Health & Wellness


A vaccine for cancer?

© Joe Flintham
Researchers have tested a new way to encourage the body's own immune system to fight off cancer. Results are better than they expected.

A series of papers published Wednesday in the journal Nature show how the immune system can fight off cancer, and how that discovery could usher in new vaccines to stimulate that process to become more efficient. It's the latest advance in personalized medicine - tailoring a treatment to the unique genetic profile of the patient.

One of the jobs of the immune system is to patrol the body looking for foreign invaders that are then disposed of. When tumor cells arise, they are often "marked for death" because they have special molecules on the surface called antigens. The immune system recognizes these antigens and then destroys the tumor cell.

But cancer cells can be crafty. Some of them are able to hide from the immune system because they produce chemicals that can shut the immune response down. The chemicals disable a component of the immune system called T cells.

So scientists designed a vaccine to block the activity of those disabling chemicals. This allows the T cells to rev into gear and destroy the tumor cells. A vaccine has to be created for each individual because everyone's cancer cells are different.

"The concept is that, if we engage the immune system to attack the cancer, the immune system has the ability to remember, it has memory," Antoni Ribas, Professor of Medicine and director of the Tumor Immunology Program at the Johnson Cancer Center at UCLA, told Sputnik. Ribas was one of the doctors who carried out some of the cancer vaccine experiments. "That would lead to a long-lasting response, which is the feature that's important."

In one experiment, mice with an advanced form of muscle cancer were given a vaccine tailored to their specific tumor type. Astonishingly, the immune systems of the animals responded by obliterating the cancer in 90% of the mice that were treated.

"This is proof that personalized cancer vaccines can be very powerful and need to be applied to human cancers now", said Dr. Robert Schreiber of the Washington University School of Medicine, one of the lead authors of the study.

As knowledge of what makes the immune system tick continues to improve, the effectiveness of using the body's own defenses to fight cancer is likely to make treatment outcomes better.

Comment: While this is very interesting, it is also dangerous. This vaccine could potentially rake in mega bucks for the pharmaceutical industry. Vaccine efficacy is very questionable. Real research should involve delving into how to prevent cancer in the first place like with proper diet and care for all aspects of your body and mind.

No Entry

Writing reasonably about vaccines?: How this journalist was censored

When the editor of the Washington Independent Review of Books invited me to review a recent narrative book about vaccines, I said yes. It was a natural fit, since I've been researching vaccines for the past fifteen years, participating publicly in vaccine debates, and writing about the vexing issue of childhood vaccination for nearly as long.

But when an advanced reading copy came in the mail, I recognized the author's name as someone who had mentioned me in a January 2013 article in Harper's Magazine. I flipped through the book, and since her essay from Harper's was printed there nearly verbatim, my name was also in the book.

I called the editor to ask if that might create the perception of a conflict of interest.

"Do you think you can write a fair and balanced review," the editor asked me on the phone.

United Nations calls for an end to industrialized farming, organic agriculture can feed the world

© Chiot's Run
Gardener holding handful of Parisienne Carrots, which are a variety of heirloom carrot.
In 2013, the United Nations announced that the world's agricultural needs can be met with localized organic farms. That's right, we do not need giant monocultures that pour, spray and coat our produce with massive amounts of poisons, only to create mutant pests and weeds while decimating pollinators and harming human health. Don't believe the hype: We do not need genetically modified foods "to feed the world."

From my experience, many of these - how shall we say it - "worker bees" (i.e the GMO salesmen) who spread this propaganda, actually believe conventional tactics are necessary to ensure food security. They've drunk the Kool-Aid and cannot envision another possibility. The changes threaten their very existence.

Comment: SOTT has carried several articles on the topic of organic vs. conventional/industrial produced food. Below are a list of articles that give more data about why this topic is important, in addition to tools consumers can use to make informed decisions when purchasing food:

Life Preserver

LDL is your friend

LDL or low density lipoprotein has been given a bad rap. Every since someone decided to call it "bad cholesterol" it has been demonized as being responsible for just about everything bad in the world. Medical doctors and cardiologists in specific have joined the crusade against LDL with a pervasive mentality that somehow the lower the blood value of LDL, the better. Fortunately, the justification for this altruism is unjustified.

So let's take a step back for a moment and review just exactly what LDL is and does, and then I'll move on and explain why the notion of it being something to fear is ill founded.

LDL is what we call a carrier protein. And one of it's important jobs is to carry a fundamentally important chemical to every cell in the body. This chemical is a critical component of cell membranes, serves as a brain antioxidant, and is the raw material from which your body manufactures vitamin D, cortisol, estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone. And this important, life-sustaining chemical is cholesterol.

So the notion that LDL is "bad cholesterol" is flawed on two counts. First, it is, in and of itself, not cholesterol, it is a protein. Second, now that you've embraced all of its functions in human physiology, it's clear that LDL is anything but bad. How could we castigate a part of our biochemistry so fundamental for life?

Comment: See also:

Evil Rays

Electromagnetic Radiation and your health

"Life is electromagnetic." - Dr. Erica Mallery-Blythe

Awareness continues to increase surrounding the pervasive dangers of Electromagnetic Fields (EMFs). Our modern world is becoming an electromagnetic soup filled with 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 drawing conclusions that should concern us all, but particularly for young children and pregnant women. Government agencies are even doing battle amongst themselves over outdated scientific information that still impacts current regulations. A prominent neuroscientist recently went on record in a lecture to the medical community which gave strong credence to the concerns of everyday citizens. A world-renown biochemist joined the chorus of warnings, and went as far as to say that wireless radiation is a biohazard and should be abolished in certain settings.

Comment: Wireless radiation is a biohazard! Read more:


Recently discovered: "Stupid Virus"

Recently, disease researchers yet again have discovered an emerging virus.

Scientists at Johns Hopkins Medical School and the University of Nebraska stumbled on to chlorovirus ATCV-1, a DNA virus which comes from algae, while doing an unrelated test on throat microbes. Forty-three percent of patients tested had it in their throats. Among other things, it is found to lead to cognitive problems. You can read some mainstream articles here, here, here and here.

I think the headlines should have read a lot differently. This discovery could have big implications for people for a few reasons. Yet, where is the media panic now? it's been made cute and funny by dubbing it the "stupid virus."

Before we get carried away with giddy headlines pointing out how so many people must have "caught stupid" - let's get a couple of things straight.

Comment: Speaking of compromised immune systems and viruses roaring out like a sleeping dragons. Read the following: New Light on the Black Death: The Viral and Cosmic Connection
Comets are vile stars. Every time they appear in the south, they wipe out the old and establish the new. Fish grow sick, crops fail, Emperors and common people die, and men go to war. The people hate life and don't even want to speak of it." -Li Ch'un Feng, Director, Chinese Imperial Astronomical Bureau, 648, A.D.
As a physician, I usually concentrate strictly on medical and health-related issues, not history or catastrophism. However, like so many other people, I see signs of atmospheric changes on our planet which, according to many experts, may well be due to increasing comet dust loading. When I read about increasing reports of fireballs all around the world, and I know that these factors must have an effect on the health of individuals and societies, it motivates me to do the research to find the connections so that I am better prepared for what may lie in our future. If our planet is entering a new cometary bombardment cycle, and if these comets harbor new species of microbes unknown to mankind's collective immunological systems (as may well be the case), then being forewarned is being forearmed.

According to the late Sir Fred Hoyle and Chandra Wickramasinghe of the University of Wales at Cardiff, viruses can be distributed throughout space by dust in the debris stream of comets. Then as Earth passes though the stream, the dust and viruses load our atmosphere, where they can stay suspended for years until gravity pulls them down. They compare numerous plagues throughout our history which coincide with cometary bodies in our skies. These researchers are certain that germs causing plagues and epidemics come from space.


Deadly bacteria grows in your gut thanks to GMO food

Deadly bacteria grow in your gut when you eat GMO food, according to a new study.

A new study titled, "The Influence of Glyphosate on the Microbiota and Production of Botulinum Neurotoxin During Ruminal Fermentation," confirms a growing suspicion that GM foods tainted with the ubiquitous agrochemical Roundup are causing widespread changes in the microbiome of those who consume them, resulting in bodily changes that are believed to lead to a wide range of lethal diseases.

As we reported in 2012, in an article titled "Roundup Herbicide Linked To Overgrowth of Deadly Bacteria," a growing body of research points to the world's most popular herbicide as causing dysbiosis (pathogenic alteration of gut bacteria), a condition which profoundly affects and alters the so-called holobiont, or total set of organisms plus human cells that make up our bodily constitution, and as a consequence, health. Because we depend on the proper selection and quantity of bacterial strains with which we co-evolved over countless eons, any significant disruption of the commensal ties to this microbial universe will result in a state of suboptimal functioning, ultimately leading to disease.

Comment: This new study is very concerning when one considers the fact that gut health is connected with the overall health of the immune system. While it is not surprising that GMO foods cause major disturbances in gut flora, research into the specific bacteria present in products like glyphosate/RoundUp, that lead to gut imbalances/toxicity, is really frightening!

Read the following articles that have been published on this topic:


Sleep apnea linked to poor aerobic fitness

People with moderate to severe obstructive sleep apnea may have an intrinsic inability to burn high amounts of oxygen during strenuous aerobic exercise.
People with moderate to severe obstructive sleep apnea may have an intrinsic inability to burn high amounts of oxygen during strenuous aerobic exercise, according to a new study led by researchers at University of California, San Diego School of Medicine.

The study, reported in the current issue of Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine, shows that people with sleep apnea, in which breathing repeatedly starts and stops during slumber, have a lower peak oxygen uptake during aerobic activity than those who do not suffer from the sleep disorder.

People who suffer from apnea are more likely to be obese and thus would be expected to be less fit as well. The researchers, however, found that apnea patients had a reduced aerobic fitness, even compared with those of similar body mass indices.

"Encouraging patients to exercise more is part of the story, but that is not the whole story," said lead author Jeremy Beitler, MD, assistant clinical professor in pulmonary and critical care medicine. "We believe the sleep apnea itself causes structural changes in muscle that contributes to their difficulty exercising."

Comment: Those who suffer from sleep apnea might want to take a look at this article:

Breathe in: Exercises may help sleep apnea

Also if you haven't tried any breathing techniques, you can check out the Éiriú Eolas breathing program here.


Outbreak of the plague kills 40 in Madagascar

© Thomas Mukoya/Reuters
Madagascar's capital Antananarivo where two cases of the plague have been confirmed.
World Health Organisation is concerned about risk of disease spreading in the capital where two cases have been recorded

An outbreak of the plague has killed 40 people out of 119 confirmed cases in Madagascar since late August and there is a risk of the disease spreading rapidly in the capital, the World Health Organisation has said.

So far two cases and one death have been recorded in the capital Antananarivo but those figures could climb quickly due to "the city's high population density and the weakness of the healthcare system," WHO warned.

"The situation is further complicated by the high level of resistance to deltamethrin (an insecticide used to control fleas) that has been observed in the country," it added.

Plague, a bacterial disease, is mainly spread from one rodent to another by fleas. Humans bitten by an infected flea usually develop a bubonic form of plague, which swells the lymph node and can be treated with antibiotics, WHO said.

If the bacteria reach the lungs, the patient develops pneumonia (pneumonic plague), which is transmissible from person to person through infected droplets spread by coughing. It is one of the most deadly infectious diseases and can kill people within 24 hours. Two percent of the cases reported in Madagascar so far have been pneumonic, it added.

The first known case of the plague was a man from Soamahatamana village in the district of Tsiroanomandidy, identified on 31 August. He died on 3 September and authorities notified WHO of the outbreak on 4 November, the agency said.

WHO said it did not recommend any trade or travel restrictions.

The last previously known outbreak of the plague was in Peru in August 2010.

Comment: There is research out there supporting the idea that plagues coincide with cometary bodies in our atmosphere. From New Light on the Black Death: The Viral and Cosmic Connection,
According to the late Sir Fred Hoyle and Chandra Wickramasinghe of the University of Wales at Cardiff, viruses can be distributed throughout space by dust in the debris stream of comets. Then as Earth passes though the stream, the dust and viruses load our atmosphere, where they can stay suspended for years until gravity pulls them down. They compare numerous plagues throughout our history which coincide with cometary bodies in our skies. These researchers are certain that germs causing plagues and epidemics come from space.

Snakes in Suits

The shocking truth about emotional abuse in the workplace

I pride myself on being a relational and socially conscious woman in the workplace. I had no idea that these qualities made me a prime target for emotional abuse from a business colleague.

Looking back now, I can easily see his artfully used tactics so he could always win: rationalization, lying by omission, diversion, shaming, playing the servant role, and so many more. However, at the time it was hard to put my finger on what was going on. I now know that this is because he belongs to a special category of manipulative people Dr. George Simon labels Covert Aggressors: experts at knowing what to say and do in order to make you abandon any intuitive mistrust.

Comment: For more on pathology in the workplace:
Ponerology 101: Snakes in Suits
Psychopathic Bosses and Institutional Bullying
Beware the Workplace Psychopath
Workplace Psychopaths Leave a Trail of Destruction