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Mon, 16 Dec 2019
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'Cannot be trusted ... causing harm': Top medical journal takes on big pharma

Dr Anna Stavdal
© RHETT WYMAN
Dr Anna Stavdal, president-elect of the World Organisation of Family Doctors, Assistant Professor Ray Moynihan and Dr Fiona Godlee, editor in chief of The BMJ, in Sydney before the campaign launch
A leading medical journal is launching a global campaign to separate medicine from big pharma, linking industry influence to the pelvic mesh scandal that injured hundreds of women.

The BMJ says doctors are being unduly influenced by industry-sponsored education events and industry-funded trials for major drugs.

Those trials cannot be trusted, the journal's editor and a team of global healthcare leaders write in a scathing editorial published on Wednesday.

The "endemic financial entanglement with industry is distorting the production and use of healthcare evidence, causing harm to individuals and waste for health systems", they write.

Nebula

Man's DNA changes after bone marrow transplant, replaced by German donor following treatment for leukemia

Chris Long

Chris Long
A Nevada man discovered his DNA had changed after a bone marrow transplant and had been replaced, in part, by that of his German donor.

Chris Long, from Reno, found that not only had his blood swapped, but his semen was also changed, following his treatment for leukemia.

Long, who works at Washoe County Sheriff's Department, told The New York Times: 'I thought that it was pretty incredible that I can disappear and someone else can appear.'

Now his police colleagues are looking into how such changes could affect criminal cases and forensic work.

Long, who is in remission from acute myeloid leukemia and myelodysplastic syndromes, had agreed to have swabs collected to monitor any changes.

Comment: It's worth remembering that our understanding of DNA, genetics, and all it entails, is still in its infancy, so one would hope researchers are proceeding with caution:


Shoe

Playing sports may play a role in the brain's ability to hear properly

football
© CC0
There have been many headlines in recent years about the potentially negative impacts contact sports can have on athletes' brains. But a new Northwestern University study shows that, in the absence of injury, athletes across a variety of sports — including football, soccer and hockey — have healthier brains than non-athletes.

"No one would argue against the fact that sports lead to better physically fitness, but we don't always think of brain fitness and sports," said senior author Nina Kraus, the Hugh Knowles Professor of Communication Sciences and Neurobiology and director of Northwestern's Auditory Neuroscience Laboratory (Brainvolts). "We're saying that playing sports can tune the brain to better understand one's sensory environment."

Athletes have an enhanced ability to tamp down background electrical noise in their brain to better process external sounds, such as a teammate yelling a play or a coach calling to them from the sidelines, according to the study of nearly 1,000 participants, including approximately 500 Northwestern Division I athletes.

Kraus likens the phenomenon to listening to a DJ on the radio.

"Think of background electrical noise in the brain like static on the radio," Kraus said. "There are two ways to hear the DJ better: minimize the static or boost the DJ's voice. We found that athlete brains minimize the background 'static' to hear the 'DJ' better."

Comment: See also,


Health

How myofascial release therapy can reduce pain, improve posture and flexibility

Myofascial Release Therapy

Myofascial release (or MFR) is a type of hands-on treatment that is used to reduce tightness and pain in the body’s connective tissue system. It’s intended to improve range of motion, flexibility, stability, strength, performance and recovery.
Whether you're an athlete looking to improve your training and performance, or someone trying to reduce pain and achieve better alignment, myofascial release therapy can likely help.

This type of manipulative therapy targets hard knots and trigger points in the muscle tissue that can elicit tenderness, pain, stiffness and even twitching.

While it's still considered an "alternative treatment," one that has been studied significantly less than similar approaches, there's evidence that it may be beneficial for those dealing with pain or inflexibility even after trying surgery, medication and stretching.

What Is Myofascial Release?

Myofascial release (or MFR) is a type of hands-on treatment that is used to reduce tightness and pain in the body's connective tissue system. It's intended to improve range of motion, flexibility, stability, strength, performance and recovery.

The purpose of MFR is to detect fascial restrictions — areas of connective tissue that are tight, painful or inflamed — and then to apply sustained pressure to that area in order to release the fascia.

Comment: For a more in-depth discussion of methods to release tension and stored emotions in the body, see: More on Fascia:


Biohazard

US flu season arrives earliest in 15 years, driven by unexpected virus

influenza virus microscopy
© CDC
Electron microscopy of influenza virus.
The U.S. winter flu season is off to its earliest start in more than 15 years.

An early barrage of illness in the South has begun to spread more broadly, and there's a decent chance flu season could peak much earlier than normal, health officials say.

The last flu season to rev up this early was in 2003-2004 — a bad one. Some experts think the early start may mean a lot of suffering is in store, but others say it's too early to tell.

"It really depends on what viruses are circulating. There's not a predictable trend as far as if it's early it's going to be more severe, or later, less severe," said Scott Epperson, who tracks flu-like illnesses for the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Comment: This, just after 2018 was dubbed as one of the worst flu seasons in the US in nine years, and the UK fared just as badly: NHS cuts and flu crisis push UK hospitals to the brink

See also: And check out SOTT radio's:


Info

Buyer Beware: GMO Stevia is everywhere

stevia
Stevia (Stevia rebaudiana), a perennial shrub native to South America, has a long history of use as a natural sweetener for food, medicines and beverages.1 Whole stevia contains a number of substances, including various stevioside compounds, rebaudiosides and glycoside.

Steviol glycosides, including rebaudioside A, rebaudioside D and rebaudioside M (Reb A, Reb D, Reb M respectively), are what provide the sweet taste, with Reb A being the sweetest.2 In its isolated, purified form, Reb A is 250 to 400 times sweeter than sugar.

Despite hundreds of years of safe use of stevia, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has labeled stevia leaf and crude stevia extracts "unsafe food additives,"3 granting GRAS (generally recognized as safe) status to certain high-purity steviol glycosides only.4

Eye 1

Dr. Google Will See You Now

Dr Goggle

eliasmillerart.com
Authoritarianism has emerged in Silicon Valley. Google no longer helps you find what you are truly looking for. Instead, they now customize results to satisfy their wants and needs. Individual results might vary

Google's audacious tyranny, which includes censorship, surveillance, and mind control, is accelerating at a wicked clip. It's hard to keep up. The planet's leading search engine is stealthily infiltrating areas/sectors of our society, including elections, news, finances, health, not to mention your mind, all the while 'vacuuming' and usurping data, to become a megalithic repository.

Health

Hepatitis A outbreak linked to blackberries spreads to 6 states: CDC

blackberries
© Shutterstock
A hepatitis A outbreak linked to fresh blackberries sold at Fresh Thyme Farmers Market stores has now sickened at least 16 people across six states, federal health officials announced this week.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in November announced the outbreak, which, at the time, affected at least 11 people in three states: Indiana, Nebraska, and Wisconsin.

In an updated notice on Monday, however, officials said residents in Michigan, Minnesota, and Missouri have also been sickened by the outbreak.

Syringe

Vaccine boom, population bust: Study queries the link between HPV vaccine and soaring infertility

man and woman with doctor
A plague is spreading silently across the globe. The young generation in America, the United Kingdom, France, Italy, Japan, Australia — in virtually every western country — is afflicted by rapidly increasing rates of infertility.

This spring, the United States reported its lowest birth rate in 30 years, despite an economic boom. Finland's birth rate plummeted to a low not seen in 150 years. Russian President Vladimir Putin recently introduced a string of reforms aimed at stemming the country's "deep demographic declines." The government of Denmark introduced an ad campaign to encourage couples to "Do it for Denmark" and conceive on vacations, and Poland produced a campaign urging its citizens to "breed like rabbits."

Something — or things — are robbing young women and men of their capacity to procreate and public health admits it doesn't have a clue where to start to fix the emerging priority.

The "population bomb" we were all endlessly warned about by environmentalists failed to blow, and instead, demographers have been trying to raise the alarm about the population implosion crisis unfolding across the West — the graying of societies facing an unprecedented aging demographic in which there will be too few young to support the old. Most often, they blame social factors: young women embracing careers instead of motherhood, men shunning marriage and fatherhood, rising consumerism or couples choosing to delay raising a family until the economy settles. But there is another phenomenon that is rarely mentioned — the growing numbers of young people who are not childless by choice but who are incapable of bearing children.

The Centers for Disease Control reports that more than 12 percent of American women — one in eight — have trouble conceiving and bearing a child. Male fertility is plunging, too, and the trend is global. Something — or things — are robbing young women and men of their capacity to procreate and public health admits it doesn't have a clue where to start to fix the emerging priority. Besides bantering about expanding access to costly and risky artificial reproductive technologies, very little is being done to discern the cause of the rising infertility crisis.

So, earlier this month, when an unprecedented study was released that looked at a database of more than eight million American women and singled out a whopping 25 percent increase in childlessness associated with one ubiquitous drug that young women have been taking for only a decade — in tandem with a marked decline in fecundity — you would have thought there would be significant interest from public health, the medical profession and the media, wouldn't you?

Comment:


Beaker

Institutional Inertia: Is enough being done to protect children from Aluminum toxicity?

aluminum
Aluminum is the most abundant metal in the Earth's crust. For most of human history, aluminum was not bioavailable; however, it became so in the late 1880s when chemists developed and patented the smelting process that helped turned the metal into the fixture of modern life — and the omnipresent "ecotoxin" — that it is today. Roughly 130 years later, it is no exaggeration to say that aluminum has become an active (albeit unhelpful) "participant in human evolution."

Comment: More on the evils of Aluminum: