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Everything you wanted to know about GMOs but were afraid to ask

If you've been to a barbecue and ate burgers, ribs, and corn on the cob, it's probably a pretty good bet you that while you were wiping barbecue sauce off your chin you weren't thinking about DNA splicing in some far away laboratory. However, there are folks who do just that: come up with ways to genetically modify foods in order to make them "pest resistant" or "herbicide resistant," and the way scientists accomplish this is reminiscent of a grade B horror film.

Genetic engineering is the science of creating transgenic organisms, meaning genes are manipulated from one species to another to create a trait that did not previously exist. This is also called "recombinant DNA technology." For instance, the DNA in Monsanto's "Bt" corn has been modified by inserting specific genes from Bacillus thuringiensis, a ground-dwelling bacterium that is also used as a means of natural pest control. The genetic modification produces a crystalline protein in the stalks, pollen, and leaves of the plant that is toxic to borers and other corn pests.

The first genetically modified organisms, commonly known as GMOs, appeared in 1982 as plant cells that had been genetically modified by scientists of Monsanto Corporation, a chemical giant now turned biotech behemoth, who is also the producer of Bovine Growth Hormone (rBGH), a commercial livestock hormone that has been linked to breast and prostate cancer. Since 1994, GMO crops and livestock, labeled "Frankenfoods" by anti-GMO activists, have proliferated across the globe, with many unanswered questions creating a firestorm of controversy. What are the long-term health effects of ingesting GMO products? How extensively will airborne pollen taint organic crops? By mutating the genes of plants and animals, how will the evolution of species be affected, including humans? Why were GMOs released into the global food markets with no testing?

Comment: For more in depth information about the growing concerns over GMOs read: Are you inflamed over GMO foods?

Health

Move over ADHD - is Sluggish Cognitive Tempo the next big thing?

Sluggish Cognitive Tempo
© Jason Henry for The New York Times
Keith McBurnett, a scientist, said, “We haven’t even agreed on the symptom list” for sluggish cognitive tempo.
That slow-moving, daydreaming kid who keeps forgetting to put his name on his papers might not just be overtired from staying up too late playing video games. He might be suffering from something researchers are calling Sluggish Cognitive Tempo (SCT).

Proponents of the as-yet unrecognized condition say it is a legitimate diagnosis, distinct from Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder with which it shares some symptoms, and deserves its own course of treatment.

Skeptics, however, argue that too many children have already been misdiagnosed as having ADHD when the problem may be nothing more than ordinary childhood behaviors and that the new SCT may be more of the same.

Meanwhile, pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly is looking into which of its ADHD drugs could be used to treat SCT.

According to an article in the New York Times, more than 6 million American children are currently diagnosed with ADHD, with about 4 million of them taking medication daily to control the symptoms. With those kinds of numbers, along with the broad all-encompassing set of symptoms, concern has been rising that significant numbers of these may have been misdiagnosed.
Bacon

Intermittent fasting supercharges your brain - and more!

Fasting Improves Your Brain Function

New research has indicated that fasting can significantly reduce the effects of aging on the brain. It has been known that bouts of intermittent fasting have a powerful anti-inflammatory effect on the entire body. Leading scientists now believe that intermittent fasting is one of the key strategies for maximizing brain function.

Researchers at the National Institute of Aging in Baltimore have reviewed the literature and performed studies to indicate the positive effects of fasting on overall brain health. Professor Mark Mattson, who the head of the Institute's laboratory of NeuroSciences, made it clear that these benefits were not just related to calorie restriction but instead to intentional periods of intermittent fasting.

Comment: The best way to use this kind of protocol would be inside the context of a Ketogenic Diet, with lots of bone broth!

Phoenix

Jimmy Moore - Nutritional Ketosis

Jimmy Moore runs a hugely popular US based website livinlavidalowcarb.com
Jimmy is one of those warm, passionate personalities who knows a lot about living low carb. He has compiled a great resource of blogs and podcasts (over 600!) with all the leaders in the low carb field.

In this seminar Jimmy discusses nutritional ketosis.

Apple Red

Federal response to state GMO labeling laws: 'DARK Act'

There are currently at least 24 states that have introduced their own versions of genetically modified food labeling laws.

A new bill will sweep them all into oblivion under the federal rug.

It will provide less information to consumers, throw all authority onto the FDA and will paint consumers who have valid concerns as bullies and loons with false "activist claims." In other words - the Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act of 2014 is supporting something that is safe - if you pipe up, you are unreasonably pushing something dangerous. The danger? A simply label change depicting a GMO. One that is considerably more humble than current and constant label changes that include "No preservatives!" "No HFCS!" "Gluten-free!" Unlike what the bill's title suggests, it means less ingredient labeling and less oversight.
Shopping Bag

Wanna know a secret about grocery stores?

grocery shopping
© Unknown
There is a big secret out there in the grocery store aisles that no one wants you to know. There is a hoax of monumental proportions that is being perpetrated on the American public.

Before I tell you what it is, let me remind you of some things that you already know.

It's no secret at all that the American economy is in dire straits. Unemployment has skyrocketed and today's dollars buy a lot less than the dollars of just a few years ago. Even the most thrifty shopper will pay substantially more for a cart full of groceries. To make matters worse, our country's main food-producing areas have been devastated by droughts, and you can expect that prices will only go up from here.

So people work for slave wages, if they can find work at all, then go to the grocery store and buy what they can afford. And that is where the secret comes in.
Health

World Health Organization says this is 'one of the most challenging Ebola outbreaks we have ever dealt with'

ebola
© unknown
Even corpses are contagious
The number of deaths in the current Ebola outbreak has jumped to more than a hundred. dozens of people in west African countries are quarantined and officials are desperately trying to find close contacts of the sick in an attempt to curtail the spread.

Governments are recommending that people no longer shake hands or have sex with anyone who is not a regular, monogamous partner. Talking to the BBC the WHO said:
"(It's) "one of the most challenging Ebola outbreaks we have ever dealt with" and could take another four months to contain,"

Note: Five more deaths have occurred since this report was published.
Every day that this disease is claiming victims is another day it has the chance to escape from Africa. I know many say that it kills too quickly for that to happen, but this is incorrect. Ebola can take between 2 and 21 days to incubate. From the WHO website:
The incubation period, that is, the time interval from infection with the virus to the onset of symptoms, is 2 to 21 days.
From the CDC website:
Symptoms may appear anywhere from 2 to 21 days after exposure to Ebola virus though 8-10 days is most common.
Dollar

US doctors siphoning millions from Medicare

doctor
© Joe Raedle/Getty Images
In 2012, south Florida ophthalmologist Salomon Melgen received $20.8 million in Medicare payments, the highest amount the government health plan for the elderly and disabled paid an individual provider that year, according to a Reuters analysis of federal data released on Wednesday.

A California laboratory received $190 million, the most Medicare paid a single entity in 2012.

Family physician Tatiana Pavlova Greenfield, who practices in Maryland, may have received an average of more than $86,000 per patient that year, according to the Reuters review, and $3.3 million in total. That compares to an average of $2,200 per Medicare patient in 2012. Asked for comment, an employee at the office where Greenfield worked said she "had left the country."

After decades of litigation and over the strenuous objections of the American Medical Association, the leading U.S. doctors group, the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) made public for the first time how much Medicare pays individual doctors and other providers.

Comment: See also:
Dead Doctors Still Making Millions from Medicare Billings
Doctors want to keep their Medicare payments a secret

Phoenix

Jeff Volek - The many facets of keto-adaptation: Health, performance, and beyond

Obesity is a condition of excess fat accumulation in adipocytes where the person is literally stuck in storage mode diverting a disproportionate amount of calories into fat cells as opposed to oxidation. Thus it is more productive to think of obesity as a problem in 'energy flow' rather than energy expenditure (i.e., calories in, calories out). The most efficient approach to accelerate the body's ability to access and burn body fat is to restrict dietary carbohydrate while increasing fat intake for a period of several weeks, after which fatty acids and ketones become the primary fuel at rest and during submaximal exercise. The coordinated set of metabolic adaptations that ensure proper inter-organ fuel supply in the face of low carbohydrate availability is referred to as keto- adaptation. This unique metabolic state has recently been shown to have widespread and profound therapeutic and performance-enhancing effects ranging from reversing type 2 diabetes to shrinking tumors to allowing ultra-endurance runners to set course records. This presentation will discuss the physiologic effects of very low carbohydrate diets with an emphasis on their unique effects on both features of metabolic syndrome and human performance.


Comment: Comment: More on the ketogenic diet:

Ambulance

Stroke risk higher among young adults with insomnia

Insomnia
© Getty
People with insomnia may have a higher risk of stroke than their well-rested peers, a new study shows.

The link between insomnia and stroke was especially strong in young adults, who were up to eight times more likely to suffer a stroke if they had insomnia.

That finding - based on an analysis of health records of more than 21,000 people with insomnia and 64,000 regular sleepers in Taiwan - doesn't prove sleep disturbances cause strokes. And even among young people with insomnia, total stroke risk remained low.

"The article raises the question of, are we doctors taking chronic insomnia seriously?" Dr. Demetrius Lopes told Reuters Health. "It gives us ammunition to promote good sleep hygiene."

Lopes, a neurosurgeon who specializes in stroke treatment at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, was not involved in the current study.
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