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Beaker

French scientists lose over 2,000 vials of SARS virus samples

scientist
© French scientists said they have misplaced some deadly SARS virus
A routine inventory at the prestigious French research body Institut Pasteur in Paris revealed it has lost some 2,300 tubes containing samples of the potentially deadly SARS virus.

France's distinguished Institut Pasteur, which was among the first to isolate HIV in the 1980s, admitted on Monday that it has lost some 2,349 vials containing samples of the deadly SARS virus.

During a recent inventory researchers realized the vials were unaccounted for and so called in France's drug and health safety agency "l'Agence nationale de sécurité du médicament et des produits de santé" to help with the search, according to a statement from Institut Pasteur.

The drug and health safety people spent four days, from April 4th-12th, doing an 'in depth' investigation at the unnamed lab in question and came up empty handed as well.
Bug

Deadly yellow fever mosquito resurfaces in California

© CBS
Yellow Fever Mosquito, or aedes egypti
A deadly mosquito that hasn't been widely seen in the Bay Area since the 1970s has been detected in San Mateo County.

It's called Aedes aegypti and it was found in January at the Holy Cross cemetery in Menlo Park.

It's the mosquito that spreads yellow fever, chicken fever, the dengue fever and other diseases. Officials call it "one of the worst most effective vectors of disease around the world."

The mosquito is tiny and its bite is hardly noticeable. Unlike other mosquitoes, it bites during the day.
Red Flag

Madness of vegetarianism: Peaches Geldof was 'dieting' on vegetable juice when she died


The late Peaches Geldof
When it comes to healthy eating, its best to look to the experts, not celebrities such as extreme dieter Peaches Geldof

If only you and I were dogs or rabbits - how much easier this column might be to write. For in advising a scientific approach to dieting, I could say: "Eat plenty of red meat, and gnaw bones at times", or "Keep munching the grass, along with an occasional carrot".

But we're omnivores, and while this means we can thrive on a variety of diets, it makes it tough to recommend an ideal diet.

Clearly, though, there is something very wrong with typical modern diets, since an obesity epidemic is sweeping the world. According to the World Health Organisation, worldwide obesity has nearly doubled since 1980, and by 2008 more than 10 per cent of adults were obese.

Being overweight or obese is now the fifth leading cause of global deaths from diseases such as stroke, heart disease and some cancers. The health risks, plus the desire to look better, inspire many people to try to lose weight. But they shouldn't overdo it, given recent research that found that being excessively thin brings a higher risk of dying than being overweight.
Life Preserver

Dr. Jonny Bowden - The Great Cholesterol Myth

So, you might ask, what is the "Great Cholesterol Myth"? And... Why should I care?

You should care for two reasons.

One, the Great Cholesterol Myth has been the foundation of the boneheaded dietary advice you and I have been saddled with for the past 30 years, "official" dietary advice that has directly contributed to the greatest epidemic of obesity, diabetes and heart disease in history.

And two, belief in the Great Cholesterol Myth has caused us to take our eye off the ball when it comes to preventing heart disease. Belief in the Great Cholesterol Myth has caused us to neglect the real causes of heart disease while obsessively focused on an innocuous molecule that's essential for life and has only a minor role in heart disease.

Jonny Bowden, the rogue nutritionist
Evil Rays

Neuroscientist exposes dangers of electromagnetic fields

Neuroscience has come under scrutiny for its involvement in an array of mind control initiatives and other ethically questionable research. But at least one neuroscientist from Sweden has gone on record to caution against the increasing dangers of Electromagnetic Fields (EMF) on human beings and other living organisms, as you will see in the presentation below.

Our modern world is creating an electromagnetic soup filled with electrical pulses, radio frequencies, computer screens, wireless signals, as well as personal devices such as cell phones and gadgets that are emitting damaging radiation. There are many peer-reviewed scientific studies which are drawing conclusions that should concern us all, but particularly young children and pregnant women. In fact, the debate is heating up to such a level that government agencies are even infighting over the matter, as evidenced when the Department of the Interior recently sent a letter with their own scientific papers chastising the FCC for using standards that are 30 years out of date. As the DOI stated, the concern is not only in the negative health effects upon people, but upon wildlife as well.
Pills

Drugs giant GlaxoSmithKline bribed doctors to boost sales

Britain's biggest drug company, GlaxoSmithKline, allegedly bribed doctors in Poland using money that was meant to be spent on educating patients, according to new evidence revealed today by the BBC Panorama programme.
A GSK whistleblower claims that money put aside to teach patients in Poland about an asthma drug, Seretide, actually went towards paying doctors to prescribe more of the medicine.

Jarek Wisniewiski, who was with the company for eight years until 2012, worked on a marketing programme across the country in 2010 to push the asthma drug.

He told Panorama that although officially the money was to be spent on medical training, in reality it was used to bribe doctors to boost the company's sales.

"I pay for education and in the same meeting I said that I need more prescriptions for Seretide. So... they knew exactly what I pay for," he said. "We pay agreement for a speech; we pay £100 but we expect more than 100 prescriptions for this drug."

Comment: Nice empty words...The nerve of them! Drug giants are the world's greatest serial killers:

Gardasil: Medical torture and child abuse by Big Pharma
Beta-blockers killed 800,000 in 5 years - "good medicine" as mass murder
Merck's NuvaRing - Portrait of a killer
The Worst Drug Fraud in History? Do You Still Trust Them with Your Life?
Conventional Doctor's Faith in Big Pharma Shattered After Glaxo's Latest Scams
Glaxo chief: Our drugs do not work on most patients
Psychopathy Alert! FDA: Glaxo, Merck vaccines OK despite pig virus contamination

Eggs Fried

How food marketers made butter the enemy

Butter
© Louise Cukrov/Shutterstock
James McWilliams - a historian who has made a name for himself in prestigious publications like the New York Times and The Atlantic for his contrarian defenses of the food industry - is back at it. In an item published last week in the excellent Pacific Standard, McWilliams uses the controversy over a recent study of saturated fat as a club with which to pummel food industry critics like the Times' Mark Bittman.

Here's what happened: A group including Harvard and Cambridge researchers analyzed 72 studies and concluded that there's no clear evidence that ditching saturated fat (the kind found mainly in butter, eggs, and meat) for the monounsaturated and polyunsaturated kind (found in fish and a variety of vegetable oils) delivers health benefits.

Bittman responded to the study's release with a Times item declaring that "butter is back." His real point was more nuanced than that, though. The study's conclusion "doesn't mean you [should] abandon fruit for beef and cheese," he wrote. Rather, he urged, "you [should] just abandon fake food for real food, and in that category of real food you can include good meat and dairy."

After a 1977 decree by a US Senate committee that people should consume less saturated fat, the food industry began to promote sugar-laden, carbohydrate-rich products as "low fat" and thus healthy.

Not so fast, McWilliams countered. He pointed out, correctly, that the study turned out to have errors, which the authors had to correct. But even after the corrections, the study's lead author stood by the overall findings, Science reported. Another one of the authors told Science that the study's main problem was the way it was covered by media. "We are not saying the guidelines are wrong and people can eat as much saturated fat as they want," he told Science. "We are saying that there is no strong support for the guidelines and we need more good trials."

Of course, headline aside, Bittman didn't fall into that trap. He merely urged his readers to accept some fat when they're "looking for a few chunks of pork for a stew," and to use real butter in place of "I Can't Believe It's Not Butter." Indeed, Bittman's call for moderation in eating animal products is long-standing - he's the author of a book called Vegan Before Six and a longtime champion of the "Meatless Mondays" practice.
Pills

What the Tamiflu saga tells us about drug trials and big pharma

Tamiflu 1
© Per Lindgren/REX
Tamiflu capsules.
We now know the government's Tamiflu stockpile wouldn't have done us much good in the event of a flu epidemic. But the secrecy surrounding clinical trials means there's a lot we don't know about other medicines we take

Today we found out that Tamiflu doesn't work so well after all. Roche, the drug company behind it, withheld vital information on its clinical trials for half a decade, but the Cochrane Collaboration, a global not-for-profit organisation of 14,000 academics, finally obtained all the information. Putting the evidence together, it has found that Tamiflu has little or no impact on complications of flu infection, such as pneumonia.

That is a scandal because the UK government spent £0.5bn stockpiling this drug in the hope that it would help prevent serious side-effects from flu infection. But the bigger scandal is that Roche broke no law by withholding vital information on how well its drug works. In fact, the methods and results of clinical trials on the drugs we use today are still routinely and legally being withheld from doctors, researchers and patients. It is simple bad luck for Roche that Tamiflu became, arbitrarily, the poster child for the missing-data story.

Comment: It is not hard to see why Roche refused to hand over the data for half a decade - money. Imagine the profits they made from sales while the data showing the drug does not work was withheld. This was a cynical and deliberate ploy to maximise profits and hide data that showed the drug was a hoax.

Alarm Clock

Gulf War Syndrome comes to the Gulf of Mexico?

A large cadre of marine scientists assembled this week in Mobile, Ala. to discuss the environmental fallout from the BP Deepwater Horizon disaster that occurred nearly four years ago off the Gulf Coast. Sadly, the impact on human health took a backseat at these meetings to fisheries, socio-economic effects, coastal ecosystems and the circulation of petrochemicals in the sea.

These are critical topics, to be sure, but the health of residents on and near the coast deserve as much attention. Unknown numbers may have been sickened by exposures to chemicals from the spill, including the highly toxic dispersant, Corexit. Those exposures can lead to subsequent intolerances to other substances, including common chemicals, through a newly described disease mechanism called TILT, or Toxicant Induced Loss of Tolerance.

Sadly, researchers and doctors remain unaware of this new mechanism for disease caused by chemical exposures. We're like the doctors at the turn of the century who, lacking knowledge of the germ theory, had no idea what was causing rampant fevers and deaths during the Civil War.

There are individuals who were affected by the spill now being diagnosed with anxiety and depression. These are common effects of chemical exposures in susceptible persons, and can also be caused by stressful events.

Of course, at this late date, those exposed in the Gulf area no longer have increased levels of chemicals in their tissues. The petrochemicals and dispersants they were exposed to have left their bodies and are no longer measurable. This is not DDT which deposits in our fat stores and remains there for decades. These are synthetic organic chemicals that in susceptible persons cause TILT. They enter the body, do their damage, and leave within days. Subsequently, everyday exposures trigger symptoms in those affected.

It's true that large sums of money are being spent to study the health impact on people--including fishermen, cleanup workers, volunteers and others--who were exposed to the spill. But researchers who are looking into the aftermath of the Deepwater Horizon spill are not asking some key questions.
Hotdog

Sugar - The elephant in the kitchen: Robert Lustig at TED

Robert H. Lustig is an American pediatric endocrinologist at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) where he is a Professor of Clinical Pediatrics.

Robert Lustig
Dr. Lustig assesses the health dangers of sugar and its link to Type-2 diabetes and the global obesity epidemic. He is the author of several books and many articles on childhood obesity, including the recent "Obesity Before Birth."


Comment: For a contrast of how everybody should be feeling or looking both inside and outside, see:
Jimmy Moore - Nutritional Ketosis

More information:

Is sugar toxic - 60 minutes investigates
Jeff Volek - The many facets of keto-adaptation: Health, performance, and beyond

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