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New antibiotic family discovered in dirt
18 February 2018 - US scientists have discovered a new family of antibiotics in soil samples. The natural compounds could be used to combat hard-to-treat infections, the team at Rockefeller University hopes. Tests show the compounds, called malacidins, annihilate several bacterial diseases that have become resistant to most existing antibiotics, including the superbug MRSA. Soil is teeming with millions of different micro-organisms that produce lots of potentially therapeutic compounds, including new antibiotics. (more)

US: Hot major on campus? At schools big and small, it's computer science
18 February 2018 - Leah Brumgard majors in studio art at Swarthmore College, Jeff Novak in math, and William Colgan in biology. But all three have a second major: Computer science. Computer science has become the second most popular major on the 1,620-student campus , behind economics. It's a far shift from as recently as 2010, when there were fewer than a dozen computer-science graduates. Across the country, the number of computer science majors at doctoral institutions has more than tripled in the last decade. It's much hotter than it was during the dot-com blitz in the late 1990s, according to the national Computing Research Association. (more)

US: EVgo, Chargepoint annual reports show growth in electric-car charging
17 February 2018 - Usage of public charging stations rises every year in the U.S. Recent summaries of 2017 activity by two large charging networks, ChargePoint and EVgo, show healthy growth in use of their stations as they add more sites and customers. Adding more than 1,000 new charging locations each month, ChargePoint entered 2018 with more than 45,000 charging locations . . . Similarly, EVgo CEO Cathy Zoi called 2017 'an extremely successful year' for the network in a press release. (more)

US: Generation Z will demand more organic, better-for-you and globally-inspired food and beverage, Acosta says
15 February 2018 - For the first time, Generation Z is emerging as an influencer in grocery spending and early indications suggests that they will favor more organic, healthy products as well as authentic and multicultural offerings, according to new research from Acosta. (more)

Farthest photos ever taken, from nearly 4 billion miles away
9 February 2018 - The NASA spacecraft that gave us close-ups of Pluto has set a record for the farthest photos ever taken. In December -- while 3.79 billion miles (6.12 billion kilometers) from Earth -- the New Horizons spacecraft snapped a picture of a star cluster. The photo surpassed the 'Pale Blue Dot' images of Earth taken in 1990 by NASA's Voyager 1. New Horizons took more photos as it sped deeper into the cosmos in December. These pictures show two objects in the Kuiper Belt, the so-called twilight zone on the fringes of our solar system. (more)

With extraordinary political optics, Winter Olympics begin
9 February 2018 - In an extraordinary show of unexpected unity, North and South Korea sat side by side Friday night (9 February) under exploding fireworks that represented peace, not destruction, as the 2018 Winter Olympics opened on a Korean Peninsula riven by generations of anger, suspicion, and bloodshed. The sister of North Korea's leader, Kim Jong Un, shook hands with South Korean President Moon Jae-in -- and appeared genuinely pleased -- while they watched an elaborate show of light, sound, and human performance. (more)

US: Bald eagle population continues to grow in Nebraska
6 February 2018 - The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission estimated a record 209 active bald eagle nests in Nebraska in 2017. 'Back when it was an endangered species, the recovery goal set by the federal government for Nebraska was 10 breeding pairs. That was set in the 1980's when there were no breeding bald eagles in the state. Thirty-Five or so years later we've exceeded that number by 20 times,' said Joel Jorgensen, Nongame Bird Program Manager. (more)

Anonymous Bitcoin philanthropist donates $5 million to medicine foundation
2 February 2018 - An anonymous benefactor has donated $5 million (3.53 million pounds) in Bitcoin to the California-based Open Medicine Foundation, the non-profit research organization said on Friday (2 February). The money came from an anonymous donor calling themselves 'Pine' from the Pineapple Fund, whose website says that it has already donated around $37 million anonymously to various charities and projects. The fund intends to donate $86 million in total, according to the website. (more)

US: Greenwich designers see a bright start to 2018 with 'Gen-Z yellow'
30 January 2018 - There is a new color in town. Coined Gen-Z yellow, it has cast quite a glow across social media and inspired fashion and interior designers to brighten up togs and tableaus for the coming season. This sunny hue, like its older cousin, is more a spectrum of shades from canary to mustard yellow. (more)

US: Rethink your grain game
30 January 2018 - Some producers grow organics and non-GMO crops because there's a local market for them. Others do so in the belief the supply chain of the future will demand it. Chief Executive Eric Jackson of Minneapolis-based Pipeline Foods thinks farmers should consider adding these crops for a far more practical reason: Producers will make more money in the long run, and they'll be better diversified, too. ... Pipeline Foods intends to help farmers transition 500,000 acres to organic row crops in the next three to five years. (more)

Success of Maharishi's Programmes
Short Summaries of Top Stories

February is American Heart Month: Transcendental Meditation reduces cardiovascular disease factors
18 February 2018 - This month, TM for Women is highlighting the effectiveness of the Transcendental Meditation technique in promoting heart health. Measures to reduce the risk factors for heart disease are recommended by the American Heart Association, which states that 80 per cent of cardiac events may be prevented with lifestyle changes. Research shows that the TM programme reduces tobacco use, stress, hypertension, and atherosclerosis. Learning the TM technique is a simple step with a wide range of health benefits that result from regular twice-daily practice. TM for Women encourages women everywhere to let Heart Health Month be the impetus to supporting your future well-being. (more)

Maharishi Vastu Architecture website features new photo albums of homes around the world
16 February 2018 - Have you ever wondered what it would be like to look inside a Maharishi Vastu home? A new photo album page on the Maharishi Vedic Architecture website lets you do just that. The page contains albums of Maharishi Vastu homes from around the world. (more)

Short film by Maharishi University of Management alum competes at Sundance Film Festival
14 February 2018 - As a business and digital media major at Maharishi University of Management, Andrew Runkle got swept up in the world of filmmaking early on and never looked back. He is now a successful video producer, with a short film that was screened in competition at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival. Recently he produced several big-brand commercials that featured celebrity athletes, including Michael Jordan. 'I get a lot of fulfilment from seeing a project realize from start to finish - being able to bring something to life and see that come to fruition in a relatively short amount of time,' he said. (more)

Tonight: Live webcast - David Lynch, Bob Roth: 'A Conversation on Meditation, Creativity, and Life'
12 February 2018 - It's 2018, and who among us doesn't feel stressed and exhausted? Join David Lynch and Bob Roth this Monday evening, 12 Feb - on a live webcast from the Wilshire Ebell Theater in Los Angeles - as they discuss the Transcendental Meditation technique, why it works, how it differs from mindfulness and other forms of meditation, and its broader applications in our complex society. Bob Roth is Executive Director of the David Lynch Foundation, founded by filmmaker David Lynch, which offers Transcendental Meditation to at-risk groups including veterans with PTSD, and women and children survivors of abuse. Roth is author of the new book, Strength in Stillness. (more)

Advice to Moms: 'Add Transcendental Meditation to your family's routine - life will become easier, softer, more stable, and sweeter'
11 February 2018 - 'Moms cannot afford to ignore their own needs while taking care of children, work and home. Most kids are sensitive to their mother's stress and reportedly experience higher stress themselves as a result,' writes Janet Hoffman, National Director of Transcendental Meditation for Women Professionals in the USA. She recommends something 'helpful to motherhood, child-rearing, patience, endurance, [and] stress reduction: Learn Transcendental Meditation.' Published scientific research has verified TM benefits that are 'strengthening for a parent, such as decreased anxiety, fatigue, depression, insomnia and hypertension along with increased stamina, resilience, and happiness.' From pregnancy through their children's teen years, when mothers 'add Transcendental Meditation to your family's routine, life will become easier, softer, more stable, and sweeter'. (more)

A scientific portrait of Transcendental Consciousness
9 February 2018 - Scientific research in the 1970s found that the pattern of physiological changes during Transcendental Meditation was different from waking, dreaming, and sleep - indicating that Transcendental Consciousness, the state experienced during TM practice, is a major fourth state of consciousness. Of particular interest, writes Dr David Orme-Johnson, one of the researchers, was increased alpha1 EEG during TM, which indicates a mind-body state of restful alertness. Subsequent research found that the alpha1 frequency during TM is coherent between all brain areas, which is correlated with a vast array of brain diversity underlying thought, behaviour, and feelings - creativity, intelligence, moral reasoning, and lower anxiety. (more)

Maharishi University of Management MBA student pursues sustainable investing
7 February 2018 - With a bachelor's degree in business from University of Toronto, Daniel Sharma chose Maharishi University of Management's MBA programme because of its focus on sustainability. He's motivated by long-term financial success which is not only dominated by profit but also by consideration of the environment and the stakeholders of the business. 'What I like about MUM is that they focus not only on your education, but on your well-being as an individual,' Daniel said. 'I find Transcendental Meditation very helpful, especially after a tiring day when you are looking at the screen all day - and it's like throwing away the stress from your body.' (more)

Residents of Maharishi Vastu homes report less stress, better health, more success
5 February 2018 - The February newsletter of Maharishi Vastu Architecture reports on a recent, comprehensive survey of several hundred people worldwide who live in dwellings built according to Maharishi Vastu architecture. A high percentage of residents reported improvements from living in these homes, on five measures: improved quality of life, less stress, improved mental health, greater overall success, and that their children were happier. The survey results illustrate the principles and goals of Maharishi Vastu architecture, that living in these homes creates an influence of good health, happiness, family harmony, and growth to enlightenment. (more)

Strength in Stillness: The Power of Transcendental Meditation - 6 Feb. book launch on Facebook Live!
3 February 2018 - Join Jerry Seinfeld and Hugh Jackman for a Facebook Live event celebrating the publication of the life-transforming new book, Strength in Stillness: The Power of Transcendental Meditation by long-time meditation teacher Bob Roth. Jerry, Hugh, and Bob will reveal what the Transcendental Meditation technique means to them, and how this tool can change your life. Strength in Stillness will be available 6 February at book stores everywhere. (more)

Women: Let's march onward and inward in 2018
1 February 2018 - 'Valuing and respecting women - in fact, valuing everyone - is the foundation for thriving as a society,' writes award-winning author Ann Purcell. This year, in addition to 'achieving a real balance of power between the two genders. . . . every woman can take an even more profound step by accessing the essence of her being. At the deepest level of our minds and hearts, there is an ocean of silence from which infinite nourishing power - our intelligence, creativity and dynamism - arise. . . . Many powerful women such as Oprah Winfrey, Katie Couric, Katy Perry, and Arianna Huffington practice Transcendental Meditation. They all know that strength and the roots of harmony lie within. . . . All these women have realized the importance of diving beyond the layers of doubt, superficialities, and insecurities to a place of pure peace, joy, stillness, strength - one's inherent truth.' (more)

Short Summaries of Top Stories

Consumer products' air quality impact 'underestimated'
18 February 2018 - US research has found that chemicals in everyday household products are now a key contributor to city air pollution, rivalling some vehicle emissions. The study, led from Colorado University, focussed on so-called volatile organic compounds (VOCs). These are contained in petroleum-based products such as cleaning fluids and paints, and when they get into the air can form particles that affect health. The scientists say the sources of non-vehicle VOCs have been underestimated. (more)

How to disrupt an election: Fake IDs, fraud, and Facebook
16 February 2018 - A year before Donald Trump announced his presidential candidacy, two Russian operatives landed in the United States to lay groundwork for an intelligence operation targeting the legitimacy of the 2016 election. What began as a Cold War-like attack by an old adversary would mix old-fashioned political agitation with 21st century social media tools that ultimately roiled the election and shook America's political landscape. (more)

Spending too much time in dimly lit rooms may damage your brain's ability learn
8 February 2018 - If you spend too much time in dimly lit rooms, you may be altering your brain's structure and damaging your ability to remember and learn, according to the findings of an intriguing new study. The research, conducted by scientists from Michigan State University, is the first to show that changes in environmental light can lead to structural differences in the brain. It is estimated that both Brits and Americans spend more than 90 percent of their time indoors on average. The researchers say a lack of bright light led to reductions in a substance which helps maintain healthy connections in the hippocampus and other regions of the brain. (more)

U.S. child mortality rates remain higher than in other wealthy nations
8 February 2018 - Even though infant and child mortality rates in wealthy nations have been steadily declining for decades, American children are still more likely to die than kids in other affluent countries, a U.S. study suggests. Back in the early 1960s, infant and child mortality rates were similar for the U.S. and 19 other countries with comparable levels of economic development. ... By the first decade of this century, the risk of death for infants was 76 percent higher in the U.S., and for children aged 1 to 19 the risk of death was 57 percent higher. Persistently high poverty rates, poor educational outcomes, and a relatively weak social safety net have contributed to the U.S. having worse infant and child mortality rates than any of these other nations, researchers write in Health Affairs. (more)

US: Common drug for PTSD doesn't stem nightmares, sleep problems in veterans
7 February 2018 - The blood pressure drug prazosin, widely prescribed to relieve symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), has failed to show it can reduce distressing dreams or improve sleep quality in a trial of 304 military veterans at 13 Veterans Affairs medical centers. After 10 weeks of therapy with the generic drug ... recipients had no significant reduction in recurrent nightmares or easier sleep compared to veterans receiving placebo. Experts in PTSD familiar with the research have been shocked by the findings . . . An estimated 5 percent to 10 percent of the U.S. population has PTSD, with much higher rates among veterans and active-duty soldiers. (more)

Up to one in 10 U.S. children may have fetal alcohol disorders
6 February 2018 - As many as one in 10 U.S. children may have fetal alcohol spectrum disorders, far more than previously thought, a new study of first graders suggests. Fetal alcohol spectrum disorder is an umbrella term for a range of physical, psychological, behavioral, and cognitive problems that can develop in children whose mothers drink during pregnancy. The most severe form, fetal alcohol syndrome, can cause stunted growth, learning disabilities, bone and joint deformities, heart defects, and hyperactivity. (more)

Count marks sharp drop in monarch butterflies wintering in California
3 February 2018 - The number of monarchs wintering in California has dropped to a five-year low, despite more volunteers counting more sites in search of the orange-and-black insect that is arguably the most admired of North American butterflies, a report said on Friday (2 February). The latest tally of 200,000 monarchs in forested groves in California's central coast has dropped from the 1.2 million counted two decades ago, indicating the number of butterflies found west of the Rocky Mountains, or the so-called western population, continues to sharply decline ... (more)

US: Drought deepens dramatically in Southern California
1 February 2018 - California is rapidly plunging back into drought, with severe conditions now existing in Santa Barbara, Ventura, and Los Angeles counties -- home to one-fourth of the state's population, a national drought monitor said Thursday (1 February). The weekly report ... also shows 44 percent of the state is now considered to be in a moderate drought. It's a dramatic jump from just last week, when the figure was 13 percent. ... In Ventura and Santa Barbara counties, the lack of rain and dry vegetation were perfect fuel for a December wildfire that grew to become the largest recorded in state history. (more)

US review shows pesticides harm threatened salmon, whales
12 January 2018 - Federal scientists have determined that a family of widely used pesticides poses a threat to dozens of endangered and threatened species, including Pacific salmon, Atlantic sturgeon, and Puget Sound orcas. The National Marine Fisheries Service issued its new biological opinion on three organophosphate pesticides -- chlorpyrifos, diazinon, and malathion -- after a yearslong court fight by environmental groups. At the urging of pesticide manufacturers, the Trump administration had sought a two-year delay of a court-ordered deadline to issue the findings by the end of 2017, but it was unsuccessful. ... the use of chlorpyrifos on fruits and vegetables after peer-reviewed academic studies found that even tiny levels of exposure could hinder the development of children's brains. (more)

US: Study blames marijuana farms for poisoning of threatened owls
11 January 2018 - Rat poison is contaminating threatened northern spotted owls in California forests, and marijuana farms appear to be to blame, according to a study published Thursday (11 January). The study published in the journal Avian Conservation and Ecology focused on owls in Northern California's Humboldt, Mendocino, and Del Norte counties, part of the so-called Emerald Triangle, where remote farms -- many in old-growth forests -- produce much of the marijuana grown for the U.S. black market. (more)


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