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Wed, 18 Jan 2017
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Red Flag

'The world's scrapyard for pesticides' - Latin America

Although agrochemical products, pesticides and genetically modified crops are today part of everyday life for those who live in the countryside, they are relatively new in Argentina. Very few people, apart from environmental activists, question their use. Yet the consequences — in both the short and the long term — of their impact on the health of those living near lands fumigated daily, with products that are forbidden in many countries around the world, are already beginning to emerge.

After years of spralling, obsessive and sometimes overwhelming investigation, journalist Fernanda Sández — in her recent book, La Argentina fumigada — lays bare the links that tie that food industry and agrochemical use to pollution, via insufficient state control, and the increasing numbers of deaths from new diseases as a result of using pesticides.

Conducting her research, Sández visited what she calls "the sprayed small towns" in agricultural provinces such as Entre Ríos, Santa Fe, Chaco and Córdoba, where she listened to alarming testimonies from people struggling in a battle that, as she says, "seems to already be lost but is still worth fighting for."

Comment: Argentina, the country that Monsanto poisoned with agrochemicals


Life Preserver

Heal strep throat, sinusitis, & infections with oregano tea

Drinking oregano tea has long been a tradition in many parts of the world as a home remedy for a number of different ailments.[1] Oregano contains many important compounds including quercetin, eriocitrin, luteolin-7-O-glucoside, apigenin-7-O-glucoside, luteolin, apigenin, and rosmaric acid.[2]

Oregano is composed of several phytonutrients such as thymol and rosmarinic acid which have demonstrated to be extremely valuable antioxidants. These antioxidants drastically inhibit oxygen-based damages to cells throughout the human body. Many studies showed that oregano has a stronger antioxidant impact in the body than the two synthetic antioxidants regularly added in processed foods, namely BHT (butylated hydroxytoluene) and BHA (butylated bydroxyanisole).[3,4]

In a study published in the International Food Journal of Sciences and Nutrition in 2007, it was shown that drinking oregano tea does have antioxidant results as well as resulting in lowered LDL (bad cholesterol) levels.[5]

Health

Vague and suspicious: California's vaccine-pushing Senator introduces new bill of rights for children

California is no stranger to controversy. In February of 2016, Natural News reported on The Golden State's highly debatable approach to enforcing vaccination. California's strict mandatory vaccination laws have been a subject of contention for quite some time now, and it seems that the state is only seeking to grow its power over parents and families.

A new bill, SB-18, has been introduced by Senator Richard Pan, seeking to give the government the right to seize children from their parents if they are making medical decisions that the state feels are "not in the child's best interests."

Dr. Pan, of course, was also behind the state's current mandatory vaccination bill, SB-277. When taking both bills into consideration, one cannot help but wonder if they will be targeting parents who have unvaccinated children, or perhaps those who homeschool their kids. One thing is clear: The state of California is all but trying to outlaw dissent.


SB-18 is still in its early stages and will not be enacted until 2022, if it somehow manages to pass. While that may seem far off in the future, it is only a few short years away.

Display

Is too much screen time harming the wellbeing of teens?

© DADDY COOL - FOTOLIA
Fears that hours of screen time are bad for health are largely unfounded, says Oxford University
Parents should worry less about the amount of time their children spend using smartphones, computers and playing video games because screen time is actually beneficial, the University of Oxford has concluded.

The rise in technology in the past decade has led to fears that teenagers could be damaging their social skills and mental health by spending increasing amounts of time online or immersed in a virtual world.

Yet when researchers at Oxford University quizzed 120,000 15-year-olds about their wellbeing and compared it to screen time, they found the use of gadgets had a positive impact.

In fact, wellbeing peaked at four hours and 17 minutes of computer use a day before starting to dip again, suggesting devices have a Goldilocks Zone where the amount of screen time is 'just right.' For smartphones the 'sweet spot' was around two hours and one hour 40 minutes for video games.

Comment: The study from the University of Oxford seems rather simplistic! Take note of the following statement: "However the study did not take into account whether physical health was affected by spending too much time staring at screens, or calculate the cumulative effect of using multiple devices." What teen doesn't use multiple devices?

The article also states: "The researchers say that digital connectivity may enhance creativity, communication skills and development and conclude there is little to support fears that spending time on digital devices is harmful. "Previous research has oversimplified the relationship between digital screen time and the mental wellbeing of teenagers," said Dr Andrew Przybylski, of the Oxford Internet Institute.

Some information to consider when talking about screen time and the mental wellbeing of teens:
During his 10 years of clinical research on the subject, Dr. Kardaras discovered while working with teenagers, that they'd found a new form of escape—a new drug, so to speak, in immersive screens. For these kids, "the seductive and addictive pull of the screen has a stronger gravitational pull than real-life experiences. Many prefer the Matrix to the real world," he tells The Fix.

Several brain-imaging studies have backed up his claims, showing gray matter shrinkage or loss of tissue volume for internet/gaming addicts. Quite simply put, kids continuously exposed to tech screens at a young age showed higher rates of substance abuse, stress, poor academics and depression. We all love our gadgets, but limiting them for youngsters makes sense.



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Viruses found in genome important for our brain

© WavebreakMediaMicro / Fotolia
Retroviruses incorporated into our DNA may have been important in the development of the human brain.
Over millions of years retroviruses have been incorporated into our human DNA, where they today make up almost 10 per cent of the total genome. A research group has now discovered a mechanism through which these retroviruses may have an impact on gene expression. This means that they may have played a significant role in the development of the human brain as well as in various neurological diseases.

Retroviruses are a special group of viruses including some which are dangerous, such as HIV, while others are believed to be harmless. The viruses studied by Johan Jakobsson and his colleagues in Lund are called endogenous retroviruses (ERV) as they have existed in the human genome for millions of years. They can be found in a part of DNA that was previously considered unimportant, so called junk-DNA -- a notion that researchers have now started to reconsider.

"The genes that control the production of various proteins in the body represent a smaller proportion of our DNA than endogenous retroviruses. They account for approximately 2 per cent, while retroviruses account for 8-10 per cent of the total genome. If it turns out that they are able to influence the production of proteins, this will provide us with a huge new source of information about the human brain," says Johan Jakobsson.

And this is precisely what the researchers discovered. They have determined that several thousands of the retroviruses that have established themselves in our genome may serve as "docking platforms" for a protein called TRIM28. This protein has the ability to "switch off" not only viruses but also the standard genes adjacent to them in the DNA helix, allowing the presence of ERV to affect gene expression.

This switching-off mechanism may behave differently in different people, since retroviruses are a type of genetic material that may end up in different places in the genome. This makes it a possible tool for evolution, and even a possible underlying cause of neurological diseases. In fact, there are studies that indicate a deviating regulation of ERV in several neurological diseases such as ALS, schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.

Eye 1

iSee: Researchers develop mental health surveillance app for depressed college students

Predictive technology is exploding across the virtual landscape. The arrival of Big Data initiatives by government, as well as a massive industry of data brokers is not only putting privacy at risk, but is offering those with access to the information unprecedented ways to micromanage our lives.

Most people now seem resigned to the surveillance of our communications devices, which have become so intertwined with modern efficiency, economics and knowledge that there are real tradeoffs when choosing a fully opt-out lifestyle. Wearable gadgets add a new layer still, and are being bought into at record pace, thus donating the information that isn't already being stolen.

However, it might be our health information that is the most tempting, offering up potentially the most intrusive window yet into our everyday lives.

A group of university researchers studying the rising levels of depression in university students have just released their latest concept for a mental health tracking app called iSee that, in their words, will "enhance counseling services with mobile technology and big data analytics." The system works with students who voluntarily want to have their daily movements tracked in order to provide data that might offer clues to a computer algorithm that can detect if they are experiencing signs of depression. The entire article is posted below with my highlights, but I'd first like to offer some additional background to this type of technology and why it very well could move from voluntary to mandatory over time.

Comment: See also:


Megaphone

Barbara Loe Fisher: End pharma liability shield endangering public health & human rights


Health freedom and the civil liberties of Americans are at risk with yet another CDC-proposed public health law, paired with an expanding global vaccine market.


Another sign that autonomy and civil liberties are being threatened in America is the recently proposed change to public health law published by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC)1 that allows federal officials to use police power to apprehend, isolate and involuntarily quarantine travelers simply suspected of being at risk for getting measles or other infections until they sign a contract agreeing to application of "public health measures," like vaccination. A big reason they can get away with it is that nobody is accountable in a civil court of law when people are harmed by public health laws.

Curbing civil liberties under the guise of protecting the public health and national security has become big business. In 1982, when the pharmaceutical industry threatened to stop producing government licensed and recommended vaccines for children unless vaccine manufacturers got a product liability shield, Congress gave Big Pharma most of what it wanted in the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act of 19862. It was tort reform legislation sold to parents and the American public on the backs of children legally required by states to get federally recommended vaccines to attend school3.

Microscope 2

Studies on oral glutathione

Oral glutathione supplementation has become very popular in the past decade.

Glutathione dietary supplements are known as L-glutathione, reduced glutathione or GSH. They come in pills, capsules, tablets, in powedered and liquid form, as sublingual drops or slow-melt tablets.

More and more people hear about glutathione (GSH) and its vital importance for proper detoxification, strong immune health, energy levels, endurance, muscle strength, anti-aging, master antioxidant role, and overall disease prevention.

People with various health concerns turn to glutathione pills, too, because they read in a health magazine or heard from TV gurus that raising glutathione would improve their condition.

Doctors who are aware of the benefits of elevated glutathione suggest glutathione supplementation to their patients, and/or prescribe NAC for them (while NAC is not glutathione, it is a pharmaceutical cysteine delivery system that raises GSH but can have some adverse side effects).

Oral glutathione supplementation is also very convenient - just take a pill once a day as you would do with a multivitamin. In our fast lives convenience is often as important as the end result of taking a supplement, if not more.

Our logic assumes that if a supplement is sold at all health food stores, pharmacies and online, and if it is advertised in mass media, it means the supplement must work well.

However, most people, including medical professionals, are not aware of the fact that glutathione pills may not be very helpful to the body. (Out of all the decades of research only one recent study showed an increase in blood GSH levels in healthy adults with oral supplementation. See the details below.)

Microscope 1

Why the only thing influenza may kill is Germ Theory


Groundbreaking research indicates that nearly everything we once believed about the purportedly deadly properties of flu virus may be based on institutionalized superstition and myth.


Germ theory is an immensely powerful force on this planet, affecting everyday interactions from a handshake, all the way up the ladder to national vaccination agendas and global eradication campaigns. But what if fundamental research on what exactly these 'pathogens' are, how they infect us, has not yet even been performed? What if much of what is assumed and believed about the danger of microbes, particularly viruses, has completely been undermined in light of radical new discoveries in microbiology?

Some of our readers already know that in my previous writings I discuss why the "germs as our enemies" concept has been decimated by the relatively recent discovery of the microbiome. For background, feel free to read "How The Microbiome Destroyed the Ego, Vaccine Policy, and Patriarchy."

In today's article, I will take a less philosophical approach, and focus on influenza as a more concrete example of the Copernican-level paradigm shift in biomedicine and life sciences we are all presently fully immersed within, even if many in the establishment have yet to fully acknowledge it.

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Biofilms: Safe haven for extraterrestrial-like bacteria

Is time running out? Can nothing stop biofilm-producing microbes?

"This is the way the world ends
Not with a bang but a whimper." - T.S. Eliot

It could be a sequel to Andromeda Strain: biofilm-producing bacteria that talk, move, hide, and touch. Their mission? To destroy us. But it's not fiction. It's real. With improved technology, researchers are delving deeper into this enigmatic intracellular world of "intelligent" microbial lifeforms that are resistant to antibiotics. What they're learning is both amazing and terrifying.

Bacterial biofilms are microorganisms that stick together and form a slimy mass. They are everywhere in nature: on rocks, in streams, on trees, our teeth (plaque), even in our kitchen drains. Inside our bodies they are produced by a group of pathogenic bacteria that use the sticky, gelatinous biofilms as protection from both antibiotics and our own immune system. This makes them especially difficult to eradicate and potentially lethal.