Health & Wellness


Eradicated? Vials of smallpox discovered in unused FDA storage room

Federal investigators are probing how vials of smallpox made their way into a storage room at a Food and Drug Administration lab near the US capital, health authorities said Tuesday.

Smallpox is a highly contagious and sometimes fatal disease that has been eradicated after a worldwide vaccination program. The last US case was in 1949; the last global case was in 1977 in Somalia.

The vials were labeled "variola," another name for smallpox, and they appear to date from the 1950s, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in a statement.

They were found in an unused portion of a storeroom in an FDA laboratory, located on the National Institutes of Health campus in Bethesda, Maryland.

There is no evidence that the vials had been opened, "and onsite biosafety personnel have not identified any infectious exposure risk to lab workers or the public," the CDC said.

The vials have been moved to a high-security lab at the CDC headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia.

Comment: According to the WHO, smallpox has been eradicated. Why then is it still necessary to preserve samples in two labs in the US and Russia? The truth is, it hasn't been eradicated, and still infects people today. There is a growing suspicion that smallpox has been labeled "eradicated" to be able to terminate the smallpox vaccination programs, because it became clear that vaccinating against smallpox was not only ineffective, but increased fatality rates compared to the un-vaccinated. Notwithstanding the fact that smallpox is still in the wild - under different names like monkeypox, but indistinguishable from smallpox - WHO declared smallpox eradicated, possibly to escape litigation, while preserving the vaccine paradigm.

The only effect of vaccines that has consistently been shown is immunosuppression.

For more information on this topic, please read:
Smallpox was declared eradicated, yet still infects humans today.


Bill Gates-funded birth control microchip

Here's one more for the coming "Internet of Things" - an implantable birth control microchip could hit the U.S. market by 2018 thanks to funding by globalist billionaire and population control enthusiast Bill Gates.

The new microchip implant reportedly lasts up to 16 years and can be controlled via wireless remote device, but don't worry; researchers are quick to reassure that each microchip comes with "secure encryption" (you know, the kind that's even being hacked and exploited in the new smart light bulbs).

Junk food, children's DNA and beyond...

New study ponders impact of Western food and GMOs on posterity's genes...

Through the emerging information from epigenetics - the study of environmental exposure on genes - it becomes apparent that we are not the body equivalent to Las Vegas. What happens to us doesn't stay with us - it moves on.

It's not so much that disease moves on, but a "poorly trained" immune system does, according to a unique new study in Nutrition Journal.

It starts with inflammation from the Western diet and an infinite domino effect begins....

Comment: Learn more about the microbiome and the role microbes play in protecting and regulating the human immune system:


Interrupted sleep as bad as just 4 hours

A full night's sleep which is interrupted can be as bad as getting only half a night, finds a new study taking a novel approach to sleep problems.

Despite how common it is for parents of young children to be awakened many times during the night, the effects have never been systematically investigated.

Parents are not the only ones who suffer, explains Prof. Avi Sadeh, who led the new research:
"Doctors on call, who may receive several phone calls a night, also experience disruptions.

These night wakings could be relatively short - only five to ten minutes - but they disrupt the natural sleep rhythm.

The impact of such night wakings on an individual's daytime alertness, mood, and cognitive abilities had never been studied.

Our study is the first to demonstrate seriously deleterious cognitive and emotional effects."In their study participants were awakened four times during a normal 8-hour night (Kahn et al., 2014).
Each time they had to complete a computer task that took 10-15 minutes before they went back to bed.

The great American hotdog: What's in it?

I will always hold a soft spot in my heart for the humble and much-maligned hot dog. A staple of my childhood, especially the summers spent on Long Island with my grandparents. Occasionally, my grandmother would take us by train into the city to shop, have lunch and see a show. As we'd pass the street food vendors, I'd beg her for a hot dog - steaming, and piled into a doughy white bun.

She'd invariably give me a curt, simple, and firm, "No." She didn't trust the meat. Instead, she'd take me by the hand, and we'd go home. If I were lucky, she'd pick up a package of hot dogs she did trust (and they were few and far between), boiling them in water spiked with yellow mustard before serving them for dinner, a technique I still use at home.

So, thirty years later, I find myself with just as much concern as my grandmother. I generally say no to hot dogs for my little boy because I just don't trust the meat. Of course, now I work as an advisor to Applegate so I tend to purchase their meats as well as the meat from regional ranchers and farmers who raise their animals on pasture.

So now when he asks me for a hot dog, I sit down with him and decode the hot dog ingredients.

So What's In Your Hot Dog?

Human skin can detect odors

© istockphoto
You may smell coffee with your heart and lungs, as well as with your nose
Human skin can smell itself as well as other odors, according to a new study that also determined a common and pleasant-smelling odor promotes skin healing.

The paper, published in the latest issue of the Journal of Investigative Dermatology, strengthens prior research that found olfactory receptors -- proteins specialized to detect odors -- don't just exist in the nose.

"Only a tiny little amount of odorants are used by our receptors in the nose," chemist Peter Schieberle of the Technical University of Munich told Discovery News. "Odor might have secondary functions in the human body."

Schieberle and his team discovered that the human heart, blood and lungs all possess olfactory receptors. Yet another research group, led by Ester Feldmesser of the Weizmann Institute of Science, theorized that these odor-detecting sensors could be all over, and in, the body.

Schieberle and his team discovered that the human heart, blood and lungs all possess olfactory receptors. Yet another research group, led by Ester Feldmesser of the Weizmann Institute of Science, theorized that these odor-detecting sensors could be all over, and in, the body.
Alarm Clock

Brazil announces dengue fever emergency in GM mosquito trials region

GM mosquito
© Unknown
Civil society groups today expressed alarm at an increase in dengue incidence, leading to an emergency decree, in a town in Brazil where releases of genetically modified (GM) mosquitoes are taking place.

The promise was to create genetically modified mosquitoes that would end dengue, but results from field trials conducted in Bahia, Brazil have not been published to date and did not evaluate the relation between Aedes aegypti mosquito populations and the occurrence of dengue [1]. Nevertheless, the Brazilian regulator Comissão Técnica Nacional de Biossegurança (CTNBio) recently gave the green light to the commercialization of the technology proposed by Moscamed Brazil in partnership with the English company Oxitec and the Universidade de São Paulo.

The Brazilian press had welcomed the new weapon to combat dengue but missed the information that Jacobina's mayor, a locality where the trials took place, issued a decree in February 2014 renewing the state of emergency "due to the abnormal situation characterized as a biological disaster of dengue epidemic." [2]. Before that, Moscamed had announced 81% and 100% reduction in the number of Aedes aegypti mosquitoes in at least two localities of Jacobina, claiming that this meant the experiments were a success [3]. According to Oxitec, pilot-scale releases started in the north-west of Jacobina in June 2013 and the programme will roll out across the entire city over two or three years [4].

During the evaluation of the commercial application for the release of the GM mosquito, a CTNBio member had presented a report with information questioning the impact of the GM mosquitoes on the incidence of dengue and warning that in some circumstances the releases could make the disease worse, even if the number of wild Aedes aegypti mosquitoes was reduced. The concerns raised did not convince the majority of the Commission. The Brazilian National Agency of Sanitary Vigilance (ANVISA) is now in charge of registering and monitoring the product, which according to the company's recommendation implies weekly releases of 10 million GM mosquitoes for every 50 thousand inhabitants. Meanwhile, the date of publication of the promised results remains unclear.

Brazilian and international civil society organisations, including AS-PTA, Third World Network, RALLT (Network for a GM Free Latin America) and GeneWatch UK, today called on ANVISA to require Oxitec to publish the results of its experiments in a scientific journal and to cease further experiments and the commercial use of this technology until it has assessed the effects on the incidence of dengue and put an effective monitoring programme for the disease in place.

"CTNBio should review its decision to approve commercialization in light of the reality seen in Jacobina and ask for further serious studies on the full implications of releasing the GM mosquito over the local population" said Gabriel Fernandes, from AS-PTA, Brazil.

"Oxitec is knocking on the doors of many countries, promoting its GM mosquitoes as being able to address the serious threat of dengue. Yet, with no concrete proof that this technology is able to reduce dengue incidence, any approval of the GM mosquitoes would be grossly premature," said Lim Li Ching, Senior Researcher at Third World Network.

"It is extraordinary that experiments with Oxitec's GM mosquitoes continue and commercial releases have even been approved without any monitoring of the effect on dengue", said Dr Helen Wallace, Director of GeneWatch UK "The declaration of a dengue emergency in Jacobina should be a wake-up call for the authorities".
Arrow Down

Psychiatric drugs send 90,000 to the ER yearly in the U.S.

Nearly 90,000 U.S. adults visit the emergency room yearly for side effects of prescription psychiatric medications, and more than 10,000 of these visits are related to the sleep drug Ambien, according to a new study.

In fact, side effects of Ambien, along with generic forms of its drug zolpidem tartrate, were tied to more emergency room visits than those of any other psychiatric medication examined in the study.

Researchers analyzed information from 63 hospitals in the United States that collect data on emergency department visits for drug side effects, and then estimated how many visits would be expected for the whole U.S. population.

Between 2009 and 2011, there were an estimated 89,094 emergency room visits yearly for prescription psychiatric drug side effects, about half of which were among adults ages 19 to 44.

About 1 in 5 of these ER visits resulted in a person being hospitalized, the study found.

Sedatives and anti-anxiety drugs caused the most ER visits (30,707 visits), followed by antidepressants (25,377 visits) and antipsychotics (21,578 visits).

The side effects that lead to ER visits were: delirium, drowsiness, falls or head injuries (seen in people taking sedatives), vertigo and rash (seen in those taking antidepressants) and movement disorders and spasticities (seen in people taking antipsychotics), according to the study.

Oops! National Institutes of Health finds six forgotten smallpox vials

smallpox infection
© U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Human skin infected with the smallpox virus
Smallpox, officially preserved in two repositories worldwide, may have been sitting alive and well in an unsecured US government refrigerator. On 8 July, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced that vials containing the deadly virus had been discovered in a cardboard box in the refrigerator, located on the National Institutes of Health (NIH) campus in Bethesda, Maryland.

That refrigerator belongs to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which has conducted some of its research at the Bethesda site since 1972. On 1 July, FDA researchers discovered the vials - labelled "variola", the name of the virus that causes smallpox - while conducting an inventory of the lab in preparation for a move to the FDA's White Oak site in Silver Spring, Maryland. NIH safety officials determined that the virus had not leaked and there was no danger to the employees who had found it, and then moved the samples to a secure lab on the Bethesda campus, the agency said.

Comment: The statement from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) can be found here.


Obesity 'epidemic' exaggerated? Hardly!

© n/a
Obesity has reached epidemic proportions. People are fat and getting fatter, with no end in sight. Even kids are fat these days. Right? We've all seen the picture of the McDonald's-eating toddler and heard the dire nightly news reports about growing obesity narrating back shots of anonymous overweight families trudging along with wedgies and short shorts. But just as the public at large bemoans the pervasiveness of the obesity epidemic, many critics are claiming the opposite: that the obesity epidemic is exaggerated and overinflated; that the "overweight" and "obese" categories are ploys by insurance companies to get more money from policy holders; that obesity in and of itself isn't actually a health hazard. Some, like Paul Campos, are even arguing that America's weight problem is "imaginary."

Could this be? Am I tilting at windmills when I decry our collective weight problem?

Let's look at the claims being made.

First, there's the claim that the definition of obesity is arbitrary and the obesity epidemic only arose because our definition of obesity changed to include more people. According to this argument, people aren't necessarily any heavier, but what was previously assumed to be a healthy weight has now been deemed an unhealthy weight by statistical trickery. In his 2005 book, Fat Politics, J. Eric Oliver (PDF) tells the story of Louis Dublin, a statistician for MetLife insurance in the 1940s who analyzed the connection between age, bodyweight, and death rate among MetLife subscribers. Dublin found that thinner people generally lived longer and those who maintained close to the bodyweight of an average 25 year-old lived the longest. He published a new weight chart that shifted the healthy weight threshold back, effectively making millions of Americans obese or overweight overnight. And even though he did this to predict who would die earliest and determine who should pay the most for insurance policies, not to uncover a public health threat, it caught on and formed the basis for government policy regarding obesity and health that continues today.

Comment: There is evidence to support the fact that being over the 'recommended' weight does not necessarily imply that the condition is unhealthy. However there is indeed enough evidence to support the fact that obesity levels have skyrocketed. There are multiple reasons for this which not only include the plague of fast / junk food that people are consuming, but also the chemicals polluting our water, air and soils, prescription drugs, and lack of nutrients in the food we eat.

However, there is a way to dramatically improve health by eating a paleo/ketogenic diet which has been found to lower inflammation, heal disease while also reducing weight. For more information, visit our forum thread on the Ketogenic diet.

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