Action video games can boost your ability to learn motor skills


Researchers have found that those who play action video games such as Call of Duty or Assassin’s Creed are able to learn hand-eye coordination more quickly than non-gamers.

videogames

Sensorimotor skills are ones that engage our senses to produce a response or motor output, such as playing the piano, bike riding or typing – basically, they’re tasks that require hand-eye coordination. Learning a new sensorimotor skill often requires a repetitive pattern of vision and motor movement, commonly known as hand-eye coordination. When an individual has these skills, they are able to move from a beginner to expert level of performance in hand-eye coordination based tasks very quickly, and often subconsciously.

“We wanted to understand if chronic video game playing has an effect on sensorimotor control, that is, the coordinated function of vision and hand movement,” said Davood Gozli, from the University of Toronoto in Canada, who led the study, in a press release.

The team of researchers from the University of Toronto, Canada, conducted an experiment on two groups of people, gamers and non-gamers, and then compared the results. Both groups were asked to complete a task on the computer that required the participant to coordinate hand movements with what they can see on the screen. The task required participants to manually track a dot that moved in a complicated, yet repetitive pattern.

Initially, both groups were handling the task equally well, but by the end of the experiment, the gamers were performing significantly better than the non-gamers.

“This suggests that while chronically playing action video games requires constant motor control, playing these games does not give gamers a reliable initial advantage in new and unfamiliar sensorimotor tasks,” said Gozli.

Next, the team wanted to find out if these results were due to the gamers actually having better sensorimotor control to start with, or whether they were learning the motor skills more efficiently than the non-gamers. The participants were again asked to track the dot, but this time, the pattern changed each time. Results showed that in this experiment, neither group improved in their performance. These findings confirm that the gamers group were learning the repetitive pattern much better than the non-gamers.

“This is likely due to the gamers’ superior ability in learning a novel sensorimotor pattern, that is, their gaming experience enabled them to learn better than the non-gamers,” said Gozli.

The researchers say that the ability to efficiently learn sensorimotor skills are in high demand, particularly in certain careers where precision is needed, such as surgery. The hand-eye coordination that is enhanced by gaming can also help make everyday tasks such as driving and typing more efficient.

Tarantula toxin is used to report on electrical activity in live cells


Crucial experiments to develop a novel probe of cellular electrical activity were conducted in the Neurobiology course at the Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL) in 2013. Today, that optical probe, which combines a tarantula toxin with a fluorescent compound, is introduced in a paper in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

The lead authors of the paper are Drew C. Tilley of UC-Davis and the late Kenneth Eum, a Ph.D. candidate at UC-Davis and teaching assistant in the MBL Neurobiology course.

The probe takes advantage of the potent ability of tarantula toxin to bind to electrically active cells, such as neurons, while the cells are in a resting state. The team discovered that a trace amount of toxin combined with a would bind to a specific subset of voltage-activated proteins (Kv2-type potassium ion channels) in live cells. The probe lights up cell surfaces with this ion channel, and the fluorescent signal dims when the channel is activated by electrical signals.

This is the first time that researchers have been able to visually observe these ion channels “turning on” without first genetically modifying them. All that is required is a means to detect probe location, suggesting that related probes could potentially one day be used to map neural activity in the human brain.

“This is a demonstration, a prototype probe. But the promise is that we could use it to measure the activity state of the electrical system in an organism that has not been genetically compromised,” says senior author Jon Sack, an assistant professor in the departments of Physiology and Membrane Biology at UC-Davis. Sack is a faculty member in the MBL Neurobiology course.

Since the probe binds selectively to one of the many different kinds of ion channels, it can help scientists disentangle the function of those specific channels in neuronal signaling. This can, in turn, lead to the identification of drug targets for neurological diseases and disorders.

“We have an incredible diversity of ion channels, and even of voltage-activated ion channels. The real trouble has been determining which ones perform which roles. Which ones turn on and when in normal nervous system functioning? Which are involved in abnormal states or syndromes?” Sack says. “The dream is to be able to see what the different types of ion channels are doing and when, to understand what they contribute to physiology and pathophysiology.”

These probes respond to movement of voltage sensors, and it is particularly fulfilling to have conducted some of this work at the MBL, Sack says. The first measurements of voltage sensor movement were conducted at the MBL in the early 1970s by Clay M. Armstrong and Francisco Bezanilla (Nature 242: 459-461, 1973). Armstrong and Bezanilla used electrophysiological methods to measure the movement of voltage sensors. The spider toxin create an optical signal when voltage sensors move, and no electrophysiology or genetic mutation of the channels is required.

Ten Shocking Facts about Mercury Amalgam


Mercury is toxic to humans and dental amalgam fillings, which uses a 50% mercury base combined with other metals, is one of the most common types of exposure.  Research proving the extensive damage mercury can cause to human tissue and brain function is why I advocate discontinuing their use and, if you have them, their removal. The following 10 facts expose the dangers of mercury amalgam and, after reading these, you will probably want to confirm what type of filling material your dentist uses – and possibly make a change!

Mecury Fillings

1. Mercury Fillings Leak

Exposure to mercury from fillings results from erosion of the filling, or from evaporation from the surface of the filling.  In one study, using a variety of X-ray imaging technologies, scientists examined the movement of mercury through the tooth. They found mercury in the tooth several millimeters away from the site of the filling.  They also found higher concentrations of mercury in the area of the tooth, which connects with the gum, suggesting exposure to the blood stream.  It was also found in the tartar on the teeth. [1] Conclusion? This stuff does not stay put!

2. Removing Amalgam Fillings Requires Caution!

At least, that’s the word based on a recent review of the filling removal process.  The review noted the importance of proper patient preparation before and after the procedure to minimize exposure and ensure complete removal. [2] The goal is to prevent absorption of mercury during the process.  It really begs the question why some dentist’s still use mercury amalgam?

3. Mercury is Immediately Toxic!

Mercury can enter the body through ingestion, the blood stream, and through inhalation.  Once in the body, it is quickly absorbed and distributed to the major organs.  The brain and the kidney suffer the greatest amount of damage. [3] And the damage doesn’t take a long time to develop.

A study of children 8-18 observed kidney damage in children with mercury amalgam exposure.  They found chemical indicators of kidney damage in the urine of children with the dental amalgam. [4]

4. Mercury May Be Linked to Autism

The horrible effect that mercury has on the brain has been known for centuries and mercury exposure during key developmental stages has been linked to autism spectrum disorders.  One study found that women with six or more amalgam fillings were 3x more likely to have children with severe autism compared to those with five or less fillings. [5]

5. Mercury Affects Hormone Levels

The damaging effects of mercury aren’t limited to the kidneys and brain; it also affects the adrenal system. Once absorbed into the blood stream, five potential consequences have been observed: [6]

  • It accumulates in the organs that regulate hormone function.
  • It damages the tissue of these organs.
  • Hormone concentrations change.
  • Mercury interacts specifically interacts with sex hormones.
  • Enzyme production is affected.

Those are not the only problems; testosterone and mercury combine to create a toxic neurochemical.  Estrogen appears to reduce the effect of mercury and offers some degree of protective effect.  Researchers have suggested this difference may explain the difference in the way autism affects boys and girls. [7]

6. Men Are At Greater Risk

Although not related to autism, mercury’s effect on DNA function has also been shown to be gender specific.  A survey among dental professionals evaluated the impact of regular exposure to mercury amalgam on DNA health.  The study found the greatest negative impact on DNA function occurred in men. [8]

7. Mercury Harms the Thyroid

Seventy-five women-child pairs were evaluated for the impact of mercury exposure and thyroid function.  The study covered the pre-natal through post-natal period.  The results identified low-levels of mercury, such as those from amalgam fillings, to impact thyroid hormone levels. [9] A healthy thyroid is very important for development, especially neurological function, and this should be a red flag to any woman intending to have children!

8. Mercury Fillings Affect Oral Health

Amalgam fillings are toxic to mouth tissue.  A study released earlier this year analyzed oral cells from 63 men and women.  Independent of other factors such as alcohol and smoking, those with fillings containing mercury showed cellular and DNA damage. [10]

9. Mercury Amalgam is Dangerous to Children

Based on the research, mercury-based fillings for children can best be described as irresponsible.  An ongoing study reported in 2012 that children with mercury fillings have increased levels of mercury in their body, year after year. The control group of children without fillings did not show this same rise. [11]Another study has linked several aspects of oral health, specifically burning-mouth sensation, ulcers, and white patches to the presence of mercury fillings. [12]

10. Medical Officials are Aware of All of This!

Medical officials have been aware of the dangers of mercury amalgam fillings for well over a decade.  Records going back to 2001 report increasing levels of mercury in the liver, kidney, and brain in individuals with amalgam fillings.  Researchers have even identified it in the amniotic fluid and placenta of pregnant women – and the meconium (the initial blackish poop) of newborn babies.

Even with the knowledge about the danger of mercury and mercury vapors, amalgam fillings have been used in children as young as 26 months, just past their 2nd birthday! [13] Before you or the children you love get another dental filling, be sure to ask your dentist what they use. If it’s a mercury amalgam, also called dental amalgam, request alternatives… or find another dentist!

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

Article References:

  1. Harris HH, Vogt S, Eastgate H, Legnini DG, Hornberger B, Cai Z, Lai B, Lay PA. Migration of mercury from dental amalgam through human teeth. J Synchrotron Radiat. 2008 Mar;15(Pt 2):123-8. doi: 10.1107/S0909049507061468. Epub 2008 Feb 19.
  2. Colson DG. A safe protocol for amalgam removal. J Environ Public Health. 2012;2012:517391. doi: 10.1155/2012/517391. Epub 2012 Jan 18.
  3. Park JD, Zheng W. Human exposure and health effects of inorganic and elemental mercury. J Prev Med Public Health. 2012 Nov;45(6):344-52. doi: 10.3961/jpmph.2012.45.6.344. Epub 2012 Nov 29.
  4. Geier DA, Carmody T, Kern JK, King PG, Geier MR. A significant dose-dependent relationship between mercury exposure from dental amalgams and kidney integrity biomarkers: a further assessment of the Casa Pia children’s dental amalgam trial. Hum Exp Toxicol. 2013 Apr;32(4):434-40. doi: 10.1177/0960327112455671. Epub 2012 Aug 14.
  5. Geier DA, Kern JK, Geier MR. A prospective study of prenatal mercury exposure from maternal dental amalgams and autism severity. Acta Neurobiol Exp (Wars). 2009;69(2):189-97.
  6. Tan SW, Meiller JC, Mahaffey KR. The endocrine effects of mercury in humans and wildlife. Crit Rev Toxicol. 2009;39(3):228-69. doi: 10.1080/10408440802233259.
  7. Geier DA, Kern JK, Geier MR. The biological basis of autism spectrum disorders: Understanding causation and treatment by clinical geneticists. Acta Neurobiol Exp (Wars). 2010;70(2):209-26.
  8. Goodrich JM, Basu N, Franzblau A, Dolinoy DC. Mercury biomarkers and DNA methylation among Michigan dental professionals. Environ Mol Mutagen. 2013 Apr;54(3):195-203. doi: 10.1002/em.21763. Epub 2013 Feb 26.
  9. Ursinyova M, Uhnakova I, Serbin R, Masanova V, Husekova Z, Wsolova L. The relation between human exposure to mercury and thyroid hormone status. Biol Trace Elem Res. 2012 Sep;148(3):281-91. doi: 10.1007/s12011-012-9382-0. Epub 2012 Mar 18.
  10. Visalli G, Baluce B, La Maestra S, Micale RT, Cingano L, De Flora S, Di Pietro A. Genotoxic damage in the oral mucosa cells of subjects carrying restorative dental fillings. Arch Toxicol. 2013 Jan;87(1):179-87. doi: 10.1007/s00204-012-0915-2. Epub 2012 Aug 8.
  11. Geier DA, Carmody T, Kern JK, King PG, Geier MR. A dose-dependent relationship between mercury exposure from dental amalgams and urinary mercury levels: a further assessment of the Casa Pia Children’s Dental Amalgam Trial. Hum Exp Toxicol. 2012 Jan;31(1):11-7. doi: 10.1177/0960327111417264. Epub 2011 Jul 29.
  12. Al-Saleh I, Al-Sedairi AA. Mercury (Hg) burden in children: the impact of dental amalgam. Sci Total Environ. 2011 Jul 15;409(16):3003-15. doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2011.04.047. Epub 2011 May 20.
  13. Richardson GM, Wilson R, Allard D, Purtill C, Douma S, Gravière J. Mercury exposure and risks from dental amalgam in the US population, post-2000. Sci Total Environ. 2011 Sep 15;409(20):4257-68. doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2011.06.035. Epub 2011 Jul 22.

Frequent Urination: Full Bladder Killing Your Sleep?


For many of us, it first happens with a pregnancy. You can’t seem to get through the night without visiting the bathroom at various, inconvenient hours. And as we get older, we may again feel like slaves to our needy bladders.

The good news is that if your bladder is waking you up at night at various times to pee, or what scientists call “nocturia,” there are small but effective changes you can make for better sleep.

It’s also important to talk to your doctor because frequent urination can be more than just a nuisance – it can also be a sign of an underlying medical condition.

Tips to dealing with night-time urination

Here are some suggestions to help you get your beauty rest:

  • Keep a voiding diary. Monitor your drinking and your urine output. Take note of whether you are urinating too much around the clock, or just at night. If you’re urinating more than eight times in 24 hours, that’s too much if you’re under age 60. And if you’re going more than twice a night, you should make an appointment with your doctor.
  • Limit your intake of fluids two hours before bedtime. Drinking too close to bedtime can cause the need to urinate at night. And alcohol and caffeine – bladder stimulants – should be limited all day long. Cut back to just one alcoholic beverage, or none at all, and decrease your current caffeine intake.
  • Check for sleep apnea. During deep sleep, our bodies produce antidiuretic hormone (ADH). This allows us to retain more fluid overnight. People with sleep apnea do not get into the deep stages of sleep, so their bodies don’t make enough of this hormone. In addition, the drops in oxygen levels during apnea episodes trigger the kidneys to excrete more water. In this case, treating sleep apneashould take care of the problem.
  • Exercise and wear support hose for swelling in your feet or legs. If you experience swelling in your feet or legs, you’ll probably wake more often to urinate overnight. That’s because the fluid pooling in your extremities during the day will be reabsorbed into your system once you lie down with your feet at the level of your heart. Then, the fluid heads to your kidneys to be processed. To help with this issue, exercise and wear support hose to try to get that fluid processed before bedtime.

Some of it is part of aging

It’s true that as we age, our bodies make less of a hormone that allows us to retain fluids, so our bladders fill more rapidly. Our bladders are also able to hold less urine as we get older.

Between these two factors, women beyond age 60 should expect to wake to use the bathroom at least once each night. But even so, these tips can help minimize the nightly washroom excursions for women of any age.

Scientists have built the world’s thinnest electric generator – and it’s only one atom wide


Researchers have created a graphene-like material that generates electricity every time its stretched, and could power the wearable technology of the future.

Scientists from the Georgia Institute of Technology and Columbia Engineering in the US have shown they can generate electricity from a layer of material that’s just one atom thick. The generator is made from molybdenum disulphide (MoS2), which is a clear, flexible and extremely light material that opens up huge possibilities for the future of electricity generation.

The new electrical generator is an example of piezoelectricity, or electricity that’s generated from pressure. Piezoelectric materials have huge potential to be used to create materials that can charge devices, such as footwear that powers an iPod. But until now, scientists have struggled to make these materials thin and flexible enough to be practical.

However, it’s been predicted that a substance capable of forming single-atom-thick molecules, or two-dimensional layers, would be highly piezoelectric.

Now the scientists have proved that this is the case for the first time ever. Their results have beenpublished in Nature.

To test whether MoS2 would be piezoelectric on the atomic scale, the team flaked off extremely thin layers of MoS2 onto a flexible substrate with electrical contact.

Because of the way these flakes were created, each had a slightly different number of layers – for example, while some were just one-atom-thick, others were eight-atoms-thick.

The scientists tested the piezoelectric response of these flakes by stretching the material, and measuring the flow of electrons into an external circuit.

Interestingly, they discovered that when the material had an odd number of layers, it generated electricity when stretched. But when it had an even number of layers, there was no current generated.

A single one-atom-thick layer of the material was able to generate 15 megavolts of electricity when stretched.

They also found that as the number of layers increased, the amount of current generated decreased, until eventually the material got too thick and stopped producing any electricity at all.

Computational studies suggest that this is because the atomic layers all have random orientations, and they eventually cancel each other out.

The research team also arranged these one-atom-thick layers of MoS2 into arrays, and found that together they were capable of generating a large amount of electricity.

This suggests that they’re a promising candidate for powering nano electronics, and could be used to create wearable technologies.

“This material – just a single layer of atoms – could be made as a wearable device, perhaps integrated into clothing, to convert energy from your body movement to electricity and power wearable sensors or medical devices, or perhaps supply enough energy to charge your cell phone in your pocket,” said James Hone, professor of mechanical engineering at Columbia engineering and co-leader of the research,

CDC approves Vitamin D-Nial drug to halt spread of Ebola .


We’re saved! The CDC has now partnered with the FDA to approve a new medical treatment for Ebola, guaranteed to offer 100% protection against the coming pandemic. The new anti-Ebola drug is called “Vitamin D-Nial” and will be offered free of charge at all voting booths on November 4.

CDC director Thomas Frieden held a well-attended press conference this morning, announcing that “When it comes to Ebola, D-Nial is the answer!” He also promised to send thousands of CDC agents into the field, “armed with D-Nial” to halt the perception of the pandemic.

When asked why a CDC employee called “clipboard man” was recently seen walking around the airport tarmac right next to an infected Ebola patient surrounded by medical staffers in hazmat suits, Dr. Frieden simply answered that “D-Nial is the only Ebola protection anyone really needs.”

D-Nial is the answer to Ebola hysteria

Upon seeing the CDC’s astounding news, media outlets such as the New York Times immediately followed with front-page headlines like, “D-Nial is Answer to Ebola Hysteria!” and “America cheers for D-Nial!”

While taking credit for providing the research funding that resulted in the commercialization of D-Nial, the NIH also complained about the small size of its multi-billion-dollar budget which is sadly only larger than 153 world nations. “If we had been granted another billion dollars in research funding earlier,” NIH spokesperson Dr. Fauci explained, “We all could have achieved the power of D-Nial far sooner.”

In honoring the invention of Vitamin D-Nial, President Obama announced a plan to cover the drug free of charge for all Obamacare participants, calling it the “Obamacare Health Insurance D-Nial Plan.”

Offering further praise of D-Nial, President Barack Obama signed an executive order this morning declaring the month of November, 2014 to be “D-Nial Month.” During this month, the President said, “Americans should celebrate the power of D-Nial and the brilliant people who came up with it.” A Nobel Prize in Science is expected to be awarded, shortly after President Obama bombs another country or two in honor of the Nobel Peace Prize.

Vitamin D-Nial is administered rectally

Vitamin D-Nial is unfortunately administered rectally, but former TSA agents have been hired by Walgreens and CVS to deliver the medicine with experience and precision. The CDC is now preparing to plaster retail pharmacies with posters that declare, “Bend over for public health! Your dose of D-Nial is ready!”

Other patriotic posters in the planning stages will depict a line of smiling Americans bent over at the hips, saluting to the Con-mander in Chief while receiving their mandated doses, accompanied by the slogan, “My D-Nial saved my baby” and “When it comes to public health, nothing works as good as D-Nial.”

D-Nial might also work on superbugs

The inventors of D-Nial, a team of brilliant Big Pharma researchers who also invented ADHD and other fictional diseases, is now hopeful that D-Nial can be applied to many other potential health care challenges of our time.

“We think that D-Nial might also work to solve the problem of superbugs spreading through U.S. hospitals due to the medical abuse of antibiotics,” the researchers stated. “D-Nial has already proven itself to be such a powerful component of modern medicine that we see a wealth of applications across the industry.”

Vitamin D-Nial now takes its place among extraordinary government-funded medical discoveries such as the now-famous “Vitamin C Something Say Something” medicine invented by President Obama’s paranoia ministers.

A similar medical discovery expected to be announced later this year is reportedly called “Vitamin B Afraid of ISIS” whose sales will help fund the endless U.S. war effort against imaginary enemies that are used to frighten the American public into supporting a military surveillance state.

When it comes to solving problems with drugs, nothing beats government ingenuity. Because when times get tough, the one thing all U.S. government leaders have learned and mastered is that D-Nial is always the answer

Smoking during pregnancy alters newborn stress hormones, DNA, study finds


The effects of smoking during pregnancy, and its impact on the stress response in newborn babies, has been the focus of recent study. The research indicates that newborns of mothers who smoke cigarettes during pregnancy show lower levels of stress hormones, lowered stress response, and alterations in DNA for a gene that regulates passage of stress hormones from mother to fetus.
Smoking pregnant mother (stock image). National health statistics show that despite the warnings and known health risks, approximately one in 10 expectant moms in the United States continue to smoke during pregnancy, with higher rates among young, poor, and underserved moms.
Credit: © wong yu liang / Fotolia

Researchers from The Miriam Hospital have studied the effects of smoking during pregnancy and its impact on the stress response in newborn babies. Their research indicates that newborns of mothers who smoke cigarettes during pregnancy show lower levels of stress hormones, lowered stress response, and alterations in DNA for a gene that regulates passage of stress hormones from mother to fetus. The study and its findings have been published in the journal Psychoneuroendocrinology.

“Our results suggest that these newborns may not be mounting adequate hormonal response to daily stressors. Their stress systems may not be prepared for the stressors of daily life,” says lead researcher Laura Stroud, Ph.D., of the Centers for Behavioral and Preventive Medicine at The Miriam Hospital. “This may be particularly detrimental in babies born to mothers who lack resources and parenting skills and whose babies may encounter more daily stressors.”

National health statistics show that despite the warnings and known health risks, approximately one in 10 expectant moms in the United States continue to smoke during pregnancy, with higher rates among young, poor, and underserved moms. Babies born to smoking mothers are born smaller, are more likely to be premature, and are at greater risk for medical complications. Smoking during pregnancy is also associated with long-term behavioral and health problems in child and adult offspring, including asthma, behavior and attention problems, and nicotine addiction. However, biological mechanisms underlying short and long-term effects of smoking during pregnancy on offspring are not well understood.

“One possibility is alterations in stress hormones and epigenetic changes (chemical modifications) in DNA” Stroud says. “We were interested in stress hormones because alterations in stress hormones have been linked to both smoking and behavior problems and because maternal stress hormones during pregnancy exert potent long-term effects on offspring. In particular, we sought to investigate effects of smoking during pregnancy on the newborn stress hormone cortisol.” Cortisol is part of the hypothalamic pituitary adrenocortical system that works synergistically with the “fight flight” stress system.

Stroud also investigated the effects of smoking during pregnancy on DNA in the placenta, the temporary organ joining the mother and fetus during pregnancy. Stroud was interested in studying epigenetic changes, or chemical modifications that turn genes on and off, in DNA for the glucocorticoid receptor gene that regulates passage of cortisol from mother to fetus.

Stroud’s study included 100 mother-newborn pairs from a low-income, racially and ethnically diverse sample. Smoking in the mothers was examined through interviews that covered each day of pregnancy — with mothers’ reports confirmed by measuring nicotine levels. After babies were born, placentas were collected and DNA was analyzed for alterations in the glucocorticoid receptor. Newborns’ cortisol levels were measured during and after neurobehavioral exams (involving behavioral responses to different stimuli, reflex testing, and observation) conducted seven times over the first month of life.

Results showed that infants exposed to smoking showed lowered cortisol levels at baseline and in response to the neurobehavioral exam, a behavioral stressor. The lowered cortisol responses were consistent across seven behavioral exams over the first month of life. In addition, effects of smoking during pregnancy on infant cortisol and stress response were explained by alterations in DNA for a gene that regulates passage of cortisol from mother to fetus.

“Our results also suggest that effects of smoking during pregnancy on infant stress response are explained by changes in DNA,” Stroud says. “Because these DNA changes are epigenetic, there is a hopeful message that perhaps some of these changes could be undone by environment or medications.”

Stroud concludes, “These alterations in stress hormones, stress response, and DNA may explain links between moms’ smoking during pregnancy and the risk for their children to have behavior problems and nicotine addiction in later life. Our results offer one more reason for mothers to quit smoking, and also highlight the need for early intervention with babies born to mothers who smoke during pregnancy and the mothers themselves.”


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Lifespan. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Laura R. Stroud, George D. Papandonatos, Daniel Rodriguez, Meaghan McCallum, Amy L. Salisbury, Maureen G. Phipps, Barry Lester, Marilyn A. Huestis, Raymond Niaura, James F. Padbury, Carmen J. Marsit. Maternal smoking during pregnancy and infant stress response: Test of a prenatal programming hypothesis. Psychoneuroendocrinology, 2014; 48: 29 DOI:10.1016/j.psyneuen.2014.05.017

New treatment uses altered blood cells to attack leukaemia


Scientists have figured out how to reprogram the blood of cancer patients to attack their leukaemia, and 19 of the 30 patients who received the treatment remain in complete remission.

blood-transfusion

A team of researchers led by immunotherapist Carl June from the University of Pennsylvania in the US has announced the results of a new treatment for leukaemia patients that turns their own blood cells against their disease.

The researchers chose to work with patients who were dealing with particularly aggressive cases of leukaemia. All of the participants in the study had cancers that had returned at least four times before.

According to Elizabeth Lopatto at the Verge, the treatment works by first having a patient’s T cells – a type of white blood cell that plays a crucial role in the body’s immune response – harvested through a blood transfusion process. These T cells are then engineered to seek out a particular protein called a B cell receptor, found on the surface of the patient’s B cells. B cells are another type of white blood cell that’s specifically targeted by leukaemia.

The patient’s altered T cells will then be transplanted back into their blood stream so they can start hunting B cell receptor proteins, and kill the leukaemia and the B cells they’re attached to.

Of course, this means that the patient’s entire supply of B cells will be wiped out by this treatment. Because the main role of B cells is to produce antibodies to fight anything that might threaten our bodies, including viruses and bacteria, the patients will be left extremely vulnerable until they can generate more. This is something that hospitals will need to be aware of if the treatment ends up being used more widely, but the benefit of this treatment is that it only has to be administered once for it to work.

According to the study, which was published in the New England Journal of Medicine, of the 30 children and adults that received the treatment, complete remission was achieved in 27 patients (90 percent). Remission was sustained past the six-month point in 19 of the 30 patients. One of the early success stories is a nine-year-old girl called Emily Whitehead, who started the treatment when she was six. She’s been cancer-free now for two years.

“This is unlike almost all cell and gene therapies in that it’s actually ahead of the schedule we set for ourselves when we first started treating patients,” June told Lopatto at the Verge. “We pinch ourselves because, you know, until recently we didn’t know if we got lucky or if it would last. Our initial patients are still in remission, so we know it’s durable and reproducible. That’s something that makes us excited every day.”

The team is now working on easing the side effects of the treatment, which include fever, nausea, muscle pain and difficulty breathing.

Secret space plane lands at US air force base after unknown two-year mission


Resembling a small space shuttle, the X-37B landed in southern California after 674 days in orbit on a secret mission

The plane spent nearly two years circling Earth on a classified mission. Known as the X-37B, it resembles a mini space shuttle.

It safely touched down at 9.24am Friday, officials at Vandenberg Air Force Base said.

Just what the plane was doing during its 674 days in orbit has been the subject of sometimes spectacular speculation.

Several experts have theorized it carried a payload of spy gear in its cargo bay. Other theories sound straight out of a James Bond film, including that the spacecraft would be able to capture the satellites of other nations or shadow China’s space lab.

In a written release announcing the return of the craft, the air force only said it had been conducting “on-orbit experiments”.

The US air force's first unmanned re-entry spacecraft landed at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.
The US air force’s first unmanned re-entry spacecraft landed at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. Photograph: US AIR FORCE/Reuters

The X-37B program has been an orphan of sorts, bouncing since its inception in 1999 between several federal agencies, Nasa among them. It now resides under the air force’s rapid capabilities office.

The plane that landed Friday is one of two built by Boeing. This is the program’s third mission, and began in December 2012.

The plane stands 9.5ft tall and is just over 29ft long, with a wingspan under 15ft. It weighs 11,000lbs and has solar panels that unfurl to charge its batteries once in orbit.

The air force said it plans to launch the fourth X-37B mission from Cape Canaveral, Florida, next year.

Doctors warn that 80% of patients are contaminated with high levels of toxic mercury .


Mercury is one of the most toxic heavy metals known to man and is categorized as one of the top 10 most dangerous chemicals by the World Health Organization.

mercury

Despite knowing the health risks associated with mercury for over 100 years, the toxic heavy metal is steadily finding its way into our systems in forms that could be prevented.

Dental amalgam fillings and seafood are the two most common sources of mercury exposure, with the fillings containing up to 50% mercury and the rest a combination of silver, tin and copper.

Due to these primary sources, one doctor says that more than 80% of his patients have tested positive for having elevated levels of mercury via hair, serum and/or urine testing.

After 20 years of testing, doctors found that 80% of their patients have elevated levels of mercury

Dr. David Brownstein is a board-certified family physician who specializes in holistic medicine and has lectured tirelessly about his success in using natural hormones and nutritional therapies in his practice.

He and his partners have spent the last 20 years testing nearly all of their patients for heavy metal levels, all of whom have shown that “mercury toxicity is alive and well in the 21st century.”

Recently, Brownstein presented at the International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology (IAOMT) in Austin, Texas. A group of 13 dentists who believed mercury fillings were hazardous formed IAMOT in 1984. Today, the organization has more than 700 active members, with affiliated chapters in 14 other countries. Its goal is to promote safe, non-toxic methods in dental care.

During a break at the conference, Brownstein was asked why he wasn’t more outspoken about the dangers of mercury. Brownstein thought his views on mercury were crystal clear, so he was actually shocked by the question. The inquiry led him to write a blog clarifying his views on mercury.

“Mercury is a poison with no known therapeutic value to the human body. Mercury is known to destroy the functioning of hundreds of enzymes in the body.

It is a neurotoxin that has been associated with a host of neurological and immune system disorders, such as depression, anxiety, seizures, autism, ADHD, Alzheimer’s, dementia and Parkinson’s disease. We should all try to limit our exposure to mercury.”

The EPA estimates that about 120,000 dental offices in the U.S. use or dispose of amalgam fillings that contain mercury

Amalgam fillings, one of the main sources for mercury exposure, are responsible for releasing 28.5 tons of mercury into the environment each year, a figure Brownstein says the American Dental Association (ADA) should be ashamed of and held liable for. The ADA still backs mercury fillings 100%.

Any dentists who still use dental amalgam fillings should have his or her license revoked and doesn’t deserve your business, insists Brownstein. Claims that mercury fillings are inert, meaning no mercury will be released from the filling, has been disproven in http://www.optimaldental.com.au/upload/modules/file_storage/ASOMAT preliminary NHMRC submission Sept 97.pdf”>several studies.

“Every time you chew or expose the filling to hot food or drink, mercury is released as a vapor, which is quickly taken up by the body. Studies have clearly shown a direct correlation with the amount of mercury in the body and the number of mercury amalgam fillings.”

Brownstein recommends avoiding all mercury-containing flu shots as well, stressing that completely averting the metal can help protect your body and brain.

As mercury is so common in the environment, getting yourself tested for high mercury levels is a smart move, especially if you’re unknowingly suffering from illnesses caused by the metal.

Here is a link for finding a holistic healthcare provider who can help test and treat elevated mercury levels.

Sources:

http://blog.drbrownstein.com

http://iaomt.org

http://icimed.com

http://www.naturalnews.com

http://www.who.int

http://www.toxicteeth.org

http://www.optimaldental.com.au/upload/modules/file_storage/ASOMAT

http://www.lakeconews.com

http://www.ada.org

Learn more: http://www.naturalnews.com/047290_mercury_dental_amalgams_toxic_elements.html?utm_content=buffer996e8&utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook.com&utm_campaign=buffer#ixzz3GhC7Fr8w