It seems there may be some truth in the whole organic food movement.
Last week the results of a 69,000 person study revealed people who eat organic are 25% less likely to get cancer.
From The Times:
Researchers say that pesticides in conventional fruit and vegetables can cause cancer, suggesting that going organic helps to prevent the disease.Previous studies have failed to find any convincing evidence that organic foods protect against disease or are more nutritious. Now researchers at Paris University have studied 69,000 people who were questioned about their diet and followed for an average of five years, during which 1,340 of them developed cancer.
The quarter of people who ate the most organic food were 25 per cent less likely to get cancer than the quarter who ate the least, even after adjusting for age, class and other health conditions, according to results in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine.
However, before we all switch to a 100% organic lifestyle, it’s worth addressing the cause-effect problem.
People who eat organic food tend to be richer, better educated and live healthier lifestyles than most people.
So the question is, is eating organic the cause of getting less cancer, or is it just one contributing factor?
However, even accounting for those factors, it seems clear that organic food is probably less likely to give you cancer than food sprayed with pesticides.
As study’s lead author, Julia Baudry, said of the results:
“Organic foods are less likely to contain pesticide residues than conventional foods, and studies have showed that an organic diet reduces exposure to certain pesticides. In the general population, the primary route of exposure is diet, especially intake of conventionally grown fruits and vegetables.”
Hopefully this study will lead to more studies into the relationship between eating organic and health. And with any luck, those ones will be done in a more controlled manner, and account for lifestyle, wealth and education.
Stem cell treatment cures UK MS sufferer – man walks and dances again after ten years in a wheelchair
“It’s just totally changed my life,” says Roy Palmer after receiving a revolutionary stem-cell treatment for multiple sclerosis (MS).
“There was a programme on Panorama. A treatment called HSCT. And two people on that programme went into Sheffield hospital in wheelchairs, and they both came out walking.”
“I said, if they can have that done, on a trial. Well, why can’t I have it done?”
Two years later and not only can Roy walk again, but he can dance too. And this is not in the sense of, oh he can shuffle about with the help of a Zimmer frame. No, he has completely recovered.
CBS even has a video of him dancing to Drake and doing the floss.
The treatment works by taking stem cells out of the patient’s body, giving them chemotherapy to kill their immune system and then putting the stem cells back in to restart their immune system.
I think this is a great story because the guy literally saw an experimental treatment on TV and said, right, if they can have that done, why can’t I? He made it happen and it worked magnificently.
With any luck this will become a more commonplace treatment for MS in the coming years.
Scientists invent artificial wood
Scientific American ran a story last week on new synthetic material. Its creators are calling it “artificial wood”. But, really, it just sounds like a new type of plastic.
From Scientific American:
To create the synthetic wood, scientists took a solution of polymer resin and added a pinch of chitosan, a sugar polymer derived from the shells of shrimp and crabs. They freeze-dried the solution, yielding a structure filled with tiny pores and channels supported by the chitosan. Then they heated the resin to temperatures as high as 200 degrees Celsius to cure it, forging strong chemical bonds.
Unlike natural wood, the new material does not require years to grow. Moreover, it readily repels water—samples soaked in water and in a strong acid bath for 30 days scarcely weakened, whereas samples of balsa wood tested under similar conditions lost two thirds of their strength and 40 percent of their crush resistance. The new material was also difficult to ignite and stopped burning when it was removed from the flame.
I think they are calling it “wood” because it has pores like wood. But other than that, it is surely not much different to flame-resistant plastics.
However, reading a bit more into it, this new material could prove extremely useful for buildings and construction.
Here’s a summary of the creation from Science Advances (where the research was originally published):
… we have developed a simple strategy for large-scale fabrication of a family of artificial polymeric woods with controllable microstructures by a combined self-assembly and thermocuring process of the traditional resins.
The polymeric and composite woods manifest outstanding comprehensive performance, including mechanical strength comparable to that of natural wood, better corrosion resistance to water and acid with no decrease in mechanical properties, as well as much better thermal insulation and fire retardancy.
The present polymeric woods even stand out from other engineering materials such as cellular ceramic materials and aerogels in terms of specific strength and thermal insulation properties.
The fact it can compete with ceramics and aerogels in terms of insulation is very impressive. This new “bioinspired” wood could turn out to be a major building material of the 21st century.
That’s all for today.
Until next time,
Editor, Exponential Investor