Certain working professionals, such as carpenters and painters, might know what trisodium phosphate (TSP) is. They’d know that TSP is an industrial cleaning agent used for paint prep work, as a degreasing agent, as a mildew remover, siding cleaner and lead abating agent. However, what these working pros wouldn’t expect is for TSP to be in their breakfast, lunch, and toothpaste!
TSP used for industrial cleaning comes with first aid warnings on it due to the compound’s extreme alkalinity. Yet, breakfast cereal manufacturers are bold enough to put this product in their cereals and even list it right on the ingredient label! Go ahead right now and look in your cabinet, if you have a mainstream breakfast cereal in there you might see TSP listed on the label in plain sight.
TSP and the FDA’s hypocrisy
The FDA has approved TSP to be generally recognized as safe (GRAS). Because of its alkalinizing cleaning properties, TSP has been used in dishwashing and laundry products over the years. But government studies have found that TSP is bad for the environment and as such TSP was phased out of common household cleaning products in 2011. The hypocrisy of this is outstanding; TSP is bad for our ecology, but it’s okay to put it in food!?
Along with GMOs and gluten, TSP is another item you’ll probably want to add to your list of things to avoid in foods that you buy and support with your dollar. Luckily, TSP usually is easily visible on the ingredients list, so if you know where to look you can avoid buying it for your family.
What types of products contain trisodium phosphate?
Among the cereals that contain it are Wheaties, most types of Cheerios, Lucky Charms, Trader Joe’s brands, and others. It appears that most General Mills cereal brands contain TSP. However, there are many brands of cereals that potentially have TSP added as an ingredient so check your labels. Some other foods and products that contain TSP include:
– Processed meats
– Processed cheese
– Many canned soups
– Commercial cakes and baked goods (added as a leavening agent)
– Baby toothpastes
– Hair coloring and bleaching products
The FDA has stated that TSP is not a risk in food, but on the PAN Pesticides Database-Chemicals website it clearly states to avoid contact with TSP, either internally or topically (as in hair products). Some of the health problems that can arise from ingesting TSP are: irritation the gastric mucosa, reduction of lactic acid in muscles, a mineral imbalance leading to loss of calcium from bones, and calcification of the kidneys. The daily recommended value of TSP is 70mg. Western diets consisting of junk food sometimes reach upwards of 500mg of TSP, which leads to an increased risk of developing osteoporosis and other health problems.
Women who give spontaneous preterm birth have specific genetic signatures which doctors can now detect with a simple blood test.
Women and Infants Research Foundation Associate Professor Craig Pennell says early contractions are the main reason why women are admitted to hospital but only five per cent will go on to deliver their babies early.
The extended hospitalisation exposes them to unnecessary psychological stress and medical intervention while putting unnecessary pressure on the health system.
However research co-authored by Prof Pennell and published in Plos One uses microarrays to investigate the genes expressed in white blood cells, identifying nine that performed well as a predictive test for spontaneous premature delivery.
The test used blood from 150 women who were admitted to King Edward Memorial Hospital of which 48 gave birth within 48 hours.
Prof Pennell says the test showed gene activation in pathways related to immune system processes, and inflammatory and biological stress pathways.
“What we are looking at is what is being turned on and off in white blood cells and what is causing labour related to the myometrium, to the uterine muscle, and foetal membrane and these sorts of things,” Prof Pennell says.
“We can’t sample the myometrium of a women in labour or who comes in contracting or is asymptomatic, but we can collect blood so we were looking for a distant marker.
Cellular pathways for better understanding preterm birth
“The interesting thing is the genes that we have shown to increase or decrease when we look at the pathways are the same eight or nine that over-expressed or under-expressed and the vast majority of those pathways fit with existing biological knowledge.
“Because we have identified these new pathways and new genes where there are expression differences, it may that some of these pathways or some of these genes have proteins that can be blocked.”
It is estimated eight per cent of babies born in WA are delivered prematurely.
Current interventions to prevent preterm births are medications aimed at stopping contractions by relaxing muscles.
But Prof Pennell says that’s treating the symptom rather than the cause and by better understanding the cellular process, doctors can better treat the cause.
You may have heard of Lagrangian points — they are five gravitationally stable locations around our planet, created by the forces exerted by the Earth and Moon on each other. They’re a perfect place to put a satellite (and indeed we have). In this incredible model, you can see exactly where they are, and why.
Of course, Lagrangian points aren’t unique to Earth. They’re created by any two objects with sufficient mass that are orbiting each other in space. Science fiction writers often use them in stories where starship pilots need a nice, stable spot to hover next to a planet or moon. Situating yourself at a Lagrange point is probably the closest thing you’ll get in space to dropping anchor.
Brian Weinstein, an applied mathematics grad student who runs the always-awesome Fouriest Series tumblr, has put together an amazing illustration of the Lagrangian points around Earth. Here he explains what you’re seeing:
The Lagrangian points are the five locations in an orbital system where the combined gravitational force of two large masses is exactly canceled out by the centrifugal force arising from the rotating reference frame.
At these five points, the net force on a third body (of negligible mass) is 0, allowing the third object to be completely stationary relative to the two other masses. That is, when placed at any of these points, the third body stays perfectly still in the rotating frame.
The first image shows the fields due to the first mass, the second mass, and the rotating reference frame. When added together, these fields generate the effective field shown in the second image. The five Lagrangian points are indicated with gray spheres.
The first three Lagrangian points (labeled L1, L2, and L3) lie in line with the two larger bodies and are considered metastable equilibria. L4 and L5 lie 60° ahead of and behind the second body in its orbit and are considered stable equilibria.
Crime fighters could soon have a new method to detect illegal drugs thanks to researchers in Italy. The team has succeeded in grafting an artificial receptor – capable of identifying a whole family of methamphetamine drugs rather than just one – onto a microscopic silicon springboard that flexes when the receptor hosts a relevant guest drug molecule.
The new approach could be useful for tackling so-called designer drugs, in which minor modifications are made to an existing drug. While these are currently not illegal in many jurisdictions, moves are afoot to outlaw them. This will present a challenge for the authorities when it comes to identifying these substances on the street. While assays exist for the currently illicit substance, the same test may not be able to identify a related designer drug.
Now a team led by Enrico Dalcanale of the University of Parma and Paolo Bergese of the University of Brescia has developed a sensor which responds to the portion of the methamphetamine molecule that is common to the entire family. The core of the sensor consists of a bowl-shaped supramolecular structure containing four phosphonate residues. This class of compound is termed a cavitand, and is capable of acting as a host to a variety of guest molecules, which bind non-covalently, such as through hydrogen bonding and hydrophobic interactions. X-ray diffraction studies show that the cavity of the team’s tetraphosphonate cavitand specifically recognises+NH2–CH3 residues – the common structure of methamphetamine salts – and to a lesser extent +NH–CH3 , present in cocaine.
The team used photochemical methods to graft the cavitand receptors onto the surface of a micrometre-scale silicon microcantilever. When a guest molecule binds to the receptor, an exchange of energy occurs at the surface of the cantilever causing it to deflect – movement that can be picked up and quantified by a laser. Using samples of drugs seized by police on the streets, the system was shown to respond to a number of methamphetamines and to cocaine, but not to substances that the drugs are often ‘cut’ with, such as caffeine or sugars.
‘We have demonstrated that it is possible to build a device which is capable of detecting the entire class of methamphetamines with extremely high selectivity in water,’ says Dalcanale, adding that the system could also be used for environmental monitoring of drugs in, for example, wastewater.
Dermot Diamond, director of the National Centre for Sensor Research in Ireland, applauds the team’s achievement in successfully immobilising the receptor on the cantilever and for being able to distinguish the sample drugs from sugars. However, Diamond adds: ‘Detecting illicit drugs and their residues in wastewater is a very challenging proposition for a sensing device of the type they have produced. This is because the complexity of the same, and the range of potential interferents, goes way beyond what the authors have tested.’
Professor Kathryn Lilley explains the science behind recent progress in working out when and where our proteins are made
Of the total amount of DNA, only around 2% carries the blueprint for proteins.
Researchers recently announced that they had created an inventory of all the proteins in the human body – proteins that are encoded by the genome. We ask expert Professor Kathryn Lilley from the Cambridge Centre for Proteomics to shed light on this “human proteome”.
What exactly is the human proteome?
All the proteins that can be present in the human body at any given time and location.
What information does it give us?
Proteins are the workhorses of the cell, carrying out many jobs. They are extremely dynamic so, depending on the time of day, whether the tissue is healthy or not, the type of tissue it is, the age of the person, even what they had for dinner the night before, the proteome will [change to] reflect that.
What are the benefits?
[These maps have] produced a very nice framework on which other studies can build. Also [they show] something about the different amounts of protein in tissues and what could be classed as a “baseline” amount. So if you start seeing changes that are related to disease then this is going to help us understand perhaps the mechanisms of the disease and also potentially look for markers of drug resistance and drug sensitivity.
How are our proteins linked to our genome?
The genome is constant and is composed of DNA, found in our chromosomes. Of the total amount of DNA, only around 2% carries the blueprint for proteins. The bits of the DNA sequence that code for proteins are first transcribed into RNA and that is then translated into protein.
How has this protein map been determined?
The main method used has been mass spectrometry. Mass spectrometers can be considered as sophisticated scales – they will tell you the mass of anything that they analyse. There are thousands of different proteins in a cell and we can’t analyse them all simultaneously. [One approach is to] take your proteins and digest them with a protease, an enzyme that will cut proteins into small chunks [called peptides]. [We then] separate and string out these peptides using a process called chromatography so that the mass spectrometer is able to process only a few at a time. It gives you both the mass and the sequence of the peptide. We [then] go back to the genome models [and] see whether your peptide sequences match what has been deduced from the genome sequence.
Are there any downsides?
You don’t get complete coverage. Where the whole gene, when it is translated into a protein sequence, probably will code for proteins from which hundreds of peptides can be made, you [might] only see one of them. Also, mass spectrometry is notorious for under-sampling so we can identify only the most abundant proteins.
How complete are the proteome maps?
The two papers from the US and India say that they have evidence for between 84% and 92% of the proteome – what they actually have is smaller pieces of evidence for this number of genes that we think should be transcribed and translated into protein. What they haven’t got is 84%-92% of the total coverage. To get that is going to require a vast amount of work. Also proteins exist in multiple forms – so the potential proteome is enormous.
It’s a disturbing thought, one that usually hits after an unexpected physical challenge. Maybe you’ve been unable to maintain your usual workout levels, or recovery is taking a lot longer than it used to. Perhaps fixes to the house are just a bit more difficult, or you can’t perform in the bedroom the way you used to.
What’s most startling about this realization is that you don’t normally “feel old” but, nevertheless, you know you don’t look or feel like the man you used to be.
And the issue? You might not have enough free testosterone
A person’s bloodstream contains two types of testosterone: bonded testosterone and free testosterone. Bonded testosterone attaches to molecules in the body and is mostly ineffective. However, free testosterone can enter your cells easily and plays a vital role in libido, strength, stamina, and vitality—all of which are important to men.
Over the last few years the market has been flooded with questionable options for increasing a man’s free testosterone levels: useless pills, questionable supplements, and dangerous or illegal medical treatments. But now a group of researchers in Boston, Massachusetts have developed a dietary supplement that triggers the body to increase its levels of free testosterone naturally and safely.
Called Nugenix, the supplement primarily relies on an ingredient called Testofen®, which comes from the rare Fenugreek plant. Testofen® has been shown in clinical trials to boost free testosterone levels, increase sex drive, and improve libido. Adding to Nugenix’s potency are additional key ingredients like zinc and vitamins B12 and B6, which have been shown to improve physical performance and strength, increase drive, and aid in recovery.
Nugenix has no harmful side effects, is manufactured in the United States under FDA Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP), and has been shown to deliver improvements in strength and endurance in as little as a week.
This isn’t product hype delivered by a know-it-all enthusiast from the gym. According to studies held in both Irvine, California and Queensland, Australia, the results from Nugenix are nothing short of spectacular. From greater muscle definition and quicker recovery times, to increased sex drive and feelings of alertness, these users are reporting virtual transformations as a result of safely boosting their free testosterone with Nugenix.
Nugenix is the top selling men’s vitality product in GNC, outselling every other brand —many of which don’t contain the clinically substantiated amounts of Testofen® needed to see actual results.
Best of all, right now the company that manufacturers Nugenix is giving away samples of the products to qualifying customers who request them online.
The maker of a drone that fires pepper spray bullets says it has received its first order for the machine.
South Africa-based Desert Wolf told the BBC it had secured the sale of 25 units to a mining company after showing off the tech at a trade show.
It is marketing the device as a “riot control copter” that can tackle crowds “without endangering the lives of security staff”.
But the International Trade Union Confederation is horrified by the idea.
“This is a deeply disturbing and repugnant development and we are convinced that any reasonable government will move quickly to stop the deployment of advanced battlefield technology on workers or indeed the public involved in legitimate protests and demonstrations,” said spokesman Tim Noonan.
He added that the ITUC would now try to identify which company had ordered the drones.
Desert Wolf unveiled the drone in South Africa last month
“We will be taking this up as a matter of urgency with the unions in the mining sector globally,” he added.
Desert Wolf’s website states that its Skunk octacopter drone is fitted with four high-capacity paintball barrels, each capable of firing up to 20 bullets per second.
In addition to pepper-spray ammunition, the firm says it can also be armed with dye-marker balls and solid plastic balls.
The machine can carry up to 4,000 bullets at a time as well as “blinding lasers” and on-board speakers that can communicate warnings to a crowd.
Although the firm’s site only features a graphic showing the machine’s design, the Defence Web news site has published a photo of the drone after it was unveiled at a security trade show near Johannesburg in May.
Using pepper spray against a crowd of protesters is a form of torture”
Noel SharkeyInternational Committee for Robot Arms Control
“We received an order for 25 units just after,” Desert Wolf’s managing director Hennie Kieser told the BBC.
“We cannot disclose the customer, but I am allowed to say it will be used by an international mining house.
“We are also busy with a number of other customers who want to finalise their orders.
“Some [are] mines in South Africa, some security companies in South Africa and outside South Africa, some police units outside South Africa and a number of other industrial customers.”
Mr Kieser said that he now planned to invite potential clients to see demonstration flights that would be held in Africa, Europe and the Americas over the coming months.
Desert Wolf already sells other drone products to industry
“We designed and developed the Skunk because of a huge safety risk that had to be addressed,” he added.
“We cannot afford another Lonmin Marikana and by removing the police on foot, using non-lethal technology, I believe that everyone will be much safer.”
Lonmin Marikana is a reference to a violent strike over pay in 2012 that resulted in 44 deaths at a South African platinum mine. Most of the deceased were workers, but local police were also among the casualties.
Mr Kieser noted that Lonmin was not the customer in question.
Guy Martin, the editor of Defence Web, said he believed the drone was unique.
“The Skunk unmanned aerial vehicle with its four paintball guns, loudhailer and cameras is only a logical next step in the development of UAVs, but nevertheless it is a watershed moment in their evolution and goes to show that UAVs have almost unlimited uses,” he said.
“I predict that we will see a whole new wave of UAVs emerging with payloads more unusual than tasers, dart guns and paintball guns.”
A Texas-based firm has developed a drone fitted with a stun gun, but it is not for sale
But Noel Sharkey, chair of the International Committee for Robot Arms Control campaign group, is concerned that the deployment of such drones risks “creeping authoritarianism and the suppression of protest”.
“Firing plastic balls or bullets from the air will maim and kill,” he said.
“Using pepper spray against a crowd of protesters is a form of torture and should not be allowed.
“We urgently need an investigation by the international community before these drones are used.”
Perniosis is a local inflammatory disorder caused by prolonged exposure to nonfreezing cold.1 The pathogenesis of this disorder is not fully understood but is likely of microvascular origin.2
We describe a novel method to evaluate cutaneous blood blow in a typical patient with perniosis, a woman in her 20s who was referred to the dermatology clinic with a 10-day history of painful purple discoloration on her toes that began shortly after running in cold weather. She had no lesions on her fingers and no systemic symptoms except for fatigue. Her family history was negative for autoimmune disease. The results of a workup that included complete blood cell count, antinuclear antibody cryoglobulins, and cold agglutinins were negative except for a slightly decreased white blood cell count and 8% atypical lymphocytes, which later normalized. She was placed on a regimen of nifedipine (10 mg twice daily). Her skin symptoms resolved during 3 months but recurred when exposed to cold and when stopping nifedipine.
Presented by Chris Packham, the BBC Two doc delves into the myths, legends and eye-witness stories, now caught on camera, of blood pumping from the trunks of trees.
Interviewing one footage creator, Packham hears how a scientist and tree surgeon got a ‘shock’ after cutting into a trunk.
He says: “I was chopping down a tree and got the shock of my life”
Pathologist David Rose says this phenomenon is on the increase.
“We get quite a few every year,” says Rose. “They vary from where people have cut the branch off and they bleed to where blood appears to come through the bark… we worry about this bleeding being either a disease or more supernatural.”
“If we cut across the trunk that would be a bit like cutting across the limb of an animal, you would severe the artery and fluid would come gushing out,” explains Packham.
In the video above they show the shocking footage of the seemingly distressed trees.
Also in the programme Packham investigates more unusual natural events, with reports on fish ‘walking’ out of the water in Florida and bees in France that are making multicoloured honey.