E-Cigarette Vapor Damages Lung Cells

E-Cigarette Vapor—Even when Nicotine-Free—Found to Damage Lung Cells Newswise — Electronic cigarette (e-cig) use has now surpassed traditional cigarette use among middle and high school students, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This leaves many parents, public health officials and consumers asking whether e-cigarettes are better or worse for lung health than traditional cigarettes. Now, a team of researchers adds its findings to others that suggest nicotine in any form is damaging to lungs. This new research also suggests that non-nicotine-containing e-cig solutions have a damaging effect on lung health, leading researchers to call for more e-cig research. The loss of integrity in the lung endothelial cells—the cells that make up the lining of the lungs—can contribute to lung injury and inflammation, but it is unknown what component of cigarette smoke causes lung cells to breakdown. Researchers wrote, “We investigated if nicotine, one of the hundreds of molecules present in [cigarette smoke] extracts, is sufficient to alter lung endothelial barrier function by affecting cytoskeletal regulation,” which is the cell’s internal matrix that supports cell shape and function. The researchers exposed mice and both human and mouse cells to cigarette smoke and e-cigarette solution that either contained nicotine or was nicotine-free. Their findings shed light on how cigarette smoke damages the lungs and point directly to nicotine as the cause. “Nicotine has dose-dependent deleterious pulmonary effects that result in loss of lung endothelial barrier function, acute lung inflammation and decreased lung endothelial cell proliferation,” they wrote. The effects of nicotine were seen both in cigarette smoke and in e-cig solutions that contained nicotine. Interestingly, nicotine-free e-cig solutions were also found to include lung-harming substances, such as acrolein. This substance, which is present in both e-cig solution and vapor, has been shown to damage the lungs by attacking the molecules that hold endothelial cells together. “The increased use of inhaled nicotine via e-cigarettes, especially among the youth, prompts increased research into the effects on health. This research reports that components found in commercially available e-cigarette solutions and vapors generated by heating them may cause lung inflammation,” said lead researcher Irina Petrache, PhD. “The effects described characterize short-term effects of e-cig exposures. Whereas studies of long-term effects await further investigations, these results caution that e-cigarette inhalation may be associated with adverse effects on lung health.”

Video: Farthest journey by hoverboard - Guinness World Records

Watch Catalin Alexandru Duru become the first person ever to break the Guinness World Records Title for the Farthest journey by hoverboard The farthest flight by hoverboard is 275.9 m (905 ft 2 in) and was achieved by Alexandru Duru (Canada) at Lake Ouareau in Quebec, Canada on 25 August 2014. Catalin said: The first real-life hoverboard. The machine was built and designed by me, Catalin Alexandru Duru. I am the first man to create and fly a working prototype. I will showcase that stable flight can be achieved with a machine one can stand on and control with their feet, just like in the movie "Back to the Future Part II". In our case, the machine is propeller-based. The prototype can be used anywhere, but is usually tested over water because of how dangerously high it can fly (which is ironic considering that the movie joked that it can't).

NASA Data: Global Warming Not Causing Any Polar Ice Retreat

Updated data from NASA satellite instruments reveal the Earth’s polar ice caps have not receded at all since the satellite instruments began measuring the ice caps in 1979. Since the end of 2012, moreover, total polar ice extent has largely remained above the post-1979 average. The updated data contradict one of the most frequently asserted global warming claims – that global warming is causing the polar ice caps to recede. The timing of the 1979 NASA satellite instrument launch could not have been better for global warming alarmists. The late 1970s marked the end of a 30-year cooling trend. As a result, the polar ice caps were quite likely more extensive than they had been since at least the 1920s. Nevertheless, this abnormally extensive 1979 polar ice extent would appear to be the “normal” baseline when comparing post-1979 polar ice extent.
Updated NASA satellite data show the polar ice caps remained at approximately their 1979 extent until the middle of the last decade. Beginning in 2005, however, polar ice modestly receded for several years. By 2012, polar sea ice had receded by approximately 10 percent from 1979 measurements. (Total polar ice area – factoring in both sea and land ice – had receded by much less than 10 percent, but alarmists focused on the sea ice loss as “proof” of a global warming crisis.)
NASA satellite measurements show the polar ice caps have not retreated at all.
NASA satellite measurements show the polar ice caps have not retreated at all.
A 10-percent decline in polar sea ice is not very remarkable, especially considering the 1979 baseline was abnormally high anyway. Regardless, global warming activists and a compliant news media frequently and vociferously claimed the modest polar ice cap retreat was a sign of impending catastrophe. Al Gore even predicted the Arctic ice cap could completely disappear by 2014.
In late 2012, however, polar ice dramatically rebounded and quickly surpassed the post-1979 average. Ever since, the polar ice caps have been at a greater average extent than the post-1979 mean.
Now, in May 2015, the updated NASA data show polar sea ice is approximately 5 percent above the post-1979 average.
During the modest decline in 2005 through 2012, the media presented a daily barrage of melting ice cap stories. Since the ice caps rebounded – and then some – how have the media reported the issue? Continue reading

Your gut doesn’t like junk food – even if you do

When Morgan Spurlock famously spent a month eating large portions of McDonalds for the purposes of his documentary Supersize Me, he gained weight, damaged his liver and claimed to have suffered addictive withdrawal symptoms. This was popularly attributed to the toxic mix of carbs and fat plus the added chemicals and preservatives in junk foods. But could there be another explanation?

We may have forgotten others who really don’t enjoy fast food. These are the poor creatures that live in the dark in our guts. These are the hundred trillion microbes that outnumber our total human cells ten to one and digest our food, provide many vitamins and nutrients and keep us healthy. Until recently we have viewed them as harmful – but those (like salmonella) are a tiny minority and most are essential for us.

Studies in lab mice have shown that when fed an intensive high fat diet their microbes change dramatically and for the worse. This can be partly prevented by using probiotics; but there are obvious differences between us and lab mice, as well as our natural microbes.

A recent study took a group of Africans who ate a traditional local diet high in beans and vegetables and swapped their diet with a group of African Americans who ate a diet high in fat and animal proteins and low dietary fibre. The Africans fared worse on American-style food: their metabolism changed to a diabetic and unhealthy profile within just two weeks. The African Americans instead had lower markers for colon cancer risk. Tests of both groups showed very different microbiomes, the populations of microbes in their guts.
Home testing

Surprisingly, no one has specifically investigated the effect of junk food on westerners from the perspective of the microbiome. Continue reading

The Myth of Progressive Capitalism

A self-proclaimed "progressive capitalist" (hypocrite) store owner in San Francisco complains about Proposition J which voters passed with a 77% approval rate hiking the minimum wage to $15.

Capitalism for Me Socialism for Thee

 The National Review details the plight of Brian Hibbs, owner and operator of Comix Experience, an iconic comic-book and graphic-novel shop on San Francisco’s Divisadero Street, of the city’s new minimum-wage law.
 Hibbs says that the $15-an-hour minimum wage will require a staggering $80,000 in extra revenue annually. “I was appalled!” he says. “My jaw dropped. Eighty-thousand a year! I didn’t know that. I thought we were talking a small amount of money, something I could absorb.”

 He runs a tight operation already, he says. Comix Experience is open ten hours a day, seven days a week, with usually just one employee at each store at a time. It’s not viable to cut hours, he says, because his slowest hours are in the middle of the day. And he can’t raise prices, because comic books and graphic novels have their retail prices printed on the cover.

 Hibbs is not the first person to encounter this problem. On February 1, San Francisco’s renowned science-fiction bookstore Borderlands Books published the following on its website:

Although all of us at Borderlands support the concept of a living wage in principle and we believe that it’s possible that the new law will be good for San Francisco — Borderlands Books as it exists is not a financially viable business if subject to that minimum wage.  Consequently we will be closing our doors no later than March 31st.

 Its plight eventually drew the attention of The New Yorker, and a crowdfunding campaign thought up by concerned customers found some 300 sponsors, all of whom agreed to pay $100 to help keep the store afloat until at least March 31, 2016.

 Hibbs has considered doing the same but notes two problems: “By saying, ‘Give me money,’ you’re sort of saying you’re not viable.” Furthermore, “There’s a limitation on how much crowdfunding can be done. When you’re the tenth one, I don’t know if it’s going to be easy for you.”

 “Despite being a progressive living in San Francisco, I do believe in capitalism. I’d like to have the market solve this problem.”

 “We’re for a living wage, for a minimum wage, in principle. . . . But I think any law that doesn’t look at whether people can pay may not be the best way to go.”

 “Why,” he asks, “can’t two consenting people make arrangements for less than x dollars per hour?” Continue reading