Bike Bob’s Factoid-Free* Potpourri  - Home

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"Researchers explore link between schizophrenia, cat parasite" -  - "[Johns] Hopkins [Univeristy] scientists explore toxoplasmosis and schizophrenia link" - (July 31, 2010, The Baltimore Sun article By Frank D. Roylance)

Toxoplasmosis: The Strain Explains Severity of Infection  -  ScienceDaily (Mar. 14, 2011) — Providing clues into why the severity of a common parasitic infection can vary greatly from person to person, a new Johns Hopkins study shows that each one of three strains of the cat-borne parasite Toxoplasma gondii sets off a unique reaction in the nerve cells it invades.

Past research suggests that the parasite, estimated to infect 25 percent of people worldwide, can trigger or exacerbate psychotic symptoms and schizophrenia in genetically predisposed people.

The findings of the new study, published in the March issue of the journal Infection and Immunity, help explain why the infection causes serious disease in some but not in others and clarify its role in psychiatric disorders, the researchers say. -


"The Soy and Other 'Natural' Food Products in Your Cabinet May Contain a Dangerous Neurotoxin"  -

SiCKO  - -  A Michael Moore documentary “of the crazy and sometimes cruel U.S. health care system, told from the vantage of everyday people faced with extraordinary and bizarre challenges in their quest for basic health coverage.”

The Truth About Dioxin - Despite a slew of reassuring newspaper stories about dioxin, scientific studies are finding that the chemical is even worse than once thought  -

Why Coffee Protects Against Diabetes

  (Jan. 12, 2011)  -  (ScienceDaily)  -  [Excerpt]:

Coffee, that morning elixir, may give us an early jump-start to the day

but numerous studies have shown that it also may be protective against type 2 diabetes.

Yet no one has really understood why.

Now, researchers at UCLA have discovered a possible molecular mechanism behind coffee's protective effect.

A protein called sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG)

regulates the biological activity of the body's sex hormones, testosterone and estrogen,

which have long been thought to play a role in the development of type 2 diabetes.

And coffee consumption, it turns out, increases plasma levels of SHBG.

Teaching The Art Of Aromatherapy To Soothe And Heal - “A bubble bath that improves memory. A kitchen cleaner that wards off nausea and energizes. A scented handkerchief that calms a patient entering the MRI. The benefits of aromatherapy are real. Below, learn the uses, healing properties and how-tos of using aromatherapy to heal and de-stress from The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. -  (August 25, 2006) - (ScienceDaily) -

Study of Baby Teeth Sees Radiation Effects

(December 13, 2010, New York Times article  By Matthew L. Wald) - [Excerpt]:

Men who grew up in the St. Louis area in the early 1960s and died of cancer by middle age had more than twice as much radioactive strontium

in their baby teeth as men born in the same area at the same time who are still living,

according to a study based on teeth collected years ago by Washington University in St. Louis.

The study, published on Dec. 1 in The International Journal of Health Services,

analyzed baby teeth collected during the era when the United States and the Soviet Union were conducting nuclear bomb tests in the atmosphere. ….

The study implies that deaths from bomb fallout globally run into the “many thousands,”

said the authors, Joseph J. Mangano and Dr. Janette D. Sherman,

both of the Radiation and Public Health Project, nonprofit research group based in New York.


Smoking causes genetic damage within minutes after inhaling  -  -   (Jan. 15, 2011 - ScienceDaily) - ‘In research described as "a stark warning" to those tempted to start smoking, scientists are reporting that cigarette smoke begins to cause genetic damage within minutes -- not years -- after inhalation into the lungs.’

Carrots Atop A Jolly Green Giant

[From page 89 of the February 2011 issue of Outside magazine.] :

LIFELINE  One more reason to eat your carrots.

  According to a paper to be published in the March issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine,

people with high levels of alpha-carotene -- a cousin of the antioxidant beta-carotene --

were as much as 39 percent less likely to die during a 14-year study period than those with low levels.

  …alpha-carotene, found in brightly colored vegetables…and dark green ones…

is thought reduce the risk of forming cancers of the liver, brain, and skin.


  …. People who were asked to spend at least five minutes

outside every day doing some activity

…scored higher on standard self-esteem tests….

   Any natural environment seems to work,

according to the study in the journal

Environmental Science & Technology….

Bananas & Health - After Reading THIS, you’ll NEVER look at the Banana in the same way Again!  -  [ Link ]

Silver - The Dark Side of a New Health Craze  -

Inside the Psilocybin Studies at Johns Hopkins  -

Head Injury Can Blight Survival Up to 13 Years Later

Nanotechnology: Detecting Lethal Diseases With Rust and Sand

Moderate exercise such as walking 'boosts memory power'

 Going for walks can make all the difference, the study suggests 

Walking for 40 minutes a few times a week is enough to preserve memory

 and keep ageing brains on top form, research shows.


 EATING broccoli with mustard can boost the vegetable’s cancer-fighting ability, scientists have found

Psychedelic drugs could heal thousands - By Andrew Feldmar - (Tuesday August 19 2008 - Guardian News /UK) - New research into the benefits of hallucinogens alongside psychotherapy is welcome: in my experience they change lives” -

3 Must-See 10-min. Depleted Uranium Videos

Replacing Body Parts

(13-1/2 min. video  -  NOVA ScienceNOW - January 26, 2011)

Backlash Against Smart Meters: Are the Green Gizmos Really a Threat to Public Health and Privacy?  Smart meters were designed to help reduce energy consumption, but some California residents claim the technology does more harm than good. - (February 2, 2011 - AlterNet)  -


Walking Your Way To A Bigger Brain

  (audio - NPR - Science Friday - 2-4-11)

A new study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

shows that adults who walked for 40 minutes, three times a week, for a year,

had brain growth in a region of the hippocampus -- an of the brain associated with spatial memory.

Study author Arthur Kramer and psychologist Margaret Gatz

discuss the research, and other ways to keep aging brains healthy.

The Skin Gun - (3-1/2 min. YouTube/National Geographic Channel - 2-1-11)  -


‘Cornell Dots’ That Light Up Cancer Cells Go Into Clinical Trials - (ScienceDaily - Feb. 5, 2011)  -  "Cornell Dots" -- brightly glowing nanoparticles -- may soon be used to light up cancer cells to aid in diagnosing and treating cancer. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the first clinical trial in humans of the new technology. It is the first time the FDA has approved using an inorganic material in the same fashion as a drug in humans.  -

Brain in the News


On First Day Of New Congress,

 Koch Operatives Met With GOP Chairman

 Planning To Gut The Clean Air Act

  (Feb. 7, 2011 - Think Progress)

In January, ThinkProgress interviewed billionaire plutocrat David Koch

about his views on climate science, his Tea Party movement, and his political plans for the future.

On the day of our interview, we also discovered that he planned to hold a party for the new Republicans he helped elect.

As we have documented, Koch not only financed the rise of the anti-Obama Tea Party,

he has also helped guide the movement to support the narrow business priorities of his conglomerate Koch Industries:

Koch funds rallies for young children that attack the EPA, Koch’s front groups spread doubt about climate change,

and Koch’s Americans for Prosperity hands out Tea Party talking points attacking clean energy.

Building on this research, the Los Angeles Times reported this weekend about the central influence of Koch in the new GOP Congress.

According to the Times, just before David Koch spoke to ThinkProgress

following House Speaker John Boehner’s (R-OH) swearing in ceremony,

he had met with Boehner in the Speaker’s office.

Koch’s top political deputy, former Jack Abramoff operative Tim Phillips,

met with the new Energy and Commerce Committee chair Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI) that day as well:


Military deploys acupuncture to treat soldiers' concussions - (Feb. 7, 2011 - McClatchy) - CAMP LEATHERNECK, Afghanistan — The U.S. military is applying an ancient Chinese healing technique to the top modern battlefield injury for American soldiers, with results that doctors here say are "off the charts."  -


Cannabis May Influence Onset of Psychosis

(February 7, 2011 - Scientific American)

Research to be published this summer finds that the use of cannabis

is associated with the early onset of psychosis.

Christie Nicholson reports

Pot is one of those drugs that appears to maintain a fairly good rep, despite its growing bad rep.

Consider this research that will be published this June in the Archives of General Psychiatry.

This particular study found that marijuana use is associated with early development of psychosis.

Scientists analyzed 83 studies involving over 8,000 subjects

who used pot and over 14,000 subjects who did not.

They compared the age of onset for psychosis between these groups.

And they found that those who used cannabis developed psychosis

nearly three years younger than those who did not use any pot.


The researchers proposed some theories behind the pattern.

One that cannabis use is a causal factor for schizophrenia,

or that it precipitates psychosis in vulnerable people.

They also theorize that cannabis might simply exacerbate symptoms of schizophrenia.

Or the link could come from the other direction of course,

those suffering from schizophrenia may be more likely to use pot.


The evidence here suggests that limiting marijuana use could delay

or even prevent some cases of psychosis.

And timing is important,

since earlier onset of schizophrenia is linked to a worse prognosis overall.



Heavy Drinking in Older Teenagers Has Long And Short-Term Consequences - (ScienceDaily - Feb. 8, 2011)   -  In a systematic review of current evidence published in this week's PLoS Medicine, the authors -- Jim McCambridge from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, London, UK, and colleagues -- conclude that there is enough evidence to recommend that reducing drinking during late adolescence is likely to be important for preventing long-term adverse consequences of drinking, as well as protecting against more immediate harms.  -


Sleep Deprivation:

Late Nights Can Lead to Higher Risk of

Strokes and Heart Attacks, Study Finds

(ScienceDaily - Feb. 8, 2011)

   New research from Warwick Medical School published in the European Heart Journal

shows that prolonged sleep deprivation and disrupted sleep patterns

can have long-term, serious health implications.

Leading academics from the University have linked lack of sleep

to strokes, heart attacks and cardiovascular disorders which often result in early death.


Microsponges from Seaweed May Save Lives - (ScienceDaily - Feb. 9, 2011)  -  Microsponges derived from seaweed may help diagnose heart disease, cancers, HIV and other diseases quickly and at far lower cost than current clinical methods. The microsponges are an essential component of Rice University's Programmable Bio-Nano-Chip (PBNC) and the focus of a new paper in the journal Small.  -

Key Hand Sanitizer Ingredient May Cause More Harm than Good

  Triclosan can impair thyroid function, upset estrogen and testosterone levels,

and promote problems that could interfere with fetal development.



Pot May Be Instrumental in Combatting Cancer, MS and Other Diseases But the Gov't Refuses to Fund the Necessary Research  -  (February 10, 2011  - AlterNet)  -  A review of the NIH website shows that U.S. National Institute on Drug Abuse's kibosh on medical marijuana trials continues unabated.  -


Pain reduced by changing what you look at


Virus, Parasite May Combine to Increase Harm to Humans - (ScienceDaily - Feb. 11, 2011)   -  A parasite and a virus may be teaming up in a way that increases the parasite's ability to harm humans, scientists at the University of Lausanne in Switzerland and Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis recently reported in Science.  -


Common Insecticide Used in Homes Associated With Delayed Mental Development of Young Children - (ScienceDaily  - Feb. 10, 2011)   -  When the EPA phased out the widespread residential use of chlorpyrifos and other organophosphorus (OP) insecticides in 2000-2001 because of risks to child neurodevelopment, these compounds were largely replaced with pyrethroid insecticides. But the safety of these replacement insecticides remained unclear, as they had never been evaluated for long-term neurotoxic effects after low-level exposure. In the first study to examine the effects of these compounds on humans and the first evaluation of their potential toxicity to the developing fetal brain, scientists of the Columbia Center for Children's Environmental Health at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health found a significant association between piperonyl butoxide (PBO), a common additive in pyrethroid formulations, measured in personal air collected during the third trimester of pregnancy, and delayed mental development at 36 months.

Findings from the study are online in the journal, Pediatrics.  -


Biomedical Imaging: Ultrasound Guide Star and Time-Reversal Mirror Can Focus Light Deep Under the Skin - (ScienceDaily  - Feb. 11, 2011)  -  Astronomers have a neat trick they sometimes use to compensate for the turbulence of the atmosphere that blurs images made by ground-based telescopes. They create an artificial star called a guide star and use its twinkling to compensate for the atmospheric turbulence.

Lihong Wang, PhD, the Gene K. Beare Distinguished Professor of Biomedical Engineering at Washington University in St. Louis, has invented a guide star for biomedical rather than celestial imaging, a breakthrough that promises game-changing improvements in biomedical imaging and light therapy.  -


Statins: I was in agony for months - (The Telegraph/UK - Feb. 10, 2001)  -  As a study raises doubts about statin drugs, Robert Jackson explains why he had to stop taking them.  -


 Spice drug fights stroke damage - (BBC News - Feb. 10, 2011)  -  A drug derived from the curry spice turmeric may be able to help the body repair some of the damage caused in the immediate aftermath of a stroke.  -


Nanoparticles May Enhance Circulating Tumor Cell Detection - (ScienceDaily  - Feb. 12, 2011)  -  Tiny gold particles can help doctors detect tumor cells circulating in the blood of patients with head and neck cancer, researchers at Emory and Georgia Tech have found.

The detection of circulating tumor cells (CTCs) is an emerging technique that can allow oncologists to monitor patients with cancer for metastasis or to evaluate the progress of their treatment. The gold particles, which are embedded with dyes allowing their detection by laser spectroscopy, could enhance this technique's specificity by reducing the number of false positives.

The results are published online in the journal Cancer Research.  -


US study links pesticides to Parkinson's disease

(Fri., Feb 11, 2011) - WASHINGTON (AFP)

US researchers said Friday they have found that people who used two specific varieties of pesticide

were 2.5 times as likely to develop Parkinson's disease.

The pesticides, paraquat and rotenone,

are not approved for house and garden use.

Previous research on animals has linked paraquat to Parkinson's disease,

so it is restricted to use by certified applicators.

Rotenone is approved only for use in killing invasive fish species.

"Rotenone directly inhibits the function of the mitochondria,

the structure responsible for making energy in the cell,"

said study co-author Freya Kamel,

a researcher at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences.

"Paraquat increases production of certain oxygen derivatives that may harm cellular structures.

People who used these pesticides or others with a similar mechanism of action

were more likely to develop Parkinson's disease."


The People's Pharmacy

Lavender Oil Has Potent Antifungal Effect

(ScienceDaily - Feb. 14, 2011)

Lavender oil could be used to combat the

increasing incidence of antifungal-resistant infections,

according to a study published in

the Journal of Medical Microbiology.

The essential oil shows a potent antifungal effect

against strains of fungi responsible for

common skin and nail infections.


Vegans' Elevated Heart Risk Requires Omega-3s and B12, Study Suggests - (ScienceDaily - Feb. 2, 2011)  -  People who follow a vegan lifestyle -- strict vegetarians who try to eat no meat or animal products of any kind -- may increase their risk of developing blood clots and atherosclerosis or "hardening of the arteries," which are conditions that can lead to heart attacks and stroke. That's the conclusion of a review of dozens of articles published on the biochemistry of vegetarianism during the past 30 years.

The article appears in ACS' Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.  -

Fast-Food Nation: The True Cost Of America's Diet


Pesticides May Block Male Hormones

New Study Finds No Cognitive Impairment Among Ecstasy Users - (ScienceDaily  - Feb. 15, 2011)  -  The drug known as ecstasy has been used by 12 million people in the United States alone and millions more worldwide. Past research has suggested that ecstasy users perform worse than nonusers on some tests of mental ability. But there are concerns that the methods used to conduct that research were flawed, and the experiments overstated the cognitive differences between ecstasy users and nonusers.

In response to those concerns, a team of researchers has conducted one of the largest studies ever undertaken to re-examine the cognitive effects of ecstasy, funded by a $1.8 million grant from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) and published in the journal Addiction. The study was specifically designed to minimize the methodological limitations of earlier research.

In contrast to many prior studies, ecstasy users in the new study showed no signs of cognitive impairment attributable to drug use: ecstasy use did not decrease mental ability.  -


Schizophrenic Brains Not Fooled by Optical Illusion

Microbots made to twist and turn as they swim

'Star Trek' scanner that can measure damage to your body from smoking and junk food - (2-16-11 - DailyMail/UK)  -   -

In Star Trek, Dr McCoy was able to diagnose patients in an instant using his trusty ‘tricorder’.

Now a real-life equivalent has been developed, giving medics the ability to tell within seconds just how healthy – or unhealthy – you are.

The handheld device, the size of a computer mouse, gauges the damage that bad habits such as smoking or a fondness for junk food are having on the body.

Study Links US Social Security Improvements to Longer Life Span -  (ScienceDaily - Feb. 17, 2011)  - New findings from researchers at New York Medical College suggest that when Social Security benefits are improved, people over the age of 65 benefit most, and may even live longer.  -


Fountain of Youth from the Tap?

Environmental Lithium Uptake

Promotes Longevity,

Scientists Demonstrate

in Worms

(ScienceDaily - Feb. 18, 2011)

A regular uptake of the trace element lithium

can considerably promote longevity.

This is the result of a new study by

scientists of Friedrich Schiller University Jena.


The Kanzius Machine:

A Cancer Cure?


Inventor Tells 60 Minutes

He Hopes To Live Long Enough

To See Machine Cure Humans


Leukemia patient John Kanzius wants to see

the promising machine he invented

that kills cancer cells

go into clinical trials

and maybe help other people beat

a disease he probably won't.

Lesley Stahl reports.

  (Transcript  -  April 13, 2008  - 60 Minutes)



Former Surgeon General: Mainstream Medicine Has Endorsed Medical Marijuana

Sugar Is the New Heroin

(By Tom Jacobs,  -   December 12, 2008)

New research shows sugar addiction is real.

Lab rats coming off it exhibit some of the

same behavior as junkies in need of a fix.

'Adaptive optics' come into focus

(February 18, 2011 - BBC News)

A technology called adaptive optics

is slowly finding its way into

consumer electronics

and optomestrists' offices.

The BBC's Jason Palmer reports

from the annual meeting of the

American Association for the Advancement of Science,

where researchers outlined how the approach is

revolutionising their work.

'Printing out' new ears and skin

February 21, 2011

By Jason Palmer and Matt Danzico

BBC News, Washington DC

The next step in the 3D printing revolution

may be body parts

including cartilage, bone and even skin.

Three-dimensional printing is a technique

for making solid objects with devices not unlike a computer printer,

building up line by line, and then vertically layer by layer.

While the approach works with polymers and plastics,

the raw ingredients of 3D printing

have been recently branching out significantly.

The printers have been co-opted even to make foods,

and do-it-yourself biology experiments dubbed "garage biotech"

-- and has most recently been employed

to repair a casting of Rodin's sculpture The Thinker

that was damaged in a botched robbery.

But at the annual meeting of the
American Association for the Advancement of Science
 in Washington DC,
 the buzzword is bioprinting:

 using the same technique
 to artfully knock out new body parts.

Dry Copper Kills Bacteria on Contact  -  (ScienceDaily - Feb. 22, 2011)  -  Metallic copper surfaces kill microbes on contact, decimating their populations, according to a paper in the February 2011 issue of the journal Applied and Environmental Microbiology. They do so literally in minutes, by causing massive membrane damage after about a minute's exposure, says the study's corresponding author, Gregor Grass of the University of Nebraska, Lincoln. This is the first study to demonstrate this mechanism of bacteriocide.   -

Nanoparticles Increase Survival After Blood Loss, Study Suggests  - (ScienceDaily - Feb. 22, 2011) — In an advance that could improve battlefield and trauma care, scientists at Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University have used tiny particles called nanoparticles to improve survival after life-threatening blood loss. Nanoparticles containing nitric oxide (NO) were infused into the bloodstream of hamsters, where they helped maintain blood circulation and protect vital organs. The research was reported in the February 21 online edition of the journal Resuscitation.  -


Scientists under attack - Genetic Engineering

Shoppers wary of GM foods find they're everywhere

Dirty air triggers more heart attacks than cocaine

Scientists unveil the world's smallest computer that is just 1 SQUARE MILLIMETRE  -  (February 25,  2011 - The Daily Mail)  -  Scientists have created the world's smallest computer system to help treat glaucoma patients.

At just one square millimetre in size, the tiny device is a pressure monitor that is implanted in a person's eye.

It may be small but it packs a hefty punch, containing an ultra low-power microprocessor, a pressure sensor, memory, a thin film battery, a solar cell and a wireless radio with an antenna that can transmit data to an external reader device.

Developed by researchers at the University of Michigan, the unnamed unit - which is expected to be commercially available in several years - is already being touted as the future of the computing industry.

Its creators - Professors Dennis Sylvester, David Blaauw and David Wentzloff - claim that as the device's radio needs no tuning to find the right frequency it could link to a wireless network of computers.

A network of such units could one day track pollution, monitor structural integrity, perform surveillance, or make virtually any object smart and trackable, according to the scientists.  -

New Technology Pinpoints Genetic Differences Between Cancer and Non-Cancer Patients - ScienceDaily (Feb. 26, 2011) — A group of researchers led by scientists from the Virginia Bioinformatics Institute (VBI) at Virginia Tech have developed a new technology that detects distinct genetic changes differentiating cancer patients from healthy individuals and could serve as a future cancer predisposition test.  -

Cannabis Ingredient Can Help Cancer Patients Regain Their Appetites and Sense of Taste, Study Finds - ScienceDaily (Feb. 25, 2011) — The active ingredient in cannabis can improve the appetites and sense of taste in cancer patients, according to a new study published online in the cancer journal, Annals of Oncology.  -

Maternal Fructose Intake Impacts

Female and Male Fetuses Differently

ScienceDaily (Feb. 25, 2011)

A recent study accepted for publication in Endocrinology,

a publication of The Endocrine Society,

reports for the first time that

maternal fructose intake during pregnancy

results in sex-specific changes

in fetal and neonatal endocrinology.

Placebo Effect Works Both Ways: Beliefs About Pain Levels Appear to Override Effects of Potent Pain-Relieving Drug - ScienceDaily (Feb. 26, 2011) — Poor expectations of treatment can override all the effect of a potent pain-relieving drug, a brain imaging study at Oxford University has shown.  -


Simpler Way of Making Proteins Could Lead to New Nanomedicine Agents - ScienceDaily (Feb. 25, 2011) — Researchers have developed a simple method of making short protein chains with spiral structures that can also dissolve in water, two desirable traits not often found together. Such structures could have applications as building blocks for self-assembling nanostructures and as agents for drug and gene delivery.

Led by Jianjun Cheng, a professor of materials science and engineering at the University of Illinois, the research team will publish its findings in the Feb. 22 edition of the journal Nature Communications.  -


New Long-Acting Local Anesthetic Derived from Algae Effectively Blocks Pain in Surgical Patients - ScienceDaily (Feb. 25, 2011) — A U.S.-Chile collaboration is bringing surgical patients closer to having a long-acting local anesthetic. In a randomized, double-blind trial, patients given neosaxitoxin, a new local anesthetic derived from algae, had significantly less postoperative pain and recovered about two days sooner than those given the commonly used local anesthetic bupivacaine. Based on this finding, Children's Hospital Boston, a co-investigator on the study, has signed a collaboration agreement with biotech start-up company Proteus SA (Santiago, Chile) to move the new anesthetic toward clinical adoption.  -

Chemical Compounds

in Trees

Can Fight Deadly

Staph Infections

in Humans

(ScienceDaily - Feb. 25, 2011)

Most people would never suspect that a "trash tree,"

one with little economic value

and often removed by farmers

due to its ability to destroy farmland,

could be the key to fighting a deadly bacterium.

Now, a University of Missouri researcher

has found an antibiotic

in the Eastern Red Cedar tree

that is effective against

methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA),

a "superbug" that is resistant to most medications.

Get Ready:
Has Declared War
on the Environment

(February 25, 2011  - AlterNet - by Jill Richardson)

are trying
to take down
the EPA
and with it
that seeks to protect
our air, water, food
and health.

Obesity and Diabetes Are a Downside of Human Evolution, Research Suggests - ScienceDaily (Feb. 25, 2011) — As if the recent prediction that half of all Americans will have diabetes or pre-diabetes by the year 2020 isn't alarming enough, a new genetic discovery published online in the FASEB Journal provides a disturbing explanation as to why: we took an evolutionary "wrong turn." In the research report, scientists show that human evolution leading to the loss of function in a gene called "CMAH" may make humans more prone to obesity and diabetes than other mammals.  -

NY Times Report: Fracked Water Thousands of Times More Dangerous Than They're Telling Us

(February 28, 2011 - By Steven D. | Sourced from Booman Tribune) -

Good old hydrofracking. You know about it right? It's the method to produce natural gas by fracturing rock formations with millions of gallons of water and toxic chemicals. It's been contaminating groundwater in the Western US for many years and now it is being pursued with a vengeance in the East, particularity with respect to the Marcellus Shale formation that extends across Pennsylvania and New York.

Everyone in the know has warned us for years that hydrofracking was highly dangerous to sources of groundwater used for human consumption. But only now are we being told how much worse is that contamination of our water supplies. So bad it will make you ill after you read this investigative report from the NY Times:

     With hydrofracking, a well can produce over a million gallons of wastewater that is often laced with highly corrosive salts, carcinogens like benzene and radioactive elements like radium, all of which can occur naturally thousands of feet underground. Other carcinogenic materials can be added to the wastewater by the chemicals used in the hydrofracking itself.

     While the existence of the toxic wastes has been reported, thousands of internal documents obtained by The New York Times from the Environmental Protection Agency, state regulators and drillers show that the dangers to the environment and health are greater than previously understood.

     The documents reveal that the wastewater, which is sometimes hauled to sewage plants not designed to treat it and then discharged into rivers that supply drinking water, contains radioactivity at levels higher than previously known, and far higher than the level that federal regulators say is safe for these treatment plants to handle.

Scientists discover cause of rare skin cancer that heals itself


Free Radicals May Be Good for You  -  ScienceDaily (Feb. 28, 2011) — Fear of free radicals may be exaggerated, according to scientists from the Swedish medical university Karolinska Institutet. A new study, published in The Journal of Physiology, shows that free radicals act as signal substances that cause the heart to beat with the correct force.  -


Study: Most Plastics Leach Hormone-Like Chemicals
- (4-min. - NPR audio) -


Predicted Increase in Atmospheric CO2

Will Directly Affect Living Organisms:

Carbon Dioxide Exacerbates Oxygen Toxicity

(ScienceDaily - Mar. 4, 2011)


Tomatoes combat killer diseases - and are even more potent when cooked - (March 3, 2011 - Daily Mail/UK) -  - 

Cooking tomatoes increases the potency of the disease-fighting nutrient lycopene

Eating tomatoes can help reduce the risk of cancer, osteoporosis and cardiovascular disease, scientists have revealed.  

Not only that but cooked or processed tomatoes are actually better for you than raw ones.

U.S researchers found the juicy vegetable is the biggest source of powerful antioxidant dietary lycopene, and unlike other fruit and vegetables it has greater potency after it is cooked.

Scientists at the National Centre of Food and Safety in Illinois said the nutrient contains protective mechanisms that help prevent inflammation and blood clots.

A strong link has already been established between the wonder veg and a lower risk of certain diseases such as prostate cancer, heart disease and osteoporosis.

Dr Britt Burton-Freeman and and Dr Kristin Reimers, who carried out the review, said: 'Leveraging emerging science about tomatoes and tomato products may be one simple and effective strategy to help individuals increase vegetable intake, leading to improved overall eating patterns, and ultimately, better health.


The Seattle Times Calls For Pot Legalization  -  (March 1, 2011 - Alternet) -  On Friday, February 18, the Seattle Times editorial board opined in favor of House Bill 1550, which legalizes and regulates the “production, distribution, and sale” of marijuana to adults. (You can contact your state elected officials in support of the measure here.) The editorial, titled “The Washington Legislature should legalize marijuana” did not mince words.

   Marijuana should be legalized, regulated and taxed. The push to repeal federal prohibition should come from the states, and it should begin with the state of Washington.

   Some drugs have such horrible effects on the human body that the costs of prohibition may be worth it. Not marijuana. This state’s experience with medical marijuana and Seattle’s tolerance policy suggest that with cannabis, legalization will work — and surprisingly well.

   Not only will it work, but it is coming.

According to Seattle Times editorial page editor Ryan Blethen, the public’s reaction to the paper’s pot-friendly position was overwhelming.  -


Hidden Dangers of Genetically Modified Food

Massive animal cloning research project ended due to 90 percent death rate and 'unnecessary suffering'  -  (Thursday, March 03, 2011 - by Ethan A. Huff, staff writer  - NaturalNews)  -

Mediterranean Diet: A Heart-Healthy Plan for Life  -  ScienceDaily (Mar. 7, 2011)The Mediterranean diet has proven beneficial effects not only regarding metabolic syndrome, but also on its individual components including waist circumference, HDL-cholesterol levels, triglycerides levels, blood pressure levels and glucose metabolism, according to a new study published in the March 15, 2011, issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology. The study is a meta-analysis, including results of 50 studies on the Mediterranean diet, with an overall studied population of about half a million subjects.  -



New Weight Loss Discovery Moves Us Closer to 'the Pill' for Obesity  -  ScienceDaily (Mar. 7, 2011)An important discovery in mice may make a big difference in people's waistlines thanks to a team of Harvard scientists who found that reducing the function of a transmembrane protein, called Klotho, in obese mice with high blood sugar levels produced lean mice with reduced blood sugar levels. This protein also exists in humans, suggesting that selectively targeting Klotho could lead to a new class of drugs to reduce obesity and possibly Type 2 diabetes for people.  -

Do genes make people evil? -  (March 8, 2011 - Scientific American) - By Daniel Lametti, a neuroscientist at McGill University  

Since the 1960s psychologists have found that children who were abused and neglected are more likely to commit crimes later in life. Even so, researchers noted that most youngsters who are mistreated do not grow up to be criminals. Now our genes come into the picture.

A 2002 study found that a particular variation of a gene predicted antisocial behavior in men who were mistreated as children. The gene controls whether we produce an enzyme called monoamine oxidase A (MAOA), which at low levels has been linked to aggression in mice. The researchers found that boys who were neglected and who possessed a variation of the gene that produced low levels of MAOA were more likely to develop antisocial personality disorder, commit crimes and grow up to have a violent disposition. But those living in a similar environment who produced more of the enzyme rarely developed these problems.

Psychopaths are arguably the evilest of the evildoers. A study published in August 2010 looked at psychopathic tendencies in teenagers with low socioeconomic resources. The researchers found that adolescents who had a variation of another gene, which contributes to how quickly serotonin is recycled in the brain and which has been linked to hostile behavior in children, were more likely to exhibit signs of psychopathy.

These two recent findings provide strong evidence that evil behavior—mass murder, armed robbery, and perhaps even newspaper theft—might be caused by the right set of genes interacting with the wrong environment.  -

'Nano-Velcro' Technology Used to Improve Capture of Circulating Cancer Cells  -  ScienceDaily (Mar. 7, 2011) — Circulating tumor cells, which play a crucial role in cancer metastasis, have been known to science for more than 100 years, and researchers have long endeavored to track and capture them. Now, a UCLA research team has developed an innovative device based on Velcro-like nanoscale technology to efficiently identify and "grab" these circulating tumor cells, or CTCs, in the blood.  -


Brain Has Three Layers of Working Memory, Study Shows - ScienceDaily (Mar. 9, 2011) - Researchers from Rice University and Georgia Institute of Technology have found support for the theory that the brain has three concentric layers of working memory where it stores readily available items. Memory researchers have long debated whether there are two or three layers and what the capacity and function of each layer is.

In a paper in the March issue of the Journal of Cognitive Psychology, researchers found that short-term memory is made up of three areas: a core focusing on one active item, a surrounding area holding at least three more active items, and a wider region containing passive items that have been tagged for later retrieval or "put on the back burner." But more importantly, they found that the core region, called the focus of attention, has three roles -- not two as proposed by previous researchers. First, this core focus directs attention to the correct item, which is affected by predictability of input pattern. Then it retrieves the item and subsequently, when needed, updates it.

Sunlight Can Influence the Breakdown of Medicines in the Body  -  ScienceDaily (Mar. 9, 2011) — A study from the Swedish medical university Karolinska Institutet has shown that the body's ability to break down medicines may be closely related to exposure to sunlight, and thus may vary with the seasons. The findings offer a completely new model to explain individual differences in the effects of drugs, and how the surroundings can influence the body's ability to deal with toxins.  -


Nanotech Particles Pose Serious DNA Risks to Humans and the Environment  -   -  (From Project Censored  - Top 25 Censored [or ignored] News Stories of 2010):  Personal products you may use daily and think are harmless—cosmetics, suntan lotion, socks, and sports clothes—may all contain atom-sized nanotech particles, some of which have been shown to sicken and kill workers in plants using nanotechnology. Known human health risks include severe and permanent lung damage. Cell studies indicate genetic DNA damage. Extremely toxic to aquatic wildlife, nanoparticles pose clear risks to many species and threaten the global food chain.

The Dangers of Nanotech - (Jan. 13, 2011) - (10-min./audio) - In the growing field of nanotechnology, engineers are creating countless new microscopic materials. They're used in thousands of consumer goods, from cell phones to cosmetics & sunscreen. But how safe are they? Andrew Maynard is a physicist & director of the Risk Science Center at the University of Michigan. We talked to him about the potential dangers of nanotech.  -

Optogenetics - How a flash of light to the brain can banish fear

Keys to Long Life? Not What You Might Expect  -  ScienceDaily (Mar. 12, 2011) — Cheer up. Stop worrying. Don’t work so hard. Good advice for a long life? As it turns out, no. In a groundbreaking study of personality as a predictor of longevity, University of California, Riverside researchers found just the opposite.  -


A Common Synthetic Antibiotic Can Cause Permanent Side Effects

As We Sleep, Speedy Brain Waves Boost Our Ability to Learn  -   ScienceDaily (Mar. 10, 2011) — Scientists have long puzzled over the many hours we spend in light, dreamless slumber. But a new study from the University of California, Berkeley, suggests we're busy recharging our brain's learning capacity during this traditionally undervalued phase of sleep, which can take up half the night.

UC Berkeley researchers have found compelling evidence that bursts of brain waves known as "sleep spindles" may be networking between key regions of the brain to clear a path to learning. These electrical impulses help to shift fact-based memories from the brain's hippocampus -- which has limited storage space -- to the prefrontal cortex's "hard drive," thus freeing up the hippocampus to take in fresh data. Spindles are fast pulses of electricity generated during non-REM sleep, and they can occur up to 1,000 times a night.

"All these pieces of the puzzle tell a consistent and compelling story -- that sleep spindles predict learning refreshment," said Matthew Walker, associate professor of psychology and neuroscience at UC Berkeley and senior author of the study to be published March 8 in the journal Current Biology.  -


Top 10 Most Toxic Cities & Top 10 Fittest Cities in the US


[From page 20 of the March/April issue of Sierra magazine.]:

Feeling feverish?  Rashy?

Do your joints and eyeballs hurt?

Are you vomiting?  Hemorrhaging?

   You may have dengue fever,

the mosquito-borne virus….

In 2009, dengue came to Key West, Florida;

there were 27 confirmed cases,

with an additional 1,100 people

-- 5 percent of the population --

carrying either active dengue or antibodies

showing that they had been exposed to the virus.

Last November, a case was diagnosed in Miami as well.

   ….  The mosquitoes that carry dengue fever

…are now found in 28 states.

(For a scary short animation

of dengue’s spread,

see )

   There are four varieties if dengue,
and most adults who contract it
experience nothing worse
than a few days of fever.
But, [Anthony] Fauci
[director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases]
says, “It’s a scary disease.
If you’re the unlucky one who gets the bad form,
you can die from it

Adults With Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder Score High in Creativity  -  ScienceDaily (Mar. 11, 2011) — Young adults with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder showed more creativity compared with those who did not have ADHD, a new study shows.

Researchers at the University of Michigan and Eckerd College also found that ADHD individuals preferred different thinking styles. They like generating ideas, but are not good about completing the tasks.

Lead author Holly White, an assistant professor of psychology at Eckerd, and Priti Shah, an associate professor at U-M, replicated their study from 2006, and those results found that ADHD individuals show better performance on standardized creativity tests.

Previous research regarding individuals with ADHD focused on laboratory measures of creativity.

"We knew that ADHD individuals did better at laboratory measures of divergent thinking, but we didn't know if that would translate to real-life achievement. The current study suggests that it does," Shah said.

Divergent thinking involves generating several possible solutions to a problem.  -

Self-Administered Light Therapy May Improve Cognitive Function After Traumatic Brain Injury  -  ScienceDaily (Mar. 17, 2011) — At-home, daily application of light therapy via light-emitting diodes (LEDs) placed on the forehead and scalp led to improvements in cognitive function and post-traumatic stress disorder in patients with a traumatic brain injury (TBI), according to a groundbreaking study published in Photomedicine and Laser Surgery, a peer-reviewed journal published by Mary Ann Liebert, Inc.  -


A radioactive hazard zone? Chernobyl's example


Most Vulnerable U.S. Nuclear Plants


Nuclear Nightmare

Nuclear power report: 14 'near misses' at US plants due to 'lax oversight' - (March 18, 2011 - By Mark Clayton, Staff writer -  The Christian Science Monitor)  -  The Nuclear Regulatory Commission failed to resolve known safety problems, leading to 14 'near-misses' in US nuclear power plants in 2009 and 2010, according to a new report from a nuclear watchdog group.  -


If You Don't Remember Karen Silkwood, You Should. Your Life May Depend Upon It.  -  Mark Karlin, Editor of BuzzFlash at Truthout)  -   Silkwood disclosed the numerous dangers lurking at the nuclear power plant in Oklahoma where she worked. In fact, Silkwood - a member of the Oil, Chemical & Atomic Workers Union, it should be noted - cited so many potential dangers to staff at the Kerr-McGee facility, that she was asked to testify before the Atomic Energy Commission in 1974.

Later that year, Silkwood was found to be contaminated with 400 times the legal limit for plutonium. Silkwood contended that she had been exposed to the plutonium as retaliation for her whistleblowing.

Having arranged to turn over papers that would have allegedly showed the culpability of Kerr-McGee for multiple risks at the nuclear plant, she was killed when her car ran off the road while she was en route to meet a New York Times reporter. No documents were found in her car and the circumstances of the accident indicated that Silkwood may have been rammed from behind.

In a civil trial, Kerr-McGee made the rather difficult-to-believe claim that Silkwood intentionally poisoned herself with plutonium. Subsequently, 44 pounds of plutonium were found missing from the plant.  -

Fraudulent Medical Research Could Affect Your Diagnosis

Organic Nanoparticle Uses Sound and Heat to Find and Treat Tumors

How Psychedelics Can Be a Path to Transformation - An exploration of psychedlics' potential to support personal, spiritual, and cultural transformation.  (March 18, 2011 - Tikkun Magazine - By Phil Wolfson , MD, practicing psychiatrist/psychotherapist in the Bay Area.)  -

Cary in the Sky with Diamonds - Before Timothy Leary and the Beatles, LSD was largely unknown and unregulated. But in the 1950s, as many as 100 Hollywood luminariesCary Grant and Esther Williams among them—began taking the drug as part of psychotherapy. With LSD research beginning a comeback, the authors recount how two Beverly Hills doctors promoted a new “wonder drug,” at $100 a session, profoundly altering the lives of their glamorous patients, Balaban included.  -  (August 2010 - By Cari Beauchamp and Judy Balaban - Vanity Fair Magazine)  -

Nanomodified Surfaces Seal Leg Implants Against Infection  -  ScienceDaily (Mar. 22, 2011) — In recent years, researchers have worked to develop more flexible, functional prosthetics for soldiers returning home from battlefields in Afghanistan or Iraq with missing arms or legs. But even new prosthetics have trouble keeping bacteria from entering the body through the space where the device has been implanted.  -

Scientists create animals that are part-human  -  Stem cell experiments leading to genetic mixing of species  -  (2011 - MSNBC)  -

What It's Like Living in Our Nuclear Sacrifice Zone - (March 21, 2011 - The Phoenix Sun / By Valerie Brown - )  - 

The official focus on high short-term doses is deceptive. Emerging science suggests that low doses of radiation exposure can have numerous long-term effects, possibly passed from one generation to the next. And almost all the discussion about – and the scientific research on – radiation exposure focuses on cancers. There are certainly many cancers that radiation can induce in addition to thyroid cancer, from breast and prostate cancer to various leukemias. These cancers are thought to result from energetic particles striking DNA, breaking strands, and interfering with gene replication. Faulty genes lead to faulty cells, is the thinking. But there may also be epigenetic effects – that is, changes in the way normal genes are organized and allowed to function – and these may result in disorders other than cancer, such as thyroid diseases, autoimmune problems, and hormones gone haywire.

To make matters worse, how old you are when you’re exposed makes a big difference too. Prenatal insults including chemical and radiation exposure can create epigenetic patterns of gene expression that will stay with you forever, even if your actual genes are undamaged. And it can take 50 or more years for the timer set in the womb to trip the fuse and trigger a full-blown disease.

In a 2009 review article, Canadian researchers Carmel Mothersill and Colin Seymour of McMaster University nicely expressed the emerging state of knowledge about the effects of low-level radiation exposure:

Our understanding of the biological effects of low dose exposure has undergone a major paradigm shift….[W]e understand, at least in part, some of the mechanisms which drive low dose effects and which perpetuate these not only in the exposed organism but also in its progeny and in certain cases, its kin. This means that previously held views about safe doses or lack of harmful effects cannot be sustained.” 

Acupuncture for Pain No Better Than Placebo -- And Not Without Harm, Study Finds


Study: Diet May Help ADHD Kids More Than Drugs

Look into my eyes to predict my amputation risk - (March 2011 - by Wendy Zukerman - NewScientist)  -  A glimpse in an eye might soon be enough to diagnose the nerve damage associated with diabetes.  -


How Nuclear Power's "Peaceful Atom" Became a Serial Killer - The nuclear industry is a snake-oil culture of habitual misrepresentation, pervasive wishful thinking, deep denial, and occasional outright deception.  - (March 25, 2011 - By Chip Ward - Alternet)  -

Unsafe at Any Exposure - There's no safe level of radiation exposure.  - (by Ira Helfand

First Identification of Nicotine as Main Culprit in Diabetes Complications Among Smokers - ScienceDaily (Mar. 27, 2011) — Scientists report the first strong evidence implicating nicotine as the main culprit responsible for persistently elevated blood sugar levels -- and the resulting increased risk of serious health complications -- in people who have diabetes and smoke. In a presentation at the 241st National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society (ACS), they said the discovery also may have implications for people with diabetes who are using nicotine-replacement therapy for extended periods in an attempt to stop smoking.  -


No Two of Us Are Alike -- Even Identical Twins: Pinpointing Genetic Determinants of Schizophrenia - ScienceDaily (Mar. 28, 2011) — Just like snowflakes, no two people are alike, even if they're identical twins according to new genetic research from The University of Western Ontario. Molecular geneticist Shiva Singh has been working with psychiatrist Dr. Richard O'Reilly to determine the genetic sequencing of schizophrenia using identical or monozygotic twins.

The study is published in this month's PLoS ONE.  -

Twinkle, Twinkle, Quantum Dot: New Particles Can Change Colors and Tag Molecules - ScienceDaily (Mar. 28, 2011) — Engineers at Ohio State University have invented a new kind of nano-particle that shines in different colors to tag molecules in biomedical tests.  -

Nanotechnology and Ethical Concerns  -  (10-minute YouTube audio/video)  -  Produced and written in 2008 by Jennifer Pitts and narrated by James Pitts, this well-done video presents the pros & cons of exactly what Nanotechnology is and what its use in the production of various products and future developments may entail.  -

Antibiotics Wrapped in Nanofibers Turn Resistant Disease-Producing Bacteria Into Ghosts - ScienceDaily (Mar. 29, 2011) — Encapsulating antibiotics inside nanofibers, like a mummy inside a sarcophagus, gives them the amazing ability to destroy drug-resistant bacteria so completely that scientists described the remains as mere "ghosts," according to a report presented on March 29 at the the 241st National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society (ACS) in Anaheim, California.  -

Deciphering Hidden Code Reveals Brain Activity - ScienceDaily (Mar. 28, 2011) — By combining sophisticated mathematical techniques more commonly used by spies instead of scientists with the power and versatility of functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), a Penn neurologist has developed a new approach for studying the inner workings of the brain. A hidden pattern is encoded in the seemingly random order of things presented to a human subject, which the brain reveals when observed with fMRI. The research is published in the journal NeuroImage.  -

New Device Uses Submarine Technology to Diagnose Stroke Quickly - ScienceDaily (Mar. 29, 2011) — A medical device developed by retired U.S. Navy sonar experts, using submarine technology, is a new paradigm for the detection, diagnosis and monitoring of stroke, says a team of interventional radiologists at the Society of Interventional Radiology's 36th Annual Scientific Meeting in Chicago, Ill. Each type of stroke and brain trauma is detected, identified and located using a simple headset and portable laptop-based console. The device's portability and speed of initial diagnosis (under a couple of minutes) make it appropriate for many uses outside of the hospital setting, including by military doctors in theater who need to assess situations quickly and efficiently in order to provide critically injured troops with treatment.  -

Federal agency proclaims medical use for marijuana - (3-24-11 - By Kyle Daly - The Washington Independent) - As federal battles over medical marijuana across the country heat up, a statement from one federal agency may be a huge asset for medical marijuana dispensaries that have been targeted by the various arms of the U.S. Department of Justice and the IRS.

The National Cancer Institute (NCI) is a division of the National Institute of Health, which is itself one of the 11 component agencies that make up the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Last week, the NCI quietly added to its treatment database a summary of marijuana’s medicinal benefits, including an acknowledgment that oncologists may recommend it to patients for medicinal use.

The summary cites clinical trials demonstrating the benefit of medical marijuana. Part of it reads:

     The potential benefits of medicinal Cannabis for people living with cancer include antiemetic effects, appetite stimulation, pain relief, and improved sleep. In the practice of integrative oncology, the health care provider may recommend medicinal Cannabis not only for symptom management but also for its possible direct antitumor effect.  -

Being in a Good Mood May Lead to Poor Memory - ScienceDaily (Mar. 30, 2011) — Most people have had trouble remembering something they just heard. Now, a University of Missouri researcher found that forgetfulness may have something to do with being in a good mood. Elizabeth Martin, a doctoral student of psychology in the College of Arts and Science, has found that being in a good mood decreases your working memory capacity.  -

The Bomb: A scary light show -  (10 min. - YouTube audio/video) - (March 30, 2011 - Graphic artist Isao Hashimoto depicts the startling number of nuclear bombs that have gone off between 1945 and 1998, from the early U.S. and Soviet tests to the activities of Pakistan's nuclear program. Each bomb emits a ping and a flash.  -

Why Factory Farmed Meat Is a Threat to Your Health -- Even If You Don't Eat It - (March 28, 2011 - By Brittany Shoot - AlterNet) - David Kirby talks about his book "Animal Factory," and the risks that factory farming poses to our health and the environment.   -



The Dirty Truth Behind America's Obsession With Shrimp - (April 1, 2011 - By Kennedy Warne - Island Press) - Most Americans don't know the ugly backstory of the shrimp on their plates: destroyed mangrove forests, toxic sludge, and displaced lives.   -



Why Monsanto Always Wins

Group warns EPA ready to increase radioactive release guidelines - (April 3, 2011 - by Anne Paine - The Tennessean)  -  ( ) -  The EPA is preparing to dramatically increase permissible radioactive releases in drinking water, food and soil after “radiological incidents,” according to Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility.

What is termed a guidance that EPA is considering - as opposed to a regulation - does not require public airing before it’s decided upon.

EPA officials contacted today in the Atlanta and D.C. offices had no response on the issue as of 6 p.m.

The radiation guides called Protective Action Guides or PAGs are protocols for responding to radiological events ranging from nuclear power-plant accidents to dirty bombs.

Drinking water, for example, would have a huge increase in allowable public exposure to radioactivity, the group says, that would include:

A nearly 1000-fold increase in strontium-90

A 3000 to 100,000-fold hike for iodine-131

An almost 25,000 rise for nickel-63

The new radiation guidance would also allow long-term cleanup standards thousands of times more lax than anything EPA has ever before accepted, permitting doses to the public that EPA itself estimates would cause a cancer in as much as every fourth person exposed, the group says.

These relaxed standards are opposed by public health professionals inside EPA, according to documents PEER said it obtained under the Freedom of Information Act.

PEER is a national alliance of local state and federal resource professionals

Offer Hope for Common Skin Allergy
- ScienceDaily (Apr. 3, 2011) — Tiny particles only billionths of a meter in diameter -- about two thousand would fit across the width of a human hair -- could offer big hope in a small package to the many millions of people who are allergic to the nickel in everything from jewelry to coins and cell phones, say scientists at Brigham and Women's Hospital (BWH). In the April 3 online issue of Nature Nanotechnology, the team will report a new approach to preventing the common skin allergy.  -

Transmission Lines for Nanofocusing of Infrared Light - ScienceDaily (Apr. 4, 2011) — A joint cooperation between three research groups at nanoGUNE (Donostia -- San Sebastian, Spain) reports an innovative method to focus infrared light with tapered transmission lines to nanometer-size dimensions. This device could trigger the development of novel chemical and biological sensing tools, including ultra-small infrared spectrometers and lab-on-a-chip integrated biosensors.  -

Carbon Dioxide Capture: Health Effects of Amines and Their Derivatives  - ScienceDaily (Apr. 4, 2011) — Carbon dioxide capture by means of amines is considered to be the most appropriate method to quickly begin with CO2 removal. During this capture process, some of the amines escaping the recycling process will be emitted into the air and will also form other compounds such as nitrosamines and nitramines. The Norwegian Institute of Public Health (NIPH) was commissioned by the Climate and Pollution Agency (Klif) to assess whether these new emissions are harmful to health -- particularly in terms of the cancer risk to the general population. The results of the risk assessments have now been submitted.  -


Deteriorating Oil and Gas Wells Threaten Drinking Water Across the Country  - (April 4, 2011 - Old holes made in search of oil and gas have been abandoned but may be providing paths for contamination to creep up


In the last 150 years, prospectors and energy companies have drilled as many as 12 million holes across the United States in search of oil and gas. Many of those holes were plugged after they dried up. But hundreds of thousands were simply abandoned and forgotten, often leaving no records of their existence.

Government reports have warned for decades that abandoned wells can provide pathways for oil, gas or brine-laden water to contaminate groundwater supplies or to travel up to the surface.  -


Herpes Linked to Alzheimer's Disease: 'Cold Sores' Connected to Cognitive Decline


High Dose of Oxygen Enhances Natural Cancer Treatment, Researchers Find

Radioactive Fallout in Saint Louis Missouri

(1-3/4-min. - YouTube audio/video)

Uranium Mining and Nuclear Pollution in the Upper Midwest: America's Secret Chernobyl -


How Nuclear Apologists Mislead the World Over Radiation - by Helen Caldicott

Brain Scans Show How Multitasking Is Harder for Seniors - (April 11, 2011- By Brandon Keim - Wired Science)  -  A new comparison of brain activity in young and elderly multitaskers suggests an unexpected explanation for why older people frequently lose their trains of thought, and have more trouble juggling multiple tasks.

It’s not that elderly people pay more attention to distraction. Instead, they seem to have trouble letting go of distraction, and are slow to regain focus on their original tasks.

In neuroscientific parlance, they experience “an interruption recovery failure, manifest as a deficient ability to dynamically switch between functional brain networks,” wrote the authors of the study, published Apr. 12 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.   -

Cannabis could be used to treat epilepsy


Germs with Your Lemon Wedge? - (November 14, 2010 in Pharmacy Q&A) -  Q. One of my co-workers always asks for a slice of lemon in his water. I shudder every time I see that piece of lemon floating in his glass but I don't have the nerve to tell him it's probably loaded with germs. Am I mistaken?

A. You are correct. Microbiologist Anne LaGrange Loving was served a Diet Coke with a slice of lemon she had not requested. She decided to check whether the lemon was likely to be contaminated.

She and her co-author surreptitiously swabbed 76 lemon slices served at 21 different restaurants, then cultured the results. Two-thirds of the lemon slices had bacteria on either the rind or the pulp (Journal of Environmental Health, Dec., 2007). Many of these germs have the potential to cause illness, although the study was not designed to discover if any patrons actually became sick.

You're not the only one to wonder about this. Another reader wrote: "I wish you would address the way water is served in restaurants. It frequently comes with a lemon floating in the water. Tests on lemons from various restaurants found fecal bacteria. They should ask whether you want lemon or not." We agree with that recommendation.  -






(22 min. - YouTube audio/video)

Broccoli helps clear damaged lungs - (April 13, 2011 - by Hayley Crawford - NewScientist) - Here's another reason to eat your greens. As well as helping to prevent cancer, broccoli may also help the immune system to clean harmful bacteria from the lungs. A compound found in the vegetable is now being trialled as a treatment for people with lung disease.  -

Why Anti-Nuclear Belongs in All of Our Movements

DNA Nanoforms: Miniature Architectural Forms -- Some No Larger Than Viruses -- Constructed Through DNA Origami - ScienceDaily (Apr. 14, 2011) — Miniature architectural forms -- some no larger than viruses -- have been constructed through a revolutionary technique known as DNA origami. Now, Hao Yan, Yan Liu and their colleagues at Arizona State University's Biodesign Institute have expanded the capability of this method to construct arbitrary, two and three-dimensional shapes, mimicking those commonly found in nature.

Such diminutive forms may ultimately find their way into a wide array of devices, from ultra-tiny computing components to nanomedical sentries used to target and destroy aberrant cells or deliver therapeutics at the cellular or even molecular level.  -

Strawberries May Slow Precancerous Growth in the Esophagus, Study Suggests - ScienceDaily (Apr. 6, 2011)Eating strawberries may be a way to help people at risk of esophageal cancer protect themselves from the disease, according to a new study by researchers at The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center -- Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute (OSUCCC -- James) and researchers in China.  -


Caffeine and Diabetes: Helpful or Harmful? - ScienceDaily (Apr. 8, 2011) — A growing body of research suggests that caffeine disrupts glucose metabolism and may contribute to the development and poor control of type 2 diabetes, a major public health problem. A review article in the inaugural issue of Journal of Caffeine Research: The International Multidisciplinary Journal of Caffeine Science, a quarterly peer-reviewed journal from Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. publishers, examines the latest evidence, contradicting earlier studies suggesting a protective effect of caffeine.  -


Is the Wrist Bone Connected to Heart Risk? - ScienceDaily (Apr. 11, 2011) — Measuring the wrist bone may be a new way to identify which overweight children and adolescents face an increased risk of developing cardiovascular disease, according to research in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association.  -


Physicians Recommend Different Treatments for Patients Than They Choose for Themselves, Study Finds - ScienceDaily (Apr. 12, 2011) — The act of making a recommendation appears to change the way physicians think regarding medical choices, and they often make different choices for themselves than what they recommend to patients, according to a survey study published in the April 11 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.  -


St. John's Wort Compound: Potential Benefit of Synthetic Hypericin for Recurrent Brain Tumors - ScienceDaily (Apr. 12, 2011) — Researchers have found that a synthetic version of hypericin, a compound naturally found in St. John's wort, may be a promising treatment for patients with recurrent malignant brain tumors.

Their findings were published online on March 31, 2011 in the journal Cancer.  -



Vegetarians May Be at Lower Risk of Heart Disease, Diabetes and Stroke



Ozone Reduces Fungal Spoilage of Fruits and Vegetables - ScienceDaily (Apr. 11, 2011) — Storing fruits and vegetables in ozone-enriched environments reduces spoilage explains a scientist at the Society for General Microbiology's Spring Conference in Harrogate. Dr Ian Singleton explains how ozone treatment could be a safe, effective replacement for pesticides as it leaves no residue on foods.  -


Corporate Links of Global Health Foundations May Conflict With Philanthropic Interest - ScienceDaily (Apr. 12, 2011) — Major philanthropic foundations in global health, which often influence and shape the international global health agenda, have links with food and pharmaceutical corporations that could constitute a conflict of interest to the foundations' philanthropic work, reveals a new analysis published in this week's PLoS Medicine.  -



Blueberries May Inhibit Development of Fat Cells



Radioactive Contaminants Removed from Drinking Water Using New Material, Study Suggests - ScienceDaily (Apr. 13, 2011) — A combination of forest byproducts and crustacean shells may be the key to removing radioactive materials from drinking water, researchers from North Carolina State University have found.  -

Precipitation, Predators May Be Key in Ecological Regulation of Infectious Disease - ScienceDaily (Apr. 14, 2011) — A little information can go a surprisingly long way when it comes to understanding rodent-borne infectious disease, as shown by a new study led by John Orrock from UW-Madison.  -

Giant Fire-Bellied Toad's Brain Brims With Powerful Germ-Fighters - ScienceDaily (Apr. 13, 2011) — Frog and toad skins already are renowned as cornucopias of hundreds of germ-fighting substances. Now a new report in ACS's Journal of Proteome Research reveals that the toad brains also may contain an abundance of antibacterial and antiviral substances that could inspire a new generation of medicines.  -

Nationwide study finds U.S. meat and poultry is widely contaminated  -  Multi-drug-resistant Staph found in nearly 1 in 4 samples, review shows   -  FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. — April 15, 2011Drug-resistant strains of Staphylococcus aureus, a bacteria linked to a wide range of human diseases, are present in meat and poultry from U.S. grocery stores at unexpectedly high rates, according to a nationwide study by the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen).

Nearly half of the meat and poultry samples — 47 percent — were contaminated with S. aureus, and more than half of those bacteria — 52 percent — were resistant to at least three classes of antibiotics, according to the study published today in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases.

This is the first national assessment of antibiotic resistant S. aureus in the U.S. food supply. And, DNA testing suggests that the food animals themselves were the major source of contamination.

Although Staph should be killed with proper cooking, it may still pose a risk to consumers through improper food handling and cross-contamination in the kitchen.   -

Illusion Can Halve the Pain of Osteoarthritis, Scientists Say - ScienceDaily (Apr. 15, 2011) — A serendipitous discovery by academics at The University of Nottingham has shown that a simple illusion can significantly reduce -- and in some cases even temporarily eradicate -- arthritic pain in the hand.  -


Injectable Gel Could Spell Relief for Arthritis Sufferers - ScienceDaily (Apr. 14, 2011) — Some 25 million people in the United States alone suffer from rheumatoid arthritis or its cousin osteoarthritis, diseases characterized by often debilitating pain in the joints. Now researchers at Brigham and Women's Hospital (BWH) report an injectable gel that could spell the future for treating these diseases and others.  -


'Apple a Day' Advice Rooted in Science

Temporary Memory Loss Strikes Hospitalized Seniors - ScienceDaily (Apr. 14, 2011) — Battling an illness, lack of sleep and strange surroundings can make any hospital patient feel out of sorts.

For seniors, hospitalizations actually may cause temporary memory loss and difficulty in understanding discharge instructions, according to a new Northwestern Medicine study.

The seniors go back to normal one month after the hospital stay, the study found. But immediately following a hospitalization is a critical time in which seniors may need extra support from healthcare professionals and family, according to Lee Lindquist, the lead author of the study, published online in the Journal of General Internal Medicine, March 2011.

Lindquist, M.D., is an assistant professor of geriatrics at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and a physician at Northwestern Memorial Hospital.  -

Nanofiber Spheres Carrying Cells Injected Into Wounds to Grow Tissue - ScienceDaily (Apr. 17, 2011) — For the first time, scientists have made star-shaped, biodegradable polymers that can self-assemble into hollow, nanofiber spheres, and when the spheres are injected with cells into wounds, these spheres biodegrade, but the cells live on to form new tissue.  -

25 Facts That Show The U.S. Health Care Industry Is One Giant Money Making Scam

Common Virus Plus Low Sunlight Exposure May Increase Risk of Multiple Sclerosis - ScienceDaily (Apr. 18, 2011) — New research suggests that people who are exposed to low levels of sunlight coupled with a history of having a common virus known as mononucleosis may be at greater odds of developing multiple sclerosis (MS) than those without the virus. The research is published in the April 19, 2011, print issue of Neurology®, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.  -


What a headache: Astronauts find paracetamol doesn't work in space - (April 2011 - Daily Mail/UK) - Astronauts on space missions may not be able to take paracetamol to treat a headache or antibiotic drugs to fight infection, a study has found.

Scientists have shown that medicines lose their potency more rapidly in outer space.

The peculiar conditions away from the earth - including weaker gravity and higher radiation - could be to blame, according to the research by NASA’s Johnson Space Center.  -

Mother's diet during pregnancy alters baby's DNA - (April 18, 2011 - by James Gallagher Health reporter - BBC News) - Can a baby predict the environment it will be born into?

A mother's diet during pregnancy can alter the DNA of her child and increase the risk of obesity, according to researchers.

The study, to be published in the journal Diabetes, showed that eating low levels of carbohydrate changed bits of DNA.

It then showed children with these changes were fatter.  -


Ten years in a desk job 'doubles bowel cancer risk' (even if you go to the gym)


Researcher Use Trees to Detect Contaminants and Health Threats - ScienceDaily (Apr. 19, 2011) — Researchers at Missouri University of Science and Technology have developed a method to detect the presence of soil and groundwater contamination without turning a shovel or touching the water. Instead, they're using trees.

The process, called "phytoforensics," takes less time and costs much less than traditional detection methods, says Dr. Joel Burken, professor of civil and environmental engineering at Missouri S&T.  -


Nanoparticles With Honeycomb Cavities Containing Drugs Blast Cancer Cells - ScienceDaily (Apr. 18, 2011) — Melding nanotechnology and medical research, Sandia National Laboratories, the University of New Mexico, and the UNM Cancer Research and Treatment Center have produced an effective strategy that uses nanoparticles to blast cancerous cells with a mélange of killer drugs.

In the cover article of the May issue of Nature Materials, available online April 17 , the researchers describe silica nanoparticles about 150 nanometers in diameter as honeycombed with cavities that can store large amounts and varieties of drugs.

"The enormous capacity of the nanoporous core, with its high surface area, combined with the improved targeting of an encapsulating lipid bilayer [called a liposome], permit a single 'protocell' loaded with a drug cocktail to kill a drug-resistant cancer cell," says Sandia researcher and UNM professor Jeff Brinker, the principal investigator. "That's a millionfold increase in efficiency over comparable methods employing liposomes alone -- without nanoparticles -- as drug carriers."  -

Link Between Brain Molecule and Obesity and Diabetes Discovered

Canola Oil Protects Against Colon Cancer, Study Suggests - ScienceDaily (Apr. 19, 2011) — A new study of canola oil finds that it reduces the size and incidence of colon tumors in laboratory animals, a South Dakota State University scientist says. The research suggests using canola oil in household cooking may protect against colon cancer development.

Distinguished professor Chandradhar Dwivedi, head of SDSU's Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, led the study. He and his colleagues published their journal article on the topic, "Chemopreventive Effects of Dietary Canola Oil on Colon Cancer Development," in the February 2011 issue of the journal Nutrition and Cancer.

"This is the first time anyone has done work on the effect of canola oil in animals on colon cancer prevention. Canola oil was able to reduce the incidence of colon cancer in animals almost to one-third," Dwivedi said.

The study showed that canola oil inhibited the average number of tumors per rat by 58 percent compared to one of the other two control diets in the experiment, and inhibited the size of the tumors that occurred by 90 percent.  -

Polluted Air Leads to Disease by Promoting Widespread Inflammation

Green Environments Essential for Human Health, Research Shows - ScienceDaily (Apr. 19, 2011) — Research shows that a walk in the park is more than just a nice way to spend an afternoon. It's an essential component for good health, according to University of Illinois environment and behavior researcher Frances "Ming" Kuo.  -


What's Your Gut Type? Gut Bacteria Could Help With Diagnostics and Influence Treatments - ScienceDaily (Apr. 20, 2011) — In the future, when you walk into a doctor's surgery or hospital, you could be asked not just about your allergies and blood group, but also about your gut type. Scientists at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) in Heidelberg, Germany, and collaborators in the international MetaHIT consortium, have found that humans have three different gut types.

The study, published in Nature, also uncovers microbial genetic markers that are related to traits like age, gender and body-mass index. These bacterial genes could one day be used to help diagnose and predict outcomes for diseases like colo-rectal cancer, while information about a person's gut type could help inform treatment.  -


How Peppermint Helps to Relieve Irritable Bowel Syndrome - ScienceDaily (Apr. 20, 2011) — University of Adelaide researchers have shown for the first time how peppermint helps to relieve Irritable Bowel Syndrome, which affects up to 20% of the population.

In a paper published in the journal Pain, researchers from the University's Nerve-Gut Research Laboratory explain how peppermint activates an "anti-pain" channel in the colon, soothing inflammatory pain in the gastrointestinal tract.  -


Functional MRI Shows How Mindfulness Meditation Changes Decision-Making Process


Nanomedicine One Step Closer to Reality - ScienceDaily (Apr. 20, 2011) — A class of engineered nanoparticles -- gold-centered spheres smaller than viruses -- has been shown safe when administered by two alternative routes in a mouse study led by investigators at the Stanford University School of Medicine. This marks the first step up the ladder of toxicology studies that, within a year and a half, could yield to human trials of the tiny agents for detection of colorectal and possibly other cancers.  -

RNA Nanoparticles Constructed to Safely Deliver Long-Lasting Therapy to Cells - ScienceDaily (Apr. 20, 2011) — Nanotechnology researchers have known for years that RNA, the cousin of DNA, is a promising tool for nanotherapy, in which therapeutic agents can be delivered inside the body via nanoparticles. But the difficulties of producing long-lasting, therapeutic RNA that remains stable and non-toxic while entering targeted cells have posed challenges for their progress.

In two new publications in the journal Molecular Therapy, University of Cincinnati (UC) biomedical engineering professor Peixuan Guo, PhD, details successful methods of producing large RNA nanoparticles and testing their safety in the delivery of therapeutics to targeted cells.

The articles, in advance online publication, represent "two very important milestones in RNA nanotherapy," says Guo.  -

Epidemiologist, Dr. Steven Wing,

Discusses Global Radiation

Exposures and Consequences

(11-1/2 min. - video)


Over Range of ADHD Behavior, Genes Major Force on Reading Achievement, Environment on Math - ScienceDaily (Apr. 22, 2011) — Humans are not born as blank slates for nature to write on. Neither are they behaving on genes alone. Research by Lee A. Thompson, chair of Case Western Reserve University's Psychological Sciences Department, and colleagues found that the link between Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and academic performance involves a complex interaction of genes and environment.

Genetic influence was found to be greater on reading than for math, while shared environment (e.g., the home and/or school environment the twins shared) influenced math more so than reading. The researchers don't know why.

Their study of twins, published in Psychological Science, Vol. 21, was the first to look simultaneously at the genetic and environmental influences on reading ability, mathematics ability, and the continuum of ADHD behavior.  -


Functioning Synapse Created Using Carbon Nanotubes: Devices Might Be Used in Brain Prostheses or Synthetic Brains - ScienceDaily (Apr. 22, 2011) — Engineering researchers the University of Southern California have made a significant breakthrough in the use of nanotechnologies for the construction of a synthetic brain. They have built a carbon nanotube synapse circuit whose behavior in tests reproduces the function of a neuron, the building block of the brain.  -


Big Pharma Set to Take Over Medical Marijuana Market - Meanwhile, state-licensed medical marijuana dispensaries that provide relief for thousands of Americans are under attack by other federal agencies.  - (April 21, 2011 - by David Edwards - Raw Story) -

Inside America's Almost Legal Marijuana Industry - Author Trish Regan shares her insights on the clean-cut MBAs pursuing the "American Dream" through cannabis entrepreneurship. -  (April 20, 2011 - By Steven Wishnia - AlterNet)  -

How Big Pharma's Deceptive Advertising Helps Addict Patients, Screw Over Doctors and Jack Up Insurance Rates - (April 18, 2011 - By Martha Rosenberg  - AlterNet)  -

Dr. Helen Caldicott

On Ongoing

Nuclear Contamination


(10 min. - YouTube audio/video)

Not-So-Sweet Tale of a Sugar and Its Role in the Spread of Cancer

Medical Sleuthing Linked Muscle, Kidney Problems to Kava Tea - ScienceDaily (Apr. 27, 2011) — When a 34-year-old bicyclist was found collapsed on a roadside and rushed to the University of Rochester Medical Center emergency room on the verge of kidney failure and muscle breakdown, doctors were surprised to discover that a trendy tea derived from the kava plant was the cause of his ills.

The URMC team reported the case study, believed to be the first of its kind in the scientific literature, in the American Journal of Emergency Medicine. They described it as a cautionary tale, emphasizing the importance of taking a thorough medical history, including the use of any and all herbal remedies and pharmaceuticals.  -

Ron Paul Says,

As President,

He’d End


Social Security

& Medicaid

(6-1/4 min. - YouTube audio/video)

Half of All Americans Breathe Polluted Air


Mercury Converted to Its Most Toxic Form in Ocean Waters - ScienceDaily (Apr. 27, 2011) — University of Alberta-led research has confirmed that a relatively harmless inorganic form of mercury found worldwide in ocean water is transformed into a potent neurotoxin in the seawater itself.

After two years of testing water samples across the Arctic Ocean, the researchers found that relatively harmless inorganic mercury, released from human activities like industry and coal burning, undergoes a process called methylation and becomes deadly monomethylmercury.

Unlike inorganic mercury, monomethylmercury is bio-accumulative, meaning its toxic effects are amplified as it progresses through the food chain from small sea creatures to humans. The greatest exposure for humans to monomethylmercury is through seafood. The researchers believe the methylation process happens in oceans all over the world and that the conversion is carried out by microbial life forms in the ocean.  -


Armadillos Likely Transmitting Leprosy to Humans in Southern U.S. - The only animal besides humans known to harbor leprosy, wild armadillos seem to be spreading a newly identified strain to susceptible people - April 27, 2011 -

Physicians for Social Responsibility

National Press Club Conference (4/26/11)

The ongoing impact of

the Chernobyl nuclear disaster

to public health

25 years after the accident,

the continuing nuclear catastrophe

in Fukushima, Japan,

and the lessons from both

for U.S. public health and safety.

(52-1/2 min. - YouTube audio/video)

In Harm's Way, But in the Dark - (Sunday, August 8, 1999 - by Joby Warrick, Washington Post Staff Writer)  -   PADUCAH, Ky. – Thousands of uranium workers were unwittingly exposed to plutonium and other highly radioactive metals here at a federally owned plant where contamination spread through work areas, locker rooms and even cafeterias, a Washington Post investigation has found.

Unsuspecting workers inhaled plutonium-laced dust brought into the plant for 23 years as part of a flawed government experiment to recycle used nuclear reactor fuel at the Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant, according to a review of court documents, plant records, and interviews with current and former workers. The government and its contractors did not inform workers about the hazards for decades, even as employees in the 1980s began to notice a string of cancers.

Radioactive contaminants from the plant spilled into ditches and eventually seeped into creeks, a state-owned wildlife area and private wells, documents show. Plant workers contend in sealed court documents that radioactive waste also was deliberately dumped into nearby fields, abandoned buildings and a landfill not licensed for hazardous waste.

The sprawling Kentucky plant on the Ohio River represents an unpublished chapter in the still-unfolding story of radioactive contamination and concealment in the chain of factories across the country that produced America's Cold War nuclear arsenal.  -

Tainted uranium, danger widely distributed - (6-24-01 - by Peter Eisler - USA TODAY)  -  For years, state investigators wondered why radioactive technetium-99 was turning up in drinking water wells near the old Mallinckrodt Chemical uranium fuel-making plant in Hematite, Mo. Now they think they have an answer: The plant was one of several in and around St. Louis where Mallinckrodt and its successors used thousands of tons of recycled uranium to fabricate metallic fuel rods for nuclear reactors. "We believe the contamination we're now seeing at the site is related to the (recycling) program," says Ron Kucera of the Missouri Department of Natural Resources. Plans to clean up extensive pollution from uranium wastes at Hematite are snagged by questions over who is responsible for the technetium. That element requires special disposal because it has a half-life of 213,000 years and moves easily into soil and water. Technetium wasn't expected at Hematite because it is produced only when uranium is irradiated in a nuclear reactor — and Hematite had no reactor. "The Department of Energy has resisted efforts to become involved because even though they may have some liability, they don't want to pay anything," Kucera says. The Hematite facility was part of a nationwide network of private and federally owned plants and labs that produced fuel and other components for the nearly 70,000 U.S. nuclear weapons built before production was phased out in the early 1990s. Many of them used recycled uranium. The recycling began at the dawn of the Cold War. Officials in the weapons program were seeking ways to reuse the costly uranium that was irradiated in nuclear reactors to make plutonium and other fissile explosives for bomb cores.   -

Too Much or Too Little Sleep May Accelerate Cognitive Aging, Study Shows - ScienceDaily (May 1, 2011) — A study in the May 1 issue of the journal Sleep describes how changes in sleep that occur over a five-year period in late middle age affect cognitive function in later life. The findings suggest that women and men who begin sleeping more or less than 6 to 8 hours per night are subject to an accelerated cognitive decline that is equivalent to four to seven years of aging.  -

Is There a Toxic Mercury Hot Spot Near You? - (April 28, 2011 - Posted by Mary Anne Hitt - Alternet) - Live near St. Louis? The Labadie coal-fired power plant emits more than 1,400 lbs of mercury every year.  -

Children Held Captive in Smoky Vehicles - ScienceDaily (May 1, 2011) — It is absolutely unacceptable to subject children to any tobacco smoke exposure in cars, according to the authors of an abstract presented on May 1, at the Pediatric Academic Societies (PAS) annual meeting in Denver.  -



Living With a Smoker May Raise Blood Pressure in Boys - ScienceDaily (May 1, 2011) — Exposure to secondhand smoke, even at extremely low levels, is associated with increased blood pressure in boys, according to new research presented May 1, at the Pediatric Academic Societies (PAS) annual meeting in Denver.

Children with elevated blood pressure are at increased risk of having high blood pressure, or hypertension, as adults. Hypertension is associated with a higher risk of heart and kidney disease and is the third leading contributor to illness and death worldwide. Yet, knowledge of risks factors for elevated blood pressure among children is limited.

Studies in non-smoking adults have shown associations between both secondhand smoke and outdoor air pollution with increased blood pressure, but no research has looked at this relationship in children.

In this study, researchers analyzed data from four National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys conducted from 1999-2006 by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. They assessed 6,421 youths' exposure to secondhand smoke from their own reports of whether they lived with a smoker and through participants' levels of cotinine, a substance produced when the body breaks down nicotine. Cotinine levels are considered the best marker of tobacco smoke exposure.

Results showed that boys ages 8 to 17 years old who were exposed to secondhand smoke had significantly higher systolic blood pressure than boys not exposed to tobacco smoke.  -

Washing With Contaminated Soap Increases Bacteria on Hands, Research Finds - ScienceDaily (May 2, 2011) — People who wash their hands with contaminated soap from bulk-soap-refillable dispensers can increase the number of disease-causing microbes on their hands and may play a role in transmission of bacteria in public settings according to research published in the May issue of the journal Applied and Environmental Microbiology.  -

Before You Start Bone-Building Meds, Try Dietary Calcium and Supplements, Experts Urge - ScienceDaily (May 2, 2011) — Has a bone density scan placed you at risk for osteoporosis, leading your doctor to prescribe a widely advertised bone-building medication? Not so fast! A University of Illinois study finds that an effective first course of action is increasing dietary calcium and vitamin D or taking calcium and vitamin D supplements.  -

Where is all that

Fukushima radiation going,

and why does it matter?

Expert testimony by

Marco Kaltofen, PE,

of the Worcester Polytecnic Institute,

on the long-term hazards

of long-lasting,

airborne radioactive contaminates

to U.S. citizens.

(17-3/4 min. - audio/video)

Study Finds Diet Soda Increases Risk of Stroke

Boy, two, with brain cancer is 'cured' after secretly being fed medical marijuana by his father - (May 4, 2011 - By Daily Mail Reporter) - A desperate father whose son was suffering from a life-threatening brain tumour has revealed he gave him cannabis oil to ease his pain. And he has now apparently made a full recovery.  -


New Evidence That Caffeine Is a Healthful Antioxidant in Coffee - ScienceDaily (May 4, 2011) — Scientists are reporting an in-depth analysis of how the caffeine in coffee, tea, and other foods seems to protect against conditions such as Alzheimer's disease and heart disease on the most fundamental levels.

The report, which describes the chemistry behind caffeine's antioxidant effects, appears in ACS' The Journal of Physical Chemistry B.  -

Fracking Hell:

The Untold Story

(18 min. - YouTube audio/video)

Killer Chemtrails:

The Shocking Truth

(5 min. - YouTube audio/video)

Marijuana Cuts Tumor Growth by 50%

A Screening Test for Cognitive Therapy? -  Predicting which patients may benefit from treatment for depression  -  Philadelphia, PA – 18 April 2011 - The scientific foundation of psychiatry is growing rapidly, yet it is a branch of medicine distinctive for the relative absence of biological tests in routine clinical practice.

The most effective treatments for depression, including cognitive therapy, are successful for only about half the patients to whom they are given. The ability to predict those individuals who would be most likely to benefit from such treatment would reduce individuals’ recovery times, eliminate the delivery of ineffective treatments, and reduce the high costs of care.

Recent work suggests that reasonable predictions can be made about which patients will respond to cognitive therapy if they are given a brain scan. Unfortunately, brain scans are too expensive, time-intensive, and fraught with technical challenges to use on a routine basis.

Now, researchers at the University of Pittsburgh and the University of Pennsylvania are reporting a potential alternative. Their findings are published in the current issue of Biological Psychiatry.

“We have shown that a quick, inexpensive, and easy to administer physiological measure, pupil dilation in response to emotional words, not only reflects activity in brain regions involved in depression and treatment response but can predict which patients are likely to respond to cognitive therapy,” explained Dr. Greg Siegle, corresponding author on the study.

“According to proverb, the eye is the mirror of the soul or, in this case, the brain. The essential finding of this study is that that activity in the brain's cortical emotion regulatory systems is strongly related to pupil size when people are viewing emotion-laden words,” commented Dr. John Krystal, Editor of Biological Psychiatry. “It is because of this relationship between eye and brain that pupil measurements predict the response to cognitive therapy.

Cognitive therapy is a type of psychotherapy designed to help individuals overcome difficulties by modifying negative or irrational thoughts and behavior, which, in turn, can improve mood and reduce stress. It is usually completed in weekly sessions, with 10-20 sessions being effective for most individuals who benefit.

This was a relatively small study, so the work still requires replication. But, the authors have high hopes that this technology could eventually be used regularly to improve treatment response rates in mental health clinics.  -

The Weird Lives Of Viruses

(16-1/4 min. - NPR/Science Friday audio)

Meat Glue

a "dirty little secret"

(6 min. - YouTube audio/video)

Easily distracted people may have too much brain

Kucinich Slams


Healthcare "Expert"

(5 min. - YouTube audio/video)

Five Republican Myths About Medicare

DEADLY SPIN: An Insurance Company Insider Speaks Out on How Corporate PR Is Killing Health Care and Deceiving Americans - [book] - Since Wendell Potter walked away from his executive position at a top health insurance company in May of 2008, he has worked tirelessly as an outspoken critic of corporate PR and the distortion and fear manufactured by America’s health insurance industry. It is a PR juggernaut that is bankrolled by millions of dollars, rivaling lobbying budgets and underwriting many “non-partisan” grassroots organizations. How would Potter know? He wrote many of the industry’s talking points himself.

From clandestine meetings carefully organized to leave no paper trail to creating third party front groups, Potter lets the reader in on the dirty secrets most big corporations would rather have the masses be in the dark about because the stakes are high and the profits even higher.

DEADLY SPIN is not just an exposé of health insurers but a stark warning that corporate spin is distorting our democracy.  -

How employers can encourage happy, healthy bike commuters

The Skinny on How Shed Skin Reduces Indoor Air Pollution - ScienceDaily (May 9, 2011) — Flakes of skin that people shed at the rate of 500 million cells every day are not just a nuisance -- the source of dandruff, for instance, and a major contributor to house dust. They actually can be beneficial. A new study, published in the American Chemical Society's journal, Environmental Science & Technology, concludes that oil in those skin cells makes a small contribution to reducing indoor air pollution.  -

Can Psychedelics Make You Happier? - Research suggests that psychedelics may be better than antidepressants, which tend to dampen or suppress psychological problems without necessarily curing them. - (May 8, 2011 - By Sam Kornell - AlterNet)  -

Drug Regulators Are Protecting Profits Over Patients, Warn Researchers - ScienceDaily (May 10, 2011) — Medicines regulators are protecting drug company profits rather than the lives and welfare of patients by withholding unpublished trial data, argue researchers on the British Medical Journal website.

They call for full access to full trial reports (published and unpublished) to allow the true benefits and harms of treatments to be independently assessed by the scientific community.

Despite the existence of hundreds of thousands of clinical trials, doctors are unable to choose the best treatments for their patients because research results are being reported selectively, write Professor Peter Gøtzsche and Dr Anders Jørgensen from the Nordic Cochrane Centre in Denmark.  -

Sunlight May Turn Jet Exhaust Into Toxic Particles - (May 11, 2011 - by Janet Raloff - Science News) - Airports can pose a far bigger threat to local air than previously recognized, thanks to the transformative power of sunlight.

In the first on-tarmac measurements of their kind, researchers have shown that oil droplets spewed by idling jet engines can turn into particles tiny enough to readily penetrate the lungs and brain.  -



The human cost of Soviet nuclear tests

Bedbug Revival 2011: What You Need to Know


Drug-resistant bacteria in bedbugs

Marijuana Cuts Lung Cancer Tumor Growth In Half, Study Shows - ScienceDaily (Apr. 17, 2007) — The active ingredient in marijuana cuts tumor growth in common lung cancer in half and significantly reduces the ability of the cancer to spread, say researchers at Harvard University who tested the chemical in both lab and mouse studies.  -

Say What? A Chemical Can Damage Your Lungs, Liver and Kidneys and Still Be Labeled "Non-Toxic"? - (May 12, 2011 - by Monona Rossol - AlterNet) - You will be shocked at all the loop-holes given by the government to industrial chemicals to avoid safety regulation and accurate labeling.   -

Navy researcher links toxins in war-zone dust to ailments - (5-13-11 - By Kelly Kennedy, USA TODAY) - U.S. troops in Iraq, Afghanistan and Kuwait have inhaled microscopic dust particles laden with toxic metals, bacteria and fungi — a toxic stew that may explain everything from the undiagnosed Gulf War Syndrome symptoms lingering from the 1991 war against Iraq to high rates of respiratory, neurological and heart ailments encountered in the current wars, scientists say.

"From my research and that of others, I really think this may be the smoking gun," says Navy Capt. Mark Lyles, chair of medical sciences and biotechnology at the Center for Naval Warfare Studies at the Naval War College in Newport, R.I. "It fits everything — symptoms, timing, everything."

Lyles and other researchers found that dust particles — up to 1,000 of which can sit on the head of a pin — gathered in Iraq and Kuwait contain 37 metals, including aluminum, lead, manganese, strontium and tin. The metals have been linked to neurological disorders, cancer, respiratory ailments, depression and heart disease, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. Researchers believe the metals occur both naturally and as a byproduct of pollution.

Researchers in and out of the military say the particles are smaller and easier to inhale than most dust particles, and that recent droughts in the region have killed desert shrubs that helped keep down that dust. The military's heavy vehicles have pounded the desert's protective crust into a layer of fine silt, Lyles says. Service members breathe the dust — and all it carries — deeply into their lungs.  -

How Adversity Dulls Our Perceptions - ScienceDaily (May 13, 2011) — Adversity, we are told, heightens our senses, imprinting sights and sounds precisely in our memories. But new Weizmann Institute research, which appeared in Nature Neuroscience this week, suggests the exact opposite may be the case: Perceptions learned in an aversive context are not as sharp as those learned in other circumstances. The findings, which hint that this tendency is rooted in our species' evolution, may help to explain how post-traumatic stress syndrome and other anxiety disorders develop in some people.  -

Coffee May Reduce Risk of Lethal Prostate Cancer in Men - ScienceDaily (May 17, 2011) — Men who regularly drink coffee appear to have a lower risk of developing a lethal form of prostate cancer, according to a new study led by Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) researchers. What's more, the lower risk was evident among men who drank either regular or decaffeinated coffee.

The study was published May 17, 2011, in an online edition of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.  -


Gut Bacteria Linked to Behavior: That Anxiety May Be in Your Gut, Not in Your Head - ScienceDaily (May 17, 2011) — For the first time, researchers at McMaster University have conclusive evidence that bacteria residing in the gut influence brain chemistry and behaviour.

The findings are important because several common types of gastrointestinal disease, including irritable bowel syndrome, are frequently associated with anxiety or depression. In addition there has been speculation that some psychiatric disorders, such as late onset autism, may be associated with an abnormal bacterial content in the gut.  -

Too little salt can be harmful as well - (May 18, 2011 - The People’s Paharmacy - St. Louis Post-Dispatch) - It has been an article of faith for decades that everyone should reduce salt intake, but the data don't show that limiting sodium consumption makes a difference for otherwise healthy people.

The latest research in the Journal of the American Medical Association (May 4, 2011) reported that lower salt intake was not associated with lower blood pressure. The people who consumed the least salt had the greatest risk of death from cardiovascular complications.

As paradoxical as this seems, it is consistent with previous research. A national nutrition survey (Journal of General Internal Medicine, September 2008) found that low sodium intake was linked to higher cardiovascular mortality. A recent study of people with type 1 diabetes found that those with the lowest sodium intake were most likely to die during its 10-year duration (Diabetes Care, April 2011).  -


Routine Periodic Fasting Is Good for Your Health, and Your Heart, Study Suggests - ScienceDaily (May 20, 2011) — Fasting has long been associated with religious rituals, diets, and political protests. Now new evidence from cardiac researchers at the Intermountain Medical Center Heart Institute demonstrates that routine periodic fasting is also good for your health, and your heart.  -

From allergies to deadly disease, feeling the effects of climate change - (13-1/2 min. video - May 20, 2011 - by Laura LeBlanc - Need To Know/PBS)  - -  A rare but deadly fungal disease once occurring only in tropical climates has recently led to several deaths in the Pacific Northwest. Scientists believe that climate change may be to blame.

When doctors discovered that Trudy Rosler, a Canadian, had a fungus growing in her brain system, they were stumped. The fungus was previously only known to exist in the tropics. But because of climate change, it’s infecting people much farther north. Here in the U.S., the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is already treating climate change as a serious health threat.

Need to Know’s medical correspondent Dr. Emily Senay examines how a warming climate is already affecting our health, from making allergies worse to affecting the spread of infectious diseases and pushing the extremes of killer weather.

Reporting On
Hidden Dangers Of
Medical Radiation
(35-1/2 min. audio - May 16, 2011
Fresh Air from WHYY/NPR)

Cooked tomatoes 'as good as statins' for battling cholesterol

Herbal Remedies Offer Hope as the New Antibiotics - ScienceDaily (May 21, 2011) — Cancer treatments often have the side effect of impairing the patient's immune system. This can result in life-threatening secondary infections from bacteria and fungi, especially since bacteria, like Staphylococcus aureus, are becoming multi-drug resistant (MRSA). New research published by BioMed Central's open access journal Annals of Clinical Microbiology and Antimicrobials investigates the potency of Indian wild plants against bacterial and fungal infections in the mouths of oral cancer patients.  -

Clearing Out Without Cleaning Up: The US and Vieques Island - (May 21, 2011 - by Josue Melendez, Council on Hemispheric Affairs - Truthout) - Artillery shelling and weapons testing are not usually involved in assessments of environmental damage. However “[v]irtually every conventional and non-conventional weapon used by the U.S. between 1940 and 2003, has been used in Vieques.”5 These weapons containing chemicals and heavy metals have been found to be seriously detrimental to public health. For example, soldiers training on Vieques have reported firing depleted uranium shells, despite being a violation of federal law. Depleted uranium shells give off extremely toxic tiny radioactive particles once they begin to oxidize. These same particles can travel great distances, propelled by wind and water, and once ingested by humans, can expose the host to large doses of radiation.  -

Understanding Radiation

How to Control Brains
With Light
(Optogenetics Illuminated)

(4-3/4 min. - video - Wired Science)

The Nature Principle - A Prescription for Adults

Chlorine and Childhood Cancer - ScienceDaily (May 25, 2011) — A significant positive association between the risk of childhood leukemia and levels of chlorine-containing chemicals in the atmosphere has been found by researchers in Portugal. Details are reported in the current issue of the International Journal of Environment and Health.  -


Pelvic Widening Continues Throughout a Person's Lifetime - ScienceDaily (May 25, 2011) — By the age of 20, most people have reached skeletal maturity and do not grow any taller. Until recently it was assumed that skeletal enlargement elsewhere in the body also stopped by age 20.

But a new study by researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has found evidence that, even though you're not getting taller anymore, the pelvis ("hipbones") does continue to widen as people advance in age from 20 years to 79 years.

"I think it's a fairly common human experience that people find themselves to be wider at the age of 40 or 60 then they were at 20," said Laurence E. Dahners, MD, senior author of the study and a professor in the Department of Orthopaedics in the UNC School of Medicine. "Until recently we assumed that this was caused simply by an increase in body fat.

"Our findings suggest that pelvic growth may contribute to people becoming wider and having a larger waist size as they get older, whether or not they also have an increase in body fat," Dahners said.  -

Substance in Tangerines Fights Obesity and Protects Against Heart Disease, Research Suggests -