March 7th, 2012
By: Mike Adams
Genetically engineered foods will “feed the world,” say Bill Gates and all the rest of the GMO pushers. GM crops are the result of “high-tech agriculture” and “advanced technology” created by super-smart agricultural geniuses who only enhance the properties of food crops. GMOs are better than God, better than Mother Nature, and one of the great gifts of science to humankind — sort of like electricity, only more edible.
If this is all true, then why doesn’t the GMO industry want credit for all this effort on food labels? Shouldn’t the industry leap at the opportunity to have foods labeled with things like:
• Fortified with extra GMOs!
• Genetically Modified to grow strong bones!
• Now with GMO technology in every delicious bite!
If GMOs are so wonderful, in other words, then why wouldn’t the industry tout all its amazing technology right on the labels of the foods containing GMOs?
The reality? GMOs are poison
But no, instead of the industry begging for regulatory permission to place GMO bragging rights on food labels, the industry has done exactly the opposite: It has demanded that consumers be kept in the dark about GMOs!
• They don’t want consumers to even know they’re eating GMOs!
• They believe consumer ignorance is preferable to consumer choice.
• They want consumers kept in the dark, uninformed and unable to avoid GMOs.
The GMO industry, in fact, is already viciously fighting a proposed GMO labeling mandate in California — a law that would merely require foods to be truthfully labeled when they contain genetically modified ingredients. What could be wrong with that? But in an age when consumers want to know more information about what they’re buying, not less, the GMO industry somehow believes consumer ignorance is victory!
So when GMO pushers like Bill Gates say they want to “feed the world,” what they really mean is they want to secretly force-feed the world mystery ingredients that are not listed on the labels so that consumers won’t even be aware of what they’re eating. (Such as the deadly insecticide found in every kernel of GM corn…)
Commonsense food rule: Beware of anything the food companies don’t want to put on the label
If the ag giants and food companies don’t want to put something on a food label, that’s a pretty strong sign that you probably shouldn’t eat it.
If it was good for you, they would obviously want to brag about it on the label. All natural! Fortified with minerals! Low in sodium!
So how come the industry doesn’t want to claim, “High in GMOs!” on every food box?
Want some flaked corn breakfast cereal? It’s on sale for $1.99 a box, and it’s high in GMOs!
How about some corn tortillas for your Mexican fiesta dinner? Those corn tortillas are fortified with extra GMOs, too!
Thirsty? Grab yourself a 12-pack of that famous brand sports drink — it’s sweetened with genetically modified corn syrup! Plus, it’s got electrolytes!
Or how about a super-sized box of Genetically Modified Corn Flakes for breakfast? You can even eat it with a bowl of pasteurized, homogenized, Bovine Growth Hormone-contaminated, pus-filled factory-processed cow’s milk! Yumm!
But you don’t see any of this marketing material at the grocery store, do you? GMOs remain the dirty little secret of the food industry — even at places like Whole Foods, which sort of try to imply they’re against GMOs, but then they turn around and sell all sorts of GM foods anyway.
GMOs are worse than skeletons in the closet
GMOs are to the food industry what gay public toilet sex is to a pro-family Republican candidate. Or hidden camera photos of the naked choir boys and the Catholic priest. GMOs are the bones buried under the basement slab of a mass murderer who’s also running for Governor. They’re the prostitution ring records that reveal one very busy repeat customer named “Eliot Spitzer.”
GMOs are the leaked Stratfor emails that reveal the U.S. is already on the ground working to destroy Syria’s infrastructure. GMOs are the proof of election fraud in a so-called “free nation.” GMOs are not just Big Ag’s skeletons in the closet; they are the skeletons in a closet full of beaten, gagged children who have been kidnapped by CPS officials and sold into “white slavery” to the local community’s business leaders who run the children’s foundations.
GMOs are the dirty food secret that’s so dirty, virtually no one would buy any food known to contain GMOs. They are worse than the plague. They are anti-food. Labeling foods with GMOs is essentially the same as slapping a large skull and crossbones on the package, and that’s exactly why the death-worshipping, profit-sucking corporate whores who work for the biotech industry are fighting so hard to prevent GMO labels from appearing on foods. “Holy crap! We can’t have consumers knowing the TRUTH, can we?”
Isn’t it fascinating that the GMO industry depends entirely on hiding its products in order to stay in business? What other industry is so steeped in destructive, hateful products that it has to actively seek to HIDE THEM from consumers? Biotech is an industry whose products are sold entirely through trickery and deceit, not honest labeling and full disclosure.
Why we will win this fight for the right to know what we are eating
But make no mistake, my friends, for the People shall be victorious against this insidious brand of agricultural imperialism. As I publicly shared just the other day, I had a vision (or was it a dream?) of a massive army of American farmers and consumers who marched on Monsanto, arrested all its employees and burned its buildings to the ground.
I believe that day may very well come true in the near future, and I can only hope it will be followed by a series of very public trials where the GMO scientists, corporate CEOs and top marketing executives are all charged with crimes against humanity and tried by a jury of their peers. The genetic modification of seeds and the open planting of those seeds in the natural world should, I believe, be a crime against nature met by a most severe punishment such as life in prison for anyone found guilty of those crimes in a Constitutional court that abides by due process. Almost no punishment is too great against these criminals, because those who sow genetically modified seeds upon our natural world risk the death of billions of people in their careless arrogance. Some might even argue that the death sentence would be justifiable in such cases.
Just remember: the next time you go shopping at the grocery store, take a closer look at the label of a food product and ask yourself, “What are they NOT telling me about what’s in this product?”
Because much of the time, you’re actually buying “mystery food” containing all sorts of toxins, poisons or horrifying ingredients that are never listed on the label (by design, of course).
And that’s the way Big Ag and Big Food like it — keep consumers in the dark! The less they know about how processed food is made, where it comes from and what it contains, the better! And the more ignorant consumers can be kept, the more GMOs the biotech industry can shove down their gullible little throats.
For The Full Report Go To Natural News
October 28, 2011
Wake Up World
By Grazyna Fosar and Franz Bludorf
THE HUMAN DNA IS A BIOLOGICAL INTERNET and superior in many aspects to the artificial one. Russian scientific research directly or indirectly explains phenomena such as clairvoyance, intuition, spontaneous and remote acts of healing, self healing, affirmation techniques, unusual light/auras around people (namely spiritual masters), mind’s influence on weather patterns and much more. In addition, there is evidence for a whole new type of medicine in which DNA can be influenced and reprogrammed by words and frequencies WITHOUT cutting out and replacing single genes.
Only 10% of our DNA is being used for building proteins. It is this subset of DNA that is of interest to western researchers and is being examined and categorized. The other 90% are considered “junk DNA.” The Russian researchers, however, convinced that nature was not dumb, joined linguists and geneticists in a venture to explore those 90% of “junk DNA.” Their results, findings and conclusions are simply revolutionary! According to them, our DNA is not only responsible for the construction of our body but also serves as data storage and in communication. The Russian linguists found that the genetic code, especially in the apparently useless 90%, follows the same rules as all our human languages. To this end they compared the rules of syntax (the way in which words are put together to form phrases and sentences), semantics (the study of meaning in language forms) and the basic rules of grammar. They found that the alkalines of our DNA follow a regular grammar and do have set rules just like our languages. So human languages did not appear coincidentally but are a reflection of our inherent DNA.
The Russian biophysicist and molecular biologist Pjotr Garjajev and his colleagues also explored the vibrational behavior of the DNA. [For the sake of brevity I will give only a summary here. For further exploration please refer to the appendix at the end of this article.] The bottom line was: “Living chromosomes function just like solitonic/holographic computers using the endogenous DNA laser radiation.” This means that they managed for example to modulate certain frequency patterns onto a laser ray and with it influenced the DNA frequency and thus the genetic information itself. Since the basic structure of DNA-alkaline pairs and of language (as explained earlier) are of the same structure, no DNA decoding is necessary.
One can simply use words and sentences of the human language! This, too, was experimentally proven! Living DNA substance (in living tissue, not in vitro) will always react to language-modulated laser rays and even to radio waves, if the proper frequencies are being used.
This finally and scientifically explains why affirmations, autogenous training, hypnosis and the like can have such strong effects on humans and their bodies. It is entirely normal and natural for our DNA to react to language. While western researchers cut single genes from the DNA strands and insert them elsewhere, the Russians enthusiastically worked on devices that can influence the cellular metabolism through suitable modulated radio and light frequencies and thus repair genetic defects.
Garjajev’s research group succeeded in proving that with this method chromosomes damaged by x-rays for example can be repaired. They even captured information patterns of a particular DNA and transmitted it onto another, thus reprogramming cells to another genome. ?So they successfully transformed, for example, frog embryos to salamander embryos simply by transmitting the DNA information patterns! This way the entire information was transmitted without any of the side effects or disharmonies encountered when cutting out and re-introducing single genes from the DNA. This represents an unbelievable, world-transforming revolution and sensation! All this by simply applying vibration and language instead of the archaic cutting-out procedure! This experiment points to the immense power of wave genetics, which obviously has a greater influence on the formation of organisms than the biochemical processes of alkaline sequences.
Esoteric and spiritual teachers have known for ages that our body is programmable by language, words and thought. This has now been scientifically proven and explained. Of course the frequency has to be correct. And this is why not everybody is equally successful or can do it with always the same strength. The individual person must work on the inner processes and maturity in order to establish a conscious communication with the DNA. The Russian researchers work on a method that is not dependent on these factors but will ALWAYS work, provided one uses the correct frequency.
But the higher developed an individual’s consciousness is, the less need is there for any type of device! One can achieve these results by oneself, and science will finally stop to laugh at such ideas and will confirm and explain the results. And it doesn’t end there.?The Russian scientists also found out that our DNA can cause disturbing patterns in the vacuum, thus producing magnetized wormholes! Wormholes are the microscopic equivalents of the so-called Einstein-Rosen bridges in the vicinity of black holes (left by burned-out stars).? These are tunnel connections between entirely different areas in the universe through which information can be transmitted outside of space and time. The DNA attracts these bits of information and passes them on to our consciousness. This process of hyper communication is most effective in a state of relaxation. Stress, worries or a hyperactive intellect prevent successful hyper communication or the information will be totally distorted and useless.
In nature, hyper communication has been successfully applied for millions of years. The organized flow of life in insect states proves this dramatically. Modern man knows it only on a much more subtle level as “intuition.” But we, too, can regain full use of it. An example from Nature: When a queen ant is spatially separated from her colony, building still continues fervently and according to plan. If the queen is killed, however, all work in the colony stops. No ant knows what to do. Apparently the queen sends the “building plans” also from far away via the group consciousness of her subjects. She can be as far away as she wants, as long as she is alive. In man hyper communication is most often encountered when one suddenly gains access to information that is outside one’s knowledge base. Such hyper communication is then experienced as inspiration or intuition. The Italian composer Giuseppe Tartini for instance dreamt one night that a devil sat at his bedside playing the violin. The next morning Tartini was able to note down the piece exactly from memory, he called it the Devil’s Trill Sonata.
For years, a 42-year old male nurse dreamt of a situation in which he was hooked up to a kind of knowledge CD-ROM. Verifiable knowledge from all imaginable fields was then transmitted to him that he was able to recall in the morning. There was such a flood of information that it seemed a whole encyclopedia was transmitted at night. The majority of facts were outside his personal knowledge base and reached technical details about which he knew absolutely nothing.
When hyper communication occurs, one can observe in the DNA as well as in the human being special phenomena. The Russian scientists irradiated DNA samples with laser light. On screen a typical wave pattern was formed. When they removed the DNA sample, the wave pattern did not disappear, it remained. Many control experiments showed that the pattern still came from the removed sample, whose energy field apparently remained by itself. This effect is now called phantom DNA effect. It is surmised that energy from outside of space and time still flows through the activated wormholes after the DNA was removed. The side effect encountered most often in hyper communication also in human beings are inexplicable electromagnetic fields in the vicinity of the persons concerned. Electronic devices like CD players and the like can be irritated and cease to function for hours. When the electromagnetic field slowly dissipates, the devices function normally again. Many healers and psychics know this effect from their work. The better the atmosphere and the energy, the more frustrating it is that the recording device stops functioning and recording exactly at that moment. And repeated switching on and off after the session does not restore function yet, but next morning all is back to normal. Perhaps this is reassuring to read for many, as it has nothing to do with them being technically inept, it means they are good at hyper communication.
July 6th, 2011
By: Mike Adams
Even as the veggie blame game is now under way across the EU, where a super resistant strain of e.coli is sickening patients and filling hospitals in Germany, virtually no one is talking about how e.coli could have magically become resistant to eight different classes of antibiotic drugs and then suddenly appeared in the food supply.
This particular e.coli variation is a member of the O104 strain, and O104 strains are almost never (normally) resistant to antibiotics. In order for them to acquire this resistance, they must be repeatedly exposed to antibiotics in order to provide the “mutation pressure” that nudges them toward complete drug immunity.
So if you’re curious about the origins of such a strain, you can essentially reverse engineer the genetic code of the e.coli and determine fairly accurately which antibiotics it was exposed to during its development. This step has now been done (see below), and when you look at the genetic decoding of this O104 strain now threatening food consumers across the EU, a fascinating picture emerges of how it must have come into existence.
The genetic code reveals the history
When scientists at Germany’s Robert Koch Institute decoded the genetic makeup of the O104 strain, they found it to be resistant to all the following classes and combinations of antibiotics:
• nalidixic acid
• amoxicillin / clavulanic acid
In addition, this O104 strain posses an ability to produce special enzymes that give it what might be called “bacteria superpowers” known technically as ESBLs:
“Extended-Spectrum Beta-Lactamases (ESBLs) are enzymes that can be produced by bacteria making them resistant to cephalosporins e.g. cefuroxime, cefotaxime and ceftazidime – which are the most widely used antibiotics in many hospitals,” explains the Health Protection Agency in the UK.
On top of that, this O104 strain possesses two genes — TEM-1 and CTX-M-15 — that “have been making doctors shudder since the 1990s,” reports The Guardian. And why do they make doctors shudder? Because they’re so deadly that many people infected with such bacteria experience critical organ failure and simply die.
Bioengineering a deadly superbug
So how, exactly, does a bacterial strain come into existence that’s resistant to over a dozen antibiotics in eight different drug classes and features two deadly gene mutations plus ESBL enzyme capabilities?
There’s really only one way this happens (and only one way) — you have to expose this strain of e.coli to all eight classes of antibiotics drugs. Usually this isn’t done at the same time, of course: You first expose it to penicillin and find the surviving colonies which are resistant to penicillin. You then take those surviving colonies and expose them to tetracycline. The surviving colonies are now resistant to both penicillin and tetracycline. You then expose them to a sulfa drug and collect the surviving colonies from that, and so on. It is a process of genetic selection done in a laboratory with a desired outcome. This is essentially how some bioweapons are engineered by the U.S. Army in its laboratory facility in Ft. Detrick, Maryland.
Although the actual process is more complicated than this, the upshot is that creating a strain of e.coli that’s resistant to eight classes of antibiotics requires repeated, sustained expose to those antibiotics. It is virtually impossible to imagine how this could happen all by itself in the natural world. For example, if this bacteria originated in the food (as we’ve been told), then where did it acquire all this antibiotic resistance given the fact that antibiotics are not used in vegetables?
When considering the genetic evidence that now confronts us, it is difficult to imagine how this could happen “in the wild.” While resistance to a single antibiotic is common, the creation of a strain of e.coli that’s resistant to eight different classes of antibiotics — in combination — simply defies the laws of genetic permutation and combination in the wild. Simply put, this superbug e.coli strain could not have been created in the wild. And that leaves only one explanation for where it really came from: the lab.
Engineered and then released into the wild
The evidence now points to this deadly strain of e.coli being engineered and then either being released into the food supply or somehow escaping from a lab and entering the food supply inadvertently. If you disagree with that conclusion — and you’re certainly welcome to — then you are forced to conclude that this octobiotic superbug (immune to eight classes of antibiotics) developed randomly on its own… and that conclusion is far scarier than the “bioengineered” explanation because it means octobiotic superbugs can simply appear anywhere at any time without cause. That would be quite an exotic theory indeed.
My conclusion actually makes more sense: This strain of e.coli was almost certainly engineered and then released into the food supply for a specific purpose. What would that purpose be? It’s obvious, I hope.
It’s all problem, reaction, solution at work here. First cause a PROBLEM (a deadly strain of e.coli in the food supply). Then wait for the public REACTION (huge outcry as the population is terrorized by e.coli). In response to that, enact your desired SOLUTION (total control over the global food supply and the outlawing of raw sprouts, raw milk and raw vegetables).
That’s what this is all about, of course. The FDA relied on the same phenomenon in the USA when pushing for its recent “Food Safety Modernization Act” which essentially outlaws small family organic farms unless they lick the boots of FDA regulators. The FDA was able to crush farm freedom in America by piggybacking on the widespread fear that followed e.coli outbreaks in the U.S. food supply. When people are afraid, remember, it’s not difficult to get them to agree to almost any level of regulatory tyranny. And making people afraid of their food is a simple matter… a few government press releases emailed to the mainstream media news affiliates is all it takes.
April 11th, 2011
Though we don’t completely understand why some children are more susceptible to ADHD than others, the brain changes that are seen in children with ADHD symptoms are not theoretical. Studies show that regions of the brain affected by ADHD are the same regions that control attention as well as impulse control in children without ADHD. Here are 10 theories — some more plausible than others — to explain the brain changes that cause ADHD symptoms:
- Genetics. ADHD symptoms tend to run in families. Studies show that one in four children with a diagnosis of ADHD will have a close family member with ADHD.
- Lead exposure. Studies have shown an association between lead exposure and ADHD symptoms in young children. Lead may enter a child’s drinking water from old plumbing fixtures. Children may also be exposed from lead paint. “These exposures are known to increase the risk of ADHD, but these exposures are becoming increasingly rare and most children with a diagnosis of ADHD have no evidence of significant lead exposure,” Hunter notes.
- Cigarettes and alcohol. Two toxins that have been shown to increase the risk of ADHD in children are cigarette smoke and alcohol. Smoking and drinking during pregnancy are associated with a number of serious health risks for both mother and fetus. Not surprisingly, several studies have specifically linked these substances to an increased risk of having a child with ADHD.
- Medications taken during pregnancy. A study done in the Netherlands found that children of women who were treated for high blood pressure during pregnancy with a medication called labetalol (Normodyne, Trandate) had a significantly higher risk of ADHD. “It may be that some medications given to a mother may interfere with fetal oxygen, but these are isolated findings and require more research,” cautions Hunter.
- Fluoride. The theory that fluoride could cause ADHD arose from a study done in rats. Although rats exposed to fluoride during the study did develop ADHD symptoms, this may not necessarily translate into increased risk among humans. “I know of no convincing evidence that fluoride is a significant ADHD risk factor for children,” says Dribinsky.
- Sugar and sugar substitutes. Both refined sugar and sugar substitutes have been studied as possible ADHD causes. Most studies show that neither sugar nor sugar substitutes affect children’s behavior or their learning ability. According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), there is actually more research to suggest that sugar is not linked to ADHD symptoms than there is research to support an association between the two.
- Celiac disease and food allergies. Some research supports the theory that food intolerance or food allergies, such as in the intolerance to the protein gluten seen in celiac disease, may be a trigger for ADHD symptoms. Studies have shown that a small percentage of children may get some relief from ADHD symptoms with diet restrictions. “Food sensitivities and nutritional deficiencies may play a role, but more research needs to be done,” says Dribinsky.
- Food additives. It has long been suspected that food additives such as food coloring or food preservatives might cause ADHD symptoms or make them worse. Recent research published in Britain supports a link between these additives and an increase in ADHD symptoms. Research is under way to see if these findings can be confirmed. “The effects of food additives are probably negligible for most children with ADHD, but some children may be more sensitive than others,” Hunter explains.
- Pesticides. “Recent studies done at Harvard suggest that pesticide exposure may increase the risk of ADHD in children,” notes Hunter. The researchers found that children who had high levels of pesticide in their urine had almost double the risk of ADHD as children who had undetectable levels.
- Complications during pregnancy. Many studies show that a difficult pregnancy can lead to ADHD. These may be complications that occur during fetal development in the womb, or complications that affect the baby’s brain during delivery. Complications that have been identified include high blood pressure during pregnancy, bleeding before the birth of the baby, babies who remain in the womb beyond their due date, long delivery time, and anything that impacts the baby’s oxygen supply during birth.
It remains unclear which of these theories play the biggest role in ADHD symptoms. It’s likely that a number of factors work together to determine whether a child develops ADHD. As Dribinsky points out, “We know that children with ADHD have brains that function differently … What we need to know more about is how the environment triggers ADHD symptoms.”
Adds Hunter: “Children who have a genetic predisposition for ADHD may be more vulnerable to pesticides, toxins, or other triggers. The areas of the brain that are responsible for attention and activity regulation are very sensitive.”
While exact ADHD causes are not yet known, this is an exciting and active time for research and discovery in ADHD. Some earlier theories seem less promising now, but new theories may hold the key to unraveling the mystery of ADHD in the future.
February 11th, 2011
With such an abundance of health-related information and oft-repeated advice out there, which tidbits are mere myths and which are actual facts? Here, Prevention magazine provides clarity about common questions related to skin and skin care.
Myth or fact? The way your skin ages is largely determined by your genetics.
MYTH. A recent study that analyzed identical twins found that your lifestyle significantly trumps your DNA when it comes to facial aging. Experts estimate that daily habits account for up to 80 percent of the changes in appearance that occur over time. The good news is that with a few precautions, like wearing an SPF 30 sunscreen every day, you can look vibrant and youthful no matter how many candles are on your birthday cake.
Myth or fact? High stress levels can cause your skin to age more quickly.
FACT. Emotional upheavals can make your skin look five years older than your chronological age. Constant anxiety increases the stress hormone cortisol, which causes inflammation that breaks down collagen. It also triggers a chain of responses that can lead to facial redness and acne flare-ups. Try to exercise and meditate a little every day, which have been shown to lower stress-hormone levels. To quell inflammation, eat antioxidant-rich foods such as berries, oranges and asparagus.
Myth or fact? All babies are born without freckles.
FACT. Babies, of course, can be born with birthmarks and “beauty marks,” but it’s true that upon entering the world they have no freckles, which the skin produces (using excess pigment) in response to sun exposure. As babies get out in the sun, those with fair complexions and light eyes will be especially prone to developing freckles (and will have a higher likelihood of skin cancer and melanoma later in life). Those freckles on the redheaded kid’s cheeks aren’t cute — they’re sun damage! And freckles probably also indicate damage to the DNA in your skin cells. Children and adults alike should have their freckles monitored regularly by a dermatologist and vigilantly use sunscreen of SPF 30 or higher.
Myth or fact? The most important time to wash your face is when you first wake up in the morning.
MYTH. The most important time to wash your face is before you head to bed. Dirt, bacteria and makeup left on overnight can irritate skin, clog pores and trigger breakouts. Remove this top layer of grime with a gentle face wash (skin should feel pleasantly tight for 10 to 15 minutes post-cleansing), which also allows anti-agers to penetrate deeper for better results. Because oil production dips with hormonal changes in your 40s, cleansing twice daily can dry out your complexion and make wrinkles look more pronounced. To refresh skin in the morning, splash with lukewarm water.
Myth or fact? Drink more water if you have dry skin.
MYTH. Unless you’re severely dehydrated, the amount of water you consume has no effect on how dry your skin is. Overhydrating may even take a toll on skin by flushing electrolytes out of your bloodstream. Aim to meet the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies recommendation to consume 91 ounces of fluid a day (around 11 cups). Remember, choosing food (like fruits and veggies) with a high water content helps you meet your quota.
Myth or fact? Your ears are still growing.
FACT. Your outer ears are. Starting at birth, the ears are, proportionally, the body’s largest feature, with a Spock-like prominence. They grow rapidly until about age 10, then slow to the languid pace of about 0.22 millimeter per year, according to a study by Britain’s Royal College of General Practitioners. Other studies show that the earlobe itself also lengthens throughout life (men have longer lobes than women). However, the size of the ear canal, which is formed by bone and cartilage, does not increase into old age.
Myth or fact? Eating tomatoes can help prevent sunburn.
FACT. This is true, thanks to tomatoes’ high lycopene content. Volunteers in one study who consumed 5 tablespoons of tomato paste daily for three months had 25 percent more protection against sunburn. Even better, skin had more collagen, which prevents sagging. German scientists also report that higher skin levels of this antioxidant correlate to fewer fine lines and furrows. Toss some on top of some romaine lettuce for the perfect skin-health salad: six leaves of romaine lettuce provide more than 100 percent of your daily value of vitamin A, which revitalizes skin by increasing cell turnover.
Myth or fact? When it comes to beauty products, expensive brands work better than mass-market products.
MYTH. Mass lines make more money, so they can afford more research and development. Among the best: Unilever (which does Dove and Ponds), L’Oréal (Vichy and La Roche-Posay), and Johnson & Johnson (maker of Neutrogena and Aveeno, which has its own research institute). A recent study found that 80 percent of women who followed a skin care regimen with mass-market products showed fewer wrinkles and healthier skin than when they used pricier lines.
January 14th, 2011
The Autism News
While no cure is known for autism, researchers believe environmental factors and genetics to play a role. In fact, new findings show the duration between pregnancies may directly impact the risks of having a child with autism.
A study from Columbia University found that women who, after giving birth to their first child, quickly become pregnant again, notice drastically higher chances of having a baby with autism.
Researchers analyzed time between births and the health records of more than 500,000 children who were born second.
Dr. Thomas Frazier, an autism authority, explained that second-child autism rates are increased if the child is born between 12 months or less of the first child. The numbers from the study backed him up.
Children born between 12-24 months after the birth of a first child noticed 125 percent increase of autism cases.
One suggestion for this is that a woman may lack vital nutrients after the birth of their first child, including folate and iron. Additionally, higher levels of stress may negatively affect the health of the second-born child.
Researchers explain that a number of factors may be at fault, and additional research is being done to narrow down the largest risk factors.
September 21, 2010
Tinker with the genetics of salmon and maybe you create a revolutionary new food source that could help the environment and feed the hungry.
Or maybe you’re creating what some say is an untested “frankenfish” that could cause unknown allergic reactions and the eventual decimation of the wild salmon population.
The US Food and Drug Administration hears both arguments this week when it begins a two-day meeting on whether to approve the marketing of the genetically engineered fish, which would be the first such animal approved for human consumption.
The agency has already said the salmon, which grows twice as fast as conventional salmon, is as safe to eat as the traditional variety.
Approval of the salmon would open the door for a variety of other genetically engineered animals, including an environmentally friendly pig that is being developed in Canada or cattle that are resistant to mad cow disease.
“For future applications out there the sky’s the limit,” David Edwards of the Biotechnology Industry Association said.
“If you can imagine it, scientists can try to do it.”
AquaBounty submitted its first application for FDA approval in 1995, but the agency decided not until two years ago to consider applications for genetically engineered animals – a move seen as a breakthrough by the biotechnology industry.
Genetic engineering is already widely used for crops, but the US government until now has not considered allowing the consumption of modified animals.
Although the potential benefits – and profits – are huge, many individuals have qualms about manipulating the genetic code of other living creatures.
Genetically engineered – or GE – animals are not clones, which the FDA has already said are safe to eat.
Clones are copies of an animal. With GE animals, their DNA has been altered to produce a desirable characteristic.
In the case of the salmon, AquaBounty has added a growth hormone from a Chinook salmon that allows the fish to produce their growth hormone all year long.
The engineers were able to keep the hormone active by using another gene from an eel-like fish called an ocean pout that acts like an on switch for the hormone, according to the company.
Conventional salmon only produce the growth hormone some of the time.
In documents released ahead of the hearing, the FDA said there were no biologically relevant differences between the engineered salmon and conventional salmon, and there is a reasonable certainty of no harm from its consumption.
Critics have two main concerns: The safety of the food to humans and the salmon’s effect on the environment.
Because the altered fish has never been eaten before, they say, it could include dangerous allergens, especially because seafood is highly allergenic.
They also worry that the fish will escape and intermingle with the wild salmon population, which is already endangered.
They would grow fast and consume more food to the detriment of the conventional wild salmon, the critics fear.
A wide range of environmental, food safety and consumer groups have argued that more public studies are needed and the current FDA process is inadequate because it allows the company to keep some proprietary information private.
Ron Stotish, the chief executive of AquaBounty, has countered that the company has more than addressed the concerns and his product has come under much more scrutiny than most food.
“This is perhaps the most studied fish in history,” he said.
“Environmentally, this is a very sustainable technology.”
The company has several safeguards in place to allay concerns.
All the fish would be bred female and sterile, though a small percentage may be able to breed.
They would be bred in confined pools where the potential for escape would be very low.
September 9, 2010
by S. L. Baker
Who hasn’t heard the argument that organic food isn’t better than produce grown with chemical fertilizers and pesticides — it’s just more expensive? Finally, scientists have come up with undeniable proof this isn’t so. After conducting side-by-side comparisons of organic and conventional strawberry farms and their fruit, the evidence is abundantly clear: organic farms produce more flavorful and nutritious berries and leave the soil far healthier and more genetically diverse.
“Our findings have global implications and advance what we know about the sustainability benefits of organic farming systems,” John Reganold, Washington State University Regents professor of soil science and lead author of the study, which was just published in the peer-reviewed journal PLoS ONE, said in a media statement. “We also show you can have high quality, healthy produce without resorting to an arsenal of pesticides.”
The comprehensive study involved the analysis of 31 chemical and biological soil properties and soil DNA, as well as the taste, nutrition and quality of three strawberry varieties on 13 conventional fields and 13 organic ones. All the farms in the study are in California, where about 90 percent of U.S. strawberries are grown. California is also the center of an ongoing controversy over whether the common use of soil fumigants on strawberries is safe.
Conventional farms in the study were found to be currently using methyl bromide, an ozone-depleting chemical which is due to be replaced by highly toxic methyl iodide. More than 50 Nobel laureates, members of the National Academy of Sciences and countless natural health advocates have protested the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) recent approval of the use of methyl iodide on crops, so far to no avail — despite the new evidence that organically grown crops are better for humans and the planet.
The research team, along with Dr. Reganold, included Preston Andrews, a WSU associate professor of horticulture, and seven other experts in scientific disciplines including agroecology, soil science, microbial ecology, genetics, pomology (the science of fruit breeding and production), food science, sensory science, and statistics. By virtually every major indicator, these scientists found the organic fields and fruit were equal to or better than their conventional counterparts.
Specifically, the scientists discovered that organic strawberries had significantly higher antioxidant activity including much higher concentrations of ascorbic acid and phenolic compounds (phytonutrients known to help protect and fight a host of disease). The organic strawberries also had a longer shelf life. What’s more, anonymous testers found organic strawberries looked and tasted better. The researchers also documented that organic soils excelled in important chemical and biological properties — including nitrogen, microbial biomass, enzyme activities, and micronutrients. Bottom line: organic farms produced more flavorful and nutritious berries while leaving the soil healthier and more genetically diverse.
March 12, 2010
By Julie Steenhuysen
The studies, which would not have been possible a year or two ago, are the first real delivery of the promised transformation of medical science from the Human Genome Project’s mapping of the human genetic code.
One was also made possible by some of the $5 billion that U.S. President Barack Obama directed to the National Institutes of Health in September from the $787 billion economic stimulus package.
And in that study, the genetic researcher was himself one of the patients.
Dr. James Lupski of the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston has a recessive genetic disease called Charcot-Marie-Tooth syndrome. It affects the nerves stretching from the spinal cord to the arms, legs and feet.
Lupski has been experimenting on himself and his own family for years.
“We tried every other method for 25 years to find out which mutation was important,” he said in a telephone interview.
“With this methodology we were able to do it. This is the first time whole genome sequencing has applied to actually find the cause of a disease.”
Lupski had been taking blood samples from his grandparents, parents and siblings for years. He got close but the research was considered too risky for funding by the National Institutes of Health.
“He was only able to complete this study because of the stimulus money that we got,” said Dr. Story Landis, director of the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke.
Her institute designated Lupski’s project for about half a million dollars of the money that Obama directed to the NIH.
Lupski’s team used a gene sequencer from Carlsbad, California-based Life Technologies to read the entire DNA code in the samples from Lupski and three of his siblings who have the syndrome, his parents and four other siblings who do not.
“It is a recessive disease and neither of my parents have the disease. Each of us who has it got one mutant allele (gene) from my mom and one mutant allele from my dad,” he said.
Researchers know about 40 different genes that can cause Charcot-Marie-Tooth. But in each family, only one of these genes is involved.
The sequencing revealed a gene called SH3TC2, the researchers reported in the New England Journal of Medicine. Other groups are already working on a drug that may affect that gene, Lupski said.
The researchers also found that family members who inherited just one faulty copy of the gene had a predisposition to carpal tunnel syndrome, in which a nerve in the wrist can get pinched.
As prices are coming down on the cost of sequencing a human genome, more such research will be possible.
“We estimate that the entire effort would currently cost less than $50,000,” the researchers wrote.
In a second study, Jared Roach of the Institute for Systems Biology in Seattle and colleagues sequenced the entire genomes of a family of four affected by two recessive genetic diseases — Miller syndrome, which can cause facial disfigurement, and primary ciliary dyskinesia, a lung disorder that raises the risk of respiratory infections because the hairlike extension on cells called cilia fail to move properly.
“Our results demonstrate the unique value of complete genome sequencing in families,” they wrote in the journal Science.
They used a sequencer made by another one of the companies exploiting genomic sequencing, Complete Genomics based in Mountain View, California.
February 26, 2010
By Kathleen Doheny
Women with breast cancer who choose to have a preventive mastectomy on their disease-free breast do reduce their risk of cancer in that breast, studies have shown.
But now new research finds that the survival benefit from that preventive surgery is small and not equal among all women.
“The survival benefit was limited to a small subset of all breast cancer patients [studied],” said study author Dr. Isabelle Bedrosian, an assistant professor of surgical oncology at the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, in Houston.
Those most likely to derive a survival benefit, she said, were those younger than 50 who had been diagnosed with early-stage cancers that were estrogen receptor (ER)-negative.
ER-negative tumors don’t require estrogen to grow, as do ER-positive tumors, and the prognosis is poorer for the ER-negative cancers, according to the American Cancer Society.
The study is published online Feb. 25 in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.
According to Bedrosian and others, experts have long known that women diagnosed with breast cancer have an elevated risk of developing cancer in the opposite breast. Removing that breast as a preventive measure reduces, but does not eliminate, the risk of cancer in that breast.
“But we have never really established the difference it makes in the survival of breast cancer patients,” she said. So, Bedrosian and her colleagues used data from the Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results (SEER) database, evaluating 107,106 women with breast cancer who had undergone mastectomy for that cancer between 1998 and 2003, along with a subset of 8,902 who had the opposite breast removed as a preventive measure.
After a five-year follow-up, 88.5 percent of those who had the opposite breast surgery were alive, versus 83.7 percent of those who did not, a difference of less than 5 percent. The improved survival was clear for a select group, mostly the women aged 18 to 49 with early-stage, ER-negative tumors, the researchers found.
There was no information from the database on whether the women had genetic mutations to boost breast cancer risk, Bedrosian noted.
After five years, what might happen? “We actually would expect that number [the nearly 5 percent benefit] would increase over time,” Bedrosian said.
The findings makes sense to Dr. Allison W. Kurian, an assistant professor of medicine at Stanford University School of Medicine in Stanford, Calif., who has published research on the topic.
“These results are consistent with other studies,” she said, including her own research published in 2009 in the same journal, which found that the risk for a breast cancer in the opposite breast is affected by a variety of factors, with those having ER-negative tumors in the original breast cancer having a higher risk of getting second tumors in the opposite breast.
Bedrosian said her research suggests most women diagnosed with breast cancer shouldn’t be concerned about the opposite breast: “We cannot demonstrate for most of them a survival benefit [with preventive mastectomy on the opposite breast].”
However, she said, psychological factors should also be taken into account. “There are some patients who may feel they still want to do this,” she said.
Kurian agreed: “This paper does give more information [about the outlook for various women], but it remains a personal decision for women to discuss with their doctor.”