A Real Solution

How much does an anti-viral suit cost? Most of it can be made from a plastic tarp and duct tape. The mask and filter would be the most expensive part. I could not keep myself from doing the math. The United States economic stimulus package of 2 Trillion Dollars, that comes to more than $7800 dollars for each of the 258 Million workers in the country. For much less, I bet you could find quite a few manufacturers willing to make millions of the needed masks and filters.

In a few weeks, the suit would come in the mail, you put it on and get back to work — no trashed economy, no terrorizing the globe, just the inconvenience of wearing an uncomfortable suit for a while.

At this point we need a real solution, even this sounds more reasonable to me than what we are doing.

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How Can we Fight a Virus II?

     Coming forward to protect yourself, your family and neighbors in a time of crisis is considered noble and right.  On the other hand, putting others at risk by selfish behavior is considered unwarranted and wrong.  Most people intuitively understand this.  But did you know that your positive and negative beliefs, emotions and behaviors strongly affect the efficiency of your immune system?

      For over 200 years, every serious scientific study to determine whether a medication works or not has involved a placebo.  A placebo is something you believe will cure you, but really has no curative power of itself.  In almost all studies, a placebo works much better than no treatment at all, and often works even better than the medication that is being studied.  Medical professionals, without a doubt, have long proven that beliefs and attitudes strengthen your immune system and heal your body.  In this post we look at the science of how the human mind works and reduce it all down to 5 universal Laws of Mental/Emotional Health.

5 Laws of Mental/Emotional Health

  1. Belief/Attitude – Your subconscious mind is working 24 hours a day to make sure that what you believe to be true will become reality in your life.  If you really believe that you are the world’s greatest basketball player, then not only will you be highly motivated to prove it, but as you act, your mind and body will learn the moves to reinforce your beliefs.  The power that belief has over your body is almost unbelievable, even on the cellular level hormones, messengers, even DNA expression is affected.  Because the mind is so powerful, positive affirmations will always build you up and lies will always destroy you.  The greatest emotional stress you can experience is when your words or behavior do not reflect your real beliefs, such stress is physically evident (like a lie detector).  Your attitude is the manifestation of your beliefs.  To be strong (even your immune system), follow this advice: In all you say and do, to your own self be true.
  2. Learning – Since you are the only person that can ultimately determine your beliefs (and your mental/emotional health) learning truth is about the only way to really make a difference.  Remain curious, fascinated, excited about new ideas.  As you learn, you form your beliefs.  As we have learned, your mind makes your beliefs real in your life (including your health).
  3. Choice – You, and only you, can choose what you believe.  You are responsible for your beliefs and resulting actions.  The consequences of your actions cannot always be determined but choosing what you feel is right always wins.  The power of choice is a great gift.  True freedom is experienced even in the worst of circumstances, even when it feels like everything else has been taken away, for those who realize that they can choose what they believe and how they act despite all impinging circumstances.  Strong mental and emotional health ensues for those who choose to follow their beliefs.
  4. Balance – Balance is also a central principle of life.  All of your cells strive to maintain chemical balance.  When something living is knocked out of balance, it will always attempt to come back into balance.  This is how you can tell if something is alive, whether it be a cell, an organ, an organism, a person, a society, an economy, an ecology, a corporation.  If something gets out of balance (checkbook, excess or deficiency of one thing or another), a living organism will strive to bring it back into balance.  Balance is certainly a sign of strong mental emotional health.
  5. Action – All our beliefs, desires, wants, needs, imbalances all will lead to action.  If we choose our beliefs wisely then our actions will be to the benefit of everyone around us.  If we choose poorly, it will lead to the destruction of those around us.  If we desire to be strong and healthy mentally and emotionally, it is our choice.  And as our mind so powerfully controls our body, we will also be strong in physical health.  Oh, be wise and live!

As more scientific evidence pours in on how the mind works, the above laws become more and more evident.  We follow the laws and we grow mentally strong.  Mental strength determines everything.  I have found personally that as the mind grows strong, so does the body and our ability to act.  We have the strength to draw a circle big enough to include everyone.  What a wonderful thought!

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How to Boost the Immune System (Basic Science)

     In these modern times, strengthening our immune system requires some knowledge of how our cells work.  There are things we can do to make our cells (including the immune system) to work optimally.  The more I study the incredible science of how cells work, the more I realize how much they work like machines; oxygen, water, molecular supplies, signals go into the cells and energy, productive activity, supplies and signals come out.  Just like a car engine, if we want cells to be powerful and work optimally every time, we do need to understand how to supply them with what they need to keep running and to maintain them in great condition.  We only need to know the basics, just like learning how to maintain our car engine by changing the oil, fill the coolant, inflating the tires, etc.  This post is the first part on a brief maintenance manual for your immune cells.


The 5 Laws of Physical Health

1) Cells need Oxygen – Much of this is handled by nature; babies breathe perfectly, they breathe deeply expanding their lungs into their abdomen (not by heaving their chests).  Put your hand on your stomach, breathe deeply pushing against your hand, if you practice this often, you can learn to breathe like you were designed to.  Yoga, breathing meditation, and other techniques can help us.  These techniques can save our lives when we are in respiratory distress.  Instead of panicking with small shallow heaving breaths, work through the abdomen to pull the air deep into our lungs.  Expel the air evenly, expelling air and built-up fluids, pause and repeat.  Finding an environment with clean fresh air, free of pollution, mold or toxins (bad smells) is also critical.  Cleaning house, or filtering air can be helpful.

2) Cells need Natural Water – Natural water has the same balance of electrolytes and minerals and biological materials that exist in a pure mountain stream.  This kind of water is absorbed almost instantly into our blood, increasing our blood volume, infusing into and lubricating our joints, muscles and tissues, cleaning the garbage out of our brain and organs.  Since natural water is difficult to find, we can get something close every morning by filling 2 liter-sized bottles with filtered water, putting in a pinch or two of good sea salt and 10 drops of lemon into each bottle.  This water will be absorbed quickly and can decrease hunger, headaches, moodiness, mental cloudiness, fatigue.  Hydrate and “soak” our organs every morning by drinking one half a bottle (1/2 liter) before doing anything else.  The science behind hydration is well established, you can google it.  Besides natural water will kill and wash down viruses.

3) Cells need Micronutrients – Micronutrients are the critical molecular supplies and materials pumped through our blood flow to all our cells.  Micronutrients are “cell nutrients”.  There are only about 40 different types of micronutrient molecules needed by our cells.  Here is a list of some of them: Vitamin, A, B6, B12, C, D, E, K, Calcium, Chloride, Copper, Iodide, Iron, Magnesium, Potassium, Selenium, Zinc, Linolenic acid (DHA) Lysine, Valine, Choline, and so forth.  There are great sources of information on Micronutrients.  Google “Micronutrients Bruce Ames” or go to the Linus Pauling Institute (https://lpi.oregonstate.edu/) and click on the Micronutrient Info tab.  Micronutrients are found in plants and have vibrant colors: greens, yellows, reds, purples, oranges.  The more color in vegetables, the more micronutrients they have.  Buy a bunch of these veggies, learn how to make delicious salads and fill half your plate with it every meal.  Even fussy kids can learn to eat them.  How many micronutrients have you eaten lately?

4) Cells need Exercise – Use them or lose them.  Your body will get rid of cells that are not needed.  If you don’t move, your muscles cells will die off and disappear.  If you are not challenging your body (and cells) they simply will go away.  This applies to all cells, brain cells, muscle cells.  Even your immune cells will get lazy and inefficient if they are not challenged from time to time.  Going outdoors, smelling the soil and plants, putting your hands in the soil, gardening.  This is what we are designed to do.  Besides, as you move, fluids are efficiently pumped throughout your body (blood, lymph, spinal and brain fluids, joints, fascia, muscles).  Do you want to lose fat?  Build muscle, as you do so the fat will disappear, and your body will rise to the challenge.  This is the way it works.

5) Cells need Restoration Cycles – Deep Sleep provides time for your cells to go through their repair cycles.  The immune system and repair systems of the body are many times more effective during sleep than when you are awake.  It is not enough to just sit back and relax and entertain ourselves.  We must get into the deep sleep cycles where our body is programmed to shut down and start the repair cycles.  Sleep science (yes there is such a thing) has proven that 7 ½ hours of sleep per day are optimal, anything less or more than this and the body cannot efficiently function.  Sorry folks, there is no substitute for sleep.  If you are sick, follow the sage old advice.  Go to bed and get some sleep.  This is much more effective than any drug could be.

These are the 5 Basic Laws of Physical Health.  If we are not obeying these laws, we cannot have optimal health.  These laws are as binding to health as gravity is binding in the physical world.  These laws govern the function and strengthen all our cells, including the immune system.  They are the Basics.  Before we start going into any more detail on how cells work, we must at least learn to obey these laws.  There are also Laws governing Mental and Emotional Health.  I will cover these in the next post.  I desire that all receive them, especially at moment in history.  The best to you all.

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How can we fight a Virus?

     There is only one thing we know that can really fight and win the battle with a virus: it is our own immune system.  Vaccines can train the immune system how to recognize viruses, but the immune system must still win the fight.  The following is a basic tutorial on how the immune system works on a cellular level to protect us and preserve our life.

     How does the immune system work?

Our big heavily armed immune cells circulate mostly through our blood, rolling along inside blood vessels, looking for the signals of trouble from surrounding cells.  When they receive these distress signals, they quickly mobilize, moving and squeezing through cells and tissues until they arrive at the place of distress.  There are two types of communication systems that immune cells use so they know what to do.

(1) The innate immune system uses Redox Signals coming from damaged, oxidatively-stressed cells and the subsequently activated cytokines (the distress signals) to locate where the damaged cells are (we see this as tissues becoming inflamed and red).

(2) The adaptive immune system keeps a list that identifies the “bad guys”.  When they identify a “bad guy” they call in the heavy artillery to fight and kill the bad guys and clean up the damaged cells.  Often millions of cells must be damaged before a significant immune response happens and the bad guys are successfully identified.

    How do the immune cells kill viruses?

The “big gun” that the immune cells use will kill almost anything is called the “oxidative burst”, made from a special combination of the same redox signaling molecules that are used to send the distress signal (isn’t life incredible).  For those technically savvy, these redox signaling molecules include Hydrogen Peroxide (H2O2), Hypochlorous  Acid (HOCl), Superoxide (O2*-), and other hypochlorite ions and reactive oxygen species (ROS).  In the right combination, these can be either anti-inflammatory (passing along signals) or fatal and inflammatory (killing cells and viruses).  The chemical redox balance is what makes the difference.  Hydroxychloroquine, announced by Trump to kill the Coronavirus, uses such oxidative methods.  Chloroquine Phosphate was shown to be somewhat successful during the SARS-2 outbreak last decade.  The immune cells, however, have the best weapons and are trained on how to use these “big guns”.  If they get it wrong, they can start destroying the good cells and bacteria or start a cytokine storm (see below).

    What does our immune system need to optimally destroy viruses?

Basic supplies needed by our immune cells to be effective are simply found in the micronutrients we eat found mostly in vegetables and fruits.  These include magnesium, zinc, selenium, copper, Vitamins A, B12, C, D3, and others.  Also amino acids in proteins are needed to build and repair damaged cells.  Folates (in veggies) are also needed to build DNA and nervous communications.  We cannot understate the importance of these nutrients, nothing can substitute for them!!!   To get them, go to your produce aisle and pick out everything that looks lush and colorful (greens, oranges, reds, purples).  Learn how to prepare them into delicious raw salads or fixings (or make smoothies).  Better yet, learn how to grow them!  The perfect blend of micronutrients and pre- and pro-biotics are found in fresh raw garden vegetables (grown in good soil).  Without them, your immune system army will not have the supplies they need to win.  Lots of Vitamin C and bitter herbs is very helpful to battle viruses.  Good home-made soups are wonderful and they even help wash the viruses out of our throats!

     What weakens our immune system?

During a viral invasion, our immune system must be armed to kill literally trillions of viruses.  Any weakness in our defenses can spell lots of pain and distress to our organs and tissues.  In order to win, we should avoid things that would weaken our defenses.  Besides lack of nutrient supplies, steroids, antihistamines, many pain killers, cold medicine, and some drugs can seriously weaken immune response and slow your recovery.  It is very wise to avoid such unless absolutely necessary to reduce swelling.  Overabundant carbohydrates and sugary foods raise blood sugar, though this provides energy, too much of it causes inflammation and distress to the blood vessels, that can confuse immune cell signaling, and/or can cause the immune system to overreact.  It is dangerous to distract or overstimulate the immune system.

     What is a cytokine storm?

The distress signals, cytokines, help the immune cells recognize where they should go.  If the immune system gets overly stimulated, it can start to harm healthy cells, create excess distress signals (oxidative stress), these signals in turn create more cytokines, which call in stronger immune response, and the whole thing escalates into an unneeded and miserable full scale attack.  Balanced redox signaling is required to clear things up.  Sometimes immune suppressors may be employed by health professionals to slow down the escalation to quell the cytokine cascade.  Serious allergic reactions often involve cytokine storms.

     How does a virus work?

Viruses are little packets of genetic material (viral RNA) that can attach to cells and be injected into the cell, where they are converted to DNA and grafted into our DNA coding.  When this viral DNA coding is executed (expressed) by the cell, it creates more of the viruses that can infect other cells.  Virus packets have different shapes.  The Coronavirus, for example, looks like a little ball with spikes coming out (like a crown).  At the end of the spikes are the molecular machinery used to attach (fuse) to cell receptors and inject the genetic material into the cells.  When a cell is infected and activated, it can produce many millions of copies of the same virus.  These viruses fill and rupture the cell, sending millions of viruses out that can then infect other cells.

The immune system detects the distress signals from the cells and called in.  If immune cells can identify the viruses, the adaptive immune system will then work to destroy them.  There are safe nanoparticles of just the right shape and size that might be able to attach to the fusion points of some viruses, like the HIV-1 virus that can be used to block the injection machinery from fusing to cells.  Nanoparticle solutions, however, are still in testing.

     Can my immune system kill the Coronavirus?

YES.  The immune system is really the only thing that will be able to kill the virus once it is inside us.  We need to have a fully-functioning immune system to win!  Older people have slower immune systems and thus are more susceptible to more serious consequences.  If you are older or have had health problems, it would be very wise to take the advice from the post to heart, I wrote it so you know that we can win.  Education about what we are dealing with is critical.

We can and will beat this virus, as we have done throughout all history. Having a strong immune system is the key!

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Dear World Family

     As history unfolds before my eyes, I am seeing things I never thought I would see.  Times when my prosperous and abundant country, full of good, free, strong and capable people, is brought to its knees by a threat.  We have been through wars, disasters, and civil struggles together.  We have learned that with a common purpose and determined attitude, we can get through anything, we can survive on very little individually, but there is one thing that we cannot survive without.

     We cannot survive without the human heart; not just the one that pumps precious resources throughout our body, but also the one that gives warmth and meaning to our lives, that makes us feel and care for one another.  It is this heart that beats with gratitude as we see people working hard to bring us the resources we need to live and thrive.  Right now, these people include the medical and emergency professionals and care providers that are attending to us.

     We must exercise our heart muscles to supply them with the resources (masks, medical equipment, food, security, and other resources) that they need to best serve us.  It is this heart that will keep the blood flowing throughout our great country, every individual contributing their share to make it happen.

We still are a strong and prosperous country, all of the organs and resources are there and working.  We inherently know this, it was all working just fine a little while ago.  Let us keep the life-sustaining blood flowing that is necessary for all of us to live and thrive.  If you have resources, please share them in kindness with those in need.

     It will come back to you, it always has, it always will. I feel that it is time for me, personally, to act also and share what I have with you. In the next few posts, I will do my best to share my knowledge of cellular medical science with you that could be very beneficial at this time. Let’s keep posted through the modern miracle of social media!

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Hippocratic Greetings

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Have you ever met a skilled doctor that would give you the highest-quality treatment available when you need it most, regardless of your ability to pay for it? The word “Hippocratic” describes the qualities of an ancient Greek physician, Hippocrates (hip-pock-ra-tees), who was the embodiment of an ideal physician: very knowledgeable and when needed applied his vast skill and art to anyone regardless of cost or reward. He was the kind of smart and caring doctor that you would really love to have care for you or your family during times of medical crisis. Hippocrates formed the first independent medical school in the world, was called the Father of Medicine and is known for separating the field of medicine from the other fields of science of that time (460 BC).

The word “Hippocratic” is not to be confused with the word “hypocritical” which is based on the Greek word, “Hypocrite” that describes the attributes of an actor who skillfully uses deceit to fraudulently convince others of high intentions while only really seeking self-benefit. Many of us have met a hypocritical person once or twice in our lives. Essentially, the words Hippocratic and hypocritical are opposites, yet it might be easy to confuse the two. To find a good example of either of these words we need to search no further than the bathroom mirror. Think of a time when you have used your skills to benefit someone with no thought of reward, and then think of another time when you used deceit to gain a reward or benefit for yourself.

Both of these attributes seem to be opposing parts of our human nature. If we are fortunate, there will be caring people in our lives that will help us see the truth about our own hypocritical nature. In the novel “A Christmas Carol”, by Charles Dickens, the Spirit of Christmas Past took the old miserly Scrooge back in time to a joyous Christmas party of his youth that was hosted by his beloved former employer, Mr. Fezziwig; a cheerful loving man who was close to Scrooge’s young heart. The Spirit criticized Fezziwig, saying he was a fool to have spent a fortune on such a party.  Scrooge emphatically retorted, “It isn’t that, Spirit. He has the power to render us happy …; to make our service light …”

Soon as he said this, Scrooge could not escape the memory of his own actions earlier that day when he mercilessly heaped miserable oppression on his own loyal employee for the sake of a few pennies. When he truly realized the consequences and self-deceit of his hypocritical nature.  When he realized he could use his assets to change the future for the good, his heart became liberated. He exclaimed with glee, “I am as light as a feather, I am as happy as an angel, I am as merry as a schoolboy. I am as giddy as a drunken man. A merry Christmas to everybody! A happy New Year to all the world!” and Scrooge from that point on he used the full set of his skills and resources for the benefit of others.

This indescribable joy of heart is the inescapable reward for those who find within themselves their own Hippocratic nature and develop it to its full extent. There will be a time in everyone’s life when the realization comes that all the treasures, skills, abilities and resources that we have accumulated throughout our whole lifetime will only truly have value when spent for the enrichment of those around us. May we find the occasion to share the music within us for all to enjoy while we still have a voice. May the warmth of embracing all that is good and right fill our hearts both day and night, and light our way the whole year long until the full value of the new year is spent.

Wishing the best for all of you in this new year!

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The Fingerprint of Truth

This past Thursday and Friday I had the opportunity to attend the ISANH Paris World Redox Conference on Oxidative Stress Reduction, Redox Homeostasis and Antioxidants. As the long name indicates, this was an academic conference attended and presented by PhD researchers from over 30 countries, covering a variety of disciplines in this growing area of science and its application. This was especially meaningful for me, as I have been a proponent of this are research for many years.

This Sunday morning my mind is flooded with impressions. I wish to share a few with you. All around me in Paris are reminders of the history of human intellectual development, in the famous universities, the museums, the art, the music, beauty in building and structure of cathedrals, castles. The feeling of the emergence of society from a warring feudal state into a renaissance of knowledge of truth and beauty is palpable. It has brought my mind to wonder how to identify that subtle but powerful pattern of human development that connects us and impels us toward the pursuit truth and beauty. The patterns in our psyche and society that identify such a pursuit are what I call the fingerprint of truth.

Truth simply is that that is. It exists beyond the sphere of human pretense and interpretation. Those that are diligent to the pursuit of truth often develop the real human virtues of being fascinated, open, magnanimous, curious, dedicated, with a burning desire to share their discoveries with all that wish to comprehend. This appears to be the fingerprint of those so engaged. These sincere desires are expressed and resonate in verse, music and art as well as in math and science research. This fingerprint was seen everywhere at this Redox Conference.  There was a kind air toward those who are dedicated to the same path and an understanding of the importance of this field of knowledge in application to medical science and for the benefit of humanity.

During the next several posts I will outline some of the research and developments we saw at the conference and many others so you also might be enlightened and inspired.  Let us all keep this fire brightly ablaze.  Stay tuned.

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Whims and Whispers

This is a short post to share just one idea revealing the true value of money.  Our financial security is based on trust; trust that available currency can be exchanged for a loaf of bread or anything of real value.  All of the sophisticated financial analysis, all of the currency in the world is only relevant when the true value of money is seen in this light.  In this light, the exchange of currencies, stocks, bitcoin, and so on among themselves, are based on whims and whispers and can be very dangerous when they quickly erode trust in currencies and financial systems.  What a shaky foundation we have built for our financial security.

When we learn enough to build a financial system based on real value (1 coin = 1 basic loaf of bread, 5 coins = 1 hour of heavy labor) then the real value of money is evident.  A crypto currency based on exchange of goods and services would be of real value.  Of course, all of the sophisticated analysis would still apply, but it would really mean something more than just whims and whispers.

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Redox Signaling — A Universal Principle of Life

Breath of Life
With every breath you take, oxygen from the air rushes into your lungs, is absorbed into the hemoglobin in your blood and pumped by your heart throughout the trillions of cells in your body. If you doubt the importance of this, you can perform the simple experiment of holding your breath for a minute; as you turn blue, you will entirely convince yourself that oxygen is vitally needed by the cells in your body.

What do your cells do with all these oxygen molecules? Oxygen molecules are used by the cells to capture electrons from other molecules. Oxygen molecules have two unpaired electrons (called free radicals) that are hungry for companions.O2 These oxygen free radicals capture available electrons from other molecules; when electrons are captured this is called “reduction”; oxygen is said to be “reduced” when it captures electrons. These electrons are stolen from other molecules; when electrons are ripped off of these molecules, this is called “oxidation”, these other molecules are said to be “oxidized”. Thus oxygen “oxidizes” other molecules by stealing their electrons and becomes “reduced” at the same time, by capturing such electrons. The special name REDOX (REDuction/OXidation) is given to this process.

Why is this REDOX process so important to cells? The metabolism of sugars, fats and keytones takes place within hundreds of power-generating mitochondria (my-toe-con-dree-ah) inside the cells. These mitochondria produce the energy needed to power our cells. Oxygen is needed as part of the final step of metabolism inside the mitochondria to capture the electrons that participate in the electron transport chain (ETC) (electrons are quickly transported to “charge the batteries” of the mitochondria). If oxygen were not there to capture these electrons, they would quickly leak back in, discharge the mitochondrial batteries, and in turn would cause our cells to run out of fuel and energy. Thus oxygen is vital to stop the electrons from leaking back, to keep these cell batteries charged, and to keep the cell’s machinery working. More than 80% of the oxygen we breathe is used in the mitochondria for this purpose.Electron-movement-is-shown-through-the-mitochondrial-electron-transport-chain-ETC-and

When an oxygen molecule (O2) captures an electron, it transforms into a new type of reactive oxygen called the “superoxide anion” free radical (O2*-). This type of oxygen radical is highly reactive. An enzyme called “superoxide dismutase” (an antioxidant made inside the cell) donates yet another electron to the superoxide and transforms it into a “peroxide”. This peroxide state of oxygen attracts two hydrogen atoms to become hydrogen peroxide (H2O2). From here, other enzymes in the cell (such as “catalase” and “glutathione”) again reduce this type of oxygen into its most reduced state, “water” (H2O). There are several other transformations that reduce oxygen, one of them combines oxygen with the chloride ion (from salt) to form the “hypochlorite anion” (OCl-). We will not mention any more of them here for simplicity’s sake.

Oxyen ROS
And so we see that the story of the oxygen molecule inside our cells involves a series of transformations as it is reduced from oxygen gas to water and the other states of oxygen. The types of molecules that are produced in these transformations (O2*-, H2O2, OCl-), as mentioned above, are given the name “reactive oxygen species” (ROS). These also are part of a group known as “redox signaling molecules”.

This story of how oxygen is used and transformed inside cells is as old as aerobic life on earth. Even earlier in the earth’s story, green plants on earth, through photosynthesis, were able to use the energy from the sun to run these oxygen transformations in reverse. Plants start by using sunlight to “bump” electrons off the plentiful oxygen atoms in the water molecules (H2O) to start the reverse transformation. In the plant cell, when an electron is removed from oxygen in the water molecule, the oxygen is transformed into various forms of ROS. Finally (after all the reverse transformations) the oxygen is transformed into the oxygen gas molecule (O2). This oxygen gas is released by the plants into the atmosphere. Thanks to plants, about 20% of the air in our atmosphere is now oxygen (O2). The story of how oxygen transforms from water to oxygen gas in plants, is released into the atmosphere, and then is transformed from oxygen gas back into water in animals is a vital part of the story of life, as we know it.

Only in the past decade have scientists realized the true importance of the intermediate forms of oxygen (ROS) in this transformation and the role they play inside living cells. We have found that these ROS forms serve as fundamental redox signaling molecules inside the cell. In short, they turn off and on the genetic switches that control what happens inside the cell, they are used to move electrons around inside the vital salt-water fluids that fill the cell. They cause transformations in the protein-based machinery of the cell that allow it to move (fold, unfold, change shape, break apart, come together, etc.), they serve to inform the cell that something is wrong when too many of them accumulate (a condition called oxidative stress). Depending on how many of them are in the cell, key functions of the cell are regulated. For example, too much hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) in plant cells will slow down photosynthesis (this keeps plants from “burning out” in full sunlight) and in animals, too much H2O2 will slow down the metabolism (this also prevents animal cells from “burning out”). These redox signaling mechanisms act like the controlling “gas pedal” in your car, they control the speed of the “motor” in the cell and keep it from “burning out”. In short, without these redox signaling molecules, it would be impossible for the cells to live, breathe and regulate themselves.

A knowledge of how these most universal and fundamental processes in life work gives us great power. As these oxygen transformations and the resultant redox signaling takes place in most every cell on earth, the reach of redox signaling technologies is almost universal. These redox signaling molecules effectively kill primitive bacteria (they are the primary weapon of the immune system), they turn on the alarms and repair genes inside cells, they participate in energy regulation (as already mentioned), they participate in electrical and chemical signaling networks everywhere. They are also the primary actors in the networks that recognize and kill defective cells and regenerate healthy cells. They are part of the networks that allow our cells, tissues, organs, and systems to cooperate and function together. Their life-saving potential is well known, we all know that administering oxygen can save lives. No longer are these reactive oxygen species (ROS) thought of as enemies, they are redox signaling molecules, a vital part of the primary tool chest of life. We can use them to live, and to live more abundantly.

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