Are Monsanto Pesticides To Blame For Birth Defects In Argentina?

Argentina has become one of the worlds largest soybean producers, with the majority of its soybeans bearing GM glyphosate resistance. Agrochemical spraying in the country has mushroomed over the last several years, in 1990 roughly 9 million gallons of argochemical spraying was needed, compared to today’s requirement of roughly 84 milliongallons.


Included in that was the use of over 200 million liters (52,834 million gallons) of herbicides such as glyphosate, the main ingredient in Roundup. The country’s entire soybean crop, along with nearly all of its cotton and corn crops, have been genetically modified over the last decade. The GM use has been primarily from crops designed to resist Roundup, which is sprayed onto the fields so only resistant crops grow.

Along with the increase in pesticide use, the country has seen a disturbing and alarming growth in the prevalence of birth defects, cancer rates, and other negative health ailments. This has lead many of its citizens, including medical professionals, to assert the notion that pesticides, GMOs, and biotech giants are the ones to blame.

Two year old Camila Veron [pictured above], was born with multiple organ problems and severely disabled, the doctors had told her family that the agrochemicals might have been to blame. And dozens of other similar cases have been witnessed in the area. It is firmly believed that the herbicide used on the genetically modified crops, may over an extended period of time after consumption, cause brain, intestinal, and heart defects in fetuses. In Ituzaingo, a district comprised of roughly 5,000 people [and surrounded by many soy fields] has seen over the past eight years, more than 300 documented cases of cancer associated with fumigations and pesticides have been experienced, they have reported cancer rates that are 41 times the national average.

Sergio H. Lence, "The Agricultural Sector in Argentina: Major Trends and Recent Developmebts," 2010Monsanto has [unsurprisingly] denied the claims that their products has contributed in any way to the increased occurrence of experienced birth defects in the nation. Even though dozens of cases have been exposed which illustrate the misuse and illegality of pesticide application, pesticides are showing up in alarming rates in the soil and drinking water. Disturbingly, 80% of children surveyed in one area were found to have pesticides in their blood. Studies have demonstrated that low concentrations of pesticides [such as glyphosate] is understood to harm human cells and cause cancer.

Ironically for those claiming that this is Monsanto’s fault, the pesticides found in human blood at higher quantities were organochlorines… which has nothing to do with glyphosate.

Unfortunately for the Argentina, the Associated Press has documented numerous cases within the country where poisons are being, and have been, applied in ways which are prohibited by existing law, or unanticipated by regulatory science. The blame does not rest solely, or even primarily, on Monsanto, but with the farmers’ misuse posing the primary problem.

Medical professionals in the area have also been advising their clients that pesticide application within the country may be to blame. It is important to remember that Glyphosate is not the most toxic pesticide being used, and that genetic modification itself is surely not to blame.

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Element Of Surprise Helps Babies Learn ‘Significantly’ Better

Peek-a-boo may have the power to make babies laugh, but researchers have found there could be valuable brain development potential in the way surprises can change a learning experience. Two brain psychologists from Johns Hopkins University studied how the element of surprise could help engage a baby to learn more efficiently. The study, which was published in the journal Science, was broken up into four different stages and designed to test 11-month-old babies’ ability to learn.

Babies' Learn With Surprise

“Babies are always taking things in, learning, and observing the world,” the study’s lead Aimee Stahl, a Ph.D. candidate in psychological and brain sciences at the university, toldMedical Daily. “Once they saw something that surprised them, their engagement with the object peaked and their learning behavior improved significantly. But we’re not overturning their knowledge by showing them unexpected events.”

The babies in the study were presented with both surprising and predictable situations regarding an object, such as a ball. One group of infants saw the ball roll down a ramp and stop at a wall blocking its way, while a second group saw the ball roll down the ramp and surprisingly, roll right through the wall. The researchers used another wall to block the babies from seeing the ball move onto the other side of the wall, making it appear as if it magically rolled right through.

The element of surprise provides a brain boost to the baby who becomes more intrigued by the possibilities of the unexpected. Babies who were shown the surprising events were able to learn faster and more efficiently afterward compared to those babies who saw the ball roll down the ramp as they expected. Babies use what they already know about the world to further their learning and build upon information they believe is reliable, such as a ball dropping because of gravity. If something is out of their range of foundational knowledge, the baby becomes more engaged as if the ball’s surprising behavior is highlighted in their minds as new and important information. Stahl believes adults may also learn the same way. However, further research will have to explore how the unexpected can provide impactful learning experiences.

“For young learners, the world is an incredibly complex place filled with dynamic stimuli,” said the study’s coauthor author Lisa Feigenson, a professor of psychological and brain sciences. “How do learners know what to focus on and learn more about and what to ignore? Our research suggests that infants use what they already know about the world to form predictions. When these predictions are shown to be wrong, infants use this as a special opportunity for learning. When babies are surprised, they learn much better, as though they are taking the occasion to try to figure something out about their world.”

Research efforts with the same principle are currently being tested on children at the Maryland Science Center at Baltimore. Stahl says they’re hoping to learn more about how the brain learns and adapts to unexpected events through the child as well, and to eventually shape and enhance their ability to learn.

Antidepressants Aren’t Taken By The Depressed; Majority Of Users Have No Disorder

Flaws in access to reliable psychotherapy may lead people with mental burdens to pop pills instead.

A new study published in The Journal of Clinical Psychiatry reports some 69 percent of people taking selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), the primary type of antidepressants, have never suffered from major depressive disorder (MDD). Perhaps worse, 38 percent have never in their lifetime met the criteria for MDD, obsessive compulsive disorder, panic disorder, social phobia, or generalized anxiety disorder, yet still take the pills that accompany them.

In a society that is increasingly self-medicating itself, capsules, tablets, and pills are turning from last resorts to easily obtained quick fixes. Between 1988 and 2008, antidepressant use increased nearly 400 percent. Today, 11 percent of the American population takes a regular antidepressant, which, by the latest study’s measure, may be a severe inflation of what’s actually necessary.

“I think while psychotherapy is another option to helping people obtain better mental health, there are roadblocks,” said Dr. Howard Forman, medical director of the Addiction Consultation Service at Montefiore Medical Center. Forman, who wasn’t involved with the study, points toward cost, availability of experts, and time demands as the main reasons people may decide to pursue alternatives.

Dr. Ramin Mojtabai, of Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, and his colleagues relied on data from four samples, the Baltimore Epidemiologic Catchment Area Study Wave 1, which began in 1981, all the way through Wave 4, which ended in 2005. In total, they used data on 1,071 participants, including four interviews and an assessment on current antidepressant use. Similar to the national average, 13 percent of people reported using antidepressants.

Medications to offset perceived, yet undiagnosed, chemical imbalances don’t just include those targeted to mood. Amphetamines like Adderall help people find focus, and benzodiazepines like Xanax quell anxiety — or so their users claim. But when the bottom falls out on casual use, quick fixes may turn into heavy dependence. “I have no concerns about the prescription of SSRIs leading to dependence,” Forman said. Prescriptions are generally accompanied by a doctor’s oversight. “I think that any medications that are taken without the oversight of a physician, especially drugs with abuse potential, such as Xanax, are very concerning for the development of dependence.”

Solving this problem of antidepressant overuse may be partly systemic as well as personal. Mental health care is improving in the U.S., particularly as the stigma fades and people no longer feel embarrassed to seek treatment. But more can be done to give patients peace of mind, Forman says. This may help reduce their urge to unnecessarily self-medicate, as the people who don’t need medication take solace in the reassurance of their health, while those in need find the same comfort in the confirmation of an illness. The main priority is removing the element of uncertainty.

“We all experience periods of stress, periods of sadness, and periods of self-doubt,” he said. “These don’t make us mentally ill, they define us as human.”

Source: Takayanagi Y, Spira A, Bienvenu O, et al. Antidepressant Use and Lifetime History of Mental Disorders in a Community Sample: Results From the Baltimore Epidemiologic Catchment Area Study. The Journal of Clinical Psychiatry. 2015.

Socrates Was One Of The Smartest People Ever Lived. Here Are 24 Out Of His Most Important Quotes That Everyone Needs To Read.

Socrates was a classical Greek philosopher credited as one of the founders of Western philosophy. He is an enigmatic figure known chiefly through the accounts of classical writers, especially the writings of his students Plato and Xenophon and the plays of his contemporary Aristophanes. Plato’s dialogues are among the most comprehensive accounts of Socrates to survive from antiquity.

Socrates Was One Of The Smartest People Ever Lived. Here Are 24 Out Of His Most Important Quotes That Everyone Needs To Read
Through his portrayal in Plato’s dialogues, Socrates has become renowned for his contribution to the field of ethics, and it is this Platonic Socrates who lends his name to the concepts of Socratic irony and the Socratic method, or elenchus. The latter remains a commonly used tool in a wide range of discussions, and is a type of pedagogy in which a series of questions is asked not only to draw individual answers, but also to encourage fundamental insight into the issue at hand. Plato’s Socrates also made important and lasting contributions to the field of epistemology, and the influence of his ideas and approach remains a strong foundation for much western philosophy that followed.

Let us remember his wisdom by reading 24 famous quotes of his:

1) “The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing.”

2) “The unexamined life is not worth living.”

3) “There is only one good, knowledge, and one evil, ignorance.”

4) “I cannot teach anybody anything. I can only make them think”

5) “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.”

6) “Strong minds discuss ideas, average minds discuss events, weak minds discuss people.”

7) “By all means marry; if you get a good wife, you’ll become happy; if you get a bad one, you’ll become a philosopher.”

8) “He who is not contented with what he has, would not be contented with what he would like to have.”

9) “If you don’t get what you want, you suffer; if you get what you don’t want, you suffer; even when you get exactly what you want, you still suffer because you can’t hold on to it forever. Your mind is your predicament. It wants to be free of change. Free of pain, free of the obligations of life and death. But change is law and no amount of pretending will alter that reality.”

10) “Sometimes you put walls up not to keep people out, but to see who cares enough to break them down.”

11) “Wonder is the beginning of wisdom.”

12) “To find yourself, think for yourself.”

13) “Education is the kindling of a flame, not the filling of a vessel.”

14) “Know thyself.”

15) “Let him who would move the world first move himself.”

16) “The secret of happiness, you see, is not found in seeking more, but in developing the capacity to enjoy less.”

17) “The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new.”

18) “I am not an Athenian or a Greek, but a citizen of the world.”

19) “Prefer knowledge to wealth, for the one is transitory, the other perpetual.”

20) “understanding a question is half an answer”

21) “True wisdom comes to each of us when we realize how little we understand about life, ourselves, and the world around us”

22) “He is richest who is content with the least, for content is the wealth of nature.”

23) “To be is to do”

24) “The mind is everything; what you think you become”

Psychedelic drugs ‘safe as riding a bike or playing soccer’

Psychedelic drugs like MDMA and magic mushrooms are as safe as riding a bike or playing soccer, and bans against them are “inconsistent with human rights”, according to the authors of a letter published in the Lancet Psychiatry Journal today.

Psychedelic brain image (Shutterstock)

The letter, written by Boston-born Teri Krebs, research fellow within the Department of Neuroscience at the Norway University of Science and Technology and her Norwegian husband Pål-Ørjan Johansen, stresses that national and international policies must respect the rights of individuals who chose to use psychedelics as a spiritual, personal development, or cultural activity.

“Although psychedelics can induce temporary confusion and emotional turmoil, hospitalizations and serious injuries are extremely rare. Overall psychedelics are not particularly dangerous when compared with other common activities,” says Krebs.

The pair have set up a non-profit organisation, EmmaSofia, which aims to expand access to quality-controlled MDMA (ecstasy) and psychedelics and to promote human rights for psychedelic users.

EmmaSofia has launched a crowdfunding scheme to raise $30,000 to build a foundation for their long term efforts to legalise the drugs which they believe can be used to treat addictions to substances like heroin, tobacco and alcohol and to help people suffering from diseases like Parkinson’s.

Johansen, a clinical psychologist with experience in providing treatments for anxiety disorders, suicide prevention and drug and alcohol abuse, used MDMA and magic mushrooms to treat his own alcohol addiction. He believes it is crucial that the drug is made available to others who could benefit from it.

“MDMA is not illegal because it’s dangerous; it can be dangerous because it is illegal,” he said.

Krebs and Johansen
Pål-Ørjan Johansen with wife Teri Krebs EmmaSofia

He argues that different types of addictions have “commonalities”, and points to a study in the American Journal of Psychiatry which supports the idea that psychedelics could be useful in the treatment of heroin addiction.

“The commonality is that addiction and drug abuse have a function which is to escape from stress and difficult emotions like shame, loneliness, fear, guilt or shyness,” says Johansen. “Recently our colleague, Matthew Johnson, completed a pilot study with psilocybin for smoking cessation, also with encouraging results.”

In the past, psychiatrists have advocated psychedelic drugs as a soothing antidote for people with terminal cancer, arguing that they alleviate anxiety and help patients find new perspective and acceptance. Johansen also suggests the drugs are beneficial for people suffering from life-threatening illnesses, post-traumatic stress disorder and brain injuries as they induce “profound experiences”.

EmmaSofia’s campaign has been backed by numerous academics, including Professor David Nutt, a former drugs advisor to the UK government, who says he believespsychedelics and MDMA have enormous potential as treatments for patients with a range of psychiatric disorders.

But a spokesman for the British governmental organisation Public Health England Health and Wellbeing Directorate says it is unethical to treat an addiction to one drug with another illegal substance and says such an initiative would not have their support in the UK.

A spokesperson for the UK Home Office adds that the government has “no intention of legalising drugs”.

Consultant psychiatrist Dr Paul McLaren, who is based at Priory Hayes Grove Hospital near Bromley, Kent, acknowledges that psychedelic drugs have powerful psychological effects and says the idea that they can be directly therapeutic, or facilitate psychotherapy, is attractive.

He says although there is certainly a need for more effective pharmacological agents to treat psychiatric illness, there is a well-established path for the development of new drugs which have built-in safeguards and ethical constraints, which are “there for a reason and should be followed”.

“There is at present insufficient scientific evidence in the form of adequately powered randomised controlled trials to justify the therapeutic use of these drugs.” he says.

“In a clinical setting we see the adverse psychological consequences of young people using drugs such as MDMA. The effects are often unpredictable and can be influenced by an individual’s vulnerability and the context in which the drug is used. Regular use can have adverse effects on intellectual functioning, and usage can also trigger anxiety and mood disorders.”

“Just because a drug has powerful psychological effects does not mean that those effects are inevitably therapeutic, and it should be subjected to the rigorous testing systems which are in place – as would be the case for novel pharmacological agents.”

However, Johansen points out: “Over 30 million U.S. adults have tried psychedelics and there just is not much evidence of health problems.”

Krebs added: “Drug experts consistently rank LSD and psilocybin mushrooms as much less harmful to the individual user and to society compared to alcohol and other controlled substances.”

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The Insanity of Mainstream Media’s Medical Advice

The Insanity of Mainstream Media’s Medical Advice


We’ve all heard that coffee is bad for you. Or is it good for you? Butter and eggs used to be bad for you, but now they’re good… or are they?

The mainstream media is constantly reporting on new scientific medical studies, dishing out more advice than a doctor on what (and what not) to consume to maintain our health. One month something will kill you, the next month it will save your life.

Take this recent example. A couple weeks ago, The Telegraph reported that, based on a new scientific study, all adults over the age of 50 should take aspirin every single day as a preventative measure to stave off cancer and heart disease. Everyone. Regardless of their previous warnings.

Are you over 50? Is your mom? Your grandma? Well according to The Telegraph’s reporting on this new study, you better be taking a daily aspirin every day for a decade. As The Telegraph reported:

“Middle-aged adults should take aspirin every day for ten years, according to scientists who found it could save more than 6,000 lives a year by preventing cancer and heart disease. Daily aspirin can prevent up to one third of cancers of the bowel, throat and stomach and can halve the risk of dying in some cases, according to the the largest, most comprehensive analysis of the drugs use.”

The article goes on to downplay the risks associated with taking a daily aspirin, stating: “It comes after previous research raised concerns about the side effects of aspirin, which include bleeding and ulcers. The new study found that while there was a small increased risk of a stroke, stomach bleeding and ulcers, the benefits of taking aspirin made it a ‘good bet’.”

A “small” increased risk of a stroke? Hm. That must be why the exact same media outlet reported back in December that “a daily aspirin may do more harm than good”, and noted that researchers at that time were claiming that regularly taking aspirin led to a 37 percent increased risk of internal bleeding and 38 percent increased risk of hemorrhagic stroke.

So which is it? Aspirin is good to stave off heart disease, but only if you want a nearly 40 percent increased risk of suffering a potentially deadly hemorrhagic stroke? How is that even remotely a “good bet”? Anyone??

Corporate Junk Science

So, listen to The Telegraph and go ahead and take aspirin every day for 10 years, you know… just in case. Never mind that it is already on record that drugs approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration kill 100,000 people every year who took the drugs as prescribed – this latest study claims it will save 6,000 lives. Notably, The Telegraph reporter doesn’t declare this little factoid about prescription death rates on the aspirin study until the very last line of her article: “Several of the authors of the analysis declared that they have worked for the pharmaceutical industry connected to aspirin but that the findings and conclusions in the study do not represent their respective organisations.

The Insanity of Mainstream Media’s Medical Advice














This is the other side of “science” — the bought-and-paid-for “science” conducted to paint the proper picture for whatever industry is funding it. Sadly though, most people do not read articles all the way to the end. Most casual mainstream media customers will read a headline and if it grabs them, they might skim the first few paragraphs, meaning they will seldom read the part where the industry itself is essentially revealed to be paying for the so-called “science” that propagates the false belief that these profitable products are good for them.

And this is just one example. This happens all the time, to the point that most people don’t know what’s healthy or not anymore, based on mainstream media standards. This isn’t to say that science gets everything wrong, obviously, but it illustrate that science can be paid for by corporate interests to say what those interests want it to say. And even a broken clock is right twice a day.

Nature’s Solutions

Dr. Russell Blaylock is a board certified neurosurgeon, author and lecturer who has dedicated his work to actually looking at the root cause of health issues so they can truly be cured with natural means, rather than patching over symptoms with potentially harmful pharmaceutical treatments that are never actually intended to “cure” anything in the first place (because there’s no real money to be made in cures).

Writing on aspirin as a blood thinner in his book Health and Nutrition Secrets, Dr. Blaylock says that strokes are a huge concern with taking a daily aspirin, noting, “One of the largest stroke-prevention studies using aspirin, the Physician’s Health Study, involved 22,000 physicians and found that patients taking aspirin had twice as many brain hemorrhages as those who did not take aspirin.”

Dr. Blaylock went on to point out that that the problem with just taking a daily aspirin to prevent strokes and heart attacks is that it doesn’t do anything to strengthen the actual blood vessels themselves, something people who are concerned with heart issues should definitely take into consideration. Basically a weak blood vessel carrying thinned out blood is the perfect set up for a stroke. Makes sense.

Blaylock goes on to say that the herb Gingko Biloba not only thins the blood, but helps strengthen the collagen and elastin in blood vessel walls. In addition, flavonoids contained in Ginkgo biloba protect from free radical damage. These benefits are in addition to other numerous health effects of Ginkgo Biloba as reported by numerous other natural health outlets, including:

  • Enhances memory
  • Uplifts the spirit
  • Strengthens the eyes
  • Relaxes constricted blood vessels
  • Improves circulation
  • Acts as an energy restorative
  • Provides antioxidant boost
  • Relieves tension and anxiety

But Ginkgo biloba isn’t a manufactured chemical produced for a Big Pharma company in the past 100 years; it’s a plant that has been around for millions of years and has been used medicinally since long before aspirin was ever synthesized. But what does nature know? But by now, if we believe mainstream media’s medical advice, we should all be asking ourselves how anyone anywhere in the history of humanity managed to live to be over 60 before we could take aspirin every single day. Insanity.

Fluoride causes hypothyroidism leading to depression, weight gain.

The tables are finally starting to turn in regard to the perception that the world has of water fluoridation following the release of at least two reputable studies over the past three years documenting the adverse health effects caused by the chemical.


Researchers from the University of Kent, a public research university based in the United Kingdom, conducted the latest and considerably groundbreaking study on the health effects potentially caused by adding fluoride to the public’s water.

After studying data obtained from nearly every medical practice in England, scientists found that fluoride may be increasing the risk for hypothyroidism, or an underactive thyroid, a condition in which the thyroid gland fails to produce enough hormones, resulting in symptoms such as fatigue, obesity and depression.

Published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, the study included the largest population ever analyzed in relation to the adverse health effects caused by water fluoridation.

Recent UK study includes the “largest population ever studied in regard to adverse effects of elevated fluoride exposure”

After collecting data from 99 percent of England’s 8,020 general medical practices, researchers found that the locations with fluoridated water were 30 percent more likely to have high levels of hypothyroidism, compared to areas with low, natural levels of the chemical in the water.

This means that up to 15,000 people could be suffering from depression, weight gain, fatigue and aching muscles, all of which could theoretically be prevented if fluoride were removed from the water, according to The Telegraph.

“Overall, there were 9 percent more cases of underactive thyroid in fluoridated places,” reports Newsweek, which also notes that 10 percent of England’s water is fluoridated compared with nearly 70 percent of America’s.

The science paper also compared the fluoridated city of Birmingham with the city of Manchester, which refrains from fluoridating, and found that doctor’s offices in Birmingham were nearly twice as likely to report high levels of hypothyroidism.

The new report has some experts questioning their stance on water fluoridation.

“The study is an important one because it is large enough to detect differences of potential significance to the health of the population,” said Trevor Sheldon, a medical researcher and dean of the Hill York Medical School who has published numerous studies in this field.

Sheldon, who in the past supported fluoride, admits that the “case for general water fluoridation” is no longer clear.

New fluoride study contradicts last year’s report by Public Health England that states fluoride is “safe and effective” for improving dental health

Released in March of last year, Public Health England’s report states that “there is no evidence of harm to health in fluoridated areas,” and no differences were found between fluoridated and non-fluoridated areas in regard to rates of hip fractures, osteosarcoma (a form of bone cancer), cancers overall, Down’s syndrome births and all other recorded causes of death.

New research, however, suggests that the spike in the number of cases of hypothyroidism in areas such as the West Midlands and the North East of England is “concerning for people living in those areas.”

“The difference between the West Midlands, which fluoridates, and Manchester, which doesn’t was particularly striking. There were nearly double the number of cases in Manchester,” said the study’s lead author Stephen Peckham.

Women 15 times more likely to develop underactive thyroid

“Underactive thyroid is a particularly nasty thing to have and it can lead to other long term health problems. I do think councils need to think again about putting fluoride in the water. There are far safer ways to improve dental health.”

Hypothyroidism is particularly a cause for concern for women, as they’re 15 times more likely than men to develop the condition. Previous studies suggest that fluoride inhibits the thyroid’s ability to use iodine, which is an essential mineral for a healthy thyroid, the master gland in the human body.

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Don’t throw away your sprouted garlic.It’s a superfood.

First, let’s clear the air on those “garlic is poisonous” rumors that a few hold, similar to the zealous “apple and apricot seeds are toxic” fear mongers.


A little bit of knowledge is dangerous when it overlooks all the details of the complete picture. The disinformation fear mongers should all be ignored.

However, there is some truth about toxic garlic if you buy conventionally raised imported garlic. Over half of conventionally grown garlic comes from China. Almost all the rest comes from Mexico and some South American nations.

Some of that garlic imported from China was grown in human feces, according to an Australian report. After having several large shipments detained in the USA due to mold and insect infestation, China and other nations have resorted to bleaching and fumigating their garlic with methyl bromide, a highly toxic pesticide that has been banned in some areas.

There is an option. Pay slightly more to purchase locally or domestically grown organic garlic bulbs. Ironically, the toxic measures at attempting to keep imported garlic from spoiling also inhibits a capability that enhances garlic’s health-providing attributes — sprouting.

Sprouted garlic is even healthier

Sprouted garlic, older garlic bulbs with bright green shoots sprouting from their cloves, is commonly thought to be past its prime and routinely gets tossed into the garbage bin without a second thought.

While some aging plant foods that begin to sprout, like potatoes, can actually be dangerous because they release toxic chemicals which can harm humans, that’s not the case with sprouted garlic.

In fact, a study funded by Korea’s Institute of Planning and Evaluation for Technology, which was recently published in the ACS’ Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry found that sprouted garlic has even more antioxidant activity than its younger, fresher brethren.

The researchers knew that, as seedlings transform into green plants, they manufacture many compounds, some of which protect the plant from pathogens.

Researcher Jong-Sang Kim, PhD, explained, “Plants are very susceptible to attack from bacteria, viruses, and insects during sprouting. This causes them to produce a variety of chemicals called phytoalexins to defend themselves. Most of these are toxic to microorganisms and insects, but beneficial to human health.”

Kim’s group postulated that a similar process may be occurring when green shoots grow from older garlic cloves. They found that extracts from garlic sprouted for five days had the highest antioxidant activity, whereas extracts from raw garlic had lower antioxidant activity.

Furthermore, sprouting changed the metabolite profile of garlic: The metabolite profile of garlic sprouted for five to six days was distinct from the metabolite profile of garlic sprouted four days or less.

The researchers concluded that sprouting may be a viable method to increase the antioxidant potential of garlic, though they are still not certain of the exact mechanisms involved.

Sprouted garlic enhances raw garlic’s proven anti-inflammatory, immune-boosting, cardiovascular health protection, and its ability to kill 14 types of cancer cells. A sulfur-rich compound in garlic called allicin is effective against bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites without toxic side effects.

So go ahead and grab a few domestic, organic, sprouting garlic bulbs from the market shelves or simply allow them to sprout in your pantry or storage closet to enhance their antioxidant properties.

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Antarctic Octopus’s ‘Blue Blood’ Helps It Survive in Frigid Waters

Octopuses in Antarctica survive subzero temperatures because of blue pigment in their blood, a new study finds.

The ice-cold temperatures in the Southern Ocean surrounding Antarctica range between 28.8 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 1.8 degrees Celsius) to 35.6 degrees F (2 degrees C). In such frigid conditions, animals have a harder time transporting oxygen throughout their bodies and therefore delivering it to tissues.

To cope, Antarctic octopuses use a copper-based protein called haemocyanin. It makes their blood run blue and is much more efficient at keeping their bodies properly oxygenated at freezing temperatures. [8 Crazy Facts About Octopuses]
“This is the first study providing clear evidence that the octopods’ blue blood pigment, haemocyanin, undergoes functional changes to improve the supply of oxygen to tissue at subzero temperature,” lead study author Michael Oellermann, a biologist at the Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research in Germany, said in a statement.

To find out what keeps an octopus’s body oxygenated, Oellermann and his colleagues compared haemocyanin levels in an Antarctic octopus species (Paraledone charcoti) and in two species that live in warmer climates (Octopus pallidus in southeast Australia and Eledone moschata in the Mediterranean).

The Antarctic octopus had the highest concentration of haemocyanin in its blood compared with other species. At 50 degrees F (10 degrees C), the Antarctic octopus could release far more oxygen (76.7 percent), than the two warm-water octopuses (at 33 percent for the Octopus pallidus and 29.8 percent for the Eledone moschata).

Although the Antarctic octopus is far more adept at producing oxygen in cold waters than its warm-water counterparts, these animals actually thrive when the water is a balmy 50 degrees F (10 degrees C), rather than at 32 degrees F (0 degrees C), which is typical in the Southern Ocean’s lowest latitudes.

“This is important because it highlights a very different response compared to Antarctic fish to the cold conditions in the Southern Ocean,” Oellermann said. “The results also imply that due to improved oxygen supply by haemocyanin at higher temperatures, this octopod may be physiologically better-equipped than Antarctic fishes to cope with global warming,” he said.

The Antarctic octopus’s ability to adjust its blood oxygen supply to suit variable temperatures could help it cope with warming temperatures as a result of climate change. But, this “blue blood” also helps explain why different species of octopuses live in such diverse environments, ranging from the freezing waters around Antarctica to the warm equatorial tropics.

Research paper got rejected? Here’s how to handle it.

So you submitted your research to a publication, but it wasn’t accepted –- what do you do next? Rejection can be tricky to navigate, especially early in your medical career, but with the right mindset and a little effort, an old paper can find new life.

Follow these tips from Gail M. Sullivan, MD, editor-in-chief of the Journal of Graduate Medical Education, so you can beat rejection and make the most of your next submission:

1. Take a minute to accept what happened. Before you can adequately think about publishing your research again, it’s important to accept and overcome old feelings. “It is best to identify your emotions and employ your best coping mechanisms,” Sullivan said. “Relax with your favorite tea or coffee, vent to your friends or family, exercise, or get a hug from your kids.”

2. Read the rejection letter. “The rejection letter should be read as carefully as instructions to cash in a winning lottery ticket,” Sullivan said, noting that rejection letters often contain questions or comments on your paper that can guide future revisions. This is especially true of papers that may have been rejected after an editor’s initial read.

“Papers that are rejected after peer review have detailed comments about the strengths and weaknesses of the paper, as perceived by the reviewer,” Sullivan said. Use this information to your advantage before your next submission.

3. Make sure you follow the author instructions. “In the review process for many journals, papers that do not follow the author instructions carefully in terms of format, word count, number of figures and tables, and references will be rejected immediately,” Sullivan said. If you choose to deviate from the journal’s instructions in future submissions, make sure you clearly explain this to the editors in a cover letter.

“Sometimes journals will review papers that do not fit the prescribed format if there is a cover letter establishing the reason” but they still may require you to revise your manuscript to fit the author instructions, so following the journal’s guidelines is your best strategy, Sullivan said.

4.  Match your paper to the journal. Ask yourself: Did my research really fit the journal’s readers? “A common reason for internal rejection of submitted papers is a mismatch between the paper and the scope of the journal, which is closely related to the journal’s target audience,” Sullivan said. Still, if your paper wasn’t the best fit for one journal, that doesn’t mean it can’t shine in another.

Before submitting your work to the next publication, review a few past issues for content and format. Pay close attention to common themes, research designs, and authors you see – these are clues about the kind of content the audience wants to read.  Also, check websites that “attempt to match article title, keywords, or abstract to a particular journal,” Sullivan said. These keywords will help you make a more targeted paper.

5. Resubmit to the same journal, or submit to a new journal. “If the problems cited in the rejection letter refer to steps or results that you have done but, for some reason, were omitted from your paper, you may be able to resubmit your manuscript with the missing methods or data,” but it’s best to verify this with the journal office beforehand, Sullivan said.

If you don’t think your manuscript has a chance of fitting the same journal after a revision, find another publication that may be interested in it. But remember to incorporate “all appropriate changes using the feedback already provided in the initial review” as the same reviewers who previously read your manuscript may be requested to peruse your paper for the new journal. And don’t forget to revise the cover letter. “Editors laugh when they receive a cover letter addressed to another journal – yes, this happens – and it’s not the best way to announce your paper,” Sullivan said.

6. Volunteer at a journal “Consider volunteering to one or more journals to review papers, both as a good citizen of the medical education world and to improve you own editing skills,” Sullivan said, noting that volunteering can offer opportunities to meet experts who can also help you advance your work.

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