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Canadian Wildfires Forcing Thousands to Evacuate; Living Off The Grid; The Fascinating World of Medicine and Explore Where it All Begins. Aired 4-4:10a ET

Aired May 15, 2024 - 04:00   ET


COY WIRE, CNN 10 ANCHOR: What`s up, sunshine? I`m Coy. This is CNN 10. And we are pumped for #YourWordWednesday. So follow me @coywire on social and

put your word and definition in the comment section of my most recent post. And we`re going to choose one winner to work into tomorrow`s show along

with a shout out for you and your school.

All right. We start today in Canada, where more than 100 fires are burning across the country. These fires are approaching several communities and

have forced nearly 5000 people to evacuate their homes. In Canada, it`s been unusually dry for this time of year. And there wasn`t a lot of snow

over the winter to help keep the ground damp.

In some places, fires from last year didn`t completely go out. They stayed hidden underground and came back when it got warm. These are called zombie

fires because they come back just like a zombie in a scary movie.

The smoke from these fires also is traveling into the United States and affecting air quality across the country. If there is an air quality

warning in your area, it`s important to stay safe and indoors until the smoke passes.

Red flag warnings and air quality alerts are some of the many benefits of living in a community, right? But for some, there`s still an appeal and

trying to live off the grid. That means completely self-sufficient, gathering your own food, shelter, power and water. It`s not an easy way to

live but it is much simpler and those who do it are saying that it can be tremendously rewarding.

Let`s travel to the Wales countryside where some people are choosing to live off the grid.


WILL COOKE, BRITHDIR MAWR RESIDENT: We`re not saying all of this modern stuff and like all machinery is bad and all modern ways of doing things are

bad. We`re trying to integrate ancient ways of doing things with modern ways of doing things.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Many of us might try to live more sustainably to help the environment. But some take a more drastic approach, aiming to become

self-sufficient like these people living off the grid in the Wales countryside.

COOKE: Brithdir Mawr is an intentional community which has currently got 23 people living on site of ages ranging between two and mid-60s. Started in

1994. I`ll take you on a little look around this way.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Intentional communities, eco-villages, housing cooperatives. There are many different types of these communities around

the world and they can be traced back to the U.S. and U.K. in the 1940s, inspired by the back to the land movement and popularized by hippies in the

60s and 70s. Two key elements that define Brithdir Mawr`s way of living are being off the grid and the community structure.

COOKE: When we talk about the grid we mean the -- mains electricity grid, water, sewage and waste disposal. We`re not part of any of those networks.

But that doesn`t mean we`re completely cut off from society. We`re about 80% to 90% self-sufficient on food.

Our water comes from spring on the mountain. Heating and cooking is done with wood, harvested from the land. Electricity comes from solar panels,

hydroelectric and a wind turbine.

Here`s some goats. We milk the goats twice a day. We`re also making lots of cheese.

JESS, LONG-TERM VOLUNTEER: So we`re going to be going up to the coppice and starting on that.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Roughly 100,000 people are living in similar ways around the world, according to a 2020 estimate from the Executive Director of the

Foundation for Intentional Communities.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And the number has been rising in recent years.

COOKE: We are a non-hierarchical community so there`s no individual in charge. We make our decisions by consensus. We want to have this balance

where we`re putting more time and energy into working on the land here and becoming more self-sufficient as opposed to putting all of our time into

earning money, working for someone else and then spending that money on the things that we need to live like food.

On average people work one to two days a week doing other work because we are paying rent here. There are challenges here but then there are huge

challenges in terms of what people are going through in their everyday life out there. And anyone could learn the land skills.

Anyone could learn the decision-making process. Anyone could choose to live in a way where you`re making being in harmony with the being in harmony

with the other people around you the priority. There are many, many ways in which people could live which would give more to the world than they`re

taking from the world. This is just an example of it.


WIRE: Pop quiz hot shots.

Where do most plants start their life cycle? Seed, root, soil or leaves?

I was rooting for you but hate to soil your party. If you believe the answer was root, soil or leaves if you said seed then it`s time to turn up

because you are correct. Most plants start as seeds which contain a plant with leaves stems and roots.

Now, let`s dive into the fascinating world of medicine where it all begins. Believe it or not a lot of the medicines that we use started in nature.

Plants create special chemicals to protect themselves from pests and diseases and many of these same chemicals can help us too.


CASSANDRA QUAVE, ETHNOBOTANIST, EMORY UNIVERSITY: Plants are everything. They`re what provide our food, our housing materials, our musical

instruments, our clothing and our medicines. When I look at a plant I`m looking to its chemistry and trying to understand the secrets that may

unveil new medicines.

The use of plants as medicines goes back to the very origins of humanity. 34,000 species have been documented as being used in some form of

traditional medicine yet scientists have only looked at around a thousand of these plants.

I`ve traveled to some incredible places across the world in my search for nature`s next medicines. We`re looking for the next type of antibiotic. The

work that I do is deeply personal to me. I was born with multiple congenital defects of my skeletal system which required the amputation of

my leg at the age of three.

I developed a hospital acquired infection that nearly took my life. Luckily back in the 1980s we still had antibiotics that worked against some of

these really bad bacteria. Today we`re not so fortunate.

CRAIG HOPP, NATIONAL CENTER FOR COMPLEMENTARY & INTEGRATIVE HEALTH: A lot of our antibiotics have been around for a long time and the pathogenic

bacteria continue to develop resistance to them unless you come up with a continuous supply of new antibiotics. Acting by new mechanisms is not just

enough to have a new antibiotic.

QUAVE: Over a million people die every year due to untreatable infections and so I`ve dedicated my life to searching for new medicines from nature to

combat the worst of these drug-resistant infections.

We collect plants in the field. We press them and deposit them into an herbarium which is like a library of life. We also take samples back to the

lab where we pull out the chemistry from the plant.

Some of our most exciting discoveries have come from plants like the American beautyberry, the European chestnut, and the Brazilian pepper tree.

We`ve discovered molecules in these plants that are very effective in the treatment of the worst drug-resistant bacteria including MRSA or drug-

resistant staph.

We`ve also discovered fascinating molecules from the American beautyberry plant. These molecules restore the activity of antibiotics against very

dangerous resistant bacteria. The next phase of our research involves moving these discoveries from the lab to human clinical trials.

HOPP: We could see a scenario in 10, 20, 30 years where many infections are not responsive to any type of antibiotic and for that reason Dr. Quave`s

work is essential to help prevent that from happening.


WIRE: Today`s story getting a 10 out of 10 is picture perfect. These are the finalists for the 2024 Comedy Pet Photography Awards. There`s a little

bit of something for everyone.

We`ve got pet and owner lookalikes, a kitty cat crammed in a crack followed by a high-kicking canine and a headless horse which is an illusion of

course. So stay vigilant y`all in case your pets do something silly because you could be the next winner.

All right superstars that ends our time together. Before we go here`s my favorite part of the show. This special shout out goes to Mr. Weeks class

at Freedom High School in South Riding, Virginia. Fly high Eagles.

This next shout out goes to Riverside Middle School in New Castle, Colorado. Let`s keep learning today to help us conquer tomorrow. Thank you

for watching us and we`ll be right back tomorrow.

Remember to submit your vocab words for hashtag your word Wednesday. I`m Coy Wire and we are CNN 10.