Understanding The Dangers of Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs

You see them in every grocery store and home center – those funny-looking curly compact fluorescent lights (CFLs) that are rapidly replacing the old round bulbs. And pretty soon, the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 kicks in, requiring bulbs to be 25 to 30 percent more efficient by 2012 to 2014, and 70 percent more efficient by 2020, effectively phasing out traditional incandescent bulbs as a way to save energy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

The energy efficiency of CFLs may be significant, but unlike traditional light bulbs, there is a hidden danger sealed inside each little bulb that requires special handling and disposal.

Mercury – a potent, developmental neurotoxin that can damage the brain, liver, kidneys and central nervous system. Infants and young children are particularly vulnerable to mercury’s toxic effects. Even at low levels, mercury is capable of causing a number of health problems including impair motor functioning, cognitive ability and emotional problems. Higher or prolonged exposure can result in much more serious health problems.


CFLs are marketed as “safe” and don’t pose any health risks as long as the glass remains intact. The danger comes if the bulbs are cracked, broken or not disposed of properly. Although it sounds like a miniscule amount – 4 to 5 milligrams – there is enough mercury in just one fluorescent light bulb to contaminate 6,000 gallons of water.

So what does that mean if a CFL is cracked or breaks in our homes, releasing mercury vapors in an enclosed area?Consumers – especially those with young children –need to know what to do when a CFL breaks and the proper way to dispose of used bulbs. It’s no longer as easy as changing a light bulb.

Mercury Warning:

Compact fluorescent  light-bulbs  contain very small amounts of mercury and care must be taken in disposing of them or when they break.

The EPA suggests the following:
o People and pets should immediately leave the room.

o Open a window and/or door and Air out the room for 5 to 10 minutes.

o Turn off the central forced air heating/air-conditioning system.

o Thoroughly collect broken glass and visible powder using wet cloths. Never use vacuum cleaners or brooms.

o Put all debris and cleanup materials in a sealable container and put outdoors in a trash container or protected area until materials can be disposed of properly. Do not leaving bulb fragments or cleanup materials indoors.

o If practical, continue to air out the room where the bulb was broken and leave the heating/air conditioning system shut off for several hours.

All of this needs to be done to protect people from the tiny amount of mercury in one fluorescent light bulb. Which begs the question, are these lights really safe and are the risks worth it?

Another equally important concern is what happens to the environment – the air, soil and water – when tons of discarded bulbs, along with the mercury, are dumped into local landfills?

The threat posed by billions of broken CFLs lying in landfills has resulted in some communities requiring their citizens to discard used and broken CFLs in designated recycling centers or in a hazardous-waste collection facility.

Given the known deleterious effects caused by mercury, it would seem logical to assume there will be some unintended consequences resulting from the switch to compact fluorescent lights.

Only time will tell how significant those consequences will be.

If you are concerned about the possible health risks associated with CFLs, LED or halogen lights are good alternatives. Both cost a little more but are as efficient as CFLs and can be recycled easily.

Compact Fluorescent Lamps are designed to fit standard light sockets as an energy-saving alternative to traditional incandescent bulbs. CFLs have spiraling or elongated U-shaped tubes known as a single-envelope unit; the double-envelope or encapsulated bulbs have the tubes inside a glass bulb. Consumers should be aware of dangers associated with CFL bulbs before bringing the units into the home, school or workplace.

Mercury Content

  • Although CFLs are considered extremely energy efficient, each bulb contains about 5mg “elemental mercury,” says U.S. Army-Ft. Wood. General Electric, a manufacturer of CFL bulbs, notes the amount equivalent to the tip of a ballpoint pen. GE further claims the mercury is an “essential, irreplaceable element” that allows the bulb to perform as an efficient light source, posing no danger during regular use. Elemental mercury is a bioaccumulative neurotoxin that effects multiple neurological responses. High exposures may affect the kidneys, lead to respiratory failure and death. In addition, mercury accumulates in the environment, vaporizing into the air and leaching into water supplies.

Radiation Emissions

  • CFL bulbs are subject to scrutiny by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration as electronic products that emit ultraviolet radiation. However, as of May 2011, the FDA did not have “specific standards or annual reporting requirements” for manufacturers because the bulbs are considered of little concern, having insignificant levels of radiation. CFLs emit a small amount of UVA, UVB and infrared radiation, according to the FDA. The Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency tested CFLs from various manufacturers. With the exception of people with photosensitive medical conditions, such as lupus, ARPANSA noted that CFLs are suitable for use at distances beyond 10 inches. However, when using desktop and other close lamps, it’s advisable to utilize double-envelope or encapsulated bulbs.

Electrical Sensitivity

  • Electrical sensitivity, also known as electrical hypersensitivity and electromagnet hypersensitivity, is a recognized disability with chronic and systematic reactions to electromagnet fields given off by wiring, electrical equipment, transformers and florescent lighting — including CFLs. Approximately 8 million Americans experience electrical sensitivities, according to the Research & Training Center on Independent Living. It causes nervous system symptoms such as headache, fatigue, stress and sleep disturbances; skin symptoms including prickling, burning sensations and rashes, and pain and ache to muscles, as well as many other health problems. CFLs contribute to electrical sensitivity by emitting electromagnetic radiation.

Electromagnetic Radiation

  • Electromagnet radiation, also known as electromagnetic frequencies — EMF — is a naturally occurring energy. Technological advances such as CFL bulbs have increased the EMF in modern environments. The electromagnet radiation bundle includes dirty electricity — sometimes called dirty power — electrical pollution and radio waves. Most of the EMF fields experienced every day and emitted from CFL bulbs are non-ionizing radiation and considered safe. However, for people with electrical sensitivity, CFL bulbs have significant accumulative dangers, according to ElectroSensitivity UK News.

San Francisco woman proves that HIV doesn’t always cause AIDS: no symptoms after 23 years .

In the 23 years since she was diagnosed with HIV, 61-year-old Loreen Willenberg of Sacramento, Calif., has never taken any drugs to restrain the virus. She has never shown symptoms or become ill from HIV or AIDS. She has experienced no drop in her CD4 T-cells, the immune cells targeted by HIV.

“I haven’t had a decline of CD4 cell count at all, and that’s pretty magnificent, and I’m very humbled by that,” Willenberg said.

“In a clinical sense, I’m not progressing towards AIDS,” she said. “I’m not progressing towards the disease stage.”

“Elite controllers”

Many of the 35 million people who are infected with HIV take complex drug cocktails to prevent damage to their immune system. Scientists hope that Willenberg and others like her can help uncover the key to preventing HIV from progressing to AIDS — without drugs.

According to Dr. Richard Pollard, Willenberg is one of approximately 500 known “elite controllers” whose bodies seem naturally immune to the effects of HIV.

“Their body has such an effective way of reacting to the virus that it’s hard to even detect that they’re virus positive,” he said.

HIV naturally attacks CD4 cells, killing them in order to replicate itself. This allows the virus to overpower the CD8 T-cells that the body would normally use to kill them. Scientists believe that elite controllers have unusually strong CD8 cells that are able to keep the virus in check and prevent it from killing too many CD4 cells or multiplying out of control. Thus, elite controllers are able to be HIV-positive without suffering a loss of immune function.

Willenberg has devoted much of her life to helping elite controllers and others with HIV. She is the founder of the Zephyr Foundation, which advocates around elite controllers, long-term nonprogressors and viremic controllers (those whose immune systems control HIV, but less well than elite controllers), and has participated in 13 separate scientific studies in the past 10 years, to try and help scientists better understand how her body controls HIV.

Life without drugs

Willenberg has been publicly critical of a strain within the medical field that seeks to put elite controllers on HIV drugs. In February, scientists announced the results of a study which concluded that elite controllers actually had worse health than non-elite controllers on HIV drugs. This conclusion was based on the finding that elite controllers spent more nights in the hospital than people on HIV drugs, or even non-elite controllers who were not taking drugs.

Willenberg criticized the research for failing to control for other risk factors.

“I’m really interested in how many of the individuals were obese. How many had diabetes? How many had high levels of LDL?” she said, noting that many of the sites used in the research were in areas known to have high rates of hypertension.

The website Aidsmap also criticized the study, noting that researchers reported that elite controllers had a higher risk of pulmonary disease, even though this effect disappeared after one outlying individual was removed.

According to Willenberg, the very traits that protect elite controllers can be misconstrued as signs of poor health.

“We need to stay mindful that some of the biomarkers that they’re measuring for levels of immune activation and inflammation are those that are closely related to elite controllers’ adaptive immune responses,” she said.

“Do I think that all elite controllers need to be put on meds? No I don’t. I’m not convinced.”

One of Willenberg’s goals — and Pollard’s — is to find a way to free HIV patients from a lifetime of dependency on drugs. Indeed, many of these drugs can have severe side effects that can mimic the symptoms of HIV and AIDS themselves. These side effects include fatigue, cough, diarrhea, fever, headaches, skin rashes, shortness of breath and weight loss. Some drug side effects, such as increased rates of cardiovascular disease, can even be fatal.

Learn more: http://www.naturalnews.com/049726_HIV_AIDS_elite_controllers.html#ixzz3aTPIqYmW

How do testicles know to make sperm .

Whenever a man ejaculates millions of sperm are produced, yet the average pair of testicles produces billions of sperm in a lifetime. So, why aren’t all of these possible sperm cells created at once?

Testicles have a built in safety device that stops their owners from becoming infertile

Sperm cells come from stem cells deep inside the testicles. When these stem cells divide, they can become another pair of stem cells that stay inside the testicles, or they can start to become sperm cells. In order for men to remain fertile, their testicles need to keep these two options well balanced. If too many cells change, the reserve of stem cells could run out so that no new sperm can be made. If too few cells change, the sperm count would drop because the testicles are filled with stem cells. Either scenario would result in infertility.

One “switch” keeps the testicles from making all the sperm cells at once

A new study by Kanako Ikami et al at the National institute for Basic Biology in Japan states that a single difference inside the cells determines whether or not the stem cells go on to become sperm cells. Ikami conducted a study with mice, and she found that genes the cells were using consist of two specific groups. One group makes a protein that can dock with retinoic acid, the other group cannot not.

When it is time to make new sperm, a pulse of retinoid acid is released into the testes. All cells receive this pulse, but not all cells transform to sperm cells. Ikami found that the cells that could bind with the acid became sperm cells, the cells that remained blind to the pulse continued making stem cells. When Ikami forced the “blind” cells to make the protein necessary to bind with the acid, and then introduced them to the retinoic acid, they started to become sperm cells.

All of the cells inside the testicles are capable of making sperm. but one “switch” prevents them from doing it all in one go.

Solar initiative in Africa has rotating dishes to follow the sun

Could this be the world’s most efficient solar system? They are talking about a solar electric project in South Africa, located in the Kalahari Desert. Colin Payne, in Inhabitat, said the intense South African sun is made use of by the Swedish company, Ripasso Energy.

The company is using what Payne described as a “small-scale solar concentrator system.” That system converts 34 percent of the sun energy into electricity, going straight into the grid, said Payne. He said that is twice as much as traditional solar systems.

Jeffrey Barbee of The Guardian also touched on that point, noting how 34 percent of the sun’s energy hitting the mirrors was converted directly to grid-available electric power, in contrast to about half that for standard . “Traditional photovoltaic panels are able to turn about 23 percent of the that strikes them into electricity, but this is cut to around 15 percent before it is usable by the grid.”

The test site is in the Northern Cape province, said The Guardian.

The system design involves massive dishes that rotate to follow the sun. Interestingly, they constantly adjust themselves to capture the maximum amount of solar energy possible. They rotate slowly; Barbee described “light clicks and taps” filling the still desert air as they make their adjustments.

The Guardian said, “Independent tests by IT Power in the UK confirm that a single Ripasso dish can generate 75 to 85 megawatt hours of electricity a year – enough to power 24 typical UK homes.” The same amount of electricity made by burning coal, the report added, would mean the release of roughly 81 metric tons of CO2 into the atmosphere. (In 2014, IT Power was commissioned by Ripasso to conduct an independent performance assessment of their solar energy system.)

Matthew Humphries, senior editor for Geek.com, described how the CSP system works: A parabolic mirror is combined with a Stirling engine. The mirror dish, he said, looks like a typical satellite dish, but its job is to focus the sun’s energy on a “tiny hot point’ which drives the Stirling engine.

The hot point powers the engine, and electricity is produced. The project is modeled on this Stirling engine, which is noted for high efficiency compared to steam engines, quiet operation, and its ability to use almost any heat source. Humphries said the Stirling engine is a closed-cycle regenerative heat engine. The engine uses an enclosed gas to drive pistons and turn a flywheel.

It is named after a Scottish minister Robert Stirling, who worked on the invention as an alternative to the steam engine.

This electricity-generating system, which uses no water to produce the , is being tested; The Guardian reported that Ripasso is “on the verge of building its first commercial installation.”

Robotic space squids with explosive thrusters could help NASA search for aliens .

A soft-bodied robotic squid, which propels and powers itself with electrical energy scavenged from its local environment, could one day be used to explore oceans on distant planets and their moons, researchers say.

A team from NASA and Cornell University in the US is working on advancing the concept for their squid-inspired rover, and say it could be used to explore Jupiter’s fourth largest moon, Europa.
Scientists strongly suspect that Europa has a vast liquid ocean beneath its icy surface, and for this reason, have prioritised it in their search for moons and planets in our Solar System that might harbour alien life.

Earlier this year, NASA administrator Charles Bolden earmarked $100 million in the agency’s budget to plan for a future mission to Europa.

This rover could be a prime candidate for exploration when the mission finally eventuates.

It would feature tentacle-like structures that serve two functions: they would act as electrodynamic tethers, able to harvest power from fluctuating magnetic fields in the local environment, and as a means of bio-inspired propulsion.

The electrical energy that the robot scavenges would be used to power all of its subsystems, including one that breaks water down into hydrogen and oxygen. These two gases would be stored internally in the body and limbs of the robot.

As Evan Ackerman explains for IEEE Spectrum:

“The gases can then be mixed and ignited on demand, which could propel the bot in one of two ways: the explosions could either cause the limbs and body of the bot to expand and contract, allowing it to ‘swim,’ or you could use the explosions much more directly, directing the exhaust out the back of the robot, causing it to jet forward like an octopus.”

The researchers also suggest that this could aid propulsion across hard surfaces.

It’s certainly an ambitious concept, and it’s a long way from ready. NASA has awarded the project a grant under its Innovative Advanced Concepts (NIAC) program, which will help it progress from Technology Readiness Level 1 to level 2.

A mission-ready technology needs to be at level 9.

Still, the concept offers some intriguing possibilities for similar technologies. Namely, bypassing the need to power rovers with limited-lifetime batteries, large solar arrays, or nuclear power.

“In this one respect, it is a breakthrough concept,” the researchers from Cornell University write in their project description.

Solar radiation would be difficult to efficiently harness at distances as far away from the Sun as Jupiter, and even more so if the robot was operating under a thick layer of ice. And NASA has stalled or cancelled much of its research on small nuclear power sources for interplanetary missions and rovers, Ackerman points out. The squid-inspired robot offers a novel power generation option for a very extreme environment.

Once on the ground – or underwater – on Europa, the space squid’s soft-bodied design will allow it to overcome some of the difficulties usually experienced by mechanisms operating in fluids, such as managing the stress of high pressure on internal components.

Covered in a stretchy, electroluminescent skin, it will be able to light up the local marine environment for better visibility and underwater imaging.

If realised, this awesome robot could be summed up in just one word: badass.

Why 80% of People Worldwide Will Soon Stop Eating Wheat

The future of wheat is certain, and it’s toxic. There are as many health risks associated with the consumption of wheat as there are nutritional benefits claimed by the wheat industry. Why is there such a strong emphasis on the development of wheat products all over the world when there are so many adverse and crippling effects such as neurological impairment, dementia, heart disease, cataracts, diabetes, arthritis and visceral fat accumulation, not to mention the full range of intolerances and bloating now experienced by millions of people? Approximately 700 million tons of wheat are now cultivated worldwide making it the second most-produced grain after maize. It is grown on more land area than any other commercial crop and is considered a staple food for humans. At some point in our history, this ancient grain was nutritious in some respects, however modern wheat really isn’t wheat at all. Once agribusiness took over to develop a higher-yielding crop, wheat became hybridized to such an extent that it has been completely transformed from it’s prehistorical genetic configuration. All nutrient content of modern wheat depreciated more than 30% in its natural unrefined state compared to its ancestral genetic line. The balance and ratio that mother nature created for wheat was also modified and human digestion and physiology could simply could not adapt quick enough to the changes. The Nutrional Value of Wheat is Practically Non-Existent In Its Current Form So-called health experts in nutrition who continue to promote the health benefits of wheat are extremely uninformed about the nature of modern wheat and its evolution from growth to consumption. It is shocking how many professionals in public health still recommend wheat products without an assessment of their individual requirements, especially considering the amount of evidence regarding its lack of nutrition and health risks for proportionally large segments of the population. The majority of wheat is processed into 60% extraction, bleached white flour. 60% extraction–the standard for most wheat products means that 40% of the original wheat grain is removed. So not only do we have an unhealthier, modified, and hybridized strain of wheat, we also remove and further degrade its nutritional value by processing it. Unfortunately, the 40% that gets removed includes the bran and the germ of the wheat grain–its most nutrient-rich parts. In the process of making 60% extraction flour, over half of the vitamin B1, B2, B3, E, folic acid, calcium, phosphorus, zinc, copper, iron, and fiber are lost. Any processed foods with wheat are akin to poison for the body since they cause more health risks than benefits. The body does not recognize processed wheat as food. Nutrient absorption from processed wheat products is thus consequential with almost no nutritional value. Some experts claim if you select 100% whole wheat products, the bran and the germ of the wheat will remain in your meals, and the health benefits will be impressive. This is again a falsity promoted by the wheat industry since even 100% whole wheat products are based on modern wheat strains created by irradiation of wheat seeds and embryos with chemicals, gamma rays, and high-dose X-rays to induce mutations. Whether you consume 10% or 100% of wheat is irrelevant since you’re still consuming a health damaging grain that will not benefit, advance or even maintain your health in any way. Dr. Marcia Alvarez who specializes in nutritional programs for obese patients says that when it comes to nutrition, wheat may be considered as an evil grain. “Modern wheat grains could certainly be considered as the root of all evil in the world of nutrition since they cause so many documented health problems across so many populations in the world.” Dr. Alvarez asserted that wheat is now responsible for more intolerances than almost any other food in the world. “In my practice of over two decades, we have documented that for every ten people with digestive problems, obesity, irritable bowel syndrome, diabetes, arthritis and even heart disease, eight out of ten have a problem with wheat. Once we remove wheat from their diets, most of their symptoms disappear within three to six months,” she added. Dr. Alvarez estimates that between the coming influx of genetically modified (GM) strains of wheat and the current tendency of wheat elimination in societies, that a trend is emerging in the next 20 years that will likely see 80% of people cease their consumption of wheat from any form. Genetic Modification The GM wheat currently being tested for approval for production in Canada is a new variety of hard red spring wheat which has been genetically engineered to be tolerant to glyphosate, the active ingredient in Monsanto’s herbicide Roundup. Monsanto Canada Inc. requested the approval of GE wheat from Health Canada in July 2002 and for the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) in December 2002. In July 2009, the most hated company in the world Monsanto, announced new research into GM wheat and industry groups kicked their promotion of GM wheat into high gear. “Widespread farmer and consumer resistance defeated GM wheat in 2004 and this global rejection remains strong, as demonstrated by today’s statement,” said Lucy Sharratt, Coordinator of the Canadian Biotechnology Action Network. There are now even claims by researchers in Australia have developed a form of salt-tolerant wheat that will allow farmers to grow crops in soil with high salinity. They created the new form of wheat by crossing a modern strain with an ancient species, and the researchers believe this new super-wheat will allow farmers to grow more food crops on land previously thought to be off limits to agriculture. Critics suggest that new strains will be foreign to current ecological systems and will be unsustainable without massive chemical intervention. Industry claims that the introduction of GM wheat will lead to a reduction in herbicide use, a claim that has been made prior to the introduction of other herbicide tolerant (HT) crops such as Roundup Ready (RR) soybeans, canola and corn. These claims have been contradicted by US government statistics that show that GM HT crops such as RR crops use more pesticides than conventional crops. These state GM crops can receive as much as 30 percent more herbicide than non-GM crops. Not only do GM crops use more pesticides but they also force the farmer to purchase one single brand of herbicide, in this case Monsanto brand Roundup. If introduced, GE wheat will enter farmers’ rotations along with the already HT canola and soybeans. This compounds the issue of superweeds as each crop sown would be HT, so any seed that fell from the crop before harvest would pose a threat of becoming an uncontrollable weed, or contained by using increasingly toxic herbicides. How can we believe that pesticide use will decrease with GE wheat? These developments are also taking place in the United States which is the third largest wheat producer in the world. Fertilizers, herbicides, fungicides, and growth regulators are all becoming more chemically potent and their frequency of application continues to increase every 5 years. American scientists are currently developing GM strains of wheat conferring resistance to fungal diseases. Wheat is becoming such a transmutated grain, that it someday may not even be called wheat. Health Effects A powerful little chemical in wheat known as ‘wheat germ agglutinin’ (WGA) which is largely responsible for many of wheat’s pervasive, and difficult to diagnose, ill effects. Researchers are now discovering that WGA in modern wheat is very different from ancient strains. Not only does WGA throw a monkey wrench into our assumptions about the primary causes of wheat intolerance, but due to the fact that WGA is found in highest concentrations in “whole wheat,” including its supposedly superior sprouted form, it also pulls the rug out from under one of the health food industry’s favorite poster children. Each grain of wheat contains about one microgram of Wheat Germ Agglutinin (WGA). Even in small quantities, WGA can have profoundly adverse effects. It may be pro-inflammatory, immunotoxic, cardiotoxic … and neurotoxic. Below the radar of conventional serological testing for antibodies against the various gluten proteins and genetic testing for disease susceptibility, the WGA “lectin problem” remains almost entirely obscured. Lectins, though found in all grains, seeds, legumes, dairy and our beloved nightshades: the tomato and potato, are rarely discussed in connection with health or illness, even when their presence in our diet may greatly reduce both the quality and length of our lives. Yet health experts dismiss the links between disease and wheat despite all the evidence. Dr William Davis has documented several hundred clinical studies on the adverse effects of wheat. These are studies that document the neurologic impairments unique to wheat, including cerebellar ataxia and dementia; heart disease; visceral fat accumulation and all its attendant health consequences; the process of glycation via amylopectin A of wheat that leads to cataracts, diabetes, and arthritis; among others. There are, in fact, a wealth of studies documenting the adverse, often crippling, effects of wheat consumption in humans. The other claim is that wheat elimination ‘means missing out on a wealth of essential nutrients. Another falsity. Dr. Davis states that if you replace wheat with healthy foods like vegetables, nuts, healthy oils, meats, eggs, cheese, avocados, and olives, then there is no nutrient deficiency that develops with elimination of wheat. Dr Davis also states that people with celiac disease may require long-term supplementation due to extensive gastrointenstinal damage caused by wheat. People with celiac disease do indeed experience deficiencies of multiple vitamins and minerals after they eliminate all wheat and gluten from the diet. But this is not due to a diet lacking valuable nutrients, but from the incomplete healing of the gastrointestinal tract (such as the lining of the duodenum and proximal jejunum). In these people, the destructive effects of wheat are so overpowering that, unfortunately, some people never heal completely. These people do indeed require vitamin and mineral supplementation, as well as probiotics and pancreatic enzyme supplementation. Due to the unique properties of amylopectin A, two slices of whole wheat bread increase blood sugar higher than many candy bars. High blood glucose leads to the process of glycation that, in turn, causes arthritis (cartilage glycation), cataracts (lens protein glycation), diabetes (glycotoxicity of pancreatic beta cells), hepatic de novo lipogenesis that increases triglycerides and, thereby, increases expression of atherogenic (heart disease-causing) small LDL particles, leading to heart attacks. Repetitive high blood sugars that develop from a grain-rich diet are, in my view, very destructive and lead to weight gain (specifically visceral fat), insulin resistance, leptin resistance (leading to obesity), and many of the health struggles that many now experience. Wheat gliadin has been associated with cerebellar ataxia, peripheral neuropathy, gluten encephalopathy (dementia), behavioral outbursts in children with ADHD and autism, and paranoid delusions and auditory hallucinations in people with schizophrenia, severe and incapacitating effects for people suffering from these conditions. According to statistics from the University of Chicago Celiac Disease Center, an average of one out of every 133 otherwise healthy people in the United States suffers from CD. However, an estimated 20-30 percent of the world’s population may carry the genetic susceptibility to celiac disease–and the way to avoid turning these genes ‘on’ is by avoiding gluten. When you consider that undiagnosed CD is associated with a nearly four-fold increased risk of premature death, the seriousness of this food sensitivity becomes quite evident. The primary disease mechanism at play is chronic inflammation, and chronic inflammatory and degenerative conditions are endemic to grain-consuming populations. Changes in genetic code and, thereby, antigenic profile, of the high-yield semi-dwarf wheat cultivars now on the market account for the marked increase in celiac potential nationwide. “Hybridization” techniques, including chemical mutagenesis to induce selective mutations, leads to development of unique strains that are not subject to animal or human safety testing–they are just brought to market and sold. Author and preventive cardiologist William Davis, MD, wheat’s new biochemical code causes hormone disruption that is linked to diabetes and obesity. “It is not my contention that it is in everyone’s best interest to cut back on wheat; it is my belief that complete elimination is in everyone’s best health interests,” says Dr. Davis, “In my view, that’s how bad this thing called ‘wheat’ has become.” Chemical mutagenesis using the toxic mutagen, sodium azide, of course, is the method used to generate BASF’s Clearfield herbicide-resistant wheat strain. These methods are being used on a wide scale to generate unique genetic strains that are, without question from the FDA or USDA, assumed to be safe for human consumption. Wheat-Free Options * Note that many of the wheat-free options still contain gluten. 1. Cereal Grains: Barley, millet, oats, rice, rye, sorghum, tef and wild rice are all in the same cereal grain family as is wheat. All flours ground from cereal grains may be used as a wheat substitute. Commonly available are barley, buckwheat, rice and rye flour. The less utilized flours may be purchased online or from natural food stores. Note: people with a gluten allergy must also avoid barley, oats and rye. 2. Non-Cereal Grains: Amaranth, quinoa and buckwheat are three grain-like seeds unrelated to cereal grains. (Despite its name, buckwheat is not a wheat-relative.) It is rare for anyone to develop a sensitivity to these non-cereal grains. Amaranth, quinoa and buckwheat are gluten-free and therefore not suitable for making leavened bread; however, they make excellent quick breads and cookies. 3. Nut Meal: Ground nuts such as almonds, hazelnuts or walnuts make the richest flour substitute for cookies and cakes. Because their fragile fatty acid content gives them a brief shelf life, it’s preferable to grind your own nuts in a food processor just prior to use. Nut meal requires a binding agent such as eggs. Because chestnuts are lower in fat than other nuts, chestnut flour has a longer shelf life. It is available online. 4. Bean Flour: Dried beans, such as navy, pinto and chickpeas may be milled and used, in combination with other flours, as a wheat alternative. Bean flour is, however, not always recommended. It tastes like beans and makes baked goods dense and hard to digest. 5. Other Flour Substitutes: Potato starch, arrowroot powder, and tapioca are thickening agents that substitute for wheat in sauces and gravy. In baked goods these starchy ingredients serve as a binding agent. Due to the irresponsible high frequency hybridization, processing and inevitable genetic modification of modern wheat, there is only one solution for the health and wellness of future generations. Stop eating wheat and educate as many people as you can on the coming strains of this grain which will be much more deadly than they already are today. | Source: http://www.whydontyoutrythis.com/2013/08/why-80-percent-of-people-worldwide-will-soon-stop-eating-wheat.html?m=1

‘We are convinced the machine can do better than human anesthesiologists’

I wrote recently about Sedasys, a machine that automates anesthesia. It’s a first-of-its-kind device in the United States. Only four hospitals use it for now. It’s restricted to colonoscopies in healthy patients.

But Sedasys, in development for 15 years, is no longer on the true cutting edge of what’s possible with automated anesthesia.

A machine with the clunky name of iControl-RP is. It’s an experimental device that pushes the boundaries of how much responsibility is turned over to technology. It monitors brain wave activity. And it’s even been tested on children.

One of the reasons that Sedasys was approved by U.S. health regulators is that it’s a conservative leap forward. The device is innovative, but it doesn’t decide alone how much anesthesia to give to a patient.

It’s an open-loop system. The initial dose is pre-determined based on a patient’s weight and age. And Sedasys only reduces or stops drug delivery if it detects problems. Only a doctor or nurse can up the dose. That gave regulators a level of comfort.

But the iControl-RP makes its own decisions. It is a closed-loop system.

This new device, being tested by University of British Columbia researchers, monitors a patient’s brain wave activity along with traditional health markers, such as blood oxygen levels, to determine how much anesthesia to deliver.

“We are convinced the machine can do better than human anesthesiologists,” said Mark Ansermino, one of the machine’s co-developers, who works as director of pediatric anesthesia research at the university’s medical school in Vancouver.

The iControl-RP has been used to induce deep sedation in adults and children undergoing general surgery. Researchers say the device has been used on 250 patients so far. These patients were totally knocked out. Some had liver resections and major spinal operations.

This goes far beyond anything that Sedasys does, which is approved in the U.S. only for light to moderate sedation in healthy adults undergoing colonoscopies.

The idea of fully automating anesthesia is not new. It was first proposed in the 1950s. But technology lagged behind theory. It wasn’t until the 1980s that the idea seemed plausible. And only in recent years have doctors tried closed-loops systems in real medical procedures. Doctors in Canada, France, India and China have all used different closed-loop systems in limited studies. One system with the catchy name McSleepy briefly caused a stir in 2008 when it was first used. It has since faded from the operating room.

But Ansermino and Guy Dumont, an electrical engineering professor at the medical school who helped develop the device, hope to see the wide adoption of iControl-RP.

One early role for the machine, they say, could be in war zones or remote areas where an anesthesiologist is unavailable.

Anesthesia is tricky. It’s often compared to flying a plane – keeping a patient hovering in just the right plane of consciousness. It’s called depth of hypnosis. Surgeons don’t want patients writhing on the table. And patients don’t want to be aware of the operation. Of course, no one wants patients to die, a distinct possibility if too much of an anesthesia drug is delivered.

The iControl-RP aims to thread that needle by using an EEG to scan a patient’s brain waves to make sure the sedation is adequate. And it looks at heart and breathing rates and blood oxygen levels to make sure the patient is not slipping too deeply into sleep. The machine’s algorithm makes all the medical decisions that a doctor usually does.

Ansermino said anesthesiologists are not very good at maintaining just the right amount of sedation. This is especially important in children, where studies show that deep sedation can have negative longterm cognitive impacts on infants and toddlers.

But iControl-RP has not been blessed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Right now, the machine is being tested on more adults in Vancouver.

The iControl-RP team says it has struggled to find a corporate backer for its project. Ansermino, the anesthesiologist in Vancouver, thinks he knows why.

But, he said, a device like this was inevitable.

“I think eventually this will happen,” Ansermino said, “whether we like it or not.”

Todd C. Frankel is a reporter covering people and policy. You can follow him on Twitter: @tcfrankel.

AIIMS doctors develop novel surgical procedure to treat epilepsy

Doctors at All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), New Delhi, have developed a novel and minimally invasive endoscopy-assisted surgical procedure to treat epilepsy.

Dr P Sarat Chandra

According to Dr P Sarat Chandra, professor of neurosurgery, AIIMS, New Delhi, the new surgical procedure is minimally invasive and it involves using endoscopy to create a complete unilateral hemispheric disconnection of the brain.

“The technique is especially helpful for young children in whom large incisions and the resultant blood loss becomes difficult to bear,” Dr Chandra told India Medical Times.

The endoscopy-assisted interhemispheric transcallosal hemispherotomy was performed in five children between April 2013 and June 2014.

Dr Chandra said, “Typically, hemispherotomy is a very complex surgical procedure, performed on some children with quite severe epilepsy, which involves a large cranial incision, followed by a major surgery where an entire affected hemisphere is either removed or disconnected from the healthier opposite side.”

“The conventional opening is around 15 cm large; our method has converted this into an endoscopic procedure by making the incision size 3X4 cm. Moreover, the entire surgery is performed using neuronavigation, a sophisticated computer aided device along with the use of brain suite, where MRI is performed immediately after surgery to confirm complete disconnection. This has made the procedure more effective, safer and reduced the duration of surgery,” he said.

The details of this technique have been published in the international journal Neurosurgery. This technique was also demonstrated during a workshop held on epilepsy surgery at AIIMS, New Delhi on April 9-10, 2015.

“The technique is very significant because it represents a revolution in the world of epilepsy surgery. It has brought in the use of endoscope and minimally invasive surgery into the realm of epilepsy surgery,” Dr Chandra added.

Watch the video.URL:https://youtu.be/MqvQwUNbJrY

Further Neuroimaging Evidence for the Deficit Subtype of Schizophrenia

Importance  The clinical heterogeneity of schizophrenia has hindered neurobiological investigations aimed at identifying neural correlates of the disorder.

Objective  To identify network-based biomarkers across the spectrum of impairment present in schizophrenia by separately evaluating individuals with deficit and nondeficit subtypes of this disorder.

Design, Setting, and Participants  A university hospital network–based neuroimaging study was conducted between February 1, 2007, and February 28, 2012. Participants included patients with schizophrenia (n = 128) and matched healthy controls (n = 130) from two academic centers and patients with bipolar I disorder (n = 39) and matched healthy controls (n = 43) from a third site. Patients with schizophrenia at each site in the top quartile on the proxy scale for the deficit syndrome were classified as having deficit schizophrenia and those in the bottom quartile were classified as having nondeficit schizophrenia.

Exposure  All participants underwent magnetic resonance brain imaging.

Main Outcomes and Measures  Network-level properties of cortical thickness were assessed in each group. Interregional cortexwide coupling was compared among the groups, and graph theoretical approaches were used to assess network density and node degree, betweenness, closeness, and eigenvector centrality.

Results  Stronger frontoparietal and frontotemporal coupling was found in patients with deficit schizophrenia compared with those with nondeficit schizophrenia (17 of 1326 pairwise relationships were significantly different, P < .05; 5% false discovery rate) and in patients with deficit schizophrenia compared with healthy controls (49 of 1326 pairwise relationships were significantly different, P < .05; 5% false discovery rate). Participants with nondeficit schizophrenia and bipolar I disorder did not show significant differences in coupling relative to those in the control groups (for both comparisons, 0 of 1326 pairwise relationships were significantly different, P > .05; 5% false discovery rate). The networks formed from patients with deficit schizophrenia demonstrated increased density of connections relative to controls and nondeficit patients (range, 0.07-0.45 in controls, 0.09-0.43 in the nondeficit group, and 0.18-0.67 in the deficit group). High centrality nodes were identified in the supramarginal, middle, and superior temporal and inferior frontal regions in deficit schizophrenia networks based on ranking of 4 centrality metrics. High centrality regions were identified as those that ranked in the top 10 in 50% or more of the thresholded networks in 3 or more of the centrality measures. Network properties were similar in patients with deficit schizophrenia from both study sites.

Conclusions and Relevance  Patients with schizophrenia at one end of a spectrum show characteristic signatures of altered intracortical relationships compared with those at the other end of that spectrum, patients with bipolar I disorder, and healthy individuals. Cortical connectomic approaches can be used to reliably identify neural signatures in clinically heterogeneous groups of patients.