Antidepressant microbes in dirt?

From Bonnie L. Grant, in Gardening Know How:

“Did you know that there’s a natural antidepressant in soil? It’s true. Mycobacterium vaccae is the substance under study and has, indeed, been found to mirror the effect on neurons that drugs like Prozac provide. The bacterium is found in soil and may stimulate serotonin production, which makes you relaxed and happier. Studies were conducted on cancer patients and they reported a better quality of life and less stress.

Serotonin has been linked to such problems as depression, anxiety, obsessive compulsive disorder and bipolar problems. The bacterium appears to be a natural antidepressant in soil and has no adverse health effects. These antidepressant microbes in soil may be as easy to use as just playing in the dirt. Continue reading

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Six months of legal marijuana in CO

From Ultraculture:

“Colorado made history in November 2012 when voters passed Amendment 64, making it one of the first two states to approve legal regulation for the cultivation, sale and use of medical and recreational marijuana to adults aged 21 and over. Since the amendment went into effect on January 1 of this year, the Centennial State has become a proving ground demonstrating the positive impact of regulation over prohibition.

Despite the warnings and hysteria from opponents to legalization, Colorado hasn’t descended into lawlessness and disorder. In fact, many conditions seem to be improving in the state, with crime rates down and a sound economy to boot. Continue reading

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Local Market Food Policy for Manitoba

From Colin Anderson, on Sustain Ontario:

“…Agriculture policy in Manitoba has historically focused on large-scale export commodity production. However, the growing popular interest in local, sustainable food is prompting the province to take a second look at supporting local food systems to improve economy, health and food security.

The message coming from the grassroots is clear: farmers, fishers, processors and citizens are demanding a say in policy-making and have formed a coalition under the banner of FEAST (Farmers and Eaters Sharing the Table) to encourage the Province to support local sustainable food.

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Court decision today re lawyer removal motion in Montana Jones, Michael Schmidt sheep-napping pre-trial

As you may remember, Crown attorneys were arguing in court that Shawn Buckley should not be allowed to represent Michael Schmidt and Montana Jones because of a potential conflict of interest down the road as it were. According to a Facebook post today from Montana Jones, today is the day that the court will announce its decision on that matter. Here’s what she writes:

“Cross your fingers today, send good thoughts, and hope for one small step toward justice! Off to court to hear judge deliver his decision on if excellent lawyer Shawn Buckley is still ours to carry on. CFIA applied to have him removed and prevent him from representing Michael Schmidt and myself saying that it “might possibly” be a conflict of interest down the road at the actual trial, yet with no solid reasons to support that thinking. Here we go….”

Just wondering about how such a conflict of interest might come about…  Continue reading

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Beyond GMOs — Synthetic Biology

Back in the early decades of the 20th century, Rudolf Steiner talked about the “Life Ether” and how in the future there would be technologies based on harnessing it. Could this be the start of it?

From Synthetic Biology Project:

“This exciting field is evolving so rapidly that no widely accepted definitions exist. Common to many explanations is the idea of synthetic biology as the application of engineering principles to the fundamental components of biology.

All living organisms contain an instruction set that determines what they look like and what they do. These instructions are encoded in the organisms’s DNA — long and complex strings of molecules embedded in every living cell. This is an organism’s genetic code (or “genome”).

Humans have been altering the genetic code of plants and animals for millennia, by selectively breeding individuals with desirable features. As biotechnologists have learned more about how to read and manipulate this code, they have begun to take genetic information associated with useful features from one organism, and add it into another one. This is the basis of genetic engineering, and has allowed researchers to speed up the process of developing new breeds of plants and animals. Continue reading

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Much more about those bee deaths

Local Toronto event this Saturday May 24th, 2014

From Tom Philpott, on Mother Jones:

“It’s a hard-knock life, scouring the landscape for pollen to sustain a beehive. Alight upon the wrong field, and you might encounter fungicides, increasingly used on corn and soybean crops, and shown to harm honeybees at tiny levels. Get hauled in to pollinate California’s vast almond groves, as 60 percent of US honeybees do, and you’ll likely make contact with a group of chemicals called adjuvants—allegedly “inert” pesticide additives that have emerged as a prime suspect for a large bee die-off during this year’s almond bloom. Continue reading

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Harvard study confirms bees being killed by neonicotinoid bug sprays

From Arjun Walia, on Collective Evolution:

“The human race is really starting to feel the consequences of their actions. One area we are waking up to is the massive amount of pesticides we spray (especially in North America) on our food that has not only been linked to human disease, but a massive die off in the global bee population within the past few years.

A new study out of Harvard University, published in the June edition of the Bulletin of Insectology puts the nail in the coffin, neonicotinoids are killing bees at an exponential rate, they are the direct cause of the phenomenon labeled as colony collapse disorder (CCD). Neonicotinoid’s are the world’s most widely used insecticides. (1) Continue reading

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