With doctors losing respect, perhaps it’s time to expose medicine’s dark side

The following is paraphrased documentation, authored by a physician I know, regarding an intoxicated patient in the ER:

1 a.m.: Patient is telling nurse, “Before I leave, I need everyone’s name for my lawsuit. Tell the phlebotomist that if he’s good, he’ll get a cut.”

1:40 a.m.: Patient is making inappropriate sexual comments and is verbally aggressive with medical staff. He is advised to stay in bed.

2:02 a.m.: Patient (who had been sleeping comfortably) wakes up and begins screaming obscenities at everyone. When a nurse asks why he was angry, he says, “What do you think, mother f*****? I will wipe your a**.” Multiple attempts to calm patient fail.

I will stop here, because the insulting language, obscene physical gestures, and eventual threats of physical abuse only become more vulgar and inappropriate. The attending recorded in the chart, word for word, the things that spewed from the patient’s mouth and, eventually, when he became physically aggressive, called the crisis team who came and restrained the patient.  The story was shared with me by one of the residents who had witnessed the entire discourse, and we laughed about the absurdity of some of the drunken babble. We also smiled in speaking about the state of mind of the doc who documented the conversation so meticulously in the chart. She must have just had it with the abuse and decided she was going to permanently record all the nonsense in the EMR.

Photo published for With doctors losing respect, perhaps it's time to expose medicine's dark side

As I sat by myself, thinking about the somewhat comical story, I realized that it really was not funny at all. This is the status quo. Health care professionals deal with patients like the one above every day. The verbal abuse and physical threats are so common that we have settled in to just trying to find some humor in them. This type of abuse is not unique to the health care field, but the difference is that you cannot just stop treating your abuser. You have to make sure he or she gets better. You cannot fire a patient in an ER who would die in the street if you kicked him out. Every doc or nurse has an anecdote in which they have been spit on, urinated on, cursed at, assaulted, or threatened.

In the medical world, we do not talk a lot about this aspect of our training and experience. Incoming residents have no idea that, along with their medical education, they will be getting a pedagogy in dealing with some seriously aggressive personalities. Whether it is a drunk patient in the ED, an angry family member, or the overtly psychotic patient on the psych ward, being on guard becomes second nature.

I remember one resident laughing hysterically as he described an enraged patient using the TV remote as weapon against his caretakers, swinging it in circles like a lasso. Or the time a family member broke into the medical lounge and attempted to physically intimidate a resident into changing a medical plan for a dying patient in the ICU. I have seen female trainees and attendings cat-called, harassed (both physically and verbally), and made to feel unsafe by the people they care for. It is tough to diagnose and treat someone when you cannot put your hands on them without fear of a violation of personal space.

This is medicine. There is so much beauty in the patient-doctor relationship and so much that I could say about the wonderful people whom I have learned from and loved while they were under my care. But, like anything else in life, medicine has a dark side that we rarely discuss with people outside of the field. With an increasing percentage of doctors feeling unappreciated, abused, and depressed, maybe it is time to share the whole story.


Scientists Successfully Grow Potatoes in Mars-Like Soils

Can potatoes grow on the red planet? The International Potato Center is on the case

As part of his survival plan, Watney uses vacuum-packed potatoes to start his own farm on Mars. 

In March of last year, a group of Dutch scientists announced that they had grown 10 different plant species—including tomatoes, peas, rye, garden rocket, radish and garden cress—in dirt engineered to mimic the harsh, arid soil of Mars.

A new study suggests that potatoes may be able to survive on the Red Planet, too. As Katherine Ellen Foley reports for Quartz, researchers at the International Potato Center (known as CIP, its Spanish acronym) were able to sprout a crop of spuds in Mars-like soils.

Scientists working on the aptly-named “Potatoes on Mars” project wanted “to know what the minimum conditions are that a potato needs to survive,” researcher Julio Valdivia-Silva says in a statement. But the scientists faced a steep challenge. Conditions on Mars are not hospitable to biological life. The planet’s soils are salty, thin, and lacking in chemicals like nitrogen, which helps plants grow. Its atmosphere contains little oxygen—also important to plant growth—and its average temperature hovers at a frigid -80 degrees Fahrenheit.

To recreate these harsh conditions, researchers relied on soils from the Pampas de La Joya desert in Peru, which, like the soils on Mars, contains few life-sustaining compounds. They then placed the soil inside a CubeSat—a small, sealed satellite that can simulate the temperature, air pressure, oxygen and carbon dioxide levels on Mars—and sowed the dirt with potato seeds, Rob LeFebvre reports for Engadget.

Researchers took a number of steps to boost the potatoes’ chances of growing in such a harsh environment. They used tubers that had been bred to thrive in salty soils, and irrigated them with nutrient-rich water. As Rae Paoletta points out in Gizmodo, the soil was also enhanced with fertilizer—not unlike Matt Damon’s poopy potato crops in The Martian.

Sensors monitored the patch of land 24 hours a day. And one year after the project began, researchers saw spuds sprouting in the soil. Potato breeder Walter Amoros calls the results a “pleasant surprise,” according to the CIP statement.

CIP’s experiment could have significant implications for the future of space exploration. NASA is pushing forward with plans to send humans to Mars, and astronauts are going to need to eat while they’re there. But it’s important to note that the results of the experiment have not yet been published in a peer-reviewed journal.

Growing the plants is just the first hurdle that scientists need to overcome when it comes to feeing astronauts on Mars. As Foley writes in Quartz, “figuring out how to bring the seeds, water, and plant nutrients to our neighboring planet is something else entirely.”

The results of the experiment may, in fact, be more significant to humans here on Earth. When CIP isn’t dabbling in extraterrestrial farming, the organization uses roots and tubers to develop sustainable solutions to poverty, hunger, and climate change across the globe. Climate change creates poor soil conditions, the CIP explains in a second statement, which can exacerbate poverty and malnutrition in already vulnerable areas. If potatoes can thrive in Mars-like conditions, researchers theorize, they can likely survive in soils that have been damaged by global warming. Or as Joel Ranck, CIP’s Head of Communications, puts it: “[I]f we can grow potatoes in extreme conditions like those on Mars, we can save lives on Earth.”

Physicists Leak Evidence That Approve Elon Musk’s Theory – The Universe Is A “Computer” Simulation

Philosophers have long proposed that given that any civilization of remarkable intelligence and size would likely create simulations of other universes, and likely a great number of simulations), it may be that there are more simulated universes than real, and consequently more simulated worlds than real.

And now, some physicists say, we just may have the evidence that our universe is just one such simulation.

A team of researchers led by Silas Beane at Germany’s University of Bonn, have just released a paper titled “Constraints on the Universe as a Numerical Simulation,” in which they make the argument that any such simulation of a universe must, by nature of a simulation, put limits on the physical laws of that universe.

As Technology Review explains, making the same point, “the problem with all simulations is that the laws of physics, which appear continuous, have to be superimposed onto a discrete three dimensional lattice which advances in steps of time.”

For example, if a simulation, there would be clear limits on the amount of energy particles within the program can contain. And, researchers say, there’s evidence of exactly such limits in our universe.

In particular, we can consider what is known as the Greisen-Zatsepin-Kuzmin, or GZK cut off – which is a clear limit to the energy an cosmic ray particle can hold. Scientists argue this is the result of interactions with cosmic background radiation. Beane’s research team, however, argues that it is also exactly what you would expect from a simulation’s limits.

Of course, you should read the paper yourself to get a better feel for the science – but the argument is certainly an interesting one, and will only fuel more philosophers’ arguments about the nature of our world.

For more, consider what Elon Musk has to say about the theory in the video below:


Amazon is buying Whole Foods for $13.7 billion

You read that correct, and that’s a CASH deal, too. The online retail GIANT is doing a $13.7 billion dollar cash deal with Whole Foods. “The deal values Whole Foods at $42 a share, 27% higher than where the stock was trading Thursday.” 1

Amazon has reportedly announced that Whole Foods stores will continue to operate under their name (as a separate unit of the company), their CEO John Mackey will stay on, and headquarters will remain in Austin, Texas.

“The deal shows Amazon’s interest in moving into the business of operating traditional brick-and-mortar stores, even as many retailers that have been crippled by Amazon’s growth have announced a series of store closings.

It also shows Amazon’s growing interest in groceries. The company has its own delivery service, AmazonFresh, and is experimenting with a “click and collect” model, offering customers to buy groceries online, then pick them up in person.

The supermarket business, like many other parts of retail, has been hit hard by increased competition from Amazon itself, as well as Walmart.” 2

Amazon’s deal for Whole Foods demonstrates the leadership and vision of Jeff Bezos; their market value is greater than that of the 12 largest traditional general retailers-combined.

Founded in 1978, Whole Foods is thought by most to have been the catalyst that helped organic food go mainstream. The company currently has around 87,000 employees and more than 460 stores (mostly in the U.S.), as well as Canada and the U.K.

While high prices have been a problem for Whole Foods in the last couple of years, something not helped out by John Oliver (see his lampoon below) or the overcharging accusation made by regulators in New York City in 2015, it seems Bezos is willing to inherit the bad PR and move forward. (Which is a good thing because sales growth at Whole Foods has slowed and profits have yet to return to levels before the price scandal. 3)


8 Buddhist habits that will change your life

Some of the happiest people on earth are Buddhist monks. They practice living in a different way than we do, and adopting their habits can have a positive effect on our own happiness.

Buddhism is an extremely mindful practice. They focus on living simply and rule out all materialistic complications. Buddhism has been becoming increasingly popular too. We are seeing more and more people in the eastern society adopting the ways of Buddhist monks because it offers answers and solutions to modern world problems. Buddhism additionally gives us another point of view on who we really are. They think very highly of the human spirit and they appreciate all walks of life.

If you are looking to get away from all the hustle and bustle complications of the modern day world, Buddhist practices may be your out. It makes living simplistic and more meaningful. Simply adopting these habits could change your entire life.

The first habit you should adopt is to simplify. Life is not even nearly as complicated as we make it out to be. All of the problems we have were created by us and they can also be eliminated. Most people’s goal is to acquire as much stuff as they can and be as wealthy as they can, but this does not guarantee happiness. Instead, happiness comes from within, so you have all you need.

Practice Giving

Along with simplifying your life, you need to give too. Giving not only helps another human individual, but it makes us feel good too! Giving things away to help others actually releases dopamine in our brains, making us feel blissful. A selfless attitude is essential to live a Buddhist style life. Being selfless is about much more than giving to other people. If we are all selfless, we wouldn’t have so many problems. Let go of that ego and ask yourself what you can do to benefit society.


Meditating is also a key part of Buddhism. Simply sitting down in a quiet place for ten minutes and change your entire day for the better. It’s also scientifically proven to change the brain! All you have to do is sit down, focus on your breathing, and let it all be. Chanting mantras is also a great way to keep your mind on track while meditating.

Respect and Learn from your Elders

Another Buddhist habit that is life changing is listening to people wiser than you. We don’t know it all, and as easy as it is to pretend we do, you’ll actually get a lot more out of listening to others than you think. Listen to learn, not to reply.

Go Throughout Everyday Mindfully

You will additionally want to make mindfulness a key part of your life. Being mindful doesn’t mean you go around enlightening people and meditating all the time. Being mindful is taking the time to further your spiritual growth and knowledge. Being mindful means not judging other people, getting your happiness from a natural source, and growing spiritually.

Embrace Change

Embracing change can also change your life. Change can be scary, but that doesn’t mean it is a bad thing. We are forever evolving and we change all the time. Embracing it will only make it easier for you! There is so much more to focus on in life than holding onto what we used to have.

Use Aromatherapy

Monks practice aromatherapy a good bit too. Aromatherapy using essential oils has massive amounts of benefits. Depending on the specific oil you use, they can treat health issues, promote sleep and relaxation, reduce stress, and promote creativity. It is awesome to breathe in the oil of frankincense while meditating.Live in the Moment

The most important habit that Buddhist monks have that we need to learn is living in the moment. The majority of our anger, frustration, anxiety, and sadness comes from anticipation of the future or dwelling on the past. If you can try hard enough, and it does require practice, you can live in the present only and doing so eliminates massive amounts of stress and negative emotions.

Research Proving Vitamin C’s Therapeutic Value in 200+ Diseases

Vitamin C is generally considered to be an important “nutrient,” but its perceived value usually ends there. Only rarely does the public (and the medical profession) glimpse its true potential in the prevention and treatment of disease — and this because, by legal definition (in the US), only FDA-approved drugs can prevent, treat and cure disease.

This does not mean, however, that essential nutrients like Vitamin C cannot in fact prevent and treat disease, i.e. only because it is illegal to speak truthfully about something, doesn’t mean that that something isn’t true.  The National Library of Medicine, in fact, contains thousands of studies demonstrating vitamin C‘s ability to significantly improve health, with 220 disease applications documented on the research site alone.  The best thing ‘we the people’ can do, despite our lack of medical degrees and licensure, and without the FDA’s iron-fisted legal and regulatory apparatus on our side, is to use the peer-reviewed research at our disposal to inform and protect our treatment decisions.

Perhaps we must revisit an important moment in history to regain a sense of how profoundly vitamin C deficiency and vitamin C therapy can affect health. James Lind (1716-1794), pioneer of naval hygiene in the British Royal Navy, conducted the first ever clinical trial proving that citrus fruits cured scurvy. Lind’s discovery saved tens of thousands of seamen from the ravages of scurvy, spurring England’s naval supremacy, putatively changing the course of world history.

If significant historical events like these don’t provide enough evidence to vindicate the efficacy of nutrients like Vitamin C, molecular biology and the science of genetics can help to fill in the gaps.

It is a little known and under-appreciated fact that all humans are born with a serious, life-threatening genetic defect: namely, the inability to manufacture Vitamin C.

This defect occurred approximately 63 million years ago, when our haplorrhini (“simple nosed”) primate predecessors lost the gene (Gulnolactone oxidase pseudogene – GULOP), responsible for the manufacture of Vitamin C from glucose.

The ability to synthesize Vitamin C, in fact, has been lost several times in vertebrates, e.g. in guinea pigs, some bats, some fishes, passeriform birds and in primates of the suborder Haplorrhini, which includes monkes, apes and humans.

It was Linus Pauling, two time Nobel Laureate, and the world’s foremost vitamin C proponent, who first brought this inborn error of metabolism to popular light. Pauling advocated taking large doses of Vitamin C (up to 10-12 grams a day) in order to offset the deficiencies of our modern diet. He believed that it was our movement away from a vitamin C rich fruit-and-vegetable based diet that explained the modern epidemic of heart disease.

According to this perspective, without adequate Vitamin C we are unable to produce the collagen necessary to heal our arteries. The Vitamin C starved body compensates for this by increasing the production of a very small and sticky type of cholesterol known as lipoprotein A, which leads to the formation of atheromatous plaque (clogged arteries). Linus Pauling advocated taking large amounts of vitamin C in combination with the amino acid lysine to reverse the damage done to the arteries, and to prevent recurrence.*

Indeed, a study published in 2008 showed that higher plasma vitamin C levels are associated with a significantly reduced risk of stroke. Scientists from the clinical gerontology unit at Addnbrooke’s University Hospital in Cambridge, UK, tracked 20,649 men and women aged 40 to 79 years, between 1993 and 1997. The group was followed through March 2005. Individuals who had the highest vitamin C levels showed a 42% reduction in stroke risk! If you compare this with Plavix’s 8.7 – 9.4% risk reduction, and the profound side effects drugs like these generate, one begins to understand why the media projection of “vitamins are toxic” propaganda serves only the interests of the drug companies.

Before one goes out and buys a bargain bottle of Vitamin C tablets, one should be advised that ascorbic acid is not exactly the same thing as Vitamin C. Ascorbic acid is found within the Vitamin C complex as it exists in food, but is complexed with a wide range of inseparable cofactors, such as rutin, bioflavonoids (vitamin p), protein chaperones, and various enzymes like tyrosinase, which together in their entirety constitute the whole food complex. Take the ‘vitamin c’ as isolated ascorbic acid out of the nutritional context of food and is behaves more like a chemical or drug.

Ascorbic acid is also 10 times more acidic than the naturally buffered Vitamin C found in raw food, and will on occasions lead to stomach upset, calcium loss from the bones, and kidney stones, in susceptible individuals. Traditionally ascorbic acid is produced semi-synthetically from corn or rice starch through a heavily chemical dependent process. Ascorbic acid can be considered no more natural than white flour, and yet despite this fact, has very little toxicity relative to pharmaceuticals, and can be used in much higher doses than the FDA’s Recommended Daily Allowance without adverse side effects.

The difference between ascorbic acid and Vitamin C in whole food form was perfectly clear to Szent-Gyorgi who received a Nobel Prize in 1937 for discovering Vitamin C. Even though Szent-Gyorgi received international recognition for identifying ascorbic acid as Vitamin C, his later research lead him to conclude that ascorbic acid had very little anti-scurvy activity in and of itself. Szent-Gyorgi found that the vitamin C found in organ meats and food sources like paprika, where the aforementioned cofactors are intact, were far superior in combating scurvy.

We would be well served to acknowledge that all raw fruits and vegetables contain a “life force” that can not be fully decomposed or reduced to the chemical skeleton within which the life force of “vitamin activity” works, no more than our life/soul can be reduced to the $10 or so worth of chemical building blocks that our body is composed of. Fortunately, there are vitamin manufacturers out there who acknowledge this fact, and produce raw whole food concentrates rich in vitamin activity. When eating raw, organic fruits and vegetables is not an option, or when higher levels are needed, these supplements offer authentic therapeutic activity.

The history of vitamin C illustrates just how profoundly important it is for us to get these vital nutrients known as “vitamins,” and that they are best derived from food. If we choose to overlook the importance of vitamins in maintaining health, and yes, even preventing and reversing disease, we will be forced to accept a pharmaceutically driven medical perspective that believes that health is the absence of symptoms, and that symptoms are to be combated or driven back deep into our bodies with sublethal dosages of toxic chemicals, i.e. drugs. Such a perspective on disease is itself so diseased that there is no escaping the ill health that results from it. We must remember that there has never been a disease that has been caused by a lack of a drug… therefore, why would it ever be considered sound medical practice to treat disease with drugs, as a first line of treatment?

*If Linus Pauling and other Vitamin C researchers are correct and a deficiency of Vitamin C causes the breakdown of collagen in the artery, aspirin therapy, which causes Vitamin C deficiency, would not be considered a safe way to reduce cardiac mortality. To the contrary, it would further destabilize the strength and elasticity of the artery leading to hemorrhage, which is the primary deadly side effect of aspirin therapy.

High Dose Vitamin C Can Reduce a Cold’s Duration by 20 Percent

People with the high levels of vitamin C from their diets are known to have reduced risk of cardiovascular disease and early death. But did you know the wonder vitamin can effectively help you with the common cold?Earlier studies in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition showed that taking vitamin C supplements in the short-term reduced both systolic blood pressure (SBP) and diastolic blood pressure (DBP) all without any side effects making it an excellent natural alternative to dangerous medications.

A huge amount of data has found significant effects for vitamin C in the prevention and alleviation of symptoms of infections, including the common cold.

Writing in Nutrients, Dr Harri Hemila from the University of Helsinki, Finland, reviews the evidence for vitamin C in a range of infections — adding that for now, the potential for vitamin C ‘is not known.’Citing data from previous clinical trials, Hemila notes that the majority of controlled trials have used a ‘modest dosage’ of only 1 gram per day of vitamin C, but that trials looking at a wider range of doses indicate that the relationship between vitamin C dosage and its effects on the duration of the common cold symptoms may extend to 6-8 grams per day.

“Two controlled trials found a statistically significant dose–response, for the duration of common cold symptoms, with up to 6–8 g/day of vitamin C,” writes Hemila. “Thus, the negative findings of some therapeutic common cold studies might be explained by the low doses.”

“Vitamin C is safe and costs only pennies per gram, and therefore even modest effects may be worth exploiting.”

While the Finnish researcher suggests higher doses of vitamin C are safe and could provide benefits, data from the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) regarding the tolerable upper intake levels for vitamin C potentially counters such claims.

“Despite the extensive use of vitamin C supplements (up to 10 g/day) for the prevention of colds and other conditions, the tolerability of such intakes has not been subject to systematic assessment,” reads the EFSA document — adding that “there are few data to support the widely held view that high intakes of vitamin C are safe.”


Hemila added that although previous trial data suggests doses of 6 to 8 grams per day can reduce the duration of a cold by almost 20%, the fact that both trials showed a strong dose-response relationship up to the highest tested dose means an ‘optimal dose’ for maximal effect of vitamin C on the common cold is currently unknown.

The study notes that definitive conclusions cannot be made from comparisons of existing studies because of numerous confounding differences between the trials — meaning that although trials of doses higher than 1 g/d have generally shown a better response than those of exactly 1 g/d, the most valid examination of dose-response remains within a single trial.

The Finnish research analysed the findings of two randomised trials — each of which investigated the effects of two vitamin C doses on the duration of the common cold.

The first trial administered 3 g/day vitamin C to two study groups, 6 g/day to a third group, and the fourth group was administered a placebo. Compared with the placebo group the 6 g/day dose shortened colds by 17%, twice as much as the 3 g/day doses did.

A second trial administered 4 g/day and 8 g/day vitamin C, and placebo to different groups, but only on the first day of the cold. In this trial, compared with the placebo group, the 8 g/day dose shortened colds by 19%, twice as much as the 4 g/day dose did, noted Hemila.

For both trials, Hemila said that the dose-response relationship was quite linear up to the maximum doses given – meaning that it is possible that even higher doses may lead to still greater reductions in cold duration.

He added that while some have suggested that doses up to 15 g/d have been suggested (but not tested), further therapeutic trials should be carried out to investigate the dose-response relation in the region of over 8 g/day of vitamin C.

GI Issues and Saturated Absorption

In its document on tolerable upper intake levels (p295 for vitamin C) EFSA notes that high doses of vitamin C have been linked to gastrointestinal effects including stomach pains, flatulence and diarrhoea.

“Gastrointestinal effects are the most common adverse clinical events associated with acute, high doses of vitamin C (above 1 g daily), but these can be reduced by taking the vitamin after meals,” it notes — adding that available data suggest that supplemental doses of up to 1 g, in addition to normal dietary intakes, are not associated with adverse gastrointestinal effects, but that acute gastrointestinal effects may occur at higher intakes (3-4 g/day).

Furthermore, the EFSA report notes that the absorption of vitamin C also becomes saturated at high doses, “and therefore intakes above 1 g/day would be associated with negligible increased uptake and tissue levels, but an increased risk of adverse gastrointestinal effects.”

Despite such suggestions, Hemila suggests that previous trial data has suggested a significant benefit for very high doses of vitamin C for reducing the duration of colds and other infections – and that only by performing new randomised trials that investigate doses up to 8 or 10 grams per day can efficacy and safety be tested.

FDA quietly bans powerful life-saving intravenous Vitamin C

It would be naive to think that the FDA endeavors to protect the public’s health as its primary focus. Indeed, that would be a conflict of interest, as it serves its master, the pharmaceutical industry. Has the Food and Drug Administration engineered a shortage of intravenous vitamin C as part of an overall attack on natural and non-toxic approaches to healing that compete with prescription drugs? An analysis by Natural Blaze would suggest that the answer is yes.

Natural Blaze claims that a critical shortage of IV bags, in general, followed an FDA ban on the mass production of intravenous vitamin C. The FDA limited the availability of IV-C and the pharmaceutical industry halted production of injectable vitamins and minerals, after a 60 minute story about the miraculous recovery of a swine flu patient on life support. Because of the shortage of IV-C, doctors called upon compounding pharmacies to produce it. But the FDA began to limit compounding pharmacies after injectable steroids produced by the New England Compounding Center were contaminated with a fungus that caused a deadly outbreak of meningitis. Here is an example of an entire industry being punished for the dubious practices of one compounding pharmacy.

Try and follow this convoluted story: Doctors began to source NECC for its more expensive product because cheaper generic versions were in short supply. But it was the FDA’s increased inspection of drug factories that disrupted the supply chain in the first place. So the meningitis deaths were in part caused by the onerous actions of the FDA.

Natural Blaze reports, “… without anyone noticing, and by many indirect means of banning production of the bags or shutting down those doing the production of the bags and the injectable vitamins and minerals, access to IV solutions for innumerable treatments for diseases, have gone into critical shortage.”

Vitamin C and the Big C

Could the shortage of IV-C be part of an effort to limit alternative cancer therapies?

DrWhitaker.com states, “… vitamin C is a potent antioxidant that has the power to boost immune function, increase resistance to infection, and protect against a wide range of diseases. But there’s an entirely different and largely unknown role of vitamin C, and that is its ability—when administered in very high doses by intravenous (IV) infusions—to kill cancer cells. … Best of all—and unlike virtually all conventional chemotherapy drugs that destroy cancer cells—it is selectively toxic. No matter how high the concentration, vitamin C does not harm healthy cells.”

Dr. Whitaker continues:

“The only way to get blood levels of vitamin C to the concentrations required to kill cancer cells is to administer it intravenously. … For example, 10 g of IV vitamin C raises blood levels 25 times higher than the same dose taken orally, and this increases up to 70-fold as doses get larger.”

Choose health, choose life

When the human body is challenged by pathogens or needs to heal from injuries or surgery, its requirement for vitamin C increases considerably. If hospitals routinely administered intravenous ascorbic acid, a proven and inexpensive treatment, patient outcomes would improve. When one weighs the risk of infection from deadly superbugs in hospitals today, IV vitamin C as a preventative safeguard makes all the more sense.

To learn how to secure IV-C in advance of a hospital stay for yourself or a family member, check out this very useful advice at DoctorYourself.com. You will learn how to deal with objections from physicians and hospital administrators regarding this “alt-health” remedy. It will require some moxie, but doing so may save a life.


DNA Replication Has Been Filmed For The First Time, And It’s Not What We Expected

Here’s proof of how far we’ve come in science – in a world-first, researchers have recorded up-close footage of a single DNA molecule replicating itself, and it’s raising questions about how we assumed the process played out.

The real-time footage has revealed that this fundamental part of life incorporates an unexpected amount of ‘randomness’, and it could force a major rethink into how genetic replication occurs without mutations.


“It’s a real paradigm shift, and undermines a great deal of what’s in the textbooks,” says one of the team, Stephen Kowalczykowski from the University of California, Davis.

“It’s a different way of thinking about replication that raises new questions.”

The DNA double helix consists of two intertwining strands of genetic material made up of four different bases – guanine, thymine, cytosine, and adenine (G, T, C and A).

Replication occurs when an enzyme called helicase unwinds and unzips the double helix into two single strands.

A second enzyme called primase attaches a ‘primer’ to each of these unravelled strands, and a third enzyme called DNA polymerase attaches at this primer, and adds additional bases to form a whole new double helix.

You can watch that process in the new footage below:

The fact that double helices are formed from two stands running in opposite directions means that one of these strands is known as the ‘leading strand’, which winds around first, and the other is the ‘lagging strand’, which follows the leader.

The new genetic material that’s attached to each one during the replication process is an exact match to what was on its original partner.

So as the leading strand detaches, the enzymes add bases that are identical to those on the original lagging stand, and as the lagging strand detaches, we get material that’s identical to the original leading strand.

Scientists have long assumed that the DNA polymerases on the leading and lagging strands somehow coordinate with each other throughout the replication process, so that one does not get ahead of the other during the unravelling process and cause mutations.

But this new footage reveals that there’s no coordination at play here at all – somehow, each strand acts independently of the other, and still results in a perfect match each time.

The team extracted single DNA molecules from E. coli bacteria, and observed them on a glass slide. They then applied a dye that would stick to a completed double helix, but not a single strand, which means they could follow the progress of one double helix as it formed two new double helices.

While bacterial DNA and human DNA are different, they both use the same replication process, so the footage can reveal a lot about what goes on in our own bodies.

The team found that on average, the speed at which the two strands replicated was about equal, but throughout the process, there were surprising stops and starts as they acted like two separate entities on their own timelines.

Sometimes the lagging strand stopped synthesising, but the leading strand continued to grow. Other times, one strand could start replicating at 10 times its regular speed – and for seemingly no reason.

“We’ve shown that there is no coordination between the strands. They are completely autonomous,” Kowalczykowski says.

The researchers also found that because of this lack of coordination, the DNA double helix has had to incorporate a ‘dead man’s switch’, which would kick in and stop the helicase from unzipping any further so that the polymerase can catch up.

The question now is that if these two strands “function independently” as this footage suggests, how does the unravelling double helix know how to keep things on track and minimise mutations by hitting the breaks or speeding up at the right time?

Hopefully that’s something more real-time footage like this can help scientists figure out. And it’s also an important reminder that while we humans love to assume that nature has a ‘plan’ or a system, in reality, it’s often a whole lot messier.

Source:  Cell.

The First-Ever Blood Bank Opened 80 Years Ago Today

Its inventor also coined the term “blood bank”

Bernard Fantus coined the term “blood bank” (and opened the world’s first) in 1937.

The problem of getting blood to patients who need it took a step towards being solved on this day in 1937, when a doctor at the Cook County Hospital in Chicago opened the first-ever “blood bank.”


Dr. Bernard Fantus’s team wasn’t the first to open a facility for transfusing blood. Person-to-person blood transfusion had successfully happened during World War I, writes James Janega for the Chicago Tribune. And in the 1930s, advances in blood preservation meant that blood could be kept viable for transfusion outside the body, for a few hours at least.

He took this research, which was done by Soviet scientists, a step farther, Janega writes. His research got results, and he recorded in the Journal of the American Medical Association that he was able to preserve blood for a record 10 days. Janega writes that “Fantus set out to establish a ‘Blood Preservation Laboratory’ at the hospital, only to change it before opening to the less squeamish and, history tells us, more advantageously named ‘Cook County Hospital Blood Bank.’”

In 1941, a community-based blood center opened in San Francisco, and then in 1947 the American Association of Blood Banks was established. Relatively easy access to transfusable blood “made modern surgery possible,” Janega writes. The cost to open the original blood bank was $1,500, according to the Cook County Health & Hospitals System. That’s about $25,000 in today’s money. In its first year of operation it was used in 1,364 blood transfusions.

Today, blood transfusions help almost five million Americans a year, according to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. Although researchers are trying to figure out how to synthesize blood, there is currently no man-made alternative to human blood, and blood banks rely on donors for their supply.

Although the blood bank was the crowning achievement of Fantus’s career, writes Jennifer Carnig for The University of Chicago Chronicle, he was already associated with several other innovations. “Fantus was one of the country’s foremost experts on pharmaceutics and perfected the practice of candy-coating medicine for children,” she writes. “He also did work on hay fever, and in a less successful but noble attempt to stop Chicagoans’ sneezing, he had city workers attempt to remove the ragweed in the area.”

Fantus was an immigrant to the U.S., born in Budapest in 1874 and educated in Vienna. He graduated from the American College of Physicians and Surgeons in 1899 and served his internship at the same hospital that was the site of his later innovations. According to the University of Chicago, in his 1914 book Candy Medication “he wrote that his goals were to rob ‘childhood of one of its terrors, namely, nasty-tasting medicine.’”

Although candy medications are still making childhood (and perhaps adulthood) better today, the blood bank was his biggest innovation, the university records, as it “revolutionized the practice of medicine in the United States, and the world.”

%d bloggers like this: