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Wed, 20 Jun 2018
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Life Preserver

Cancer mapping technology could predict the future of a patient's disease

Mapping cancer tumors
© poba / Getty
Cancer Research UK said: “Like computer models that enable weather forecasting, this model could predict the future of a patient’s disease, one month, one year ahead, based on the patterns of genetic changes that their tumors show.
A new computer program could forecast how tumors grow in the same way that meteorologists map the weather, scientists have revealed. The program could one day help doctors to 'stay one step ahead' of the disease.

The new research, published in Nature Genetics, used DNA-reading technology to look at how tumors evolve. The computer program relies on mathematical models that have been used to predict how populations change and develop. The models work backwards using genetic information found in biopsies to determine how the cells evolved, which in turn could allow doctors and scientists to predict how the tumor will progress in the future.

Lead researcher, Trevor Graham, from the Barts Cancer Institute in London, said that the new mapping system is "revealing the secret history of a tumor, which we were never able to observe before. But the biggest thing about this work is that we're looking into the future, to know what a tumor will look like next week, month or even year."


Great Barrier Reef has recovered from five "death events" in the last 30,000 years

great barrier reef
A landmark international study of the Great Barrier Reef has shown that in the past 30,000 years the world's largest reef system has suffered five death events.

Researchers say they were largely driven by changes in sea level and associated environmental change.

However, they say it is still an 'open question' whether it will recover from the current crisis, caused by coral bleaching.

Over millennia, the reef has adapted to sudden changes in environment by migrating across the sea floor as the oceans rose and fell - but say this might not be enough to deal with the current crisis.

Comment: Ocean currents have been shown to be the weakest in over 1,600 years, with an overall drop in temperatures and low oxygen levels, as well as in many areas sea level appears to be dropping (or the land is rising, or both), while at the same time due to increasing storm activity the oceans are becoming more destructive. But as noted in the article, all hope is not lost, our planet seems to always recover:

Blue Planet

Permian extinction occurred during low CO2, cooler climate, increasing ice sheets and sea level drop

The Great Permian Extinction

The Great Permian Extinction:
The synapsid Lystrosaurus survived the extinction and dominated the landscape afterwards
In the past it has been widely reported that high and abruptly changing CO2 concentrations during the Permian led to climate conditions that were "too hot for complex life to survive" on the planet. Today, scientists have determined that the opposite may be true: the Permian mass extinction event occurred during a period of global cooling, expansive ice sheet growth, relatively low CO2 levels, and a marine-habitat-destroying sea level drop of 100 meters.

A year ago, the press release for a paper published in Scientific Reports argued that during the Permian mass extinction event, "the majority of marine species" were killed off by an "extreme cold" period that coincided with widespread glaciation and a dramatic drop in global sea levels.

"Analysis of the newly dated layers showed a significant reduction of seawater levels during the [Permian] extinction event. The only explanation for such a dramatic decrease in water levels is a sudden increase in ice. The ice age lasted just 80,000 years, but the extreme cold was enough to kill off the majority of marine species."

Comment: We can see many similarities on our planet today and this could give us insight into what may have occurred back then. Also, the scientists above do not seem to be factoring in cosmically driven catastrophic events of which there is much evidence in our recent past: Also check out SOTT radio's: Behind the Headlines: Earth changes in an electric universe: Is climate change really man-made?

Microscope 2

Is a catastrophic event 200,000 years ago responsible for most of the life on our planet today?

DNA gene
For the planet's 7.6 billion people, 500 million house sparrows, or 100,000 sandpipers, genetic diversity "is about the same," Mark Stoeckle from the Rockefeller University in New York told AFP

Who would have suspected that a handheld genetic test used to unmask sushi bars pawning off tilapia for tuna could deliver deep insights into evolution, including how new species emerge?

And who would have thought to trawl through five million of these gene snapshots-called "DNA barcodes"-collected from 100,000 animal species by hundreds of researchers around the world and deposited in the US government-run GenBank database?

Comment: See also:

Fireball 5

Scientists think mostly ground-dwelling birds survived the dinosaur slaying asteroid

bird disaster survive
© Phillip M. Krzeminski
Birds most likely to have survived a mass extinction 66 million years ago would have been small (as seen in this artist's depiction), able to fly and just fine living on the ground, researchers say.
Nothing against trees. But maybe it's better not to get too dependent on them if you want to survive a big flaming space object crashing into Earth.

The asteroid impact that caused a mass extinction 66 million years probably also triggered the collapse of forests worldwide, a new investigation of the plant fossil record concludes. Needing trees and extensive plant cover for nesting or food could have been a fatal drawback for winged dinosaurs, including some ancient birds. Reconstructing the ecology of ancient birds suggests that modern fowl descended from species that survived because they could live on the ground, an international research team proposes in the June 4 Current Biology.

"You probably would have died anyway regardless of habitat," says study coauthor Daniel Field, an evolutionary paleobiologist at the University of Bath in England. "But if you could get along on the ground, you at least had a shot at surviving across this devastated landscape."

Comment: See also:

Life Preserver

The dose makes the poison or the treatment: Carbon monoxide gas is being used as a therapeutic agent

Dr. Binghe Wang, carbon monoxide therapy
© LaTina Emerson
Dr. Wang says carbon monoxide is very effective in inhibiting systemic inflammatory responses, which are conditions commonly seen in diseases such as lupus and rheumatoid arthritis, and infection, including sepsis.
When most of us hear the words "carbon monoxide," our first instinct is to probably hold our breath. Yes, the colorless, odorless gas can kill you if you breathe too much of it, but according to Dr. Binghe Wang, Regents' Professor of Chemistry and director of the Center for Diagnostics & Therapeutics, carbon monoxide gets a bad rap. He's studying how the gas can be used as a therapeutic agent to treat diseases such as lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, colitis and cancers.

Below he shares how he's using carbon monoxide as a medical treatment:

Q: Most people consider carbon monoxide to be toxic and hazardous, but you've found that it has good qualities. Why is carbon monoxide important to humans?

A: We produce carbon monoxide all the time. It's what's called a gasotransmitter-gaseous molecules that play very important physiological roles in mammals. Among them are three molecules: carbon monoxide, hydrogen sulfide and nitric oxide. If we didn't have those three gases in our system, we would die.

Comment: Interesting but unsurprising that smoking isn't mentioned as a delivery method of carbon monoxide. From A comprehensive review of the many health benefits of smoking Tobacco:
One common criticism made by anti-smokers is that tobacco smoke contains Carbon Monoxide, which is supposedly poisonous, so therefore smoking is bad. However, this view is based on the faulty assumption that any dose of carbon monoxide is harmful. No doubt, a high dose of carbon monoxide can be fatal. But what these anti-smokers probably don't realise is that Carbon Monoxide is actually hormetic. The process of hormesis is characterised by the introduction of a low-dose toxin into the body which triggers the body to respond in a beneficial way. On the other hand, at high doses the same toxin has a detrimental effect. Hormesis is one of the body's most effective means of making adaptive changes on the cellular level in response to external stressors by up-regulating detoxification pathways, and is a sure way to protect against disease.

Fortunately for smokers, there is now a growing body of evidence demonstrating carbon monoxide's potent hormetic effects and potential therapeutic benefits. Researchers at the Molecular Gastroenterology and Hepatology department of research at the University of Kyoto, Japan, say:26
Recent accumulating evidence has suggested that carbon monoxide (CO) may act as an endogenous defensive gaseous molecule to reduce inflammation and tissue injury in various organ injury models, including intestinal inflammation.

...Potent therapeutic efficacies of CO have been demonstrated in experimental models of several conditions, including lung injuries, heart, hepatic and renal I-R injuries, as well as inflammation, including arthritis, supporting the new paradigm that CO at low concentrations functions as a signaling molecule that exerts significant cytoprotection and anti-inflammatory actions.
Now consider the fact that the human body continuously goes through a constant state of producing and recycling CO, and CO poisoning can only occur when the body becomes overburdened by an extremely large amount. Cigarette smoke contains such low quantities of CO that it would be pretty much impossible to smoke enough to induce poisoning.


Latest study confirms an animal-free food system is not holistically sustainable


Utesch Family Ranch
Let's be clear, a healthy and sustainable food system depends on having both plants and animals. Researchers at USDA's Agricultural Research Service and Virginia Tech just published a study in the Proceedings of National Academies of Sciences confirming this socially debated fact. The study examined what our world would look like without animal agriculture in the U.S. The bottom line? We'd reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S. by 2.6 percent, and 0.36 percent globally[1] - but we'd also upset our balanced food ecosystem and lack essential dietary nutrients to feed all Americans.

One important role livestock - such as cattle - play in our sustainable food system is taking human inedible food and ultimately making it nutritious. Specifically, cattle act as upcyclers - meaning they eat grasses and plant matter leftover from human food production and upgrade them into nutritional, high-quality protein. In fact, they produce 19 percent more edible protein than they consume[2].

Christmas Tree

Oldest tree in Europe found - And even though the climate is cooling it's having a growth spurt

© Gianluca Piovesan
Scientists determined the age of this 1,230-year-old Heldreich’s pine, nicknamed Italus, using a novel combination of tree-ring analysis and radiocarbon dating.
A craggy pine tree growing in southern Italy is 1,230 years old, making it the oldest tree in Europe that has been scientifically dated.

Moreover, the ancient pine seems to be living it up in its old age, researchers reported last week in the journal Ecology. Examinations show that the tree had a growth spurt in recent decades, where larger rings were added to its trunk even though many trees in the Mediterranean region have been experiencing a decline in growth.

The discovery shows that some trees can survive for centuries even when subjected to extreme changes in climate. This ancient pine, for example, would have germinated in a cold period during Medieval times and then lived through much warmer temperatures, including periods of drought.

Comment: See also:

Cloud Precipitation

Study reveals atmospheric rivers to double in size

atmospheric rivers
© mavensnotebook.com
A new study shows that climate change is likely to intensify extreme weather events known as atmospheric rivers across most of the globe by the end of this century, while slightly reducing their number.

The new study, published online in Geophysical Research Letters, a journal of the American Geophysical Union, projects atmospheric rivers will be significantly longer and wider than the ones we observe today, leading to more frequent atmospheric river conditions in affected areas.

"The results project that in a scenario where greenhouse gas emissions continue at the current rate, there will be about 10 percent fewer atmospheric rivers globally by the end of the 21st century," said the study's lead author, Duane Waliser, of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. "However, because the findings project that the atmospheric rivers will be, on average, about 25 percent wider and longer, the global frequency of atmospheric river conditions - like heavy rain and strong winds - will actually increase by about 50 percent."

Comment: Don't believe the greenhouse hype - the global warmists have never proven a link between human emissions and our changing climate: Greenland getting colder says 15 years of data but global warmists 'fill in the gaps' to convince themselves otherwise

Comment: Numerous studies are coming out identifying varying and dramatic shifts occurring on our planet which are contributing to the changes in climate and weather patterns, the devastating effects that we are witnessing today, and which will only get worse:

Solar Flares

Solar minimum for 2018 - 2020 could be unprecedented in modern astronomy

solar cycle #24
© David Hathaway/NASA Marshall Spaceflight Center
The story thus far... and the curious drama that is solar cycle #24.
Have you been keeping an eye on Sol lately? One of the top astronomy stories for 2018 may be what's not happening, and how inactive our host star has become.

The strange tale of Solar Cycle #24 is ending with an expected whimper: as of May 8th, the Earthward face of the Sun had been spotless for 73 out of 128 days thus far for 2018, or more than 57% of the time. This wasn't entirely unexpected, as the solar minimum between solar cycle #23 and #24 saw 260 spotless days in 2009 - the most recorded in a single year since 1913.

Cycle #24 got off to a late and sputtering start, and though it produced some whopper sunspots reminiscent of the Sol we knew and loved on 20th century cycles past, it was a chronic under-performer overall. Mid-2018 may see the end of cycle #24 and the start of Cycle #25... or will it?

Comment: And with increasingly brutal winters and extreme weather events the similarities to the Maunder Minimum, and other periods of low solar activity, are worryingly apparent. Some observers are also noticing that its not just the sun exhibiting unusual behaviour: Also check out SOTT radio's: Behind the Headlines: Earth changes in an electric universe: Is climate change really man-made?

And our monthly documentary: SOTT Earth Changes Summary - April 2018: Extreme Weather, Planetary Upheaval, Meteor Fireballs