MastersConnection 2020
Issue 490 In This Issue August 13th, 2016

Editors Corner

Did you know that our nose isn't the only thing with smell receptors? Apparently various organs, our spine, and even our skin has them too! Researchers have also found that, while these olfactory receptors may not be directly connected to the brain, smell receptors in the skin, when exposed to specific odors, can help it to heal itself. Click here

Speaking of the brain, are you aware that scientists are now able to observe gene activity in real time on a living human brain? Apparently a chemist developed a new technique for doing just that. This has been used on dead subjects previously, but "this is the first time gene activity has been witnessed in living brains". Click here

While we're on the subject of observing things, have you heard about a new 'Superlens' for microscopes? Apparently it is able to produce sharp images of things about 5 times smaller, then without it, using existing microscopes. Click here

There's more, but I will leave the rest for you to discover and enjoy.
Have a wonderful week.

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Something Worth Knowing

Our Skin Has Smell Receptors That Help It to Heal Itself, Scientists Discover
Smell is one of the most ancient human faculties — it has also been the least understood by science until recently. Biologists first uncovered the inner workings of chemical sensors in our noses, otherwise known as olfactory receptors, in the early 1990s, a finding that lead to a Nobel Prize. But the story doesn’t end there. Over the last decade, scientists have discovered that smell receptors are not only found in the nose, but also throughout the body — in the brain, colon, heart, liver, kidneys, spine, prostate and even sperm — and play a crucial role in a range of physiological functions. And now, a team of researchers at Ruhr University Bochum in Germany have confirmed even our skin is covered with these receptors. “More than 15 of the olfactory receptors that exist in the nose are also found in human skin cells,” said lead researcher, Dr. Hanns Hatt. What’s more, exposing the skin receptors to specific odors triggers a cascade of reactions that prompt healing of injured tissue.

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Technology Watch

'Superlens' Sets New Limits on What You Can See Under a Microscope
A new "superlens" is so powerful that it could help researchers zero in on germs that were too small for microscopes to spot until now, according to a new study. For centuries, microscopes have helped scientists make major discoveries, such as proving the existence of microbes. However, the physical laws governing light restrict conventional lenses in an important way: They can only focus on items that are no smaller than half the wavelength of the light that is used to see these objects. This means that regular lenses in traditional optical microscopes are limited to examining items that are about 200 nanometers (or billionths of a meter) in size and above — about the size of the smallest known bacteria. In the past decade or so, researchers have developed so-called "superlenses" that have broken this size limit. However, until now, scientists have had trouble fabricating a superlens that had the right materials and structure to work with visible light. The new superlens consists of millions of spherical beads of titanium dioxide. Each bead, which is only 15 nanometers wide, is applied onto the material that the researcher wants to view. Similar titanium-dioxide nanoparticles are now often found in sunscreen products and white paint.

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Weather Watch

Nigeria on red flooding alert, more than 5 000 homes already destroyed in Kano
Nigerian authorities have warned residents of 11 states for imminent flooding after several rivers started overflowing on August 8, 2016. Although no specific dates were given, the warnings will remain in place through October and flooding is already very serious in several states. Authorities are urging residents to pay attention to warnings, reminding them of disastrous, widespread flooding in 2012 that killed 363 and displaced over 2.1 million people by November 5. The flooding in 2012 was termed as the worst in 40 years. It affected 36 Nigeria's states, an estimated total of seven million people. According to Nigeria Meteorological Agency (NiMet), intense rainfall over the last two months has saturated the grounds, across parts of the country, including Akwa Ibom, Bauchi, Benue, Borno, Cross River, Delta, Kaduna, Nasarawa, Yobe, and Zamfara. The agency warned the soil is no longer capable of absorbing rainfall over the next few weeks, coinciding with the peak of the rain season. The flood alert issued by the Nigerian Hydrological Service Agency (NHSA) is a timely warning that should not be ignored but heeded to avert disaster.

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Massive wildfires in Portugal claim 4 lives, worst fire in years hits southern France
Wildfires that started on the Portuguese island of Madeira, off the northwest coast of Africa, on Monday, August 8, 2016, have spread dramatically during the next 24 hours and approached Madeira's capital, home to some 112 000 people, on Tuesday, August 9. By early Wednesday, August 10, the fires claimed lives of at least 3 elderly people. All three died when their homes caught fire. The fire in Funchal was mostly under control by late Wednesday morning, regional governor Miguel Albuquerque said, but several other blazes were still raging on the island. The fires have so far destroyed at least six homes, a five-star luxury hotel and forced the evacuation of 1 000 people. "The situation is complex but not catastrophic," the governor said. President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa and Prime Minister Antonio Costa have scheduled a visit to the island on Thursday, August 11. On Portuguese mainland, the forest fires started on Friday, August 5, following weeks of dry weather and temperatures above 35 °C (95 °F). As of late Wednesday, August 10, 14 major wildfires were burning out of control, with almost 4 500 firefighters battling the flames in a massive operation.

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State of emergency declared after worst flooding since 1962 hits Skopje, Macedonia
At least 21 people were killed in flash floods caused by an extremely powerful storm that hit the country late Saturday evening, August 6, 2016. A state of emergency was declared in capital Skopje and neighboring districts. Hundreds of homes and vehicles were destroyed. At least 6 people are still missing in what is now the worst flooding that hit Skopje since 1962. According to Macedonia's weather service, 93 mm (3.6 inches) of rain fell in just two hours late August 6. This is equivalent to the average for an entire month of August. Meteorologists said that more than 800 lightning strikes were recorded in the first two hours of the storm that lasted for 5 hours. Water reached as high as 1.5 meters (4.9 feet) in some areas. One Skopje resident said there were thunderbolts with lightning almost every second. "It was really horrific," she said. Torrential rains flooded homes, swept away a section of the ring road around Skopje and wrecked cars. Northern suburbs of the capital were particularly hard hit, though the city center also suffered flash floods, Reuters reported. Children were among those killed, a police spokesman said, adding that searches were continuing for six people who have been reported missing.

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Space Watch

Is there another world lurking beyond Neptune? Strange orbit of new minor planet hints at mysterious object in the outer reaches of our solar system
For a few years now, astronomers have been detecting hints that there may be a mysterious planet lurking undetected in some of the farthest reaches of our solar system. But a new study suggests there may be a great deal more going on in the cold, dark regions of space beyond the eighth planet orbiting our sun, Neptune. Scientists have discovered a bizarre new object, less than 124 miles (200km) across, with a strange tilted orbit that sends it high above the flat orbital disk of the rest of the solar system. They found the new minor planet, which they have named Niku after the Chinese for rebellious, which seems to be part of a cluster of other similar objects and icy planetoids with similar orbits. It suggests they may have been pushed or pulled into this strange orbit by something far larger orbiting beyond Neptune. At first the astronomers thought it could be the hypothetical Planet Nine that astronomers have been hunting for far beyond Pluto on the farthest edge of the solar system. However, they found Niku and its fellow tiny worlds are too close to the rest of the solar system to have been tugged out of place by this theoretical planet.

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History Watch

Ancient remains discovered at ‘America’s first city’ reveal women held high-power positions
Almost 50 years ago, archaeologists excavating an ancient city just outside of St. Louis discovered a mass burial site with an unusual central feature – two bodies arranged atop a bed of beads, with several other bodies encircling them. It was once thought that the elaborate ‘beaded burial’ structure at Cahokia was built as a monument to male power – but now, researchers suggest this is not the case. A new analysis of the remains reveals that one of these central bodies is actually female, and researchers say the discovery of similar male-female pairs and the remains of a child indicates that women played an important role in society. In the new study, published to the journal American Antiquity, researchers with the Illinois State Archaeological Survey at the University of Illinois and colleagues found that there are both male and female remains buried at the site of the Native American city, Cahokia.  Cahokia is said to be North America's first city, and is the largest pre-Columbian settlement north of Mexico.  Now known as ‘Mound 72,’ the massive burial site discovered by archaeologist Melvin Fowler in 1967 contains 270 bodies, with five mass graves each containing at least 20 bodies, and some exceeding 50.

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You Decide

Kratom: Natural painkiller or addictive drug?
Kratom is banned in six states. The Drug Enforcement Administration says there is "no legitimate medical use in the U.S." There are concerns that it could be addictive and have other risks that aren't well-known. But the opioid-like substance is still sought out by users to boost energy and manage pain. Native to Southeast Asia, the kratom tree's leaves have been used for centuries as an herbal drug by laborers and farmers. Today, kratom leaves are ground into pills and powders, and sold as a dietary supplement. It can be found in head shops and online. It's even made into drinks in some bars. But, because it is classified as a supplement, it is very loosely regulated by the Food and Drug Administration. When taken at low dosages, kratom can act like a stimulant, heightening alertness. At higher doses, kratom is a sedative, producing opioid-like effects that dull pain. It has this effect because mitragynine -- the active ingredient in kratom -- binds to the opioid receptors in our body, said Dr. Ed Boyer, a professor of emergency medicine at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, who has done a handful of studies on the substance.

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August 20th, 11am - 3pm: Yelm Farm and Pet Family Day Celebration
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Nature Watch

Sticky situation: Swarm of honeybees blocks F-22 fighter
It may be a $150 million warfighting machine, but one F-22 Raptor was totally stumped when a swarm of 20,000 honeybees blocked the jet’s exhaust at one air base in Virginia. The stealth fighter was eventually rescued by a local beekeeper. Maintenance crews from the 192nd Fighter Wing of the Virginia Air National Guard at Joint Base Langley-Eustis were in for quite a shock when they discovered the swarm on the F-22’s exhaust nozzle. Their initial reaction was to run away and find someone to “get rid of the bees,” the squadron reported on its Facebook page. “I was shocked like everyone else because it looked like a cloud of thousands of bees,” said Tech Sergeant Jeffrey Baskin, a maintenance crew chief, “but I knew they wouldn’t sting anyone and were just looking for a new place to live.” Captain Katie Chiarantona, in charge of aircraft maintenance, called the on-base entomologist, who said he did not have the means to remove the bees – but knew someone who could. He referred Chiarantona to a local beekeeper in nearby Hampton, Virginia, a US Navy veteran named Andy Westrich.

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In The News

Global stocks at record highs with crude rallying
The three main US stock indexes reached new record highs by the end of the trading on Thursday. The last time that happened was in late 1999, just before the dotcom bubble market collapse. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.1 percent, topping its recent record set on July 20. The S&P 500 grew 0.5 percent, while Nasdaq ended the day up 0.5 percent, beating highs set earlier this month. The rally was boosted by growing employment numbers in the US, reports on a high crop yield from the US Agriculture Department, and a positive earnings report released by retail giant Macy's. The store posted a solid profit margin and positive forecasts despite closing 100 outlets across the country. At the same time, European stocks have reached a seven-week maximum on Friday with the market backed by strong reports from companies and enthusiasm about stimulus measures implemented by global central banks. Germany's DAX added 0.9 percent, the French CAC 40 grew by 1.2 percent and London's FTSE 100 was up by 0.7 percent. The FTSEurofirst 300 index gained 0.1 percent.

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Why Big Pharma Wants to Switch Billions of Farm Animals to Vaccines From Antibiotics
A sparkling and sprawling 48,000-square-foot two-story structure, decorated with artwork of animals etched onto interior glass walls, recently opened its doors 23 miles outside Indianapolis with one sole purpose: to keep the globe’s 70 billion farm animals healthy. That increasingly means less reliance on antibiotics for animals. So the new research center, built and operated by Elanco LLC, a unit Eli Lilly & Co., is focused exclusively on developing vaccines as alternatives. It’s all part of a broader effort by the drug industry to join forces with the medical establishment to reduce use of antibiotics, as resistant superbugs become more prevalent in hospitals, nursing homes and other public spaces. Weaning animals from antibiotics in favor of vaccines has become central to that effort. Farm animals are fed about 80 percent of the antibiotics in the U.S., which make their way into the human body. “We see a world where there is less need for shared-use antibiotics,” said Elanco President Jeff Simmons. “There are going to be more alternatives than ever before.”

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Clinton’s tax returns show income hit, dubious donations
Hillary Clinton’s presidential bid put a big dent in the Clintons’ income, which went from $28 million in 2014 to just over $10 million in 2015, while the vast majority of charitable donations by the couple went to their own charity, their tax returns reveal. Former President Bill Clinton and his wife file tax returns jointly. Their 2015 filings show an income of $10.6 million, far less than the $28 million reported in 2014. Speaking fees continued to make up two-thirds of the Clintons’ income, but dropped to $6.7 million from almost $20 million in the year prior. Clinton and her running mate, Virginia Senator Tim Kaine, released their tax returns on Thursday in an effort to pressure the Republican nominee, Donald Trump, into doing the same. The power couple took in $3.1 million from their books, while Bill Clinton’s consulting business brought in just under $1.7 million. Documents show the Clintons paid $3.24 million in federal income taxes in 2015, with their total federal and state tax burden amounting to 43.2 percent – down from 45.8 percent in 2014.

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Science Watch

Gene activity in living human brains captured for first time in potential Alzheimer’s breakthrough
Scientists have used a new technique to observe real-time gene activity in the living human brain, a significant breakthrough expected to bring greater insight and new treatments for neurological diseases including Alzheimer's and schizophrenia. The neuroimaging tool, developed by chemist Jacob Hooker of Massachusetts General Hospital, showed where genes were being turned on or off in the brain. While this method has been used in dead subjects before, this is the first time gene activity has been witnessed in living brains. It’s hoped the work, published in Science Translational Medicine, will reveal more about the relationships of genes and mental health and may help develop better treatments for Alzheimer's and other brain disorders. Hooker and his team created a radiotracer which binds to an enzyme called HDAC. This enzyme can change the activity of gene expression throughout the brain through epigenetic modification. Epigenetic dysfunction is implicated in many neurological and psychiatric diseases, including Alzheimer’s disease, schizophrenia, depression and addiction.

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Goodbye needle & thread? ‘Self-healing’ liquid allows fabrics to repair themselves
The days of patching up a torn pair of jeans with spare fabric may soon be over. Scientists are working on a special liquid that essentially allows everyday clothes to repair themselves. The trick lies in a self-healing, polyelectrolyte liquid that is currently being developed by researchers at Penn State University. Made from bacteria and yeast, the liquid can help most fabrics bind together once torn. It contains proteins similar to those found in squid ring teeth, which also have self-repairing qualities. The healing process involves putting the substance on the torn fabric, applying warm water, and pressing the edges together. The fabric then reattaches, effectively repairing itself. “We were looking for a way to make fabrics self-healing using conventional textiles. So we came up with this coating technology," Melik C. Demirel, a professor of engineering science and mechanics at Penn State, said in a statement, adding that the invention could prove beneficial for expensive clothing, such as wool and silk, which are not cheap to replace or repair. The liquid could also be applied to new clothing as a coating, so garments would have the inherent ability to repair themselves with a little water and pressure.

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Earth Watch

Strong and shallow M7.2 earthquake hit southeast of the Loyalty Islands, New Caledonia
A strong and shallow earthquake registered by the USGS as M7.2 hit southeast of the Loyalty Islands, New Caledonia at 01:24 UTC on August 12, 2016. The agency is reporting a depth of 10 km (6.2 miles). Geoscience Australia is reporting Mwp7.3 at a depth of 0 km. According to the USGS, the epicenter was located 515.8 km (320.5 miles) SE of Isangel (population: 1 437), Vanuatu, and 629.7 km (391.3 miles) ESE of Wé (population: 10 375), New Caledonia. There are no people living within 100 km (62 miles). A local tsunami warning has been issued by the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center and the threat has now passed. USGS issued a green alert for shaking-related fatalities and economic losses. There is a low likelihood of casualties and damage.  Overall, the population in this region resides in structures that are vulnerable to earthquake shaking, though some resistant structures exist. Within the next 2 hours, USGS registered 6 more earthquakes in this region

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RSE Newsletter

Assay July 22 – 30, 2016 – Event Links:
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Triad Theater
Calendar of Events

August 12th & 19th @ 7pm: Dr. Rodrigo and Miceal are back to teach Keshe Technology
The teachings have been expanded to Part 1 on Aug 12th & Part 2 on Aug 19th.
The cost is $35 per night.
CLICK HERE FOR KESHE TICKETS and select evening to attend on the drop down menu or buy the "COMBO".
Tickets to workshops will be sold at each event and held at The Lions Club Aug 27th and Sep 3rd at 2pm. Here is a LIST OF ITEMS you will need to bring to those workshops.

August 13th @ 7pm: Movies with Mel - "Amadeus"
Hosted by Melody Rae. $8 at the door. Discussion to follow movie.

August 16th & 30th @ 7pm: Scott Mowry presents Miracles & Inspiration
Cost $10.

August 20th @ 7pm: "Physician Heal Thyself" with Dr. Rosamaria Machado and Miceal
They will speak on the different experiences that they have had, and the different modalities that one can use in healing oneself. They will also speak on their visits to John of God in Brazil, and others.
TICKETS for Physician Heal Thyself -on-line $30. Available at the door for $35.
Doors open at 6:30pm. Starts at 7pm.

August 26th to 28th: A Midsummer Night's Shakespeare: A Multi-generational Musical for the entire family with a cast of 20 adults and 20 children of all ages. Brought to you by Summerstruck Productions & Standing Room Only Acting Company. Choose from four performances - Friday, August 26th at 7:30pm $10; Saturday, August 27th at 2pm $10; Saturday, August 27th at 7:30pm $10; Sunday, August 28th at 2pm $10
Ticket Link: Shakespeare Production

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