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Thu, 23 Feb 2017
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Russia says genetically modified foods are harmful

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© Unknown
Russia has started the annual Days of Defence against Environmental Hazards from the 15th of April to the 5th of June with the announcement of sensational results of an independent work of research. Scientists have proved that Genetically Modified Organisms are harmful for mammals. The researchers discovered that animals that eat GM foodstuffs lose their ability to reproduce. Campbell hamsters that have a fast reproduction rate were fed for two years with ordinary soya beans, which are widely used in agriculture and those contain different percentages of GM organisms. Another group of hamsters, the control group, was fed with pure soya, which was found with great difficulty in Serbia because 95 percent of soya in the world is transgenic.

Concerning the experiment carried out jointly by the National Association for Gene Security and the Institute of Ecological and Evolutional Problems, Dr. Alexei Surov has this to say. "We selected several groups of hamsters, kept them in pairs in cells and gave them ordinary food as always," says Alexei Surov. "We did not add anything for one group but the other was fed with soya that contained no GM components, while the third group with some content of Genetically Modified Organisms and the fourth one with increased amount of GMO. We monitored their behavior and how they gain weight and when they give birth to their cubs. Originally, everything went smoothly. However, we noticed quite a serious effect when we selected new pairs from their cubs and continued to feed them as before. These pairs' growth rate was slower and reached their sexual maturity slowly. When we got some of their cubs we formed the new pairs of the third generation. We failed to get cubs from these pairs, which were fed with GM foodstuffs. It was proved that these pairs lost their ability to give birth to their cubs," Dr. Alexei Surov said.

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Men Remain Oblivious to Cancer Risk of Processed Meat

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© Getty Images
Men eat much more processed meat than women and are less likely to know that processed meat consumption has been linked to bowel (colorectal) cancer, according to a poll conducted for the World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF).

"The evidence that eating processed meat increases bowel cancer risk is convincing and this is why we recommend people avoid eating it," said the WCRF's Rachel Thompson. "But despite the strength of the evidence, awareness levels are low and this seems to especially be the case in men. This is a concern because, as men eat roughly double the amount of processed meat as women do, they could make a bigger difference to their cancer risk by cutting down."

The researchers found that men in the United Kingdom eat approximately 50 grams (1.8 ounces) of processed meats such as bacon, ham, salami and sausage per day. In contrast, British women eat only 24 grams of processed meat per day.

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Rollercoaster Rides Can Cause Ear Injury

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© Agence France-Presse
The sharp turns, ups and downs, and high speeds of today's roller coasters could cause damage to your ears, say physicians at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit.

The case study offers the first reported link between the force of acceleration in roller coasters and a common ear injury - ear barotrauma - that occurs when there is a relatively quick change in pressure between the external environment, the ear drum and the pressure in the middle ear space.

In its extreme, ear barotrauma can lead to temporary hearing loss, and most commonly causes dizziness, ear discomfort or pain, or a sensation of having the ears "pop."

Since barotrauma from a roller coaster happens suddenly, it very difficult for the patient to equalize ear pressure by simply yawning or chewing gum.

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Exposure to Violent Crime May Exacerbate Asthma in Children

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© Getty Images
Living in a high-crime neighborhood may worsen children's asthma, says a new study.

The study has been presented at the Pediatric Academic Societies (PAS) annual meeting in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

To reach the conclusion, researchers conducted a study of 561 children ages 8-14 years in Chicago who had been diagnosed with asthma by a physician.

Investigators interviewed caregivers to determine their stress level and exposure to violence. They also reviewed data from the Chicago Police Department detailing the incidence of violent crime in the communities where the children lived.

Results showed that 41% of the children had moderate or severe asthma, and 59% had intermittent or mild asthma. After adjusting for the child's age, gender, family history of asthma and socioeconomic status, children were nearly twice as likely to have moderate/severe asthma if their caregivers reported high levels of stress or if the incidence of violent crime was high in their neighborhood. After adjusting for caregiver stress, a high incidence of violent crime still was associated with more severe asthma in children.

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Rheumatoid Arthritis Linked to Vitamin D Deficiency, Researchers Find

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© Stan Rohrer/iStockphoto
A new study led by a Boston University School of Public Health (BUSPH) environmental health expert came up with an unexpected conclusion. The researchers were investigating why women living in the northeastern United States are more likely to develop rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and they suspected they would find an association with air pollution. Instead, their research has raised the strong possibility that RA results from vitamin D deficiency due to not getting enough exposure to one of nature's most powerful healers -- sunlight.

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disease that causes pain, swelling, stiffness and loss of function in the joints. Unlike osteoarthritis, the common arthritis that develops from wear and tear on joints and usually develops only as people age, RA can affect the young and old. The disease can cause enormous suffering -- it may attack the eyes, mouth and lungs as well as joints. According to the National Institutes of Health, there's no known cause for RA and treatments include steroids and other drugs that can have serious side effects.

The new research, which was just published online in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives, found that women in states like Vermont, New Hampshire and southern Maine were more likely to report being diagnosed with RA.

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The New Dirty Dozen: 12 Foods to Eat Organic and Avoid Pesticide Residue

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© Getty Images
Fruits and veggies are an essential part of a healthy diet, but many conventional varieties contain pesticide residues.

And not all the pesticides used to kill bugs, grubs, or fungus on the farm washes off under the tap at home. Government tests show which fruits and vegetables, prepared typically at home, still have a pesticide residue.

You can reduce your exposure to pesticides by as much as 80% if you avoiding the most contaminated foods in the grocery store.

To do so, you need the latest info from the why the Environmental Working Group's "Dirty Dozen" list of foods most likely to have high pesticide residues. Since 1995, the organization has taken the government data and identified which type of produce has the most chemicals.

This year, celery takes the number one spot and both blueberries and spinach make an appearance (displacing lettuce and pears).

Ambulance

Snake Oil Humbles Nexus Conference

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COINTELPRO: 'Bishop' Jim not so Humble
As regular SOTT and SOTT forum readers will be aware, Laura Knight-Jadczyk was scheduled to talk at the May 1st 2010 Nexus magazine conference in Amsterdam. As the only female in a six person line up, Laura was planning to give not just a woman's perspective but also the perspective of probably one of the few people alive today whose knowledge and insight spans and plumbs the depths of just about every one of the problems currently facing the human race. As Richard Dolan noted in his review of her book "High Strangeness":
I believe that Laura understands, better than probably anyone you will ever know, just how dire is the plight of our civilization - the plight of our species. She also understands that to change one's life, one must be willing to fight.
Initially when asked to attend, Laura suggested to the Nexus conference organizers that Richard Dolan (a friend and colleague of Laura's) would be a great addition to the line-up and was indeed willing to attend. The response from the organizers was that, unfortunately, they only had space for 6 speakers in one day.

We were therefore somewhat surprised when we checked the conference web site on Saturday 24th April and saw the announcement:
"Breaking News! Jim Humble is coming to Amsterdam!"
Not only that, but Jim Humble is now headlining the conference.

Apparently the Nexus conference organizers had managed to find extra space for another speaker. So, we, and Laura in particular, were rather disturbed by this development for a number of reasons. Richard Dolan is recognized as the pre-eminent UFO researcher in the world today. He is a very entertaining speaker and his talks are always fascinating. So could Jim Humble really have been so important a figure that he deserved being 'squeezed' in? Who is Jim Humble anyway?

Bad Guys

Congressman Waxman Sneaks Anti-Vitamin Amendment into Wall Street Reform Bill

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© Getty Images
Henry Waxman
Of all the sneaky tactics practiced in Washington D.C., this recent action by Congressman Henry Waxman (D-CA) is one of the most insidious: While no one was looking, he injected amendment language into the Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2009 (H.R. 4173) that would expand the powers of the FTC (not the FDA, but the FTC) to terrorize nutritional supplement companies by greatly expanding the power of the FTC to make its own laws that target dietary supplement companies.

This is a little-known secret about the FTC and the nutritional supplements business: The FTC routinely targets nutritional supplement companies that are merely telling the truth about their products. Some companies are threatened by merely linking to published scientific studies about their products.

For example, here's an important article that describes how to FDA criminally extorts money out of supplement companies.

The FTC does much the same thing. They target a particular company that's having success in the natural products marketplace, then they accuse that company of "inferring" that their products have some health benefit. From there, the FTC demands that the company engage in paying a massive fine to the FTC, which the FTC calls "consumer redress" even though none of the money actually goes to the consumers.

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How the Human Brain Learns Language

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© BerCon Ltd.
There is no single advanced area of the human brain that gives it language capabilities above and beyond those of any other animal species, says a new study from the University of Rochester.

Instead, humans rely on several regions of the brain, each designed to accomplish different primitive tasks, in order to make sense of a sentence.

Depending on the type of grammar used in forming a given sentence, the brain will activate a certain set of regions to process it, like a carpenter digging through a toolbox to pick a group of tools to accomplish the various basic components that comprise a complex task.

"We're using and adapting the machinery we already have in our brains," said study coauthor Aaron Newman. "Obviously we're doing something different [from other animals], because we're able to learn language unlike any other species. But it's not because some little black box evolved specially in our brain that does only language, and nothing else."

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Out of Mind, Out of Sight: Blinking Eyes Indicate Mind Wandering

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© Getty Images
When your mind wanders, you're not paying attention to what's going in front of you. A new study suggests that it's not just the mind, it's the body, too; when subjects' minds wandered, they blinked more, setting up a tiny physical barrier between themselves and the outside world.

Cognitive neuroscientist Daniel Smilek, of the University of Waterloo, studies how people pay attention -- and don't. For this study, he was inspired by brain research that shows, when the mind wanders, the parts of the brain that process external goings-on are less active. "And we thought, OK, if that's the case, maybe we'd see that the body would start to do things to prevent the brain from receiving external information," Smilek says. "The simplest thing that might happen is you might close your eyes more."

So, Smilek and his colleagues, Jonathan S.A. Carriere and J. Allan Cheyne, also of the University of Waterloo, set out to look at how often people blink when their mind wanders.