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Bullseye

Study finds unexpected link between cellular energetics and major depression

© National Institutes of Health
Mitochondrial DNA is the small circular chromosome found inside mitochondria. Mitochondria are organelles found in cells that are the sites of energy production. Mitochondria, and thus mitochondrial DNA, are passed from mother to offspring.
Emerging evidence suggests expanded insights into the nature of depression may be forthcoming. The optimism accompanies the discovery that the illness is associated with metabolic or cellular changes.

As reported in the journal Current Biology, the finding of a cellular signature may provide scientists an opportunity to measure and monitor mental health at the cellular level.

In some form, cellular changes may be a response to perceived stress — with depression a result of the cellular modifications.

"Our most notable finding is that the amount of mitochondrial DNA changes in response to stress," says Professor Jonathan Flint of the University of Oxford.

Mitochondria are compartments in cells responsible for generating energy. An increase in mitochondrial DNA suggests a change in mitochondria and cellular energetics, Flint explains.

"We see an unexpected link between cellular energetics and major depression, which has always been seen as a mood disorder."

Comment: Much to the chagrin of BigPharma, scientists continue to find more evidence that challenges the low-serotonin theory of depression:


Syringe

Vaccine-Autism Studies - the news you don't hear

A new study this week found no link between vaccines and autism. It instantly made headlines on TV news and popular media everywhere. Many billed it as the final word, "once again," disproving the notion that vaccines could have anything to do with autism.

What you didn't learn on the news was that the study was from a consulting firm that lists major vaccine makers among its clients: The Lewin Group.

That potential conflict of interest was not disclosed in the paper published in The New England Journal of Medicine; the study authors simply declare "The Lewin Group operates with editorial independence."

(As an aside, according to OpenSecrets.org, The Lewin Group's parent company, UnitedHealth Group, is a key government partner in Obamacare. Its subsidiary QSSI was given the contract to build the federal government's HealthCare.gov website. One of its top executives and his family are top Obama donors.)

Conflicts of interest alone do not invalidate a study. But they serve as important context in the relentless effort by pharmaceutical interests and their government partners to discredit the many scientists and studies that have found possible vaccine-autism links.

Comment: All the evidence in the world won't matter if the public has little to no access to it. Ms Attkisson has done a service gathering all this information.


Book 2

Is genetically engineered food a fraud?

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© CRAIG CUTLER, NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC
A line up of test tubes holds genetically altered orange seedlings and the hope of creating plants resistant to citrus greening, a bacterial scourge sweeping through Florida’s citrus groves.
An estimated 85 percent of all food consumed in the United States now contains genetically modified organisms (GMOs)—from the cereal you feed your children to the milk you put in your coffee to the sweet corn you chomp on in summer. But because there's no labeling requirement, we don't know which foods have GMOs and which don't. We also have no hard facts about the possible health effects. In his new book, Altered Genes, Twisted Truth: How the Venture to Genetically Engineer Our Food Has Subverted Science, Corrupted Government, and Systematically Deceived The Public, public interest attorney Steve Druker takes the science community, the food industry, and the FDA to task for what he claims are their lax and irresponsible policies.

Talking from a parking lot in Michigan during his book tour, he explains how the debate about GMOs has undermined science and democracy, why the two Bills, Clinton and Gates, have got it wrong, and what advice he would give an African farmer trying to feed his starving child.

Comment: Additional positive reviews for Steve Druker's book:


Eye 1

First they came for the Anti-Vaxxers

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© memegenerator.net
Earlier this year I spent a few days at the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center with my daughter who was having an EEG done. On our way home, I learned that there had been an outbreak of an antibiotic-resistant bacteria while we were there, that it had infected seven people and killed two of them. My daughter and I were fine - the infection having been limited to people using a particular kind of duodenoscope.

When the story hit the news, I fully expected nationwide outcry similar to that inspired by the recent measles "epidemic" that began at Disneyland. That outbreak killed no-one, yet set the country on fire with calls for mandatory vaccination and even prison sentences for parents who choose not to vaccinate their children. Drug-resistant "superbugs" kill nearly 15,000 people a year in the US and a recent report predicts that they could kill as many as 300 million people by 2050. Surely this far more deadly health threat would lead to similar widespread outrage and calls for those even remotely responsible to be held accountable.

Comment: Pro-Vaxxers are the new pro-lifers: Religious hysteria trumps rational discussion in the vaccine debate


Eggs Fried

Study: Brain's ability to control metabolism and aging negatively impacted by sub-optimal stores of fat

© Robert Boston
Shin-ichiro Imai, MD, PhD, led a study showing how fat tissue affects brain function. Mice with a defect in fat tissue that stopped production of an important enzyme had low energy levels in the brain and were lethargic, especially after a period of fasting. Normal physical activity was restored by giving the mice a compound called NMN, which is produced by that enzyme.
An enzyme secreted by the body's fat tissue controls energy levels in the brain, according to new research at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. The findings, in mice, underscore a role for the body's fat tissue in controlling the brain's response to food scarcity, and suggest there is an optimal amount of body fat for maximizing health and longevity.

The study appears April 23 in the journal Cell Metabolism.

"We showed that fat tissue controls brain function in a really interesting way," said senior author Shin-ichiro Imai, MD, PhD, professor of developmental biology and of medicine. "The results suggest that there is an optimal amount of fat tissue that maximizes the function of the control center of aging and longevity in the brain. We still don't know what that amount is or how it might vary by individual. But at least in mice, we know that if they don't have enough of a key enzyme produced by fat, an important part of the brain can't maintain its energy levels."

The findings may help explain the many studies that show a survival benefit to having a body mass index toward the low end of what is considered overweight.

"As we age, people who are slightly overweight tend to have fewer problems," Imai said. "No one knows why people categorized as being slightly overweight tend to have a lower mortality rate. But our study suggests that if you don't have an optimal amount of fat, you are affecting a part of the brain that is particularly important for controlling metabolism and aging."

Imai and his colleagues study how cells produce and utilize energy and how that affects aging. Past work of theirs and others demonstrated the importance of an enzyme called NAMPT in producing a vital cellular fuel called NAD. Traditionally, NAMPT is thought to be important for making this fuel inside cells. But Imai and members of his team noticed that fat tissue churned out a lot of NAMPT that ended up outside cells, circulating in the bloodstream.

"There's been a lot of controversy in the field about whether extracellular NAMPT has any function in the body," Imai said. "Some researchers have said it's just a result of leakage from dead cells. But our data indicate it is a highly active enzyme that is highly regulated."

Comment: The brain needs plenty of fat to function optimally, which may be one of the reasons that after decades of low-fat dietary guidelines, the rates of dementia have been rising. Other studies have shown that having a higher BMI, than what is considered 'normal' may actually improve overall health and longevity.


Syringe

HPV vaccine should scare the living daylights out of everyone

© Inconnu
There are no doubts by now that most readers have heard that in the USA there is much concern about everyone being vaccinated with booster shots, regardless of age! See a previous article I wrote about that.

Well, if there ever were a vaccine that should scare the living daylights out of everyone, it is the HPV (human papillomavirus) vaccine, of which there are three:
Gardasil® manufactured by Merck & Company (approved June 8, 2006)
Cervarix® manufactured by GlaxoSmithKline (approved October 16, 2009)
Gardasil 9® manufactured by Merck & Company (approved December 10, 2014)
Literally, the HPV vaccines have been life-changing for many young girls and women - and definitely not for the better. One group of vaccine safety advocates, SaneVax, is dedicated to tracking, documenting, and exposing the harms HPV vaccines have done not only in the USA, but in other countries of the world.

Their website has an amazing array of information, but the most remarkable first-glance information is the "HPV Vaccine VAERS Reports Up to Mar 2015," which blasts very unsettling statistics regarding only HPV vaccines:
  • Disabled 1,311
  • Deaths 226
  • Did Not Recover 7,703
  • Abnormal Pap Smear 685
  • Cervical Dysplasia 265
  • Cervical Cancer 102
  • Life Threatening 685
  • Emergency Room 12,429
  • Hospitalized 4,009
  • Extended Hospital Stay 267
  • Serious 5,418
  • Adverse Events 38,217

Comment: This is what Dr. Bernard Dalbergue, a former pharmaceutical industry physician with Gardasil manufacturer Merck had to say about Gardasil:
"The full extent of the Gardasil scandal needs to be assessed: everyone knew when this vaccine was released on the American market that it would prove to be worthless. Diane Harper, a major opinion leader in the United States, was one of the first to blow the whistle, pointing out the fraud and scam of it all. I predict that Gardasil will become the greatest medical scandal of all time because at some point in time, the evidence will add up to prove that this vaccine, technical and scientific feat that it may be, has absolutely no effect on cervical cancer and that all the very many adverse effects which destroy lives and even kill, serve no other purpose than to generate profit for the manufacturers. Gardasil is useless and costs a fortune! In addition, decision-makers at all levels are aware of it! Cases of Guillain-Barré syndrome, paralysis of the lower limbs, vaccine-induced MS and vaccine-induced encephalitis can be found, whatever the vaccine."



Nuke

Children at risk: extreme radiation levels detected in Tokyo playground

© Reuters / Toru Hanai
Workers of Tokyo's Toshima ward office carry away a container holding a fragment of an unknown object after it was dug up from the ground near playground equipment at a park in Toshima ward, Tokyo April 24, 2015
A playground in Tokyo turned out to be contaminated with radiation levels that 2,000 times exceed the maximums permitted in areas adjoining the devastated Fukushima nuclear plant. Authorities fear some children have been exposed to radiation influence.

The administrative office of Toshima ward in northwest Tokyo reported that soil probes showed 480 microsieverts per hour. Two hours of exposure at such levels would equal one year's maximum allowable dose of radiation.

Radiation levels measured this month in Okuma, a town less than 20 km from the Fukushima nuclear power plant, are ranging from 0.7 to 23.2 microsieverts per hour.

"We are still checking what caused these elevated radiation levels and what type of radioactive substance it is," Reuters quoted park representative Kyoko Tsujimura, stressing that radiation elsewhere in the park is low.

Comment: The Fukushima disaster happened on 11 March 2011. Take a look at the past of this playground:
JapanTimes 24 April 2015
The park, managed by the ward, opened in March 2013. Before then, the site had been used as a parking space for garbage collection vehicles from the Tokyo Metropolitan Government.



Headphones

In search of tinnitus, that phantom ringing in the ears

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© mikesheehy / sxh.hu
About one in five people experience tinnitus, the perception of a sound--often described as ringing--that isn't really there. Now, researchers reporting in the Cell Press journal Current Biology have taken advantage of a rare opportunity to record directly from the brain of a person with tinnitus in order to find the brain networks responsible.

The observations reveal just how different tinnitus is from normal representations of sounds in the brain.

"Perhaps the most remarkable finding was that activity directly linked to tinnitus was very extensive, and spanned a large proportion of the part of the brain we measured from," says Will Sedley of Newcastle University. "In contrast, the brain responses to a sound we played that mimicked [the subject's] tinnitus were localized to just a tiny area."
© Sedley, W et al.
This is a 3-D image of the left brain hemisphere of a patient with tinnitus (right) and the part of that hemisphere containing primary auditory cortex (left). Black dots indicate all the sites recorded from. Colored circles indicate electrodes at which the strength of ongoing brain activity correlated with the current strength of tinnitus perceived by the patient. Different colors indicate different frequencies of brain activity (blue = low, magenta = middle, orange = high) whose strength changed alongside tinnitus. Green squares indicate sites where the interaction between these different frequencies changed alongside changes in tinnitus.

Health

Poor diet causes more disease than lack of exercise, smoking and alcohol combined, say doctors

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Exercise all you like, but if your diet is bad, it won't protect you from disease
Doctors have blamed excess sugar and carbohydrates for the surge in obesity - not the lack of exercise.

They said poor diet was now recognised as being responsible for more disease than physical inactivity, alcohol and smoking combined.

Comment: This is one more 'revelation' from the medical industry that has been staring humanity in the fact for decades: eat chemical-laden pseudo-food, and you'll get sick. While the blame has been placed on natural animal fat and smoking for decades, it is not 'revealed' that big-business has been the real killer.

Read the report for yourself here.


Info

The clinical impact of Vitamin C: My personal experiences as a Physician

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© phys.org
Is the healing power of Vitamin C too good to be true? Can this inexpensive and convenient vitamin improve and heal the toughest of ailments?

My ongoing relationship with vitamin C now spans a full 20 years, when I first met Dr. Hal Huggins, a pioneering dentist who opened my eyes to a wide array of clinical approaches to different diseases with hitherto unheard-of clinical results at his clinic in Colorado Springs. I can honestly say that my first visit to his clinic began the most meaningful part of my medical education. Nothing has been the same since. My office where I practiced adult cardiology ended up being shuttered shortly after that first visit. And I have never looked back.

Comment: More helpful information about the benefits of Vitamin C