Study Links Vaccine Induced Immune Overload to Autism, Diabetes, Obesity .


Contributing Writer for Wake Up World

A new vaccine study published in Molecular and Genetic Medicine is bringing to the forefront the disturbing connection between the dramatic expansion in the quantity of routine childhood vaccines administered and a corresponding increase in inflammation-associated disorders.

Titled, “Review of Vaccine Induced Immune Overload and the Resulting Epidemics of Type 1 Diabetes and Metabolic Syndrome, Emphasis on Explaining the Recent Accelerations in the Risk of Prediabetes and other Immune Mediated Diseases,” the study argues that vaccine-induced immune overload is a driving factor in a number of rapidly accelerating childhood epidemics including:

 

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– Autism
– Type 1 diabetes
– Asthma
– Food allergies
– Many autoimmune diseases
– Obesity
– Type 2 diabetes
– Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFL)
– Metabolic disease.

The paper sought to provide a theory of vaccine induced immune overload to explain many observations about the changes in the epidemics. The fundamental problem, according to the study, is that vaccinology assumes a ‘one size fits all’ approach that results in the majority of the vaccine recipients having overstimulated immune systems:

One major problem with vaccines is the concept of one size fits all. Package inserts of almost all vaccines recommend a dose based on age. In order for a vaccine to be a commercial success it is expected to induce a protective immune response in well over 90% of children. In order for this to happen a dose, based on age, must stimulate a protective immune response in those with the weakest immune system. In the process of doing this, the other 90% or more of children have their immune system over stimulated. The process of over stimulating the immune system time and time again increases the risk of inflammatory diseases like autoimmune diseases, and allergies which cause even more inflammation.

The result of the over stimulated state of the body following vaccination varies, but depends entirely on bio-individuality, namely, the unique physiological response an individual has to inflammation. The inflammatory cascade has other adverse downstream effects:

Inflammation causes the release of cytokines which can trigger autoimmune diseases but also stimulate cortisol production, the major negative feedback loop of the immune system. According to the theory inflammation induced cortisol production varies based on race [3] which can be explained by the presence of genes that alter cortisol production. Individuals who produce a lot of cortisol in response to inflammation have a tendency to develop a Cushingoid like response that includes obesity, type 2 diabetes/insulin resistance, hypertension, and dyslipidemia which is called metabolic syndrome.

As the dominant meme perpetuated by stakeholders in the vaccine agenda over the past 15 years has been ‘the more vaccines the better,’ today’s vaccine schedule is loaded to the hilt with vaccines, each new addition increasing with mathematical certainty the chances of immune overload:

Since 1999 the routine pediatric immunization schedule [9,10] increased by 80 vaccines. This number is derived by the fact that multivalent vaccines contain specific vaccines to each separate strain. The following have been added, pneumococcus (13 valent), meningococcus (4 valent), human papilloma virus (4 valent), hepatitis A (1 valent), rotatavirus (4 additional valent), influenza (3 valent per year x 18 years=54).

The study provided in depth explanations of the various ways in which vaccine induced immune over stimulation may contribute to chronic diseases such as type 1 diabetes, obesity, and NAFL, but the proposed link with autism is most conspicuous, considering it is a highly taboo topic to link vaccine exposures with autism spectrum disorder. The lead author of the study referenced a previous study he published last year (2013) titled “Prevalence of Autism is Positively Associated with the Incidence of Type 1 Diabetes, but Negatively Associated with the Incidence of Type 2 Diabetes, Implication for the Etiology of the Autism Epidemic Molecular and Genetic Medicine,” wherein is described research linking the prevalence of type 1 diabetes with autism, suggesting their etiologies are related, including a mention of the possible role of vaccines in contributing to these simultaneous epidemics. Clearly if vaccines are capable of over stimulating the immune system and/or breaking immunological self-tolerance, this could be expressed in a wide range of ways: the immune system could attack the insulin producing beta cells in the pancreas (type 1 diabetes) or the brain (autism). The permutations and effects on health are actually quite endless.

The author pointed out that the theory of vaccine-induced autoimmunity has been exceedingly difficult to prove because both post-marketing epidemiological surveillance studies and prospective controlled trials of vaccines performed for licensure are either too small, too short in duration or inappropriately controlled (use other vaccines as controls) to appropriately study the relationship between vaccines and these epidemics.

The author also points out that “While it would be ideal to have more clinical trial data, industry and government have been reluctant to provide such information. However, conclusions regarding toxicity of many agents including cigarettes and asbestos were made without clinical trial data. The author believes that the sum of the data described and relationship.”

We feel the author is correct to raise the cautionary flag. This is not a strictly academic issue, as the present and future health of our children is on the line. If the expansive pediatric immunization schedule is resulting in the over stimulation and dysregulation of childhood immunity, explaining the mystery behind the atrocious and seemingly “idiopathic” epidemic of autism, the approach must immediately be suspended and reassessed for safety with appropriately controlled trials (non-vaccine controls) to provide the necessary evidence long lauded as the basis and justification for vaccination versus nutritional optimization, sanitation, hygiene and plant-based medicine as the first strategic line of defense for the prevention of infectious disease. Anything less than this is pseudo-scientific and clearly violates informed consent.

 

The World Today – Global push to ban vaping .


SIMON SANTOW: An Australian coalition of 120 international scientists and health experts have today launched a campaign to convince the World Health Organization to ban the controversial e-cigarettes, or electronic cigarettes.

But the move has not been universally welcomed; it’s also highlighted divisions among anti-tobacco advocates around the globe.

Deborah Cornwall with this report.

WOMAN (excerpt from e-cigarette advertisement): I want you to get it out. I want to see it, feel it, put it in my mouth. I want to see how great it tastes.

If you’re gonna vape, vape with VIP.

DEBORAH CORNWALL: Vaping, it seems, has put the sex back into smoking.

Instead of lighting up, e-cigarette smokers directly inhale the liquid nicotine vapours, delivering the sort of rush that has deeply alarmed anti-tobacco advocates, including professor Renee Bittoun, a global pioneer in tobacco cessation treatments, who’s joined forces with the Australian-led coalition to have e-cigarettes banned completely.

RENEE BITTOUN: I’ve seen some advertising regarding this, pitching towards young, the upwardly mobile. The actual product itself is sleek and slim and beautiful. I would not like to see, freely on the market, a substance that is likened to inhaling crack cocaine and making it readily available to consumers and public. And, to view it otherwise is really naïve.

DEBORAH CORNWALL: As editor of the International Smoking Cessation Journal, Renee Bittoun is right in the middle of the split now dividing public health experts over the potential risks and benefits of e-cigarettes, a market that has emerged in just a few short years into a multibillion dollar industry with growing political clout.

But, while many experts regard e-cigarettes as a new miracle cure for smokers, Professor Renee Bittoun is firmly in the anti camp.

RENEE BITTOUN: This is the cigarette of the 21st Century. How can we possibly imagine we can liberate this? This is really a major retrograde step. It’s a step back into the 1950s.

DEBORAH CORNWALL: You were a maverick; you were one of the global pioneers in the use of nicotine replacement therapy 30 years ago when you were pushing for nicotine gum and patches.

How is this different?

RENEE BITTOUN: It’s very different in as much as we know with nicotine products, these low-dose, slow release nicotine products, the potential is very low to become addicted to them.

There’s not a patch addict on the planet. Nobody gets withdrawals coming off the patches. Do you get withdrawals coming off nicotine electronic devices? You probably do. Because they’re fast deliverers of high dose nicotine.

So, the potential to become addicted to them is rather high.

DEBORAH CORNWALL: We’ve got figures from the UK which show that, just in two years, there are now 2.1 million people smoking e-cigarettes and only about a third of those are ex-smokers, so is it those kind of figures that concern you? That it’s actually more about creating a new market than helping smokers off old school cigarettes?

RENEE BITTOUN: That’s the biggest concern I have. Keep in mind that nicotine from this product, comes from the tobacco industry; their past has been pretty atrocious and why can’t we imagine, until proven otherwise, that this is not going to be the same thing happening over again.

SIMON SANTOW: That was anti-tobacco advocate Professor Renee Bittoun, speaking there with Deborah Cornwall.

8 Shocking Health Effects from the Fukushima Disaster .


It’s been a couple years since the Fukushima disaster but the ruins are still smoldering and the negative health consequences are more pronounced than ever. The somewhat indifferent response from many governmental health agencies around the world to the Fukushima disaster was perhaps more shocking than the disaster itself. Authorities around the globe assured us not to worry, claiming any radiation that had come into contact with citizens was well below the detectable and harmful level. The message is clear, everyday citizens can longer rely on their government for protection.

fukushima

As tons of radioactive water continues to spill into the Pacific Ocean, many national health agencies have raised the standards for acceptable radiation exposure to reinforce their absurd statements. The previous standards for 30 years of radiation exposure would have generated a cancer rate of 1 in 10,000. Now that radiation standards have been raised (thanks to the Obama Administration’s green-lit effort to increase radiation exposure to 2,000 millirems), the cancer rate from 30 years of exposure is now at 1 in 23! [1]

What other problems have sprung up since the nuclear disaster in Fukushima?

 

   

1. Skin Contamination

Skin contamination remains one of the greatest risks following a radiological disaster like Fukushima. The availability of radiological decontamination agents remained in limited supply immediately following the disaster, and many of these agents require fresh water. Unfortunately, access to clean water can be very difficult in areas near Fukushima due to the high levels of radiation.[2] Skin exposure to chemicals and radiation may result in superficial skin issues and endocrine damage. [3]

2. Psychological Trauma

Data indicates that workers and mothers of young children have the greatest risk of PTSD, depression, and anxiety following a radiological event. These effects may be a direct result from exposure to radiation, and radiation itself may be directly linked to mood disorders. Also, parents may fear for their family’s well being during and after a nuclear disaster, further increasing the chances of becoming psychologically and emotionally unstable.[4] Children and adolescents may also experience long-term psychological difficulties with unknown consequences. [5]

3. Cancer

Scientists and governmental health agencies have been highly aware of radiation’s impact on cancer risk in humans and animals. High doses can be fatal and increase the chances of inheritable genetic defects.[6]

4. Thyroid Damage

Iodine 131, a radioisotope of iodine found in nuclear fission, quickly accumulates in the thyroid and replaces stable, beneficial iodine. It disrupts normal thyroid function to negatively impact hormones, body weight, and energy levels. This iodine isotope can cause thyroid cancer and hypothyroidism. [7] Nuclear disasters, specifically those in Chernobyl, Hiroshima, and Fukushima, have resulted in a significant increase in thyroid cancers.[8]

5. Women are More at Risk

Research conducted in the area around Fukushima explored the impact radiation had on men and women and how the genders compared when it came to health risk severity. Women proved more sensitive to the effects of radiation, with pregnant women displaying an even higher level of susceptibility. [9]

6. Pregnancy Issues

Pregnant women are at a higher risk for developing issues related to iodine deficiency when exposed to iodine 131, an issue that can slow thyroid and hormone function. Iodine deficiency in pregnant women can cause miscarriage, stillbirths, and other complications.[10] As the years continue to pass following the Fukushima disaster, Japanese officials still claim ignorance of the possible effects radiation has on pregnant women and their unborn children.

7. Thyroid Disorders and Newborns

Despite the multitude of health effects to the developing fetus, research has uncovered severe issues with radiation on the thyroid gland in newborn infants. From March to June of 2011, thyroid problems soared 28% in babies born along the Pacific Rim. States along this area include Hawaii, California, Oregon, Washington, and Alaska. A 2013 study published in Open Journal of Pediatrics noted significantly higher incidences of hypothyroidism in these states. [11]

8. Thyroid Cancer in Children

During a radiological event, protecting the health of children (the most susceptible population group) becomes a foremost issue. [12] To date, 44 Japanese children under the age of 18 living near Fukushima’s nuclear plant at the time of the disaster have developed thyroid cancer, a significant increase compared to cancer incidences prior to the event.

What Can Be Done During a Nuclear Event?

Any type of nuclear emergency requires immediate action in an effort to protect citizens. Government authorities will typically administer high doses of potassium iodide to those affected in an effort to block thyroid absorption of iodine 131. [13] While this traditional protocol may help, the results show the need for better, more effective protective options.

When it comes to protecting yourself and your family, you ultimately have to rely on your own efforts rather than those exercised from official members of the government. Although potassium iodide has been traditionally used to block the absorption of iodine 131 in the thyroid, it is not the most efficient form of iodine for the human body. Nascent iodine offers a more bioavailable option with a higher rate of absorption. Detoxification may also be helpful for removing impurities and toxic metals that may accumulate during a nuclear event.

What are your favorite ways to protect yourself from overseas radiation? Let us know in the comments!

-Dr. Edward F. Group III, DC, ND, DACBN, DCBCN, DABFM

Article References:

  1. Global Research News. Civilian Cancer Deaths Expected to Skyrocket Following Radiological Incidents.Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER).
  2. Tazrart A, Bérard P, Leiterer A, Ménétrier F. Decontamination of radionuclides from skin: an overview. Health Phys. 2013 Aug;105(2):201-7. doi: 10.1097/HP.0b013e318290c5a9.
  3. Asfandyar Khan Niazi and Shaharyar Khan Niazi. Endocrine effects of Fukushima: Radiation-induced endocrinopathy. Indian Journal of Endocrinology and Metabolism. 2011 April-June; 15(2): 91-95.
  4. Bromet EJ. Emotional consequences of nuclear power plant disasters. Health Phys. 2014 Feb;106(2):206-10. doi: 10.1097/HP.0000000000000012.
  5. Hayashi K, Tomita N. Lessons learned from the Great East Japan Earthquake: impact on child and adolescent health. Asia Pac J Public Health. 2012 Jul;24(4):681-8. doi: 10.1177/1010539512453255.
  6. Boice JD Jr. Radiation epidemiology: a perspective on Fukushima. J Radiol Prot. 2012 Mar;32(1):N33-40. doi: 10.1088/0952-4746/32/1/N33.
  7. Spallek L, Krille L, Reiners C, Schneider R, Yamashita S, Zeeb H. Adverse effects of iodine thyroid blocking: a systematic review. Radiat Prot Dosimetry. 2012 Jul;150(3):267-77. doi: 10.1093/rpd/ncr400.
  8. Dilas LT, Bajkin I, Icin T, Paro JN, Zavisi BK. Iodine and thyroid gland with or without nuclear catastrophe. Med Pregl. 2012 Nov-Dec;65(11-12):489-95.
  9. Evangeliou N1, Balkanski Y2, Cozic A2, Møller AP3. Global and local cancer risks after the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant accident as seen from Chernobyl: A modeling study for radiocaesium (134Cs &137Cs). Environ Int. 2013 Dec 19;64C:17-27. doi: 10.1016/j.envint.2013.11.020.
  10. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22742605
  11. Joseph J. Mangano, Janette D. Sherman. Elevated airborne beta levels in Pacific/West Coast US States and trends in hypothyroidism among newborns after the Fukushima nuclear meltdown.Open Journal of Pediatrics, 2013, 3, 1-9 OJPed.
  12. Fushiki S. Radiation hazards in children – lessons from Chernobyl, Three Mile Island and Fukushima. Brain Dev. 2013 Mar;35(3):220-7. doi: 10.1016/j.braindev.2012.09.004.
  13. Reiners C, Schneider R. Potassium iodide (KI) to block the thyroid from exposure to I-131: current questions and answers to be discussed. Radiat Environ Biophys. 2013 May;52(2):189-93. doi: 10.1007/s00411-013-0462-0.

Article References:

1. Dr Philippe Grandjean MD, Philip J Landrigan MD. Neurobehavioural effects of developmental toxicity. The Lancet Neurology, Volume 13, Issue 3, Pages 330 – 338, March 2014. doi:10.1016/S1474-4422(13)70278-3.

Why Do Doctors Wear Green Or Blue Scrubs?


Scrubs used to be white — the color of cleanliness. Then in the early 20th century, one influential doctor switched to green because he thought it would be easier on a surgeon’s eyes, according to an article in a 1998 issue of Today’s Surgical Nurse. Although it is hard to confirm whether green scrubs became popular for this reason, green may be especially well-suited to help doctors see better in the operating room because it is the opposite of red on the color wheel.

Scrubs used to be white — the color of cleanliness. Then in the early 20th century, one influential doctor switched to green because he thought it would be easier on a surgeon’s eyes, according to an article in a 1998 issue of Today’s Surgical Nurse. Although it is hard to confirm whether green scrubs became popular for this reason, green may be especially well-suited to help doctors see better in the operating room because it is the opposite of red on the color wheel.

Green could help physicians see better for two reasons. First, looking at blue or green can refresh a doctor’s vision of red things, including the bloody innards of a patient during surgery. The brain interprets colors relative to each other. If a surgeon stares at something that’s red and pink, he becomes desensitized to it. The red signal in the brain actually fades, which could make it harder to see the nuances of the human body. Looking at something green from time to time can keep someone’s eyes more sensitive to variations in red, according to John Werner, a psychologist who studies vision at the University of California, Davis.

Second, such deep focus on red, red, red can lead to distracting green illusions on white surfaces. These funky green ghosts could appear if a doctor shifts his gaze from reddish body tissue to something white, like a surgical drape or an anesthesiologist’s alabaster outfit. A green illusion of the patient’s red insides may appear on the white background. (You can try out this “after effect” illusion yourself.) The distracting image would follow the surgeon’s gaze wherever he looks, similar to the floating spots we see after a camera flash.

The phenomenon occurs because white light contains all the colors of the rainbow, including both red and green. But the red pathway is still tired out, so the red versus green pathway in the brain signals “green.”

However, if a doctor looks at green or blue scrubs instead of white ones, these disturbing ghosts will blend right in and not become a distraction, according to Paola Bressan, who researches visual illusions at the University of Padova in Italy.

So, although doctors trot down the street these days in a rainbow of patterned and colored scrubs, green may be a doctor’s best bet.

This answer is provided by Scienceline, a project of New York University’s Science, Health and Environmental Reporting Program.

Green could help physicians see better for two reasons. First, looking at blue or green can refresh a doctor’s vision of red things, including the bloody innards of a patient during surgery. The brain interprets colors relative to each other. If a surgeon stares at something that’s red and pink, he becomes desensitized to it. The red signal in the brain actually fades, which could make it harder to see the nuances of the human body. Looking at something green from time to time can keep someone’s eyes more sensitive to variations in red, according to John Werner, a psychologist who studies vision at the University of California, Davis.

Second, such deep focus on red, red, red can lead to distracting green illusions on white surfaces. These funky green ghosts could appear if a doctor shifts his gaze from reddish body tissue to something white, like a surgical drape or an anesthesiologist’s alabaster outfit. A green illusion of the patient’s red insides may appear on the white background. (You can try out this “after effect” illusion yourself.) The distracting image would follow the surgeon’s gaze wherever he looks, similar to the floating spots we see after a camera flash.

The phenomenon occurs because white light contains all the colors of the rainbow, including both red and green. But the red pathway is still tired out, so the red versus green pathway in the brain signals “green.”

However, if a doctor looks at green or blue scrubs instead of white ones, these disturbing ghosts will blend right in and not become a distraction, according to Paola Bressan, who researches visual illusions at the University of Padova in Italy.

So, although doctors trot down the street these days in a rainbow of patterned and colored scrubs, green may be a doctor’s best bet.

This answer is provided by Scienceline, a project of New York University’s Science, Health and Environmental Reporting Program.

Orbital Brew: Astronauts to Get 1st Space Station Coffee Maker


The International Space Station is getting a critical upgrade: its first coffee machine.

The “ISSpresso,” a capsule-based espresso machine, will enable astronauts to brew the hot caffeinated beverage as an alternative to the instant coffee that has been their only option aboard the space station for the past 13 years.

The International Space Station is getting a critical upgrade: its first coffee machine.

The “ISSpresso,” a capsule-based espresso machine, will enable astronauts to brew the hot caffeinated beverage as an alternative to the instant coffee that has been their only option aboard the space station for the past 13 years.

“We have been thinking about taking espresso into space for some time,” said Giuseppe Lavazza, vice president of the coffee retailer Lavazza, in a statement. “Today we are in a position to overcome the limits of weightlessness and enjoy a good espresso – the indisputable symbol of made in Italy products – on board the International Space Station.”

Lavazza and the Argotec aerospace company created the ISSpresso in collaboration with the Italian Space Agency (Agenzia Spaziale Italiana). Argotec has recently been the company responsible for developing the space food for the European astronauts who have flown to the station.

Lavazza's and Argotec's 'ISSpresso'
A prototype of Lavazza’s and Argotec’s “ISSpresso” dispenses a freshly-brewed Italian espresso just as the final coffee machine will do so onboard the International Space Station.
Credit: Lavazza/Argotec

The ISSpresso’s arrival on the station is timed to coincide with the launch this November of European Space Agency (ESA) astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti. Not only will she become the first Italian woman in space, but should all go as planned, she will also be the first to enjoy a real Italian espresso in orbit.

“How cool is that?” Cristoforetti wrote on Twitter. “I’ll get to operate the first space espresso machine!”

The ISSpresso, which in addition to espresso can also be used brew caffè lungo and other hot beverages, including tea and broth, has been designed to meet the needs of the space environment. For example, the plastic tubing that is typically used to route water through terrestrial machines has been replaced with steel pipes that can withstand high pressurization.

“ISSpresso is a technological challenge that meets very stringent requirements… in terms of technical functionality and safety,” said Arogtec managing director David Avino.

The ISSpresso is intended to do more than just increase the variety of the astronauts’ drinks and add to the study of fluid dynamics in microgravity, but also create a “corner cafè” to contribute to the crew’s psychological well-being.

“A sort of social network in space,” Lavazza said of the cafè concept. “[The ISSpresso will be] a venue for getting together, chatting and relaxing: an aspect that should not be ignored in missions that keep the astronauts away from home for many months in a challenging environment.”

The ISSpresso’s flight to the space station is possible due to the existing agreements between ASI and NASA.

“We are proud to contribute to the promotion of the image and spreading of the Made-in-Italy brand at international or better ‘space,’ level,” said Roberto Battiston, the president of the Italian Space Agency.

ISSpresso Space Coffee Machine
The ISSpresso space coffee machine measures 17 by 16.5 by 14 inches (43 by 42 by 36 centimeters) and weighs 44 pounds (20 kilograms).
Credit: Lavazza/Argotec

The ISSpresso, while the first coffee machine, is not the first beverage dispenser to be developed for astronauts in space. In the mid-1990s, the Coca-Cola Company flew on two space shuttle flights fountains to dispense carbonated soft drinks. The results however, were not what Coca-Cola expected and the project was canceled.

The beverages currently flown to the station, including fruit drinks, tea and coffee, are dry powders packaged in Capri-Sun-like foil pouches. On orbit, the astronauts add water — recycled from the crew’s urine and other waste water — to the drinks and then insert a clamped straw to avoid the liquid from floating out.

“We have been thinking about taking espresso into space for some time,” said Giuseppe Lavazza, vice president of the coffee retailer Lavazza, in a statement. “Today we are in a position to overcome the limits of weightlessness and enjoy a good espresso – the indisputable symbol of made in Italy products – on board the International Space Station.” [Video: ISSpresso by Argotec and Lavazza]

Lavazza and the Argotec aerospace company created the ISSpresso in collaboration with the Italian Space Agency (Agenzia Spaziale Italiana). Argotec has recently been the company responsible for developing the space food for the European astronauts who have flown to the station.

Lavazza's and Argotec's 'ISSpresso'
A prototype of Lavazza’s and Argotec’s “ISSpresso” dispenses a freshly-brewed Italian espresso just as the final coffee machine will do so onboard the International Space Station.
Credit: Lavazza/Argotec

The ISSpresso’s arrival on the station is timed to coincide with the launch this November of European Space Agency (ESA) astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti. Not only will she become the first Italian woman in space, but should all go as planned, she will also be the first to enjoy a real Italian espresso in orbit.

“How cool is that?” Cristoforetti wrote on Twitter. “I’ll get to operate the first space espresso machine!”

The ISSpresso, which in addition to espresso can also be used brew caffè lungo and other hot beverages, including tea and broth, has been designed to meet the needs of the space environment. For example, the plastic tubing that is typically used to route water through terrestrial machines has been replaced with steel pipes that can withstand high pressurization.

“ISSpresso is a technological challenge that meets very stringent requirements… in terms of technical functionality and safety,” said Arogtec managing director David Avino.

The ISSpresso is intended to do more than just increase the variety of the astronauts’ drinks and add to the study of fluid dynamics in microgravity, but also create a “corner cafè” to contribute to the crew’s psychological well-being.

“A sort of social network in space,” Lavazza said of the cafè concept. “[The ISSpresso will be] a venue for getting together, chatting and relaxing: an aspect that should not be ignored in missions that keep the astronauts away from home for many months in a challenging environment.”

The ISSpresso’s flight to the space station is possible due to the existing agreements between ASI and NASA.

“We are proud to contribute to the promotion of the image and spreading of the Made-in-Italy brand at international or better ‘space,’ level,” said Roberto Battiston, the president of the Italian Space Agency.

ISSpresso Space Coffee Machine
The ISSpresso space coffee machine measures 17 by 16.5 by 14 inches (43 by 42 by 36 centimeters) and weighs 44 pounds (20 kilograms).
Credit: Lavazza/Argotec

The ISSpresso, while the first coffee machine, is not the first beverage dispenser to be developed for astronauts in space. In the mid-1990s, the Coca-Cola Company flew on two space shuttle flights fountains to dispense carbonated soft drinks. The results however, were not what Coca-Cola expected and the project was canceled.

The beverages currently flown to the station, including fruit drinks, tea and coffee, are dry powders packaged in Capri-Sun-like foil pouches. On orbit, the astronauts add water — recycled from the crew’s urine and other waste water — to the drinks and then insert a clamped straw to avoid the liquid from floating out.

Microsoft Announces Azure ML, Cloud-based Machine Learning Platform That Can Predict Future Events .


 

Microsoft has been on quite a cloud roll lately and today it announced a new cloud-based machine learning platform called Azure ML, which enables companies to use the power of the cloud to build applications and APIs based on big data and predict future events instead of looking backwards at what happened.

The product is built on the machine learning capabilities already available in several Microsoft products including Xbox and Bing and using predefined templates and workflows has been built to help companies launch predictive applications much more quickly than traditional development methods, even allowing customers to publish APIs and web services on top of the Azure ML platform.

Joseph Sirosh, corporate vice president at Microsoft, who was in charge of the Azure ML, and spent years at Amazon before joining Microsoft to lead this effort, said the platform enables customers and partners to build big data applications to predict, forecast and change future outcomes.

He says this ability to look forward instead of back is what really stands out in this product.

“Traditional data analysis let you predict the future. Machine learning lets you change the future,” Sirosh explained. He says by allowing you to detect patterns, you can forecast demand, predict disease outbreaks, anticipate when elevators need maintenance before they break and even predict and prevent crime, as just a few examples.

Sirosh says the cloud really changes the dynamic here because it provides the ability to scale, and the service takes care of much of the heavy lifting that would have taken weeks or months for  companies trying to do it themselves in-house in a data center.

“The cloud solves the last mile problem, Sirosh explained. Before a service like this, you needed data scientists to identify the data set, then have IT build an application to support that. This last part often took weeks or months to code and engineer at scale. He says Azure ML takes that process and provides a way to build that same application in hours.

What’s more is it supports more than 300 packages from the popular open source project R used by many data scientists.

Sirosh says the hope is that as more people use the platform and generate APIs and applications, and create what he called, “a virtuous cycle between data and APIs. ” People have data. They bring it to [Azure ML] to create APIs. People hook into applications then feed data back to the cloud and fuel more APIs, “he explained.

The product is currently in confidential preview, but Microsoft did mention a couple of examples including Max 451, a Microsoft partner working with large retailers to help predict which products customers are most likely to purchase, allowing them to stock their stores before the demand.

Carnegie Mellon University is working with Azure ML to help reduce energy costs in campus buildings by predicting and mitigating activities to reduce overall energy usage and cost.

Microsoft is not alone in this space, however. IBM launched Watson as a cloud service last winter for similar types of machine learning application building and just last week a startup called Ersatz Labs also launched a deep learning artificial intelligence cloud platform.

Azure ML goes into public preview next month. There is no word yet on the official launch date.

Girl’s Uncontrollable Laughter Caused By Brain Tumor


They say laughter is the best medicine. But what if laughter is the disease?

For a 6-year-old girl in Bolivia who suffered from uncontrollable and inappropriate bouts of giggles, laughter was a symptom of a serious brain problem. But doctors initially diagnosed the child with “misbehavior.”

“She was considered spoiled, crazy — even devil-possessed,” Dr. José Liders Burgos Zuleta, ofAdvanced Medical Image Centre, in Bolivia, said in a statement.

They say laughter is the best medicine. But what if laughter is the disease?

For a 6-year-old girl in Bolivia who suffered from uncontrollable and inappropriate bouts of giggles, laughter was a symptom of a serious brain problem. But doctors initially diagnosed the child with “misbehavior.”

“She was considered spoiled, crazy — even devil-possessed,” Dr. José Liders Burgos Zuleta, ofAdvanced Medical Image Centre, in Bolivia, said in a statement.

They say laughter is the best medicine. But what if laughter is the disease?

For a 6-year-old girl in Bolivia who suffered from uncontrollable and inappropriate bouts of giggles, laughter was a symptom of a serious brain problem. But doctors initially diagnosed the child with “misbehavior.”

“She was considered spoiled, crazy — even devil-possessed,” Dr. José Liders Burgos Zuleta, ofAdvanced Medical Image Centre, in Bolivia, said in a statement. [14 Oddest Medical Cases]

But Burgos Zuleta discovered that the true cause of the girl’s laughing seizures, medically called gelastic seizures, was a brain tumor.

After the girl underwent a brain scan, the doctors discovered a hamartoma, a small, benign tumor that was pressing against her brain’s temporal lobe.The doctors surgically removed the tumor, and the girl is now healthy, the doctors said.

brain tumor mri
A brain tumor from a young girl with uncontrollable laughter is shown in this MRI scan.
Credit: Burgos Zuleta et al \ ecancermedicalscience

The girl stopped having the uncontrollable attacks of laughter and now only laughs normally, the doctors said.

Gelastic seizures are a form of epilepsy that is relatively rare, said Dr. Solomon Moshé, a pediatric neurologist at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York. The word comes from the Greek word for laughter, “gelos.”

“It’s not necessarily ‘hahaha’ laughing,” Moshé told Live Science. “There’s no happiness in this. Some of the kids may be very scared,” he added.

The seizures are most often caused by tumors in the hypothalamus, especially in kids, although they can also come from tumors in other parts of brain, Moshé said. Although laughter is the main symptom, patients may also have outbursts of crying.

These tumors can cause growth abnormalities if they affect the pituitary gland, he said.

The surgery to remove such brain tumors used to be difficult and dangerous, but a new surgical technique developed within the last 10 years allows doctors to remove them effectively without great risk, Moshé said.

The doctors who treated the girl said their report of her case could raise awareness of the strange condition, so doctors in Latin America can diagnose the true cause of some children’s “behavioral” problems, and refer them to a neurologist.

The case report was published today (June 16) in the journal ecancermedicalscience.

But Burgos Zuleta discovered that the true cause of the girl’s laughing seizures, medically called gelastic seizures, was a brain tumor.

After the girl underwent a brain scan, the doctors discovered a hamartoma, a small, benign tumor that was pressing against her brain’s temporal lobe.The doctors surgically removed the tumor, and the girl is now healthy, the doctors said.

brain tumor mri
A brain tumor from a young girl with uncontrollable laughter is shown in this MRI scan.
Credit: Burgos Zuleta et al \ ecancermedicalscience

The girl stopped having the uncontrollable attacks of laughter and now only laughs normally, the doctors said.

Gelastic seizures are a form of epilepsy that is relatively rare, said Dr. Solomon Moshé, a pediatric neurologist at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York. The word comes from the Greek word for laughter, “gelos.”

“It’s not necessarily ‘hahaha’ laughing,” Moshé told Live Science. “There’s no happiness in this. Some of the kids may be very scared,” he added.

The seizures are most often caused by tumors in the hypothalamus, especially in kids, although they can also come from tumors in other parts of brain, Moshé said. Although laughter is the main symptom, patients may also have outbursts of crying.

These tumors can cause growth abnormalities if they affect the pituitary gland, he said.

The surgery to remove such brain tumors used to be difficult and dangerous, but a new surgical technique developed within the last 10 years allows doctors to remove them effectively without great risk, Moshé said.

The doctors who treated the girl said their report of her case could raise awareness of the strange condition, so doctors in Latin America can diagnose the true cause of some children’s “behavioral” problems, and refer them to a neurologist.

The case report was published today (June 16) in the journal ecancermedicalscience.

But Burgos Zuleta discovered that the true cause of the girl’s laughing seizures, medically called gelastic seizures, was a brain tumor.

After the girl underwent a brain scan, the doctors discovered a hamartoma, a small, benign tumor that was pressing against her brain’s temporal lobe.The doctors surgically removed the tumor, and the girl is now healthy, the doctors said.

brain tumor mri
A brain tumor from a young girl with uncontrollable laughter is shown in this MRI scan.
Credit: Burgos Zuleta et al \ ecancermedicalscience

The girl stopped having the uncontrollable attacks of laughter and now only laughs normally, the doctors said.

Gelastic seizures are a form of epilepsy that is relatively rare, said Dr. Solomon Moshé, a pediatric neurologist at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York. The word comes from the Greek word for laughter, “gelos.”

“It’s not necessarily ‘hahaha’ laughing,” Moshé told Live Science. “There’s no happiness in this. Some of the kids may be very scared,” he added.

The seizures are most often caused by tumors in the hypothalamus, especially in kids, although they can also come from tumors in other parts of brain, Moshé said. Although laughter is the main symptom, patients may also have outbursts of crying.

These tumors can cause growth abnormalities if they affect the pituitary gland, he said.

The surgery to remove such brain tumors used to be difficult and dangerous, but a new surgical technique developed within the last 10 years allows doctors to remove them effectively without great risk, Moshé said.

The doctors who treated the girl said their report of her case could raise awareness of the strange condition, so doctors in Latin America can diagnose the true cause of some children’s “behavioral” problems, and refer them to a neurologist.

The case report was published today (June 16) in the journal ecancermedicalscience.

Oil Drilling Contaminated Western Amazon Rainforest, Study Confirms


Peru’s Amazon rainforest is extensively contaminated from decades of oil and gas drilling, researchers reported  here at the annual Goldschmidt geochemistry conference.

In the past decade, volatile demonstrations by indigenous groups and tangled lawsuits against oil companies have exposed the toxic legacy of decades of oil drilling in the Western Amazon. People living in the rainforest say they are suffering health effects from the nearby polluted drilling and waste sites, and from eating plants and wildlife laced with heavy metals and petroleum compounds.

But lax government regulations during the early years of oil exploration, combined with a lack of environmental monitoring, mean there’s little data on the true extent of contamination in the richly diverse rainforest.

“I was surprised by how little has been published,” said study co-author Antoni Rosell-Melé, an environmental chemist at the Autonomous University of Barcelona in Spain.

Now, using publicly available water sampling data, Rosell-Melé and his colleagues have built a comprehensive database of contamination levels during the past 30 years in Peru’s remote rainforest. The team plans to publish the database so other scientists can use the data to better understand how oil exploration affects the Amazon rainforest. [See Stunning Photos of the Amazon Rainforest]

“We know a lot about the impacts of deforestation, but very little has been published about the impacts of oil exploration,” Rosell-Melé said.

“When we extract oil, it has a very high price for the environment, and sometimes, it’s not paid by those who use the oil,” Rosell-Melé said.

The data comes from Peruvian public agencies, oil companies and non-governmental organizations, but has never been collected in one place. The database contains 4,480 samples from 10 major rivers, taken between 1983 and 2013.

Nearly 70 percent of the river water samples exceed Peru’s limits for lead, and 20 percent exceed cadmium limits, Rosell-Melé said. “There’s clearly been impacts from discharge into the rivers,” he said.

During the early decades of oil mining, companies dumped their drilling waste into open pits or directly into rivers and streams. Leaky pipelines and wells, as well as accidental oil spills could also produce the contamination detected in the water samples. The heavy metals and other compounds tested were at higher levels downstream of the discharge sites, as compared with levels upstream, which suggests the oil discharges had caused the contamination, the researchers said.

Health effects

High levels of lead and cadmium have been found in blood taken from indigenous people living in the rainforest, and from the wildlife these groups hunt for food, according to earlier studies.

Activists believe the contamination results from such pollutants moving up the food chain, from wildlife to indigenous peoples who rely on the rainforest ecosystem for a subsistence lifestyle.

To confirm that rainforest animals eat in oil-contaminated areas, the researchers set up camera traps in the forest. The traps caught animals such as tapirs feeding directly on the chemicals from the spills, and researchers documented oil in the animals’ feces. Rosell-Melé thinks the animals are attracted to the taste of salty wastewater and chemicals. Soils in the rainforest are low in salt, and animals may mistake the spills for natural salt licks, Rossell-Mele said.

Camera trap images show tapirs feeding in an area of the Peru rainforest
Camera trap images show tapirs feeding in an area of the Peru rainforest contaminated by an oil spill. Oil was found in animal feces in the same area.
Credit: Antoni Rosell-Mele, Pedro Mayor and Marti Orta

According to the database, pollution levels in Peru’s rainforest rivers started to drop after 2007, when the government ordered drilling companies to stop dumping toxic waste into rivers.

“The situation has improved over what it used to be, but it’s not acceptable by Western standards,” Rosell-Melé said.

The new environmental regulations haven’t completely prevented new toxic waste spills, however. Peru’s Environment Ministry declared an environmental emergency in the Corrientes and Pastaza River basins in March 2013 due to drilling contamination.

About 30 percent of the world’s rainforests overlie fossil fuel reservoirs, Rosell-Melé said. Huge oil and gas reserves have been discovered under the Amazon rainforest in Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and western Brazil. Oil drilling in the Western Amazon peaked in the 1970s, with exploration funded by both private companies and national governments. The rise in oil prices during the 2000s sparked a new drilling boom in the area. More than 180 areas zoned for new exploration and development now cover a section of Amazon rainforest the size of Germany.

“The exploitation of these resources is a threat to biological and cultural diversity,” Rosell-Melé said.

7 Reasons Your Password Security Is Weak .


You may feel like your password is safe because it uses letters, numbers, and an ampersand, but don’t be so sure. Here, secrets to why your secure account is more hackable than you think.

By Damon Beres

  • 1 / 8

Your Password is “Password”

Amazingly, “password” was the most popular password in 2012—according to hackers who stole millions of them. Also popular: “123456” and its neighbor “12345678,” “welcome,” “letmein,” and “jesus.”

 

 

 

 

 

http://www.rd.com/slideshows/password-security-weak/?utm_content=bufferb0dc0&utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook.com&utm_campaign=buffer

Introducing synthetic features to living organisms without genetic modification


Genetic engineering is one of the great achievements of modern science, allowing for the insertion or deletion of genes in order to control an organism’s characteristics and behaviors. However, genetic engineering has its drawbacks, including the difficulties involved in engineering living systems and the potential long-term consequences of altering ecosystems with engineered organisms.

But a new study has shown that controlling organisms on the cellular level does not necessarily require genetic modification. Writing in Nature Communications, Roberta Lentini, et al., have demonstrated that Escherichia coli (E. coli) behavior can be controlled by constructing artificial cells that first sense molecules that E. coli alone cannot sense, and then release different molecules that E. coli can sense. In a way, the artificial cells act as translators by converting unrecognized signals into a chemical language that organisms can understand. The translated signal can then potentially trigger a controllable response in the organism. 

“In my opinion, the greatest significance of our work is that it shows that there’s more than one way to do synthetic biology,” coauthor Sheref Mansy, an assistant professor of biochemistry at the University of Trento in Italy, told Phys.org. “Too often everyone gets excited about one technology or one approach, which sometimes means that solutions to problems get missed because these potential solutions don’t depend on prevalent methods. What we’ve shown is that artificial cells could be used to get around a few of the aspects of living technologies that make people uncomfortable.” 

In their experiments, the researchers constructed artificial cells that contain a special vesicle which in turn contains several biological components, including a chemical that E. coli can sense (isopropyl b-D-1 thiogalactopyranoside, or IPTG) and DNA that encodes for a riboswitch that responds to an external stimulus. In this case, the external stimulus is the molecule theophylline, commonly found in cocoa beans. 

When the artificial cell’s riboswitch detects the presence of theophylline, it activates the translation process: a small pore opens in the cell, resulting in the release of IPTG. The E. coli responds to IPTG by exhibiting a green fluorescence, enabling the researchers to easily observe that the new strategy works successfully. 

Although E. coli does not respond to theophylline on its own, the artificial cells effectively “expand the senses” of the bacteria by allowing it to indirectly respond to theophylline by translating the chemical message. In this way, E. coli‘s  can be controlled without the need for . The new strategy can potentially overcome the disadvantages of genetic engineering, including the technical difficulties and unintended side effects. 

The researchers highlight several examples of how artificial cells may play a role in controlling cellular behavior. One application is using bacteria to search for and clean up environmental contaminants. Instead of genetically engineering bacteria to do this, artificial cells could be constructed to sense the contaminant molecules and release chemoattractants that lure natural bacteria capable of feeding on the contaminants to the site. 

Artificial cells could also be used for medical applications, such as to destroy tumors and bacterial infections. For example, rather than spraying engineered bacteria into the lungs of , artificial cells could be built to detect the presence of specific biofilms, and then release small molecules to disperse the biofilms and thus clear the infection. Similar strategies could also be used to replace engineered probiotics in food and supplements with artificial cells that communicate with gut microbiota to prevent disease. 

Before these applications can be realized, however, artificial cells will need several improvements. One of the most important limitations is the batch-to-batch variability of the artificial cells, which results in varying degrees of activity. More work also needs to be done to protect against degradation of the artificial cells’ membranes, which would result in the release of the encapsulated molecules even in the absence of the environmental molecules. Future work may also include merging non-genetically modified and genetically modified components to tailor specific cellular features. 

“We’d like to make the artificial cells more robust so that they can survive harsher and more varied conditions,” Mansy said. “Ultimately we’d like to build  that can function inside of animals or in the environment, but right now they are probably too fragile.”