Posts tagged with "science"

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
Harnessing the Nine Hallmarks of Aging: to live your healthiest life by Greg Macpherson for use by 360 Magazine

Reversing the Aging Process At A Cellular Level

By: Greg Macpherson, pharmacist, author, “Harnessing the Nine Hallmarks of Aging

You might think that the occasional gray hair, fine line and wrinkle starting to stare back at you in the mirror is a sign that time is starting to have its impact felt, but these visible changes as we age are just a symptom of what has been going on at a cellular level inside your body for decades. We all know that you can’t change time, but recent advances in our understanding of aging at a cellular level mean that in the not too distant future we will be able to change the impact that time has on our cells.

And it’s about time. Right now, despite the decades and billions of dollars that have gone and continue to go into attempting to understand and solve the diseases associated with advancing age like Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and cardiovascular disease, we have not made the progress we should.

Researchers are now starting to ask the question – what if we change track and seek to understand the aging process? By slowing aging, we not only spend decades longer in good health, but we push the diseases associated with old age down the road–possibly avoiding them all together.

 Why We Decline with Age

With better questions come better answers, progress, and breakthroughs. Nearly a decade ago, in the absence of a single theory regarding aging, scientists reached a consensus on nine key areas of our cells that decline in function as we age. These key areas are called the nine hallmarks of aging, and they all have something in common. If you make them worse, you age faster. If you make them better, you slow the aging process down.

Identifying the hallmarks of aging has given researchers cellular targets to focus on, and has unleashed an incredible amount of human capital focused on solving, or at least reducing, the ravages of aging on our bodies. Researchers armed with tens of billions of dollars in research grants and private equity are now racing to find the answers. And the prize is huge–resolving the aging process, deferring the diseases of older age and extending the time we spend in middle age in good health by decades will transform humanity and will both disrupt and create a trillion dollar industry overnight.

Progress is being made at an accelerating rate, and there are now therapies that have  been proven in mice models that are now making their way into clinical studies. Rapamycin, a pharmaceutical that is typically used for organ transplant recipients, because of its ability to help the body avoid rejecting the organ, is now understood to extend life in mice by up to 60%. Senolytics, molecules that help the body identify and remove senescent cells that increasingly accumulate as we age and literally poison the healthy cells that surround them, have extended life in mice by up to 30%. Metformin, a drug used to treat Type 2 diabetes has been identified to significantly reduce cancer rates and extend life.

And these are just a few of the compounds that have been identified that shift the effect of time on our bodies. These and more molecules being developed right now, plus strategies for healthy aging that have been identified from the blue zones around the world where people live to 100 and beyond at a much higher rate than the rest of us, are amongst the many healthy aging strategies that I featured in my book, “Harnessing the Nine Hallmarks of Aging, to Live Your Healthiest Life.”

As a pharmacist with 30 years of experience, I have spent the last decade working in the biotechnology arena associated with anti-aging, translating the complex world of anti-aging science to make it available for the rest of us. By understanding the nine hallmarks of aging­–adopting simple strategies from the blue zones, and sharing the breakthrough molecules that have not been available to humans in previous generations– I’ve put together a step-by-step, healthy aging strategy. We can all adopt  this strategy and, in the process, significantly alter our aging trajectory and making healthy aging much more of a certainty.

Why DNA Matters

One example of a hallmark of aging is “genomic instability,” which is another way of saying that the negative changes to our DNA in our cells that happen as we age. Your DNA is your cellular instruction set and defines what it means to be a human versus every other living species on our planet. Your DNA is responsible for the difference between a skin cell and a heart cell, a neuron and an insulin producing cell.

Your DNA are molecules that sit at the center of almost every single cell in your body, helping it function, live and thrive. Your DNA does this in an incredibly hostile environment as it deals with the external stress of pollution, mutagenic foods and chemicals, UV light and X-rays, and the internal insults of oxidative stress. Due to these factors your DNA is damaged between 50,000 and 100,000 times per day, per cell.

Because of the importance of having a healthy instruction set, your cells spend a huge amount of resource on the repair and maintenance of your DNA and as we age, and this process starts to decline, which has significant effect on the health of your cells. Take a quick look at the back of your hand compared to the skin on the inside of your wrist to get a sense of the difference between cells exposed to UV damage that hits your DNA.

DNA damage is happening right now in every cell in your body, and over time it affects the ability of your cells to function effectively. Starting as early as your 30s, by supporting DNA repair and maintenance through making lifestyle changes and by taking molecules, like hobamine, NMN and apigenin, as outlined in my book, it can help your body keep your DNA and the other hallmarks of aging in good shape. By following the roadmap of this breakthrough strategy in a healthy aging, you will age better than previous generations have ever been able to achieve.

Biography

Greg Macpherson is a pharmacist, entrepreneur and author of, “Harnessing the Nine Hallmarks of Aging: To Live Your Healthiest Life.” For more than a decade, he has been working in the biotechnology sector, specifically focusing on the aging process at the cellular level. This work led him to discover ways to harness the nine identified, scientific hallmarks of aging, which is the premise of his book that addresses the natural aging process, how to age more favorably and simple strategies to slow the aging process and build a functional longevity plan. Beyond theory and concept, Macpherson has used his entrepreneurial spirit to further develop solutions to this new paradigm of aging, described in his book, by launching SRW Laboratories, a science and research based company that curates the latest biotechnology research to formulate natural products designed to help slow the onset of aging and disease, and develop evidence based solutions for those who are experiencing age-related health concerns. SRW, which stands for Science, Research and Wellness, is Macpherson’s natural world laboratory that will develop the preventative formulas from nature required to slow down the aging process based on the nine hallmarks of aging, which include mitochondrial dysfunction, telomere attrition and cellular senescence, to name a few. With aging being the single biggest risk factor for developing disease, Macpherson’s mission to slow the aging process at a cellular level could help millions of people delay the onset of diseases associated with advanced aging like Alzheimer’s and heart disease.
greg macpherson headshot for use by 360 Magazine

Mena Garcia illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

Mena Garcia

By: Katherine Fleischman

Argentine-born “it” girl, stunner, and globe trotter Mena Garcia is in the process of launching her sustainable, vegan, and cruelty free fashion and beauty brands, as she searches to keep mother nature at the top of her priority list. Gone are the days of harmful damage to our beautiful earth as we move towards ensuring a green future and Mena wants to play her part in proving that fashion doesn’t have to be harmful to the planet. “In the past technology and the science of materials was limited to just niche sectors such as medical clothing, technical clothing, and sportswear. I’m here to put my spin on things and bring the fantastic technology we have to the forefront and prove that we can all wear sustainable clothing,” said Mena.

As scientists, researchers and designers join forces to try to reduce the carbon footprint that the fashion industry currently stamps, independent designers like Mena will be crucial to leading the way and showing fashion giants that if she can do it, so can they. “I believe we can really make a difference by using our voice on social media platforms and by setting online trends to really catch the attention of the largest fashion brands around the world. Independent brands like mine can truly make the difference here.” Mena, who has been modeling since her teens, has almost three-quarters of a million Instagram followers and this platform will undoubtedly help her cause. 

She talks passionately about using “waste from oranges to make silk,” or “pineapple leaf for a leather alternative” and spectacularly “agricultural waste bacteria.” As Mena continues to learn more, she’s using her education to find out interesting new ways to create sustainable fashion in a term she coins as “trash fashion” – using literal waste to create something new. “One person’s trash is another person’s treasure certainly comes to mind!”

“I’ve been studying with expert Mila at Estudio MG in a special collaboration with Closet Sustenable in Argentina. I’ve learned so much, including some incredible things. One of the main focuses is creating materials inspired in nature where cells and proteins are being used to create different types of real leather but in a totally sustainable, vegan and cruelty-free way.”

However, it’s not all smooth-sailing or simple. To be true to the cause, it is essential to be sustainable throughout the whole process. Everything from material sourcing, grading, dyes, and packaging needs to be clean and green. Mena said “I want to also make sure that workers during the production process are treated fairly, with respect, are safe, and paid fairly. To be truly sustainable, the entire process needs to be true to the terms “sustainable, cruelty-free, and vegan.”

Mena is certainly one to watch in 2021 and 2022. She says “it will take some time because piecing it all together perfectly is crucial, but I’m ready for the challenge and encourage everyone to join the cause! You can follow Mena on Instagram or her website for more about her modeling, image-consulting, and her upcoming brands.

Mena Garcia image courtesy of  Do-Tell Publicity
Book illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

Education Tips For Children

7 Ways to Ensure Your Child Gets a Good Education

The Oxford Method, a tutoring community, offers tips to help your child be successful in school

Over the last year, during the pandemic, there have been many kids who have struggled academically. This is in part due to the millions who have had to do online learning and find the setup difficult. Whether children are learning online, in person, via classroom, or through a combination of the three, there are things that parents can do to help them be more successful. Knowing what to do can help make a world a difference and reduce the struggling.

“Many parents are aware of the way their kids are struggling with school over this school year,” explains David Florence, professor and founder of The Oxford Method, a community that offers tutoring services around the country. “Rather than let them fall behind, it’s a good idea to take action and do what you can to help them keep up and even pull ahead.”

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 93% of households with school-age children report that their kids have engaged in some sort of distance learning during the pandemic. They also report that the vast shift in the way kids are learning has also caused digital inequality because some kids don’t have access to computers and/or the Internet. Whether students are learning online or in class, there are things parents can do to help them get a good education.

Here 7 ways to help ensure your child gets a good education:

  1. Sleep. It’s crucial for a child to get enough sleep each night, which will help them to be more focused, as well as improve their behavior, quality of life, and mental and physical health. The American Academy of Pediatrics reports that children ages 6-12 should get 9-12 hours of sleep per night, and teens ages 13-18 should get 8-10 hours of sleep per night.
  2. Teach value. It usually starts at home whether or not a child values an education. Parents who want their kids to get a good education should instill a love of learning in their children and teach them to value the education they are getting.
  3. Get them help. If your child is struggling, you may be able to help them, but there also comes a time when kids need a tutor to step in. A good tutor can make a world of difference in ensuring that a child gets a good education. They can help ensure that students will not fall behind and that they will get the foundation they need to move on in a subject.
  4. Show them how. Oftentimes, kids don’t know how to effectively study for a test or to take notes when they are in class. Take the time to show them how to do it effectively, as well as how to stay organized with their schooling. When students are organized, they are more likely to succeed.
  5. Ask them questions. Be sure to ask your kids how it is going, if they got their homework done, if they need any help, or if there’s anything they need to be more successful. They like to know that you are interested in how they are doing, so it’s good to show an active interest.
  6. Get involved. It’s always a good idea if you can get involved with the school and have good communication with the teacher. That way you will be aware of what is going on and know how to help your child more. Teachers love it when parents take an active interest in their child’s education.
  7. Praise your kids. Help kids to know what they are doing is right or what they are doing is wrong. Praising and encouraging the kids builds their confidence and helps them to succeed as they grow.

“Just about every parent has the ability to help kids succeed with their academics, even if it’s ensuring they have the tools they need to succeed,” added Florence. “We help parents be successful, even those who don’t have the funds to pay for a tutor. Our mission is to help as many students to achieve as we can.”

The Oxford Method has over 100 tutors around the country, covering all subject areas. They offer online tutoring, as well as in-person and in-classroom options. Their tutoring services are available 24 hours per day, 365 days per year. Instructors have a minimum of a bachelor’s degree, with many of them having a master’s degree, Ph.D., and at least four years of teaching experience. The Oxford Method works with their nonprofit, Social Actualization, Inc., by giving them 10% of all profits. The funds are used to provide free computers, high-speed internet, and instruction to underprivileged families in urban and rural America. Plus, 40% of their instructors are PhDs, 40% have a master’s degree, and 20% have only a bachelor’s degree.

The Oxford Method believes that education is the great equalizer and the best gift you can give the next generation. Subject areas include science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM), as well as business, social studies, psychology, English, history, public speaking, study methods, test-taking, and more. To get more information about The Oxford Method, visit the website.

Wonderworks image by Cher Murphy PR for 360 Magazine

WonderWorks Syracuse Reopens

After a Year of Pandemic Closure, WonderWorks Syracuse Reopens with a New Exhibit

The moment so many people have patiently waited for is here. WonderWorks Syracuse will officially reopen on March 26, 2021. While Canyon Climb ropes course re-opened in August 2020, WonderWorks has been closed for nearly a year due to the pandemic. With the reopening, WonderWorks will have new rules and covid safety measures to help keep people safe and socially distanced.

“We are thrilled to be able to get our doors back open and welcome people to come on in,” says Nicole Montgomery, general manager of WonderWorks Syracuse. “We know that people are ready to get out and do things, and we offer a great mix of fun and educational activities, with something for everyone in the family.”

Some of the changes that patrons can expect when visiting WonderWorks Syracuse include:

  • Being cashless. Be sure to bring an electronic form of payment or purchase your tickets online ahead of time because WonderWorks will no longer be accepting cash.
  • WonderWorks is reopening on a reservation basis only, which will keep its capacity to 50 people. It will only be allowing 50 people inside every 30 minutes.
  • The hours will be limited to start with, which is currently noon–6 p.m. on Wednesday, Thursday, and Sunday, and 11 a.m.–7 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. Tickets will be available for advanced sale soon.
  • There will be COVID measures taken, such as staff health screenings and guest temperature checks before entering. Additionally, guests over the age of two must wear a face covering and everyone must adhere to social distancing of six feet.
  • WonderWorks is providing sanitizer stations throughout.

“Come on out and have some fun,” added Montgomery. “We have a lot to offer, including ropes courses, laser tag, rides, science exhibits and more.”

WonderWorks reopens with its newest exhibit that incorporates student artists. CNY Art: New York Youth Art Gallery held its first annual contest, the winning masterpieces will be on display for a year.

WonderWorks ropes course, called Canyon Climb, is the world’s largest suspended indoor ropes course. It offers three levels and 81 obstacles. Additional attractions include laser tag, where people can have fun strapping on a laser tag vest and competing in a fast-paced, action-packed battle of laser tag, a 4D XD motion theater, and various fun and educational zones. The zones focus on weather, light and sound, physical challenges, space discovery, imagination and art.

WonderWorks Syracuse recently launched some educational programs, including virtual learning labs and homeschool days. It also offers group rates, scouting programs, sensory days, birthday parties and corporate events.

To see a full list of COVID-19 safety measures being taken, visit the site.

For more information or to purchase tickets, visit the site.

For information on the exhibit, CNY Art: New York Youth Art Gallery, visit their website.

About WonderWorks

WonderWorks, a science-focused indoor amusement park, combines both education and entertainment into one venue. With over 100 hands-on exhibits, there is something unique and challenging for all ages. Feel the power of 71 mph hurricane-force winds in the Hurricane Shack. Make life-sized bubbles in the Bubble Lab. Get the NASA treatment and experience zero gravity in our Astronaut Training Gyro. Nail it by lying on the death-defying Bed of Nails. WonderWorks is located in Orlando, Pigeon Forge, Panama City Beach, Myrtle Beach, Syracuse and Branson. For more information, visit their website and follow on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

 

analysis illustration by Rita Azar for 360 Magazine

Sphere We Go! STEM Exhibit

WonderWorks Orlando Unveils New STEM Exhibit Explaining Earth’s Spheres: Sphere We Go!

WonderWorks Orlando announces the opening of a new exhibit focused on science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). The new exhibit topic will focus on the layers of the Earth’s spheres and is scheduled to open March 11, 2021.

“Earth is a topic that most people love to learn about, so we are excited about this new exhibit,” says Brian Wayne, general manager of WonderWorks Orlando. “This will give families a fun way to learn about this STEM topic, whether it’s just for fun or if they are looking for a way to expand upon their child’s formal education.”

The new exhibit will help teach people about the four different layers in Earth’s spheres, including the lithosphere (or geosphere), hydrosphere, biosphere, and atmosphere. In addition to learning about each layer, the exhibit also explains how the four layers interact with each other. The new exhibit will include images and content to read. There is also a 3D hologram high-definition video–no special glasses required–that provides a visual explanation of the layers and how they interact, to enhance the viewing experience.

STEM education, according to the National Inventors Hall of Fame, focuses on teaching children real-world applications that help develop a variety of skill sets. Some of the skills children gain through STEM education include technology literacy, problem solving, creativity, curiosity, critical thinking and being innovative. Finding ways to introduce them to STEM topics in a fun way can help to get them more interested.

“We look forward to helping families learn more about the spheres that make up Earth,” added Wayne. “We continue in our mission of making learning fun!”

To choose the name for the new poll, WonderWorks held a poll asking people to choose from three names. Employees and social media users weighed in, with the following being the outcome of the exhibit name poll: Sphere We Go! is the official new name of the exhibit.

  1. Sphere We Go! – 51% of the vote
  2. Get Outta Sphere! – 38%
  3. Sphere Not These Earthly Layers! – 11%

Additional onsite and community programs include the WonderWorks WonderKids event, virtual learning labs, FLO-Art Florida Youth Art Gallery, science fair partnerships, online science information and worksheets and a homeschool program. WonderWorks Orlando also offers various STEM activities, including virtual learning labs, onsite exhibits, activities and more.

To learn more about the programs offered at WonderWorks Orlando, visit the site.

Due to a county-wide mask restriction in Orlando, guests will need to bring one with them. WonderWorks does also have some for sale onsite. WonderWorks has implemented COVID-19 safety protocols, including reduced capacity and hours, enhanced cleaning efforts, social distancing measures, hand sanitizer stations, employee health screenings and employee personal protective equipment (PPE). Guests are encouraged to review all safety rules before their visit on the webpage devoted to COVID-19.

About WonderWorks

WonderWorks, the upside-down adventure, is a science-focused indoor amusement park for the mind that holds something unique and exciting for visitors of all ages. Guests enter through an upside-down lobby with the ceiling at their feet, the ground above their head and must pass through an inversion tunnel to turn right side up. There are three floors of nonstop “edu-tainment,” with over 100 hands-on and interactive exhibits that serve a STEM educational purpose to challenge the mind and spark the imagination. WonderWorks Orlando is also home to The Outta Control Magic Comedy Dinner Show. WonderWorks is located in Orlando, Pigeon Forge, Myrtle Beach, Panama City Beach, Syracuse and Branson. For more information, visit the site.

Green covid by Mina Tocalini for 360 Magazine

Tuberculosis Bacteria Paradox

TB-causing bacteria remember prior stress, react quickly to new stress

Tuberculosis bacteria have evolved to remember stressful encounters and react quickly to future stress, according to a study by computational bioengineers at Rice University and infectious disease experts at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School (NJMS).

Published online in the open-access journal mSystems, the research identifies a genetic mechanism that allows the TB-causing bacterium, Mycobacterium tuberculosis, to respond to stress rapidly and in manner that is “history-dependent,” said corresponding author Oleg Igoshin, a professor of bioengineering at Rice.

Researchers have long suspected that the ability of TB bacteria to remain dormant, sometimes for decades, stems from their ability to behave based upon past experience.

Latent TB is an enormous global problem. While TB kills about 1.5 million people each year, the World Health Organization estimates that 2-3 billion people are infected with a dormant form of the TB bacterium.

“There’s some sort of peace treaty between the immune system and bacteria,” Igoshin said. “The bacteria don’t grow, and the immune system doesn’t kill them. But if people get immunocompromised due to malnutrition or AIDS, the bacteria can be reactivated.”

One of the most likely candidates for a genetic switch that can toggle TB bacteria into a dormant state is a regulatory network that is activated by the stress caused by immune cell attacks. The network responds by activating several dozen genes the bacteria use to survive the stress. Based on a Rice computational model, Igoshin and his longtime Rutgers NJMS collaborator Maria Laura Gennaro and colleagues predicted just such a switch in 2010. According to the theory, the switch contained an ultrasensitive control mechanism that worked in combination with multiple feedback loops to allow hysteresis, or history-dependent behavior.

“The idea is that if we expose cells to intermediate values of stress, starting from their happy state, they don’t have that much of a response,” Igoshin explained. “But if you stress them enough to stop their growth, and then reduce the stress level back to an intermediate level, they remain stressed. And even if you fully remove the stress, the gene expression pathway stays active, maintaining a base level of activity in case the stress comes back.”

In later experiments, Gennaro’s team found no evidence of the predicted control mechanism in Mycobacterium smegmatis, a close relative of the TB bacterium. Since both organisms use the same regulatory network, it looked like the prediction was wrong. Finding out why took years of follow-up studies. Gennaro and Igoshin’s teams found that the TB bacterium, unlike their noninfectious cousins, had the hysteresis control mechanism, but it didn’t behave as expected.

“Hysteretic switches are known to be very slow, and this wasn’t,” Igoshin said. “There was hysteresis, a history-dependent response, to intermediate levels of stress. But when stress went from low to high or from high to low, the response was relatively fast. For this paper, we were trying to understand these somewhat contradictory results. ”

Igoshin and study co-author Satyajit Rao, a Rice doctoral student who graduated last year, revisited the 2010 model and considered how it might be modified to explain the paradox. Studies within the past decade had found a protein called DnaK played a role in activating the stress-response network. Based on what was known about DnaK, Igoshin and Rao added it to their model of the dormant-active switch.

“We didn’t discover it, but we proposed a particular mechanism for it that could explain the rapid, history-dependent switching we’d observed,” Igoshin said. “What happens is, when cells are stressed, their membranes get damaged, and they start accumulating unfolded proteins. Those unfolded proteins start competing for DnaK.”

DnaK was known to play the role of chaperone in helping rid cells of unfolded proteins, but it plays an additional role in the stress-response network by keeping its sensor protein in an inactive state.

“When there are too many unfolded proteins, DnaK has to let go of the sensor protein, which is an activation input for our network,” Igoshin said. “So once there are enough unfolded proteins to ‘distract’ DnaK, the organism responds to the stress.”

Gennaro and co-author Pratik Datta conducted experiments at NJMS to confirm DnaK behaved as predicted. But Igoshin said it is not clear how the findings might impact TB treatment or control strategies. For example, the switch responds to short-term biochemical changes inside the cell, and it’s unclear what connection, if any, it may have with long-term behaviors like TB latency, he said.

“The immediate first step is to really try and see whether this hysteresis is important during the infection,” Igoshin said. “Is it just a peculiar thing we see in our experiments, or is it really important for patient outcomes? Given that it is not seen in the noninfectious cousin of the TB bacterium, it is tempting to speculate it is related to survival inside the host.”

Gennaro is a professor of medicine and epidemiology at Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences. Igoshin is a senior investigator at Rice’s Center for Theoretical Biological Physics.

The research was supported by the Welch Foundation (C-1995) and the National Institutes of Health (GM096189, AI122309, AI104615, HL149450).

MIT Study Shows the Power of Accurate Information to Increase Vaccination Rates

Despite the availability of multiple safe vaccines, vaccine hesitancy may present a challenge to successful control of the COVID-19 pandemic. Moreover, and perhaps more importantly, vaccine hesitancy may be caused not simply by fears about the safety or efficacy of the vaccine, but instead by the inaccurate belief that many of your peers or social cohort are not being vaccinated.

A recent working paper entitled “Surfacing Norms to Increase Vaccine Acceptance” written by two MIT Sloan Professors, Dean Eckles and Sinan Aral, of the MIT Initiative on the Digital Economy, with Sloan PhD student Alex Mohering, post doctoral researchers Kiran Garimella and Amin Rahimian, and Avi Collis of the University of Texas, set out to study the relative importance of the beliefs that people hold about the acceptance of vaccines by others.

After studying the responses of over 300,000 people in 23 countries, the study showed that accurate information about descriptive norms can substantially increase intentions to accept a vaccine for COVID-19, reducing the fraction of people who are “unsure” or negative about accepting a vaccine by five percent. In other words, clear and accurate information about the behavior of others can influence behavior in a positive way.

“While public health officials and the media have been emphasizing the potential negative impact of vaccine hesitancy, our study found that emphasizing the overwhelming vaccine acceptance expressed by most people is a better way to get those who are unsure to accept COVID-19 vaccines,” says Sinan Aral.

These results suggest that public health communications should present information about the widespread and growing intentions to accept COVID-19 vaccines—and not overly emphasize the fear that the vaccine will not be accepted among a large portion of the population.

“Humans are innately sensitive to the behaviors of others. This pandemic is tragic enough without adding to the suffering by overestimating and over-communicating the fear that some will not accept the vaccine. The best way forward, as is often the case, is the presentation of clear, accurate and timely information.” says Dean Eckles.

mail by Purdue University and Adranos Inc. for 360 Magazine

Adranos’ Indiana Manufacturing Plant

Adranos Inc., a Purdue University-affiliated company that has developed a high-performance, solid rocket fuel called ALITEC for long-range missile and space launch systems, announced plans Wednesday (Feb. 3) to construct a facility in the Purdue Research Park of West Lafayette to manufacture ALITEC in support of various launch systems, including hypersonic systems.

The company has obtained $5.1 million in land, funding and tax credits collectively from Purdue Research Foundation and the Indiana Economic Development Corporation.

Adranos will use these incentives to construct its facility in the Purdue Research Park. Adranos expects to serve a broad customer base, including the major military branches and relevant aerospace and defense contractors. The facility will support ongoing efforts that Adranos is currently performing through its rocket motor research and development division.

Adranos plans to create up to 50 new jobs by the end of 2025.

“ALITEC’s performance benefits make it an ideal solution for any solid rocket system that is seeking to extend range, increase payload capacity or reduce rocket form factor,” said Chris Stoker, CEO of Adranos. “This facility will enable us to scale these solutions to the large volumes that will be required by our customers.”

Expansion of Adranos’s manufacturing capabilities aligns with the state of Indiana’s goals of increasing defense spending and becoming a leader in the development of hypersonic technologies. Adranos is currently performing work sponsored by the Department of Defense to evaluate ALITEC in both solid rocket boosters for hypersonic programs and in air breathing systems called solid-fuel ramjets, which use solid rocket fuel. As demand for ALITEC grows, so too will defense spending in the state.

“Indiana is committed to embracing disruptive technology like Adranos’s ALITEC to bolster its economic industries and position the state for long-term global competitiveness and economic growth in the defense sector,” said retired Major Gen. Omer C. (Clif) Tooley, IEDC President of defense development. “Indiana is ranked No. 1 in the nation in tech job growth among small firms, and as a state we’ll continue supporting innovative companies like Adranos and securing our spot as a top place to grow and innovate.”

Similarly, Adranos’s growth aligns with PRF’s mission of innovating and commercializing technologies developed at Purdue University. By supporting Adranos’s efforts to establish a production facility, PRF is enabling the transition of ALITEC production from laboratory scale to production scale.

“Adranos is another exciting example of an innovative company that touches many parts of the Purdue commercialization ecosystem,” said Brian Edelman, president of the Purdue Research Foundation. “We are thrilled that this new facility in Purdue Research Park will help further advance the Adranos technology and boost the state’s economy.”

Recently, Adranos won more than $3.2 million in government contracts, was named to Pepperdine University’s most fundable companies list, and took the grand prize at the Army’s inaugural xTechSearch competition.

Technology used by Adranos is licensed through the Purdue Research Foundation Office of Technology Commercialization, which patented the technology. Adranos is located in Purdue Research Park.

IEDC offered Adranos up to $525,000 in conditional tax credits and up to $200,000 in training grants based on the company’s job creation plans. IEDC also offered up to $500,000 in conditional tax credits from the Hoosier Business Investment tax credit program based on the company’s planned capital investment in Indiana. These tax credits are performance-based, meaning the company is eligible to claim incentives once Hoosiers are hired and investments are made. The company has also been awarded $75,000 in Small Business Innovation Research matching grants from Elevate Ventures, and received $20,000 in funding through the Elevate Purdue Foundry Fund.

Sports by Allison Christensen for 360 Magazine

Super Bowl STEM Activities

With millions of families tuning into Super Bowl LV to see if Tom Brady will win another championship, there is also a great opportunity to introduce some fun activities that will keep kids learning and active.

Youth sports and learning experts at Skyhawks Sports Academy and STEM Sports® recommend two fun activities to get children learning and active for Super Bowl weekend. The activities are easy to learn and use objects found in most households. Bonus–there may or may not be a STEM education hidden in these activities, so it is a win-win.

  • Farthest Football Throw: We all know a key skill for a quarterback is to throw the football accurately and for distance, but even the pros fall short or overthrow the ball. So, grab a football and measuring tape and start a fun competition to see which family member can throw the ball the farthest. Have each person try it 3 times and record the results. This activity will also teach your children math skills as they calculate the distance between the farthest and the shortest throws.
  • Glove Grip Test: Notice how many football players wear gloves during the game? It’s not because they’re cold, it’s because the gloves give them a better grip while catching and passing the ball. To test it out, gather different types of gloves you may find around the house – sports gloves, boxing gloves, leather gloves, mittens, dish cleaning gloves, or even disposable gloves. Try passing the football and catching it from different distances and with different gloves to notice the difference in grip and accuracy when throwing and catching.

With football being such a popular sport, these easy and fun activities provide the perfect opportunity to introduce kids to science and math concepts, as well as get them away from their screens and moving around. Consider spending a commercial break doing one of these activities, or pivoting to any of these activities if things aren’t going well for your team.

For children interested in taking STEM learning to the next level, Skyhawks and STEM Sports® offer in-person and virtual programs using sports as the real-life application to teach science, technology, engineering, and math skills. Skyhawks also offers Flag Football camps for children between the ages of 5 and 12 and in a variety of formats in communities across the country. Current program offerings continue to follow proven COVID-19 protocols per state and local guidelines. Winter programming is currently underway, and more information, schedules, and registration are available on the Skyhawks’ website.

About Skyhawks Sports Academy

Skyhawks Sports Academy is a youth sports camp organization based in Spokane, Washington. Skyhawks was founded in Spokane in 1979 as a soccer program for children to learn sports in a fun, safe and non-competitive environment. Skyhawks currently offers programs in more than 11 different sports including Soccer, Basketball, Flag Football, Baseball, Multi-Sport, Tennis, Mini-Hawk, Lacrosse, Golf, Volleyball, Cheerleading, and Track & Field for children ages 4-14 across North America. The format of our programs includes traditional weeklong summer day camps, year-round after-school programs, sports leagues, and clinics. For more information, visit their website.

About STEM Sports®

STEM Sports® provides turnkey K-8 supplemental curricula that use various sports as the real-life application to teach science, technology, engineering, and math skills in classrooms, after-school programs, and camps. Our double-play combination of physical activity and cognitive thinking provides a comprehensive, inquiry-based educational experience and a solution for crucial STEM literacy for students. As a result, students develop critical thinking, collaboration, creative problem-solving, and leadership skills that can be applied throughout their education and future careers.

Aligned with Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), Common Core State Standards (CCSS), and National Standards for K-12 Physical Education, our curricula will cultivate and promote participants’ STEM engagement and retention. STEM Sports® provides all of the necessary and relevant sports equipment along with the entire list of supplies called for in the teacher/administer manual and all of the items have a long-lasting shelf life. Learn more on their website.