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Sun, 31 Jul 2016
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Health

Meningitis outbreaks among gay men in New York, Chicago, S. California have experts puzzled

© Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times
Dr. Jeffrey Gunzenhauser of the L.A. County Dept. of Public Health discusses an invasive meningococcal disease outbreak that has hit gay and bisexual men disproportionately.
As cases of meningitis, a rare and potentially fatal disease, popped up in cities nationwide over the past several years, public health officials noticed a trend: many of those infected were gay men.

There's no known medical reason why meningitis, which is transmitted through saliva, would spread more among gay and bisexual men. Yet New York, Chicago and now Southern California have experienced outbreaks disproportionately affecting that population.

"It is perplexing," said Dr. Rachel Civen, a medical epidemiologist at L.A. County's Department of Public Health.

Of the 13 cases of meningitis this year in L.A. County — excluding Long Beach, which has its own health department — seven were gay men. There were only 12 meningitis cases in the county in all of 2015, one of which was a gay or bisexual man.


Comment: 2015: 1/12 cases affected a possibly gay man. 2016: 7/13 cases. If the phenomenon were limited just to this county, it might be written off as an anomaly. But it's happening elsewhere. Cases are not only on the rise, they're affecting gays at a higher rate. Very strange.


In Long Beach, there have been six meningitis cases this year, half of which were gay men. Last year there were no meningitis cases in the city, according to city officials.

Post-It Note

Antibiotics found in noses can defeat drug resistance and superbugs

Microbes that live in our noses are able to kill MRSA, a superbug that has been resistant to various antibiotics. Researchers hope to use this discovery to develop new antibiotics.

Utilizing bacteria from within the human body to fight off antibiotic resistance is a new approach as most previous antibiotics have come from soil samples.

Initially, German researchers from the University of Tübingen found that the Staphylococcus aureus bacteria (some strains of which become the MRSA) in about 30% of the population, while the other 70% did not have it. Further studies revealed that the reason for this lies in the Staphylococcus lugdunensis bacteria, which is able to fight off the other staph by creating its own antibiotic. This is the bacteria scientists are looking to harness to produce the new antibiotic they dubbed lugdunin.

Comment: This certainly reminds us that our bodies already have some of the tools necessary to naturally fight off some bugs. The question then is: How do we strengthen those already existing defenses so that we can resist and mitigate the effects of the bugs?


Arrow Down

Antioxidant suppression eradicates pancreatic cancer cells

© Unknown
A reduction of antioxidants in pancreatic cancer cells can help kill them.
A novel drug therapy - that mimics the suppression of an antioxidant-promoting protein - kills pancreatic cancer cells, new research reveals.

According to the American Cancer Society, around 53,070 people will be diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in the Unites States in 2016, and around 41,780 people will die of the disease. Pancreatic cancer accounts for about 3 percent of all cancers in the U.S. and about 7% of cancer deaths.

Pancreatic cancer is caused by the abnormal, uncontrolled growth of cells in the pancreas.

A research team at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL) in New York finds that reducing levels of antioxidants in pancreatic cells can help to kill them. This new strategy for eradicating pancreatic cancer cells may open new doors for treating this serious illness, in which less than 5 percent of patients survive 5 years.

Comment: See also:


Health

Less than five hours of sleep: expect 'memory malfunctions'

© MIN HEO
Research has finally confirmed what most of us take for granted - poor sleepers are more likely to be forgetful as well as unhappy.

A study of more than 1,000 UK adults showed that 25 per cent of those who spend less than five hours in the land of Nod suffer from memory malfunction which affects their quality of life.

Participants aged 18 to 80 were asked to measure their sleep against five different "everyday" memories: having to check whether they've done something; forgetting to tell somebody something important; where things are normally kept; doing something they intended to do such as posting a letter and finding it difficult to concentrate.

Poor sleep was classed as under five hours a night and the results found that all aspects of memory are affected by low levels of sleep.

Comment: The importance of good quality sleep cannot be stressed enough, it is the time for rest, repair and regeneration and when new neural circuits pathways are formed allowing you to process the emotional content from the day. Check out the links below for more information.


Info

Are nuts Paleo? Paleolithic man would probably say no

Paleolithic man doubtless ate anything he could get his hands on that was even remotely edible, drank his water from streams, ponds, and probably even mud puddles as dogs do today. Of the many ways scientists have to unearth the actual diets of early ancestors, stable isotope analysis is probably the most accurate. Such analysis of ancient human remains show most were at least as carnivorous, if not more so, than foxes and wolves.

Compare and contrast our robust, nose-to-tail meat-eating Paleolithic forebears with today's modern Paleo man, who drinks crystal-clear, reverse-osmosis-filtered, bottled spring water, wears five-toed Vibram shoes, wouldn't be caught dead eating grain-fed beef, totes his almond-flour-based snacks, and always carries his baggie of nuts to nosh on.

Info

'Elixir of youth' found in sex hormone

© Navesh Chitrakar / Reuters
A team of US and Brazilian researchers have used a synthetic sex hormone to stimulate production of a naturally occurring enzyme called telomerase that is capable of reversing ageing and has been dubbed a possible "cellular elixir of youth."

While in embryos, telomerase is expressed by practically every cell. It can then only be produced in cells that are constantly dividing, such as blood-forming stem cells, which can differentiate into various specialized cells, scientists say. Certain cells avoid aging by using telomerase to lengthen their telomeres, which are DNA-protecting structures at the ends of chromosomes. The length of telomeres is a laboratory measure of a cell's age, as each time a cell divides, its telomeres get shorter.

Health

American medical complex - The best protected cartel in the world

© ProTenders
Which is worse: the NSA or the FDA?

A message to Wikileaks, Cryptome, Public Intelligence, and other sites that expose secrets; Does 2.25 million deaths in America, per decade, at the hands of the medical system, rate as a significant leak?

As my readers know, I've reported on a number of scandals concerning the toxicity of medical drugs, including shocking death numbers in the US.

These scandals are leaks from inside the National Security State.

If you visit Wikileaks, Cryptome, Public Intelligence, and other similar sites, how many purely medical documents do you find posted?

How many damaging leaks exposing the crimes of the medical cartel do you find?

Very, very few.

Where are the medical insiders who are liberating and passing along incriminating documentary evidence?

Some of the best exposers of political, intelligence-agency, and military crimes are way behind the curve, when it comes to medical matters.

The medical sphere, for various reasons, is far better protected than any other segment of society.

For the hundredth time, let me cite Dr. Barbara Starfield's stunning review, "Is US health really the best in the world?" published on July 26, 2000, in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Starfield, at the time, was working as a highly respected public health expert, at the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health.

She concluded that the US medical system kills 225,000 Americans a year. That would add up to 2.25 million deaths per decade.

Laid directly at the door of the American medical complex.

106,000 of those annual deaths, as Starfield reports, are the direct result of medical drugs.

Bacon n Eggs

From slight memory loss to dementia: How to avoid losing mental capacity

Virtually everyone has forgetful moments, but how do you know if your memory lapses are the normal day-to-day variety or a sign of something more serious like dementia? It's a common concern, especially with increasing age.

Among Americans, the notion of losing mental capacity evokes twice as much fear as losing physical ability, and 60 percent of U.S. adults say they are very or somewhat worried about memory loss.1

On a bright note, most memory blips are nothing to panic over. As you get older, your brain's information-processing speed may decline, which means it may take you longer to recall who wrote the book you're reading or the name of your childhood playmate.

The word is on the tip of your tongue, but even if you can't recall it you're able to restructure your thoughts to get your message across. This is quite normal, as are so-called "senior moments," or as neuroscientists call them "maladaptive brain activity changes."

Examples include sending an email to the wrong person or forgetting about an appointment.

These occur because your brain perceives many of your daily tasks as patterns and may revert to its default mode network (DMN), the part of your brain responsible for your inward-focused thinking, such as daydreaming, during this time.

In short, your brain takes a mini time out when you actually need its focused attention, causing a minor, but completely normal, lapse in memory.

Memory Loss: When to Worry

If changes in your memory or thinking skills are severe enough to be noticed by your friends and family you could be facing mild cognitive impairment (MCI). MCI is a slight decline in cognitive abilities that increases your risk of developing more serious dementia, including Alzheimer's disease.

If your mental changes are so significant that they're interfering with your ability to function or live independently, it could be dementia. For instance, it's normal to have trouble finding the right word on occasion, but if you forget words frequently and repeat phrases and stories during a conversation, there could be a problem.

Comment: More dietary and lifestyle interventions that can help you maintain and even improve cognitive function:


People 2

Study finds that sitting in front of computer for 8 hours day can increase the risk of premature death by 60%

© BLOOMBERG
Sitting in front of a computer for eight hours a day could increase your risk of a premature death by 60 per cent
Office workers must exercise for one hour a day to combat the deadly risk of modern working lifestyles, a major Lancet study has found.

Research on more than one million adults found that sitting for at least eight hours a day could increase the risk of premature death by up to 60 per cent.

Scientists said sedentary lifestyles were now posing as great a threat to public health as smoking, and were causing more deaths than obesity.

They urged anyone spending hours at their desk to change their daily routine to take a five minute break every hour, as well as exercise at lunchtimes and evenings.

An hour of brisk walking or cycling spread over a day was enough to combat the dangers of eight hours sitting in the office, they said. Currently, public health advice in the UK recommends just half this level of activity. But almost half of women and one third of men fail to achieve even this.

Muffin

Scientists finally acknowledge leaky gut implicated in gluten-sensitivity

© Timmary / Fotolia
Celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder in which the immune system mistakenly attacks the lining of the small intestine after someone who is genetically susceptible to the disorder ingests gluten from wheat, rye, or barley. This leads to a range of gastrointestinal symptoms, including abdominal pain, diarrhea, and bloating.
A new study may explain why people who do not have celiac disease or wheat allergy nevertheless experience a variety of gastrointestinal and extra-intestinal symptoms after ingesting wheat and related cereals. The findings suggest that these individuals have a weakened intestinal barrier, which leads to a body-wide inflammatory immune response.

Findings from the study, which was led by researchers from Columbia University Medical Center (CUMC), were reported in the journal Gut.

"Our study shows that the symptoms reported by individuals with this condition are not imagined, as some people have suggested," said study co-author Peter H. Green, MD, the Phyllis and Ivan Seidenberg Professor of Medicine at CUMC and director of the Celiac Disease Center. "It demonstrates that there is a biological basis for these symptoms in a significant number of these patients."

Comment: For more information on why wheat consumption can initiate a cascade of physiological issues, read the following: