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Monday, June 6, 2011

Biosolid Fertilizer? A good brand?

     It's not a brand, but biosolids can be used as fertilizer, whether its a safe and effective alternative is what I decide to explore in this blog. 

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A funny fact about Biosolids
     So what are biosolids?  Biosolids are a solid organic byproduct of purification systems that treat wastewater from homes and industries.  They are created after wastewater processing and treatment leaves residuals, or solids, from communities' municipal and private wastewater treatment plants. Rich in nutrients, biosolids can be recycled beneficially and used as a natural fertilizer or soil amendment to enhance the land. The origin of the term biosolids stems from the biological processing of wastewater solids, thus the word biosolids. Although the term may turn off some people at first, its definitely worth a closer look. I might be quick to say but biosolids are extremely useful and beneficial.  

     Biosolids when conducted in compliance with strict provincial and federal regulations, the recycling of biosolids benefits communities with an excellent source of safe, organic nutrients. Biosolids can improve crop production, reduce soil erosion and protect water quality, provide topsoil for recreational uses, reclaim strip-mined lands, enrich forest lands and conserve landfill space.  The advantages continue with biosolids assisting the waste management industry as well. Humans are constantly accumulating waste in landfills, and now days there is less and less space available to deposit it all. Using biosolids as fertilizer would be a green alternative. The cost for biosolids are minimal compared to the cost of purchasing it. There are many nutrients found in biosolids such as nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. Trace elements of calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, sulfur and zinc are also found, these elements and nutrients are needed for plant growth.


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Biosolids being transferred and moved to another location
 for use
     It all comes down to the question ‘Do the advantages outweigh the disadvantages?’ In this case, I would say they the advantages definitely do outweigh the disadvantages.  The disadvantages that come with biosolids are that their true contents are unknown, that they pose a safety/health risk, they possibly are transferable to crops, and their effects are irreversible.  However, humans have been using biosolids for decades and they been screened and monitored in every part of the process, from the time they are raw to when they become a finished product. People who oppose this method of fertilization feel that it is unsafe and unsanitary to use biosolids, however these are foreseeable cons.  Human waste has to meet strict quality levels and is analyzed to eliminate health and safety risks as well. 

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     When it comes down to it, the pros are greater than the cons and until we know the dangers of biosolids, we should continue to use it. The concerns aren’t worth worrying about because of the strict process biosolids go through. The stakeholders would be us, the people, because we buy food that are from our own farms. We have been influenced greatly by the world around us into believing that there is no good that comes from our waste, but biosolids are a prime example proves anything is possible. 

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Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Human Health and Medical Savvy Technology

Introduction
     Have you ever just stopped and thought for a second how important and dependent we humans have become on technology?  I mean, its not just for entertainment-sake but even in today's hospital rooms when physicians need some extra help diagnosing, they're turning to technology too.
It's not just technology either, many Canadians have come around to revolutionize the way we understand the human body's various complex systems, including the respiratory, circulatory, and digestive systems, just to name a few.
     Our understanding of the human body has by far become something of priority and the advancement of medical technologies are the result of human works and condition to imagine and research.
I explore today's fascinating medical technologies and Canadian contributors alike, who have shaped the human understanding of the human body, from outside looking in.


Medical Technology
     The stethoscope & sphygmomanometer are two of the most utilized medical devices/technologies at the diagnosing and treating stage for doctors today; used to detect and measure a heartbeat, to calculate blood pressure (systolic, diastolic), as well as to diagnose organs such as the lungs for normal function or disfunction; all these tasks/purposes have various connections to the respiratory and circulatory systems.


              


X-ray, MRI, CT/CAT  
     X-rays, MRI's, CT/CAT scans put simply are forms of see-through imaging of the human body;  I mean if seeing through the human body doesn't broaden the horizons of understanding the human body, what does?  This is truly the apex of technology in the medical field because doctors are able to see the inside; the possibilities are endless and there are almost no limits.
X-ray Image 
     X-ray imaging can be done on bones to examine for fractures, monitor artery blockages, even to examine for forms of cancer as well as many other parts of the body where radiation will not harm the body.
MRI Image

     MRI provides a good contrast between the different soft tissues of the body, which make it especially useful in the imaging of the brain, muscles, the heart, and cancers.  MRI provides a comprehensive picture to physicians and allows them to see what's going on inside of the person in order treat the patient accordingly. 


CT/CAT scans


CT Scan 
     CT scanning—sometimes called CAT scanning—is a noninvasive medical test that helps physicians diagnose and treat medical conditions.
     CT scanning combines special x-ray equipment with sophisticated computers to produce multiple images or pictures of the inside of the body. These cross-sectional images of the area being studied can then be examined on a computer monitor, printed or transferred to a CD.
     CT scans of internal organs, bones, soft tissue and blood vessels provide greater clarity and reveal more details than regular x-ray exams.
     Using specialized equipment and expertise to create and interpret CT scans of the body, radiologists can more easily diagnose problems such as cancers, cardiovascular disease, infectious disease, appendicitis, trauma and musculoskeletal disorders.


E-health (Ontario's Electronic Medical Records System)
     If you've seen the commercial you probably already E-health is a database made up of electronic medical records targeted at making patient information more accessible and more accurate. Now, instead of sifting through folders and papers, one can simply look up patient information in a neat electronic database, and in critical medical situations, this can save valuable time.  Adopting this system is a economically and medically sound smart decision, a reason why the federal and provincial governments are implementing it in to the healthcare systems across the country phase by phase.  The benefits of this system are endless and some of the following are those benefits: 
-Emergency room visits:  having instant access to a patient's health information will reduce the chance of misdiagnosis and possible unforeseen complications in the ER. 
-Managing a chronic condition:  For Canadians living with chronic illnesses, EHR's can making monitoring da-to-day risk factors much easier for patients and physicians.  
-Wait times:  adopting EHR's will help patients take advantage of cancelled appointments and create shorter wait times.  
-Duplicate tests:  with an EHR system in place, redundancy in medical testing will be reduced.  
-Better diagnoses:  EHR's can help Canadians receive better diagnoses because they will paint a more  comprehensive picture of a patient's health history.  
-Remote access: having EHR's in place will help improve and make advanced health care even more accessible to people who live in remote areas. 


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Canadian Contributors
Frederick G. Banting
Sir Frederick Banting
     Sir Fredrick Banting was a Canadian doctor, medical scientist, and a person who held many important positions in the fields he worked in, but he is best known for his invention of insulin, a product that many diabetes patients still use today.  Banting's discovery allowed us to understand the solution to high blood sugar relating to one of the most important organs of the digestive system, the pancreas.  It also influenced the discovery of many vaccines and medications for diabetes patients.  Banting also later went on to win the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 
  
The Development of Human Understanding & Knowledge
     The medical technologies mentioned above are just to name a few, and if I were to list them all you'd probably be reading forever, but nevertheless look how far we've come.  We are all humans looking form the outside, to the inside of ourselves, trying to understand every little bit and piece in the body, and thanks to many medical technologies and Canadian contributors what a way we've come.  As years go by, doctors are becoming more knowledgeable, have more resources, and the technology component, put together adds up to better knowledge of the human respiratory, circulatory, and digestive systems.  This all leads to better healthcare for humans today and tomorrow.  


2 Blog Comments
Blog Comment: Inggrid's Blog "Four for you, technology; you go, technology!"
Blog Comment: Caitlin's Blog "Importance of Various Technologies."


Sources (Info):
http://nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/medicine/laureates/1923/banting-bio.html
http://blog.physiciansresource.net/medical-research/the-importance-of-medical-technology/
http://www.ehow.com/about_4672601_why-xrays-important.html
http://blog.ictforhealth.com/2009/10/evolution-of-medical-technology/
http://www.radiologyinfo.org/en/info.cfm?pg=bodyct


Sources (Pictures & Videos):
http://www.adinstruments.com/solutions/images/bp.gif
http://www.marfansyndrome.info/images/x-ray-bones.gif
http://www.nasa.gov/images/content/19994main_brain.jpg
http://www.theaccidentalsuccessfulcio.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/03/electronic_health_record.jpg
http://www.coolhealthtips.com/news/images/diabetes1.jpg
http://knowingisbetter.ca/?gclid=COW_57bW06cCFcW5KgodFy6q-g#plan
http://www.barrypenner.com/page_images/368/Fraser_Health_Chilliwack_CT_sm.jpg 







Wednesday, October 6, 2010

BIODIVERSITY IS OUR LIFE


Introduction
     Many scientists consider humans as the most invasive species, as humans can greatly change an environment and impact living things that reside there. Hear about the effects that humans have on the biodiversity in our ecosystems and on our earth.  Are we really being stewards of the earth? Whether humans have positive or negative effects on the biodiversity of our earth is an often debated and controversial topic.  To settle it once and for all, I step into and explore the Amazon Rainforest to find out.      

Biodiversity and the Amazon (Rainforest)
(Location) Green (on map):  AMAZON RAINFOREST
     Biodiversity is the variety of living things on our planet, and the numbers that add up the equation of human existence and survival.  The Amazon is a hot spot for biodiversity and the largest rainforest on earth, and while it takes up only less than 2% of the earth’s land, it is where half of earth’s species decide to make it their home/habitat.  Biodiversity keeps all living things intact, as they are inter-connected, and inter-dependent.  It is vital that we recognize that Biodiversity (and its role in the Amazon) are important and essential to biotic organisms on earth.  

Negative Human Interaction with the Amazon Rainforest (Biodiversity)
   Greenpeace REPORT
     The destruction of one of the most important structures/systems of our lives is occurring, and we are the reason for it.  Deforestation has come up to a rate where currently every second, a slice of rainforest the size of a football field is mowed down. 1/5 of the world's fresh water is found in the Amazon Basin. Truth of the matter is we can keep naming facts, but why are we so focused on the negative? The media has enforced, influenced and taught us to think and sometimes act this way.  (The picture to your right is a picture of Greenpeace's report on negative human interaction that affected the Amazon.)

Positive Human Interaction with the Amazon Rainforest (Biodiversity)
Greenpeace
     Greenpeace is an organization made up of volunteers that try to protect the natural resources and work in the Amazon as well.  After a ten year Greenpeace campaign, Europe banned the trade in illegal timber.  In addition to that, Greenpeace was also able to pressurize McDonald’s and it finally stepped up and responded to Greenpeace’s call to stop deforestation.  Their “Zero Deforestation Proposal” calls for deforestation to stop in the Amazon by 2015.  “ Take a look at the following video by Greenpeace as it strives to continue to stop deforestation in the Amazon.  




WWF
     WWF (World Wildlife Fund) is another organization that for more than 40 years has been at the forefront in protecting the Amazon.  The WWF-Brazil just recently signed a historic pact that will establish a system of economic incentives for conservation with a goal of eliminating deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon by 2015.  WWF is working within the Amazon region to:
World Wildlife Fund
§  Promote the responsible use of natural resources and sustainable management
§  Ensure environmental and social standards are met for infrastructure development
§  Develop national programmes for reducing emissions from deforestation
§  Consolidate and expand protected areas
As a result of projects such as these, the WWF has the world’s largest tropical forest conservation programme.  (The foundation's logo can be found on the right.)

Reports of Positives and Reasons To Continue to Protect Biodiversity
     That’s right, some form of media actually decided to focus on the positive this time; they reported we’re doing the right thing and a paragraph later they said it wasn’t enough. Nevertheless we should keep going, and we continue to keep going. What’s at stake here isn’t worth just giving up, but we should continue to keep trying. The chart to the right shows some of this success.  Follow the links to read the good news.
Mongabay.com: "Positive Signs"

Conclusion
      Remember, you can start locally from joining the green club at school (Greenquest) and then volunteering around the world with Greenpeace, everyone can do their part.Take a look at this video for more info.  
Let’s face it.  We are so influenced by the media it’s ridiculous.  What we focus on is what’s in the media.  Let’s start thinking ourselves.  Let’s start seeing what we do right and not wrong.  Let’s do more, get out there and make a difference to continue human efforts to save the Amazon and Biodiversity!  Remember, it's our life. 


Thanks for reading my blog!  Check back again for future bioblogs!  Share, Follow, and Comment!
Sources (Info):

DaVersity Code (Key Fronts in the Race to Protect the Web of Life)

WWF (Update on the Amazon & What WWF is doing)

Ecoagents (What we do)

Mongabay (How to Save Tropical Rainforests & Positive Signs)

Edmonton Journal (From Tree Choppers to Tree Huggers)

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