This Scientist Let a Flea Live Inside Her In Order to Study It | Smart News


The history of science is filled with stories of curious folks, who, for one reason or another, thought it would be a great idea to experiment on themselves: Benjamin Franklin with his lightning rod kite, Isaac Newton, stabbing himself in the eye with a needle to see what would happenJonas Salk, giving himself (and his family) his experimental polio vaccine. But these are tales of a bygone era, when curiosity took charge and basic lab safety standards hadn’t taken hold.

Or not.

From Science magazine, we learn the much more modern story of Marlene Thielecke, a budding medical researcher who decided to let a sand flea live in her foot. Why? She wanted to answer a question:

Where, exactly, does the sand flea have sex? On the dusty ground, where it spends the first half of its life? Or already nestled snugly in its host—such as in a human foot—where it can suck the blood it needs to nourish its eggs?

Thielcke was already researching a disease, known as tungiasis, which often results from a sand flea infection, says Geekosystem. But, scientists don’t really know how the critters reproduce. So, “upon discovering a flea living in her foot, Thielecke – instead of reacting with the appropriate terror response –  decided to study the creature, in the hopes it might help science.”

Science:

At first, the flea didn’t bother Thielecke and she noted that it seemed to grow normally. But she soon realized it wasn’t laying any eggs—unusual for an embedded and otherwise apparently mature flea. It also lived much longer than usual; after 2 months, it was still regularly expelling liquid from its abdomen, a sign it was still alive—but still no eggs. At that point, Thielecke says, the spot was itchy, painful, and prevented her from walking normally. “I started to get uneasy” about leaving it in for so long, she says, so she extracted it.

So what’s the verdict? Sand fleas probably have sex inside you. (Which luckily didn’t happen to Thielecke.)

And, by the way, Thielecke’s tale of self-experimentation isn’t actually as rare as you’d think. At the end of his life Ralph Steinman, the Nobel prize winner in 2011, tested his own pancreatic cancer treatments on himself. James Logan swallowed a hookworm, and a tiny camera, to see what happened. And, in the 1980s, Barry Marshall drank a soup of Helicobacter pylori bacteria to give himself an awful case of stomach ulcers, just to prove that the bacteria were to blame. Or, perhaps our personal favorite, Donald Unger, who cracked the fingers on his left hand, but not his right, to show that cracking your knuckles won’t cause arthritis.

Cancer diversity ‘threatens drugs’


A single tumour can be made up of many separate cancers needing different treatments, say researchers.

A team at the Institute of Cancer Research, London, have developed a new technique for measuring the diversity within a cancer.

Cancer cells

They showed “extraordinary” differences between cancerous cells and say new targeted drugs may fail as they may be unable to kill all the mutated tissue.

Experts said the findings would have “profound implications” for treatments.

A tumour starts as a single cell, which acquires mutations and eventually divides uncontrollably. But that is not the end of the process.

Cancerous cells continue to mutate and become more aggressive, move round the body and resist drugs.

“Start Quote

Every patient has a completely new tree and doesn’t have one cancer, they have multiple cancers”

Prof Mel Greaves Institute of Cancer Research

This process is chaotic and results in a “diverse” tumour containing cancerous cells that have mutated in different ways.

“This has huge implications for medicine,” researcher Prof Mel Greaves told the BBC.

His team at the Institute of Cancer Research investigated cancer diversity in five children with leukaemia. They compared mutations in individual cancerous cells with a known database of mutations.

Their results, published in the journal Genome Research, showed patients had between two and 10 genetically distinct leukaemias.

Prof Greaves said: “Every patient has a completely new tree and doesn’t have one cancer, they have multiple cancers.

“This is really a technical advance to get at this extraordinary complex diversity, it helps explain why we have such difficulty with advanced diseases.”

Tree of cancer

Scientists compare cancer diversity to a tree. The initial mutations – the trunk – will be common to all cancer cells. But then the tumour branches out.

Tree
Drugs need to target the trunk of a tumour say researchers

It means a treatment that targets one “branch” or sub-clone of the cancer might slow the disease, but they will never stop it.

Prof Charles Swanton, who researches diversity at the University College London Cancer Institute, told the BBC: “We call it pruning the branches not cutting down the tree, targeted therapies will remove some of the sub-clones, but chopping down the tree is hard to do.”

“Start Quote

The bottom line is we need to understand cancer diversity to limit further adaptations, reduce the pace of evolution and prolong the activity of drugs”

Prof Charles Swanton UCL

The study investigated leukaemia as it is less diverse than other types of cancer. Other tumours such as melanoma could feasibly be made of hundreds of branches.

Prof Greaves says one implication of the research is that therapies need to be developed which target the trunk of the tumour and that current targeted therapies being researched may not tackle advanced cancers.

Another idea he suggests is focusing on the cancer’s surroundings as well.

“If it is diversifying like species in a habitat, why not target the habitat – the blood vessels supplying oxygen or inflammation. There’s a lot of interest in that,” he said.

The research also emphasises the importance of catching cancers early before they have become too diverse to treat.

Prof Charles Swanton argues: “The bottom line is we need to understand cancer diversity to limit further adaptations, reduce the pace of evolution and prolong the activity of drugs.”

Prof Chris Bunce, the research director at Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research, commented: “We are beginning to understand how unique and complex each patient’s cancer is and the profound implications that this can have on the success of treatment.

“This study significantly advances our understanding of how cancers start and evolve.”

Robot cow-herder a hit with farmers.


Robots could be used in the future to round up cows on dairy farms, according to researchers.

A four-wheeled device, known as Rover, has been tested by a team at Sydney University. It was used to move a herd of cows from a field to a dairy.

Researchers were amazed at how easily cows accepted the presence of the robot.

They were not fazed by it and the herding process was calm and effective, they said.

Because the robot moved in a steady manner it allowed cows to move at their own speed which was important in reducing lameness among cattle, Dr Kendra Kerrisk, dairy researcher and associate professor, told the BBC.

Robots are already used in the milking process but the team wanted to see if they could be used in other areas of dairy farming.

The robot was adapted from one that was already being used to monitor fruit and trees on farms. A team at Sydney University’s Centre for Field Robotics modified the robot so that it could be put in a field with cows in order for the researchers to gather data on robot-bovine interaction.

The prototype needs to be operated by a human but it’s hoped that in the future a version can be developed that will be fully automated.

Extremely excited

As well as herding cows a new version could also collect information useful for farmers.

According to the research team, the robot could be used at night to move slowly through the maternity paddock monitoring cows that are due to calve. It could also be used to gather data on soil and detect problems with electric fences.

Cows and milk churns
Using robots to get cows to the dairy will be better for their well-being say researchers

“The research is in its very early stages but robotic technologies certainly have the potential to transform dairy farming,” said Dr Kerrisk.

“When we have discussed this concept with farmers they have been extremely excited and we have had a flurry of calls and emails asking how they can get hold of one,” she added.

The robot could also cut down the number of accidents involving humans on farms. Most dairy farmers in Australia use quad bikes to round up their cattle and they are one of the leading causes of injury. The team hopes that by using the robot to do the job instead, accident rates could fall.

Since demonstrating the robot at a dairy symposium in Australia earlier in the year the team has secured funding to develop Rover the robot, mark II.

Meet the BATKID.


Thousands of people in San Francisco have turned out to help a boy recovering from leukaemia fulfil his wish to be Batman for a day.

Miles Scott, five, participated in events across the city including fighting mock crimes and receiving an honour from the mayor.

Make-A-Wish Foundation, which organised the event, received pledges from more than 10,000 people to lend a hand.

Miles, in treatment for several years, is now said to be in remission.

According to local television, the youngster thought he was just on his way to get a Batman costume so he could dress like his favourite superhero.

Miles nabs villains

But then he heard a broadcast from San Francisco Police Chief Greg Suhr appealing for help from “Batkid”.

“Start Quote

This wish has meant closure for our family and an end to over three years of putting toxic drugs in our son’s body”

Natalie Miles’ mother

Next, the pint-sized superhero saved a “damsel in distress”, tied to cable car tracks along a major urban street.

A San Francisco Chronicle live blog of the day’s events showed hundreds of people cheering Miles on during the “rescue”.

Miles was ferried from events in one of two “Batmobiles“, or black Lamborghinis with Batman removable stickers, which were escorted by police.

Later, he foiled a faux robbery in the city’s financial district with the help of an adult Batman impersonator.

Authorities who participated in the day’s events pretended to apprehend the villain, the Riddler.

Miles also travelled to AT&T Park to rescue the San Francisco Giants baseball team mascot by disarming a fake bomb planted by another classic Batman baddie, the Penguin.

‘Military operation’

The US justice department even prepared an indictment for the Riddler and the Penguin.

Miles Scott in an undated photo
Miles Scott is now in remission following treatment for leukaemia

Towards the end of the day San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee gave Miles a key to the city.

US President Barack Obama praised the mini-caped crusader in a video from the White House, saying: “Way to go, Miles! Way to save Gotham.”

An estimated 7,000 people turned up to help make Miles’ wish come true.

The Make-A-Wish Foundation said the event was “on the scale of a military operation”.

In real life, Miles has defeated an enemy even more ruthless than Batman’s nemeses – he is presently recovering from leukaemia, with which he was diagnosed at 18 months old.

His mother, Natalie, said Friday was a “celebration” of her son’s completion of treatment in June.

“This wish has meant closure for our family and an end to over three years of putting toxic drugs in our son’s body,” she wrote in a statement on the foundation’s website.

His father, Nick Scott, thanked the charity and everyone else who took part.

“All the doctors, nurses and all the other parents that have to deal with the same thing we’re going through, I hope they get a conclusion to their illnesses like we’re getting,” he told KGO-TV.

Miles Scott (right), walks with a man dressed as Batman in San Francisco, California on 15 November 2013  Crime never stops, but thankfully neither does Batkid – here’s the pint-sized superhero, aka Miles Scott, on his way to foil another dastardly deed
Miles Scott, dressed as Batkid, exits the Batmobile with Batman to save a damsel in distress in San Francisco, on 15 November 2013 The mini-caped crusader leaps from the Batmobile for his next caper
Batkid is hugged after rescuing a woman in distress in San Francisco on 15 November 2013 Batkid is hugged by a “damsel in distress” he has just rescued
A man dressed as The Riddler is taken away by a San Francisco police officer after being apprehended by five-year-old leukaemia survivor Miles dressed as Batkid in San Francisco on 15 November 2013 Kapow! Take that, the Riddler. That’ll teach you to mess with Batkid
Kayla Fry holds a sign as she waits to see five-year-old leukemia survivor Miles Scott in San Francisco on 15 November 2013 Miles’ adoring public are lost in admiration for his indefatigable heroics
This Friday, 15 November 2013 image released by the San Francisco Chronicle shows a front page of the Gotham City Chronicle to honour Miles Scott, as Batkid The San Francisco Chronicle transformed its masthead into the Gotham City Chronicle to honour Miles, with a front-page story penned by “Clark Kent”
The Penguin holds the San Francisco Giants mascot Lou Seal captive as they wait for the arrival of five-year-old leukemia survivor Miles, aka "Batkid" 15 November 2013 Holy smoke! The Penguin’s trying to make Giants mascot Lou Seal a Los Angeles Dodgers fan – a crime justice officials said was “in violation of all laws of Gotham City”. And he almost got away with it…
Batkid confronts the Penguin at AT&T Park on 15 November 2013 …until Batkid showed up
Batkid is congratulated by the cops at AT&T Park on 15 November 2013 Batkid takes a moment to accept the gratitude of the cops for his services to Gotham
Batkid speak to a fan at AT&T Park on 15 November 2013 And as he leaves the Giants stadium, Miles explains to a fan how he did it
Batkid smiles after apprehending The Riddler in San Francisco on 15 November 2013
We salute you, Batkid

Scientists Officially Link Processed Foods To Autoimmune Disease.


microwave meals could be to blame for a sharp increase in autoimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis, including alopecia, asthma and eczema.

processed-foodsA team of scientists from Yale University in the U.S and the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg, in Germany, say junk food diets could be partly to blame.

‘This study is the first to indicate that excess refined and processed salt may be one of the environmental factors driving the increased incidence of autoimmune diseases,’ they said.

Junk foods at fast food restaurants as well as processed foods at grocery retailers represent the largest sources of sodium intake from refined salts.

The Canadian Medical Association Journal sent out an international team of researchers to compare the salt content of 2,124 items from fast food establishments such as Burger King, Domino’s Pizza, Kentucky Fried Chicken, McDonald’s, Pizza Hut and Subway. They found that the average salt content varied between companies and between the same products sold in different countries.

U.S. fast foods are often more than twice as salt-laden as those of other countries. While government-led public health campaigns and legislation efforts have reduced refined salt levels in many countries, the U.S. government has been reluctant to press the issue. That’s left fast-food companies free to go salt crazy, says Norm Campbell, M.D., one of the study authors and a blood-pressure specialist at the University of Calgary.

Many low-fat foods rely on salt–and lots of it–for their flavor. One packet of KFC’s Marzetti Light Italian Dressing might only have 15 calories and 0.5 grams fat, but it also has 510 mg sodium–about 1.5 times as much as one Original Recipe chicken drumstick. (Feel like you’re having too much of a good thing? You probably are.

Bread is the No. 1 source of refined salt consumption in the American diet, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Just one 6-inch Roasted Garlic loaf from Subway–just the bread, no meat, no cheeses, no nothing–has 1,260 mg sodium, about as much as 14 strips of bacon.

How Refined Salt Causes Autoimmune Disease

The team from Yale University studied the role of T helper cells in the body. These activate and ‘help’ other cells to fight dangerous pathogens such as bacteria or viruses and battle infections.

Previous research suggests that a subset of these cells – known as Th17 cells – also play an important role in the development of autoimmune diseases.

In the latest study, scientists discovered that exposing these cells in a lab to a table salt solution made them act more ‘aggressively.’

They found that mice fed a diet high in refined salts saw a dramatic increase in the number of Th17 cells in their nervous systems that promoted inflammation.

They were also more likely to develop a severe form of a disease associated with multiple sclerosis in humans.

The scientists then conducted a closer examination of these effects at a molecular level.

Laboratory tests revealed that salt exposure increased the levels of cytokines released by Th17 cells 10 times more than usual. Cytokines are proteins used to pass messages between cells.

Study co-author Ralf Linker, from the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg, said: ‘These findings are an important contribution to the understanding of multiple sclerosis and may offer new targets for a better treatment of the disease, for which at present there is no cure.’

It develops when the immune system mistakes the myelin that surrounds the nerve fibres in the brain and spinal cord for a foreign body.

It strips the myelin off the nerves fibres, which disrupts messages passed between the brain and body causing problems with speech, vision and balance.

Another of the study’s authors, Professor David Hafler, from Yale University, said that nature had clearly not intended for the immune system to attack its host body, so he expected that an external factor was playing a part.

He said: ‘These are not diseases of bad genes alone or diseases caused by the environment, but diseases of a bad interaction between genes and the environment.

‘Humans were genetically selected for conditions in sub-Saharan Africa, where there was no salt. It’s one of the reasons that having a particular gene may make African Americans much more sensitive to salt.

‘Today, Western diets all have high salt content and that has led to increase in hypertension and perhaps autoimmune disease as well.’

The team next plan to study the role that Th17 cells play in autoimmune conditions that affect the skin.

‘It would be interesting to find out if patients with psoriasis can alleviate their symptoms by reducing their salt intake,’ they said.

‘However, the development of autoimmune diseases is a very complex process which depends on many genetic and environmental factors.’

Stick to Good Salts

Refined, processed and bleached salts are the problem. Salt is critical to our health and is the most readily available nonmetallic mineral in the world. Our bodies are not designed to processed refined sodium chloride since it has no nutritional value. However, when a salt is filled with dozens of minerals such as in rose-coloured crystals of Himalayan rock salt or the grey texture of Celtic salt, our bodies benefit tremendously for their incorporation into our diet.

“These mineral salts are identical to the elements of which our bodies have been built and were originally found in the primal ocean from where life originated,” argues Dr Barbara Hendel, researcher and co-author of Water & Salt, The Essence of Life. “We have salty tears and salty perspiration. The chemical and mineral composition of our blood and body fluids are similar to sea water. From the beginning of life, as unborn babies, we are encased in a sack of salty fluid.”

“In water, salt dissolves into mineral ions,” explains Dr Hendel. “These conduct electrical nerve impulses that drive muscle movement and thought processes. Just the simple act of drinking a glass of water requires millions of instructions that come from mineral ions. They’re also needed to balance PH levels in the body.”

Mineral salts, she says, are healthy because they give your body the variety of mineral ions needed to balance its functions, remain healthy and heal. These healing properties have long been recognised in central Europe. At Wieliczka in Poland, a hospital has been carved in a salt mountain. Asthmatics and patients with lung disease and allergies find that breathing air in the saline underground chambers helps improve symptoms in 90 per cent of cases.

Dr Hendel believes too few minerals, rather than too much salt, may be to blame for health problems. It’s a view that is echoed by other academics such as David McCarron, of Oregon Health Sciences University in the US.

He says salt has always been part of the human diet, but what has changed is the mineral content of our food. Instead of eating food high in minerals, such as nuts, fruit and vegetables, people are filling themselves up with “mineral empty” processed food and fizzy drinks.

Study Source: 
This is the result of a study conducted by Dr. Markus Kleinewietfeld, Prof. David Hafler (both Yale University, New Haven and the Broad Institute of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, MIT, and Harvard University, USA), PD Dr. Ralf Linker (Dept. of Neurology, University Hospital Erlangen), Professor Jens Titze (Vanderbilt University and Friedrich-Alexander-Universitat Erlangen-Nurnberg, FAU, University of Erlangen-Nuremberg) and Professor Dominik N. Muller (Experimental and Clinical Research Center, ECRC, a joint cooperation between the Max-Delbruck Center for Molecular Medicine, MDC, Berlin, and the Charite — Universitatsmedizin Berlin and FAU)

Is it right to waste helium on party balloons?


The US has been selling off its helium reserve, established in the 1920s to provide gas for airships – but even so, shortages have been occurring.

Some scientists believe a finite resource that could one day run out should not be used for party balloons.

balloons

In the universe as a whole, it is one of the commonest elements, second only to hydrogen in its abundance. On Earth it is relatively rare, and the only element that escapes gravity and leaks away into space.

“All of the other elements we’ve scattered around the globe, maybe we can go digging in garbage dumps to get them back,” says chemist Andrea Sella, of University College London (UCL).

“But helium is unique. When it’s gone it is lost to us forever.”

Helium has the lowest boiling point of any element, at -269C, just a few degrees above absolute zero (-273C).

“We’re going to be looking back and thinking, I can’t believe people just used to fill up their balloons with it, when it’s so precious and unique,” says Cambridge University chemist Peter Wothers, who has called for the end to helium-filled party balloons.

“It is something we need to think about.”

That would mean an end to the old party favourite of breathing in helium from a balloon, and then talking in a high-pitched voices – a result of helium’s fast-moving molecules. But maybe this would be no bad thing, as it can cause dizziness, headaches and even death.

The gas, which is formed by the decay of radioactive rocks in the earth’s crust, accumulates in natural gas deposits and is collected as a by-product of the gas industry.

The United States is currently the world’s biggest supplier, with the bulk of it stored near Amarillo, Texas, in the national helium reserve – which alone accounts for 35% of the world’s current supply.

This was set up in 1925 as a strategic store for supplying gas to US airships, while after World War Two it provided coolant for missiles and rockets for the military and Nasa.

US airship USS Shenandoah, the first helium-filled rigid airship, 1923USS Shenandoah, the world’s first helium-filled rigid airship

But since the mid-1990s, with growing civilian demand for helium in the manufacture of semi-conductors and for MRI scanners, among other things, the US has been clawing back the cost of storing the gas by gradually selling it off on the open market.

Despite this, the price of helium has doubled over the past 10 years.

Scare stories about this or that resource running out are a commonplace of doomsayers – but this autumn, the world got a taste of what a helium shortage could mean.

US semiconductor manufacturers knew that under the terms of a 1996 law, the US helium reserve was legally obliged to turn off the tap last month.

What is the Deadliest of All Vaccines?


The standard DTP or DPT (diphtheria, pertussis (whooping cough) and tetanus) vaccine is acknowledged to be the deadliest of all vaccines, causing more disability, illness and the highest risks, even exceeding MMR (measles, mumps and rubella).
 
 
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services set up the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (NVICP) in 1988 to compensate individuals and families of individuals injured by covered childhood vaccines. The VICP itself was adopted in response to a the pertussis portion of the DTP vaccine.
Since 1988, the program has been funded by an excise tax on every purchased dose of a covered vaccine. To win an award, a claimant must show a causal connection; if medical records show a child has one of several listed adverse effects soon after vaccination. The burden of proof is the civil-law preponderance-of-the-evidence standard, in other words a showing that causation was more likely than not.As of May 2013, the VICP has paid out $2.7 billion for cases involving injury amongst all vaccines.It obliges drug companies that produce vaccines to contribute to the program by paying an excise tax on each dose of vaccine, based on potential risk.Although the taxes raised by the vaccine tax go into a “trust fund,” this trust fund, like most government trust funds, is on paper only. According to the most recent report on the fund, November 2012, the balance in the fund is nearly $3.5 billion.

Epidemiologists Admit Pertussis (Whooping Cough) Is Spreading And Vaccines Are The CauseWhooping cough, or pertussis, is spreading across the entire US at rates at least twice as high as those recorded in 2011 and epidemiologists and health officials are even admitting that the vaccines may be the cause.

The cause could very well be due to multiple loads of toxins delivered through the DTP vaccine which include, (but not limited to): formaldehyde, aluminum hydroxide, aluminum phosphate, thimerosal, and polysorbate 80. That means that every DTP vaccine contains carcinogenic, neurotoxic, immunotoxic and sterility agents just like many of this year’s flu vaccines. These chemicals then bioaccumulate in the child with each successive vaccine, further introducing an additional load of toxins with each injection.

Dangerous new strains of whooping cough bacteria are now evading Australia’s vaccine against the disease and entrenching a four-year epidemic that could soon spread overseas, Sydney scientists have found in research that raises questions about the national vaccine program.

The dangerous new strains of whooping cough bacteria were reported in March 2012. The vaccine, researchers said, was responsible. The reason for this is because, while whooping cough is primarily attributed toBordetella pertussis infection, it is also caused by another closely related pathogen called B. parapertussis, which the vaccine does NOT protect against. Two years earlier, scientists at Penn State had already reported that the pertussis vaccine significantly enhanced the colonization of B. parapertussis, thereby promoting vaccine-resistant whooping cough outbreaks.

According to the authors:

“… [V]accination led to a 40-fold enhancement of B. parapertussis colonization in the lungs of mice. Though the mechanism behind this increased colonization was not specifically elucidated, it is speculated to involve specific immune responses skewed or dampened by the acellular vaccine, including cytokine and antibody production during infection. Despite this vaccine being hugely effective against B. pertussis, which was once the primary childhood killer, these data suggest that the vaccine may be contributing to the observed rise in whooping cough incidence over the last decade by promoting B. parapertussis infection.”
Pertussis whooping cough is a cyclical disease with natural increases that tend to occur every 4-5 years, no matter how high the vaccination rate is in a population using DTP or Tdap vaccines on a widespread basis. Whole cell DTP vaccines used in the U.S. from the 1950’s until the late 1990’s were estimated to be 63 to 94 percent effective and studies showed that vaccine-acquired immunity fell to about 40 percent after seven years.
In the study cited above, the researchers noted the vaccine’s effectiveness was only 41 percent among 2- to 7-year-olds and a dismal 24 percent among those aged 8-12The fact that many vaccines are ineffective is becoming increasingly apparent. Merck has recently been slapped with two separate class action lawsuits contending they lied about the effectiveness of the mumps vaccine in their combination MMR shot, and fabricated efficacy studies to maintain the illusion for the past two decades that the vaccine is highly protective.
History of Adverse Events Associated With The DTP Vaccine The whole-cell pertussis component is associated with a range of adverse events, including serious neurological consequences. Concerns about the safety of whole-cell pertussis vaccine date back to the 30s and 40s. By the 1950s, concern about potential adverse events led some researchers to begin searching for a more refined, acellular version of pertussis vaccine with less reactogenicity.Fertility has been declining rapidly since the 1950s in all countries of the world and the start of the change coincided with the introduction of the first mass vaccination programs. For instance, in the UK in 1947, a mass DPT vaccine campaign was initiated and in 1958, the first polio and diphtheria vaccines were brought in on a mass scale for all people under 15 years old.

In the early to mid-1970s, the safety of whole-cell pertussis came under increasing scrutiny both in the U.S. and abroad. Newly heightened concerns were in part related to reports published
in Great Britain and Germany linking whole-cell pertussis vaccine to long term neurologic effects.

In 1975, in response to the deaths of two infants within 24 hours after DTP vaccination, Japanese health authorities temporarily suspended the routine use of pertussis vaccine in infants, and soon after recommended that vaccination against pertussis start instead at age two years.

In Britain, while health authorities continued to recommend routine DTP immunization for infants, the public became increasingly wary of potential adverse effects, and many parents chose not to immunize their children.

From 1978 through 1981, a total of nine product liability lawsuits were filed against DTP manufacturers in the U.S.. For the single year 1982, however, 17 DTP lawsuits were filed; and by 1986, the number of pertussis productliability suits filed during the year reached an all-time high of 225. During a six-month period in 1984, in response to the growing liability crisis, two of the three manufacturers distributing DTP in the U.S. market B Wyeth and Connaught B dropped out.

In 1997, the DTP vaccine was taxed at the highest rate per dose – $4.56 – compared with $0.29 for polio and $0.06 for DT (without pertussis). Only the MMR vaccine, at $4.44 per dose, approaches the DTP in ‘taxation’. This is tacit acknowledgement by the government that the pertussis vaccine carries the highest risk of them all.

No Placebo-Controlled Trials of Whole-Cell Vaccine Since 1950 – All Post-Vaccination Research in The Last 60 Years Shows Health Damage

No randomised placebo-controlled trials of whole-cell vaccine have been performed since the 1950s, when diagnostic methods were different. Indeed, in the early 1990s, the Institute of Medicine (IOM), which spent 20 months studying all the available data on vaccinations, confirmed that no controlled clinical trials have ever been conducted to rule out whether the vaccine can cause chronic neurological damage, blood disorders, juvenile diabetes, Guillain-Barre paralysis and learning disabilities. With the most controversial vaccine in history, most questions about safety have never been asked.
The only large-scale study ever conducted in the US, at University of California at Los Angeles in 1979, found that one in 875 doses of DTP is followed by convulsions, or an episode of shock or collapse, leading to death in the case of two babies (Pediatrics, 1981; 68: 650-60). As for brain damage, a Swedish study showed a rate of brain damage or death of one in 17,000 children (BMJ, 1967; 4: 320-3).

The IOM report concluded that: the triple shot definitely causes anaphylactic shock and extended periods of inconsolable crying or screaming evidence is consistent with a causal relationship between acute encephalitis (inflammation of the brain) and shock and unusual shock-like (hypotonia/hyporesponsive) reactions, causing total collapse (Stratton K, Adverse Events Associated with Childhood Vaccines; Evidence Bearing on Causality, Washington, DC: National Academy Press, 1993).

In 1993, The National Childhood Encephalopathy study: a 10-year follow-up reported on the medical, social, behavioural and educational outcomes after serious, acute, neurological illness in early childhood. The analysis found a four-fold increase in the estimated risk of encephalitis from the pertussis vaccine. The analysis showed the risk of encephalitis with the vaccine have been grossly underestimated.

Diphtheria and tetanus toxoids and whole-cell pertussis vaccine (DTP) and pediatric diphtheria and tetanus toxoids (DT) are not recommended for individuals 7 years of age or older due to increased adverse reactions. Yet in 1994, a study in the Family Practice Research Journal found that children 7 years of age or older are inadvertently receiving DTP or DT and were unnecessarily experiencing adverse reactions.In another study in the The Journal of the American Medical Association, children vaccinated with pertussis vaccine were six times more likely to develop asthma. In 2004, a study in the British Medical Journal found that the prevalence of asthma and wheezing in non-vaccinated individuals was approximately 50% less at age 69-81 months than children who had 3 or more doses of with the Diptheria and tetanus vaccine.Researchers reported in the OSMA Journal that the pertussis vaccine may cause lasting and permanent brain damage. Physicians are required to warn all responsible parties of vaccine recipients that pertussis vaccine may cause “lasting brain damage”, but rarely if ever to Physicians inform parents of this fact.

In the Journal of Pediatrics researchers found an association observed between the DTP vaccination of preterm infants and a transient increase or recurrence of apnea where they would stop breathing.

New England Medical Journal reported
 in 2001 that the DTP vaccine increases the risk of febrile seizures fivefold on the day of vaccination and that there are significantly elevated risks.

According to the Anti-Aging Manual: The Encyclopedia of Natural Health, DTP vaccines may cause Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) – 85% in 1 -6 months, same as the 2-4-6-month DTP vaccinations risk; the death rate increases eight times within 3 days of injection; in one study 70% of SIDS deaths occurred within 3 weeks of DTP vaccinations causes reported adverse reactions in 100 per 1000 vaccinations (10%).

In a hard hitting editorial in the Indian Journal of Medical Ethics (IJME),Dr. Jacob Puliyel, head of pediatrics at St Stephens Hospital in New Delhi, reports on detailed investigation into the deaths of children in Bhutan, Sri Lanka, India and Vietnam following use of Pentavalent vaccine. This vaccine combines the Diphtheria, Pertussis, Tetanus or DTP vaccine. (See WHO Caught Falsely Stating Pentavalent Vaccine Was Safe After It Was Discontinued In Some Countries Due To Deaths In Children)

Several other research citations linking the DTP vaccines to diseasehave they cause complications in neurological systems, the central nervous system, sudden death, cervical lymphadenitis and convulsions.Former FDA Commissioner David Kessler wrote in the Journal of the American Medical Association that “only about 1% of serious adverse events are reported to the FDA.” This study confirms the systematic under-reporting bias against vaccine adverse reactions. So we could reasonably multiply the incidence in VAERS reports by 100 to get a better handle on the magnitude of the problem. Apparently, no number of VAERS vaccine adverse reaction reports is sufficient to cause the FDA or CDC to raise a red flag or withdraw a vaccine from the market.Sources:
iom.edu
healthy.net
vaccinenewsdaily.com

         

Smoking ban ‘cuts premature births’.


The theory that public smoking bans cut the number of children born prematurely has been strengthened by new research.

Baby exposed to cigarette smoke

The study of 600,000 births found three successive drops in babies born before 37 weeks – each occurring after a phase of a public smoking ban was introduced.

There was no such trend in the period before the bans were put in place, the British Medical Journal reported.

The study, by Hasselt University in Belgium, comes after Scottish research in 2012 found a similar pattern.

But experts could not fully state the smoking ban was the cause of the change because pre-term births had started to drop before the ban.

It is already well established that smoking leads to reduced birth weight and an increased risk of premature birth.

Successive drops

In the latest study researchers were able to look at the rate of premature births after each phase of a smoking ban came into force in Belgium.

Public places and most workplaces were first to introduce smoke-free rules in 2006, followed by restaurants in 2007 and bars serving food in 2010.

The rate of premature births was found to fall after each phase of the ban with the biggest impact seen after the second two bans with restaurants and bars introducing no smoking rules.

After the bans in 2007 and 2010, the premature birth rate dropped by around 3% each time.

Overall it corresponds to a fall of six premature babies in every 1,000 births.

The changes could not be explained by other factors – such as mother’s age and socioeconomic status or population effects such as changes in air pollution and influenza epidemics.

There was no link found with birth weight.

Study leader Dr Tim Nawrot from Hasselt University said that even a mild reduction in gestational age has been linked in other studies to adverse health outcomes in early and later life.

“Because the ban happened at three different moments, we could show there was a consistent pattern of reduction in the risk of preterm delivery.”

He added: “It supports the notion that smoking bans have public health benefits even from early life.”

Patrick O’Brien, spokesperson for the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists said: “It is very gratifying to see further strong evidence that smoking bans have had a beneficial impact on pregnant women and their babies.”

Scans show premature-baby brain arrested development.


Premature birth may interrupt vital brain development processes, medical scans reveal.

Researchers at King’s College London scanned 55 premature infants and 10 babies born at full term, using a novel type of MRI scan.

Premature baby in hospital

The brain scans showed arrested development in the premature babies at a key stage of maturation.

Experts say the work, in PNAS, could further understanding, but that parents should not be alarmed by the findings.

In recent decades there have been big advances in caring for premature babies, which mean most can go on to live a healthy life.

“Start Quote

Most premature babies are unaffected by their early arrival and families of these babies should not be unduly concerned”

Andy Cole Bliss

The researchers say the new type of imaging – which tracks the movement of water in the brain – will enable them to explore how the disruption of key processes might cause conditions such as autism.

It could also be used to monitor possible treatments to prevent brain damage.

Interrupted development

The scans showed cortical development was reduced in the preterm babies compared with those born at full term, with the greatest effect in the most premature infants – those born at about 27 weeks.

The brain regions affected govern social and emotional processing, as well as memory.

The same children were assessed at two years of age and those who had been born prematurely performed less well on neurodevelopmental tests, which the researchers say suggests the weeks a baby loses in the womb may matter.

Lead investigator Prof David Edwards said: “The number of babies born prematurely is increasing, so it has never been more important to improve our understanding of how preterm birth affects brain development and causes brain damage.

“We know that prematurity is extremely stressful for an infant, but by using a new technique we are able to track brain maturation in babies to pinpoint the exact processes that might be affected by premature birth.”

Andy Cole, chief executive of the premature baby charity Bliss, said: “It is very exciting that this ground-breaking research is being driven forward here in the UK.

“A better understanding of the way that preterm babies’ brains develop is an important step for doctors to help identify improvements in care that will benefit the 60,000 preterm children born every year.

“It is important to mention that most premature babies are unaffected by their early arrival and families of these babies should not be unduly concerned.”

‘Sugar gel’ helps premature babies.


A dose of sugar given as a gel rubbed into the inside of the cheek is a cheap and effective way to protect premature babies against brain damage, say experts.

premature baby

Dangerously low blood sugar affects about one in 10 babies born too early. Untreated, it can cause permanent harm.

Researchers from New Zealand tested the gel therapy in 242 babies under their care and, based on the results, say it should now be a first-line treatment.

Their work is published in The Lancet.

Sugar dose

Dextrose gel treatment costs just over £1 per baby and is simpler to administer than glucose via a drip, say Prof Jane Harding and her team at the University of Auckland.

“Start Quote

This is a cost effective treatment and could reduce admissions to intensive care services which are already working at high capacity levels”

Andy Cole Bliss

Current treatment typically involves extra feeding and repeated blood tests to measure blood sugar levels.

But many babies are admitted to intensive care and given intravenous glucose because their blood sugar remains low – a condition doctors call hypoglycaemia.

The study assessed whether treatment with dextrose gel was more effective than feeding alone at reversing hypoglycaemia.

Neil Marlow, from the Institute for Women’s Health at University College London, said that although dextrose gel had fallen into disuse, these findings suggested it should be resurrected as a treatment.

We now had high-quality evidence that it was of value, he said.

Andy Cole, chief executive of premature baby charity Bliss, said: “This is a very interesting piece of new research and we always welcome anything that has the potential to improve outcomes for babies born premature or sick.

“This is a cost-effective treatment and could reduce admissions to intensive care services, which are already working at high capacity levels.

“While the early results of this research show benefits to babies born with low blood sugars, it is clear there is more research to be done to implement this treatment.”