Infection and Immunity article about cigarette smoke

Cigarette Smoke Exposure Impairs Pulmonary Bacterial Clearance and Alveolar Macrophage Complement-Mediated Phagocytosis of Streptococcus pneumoniae

Cigarette smoke exposure increases the risk of pulmonary and invasive infections caused by Streptococcus pneumoniae, the most commonly isolated organism from patients with community-acquired pneumonia. Despite this association, the mechanisms by which cigarette smoke exposure diminishes host defense against S. pneumoniae infections are poorly understood. In this study, we compared the responses of BALB/c mice following an intratracheal challenge with S. pneumoniae after 5 weeks of exposure to room air or cigarette smoke in a whole-body exposure chamber in vivo and the effects of cigarette smoke on alveolar macrophage phagocytosis of S. pneumoniae in vitro. Bacterial burdens in cigarette smoke-exposed mice were increased at 24 and 48 h postinfection, and this was accompanied by a more pronounced clinical appearance of illness, hypothermia, and increased lung homogenate cytokines interleukin-1β (IL-1β), IL-6, IL-10, and tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α). We also found greater numbers of neutrophils in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid recovered from cigarette smoke-exposed mice following a challenge with heat-killed S. pneumoniae. Interestingly, overnight culture of alveolar macrophages with 1% cigarette smoke extract, a level that did not affect alveolar macrophage viability, reduced complement-mediated phagocytosis of S. pneumoniae, while the ingestion of unopsonized bacteria or IgG-coated microspheres was not affected. This murine model provides robust additional support to the hypothesis that cigarette smoke exposure increases the risk of pneumococcal pneumonia and defines a novel cellular mechanism to help explain this immunosuppressive effect.

Full Article: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2825918/

bending light

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We did some physics experiments today. These are pictures of light bending after passing through a semi-solid substance with an index of refraction similar to water 🙂

Healthy Living

calibrations

Just some thoughts…

How much does mental health impact physical health?

If we consider the emotional state of an individual who has just received news that a close loved one has suddenly died, most people would respond in a state of sadness and sorrow. In times of extreme grief, the impact of the mind on the body can be harsh and long lasting. In grief, despair, and sorrow, the mind is “sick.” The body naturally embodies the sickness, as a shadow follows one walking in light.

If that person were able to gain command over his or her mind, he or she would come to make peace with all reality and settle into a balanced and healthy state of mind functioning in good mental and physical health.

Cultivating a more focused mind, harmoniously aligned with the universal laws of morality, will allow greater consciousness expansion and intellectual development.

Overcoming grief requires liberation from false ideas. Letting go of all despair and finding peace is difficult for most people. Many people suffer miserably with bad health, physically and mentally.

Understanding the mysteries of life will enable people to take control of their health and well being. Knowledge is power. The truth removes the barriers of growth and allows an avenue for one to attain total freedom and liberation. Bringing our emotional minds into a harmonious balance will help us transcend all sickness. As in the example of the person receiving news of a loved one’s death, this person may fall into extreme despair and this can lead to destruction. However if one knew that no one really dies, then one would have no need to fall into a state of extreme despair/suffering.

Maintaining regular exercise will help one begin to regulate and balance the bodily system. Focusing on good health and being disciplined will provide an opportunity for positive change. When done in a harmonious manner, exercise will help one rise up from despair and relax. Most people suffer from varying degrees of stress and all the reasons for it. Being aware of this, the way to overcoming it is to focus on regulating all stress through elimination and balancing the mind in equanimity. Relaxing all tension, letting all stress go. Gently and with grace.

Understanding the difference between the body and the mind will allow one to attain a greater command of one’s health if one is disciplined enough to maintain discipline. It requires work, not too much, not too little.

Aligning one’s mind with the living power that sustains all life will allow one to begin to know the creator of reality and this leads to the highest end. It is mighty and powerful, and it is silent and elusive.

The power that gives life

Do you believe it’s possible that SOMETHING created the universe and all existence? Is it possible that a power greater than the universe exists?

-“yes, God is the creator of all existence, God alone commands all…”

-“How did the universe come into existence? That’s a hard one, but evidence suggests that the giver of life is controlling the universe, which makes it a greater power than the universe.”

-“SOMETHING HAD to have made life!! Louis Pasteur disproved spontaneous generation of microorganisms, life doesn’t arise from nothing. The universe too, didn’t arise from nothing. The SOMETHING that brought the universe into existence is what most people in America refer to as GOD. The universe came from SOMETHING. That something is a power greater than the universe and what is known to mankind.”

-“How did we get here? I think the answer is so BIG that we would have difficulty wrapping our minds around it.”

-“I definately believe it’s possible. At our core we are but the light of consciousness. A power gives life to that light.”

-“Our people believe that the power that gives life is alive and we communicate with it and we give thanks for life and all the blessings of life. We live our lives in thanks and gratitude. It is a power that is greater than the universe…”

-“יהוה alone gives life to the universe. יהוה alone has power over all.”

Successful Instruction (teacher resource)

The whole purpose of education is to educate. Therefore it is for educators to focus on EFFECTIVE methods of instruction. If teachers are not providing adequate instruction, then the students will not receive the guidance they need. Accurate and properly presented instruction is essential. This review will briefly touch on implementing instruction and models of instruction, and it will include my thoughts and reflection.

There is always a way. This holds true in all areas of life. Sometimes the way is hidden and unknown, but there is always a way. In order to find the way, one must open one’s mind to all possibilities. When planning instruction, we need to be sure the information is accurate and we need to be sure that the manner in which our instruction is presented is one that is designed to maximize the students’ ability to learn.

Conducting class takes great care and precision. It begins with a pure and loving heart that genuinely wants to help everyone. With this nature and intention, we need to be sure we are extra patient and extra focused and extra disciplined.

We need to do everything we can to help the students help themselves. In the grand scheme of things, it is up to every individual to accomplish for one’s self. As educators, we need to help our students in every way we can to learn, grow, and evolve. It is not for educators to just regurgitate information to the students without feeling. Part of being human is being emotional and sensitive. Therefore, as educators, we need to understand the human psyche and acknowledge that people are steadily “awakening” to greater depths of consciousness. We need to be aware of this reality when teaching and adjust for it accordingly. A two year old baby is in a lesser developed state of consciousness than a forty year old adult whose state of consciousness (under healthy conditions) is much more developed. With that said, we can understand the gradual expansion of consciousness over time. With these factors and more, we need to present our instruction in a manner that will provide the best results and help the student in the best way possible. This should be the goal of every instructor of knowledge.

If one wishes to improve one’s health, there are many things one can do. One may choose to eat more fruits and vegetables in order to improve health and nothing more. This WILL improve health (as long as the fruits and veggies are fresh and pure, ideally organic, and free of pesticides and other toxins). Another person may choose to do the same AND include drinking more water, taking vitamins, herbs, and “superfoods” such as, raw organic honey, goji berries, cocoa, cordyceps and more. This too will improve one’s health, even more than only eating more fruits and veggies. THEN there’s the person who chooses the same healthy diet with all superfoods AND this person chooses to do push-ups, sit-ups, pull-ups and squats everyday along with weightlifting. This person, when exercising properly (in a healthy and balanced manner), will be EVEN MORE healthy than the first two people! The next person then decides to take it to the next level and do all the things the third person did and adds to it, Tai Chi, Yoga, Chi Gung, meditation, and running. With this example, we can see how some people put in greater effort than others. Successful educators work hard (with great effort to do the best) to teach every student with care and precision, which yields greater success.

Honey offers a successful approach to fighting antibiotic resistance

Honey, that delectable condiment for breads and fruits, could be one sweet solution to the serious, ever-growing problem of bacterial resistance to antibiotics, researchers said in Dallas today.

Honey could be one sweet solution to the serious, ever-growing problem of bacterial resistance to antibiotics, researchers said in Dallas* today. Medical professionals sometimes use honey successfully as a topical dressing, but it could play a larger role in fighting infections, the researchers predicted.

“The unique property of honey lies in its ability to fight infection on multiple levels, making it more difficult for bacteria to develop resistance,” said study leader Susan M. Meschwitz, Ph.D. That is, it uses a combination of weapons, including hydrogen peroxide, acidity, osmotic effect, high sugar concentration and polyphenols — all of which actively kill bacterial cells, she explained. The osmotic effect, which is the result of the high sugar concentration in honey, draws water from the bacterial cells, dehydrating and killing them.

In addition, several studies have shown that honey inhibits the formation of biofilms, or communities of slimy disease-causing bacteria, she said. “Honey may also disrupt quorum sensing, which weakens bacterial virulence, rendering the bacteria more susceptible to conventional antibiotics,” Meschwitz said. Quorum sensing is the way bacteria communicate with one another, and may be involved in the formation of biofilms. In certain bacteria, this communication system also controls the release of toxins, which affects the bacteria’s pathogenicity, or their ability to cause disease.

Meschwitz, who is with Salve Regina University in Newport, R.I., said another advantage of honey is that unlike conventional antibiotics, it doesn’t target the essential growth processes of bacteria. The problem with this type of targeting, which is the basis of conventional antibiotics, is that it results in the bacteria building up resistance to the drugs.

Honey is effective because it is filled with healthful polyphenols, or antioxidants, she said. These include the phenolic acids, caffeic acid, p-coumaric acid and ellagic acid, as well as many flavonoids. “Several studies have demonstrated a correlation between the non-peroxide antimicrobial and antioxidant activities of honey and the presence of honey phenolics,” she added. A large number of laboratory and limited clinical studies have confirmed the broad-spectrum antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral properties of honey, according to Meschwitz.

She said that her team also is finding that honey has antioxidant properties and is an effective antibacterial. “We have run standard antioxidant tests on honey to measure the level of antioxidant activity,” she explained. “We have separated and identified the various antioxidant polyphenol compounds. In our antibacterial studies, we have been testing honey’s activity against E. coliStaphylococcus aureus and Pseudomonas aeruginosa, among others.”

*This study was presented the 247th National Meeting of the American Chemical Society (ACS).

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140316132801.htm

One Love

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In Love

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Eating organic food protects from pesticide exposure

Eating organic food protects from pesticide exposure

Filed Under: Pesticides Organics Health Children
Children who switched to eating organically-grown food greatly reduced their exposure to organophosphate insecticides. Scientists from Seattle and Atlanta just published the results of their study which linked pesticides in children’s urine to pesticide residues on food. Scientists worry that organophosphates might harm children’s developing nervous systems.

Children who switched to eating organically-grown food greatly reduced their exposure to organophosphate insecticides. Scientists from Seattle and Atlanta just published the results of their study which linked pesticides in children’s urine to pesticide residues on food. Scientists worry that organophosphates might harm children’s developing nervous systems.

Twenty-three elementary-aged children participated in a 15 day study which was divided into three parts. First the children ate their usual diet of conventionally-grown food for 3 days. Then they were switched to organically-grown substitutes for 5 days. For the final 7 days, they switched back to conventional food.

The organic substitutes were mainly fruits, vegetables, juices, and grain products (such as wheat) because these foods are often contaminated with organophosphates.

Urine samples were collected twice a day for each child. Researchers tested the urine for signs of pesticides.

In the case of two organophosphate insecticides — malathion and chlorpyrifos — the results were startling. Signs of these two chemicals were found in the urine in the first part of the study. Almost immediately after the children switched to an organic diet, these chemicals could not be detected. The chemicals showed up again when the children switched back to their normal diet.

The researchers said “We were able to demonstrate that an organic diet provides a dramatic and immediate protective effect against exposures to organophosphorus pesticides that are commonly used in agriculture.”

More information on chlorpyrifos

The organophosphate family of chemicals damages the nervous system (which includes the brain), so scientists are particularly concerned about children’s exposure because their bodies are still developing. Chlorpyrifos is one of the many insecticides in this chemical family.

In 1999, the Environmental Protection Agency decided to start cancelling some uses of chlorpyrifos, in part because of some disturbing animal studies. For example, newborn rats were much more susceptible to toxic effects of chlorpyrifos than adults. Also, even low doses of chlorpyrifos caused structural changes in the development of the brain.

While chlorpyrifos has been greatly restricted for uses in and around homes, it is still widely used in agriculture. The study described above makes it clear that children are still exposed to chlorpyrifos from residues on food.

http://www.pesticide.org/the-buzz/eating-organic-food-protects-children-from-pesticide-exposure

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