Researchers identify targets for immunotherapy in early-stage breast cancer


Yale Cancer Center researchers used a new molecular analysis tool to accurately detect the level of an important target for immunotherapy in early-stage breast cancers. The diagnostic test, using RNAScope, measures the amount of PD-L1 (programmed death ligand 1) mRNA in routine formalin-fixed cancer tissues and is devoid of many of the technical issues that plague antibody-based detection methods that have yielded conflicting results in the past. PD-L1 is the target of several novel immune stimulatory therapies in clinical trials. The findings were published in the Journal of Clinical Cancer Research in May.

 

PD-L1 is a protein that plays an important role in suppressing immune response, and in cancer, it may allow tumors to evade immune attack. The study demonstrated that about 60 percent of early-stage breast cancers have PD-L1 expression, and a subset of these cancers also have large numbers of tumor infiltrating lymphocytes. High levels of lymphocytes and PD-L1 predicted for better survival, suggesting a beneficial role for the immune system in at least partially controlling these cancers.

“This is exciting because these findings provide the rationale to test PD-L1 targeted therapies in  with the hope of further improving cure rates in early stage  ,” said Lajos Pusztai, MD, DPhil, professor of Medical Oncology and chief of Breast Medical Oncology at Smilow Cancer Hospital, Yale Cancer Center, and an author on the study. “Patients with many tumor infiltrating lymphocytes and high PD-L1 expression may be the ideal candidates for these therapies.”

Leading AIDS Researcher Killed in Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 Crash .


As the airport lounge filled with passengers waiting to boardMalaysia Airlines Flight 17, a renowned professor rushed to the gate while texting a colleague, saying that he was “superbusy.”

Veering into the business-class line, Joep Lange, an AIDS researcher, passed a former election observer who had just returned from Ukraine. They were among 298 passengers and crew aboard the flight, which was shot down over Ukraine on Thursday.

The disaster claimed the lives of a number of people headed to the International AIDS Conference, scheduled to begin on Sunday in Melbourne, Australia, theInternational AIDS Society said on Friday. Dr. Lange, 59, was accompanied by his partner, Jacqueline van Tongeren, 64. He was the executive scientific director of the Amsterdam Institute for Global Health and Development, and she worked as a communications director there.

“Joep was always traveling,” said Michiel Heidenrijk, the managing director of the institute, who received Dr. Lange’s hasty text. “I didn’t even wish him a good flight.”

Researchers and activists were stunned to learn that Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 had carried a number of people en route to the International AIDS Conference in Melbourne, Australia.

The World Health Organization confirmed on Friday that Glenn Thomas, 49, a communications officer, had also been aboard the plane. So had Pim de Kuijer, 32, a Dutch AIDS activist and former European Commission diplomat.

“We are bracing ourselves to hear of the deaths of others who worked in the AIDS response,” Michel Sidibé, executive director of Unaids, the United Nations agency fighting the disease, said in a statement. “The deaths of so many committed people working against H.I.V. will be a great loss.”

At a White House news conference on Friday, President Obama said, “These were men and women who had dedicated their own lives to saving the lives of others, and they were taken from us in a senseless act of violence.”

News of the crash greeted other AIDS researchers as they made connections in Sydney and elsewhere. The apprehension and grief were “enormous and pervasive,” Dr. Mike McCune, a professor of medicine at the University of California, San Francisco, said in an email.

After checking into his hotel in Melbourne, Dr. McCune went for a run and returned to find scientists from all over the world milling about the lobby, many in tears.

Dr. Lange, a former president of the AIDS society, began researching the epidemic in 1983 and had worked at the World Health Organization, heading clinical research and drug development in the mid-1990s. Even before the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria or the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief were created, Dr. Lange was a major advocate of affordable drugs for AIDS patients in poor countries.

He argued that the private sector should lead the way, especially companies with factories, breweries or mines in developing countries and many employees there, said Dr. Catherine Hankins, who was Dr. Lange’s deputy at the Amsterdam institute.

Dr. Lange created programs that improved health care in remote regions of Africa, inspiring the health organization and the Global Fund to start programs. He had just returned from Tanzania, where he was setting up a program to get antiretroviral medications to patients, Dr. Hankins said.

 

MAY HIS SOUL REST IN PEACE.

Magnesium deficiency symptoms explained: Do you show any of these?


Vitamins and minerals are essential to good health. They help build tissues and bones, transport and regulate our hormones, allow us to fight off infections and strengthen our immune systems. When we have a vitamin or mineral deficiency, it plays havoc with our bodies and our health. And the mineral magnesium is no exception.

magnesium

What does magnesium do?

Every organ in your body needs magnesium. It contributes to the formation of your teeth and bones, helps activate essential enzymes, regulates blood calcium levels, aids in the production of energy and regulates other essential nutrients such as zinc, copper, potassium and vitamin D. Our hearts, kidneys and muscles all require magnesium as well.

Foods high in magnesium include nuts, whole grains and green leafy vegetables, but it is difficult to get enough magnesium from dietary sources. Even when you do get enough magnesium from your diet, many things can deplete your body of this essential mineral. These include a viral illness that causes diarrhea or vomiting, irritable bowel syndrome, diabetes, hyperthyroidism, pancreatitis and kidney disease. Stress, menstrual periods and excessive use of coffee, salt, alcohol and soda can also deplete your magnesium stores.

Magnesium deficiency symptoms explained

magnesium deficiency can present itself with very specific symptoms. If you are experiencing any of these, a lack of magnesium may be the cause.

  • Depression – A study by the George Eby Research Institute reported at Science.NaturalNews.com (1) posits that a magnesium deficiency can cause neurological dysfunction and “neuronal injury” in the brain, which can lead to depression. Studies from as early as 1921 support this conclusion. A more recent clinical trial, conducted in 2008, proved that magnesium was as effective as antidepressants in treating diabetic patients with depression, without any of the harsh side effects of drug treatments.
  • Restless leg syndrome – Restless leg syndrome has only recently been recognized by the medical community, but those who suffer from it know that it has always been all too real. The condition causes a feeling of jitteriness and muscle tension in the legs, and sometimes the arms as well. The feeling is usually described as a constant, irresistible need to move the affected limb. Since the symptoms are usually worse at night, it can make sleep nearly impossible.
  • Abnormal heart rhythms – Also known as palpitations, abnormal heart rhythms are often experienced as a “flip flop” sensation in the chest or a feeling of the heart skipping a beat. The frightening sensation can last for just a few seconds or for a minute or more. According to an article published by the University of Maryland Medical Center (2), women with the highest level of dietary magnesium had the lowest risk of cardiac death. Men with an increased magnesium intake had a lower incidence of coronary heart disease. Intravenous magnesium, the article continues, is used in hospitals to reduce the chances of cardiac arrhythmias and atrial fibrillation.
  • Muscle spasms – Anyone who has had a Charlie Horse knows how painful muscle spasms can be. A deficiency in magnesium can cause muscles anywhere in the body to spasm when under tension — as when reaching for something, standing or even sneezing. Ironically, the muscles can also spasm when they have been at rest. This can cause sufferers to have frightening muscle spasms in the middle of the night which can often only be relieved by standing or walking.
  • Migraine headaches – An article, “Headache, Migraine – In-Depth Report,” posted by The New York Times (3), cites magnesium supplementation as a non-drug treatment for migraines. Some studies, the article states, have shown a link between a magnesium deficiency and an increased risk for migraines, especially with patients who have migraines associated with their menstrual cycle. Magnesium is also known to relax blood vessels, and many headaches, according to the article, are caused by “muscle contraction and uneven blood flow.” Anything that helps address these problems is likely to help with migraines.

 

Supplementation

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, you may want to consider taking a quality, high-end form of magnesium. The recommended minimum daily intake is, according to National Institutes of Health Fact Sheet (4), 400 to 420 mg for healthy men over the age of 18, 360 mg for adult women who are still menstruating, and 320 mg for post-menopausal women, although it varies with developmental stages and factors such as pregnancy and lactating. Because the balance of calcium and magnesium in your body can affect your heart, if you are being treated for heart disease, check with your doctor before taking magnesium supplements.

Source:

1) http://science.naturalnews.com

2) http://umm.edu

3) http://www.nytimes.com

4) http://ods.od.nih.gov

 

FDA Approves Ruconest for Hereditary Angioedema


The U.S. Food and Drug Administration yesterday approved Ruconest, the first recombinant C1-Esterase Inhibitor product for the treatment of acute attacks in adult and adolescent patients with hereditary angioedema (HAE).

“Hereditary angioedema is a rare and potentially life-threatening disease,” said Karen Midthun, M.D., director of the FDA’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research. “Today’s approval provides an important treatment option for these patients.”

Ruconest is a human recombinant C1-esterase inhibitor purified from the milk of genetically modified (transgenic) rabbits. Ruconest is intended to restore the level of functional C1-esterase inhibitor in a patient’s plasma, thereby treating the acute attack of swelling.

The safety and efficacy of Ruconest was evaluated in a multicenter controlled clinical trial. Forty-four adult and adolescent patients with acute attacks were treated with Ruconest. The most common adverse reactions reported in patients treated with Ruconest were headache, nausea and diarrhea.

Ruconest received orphan-drug designation for acute attacks by the FDA because it is intended for treatment of a rare disease or condition.

Ruconest is manufactured by Pharming Group NV, Leiden, the Netherlands, and will be distributed in the United States by Santarus Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Salix Pharmaceuticals Inc., Raleigh, North Carolina.

Source: FDA

Juvenile Arthritis: New Discoveries Lead to New Treatments


Arthritis is a disease that mostly affects older people, right? Not necessarily.

Juvenile arthritis is one of the most common chronic illnesses affecting children. In fact, nearly 300,000 youngsters nationwide have been diagnosed with the disease. The most common symptoms include joint pain, inflammation (swelling), tenderness and stiffness. One early sign may be limping in the morning.

Nikolay Nikolov, a rheumatologist and clinical team leader at the Food and DrugAdministration (FDA), says that children with juvenile arthritis and their parents have reason to be optimistic. In the last several years, new therapies have been developed by drug companies and approved by the FDA that moderate the effects and control the disease, likely preventing significant disability in later years.

While no one knows exactly what causes juvenile arthritis, scientists do know it is anautoimmune disorder. The immune system, which normally helps the body fight infection, attacks the body’s own tissue.

There are several subgroups of juvenile arthritis. Known collectively as Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis (JIA), these diseases start before age 16 and cause swelling in one or more joints lasting at least six weeks.

JIA affects large joints such as knees, wrists, and ankles as well as small joints. Polyarticular JIA, the largest JIA subgroup, affects many joints. Another subgroup is Systemic JIA, which affects the whole body, and usually causes fever and skin rashes.

In the past, the first line of treatment for children with juvenile arthritis has been to relieve pain and inflammation with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as aspirin and ibuprofen. Children with severe juvenile arthritis have been treated also with drugs that suppress the body’s immune response such as corticosteroids and methotrexate.

But polyarticular and systemic JIA are now also treated with newer medicines called biologics, which are manufactured in or extracted from biological sources.

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Biologics: New Treatments for Juvenile Arthritis

“As science at the molecular level has advanced, we’ve learned more about what drives arthritis—the mechanism of the disease—and we are able to identify important targets,” Nikolov says.

These targets include cytokines (molecules that control and drive inflammation in the body) such as tumor necrosis factor (TNF), interleukins (IL), and other naturally occurring proteins involved in stimulating the body’s immune response. Biologics used in the treatment of juvenile arthritis are generally given intravenously or subcutaneously (under the skin), and usually are taken for years. Different biologics tend to work better for different subgroups of the disease. In recent years, FDA has approved several of these treatments. Here are their names, the type of JIA they treat and approval dates:

  • Humira (adalimumab) for polyarticular JIA, February, 2008
  • Orencia (abatacept) for polyarticular JIA, April, 2008
  • Enbrel (etanercept) for polyarticular JIA, June, 2008
  • Actemra (tocilizumab) for systemic JIA, April 2011 and polyarticular JIA, April 2013
  • Ilaris (canakinumab) for systemic JIA, May 2013.

“In addition to improving the signs, symptoms and physical functioning of patients, many of these biologics have been shown to reduce joint destruction in adults with rheumatoid arthritis (RA), a disease that is related to juvenile arthritis, and thus to change the natural history of the disease,” Nikolov says.

While researchers don’t yet have a lot of long-term safety information on use of these drugs in children, there is significant experience with their use in adults with RA. Biologics used for the treatment of patients with juvenile arthritis are potent drugs that suppress the immune system and can increase the risk of serious infections, including opportunistic (unusual) infections and tuberculosis.

Expanding Use of New Treatments to Children

When a drug is found to benefit adults with RA in large clinical trials, drug manufacturers may study it in children with juvenile arthritis to find out if the drug works for them too. In addition, FDA considers the known and potential risks of the drug to determine whether its benefits in treating juvenile arthritis outweigh these risks.

“It’s possible that safety issues might come up in kids that we have not found in adults. For example, these drugs may affect the developing body and immune system in children, and that may warrant changes in the labels to let both health care providers and patients know what are the risks involved, and how to recognize and respond to potential problems,” Nikolov says.

Meantime, scientists continue to work on improving existing treatments for children and search for new treatments that will work better with fewer side effects.

“We don’t have a cure for juvenile arthritis—we’re not there yet,” says Nikolov. “But we’re making progress.”

Marijuana vs. Alcohol: Which Is Really Worse for Your Health?


The question of whether alcohol or marijuana is worse for health is being debated once again, this time, sparked by comments that President Barack Obama made in a recentinterview with The New Yorker magazine.

“As has been well documented, I smoked pot as a kid, and I view it as a bad habit and a vice, not very different from the cigarettes that I smoked as a young person up through a big chunk of my adult life,” Obama said during the interview. “I don’t think it is more dangerous than alcohol.”

But how apt is the comparison between these substances? While both are intoxicants used recreationally, their legality, patterns of use and long-term effects on the body make the two drugs difficult to compare.

 

Both alcohol consumption and pot smoking can take a toll on the body, showing both short- and long-term health effects, though alcohol has been linked to some 88,000 deaths per year, according to the CDC, while for a number of reasons those associated with marijuana use are harder to come by. And research into marijuana’s health effects is still in its infancy, compared with the rigorous studies looking at alcohol and human health.

Short-term health consequences

Drinking too much alcohol can quickly kill a person. The inability to metabolize alcohol as quickly as it is consumed can lead to a buildup of alcohol in the brain that shuts down areas necessary for survival, such as those involved with heartbeat and respiration. [7 Ways Alcohol Affects Your Health]

“You can die binge-drinking five minutes after you’ve been exposed to alcohol. That isn’t going to happen with marijuana,” said Ruben Baler, a health scientist at the National Institute on Drug Abuse. “The impact of marijuana use is much subtler.”

(Of course, subtle effects don’t equate with no danger, as is the case with smoking cigarettes, which is linked with 440,000 deaths per year in the U.S.)

Marijuana affects the cardiovascular system, increasing heart rate and blood pressure, but a person can’t fatally overdose on pot like they can with alcohol, Baler said.

Alcohol is more likely than marijuana to interact with other drugs. The way that alcohol is metabolized, or broken down, in the body, is common to many drugs that are taken for a variety of conditions, said Gary Murray, acting director of the Division of Metabolism and Health Effects at the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.

This means that for people taking drugs or medications while drinking, the alcohol can increase or decrease levels of the active drug in the body.

“Those things can make it very hit and miss, whether you’re getting an active dose of a medication,” Murray said.

Still, both drugs can affect health in indirect ways, too.

Because marijuana can impair coordination and balance, there is the risk of hurting oneself, particularly if someone drives or chooses to have unprotected sex while their inhibitions are lowered, Baler said. These are two areas where people using marijuana could hurt themselves for the short and long term.

 

Long-term health consequences

The long-term effects of drinking heavily are well known. “Excess alcohol is going to lead to very severe consequences, and chronic excess alcohol is the most likely to lead to a lot of threatening issues,” Murray said.

Drinking can lead to alcoholic liver disease, which can progress to fibrosis of the liver, which in turn can potentially lead to liver cancer, Murray said.

“I emphasize ‘can’ – it’s not even clear to the best scientists what are the triggers that allow that progression to happen,” he said, noting that why some people have a higher risk than others of developing liver disease from drinking is not understood medically or biochemically.

Unlike alcohol, Baler said, the effects of chronic marijuana use are not as well established. Animal studies have indicated some possible impact on reproduction. Additionally, there is evidence marijuana can worsen psychiatric issues for people who are predisposed to them, or bring them on at a younger age. Finally, Baler said, because the drug is typically smoked, it can bring on bronchitis, coughing and chronic inflammation of the air passages.

But while early studies showed some evidence linking marijuana to lung cancer, subsequent studies have debunked that association. Baler said it’s unclear why marijuana smoke does not have the same result as tobacco smoke on the lungs, but perhaps some beneficial compounds in the marijuana smoke cancel out the ill effects, or perhaps the other health habits of marijuana smokers are different from those of cigarette smokers.

But cigarette smoking plays a complicated role in studying the impact of marijuana smoke, Baler said. Marijuana smokers tend to smoke much less than cigarette smokers, as some may smoke one joint a few times a week.

“It’s a very tough epidemiological nut to break,” Baler said.

Additionally, researchers looking to study long-term marijuana use have had difficulty in finding people who regularly smoke marijuana but don’t also smoke tobacco cigarettes. And the illegality of marijuana has also limited research in this field.

For marijuana, much of the concern is with young people who use the drug, because the drug interferes with the development of the brain while it is still maturing, Baler said. [10 Facts Every Parent Should Know About Their Teen’s Brain]

Smoking marijuana interferes with connections being made in the brain “at a time when the brain should be at a clear state of mind, and accumulating, memory and data and good experiences that should be laying out the foundation for the future,” Baler said.

“How much you’re impaired depends on the person, and how much you smoke,” Baler said. Because some people are stoned a lot of the time, while others may use marijuana only on weekends, the health effects become difficult to generalize.

“You’re cumulatively impairing your cognitive function. What’s going to be the ultimate result, nobody can say.”

Benefits

There is no known medical use for consumed alcohol, but there are health benefits observed in moderate drinkers, including lower rates of cardiovascular disease and possibly fewer colds, Murray said.

“We always counsel people to avoid drinking to excess, but moderate drinking is not something that’s very dangerous,” he said.

As for marijuana, whose legalization for medical uses has been a matter of strong public policy debate for years, there is ample evidence that beneficial compounds can be found in the plant.

“Researchers are working around the clock to try to identify the ingredients in marijuana that have potential,” to benefit human health, Baler said.

Once such chemicals are in a pure form, and researchers understand their effects on the body, then they could be put in clinical trials for use in cancer, multiple sclerosis, diabetes, glaucoma and other diseases, he said.

“There are segments of the population that want to bypass the entire process, grabbing this nugget of truth … and claiming smoking marijuana can be good for your health and have medical uses,” Baler said.

Although for palliative care, he said, “that would be a different realm of medicine,” in which the goal is to drug a person so they do not feel pain.

The year 2014 has brought with it the first legal sales of marijuana to people who aren’t using the drug for medical reasons in the United States since the 1930s, as voters in Colorado and Washington state brought about this policy change.

Public health researchers have said studying rates of injuries, accidents, mental illness and teen use in the wake of the new laws will lead to a better understanding of marijuana’s public health effects.

Dropping in on the ‘door to hell’.


Forty years ago, a vast molten cavity known as the Darvaza crater – nicknamed the “door to hell” – opened up in the desert of north Turkmenistan, and has been burning ever since. Now, Canadian explorer George Kourounis has become the first to make the descent into the fiery pit to look for signs of life

 

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/jul/18/-sp-door-to-hell-turkmenistan-in-pictures?CMP=fb_gu

From the desk of Zedie.

Omega 3-6-7-9 – What’s the Difference?


Whenever we hear the word “fat”, we immediately get uneasy about what we may be putting into our bodies. However, the “omegas” are a set of fatty acids quite essential to our bodily processes and overall physical health. Omega-3, 6, 7, and 9 each have their own responsibilities within the body, but are unequally important. Therefore, it is important to maintain an effective ratio of these omega intakes in order to reap the most benefits from them, as well as to prevent deficiencies and excesses.

Omega-3

Omega-3 could be considered the alpha omega for all of its important functions and benefits. In addition to enhancing brain and joint function, these fatty acids reduce risks of cancer, heart disease, and diabetes, as well as provide benefits related to fat-loss and muscle-building in athletes (4). And those are just the extras. Omega-3 is primarily responsible for controlling the body’s blood clotting and building the brain’s cellular membranes (3).
This is the most important of the omegas to take supplementary to the diet because, not only does the body not produce omega-3 on its own, but also having too much omega-6 and 9 will offset the body’s optimal ratio. There are two types of omega-3, the first of which comes from sources such as vegetable oils (soybeans, walnuts, flaxseed, etc.) and some green vegetables (kale, spinach, Brussels sprouts, etc.), and this is called ALA (alpha-linolenic acid). The body naturally partially converts the ALA into the second type, which is both eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and is found in fatty fish (3). If your diet is lacking in these foods, especially fish, doctors suggest a daily omega-3 supplement (try fish oil).

Omega-6

Just like omega-3, omega-6 is also not naturally produced by the body and is therefore an essential fatty acid we must consume through our diets. Omega-6 works primarily to regulate normal brain functioning and the body’s growth and development. In addition to these responsibilities, omega-6 provides additional benefits to the body by helping to stimulate hair and skin growth, regulate metabolism, and maintain healthy bones and a healthy reproductive system (2).

Though it provides equal amounts of benefits as compared to omega-3, the major difference is that omega-6 is found so commonly – in most vegetable oils, nuts, and grain-fed meats – that it is more difficult to be deficient in it, thus prompting an undesirable ratio of the omegas. The main issue here is that while omega-3 works to reduce inflammation in the body, omega-6 works in opposition, increasing inflammation (2). That being said, it is possible that having an excess of omega-6 over omega-3 can lead to Complex Regional Pain Syndrome, which is a chronic pain that takes over an arm or a leg (1).

Omega-7

Though not the last number in the group of omegas, omega-7 has only recently been brought to the light of discovery as researchers determine its benefits and sources. This fatty acid can be found in foods like macadamia nuts and a fruit called sea buckthorn, but it is also produced naturally within the body. One important thing scientists have discovered about omega-7 is its placement in foods containing palmitic acid, one of the most heart-damaging fats we can consume. Omega-7 works against that palmitic acid by providing oppositional benefits – it reduces inflammation and insulin resistance where palmitic acid increases it. Because the amount of research done on the effects of omega-7 on humans, the information available on the topic is sparse but positive. On that note, the best way to stay on the safe side while researchers learn about this new and intriguing omega is to eat fish. This is because the purified omega-7 used for supplements actually comes from the leftovers of fish when the omega-3 is taken out for supplements. This could be the legitimate reason that eating fish is better for your heart than just taking fish oil supplements (5).

Omega-9

Finally, the last of the omegas is omega-9. This fatty acid benefits the body by reducing inflammation, much like omega-3, helping to improve joint health and healing, as well as prevent a variety of diseases. The convenient part of this omega is that the body produces omega-9 without any interference from us, so we don’t have to worry too much about keeping tabs on our intake of it. That being said, though, the nutrient can also be found in olive oil, so cooking with olive oil and using it in salad dressings will ensure a good balance of omega-9 and 6, in their ratio to the touchiest omega-3 (4).

Wrap-Up

Even though there are only three (plus an up-and-coming fourth) versions of the fatty acid known as omega, it can get a little confusing to keep them straight, especially with the issue of balancing an optimal ratio. With that in mind, it is suggested that the best way to maintain a healthy intake of omega-3, 6, 7, and 9 is, first and foremost, to stick to an overall healthy diet, but to include either fish or a 500mg fish oil supplement every day. Regularly cooking with olive oil and consuming vegetable oils and leafy greens will also help the body to regulate the correct levels of the omegas. In addition to this advice, we have provided a table to serve as a quick reference guide as to what each omega does and where it can be found. However, like with any health issue, we always encourage you to seek your doctor’s advice if you have any concerns with your omega intake or plan to make any drastic changes to your diet.

Omega Comparison Chart

Drug-resistant superbug infections explode across U.S. hospitals: 500% increase foreshadows ‘new plague’ caused by modern medicine.


Drug-resistant superbug infections have reached near-epidemic levels across U.S. hospitals, with an alarming 500% increase now documented in a study just published in the August issue of Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology (the journal of the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America). (1)

superbug

Lead author of the study, Dr. Joshua Thaden, warned “This dangerous bacteria is finding its way into healthcare facilities nationwide… A CRE epidemic is fast approaching… Even this marked increase likely underestimates the true scope of the problem given variations in hospital surveillance practices.”

The study also found that an astonishing 94 percent of CRE infections were caused by healthcare activities or hospital procedures.

CRE superbugs explained

CRE (carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae) is an incredibly dangerous superbug causing nearly a fifty percent fatality rate once a patient is infected. The World Health Organization calls it “one of the three greatest threats to human health,” and all known antibiotics are useless in treating it.

CRE arose out of the systematic abuse of antibiotics by doctors, who inadvertently created the perfect breeding ground for deadly bacteria by using narrowly-targeted chemical medications that lack the kind of full-spectrum action found in nature (in herbs like garlic, for example). Because of their highly-targeted chemical approach, antibiotics encouraged bacteria to develop molecular defenses that resulted in widespread resistance to Big Pharma’s drugs. The situation is so bad today that the entire pharmaceutical industry has no drug, no chemicals and no experimental medicines which can kill CRE superbugs.

Even worse, there are virtually no new antibiotics drugs in the research pipelines, either. Drug companies have discovered that it’s far more profitable to sell “lifestyle management” drugs like statin drugs and blood pressure drugs than to sell antibiotics which treat acute infections. Antibiotics simply aren’t very profitable because relatively few people acquire such infections. Meanwhile, everyone can be convinced they might have high cholesterol and therefore need to take a statin drug for life.

Drug companies, in other words, have all but abandoned the industry of treating infections. Instead, they now primarily engage in the promotion of disease symptoms while selling drugs that attempt to alter measurable markers of those symptoms such as cholesterol numbers. Even though drug companies caused the superbug pandemic that’s now upon us, in other words, they have deliberately abandoned humanity in defending against those superbugs because it’s simply not profitable to do so.

The end of antibiotics has arrived: Humanity faces a new plague caused by modern medicine

The CDC has admitted that we are now living in a “post-antibiotics era.” As Infection Control Today states, “Antibiotic resistance is no longer a prediction for the future. It is happening right now in every region of the world and has the potential to affect anyone.” (2)

Dr. Arjun Srinivasan, associate director at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, went even further in a PBS interview, stating: (3)

We’ve reached the end of antibiotics, period… We’re here. We’re in the post-antibiotic era. There are patients for whom we have no therapy, and we are literally in a position of having a patient in a bed who has an infection, something that five years ago even we could have treated, but now we can’t.

Keep in mind that doctors refuse to use natural substances to treat infections, which is why they believe no defenses against superbugs exist. Their indoctrination into the world of pharmaceuticals is so deeply embedded in their minds, in other words, that they cannot even conceive of the idea that an herb, a food or something from Mother Nature might provide the answer to superbugs. See this Natural News article on natural antibiotics that kill superbugs. The list includes honey.

Hospitals are the perfect breeding grounds for superbugs

By their very design, hospitals are prefect breeding grounds for superbugs for six very important reasons:

1) They put all the infected people under one roof, creating a high density infectious environment.

2) They allow doctors and medical staff to quickly and easily carry and transmit infectious diseases to new patients. Previous studies have documented how superbugs easily ride on doctors’ ties, for example, or their mobile phones.

3) Medical staff still don’t wash their hands as frequently as they should. The intense time demands placed on them discourage careful hand washing, causing many to skip this crucial step between patient visits.

4) Hospitals almost universally refuse to use broad-spectrum antibacterial remedies which are not drugs. Natural substances like honey and garlic show extraordinary multi-faceted antibacterial properties, as do certain metals such as silver and copper. Yet because these substances are not developed by pharmaceutical companies which dominate the field of medical practice, they are simply ignored even though they could save many lives. (And a doctor who prescribes “honey” doesn’t sound as amazing and all-knowing as a doctor who prescribes “the latest, greatest laboratory breakthrough patented chemical medication.”)

5) Hospital practices suppress human immune function to the point of systemic failure. Rather than boosting immune function, conventional medical treatments such as antibiotics and chemotherapy cause immune system failure. Hospitals lack sunlight and hospital food lacks key immune-boosting minerals such as zinc and selenium. On top of that, most of the drugs prescribed to patients by hospitals deplete key nutrientsrequired for healthy immune function, leaving patients even more susceptible to superbug infections.

6) Hospital staff spread infectious diseases to their private homes. After acquiring an infection at work (at the hospital), staffers easily spread those infections to their own family members at home.

The antibiotics plague is upon us

We are right now living through the early stages of a global plague caused by modern medicine. The industry that created this plague is utterly defenseless against it, leaving humanity to fight for survival in a world that’s now far more dangerous than the one that existed before the invention of antibiotics.

Antibiotics have indeed saved millions of lives, and they forever have an important place in any medical practice. Yet their careless use — combined with medicine’s willful and foolish abandonment of natural antibiotics that work far better — has led humanity down the path of its own destruction.

Today, a simple scrape of your arm or leg might now be fatal. Infections that occur during routine medical procedures which would have once been considered minor issues are now deadly.

And the worst part is that the bacteria continue to evolve more elaborate defenses against drugs while increasing their transmissibility. Human hospitals (and entire cities) are, by design, ideal pandemic hubs that rapidly spread disease. Like it or not, humanity has created the perfect storm for a pandemic decimation of the global population.

What will Big Pharma do as this medical catastrophe unfolds? They’ll keep selling you more statin drugs, because that’s where the money’s made.

Sources for this article include:
(1) http://www.shea-online.org/View/ArticleId/29…

(2) http://www.infectioncontroltoday.com/news/20…

(3) http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/heal…

Learn more: http://www.naturalnews.com/046041_CRE_superbugs_drug-resistant_infections_modern_plague.html#ixzz37qDas5zq

Future electronics may depend on lasers, not quartz


Nearly all electronics require devices called oscillators that create precise frequencies—frequencies used to keep time in wristwatches or to transmit reliable signals to radios. For nearly 100 years, these oscillators have relied upon quartz crystals to provide a frequency reference, much like a tuning fork is used as a reference to tune a piano. However, future high-end navigation systems, radar systems, and even possibly tomorrow’s consumer electronics will require references beyond the performance of quartz.

 Future electronics may depend on lasers, not quartz

Now, researchers in the laboratory of Kerry Vahala, the Ted and Ginger Jenkins Professor of Information Science and Technology and Applied Physics at Caltech, have developed a method to stabilize  in the range of gigahertz, or billions of cycles per second—using a pair of laser beams as the reference, in lieu of a crystal.

Quartz crystals “tune” oscillators by vibrating at relatively low frequencies—those that fall at or below the range of megahertz, or millions of cycles per second, like radio waves. However, quartz crystals are so good at tuning these low frequencies that years ago, researchers were able to apply a technique called electrical frequency division that could convert higher-frequency microwave signals into lower-frequency signals, and then stabilize these with quartz.

The new technique, which Vahala and his colleagues have dubbed electro-optical frequency division, builds off of the method of optical frequency division, developed at the National Institute of Standards and Technology more than a decade ago. “Our new method reverses the architecture used in standard crystal-stabilized microwave oscillators—the ‘quartz’ reference is replaced by optical signals much higher in frequency than the microwave signal to be stabilized,” Vahala says.

Jiang Li—a Kavli Nanoscience Institute postdoctoral scholar at Caltech and one of two lead authors on the paper, along with graduate student Xu Yi—likens the method to a gear chain on a bicycle that translates pedaling motion from a small, fast-moving gear into the motion of a much larger wheel. “Electrical frequency dividers used widely in electronics can work at frequencies no higher than 50 to 100 GHz. Our new architecture is a hybrid electro-optical ‘gear chain’ that stabilizes a common microwave electrical oscillator with optical references at much higher frequencies in the range of terahertz or trillions of cycles per second,” Li says.

The optical reference used by the researchers is a laser that, to the naked eye, looks like a tiny disk. At only 6 mm in diameter, the device is very small, making it particularly useful in compact photonics devices—electronic-like devices powered by photons instead of electrons, says Scott Diddams, physicist and project leader at the National Institute of Standards and Technology and a coauthor on the study.

“There are always tradeoffs between the highest performance, the smallest size, and the best ease of integration. But even in this first demonstration, these optical oscillators have many advantages; they are on par with, and in some cases even better than, what is available with widespread electronic technology,” Vahala says.