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Plastic bag sales in England halved in past year
1 August 2019 - Plastic bags sales by the biggest supermarkets in England have halved in the last year, government data shows. Since 2015, when a 5p charge was introduced to tackle plastic pollution, the number being used is down by 90 percent. Customers now buy, on average, 10 bags a year compared to 140 bags in 2014. (more)

Exposure to nature could help fight junk food cravings
19 July 2019 - A new study [out of University of Plymouth, England] suggests a link between being exposed to greenery and reduced cravings for alcohol, cigarettes, and junk food. ... [This] new study suggests just looking out a window at a tree can help fight off a bad habit. It could impact public health programs and encourage planning for access to green spaces. (more)

Indoor smoking ban tied to heart attack decline in older adults
19 July 2019 - Heart attack rates dropped among older adults in Scotland in the decade after a nationwide indoor smoking ban took effect, a new study suggests. (more)

Maintaining or starting exercise in middle age tied to longer life
17 July 2019 - Even if they were inactive during their younger years, middle aged and older adults who get at least the minimum recommended amount of exercise each week may live longer than their sedentary counterparts, suggests a large UK study. (more)

Goats can perceive each other's emotions from their voices
15 July 2019 - A new study published in Frontiers in Zoology on July 10, 2019 has confirmed that goats can differentiate between other goats' happiness or displeasure by listening to their voices. In other words, they can tell how one another is feeling. (more)

Want to invest responsibly? A new breed of stock exchange aims to help
12 July 2019 - If regulators give their approval, Scotland's first new stock exchange in nearly 50 years will launch this year to list securities with measurable environmental or social outcomes. Meanwhile, India's government last week unveiled plans to open an electronic platform to enable social enterprises -- businesses that aim to do good as well as make a profit -- to raise capital. They follow initiatives in Canada and Singapore to help social entrepreneurs tap into a market whose estimated value is now $502 billion, according to the Global Impact Investing Network, an industry body. (more)

Goats can distinguish emotions from each other's calls - study
10 July 2019 - Scientists have found that goats are able to distinguish emotions from each other's calls and also respond to the feelings of their peers, a phenomenon known as emotional contagion. ... One experiment had indicated they could distinguish the calls of goat 'friends' from strangers' calls, raising the question of whether they could also tell how their companions were feeling. (more)

Study shows goats detect small emotional changes, reveals 'complex social lives'
10 July 2019 - A new study finds that goats recognize slight emotional changes in other goats' calls and respond both behaviorally and physiologically, which indicates the listener's feelings shift, too. The findings reinforce what farmers have long believed about their animals: That they are curious, emotional creatures, attuned to those around them. (more)

UK: Jodrell Bank Observatory gains Unesco World Heritage status
7 July 2019 - Jodrell Bank Observatory has been declared a Unesco World Heritage Site. It has been at the forefront of astronomical research since its inception in 1945 and tracked US and Russian craft during the space race. The site in Cheshire is part of the University of Manchester. It is dominated by the landmark Lovell Telescope. It joins the ancient Iraqi city of Babylon and other locations that have been added to the prestigious list. (more)

Why blue jeans are going green
4 July 2019 - As consumers become ever more concerned about environmental and ethical issues, pioneers in the global denim industry are cleaning up its act. Transparency has become a buzzword in fashion of late, with labels keen to show their best practice, both in terms of how well they treat staff and how environmentally friendly they are. (more)


Success of Maharishi's Programmes
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UK: Transcendental Meditation featured in Daily Star's recommendations to reduce blood pressure
17 September 2018 - One in four Brits suffers with high blood pressure, according to the UK's National Health Service. The Daily Star reports that a study led by Dr Robert Schneider, director of the Institute for Natural Medicine and Prevention at Maharishi University of Management in Iowa, USA, found that Transcendental Meditation reduces high blood pressure. TM is featured first in a discussion of research on lifestyle approaches to reducing blood pressure including meditation, yoga, exercise, and diet. (more)

Head of worldwide Transcendental Meditation organisation addresses International Yoga Day celebration, UK Parliament
26 June 2018 - Dr Tony Nader, MD, PhD, MARR, addressed this week's celebration of International Yoga Day held in the Parliament of the United Kingdom at Westminster, London. Dr Nader is a distinguished neuroscientist and the leader of the worldwide Transcendental Meditation organisation founded by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. The celebration was hosted by the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Indian Traditional Sciences. Dr Nader spoke on 'Yoga, consciousness and prevention' and presented the scientific basis of yoga, including scientific research on the benefits of yoga, of which Transcendental Meditation is a central aspect; and how the principles of yoga are found reflected in physics, physiology, and other areas of modern science. He presented published research showing the relevance of yoga for promoting health and preventing disease. (more)

UK: Dr Charlotte Bech shares the secrets of stress-free living
27 May 2018 - Dr Charlotte Bech, a Danish doctor, surgeon and expert on natural medicine - lecturing in the UK for National Stress Awareness Month - said that simple procedures, such as the right light, diet, oils, spices, mental and emotional training, yoga and meditation, have been shown to reduce stress, despite the demands of our frenetic, modern lives. 'The most important advice is to practise Transcendental Meditation (TM), which is probably the most effective method against stress as it is time-tested, is the most extensively researched and most widely-practised and is the simplest and most natural procedure for meditation,' she said. 'In just a few minutes, this technique activates the parasympathetic nervous system and transforms the physiology to a settled and stress-free state.' (more)

First ever neuroimaging study of people in the midst of Transcendental Meditation - British Psychological Society review
21 April 2018 - It is possible to pay attention effortlessly, your mind 'pulled by the inherent nature of the object of experience'. In fact, with practice, doing so can 'lead you to experience inner silence, tranquility, peace and transcendence'. That's according to a research team led by Michelle Mahone at the California School of Professional Psychology, who have published in Brain and Cognition what they describe as the first neuroimaging study of people in the midst of Transcendental Meditation (TM). (more)

Scotland: Transcendental Meditation for caregivers - 'The dynamic in the family has changed'
14 April 2018 - Caring for elderly relatives can be exhausting. Leaving the Scottish Civil Service to take care of his mother left Owen feeling tired and stressed. 'As a carer, Transcendental Meditation seemed like a good fit. It would help deal with the stress of the caring combined with the isolation.' He had tried other forms of meditation which required a bit of effort. 'TM was surprisingly easy,' he said. 'I was able to do it right away and I felt the benefits almost immediately. . . . When I meditate I feel calm and restful but not sleepy. [Afterward] I feel very refreshed and more alert and focused.' During the day Owen feels more aware and understanding of his mother's needs, and that his increased calm has had a relaxing and reassuring effect on both of his parents: 'The dynamic in the family has changed.' (more)

UK Parliament marks International Yoga Day - Prof Tony Nader, MD, PhD honoured with special award
16 July 2017 - The third International Yoga Day was celebrated in the House of Commons, Palace of Westminster, hosted by the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Indian Traditional Sciences, its Secretariat Amarjeet S Bhamra and the High Commission of India. The event on 10 July was designed to explore the value of introducing Yoga in the NHS (National Health Service). Chief Guest of the event, H.E. High Commissioner Y K Sinha paid tribute to the work of the APPG in introducing Yoga, Ayurveda and other disciplines into the mainstream of public life. Prof Tony Nader, MD, PhD, MARR, head of the worldwide Transcendental Meditation organization, was honoured with a special award, and presented five volumes of Scientific Research on the Transcendental Meditation Programme to Members of Parliament. In his keynote address Prof Nader explained that 'every one of us has within us, built into our very physiology, the essential quality of Yoga, which is unifying.' (more)

UK: Could Ayurveda be the cure for ailing National Health System?
1 July 2017 - As the UK's National Health Service (NHS) shoulders a growing financial burden, the ancient Indian tradition of Ayurveda is being promoted as a way to take the pressure off doctors while helping people keep good health. At the recent Second International Ayurveda Congress in London, Dr Rainer Picha, chairman of the International Maharishi Ayurveda Foundation in the Netherlands (one of three organizations that hosted the Congress), said: 'Modern medicine has become hugely expensive to support. Rather, we should be focused on the prevention of disease, which is much cheaper than curing diseases.' (more)

UK: SuperMind Peak Performance Programme - Transcendental Meditation for professionals
20 June 2017 - The SuperMind Peak Performance Programme, a division of the David Lynch Foundation UK, offers Transcendental Meditation to companies and organisations to help executives and employees overcome stress, promote health, and attain high levels of performance. (more)

Second International Ayurveda Congress held in London, 1-3 April
24 April 2017 - The Second International Ayurveda Congress, held in London 1-3 April, was organized by the All India Ayurvedic Congress, New Delhi, the International Academy of Ayurved, Pune and the International Maharishi AyurVeda Foundation, Netherlands. At the Congress, 300 delegates from 55 countries, including research scientists, doctors, and pharmacologists with expertise in Western and Ayurvedic medicine, discussed scientific evidence on preventing disease, promoting longevity and alleviating specific conditions with Ayurveda. The title of the Congress was: ''Ayurveda - The Pursuit of Health, Happiness and Long Life through Prevention-oriented Health Care''. (more)

Profile: Transcendental Meditation, the 'missing piece of the recovery puzzle'
12 April 2017 - Having overcome alcohol addiction through the Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) 12 step programme, an engineer in Glasgow, Scotland, found Transcendental Meditation to be the missing element in his recovery - allowing him to finally feel rested, and alleviating the high anxiety churning in his 'racing brain'. 'I would be anxious and fearful about something or someone or some event and I would do my TM practice and come out from it rested and full of energy,' he says. 'My ''great fears'' would have evaporated to the point where I had forgotten about what was giving me so much grief in the first place.' With TM, 'the energy of that anxious catastrophic ''racing brain'' is now channelled into creativity both in my personal and professional life.' (more)


Flops
Short Summaries of Top Stories


UK gangs exploiting children as young as seven to deal drugs
5 July 2019 - British schoolchildren as young as seven are being exploited by criminal gangs and forced to deal drugs, with some duped into debt bondage, researchers said on Friday [5 July]. Thousands of children in Britain -- most aged between 15 and 17 -- are being used by so-called county lines gangs to carry drugs from cities to be sold in rural areas, according to research by The Children's Society, a charity. (more)

Common nerve pain drug linked to suicidal behavior, overdose
17 June 2019 - A class of medications used for nerve and muscle pain, including the popular drug Lyrica, increases users' risks for suicidal behavior, unintentional overdoses, injuries, and car accidents -- and the risks are particularly high for teens and young adults, new research shows. Lyrica (pregabalin) and the older drug gabapentin, collectively known as gabapentinoids, are approved for treating several types of pain and for preventing seizures in patients with epilepsy. (more)

Scientists edit chicken genes to make them resistant to bird flu
3 June 2019 - Scientists in Britain have used gene-editing techniques to stop bird flu spreading in chicken cells grown in a lab -- a key step towards making genetically-altered chickens that could halt a human flu pandemic. (more)

UK: Computing in schools in 'steep decline'
8 May 2019 - An annual study by the University of Roehampton has found that fewer 16-year-olds in England are getting a computing qualification. It also said schools have cut back on the hours spent teaching the subject. ... However, with entries for computer science growing only slowly it looks certain that far fewer 16-year-olds will emerge with any computing qualification. ... 'It looks likely that hundreds of thousands of students, particularly girls and poorer students, will be disenfranchised from a digital education over the next few years,' said Peter Kemp, senior lecturer in computing education at the University of Roehampton. (more)

UK anti-slavery hotline uncovers more cases, but triggers few probes
24 April 2019 - Britain's anti-slavery helpline recorded a surge in calls, cases and suspected victims last year, but few referrals to the anti-slavery agency triggered investigations into labour abuse at sites such as car washes and farms, officials said on Wednesday [24 April]. The hotline identified more than 7,100 potential victims and about 1,850 modern slavery cases last year -- both up by almost half on 2017 -- said Unseen, the charity that runs the service. (more)

'Wake-up call' for UK as graduates' gender pay gap widens
29 March 2019 - The gender pay gap for British university graduates is widening as men's wage growth outpaces women's in the early years of their careers, government data released on Friday (29 March) showed. Five years after graduating, men earned 15 percent more than women in 2017, according to data that showed the gap had widened steadily from 12 percent three years earlier. (more)

Air pollution linked with psychotic experiences in UK teens, study finds
27 March 2019 - High levels of air pollution in England and Wales have been linked with psychotic experiences in teenagers, such as hearing voices and intense paranoia, scientists said on Wednesday (27 March), as poor air quality in British cities comes under scrutiny. ... The researchers said their findings do not indicate that greater air pollution caused the psychotic experiences, and that there could be other contributing factors like noise pollution and increased stress levels, which they did not examine. (more)

Bees: Many British pollinating insects in decline study shows
26 March 2019 - A third of British wild bees and hoverflies are in decline, according to a new study. If current trends continue, some species will be lost from Britain altogether, the scientists say. The study found 'winners' and 'losers' among hundreds of wild bees and hoverflies, which pollinate food crops and other plants. Common species are winning out at the expense of rarer ones, with an overall picture of biodiversity being lost. Scientists warn that the loss of nature could create problems in years to come, including the ability to grow food crops. (more)

Wildfires rage across Britain after hottest winter day on record
27 February 2019 - Firefighters battled a series of wildfires in Britain on Wednesday (27 February), including a large moorland blaze outside the northern English city of Manchester, as the country experienced its warmest winter weather on record. The fire comes after Britain recorded its warmest winter day with a temperature of 21.2 Celsius in Kew Gardens in London. (more)

British start-up breeds high performance bugs for animal feed
19 February 2019 - British start-up Beta Bugs is breeding high performance strains of black soldier fly for the insect feed sector, and is selecting traits like growth rate, protein content, fat composition, and even temperature tolerance according to clients' needs. The company breeds certain strains of fly, resulting in highly optimized insects. The feed is made from fly maggots. (more)

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