Neurosurgeon to attempt world’s first head transplant .


Patient will be 30-year-old Russian Valery Spiridonov, who suffers from Werdnig-Hoffmann, a muscle-wasting disease.

An Italian neurosurgeon has unveiled plans to perform the first human head transplant by the end of 2017.

Dr Sergio Canavero announced his plan at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Neurological and Orthopaedic Surgeons in the US state of Maryland on Friday, saying he believes he has a 90 percent chance of success.

He said his patient will be a 30-year-old Russian man, Valery Spiridonov, who has the muscle-wasting disease, Werdnig-Hoffmann.

“Of course there is a margin of risk, I cannot deny that,” Canavero said.

“I made the announcement only when I was pretty sure I could do it.”

Both men, who have been in regular contact through video chats, believe the controversial procedure is Spiridonov’s best hope, the Reuters news agency reported.

“If it goes good, I think I will get rid of the limits which I have today and I will be more independent and this will much improve my life,” Spiridonov said.

“We are making a huge step forward in science and I hope it will be OK.”

Canavero is quick to point out that few with Werdnig-Hoffmann disease reach adulthood.

“He is a brave man and he is in horrible condition. You have to understand – for him, Western medicine has nothing to offer. Western medicine has failed.”

Surgical team of 100

Canavero will need the support of his peers in order to move forward on the operation which could cost around $15m.

Cardiothoracic surgeon, Dr Raymond Dieter, a former president of the International College Of Surgeons, said one of the biggest concerns with the procedure was keeping the brain alive during the surgery.

“When you think you are doing a heart transplant, or a kidney transplant, or a liver transplant, you have to cool those organs to give you a longer period of … surgical time before you reconnect all the vessels and you start reperfusion,” Dieter said.


 

“We’ve seen several professors criticising Dr Canavero’s work but you know, there was criticism for the first heart transplant as well and now it’s commonplace.”

The operation, which would require a team of more than 100 medical workers and could take 36 hours to complete, could take place in the US or China.

Canavero plans to carry out the procedure in December 2017.

“I prepared myself not only scientifically, but also psychologically which is equally important in order to tackle all of these attacks from several fronts, in order to justify what you want to do, why you want to do, you have to prepare yourself,” Canavero said.

“This is a frontier, the final frontier. It’s not space. This is it because it has implications that go well beyond religion, culture, the future, everything.”

 

WHO: South Korea’s MERS outbreak large and complex .


A World Health Organization (WHO) team of experts has said that South Korea’s outbreak of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome or MERS is “large and complex” and more cases should be anticipated.

The WHO has conducted a joint review with South Korean officials and experts of the country’s response to the MERS outbreak which has infected 138 people and killed 14 of them since the first case was diagnosed on May 20.

Alex Jensen, a South Korea analyst and journalist, told Al Jazeera from Seoul that there were also reports emerging about a suspected first case involving an elementary school student who had visited what is regarded as the epicentre of the disease, Seoul’s Samsung Medical Center.

The seven-year-old boy who visited the hospital with his father on May 27 had first tested negative for MERS. A second test recorded a positive result but a third test said he did not have the disease. The boy will face more tests on the weekend.

His father was confirmed to have MERS a few days ago.

South Korea’s health ministry confirmed on Saturday the 14th death from the outbreak, with 12 new cases including that of an ambulance driver who moved a patient infected with the deadly virus.

The latest fatality was a 68-year-old woman who contracted the virus at a hospital in Pyeongtaek City, 65km south of Seoul, the ministry said.

It said all the 14 deceased had pre-existing health conditions, with the most recent fatality suffering from hypertension and hypothyroidism.

Twelve new infected patients brought to 138 the total number of confirmed cases, in the largest outbreak of the virus outside Saudi Arabia.

The new cases included an ambulance driver who fell ill after transporting a 75-year-old infected woman to Samsung Medical Center on June 7, where she died three days later.

Out of 133 people whose contacts have been traced, the largest single group of 60 people have contracted the disease at Samsung Medical Center.

The first infected patient in South Korea was diagnosed on May 20 after a trip to Saudi Arabia.

The 68-year-old man visited four medical facilities, infecting other patients and medics, before he was finally diagnosed.

Man with new penis to be a dad .


The 21-year-old man’s penis was amputated three years ago after life-threatening complications arising from a traditional circumcision. His penis had developed gangrene.

After surprising his doctors with an active libido three months after surgery, the man who received the world’s first successful penis transplant will soon be a father.

Stellenbosch University urology professor Andre van der Merwe said: “This [the ability to have children] was the object of the study.”

Van der Merwe, who led the surgical team responsible for the transplant, announced the news at a public lecture at the university yesterday.

“The patient told me his girlfriend is [expecting], but I will be confirming with him tomorrow [today].”

The 21-year-old man’s penis was amputated three years ago after life-threatening complications arising from a traditional circumcision. His penis had developed gangrene.

In December, he received his new penis at Tygerberg Hospital. Van der Merwe said more details would be disclosed in a statement today.

Activating Oxytocin – The Master Hormone for Bliss and Bonding .


Activating Oxytocin – The Master Hormone for Bliss and Bonding

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The endocrine system produces and regulates our body’s hormonal activity.  The gland known as the hypothalamus creates oxytocin, and it is stored in the pituitary gland, which then releases it to the rest of the body.

Like all systems, this  works in complex feedback loop; One  hormonal function in one gland then triggers the function of other glands in the system.  So for example, when we activate the hypothalamus it then activates the pituitary gland, which then sends signals to other glands within the body – the  adrenals,  the thyroid, and the  gonads – which in turn, are also connected via feedback loops.

In this  interaction, the hypothalamus and the pituitary are the “master” glands; the holders of  the crown frequency. The crown releases oxytocin, which ‘bonds’ all the rest of the systems in the body into one cohesive song. The natural state of the glands is interactive harmony – the unity consciousness  of  the crown frequency  – and the individual harmonies of the body come together to help create the song of your life;  how you are feeling, how  your immune and digestive systems are working, what your sexual drives are saying in any given moment in time… This bond is the bond of love.

The  Feedback Loop

If we know how to actively  cultivate this sense of wellness and love and being that is hardwired within our bodies, we’re inevitably  thrive. When we experience love – our own unique Bliss instinct  – we gravitate more towards the things that make us feel more love, make us feel more beautiful, more healthy, more satisfied, more abundant. We make choices that are from a place of security and happiness, and safety, rather than from a place of mistrust, and fear, and insecurity about what’s going to happen – am I going to have enough money, is my partner is going to stick around, are my children going to be fine etc. We make a lot of decisions from fear when we don’t know how to actively that secrete the sensation of love.

Like our DNA, our consciousness  play  an active role in determining when and  how our glandular system works. When we learn to  activate the glands, the hormones,  the sensations, we can activate  the frequency  of love in our being.

Whether we know it or not, we’re constantly in the process of a feedback loop. When we begin to understand and interact with our body with this  awareness, we can go from chasing love to creating.  When we understand the neurochemistry of love,  we can learn to  resonate with thecrown frequency and  activate that “master hormone” within our own bodies. The feedback loop it creates  goes beyond the endocrine system, positively impacting  the brain  and the  immune, circulatory, nervous  and digestive systems. The whole LumenOctave! So, by developing an intimacy with our body glandular functions, we can give ourselves access to the sensation of love  and trigger an energetic feedback loop that creates more love,  and supports our physical health.

As part of this  feedback loop, other glands also  receive the oxytocin hormone, and help to regulate levels in the body by communicating to the hypothalamus that it has  had “enough”. What that means is that, through the innate intelligence of our body’s natural frequencies,  we feel  satiated and satisfied. We experience this love  sustainably. We know when we have had enough. We are not trying to satisfy  our cravings or addictions  to  foods, or sex, or emotional fulfilment; neediness of our emotions seem to disappear when we are able to find the feeling of love deep within ourselves. Physically and energetically. It ultimately comes back to the sensation of love.

Ancient Knowledge, Modern Suppression

So many problems in our lives come from not feeling the love that we desire – the love that we desire from our parents, from our peers, from our friends. We want to be in social interactions where we are really bonding, feeling the sense of compassion and support all around. And when we do, when we tune into that unity vibration, we really thrive, we don’t feel like we have as many cravings, we don’t feel lonely, and we don’t resort to  addictions to fill that need for love.

Activating Oxytocin- The Master Hormone for Bliss and Bonding - Art - Chakras by Tikku

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Unfortunately, our ability to tune into the  frequencies in our bodies has become largely dormant in today’s world. Toxins, chemicals, frequencies  and other environmental pollutants have affected the function of  our glands and we have lost access to their  purest functions,  which are  intrinsically linked with our experience of emotions and feelings. Social programming teaches us that it is “adult” behavior to  suppress our  emotional state, and  we end up replacing the “natural and native” functions of our glands with the “programmed version”. We expect  our endocrine system to behave counter-intuitively, and as a result,  our glands act up over time.

For example those who grow up in homes or cultures where suppressing one’s truth is rewarded (tall-poppy syndrome, for example) and those who have silently suffered from  manipulation  and  trauma, often experience issues of  the thyroid gland, which is linked to communication. The thyroid is also linked to metabolism, so unexpressed truth can often manifest in the body as  as weight gain.

A lot of our power has been taken away from us. Although the ancients held this knowledge, today, we do not  know  how to use the body. We do not teach our children  that we can influence  our digestive process, our genetic  expression,  our immune system, with our intention. And, with  the reductionist model still prevailing in modern medicine, we are not  taught to know  our bodies as a blissful, interactive  whole.

Activating the Crown Frequency

The first step to cleansing the body’s frequencies is to learn how to activate the glands. It’s not only important to activate the pituitary gland and the hypothalamus, it’s important to activate all the glands within the body so that they are all functioning in perfect harmony, and that feedback loop is in its best possible shape.

Initially, when you turn the focus of the lens into the physical body, you will develop a simple awareness of its  sensations. As you go deeper into that experience, your relationship with the sensations becomes more sophisticated, and in turn, the mind becomes more intelligent at interpreting those  sensations.

Within the body system is a full octave of glands and organs that resonate on a certain frequency. When the white light of consciousness enters the body, it refracts and travels through seven different organs and glands with seven different frequencies. Each frequency regulates the characteristics and color of light emitted. For example, when the consciousness light enters the pineal gland, the energy emitted is violet due to the specific vibration of the gland.

Our ‘bliss frequency’  – what we call The LumenOctave – is the light of consciousness experienced through the full octave of frequencies in the body: the seven frequencies, plus the origin of the octave (the high ‘C’).  When your  instrument is tuned to these frequency,  amazing things happen.  This  is the state where we are most blissful, most beautiful, most thriving and most divine.

To do this we have to expose each gland to its native frequency.  When we start to reintroduce it to its natural frequency, it starts to re-program itself back to its healthy, natural state. With your energy centers balanced, everything becomes harmonized. This happens when we  allow ourselves to experience the natural bond of love; the frequency of our  bliss.  It  guides us  to what supports our being, and to what needs to be healed. For example, if you take a heart that doesn’t know how to experience love.  If  you give it love from all different directions, it is  reminded of its natural frequency and (as science has proven) the body responds by releasing dis-ease and returning to its natural state.

Activating Oxytocin- The Master Hormone for Bliss and Bonding

The  crown frequency is associated with the unity consciousness; it is the vibration that  allows you to see your true nature as a part of the universe. To reintroduce it to its natural frequency, give it the  experience of unity and bonding, from all directions. Give it the experience of your bliss.

Sound simple? It is. When you are aligned with your bliss instinct,  you feel good. When you feel good, there is no confusion. This is only your yes  response: that  sense of calmness, relaxation, peace, euphoria, and clarity. As  your  inner and outer worlds align, your emotions  harmonize, your glands harmonize, and you can feel it on all levels of your being. And what may  surprise you, especially  if you have difficulty trusting yourself at first,  is how quickly you will feel your bliss instinct take over as your guide, as  the universe begins to conspire to move you in this direction.

Remember; focusing your attention to activate glands is the most powerful tool out there. You can activate the glands by giving it frequencies from medicine, homeopathy, herbs, all sorts of things, but it is not until we take control of our consciousness at all levels, and learn to communicate using sensations, that we see the game really change. Consciously identify and engage the glands. Engage your bliss. It’s about taking  the power back into your hands, and learning to activate  your body, heal your body, communicate with  your glands, and explore  the  sensations and vibrations that make up your existence.

This huge rubbery mass has been floating around a man’s abdomen for years .


When a 62-year-old man showed up to have an evaluation of his urinary frequency – apparently it’d been abnormal for about 20 years – he probably wasn’t expecting the monstrosity pictured above to be located in his abdomen.

Described in The New England Journal of Medicine as a “free-floating, smooth, firm, rubbery mass measuring 10 cm by 9.5 cm by 7.5 cm and weighing 220 g,” this giant ‘boiled egg’ managed to avoid detection through both physical examination and laboratory analysis, but a computed tomography scan of the area (see below) betrayed its very clever hiding spot.

groeth-man
Called peritoneal loose bodies, these masses are extremely rare, and only show up in the scientific literature a handful of times. They’re also known as peritoneal mice (no idea why, mice aren’t smooth and round), and they usually only turn up as an incidental finding during abdominal surgery or an autopsy. They’re called loose bodies, because they move around quite freely inside their host – one report from 2011 noted that a man’s peritoneal loose body had moved from the left side of his pelvis to the right in just nine days.

The particular specimen, which you can see dyed green on the right-hand-side of the top image, was composed predominantly of acellular, fibrous tissue, surrounded by a ring of calcification, none of which you really need floating around inside you. Once it was removed, the man got back his regular urinary frequency.

boiled-egg

While the pathology of peritoneal loose bodies is not entirely clear, it’s thought that he most common causes are link to the twisting and separation of the appendices epiploicae – small pouches filled with fat in the membrane that forms the lining of the abdominal cavity. They’re found in the membrane running along the colon, but not in the rectum. Interestingly, most of the literature about these masses reports instances of men over 50, who were otherwise healthy, having haboured them.

The images below are from when a peritoneal loose body was removed from a 64-year-old Indian man who was referred to doctors with complaints of abdominal pain, vomiting and not farting or pooping for four days.

Just one more thing for all you hypochondriacs out there to worry about.

 

Shell’s Arctic drilling is the real threat to the world, not kayaktivists .


Oil firm has created a ‘safety zone’ to keep protesters out of its drilling sites but its unblinking, destructive quest for profit must be addressed by Obama and others
Activists protest against the Shell drilling rig Polar Pioneer in Seattle, Washington, on 16 May 2015.
Activists protest against the Shell drilling rig Polar Pioneer in Seattle, Washington, on 16 May 2015.

Activists protest against the Shell drilling rig Polar Pioneer in Seattle, Washington, on 16 May 2015.
Shell has one or two rivals for the title of Planet’s Most Irresponsible Company, but it’s definitely the most ironic.

The grand irony, of course, is that, having watched the Arctic melt as global temperatures rose, Shell was first in line to drill the newly melted waters for yet more oil which would raise the temperature some more.

But lately, the planetary-scale irony was compounded by one of a more local variety, contained in the phrase safety zone.
Here’s the backstory: In May, Shell convinced a federal judge in Alaska to enjoin Greenpeace from protesting too closely to Shell’s Arctic drilling vessels. This restricted area, or safety zone, was set at 500 yards (457 metres) while these vessels transit in Seattle’s Puget Sound. Then, last month, 500 kayaks congregated around one of Shell’s giant Arctic drilling rigs as it sat in Puget Sound, a David-and-Goliath picture that flew across the web. And a couple of brave souls peacefully suspended themselves from another one of its drilling vessels, as others had done a month earlier.

No one was hurt. But Shell didn’t like any of this, so the company, in a not-so-subtle attempt to intimidate opposing voices, decided to send out a copy of the Greenpeace injunction to 350.org and others who oppose its Arctic drilling plans.

Of course no court as yet has drawn a safety zone around the Arctic, even though a January study published in the journal Nature made it clear that if we open up the stores of gas and oil in the far north we won’t be able to protect the climate from dramatic change. Instead, Barack Obama invited Shell to drill.

The president argued on Twitter last week that he couldn’t stop all drilling the Arctic, but that’s way too easy. True, he can’t keep the Russians and Canadians from drilling in their territory, but in the US the decision was entirely up to him. He didn’t have to give the people who chanted “drill baby drill” at the GOP convention in 2008 what they wanted.
And there is something else too. The need for coordinated international action to stop climate change is exactly we have been having United Nations summits on the topic every year since 1990 – with a very important agreement set to be signed in Paris this December. Obama could be pushing right now to get a ban on Arctic drilling locked into that agreement – but draft texts make no mention of such a sensible plan.

In the meantime, there is no safety zone for wildlife and indigenous people when something goes wrong (and something will go wrong – if a pipeline can break under the beach in benign Santa Barbara, it’s only a matter of time before the Chukchi Sea wreaks some kind of havoc on Shell’s platforms). But even if Shell never spilled a drop, all the carbon it’s bringing up will eventually be spilled into the atmosphere – an atmosphere that’s already way past its safety zone, as CO2 emissions have spiked from 280 parts per million in the Holocene to more than 400 ppm today. You can see the effects already, even from Seattle: Washington is suffering through what the governor called an unprecedented drought, and last summer battled to contain the biggest wildfire in its history.
Washington state declares drought emergency with $1.2bn in crops at risk

Shell has a long history of this kind of irresponsibility— this is the same company who worked hand in glove with the Nigerian military dictatorship that killed Ken Saro-Wiwa and eight other leaders for daring to stand up to Shell; there are drinking water wells in the Niger Delta where chemicals like benzene can be found at 900 times their safe levels. It is a company that announced in 2009 it would no longer invest in solar or wind power because it thought it could make more money from oil. It is, in the words of the former chief climate envoy for the UK, John Ashton, a “narcissistic, paranoid, and psychopathic” organisation.

In fact, in a world serious about protecting its people and its climate, there would be a safety zone several miles outside the edge of Earth’s atmosphere where Shell was not allowed, and a sign directing it to wreck Venus instead.

But, as usual, the rich and powerful are using the legal system to further exploit the planet. The language in the injunction is richly ironic: Shell was able to obtain “relief” because the threat it faced was “actual and imminent, not conjectural or theoretical.”

In Shell’s view, this apparently describes the peril posed by Americans in kayaks. By any honest reading, though, it’s an indictment of this multinational, one that is utterly undeterred by science in its ceaseless, unblinking quest for profit.

Enhanced Visual Attention May Be Early Predictor of Autism .


Approximately one in 68 children is identified with some form of autism, from extremely mild to severe, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control. On average, diagnosis does not occur until after age four, yet all evidence indicates that early intervention is the best way to maximize the treatment impact. Various tests that look for signs of autism in infants have not been conclusive but a new exercise could improve early diagnosis, and also help reduce worry among parents that they did not intervene as soon as possible.

The two most widely used tests to measure symptoms, the Autism Observation Scale for Infants (AOSI) and the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (ADOS), cannot be used before the ages of 12 or 16 months respectively. The AOSI measures precursors to symptoms, such as a baby’s response to name, eye contact, social reciprocity, and imitation. The ADOS measures the characteristics and severity of autism symptoms such as social affectation and repetitive and restrictive behaviors.

Now a group of scientists at the Babylab at Birkbeck, University of London think they have identified a marker that can predict symptom development more accurately and at an earlier age: enhanced visual attention. Experts have long recognized that certain individuals with autism have superior visual skills, such as increased visual memory or artistic talent. Perhaps the most well known example is Temple Grandin, a high-functioning woman with autism who wrote, “I used to become very frustrated when a verbal thinker could not understand something I was trying to express because he or she couldn’t see the picture that was crystal clear to me.”

The Babylab researchers undertook a longitudinal study in which they tested both visual attention and autism symptoms in infants at nine months, 15 months, and two years. They followed a group of 82 high-risk and 27 low-risk infants. High-risk babies have an older sibling diagnosed with autism; those with low-risk have no mental or medical conditions and no first-degree relatives with an autism diagnosis. The researchers measured infant markers of autism symptoms using the AOSI at nine and 15 months, and measured symptoms and behavioral characteristics using the ADOS at two years.

At each session, the investigators showed the babies a short animation that focused the child’s gaze at the center of a screen. Then an image would appear containing a target that was the “odd-one-out.” For example, in a circle of seven “X”’s an “O” or plus sign might appear. The researchers tracked the infants’ gazes, measuring the time it took for them to look toward the odd target.

The scientists then compared the proportion of trials in which the infants looked toward the target with their scores on the symptom scales. The data showed that visual search performance at nine months had significant positive correlation with AOSI scores. In other words, the kids who at nine months quickly identified the odd visual element were more likely to show early symptoms of autism on the AOSI test at 15 and 24 months. The researchers found, however, that visual search performance did not directly correlate with ADOS scores at two years. In essence, although enhanced visual perception at nine months can predict the presence of autism symptoms later, it does not predict future symptom severity

This study, published in Current Biology on June 11, is part of the larger efforts of theBritish Autism Study of Infant Siblings (BASIS) program in the U.K., a consortium dedicated to tackling the challenge of identifying infant roots of autism to allow for earlier intervention. (In the U.S., a similar effort is being undertaken by the Autism Centers of Excellence (ACE) Program).

Yet there is still little understanding of how symptoms develop. Children diagnosed with autism, for example, may show enhanced performance in a visual task as early as 2.5 years. The new findings from Babylab corroborate evidence of unusual attention and perception and atypical function of brain regions that regulate these processes in infants, prior to being diagnosed with autism. Future research is necessary to establish whether superior attention and perception is a precursor to other autism symptoms or is simply another symptom itself.

The findings also support a shift in how the scientific community regards the development of autism symptoms. Most research has focused on the behavioral characteristics of autism measured by the AOSI and ADOS, such as language and social impairment. This limited focus supports the “social brain” theory of autism, which states that the social and cognitive deficits observed in people with autism result from impaired interactions with caregivers due to poor connectivity between specific brain regions collectively known as the “social brain” network.

The new results, however, suggest greater importance of brain regions involved in nonsocial processes. And they add to evidence for early signs of autism, “especially given that social and nonsocial developmental domains may not be as strongly differentiated in infants as they are in older children,” says Katarzyna Chawarska, a developmental neuroscientist at Yale University who was not involved in the study. The researchers who measured eye-tracking say that nonsocial markers may be useful additions to screening tests.

Furthermore, although current screening tests look for impaired brain function in infants, this study demonstrates a marker of enhanced function. Functional impairments can indicate other neurological disorders such as attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder or learning disabilities. Enhanced brain function, however, is “likely specific to autism and would provide a more specific screening target,” says Rachael Bedford, a developmental psychologist at King’s College London and a contributing author of the study.

But there are caveats. Studies of the developmental precursors of autism, including the Babylab study, have only measured individual markers and their connection to symptoms. Future research is needed to establish the accuracy of combinations of risk markers in predicting symptoms and symptom severity. Such research could allow doctors to anticipate a child’s future characteristics if, for example, “certain types of symptoms are more strongly predicted by specific markers,” says Elizabeth Milne, a psychologist at the University of Sheffield in England who was not part of Babylab.

A more comprehensive profile of precursors and symptoms could lead to more effective models of prediction and intervention — ones that would allow doctors to identify more accurately and at an earlier age which infants may go on to develop autism and what the characteristics and severity of their future symptoms might be. Ultimately, better tests will provide parents with the comfort that they intervened as soon as they could and that as a result, their children will get the treatment and care necessary to promote the highest quality of life possible.

Comprehensive, Integrative Genomic Analysis of Diffuse Lower-Grade Gliomas .


BACKGROUND

Diffuse low-grade and intermediate-grade gliomas (which together make up the lower-grade gliomas, World Health Organization grades II and III) have highly variable clinical behavior that is not adequately predicted on the basis of histologic class. Some are indolent; others quickly progress to glioblastoma. The uncertainty is compounded by interobserver variability in histologic diagnosis. Mutations in IDH,TP53, and ATRX and codeletion of chromosome arms 1p and 19q (1p/19q codeletion) have been implicated as clinically relevant markers of lower-grade gliomas.

METHODS

We performed genomewide analyses of 293 lower-grade gliomas from adults, incorporating exome sequence, DNA copy number, DNA methylation, messenger RNA expression, microRNA expression, and targeted protein expression. These data were integrated and tested for correlation with clinical outcomes.

RESULTS

Unsupervised clustering of mutations and data from RNA, DNA-copy-number, and DNA-methylation platforms uncovered concordant classification of three robust, nonoverlapping, prognostically significant subtypes of lower-grade glioma that were captured more accurately by IDH, 1p/19q, and TP53 status than by histologic class. Patients who had lower-grade gliomas with an IDH mutation and 1p/19q codeletion had the most favorable clinical outcomes. Their gliomas harbored mutations in CIC, FUBP1, NOTCH1, and the TERTpromoter. Nearly all lower-grade gliomas with IDH mutations and no 1p/19q codeletion had mutations in TP53 (94%) and ATRXinactivation (86%). The large majority of lower-grade gliomas without an IDH mutation had genomic aberrations and clinical behavior strikingly similar to those found in primary glioblastoma.

CONCLUSIONS

The integration of genomewide data from multiple platforms delineated three molecular classes of lower-grade gliomas that were more concordant with IDH, 1p/19q, and TP53 status than with histologic class. Lower-grade gliomas with an IDH mutation either had 1p/19q codeletion or carried a TP53 mutation. Most lower-grade gliomas without an IDH mutation were molecularly and clinically similar to glioblastoma. (Funded by the National Institutes of Health.)

How To Build A Home Fusion Reactor


The Boy Who Played With Fusion had its beginnings in 2010 when, as a contributing editor at PopSci, I discovered a small and unusual community of makers, high-energy hobbyists who were taking on both the formidable theory and the precision engineering of applied nuclear science. The idea that self-taught amateurs outside the Big Science world of billion-dollar laboratories were tinkering with nukes—fusing atomic nuclei, transmuting elements, constructing atom-smashing machines in DIY laboratories—was both intriguing and unsettling. As members of this guarded clique began to open up to me, one of them mentioned Taylor Wilson, a fourteen-year-old boy from Texarkana who had just become one of only thirty-two individuals on the planet to build a working nuclear fusion reactor, a miniature sun on Earth.

Now, the article I wrote then about Taylor has blossomed into a book.The Boy Who Played with Fusionis a science adventure, a story of audacity, perseverance, and passion—and a boy whose world seems to have no limits. This excerpt, from Chapter 16: The Lucky Donkey Theory, recounts the first attempts of amateur high-energy scientists to achieve nuclear fusion.

In a way, the amateur nuclear fusion movement began at the intersection of science and science fiction. In the mid-1990s, an electrical engineer and aspiring science-fiction writer named Tom Ligon heard that the physicist Robert Bussard was living and working just two miles from his Virginia home.

“Some people still think Bussard is a fictional character,” Ligon says, “but it turns out that he was quite real.” In the mid-1950s, Bussard worked at Los Alamos in the Nuclear Propulsion Division, designing nuclear rocket engines. He coauthored two books on nuclear-powered flight and in 1960 proposed the “interstellar ramjet,” which would scoop up interstellar ionized hydrogen and funnel it into a nuclear fusion reactor whose output would propel a spaceship forward. Though Bussard thought his design was at least two hundred years from feasibility, the interstellar ramjet (also called the Bussard ramjet) became a fixture in science fiction, used to propel space travelers in Larry Niven’s and Poul Anderson’s novels and the Starfleet starships in the Star Trek universe.

Bussard went on to become assistant director at the Controlled Thermonuclear Reactions Division of what was then the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission. The division had settled on magnetic confinement as its mainline fusion program, but Bussard saw more promise in a fusion reactor he called a polywell (a combination of polyhedron and potential well ), which overcame some of the inefficiencies of the Farnsworth-Hirsch fusion reactor, which is often called a fusor. Fusors use an electric field to accelerate ions toward collisions so forceful that their nuclei fuse, releasing a burst of energy.

. Bussard’s reactor used a negatively charged plasma field instead of a negatively charged wire grid to attract and accelerate the positively charged ions. Bussard started a small tech company, funded by the military, to pursue his polywell design.

Ligon dropped by with his résumé. “Nobody was there,” Ligon remembers, “but the sign . . . declared that it was the Energy/Matter Conversion Corporation. I slipped my propaganda under the door, smiling as I got the connection to Einstein’s famous formula.”

Bussard called him back, and Ligon went to work for EMC2, which built several polywell prototypes between 1994 and 2006. With the final prototype, Bussard felt that he’d solved the remaining major physics problems and he reported exponential efficiency improvements. But as the Iraq War consumed the military’s resources, the military defunded polywell research. Bussard raised private capital to build a polywell power plant.

Bussard passed away in 2007. “He was convinced when he died,” says Ligon, “that he had achieved a significant breakthrough.” U.S. Navy researchers may have been similarly convinced, since they restarted the polywell program after Bussard’s death and brought it to Los Alamos. Taylor and his friend and fellow fusioneer Carl Willis are among the few outsiders who’ve seen the next-generation polywell machine; since their visit to the laboratory, the project has been classified.

In 1998, Ligon built an almost-functional Farnsworth-Hirsch reactor and brought it to a meeting of amateur high-energy scientists at Richard Hull’s home near Richmond. “While I was standing in awe of Richard’s mighty Tesla coil,” Ligon says, “the others were falling madly in love with the idea of building their own tabletop hot fusion reactors.”

“Where people usually fall short is in their neutron-detection methods.”

The next year, Hull’s fusor became the first outside a research laboratory to achieve a verified nuclear fusion reaction. Others in the community followed, and founded an online forum to share resources with people like Willis, who in 2003 became the tenth person to build a working reactor. In addition to Fusor.net’s role as an information clearinghouse, the forum has become the de facto verification body for claims of amateur nuclear fusion success.

Fusor.net’s fusioneers list has three levels. Scroungers are just starting out, gathering components and/or assembling parts. Plasma Club membership requires evidence of plasma production. Neutron Club applicants must provide rock-solid proof of fusion in the form of images and a full data disclosure regarding setup, conditions, and neutron-detection systems. “Many of the people who get the idea to build a fusion reactor have that long-shot sci-fi edge,” Willis says, but the technical challenges quickly weed out those who aren’t serious about mastering nuclear theory and engineering. “You can’t fake your way into the Neutron Club,” says Willis.

“Where people usually fall short is in their neutron-detection methods,” says Hull. There’s a lot of back-and-forth questioning and answering, which serves as an informal but tough peer-review process.

Taylor added his name to the Scroungers list soon after Willis, who helps administer the Fusor.net site, suggested that Taylor build a fusor. Taylor became an increasingly frequent presence on the site’s technical forums. “Everyone was incredibly generous and willing to give advice and let me bounce ideas off them,” Taylor says. “There’s not too many sources of know-how for some things, like vacuum issues, for instance. Vacuum is almost a black art; I mean, who goes to school for it?”

But at first, none of the forum contributors had any clue that they were communicating with a twelve-year-old.

Daily antacid use ups heart attack risk


Popping over-the-counter antacids daily to control acidity or heartburn can increase heart attack risk by 16-21 percent, a huge data-mining study led by an Indian-origin researcher has revealed.

The researchers analysed 16 million clinical documents of 2.9 million patients in two separate databases.
Daily antacid use ups heart attack risk: Study
“People who take medication to suppress stomach acid are at greater risk of developing myocardial infarction, commonly known as heart attack,” said the lead researcher, Nigam H. Shah from Stanford University, California.

Drugs like Nexium, Prilosec and Prevacid — called proton pump inhibitors (PPI) are among the most prescribed drugs to treat a wide range of disorders, including gastro-esophageal reflux disease (GERD).

“By looking at data from people who were given these drugs primarily for acid reflux and had no prior history of heart disease, our data-mining pipeline signals an association with a higher rate of heart attacks.”

“Our results demonstrate that PPIs appear to be associated with elevated risk of heart attack in the general population,” he added.

The team along with scientists from Houston Methodist Hospital, however, found that H2 blockers – another type of antacid drug – showed no such association.

Examples of the drug of H2 blockers are cimetidine and ranitidine and brand examples of H2 blockers are Zantac and Tagamet.

“Our earlier work identified that the PPIs can adversely affect the endothelium, the Teflon-like lining of the blood vessels,” said John Cooke, a senior study author.

That observation led researchers to hypothesise that anyone taking PPIs may be at greater risk for heart attack.

The scrutiny of antacids has only increased with time. Initially, it was believed PPIs only posed a risk to a very narrow subset of patients — those with coronary artery disease who were using the anti-platelet drug clopidogrel to prevent future heart attacks.

“Examiners originally assumed this was due to a drug interaction between these compounds and the FDA went so far as to release a warning about their concomitant use,” informed principal examiner Nicholas Leeper.

Our report raises concerns that these drugs — which are available over the counter and are among the most commonly prescribed drugs in the world — may not be as safe as we previously assumed,” the authors said.

In the future, the researchers say they hope to conduct a large, prospective, randomised trial to determine whether PPIs are harmful to a broader population of patients.

According to the study, an estimated 113 million prescriptions for the drugs are issued around the world each year.

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