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Vegan Influencers Keep Comparing Meat-Eating to the Holocaust and Slavery – VICE

James Aspey is one of many vegan influencer who refers to meat-eating as the Animal Holocaust. Photo by James Aspey (Instagram)

Several high-profile vegan influencers are facing criticisms for comparing the slaughtering of animals to the Holocaust and the meat and dairy industries to rape and slaveryfeeding into mainstream veganisms stereotype as a lifestyle choice for fit, rich white people.

One said, animal lives matter, while another was called out for doing blackface after she painted her face and skin black. Multiple have posted signs that say, End the Animal Holocaust, Abolish Animal Slavery, and theyll call critics who dont like what theyre saying speciesist.

Anytime there is an attempt to equate the Holocaust with other events, its deeply offensive to me, as it is to many Jews and those survivors, said Abraham Silverman, a 78-year-old Holocaust survivor and manager of public relations at a Canadian branch of Bnai Brith, a global Jewish human rights organization.

Silverman said the comparison of animal slaughter and meat consumption to the Holocaust undermines the horrors that millions of Jews suffered during World War II, and inspires anti-Semitic folks online at a time when hate crimes targeting them are skyrocketing.

Veganism has exploded over the last two decades, with nearly 10 million people identifying as vegan in the U.S. aloneup from less than 300,000 in 2004, according to Ipsos. Even though Black people make up the fastest growing demographic of plant-based eaters, veganism is largely viewed as a white, elite lifestyle choice. When veganisms biggest stars use language deemed oppressive, it further isolates racialized people and religious minorities in the movement.

This creates a reality where people from oppressed communities don't want to be involved in the vegan movement, said Paula Meninato, a vegan Latina activist and artist based in Philadelphia.

Its concerning, Meninato added, and undermines the fact that veganism actually has roots in racialized communities. Many Indigenous peoples have also spoken out against militant forms of veganism for perpetuating colonialism and failing to acknowledge the relationships Indigenous communities have to land and animals.

What does it say about (veganism) that Black and brown people are more likely to be vegan, yet we persist with this reputation that the movement is white and elite? said Christoper Sebastian, a Columbia University writer and researcher who specializes in race and animal rights. Its a PR problem.

Australian animal rights activist James Aspey, 34, has been vegan for more than eight years and is best known for going a full year without speaking to draw attention to his cause. He has given speeches internationally and boasts 254,000 followers on Instagram.

The first line of Aspeys Instagram bio says, Animal rights is an anti-Holocaust movement, comparing the slaughter of animals to mass execution of persecuted people. Throughout his page you can easily find several posts referencing the Holocaust, slavery, rapeand a comment where he says animal lives matter. Many posts are screenshots of his conversations and debates with people who disagree with his messaging. Please tell me youre vegan, because if you arent, you support the rape and slaughter of female earthlings and that is very NOT FEMINIST, he says to a woman in one post.

In a statement to VICE World News, Aspey refuted the idea that his posts alienate people.

If people are so easily hurt that hearing a word can cause them significant trauma, I would suggest they have a lot of healing to do before they use the internet, which has violence and triggering words all over it, Aspey said. The truth is, they arent actually hurt by hearing the word Holocaust, they simply disagree that non-human Earthlings deserve to have their situation described using the same terminology that was used to describe human atrocities, and that is because they are speciesist.

In some cases, when the behaviour is called out, the influencers double down on their posts or draw attention to critics by posting their exchanges, some public and some private, which can result in racialized and religious minority vegans getting trolled and doxed.

Aspey said Jewish people, feminists, and other marginalized groups should feel compelled to join the vegan movement because they understand what animals are going through. Accurately describing the animals plight as a Holocaust should get Jewish people (and all people!) to realize how serious this matter is, he said.

For generations, white people have compared people of colour and religious minorities to animals, so it shouldnt come as a surprise that oppressed people are harmed when certain vegan factions do the same thing, said Los Angeles-based vegan activist Tyra June.

Animals don't care about which words you use, but humans do, and our fellow humans are triggered by these words, she told VICE World News.

Facing scrutiny over their tactics, many of the movements bigger icons are publicly offering support and solidarity to one another.

Influencer Kristina Carrillo-Bucaram is one of them. Carrillo-Bucaram is best known for advocating for a raw vegan lifestylea diet that consists entirely of uncooked plants. Her YouTube account, which features videos ranging from raw recipes to self-care routines, has amassed over 100 million views, and her Instagram (@fullyrawkristina) has 1 million followers.

On Instagram, she occasionally posts messages of gratitude below Aspeys animal Holocaust-themed posts. Thank you for keeping me calm last night and being there. Thank you for helping the animals. You have so much courage, James, she said in one.

Carrillo-Bucaram has faced backlash for posing in blackface and for welcoming John Rose, a vegan who has publicly shared anti-Semitic and anti-vax views, onto her YouTube channel. Hitler was actually pretty nice to the Jews, Rose said in one of his own videos.

Carrillo-Bucaram has denied the photographsin which she is painted black and covered in colourful fruit and plantsare blackface. In a statement to VICE World News, her lawyer Jessica Kuredjian said Carrillo-Bucaram is well-aware of the painful history of blackface.

As a creative expression, an artist painted neon fruits and vegetables on her body with a black backdrop, Kuredjian said. Kristina has since publicly apologized to anyone who was offended by the photos and invites anyone who was personally offended to reach out to her to discuss this.

The statement also denied Carrillo-Bucaram knew Roses views before she hosted him onto her YouTube channel. Kristina neither bears fault nor responsibility for the historically inaccurate and offensive views allegedly expressed by that individual, Kuredjian said, adding Carrillo-Bucaram removed her YouTube videos featuring Rose upon learning his beliefs.

This year, plant-based news site VegNews removed Carrillo-Bucaram from its vegan awards ballot after hearing concerns from readers. When we shared Kristina as a nominee for Favorite Vegan Instagrammer in the 2021 Veggie Awards, we became inundated with public and private messages from VegNews readers voicing concerns over some of Kristina's past content, VegNews senior editor Richard Bowie said in a statement. He added his team took her off the ballot because of the well-documented nature of the content, and the way readers felt about it.

He said VegNews has apologized for not reaching out to Carrillo-Bucaram before removing her from the awards ballot.

Carrillo-Bucaram posted two videos last month denying allegations of racism and anti-Semitism. She also denounced VegNews for the way the site treated her, calling the behaviour white supremacy (shes Ecuadorian-Lebanese), and blames the hate shes been receiving since on cancel culture. Her supporters, many of whom have hundreds of thousands or millions of followers, have also spoken out against cancel culture.

In 2019, Carrillo-Bucaram posted a video addressing rumours swirling about her at the time, including that she held similar beliefs to Rose.

All she had to do was say, I made a mistake and will continue to apologize, June said, adding she wishes Carrillo-Bucaram had validated concerns and moved on.(June has publicly criticized Carrillo-Bucaram via social media.)

In Carrillo-Bucarams Instagram highlight entitled Rumors, she includes screenshots of Instagram users who accused her of racism and anti-Semitism. In doing so, June said shes putting vegans of colour at risk of harassment; many marginalized vegans have since received hateful messages. One vegan of colour refused to speak to VICE World News on the record about it because they feared for their safety.

Just as Kristina is responsible for her words and actions, so were the individuals that left public comments on posts, Kuredjian said. Public statements ought to be defensible. It is not on Kristina to defend the people bullying her.

Kuredjian added that some of the comments targeted Kristinas relationship with her long-term partner. Of the 21 posts shared in Carrillo-Bucarams highlight, two reference her boyfriend.

Aspey and others have deflected criticism by saying veganism is only for the animalsnot for the people criticizing them. But others cite plenty of reasons to give up meat, including animal rights, human rights, environmentalism, and health. After all, few can dispute the horrific conditions in slaughterhouses that harm both humans and animals, or the worrisome effects factory farming has on the climate crisis. (For transparency, Im a vegan, too.)

Sebastian said he understands why some activists are doubling down.

Its a righteous indignation that fuels our desire to use incendiary languagelike the more triggered people are, the better job were doing, Sebastian said. I get that but its not effective or meaningful.

When influential vegans shut out huge groups of people, it skews mainstream perceptions of what veganism is and what it can become, June said, which is a movement largely centred on compassion. Something Ive noticed is Black and Indigenous and other people of colour vegans just don't get a platform or the amount of exposure that these stereotypical white male vegans have, June said.

Weve got to start asking these questions, she said. What makes people think ignoring human oppression will help?

Follow Anya Zoledziowski on Twitter.

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Veganism is not just for January, and it’s not just about food – Yahoo Lifestyle UK

The Telegraph

Were desperate for something to look forward to, reads the email from a London couple, as they book my Dartmoor holiday let, Moorland View, for a break this summer. Its a sentiment echoed by dozens of holidaymakers, who in four days of frenzied reservations recently, booked up the cottage for almost the entire season. Devons holiday accommodation agents report a similar surge, including Toad Hall Cottages, who saw a record 1,000 bookings in seven days. If youve been reticent about booking a getaway, its not too late. Although established hotels and holiday homes have limited summer availability, new properties, cottages in lesser-known locations and city hotels still offer plenty of choice. Heres our round-up of best, including luxury coastal retreats, dog-friendly hotels and wildlife tours. For more ideas, keep an eye on tour operators social media feeds its where many post last-minute availability and deals. 1. Stay in a new waterside hotel, Salcombe If youre quick-off-the-draw, youll have top pick of dates at this new luxury hotel on South Sands beach in Salcombe, which opens the books for its summer launch on Friday (February 5). Owned by Harbour Hotels, it promises 50 stylish rooms and suites, many with sea views, a spa, beach bar and laid-back restaurant. Doubles start at 340 per night, including breakfast (01202 400614;

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New study finds going vegan leads to weight loss, glowing skin and increased libido – Vegan Food and Living

A new study from Holland and Barrett conducted in December 2020 has unveiled some interesting statistics, such as the most popular reason for choosing a vegan diet being the health benefits.

In fact, 41% of new vegans say they switched to veganism for their health, compared to 32% for ethical reasons, and 24% for sustainability and the environment.

These enticing health benefits have been identified as weight loss, glowing skin, and increased libido. Nearly half of the study participants said they had lost weight, with 60% seeing weight loss in the first three months.

Increased libido is something longterm vegan Pamela Anderson highlighted on social media recently, and even challenged Piers Morgan to try a vegan diet for that purpose. The actress tweeted to her 1.2 million followers:

Vegans make better lovers. The cholesterol in meat, eggs, and dairy causes hardening of the arteries (and not much else).

It slows blood flow to all the bodys organs, not just the heart. You can improve your overall health and increase stamina in the bedroom by going vegan.

Its safe to say Piers didnt like this insinuation that his manhood didnt perform well in the bedroom, and wasnt on board with Andersons claims.

However, a third of men and a quarter of women questioned in the study reported a libido boost, so there may be truth to the claim!

An interesting find was that more than one in four vegans (29%) had adopted the diet in the past 12 months. This indicates two things. Firstly, the rise of veganism is exponential and will continue to increase more steeply over the next few years.

Moreover, the Vegan Society has predicted that vegans and vegetarians will make up a quarter of the British population by 2025.

Secondly, that the Covid-19 pandemic has played a significant role in the rise. In fact, 12% of adults (and 23% of those aged 16-24) said that the outbreak had made a vegan diet more appealing. With the threat of a bird flu pandemic on the horizon, it is no surprise that switching to plant-based foods is looking like the best option for many people.

Holland and Barretts nutritionist Emily Rollason has debunked some health concerns of vegans and non-vegans on the website, and you can read the full results of the study here.

Are you a newbie to veganism? Here are7 unexpected truths youll discover when you go vegan.

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Global Transfection Reagent and Equipment Market: In-Depth Market Research and Trends Analysis till 2030 KSU | The Sentinel Newspaper – KSU | The…

The global transfection reagents and equipment market accounted for 1793.0 Million in 2020 and is estimated to be US$ 931.3 Million by 2029 and is anticipated to register a CAGR of 7.5%.

The report Global Transfection Reagent and Equipment Market, By Product (Reagents and Equipment), By Method (Biochemical Methods, Physical Methods, and Viral Methods), By Application (Biomedical Research, Gene Expression Studies, Cancer Research, Transgenic Models, Protein Production, and Therapeutic Delivery), By End User (Academics & Research Institutes and Pharmaceutical & Biotechnology Companies), and By Region (North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Latin America, and the Middle East & Africa) Trends, Analysis and Forecast till 2029.

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Key Highlights:

In July 2020, Polyplus-transfection(R) SA, the leading biotechnology company that supports the gene and cell therapy market by supplying innovative transfection solutions, announced the launch of the industrys first GMP-compliant residual test for its PEIpro (R) product portfolio, transfection reagents designed for process development, pre-clinical, clinical and commercial lentivirus and adeno-associated virus (AAV) production for cell & gene therapies.In March 2020, Thermo Fisher, the largest maker of scientific tools, announced its plan to produce up to 5 million of a new test to detect the novel coronavirus that causes Covid-19.Analyst View:

Large number of application along with fast results

The cells which are transiently transfected takes around 24 96 hours post transfection and the mRNA is expressed within minutes after transfection that means it takes very less time to show the results. The main application of transfection reagent and equipment is used in studying the effect of gene expression, gene products, gene silencing and largely producing recombinant proteins. Highly increasing application like gene expression studies, protein production, transgenic models, therapeutic delivery, cancer research and biomedical research is expected to foster the transfection reagents and equipment market. Transfection of mammalian cells is mostly effective in the production of recombinant protein with proper folding and post-translational modification.

Technological advancements in transfection technology

The transfection reagents and equipment market has seen diverse technological achievements in equipment as well as reagents, to address the demands of biotechnology and researchers and biopharmaceutical associations. Increasing demand of synthetic genes, R & D investment and research activities, emerging economics drives the target market. For instance, in July 2020, Poly plus-transfection(R) SA, the leading biotechnology company that supports the gene and cell therapy market by supplying innovative transfection solutions, announced the launch of the industrys first GMP-compliant residual test for its PEIpro (R) product portfolio, transfection reagents designed for process development, pre-clinical, clinical and commercial lentivirus and adeno-associated virus (AAV) production for cell & gene therapies. Transfection promotes the process of introducing genetic material into eukaryotic cell to enable the production or expression of proteins using cells machinery.

Key Market Insights from the report:

The global transfection reagents and equipment market accounted for 1793.0 Million in 2020 and is estimated to be US$ 931.3 Million by 2029 and is anticipated to register a CAGR of 7.5%. The market report has been segmented on the basis of product, method, application, end user, and region.

Depending upon product, the reagents segment is projected to grow at highest CAGR over the forecast period. The reagents provide a well-structured overview of significant innovations, discoveries coupled with the technological advancements that occur in the global industry.Depending upon the method, the biochemical segment is projected to register highest share of the market in 2019. Biochemical segment has various applications in cell research, target validation and drug discovery, and technological advances such as synthetic genes, whose demand has been growing, thus anticipated to contribute to the growth of the market.In terms of application, cancer research projected to witness highest CAGR over the forecast period.By end-user, pharmaceutical & biotechnology companies segment estimated for highest share in 2019 due to strategic framework to boost the growth journey, actionable results to meet all the business priorities.By region, North America region contributes to the largest share in the global transfection reagents and equipment market due to due to rising prevalence of various cancers such as cervical cancer, breast cancer, colon cancer and prostate cancer. Further, the government of North America is highly increasing their investments in the biological research, genomics research and in the production of therapeutic proteins, which in turn boosts growth of the target market in this region.

To know the upcoming trends and insights prevalent in this market, click the link below: Transfection Reagents and Equipment Market-4486

Competitive Landscape:

The prominent player operating in the global transfection reagents and equipment market includes Thermo Fisher Scientific, Promega Corporation, Lonza, QIAGEN, F. Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd., and Bio-Rad Laboratories, Merck KGaA, OriGene Technologies, MaxCyte, Polyplus-transfection SA.

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Do Short People Live Longer? What We Know – Healthline

You may assume that being tall means, in some part, having good health. In addition to genetics and heredity, adult height is determined largely by nutritional intake during infancy and childhood. The better the nutrition, the healthier and taller youre likely to be.

But multiple studies have thrown this assumption into question. Being tall may have its perks. But, based on some studies, long life may not be one of them.

While much more evidence is needed, research indicates a possible link between height and specific diseases, as well as longevity potential.

Keep in mind, though, that short and tall are relative terms, and more research, and evidence, is needed to confirm these findings. Lifestyle habits also play a strong role in longevity potential.

Well highlight the research on this topic and break it down for you.

There are several studies indicating a correlation between height and mortality risk.

A longitudinal study of men who had served in the Italian military found that those under 161.1 cm (approx. 53) lived longer than those over 161.1 cm. This study looked at the death rates of men born between 1866 and 1915 in the same Italian village.

Researchers found that at 70 years old, the taller men were expected to live approximately 2 years less than those who were shorter.

During the years when study participants were born, the average height for men in the village was around 52. By current standards, this is relatively short.

Its also important to note that the researchers did not correlate variables, such as weight and BMI (body mass index), for this study.

A 2017 study on height and lifespan in former professional basketball players found that larger body size yielded reduced longevity. This study analyzed the height and life span of 3,901 living and deceased basketball players who played between 1946-2010.

The players had an average height of 197.78 cm. (approx. 65 tall). In this study, the tallest players in the top 5 percent for height died younger than the shortest players in the bottom 5 percent. Those born between 1941-1950 were an exception to these findings.

Researchers were quick to note that variables such as genotype variations, socioeconomic factors, medical care, weight, education, nutrition, exercise, and smoking were all factors that also play a role in determining longevity.

The FOX03 genotype and its relationship to height and longevity was analyzed in an observational study of 8,003 American men of Japanese descent.

The FOX03 gene is consistently linked to longevity in human and animal studies. It is also linked to body size, and may be one reason why shorter people may have longer lifespans.

In this study, men who were 52 or shorter were more likely to have a protective form of the FOX03 gene, and lived the longest. Those over 54 had shorter lifespans.

Shorter men were also shown to have less incidence of cancer, and lower fasting insulin levels. FOX03 is a key regulatory gene in the insulin/IGF-1 signaling pathway.

It is not completely understood why, or even if, shorter people are destined to live longer. Much more research is needed.

Currently, there are multiple theories:

Health complications which may be correlated with height include cancer and other conditions. Heres what the science says.

A 2016 study of American men and women found a connection between height and cancer risk, as well as death from all causes. Researchers analyzed death certificate data for 14,440 men and 16,390 women aged 25 and up.

According to researchers, an additional inch increase in height generated a 2.2 percent higher risk of death from all causes for men, and a 2.5 percent higher risk of death from all causes for women.

An additional inch increase in height generated a 7.1 percent higher risk of death from cancer for men, and a 5.7 percent higher risk of death from cancer for women.

The researchers controlled for education level and birthdays. They concluded that their findings indicated a positive increase in accessibility to excellent medical care, for conditions other than cancer, in the participants.

Cancer risk and height was analyzed in a 2013 study of 144,701 postmenopausal women. Being tall was positively associated with getting all types of cancer, including cancers of the thyroid, breast, colon, and ovaries.

Height was found to have a modest, but statistically significant, impact upon acquisition of cancer.

The researchers analyzed data from women who did not have a prior history of cancer. They also attempted to adjust for weight and body mass index.

Many variables may have had an impact on study findings, in addition to height. For example, rates of smoking and alcohol intake were shown to increase with increasing height.

Education level, ethnicity, income level, plus use of oral contraceptives and hormone therapy, may all have had an impact. Rates of cancer screenings were found to play no role in study findings.

Recurrences of VTE were found to occur more often in taller women than in those of shorter stature in multiple studies. In this instance, simply having longer legs and longer veins where a thrombus might occur may be the reason.

Age, obesity, and long-term hospitalizations are other potential risk factors for this condition.

Many factors impact upon longevity, and height may be one of them. However, this doesnt mean that taller people are destined to live short lives, or that short people are destined to live long ones.

Lifestyle choices can also greatly impact disease acquisition and longevity. To be healthier and potentially increase your lifespan, you can:

Multiple studies have found a correlation between height and longevity. Short people have been found to resist certain diseases such as cancer, and to live longer lives.

But these studies, while compelling, are far from conclusive. The best thing you can do if youre concerned about longevity is to make lifestyle choices that have a positive effect on your lifespan regardless of how tall you are.

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Light-activated genes illuminate the role of gut microbes in longevity – Baylor College of Medicine News

Getting old is a complex matter. Research has shown that gut microbes are one of the factors that can influence several aspects of human life, including aging. Elucidating how a specific microbial species contributes to longevity is quite challenging given the complexity and heterogeneity of the human gut environment.

To explore the influence of bacterial products on the aging process, researchers at Baylor College of Medicine and Rice University developed a method that uses light to directly control specific gene expression and metabolite production from bacteria residing in the gut of the laboratory worm Caenorhabditis elegans.

We used optogenetics, a method that combines light and genetically engineered light-sensitive proteins to regulate molecular events in a targeted manner in living cells or organisms, said co-corresponding author Dr. Meng Wang, Robert C. Fyfe Endowed Chair on Aging and professor of molecular and human genetics and the Huffington Center on Aging at Baylor.

In the current work, the team engineered E. coli bacteria to produce the pro-longevity compound colanic acid in response to green light and switch off its production in red light. They discovered that shining the green light on the transparent worms carrying the modified E. coli induced the bacteria to produce colanic acid, which protected the worms gut cells against stress-induced mitochondrial fragmentation. Mitochondria have been increasingly recognized as important players in the aging process.

When exposed to green light, worms carrying this E. coli strain also lived longer. The stronger the light, the longer the lifespan, said Wang, an investigator at Howard Hughes Medical Institute and member of Baylors Dan L Duncan Comprehensive Cancer Center. Optogenetics offers a direct way to manipulate gut bacterial metabolism in a temporally, quantitatively and spatially controlled manner and enhance host fitness.

For instance, this work suggests that we could engineer gut bacteria to secrete more colanic acid to combat age-related health issues, said co-corresponding author Dr. Jeffrey Tabor, associate professor of bioengineering and biosciences at Rice University. Researchers also can use this optogenetic method to unravel other mechanisms by which microbial metabolism drives host physiological changes and influences health and disease.

Read the complete report in the journal eLife.

Other contributors to this work include first author Lucas A. Hartsough, Mooncheol Park, Matthew V. Kotlajich, John Tyler Lazar, Bing Han, Chih-Chun J. Lin, Elena Musteata and Lauren Gambill. The authors are affiliated with one of more of the following institutions: Baylor College of Medicine, Rice University and Howard Hughes Medical Institute.

Funding for this project was provided by Human Health Services and National Institutes of Health grants (1R21NS099870-01, DP1DK113644 and R01AT009050), National Aeronautics and Space Administration (grant NSTRF NNX11AN39H), the John S. Dunn Foundation and the Welch Foundation.

By Ana Mara Rodrguez, Ph.D.

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When will COVID travel safety improve? 5 experts weigh in – Los Angeles Times

How do you measure the risks of pandemic travel, and when will the time be right to go again?

We asked five infectious disease experts, including one who hadnt left home in four days, one who has taken two Mexican vacations since March and one who recently awakened from a COVID/Disneyland nightmare.

The first thing we must do, they agreed, is stay close to home for at least several more months, get vaccinated, and watch virus transmission and ICU numbers closely. Putting down the pandemic in California and elsewhere, they said, will depend on how faithfully we use masks, keep our distance and wash our hands habits that will remain vital as authorities strive to vaccinate 300 million or more Americans by summer.

I will never get on an airplane again without a mask, said Dr. Kimberly Shriner, an infectious disease specialist at Huntington Hospital in Pasadena.

Now is not the time to be traveling. For leisure or business, said Dr. Luis Ostrosky, a professor of infectious diseases at McGovern Medical School at UTHealth in Houston.

If you fly now, said Dr. Krutika Kuppalli in Charleston, S.C., you can almost guarantee that there are going to be people on the airplane with you who have COVID.

These experts all are wary of new variants of the virus. None is flying now. Three have spent recent months within 120 miles of their home, as authorities urge all Californians to do. (That advisory remains in place, despite Gov. Gavin Newsoms loosening of many restrictions on Jan. 25.) But their perspectives vary.

Ostrosky, born in Mexico City, has a lot of family there. So when his grandmother died recently, he thought about making the trip south. Mexico is one of the few countries Americans can visit without a mandated quarantine.


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But he didnt go because of the pandemic. After much talk, he stayed put in the U.S. Before he resumes travel, he said, hell ask several questions.

Whats the positivity rate? I would avoid traveling to any place that has a positivity rate over 5%, he said. Above that, you dramatically increase your chances of exposure. Californias seven-day average positivity rate the number of COVID tests that yield positive results was 12.4% on Jan. 27.

How full and how capable are the hospitals? Scores of U.S. hospitals are at surge capacity, with shortages of ICU beds. Because most county governments report COVID information daily, Ostrosky said, its actually pretty easy to find data. As for capability, any hospital with a Level 1 trauma center (the most comprehensive trauma care) would satisfy him, Ostrosky said. The American College of Surgeons maintains a database.

Does this destination require testing to enter or leave? Many travelers might hope for that, but I just dont want to get stuck somewhere, Ostrosky said. People can test positive for a long period of time without being infectious.

This is now a factor in any flight to the U.S., including returning round-trip flights. As of Jan. 26, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control requires all air travelers to show a recent negative COVID test result before they can board any flight heading to the U.S.

Shriner, who also is a tropical disease specialist and director of the Pasadena Travel Medicine clinic, has been vacationing in Europe for years and has spent more than 20 years making regular visits to a medical project in Tanzania.

But at Huntington Hospital, ever since the holidays, were just absolutely getting hammered with cases of people who traveled, she said.

Outside the hospital, Shriner has done some driving around California, but hasnt flown since March. Like her colleagues, she believes that driving (especially if you bring food and avoid public toilets) is safer than flying and much safer than cruise ships (most of which are idle now).

Like Ostrosky, she wants to see a positivity rate of 5% or less at her departure point and at her destination. For data, she recommends the Johns Hopkins University Coronavirus Resource Center.

Shriner likes the idea of airlines and destinations requiring negative test results or vaccination. Whether or not those are required, Shriner said, people should get vaccinated, wait at least four weeks (to allow resistance to strengthen), and consider their age and immunity history before making travel plans.

In darker moments, she said, she worries that this could just go on for another year or two if people dont widely accept the vaccine. She also shared a recent nightmare: She was on the Pirates of the Caribbean ride at Disneyland (which remains closed) surrounded by unmasked strangers.

On the brighter side, shes hopeful that travel might be safe as soon as late summer or early fall. But it is all dependent on human behavior, Shriner said, and we know how unreliable that is!

Kuppalli moved in August from the San Francisco Bay Area to Charleston, where she is an assistant professor in the division of infectious diseases at the Medical University of South Carolina. She grew up in the Bay Area and had planned to visit her parents there this month.

Then the numbers surged. I decided not to travel, she said in mid-January. I havent left my house in the last four days.

To assess risk, you cant look at one particular piece of information, she said. You have to look at the entire thing. ... I totally get that this is hard for everybody. But this is not the time to travel. We all need to be thinking not just about ourselves, but everybody.

Before Dr. Nancy Binkin became a professor at the Wertheim School of Public Health and Human Longevity Science at UC San Diego, she lived for 12 years in Italy, doing epidemiology training for the Italian National Institute of Health.

So when that countrys fatalities soared in the early weeks of the pandemic, followed by escalating U.S. numbers, it put fear into me, Binkin said. I have not been out of San Diego County since March.

One pandemic number she watches closely is the adjusted case rate. That count measures the seven-day average of daily new cases per 100,000 people (jails and prisons excluded). Any number above seven per 100,000 puts a county in the states most dangerous category, the purple tier. On Jan. 27, Californias statewide rate was 71.6 per 100,000. Before she travels, Binkin wants to see that number below seven.

When it comes to flying, she worries about jet cabins and tiny bathrooms, but perhaps even more, she worries about the lines of people and gathering points at airports, she said.


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Would I feel comfortable going down to Mexico? No, she said. I wouldnt.

Dr. W. David Hardy, former director of Cedars-Sinai Medical Centers infectious diseases division and adjunct clinical professor at USCs Keck School of Medicine, has mixed feelings.

Hes angry about rampant disregard for science and inconsistent messaging under the Trump administration. But Hardy sees great hope in the vaccines.

When he was treating HIV patients during the grimmest years of the 1980s, Hardy recalled, there was no such cause for encouragement.

To have a vaccine [that prevents] 90-95% of people from getting sick is amazing, Hardy said. He suggests that the vaccines are going to be the final answer, especially if the vaccines thwart transmission of the virus as well as block symptoms.

Yet the metrics for measuring transmission are ever changeable, and it may be difficult planning travel based on those, he said. They are going to be fluctuating for a while. I would say from six months to a year.

Since March, Hardy said, he has scrubbed trips to Europe, North Africa and Hawaii. But in September, after Californias first surge had passed, Hardy and his partner flew to Los Cabos, in Baja California, for a vacation. It went well. So in December Hardy and his partner flew again, this time to Cancn and Playa del Carmen on Mexicos east coast, where they found the local people there were using masks religiously.

The other visitors? Not so much.

I would say 50-60% of the tourists were completely ignoring the mask requirements.

Most of them were Americans, Hardy said, and he began asking people to put on their masks or if they had no mask, to step away from where I was standing.

The whole experience was confusing and disconcerting, he said. When I got home from my second trip to Mexico, I turned to my partner and said, This is not a good time to travel. People are not adhering to what they should be adhering to.

In some respects, Hardy said, that behavior reminds him of the 1980s when HIV was new. Then as now, he said, until one of your friends, family or work associates dies of this disease, you still look at it as a sort of distant thing that doesnt affect you.

When will COVID travel safety improve? 5 experts weigh in - Los Angeles Times

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Elevian Targets Aging to Solve Humanity’s Toughest Diseases – BioSpace

Mark Allen, CEO of Elevian, pictured above. Photo courtesy of Elevian.

Once the domain of mythical fountains of youth and movies like The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, the science of aging prevention and reversal is beginning to enter the mainstream with reputable academic institutions launching companies to accomplish this once improbable feat.

One such company,Elevian, founded by a team of Harvard scientists and physician-turned entrepreneurDr. Mark Allen, is working to restore regenerative capacity with the aim of preventing and treating age-related diseases. A critical factor, they say, is a single protein called Growth differentiation factor 11 (GDF11).

Allen, Elevians chief executive officer, first became interested in the science of aging after taking a course focused on exponential thinking.

All of a sudden, problems that were heretofore unsolvable become solvable, Allen said of the theory that is the opposite of incremental and encourages one to think outside of the box. They talked about examples of problems that weve always thought to be unsolvable, one of them being aging and longevity. So that was it for me. I was like thats perfect for me. Thats what I want to work on.

Searching for clues into the diseases associated with aging, Elevians founders, including Harvard professor of Stem Cell and Regenerative BiologyDr. Amy Wagers, mined the proteome, looking into how proteins change with age. They uncovered several, including one with potentially groundbreaking regenerative capabilities, GDF11.

Elevian believes that this single protein, a key player in the circulatory system, could be a game-changer in regenerative medicine.

GDF11 is one of those proteins that change with age, Allen said.They [the founders] really dug into GDF11 because so little was known about it at the time of their discoveries. They did side-by-side studies with the parabiosis model, injecting just GDF11, to see if it could reproduce some of the effects of parabiosis in the aged animal. And they found, much to everybodys surprise, that replenishing just this one circulating factor was able to reproduce many of the beneficial effects of parabiosis.

Parabiosis, which means living beside, is performed by joining two living organisms surgically to develop a single, shared physiology. It has been used to study conjoined twins, and more recently, in a 1972 lifespanstudyattaching old and young rats, scientists Frederic C. Ludwig and Robert M. Elashoff showed evidence of an extended lifespan for the older animals.

As a post-doc at Stanford, Dr. Wagers expanded upon this research using modern histology techniques. When Wagers and her colleagues attached the circulatory systems of young mice to old ones, they found strong evidence of a biological reversal of many characteristics of aging. Later, Dr Wagers and colleagues discovered that injecting only GDF11 in aged animals can reproduce many of the benefits of parabiosis, in apaperpublished in Science in 2014 and recognized as arunner-upto the publications Breakthrough of the Year.

What they found is that the old animals exposed to young blood experienced a biological reversal of aging by many different measures. Their brains grow younger, their hearts grow younger, their lungs, their bones all over their body. And interestingly, the young animals exposed to old blood have accelerated aging. So this is just really strong proof that circulating factors regulate aging, said Allen.

The mechanism of action appears to be that GDF11 binds directly to endothelial progenitor cells that line our blood vessels and improves both the quality and quantity of the vasculature. It does not cross the blood-brain barrier, so we think its mechanism is primarily by improving vasculature, he explained.

Elevian, the recent beneficiary of an initial round ofseed financing,is actioning this potent protein to develop a potential regenerative treatment for stroke patients.

English biomedical gerontologistAubrey de Grey, whom Allen credits with doing a lot to start the medical field of aging reversal, outlined several hallmarks of aging in his 2007 book, Ending Aging. These include stem cell exhaustion, protein aggregate buildup, failed intercellular communication, and senescent cells.

One of the barriers to developing therapeutics based on these factors is the inherent incongruence with the usual regulatory approval systems. Following customary protocol, proving that a drug prevents aging or age-related diseases would quite literally take a lifetime.

Theres no regulatory path for treating aging. Even doing a prevention trial would take years and years and years, because you have to take people and wait until they get disease to see effects. So instead, to get a drug to market, we take the opposite extreme. We look at what is the most devastating possible disease, unmet need, where we could treat for the shortest possible duration and see clinically meaningful effects, Allen explained.

Elevian decided on stroke, which is thenumber two causeof death worldwide and the third leading cause of disability.

The only existing treatments for a stroke are limited to the acute phase, where an IV injection of a drug such as recombinant tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) (Activase)restores blood flow by dissolving the clot causing the event.

In an ischemic stroke, which makes up87%of cases, a blood clot forms and prevents blood and oxygen from reaching an area of the brain, impacting breathing and heart function and often leading to paralysis. This is where Elevian believes a drug utilizing GDF11, which acts on the circulatory system, holds such promise for rehabilitation.

Allen revealed that his team has already demonstrated GDF11s impact on stroke-stricken animals.

When we give GDF11 to animals that have had strokes and are paralyzed or have severe motor function debilitation, it returns them almost to normal function. It significantly improves motor function recovery, he said.

On the strength of these preclinical results, Elevian is gearing up to enter human clinical trials with GDF11 for the treatment of stroke.

We really got the green light to go into humans based upon the animal data that we got there, Allen said, adding that there is still a lot of work to be done before they reach this phase. We still have to scale up production of the drug and we have to do extensive safety and toxicology tests IND-enabling studies. The longest pole in the tent is figuring out how to make manufacturing costs effective. The cost of goods is going to be really, really high. So were doing a lot of work in process development right now, and then were going to hand it off to a manufacturing partner to scale up. Were about two years from initiating our human clinical trial in stroke.

Another unmet need where Elevian believes GDF11 can have an impact is Type 2 diabetes, a disorder whose pathology is also intricately connected to the circulatory system and often to aging.

Along with blood clotting factors, glucose resides within the inside lining of blood vessels. InType 2 diabetics, the lining of an individuals blood vessels begins to become glycosylated, which causes them to narrow, impeding blood flow. Glucose tolerance is known to decrease with age.

In a study published in March 2020, Wagers and her colleagues stated that GDF11 was shown to significantly improve glucose tolerance in aged mice and increase glucose homeostasis, under a variety of dietary conditions.

Allen believes that addressing the aging process is the ultimate exponential strategy to solving a whole host of humanitys biggest killers:

This idea that we could, by targeting the aging progress, potentially promote healthy aging, promote a healthy longevity, and reduce the burden of age-related diseases, and that the same treatment could be used to treat and prevent multiple age-related diseases. That concept was like, why arent we working on that? Why are we spending billions of dollars on Alzheimers and billions of dollars on cancer, billions of dollars on heart disease? We could instead target the aging process and potentially treat them all.

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Meet the Human Design Coaches to watch in 2021 – GlobeNewswire

London, Feb. 1, 2021 // As human beings, each and every one of us is unique yet so many of us rely on universal methods to thrive in our lives and businesses, and feel disheartened when things dont go as wed hoped.

Human Design allows us to understand ourselves on a deep level and shines a light on the simple and bespoke strategies we can use to embrace our magical uniqueness and flourish at work and at home.

According to Bloom Communications, finding expert guidance and support on your journey of self-discovery and transformation is of the utmost importance take a look at our top Human Design coaches leading the way.

Danielle Eyman (@hdbydanielle)

California-based Danielle Eyman launched her business after living according to her design for 3 years a process that saw her wean herself off antidepressants, narcissistic men and friendships, leave a toxic job as a Registered Nurse and repair her relationship with her children.

She said: Ive seen the power of Human Design at work in my own life and its a privilege to see so many of my clients experience these huge shifts too. At the beginning of our journey together, many of them are at rock bottom often with no idea how they got there and they know they need to do something different if life is ever going to feel successful.

Working and experimenting with Human Design means gaining control of your mind and managing your thoughts and thats exactly what we do together with unbiased support and accountability. I help my clients align to and trust their own authority in just three weeks and I have seen results from business transformations to quitting drinking alcohol and boosting self-confidence it truly is incredible to see what we can achieve when we realign to the truth of who we really are.

Danielle is committed to making Human Design more accessible to all and works with her clients through monthly masterclasses, individual chart readings and 1:1 coaching support for women looking to truly embody and integrate the practice into their lives.

Victoria Jane (@victoriajane.hd)

Victoria Jane is a 6/2 Splenic Projector and non-specific manifestor in Human Design. Her mission is to empower growth-oriented folks to live with less hustle and more flow.

The Human Design coach and educator said: Its possible for you to live the life you desire and fulfill your dreams with ease instead of struggle. The reason that Human Design is so amazing is that it gives you a unique blueprint of how your energy works the best part is when I hear from clients who have experimented with living their design the incredible success, confidence, and fulfillment they experience.

After hitting several rock bottom moments including chronic health issues and burnout, Victoria recognised these signs from the Universe and took the leap to start her own business. Working from her home in Oakland CA, Victoria now runs the Human Design Coaching Certification and works with one-on-one clients to uplevel their career and relationships by following their human design.

Victoria added: In addition to the 1:1 work that which I love, what Im most excited about right now is the HD Coaching Cert - because Ive seen Human Design allow coaches to get their clients better results...You literally have a roadmap to how someones designed, so you can give more relevant and personalized guidance to your clients. Plus the community we have, where we are always discussing and going deep on human design topics is the best!

Kyla Derkach (@hathaastro)

Women feeling lost, stuck and hoping to discover their purpose and direction in love, life and business will find their perfect match in Palma De Mallorca-based Kyla Derkach. With a strong background in astrology and certified through the AFA, this Human Design Coach, Modern Astrologer and NLP Practitioner in training has a deep understanding of the patterns and unconscious programming of her clients.

Kyla said: I love working with bold, entrepreneurial, self-aware women who are committed to transforming anything holding them back from living their highest vibe life and making an impact on the world with their unique gifts. Keeping it real with my clients is important and my goal is to take the eye roll out of this stuff.

Kyla works with her clients through a range of consultations and programs across Astrology and Human Design, as well as her online course, Aphrodite Rising, which brings women into deeper alignment with their feminine nature. In 2021, she is launching a group coaching program and mentorship opportunities to help other women learn more about these modalities and how to incorporate them into their own businesses.

Kyla added: Ive been on a real healing journey throughout my life, which saw me pack up my party-filled, glamorous corporate life in Vancouver and set myself up on a majestic little island in the Mediterranean.

I tried many different things to stop getting in my own way you name it, Ive tried it! but it was only when I started integrating my knowledge of Astrology and discovered Human Design that things really started to shift. My mission now is to inspire others to beat self-sabotage, discover who they really are, and create a life and business they love too.

Taylor Eaton (@tayloreatoncoaching)

Washington-based Money Mindset and Human Design Expert, Taylor Eaton, is on a one-woman mission to heal societys relationship with money.

She explains: I dream of seeing our entire society shift away from the toxic patterns we currently have around money and showing people how they can harness the power of abundance for good. I want to create a new paradigm around this energy and help others to approach money in a way that empowers them.

Taylor offers private Human Design readings as well as programs and trainings that help individuals identify their unique blueprint for financial abundance, create aligned strategies for success, and shift their mindset to set them up for effortless income and impact.

Taylor adds: Learning how we are each uniquely designed to make money allows us to welcome more money into our lives with ease and heal blocks that keep money from flowing.

Ive helped countless clients scale their income on their terms and seeing them achieve this never gets old! I love blowing the old ways of doing business and money out of the water and helping people to learn to trust themselves and their own inner guidance.

Corinne Winters (@serveyourmuse)

Creative Living Mentor, Corinne Winters, uses a combination of Human Design, inner work and everyday tools to help creatives own who they are and release the pressure to conform.

Corinne said: Theres nothing more rewarding than helping clients embrace all parts of themselves, especially the things they once saw as quirky or unacceptable, and seeing how the full expression of who they are contributes to their work in the world. Thats why I advocate for Creative Living over self improvement, which implies that we have to change who we are to be good enough. My work is all about reconnecting people with the latent qualities within them originality, depth, courage, authenticity and resilience and helping them live from the inside out.

As a multi-hyphenate creative, Corinne has also spent two decades honing her craft as an internationally acclaimed opera singer, and now uses her expertise and love of teaching to help other curious and introspective people from artists and creatives to parents and entrepreneurs to navigate the same blocks that shes encountered in her journey so far.

People looking to let go of perfectionism, imposter syndrome or self-sabotage can work with Corinne through a variety of 1:1 sessions, interactive group workshops, made-to-order products tailored to their Human Design chart as well as a range of free resources.

Kendra Woods (@SoulfulSuccessByDesign)

Kendra Woods is a Human Design Business Alignment Coach on a mission to help ambitious, heart-centered, high-achieving women in business create success on their terms.

Kendra said: I spent over a decade in the corporate world and completely burned myself out so much so that I began to suffer from anxiety, bouts of depression and several physical health issues. When I finally woke up to the fact that something needed to change, I realized that my truth was that I wanted to life my life on my terms and for me and there was no other way to do that than to start my own business and create my own reality in a way that felt good for me.

The Alabama-based coach works with her clients through a range of services including high-level private coaching, courses, Human Design readings, Business Alignment Blueprints and masterclasses, all designed to help women in business to create success on their terms and in a way that is in alignment for them, creating more ease and flow. She is also the co-author of bestselling book, Girl Get Up and Win.

She added: Its such a blessing to be able to witness the beautiful transformations that my clients experience when we work together. I absolutely love what I do and Im passionate about helping others overcome confusion, self-doubt, low confidence and feeling defeated so that they can create lives that truly light them up.

Tiffani Purdy (@newparadigmbizbestie)

Florida-based Marketing Strategist and Human Design Teacher, Tiffani Purdy, helps coaches, consultants and service-providers to escape the burnout cycle and build businesses that fit in with their ideal life.

Tiffani said: Im all about helping entrepreneurs to get seen and sell their products and services with ease. When we finally drop the comparison and hustle culture and learn how to do things our way according to our Human Design, we can create businesses where we can freely express ourselves, have a lot of fun and make even more money.

Its my dream to see a world where more people have control over their lives and their income. I want Human Design With Tiffani to ultimately contribute to ushering in a new era of business where everyone gets paid well no matter what kind of job theyre doing.

Business owners can work with Tiffani in her signature program, The ENRICH Formula, where theyll learn the basics of Human Design, a therapeutic process to use and apply it in a personal development format, and how to use it to build a business that makes sense for their energetic design.

Cat Skreiner (@cat.skreiner)

Cat Skreiner started her entrepreneurial journey when she was seeking more balance in her life after becoming a new mother. Despite intending to return to her corporate role in digital for a global beauty brand after maternity life, she knew it was time to follow her true purpose in life and has never looked back.

Today, the Perth-based coach is now on a mission to help women in business to truly understand how they best operate in this world and what theyre here to do in their lifetime.

Cat said: I fuse more than 14 years experience in the Digital Marketing industry with Human Design to help my clients catapult their business success and drive massive impact through the integration and embodiment of their unique energetic gifts.

Whether Im working with female entrepreneurs through coaching and mentoring or personal readings, I use a combination of Human Design, Gene Keys and Team Energetics help them to create a business that is more intentional, aligned with their design and allows them to share their greatness with the world in a way that feels easy, fun and abundant.

Alexandra Danieli (@alexandra.danieli)

After years in the corporate and tech industry following leadership that wasnt in alignment with her values and vision, Alexandra Danieli took the leap to pursue her soul purpose supporting people in their spiritual growth and helping them to create the life they desire in their wildest dreams.

Working from her home in California, she now works with her clients through a range of private 1:1 and group coaching programs, as well as through the Ultimate Deconditioning System which she co-founded with her business partner and close friend.

Alexandra said: I work with people who are determined not to settle for a mediocre life theyve decided they want to live in abundance, confidence and have a supportive and harmonious romantic relationship. Theyre ready to finally implement the missing piece of the puzzle.

As we work together, I support them to activate their confidence, step into their authentic self, implement healthy relationship patterns, and call in the money they want to make consistently. This is about getting to know the Self on a deep level and transforming what doesnt work anymore upleveling in all aspects of life.

Leslie Collins (@wholeheartedbeing)

Leslie Collins uses Human Design, astrology and self-reflection to support her clients in digging deep to build an intricate understanding of their problems when navigating their partnerships, families, work, friendships and more.

Leslie commented: Wholehearted Being is here for anyone looking for the empowerment to show up authentically in their lives no matter who you are or what your background is. My work is focused on providing my clients with a safe and impartial support system whilst they develop the knowing, understanding and acceptance of themselves, which then equips them to show up fully in their lives.

Leslie offers counseling and coaching sessions to her clients to work on the major pillars of relating and life: Understanding, Communication, Boundaries, Confidence, Clarity and Mindset.

Leslie added: Prior to our sessions, I research everything I can about my clients Human Design, enneagram, love languages, astrology All of this knowledge helps me to be the best support provider I can be, helping them to understand why they are who they are, as well as how they interact with the people in their lives too.

Nadia Gabrielle (@_nadiagabrielle & @projectorsinvited)

Nadia Gabrielle is a multifaceted entrepreneur working at the intersection of business and wellbeing, merging her background in Design Thinking, Service Design and business building with more than 12 years of experience working in the wellness & self-development space.

Nadia said: All of my work is Human Design-informed. By looking up every single clients chart prior to working with them one-on-one, Im able to understand their energetic blueprint; their needs, strengths and areas for us to zoom in on, which makes our time together even more impactful. I work with all types, though being a Projector myself, Im particularly interested in Human Design Projectors, and offer specific Projector Coaching to integrate the mechanics, beauties and particularities of their aura into daily life and work.

Clients can work with Nadia on a 1:1 basis to build subconscious capacity and confidently embody who they wish to be in their lives and work, or in a group setting to learn proven strategic frameworks to create ease, profitability and longevity in their businesses.

Nadia also teaches regular classes on varied topics such as Human Design and the Subconscious Mind, or the Projector Aura in Business, as well as taking service-based business owners like coaches, consultants, creatives and practitioners through her annual Service Design School curriculum that teaches them to design spell-binding service experiences for their clients.

Nadia concluded: Im so lucky to get to work with so many incredible clients and students from all over the world. As a service-based entrepreneur, I get to build strong relationships with the people I work with, and seeing them have real and lasting results and making big strides in their lives and businesses is my favourite thing.

You can keep up with each of these inspirational coaches curated by Bloom Communications on their journeys by following them on Instagram.

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Racism has a physical impact on the body — here’s how – The Conversation CA

I began to write this essay in January 2020, what feels like years ago. The issues I wanted to raise are no longer even partly hidden. The effects of racism on the body, especially the black body, are in plain sight.

Most of these problems have been there for centuries, but are now called pandemics. Pandemics of murder, of disease and of social inequality. In the face of new waves of deaths, including those that precipitated the Black Lives Matter movement, the world is reawakening to the power of racism to kill people.

The Effects of Race Project at the Stellenbosch Institute for Advanced Study started in 2013. The goal of a team of academics was to better understand the everydayness of race and how race-thinking created durable and seemingly inescapable racialised realities in South Africa, the US and elsewhere.

Race thinking the idea that people belong to a race determined mostly by their skin colour has so framed our realities that we can scarcely imagine a world without it.

But race thinking has deformed us and society because its based on constructs of otherness and difference. These, in turn, underpin expectations of character, intelligence, motivation and behaviour. They can pave the way for the unleashing of suspicion, derogation and dehumanisation.

Racism affects health and often leads to early death. We now know in greater and more disturbing detail how this occurs. It kills directly and abruptly when people are murdered by police or vigilantes, but it also kills through disease. COVID-19 is new, but diseases common to the survival zones of the urban poor have been with us for a long time. It was only a century ago that the bone disease rickets was so common among African American children of eastern US cities that it was considered a rite of passage.

More sinister even are the health problems caused by acute and chronic stress on people who are subjected to racial othering and overt racial discrimination. The trauma of humiliation caused by racism creates recurrent stress in individuals, families and wider communities. These stresses manifest in manifold ways, and often transcend generations.

Racism has been described by sociologist Gran Therborn as an existential inequality that diminishes or denies agency and personhood. But racism is also a vital inequality in his classification because it shapes the human life course by determining life expectancy and overall health and well-being.

Racism operates at multiple levels to negatively affect health. Physical violence and rampant infectious diseases are the tip of the iceberg. Institutional racism negatively affects access to health services and healthy lifestyle choices by creating neighbourhoods or districts where people cannot thrive.

And when members of stigmatised racial populations respond to the pervasive negative racial stereotypes by accepting as true the dominant societys beliefs about their biological and cultural inferiority, they can internalise the racism. Internalised racism manifests itself in many ways. It leads to lower self-esteem and psychological well-being.

When people are worried, day in and day out, about their safety, their future, and how they are being perceived by others because of racism, they experience stress and anxiety from recurrent humiliation. These effects are not transient, nor merely psychological.

Its been known for years that the psychological stress attendant with racism has, for example, a significant effect on the development and progression of atherosclerosis, a precursor to serious heart disease. This outcome arose from a lifetime of experience.

But the full weight of psychological and physical damage caused by the chronic stress of racism is only now beginning to be fully understood.

The social context in which a child lives is a powerful predictor of their adult health. It can also affect their genes, in ways that are only now being recognised.

One of the most disturbing set of discoveries in the field of epigenetics is stress can affect the way an individuals genes work, and that some of the stress-related changes can be inherited.

Epigenetics is the study of changes caused by modification of how genes work rather than by altering the genetic code itself. Epigenesis is the transmission of information to new cells during cell division that determines how genes are expressed which genes present are turned on and which are silenced.

Read more: How the dimensions of human inequality affect who and what we are

Studies of epigenetic changes can illustrate the specific biological mechanisms by which social conditions become physically embodied. What we are now understanding is how feedback loops are established by early life stressors causing negative emotions which cause biochemical and physiological changes. These in turn cause changes in behaviour that alter the chemical environment in which genes are being expressed.

The chain of events from genetic modification to behaviour is long and there is no predetermined conclusion, but the mere fact that this can happen is profoundly disturbing. That some of the genetic changes may be inherited is even more so.

When we grasp the reality that human bodies and genes are being constantly remodelled by the physical and social environment and by life experience, the inescapable conclusion is that we must fight the origins of health disparity at their root, in the early social environment and life experiences of every person.

Its incumbent on all governments to recognise the seriousness of epigenetic influences on human well-being, especially in early life. Findings such as these should be used to promote widespread social reforms that fight the larger geographic, sociocultural, economic and political contexts in which health disparities are embedded.

Read more: We need to unpack the word 'race' and find new language

In short, the development of a healthy citizenry depends on people growing up with adequate nutrition, protected from violence, gross insecurity and humiliation, and raised in environments conducive to the development of emotional security. We have known for a long time that poverty, poor nutrition, child abuse, trauma and fear were bad for health.

What epigenetic research offers is the shedding of light on the biological pathways through which such exposures are translated into concrete, measurable, increased risks of various diseases such as bipolar disease, asthma, adverse birth outcomes and the now widely recognised problem of decreased longevity.

Understanding how genes are differentially regulated by experience will affect how we conceptualise social inequalities and health disparities.

Rather than engaging in outdated nature vs nurture debates concerning race as a genetic or social construct, considering race as an epigenomic construct may be the most accurate and appropriate perspective yet.

The real world is the one in which we understand genes and the socially experienced world as perpetually entwined in the human body.

This article is part of a series that has been running for seven months. Other authors include Barney Pityana, Gran Therborn, Njabulo Ndebele, George Chaplin, Kira Erwin and Kathryn Pillay.

The three edited volumes of essays published by African Sun Media in 2018 (The Effects of Race, edited by Nina G. Jablonski and Gerhard Mar), 2019 (Race in Education, edited by Gerhard Mar), and 2020 (Persistence of Race, edited by Nina G. Jablonski) contain the complete representation of the projects scholarship.

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