Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Animal-Human Hybrids Spark Controversy

My Mom once told me Atlantus was swallowed by the sea when God had to put a soul into something that they made that wasn't human... here we go again, I better boogie....
Animal-Human Hybrids Spark Controversy: "Animal-Human Hybrids Spark Controversy"
Maryann Mott
National Geographic News

January 25, 2005
Scientists have begun blurring the line between human and animal by producing chimeras�a hybrid creature that's part human, part animal.

Chinese scientists at the Shanghai Second Medical University in 2003 successfully fused human cells with rabbit eggs. The embryos were reportedly the first human-animal chimeras successfully created. They were allowed to develop for several days in a laboratory dish before the scientists destroyed the embryos to harvest their stem cells.

In Minnesota last year researchers at the Mayo Clinic created pigs with human blood flowing through their bodies.
And at Stanford University in California an experiment might be done later this year to create mice with human brains.
Scientists feel that, the more humanlike the animal, the better research model it makes for testing drugs or possibly growing 'spare parts,' such as livers, to transplant into humans.
Watching how human cells mature and interact in a living creature may also lead to the discoveries of new medical treatments.
But creating human-animal chimeras named after a monster in Greek mythology that had a lion's head, goat's body, and serpent's tail has raised troubling questions: What new subhuman combination should be produced and for what purpose? At what point would it be considered human? And what rights, if any, should it have? "

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Articles

Articles: "Viewed from the perspective of spirit, cosmologically in light of a hypothetical Big Bang, or through the scientific lens of E=MC2, the statement that everything is energy transcends the empirical domain of fact and approaches the metaphysical realm of Truth.
This even involves human physiology. The outmoded view of the body as a machine that may use energy but is somehow distinguishable from it is fast giving way to undeniable evidence that we, too, are conscious energy. This growing awareness of humans as energy beings is not merely occurring on the metaphysical fringes; it is happening at the heart of materialism: science.

Enlightened individuals have known for eons that spirit precedes matter, not the other way around, and that energy (often called consciousness) is reality's fundamental building block. Lately, physics has begun to arrive at the same conclusion. The holographic model interprets the so-called physical universe as a product of intersecting electromagnetic frequencies that energetically project the illusions we call the world ... and ourselves!
The notion that humans possess a detectable bioenergy field, sometimes termed the aura, is indisputable. In their book Future Science, John White and Stanley Krippner point out that nearly a hundred different cultures refer to the aura with nearly a hundred different names. The aura appears as a halo around Christian saints in sacred texts; Kirlian photography has captured the aura for decades; and recently, Dr. Valerie Hunt, UCLA professor and author of Infinite Mind: Science of the Human Vibrations of Consciousness, has even measured the human aura with an EEG machine. "

Forthcoming Book on DNA Activation (Intro)

Forthcoming Book on DNA Activation (Intro): "Revolutionary new research in 'wave-genetics' reveals DNA can be activated--noninvasively--by radio and light waves keyed to human language frequencies. Studies by cell biologists further demonstrate that the genetic code can be stimulated through human consciousness--specifically, the unity consciousness associated with unconditional love--to heal not only the mind and spirit but the body as well. Benefits of DNA activation can range from allergy relief and increased energy to better relationships and even renewed life purpose. Since DNA regulates all physical, mental, emotional and spiritual aspects of our being, the possibilities are endless!"

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Cleaner Rivers - On Paper

water quality is too bad for people, so let's lower our standards!!! Then it will be good enough for everyoneCleaner Rivers - On Paper: "TAMPA - Governments label the Hillsborough and Palm rivers 'impaired,' a way of saying they aren't suitable for swimming or fishing.
That unflattering description could be lifted soon - but not because the rivers are getting cleaner. Instead, state environmental officials may reduce required levels of dissolved oxygen - one component of a healthy river - to a point some scientists view as bad for fish, crabs and bottom-dwelling critters.
In other words, the state lowers the bar, and the rivers no longer are considered polluted.
Some environmental groups say changing the rules is a way for the Florida Department of Environmental Protection to avoid setting pollution limits for the state's impaired waters, as required by the federal Clean Water Act. The limits are unpopular among polluters such as agriculture, paper mills and cities with sewage plants."

Sex Survey 'Eye-Opening' For Local Parents

Morals here In USA, since when... aren't our children taught about sex by the TV... certainly non one else teaches MoralsSex Survey 'Eye-Opening' For Local Parents: "The spring survey of more than 5,000 randomly selected Hillsborough students revealed other risky behaviors.
Among student-reported activity from four thick survey volumes compiled by the national Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:
�Nearly one-third of high school students said they were propositioned to buy or bought or sold drugs while at school.
�Condom use decreases with age, dropping from 78 percent in eighth grade to 61.4 percent for high school seniors.
�More male high school students - 16 percent - reported being physically hurt by their significant others than female students, at 11.8 percent.
�More than 9 percent of male and nearly 12 percent of female high school students said they were physically forced to have sex.
'I know that is happening, because my son constantly gets letters from girls who want to do sexual things to him,' said Paula Thomas, mother of five children ages 9 to 16. 'It starts in the sixth or seventh grade.'
At school, the Citrus Park mother said, 'They know to stay out of certain hallways because of the girls.'"

Friday, November 25, 2005

New Scientist Premium- How life shapes the brainscape - News

New Scientist Premium- How life shapes the brainscape - News: "How life shapes the brainscape
25 November 2005
Helen Phillips
Magazine issue 2527
From meditation to diet, life experiences profoundly change the structure and connectivity of the brain
OUR brains form a million new connections for every second of our lives. It is a mind-blowing statistic, and one that highlights the amazing flexibility of our most enigmatic organ. While the figure emphasises how much we still have to learn about brain structure, it also reveals the huge importance of our everyday experiences in making our brains what they are.
Anatomy, neural networks and genes are yesterday's hot topics. Today, neuroscientists are increasingly concentrating on how the way we live our lives creates profound and often long-lasting changes in the structure and connectivity of our brains. They are focusing on how influences as diverse as our emotions, environment, social interactions and even our spiritual lives help make us tick.
To reflect this shift, the Society for Neuroscience in Washington DC last week invited a leading religious figure to open its annual meeting for the first time. The Dalai Lama "

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Central Doctrines of Tibetan Buddhism

Auxilary to this?? Maybe it is that the emptiness mearly implies existance is based on the cooperation of all things. The only definition and separtion of one thing to the next is caused simply by all these things Being here. Mab has chosen to be separate. The nothingness of the mind, where we hold onto no particular reality creates the "space" for allowing other things to be, and subject their beingness onto the mind.... whereby we can know all things. So the nothingness brings the beingness of everything into us.... So "what we do an think in our own lives becomes of extreme importance as it affects everything we are connected to."*

Central Doctrines of Tibetan Buddhism: "The philosophical outlook of all four Schools of Tibetan Buddhism is the Mahayana doctrine of emptiness. On this view, all things and events are said to be devoid of any intrinsic and absolute existence. They come into being due to the aggregation of multiple causes and conditions. Not only is their material existence dependent upon other factors, even their very identity as they are is contingent upon other factors, such as language, thought and concepts that together make up worldly convention. This absence of intrinsic existence and intrinsic identity is what is referred to as 'emptiness' and is considered to be the ultimate truth of all things and events. One of the most profound implications of this theory of emptiness is that it suggests that all things and events come into being only by means of a process of dependent origination. They are dependent upon other factors, and this fundamental truth about the nature of reality is understood best through a language of interdependence and interrelationship of things."

*Lama, D., H.H. (2005). The Universe in a Single Atom: The Convergence of Science and Spirituality (1 ed.). New York: Morgan Road Books.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

New Horizons for Learning: Transforming Education

New Horizons for Learning: Transforming Education: "The Power of Mindful Learning
by: Ellen J. Langer
Perseus Publishing, 1998
ISBN: 0201339919

Take everything you have ever been taught about education, and throw it out. Look at everything in a new light, a mindful state.
If the basics become second nature, then true learning stops taking place. Learners become so conditioned to seeing things a certain way, the ?right? way, that they don?t learn, don?t challenge, don?t question. Real learning takes place in a ?mindful? environment, one that provides a context for the subject we are studying and allows us to bring something of ourselves into the process.

When speaking about her book to teachers in the Edmonds School District this fall, Langer told the story of watching someone set the table and put the fork on the right. The RIGHT? What was that person thinking? Everyone knows that the fork belongs on the left; then, she stopped herself. She had overlearned this fact and no longer doubted that sacred place of the fork on the table. Why did it belong on the left? There could be benefits to placing the fork on either side of the plate. Langer argues that teachers must teach facts conditionally to allow for doubt and more learning to take place.

She further illustrates this point with a study of two groups of piano students, one taught through repetition and memorization of scales, while the other encouraged to respond to their own thoughts and emotions. The second group ended up being more competent and more creative. Langer challenges educators to use this knowledge to rethink teaching.
"

Monday, October 10, 2005

Rational Spirituality

Rational Spirituality: "The Natural Systems Thinking Process (NSTP) is a methodology in applied ecopsychology. Webstring Science is a hypothesis of the attraction relationships that underlie the interconnected structure of reality. Webstring Science provides a framework for how the natural universe communicates its multi-sensory intelligence through the Web of Life. The scientific underpinnings are drawn from both current and ancient thought in the physical, natural and social sciences, and held together with current thinking in systems science.

When one examines the results of evidence from the above fields, the inescapable conclusion is that attraction relationships hold everything from sub-atomic particles to ecosystems to economic systems together.

The basis of the concept of Love on a Universal scale is that love starts as allurement, which is a form of attraction. This basic binding energy is found everywhere in reality. It is, for example, the beginning of the attraction sense of love of community. The activity of attraction is both the creation of being and the enhancement of life.

Attraction relationships can be seen as the manifestations of a 5th Force within quantum mechanics, what Ervin Lazslo refers to as the subtle field. This subtle energy field that guides the cosmological evolutionary lifeforce is a Nameless, Intelligent, Attraction Love known by its acronym NIAL within the NSTP. Webstrings, taken from the experiential Web of Life model used by environmental educators, are the attraction relationships that bond quarks and biosystems. NIAL is the underlying field itself.

As a method of psychologically therapeutic healing NSTP can have an extremely consciously profound effect and may even become a life altering experience for an individual. Some people express their experiences with Nature as a mental well-being with increased measures of self worth and esteem, others as a spiritual awakening or appreciation of Nature, of finding or sensing their Higher Power. Some people talk about experiencing a personal wholeness or a meaningful fulfillment in honoring the integrity and the unity of Nature. Others say they've learned that the greatest good can be simply to enjoy life and cause no undue harm, and then perhaps to take the next step: to constructively contribute to the community of all life in a harmonious actualization of balanced co-creative evolution."

Official Site of Dr. Bruce Lipton, cellular biologist and acclaimed speaker

Official Site of Dr. Bruce Lipton, cellular biologist and acclaimed speaker: "Author Dr. Bruce Lipton is a former medical school professor (University of Wisconsin) and research scientist (Stanford University School of Medicine).His experiments, examining in great detail the molecular mechanisms by which cells process information, have revealed that genes do not in fact control our behavior, instead, genes are turned on and off by influences outside the cell.
These influences include our perceptions and beliefs. He shows that our beliefs, true or false, positive or negative, affect genetic activity and actually alter our genetic code. Dr. Lipton's profoundly hopeful work, being hailed as one of the major breakthroughs in the New Sciences, shows how we can retrain our consciousness to create healthy beliefs, and by doing so create a profoundly positive effect on our bodies and our lives."

Thursday, September 29, 2005

MLRN Discussion ListI

Date:Thu, 29 Sep 2005 11:43:44 -0700
From:"Juan Carlos Marvizon" marvizon@ucla.edu
Subject:Re:[discussionlist] response to Wallace
To:discussionlist@lists.wisc.edu

I was greatly disappointed to read Allan Wallace’s response to George Johnson's review of the book by the Dalai Lama “The Universe in a Single Atom”. I have followed with great interest the Dalai Lama’s interaction with science, and I am looking forward to his lecture at the next meeting of the Society for Neuroscience. Allan Wallace is one of the organizers of the Life & Mind meetings, one of which precedes the meeting of the Society for Neuroscience this year. These meetings present themselves as forum to discuss scientific research on topics like meditation. However, Wallace’s defense of reincarnation and a religious interpretation of consciousness has very little to do with the scientific enterprise. Furthermore, he seems to show a contempt for mainstream scientific views on the functioning of the mind that is going to make difficult any rational discussion of these topics. The scientific study of meditation has long been tainted by the efforts of groups with veiled religious affiliations to use it to validate their particular brand of practice. I now fear that the Life & Mind Institute is just one more of these groups, advocating ideas that have very little to do with science, like reincarnation.While I do not have the time to fully refute all of Wallace’s arguments, I would like to make a few points.

1. Neither Wallace nor the Dalai Lama himself have the authority to speak for all Buddhists. Tibetan Buddhism is just one among many Buddhist schools that have held different doctrines for thousands of years. In particular, some Buddhists do not believe in reincarnation or in some kind of immaterial “soul” able to move from body to body. In fact, such a belief flies in the face of central Buddhist teachings like that of impermanence and the absence of an immutable human soul.

2. The core of Wallace’s view of consciousness appears to be that there is some “subtle” part of it that is immaterial and therefore able to migrate from body to body after death. The scientific argument against such immaterial mind can be summarized as follows. For that immaterial mind to direct actions of the body, at some point it would have to change the firing of neurons in the brain. Since the firing of action potentials is a physical phenomenon that follows the laws of physics, the interference of something immaterial with it will violate the principle of conservation of energy. This is because energy would have to come out of something immaterial (“subtle consciousness”) to influence something material. Since the law of conservation of energy is a fundamental principle of science, supported by uncountable observations, there is a heavy burden of proof on whatever theory contradicts it.

3. The work of Ian Stevenson and Jim Tucker lending credibility to reincarnation does not appear to have been properly peer-reviewed or published in mainstream scientific publications. Therefore, I would consider it pseudoscience.

4. One reason the term “consciousness” is so hard to define is the effort of spiritualists like Wallace to muddle things up. It is clear to most scientists that consciousness can not be found in inorganic matter, in plants or even in most animals, as Wallace claims. Therefore, we are not overly worried by the fact that its presence can not be detected in these things by “scientific instruments”. Most scientists are perfectly happy to understand consciousness as one of the functions of the human brain.

5. It is true that science does not have a satisfactory theory of consciousness yet. Neither does it have a good explanation for the origin of life, on how to fully reconcile Quantum Mechanics with the Theory of Relativity, and many other unresolved questions. It may still take us scientists hundreds of years to come up with a complete explanation of the Universe. I, for one, am happy that this is the case, because it allows us scientists to continue to work on these challenges. However, this lack of knowledge is not a license to embrace whatever dogma is offered to us, nor it should be a excuse to abandon time-honored scientific methodology to follow introspective approaches that do not allow independent repetition of results. These methods have its place in individual spiritual search, but not in science.

Respectfully,
Juan Carlos Marvizon,
Ph.D.Assistant Professor
Department of Medicine
UCLA

Friday, August 19, 2005

How Music Can Improve Your Health

How Music Can Improve Your Health

Suzanne B. Hanser, EdD
Berklee College of Music

E veryone knows the soothing effect of listening to a favorite piece of music. But until recently, there was little scientific evidence to support its effectiveness in helping to combat specific health problems.

Now: A growing body of research has found that music can affect key areas of the brain that help regulate specific physiological functions necessary for good health. The best choice of music and the time spent listening depends on an individual's needs and preferences. Medical conditions that can be improved by listening to appropriate music...

HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE

The hypothalamus helps control the autonomic nervous system, which regulates our breathing, heartbeat and other automatic responses in the body. It also is linked to emotional activity. How music helps: When a person listens to music that stimulates positive memories and/or images, the activity of the hypothalamus helps slow a person's heart and respiration rates as well as blood pressure.

Scientific evidence: In a study published in the British Journal of Health Psychology, 75 adults performed a stressful three-minute math problem. Afterward, they were randomly assigned to sit in silence or listen to classical, jazz or popular music. Those who heard classical selections had significantly lower systolic (top number) blood pressure levels than those who heard no music. Blood pressure did not significantly improve in people who listened to the other selections.

What to do: Observe how you respond to different types of music. Match your state of mind to the tempo and dynamics. Example: If you are agitated, listen to something with a strong, fast beat, then gradually switch to slower and softer music. This can reduce stress and lower blood pressure.

INSOMNIA

Although healthy adults typically fall asleep within 30 minutes, adults age 50 and older often have more trouble falling -- and staying -- asleep. How music helps: Soft, restful music can act as a sedative by reducing the amount of the stress-related neurotransmitter noradrenaline that circulates in the bloodstream.

Scientific evidence: Sixty people ages 60 to 83 who reported sleep difficulties took part in a study at Tzu-Chi General Hospital in Taiwan. After three weeks, researchers found a 35% improvement in sleep quality, length of sleep, daytime dysfunction and sleep disturbances in subjects who listened to slow, soft music at night. The most effective types of music used in the study were piano versions of popular "oldies," New Age, harp, classical and slow jazz.

What to do: Make sure your bedroom temperature is comfortable, then lie in bed at your usual bedtime, with the lights out (light interferes with the production of the sleep hormone melatonin) and your eyes closed while listening to music. Experiment with different types of music until you discover what's relaxing for you. If you wake during the night, try listening to music again.

PAIN

Listening to music does not eliminate pain, but it can help distract your brain by creating a secondary stimulus that diverts your attention from the feeling of discomfort.

Scientific evidence: In a 14-day study published in the Journal of Advanced Nursing, 66 older adults with osteoarthritis pain sat quietly for 20 minutes daily, while another group listened to music. Those who listened to music reported a significant decrease in pain.

What to do: For pain reduction, it's important to identify music that engages you -- that is, it should elicit memories and/or make you want to tap your foot, sway or even dance. Singing, which requires deep breathing, or using a simple percussion instrument (such as chimes or a drum), which does not require playing specific notes, also helps.


E-mail this Article

Bottom Line/Health interviewed Suzanne B. Hanser, EdD, chair of the music therapy department at Berklee College of Music in Boston and past president of the American Music Therapy Association and the World Federation of Music Therapy. She is a research associate at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, an affiliate of Harvard Medical School, also in Boston, where she investigates medical applications of music therapy.

Saturday, August 13, 2005

7 Power Centers

Guided Tour - Part 2: "The concept of an invisible network linking us all together was once considered 'new agey' or 'way out.' In fact, for the first ten years I was sharing the concept with others, there was absolutely no scientific evidence documenting it -- just anecdotal and experiential evidence.

Now, however, scientists from all over the world, including Harvard University, Stanford Research Institute, and various other private institutions have recently documented its existence. The technical term most often used to describe it is 'The Zero Point Field.'
In my earlier work, I called it 'the invisible network,' but in the new 7 Power Centers of Life work, I also refer to it as 'The Field.'

Haven't there been times when you knew something was going to happen before it happened? There have been times when you knew who was calling before you picked up the phone, haven't there?

Maybe you've had the experience of knowing what someone else was thinking or what they were going to say before they said it. You've had "hunches" or insights you labeled as coming from intuition, sixth-sense, instinct, gut, etc. -- that proved to be accurate, haven't you?
Where do you think the knowledge in those situations came from?

Stare at anyone, even through a car window at a stoplight, and they'll turn to look directly at you. They'll "feel" you staring at them, and know exactly which way to turn their head to lock eyes with you. How do you think they know you're looking at them, which direction to turn their head, and where to focus their eyes?

7 Power Centers of Life Guided Tour - Part 5: "every course, interaction and 'touch point' with The Ultimate Lifestyle Academy: Humility and a true desire to serve. In other words, The Ultimate Lifestyle Academy is an 'ego free zone'

No fluff, nonsense, or hype -- just grounded and proven Truth that works and truly helps you transform your life

I want to change lives and empower people on a massive scale throughout the world. I want to have maximum impact on those whose lives I'm able to touch. "
"

Thursday, August 11, 2005

MS patients making positive improvements

"a study from the University of Florida tells us that resistance training also can help those whose muscles have been weakened by multiple sclerosis walk better and reduce fatigue.

In the study, eight patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) ages 25 to 55 participated in a program that focused on exercising the legs, the lower back and the abdomen. Sessions lasted for 30 minutes, two times a week, and there was at least a 48-hour rest between exercise sessions. Conventional weight machines, typical of those found in any gym, were used. Subjects were supervised by trained exercise physiologists during all sessions.

There were no negative outcomes to weight training and no MS flair-ups were reported during the study. At the end of the eight weeks, patients had significantly stronger leg muscles, as evaluated by a machine called the isokinetic dynamometer. All patients were able to walk better, walk longer and reported less fatigue. More than half of the participants continued weight training after the study, Lesley White, PhD, lead researcher, reported.

The good news is that it appears from this study that MS patients are capable of making positive improvements in muscle strength through exercise, just as nonimpaired persons are. To substantiate these findings, a four-month strength-training study is under way."

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Go for it Dalai Lama They all need your help!!


“Davidson is a respectable scientist,” he says, “but he has put his respectability on the line with this.” Davidson defends his work as the first step in a new field. “Meditation research is in its infancy,” he says. He helped to arrange the Dalai Lama’s talk at the SfN meeting, to be held on 12–16 November. He says that criticism of the lecture on scientific grounds is misplaced, because the Dalai Lama is not claiming to be a scientist. “He merely wants to increase scientific attention on the topics that he thinks are important for human welfare,” Davidson says. The lecture is the first in a new series organized by the SfN, billed as “dialogues between neuroscience and society”.

Controversial HPV Vaccine Stirs Up Yet More Trouble

Controversial HPV Vaccine Stirs Up Yet More Trouble

Last year when I wrote about the HPV vaccine, developed to fight the human papillomavirus, a sexually transmitted virus that can cause cervical cancer, I voiced concern about its safety and efficacy given that it was new and had been approved very quickly by the FDA (see Daily Health News, January 23, 2006). Many of these concerns remain, while new politically based controversies have arisen. Led by Texas (which since changed course), numerous states jumped to propose making the vaccination mandatory for all girls entering the sixth-grade. Given, however, that HPV is normally transmitted sexually, not through casual contact as is the case with other viruses (such as measles, mumps and rubella, for instance) in which childhood vaccines are mandated, this enthusiastic legislative response appears to be driven by politics and corporate greed rather than public health concerns, some speculate.

BIG PHARMA STRIKES AGAIN

Consumer advocacy groups and the news media are quick to blame Merck, manufacturer of the vaccine, for the tactics it employed in promoting the vaccine's use. First and foremost, the vaccine was tested in only a small sample of girls under 16 (fewer than 1,200) and as a new vaccine it has no track record for safety, I was told by Barbara Loe Fisher, president of the National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC), a national, non-profit, educational organization dedicated to the prevention of vaccine injuries and deaths. Secondarily, she adds, the majority of Americans do not want state governments forcing this kind of decision upon their families. There was clearly a groundswell of opposition to the mandated vaccine from all sides, hence the bill for it being overturned in the state of Texas. Some oppose it due to safety concerns... others because it tramples on parents' rights. A recent survey confirmed this opposition. In a University of Michigan Health System poll, only 44% of parents supported the mandatory HPV vaccine. The rest were neutral or opposed. Nonetheless, the manufacturers have succeeded in promoting their extraordinarily profitable materials as "necessary for the public's safety."

QUESTIONABLE MARKETING TACTICS

There's no doubt that vaccines mean big money for big business. In June 2006, pharmaceutical giant Merck received approval for its vaccine, sold under the name "Gardasil," from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) after clinical trials showed very positive results, leading the FDA to speed its approval under its "priority review process." Shortly thereafter, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a recommendation for its use in girls ages 11 and 12, followed within a few months by a huge advertising campaign from Merck, featuring young girls jumping rope and chanting "I want to be one less, one less" on TV and in magazines. Simultaneously, the company launched an aggressive behind-closed-doors lobbying effort in state after state to require the vaccination for all girls entering sixth grade or of middle-school age. The projected revenue for Gardasil should the mandates pass is hundreds of millions of dollars per year.

Serious questions about a conflict of interest arose in Texas earlier this year. Literally the same day Governor Rick Perry's chief of staff met with Merck execs, the drug company made a significant contribution to Perry's campaign (as well as those of eight other Texas legislators). One of the Merck lobbyists in Texas is the governor's former chief of staff, and the governor is also closely aligned with Women in Government, a non-profit bi-partisan advocacy group of women legislators that receives money from Merck. Similar concerns have arisen in other states, including Florida, Virginia and Maryland, suggesting that Merck is more or less buying its way into the mandates.

Then there is the fact of Merck's recent poor track record for drug safety. Multi-million dollar lawsuits continue against the company for its osteoarthritis medication rofecoxib (Vioxx), abruptly pulled from the market in 2004 after causing heart attacks and stroke. It turned out that Merck had been aware of these cardiovascular risks for years, but covered them up. (Interestingly, Vioxx received a six-month priority review just as Gardasil did.) Now there are safety questions about another Merck drug, alendronate (Fosamax), which is used to treat osteoporosis. (For more on the dangers of Fosamax, see the January 18, 2007 issue of Daily Health News.)

SERIOUS HEALTH CONCERNS PERSIST

Politics aside, Fisher continues to have health concerns about the HPV vaccine, including...

  • Insufficient study. In Fisher's opinion, Merck and the FDA have not been completely honest with the American people about the pre-licensure clinical trials. The HPV vaccine has been studied in fewer than 1,200 girls under age 16, yet is being recommended for all girls 11 and 12.
  • Safety. There were 385 Gardasil adverse events reported to the federal Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) during the last six months of 2006. These included collapse into unconsciousness and seizures in the doctor's office after vaccination or in the next 24 hours. Two-thirds of those affected required additional medical care, and nearly one-third of all reports (where age was reported) were for girls 16 or younger. One out of four of these reactions occurred when Gardasil was administered along with other vaccines. As a result, NVIC is calling on the FDA and CDC to issue warnings that Gardasil should not be combined with other vaccines, and that girls be monitored for fainting, seizures, tingling, numbness and loss of sensation in the fingers and limbs for 24 hours after vaccination.
  • Long-term effectiveness. At Merck's urging, the FDA agreed to fast-track the HPV vaccine in February 2006, and it was approved that June. Although testing was limited -- particularly in the age group for which the mandate is proposed -- some speculate it was in Merck's best financial interests to roll out the vaccine as soon as possible so that it could achieve market domination before GlaxoSmithKline introduced its own version. Rarely has a vaccine this new been granted such a rapid and sweeping mandate after FDA approval, observes Fisher. The process typically takes five to six years -- as it should, to verify there are no long-term health risks.
  • Necessity. Fisher notes that cervical cancer causes less than one percent of all cancers and cancer deaths (between 3,000 and 4,000 US deaths annually). In contrast, tobacco is implicated in an estimated 438,000 American deaths each year.

So, I ask, if the government is going to legislate health, why not ban tobacco? Why instead mandate a controversial vaccine that impacts only a very narrow portion of the population, putting them at risk for side effects?

  • Cost. At $360 for a three-shot regimen, Gardasil is unusually expensive and not all insurance plans may cover it. However, if the vaccine is mandated, insurance coverage is far more likely. Clearly that will make the people at Merck very happy. Fisher points out that because a competing HPV vaccine is in the pipeline, Merck is highly motivated to seize and dominate the market before a rival pharmaceutical firm steps in.
  • Public health impact. There is no evidence that the HPV vaccines will eliminate all HPV strains or cervical cancer. The vaccine targets two high-risk HPV strains that are known to cause cervical cancer and two low-risk types that are know to cause genital warts. However, FDA and CDC officials have questioned whether other high-risk HPV strains will eventually replace those controlled by widespread use of the vaccine and continue to cause disease. It is not knownn if boosters will be needed and long-term safety is also unknown.

A PERSONAL DECISION

To find out whether legislation is under consideration in your state to mandate the HPV vaccine for young girls, visit the Web site of the National Conference of State Legislatures at www.ncsl.org/programs/health/HPVvaccine.htm. If you learn that a mandate may be instituted, most states allow exemption to vaccination for medical reasons and for sincerely held religious beliefs. Only about 17 states allow exemptions for personal or philosophical beliefs. This may mean that your daughter would be excluded from attending public school if you cannot obtain one of these exemptions.

In the long run, the HPV vaccine may or may not prove to be safe and effective. Only time will tell -- and I'd argue, we need to let more time pass before making such a big decision. In the meantime, meet with your physician, review its pros and cons from unbiased sources, and come to an independent decision about what's best for your family. Be careful though, since all sides have strong opinions. Most physicians are influenced by their specialty and state medical societies, while consumer organizations questioning the safety of vaccines are often influenced by personal experience with vaccine reactions. The complexities of this issue may make it difficult to get a clear answer from any single source. Ideally, this is a personal decision that you should be able to make without inappropriate government, social or medical interference.

Source(s):

Barbara Loe Fisher, President, National Vaccine Information Center, www.909shot.com

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, www.cdc.gov

US Food and Drug Administration, www.fda.gov

Sunday, August 07, 2005

All misdeeds great and small

I wonder who paid for this study...
Article 1: "Public trust in the integrity and ethical behavior of scholars must be maintained if research is to continue to play its proper role in our university and society.'

Item 2: The US Office of Research Integrity recently made changes to its ethics rules, including "reviewing" as part of its definition of misconduct--meaning a reviewer who plagiarizes an application for federal funding can be charged with misconduct. The change is apparently inspired by allegations of plagiarism in peer reviewers of applications for NIH funds.

Crisis? Again, no; again, vigilance is required and the occasional miscreants should be "named and shamed."

Item 3: A commentary with the tantalizing title 'Scientists behaving badly.' (3) This turns out not to be lewd tabloid revelations but a survey of the professional conduct of several thousand researchers. "US scientists engage in a range of behaviors extending far beyond falsification, fabrication and plagiarism (FFP)" the authors conclude. Actually the series of misdemeanors are less serious, than, not far beyond, FFP. But the collective admission of guilt is shockingly high. One-third of scientists admitted to at least one transgression from a list of 16 that range from questionable to intolerable. These included 15% who changed the design, methods, or results of their research under pressure from a sponsor, 12.5% who overlooked other scientists' use of flawed data or questionable interpretations, 7% who ignored "minor rules" involving research subjects, and, 6% who withheld data that contradicted their previous conclusions.

Crisis? It possibly is. The full extent of these questionable practices is unknown, their growth over time is unexplored, their impact is undiscovered and the proper response to them is unclear. Clearly more study is needed.

"The level of competition in science has absolutely skyrocketed," lead author Brian Martinson was quoted saying in one paper. "There is often a level of desperation that may lead people to behave badly." (4) But with no historical data, we can't blindly accept this as a recent and growing problem.

Re-education in ethics--especially for more senior scientists, who are more likely to offend--must be another priority. We may need a precise code of practice, along with enforceable penalties.

Saturday, August 06, 2005

All this have consciousness

The begining of the mind research...
INDIGENOUS WEATHER MODIFICATION: "All Things Have Some Consciousness
The world view of Ifa differs from the world view of mainstream Western metaphysics in two ways; Ifa teaches that everything in nature has some form of consciousness called ori, and it teaches that the world is a multi-dimensional reality. Most forms of shamanism teach the idea that the visible world is influenced by invisible worlds that co-exist in the same dimensional space as the physical world. The invisible realms are usually called 'Spirit Worlds'. The word 'spirit' means 'essential nature' or 'essence'. From a shamanistic point of view Spirits are fundamental Forces in Nature that help shape the physical reality perceived by the senses in a non-altered state of consciousness.
Ifa teaches that all things in the world have some form of consciousness. The first step in developing the shamanistic skills of an Ifa initiate is to learn how to empathize with the consciousness of non human Forces in Nature"

Friday, August 05, 2005

DNA modified foods and intestinal bacteria

SO WHAT ARE WE REALLY CREATING?
I TELL MY CELLS WHAT I WANT!
YOU CAN TOO

Google Groups : sci.bio.evolution: "Usually with a nice little creature called Agrobacterium tumefaciens. This
actually inserts a portion of its genome into a plant it infects, causing
the cells to become cancerious and, cleverly, to secrete a substance known
as octopine, which very few organisms can use a carbon source. Agrobacterium
is of course one of the few, so it enjoys a monopoly food supply.

By removing the tumour and octopine genes from the transfer DNA, and
inserting a gene of interest, we can genetically engineer plants, with a
certain amount of hassle getting the transformed cells to regenerate into
whole plants.
(If you are wondering how to genetically engineer Agrobacterium, that is
relatively easy. The DNA is on a plasmid which the bacteria can be induced
to take up with minimal hassles, for genetic engineering).

The problem is we don't know how to control the site of integration, and it
may be that DNA which has integrated is less stable than other DNA. Also for
technical reasons the DNA needs an antibiotic resistance marker gene. There
are new protocols for getting these out of the released plants, but they add
cost to the engineering procedure. There is a theoretical possibility of
these antibiotic resistance genes getting into bacteria. However the genes
originally came from the bacterial gene pool anyway, so it is not really a
very serious concern to most scientists, though the media have jumped on it
because genetically engineered superbug make a nice story. "

POWER FOR WHO : sci.bio.evolution

There are hundreds of ways to generate energy and power for our civilizations. However the power/oil monopy is secured all POLITICAL authority, and will continue to profit if no new methods are developed regardless of what science puts together..


Google Groups : sci.bio.evolution: "Scientists have been exploring the microbiology of deep-sea hydrothermal
vents - geysers that form along volcanic mid-ocean ridges - using submersible vessels for almost 30 years. Until now, life in this environment was thought to depend on chemotrophic bacteria, although the identification of low-level illumination in the form of 'vent glow' gave a tantalizing hint that photosynthesis was a possibility.

Beatty et al. investigated whether geothermal illumination could support photosynthesis by analysing samples taken from the effluent plume of a type of vent known as a black smoker located at the East Pacific rise. Enrichment culturing yielded a non-motile bacterium that has been named GSB1. Analysis of the absorption and emission spectra of intact GSB1 cells isolated in pure culture - with major peaks at 750 nm and 775 nm, respectively - indicated the presence of light-harvesting bacteriochlorophyll c.

Further analysis by electron microscopy revealed the presence of light-harvesting chlorosomes, structures that are commonly found in green sulphur bacteria. Light energy is transferred to the chlorosome reaction centre through the Fenna?Matthews?Olson (FMO) protein; PCR using FMO-specific primers amplified a 970-bp FMO segment from GSB1, and sequence analysis led the authors to conclude that GSB1 is a green sulphur bacterium related to the Chlorobium and Prosthecochloris genera. For growth, GSB1 requires anaerobic growth conditions, sulphur in the form of elemental sulphur or H2S, CO2 and light."

Saturday, July 30, 2005

Pesticide link to autism suspected - Los Angeles Times

"Pesticide link to autism suspected
A state study suggests two farm sprays may raise chances of having a child with the disorder.
By Marla Cone, Times Staff Writer
July 30, 2007


Women who live near California farm fields sprayed with organochlorine pesticides may be more likely to give birth to children with autism, according to a study by state health officials to be published today.

The rate of autism among the children of 29 women who lived near the fields was extremely high, suggesting that exposure to the insecticides in the womb might have played a role. The study is the first to report a link between pesticides and the neurological disorder, which affects one in every 150 children.

But the state scientists cautioned that their finding is highly preliminary because of the small number of women and children involved and lack of evidence from other studies.

"We want to emphasize that this is exploratory research," said Dr. Mark Horton, director of the California Department of Public Health. "We have found very preliminary data that there may be an association. We are in no way concluding that there is a causal relationship between pesticide exposure of pregnant women and autism."

The two pesticides implicated are older-generation compounds developed in the 1950s and used to kill mites, primarily on cotton as well as some vegetables and other crops. Their volumes have declined substantially in recent years.

Friday, July 29, 2005

utter nonsense becomes incontrovertible "fact."

This week we're going to take a break from our series on the cardiovascular system and discuss a dairy study released earlier this month. According to the results of the study conducted out of the University of Cardiff in the UK and as promoted in media throughout the world, drinking a pint of milk a day may protect men against diabetes and heart disease.

The Study

The 20-year study, published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, analyzed how the rates of metabolic syndrome were affected by dairy consumption.

Metabolic syndrome (also known as syndrome X or insulin resistance syndrome) is a cluster of conditions including obesity, high blood sugar, high blood pressure, and high triglycerides that increase the risk of heart disease. Metabolic syndrome is said to be the fastest growing disease entity in the world. On the other hand, although it does predict vascular disease and diabetes quite powerfully, it is probably not a true syndrome and should be thought of more as an elaborate risk formula—increasing the risk of death by some 50%.

The background
According to the study, which tracked 2,375 men between the ages of 45 and 59 over a 20 year period, eating dairy products reduces the risk of metabolic syndrome. The more they consumed, the lower the risk. At the start of the study, 15% had metabolic syndrome and had almost double the risk of coronary artery heart disease and four times the risk of diabetes of those without the syndrome. But the researchers found that men were 62% less likely to have the syndrome if they drank a pint or more of milk every day and 56% less likely to have it if they regularly ate other dairy products.

The more dairy products the men consumed, the less likely they were to have the syndrome.

The reality

In fact, although the study tracked a decreased risk of metabolic syndrome with increased dairy consumption, it found little actual correlation between dairy consumption and the incidence of diabetes itself. There were only 7 more cases of diabetes among the lowest consumers of dairy versus the highest. The incidence of heart disease was not tracked.

Also, people who had diabetes at the start of the study were excluded from the results so that we don't know if their condition improved or deteriorated while drinking milk. That would be significant information in determining the overall health value of dairy when it comes to metabolic syndrome.

Why it means nothing

There are a number of problems with the study, but let's start with the two most obvious.

  1. What were the non milk drinkers drinking?
  2. What does drinking milk say about the overall diet of the participants?

If not milk, what?

The study only references the amount of milk and dairy products people were consuming— nothing else—not, for example, what else they were drinking or eating. The simple fact is that people only drink so much liquid in a day. If they're drinking more milk, they're drinking less of something else. Conversely, if they're drinking less milk, they're drinking more of something else. If that something else is soda pop or sugared energy drinks, that's a problem. Each ounce of soda contains almost a teaspoon of sugar, usually in the form of high fructose corn syrup. That's a major factor in the onset of metabolic syndrome. Tea and coffee drinkers don't necessarily escape scot-free either. Six cups of coffee a day with 2 teaspoons of sugar in each cup still works out to 40 lbs (18.4 K) of sugar a year.

In other words, the so called health benefits attributed to milk in the study may have nothing to do with milk at all. They may instead be a reflection of lowered consumption of more harmful highly-sugared beverages.

Overall diet

A question that occurs to me is: why are men in their forties and fifties drinking milk every day? Is it because they want something to drink with their cookies and cake at lunch like children (probably not), or is it because they are making what they consider to be a conscious health choice (even if misguided)? If so, what does that say about the rest of their diet? We know that people who drink lots of soda pop also tend to be high consumers of fast foods and snack foods. In fact, they're usually sold in tandem, not only in fast food restaurants (KFC, Taco Bell, and Pizza Hut, for example, are owned by Yum! Brands, a spin-off of PepsiCo) but also in grocery store power aisles. So if the drinking of milk was the result of an attempt by some of the participants to avoid fast foods and sodas, were those men also more likely to have eaten whole grain foods and fresh produce as opposed to fast foods and sugared snacks? We know that fast food diets are more likely to contribute to the onset of metabolic syndrome, and that whole foods are more likely to keep it at bay? It sounds likely that the men drinking milk were eating an overall better diet, but the study doesn't tell us either way. In any case, without that information, the study is meaningless. You could probably come up with the same results (maybe even better) by doing a survey on how much water the men drank— the more water, the lower the incidence of metabolic syndrome.

Heck, why didn't the researchers just cut to the chase and ask about the participant's sugar intake in foods and beverages?

What do we actually know?

When it comes to dairy, we actually know quite a lot. For example:

Then, of course, all the Cardiff study looked at were the triggers for Metabolic Syndrome. Perhaps milk is implicated in other problems such as cancer, allergies, arthritis, infection, and toxicity. And it is!

In Lessons from the Miracle Doctors, I talk about a number of the health problems associated with dairy consumption. Those are actually only highlights; there's much more. First of all, the following two sites might be of interest.

To summarize some of the things that you will find there, there are many, many problems associated with consuming dairy. Many of these are probably conditions you are already noticing in your own body—particularly those that relate to allergies, diabetes, and autoimmune disorders. For example:

  • Galactose - Ovarian cancer rates parallel dairy-eating patterns around the world. The culprit seems to be galactose, the simple sugar broken down from the milk sugar lactose.
  • Pesticides - concentrate in the milk of both farm animals and humans. A study by the Environmental Defense Fund found widespread pesticide contamination of human breast milk among 1,400 women in forty-six states. The levels of contamination were twice as high among the meat-and-dairy-eating women as among vegetarians.
  • Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria - Joseph Beasley, M.D., and Jerry Swift wrote in The Kellogg Report (The Institute of Health Policy and Practice, 1989) that even "moderate use of antibiotics in animal feed can result in the development of antibiotic resistance in animal bacteria - and the subsequent transfer of that resistance to human bacteria."
  • Vitamin D Toxicity - Heavy consumption of milk, especially by small children, may result in vitamin D toxicity. Records show that dairies do not carefully regulate how much vitamin D is added to milk. (Milk has been "fortified" with vitamin D ever since deficiencies were found to cause rickets.) A study reported in The New England Journal of Medicine (April 30, 1992) showed that of forty-two milk samples, only 12 percent were within the expected range of vitamin D content. Testing of ten infant formula samples revealed seven with more than twice the vitamin D content reported on the label; one sample had more than four times the label amount.
  • Growth Hormones - Recently, cows have started to receive growth hormones to increase their milk production, although the long-term effects on humans are unknown.
  • Casein - Perhaps the biggest health problem with cow's milk arises from the proteins in it: Cow's milk proteins damage the human immune system. Repeated exposure to these proteins disrupts normal immune function and may eventually lead to disease. Cow's milk contains many proteins that are poorly digested and harmful to the immune system. Fish and meat proteins are much less damaging, while plant proteins pose the least hazard.

Removing dairy from the diet has been shown to shrink enlarged tonsils and adenoids, indicating relief for the immune system—even more so if you are lactose intolerant.

Similarly, doctors experimenting with dairy-free diets often report a marked reduction in colds, flu's, sinusitis and ear infections. In addition, dairy is a tremendous mucus producer and a burden on the respiratory, digestive and immune systems.

  • Colic and Ear Infections - One out of every five infants in the United States suffers bouts of colic. Another common problem among infants receiving dairy, either directly or indirectly, is chronic ear infections. You just don't see this painful condition among infants and children who aren't getting cow's milk into their systems.
  • Allergies, Asthma and Sinus Problems - Poorly digested bovine antigens (substances that provoke an immune reaction) like casein become "allergens" in allergic individuals. Dairy products are the leading cause of food allergy, often revealed by diarrhea, constipation and fatigue. Many cases of asthma and sinus infections are reported to be relieved and even eliminated by cutting out dairy. The exclusion of dairy, however, must be complete to see any benefit.
  • Arthritis - Antigens in cow's milk may also contribute to rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis. When antibody-antigen complexes (resulting from an immune response) are deposited in the joints, pain, swelling, redness and stiffness result; these complexes increase in arthritic people who eat dairy products, and the pain fades rapidly after patients eliminate dairy products from their diets.
  • Childhood Anemia - Cow's milk causes loss of iron and hemoglobin in infants (one reason the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that infants not drink cow's milk) by triggering blood loss from the intestinal tract. Some research also shows that iron absorption is blocked by as much as 60 percent when dairy products are consumed in the same meal.
  • Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma and Lung Cancer - A 1989 study in Nutrition and Cancer linked the risk of developing non-Hodgkin's lymphoma with the consumption of cow's milk and butter. High levels of the cow's milk protein beta-lactoglobulin have also been found in the blood of lung cancer patients, suggesting a link with this cancer as well.

Concluding that dairy is good for you while ignoring these issues hardly makes sense.

Incompletely digested large dairy proteins, such as casein, become antigens (substances that provoke immune reactions) once they enter the bloodstream in individuals who are sensitive to them. Plus, the milk you buy in the store is not raw milk. If you must drink milk, be smart about your choices:

  • Raw organic, if you can find it, avoids many of the problems—but presents health issues of its own unless you can be sure of the source.
  • Organic pasteurized is better than non-organic, but because of the heat used in pasteurization, it presents significantly higher allergy problems than raw.
    I do not recommend non-organic, pasteurized, homogenized dairy products under any circumstances.
  • And while whey eliminates the casein problem, it still contains the two main allergenic proteins, alpha-lactalbumin and beta-lactaglobulin— the two most heat sensitive proteins.
  • Soy milk, of course, is not an effective alternative, since it is high in allergens itself, blocks the absorption of important minerals such as calcium, and contains high levels of phytoestrogens, which although beneficial in moderate amounts, can be counter-productive in large amounts— particularly for children.

Raw Milk

  • Are there any health benefits to drinking raw milk? According to the FDA, no. And if all you measure are protein and fat content and added vitamin D, they are correct. But if you consider that pasteurization involves heating milk to approximately 1450 Fahrenheit for 30 minutes or longer and therefore kills all enzymes and beneficial bacteria in the process, then the answer is not so obvious. Heating the milk to pasteurize it "denatures" dairy proteins making some of them much more allergenic than they are in their natural state. Consider that many cases of asthma and sinus infections are reported to be relieved, and even eliminated, by simply cutting out dairy. And if you toss in the fact that pasteurization makes calcium insoluble and unavailable to the body (a key reason countries with the highest pasteurized dairy consumption have the highest rates of osteoporosis in the world), the health benefits swing decidedly in favor of raw milk.
  • Can raw milk become contaminated? Yes, absolutely—but not often. Most raw milk dairies tend to run extremely clean operations because of the liability issues. And keep in mind that in this recent outbreak only 8 illnesses were reported. We see far more E. coli contamination in meat each year than in raw dairy—even as a percentage of users. And in fact, we regularly see contamination of pasteurized dairy too, but the FDA never seems to propose that people stop eating meat and pasteurized dairy. It seems raw milk just doesn't have a big enough lobby supporting it.

So am I advocating drinking raw milk?

Not necessarily. I still have issues with some of the proteins in dairy that tend to trigger allergic reactions, whether that dairy is raw or pasteurized. But if you are going to drink milk, raw organic milk is a healthier option than the pasteurized, homogenized moo-cow juice you find in the supermarkets.

Conclusion

I know that peer reviewed studies are the sine qua non of the medical world, but in reality many of them are so much less than they appear. As I have repeatedly pointed out in the past, you can get a study to prove any point you want—even contradictory points. And once a flawed study is published, it's then cited by other studies over and over again, until utter nonsense becomes incontrovertible "fact." Here are some examples.

Bottom line, when it comes to the current dairy study, pay no attention; it's decidedly flawed.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Take Control of Your Life

Neil Fiore, PhD, Tells How to Take Control of Your Life

I f you have ever sabotaged your own chances of success... felt your emotions control your reasoning... or been unable to get yourself to do things that you told yourself you must do, then your 'executive' brain wasn't playing its proper leadership role. The executive brain regulates the primitive reactions and impulses we all experience. Here's how to put it in charge...

PUT A PROBLEM IN ITS PLACE

Start by viewing negative habits, impulses and thoughts simply as parts of your larger self. When you do this, you'll realize that you can observe these old 'default' reactions and exercise your executive brain's unique ability to consciously choose how to act.

Example: If you're struggling to quit smoking, notice the part of you that says, 'I want a cigarette,' and think, Yes, a part of me wants a cigarette. I, as the leader of my life, have a responsibility to protect the parts of me that are vulnerable to addiction. I have a commitment to keep my body and brain healthy. I can choose to find a healthy alternative to deal with stress.

LET YOUR HIGHER SELF RULE

The executive part of your brain is in charge of organizing the primitive parts into a cohesive team that serves your goals and challenges.

Example: Let's say you need a root canal. Fear of pain is a natural primitive response. Tell the fearful part of your brain, "Yes, that could hurt and you're afraid. I'm not asking you to face this fear alone. I will take the proper action to save the tooth and promote health."

STAY IN THE MOMENT

Focus your attention on what you can do now. Dwelling on the past or anticipating the future can lead to anxiety and self-doubt. Don't wait until you feel confident or motivated before you start a project. With your executive brain in charge, the other parts of you will follow the leader.

Example: A part of you doubts that you have prepared enough to give a presentation at an important sales meeting. You recognize your old habit of perfectionism. Say to your primitive brain, "Yes, there's the old habit again. I realize that no amount of preparation will feel like enough, so I choose to do the presentation with what I know now."

Saturday, July 23, 2005

How MS Patients Can Beat Fatigue

How MS Patients Can Beat Fatigue

Fatigue is a common problem for people with multiple sclerosis (MS). My friend who was diagnosed five years ago is able to continue having an active life, but she tells me there are days she is too tired to move -- so it may be startling to learn that researchers have recently concluded that regular exercise is one of the few things that may help her feel better.

Researchers at Flinders University in Adelaide, Australia, recently did a review to coalesce findings of 162 studies on this subject from a period of 20 years. The studies reviewed were mostly small, but they consistently demonstrated that aerobic exercise, such as walking, cycling and jogging, may help people with MS beat fatigue. It may also be helpful for people with rheumatoid arthritis and lupus too -- both also autoimmune disorders. Optimally, the exercise regimens should include both aerobic and resistance training, and occur at least three times weekly, for 15 to 30 minutes as tolerated. Exercise program intensity should be low initially and gradually increase.

I called Aaron Miller, MD, medical director of the Corinne Goldsmith Dickinson Center for Multiple Sclerosis at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City, to get his advice on this topic. It's important for all MS patients, at every stage of the disease, to participate in some kind of exercise program because it has been consistently shown to reduce fatigue, he told me. Physical activity in general helps to stabilize blood sugar, reducing inflammation. It also gives patients a psychological boost, and increases endorphins and other brain chemicals that may affect fatigue. He agrees that aerobic exercise should be primary (and says even running is fine for many people), but that resistance exercise and other types are also worthwhile. For patients in more advanced stages, with limited mobility, exercise works to strengthen the muscles that still function, thereby easing the body's overall work load. Although there is no evidence (at present, anyway) that exercise makes any difference in the course of the illness, it may help the patient to tolerate some symptoms better.

Dr. Miller offers one cautionary note: Exercise elevates body temperature, which is problematic for some people with MS. Dr. Miller says the increase in body temperature does nothing to worsen the disease, but it can exacerbate uncomfortable symptoms. However, this can be considered an annoyance, and not dangerous, and is not a reason to stop. My friend often wears a cooling neckpiece during tennis for just that reason. Other options might include setting up fans in front of your treadmill, or limiting workouts to air-conditioned environments. (For information from the Multiple Sclerosis Association of America about such devices, go to http://www.msaa.com/programs/cooling.html.)

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Change Your Mind -- Change Your Body

Change Your Mind -- Change Your Body

"Thinking doth make it so," wrote Shakespeare, poetic words to be sure, but also a perfect description of the placebo effect. In clinical studies, people in "the placebo group" unknowingly take a fake form of the item being tested (often a sugar pill), usually having been told it is real medicine that will make them better -- and often, they do indeed get better. Some consider it one of science's many mysteries, but I think it is a powerful statement of our ability to heal ourselves. Now, that's taken to a whole different level in research that involved hotel housekeepers and weight loss.

In a study involving 84 female housekeepers, ages 18 to 55, psychologist Ellen J. Langer, PhD, a professor at Harvard, told half the women that their regular work -- cleaning about 15 rooms a day, for 20 to 30 minutes each -- was enough to meet the guidelines for healthy exercise. She said nothing about this to the other women, although their workload was identical to the first group.

The results just four weeks later were fairly amazing. The control group -- which, remember, had heard nothing that equated their work with exercise -- did not show any physical changes. The women in the informed group, though, had lost an average of two pounds... their systolic blood pressure (the top number) had dropped by 10%... they had decreased body fat by 0.5%... and reduced their body mass index number by .35% of a point. You might argue that these are not dazzling drops or changes -- until you consider the fact that these women did nothing different from the other group -- and did not change their habits at all -- and yet they achieved results.

When I spoke with Dr. Langer, I asked if the women might have brought new vigor to their work, thinking if it was so good for them they'd add some extra zip. But no, she told me, she investigated that possibility and found it not to be true. She attributes the physical changes in the women strictly to alterations in their thought process -- simply that they thought they were achieving healthy exercise patterns, and so they did. Our thoughts are part of our physiology, she says, not at all separate from our bodies. To illustrate, she describes how some people flinch visibly at the sight of a snake or other situation they fear or find loathsome. How would the body know to do that, other than because of the mind's action on it?

This study was one in a series Dr. Langer has undertaken on mindfulness -- which she defines as "actively noticing new things that keeps us in the present." The mind and body are not separate entities, she says, and her expectation is that these experiments will help show that. In the meantime, she says, all of us can accrue additional health benefits by being mindful about how each and every physical motion, not just formal exercise, helps us be healthier.

Source(s):

Ellen J. Langer, PhD, professor of psychology, Harvard University, Boston.

Monday, July 04, 2005

Patricia Michael – Removing Chemicals from the Body

Patricia Michael – Removing Chemicals from the Body:

Removing Unnatural Chemicals

By Patricia Michael

Copyright © 2005, Patricia Michael. Permission to reproduce is granted provided the work is reproduced in its entirety, including this notice.

This paper, originally a talk at a Feng Shui conference, is in response to a disturbing article that appeared on the internet:

American Babies Born Polluted, Study Says

July 27, 2005
Reported by Roddy Scheer
According to a report released last week by the nonprofit Environmental Working Group (EWG), American babies are born with an average of 287 chemical contaminants in their bloodstreams. The findings are based on tests of 10 samples of umbilical-cord blood taken by the American Red Cross across the country. The most prevalent chemicals found in the 10 newborns were mercury, fire retardants, pesticides and the Teflon chemical PFOA.
"Of the 287 chemicals we detected in umbilical-cord blood, we know that 180 cause cancer in humans or animals, 217 are toxic to the brain and nervous system, and 208 cause birth defects or abnormal development in animal tests," the report said.
"These 10 newborn babies ... were born polluted," said House Democrat Louise Slaughter of New York, who is leading the charge in Congress to hold chemical producers more accountable to higher standards. "If ever we had proof that our nation's pollution laws aren't working, it's reading the list of industrial chemicals in the bodies of babies who have not yet lived outside the womb," Slaughter added.
Slaughter also had similar tests done on her own blood, which she found to contain polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) that were banned decades ago as well as chemicals like Teflon that are currently under federal investigation. "I have auto exhaust fumes, flame retardant chemicals, and in all, some 271 harmful substances pulsing through my veins," she said. "That's hardly the picture of health I had hoped for, but I've been living in an industrial society for more than 70 years."
Sources:

If unborn babies are full of such chemicals, how much more so must adults be? This article prompted me to list the methods I have discovered for removing unnatural chemicals from my body and from the environment. Please note that these are what work for me, but I am not diagnosing any illness nor prescribing any thing as a remedy. These suggestions are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

Consumer Health Articles: FLUORIDE, THE SILENT KILLER

Consumer Health Articles: FLUORIDE, THE SILENT KILLER:

FLUORIDE, THE SILENT KILLER
by: Yiamouyiannis, John, Ph.D.

Dr. Yiamouyiannis received his Ph.D. in biochemistry from the University of Rhode Island and served his post-doctoral fellowship at the Western Reserve University School of Medicine. He then became editor at Chemical Abstracts Service, the world's largest chemical information center, where he first became aware of the health damaging effects of fluoride. He is the former science director of the National Health Federation; he is the executive director of Health Action and president of the Safe Water Foundation. He is a world-leading authority on the biological effects of fluoride and is responsible for ending the use of fluoride in many areas of the United States and abroad.

HARMFUL EFFECTS OF FLUORIDE Fluoride is used as an insecticide and a roach killer. Even at the level they use to fluoridate your public water supply, usually at the rate of about 1 part fluoride for every million parts of water (1 ppm) by weight, it causes severe problems. As little as one-tenth of an ounce of fluoride will cause death. It is more poisonous than lead and just slightly less poisonous than arsenic. No one will die from drinking one glass of fluoridated water, but it is the long term chronic effects of drinking fluoridated water that affects health. Dental fluorosis is one of the earlier signs of fluoride poisoning, appearing in mild cases as a chalky area on the tooth, and in more advanced cases, teeth become yellow brown or black and the tips break off. Fluoride in the drinking water leads to fluoride levels in tissues and organs which damage enzymes. This results in a wide range of chronic diseases. Fluoride weakens the immune system and may cause allergic type reactions including dermatitis, eczema and hives. It causes birth defects and genetic damage. Fluoride is likely to aggravate kidney disease, diabetes and hypothyroidism. The amount consumed in drinking water has been shown to lower thyroid activity in humans. It also causes the breakdown of collagen which results in wrinkling of the skin and the weakening of ligaments, tendons and muscles. There are a number of ways that fluoride can be administered. The most insidious way is through the drinking water. Some of you have it in your mouthwashes, or in your toothpaste, or you may take a fluoride supplement which is dispensed in pills or drops.

FLUORIDE A BY-PRODUCT OF INDUSTRY Fluoride is an industrial waste product, a by-product of the aluminum industry and the phosphate fertilizer companies who have mountains of fluoride that is polluting the ground water. They have to get rid of it, and the old solution to pollution is dilution - just put it in the drinking water. People living in the vicinity of aluminum, phosphate, steel, clay, glass and enamel plants are exposed to high levels of fluoride in the air. For instance, the Hamilton area shows extremely high lung cancer rates that decrease as you get away from the downwind plume of the steel mills. If fluoride was left with the phosphate and sold to farmers, it would kill their crops. That is what originally happened when they used this high fluoride phosphate, and the farmers said they were going back to manure.

FLUORIDATED TOOTHPASTE Unless it says on the package does not contain fluoride, you are using fluoridated toothpaste. Fluoridated toothpaste contains 1,000 ppm fluoride. There is enough fluoride at 1,000 to 1,500 parts per million to kill a small child if they consume the entire tube. If a child consumes just part of it, it could result in either acute or chronic toxicity. A four to six year-old child will swallow 25 to 33% of the toothpaste they put on their toothbrush. Don't let them put it in their mouth unless when they swallow it, it is good for them. People ask me where they can get non-fluoridated toothpaste. They have many brands of non-fluoridated toothpaste in health food stores, so pick up your toothpaste there, and make sure it doesn't have fluoride, because some health food stores have a couple of brands of fluoride toothpaste. Not everything in a health food store is safe. Always read the labels. Pepsodent toothpaste also doesn't have fluoride. If you want something inexpensive, use baking soda and sea salt, but make sure you dissolve the salt crystals in water before you brush your teeth; otherwise the salt crystals will score the enamel.

GUM DAMAGE Fluoride actually causes gum damage at the concentrations used in fluoridated toothpaste at 1,000 ppm. Fluoride poisons enzyme activity and slows down the ability of the gums to repair themselves. If you brush your teeth with fluoridated toothpaste, you will suffer gum damage.

FLUORIDE GELS AND SOLUTIONS Some schools have weekly fluoride mouth-rinse programs in which the children swish fluoride solutions around in their mouths. The fluoride comes in a sugar size packet, and on the outside of the packet it says fatal if swallowed. If your child is in any of these programs at school, get them out of it. We have testimonials one after the other of children who come home with a stomach ache because they had actually accidentally swallowed part of it, and children do accidentally swallow. Fluoride treatments at the dentist's office are equally hazardous. In the typical fluoride treatment, 10,000 parts per million fluoride, which comes in a flavoured gel to make it taste good, is left on the teeth for about five minutes. Then the child spits it out, though invariable he swallows some. The child cannot rinse, eat or drink for at least half an hour afterward. Children have died after swallowing fluoride topically applied on their teeth. In one well publicized case, the dental hygienist neglected to tell the child to wash his mouth out and spit out the solution. The child began vomiting and sweating and died the same day. Over 6% of children receiving fluoride treatments at the dental office suffer gastrointestinal distress such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and abdominal pain either immediately or within one hour after treatment. According to scientists at the U.S. Public Health Service, topical fluoride is practically ineffective in reducing tooth decay, and damages gum tissue. According to the American Association for the Advancement of Science, "the high concentrations of some products (gels, mouthwash, tablets, toothpaste, etc.) may be neither biologically desirable nor clinically necessary".

FLUORIDE SUPPLEMENTS Tablets and drops are another means of administering fluoride. The Canadian Dental Association has admitted in the last couple of years that children under the age of three should not be given fluoride supplements. And yet dental practitioners and pediatricians who haven't kept up to date are still giving fluoride supplements to young children. I advise against fluoride supplements for anyone.

ADDITION OF FLUORIDE TO PUBLIC WATER SYSTEMS The addition of fluoride to the public water supply is the most insidious way of chronically poisoning hundreds of millions of people around the world. Dr. Dean Burk was former chief chemist of the National Cancer Institute, and has co-authored studies with many Nobel prize winners including Otto Warburton, and he is the co-author of the most cited paper in the entire field of biochemistry - the Lineweaver-Burk Enzyme Kinetics. In the 1970s, Dean Burk and I conducted a number of studies which linked fluoride and cancer. There was already scientific evidence from the 1950s that fluoride was causing cancer, and a 1963 study by Driscowitz and Norton showed that increased fluoride concentrations in the media of experimental animals increased tumour incidence from 12% at the lowest concentrations up to 100%. Taylor and Taylor published a study in 1965 at the University of Texas in all the mainline medical journals showing that 1 ppm or even 0.5 ppm increased tumour growth rate by 25%. These studies bothered me and around 1975 I found that we had enough data to compare the cancer death rate before and after fluoridation of fluoridated communities and compare them to non-fluoridated communities. Based on millions of subjects, the study showed a 5 to 10% increase in cancer death rate within three to five years after fluoridation was put into the water after correcting for various demographic factors like age, race and sex. All the variables were controlled. We followed this by a series of other studies. In 1977 we had full blown Congressional Hearings, and Congress stated: "We can no longer assure the American public that fluoride does not cause cancer". Dean Burk and other well-known scientists were there, and on the opposing side was the American Dental Association. Ten years later, Proctor and Gamble, makers of Crest toothpaste found that fluoride was causing precarcinogenic changes in cells.

HOW FLUORIDE AFFECTS THE DNA REPAIR MECHANISM Epidemiological evidence shows that fluoride causes cancer. It does this in several ways. It can actually cause the original lesion. In each one of our cells we have genetic material called DNA, and this DNA is double stranded, it has a helix shape and these two strands of DNA are held together by semi strong bonds called hydrogen bonds. Hydrogen bonds also hold proteins together. Fluoride goes in and breaks those hydrogen bonds, and consequently destabilizes DNA. It can't cause a lesion in the DNA itself, but if it is in a site of the cell that regulates cell growth, it will cause uncontrolled cell growth. A few minor modifications will give you first a tumour, and secondly an invasive tumour or cancer. So fluoride has the ability to actually cause the cancer. We have a marvelous system of repair and rejuvenation. Even if we go out in the sun, even if we have a lesion by fluoride itself, we have what is called a DNA repair enzyme system. So any lesion caused by the sun or ultra-violet light will be repaired. The DNA repair enzyme system will cut off the ends and use the complementary strand to repair itself and make intact genetic material. The unfortunate thing is that one part per million fluoride, the amount of fluoride that they use in the public water system, depresses the DNA repair system by 50%. So they have attacked us on the first defense of damage to our genetic material. Since people can get cancer from so many different causes, fluoride is just increasing our chances of getting cancer.

THE IMMUNE SYSTEM Even if the cancer cell starts dividing and invading surrounding tissues, if our immune system is strong enough, it will kill those cancer cells without any remedies, without chemotherapy, without anything and will destroy the occasional cancer that maybe all of us have had at one time or another. Once in a while cancer breaks through when the immune system is low or the DNA repair enzyme system is down, and we will get cancer. Fluoride causes the lesion; it inhibits the DNA repair enzyme, and then inhibits our immune system by 30 to 70%. And that occurs at only one part per million. How does it do that? Our immune system is composed of white blood cells including phagocyte cells that are carried in the blood system. If there is an infection or cancer or some foreign agent, these phagocytes will go to that area and start engulfing and destroying this bad agent whether it is a cancer cell or a bacterium or virus. It engulfs it in a little pocket called a lysosome which squirts enzymes and breaks down the bad agent into little pieces. They have other things called peroxisomes which burn that agent with free radicals and either destroy it or use it for building new and healthy cells. These phagocytes will actually eat up bacteria or viruses, and toxic substances are just thrown off. Studies from the University of Glasgow show that fluoride inhibits these white blood cells. Fluoride at levels below one part per million causes a chronic release of these free radicals from the white blood cell out into the blood stream where it starts slowly damaging your body by increasing free radicals. This is one of the reasons why we call fluoride the ageing factor.

NON-FLUORIDATED WATER Industrial quality reverse osmosis water brings the total dissolved solids down to less that one part per million for all the pollutants that might be in there. Distilled water will remove 99% of the fluoride all of the time. I also recommend a pre-charcoal filter on a distiller to remove volatiles so that you are not getting noxious gases in your home. These are worse when you inhale them than when you drink them, because they go right into your blood stream and into your lungs. You can buy your water at the supermarket, but quite frankly you don't know what the quality of the water is. You must take care that the fluoride concentration is less than 0.2 ppm. Some spring waters like Vichy (which contains 8 ppm) are notoriously high in fluoride. Avoid beverages such as soft drinks, beer and fruit juices from concentrate that have been bottled in fluoridated areas. Teas, even brewed in fluoride-free water will contain about 1.2 to 2.4 ppm fluoride. Some people drink 8 to 15 cups of tea a day, and these amounts are large enough to cause dental fluorosis and other harmful effects.

MINERALS IN WATER If you want to get minerals, you must get them in the proper balanced ratio. Calcium, magnesium, phosphorus and other minerals must be in a ratio that is acceptable to a living organism. Get your minerals from healthy living organisms like vegetables, grains, nuts and seeds, and if you are not a vegetarian, like meats, bones or bonemeal. Beet greens are at the top of the list as a mineral supplement. I don't recommend milk or dairy as a calcium source; cow's milk has a very different constitution than human milk.

DETOXIFICATION If you stop taking fluoride, your body will get rid of it eventually. The fluoride that gets stuck in your bones gets stuck there for life pretty much, but that is not necessarily bad. Where fluoride has adverse effects is in the soft tissues. If you take over 200 mg of vitamin C per day that is all you really need for removing fluoride. In three to six months you should have about 99% of it out which is good enough.

GOOD DIET, NOT FLUORIDE, IS NECESSARY FOR HEALTHY TEETH Many primitive societies whose drinking water contains negligible amounts of fluoride go through life without tooth decay because they eat very little sugar and other refined carbohydrates.

DOES FLUORIDE REDUCE TOOTH DECAY? Numerous attempts have been made to show that the amount of fluoride used to fluoridate public water systems reduces tooth decay under laboratory conditions. Still no laboratory study has ever shown that this amount of fluoride is effective in reducing tooth decay. Further, there are no epidemiological studies on humans showing that fluoridation reduces tooth decay that meet the minimum requirements of scientific objectivity such as the double blind design.

Exercise Grows New Brain Cells | LiveScience

Exercise Grows New Brain Cells | LiveScience:

Exercise Grows New Brain Cells

By Jeanna Bryner, LiveScience Staff Writer

posted: 28 June 2007 12:25 pm ET

Exercise stimulates the growth of new brain cells, a new study on rats finds. The new cells could be the key to why working out relieves depression.

Previous research showed physical exercise can have antidepressant effects, but until now scientists didn’t fully understand how it worked.

Astrid Bjornebekk of the Karolinska Institute in Sweden and her colleagues studied rats that had been genetically tweaked to show depressive behaviors, plus a second group of control rats. For 30 days, some of the rats had free access to running wheels and others did not.

Then, to figure out if running turned the down-and-out rats into happy campers, the scientists used a standard “swim test.” They measured the amount of time the rats spent immobile in the water and the time they spent swimming around in active mode. When depressed, rats spend most of the time not moving.

“In the depressed rats, running had an antidepressant-like effect after running for 30 days,” Bjornebekk told LiveScience. The once-slothful rodents spent much more time in active swimming compared with the non-running depressed rats.

The researchers also examined the hippocampus region of the brain, involved in learning and memory. Neurons there increased dramatically in the depressed rats after wheel-running.

Past studies have found that the human brain’s hippocampus shrinks in depressed individuals, a phenomenon thought to cause some of the mental problems often linked with depression.

“The hippocampus formation is one of the regions they have actually seen structural changes in depressed patients,” Bjornebekk said.

Running had a similar effect as common antidepressants called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) on lifting depression.

The research is published in the International Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology.

Friday, July 01, 2005

U.S. Corporations Keeping Biowarfare Work Secret

U.S. Corporations Keeping Biowarfare Work Secret:
In case you didn't know it, the White House since 9/11 has called for spending $44-billion on biological warfare research, a sum unprecedented in world history, and an obliging Congress has authorized it. Thus, some of the deadliest pathogens known to humankind are being rekindled in hundreds of labs in pharmaceutical houses, university biology departments, and on military bases. An international convention the U.S. signed forbids it to stockpile, manufacture or use biological weapons. But if the U.S. won't say what's going down in those laboratories other countries are going to assume the worst and a biowarfare arms race will be on, if it isn't already. Sunshine says failure to disclose operations also puts corporate employees involved in this work at risk. Only 8,500, or 16%, of the 52,000 workers employed at the top 20 U.S. biotech firms work at an NIH guidelines-compliant company, Sunshine says.

Francis Boyle, an international law authority at the University of Illinois, Champaign, says pursuant to national strategy directives adopted by Bush in 2002, the Pentagon "is now gearing up to fight and 'win' biological warfare without prior public knowledge and review." Boyle said the Pentagon's Chemical and Biological Defense Program was revised in 2003 to endorse "first-use" strike in war. Boyle said the program includes Red Teaming, which he described as "plotting, planning, and scheming how to use biowarfare."

Besides the big pharmaceutical houses, the biowarfare buildup is getting an enthusiastic response from academia, which sees new funds flowing from Washington's horn of plenty. "American universities have a long history of willingly permitting their research agenda, researchers, institutes and laboratories to be co-opted, corrupted, and perverted by the Pentagon and the CIA," Boyle says. What's more, the Bush administration is pouring billions in biowarfare research while some very real killers, such as influenza, are not being cured.In 2006, the NIH got $120 million to combat influenza, which kills about 36,000 Americans annually but it got $1.76 billion for biodefense, much of it spent to research anthrax. How many people has anthrax killed lately? Well, let's see, there were those five people killed in the mysterious attacks on Congress of October, 2001 --- attacks that suspiciously emanated from a government laboratory at Fort Detrick, Md.