These 5 Facts Explain How Technology Is Shaping Our World


Every year, 2,500 or so global political leaders, businessmen and thinkers descend on Davos, Switzerland, for an annual meeting to discuss the world’s big issues. This year’s overarching theme is the disruptive nature of technology—these five facts explain how digital-age technologies have already transformed our world, for better and for worse.

1. Wealth boosted by technology has not been equally distributed

Technology has made the world richer overall, but not everyone has benefited. In 2009, the world’s top 1 percent held 44 percent of the world’s wealth; by 2014, they had 48 percent. By 2020, it is estimated that the 1 percent will own 54 percent of global wealth. That is not the direction the other 99 percent wants those numbers moving. And now thanks to technology, they can vent their frustration in increasingly visible ways.

At heart, what’s transpired is that technology has hollowed out the demand for low-skilled workers, who have been the first ones replaced by automation. But they’re not the only ones who should be worried. A 2013 study from Oxford University predicts that up to 47 percent of U.S. jobs will be computerized in the next 10-20 years. And with the rise of websites like WebMD, LegalZoom and E*Trade, even white-collar professionals like lawyers, doctors and financial middlemen are under threat from technology. Are any jobs safe? For the time being, positions that require empathy—say, nurses over doctors—are better positioned to withstand the technological blow.

2. Doctors and scientists have used technology to tackle problems that once seemed insurmountable

Doctors have played a role too of course. HIV has been transformed from a death sentence to a manageable disease in just thirty years. Bigger things are still on the horizon. According to the most recent data, venture capital firms poured $11 billion into healthcare companies in 2014, a 30 percent jump over the previous year. These funds are being used to develop supercomputers that crunch mountains of data to offer better diagnosis and treatment, and to better understand our genetic building blocks and how to use them to fight off disease. To put our progress in perspective, a full human genome sequence cost $100 million in 2002. Today, it can be done for $1,000; by 2020 it may cost less than a cup of coffee. Technologycan be a double-edged sword, but at least when it comes to our health (if not necessarily our medical professionals), it has largely been a force for good.

3. Better technology doesn’t automatically mean better education

Today, there are more than 80,000 education apps available for downloadthrough Apple’s App Store; 72 percent of those are aimed at toddlers and preschoolers. But while parents and app developers have obviously embraced the tech education revolution, a recent report by the OECDshows that the link between technology and educational performance is murky at best. The OECD found that across more than 40 countries, students who use computers for schoolwork—but for a slightly below average amount of time—tend to do better than average on reading exams. Students who spend an above-average amount of time on a computer at school performed worse on the same test, scoring lower than students who don’t use computers at all. Technology is not a silver bullet. How helpful it is depends on how you use it.

4. Technology can help save the planet…

The World Economic Forum just released its annual 2016 Global Risks Report, ranking climate change as No. 1 in terms of impact. That makes sense—the World Bank estimates that climate change may push more than 100 million people into extreme poverty by 2030. Of course, technology has played a role in our current predicament. The shale revolution—which at its core is a technological revolution—has given a new lease on life to the oil and gas era. That may be good for falling oil prices, but it’s horrible for our environment.

But now the good news. Since Barack Obama was elected in 2008, the price of solar energy has fallen 78 percent, and the cost of wind energy has also fallen by 58 percent, thanks largely to technological advancements and economies of scale. In isolation, these numbers are not impressive. But what makes the difference is that the global economy grew by 3 percent in 2014 while world emissions remained flat. Cheaper alternative energy is the best hope the world has left. People are not willing to fundamentally change their lives for problems far off in the future, even ones as potentially catastrophic as climate change. To avoid the worst effects of climate change, alternative energies need to become as cheap and reliable as their carbon-emitting counterparts, and quickly.

5, …And also help destroy it if we’re not careful

Technology has also created a whole new set of global security concerns. The thoroughly modern phenomenon of cybercrime and economic espionage is estimated to cost the world more than $445 billion every year.That’s roughly 1 percent of global income. And while it hasn’t happened yet, the fear that cyberattacks can spill over and trigger real-world conflicts remains an ongoing concern.

Technology has also changed the face of modern warfare. A decade ago, the Pentagon had a stockpile of fewer than 50 drones; today it has an arsenal of about 7,000. The Pentagon estimates that China will build nearly 42,000 drones by 2023. Others will follow suit. Yet another possible complication.

But the most worrisome development? Technology has given terrorist groups like ISIS an unparalleled platform to spread their messages of hate. The knowledge needed to build bombs in the comfort of your own home is now just a few short clicks away. Technology is capable of empowering every single individual in the world, even the worst of us.

Much of today’s coverage on technology is focused on whether technological advancements are good or bad for the world we live in today. We should put aside these value judgements and focus on how technology will simply make the world different going forward. 65 percent of children entering primary school today will end up working in jobs that don’t even exist yet. Our time is better spent figuring out how to live in this new world rather than lamenting the old one.

Not even your thoughts are safe: Rapidly developing technology allows researchers to read the human mind


Image: Not even your thoughts are safe: Rapidly developing technology allows researchers to read the human mind

As technology continues to grow, personal privacy continues to shrink—including your very thoughts. A new“mind reading” device that has been developed by Japanese researchers is capable of deciphering words from brain waves before they are spoken.

Scientists have discovered that electrical activity in the brain is the same whether or not someone speaks their thoughts. By analyzing various wave forms produced by the brain, the researchers were able to decipher words like “goo,” “scissors” and “par” before they were articulated by Japanese participants. (1)

The researchers that developed the technology claim they can identify brain waves attached to syllables or letters of the Japanese alphabet. In other words (forgive the pun), it is possible to decode entire words and sentences without articulating those words and sentences.

Words versus thoughts

To “hear” an unspoken words, the team deployed a method called electroencephalogram, or EEG, which records electrical activity in the brain with an array of electrodes on the scalp that uncover brain waves.

The researchers focused on a region of the brain known as Broca’s area, which is responsible for processing language and speech.(1)

The head author of the study, Professor Yamazaki Toshimasa, an expert in brain–computer interfaces at the Kyushu Institute of Technology in Japan’s Fukuoka Prefecture, requested 12 men, women and children to recite a string of words. While the participants spoke, the researchers measured their brain waves.(1)

The scientists discovered that each syllable corresponded to a distinct brain wave pattern before the original thought was spoken. The researchers knew what the participants were going to say up to two seconds before speaking.

This was accomplished with a database of various sounds. The team found that they could match the specific brainwave patterns to words, regardless of whether they were spoken.

According to a paper presented at a conference sponsored by the Institute of Electronics, Information and Communication Engineers, the researchers’ algorithm effectively pinpointed the Japanese words haru for summer and natsu for spring, approximately 25 to 47 percent of the time.(1)

Furthermore, the researchers discovered that they could predict single characters approximately 88 percent of the time. Professor Toshimasa hopes the technology could be used to help mute people speak or paralyzed victims communicate. He told sources that they have trained the system to identify seven Japanese words but hope to increase its vocabulary in the near future.(1)

“I think, therefore, I am… I think?” – George Carlin

Of course, there are limits in trying to measure thoughts, which are irreducibly first-person experiences, with objective, third-person criteria.

For instance, scientists have very strong objective measures for deciphering things like anxiety and fear at a particular moment. Examples include a heightened amygdala response, sweat on the palm of the hands and checking whether their has been a spike in blood cortisol.

These are all objective, third-person ways to measure fear. Nevertheless, if half of patients were to walk into a lab claiming to experience fear but showed none of these signs, then their first-person experience would trump the researchers’ third-person data.

In fact, this is precisely what occurred in the most recent study, which failed to decipher the thoughts of more than half the people in the experiments. Nevertheless, Nishinippon, a Japanese paper that reported on these recent developments, claims this technology will eventually be able to identify brain waves linked to Japanese words like will, one, turning and do with 80 to 90 percent accuracy.(1)

At best, the study illustrates that you can think before you speak but you can’t speak before you think.

Hormone holocaust: California cities begin filling drinking water with millions of pieces of plastic


Image: Hormone holocaust: California cities begin filling drinking water with millions of pieces of plastic

It’s no secret that California is experiencing a major drought. In an effort to prevent further evaporation and keep the water clean, the sunshine state spent millions of dollars on dumping millions of plastic balls – and in turn, the hormone disrupting chemicals in those plastic balls – into California’s water supply.

The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power bought and deployed 96 million “shade balls” to fill reservoirs with. The hollow spheres are designed to block sunlight and prevent the water from becoming carcinogenic. At 33 cents a ball, California will have spent roughly $34.5 million on the project.

“In the midst of California’s historic drought, it takes bold ingenuity to maximize my goals for water conservation,” said Mayor Eric Garcetti in a statement.(1)

“This effort by LADWP is emblematic of the kind of the creative thinking we need to meet those challenges. Together, we’ve led the charge to cut our city’s water usage by 13 percent, and today we complete an infrastructure investment that saves our ratepayers millions and protects a vital source of drinking water for years to come,” he added.(1)

Short-term solution creates long-term problems

Although California claims that the shade balls will prevent the water supply from becoming carcinogenic, they make zero mention of bromide, along other hormone disrupting chemicals, that are found in heated plastics. The balls are coated with chemicals intended to block sunlight and enable the spheres to last 25 years.(2)

Although the measure is intended to save 300 million gallons of water from evaporating each year, the shade balls contaminate the water with hormone disrupting chemicals, thereby defeating the project’s original goal. What is the point of saving 300 million gallons of water if it shouldn’t be consumed in the first place?

Clearly, the point isn’t to provide clean drinking water to Californians. Rather, it is to provide a cheap, short-term solution to a long-term problem. There is no mention by the mainstream press about what the chemical is that coats these balls. Whatever the chemical may be, the EPA probably deemed it “safe” – a term that has become as diluted as California’s water reservoirs in recent years.

In addition, the shade balls, which are black, are intended to block sunlight to keep the water cool. But if we recall the wisdom cultivated in high school chemistry, the color black absorbs heat more than any other color. Rather than prevent evaporation, these so called “shade balls” accelerate it.

BPA-free plastics still harbor hormone mimicking chemicals

Furthermore, although the FDA has deemed polyethylene as “BPA-free,” it doesn’t necessarily follow that BPA-free plastic is devoid of hormone mimicking chemicals. Multiple studies have confirmed that alternatives to BPA may still harbor noxious estrogen mimickers and endocrine disruptors, especially when used with hot foods and liquids.

In actuality, the bulk of plastic does contain hormone mimickers and endocrine disruptors, most notably when heated. Consequently, no one can be sure California’s shade ball infested water is safe to drink.

According to a study at the University of Texas, published in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives, hormone-disrupting chemicals are found in almost all plastics, even those that are BPA-free. These chemicals can cause a host of health problems, including cancer. (2)

In addition, a 2003 study conducted by the University of Missouri, published in the same journal, found detectable amounts of BPA in liquids at room temperature. This means that even the plastic water bottle on your desk can potentially harbor these chemicals. The shade balls will be soaked in California’s water supply for 25 years, which practically guarantees these chemicals will infest the reservoirs.(3)

No one knows what the long-term reverberations of this hormone holocaust in California’s water supply will be. What is known, is that shade balls won’t save California’s water supply – they will pollute it.

Birth control hormones in water: separating myth from fact


The past several years have seen a steady drumbeat of news reports, blog posts, and scientific studies which have raised concerns about the presence of estrogenic compounds (natural estrogens and synthetic chemicals that mimic natural estrogen) in waterways and drinking water, and potential harm to human health or aquatic life.1, 2, 3 Frequently, one particular synthetic estrogen has been singled out for purportedly detrimental effects on the environment: ethynyl-estradiol, or EE2, a synthetic estrogen used in birth control pills, patches, rings, and injectables. Journalists from along the political spectrum and anti-contraception advocates alike have seized on the idea of the-Pill-as-environmental-pollutant, and it has been difficult to separate environmental health concern from sensational coverage or politically motivated rhetoric.

At the same time, anecdotal evidence suggests environmental footprint or “greenness” is increasingly one of the factors that many women consider in choosing among birth control methods, along with effectiveness, safety, convenience, cost, and acceptability.4, 5, 6 This raises the possibility that reports about the environmental impact of hormonal contraception could influence a woman’s choice of this method, and underscores the need to understand the current science and provide women with unbiased information that allows them to make informed choices.

The effect of estrogenic compounds in the water supply from industry, agriculture, and other sources raises concerns about human health and deserves scrutiny. Estrogenic compounds are part of a larger category of chemicals known as endocrine-disruptors (EDCs), chemicals that can alter the hormonal and homeostatic systems enabling an organism—like a human being or other animal—to communicate with and respond to its environment.7 Given the demonstrated effects of EDCs on human reproductive health, it is important to examine the role played by EE2 in contributing to the presence of estrogenic compounds in our water.7 The good news is this: contrary to what has been stated or implied by media reports and anti-contraception advocates, synthetic estrogen from birth control pills is not the sole or primary source of endocrine-disrupting chemicals in water.8 New findings from researchers at the University of California San Francisco (UCSF) Program on Reproductive Health and the Environment (PRHE) help explain why—and suggest a role for providers and women’s health advocates in educating and empowering women to make informed choices about using contraception and limiting their exposures to harmful chemicals.

Birth control myths and misperceptions

In the United States alone, 13 million women use hormonal contraception to protect their health and prevent unwanted pregnancy.9 Birth control pills are one of the best-studied medications available, with over 50 years of data backing up their safety and effectiveness.10 Despite this, myths and misperceptions about birth control are prevalent, and young people in particular underestimate the effectiveness and overestimate the side effects associated with contraception.11 Furthermore, as long as hormonal contraception has been available, it has had detractors, some of whom contribute to the prevalence of these myths by actively spreading misinformation about birth control. For example, the American Life League has claimed that birth control pills “kill women” and “can also cause cancer, pelvic inflammatory disease, depression and much more,” grossly mischaracterizing the risks of birth control.12 In fact, a 2010 study found that users of oral contraception had a significantly lower rate of death from any cause, and lower rates of death from all cancers compared with women of similar age not using oral contraceptives.13

In recent years, a number of conservative individuals and groups with a record of opposing contraception have pointed to reports about birth control in water to bolster the position that birth control is harmful. In 2009, a Vatican spokesperson released a statement saying that the Pill’s “devastating effects on the environment” are “in part responsible for male infertility”.14 A little over a year later, the American Life League staged protests at women’s health clinics organized around the slogan “the Pill kills the environment”.15 Conservative environmental analyst Iain Murray,16, 17 who has criticized climate change science, restrictions on DDT, and expansion of EPA regulations, wrote about “the Pill as pollutant” and criticized left-leaning environmental organizations for ignoring birth control’s impact on the environment—attributing their silence to allegiance with women’s health advocates.

Separating myths from facts about contraception can be difficult, especially given the complex and sometimes contradictory nature of the scientific evidence. Unfortunately, groups like the American Life League often fail to account for the many sources of estrogenic compounds in our drinking water (like industry and agriculture) and rarely acknowledge the substantial benefits birth control confers on women and communities.

Sources of estrogenic compounds in water

A literature review published in Environmental Science and Technology by researchers at the UCSF PRHE debunks the myth that birth control pills (and other estrogen-based hormonal contraceptives) are a major contributor to the presence of estrogenic compounds in waterways. The reviewers conclude that birth control pills contribute a negligible amount of synthetic estrogen to waterways, and EE2 is minimal or nonexistent in drinking water.8 The notion of unsuspecting Americans drinking water filled with birth control hormones may get headlines—but it does not accurately describe the state of the science.

The UCSF review cites several other sources of endocrine-disrupting compounds in our water, including synthetic estrogens in crop fertilizer (e.g., Atrazine), synthetic and natural estrogens from livestock, including dairy cows, which can be fed hormones to increase milk production, and an unknown number of industrial chemicals, like plastic additive bisphenol-A (BPA). Industrial chemicals may enter waterways either through chemical plant runoff or the disposal of products in landfills (Fig 1). Chemicals in pharmaceuticals such as anti-seizure medications and anti-depressants may also mimic estrogen.18 Furthermore, women using birth control are not the only ones flushing estrogen down the drain. Pregnant women excrete high levels of natural estrogens, and nearly everyone (both women and men) produce some amount of natural estrogens also released into wastewater.8

Fig. 1. Points of entry of endocrine-disrupting compounds into the water supply.8

While EE2 is more chemically potent than other estrogenic compounds, the amount of EE2 consumed by women using oral contraceptive is significantly less than the other sources described above. As an example, the volume of veterinary estrogens given to livestock each year in the US is five times the volume of EE2 consumed by women who use hormonal birth control methods.8

Solutions: roles for providers and women’s health advocates

Providers have a key role to play in helping patients navigate these complex issues. As an influential source of information about contraceptive methods, providers are well-positioned to educate women about the impact of contraception on the environment—in this case, sharing the good news that the birth control pill is not the primary source of estrogenic compounds in our water supply. In addition, as women become more aware of the threats to fertility, sexual health, and birth outcomes posed by toxic chemicals in everyday products, they may seek information from providers about how to reduce exposure, particularly for women who are pregnant or trying to conceive. Providers can access excellent tools to help patients make informed decisions about limiting their exposures to potentially harmful substances.19, 21, 22

While a review of the existing research makes it clear that steroid contraception is not primarily to blame for the concerning levels of estrogenic compounds in water, there is clearly a role for women’s health providers and advocates in addressing the larger problem. We know that EDCs have been linked to early puberty, infertility, and developmental defects, and that toxic chemicals are nearly ubiquitous in Americans’ bodies, including pregnant women.23, 24 The weight of the evidence strongly suggests that reducing exposure to EDCs is critical to protecting reproductive health.25

Fortunately, there are several common-sense steps we can take to begin to reduce exposures to chemicals in the environment. First, we need improvements in water treatment to limit the presence of all chemicals and medications in water. We also need more research to better understand and assess the risks and harms of chemicals in our environment, including pharmaceuticals. Finally, we need to explore a variety of solutions to prevent synthetic estrogens from entering wastewater in the first place, including investments in green chemistry and green pharmaceuticals, regulation of agricultural runoff, and chemical policy reform to keep toxic chemicals out of our bodies and our environment. Several reproductive health groups, including the Association of Reproductive Health Professionals and Reproductive Health Technologies Project have joined a national effort to modernize chemical policies and improve human health.26

Conclusion

At the end of the day, we must not allow politics to trump science. Because contraception helps women protect their health and determine the number and spacing of their children, the use of any safe and effective contraceptive method is ultimately good for women, their families, and the environment. In addition, we now know that birth control pills and other hormonal contraceptive methods are not the primary reason for estrogenic compounds to be placed in our environment. Nevertheless, exposure to toxic chemicals in the environment can harm reproductive health, and reproductive health advocates should work alongside environmental health advocates to reduce exposures to toxic chemicals. Together, we should educate and empower women to make informed choices about their reproductive health, and reaffirm our shared values: healthy women, healthy families, and a healthy environment.

U.S. researchers now growing human organs inside animals to be sacrificed for transplants; Genetically altered chimeras an assault on Mother Nature


Just when you think the world can’t get any more bizarre, it does.

Case in point: the latest in “let’s play Mother Nature” news, is that United States researchers now have their sights set on growing human organs … inside farm animals. Oh, but it gets better. The point of all of this? It’s to then take the Franken-organs and use them for transplant procedures, despite the fact that not enough is known about this. As a result, there are lots of folks with Island of Dr. Moreau movie thoughts.

Human-animal chimeras

At the very least, ethical concerns abound.

Wow!

Talk about inter-species dilemmas, ethical boundaries being pushed, and of course, a distinct departure from Mother Nature unfolding as it should: without humans severely interfering, and ultimately compromising life, every step of the way.

The plan involves growing human tissue inside the likes of pigs and sheep, so that livers, hearts and other organs can be created and used for transplants. Such injections of cells from one species into the embryo of another creates mixtures that are referred to as “chimeras.” In the case of incubating human organs in farm animals, human-animal chimeras are created.(1)

The NIH’s stance: not funding these Franken-efforts

The eyebrow-raising technique has drawn criticism from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), who just a few months ago, reversed their previously-held decision about such methods. A September 2015 announcement by NIH said that, “The National Institutes of Health (NIH) is informing the research community that it will not fund research in which human pluripotent cells are introduced into non-human vertebrate animal pre-gastrulation stage embryos while the Agency considers a possible policy revision in this area.” The agency goes on to say that, “NIH will not consider requests for administrative supplements or revisions to any grants or modification to R&D contracts that include costs for or involve research introducing human pluripotent cells into non-human vertebrate animal pre-gastrulation stage embryos. Ongoing NIH awards will be addressed with the awardees on a case-by-case basis.”(1,2)

The NIH, therefore, has made it clear that they frown on the idea across the board, ranging from current research funding requests and contract proposals which are pending submission, to peer reviewed competing applications. It was the discovery that such efforts were occurring from other funding sources (including a $1.4 million grant from the U.S. Army that will focus on growing human hearts in swine), that spurred the NIH to make such declarations.(1,2)

Researchers pressing forward despite ‘negativity towards all chimerism studies’

In particular, three research teams are said to be involved with human-animal chimera efforts (two in California and one from the University of Minnesota). Despite there not being any published scientific papers touting these teams’ so-called successes, MIT Technology Review believes that approximately 20 pregnancies of pig-human or sheep-human chimeras have taken place over the past year in the United States. However, none of these animals have been brought to term.(1)

As you might guess, human-animal chimera advocates are scratching their heads over the NIH’s funding decisions, most notably in a letter touting the benefits of growing human organs in farm animals. The letter, penned by several university professionals, including Daniel Garry, a cardiologist who leads a chimera project at the University of Minnesota, states, “By eliminating federal funding for this research, the NIH casts a shadow of negativity towards all chimerism studies regardless of whether human cells are involved.” The letter appeared in Science magazine, where the authors also state their collective belief that such efforts are essential for learning purposes, including gaining an understanding of disease, development and therapeutic discoveries.(3)

Animals with human hair and human intelligence on the horizon?

On the flip side, are those who fear that some of these animals might end up taking on behaviors and physical characteristics that are eerily representative of humans. We’re talking about animals with a close to human-like thinking ability, or perhaps ending up with patches of human hair. “We are not near the island of Dr. Moreau, but science moves fast,” says NIH ethicist David Resnik. However, the says that, “The specter of an intelligent mouse stuck in a laboratory somewhere screaming ‘I want to get out’ would be very troubling to people.” The scenario he presents is worrisome to many people, although Hiromitsu Nakauchi says he’s not concerned.

Nakauchi is a stem-cell biologist at Stanford University who has attempted to make human-sheep chimeras. The picture painted by Resnik, he feels, is an over-exaggeration. “If the extent of human cells is 0.5 percent,” he says, “it’s very unlikely to get thinking pigs or standing sheep. But if it’s large, like 40 percent, then we’d have to do something about that.”

Learn more: http://www.naturalnews.com/052700_human-animal_chimeras_genetic_research_ethics.html#ixzz3xtRDwRlk

They Said That Drinking Lemon Water In The Morning Is Good For You. But They Didn’t Mention THIS!


Drinking a cup of warm, fresh lemon water in the morning is something that even nutritionists do every day. You can start your day with a cup of lemon water that has great health benefits and can cure almost all ailments.

They Said That Drinking Lemon Water In The Mornings Is Good For You

A natural detoxifying agent is lemon with hot water, because it wakes up the liver and destroys harmful toxins. While lemons seem acidic, they are actually a great alkaline food that can balance the body’s pH. Lemon with hot water also awakens the digestive tract. This drink invigorates the gastrointestinal tract, which improves the body’s ability to absorb nutrients. Hot lemon water additionally soothes an upset stomach. After going to bed on a full stomach, heartburn or bloating can bothersome in the morning. Hot water cleanses the body system while acidity in the stomach is decreased by the flavonoids in lemon juice.

Even though there are some health benefits of drinking warm lemon water in the morning, the downside is that lemon can cause erosion to the teeth. Whfoods.org reminds us that lemon juice has a pH between 2 and 3, which is detrimental to teeth. Due to this, it is crucial to take other measures to protect the enamel on the teeth. In order to minimize the damage to the teeth you should avoid vinegar based foods as well as candy. Always rinse out the mouth after eating sugar or carbohydrates.

Another way to protect your teeth is to use lemon essential oil in order to get the same health benefits. Lemon essential oil has many uses. It can be used for the home and for the body. This is one of the most versatile essential oils available. By putting 2 drops of lemon oil in water, 3 times each day can give you the same benefits of drinking hot water with lemon but without tooth erosion. This can be taken about an hour before lunch and dinner on an empty stomach. Using lemon essential oil will treat stress, obesity, insomnia, aid digestion and fatigue, among many other health benefits. There are some lemon essential oils that cannot be consumed. Be sure to consume oils that are safe and advised to be ingested.

A final way to care for your teeth is to clean them properly throughout the day. If you drink a lot of water, that will help to flush impurities out of the mouth. Brushing for two minutes twice a day is vital, but according to mouthhealthy.org it is also important to not over brush, because it can wear down the teeth. Utilizing a straw can also help acidic drinks bypass the teeth, saving them from harm.

The distinction between lemon juice and lemon oil is lemon juice comes from the pulp of a lemon, while lemon essential oil is distilled from the lemon rind. The citric acid that is present in the juice makes it sour, and seemingly acidic. Individuals with delicate stomachs may be sensitive to this citric acid. If you only use the rind, the sour taste is avoided, as it does not have citric acid. This is the reason why the lemon essential oil is easy to ingest.

The health benefits of lemon are almost without an end. However, it is important to care for your teeth. The best way to have the best of both worlds is to ingest lemon essential oil, bypassing the citric acid of the fruit. Lemon essential oil has the same health benefits like drinking a warm cup of water with fresh lemon in the morning.

Some Pregnant Women in US Should Be Tested for Zika Virus: CDC


Some pregnant women who traveled to areas where Zika virus is spreading should be tested for the disease, health officials announced today.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said today (Jan. 19) that pregnant women should be tested for Zika virus if they have two or more symptoms of the disease — such as fever, rash, joint pain or red eyes — and if these symptoms appeared during or within two weeks of travel to an area where the virus is spreading. These areas include Brazil, Colombia, El Salvador, French Guiana, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Martinique, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Puerto Rico, Suriname and Venezuela.

Pregnant women also should be tested for Zika virus if they have traveled to an area with Zika virus transmission and they have an ultrasound that shows microcephaly, a birth defect in which the baby’s head is abnormally small.

The announcement comes less than a week after the CDC recommended that all pregnant women consider postponing travel to the areas currently affected by the Zika virus, which is spread by mosquitoes and recently emerged in the Americas.

The CDC made this recommendation based on reports in Brazil of a link between Zika virus infection during pregnancy and microcephaly in babies. Between October 2015 and January 2016, there were more than 3,500 cases of microcephaly in Brazil — a significant increase from the average of about 150 cases per year. Health officials also have found Zika virus in the brain tissue of infants born with microcephaly, but they are still investigating the link. [7 Devastating Infectious Diseases]

If a pregnant woman tests positive for Zika virus, she should have an ultrasound every three to four weeks to monitor fetus growth, the CDC said. Because there is no commercial test for Zika virus, doctors will need to work with state or local health departments to facilitate testing for their patients, the CDC said.

There is no specific treatment for Zika virus. People with the illness are usually recommended rest, fluids and use of pain or fever-reducing mediation, the CDC said. About 80 percent of people who get Zika virus don’t have symptoms.

How To Heat Your Room Without Electricity For 10 Cents Per Day


Have you seen that cool terra-cotta idea that used a candle to heat a room with flower pots? Well, in case you didn’t know, there is an epic, more detailed version that came out and went viral on Indigogo! It sold over 4 times the campaign’s expectations at the start of 2015 and is being made in several beautiful colors. It also comes with a few bonus features that a flower pot may not come with. If you have yet to see the original idea using flower pots, this video is absolutely amazing to watch and a cheap inexpensive way to do nearly the same thing…. just the latter of the two is a little prettier. Here is the video: Take a look at a few of these photos from the company Egloo, who created this innovative modern design. Egloo disclaims that the best candle to use is Ikea’s 100 pack of aluminum cased candles. Once you light the candles up, Egloo needs 5 minutes to get to the right temperature. They will warm up in the first chamber storing heat (between 140° and 180° degrees). The warmth is then conveyed to the external covering (between 30° and 50° degrees). The air intake of the external dome facilitates the outgoing of the warm air stored between the covers, allowing thermal exchange with the room environment. After only 30 minutes the temperature of the environment surrounding the Egloo will be increased between 2° and 3° degrees. A perfect hand heater of sorts. Though the heater is non-metallic, it has a grill to help with heat transfers. The terracotta material is perfect for this heating feature because the heat is stored fast but release slowly, just enough for the heat to be felt instead of move fast to the ceiling. The first prototypes were built handcrafted, in order to assess the efficiency according to the shape and volume, and then be painted and glazed by hand. It’s advisable to use a maximum of 4 candles to avoid that concentrates a high level of temperature in the lower part. Lower quality candles may cause wax corrosion, there is a possible emission of harmful substances into the wax. It is also advised to Keep away from children when Egloo is in operation: the temperature of the outer dome reaches temperatures between 30-50 C° which is 86-122 degrees F°. They recommend to handle the Egloo with care and remain from moving when in use. Using Egloo is simple. It takes only the positioning of the four lit Ikea tea candles on the base and then insert the grill which the domes must be placed on top of. After only five minutes Egloo is ready and heating. You can even use it to warm your coffee. Warm your hands as well! You can even make the room smell good with it’s heating powers. Warming up orange peelings or other sent filled fruits or herbs. You can even cook! wait… it’s not that hot. Plus, I would rather grill some veggies if I could. They come in many beautiful colors and now even a nice cracked yellow as seen a few images above. They are revolutionizing the heating game, taking out big heater one Egloo at a time, and if you can’t afford one, you can always make your own terra cotta heater at home!…

Watch the video. URL:https://youtu.be/-ewxblBOLfI

Why Cutting Back on Fat Isn’t Enough to Help the Heart


We all know that to keep our hearts healthy, we should avoid fatty foods like red meat, dairy and cheese. But a new study points out that to really protect against heart disease, you also need to eat more healthy fats

Health experts have given us a very clear message about fat in recent years — they warn us that animal fats can build up within our heart vessel walls and lead to plaques that can cause heart attacks, strokes and other heart problems.

But not all fats are equal, and there’s growing evidence that healthy fats — the ones found in plants, nuts and fish known as polyunsaturated fats — can actually protect the heart and dramatically lower risk of heart problems. In a study published in the Journal of the American Heart Association, researchers calculate exactly how much each type of fat can contribute to heart disease deaths.

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Dr. Dariush Mozaffarian, dean of the Tufts Friedman School of Nutrition and Science Policy, and his colleagues found that eating too little vegetable oils contributes to more heart-related deaths than eating saturated fats. In fact, only 3.6% of global heart deaths can be attributed to eating too much saturated fat, while just over 10% of heart deaths can be traced to eating too little plant oils — a three-fold difference. The study included detailed dietary information from studies involving 3.8 billion people in 186 countries.

While numerous studies support the benefits of eating more polyunsaturated fat, Mozaffarian notes that dietary guidelines, including the most recent revision released by the U.S. government, continue to stress limiting saturated fats rather than increasing healthy fats. The latest recommendations urge Americans to eat no more than 10% of their daily calories from saturated fats, which include coconut and palm oils as well as red meats and dairy products. But history shows that when people lower the amount of saturated fat they eat, they tend to replace it with carbohydrates, which can turn into triglycerides and get stored as fat.

Mozaffarian’s study shows that for this reason, just reducing saturated fat is important, but not enough. Countries where people eat more plant and vegetable oils had fewer heart deaths due related to consuming too little polyunsaturated fat, while countries such as Russia, Germany and Egypt had the greatest burden of heart deaths traced to inadequate amounts of vegetable oils.

Overall, the data also showed that heart-related deaths that could be blamed on saturated fats have dropped by 21% from 1990 to 2010, while deaths because people are eating too few healthy fats only declined by 9%. Deaths due to increased consumption of trans fats, found in many processed foods, however, went up by 4%. That strongly suggests that nutrition about fats needs to be more refined so people are aware of not just the dangers, but the potential benefits of different types of fats, says Mozaffarian.

“Our findings are consistent with the recent dietary guidelines to eliminate industrial trans fats,” says Mozaffarian, “and to replace saturated fat with polyunsaturated fat. What’s missing is the crucial advice that just increasing healthy vegetable oils can substantially reduce heart disease risk even further.”

Whistleblower goes public: CDC buried data showing vaccines increase risk of autism by 340%


A top scientist and researcher for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had a key role in helping Dr. Brian Hooker of the Focus Autism Foundation uncover manipulated data from the agency that obscured a higher incidence of autism in African American boys.
MMR vaccine
As reported by The Liberty Beacon, the whistleblower came to the attention of Hooker, who has a Ph.D. in biochemical engineering, following a Freedom of Information Act request for the original data regarding the DeStefano et al. MMR (measles, mumps rubella) and autism study.

The site further reported:

Dr. Hooker’s study, published August 8 in the peer-reviewed scientific journal Translational Neurodegeneration, shows that African-American boys receiving their first MMR vaccine before 36 months of age are 3.4 times more likely to develop autism vs. after 36 months.

According to Dr. Hooker, the CDC whistleblower, who at present wants to remain anonymous, guided him to evidence revealing that a statistically significant relationship between the age when the MMR vaccine was first administered and the incidence of autism in African American boys was hidden by CDC researchers.

‘Widespread manipulation of data’

After data on 2,583 children who were living in Atlanta, and who were born between 1986 and 1993, had been assembled, CDC researchers excluded children who did not have a valid State of Georgia birth certificate, a decision that reduced the sample size being studied by 41 percent.

Hooker said that by adopting this arbitrary criterion into the analysis, the cohort size was dramatically reduced, thereby eliminating the statistical power of the findings and essentially negating a very strong MMR-autism link in the boys.

Hooker, The Liberty Beacon reported, has been working closely with the whistleblower. He says he has viewed extremely sensitive documents related to the study via congressional request from U.S. Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.

“The CDC documents from Congress and discussions that Hooker had with the whistleblower reveal widespread manipulation of scientific data and top-down pressure on CDC scientists to support fraudulent application of government policies on vaccine safety,” the website reported. “Based on raw data used in the 2004 DeStefano et al study obtained under FOIA, Dr. Hooker found that the link between MMR vaccination and autismin African-American boys was obscured by the introduction of irrelevant and unnecessary birth certificate criteria — ostensibly to reduce the size of the study.”

The results of the original study were first published in the peer-reviewed journal Pediatrics, a publication that receives financial support from vaccine makers via both advertising and direct donations, CBS News has reported.

The DeStefano study is widely cited by the CDC and other public health groups to dismiss any link between vaccines and autism, which is a neurological disorder that appears to be on the rise.

Whistleblower expresses deep regret over his role

“The CDC knew about the relationship between the age of first MMR vaccine and autism incidence in African-American boys as early as 2003, but chose to cover it up,” Dr. Hooker said, a claim that he says the whistleblower has confirmed.

When he was asked if there could be any scientific basis for excluding children born outside of Georgia, Dr. Hooker responded, “I know of none, and none has been provided by the authors of the DeStefano study.”

“The exclusion is reminiscent of tactics historically used to deprive African-Americans of the vote by requiring valid birth certificates,” he added.

Dr. Hooker said further research is needed to determine why, specifically, there is a 3.4-fold increase in autism rates when MMR is administered prior to 36 months of age and primarily in African American boys.

There has been a link between the MMR vaccine and autism in cases that have been compensated by the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program, The Liberty Beacon reported, adding that the whistleblower has alleged criminal wrongdoing by his supervisors and has expressed deep regret over his role in helping the CDC hide data.