Tag Archive: selenium


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New Scientist

Daily news

4 November 2015

Most of Earth's mass extinctions caused by… mineral deficiencies

Image credit: Sheila Terry/SPL

Are you getting enough minerals? A new theory suggests most of Earth’s mass extinction events could have been caused by a lack of essential trace elements in the world’s oceans, causing fatal deficiencies in marine animals, from plankton to reptiles.

Earth has been hit with five mass extinction events. The two most dramatic ones had pretty clear causes. The dinosaurs were probably wiped out 66 million years ago thanks to a massive meteor falling on modern-day Mexico, while the end-Permian extinction, which wiped out 90 per cent of species 252 million years ago, was probably the result of massive volcanoes in Siberia.

But that leaves three other mass extinctions, with no agreed cause.

“It’s a complex scenario,” says John Long from Flinders University in Adelaide, Australia. He says there are probably a lot of causes conspiring to drive these mass extinctions. But his latest work suggests fluctuations in essential minerals in the ocean could be an important, and so-far completely unexplored, cause.

Essential selenium

Earlier this year, researchers discovered that periods when the ocean had high levels of trace elements – like zinc, copper, manganese and selenium – seemed to overlap with periods of high productivity, including the Cambrian explosion, when most groups of living animals first appeared.

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Health

Detroit American Indian Community Celebrates Grand Re-Opening of Health Clinic

DETROIT – American Indian Health and Family Services of Southeastern Michigan is celebrating its Grand Opening of its renovated medical and behavioral health clinic tomorrow, May9th, which is also National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day.

American Indian Health and Family Services of Southeastern MichiganAmerican Indian community elders, the architect and the staff
worked to incorporate American Indian culture and teachings into the design.

The event will begin at 4:30 pm and last until 7:30 pm. American Indian Health and Family Services of Southeastern Michigan is located at 4880 Lawndale Street in Detroit.

George Martin, a well known and respected Ojibwe elder, will conduct a ceremonial blessing as part of the opening celebration. The celebration will also include an art display and performances, traditional Native games and songs and food. Educational material on children’s mental health will be distributed.

“Events that draw us together in celebration, especially celebration of children and their voices, add to feelings of worth, love and support for a child. Those are tools they have to build great character and rebound from traumas,”

stated Ashley Tuomi, executive director of American Indian Health and Family Services.

“We express our emotions in many ways. Our job as Behavioral Healthcare Providers is to help children and their families learn to communicate their emotions in healthy, balanced ways. This event highlights how emotional expression can be fun as well as meaningful,”

commented Tina Louise, director of Healthcare and Recovery for the agency.

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FDA denies a petition that sought to ban BPA from food packaging

The Food and Drug Administration said that after performing extensive research on the chemical Bisphenol A, the agency is denying a 2008 petition from the Natural Resources Defense Council to ban BPA from food packaging.

BPA, which has generated controversy about its impact on health, is used in the production of plastics and resins and is found in some water bottles and food cans. Research has shown that small amounts can migrate into food and beverages. Some animal studies have raised concerns that BPA exposure may cause multiple health problems, including reproductive disorders, diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

The FDA said in its March 30 consumer update report that “scientific evidence at this time does not suggest that the very low levels of human exposure to BPA through the diet are unsafe.” And, the “FDA is continuing its research and monitoring of studies to address uncertainties raised about BPA.”

The Natural Resources Defense Council released a response from Sarah Janssen, a public health scientist, which said the FDA made the wrong call.

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Holistic Health

Use these 5 powerful herbs to boost your immune system

By PF Louis, 
(NaturalNews) It’s good to know more about simple herbs to protect us against infections as well as cure us from infections and disease. Some herbs can be consumed directly; some need to be made into teas or tinctures, while others are offered as essential oils or in capsules as supplements. Here are five choices linked to articles explaining in greater detail. GarlicThis one is easy to use with food on a daily basis. The technical botanical term for garlic is Allium sativa. It has been used throughout…

Zeolites: the natural detoxifyer

By Dr. David Jockers,
(NaturalNews) Zeolite is a naturally forming microporous, aluminosilicate mineral combination that is found in rock deposits around the world. Zeolite comes from the Greek word for ‘boiling stones’ as they emit steam when heated. Zeolites have a very strong affinity for pulling out toxic debris from water, clothing, and within the body. Zeolites are considered one of nature’s finest detoxifying elements. Zeolites naturally form when fresh groundwater or sea water reacts with volcanic ash and takes…

Chinese herbs prevent hair loss & stimulate natural hair restoration without the need for baldness drugs

By JB Bardot, 
(NaturalNews) Chinese herbs have been used for centuries on their own and in conjunction with other alternative therapies such as acupuncture, acupressure and Ayurveda to prevent hair loss, re-grow hair and restore natural pigment to gray hair. Hair loss has many causes, such as the genetic male pattern baldness and diseases affecting glands and hormones. Lack of circulation to the scalp and vitamin deficiencies play a major role in hair health. Chemotherapy is the primary cause of hair loss in…

Use selenium to protect against cancer

By PF Louis, 
(NaturalNews) In a recent radio interview, Doctor Peter Glidden, N.D. (naturopathic doctor) disclosed that a daily intake of 200 mcg of selenium produces an effective protection against cancer. He wondered aloud why this information is not part of public knowledge in the “War against Cancer.” He pointed out that several standard randomized double-blind placebo trials over several years have shown that breast cancer risk is reduced by 82% with a daily intake of just 200 mcg of selenium. The same…

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Pet Health

Fixing Submissive/Excitement Urination in Dogs

While dog might be man’s best friend, that puddle on the floor sure isn’t. If your new housebroken puppy or rescued dog occasionally pees on the floor for no fathomable reason, then you might have a dog with submissive/excitement urination issues.

So what should you do if you think you have a dog with an excitement or submissive peeing problem? First off, take your dog to the vet to rule out other reasons for the inappropriate peeing. If you receive the all clear from your vet, how do you know which problem your dog has?

If your pooch doesn’t pee when you’re in a dominant position (i.e., looking your dog directly in the eye, bending from the waist, greeting your dog face on), then chances are your dog is suffering from an excitement issue. If the dog does pee when you arrive home, when you’re in a dominant position, or when it is in trouble, then it’s probably a submissive issue. Either way, the situation can be remedied.

Submissive Peeing

Submissive dogs pee when they are greeted, when someone approaches, when they are punished, and when there is a history of rough treatment or punishment after peeing; this is common in rescued dogs. This is also a common reaction with shy, anxious, and timid dogs. To fix this problem, avoid scolding or yelling at your dog after it has peed. Instead, try building its confidence by teaching it simple commands (sit, stay, come), and reward your dog after each success. The same applies with teaching simple tricks (roll over, fetch); go with the reward and praise route.

You will also want to approach your dog in non-dominant postures. Avoid direct eye contact, approach from the side, and crouch down to your dog’s level. When patting your pooch, go for under the chin rather than the top of the head. Keep all greetings low key, and when the dog does pee, simply clean it up without fuss and go away. Do not forget to reward and praise your pup when it pees in the appropriate place.

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Fleas on Dogs and What You Can Do About Them

dog fleas, itching, scratching

When pet owners are asked what they dread most about the summer months, the topic that invariably comes up most is fleas!

Fleas on dogs and cats! These small dark brown insects prefer temperatures of 65-80 degrees and humidity levels of 75-85 percent — so for some areas of the country they are more than just a “summer” problem.

Dogs and cats often get infested with fleas through contact with other animals or contact with fleas in the environment. The strong back legs of this insect enable it to jump from host to host or from the environment onto the host. (Fleas do not have wings, so they cannot fly!) The flea’s bite can cause itching for the host but for a sensitive or flea-allergic animal, this itching can be quite severe and leads to hair-loss, inflammation and secondary skin infections. Some pets, hypersensitive to the flea’s saliva, will itch all over from the bite of even a single flea!

The flea information presented here will focus on treatment for and prevention of fleas, which, let’s face it, is just as important to the pet as it is to the pet’s caretakers!

How do you know if fleas are causing all that itching – formally known as pruritus? Generally, unlike the burrowing, microscopic Demodex or Scabies Mites, fleas can be seen scurrying along the surface of the skin. Dark copper colored and about the size of the head of a pin, fleas dislike light so looking for them within furry areas and on the pet’s belly and inner thighs will provide your best chances of spotting them.

Look for “flea dirt”, too. “Flea dirt” looks like dark specks of pepper scattered on the skin surface. If you see flea dirt, which is actually flea feces and is composed of digested blood, pick some off the pet and place on a wet paper towel. If after a few minutes the tiny specks spread out like a small blood stain, it’s definitely flea dirt and your pet has fleas!

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Positivity Mind and Body

The Awakening (Full Movie)

Uploaded by on Aug 1, 2011

Max Igan presents – The Awakening

Infinite Love, Infinite consciousness is the only truth, everything is the illusion.
http://thecrowhouse.com/home.html

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Articles of Interest

DIY Pet Bed by Whitney, ThreadBanger How-to

Published on May 11, 2012 by

Use Whitney’s tutorial to create a cute and comfy dog bed for your furry friend!

Subscribe to Whitney Sews for more tutorials- http://www.youtube.com/aglanceatmyworld

Advanced genetic screening method may speed vaccine development

by Richard Harth
Tempe AZ (SPX) May 11, 2012


File image.

Infectious diseases-both old and new-continue to exact a devastating toll, causing some 13 million fatalities per year around the world.

Vaccines remain the best line of defense against deadly pathogens and now Kathryn Sykes and Stephen Johnston, researchers at Arizona State University’s Biodesign Institute, along with co-author Michael McGuire from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center are using clever functional screening methods to attempt to speed new vaccines into production that are both safer and more potent.

In a recent study appearing in the journal Proteome Science, the group used high-throughput methods to identify a modulator of immune activity that exists naturally in an unusual pathogen belonging to the Poxviridae family of viruses.

Parapoxvirus infection causes immune cell accumulation at the site of infection; direct screening in the host for this biological activity enabled the isolation of an immunomodulator-labeled B2. Indeed, B2 by itself causes immune cell accumulation at the site of skin injection. When added to a traditional influenza vaccine, B2 improves the vaccine’s protective capacity. Furthermore, the immunomodulator also demonstrated the ability to shrink the size of cancerous tumors, even in the absence of any accompanying specific antigen.

In the past, the process of vaccine discovery involved the random selection of naturally attenuated strains of viruses and bacteria, which were found to provide protection in humans. Examples of this approach include the use of vaccinia to protect against smallpox and attenuated mycobacterium bovis (BCG) to protect against tuberculosis.

In recent years, many vaccines have been developed using only selected portions of a given pathogen to confer immunity. These so-called subunit vaccines have several advantages over whole pathogen vaccines. Genetic components that allow a given pathogen to elude immune detection for example may be screened out, as well as any factors causing unwanted vaccine side effects.

Through careful screening, just those elements responsible for eliciting protective immune responses in the host can be extracted from the pathogen and reassembled into an effective, safer subunit vaccine.

In practice, the process of narrowing the field of promising subunit candidates from the whole genome of a pathogen has often been time consuming, laborious and perplexing. In the current study, their earlier-developed strategy, known as expression library immunization, is extended to develop a scheme to find the protein-encoding segments-known as open reading frames (ORFs)-from a pathogenic genome that have any biological function of interest.

This simple, yet powerful technique uses the host’s immune system itself to rapidly reduce any pathogenic genome (viral, fungal, bacterial or parasitic) to a handful of antigens capable of conferring protection in the host.

The advantage of this in vivo technique is that it offers a means of rapidly screening entire genomes, with the results of the search displaying desired immunogenic traits. The mode of entry of vaccines designed in this way closely resembles the natural infection process of host cells-an improvement over live attenuated vaccines.

This promising approach has been used effectively to engineer a vaccine against hepatitis and may provide a new avenue for the development of protective agents against pathogens that have thus far eluded traditional vaccine efforts, including HIV and ebola.

“We had developed a method for screening for protective subunits against a specific disease,” Sykes says. “However this type of safer vaccine design is notoriously less potent than the whole pathogen designs. What we needed was a method to find generally useful vaccine components that would serve to enhance and control immunity.”

The group chose the pathogen parapoxvirus ovis (known as the Orf virus) for the current set of experiments, in which expression library immunization techniques were used to screen for an immunogenic factor buried in the pathogen’s genome.

Parapoxvirus ovis causes a highly infectious disease known as Orf, which is prevalent in sheep and goats and may be transmitted cutaneously to humans handling these animals, causing pustular lesions and scabs.

Once the group had sequenced the full genome of parapoxvirus, PCR was used to amplify all the viral open reading frames, which code for all of the viruse’s proteins. Each ORF, comprising a library of genomic components, was compiled into a unique high throughput expression construct, and these were randomly distributed into sub-library pools. These pools were directly delivered into sets of mice for in vivo expression. Functional testing for the activity desired identified B2 as the immune cell accumulator.

In further experiments, the team co-delivered B2L as an additive or adjuvant for an influenza gene vaccine, to see if it could improve survival rates in mice challenged with the influenza virus. The co-immunized mice indeed displayed full protection against influenza compared with 50 percent protection of the control group, immunized with influenza vaccine alone.

In addition to infectious agents like Orf, non-infectious diseases including cancer may be amenable to vaccine defense. Thus far however, the discovery of tumor-specific antigens has been frustrating. One approach may lie in using non-specific immunogenic factors like B2.

In the current study, two forms of cancer were investigated in a mouse model, following the administering of B2 alone, in the absence of a disease antigen. The experiments evaluated B2’s ability to enhance survival and shrink tumor size. In the case of an aggressive melanoma, tumor size was significantly reduced and survival rate improved. Administration of B2 to an infection induced by a breast cancer cell line also showed a modest but measureable reduction in tumor size.

With the growing popularity of sub-unit vaccines, the need arises for more effective adjuvants, which may be used to compensate for the reduced immunogenicity of such vaccines compared with their whole-pathogen counterparts. Techniques similar to those applied here to isolate and evaluate B2 could potentially permit the screening of virtually any genome for any gene-encoded activity testable in an organism.

Related Links
Biodesign Institute at ASU
Epidemics on Earth – Bird Flu, HIV/AIDS, Ebola

US experts urge approval of first AIDS prevention pill

by Staff Writers
Washington (AFP) May 10, 2012

US health advisers on Thursday urged regulators to approve Truvada, made by Gilead Sciences, as the first preventive pill against HIV/AIDS instead of just a treatment for infected people.

The favorable vote came after clinical trials showed Truvada could lower the risk of HIV in gay men by 44 to 73 percent, and was hailed by some AIDS advocates as a potent new tool against human immunodeficiency virus.

However, many concerns were raised during a marathon 11-hour panel meeting in which about three dozen health care providers warned that the pill could boost risky behaviors and possibly lead to a drug-resistant strain of HIV.

The Food and Drug Administration is not bound by the recommendations of its expert panel, but usually follows the advice. A final decision by the FDA is expected by June 15.

Mitchell Warren, executive director of HIV prevention group AVAC, said after the vote that pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), or the method of taking a drug ahead of potential exposure to HIV, “while not a panacea, will be an essential additional part to the world’s success in ending AIDS.”

“For the millions of men and women who remain at risk for HIV worldwide, each new HIV prevention option offers additional hope,” he added.

The drug, made by the California-based Gilead Sciences, is currently available as a treatment for people with HIV in combination with other anti-retroviral drugs, and received FDA approval in 2004.

The panel’s nod came in response to the pharmaceutical company’s request for a supplemental new drug application to market it for prevention purposes.

The Antiviral Drugs Advisory Committee voted for the drug as a preventive measure for three groups: 19-3 in favor for men who have sex with men, 19-2 with one abstention for couples in which a partner is HIV positive and 12-8 with two abstentions for other at-risk groups.

Gay men account for more than half of the 56,000 new HIV cases in the United States each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

But critics noted that the pill is costly — up to $14,000 per year — and could offer a false sense of protection, leading to a spike in unsafe sex and a new surge in AIDS cases.

“We need to slow down. I care too much about my community not to speak my concerns,” said Joey Terrill, advocacy manager at the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, which campaigned against the drug’s approval for PrEP.

There also remains some controversy about who would benefit from the treatment, as trials in women have shown feeble results, possibly due to poor adherence to the regimen.

“I am concerned about the potential for development of resistance,” said Roxanne Cox-Iyamu, a doctor who spoke at the panel’s meeting.

“I am concerned as a black woman that we don’t have enough data that this actually works in women.”

Nurse Karen Haughey said Truvada will not work because “it is not in our nature to always do as human beings what we are told 100 percent of the time.”

She also said Truvada’s main side effects — diarrhea and risk of kidney failure — were a major deterrent.

The main set of data considered came from the iPrEx HIV Prevention Study, carried out from July 2007 to December 2009 in six countries — Brazil, Ecuador, Peru, South Africa, Thailand and the United States.

The study was conducted among 2,499 men who were sexually active with other men but were not infected with the virus that causes AIDS.

Participants were selected at random to take a daily dose of Truvada — a combination of 200 milligrams of emtricitabine and 300 milligrams of tenofovir disoproxil fumarate — or a placebo.

Those in the study who took the drug regularly had almost 73 percent fewer infections. Across the entire study, including those who had not been as diligent in taking Truvada, there were 44 percent fewer infections than in those who took a placebo.

After publication in 2010 in the New England Journal of Medicine, some experts hailed the results as game-changing and the first demonstration that an already-approved oral drug could decrease the likelihood of HIV infections.

Joseph McGowan, medical director of the Center for AIDS Research and Treatment at North Shore University Hospital in New York, said the CDC was expected to soon issue guidance for health professionals who may prescribe the drug.

“I don’t see it as something that would be useful to the general public but to certain people who are particularly high risk, there may be some benefit,” he said.

Related Links
Epidemics on Earth – Bird Flu, HIV/AIDS, Ebola

Pfizer and Merck under investigation for colluding with Obama Administration on health care overhaul

By Ethan A. Huff, 
(NaturalNews) Most Americans have no idea what truly went on behind closed doors during the crafting and illegitimate passing of Obamacare, also known as the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. But a congressional investigation currently underway is seeking to unearth the dirty details, including how drug giants like Pfizer Inc. and Merck & Co. greased the financial wheels to make sure their pharmaceuticals received preferential treatment as part of the health care overhaul. As reported…

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