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Thu, 25 May 2017
The World for People who Think

Health & Wellness


The Role of Oxalates in Autism and Chronic Disorders

A mummy that had been preserved for a couple of thousand years in the high desert of Chile was discovered upon X-ray examination to have a very large oxalate stone in the kidney, about the size of a golf ball. The discovery of this ancient sufferer is testimony to the fact that kidney stones and oxalate toxicity have afflicted humans for a very long time.

Oxalates (the salt form of oxalic acid) are extremely painful when deposited in the body. About eighty percent of kidney stones are caused by oxalates and they are by far the most common factor in kidney stone formation. There is also a large degree of genetic variability in the ability to detoxify the chemicals that produce oxalates. Perhaps twenty percent of the population has a genetic variance that increases their likelihood of producing oxalates, even when not consuming a high-oxalate diet.


Brain Matter Linked to Introspective Thoughts: Structure of Prefrontal Cortex Helps Humans Think About One's Own Thinking

© Image © Science/AAAS
Views of inflated cortical surface showing areas of brain gray matter correlating with introspective accuracy.
A specific region of the brain appears to be larger in individuals who are good at turning their thoughts inward and reflecting upon their decisions, according to new research published in the journal Science. This act of introspection -- or "thinking about your thinking" -- is a key aspect of human consciousness, though scientists have noted plenty of variation in peoples' abilities to introspect.

The new study will be published in the 17 September issue of the journal Science. Science is published by AAAS, the nonprofit science society.

In light of their findings, this team of researchers, led by Prof. Geraint Rees from University College London, suggests that the volume of gray matter in the anterior prefrontal cortex of the brain, which lies right behind our eyes, is a strong indicator of a person's introspective ability. Furthermore, they say the structure of white matter connected to this area is also linked to this process of introspection.

It remains unclear, however, how this relationship between introspection and the two different types of brain matter really works. These findings do not necessarily mean that individuals with greater volume of gray matter in that region of the brain have experienced -- or will experience -- more introspective thoughts than other people. But, they do establish a correlation between the structure of gray and white matter in the prefrontal cortex and the various levels of introspection that individuals may experience.

Alarm Clock

Riki Ott: Bio-Remediation or Bio-Hazard? Dispersants, Bacteria and Illness in the Gulf

Ocean Springs, Mississippi -- A grandmother made me rethink all the bio-remediation hype. The "naturally-occurring oil-eating bacteria" have been newsworthy of late as they are supposedly going to come to the rescue of President Obama and BP and make good on their very premature statement that "the oil is gone."

We were talking about subsurface oil in the Gulf when she said matter-of-factly, "The bacteria are running amok with the dispersants." What? "Those oil-eating bacteria -- I think they're running amok and causing skin rashes." My mind reeled. Could we all have missed something so simple?

The idea was crazy but, in the context of the Gulf situation -- an outbreak of mysterious persistent rashes from southern Louisiana across to just north of Tampa, Florida, coincident with BP's oil and chemical release, it seemed suddenly worthy of investigating.


Pollution Linked to Deadly Cardiac Arrests

© Today's Zaman
Breathing in soot and other fine particles from the urban air may increase the risk of suffering a deadly heart stoppage, suggests a new study of more than 8,000 cardiac arrests in New York City.

"As the levels of particulate matter air pollution increased, more cardiac arrests occurred," lead researcher Dr. Robert A Silverman of the Long Island Jewish Medical Center, in New York, told Reuters Health in an e-mail.

Research had already linked air pollution to health problems such as cardiovascular disease, heart attacks, asthma and chronic lung disease. But Silverman and his colleagues wanted to know if these airborne chemicals, particularly tiny particles and liquid droplets produced by the combustion of cars and coal-fired power plants, might also raise the risk of sudden death from a cardiac arrest -- a severe event brought on when the heart muscle's rhythm becomes erratic. Cardiac arrest accounts for more than 300,000 deaths in the US each year.

When cardiac arrests occur outside of the hospital, victims typically have less than eight percent chance of survival. So the team compared readings from air quality monitors around New York City with the records of 8,216 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests that happened between 2002 and 2006.

Comment: But for god's sake, don't smoke!

Take 2

Sex Appeal, Exotic Setting Equal Satisfied Moviegoers

© Columbia Pictures
Julia Roberts is lovely and all, but this summer's Eat Pray Love might have been more successful if there was a little less eating and praying and lot more Javier Bardem, a new study suggests.
A new study of factors that contribute to a film's popularity suggests the sex appeal of stars outweighs identification with the lead character.

What makes a movie appealing? Is it having a lead actor or actress you can identify with, or an opposite-sex lead you find romantically desirable?

Newly published research, which both refutes and confirms conventional wisdom, points strongly to the latter.

"Star power does play a relevant role in driving consumers' evaluations," Michela Addis of the University of Rome 3 and Morris Holbrook of Columbia University report in the journal Psychology & Marketing. "But this role seems to depend more on attraction than identification, at least with regard to actual age and gender.

"Indeed, stars' emotional impacts on audiences, and their consequently high salaries, appear to derive from their power as romantic and sexually attractive models. Hence, star power ... should be interpreted as romantic appeal."


The Day the Water Died: Detoxing after the Gulf Oil Spill

The excitement of the season had just begun, and then we heard the news: oil in the water, lots of oil killing lots of water. It is too shocking to understand. Never in the millennium of our tradition have we thought it possible for the water to die, but it is true.

Chief Walter Meganack
Traditional Village Chief
Port Graham NativeVillage, Kenai Peninsula, Alaska
(National Wildlife Federation, 1990)

Psychopaths Rule Our World

We are now part of a giant experiment on massive chemical toxicity exposure, where insanity, wishful thinking, denial, and outright lies run the show. Where our leaders are completely out of touch with reality and rather than guidance, protection and healing, they offer us disinformation and manipulation. How on earth did we allow this to happen? Then again, what do we expect in a world where psychopathic corporate interests dominate almost every area of life?

An invasive cancer has spread throughout our global society. Mother nature too has succumbed to the effects of this destructive ideology and now carries the seeds of ecological disaster in her womb. Despite all their machinations and carefully laid plans, the hubris and supreme self-interest of the psychopaths that rule our world have set humanity on a course for extinction. Who benefits when there are no people left to rule and control?

In the words of psychologist Andrew M. Lobaczweski:
[W]hat happens when psychopaths achieve global domination? Goaded by their character, such people thirst for just that [...] But germs are not aware that they will be burned alive or buried deep in the ground along with the human body whose death they are causing.

If such and many managerial positions are assumed by individuals deprived of sufficient abilities to feel and understand most other people, and who also betray deficiencies as regards technical imagination and practical skills - faculties indispensable for governing economic and political matters - this must result in an exceptionally serious crisis in all areas, both within the country in question and with regard to international relations. -Andrew M. Lobaczewski, Political Ponerology: A Science on the Nature of Evil Adjusted for Political Purposes.

Comment: For more information on this topic, how to detoxify and eat healthy, don't miss our upcoming issue of the Dot Connector Magazine.


Aspartame: Toxicology

The "Pandora's box of chameleon-like toxins and tumor agents"

Aspartame was never and cannot be proven to be safe. It is not and cannot be a diet aid because the formaldehyde (from the breakdown of the 10% methanol) gets stored in the fat along with some water. The National Soft Drink Association developed a 30-page protest (in the '80s) that mentioned the fact that aspartame in a beverage was unstable, and that it reduced the levels of serotonin (a substance that gives one that "full" feeling), which can induce a craving for carbohydrates.

Comment: For more information about the serious health effects associated with Aspartame consumption and how the FDA suppressed studies about said negative heath effects read the following articles carried on SOTT:

The Deadly Neurotoxin Nearly EVERYONE Uses Daily (VIDEO)
America's Deadliest Sweetener Betrays Millions, Then Hoodwinks You With Name Change
Aspartame: The Politics of Food
A Dangerous Spin On The Cancer Risks Of Sugar-Free Sweeteners
Searle, Monsanto and Ajinomoto: Three Corporate Miscreants in the Toxic Junk Food Additive and Aspartame Business
ASPARTAME - The Silent Killer
FDA Hid Research That Damned Aspartame: Fatal Studies Should Have Blocked NutraSweet Approval

Alarm Clock

Drug Recalls Surge

© unknown
Drug recalls hit a new record in 2009, with one company accounting for more than 1,000 of them.
Recalls of prescription and over the counter drugs are surging, raising questions about the quality of drug manufacturing in the United States.

The Food and Drug Administration reported more than 1,742 recalls last year, skyrocketing from 426 in 2008, according to the Gold Sheet, a trade publication on drug quality that analyzes FDA data.

One company, drug repackager Advantage Dose, accounted for more than 1,000 of those recalls. Even excluding Advantage Dose, which has shut down, recalls jumped 50% last year.


Could Estimating Environmental Risk Soon Be A Click Away?

Researchers from Europe propose a new computer model to predict the risk of toxicity, persistence and bioaccumulation of new and existing chemicals. While promising, the approach has limitations.

A new computer model may be a significant step forward in predicting the cumulative environmental risk of new and existing chemicals, say researchers who developed it. The model uses a compound's chemical structure to classify its toxicity, persistence and bioaccumulation - three major traits regulators use to flag a chemical's potential environmental hazards.

The benefits are significant: working computer models could minimize the need for animal testing, identify highly hazardous compounds already in use and tag the most harmful ones before they are manufactured or introduced to the market.


Big Pharma Scores Big Win: Medicinal Herbs Will Disappear in EU

© Unknown
It's almost a done deal. We are about to see herbal preparations disappear, and the ability of herbalists to prescribe them will also be lost.

Big Pharma has almost reached the finish line of its decades-long battle to wipe out all competition. As of 1 April 2011 - less than eight months from now - virtually all medicinal herbs will become illegal in the European Union. The approach in the United States is a bit different, but it's having the same devastating effect. The people have become nothing more than sinks for whatever swill Big Pharma and Agribusiness choose to send our way, and we have no option but to pay whatever rates they want.

Big Pharma and Agribusiness have almost completed their march to take over every aspect of health, from the food we eat to the way we care for ourselves when we're ill. Have no doubt about it: this takeover will steal what health remains to us.

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It Begins Next April Fools Day

In the nastiest April Fool's Joke of all time, the European Directive on Traditional Herbal Medicinal Products (THMPD) was enacted back on 31 March 2004.(1) It laid down rules and regulations for the use of herbal products that had previously been freely traded.