Health

Eating disorder illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

Eating Disorders × Covid-19

Eating Disorders and Covid-19

More than 30 million people in the U.S. suffer from eating disorders

COVID-19 can be a nightmare for thembecause of the following triggers:

  • Empty grocery shelves
  • Feelings of uncertainty and loss of control
  • Social media messages about avoiding the “Quarantine 15” pound weight gain are especially harmful to those with existing eating disorders.

A recent study conducted by the International Journal for Eating Disorders found that symptoms worsened across the board for people with anorexia, bulimia and binge-eating disorders nationwide since the lockdowns in March. Among respondents, 62% of people with anorexia have experienced more severe restriction and food fear during the pandemic, while 30% of those with bulimia and binge-eating disorder reported experiencing more binge-eating episodes, and a greater urge to binge.

Some of the facts about eating disorders are sobering:

  • 9% of the US population will suffer from an eating disorder in their lifetime
  • Almost 1% of us suffer from anorexia nervosa
  • Between 2-3% of us have bulimia nervosa
  • Binge eating disorder (BED) is experienced by between 2-3% of us
  • 10% of those with eating disorders lose their lives as a result
  • Eating disorders are second only to opioid overdose as the deadliest mental illnesses
  • About 26% of people with eating disorders attempt suicide

Eating Recovery Center is the nation’s largest eating disorder treatment center (with offices around the country, & virtual treatment options).  Eating Recovery Center provides comprehensive treatment for anorexia, bulimia, binge eating disorder, and other unspecified eating disorders.

Pregnancy illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

Black Maternal Health Crisis

Free Virtual Webinar During Black Maternal Health Week:

“The Black Maternal Health Crisis in the United States”

As this unpredicted season begins against the backdrop of Covid-19, racial unrest, and action for justice and healing – nothing is normal. The Promise Heights From the Heights virtual series will look at the challenges of the moment, offering actionable insights that you can use today. 

The third of these freevirtual webinar conversations is scheduled for Monday, April 12, 2021 from 2-3:30 pm, and will feature a message from Congresswoman Lauren Underwood, representing the 14th District of Illinois as the first woman, the first person of color, and first millennial to represent her community in Congress, and also the youngest Black woman to serve in the United States House of Representatives. The Black Maternal Health Caucus was launched by Congresswomen Alma Adams and Lauren Underwood to improve Black maternal health outcomes and to raise awareness within Congress about the problem and advocate for effective, evidence-based, culturally component policies and best practices for health outcomes for Black mothers.

Also joining our conversation, moderated by Reporter Tatyana Turner of The Baltimore SunL. Latéy Bradford, MD, PhD, University of Maryland Medical Center: Chief Resident, Family Medicine; Stacey Stephens, LCSW-C, Director, B’more for Healthy Babies, Promise Heights; and Stephanie Etienne, CNM, Certified Nurse Midwife based in Baltimore.
 

ABOUT THIS EVENT:
As stated in the Black Maternal Health Caucus/Momnibus website, “In the richest nation on earth, moms are dying at the highest rate in the industrialized world—and the rate is rising. For as dire as the situation is for all women, the crisis is more severe for Black mothers.”  More recently, the March 11, 2021 New York Times featured story, “Why Black Women Are Rejecting Hospitals in Search of Better Births” reported that, “Black mothers in the United States are 4 times as likely to die from maternity-related complications as white women.”

Black women also experience higher rates of maternal complications and infant mortality. They are twice as likely to lose an infant to premature death, and these disparities have not improved in more than 30 years. These disproportionate inequities exist regardless of income, educational level or any other demographic characteristic.  This April 12 virtual session will provide insight how to make pregnancy and childbirth safer in the U.S., amplify community–driven policy, practice and systems and enhance community organizing on Black maternal health by taking action to reduce maternal mortality and reduce morbidity related to childbirth. 
 

Click here to learn more and register for this free program

To learn more about the From the Heights series of virtual events, click here.

Funding for the From the Heights series was provided by The Annie E. Casey Foundation and Kaiser Permanente

DMX illustration by Heather Skovlund (Photo Credit Jonathan Mannion) for 360 Magazine

DMX

Official Statements from DMX’s Family & White Plains Hospital

“We are deeply saddened to announce today that our loved one, DMX, birth name of Earl Simmons, passed away at 50-years-old at White Plains Hospital with his family by his side after being placed on life support for the past few days. Earl was a warrior who fought till the very end. He loved his family with all of his heart, and we cherish the times we spent with him. Earl’s music inspired countless fans across the world and his iconic legacy will live on forever. We appreciate all of the love and support during this incredibly difficult time. Please respect our privacy as we grieve the loss of our brother, father, uncle and the man the world knew as DMX. We will share information about his memorial service once details are finalized.” – Earl “DMX” Simmons’ Family

“White Plains Hospital extends its deepest condolences to the family of Mr. Simmons, as well as his friends and legions of fans who expressed their unwavering support during this difficult time. Earl Simmons passed away peacefully with family present after suffering a catastrophic cardiac arrest.”   

When it comes to DMX, a man blessed with a vicious bark of a voice, there is no such thing as half-stepping. Born Earl Simmons in 1970, the Yonkers-raised MC arrived as the physical embodiment of unbridled energy—a one-man distillation of fellow rugged New York acts like Wu-Tang Clan. With the release of his 1998 debut, It’s Dark and Hell Is Hot, DMX wrapped himself in musical aggression that enhanced his imposing presence across songs like the minimal, clanging “Get at Me Dog” and rowdy breakout “Ruff Ryders’ Anthem.” But X scaled back the pugnacity on that same album’s introspective “How’s It Goin’ Down,” which featured angelic vocals from R&B’s Faith Evans and painted a vivid picture of a complex relationship headed down the wrong path. DMX would revisit that sensitivity on “Slippin’,” a heart-rending track from 1998’s Flesh of My Flesh, Blood of My Blood that found him expressing a desire to live a less tumultuous life. As at odds as the rapper’s two sides may seem to be, he’s always thrived most while letting his emotions fly unrestrained. In 2000, he released …And Then There Was X, where even the anthemic “Party Up” served as a prime example of DMX’s uniquely intense take on hardcore hip-hop. But whether ferocious, amped up, or introspective, the MC has remained grounded by his faith, which, especially in the later years of his career, he approaches with nothing short of absolute devotion.

Following the deaths of Tupac Shakur and the Notorious B.I.G., DMX took over as the undisputed reigning king of hardcore rap. He was that rare commodity: a commercial powerhouse with artistic and street credibility to spare. His rapid ascent to stardom was actually almost a decade in the making, which gave him a chance to develop the theatrical image that made him one of rap’s most distinctive personalities during his heyday. Everything about DMX was unremittingly intense, from his muscular, tattooed physique to his gruff, barking delivery, which made a perfect match for his trademark lyrical obsession with dogs. Plus, there was substance behind the style; much of his work was tied together by a fascination with the split between the sacred and the profane. He could move from spiritual anguish one minute to a narrative about the sins of the streets the next yet keep it all part of the same complex character, sort of like a hip-hop Johnny Cash. The results were compelling enough to make DMX the first artist ever to have his first four albums enter the charts at number one.

Photo Credit: Jonathan Mannion

Photo credit: Jonathan Mannion

Self love illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

Why Detox Now

By: Edward Jones, founder of  Nutrition World

Are you ready to restart your health similar to how we reset our phones when they get slow and sluggish? The cumulative effects of living, eating and breathing in our toxic world are very often causing our bodys to be sluggish, decreasing our energy, brain function,  producing weight gain and reducing the quality of our life.  

I have been counseling people for more than four decades on the subject of detox for the betterment of their health through my wellness clinic and personal education. Observing my clients over the years has clearly shown me the vital importance of effective therapies regarding detoxification in order to attain results to optimize their health. I will be offering you three steps to effective and healthy detox methods in this article.   

The science of detoxification of every single living organism has been intensively studied and its biochemistry illustrates its varied mechanisms of action. The mere fact that nature placed highly efficient detox pathways within all living creatures confirms its vital importance to the continuation of life. Traditional medicine does not recognize the negative effects of toxins like hormone disruptors, mold, pesticides, fungicides, carcinogens, and the list goes on and on. Even in the best situations where we embrace organic foods daily and clean lifestyle we continue to be exposed to toxins from vaccines, mold in the workplace or home, pharmaceuticals, water, skin care products, suntan lotions, chemicals like Roundup (which is found in almost all foods), and the list goes on and is almost endless. The body has only so much capacity within its system of detox and clearly these days the body is often at or beyond capacity in many individuals.

One of the most stunning studies performed showing the potential serious concerns of toxins in our daily life was on analyzing umbilical cord blood. Not that long ago, scientists believed that the placenta shielded cord blood — and the developing baby — from most chemicals and pollutants in the environment. In the study spearheaded by the Environmental Working Group (EWG), two major laboratories found an average of 200 industrial chemicals in umbilical cord blood. The blood harbored pesticides, consumer product ingredients and wastes from gasoline and garbage. Information such as this can motivate people toward the clear need for detoxification. The first step in assisting anyone with his or her health is making sure they clearly understand and believe in the process itself. Many traditional healthcare practitioners often do not use detoxification as part of their toolbox. This makes education a top priority to achieve success.

For the majority of individuals when they hear the word “detox” they are thinking colon and going to the bathroom. We know regularity does have a place in lessening toxins, but I am more concerned with cellular detox for most of my clients. I always address the issue of regularity and the need to work towards regular bowel movements, but too many so called natural cleansers are nothing more than hidden laxatives. Ingredients such as aloe, cascara, chinese rhubarb, and of course senna are often addictive and are simply cleansing what was eaten over the past few days and not cellular detox.  Nutrition World is very aware of this issue and is devoted to honest education when speaking to customers on this issue. I encourage anyone considering detox products to be an informed consumer. 

Three steps to finding an effective and healthy detox method:

My first recommendation for reducing the toxic load within our cells is fasting. I find intermittent fasting five days a week by eating within an 8 to 10 hour window and not eating the remainder of the day and night is very effective for everyone.  This offers benefits regarding weight loss, insulin balancing, sleep, optimizing glucose levels, and improving brain function.  

Sweating is option number two. Toxins are generally located within the fatty cells and increasing body temperature releases the toxins. I prefer a dry heat sauna for 30 minutes several times a week.  Of course sweating of any kind will be of benefit regardless of how it is done.  

The third option is the consideration of taking nutraceutical and botanical supplements in the form of a detox plan. No one ingredient will accomplish this goal which is why I have three methods of supplementation with natural remedies that further accelerate the process of optimal cleansing. The level of toxicity will determine which detox bundle to consider. You can learn more about the right supplement detox plan for you through my education podcast, The Holistic Navigator. Remember to always consult with your healthcare professional before using any products if you have a health condition.

Source: Chemical analyses of 10 umbilical cord blood samples were conducted by AXYS Analytical Services (Sydney, BC) and Flett Research Ltd. (Winnipeg, MB).

Biography: Edward Jones, is a holistic health expert who has spent a lifetime dedicated to educating consumers about healthy living through his famed Nutrition World, and the preventative health practitioner venue he founded and directs, The Wellness Corner, in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Since opening his doors at Nutrition World in 1979, Jones has presented at hundreds of nutrition and health events, conducted numerous media interviews, and has written and contributed to multiple publications, including the book, “101 Great Ways to Improve Your Health.” Known to many as a navigator of health, Jones is the host of “The Holistic Navigator” podcast that airs weekly to educate consumers about the latest science and trends in nutritional intervention, with the objective to help others take control of their own health. An adventurer at heart, and passionate pilot, Jones practices what he teaches through his highly successful wellness centers that are accessible virtually throughout the country. He is an avid exerciser, salsa dancer, traditional archer and devout meditator. Jones once set an “unofficial” world record in 2004 by achieving 285 pull-ups in one hour and for his 63rd birthday he recorded completing 63 continuous push-ups. Through proper exercise, good food choices and nutritional supplementation, Jones believes you can lead a fulfilled, adventurous life, no matter your age, as he has helped thousands of people on the path toward health and wellness.

Edward Jones
Photo provided by Nutrition World
Child with phone illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

Children and Screens Announces Grant

­CHILDREN AND SCREENS ANNOUNCES $100,000 GRANT SUPPORTING NEW RESEARCH INTO DIGITAL MEDIA USE AND BRAIN DEVELOPMENT

Children and Screens: Institute of Digital Media and Child Development is pleased to announce that it has awarded a grant of $100,000 to Marc Potenza, Ph.D., MD, Professor of Psychiatry at Yale University, Yihong Zhao, Ph.D., member of the Center of Alcohol and Substance Use Studies at Rutgers University, and their interdisciplinary, interinstitutional team, in support of their research exploring the associations between screen media activity and brain development in school-aged children. 
 
“It is vital to investigate what ever-increasing digital media engagement means for developing brains, especially in middle childhood when children’s devices and brains are working on overdrive. Technology is advancing rapidly, and we hope to do our part to help science keep up; we are delighted to create opportunities to advance scientific research on this topic through the Institute, which I founded 13 years ago.” Dr. Pam Hurst-Della Pietra, President and Founder, Children and Screens: Institute of Digital Media and Child Development 
 
Drawing on longitudinal data from the NIH’s landmark Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development Study, Dr. Potenza, Dr. Zhao, and their associates intend to utilize state-of-the-art statistical methodology and predictive modeling to investigate the relationships between digital media use and changes in brain structure and function, as well as the associated clinically relevant behaviors. The study, which was proposed following the Institute’s March 2020 Digital Media and Developing Brain Research Retreat, will examine the effects of a variety of specific media-based activities and will focus on children from ages 9-12. The results of this research will yield benefits and insight not only for the research community, but also for families, clinicians, and policymakers.
 
“The advances in ‘big data’ approaches have led to an unprecedented increase in our understanding of how brain structure and function relate to specific behaviors. With the support of Children and Screens, we aim to apply novel and innovative big data approaches to ABCD data to understand how brain structure and function relate to, and importantly may be impacted by, types and patterns of screen media activity. Dr. Martin Paulus and colleagues used a portion of the first wave of ABCD data to identify patterns of cortical thinning associated with screen media activity. We hope to build off and extend this work by examining the full initial sample and subsequent waves of ABCD data to determine brain-behavior relationships with respect to youth screen media activity. We hope to communicate these findings in order to advance prevention and policy efforts that promote healthy childhood development in environments increasingly involving digital technologies.” – Dr. Marc Potenza, Grant Recipient
 
Bridging the medical, neuroscientific, social scientific, education, and academic communities, the Children and Screens’ interdisciplinary scientific research grants program was conceived as part of a larger research program to advance and support study, knowledge, and scientific collaboration. Developed in 2017, the grants program provides researchers with access to the early-stage financial support necessary to pilot worthy new projects studying the impact of children’s engagement with current and evolving technologies.
 
In addition to the research funds awarded as part of the retreat program and those granted to explore the impacts of digital media during the current health crisis, Children and Screens’ regular Tips for Parents newsletter provides evidence-based, practical advice for families coping with the unprecedented realities of the pandemic, including changed economic circumstances, health concerns, lockdowns, social distancing, remote learning, and working from home. Each newsletter features insights from world-renowned experts, who share tips and advice about managing screen time, social media use, gaming, technology addiction, privacy, parenting, and more.
 
In addition, our popular, bi-weekly Ask the Experts virtual workshop series features dynamic conversations among international, interdisciplinary experts in the field of digital media and child development. Each discussion explores a different digital media challenge associated with the COVID-19 pandemic and presents families with current scientific research, clinical advice, and practical, evidence-based advice. Panelists include leading parenting experts, former AAP Presidents, top child and adolescent psychiatrists, high-impact journal editors, leading researchers, well-known authors, and others. To date, the series has reached parents, researchers, educators, clinicians, government agencies, and public health professionals in over 30 countries and all 50 states.
 
About Children and Screens:
Since its inception in 2013, Children and Screens: Institute of Digital Media and Child Development, has become one of the nation’s leading non-profit organizations dedicated to advancing and supporting interdisciplinary scientific research, enhancing human capital in the field, informing and educating the public, and advocating for sound public policy for child health and wellness.

Vaccine illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

Small Businesses Sign Vaccine Plan

­­SURVEY OF SMALL EMPLOYERS; 400+ SMALL BUSINESS OWNERS AND NATIONAL ADVOCATES LAUNCH INITIATIVE ON VACCINE LEADERSHIP TO GET U.S. ECONOMY BACK ON TRACK 

New National Survey of More than 3,300 Small Business Owners: Survey of small employers found that 64 percent of business owners say it is very important that their employees get vaccinated

Over 400 Small Business Owners and Leaders — Sign pledge to commit to becoming a small business vaccine leader 

Small employers want employees to get vaccinated and are willing to help to make it happen. The majority (63 percent) of small businesses are willing to encourage and incentivize employees to get vaccinated.

 Reimagine Main Street (RMS), a project of Public Private Strategies (PPS), has launched a public awareness campaign that will support small business owners in being leaders on the Covid-19 vaccines with their employees and in their community. The campaign was announced during a webinar that also included findings from a survey of more than 3,300 small employers on their perspectives on the vaccines conducted by Reimagine Main Street, in partnership with the National Asian/Pacific Islander American Chamber of Commerce and Entrepreneurship (National ACE), the US Black Chambers, Inc. (USBC), and the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (USHCC). The survey results provide insights into how small business owners view the vaccines and their plans for themselves and their workers. 

Other business organizations including the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce (NLGCC), the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO), and Women Impacting Public Policy (WIPP) are stepping up to engage their members. 

“Small businesses like mine have struggled during this pandemic, but the vaccine shows us that the end is in sight,” said Shaundell Newsome, Founder of Sumnu Marketing and Chairman of the Board of the Urban Chamber of Commerce in Las Vegas, who moderated the webinar. “I have implemented a vaccine plan for my employees and all business owners should do the same so we can make it through Covid-19 as quickly as possible.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that between 70-85% of Americans need to receive the vaccine to achieve herd immunity. Once that happens, small businesses will be able to get back to business at full capacity and the economy and communities can completely reopen.

“The survey findings demonstrate that small business owners recognize the importance of the vaccines in reopening Main Street,” said PPS Founder and Principal Rhett Buttle. “By championing the vaccine with the employees and in their communities, small employers can help fully reopen the economy as quickly as possible.”

NEW SURVEY: 

The survey of more than 3,300 small employers shows strong support for ensuring workers get vaccinated. View the full survey. Key findings include: 

  • 63% of small employers intend to encourage their employees to get vaccinated. 
  • Nearly half (45%) of small employers’ plan to give workers paid time off (PTO) to get vaccinated.
     
  • More than 80% of small employers report having conversations with employees about vaccines and a majority (55%) say they would use free or low-cost resources to provide guidance and information about Covid-19 vaccines.

PLEDGE FROM SMALL BUSINESS OWNERS: 

The campaign also calls on employers to sign a pledge to be a SMALL BUSINESS VACCINE LEADER, which more than 400 small business owners have already signed. In signing it, small business owners are pledging to do at least one of the following things:

  • Commit to getting the vaccine when it is their turn and let their employees know why they are choosing to get the vaccine
  • Create a vaccine plan for their employees
  • Provide incentives to employees who receive the vaccine, such as PTO to receive the vaccine
  • Continue to follow state and federal guidance on social distancing and wearing masks after all employees are vaccinated
  • Assist with vaccine promotion and distribution in their community (examples include volunteering to help at COVID-19 vaccination sites, donating supplies or services to vaccination sites, and being vocal in their community on the business case for getting vaccinated)

NEW TIP SHEETS: 

Reimagine Main Street is also giving small business owners the resources they need to play a critical role in championing the vaccine with their employees and in their communities. In addition to general tools and resources, the campaign includes tip sheets in multiple languages for small business specifically targeted to demographics, including:

QUOTES FROM BUSINESS OWNERS AND LEADERS: 

Ron Busby, Sr., President/CEO of the U.S. Black Chambers, Inc.

“When our country faces a crisis, the most vulnerable are hit the hardest, especially in the Black community. This was the case with Covid-19, but business owners can help put us on the path to recovery by embracing the vaccine.”

Ramiro Cavazos, President and CEO of the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce

“It is going to take years for the Hispanic small business community to recover from the Covid-19 pandemic, but the vaccine can get us started down that path. Business owners can help speed the recovery by championing the vaccine with their employees and community.”

Justin G. Nelson, Co-Founder and President, NGLCC

“COVID-19 has forced business owners in the LGBTQ community to look out for each other as we try to make it through this pandemic. Small business owners should protect themselves, their employees, and their communities by championing the vaccine.”

Cindy Ramos-Davidson, CEO of the El Paso Hispanic Chamber of Commerce 

“Hispanic businesses have closed at a disproportionate rate because of Covid-19 and the path to recovery begins with the vaccine. If small business owners champion the Covid-19 vaccines, businesses and communities will be able to fully reopen much faster.” 

Chiling Tong President/CEO of the National Asian/Pacific Islander American Chamber of Commerce and Entrepreneurship

“The Covid-19 pandemic has been tough on Asian American and Pacific Islander businesses both financially and through the rise in anti-Asian violence. It is critical that we get through this pandemic as quickly as possible, and the vaccine is key to doing so.”

Mas Torito, owner of Kokoro Restaurant in Denver

“My family restaurant has been in business for over 30 years and this past one was the toughest we have ever weathered. To come back stronger than ever, we have championed the vaccine, but it is critical that more small businesses do so as well.”

Ginger Torres, co-founder of PPE for Navajo First Responders in Phoenix

“Hesitancy to take the Covid-19 vaccine is prevalent among many Native Americans, but small business owners can play a huge role in changing that. I urge all small business owners to be leaders on the vaccine with their employees and in their communities.”

Patty Gentry Young, co-owner of Young Hair Inc., Spring Field, Ohio

“We all take steps to be proactive about our health and getting the Covid-19 vaccine should be one of them. Small business owners can play an important role in encouraging their employees and others in their community to get the vaccine.”

Neurological illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

Houston Methodist × Rice University

Houston Methodist, Rice U. launch neuroprosthetic collaboration


Center for Translational Neural Prosthetics and Interfaces to focus on restoring brain function after disease, injury

Neurosurgery’s history of cutting diseases out of the brain is morphing into a future in which implanting technology intothe brain may help restore function, movement, cognition and memory after patients suffer strokes, spinal cord injuries and other neurological disorders. Rice University and Houston Methodist have forged a partnership to launch the Center for Translational Neural Prosthetics and Interfaces, a collaboration that brings together scientists, clinicians, engineers and surgeons to solve clinical problems with neurorobotics.  

“This will be an accelerator for discovery,” said center co-director Dr. Gavin Britz, chair of the Houston Methodist Department of Neurosurgery. “This center will be a human laboratory where all of us — neurosurgeons, neuroengineers, neurobiologists — can work together to solve biomedical problems in the brain and spinal cord. And it’s a collaboration that can finally offer some hope and options for the millions of people worldwide who suffer from brain diseases and injuries.”

Houston Methodist neurosurgeons, seven engineers from the Rice Neuroengineering Initiative and additional physicians and faculty from both institutions form the center’s core team. The center also plans to hire three additional engineers who will have joint appointments at Houston Methodist and Rice. Key focus areas include spinal cord injury, memory and epilepsy studies, and cortical motor/sensation conditions.

“The Rice Neuroengineering Initiative was formed with this type of partnership in mind,” said center co-director Behnaam Aazhang, Rice’s J.S. Abercrombie Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, who also directs the neuroengineering initiative, which launched in 2019 to bring together the brightest minds in neuroscience, engineering and related fields to improve lives by restoring and extending the capabilities of the human brain. “Several core members, myself included, have existing collaborations with our colleagues at Houston Methodist in the area of neural prosthetics. The creation of the Center for Translational Neural Prosthetics and Interfaces is an exciting development toward achieving our common goals.”

The physical space for the center’s operation includes more than 25,000 square feet of Rice Neuroengineering Initiative laboratories and experimental spaces in the university’s BioScience Research Collaborative, as well as an extensive build-out underway at Houston Methodist’s West Pavilion location that’s expected to be completed late this year. The Houston Methodist facility will include operating rooms and a human laboratory where ongoing patient/volunteer diagnosis and assessment, device fabrication and testing, and education and training opportunities are planned.

“This partnership is a perfect blend of talent,” said Rice’s Marcia O’Malley, a core member of both the new center and university initiative and the Thomas Michael Panos Family Professor in Mechanical Engineering. “We will be able to design studies to test the efficacy of inventions and therapies and rely on patients and volunteers who want to help us test our ideas. The possibilities are limitless.”

Houston Methodist neurobiologist Philip Horner describes the lab as “a merging of wetware with hardware,” where robotics, computers, electronic arrays and other technology — the hardware — is incorporated into the human brain or spinal cord — the wetware. The centerpiece of this working laboratory is a zero-gravity harness connected to a walking track, with cameras and sensors to record feedback, brain activity and other data.

While the Houston Methodist space is being built, collaborations already are underway between the two institutions, which sit across Main Street from one another in the Texas Medical Center. Among them are the following:

  • O’Malley and Houston Methodist’s Dr. Dimitry Sayenko, assistant professor of neurosurgery, will head the first pilot project involving the merging of two technologies to restore hand function following a spinal cord injury or stroke. O’Malley will pair the upper limb exoskeleton she invented with Sayenko’s noninvasive stimulator designed to wake up the spinal cord. Together, they hope these technologies will help patients achieve a more extensive recovery — and at a faster pace.
  • Rice neuroengineer Lan Luan, assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering, and Britz, a neurosurgeon, are collaborating on a study to measure the neurovascular response following a subarachnoid hemorrhage, a life-threatening stroke caused by bleeding just outside the brain. Two-thirds of people who suffer these brain bleeds either die or end up with permanent disabilities. Luan invented very small and flexible electrodes that can be implanted in the brain to measure, record and map its activities. Her work with mice could lead to human brain implants that may help patients recover from traumatic brain injuries caused by disease or accidents.
  • Aazhang, Britz and Taiyun Chi, assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering at Rice, are collaborating on the detection of mild traumatic brain injuries (mTBI) from multimodal observations and on alleviating mTBI using neuromodulations. This project is of particular interest to the Department of Defense.
Covid-19 illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

National Minority Health Month

National Minority Health Month: 
Working Together to Help Communities Become Vaccine Ready

April is National Minority Health Month, and this year, the HHS Office of Minority Health (OMH) and national, state, territorial, tribal and local partners will focus on the impact of COVID-19 on racial and ethnic minority and American Indian and Alaska Native communities. Together, we will underscore the need for communities at higher risk of COVID-19 to get vaccinated as more vaccines become available.

The theme for National Minority Health Month is #VaccineReady and observance activities will support helping vulnerable communities get the facts about COVID-19 vaccines, share accurate vaccine information, participate in clinical trials, get vaccinated when the time comes, and proactively practice COVID-19 safety measures. 

“Since the start of the pandemic, data show that racial and ethnic minorities are more likely to test positive for COVID-19, more likely to be hospitalized and more likely to die from COVID-19 compared to non-Hispanic whites,” said RADM Felicia Collins, MD, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Minority Health and OMH Director.  “While there appears to be light at the end of the long pandemic tunnel, it is important for all of us to be vaccine ready and to continue the public health precautions while we wait our turn to get the vaccine – wearing a mask, watching our distance and washing our hands.” 

Studies show that COVID-19 vaccines are effective at keeping people from getting COVID-19 and the CDC recommends that everyone get vaccinated as soon as they are eligible. As more vaccines become available, there are steps individuals can take to protect themselves until they can get vaccinated:

  • Wear a mask to protect yourself and others and stop the spread of COVID-19.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Stay at least 6 feet apart from others who do not live with you.
  • Avoid crowds. The more people you are in contact with, the more likely you are to be exposed to COVID-19.

Fully vaccinated people should continue to take precautions in public like wearing a well-fitted mask, maintaining physical distance from unvaccinated people or people whose vaccination status you do not know, and practicing other prevention measures as recommended by the CDC

To learn more about National Minority Health Month, find resources, events, and information in English and Spanish, visit the Office of Minority Health website. Follow OMH on Twitter or Twitter in Spanish, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube

Teletubbies illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

Teletubbies Launch Tubbycoin

Teletubbies Launch New Cryptocurrency Tubbycoin

Share BigHugs! with hashtag TubbyCoin

To mine TubbyCoin, all users need to do is share Big Hugs! tokens on social media with anyone who needs a hug, accompanied by the hashtag TubbyCoin. Then, sit back and let HugTech do the rest, as your TubbyCoin grows in value by collecting good vibes from being so nice.

As part of the initial offering of TubbyCoin, WildBrain will be making a base donation of $5,000 CAD to Kids Help Phone, and for every TubbyCoin shared or liked on social media, we’ll add one additional dollar to our donation, up to a total of $10,000 CAD. Be sure to use the hashtag TubbyCoin. Kids Help Phone gives millions of youth a safe, trusted space to talk over phone or through text or in self-directed support in any moment of crisis or need. In 2020, Kids Help Phone had 4.5 million connections with young people, reflecting a 137% increase over 2019.

HugTech – harnessing the power of Teletubby antennae

The result of years of research at WildBrain Labs, HugTech is a unique, proprietary technology that harnesses the value of the Teletubbies’ trademark BigHugs! through a nascent technology that marries the secret power of the Teletubbies’ antennae with cutting-edge cryptographology.

Dr. Rolf P. Solia, Principal Scientist and Head of Cleverness & Fabrication at WildBrain Labs, said: “We have finally arrived at the unachievable! Everyone knows the Teletubbies spread joy and delight across the world. But until now, few outside WildBrain Labs knew those special powers emanated from their antennae. Now, through the magic of cryptographology WildBrain Labs has harnessed that power to offer people around the world the opportunity to share the ebullience of the Teletubbies through TubbyCoin.”

Teletubbies spokestubby Tinky Winky added: “Eh-oh! Big hugs!”

Gotcha! Happy April Fools’ day!

Michael Riley, Chief Brands Officer of Teletubbies owner WildBrain, said: “I’d like to wish everyone a Happy April Fools’ Day! Although TubbyCoin is not really a cryptocurrency, our hope is that you’ll still enjoy sharing TubbyCoins with friends, family and anyone who needs a hug – all to bring some very real smiles to faces. And the part about WildBrain’s donation to charity is no joke. To help ensure kids have the assistance they need in these difficult times, we’ll be making a $5,000 donation to Kids Help Phone and adding one dollar to our donation for every TubbyCoin shared on social media up to a total of $10,000. So, share those virtual BigHugs!”

About WildBrain Labs

At WildBrain Labs we strive to break free of the constraints of imagination and reach for the unachievable. Based in a secure, state-of-the-art facility in a region of the Coachella Valley so remote that even we sometimes have trouble remembering where it is, WildBrain Labs is home to an advanced team of rock star scientists, programming wizards, ninja futurists and various other less outrageous people who keep the lights on – all of whom are laser focused on deploying cleverness and fabrication to make the world a better place or at least a bit less boring.

About Kids Help Phone

Kids Help Phone is Canada’s only 24/7 e-mental health service offering free, confidential support in English and French to young people. As the country’s virtual care expert, we give millions of youth a safe, trusted space to talk over phone or through text or in self-directed supports in any moment of crisis or need. Through our digital transformation, we envision a future where every person in Canada is able to get the support they need, when they need it most, however they need it. Kids Help Phone gratefully relies on the generosity of donors, volunteers, stakeholder partners, corporate partners and governments to fuel and fund our programs. Learn more at Kids Help Phone.

new candy illustration by Rita Azar by 360 Magazine

What to Know Before Traveling with CBD

By Ed Donnelly, founder of AmourCBD

CBD, also known as cannabidiol, is the oil found in the stem of hemp plants which has the THC extracted to reach levels below 0.3%.  CBD products have become an everyday essential and as travel begins to pick up, many people are unsure if they can bring their favorite CBD products with them.  Here are a few things to keep in mind when bringing your CBD products along.

Consider state laws

Hemp’s classification changed under the 2018 Farm Bill from being considered a Schedule I drug, meaning it is no longer considered a controlled substance, thus making consumption, production, and transportation across state lines legal. In order to even be considered hemp, products have to meet very strict requirements.  For one, the THC percentage in the product cannot be higher than 0.3% otherwise it can be considered marijuana which is yet to be legalized on a federal level.  Thankfully, AmourCBD products have a 0.00% THC guarantee and are produced in an FDA regulated facility so travelers need not worry.  When transporting hemp, the product has to be produced lawfully under the 2018 Farm Bill, and the USDA has to have issued approved regulations and procedures within that specific state.  Each production plan was submitted individually by states—additional information pertaining to that can be found here.  

TSA Compliant

While transporting marijuana across state lines is not allowed since it has not been legalized on a federal level, travelers can still bring most cannabis infused products with them, like CBD, as long as they contain under 0.3% THC. Like most hygienic products such as makeup and lotions, the TSA requires that any products brought in carry-on luggage do not exceed 3.4 oz and are stored in a resealable, clear 1 qt bag. Anything greater than 3.4 oz has to be stowed away in checked luggage. All AmourCBD products are less than 3.4 oz and can be brought safely on the plane. Additionally, CBD products do not need to be declared at the airport during domestic travel as they are federally legal in the United States.

Benefits of CBD for travel jitters

Why would travelers want to bring CBD along?  Various studies have shown that CBD can be used to help alleviate symptoms associated with insomnia, anxiety, and some muscle pains. Whatever your fear may be, whether a fear of heights, flying in general, or uneasiness during turbulence, consuming products like AmourCBD’s 10mg Gummies can help significantly when conquering your flight.  Not enough legroom or stiff muscles? AmourCBD’s Pain Relief Cream, which is the very first FDA-registered CBD cream on the market, has an active ingredient of lidocaine which helps soothe discomfort quickly, and without residual smells.  If you want to combat jet lag or simply want to rest on a long flight, travelers can also use CBD in place of products like melatonin.

International Travel Guidelines

When traveling internationally, CBD regulations can become a bit less straightforward. While it is legal to travel with CBD products containing less than 0.3% THC domestically in the United States, other countries have different laws regarding CBD use. Before bringing CBD products along for international travel, check on the regulations of the country you are traveling to in order to ensure you are abiding by that country’s laws. If you are unsure, professionals suggest leaving CBD products at home since many countries have stricter CBD-related drug laws than the United States.

Check for THC in CBD Products

Be sure to double check the ingredients of your CBD products before travel. As previously stated, CBD products containing less than 0.3% THC are federally legal, but CBD products containing higher doses of THC can vary in legality by state. Especially when traveling to or from a state where marijuana is legal, make sure to check your CBD products for their THC levels. Luckily, AmourCBD products contain 0.00% THC guaranteed, ensuring safe domestic travel.

Keeping rules and regulations in mind when traveling with your CBD must-haves can help ensure a smooth and relaxing trip, especially during a time we need it most.