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Fri, 28 Apr 2017
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Pharmaceuticals, Personal Care Products Found in New York City Water Supply

The Environmental Working Group (EWG) has issued support for a proposed law that would require the Department of Environmental Protection in New York City to test the city's drinking water supply for personal care product and pharmaceutical residue. Citing numerous studies that have found measurable levels of such contaminants in water supplies around the nation, EWG is encouraging support for measures that would investigate and report contaminant levels to the public.

Reports have found that the nation's water supplies contain various antibiotics, phytoestrogens and estrogenic steroids, and pharmaceutical and genotoxic drugs. New York City's water supply is no exception. Since these contaminants have the potential to inflict widespread reproductive harm, neuro-degeneration, endocrine disruption, and cell destruction in humans, EWG is urging that New York City monitor contaminant levels and issue annual water quality reports that outline the results. Since most of these contaminants are currently unregulated, they are typically not disclosed in existing water quality reports.

Wastewater treatment facilities are capable of removing most contaminants from water, however a small percentage of fragments make their way back into the water supply. When combined with thousands of other fragments, the aggregate mass of contaminant particles can pose serious health risks. The extent to which such contamination causes harm has yet to be fully understood and observed.

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With DNA Testing, Students Reveal What's What in Their Neighborhood -- And New Evidence of Food Fraud

Two New York City high school students exploring their homes using the latest high-tech DNA analysis techniques were astonished to discover a veritable zoo of 95 animal species surrounding them, in everything from fridges to furniture, from sidewalks to shipping boxes, and from feather dusters to floor corners.

Guided by DNA "barcoding" experts at The Rockefeller University and the American Museum of Natural History, Grade 12 students Brenda Tan and Matt Cost of Trinity School, Manhattan, also revealed a lot of apparent consumer fraud in progress, finding that the labels of 11 of 66 food products purchased at local markets misrepresented the actual contents.

The January edition of BioScience magazine will report on their "DNA House" project, detailed as well online here.

Arrow Up

Pomegranate Lotion Offers New Hope in War on Superbugs

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Secret weapon? The pomegranate has long been touted as a 'superfood'. Now scientists have created an ointment from its rind to tackle drug-resistant infections, like MRSA
The secret to beating the super bug MRSA could be found in the pomegranate.

Scientists have created an ointment that tackles drug-resistant infections by harnessing chemicals that are contained in the fruit's rind.

They found that by combining pomegranate rind with other natural products they created a strong, infection-busting compound.

It is hoped that this could lead to the creation of a lotion for hospital patients, or even an antibiotic.

The need for a new method of tackling superbugs is growing more and more desperate as they continue to develop resistance to common antibiotics.

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How Your Diet is Aging You

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I can tell what my three-year-old daughter has been snacking on because it's visible all over her precious face. Would you be surprised to learn that the telltale signs of what you have been eating -- or avoiding -- are equally noticeable just by looking at your face? It's true. Dermatologists explain that our skin is a window into our overall health and can show clues of what's going on under the surface.

New research reported in the British Medical Journal states that enjoying a Mediterranean-style diet including a combination of olive oil, seeds, nuts, fresh fruits, vegetables - and only moderate alcohol intake - can improve overall health and longevity. And when we look at the faces of men and women from Mediterranean countries, who consume large amounts of olive oil, we see fewer wrinkles and firmer skin (despite avid sun-worshipping). And they not only have beautiful skin but cleaner arteries (on average) to boot!

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Labeling Standards for Caffeine

Because of caffeine's potential effects on the body, and the explosion of caffeinated products on the market, labeling standards are needed, experts say.

Maybe it's the sleepless nights. Maybe it's the daytime jitters. Whatever the reason, many people decide to cut back on caffeine -- only to find that it's harder than they thought.

Caffeine turns up in expected places, in unexpected amounts. And recent years have seen an explosion in the number of caffeinated products on the market: energy drinks, of course, but also chewing gum, candy bars and (for a brief while) potato chips. A lack of labeling guidelines leaves many consumers in the dark about just how much caffeine the products contain.

There are a variety of reasons why such labeling would help consumers, says James Lane, a professor of medical psychiatry at Duke University Medical Center in Durham, N.C., who has studied caffeine's effects on the body.

Attention

FDA Approves Crestor for People Who Have No Health Problem to Correct

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© AstraZeneca
Big Pharma has been trending this direction for a long time: marketing medicines to people who don't need them and who have nothing wrong with their health. It's all part of a ploy to position prescription drugs as nutrients -- things you need to take on a regular basis in order to prevent disease.

The FDA recently gave its nod of approval on the matter, announcing that Crestor can now be advertised and prescribed as a "preventive" medicine. No longer does a patient need to have anything wrong with them to warrant this expensive prescription medication: They only need to remember the brand name of the drug from television ads.

This FDA approval for the marketing of Crestor to healthy people is a breakthrough for wealthy drug companies. Selling drugs only to people who are sick is, by definition, a limited market. Expanding drug revenues requires reaching people who have nothing wrong with them and convincing them that taking a cocktail of daily pharmaceuticals will somehow keep them healthy.

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Ritalin Linked With Sudden Death of Children

Research from The National Institute of Mental Health has revealed that popular Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) drugs like Ritalin are responsible for causing sudden death in many children. Study numbers indicate a 500 percent increased risk in childhood death from taking such mental health drugs.

For years, many experts, scientists, and health practitioners have speculated that ADD drugs are dangerous and can cause serious injury and death. Etta Brown, a licensed educational psychologist and author of Learning Disabilities: Understanding the Problem and Managing the Challenges, explained in response to the study that drugs like Ritalin actually destroy the neural function in children's brains. As a result, children who have undergone treatment with Ritalin will actually have a much more difficult time processing information and learning new things.

Brown also notes that Ritalin is responsible for causing a permanent tic in the face, neck, and head of many of the children who have taken or are taking it. Ironically, Ritalin is responsible for causing far more serious neurological damage than the problems it is alleged to treat. Comprehensive studies over the years have revealed that while drugs like Ritalin visibly calm children, these drugs destroy their delicate, developing nervous systems and can permanently cripple their ability to function as normal human beings.

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Vitamin K2 Helps Prevent Heart Disease and Osteoporosis

There is very little publicity about Vitamin K. It is generally known as important for blood coagulation. However, it is essential for your health beyond that. It's a nutrient that can help prevent serious health issues like heart disease, especially arteriosclerosis or hardening of the arteries. And it's important for preventing osteoporosis, a disease that causes bones to become brittle.

Yet there are many who are Vitamin K deficient. So it's good to know what the best sources of vitamin K are.

What is Vitamin K?

There are three kinds of vitamin K: K1, K2, and K3. Vitamin K is generally classified as a fat soluble vitamin. This means in order to absorb vitamin K it's necessary to consume some dietary fat along with your Vitamin K source.

Vitamin K's are distinguished by their side chains, the basic compounds of which they are made. Vitamin K1 is made of phylloquinone compounds.

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Brain Scans Show Distinctive Patterns in People With Generalized Anxiety Disorder

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© Stanford University Medical Center
This image shows, in red, brain regions with stronger connections to the amygdala in patients with GAD, while the blue areas indicate weaker connectivity. The red corresponds to areas important for attention and may reflect the habitual use of cognitive strategies like worry and distraction in the anxiety patients.
Scrambled connections between the part of the brain that processes fear and emotion and other brain regions could be the hallmark of a common anxiety disorder, according to a new study from the Stanford University School of Medicine. The findings could help researchers identify biological differences between types of anxiety disorders as well as such disorders as depression.

The study, which will be published Dec. 7 in the Archives of General Psychiatry, examined the brains of people with generalized anxiety disorder, or GAD, a psychiatric condition in which patients spend their days in a haze of worry over everyday concerns. Researchers have known that the amygdala, a pair of almond-sized bundles of nerve fibers in the middle of the brain that help process emotion, memory and fear, are involved in anxiety disorders like GAD. But the Stanford study is the first to peer close enough to detect neural pathways going to and from subsections of this tiny brain region.

Such small-scale observations are important for understanding the brains of people with psychiatric disorders, said Duke University neuroscientist Kevin LaBar, PhD, who was not involved in the research. "If we want to distinguish GAD from other anxiety disorders, we might have to look at these subregions instead of the general signal from this area," he said. "It's methodologically really impressive."

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Scientists Discover Antibody that Kills Prostate Cancer

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© Unknown
US researchers have found an antibody that hunts down prostate cancer cells in mice and can destroy the killer disease even in an advanced stage, a study showed Monday.

The antibody, called F77, was found to bond more readily with cancerous prostate tissues and cells than with benign tissue and cells, and to promote the death of cancerous tissue, said the study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science (PNAS).

When injected in mice, F77 bonded with tissue where prostate cancer was the primary cancer in almost all cases (97 percent) and in tissue cores where the cancer had metastasized around 85 percent of the time.