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Sat, 10 Dec 2016
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Health & Wellness


Australian schoolkids recreate Martin Shkreli's $750 malaria drug for $1.50, 'Pharma Bro' launches Twitter tirade and livestreams Q&A rant (VIDEO)

© Martin Shkreli / YouTube
Pharmaceutical executive Martin Shkreli has posted a video response to Australian schoolkids who recreated his company's malaria pill for a tiny fraction of its price, as well as launching into a Twitter tirade over their project.

Shkreli shot to infamy last year when he jacked up the price of anti-parasitic drug Daraprim from US$13 to US$750.

Earlier this week he was back in the headlines after a group of Sydney high school students recreated the medicine in their school lab for only $1.50.

The 33 year old took to Youtube on Thursday to congratulate the budding scientists. "We should congratulate these students for their interest in chemistry and all be excited about what is to come in the stem-focused 21st century," he said.

Comment: Those Australian high school students, whether intentionally or not, have highlighted something that people in the pharmaceutical industry, such as the slimeball Shkreli, don't want the masses to know: the large price tags attached to many prescriptions and medications are based more on the greed of the company executives than the cost of drug production or research.

Brick Wall

More load on the Arch

Arches of an aqueduct in Italy
Have you ever had a really busy schedule — lots of responsibilities, lots of deadlines, lots of stress — and you felt desperate for a break? But then, for whatever reason — tasks came to a natural end; you got laid off — you found yourself with exactly what you had so keenly desired: an ocean of free time. You had nothing really to do.

At first, it probably felt fantastic. You luxuriated in inactivity.

But after awhile, maybe a couple weeks, or a month, the freshness of unadulterated leisure likely started to turn stale. You felt restless, unmoored, depressed. You began to yearn to reengage with work; responsibilities looked not onerous, but desirable.

This experience is part of a cycle innate to human nature: the dueling set of impulses that ever oscillate between the desire to escape from all burdens and work, and the desire to engage with labor and struggle.

We hate to suffer; we love to suffer.

We simultaneously cry out: "Release me!" and "More challenge!"

The latter is the subtler, but truer instinct. While we often think we are unhappy because we have too many things to do, the problem in fact is that we typically don't have enough.

At least of the right kind.


First study on vaccinated vs. unvaccinated children pulled from Web

The results of the first ever study comparing the health of vaccinated children vs. unvaccinated children is out, and they are already causing controversy. For many - hundreds of thousands of families that have already been injured by vaccines - the results won't be surprising, but to many others, the findings might be a little shocking. This is possibly why the scientific journal which originally published the results withdrew the study from publication.

The abstract of the study was published online in Frontiers in Public Health after being accepted November 2. The study compared children's health via surveys of mothers who home-schooled their children aged 6-12 years. Nearly 40 percent of the children had never been vaccinated, so the control group was adequate to do a good comparison against children who had been vaccinated.

After heavy criticism from the public and scientific community due to the results of the study, though, it was retracted. Why? Those that were vaccinated were three times more likely to be diagnosed with neurodevelopmental disorders such as autism.


Frontiers in Public Health publishes then deletes first ever study comparing vaccinated vs. un-vaccinated kids, chilling conclusions

Editors' Note Appended 11/28/16:
The survey mentioned below was taken directly from the Frontiers in Public Health website. The published abstract was recently deleted from their website. Below are the cached images of the survey.

One is left to draw their own conclusions as to the why this study was taken down.

According to RetractionWatch.com the abstract — published online in Frontiers in Public Health after being accepted November 21 — reported findings from anonymous online questionnaires completed by 415 mothers of home-schooled children 6-12 years old. Nearly 40 percent of children had not been vaccinated, and those that had were three times more likely to be diagnosed with neurodevelopmental disorders such as autism, the study found.

After receiving criticism on Twitter, Frontiers released a public statement, noting that the study was only "provisionally accepted but not published," and is being re-reviewed. When asked for a comment, a Frontiers spokesperson referred us to the statement.

Comment: Re-reviewed or edited to suit the agenda?

Comment: For further information, Vaxxed is an excellent documentary on the topic: Controversial documentary: Vaxxed From Cover Up to Catastrophe causes a stir in the media

Eggs Fried

'Nutrition Heretic' Gary Taubes on the Long Road Back From a Big, Fat Public Shaming

© Fertnig/Getty Images
In July 2002, The New York Times Magazinepublished "What If It's All Been a Big Fat Lie?," a cover story by food journalist Gary Taubes arguing that the carbohydrates in our diets, not the fat, were the likely cause of obesity and heart disease. What sounds perfectly reasonable now — essentially a defense of Atkins and Paleo — was at the time akin to heresy. The critical avalanche that followed was swift and relentless, including a Center for Science in the Public Interest newsletter cover accusing Taubes of promulgating "Big Fat Lies," a Reason magazine takedown headlined, "Big Fat Fake," and a Newsweek scolding, written by a former friend, titled, "It's Not the Carbs, Stupid."

Almost fifteen years later, much of what Taubes was pilloried for writing in 2002 has become conventional wisdom. Michael Pollan has since referred to Taubes as the Alexander Solzhenitsyn of nutrition research, and he's been asked to lecture at over 60 universities and medical schools worldwide — from the Mayo Clinic and the Cleveland Clinic to Harvard Law School and Oxford University. Taubes is now widely considered to be one of the most influential authorities in nutrition. With his latest book, The Case Against Sugar, coming out from Knopf in December, we asked him to write about his time in the wilderness. Below, in his own words, Taubes ruminates on bouncing back from professional ridicule.

Here are three issues I have with the concept of vindication, at least of the variety for which I am, regrettably, a candidate.

1. You have to establish the conditions for vindication to be necessary, which means you first have to be publicly shamed or ridiculed, an experience I personally could have lived without.

Comment: For more background, see:


Lifestyle interventions that can help lower your blood pressure

© Thinkstock
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 1 in 3 American adults (about 70 million people) have high blood pressure.1 About half have uncontrolled high blood pressure, which increases your risk for a number of serious health problems, including:
  • Heart disease
  • Stroke
  • Kidney disease2
  • Cognitive decline, dementia and Alzheimer's disease3,4
Globally, more than 1 billion people struggle with high blood pressure, and prevalence has nearly doubled in the past four decades.5,6

Overall, men tend to have higher blood pressure than women, and while high-income nations have seen a significant decline in hypertension, prevalence in low- and middle-income countries, such as South Asia and Africa, is spiking. According to researchers, prevalence is "completely inverse" to national income.

Worldwide, high blood pressure is thought to cause nearly 13 percent of all deaths, or about 7.5 million deaths annually.

Comment: Other methods to help control hypertension:


Tragic case: Thirteen year old boy paralyzed from neck down after receiving Gardisil HPV vaccine

© Collective Evolution
Thirteen year old boy paralyzed from the neck down after recieving Gardisil HPV vaccination
Gardasil, the vaccine that supposedly protects youngsters against four types of human papillomavirus, or HPV, and the cervical cancer which it can lead to, has come under intense scrutiny from medical professionals around the world over the past few years. This is due to the fact that a number of cases reporting adverse reactions to the HPV vaccine have been surfacing more.

We've published multiple articles regarding adverse reactions to the HPV vaccine, here's one about mother of a vaccine injured child who has decided to showcase her challenges to the public, with hopes that some will see exactly what it means to deal with the consequences of an uninformed medical decision. To follow her story, see this link to her Facebook page.

Comment: Unfortunately, the majority of medical doctors continue to accept the official narrative that vaccines are a "safe" and effective method of preventing future illness. In reality neither of those things have proven to be correct, since vaccines are mostly inneffective and have actually caused vast amounts of people a lot of pain and suffering. The following articles provide some useful information:

Eye 1

New theory sheds light on astronauts' blurry vision

NASA astronaut Michael Hopkins, performs ultrasound eye imaging in the Columbus laboratory of the International Space Station. European Space Agency astronaut Luca Parmitano assists Hopkins.
For years now, NASA has been puzzled by a mysterious effect of extended space flight: vision damage. Many, though not all, astronauts who have been in space for months at a time experienced their vision slowly degrading, and post-flight inspection revealed that the back of their eyeballs had been squished down and flattened over the course of their trip.

But new research presented this week provides a partial answer to what's causing this condition: pressurized spinal fluid. Noam Alperin, a researcher at the University of Miami's Evelyn F. McKnight Brain Institute, presented findings from research he and his peers conducted on 16 astronauts, measuring the volume of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) in their heads before and after spaceflight. CSF floats around the brain and spine, cushioning it and protecting your brain as you move, such as when you stand up after lying down.

Alperin and his team found that astronauts who had been in space for extended trips (about six months) had much higher build up of CSF in the socket around the eye than astronauts who had only gone on short stints (about two weeks). They also designed a new imaging technique to measure exactly how "flat" the astronauts eyeballs had become after extended periods in space.

Comment: See also:


The anti-depressant effects of curcumin

Curcumin, the yellow pigment associated with the curry spice Turmeric, has been found to be effective in reducing depressive and symptoms of anxiety even in people with major depressive disorders.

Writing in the Journal of Affective Disorders, researchers from Australia said studies had supported the antidepressant effects of curcumin (from the spice turmeric) and saffron for people with severe depression.

"However, these studies have been hampered by poor designs, small sample sizes, short treatment duration, and similar intervention dosages. Furthermore, the antidepressant effects of combined curcumin and saffron administration are unknown," they wrote.

Powdered turmeric has been used for centuries to treat a host of illnesses. It inhibits inflammatory reactions, has anti-diabetic effects, reduces cholesterol among other powerful health effects. A recent study led by a research team in Munich showed that it can also inhibit formation of metastases.

The researchers from Murdoch University, Perth, undertook a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled study, using curcumin extract BCM-95.

Comment: Curcumin just as effective as anti-depressants in treating depression

Red Flag

Obesity and diabetes blamed for rising stroke rates in younger people

Stroke rates have been declining in older people over the past 20 years — but have sharply increased in those under 55.

Researchers at Rutgers University used data from the New Jersey Department of Health on more than 227,000 hospitalizations for stroke from 1995 through 2014, calculating incidence by age over five-year periods. The findings appeared in the Journal of the American Heart Association.

Compared with the 1995-99 period, the rate of stroke in 2010-14 increased by 147 percent in people 35 to 39, by 101 percent in people 40 to 44, by 68 percent in those 45 to 49, and by 23 percent in the 50 to 54 group.

Stroke is still far more common in older people. But the rate decreased by 11 percent in those 55 to 59, by 22 percent in the 60 to 64 group, and by 18 percent in people 65 to 69.

The reasons are unclear, but the lead author, Joel N. Swerdel, now an epidemiologist with Janssen Pharmaceuticals, said that increasing obesity and diabetes in younger people are probably involved.

"For a person 30 to 50, the good news is you ain't dead yet," he said. "With behavioral changes, changing diet, increasing exercise, there's still hope for you. Behavioral change is hard, but this study is an early warning sign."