Saturday, July 26, 2014


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Physician, author explains her mind body approach to medicine

Posted by Elena del Valle on July 25, 2014


Mind Over Medicine


Lissa Rankin, MD, a physician and New York Times bestselling author, is convinced that the lessons she learned over years of medical school and clinical practice are not all set in stone. In her 2013 book Mind Over Medicine: Scientific Proof That You Can Heal Yourself (Hay House, $24.95), she shares the process that led her to discover what she believes is a better way to health, and what it might mean to patients.

Your mental attitude, the author says, is the most important factor in your health even ahead of sleep, nutrition, weight, exercise and lifestyle. According to her website, she is "on a grass roots mission to heal health care by repairing the doctor-patient relationship, while empowering both patients and health care providers to marry the best of Western medicine with mind-body approaches scientifically proven to activate the body’s natural self-repair mechanisms."

In the 259-page hardcover book she says that for more than 50 years the medical establishment has been proving the mind can heal the body. In a candid easy to read style she shares her personal growth path and conclusions.

She wraps up the book with six steps she believes may optimize a body’s natural self-repair mechanisms. She proposes that it is essential to believe you can heal yourself with the support of others. Listening to your body's signals or what she calls the Inner Pilot Lights is key, she says. If after seeking medical advice you don't have a diagnosis identify what the source of your problem might be and figure out a way to address it, remembering to be your own healthcare advocate, the author suggests. Realize that the results you obtain may not be those you sough initially, she says.

Rankin is founder of the Whole Health Medicine Institute training program for physicians and other health care providers. When not spreading her message, she likes to hike, paint, and practice yoga.

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Testicular cancer rising among Hispanic youth, young adults

Posted by Elena del Valle on July 16, 2014

Rebecca Johnson

Rebecca H. Johnson, M.D., co-author, Increase in Testicular Germ Cell Tumor Incidence Among Hispanic Adolescents and Young Adults in the United States

Photos: Stephen M. Schwartz, Rebecca H. Johnson, Franklin L. Chien

An article published in Cancer, a a peer-reviewed journal of the American Cancer Society, points to a recent substantial increase in testicular germ cell tumor incidence among Hispanic adolescents and young adults in the United States. The trend was not evident among non-Hispanic whites.

Testicular cancer, among the most common types of cancer in adolescent and young adult men, is said to be one of the most readily treatable. The researchers concluded that heightened awareness is advisable concerning the increasing risk of testicular cancer among Hispanic adolescents and young adults. They recommend additional research to determine the cause of the trend.

Frank Chien

Frank Chien, co-author, Increase in Testicular Germ Cell Tumor Incidence Among Hispanic Adolescents and Young Adults in the United States

The article, Increase in Testicular Germ Cell Tumor Incidence Among Hispanic Adolescents and Young Adults in the United States, was authored by Franklin L. Chien, BA, Rebecca H. Johnson, M.D., and  Stephen M. Schwartz, Ph.D., MPH. They found that between 1992 and 2010, the annual incidence of testicular cancer in 15 to 39 year-old Hispanic whites increased 58 percent from 7 cases per 100,000 in 1992 to 11 cases per 100,000 by 2010.

Incidence rates increased in cities for different subtypes of testicular cancer and for all stages of the disease. In the same 19 year interval, testicular germ cell tumor incidence among non Hispanic white young adults increased 7 percent, from 12 to 13 per 100,000. During the 2000 to 2010 period, incidence rates rose in Hispanic whites, but the researchers observed no significant trends in incidence rates among non Hispanic whites.

“Hispanic Americans comprise the fastest growing ethnic group in the United States. Until only recently, cancer incidence data for this population has been too sparse to accurately analyze testicular cancer trends among Hispanic men,” Johnson said in a press release. “The increasing rate of testicular cancer in adolescent and young adult Hispanic males, combined with the rapid expansion of the Hispanic population in the United States, is projected to have a measurable impact on the United States healthcare system.”

Steve Schwartz

Steve Schwartz, Ph.D., MPH, co-author, Increase in Testicular Germ Cell Tumor Incidence Among Hispanic Adolescents and Young Adults in the United States

"Unfortunately, there’s nothing that Hispanic men can do to minimize their risk, since nothing is known for certain about modifiable risk factors," said Schwartz by email in response to a question about preventive measures Hispanic men might take.

Johnson noted that, in the past, non Hispanic white men have had the highest rate of testicular cancer of all racial and ethnic groups in the United States. Should the trend found in this study continue, the rate of testicular cancer among Hispanic Americans will outpace that of non Hispanic white men within the next few years.

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Head of Human Microbiome Program addresses detrimental effects of modern medical practices

Posted by Elena del Valle on July 11, 2014

Missing Microbes

Missing Microbes

Photo: Henry Holt and Company, Troi Santos NYULMC

The health of our body depends in part on the balance the exists between bacterial and human cells. Experts estimate that for hundreds of thousands of years bacterial and human cells have coexiste­d in a peaceful symbiosis that resulted in the relative health of our bodies, and that we acquire microbes by the time we are three years old. They thrive in our gut, noses, mouth, and skin, and they play an essential role in keeping us healthy. The excessive dependence of modern medicine on antibiotics and Cesarian sections is threatening the equilibrium that allows us to combat diseases by destroying important microbes and making us sick, according to Martin Blaser, M.D., director of the Human Microbiome Project at New York University.

Martin Blaser, M.D., author, Missing Microbes

Martin Blaser, M.D., author, Missing Microbes

In Missing Microbes How the Overuse of Antibiotics Is Fueling Our Modern Plagues (Henry Holt, $28), Blaser examines how drugs considered at one point the solution to many health problems may be playing a role in the rise of obesity, asthma, allergies, diabetes, and certain forms of cancer. He believes exposure to antibiotics in early life is among the greatest dangers to our health, pointing out that American children receive on average seventeen courses of antibiotics before the age of twenty. He is concerned that many children are growing without all the microbes they would have had but for the antibiotics they receive.

While he doesn't propose the elimination of antibiotics or C-sections from the practice of medicine, in the 273-page hardcover book he suggests we examine their use closely. At the same time, he suggests that we search for ways to replace the missing microbes. Blaser, who has studied the role of bacteria in human disease for over 30 years, founded the Bellevue Literary Review.

Missing Microbes

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Business professor edits Carlos Slim book of quotes

Posted by Elena del Valle on June 27, 2014

The World's Richest Man

The World’s Richest Man

 Photos: Agate Publishing, Inc.

Do rich and powerful businessmen share life lessons when they speak? Publishing company Agate executives think so. They launched In Their Own Words, a series featuring quotes from Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, Mark Zuckerberg, Richard Branson and most recently Carlos Slim, one of the wealthiest businessmen in the world. The World’s Richest Man: Carlos Slim in His Own Words (Agate Publishing, $10.95) edited by Tanni Haas, Ph.D. was published this year.

In addition to his wealth, Slim is also known because of he is part owner of the famous New York Times Company. The Mexico born businessman has a fortune estimated at $72 billion; lives in relatively modest home in Mexico City; and has transferred day to day management of his empire to his three sons, according to the Introduction.

A sample quote from the 148-page softcover book, from the Academy of Achievement, December 2, 2007, is: “I think that work is not only a social responsibility, but it is an emotional need. You need to work. You need to do things. You need to be active. You cannot be lazy.”

Tanni Haas, Ph.D., editor, The World's Richest Man

Tanni Haas, Ph.D., editor, The World’s Richest Man

The book is organized by topic to facilitate browsing, including Business and Investment, Leadership, Personal, Philanthropy and Education, and Politics and Economics. Agate B2′s In Their Own Words series titles are I, Steve: Steve Jobs In His Own Words, edited by George Beahm, a New York Times bestseller; Impatient Optimist: Bill Gates In His Own Words, edited by Lisa Rogak; The Oracle Speaks: Warren Buffett In His Own Words, edited by David Andrews, and Boy Billionaire: Mark Zuckerberg In His Own Words, edited by George Beahm. Haas, professor, City University of New York Brooklyn College, is author of Making It in the Political Blogosphere and The Pursuit of Public Journalism.

The World's Richest Man

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Fewer babies means non Hispanic whites majority of births

Posted by Elena del Valle on June 19, 2014


U.S. Births in 2013 by Ethnicity - click to enlarge

What's the opposite of a baby boom (as in the Baby Boomer Generation)? A baby bust. Last year, 281,000 fewer babies were born than the United States Census Bureau had projected. Instead of 4,238,995 births there were only 3,957,577.

As a result of the bust, non Hispanic whites, with 54 percent of new babies, represent the majority of births. The Census Bureau anticipated only 49 percent of babies would be non Hispanic white.

In 2013, more non Hispanic white babies were born than the Census Bureau had projected. That is 2,140,272 rather than the projected 2,077,212 babies were born. On the other hand, 19 percent fewer Hispanic women gave birth than the Census Bureau had projected. Less than one million (907,859) babies were born to Hispanic mothers instead of the projected 1,122,069.  

Following are the 2013 births and percent distribution by race and ethnicity: Asian 268,559 (6.8 percent), Black 587,612 (14.8 percent), Hispanic 907,859 (22.9 percent), and Non Hispanic white 2,140,272 (54.1 percent), according to American Consumers Newsletter June 2014.

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Consultant discusses benefits of executive level niceness

Posted by Elena del Valle on June 13, 2014

Nice Companies Finish First

Nice Companies Finish First


The era of self centered authoritarian leaders is dead. Long live the new era of nice leaders who care about more than the bottom line. So say Peter Shankman and Karen Kelly in Nice Companies Finish First Why Cutthroat Management Is Over and Collaboration Is In (Palgrave Macmilan, $26).

In the 245-page hardcover book Shankman argues that people work together in an “atmosphere that is conducive to civility and good cheer” at many successful companies. The positive attitude comes from the top and trickles down through the ranks, according to the author. A similar situation is present when the atmosphere is negative, he says. He points to research that indicates productivity is low where the work environment is unpleasant.

As examples of nice executives he mentions Richard Brandson at Virgin, Shantaul Narayen at Adobe, Dave Needleman of Jet Blue, Tony Hsieh of Zappos, Steve Jobs of Apple, and Kenneth Chenault at American Express. After speaking with dozens of leaders he considers nice he identified nine characteristics he shares in the book and hopes future leaders will embrace.

They are: enlightened self interest, making themselves accessible, the ability to listen well, being responsible and ethical managers, having loyalty to the whole company, maintaining an optimistic attitude, being customer oriented, competing based on merit, and caring.

Shankman is a principal at Shankman|Honig, a customer support and marketing consultancy. His two other books are Can We Do That?! Outrageous PR Stunts That Work--And Why Your Company Needs Them and Customer Service: New Rules for a Social Media World.

Nice Companies Finish First

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Social marketing executive publishes immigrant themed short stories book

Posted by Elena del Valle on June 5, 2014

7 for the Revolution

Seven for the Revolution

Photos: Bohlsen Group

Hoping to share his views on Latino immigrants and their desire to find opportunity and the American Dream Rudy Ruiz, the son of immigrants himself, shares seven fictional stories in Seven for the Revolution A Collection of Short Stories (Milagro Press, $15). The 189-page softcover book was published in 2013. The stories are titled: The Colonel and His Bridge, Fighting Words, Bending the Laws of Motion, It's My Wall Now, Pierce the Sky, Liberty Lost, and Inverted.

Rudy Ruiz, author, 7 for the Revolution

Rudy Ruiz, author, Seven for the Revolution

Born and raised along the United States Mexico border Ruiz is president and chief creative officer of Interlex Communications, a cause-related social marketing agency. His previous works include ¡Adelante! and Going Hungry.

7 for the Revolution

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California professor of economics examines social mobility and heritage

Posted by Elena del Valle on May 29, 2014

The Son Also Rises

The Son Also Rises

Photos: Princeton University Press

Is there a relationship between the social status of parents and that of their children or grandchildren and so forth? Does someone's path to success depend on the status of their parents? Is nature stronger than nature when it comes to finding success? While no one has all the answers a recent book addresses the complex and controversial subject with academic aplomb and thoroughness.

Despite common perceptions about rapid and pervasive social mobility, close scrutiny of historic data by surnames (passed down through fathers) in various countries indicates there are much lower rates of social mobility when surname data is used to calculate social mobility rates than when conventional measures are applied, according to Gregory Clark, author, The Son Also Rises: Surnames and the History of Social Mobility (The Princeton Economic History of the Western World) (Princeton, $29.95), a book on the subject published this year. Social mobility, he goes on to say, may take place at a similar rate for several measures of status such as education, wealth, belonging to the politically elite and work or employment status. The rate of persistence, his analysis indicates, is constant across starkly varying social systems. The results, he finds, are widely varying between surname groups and individual families.

In the United States, he says in the Introduction, members of poor minority groups appear at first glance to be facing a tougher path to mobility than the mainstream. Blacks, Native Americans, Latinos and Jewish Americans experience a slower movement toward the mean than may be expected. However, because they have high visibility and many believe the majority has rapid mobility they may erroneously appear exceptional when they're not.

Gregory Clark, author, The Son Also Rises

Gregory Clark, author, The Son Also Rises

In the book, he examines data from England, United States, Sweden, India, Japan, Korea, China, Taiwan and Chile and concludes that surnames are a useful tool to measure social mobility. They reveal a much slower rate of intergenerational mobility than commonly believed by some sociologists and economists. Social status, he concludes, is an inherited trait like height. Although it may take many generations, social mobility, he estimates will eventually level out, erasing advantages or disadvantages. The variation in social status, he says, may be predicted based on family background, who might be driven to succeed and have the ability to do so, between 50 and 70 percent of the time.

The 364-page hardcover book is written in language likely to appeal to academics and peppered liberally with graphs and analysis. It is divided into sixteen chapters and three main sections, Social Mobility by Time and Place, Testing the Laws of Mobility, and The Good Society.

Clark, professor, economics at the University of California, Davis, is also author of A Farewell to Alms: A Brief Economic History of the World.

The Son Also Rises

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