn’t matter if it’s tap, bottled, or lake water, any type of water can make this car run. An energy generator splits the water molecules to produce hydrogen and this is used to power the car. They use a membrane electrode assembly (MEA) to split the Hydrogen from the Oxygen through a chemical reaction. The cell needs only water and air, eliminating the need for a hydrogen reformer and high pressure hydrogen tank.

This isn’t a conspiracy! The reality of this device has been verified by patent offices all over the world. To search a Japanese patent, you have to go through the Industrial Property Digital Library (IPDL). This organization makes patents available to the intellectual property department of the Japan Patent Office. The IDPL provides over 60 million documents and their relevant information as published since the end of the 19th century. The fact that these are even published for patent pending says a lot.

So what happened to Genepax? Approximately a year after revealing their device, the company shut down. They stopped displaying their device as well as promoting it. The only explanation given was a lack of monetary funds.

USING WATER AS FUEL

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Water makes the perfect fuel source. It’s comprised of two hydrogen atoms and one atom of oxygen. When the water molecule is separated into its two component atoms and oxidized as fuel, the result is equivalent to an energy output that is two and one half times more powerful than gasoline. The byproduct of the combustion is water vapour, totally pollution free, returning water back into the atmosphere. The process used is known as electrolysis, which is a method of separating elements by pushing an electric current through a compound. Various techniques for water splitting have been issued in water splitting patents all over the world. You can click here to look at a few from the United States.

Not to long ago, researchers at Virginia Tech extracted hydrogen energy from water. They discovered that the energy stored in xylose splits water molecules as-well, yielding high purity hydrogen. You can read more about that here. There are multiple examples of creating hydrogen by splitting the water molecule (2).

Another existing technology that can replace that entire industry is the Free Energy Device. Implementation of these two technologies alone would create one of the biggest technological changes in human history. The same group of people that own the big oil companies also own the mainstream media, so it’s not surprising that we don’t hear about these technologies. Scientists have been murdered, labs have been burnt down, and prototypes have been taken.

Alternative technologies are great, and obviously have tremendous implications. We must remember that the human race cannot create from the same level of consciousness that created this system in the first place. A change for planet Earth coincides with the change of heart more people are experiencing everyday. The key to move forward and enter into a new paradigm is simple, it’s love. With love, we’d already have these technologies implemented Because of greed, hate, fear and ego, they remain surprised, but only for now.

Hopefully this article inspires more to further their research on water powered cars. There are multiple stories with very similar endings for the parties who came forward with this ground breaking technology. Why do we continue to speak about change when we already have the technologies to implement change? One reason is because a large majority of people have yet to become aware of these alternative technologies. They are not marketed, publicized or given much attention. It can be hard to accept that there are people on the planet actually engaged in the suppression of such information, but unfortunately it’s a reality. We are living in the age of transparency, many of us are waking up to thoughts and ideas we never thought we would ponder. In some cases revealing these technologies can cost you your life, that’s how much opposition exists against it -for now. When a new technology becomes so evidently clear,  the implications are far reaching and can threaten multiple corporate interests.

Sources

(1)http://www.reuters.com/video/2008/06/13/water-fuel-car-unveiled-in-japan?videoId=84561

http://worldwide.espacenet.com/publicationDetails/originalDocument?CC=JP&NR=2006244714&KC=&FT=E

http://www19.ipdl.inpit.go.jp/PA1/cgi-bin/PA1DETAIL

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130403104104.htm

(2)http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO2&Sect2=HITOFF&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsearch-adv.htm&r=0&p=1&f=S&l=50&Query=ttl%2F%22water+splitting%22%0D%0A&d=PTXT

http://www.waterfuelcell.org

Additional information from chromosomal microarray analysis (CMA) over conventional karyotyping when diagnosing chromosomal abnormalities in miscarriage: a systematic review and meta-analysis.


Background

Approximately 50% of spontaneous miscarriages are associated with chromosome abnormalities. Identification of these karyotypic abnormalities helps to estimate recurrence risks in future pregnancies. Chromosomal microarray analysis (CMA) is transforming clinical cytogenetic practice with its ability to examine the human genome at increasingly high resolution.

Objectives

The aim of this study was to determine whether CMA testing on the products of conception following miscarriage provides better diagnostic information compared with conventional karyotyping.

Search strategy

MEDLINE (from 1996 to December 2012), EMBASE (from 1974 to December 2012), and CINAHL (from 1996 to December 2012) databases were searched electronically.

Selection criteria

Studies were selected if CMA was used on products of conception following miscarriage, alongside conventional karyotyping.

Data collection and analysis

Nine papers were included in the systematic review and meta-analysis. All statistical analyses were performed using stata 11.0 (Stata Corp., College Station, TX, USA).

Main results

There was agreement between CMA and karyotyping in 86.0% of cases (95% CI 77.0–96.0%). CMA detected 13% (95% CI 8.0–21.0) additional chromosome abnormalities over conventional full karyotyping. In addition, traditional, full karyotyping detected 3% (95% CI 1.0–10.0%) additional abnormalities over CMA. The incidence of a variant of unknown significance (VOUS) being detected was 2% (95% CI 1.0–10.0%).

Author’s conclusions

Compared with karyotyping, there appears to be an increased detection rate of chromosomal abnormalities when CMA is used to analyse the products of conception; however, some of these abnormalities are VOUS, and this information should be provided when counselling women following miscarriage and when taking consent for the analysis of miscarriage products by CMA.

Source: BJOG

Pre-eclampsia is associated with, and preceded by, hypertriglyceridaemia: a meta-analysis.


Background

Elevated triglycerides are a feature of the metabolic syndrome, maternal obesity, maternal vasculitis (i.e. systemic lupus erythematosus) and diabetes mellitus. These conditions are all known risk factors for pre-eclampsia. Hypertriglyceridaemia therefore may be associated with pre-eclampsia and indeed this may precede the presence of overt disease.

Objective

In this study we determine the association between hypertriglyceridaemia and pre-eclampsia in pregnant women.

Search strategy

We searched MEDLINE, EMBASE, Web of Science, Excerpta Medica Database, ISI Web of Knowledge, Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature, Cochrane Library from inception until June 2012 and reference lists of relevant studies.

Selection criteria

Two reviewers independently selected studies on pregnant women where triglycerides were measured and women were followed up until the development of pre-eclampsia or selected on the basis of presence of pre-eclampsia and compared with controls.

Data collection and analysis

We collected and meta-analysed the weighted mean differences (WMDs) of triglyceride levels from individual studies using a random effects model.

Main results

We found strong evidence from meta-analysis of 24 case–control studies (2720 women) that pre-eclampsia is associated with higher levels of serum triglycerides (WMD 0.78 mmol/l, 95% confidence interval 0.6–0.96, P < 0.00001). This finding is also confirmed in five cohort studies, that recruited 3147 women in the second trimester before the onset of pre-eclampsia, which proves that hypertriglyceridaemia precedes the onset of pre-eclampsia (WMD 0.24 mmol/l, 95% confidence interval 0.13–0.34, P < 0.0001).

Author’s conclusions

Hypertriglyceridaemia is associated with and precedes the onset of pre-eclampsia. Further research should focus on defining the prognostic accuracy of this test to identify women at risk and the beneficial effect of triglyceride-lowering therapies in pregnancy.

 

  • Source: BJOG

 

Salicylate (salsalate) in patients with type 2 diabetes: a randomized trial.


BACKGROUND: Short-duration studies show that salsalate improves glycemia in type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM).

OBJECTIVE: To assess 1-year efficacy and safety of salsalate in T2DM.
DESIGN: Placebo-controlled, parallel trial; computerized randomization and centralized allocation, with patients, providers, and researchers blinded to assignment. (ClinicalTrials.gov: NCT00799643)
SETTING: 3 private practices and 18 academic centers in the United States. PATIENTS: Persons aged 18 to 75 years with fasting glucose levels of 12.5 mmol/L or less (</=225 mg/dL) and hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) levels of 7.0% to 9.5% who were treated for diabetes.
INTERVENTIONS: 286 participants were randomly assigned (between January 2009 and July 2011) to 48 weeks of placebo (n = 140) or salsalate, 3.5 g/d (n = 146), in addition to current therapies, and 283 participants were analyzed (placebo, n = 137; salsalate, n = 146). MEASUREMENTS: Change in hemoglobin A1c level (primary outcome) and safety and efficacy measures.
RESULTS: The mean HbA1c level over 48 weeks was 0.37% lower in the salsalate group than in the placebo group (95% CI, -0.53% to -0.21%; P < 0.001). Glycemia improved despite more reductions in concomitant diabetes medications in salsalate recipients than in placebo recipients. Lower circulating leukocyte, neutrophil, and lymphocyte counts show the anti-inflammatory effects of salsalate. Adiponectin and hematocrit levels increased more and fasting glucose, uric acid, and triglyceride levels decreased with salsalate, but weight and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels also increased. Urinary albumin levels increased but reversed on discontinuation; estimated glomerular filtration rates were unchanged.
LIMITATIONS: Trial duration and number of patients studied were insufficient to determine long-term risk-benefit of salsalate in T2DM.
CONCLUSION: Salsalate improves glycemia in patients with T2DM and decreases inflammatory mediators. Continued evaluation of mixed cardiorenal signals is warranted.

Source: Annals of Internal Medicine

Statin use in primary inflammatory breast cancer: a cohort study.


Some studies have suggested that statins, which have cholesterol-lowering and anti-inflammatory properties, may have antitumor effects. Effects of statins on inflammatory breast cancer (IBC) have never been studied.

methods:

We reviewed 723 patients diagnosed with primary IBC in 1995–2011 and treated at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. Statin users were defined as being on statins at the initial evaluation. Based on Ahern et al‘s statin classification (JNCI, 2011), clinical outcomes were compared by statin use and type (weakly lipophilic to hydrophilic (H-statin) vs lipophilic statins (L-statin)). We used the Kaplan–Meier method to estimate the median progression-free survival (PFS), overall survival (OS) and disease-specific survival (DSS), and a Cox proportional hazards regression model to test the statistical significance of potential prognostic factors.

results:

In the multivariable Cox model, H-statins were associated with significantly improved PFS compared with no statin (hazard ratio=0.49; 95confidence interval=0.28–0.84; P<0.01); OS and DSS P-values were 0.80 and 0.85, respectively. For L-statins vs no statin, P-values for PFS, DSS, and OS were 0.81, 0.4, and 0.74, respectively.

conclusion:

H-statins were associated with significantly improved PFS. A prospective randomised study evaluating the survival benefits of statins in primary IBC is warranted.

Source:BJC/Nature

 

 


 

 

 

A systematic review and meta-analysis of yoga for low back pain.


OBJECTIVES: To systematically review and meta-analyze the effectiveness of yoga for low back pain.

METHODS: MEDLINE, the Cochrane Library, EMBASE, CAMBASE, and PsycINFO, were screened through January 2012. Randomized controlled trials comparing yoga to control conditions in patients with low back pain were included. Two authors independently assessed risk of bias using the risk of bias tool recommended by the Cochrane Back Review Group. Main outcome measures were pain, back-specific disability, generic disability, health-related quality of life, and global improvement. For each outcome, standardized mean differences (SMD) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) were calculated.
RESULTS: Ten randomized controlled trials with a total of 967 chronic low back pain patients were included. Eight studies had low risk of bias. There was strong evidence for short-term effects on pain (SMD=-0.48; 95% CI, -0.65 to -0.31; P<0.01), back-specific disability (SMD=-0.59; 95% CI, -0.87 to -0.30; P<0.01), and global improvement (risk ratio=3.27; 95% CI, 1.89-5.66; P<0.01). There was strong evidence for a long-term effect on pain (SMD=-0.33; 95% CI, -0.59 to -0.07; P=0.01) and moderate evidence for a long-term effect on back-specific disability (SMD=-0.35; 95% CI, -0.55 to -0.15; P<0.01). There was no evidence for either short-term or long-term effects on health-related quality of life. Yoga was not associated with serious adverse events. DISCUSSION: This systematic review found strong evidence for short-term effectiveness and moderate evidence for long-term effectiveness of yoga for chronic low back pain in the most important patient-centered outcomes. Yoga can be recommended as an additional therapy to chronic low back pain .

Source: Clinical Journal of pain

Who Owns Human Genes?


Angelina Jolie’s recent disclosure that she had undergone a prophylactic double mastectomy following a positive test for a BRCA1 mutation (which increases lifetime breast cancer risk by 60%-87%) prompted a national conversation about genetic testing and preventive surgery.1 Tests for BRCA1 and BRCA2 cost more than $3000, placing them beyond the reach of many women. The high cost is partly a consequence of intellectual property protection afforded to Myriad Genetics Inc, which sequenced the genes and developed the testing capability.

The Patent Act permits exclusive control for a limited time (currently 20 years) of any “process, machine, manufacture, or composition of matter.” Following a US Supreme Court ruling upholding the patentability of a microbe that dissolves oil,2 the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) began routinely granting gene patents. On June 13, 2013, the US Supreme Court unanimously held that extracted and isolated DNA is a product of nature and not eligible for patent, but that complementary DNA (cDNA), which is synthetic DNA created in the laboratory, is patentable because it is not naturally occurring.3

The compromise ruling acknowledged difficult issues in a simmering controversy. Granting commercial rights over naturally occurring biological products seemed unethical because industry should not be able to control access to unaltered materials found in nature. However, failure to afford intellectual property protection could stifle innovation, robbing entrepreneurs of financial incentives for discovery. Myriad lost the exclusive right to isolate the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes of individuals, but maintained the right to its unique method of synthetically creating BRCA cDNA to produce and market its tests.

SHAPING THE COURSE OF RESEARCH

The Court’s decision will influence the future of human genome research. The rapidly evolving capacity to sequence the genome will usher in an era of relatively inexpensive screening for multiple risks. Myriad plans to phase out BRCA gene tests by mid-2015, marketing instead a more comprehensive test panel for 25 genes. Competitor laboratories will also introduce panels, ultimately enabling detection of hundreds of genes.5

Research will be affected beyond human genetics; for example, researchers will likely challenge existing patents on bacterial genes. The Court’s decision may also affect intellectual property protection afforded to a wide variety of naturally occurring substances, such as innovations derived from microorganisms or plants.

Ideally, the law ought to facilitate science as well as make lifesaving technologies more affordable and accessible. The future should be filled with excitement as scientists and innovator companies expand the horizon of medical technologies to prevent, detect, and treat human diseases. Achieving this vision will require massive public investment, private innovation, and the useful application of new diagnostics and pharmaceuticals through the health care system.

REFERENCES

1

Jolie A. My medical choice. New York Times. May 14, 2013; A25.

2

Diamond v Chakrabarty, 447 US 303 (1980).

3

Association for Molecular Pathology v Myriad Genetics, 569 US ___ (2013).

4

Mayo Collaborative Services v Prometheus Laboratories, Inc, 132 S Ct 1289 (2012).

5

Pollack A. After DNA patent ruling, availability of genetic tests could broaden. New York Times. June 14, 2013; A16.

Source: JAMA