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Mon, 21 Aug 2017
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Health

Born without a vagina: Woman speaks about her rare condition

© Barcroft TV/YouTube
A screengrab of a video featuring Kaylee Moats, 22, who was born with a rare condition that affects the female reproductive organs.
A woman in Arizona who was born without a vagina - the result of a rare condition - is speaking out about her condition, and raising money for a surgery to treat it.

Kaylee Moats, who is 22, first learned she did not have a vagina when she was 18 and had never had a menstrual period, according to a video about Moats' case, made by Barcroft TV. An ultrasound performed at her doctor's office revealed that she did not have a uterus, cervix or vagina.

"It makes me feel less of a woman," Moats said in the video. "I'm still trying to accept myself, accept what I have and not dwell on it."

Moats was diagnosed with Mayer-Rokitansky-Küster-Hauser (MRKH) syndrome, a condition that affects about 1 in every 4,500 newborn girls, according to the National Institutes of Health. It happens when, during embryonic development, the female reproductive organs (including the uterus, cervix and vagina) do not develop properly. As a result, the uterus and vagina may be underdeveloped or absent entirely, the NIH said.

Eye 1

Can you really go blind from looking at a solar eclipse?

© Pete Niesen / Shutterstock.com
A tourist watches a solar eclipse through eclipse-viewing glasses in 2009 in Varanasi, India.
People across the United States will have the chance to see a total solar eclipse on Aug. 21, the first time the spectacle was viewable from the continental U.S. since 1979. While it may be tempting to brush off warnings about looking up at this eclipse bare-eyed, don't: The light of an eclipse really can damage your eyes - though warnings of total blindness may be overstated.

The condition is called solar retinopathy, and it occurs when bright light from the sun floods the retina on the back of the eyeball. The retina is home to the light-sensing cells that make vision possible. When they're over-stimulated by sunlight, they release a flood of communication chemicals that can damage the retina. This damage is often painless, so people don't realize what they're doing to their vision.

Solar retinopathy can be caused by staring at the sun (regardless of its phase), but few people can stand to look directly at our nearest star for very long without pain. It does happen occasionally - medical journals record cases in which people high on drugs have stared at the sun for long periods of time, causing serious damage. Adherents of sun-worshipping religious sects are also victims. In 1988, for example, Italian ophthalmologists treated 66 people for solar retinopathy after a sun-staring ritual.

Black Magic

The Brave New World of Electroceuticals

One day, in the not too distant future, you might not recognize the pharmaceutical industry...

UK-based pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline has partnered with South San Francisco-based Verily to create Galvani Bioelectronics – a joint venture to develop implantable bioelectric medicines, a branch of medicine that works to fight diseases by targeting electrical signals in the body.
Right now, pharmaceutical firms develop drugs that interact biochemically with our bodies in order to treat various diseases and conditions. But that's changing...

A number of pharmaceutical companies will eventually transform into bioelectronics companies. Their treatments will consist of tiny implantable devices that "speak" the body's electric language.

Think of it as a type of technology similar to a heart pacemaker. But much, much more advanced.

Comment: The perfect marriage, Big Pharma and DARPA:


Footprints

Women with eating disorders more likely to be convicted of theft

Women with anorexia nervosa or bulimia are up to four times more likely to be convicted of theft - often petty thefts like shoplifting - compared to peers without eating disorders, according to results from a large Swedish study.

This increased risk of criminality in women with eating disorders is something doctors should pay attention to because convictions could increase a patient's stress and anxiety, interrupt treatment and hamper recovery, the authors write in the International Journal of Eating Disorders, online August 9.

"The study's findings confirm and extend what was previously known - that certain personality traits, like impulsivity, and the presence of other psychiatric disorders may confer added risk to a range of other problems, like criminal activity," said Deborah Glasofer of Columbia University Medical Center in New York, who wasn't involved in the study.

"By no means is there evidence that all eating disorders are associated with any one particular behavior profile, but eating disorders are serious illnesses which can impact all aspects of the afflicted individual's life," Glasofer told Reuters Health in an email.

For example, Glasofer said, a subset of people who experience frequent binge-eating episodes - within the context of anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa or binge-eating disorder - may be driven to obtain large, often expensive, quantities of food on a regular basis and this can lead to financial duress, resulting in possible theft of food items.

Water

Not spring water after all? Lawsuit filed against Poland Spring for bottling purified groundwater

© Brett Weinstein
A group of bottled water drinkers has brought a class action lawsuit against the company behind Poland Spring, alleging that the Maine business has long deceived consumers by mislabeling common groundwater.

The lawsuit was filed in a Connecticut federal court on Tuesday and accuses Nestle Waters North America Inc. of a "colossal fraud perpetrated against American consumers."

The civil suit was brought by 11 people from the Northeast who collectively spent thousands of dollars on Poland Spring brand water in recent years. It is seeking millions of dollars in damages for a nationwide class and appears to hinge on whether the sources of Poland Spring water meet the Food and Drug Administration's definition of a spring.

The suit comes as the company, a subsidiary of the Swiss food giant Nestle, is looking to expand its operations in Maine.

In a statement, a Nestle Waters spokesperson said that its water meets all relevant federal and state regulations on the classification and collection of spring water and that the suit is "an obvious attempt to manipulate the legal system for personal gain."

Comment: See also:


Attention

The fallacy of "safe" levels of mercury & lead

In our toxin-filled world, we often look to government agencies to tell us what levels of exposure we should consider safe or unsafe. If our exposure does not exceed an agency-determined threshold, we assume there is little cause for concern. How do regulatory agencies determine these thresholds? There is considerable evidence to suggest that safety limits are often arbitrary and do not accurately flag risks.

A new study published in Environmental Research by a group of researchers in upstate New York underscores this point. Lead author Dr. Brooks Gump of Syracuse University and coauthors call attention to problems associated with low levels of background exposure to lead and mercury, at concentrations notably lower than those deemed "elevated" by federal agencies such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Magnify

Glyphosate in your cup of tea?

Glyphsate is a good non-selective plant killer, but then, so are many other herbicides. All of them kill both the crops and the weeds. The specialty of glyphosate and its very extensive use is only in relation to its use on genetically modified "Roundup Ready" crops that are so engineered not to die of glyphosate sprayed indiscriminately over farmland by airplane, helicopter and massive crop sprayers. Another dangerous use of more recent origin is to use glyphosate as a desiccant even on non-GMO seed, and cereal crops, cotton and sugarcane - purely for convenience of harvesting.

Tea is not a "Roundup Ready Crop". Therefore, glyphosate is not a crucial requirement for the tea plantations. In fact, glyphosate formulations are not at all necessary for weed control in tea plantations. Any other accepted weed killer will be more than sufficient. If not the administrators of the Regional Plantation Companies, at least the administrators of the Plantation Ministry should have realized this long ago.

Comment: Monsanto's most dangerous product? The case against Glyphosate


Ambulance

The teen drug overdose rate is rising again

A new report has also found the rate of overdose from synthetic opioids has increased sixfold since 2002, while heroin death rates have tripled.

The number of American teens to die of a drug overdose leapt by almost a fifth in 2015 after seven years of decline, a study by the National Center for Health Statistics has found. The jump in fatalities was driven by heroin and synthetic opioid use and by an increasing number of deaths among teenage girls.

Deaths among teenagers represent a tiny portion of drug overdose deaths nationally - less than 2%.

The report comes just as the Trump administration struggles to craft a plan to fight an opioid epidemic that claimed more than 52,000 lives in 2015.

Info

Mercury Policy Project - treaty designed to foster a simultaneous reduction in global mercury demand & supply

© World Mercury Project
The entry into force of the Minamata Convention on Mercury Aug. 16 will spur companies worldwide to restrict their use of mercury and pursue alternatives to mercury added products.

The convention seeks to protect human health and curb environmental contamination by obligating its parties to broadly limit the use and export of mercury and restrict mercury emissions into the air, soil, and water.

The legally binding treaty-named after Japan's Minamata Bay where industrial pollution led to widespread mercury poisoning in the 1950s-requires its signatories to phase out many common mercury-added products by 2020 and mercury-bearing processes by 2025. The U.S. and the European Union are among the 74 participants of the Minamata Convention, which also includes China, the world's largest producer of mercury.

Syringe

Q & A on the enormous lies of vaccination

I've placed these lies in the context of a Q&A:

Q: Let's say I accept the idea that vaccines create protection against disease. Vaccines create immunity. What's the problem? Why should I worry? Why should I go outside the mainstream for information?

A: Well, let's start here. The theory of vaccination states that the shots cause a person's immune system to swing into action against a particular germ that is placed in the vaccine. This is a "rehearsal" that prepares the immune system to react when the real disease and the real germ come along later. Got that?

Q: Yes. That's what I've been taught.

A: But you see, there is one vaccine (Hepatitis B) that is given to a baby the day it is born. The baby has no immune system of its own. In fact, some researchers say a child doesn't fully develop his own immune system until age 12-14.

Q: Yes? So?

A: A vaccine can't cause the desired "rehearsal" unless the recipient has his own immune system. That's obvious.