NASA Reveals How Mars Went from Habitable Planet to Barren Wasteland

NASA’s mission to send humans to Mars by the 2030s is looking especially ambitious given its findings about the Martian atmosphere — or rather the lack thereof. For over a year, the MAVEN spacecraft has been measuring Mars’ atmosphere and now NASA is ready to share the results.


Solar wind traveling at 1 million miles per hour is carrying away the Martian atmosphere at a rate of 100 grams per second. That’s one-quarter pound of oxygen and carbon dioxide that is leaving Mars’ atmosphere every hour, never to return. At that rate, it would take a couple billion years for the atmosphere to dissipate completely, so NASA scientists believe most of Mars’ atmosphere was stripped away at a much earlier stage in the solar system’s life cycle — when the Sun was much more active.

Could the Sun strip the Earth of its atmosphere? Besides the slow rate at which Mars is losing what remains of its atmosphere, Earth has another advantage. Its magnetic field mostly protects us from severe atmospheric degradation.

Can understanding Mars help us to eventually create a new Martian atmosphere, allowing humans to live there more easily? Yes and no, say NASA scientists. The easiest theoretical way to terraform Mars would be to unlock stores of CO2 trapped beneath the planet’s surface. Unfortunately, that CO2 just isn’t there: It’s been blown off into space by the Sun. Understanding Mars’ atmosphere, however, is essential to carrying human life to the planet and helping a NASA crew survive — without the atmosphere that crucially protects life on Earth.

In the long term, we’ve got to find a way to establish a colony on Mars, says Stephen Petranek. The survival of the species depends on it.

Pot Addiction May Be in Your Genes

Pot Addiction May Be in Your Genes
  • There has always been a certain amount of mystery as to why some people become addicted to a particular substance or activity, while others never do. Now research has uncovered a clue, at least as far as addiction pertains to marijuana.

    A study published yesterday in the journal JAMA Psychiatry found a link between 3 genetic markers and symptoms of marijuana dependence — a terrible, life-altering condition in which people can’t stop using the drug even though it interferes with many aspects of their lives, like relationships or work.

    In addition, the study showed some overlap between the genetic risk factors for marijuana dependence and the genetic risk factors for depression, suggesting a possible reason why the these two conditions are often found together.

    Researchers analyzed information from more than 14,000 Americans who took part in 1 of 3 studies looking into the genetics of substance-use disorders. Between 18% and 36% of the people in these studies had marijuana dependence. The researchers looked for genetic variations, known as single-nucleotide polymorphisms, or SNPs, that were linked with symptoms of marijuana dependence.

    They found 3 genetic variants that were linked with these symptoms. One of these genetic variants was located in a gene involved in regulating calcium concentrations in blood. Previous studies have found that calcium signaling in the body is important in other substance-use disorders, like opioid dependence.

    The investigators hope the new findings will help lead to a better understanding of the biology of marijuana dependence. It’s estimated that 9% of people who use marijuana will become dependent on it, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA).

‘Drug Users Need Treatment,’ Says President Obama. Not So Fast, Says Dr. Carl Hart

“For too long we’ve viewed drug addiction through the lens of criminal justice,” President Obama said yesterday at a conference in Atlanta. “The most important thing to do is reduce demand. And the only way to do that is to provide treatment—to see it as a public health problem and not a criminal problem.”

At least one expert totally disagrees. Earlier this month at South by Southwest Interactive (SXSWi), Columbia University neuropsychopharamacologist Carl Hart gave a talk called “Mythbusting the Drug War With Science” in which he explicitly made the case that the notion that “drug addiction is a health problem that requires treatment” is exactly the wrong way to look at the use of drugs in the United States.

“Politicians today, whether Republican or Democrat, are comfortable with saying that we don’t want to send people to jail for drugs; we will offer them treatment.” Hart said in Austin. But “the vast majority of people don’t need treatment. We need better public education, and more realistic education. And we’re not getting that.”

Why does he say most people don’t need treatment? Because—contrary to widespread perceptions—the vast majority of drug users aren’t addicts. “When I say drug abuse and drug addiction, I’m thinking of people whose psycho-social functioning is disrupted,” he said later in the talk. But for more than three-quarters of drug users (and we’re not just talking about marijuana here, either), that description doesn’t apply.

This overturns the conventional wisdom on drug addiction, but Hart thinks that’s a good thing. We’ve all been fed a diet of panic-inducing misinformation about what drugs actually do to our brains, he says.

Most of us were taught that drugs like cocaine are so addictive that a rat in a laboratory experiment will continue to press a lever to receive the substance—to the exclusion of all its other physical needs—until it actually dies. Hart said at first even he believed that finding to be true. But it turns out, those studies weren’t what they were cracked up to be.

“When you have the rat in a cage alone, and there’s nothing else for the rat to do, the rat will repeatedly choose to take cocaine,” he said. “That’s logical. If the only thing you had to do in your life was press a lever to receive cocaine, what are you doing? I hope you’re pressing for the cocaine.”

But if additional stimuli are introduced to the environment, the finding completely falls apart.

“When you enrich the rat’s environment such that you provide something like a sweet drink, or a sexually receptive mate, or some other alternative, the rat doesn’t repeatedly take cocaine,” he explained. “In fact, it’s difficult to get the rat to self-administer or press the lever to take cocaine if you provide the rat with food!”

When he tried to replicate the experiment with drug-addicted humans instead of rats, he found they too behaved logically, choosing, say, $20 in cash as opposed to a $10 hit of coke. “This ‘hijacking’ of the brain’s reward system, that’s a nice sexy metaphor,” he said. “But what we said was that cocaine addicts could not inhibit certain types of responses. They could not delay gratification. They had cognitive impairment such that they couldn’t engage in this long-term planning.” Yet repeatedly in tests, they did.

Once you realize that drugs don’t actually rewire people’s brains, making them unable to function, you can start to focus on things that matter more—like preventing overdoses. The way to do that, according to Hart, is through educational initiatives, not treatment programs.

“Now, if we are concerned about overdose deaths, we need to know how these people are dying,” he said. “The vast majority [75 percent] of people who die from a heroin-related overdose do so because they combine it with another sedative, like alcohol or benzodiazepines….The public health education message is simple: If you’re going to use heroin or another opioid, don’t combine it with another sedative.”

The message should obviously vary according to the substance in question and the population you’re trying to educate. When talking to young people about marijuana, for instance, we should teach them not to start out with large doses. “And if you do and you get anxious, be cool,” he said. “You’re going to be OK!”

The main problem with methamphetamines, meanwhile, is that they disrupt people’s sleep and reduce their food intake. “Sleep is probably the most important biological function. If you don’t get enough sleep, you can get psychiatric illnesses and all types of different illnesses,” he said. “So when I think about education with methamphetamines, you want to make sure people are sleeping. You want to make sure people are eating. You also want to make sure people understand the risks in terms of cardiovascular concerns: If you have a cardiovascular-compromised system, it’s probably not the drug for you.”

These are all examples of harm reduction, something Hart believes we need a whole lot more of. “We can help keep people safe,” he said. “We haven’t made much progress in this regard, but we’re pretending that we are more compassionate people…by saying that we’ll give them treatment.”

More of World’s People Are Now Obese Than Underweight

More people worldwide are obese than underweight, a new study found.

The researchers added that about one-fifth of adults could be obese by 2025.

News Picture: More of World's People Are Now Obese Than Underweight

The number of obese people in the world rose from 105 million in 1975 to 641 million in 2014, with obesity rates rising from 3 percent to 11 percent among men and from 6 percent to 15 percent among women, the study found.

Over the same time, the proportion of underweight people fell from 14 percent to 9 percent of men and from 15 percent to 10 percent of women, according to the study.

More than one-quarter of severely obese men and nearly one-fifth of severely obese women in the world live in the United States, the researchers said.

On average, people worldwide have become an average of 1.5 kilograms (3.3 pounds) heavier each decade. At the current pace, about 18 percent of men and 21 percent of women will be obese, and more than 6 percent of men and 9 percent of women will be severely obese by 2025, the study found.

The findings were released online on March 31 in The Lancet.

“Over the past 40 years, we have changed from a world in which underweight prevalence was more than double that of obesity, to one in which more people are obese than underweight,” said study senior author Majid Ezzati, a professor at Imperial College London’s School of Public Health, in England.

“If present trends continue, not only will the world not meet the obesity target of halting the rise in the prevalence of obesity at its 2010 level by 2025, but more women will be severely obese than underweight by 2025,” he said in a journal news release.

“To avoid an epidemic of severe obesity, new policies that can slow down and stop the worldwide increase in body weight must be implemented quickly and rigorously evaluated, including smart food policies and improved health care training,” Ezzati said.

Despite the findings, extremely low weight remains a serious public health problem in the poorest parts of the world, the researchers noted. For example, nearly one-quarter of people in south Asia are underweight, as are 15 percent of men and 12 percent of women in central and east Africa.

The study findings reflect “a fatter, healthier but more unequal world,” wrote George Davey Smith in an accompanying journal editorial. He is a professor of clinical epidemiology at the University of Bristol, in England.

“A focus on obesity at the expense of recognition of the substantial remaining burden of undernutrition threatens to divert resources away from disorders that affect the poor to those that are more likely to affect the wealthier in low-income countries,” he noted.

Baking Soda Is One of the Most Amazing Things You Could Use. Things you didn’t Know It Could Do!

It seems that baking soda is the cheapest health remedy in the whole world. It is beneficial for everything, from colds to cancer. Baking soda is the thing you need to have in your home. Some of the health benefits of it are reduced risk and prevention of drug intoxication, peptic ulcer, acidity metabolic acidosis, and diarrhea. It is also beneficial for the skin since it has antipruritic and anti-itch properties. It is a powerful home remedy for flu and common colds and also removes plaque. Being a rich sodium source it prevents kidney stones, bladder infection and hyperkalemia.


Traditional remedies

  • A mixture of baking soda and water is an excellent way for muscle relief after a hard and intensive workout.
  • Use baking soda in order to remove grime and fungus from your nails. Put some baking soda on a nail brush and use it to scrub your nails.
  • Mix 1 tablespoon of peppermint essential oil, 3 tablespoons of baking soda and warm water. Soak your feet and hands into this mixture in order to relieve odor, soreness and itching.
  • Make a mixture form baking soda and water and use it for gargle. It will freshen up your breath.
  • Use baking soda as a toothpaste and brush your teeth with it. Just sprinkle some on your toothbrush.
  • Remove dead skin cells and surplus facial oil from your face with the help of baking soda. Mix 1 tablespoon of water and 1 tablespoon of baking soda and scrub your face gently.
  • Relieve itching from oak, poison ivy, insect bites, bee stings and etc.
  • Mix water and baking soda and apply it to herpes or cancer sores. It is going to dry them quickly.

Homemade Remedies For Acid Reflux

Make a mixture from ½ tablespoon of baking soda, 2 tablespoons of organic apple cider vinegar or fresh lemon juice. Use a kettle since it is going to fizz. After the bubbling stops add 8 oz. water. Drink this remedy at once. This remedy will balance the pH, it will make the acid reflux less painful and produce alkaline-forming environment in the body.

Use baking soda to ease GERD and heart burn symptoms. Just mix ½ tablespoon of baking soda and 16 oz. water.

Other Remedies

In Dr. Mark Sircus’ book, Sodium Bicarbonate, he explains Dr. Simoncini’s discoveries which are about cancer overgrowth and the search for alternative treatments which include baking soda. He suggests that we use a mixture of molasses and baking soda in order to prevent fungal infections and for cancer and diabetes prevention.

Treat urinary infection by drinking a mixture of ½ tablespoon of soda and 8 oz. water two times per day.

Mix baking soda and apple cider vinegar or lemon juice and ease thrombosis.

Make a mixture of warm water and 1 tablespoon of baking soda and douche in order to stop itching and destroy Candida yeast.


Women who are pregnant or those who breastfeed should not use baking soda. Children under the age of five should not use it as well. Despite the fact that if used correctly it is safe, baking soda can still cause some unwanted side effects and particularly if it is combined with prescribed drugs.

You must always use baking soda which is dissolved in liquid, never in a dry form. Do not use baking soda if you are in a diet which is low on sodium. Do not use baking soda longer than 14 days.

Vaccines have a dangerously long history with depopulation schemes

The one thing touted to protect us against the most dreadful germs, may be the one thing that is slowly killing millions of people around the world. Is the vaccine industry using pandemics as their cover to serve a hidden agenda?

It is no secret that Bill Gates, the Rockefellers and the UN – among many other influential public figures and organizations – are all highly invested in the development of vaccines. And they are not shy to voice their agenda of depopulating the world, either.

“We are on the verge of a global transformation. All we need is the right major crisis and the nations will accept the New World Order.” – David Rockefeller

“The world today has 6.8 billion people… that’s headed up to about 9 billion. Now if we do a really great job on new vaccines, health care, reproductive health services, we could lower that by perhaps 10 or 15 percent.” – Bill Gates

Using vaccines as a cover-up story in efforts to reduce world population is nothing new.

Depopulation in favor of U.S. Government

1974 was the year of the first World Population Conference, and Henry Kissinger’s infamous National Security Study Memorandum 200, which reported uncontrolled growth in third world countries, with a potential risk to U.S. national security.


The memorandum gave paramount importance to depopulation measurements for 13 key developing countries where there was special U.S. political and strategic interest. Those countries included India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Nigeria, Mexico, Indonesia, Brazil, the Philippines, Thailand, Egypt, Turkey, Ethiopia and Colombia.

“Depopulation should be the highest priority of foreign policy towards the third world, because the US economy will require large and increasing amounts of minerals from abroad, especially from less developed countries,” Kissinger stated.

Was this the birth of the vaccine fraud to help depopulate the world?

Mass sterilization of Mexican children

According to Kissinger’s report, the biggest fear was the growing Mexican population.

“Perhaps the most significant population trend from the viewpoint of the United States is the prospect that Mexico’s population will increase from 50 million in 1970 to over 130 million by the year 2000.”

People disguised as inoculation teams showed up at Mexican schools and started giving a “rare vaccine” to children – specifically poor kids – against the will of their parents. The “rare vaccine” was nothing more than a shot to sterilize children and control world population.

Parents began hiding their children and stormed schools in Mexico City to take them home. These actions forced health authorities to stop the inoculations.

Only one year before, in 1973, a study was published in the journal Obstetrics and Gynecology which reported work on an anti-fertility vaccine that made women’s bodies attack hormones needed for a viable pregnancy.

Ever since then, numerous studies have been conducted on the use of antibodies, especially immunization with the human Chorionic Gonadotrophin or hCG antibody, to regulate fertility. These have been silently funded by the Rockefeller Foundation (which is involved in the United Nation’s World Health Organization (WHO), too).

History repeats itself

And that’s not all. Ever since, vaccines have been used to help depopulate the world.

In the 1990s the UN’s WHO launched a campaign to vaccinate women in Nicaragua, Mexico and the Philippines between the ages of 15 and 45, to protect them against Tetanus (or Lockjaw). Strangely enough, the vaccine was not given to boys or men who are more prone to get wounds from cuts and rusty nails.

The Comite Pro Vida de Mexico, a Roman Catholic lay organization, became suspicious and tested some of the vaccines. They came to the horrible conclusion that women of childbearing age were being inoculated with hCG-laced vaccines, making them incapable of maintaining pregnancy.

In 2004, a UNICEF campaign to vaccinate Nigerians with an oral polio vaccine also appeared to serve another agenda.

Dr. Haruna Kaita, a pharmaceutical scientist and Dean of the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences of Ahmadu Bello University in Zaria, analyzed some samples and found the vaccine to be harmful and toxic with direct effects on the human reproductive system.

These are not the only examples, and it definitely raises questions regarding more recent outbreaks, such as the Ebola and Zika virus crises.

Learn more:

It’s About Time: Hormone Therapy and Subclinical Atherosclerosis

Abundant data support the timing hypothesis, which proposes that hormone therapy (HT) slows atherosclerosis progression in recently menopausal women but has neutral or adverse effects in women who are at least a decade past menopause onset. To directly test this hypothesis, investigators for the ELITE trial randomized healthy women (<6 years or ≥10 years past menopause) without cardiovascular disease (CVD) to oral estradiol (1 mg daily) or placebo. Women with a uterus also received vaginal progesterone or placebo gel. Carotid-artery intima-media thickness (CIMT) was assessed at baseline and every 6 months. Coronary artery atherosclerosis was evaluated at study completion using computed tomography (CT). An earlier report (NEJM JW Womens Health Jul 2015 and Menopause 2015; 22:391) showed that baseline CIMT correlated well with CVD risk factors.

Among 643 participants, median age at enrollment and years since menopause were 55.4 and 3.5, respectively (early-postmenopause group), and 63.0 and 14.1 (late-postmenopause group). After a median 5 years of study medications, among the younger women, the estradiol group had less progression of CIMT than the placebo group (P=0.008). In contrast, in the older women, CIMT progression rates were similar in the HT and placebo groups (P=0.29). The strength of this relation between HT and CIMT progression differed significantly in the younger versus older groups (P=0.007). Coronary artery CT parameters did not differ significantly between the placebo and HT groups regardless of age.


Editorialists conclude that, although estrogen had a favorable effect on atherosclerosis in early menopause, recommending HT for preventing cardiovascular events would be premature. We agree, while noting that use of HT for management of menopausal symptoms has plummeted since the initial Women’s Health Initiative findings in 2002, even among symptomatic women in early menopause (N Engl J Med 2016; 374:803). Our take-away message is that this important new clinical trial provides additional reassurance about the cardiovascular safety of HT when initiated by recently menopausal women for bothersome vasomotor symptoms.

– See more at:

Flagship Brain Project Releases Neuro-Computing Tools

Human Brain Project asks wider neuroscience community to start using its hardware and software

Europe’s major brain-research project has unveiled a set of prototype computing tools and called on the global neuroscience community to start using them. The move marks the end of the 30-month ramp-up phase of the Human Brain Project (HBP), and the start of its operational phase.

The release of the computing platforms—which include brain-simulation tools, visualization software and a pair of remotely accessible supercomputers to study brain processes in real time—could help to allay concerns about the €1-billion (US$1.1-billion) project’s benefits to the wider scientific community.

“The new platforms open countless new possibilities to analyse the human brain,” said Katrin Amunts, a neuroscientist at the Jülich Research Centre in Germany and a member of the project’s board of directors, at a press conference on March 30. “We are proud to offer the global brain community a chance to participate.”

But it is not clear how the platforms—some freely accessible, others available only on the success of a peer-reviewed application—will resonate with brain researchers outside the project. “At this point, no one can say whether or not the research platforms will be a success,” says Andreas Herz, chair of computational neuroscience at the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich in Germany.


The general mission of the HBP is to gather and combine neuroscience data of different types to reconstruct the human brain computationally at different scales, from the inside of brain cells to the entire functioning brain, and also to simulate it.

Since the project launched in 2013, 800 scientists from 24 countries have been involved in developing tools to facilitate collaborative research for the general neuroscience community. The tools fall into in six areas: neuroinformatics, brain simulation, medical informatics, high-performance analytics and computing, neurorobotics and brain-inspired ‘neuromorphic’ computing.

But the project has attracted great controversy. Many in the greater neuroscience community complained that the management had exaggerated what the project’s computing platforms would be able to do. In 2014, around 150 of them signed a petition claiming that the project was being mismanaged and running off its scientific course and pledged to boycott the HBP unless their concerns were addressed. (The petition has since accumulated more than 800 signatures).

An independent review completed in March 2015 confirmed these concerns and recommended management changes. It stressed that the computing infrastructure created by the HBP must be useful to the wider scientific community. The European Commission, which bankrolls much of the project, adopted the recommendations.


The release of the neuroscience tools is a sign that the HBP’s leadership accepts that the project needs to focus on providing concrete services from which the neuroscience community at large can profit, says Herz. But he cautions that the project still depends on “logical flaws”, such as “the dream” that sparse recordings from neurons can generate dense data.

Scientists will also need some time to learn to use the tools, says Karlheinz Meier, co-leader of the HBP’s neuromorphic-computing platform, which is based in Manchester, UK, and Heidelberg, Germany. “I trust that many useful applications will then start to emerge,” he says.

The platforms are to be developed with a view to eventually becoming a permanent, pan-European research infrastructure, said Philippe Gillet, head of project coordination for the HBP at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne and a member of the project’s board of directors, during the press conference. One example of such an infrastructure is the European Biobanking and Biomolecular Resources Research Infrastructure, a distributed network of centres that give researchers access to biological samples and corresponding data. However, for the HBP to reach this stage would require a commitment from governments to fund the project permanently.

Lasers Could Hide Earth from Prying Aliens.

We could use laser light to mask our transits across the sun and thus hide Earth from any intelligent aliens looking for planets to invade

Zika structure discovered, raising hopes for new ways to combat virus.

Breakthrough could help create vaccines and antivirals to prevent or treat infections linked with microcephaly and Guillain-Barré syndrome.

The Zika virus has been revealed to have a structure similar to viruses such as dengue and West Nile.
Scientists have worked out the structure of the Zika virus in a breakthrough that will aid the development of treatments to combat infection.

As well as aiding the design of vaccines and therapeutic drugs, scientists hope that the discovery will help develop better diagnostic tests for the virus, and throw light on the way the virus infects cells.

“This complete picture of the virus is really a blueprint for us, and many other groups, now to go in and determine how it works,” says Professor Richard Kuhn, an author of the study from Purdue University, Indiana.

Now present in 33 countries and territories in the Americas, the mosquito-borne virus has been linked to cases of microcephaly in babies, a condition resulting in smaller than usual heads and potential neurological damage, although scientists have yet to prove that Zika causes the condition.

– Brazil has so far confirmed more than 900 cases of microcephaly. In adults, the virus has been linked to the neurological condition, Guillain-Barré syndrome, which can cause temporary paralysis and, in some cases, permanent damage. The World Health Organisation now believes [pdf] that there is a strong scientific consensus that both conditions can be caused by the Zika virus.

Experts say the Zika blueprint, published in the journal Science, could provide the necessary insights for the development of vaccines and anti-virals to prevent and treat infections.

“The structure is a powerful platform for designing those kinds of preventative and therapeutic strategies,” said Professor Yorgo Modis from the University of Cambridge.

Using a strain of the virus from an outbreak in French Polynesia that began in late 2013, a team of scientists led by researchers at Purdue University used a technique known as cryo-electron microscopy to study its structure in near-atomic resolution.

Their results showed that the Zika virus has a structure similar to other flaviviruses, including dengue and West Nile viruses, with a core of genetic material in the form of RNA, encased inside a fatty membrane. This sits within an 20-sided protein shell covered in carbohydrates, known as glycans.

But these glycans and their surrounding amino acids differ between the flaviviruses – and Zika, the scientists discovered, is no exception.

Crucially, these are thought to play a role in enabling such viruses to attach to specific types of cells. “The question that obviously arises is, is that the reason why [the] Zika virus is neurotropic – namely it has a tendency to infect cells of the nervous system, particularity in the foetuses?” said Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. “We don’t know that yet, but the structure that was just published provides at least a plausible explanation.”

Insights from structure could also be essential for the development of vaccines to guard against infection, and for therapeutic drugs to fight the disease, as well as helping scientists to develop better ways to test for the infection.

“Showing at the very sensitive structural level this distinct difference between Zika and other flaviviruses can be very important in anything from figuring out why it has some special effects that the other viruses don’t have – but also can help you with diagnostics and therapeutics,” said Fauci.

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