Category: Mutations


 

First version of this article was originally published on 11 July, 2012


MessageToEagle.com – Scientists have made an unexpected and unsettling discovery – a large number of new and previously unseen mutations have been detected among humans.

There are those who suggest that there will soon be fantastic X-men among humans. These super earthlings do not come out of secret laboratories, as in famous blockbuster movies, but are born naturally. Other scientists are less optimistic and consider the unforeseen development can to lead to unknown changes in the human body.

This unexpected and terrifying discovery is a result of a study conducted by scientists from Cornell University (USA) and University of California.

When they examined genes of several thousands of people from around the world, it turned out that mankind has acquired over the past few years new, previously unseen mutations.

Is a new human race being born?

The scientist studied 202 genes in 14,002 people. The human genome contains some 3 billion base pairs; the scientists studied 864,000 of these pairs. While this is only a small part of the genome, the sample size of 14,002 people is one of the largest ever in a sequencing study in humans.

This project led by John Novembre of the University of California Los Angeles and Vincent Mooser of UK-based drug company GlaxoSmithKline, reports that more than 95% of variants found by sequencing 202 genes in 14,002 people were rare, and that 74% of the variants were carried by only one or two people in the study.

 

“I knew there would be rare variation but had no idea there would be so much of it!” said the senior author of the research, John Novembre, an assistant professor of ecology and evolutionary biology and of bioinformatics at UCLA.In the study, 10,621 people had one of 12 diseases, including coronary artery disease, multiple sclerosis, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, osteoarthritis and Alzheimer’s disease; 3,381 did not have any of the diseases.

“The large sample size allows us to see patterns with more clarity than ever before,” Novembre said.

“If rare variants are like distant stars, this kind of large sample size is like having the Hubble Telescope; it’s allowing us to see more than before.

 

We see a ton of rare variation, and these rare variants more often make changes to proteins than not. In that way, this study has important implications for the genetic basis of disease in humans. It’s consistent with the idea that many diseases may be partly caused by rare variants.”

“Research carried out fifty years ago, showed that the mutant gene had only one man among a thousand, and now five people”, explained John Novembre.

What is causing the mutations?

Previously it was thought that genetic abnormalities are caused by of radiation, viruses, transposons and mutagenic chemicals, but now scientists have identified yet another factor that results in mutations – overpopulation!

Human population growth helps to explain the large number of genetic variants, the scientists said.

Mutations can cause unknown changes in the human body.

 

Read Full Article Here

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Crossroads News : Changes In The World Around Us And Our Place In It

‘Severe abnormalities’ found in Fukushima butterflies

By Nick Crumpton BBC News

Mutated pale grass blue butterfly The study found that mutation rates were much higher among butterfly collected near Fukushima

Exposure to radioactive material released into the environment has caused mutations in butterflies found in Japan, a study suggests.

Scientists found an increase in leg, antennae and wing shape mutations among butterflies collected following the 2011 Fukushima accident.

The link between the mutations and the radioactive material was shown by laboratory experiments, they report.

The work has been published in the journal Scientific Reports.

Two months after the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant accident in March 2011, a team of Japanese researchers collected 144 adult pale grass blue (Zizeeria maha) butterflies from 10 locations in Japan, including the Fukushima area.

When the accident occurred, the adult butterflies would have been overwintering as larvae.

Unexpected results

By comparing mutations found on the butterflies collected from the different sites, the team found that areas with greater amounts of radiation in the environment were home to butterflies with much smaller wings and irregularly developed eyes.

“It has been believed that insects are very resistant to radiation,” said lead researcher Joji Otaki from the University of the Ryukyus, Okinawa.

“In that sense, our results were unexpected,” he told BBC News.

Pale grass blue butterfly The Japanese researchers have been studying the species for more than a decade

Prof Otaki’s team then bred these butterflies within labs 1,750km (1,090 miles) away from the accident, where artificial radiation could hardly be detected.

It was by breeding these butterflies that they began noticing a suite of abnormalities that hadn’t been seen in the previous generation – that collected from Fukushima – such as malformed antennae, which the insects use to explore their environment and seek out mates.

Six months later, they again collected adults from the 10 sites and found that butterflies from the Fukushima area showed a mutation rate more than double that of those found sooner after the accident.

The team concluded that this higher rate of mutation came from eating contaminated food, but also from mutations of the parents’ genetic material that was passed on to the next generation, even though these mutations were not evident in the previous generations’ adult butterflies.

The team of researchers have been studying that particular species butterfly for more than 10 years.

They were considering using the species as an “environmental indicator” before the Fukushima accident, as previous work had shown it is very sensitive to environmental changes.

“We had reported the real-time field evolution of colour patterns of this butterfly in response to global warming before, and [because] this butterfly is found in artificial environments – such as gardens and public parks – this butterfly can monitor human environments,” Prof Otaki said.

But the findings from their new research show that the radionuclides released from the accident were still affecting the development of the animals, even after the residual radiation in the environment had decayed.

“This study is important and overwhelming in its implications for both the human and biological communities living in Fukushima,” explained University of South Carolina biologist Tim Mousseau, who studies the impacts of radiation on animals and plants in Chernobyl and Fukushima, but was not involved in this research.

“These observations of mutations and morphological abnormalities can only be explained as having resulted from exposure to radioactive contaminants,” Dr Mousseau told BBC News.

The findings from the Japanese team are consistent with previous studies that have indicated birds and butterflies are important tools to investigate the long-term impacts of radioactive contaminants in the environment.

Bird flu has jumped to baby seals, scientists discover

By the CNN Wire Staff
The virus developed the ability to attack mammalian respiratory tracts, scientists learned.
The virus developed the ability to attack mammalian respiratory tracts, scientists learned.

STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • A new strain of avian flu has mutated and is killing baby seals, scientists say
  • More than 160 dead seals washed up on the New England coast last year
  • The new virus could theoretically be a threat to human health, scientists say

(CNN) — A new strain of avian flu that jumped from birds to mammals is responsible for the death of more than 160 seals off the New England coast last year, scientists announced Tuesday.

The virus could theoretically pose a threat to human health, they said.

Harbor seals — most of them babies less than 6 months old — began appearing with severe pneumonia and skin lesions in September of last year, the researchers said.

Over the next few months, at least 162 dead seals were recovered along the coast from Maine to Massachusetts, they said.

Mutant bird flu would be airborne, scientists say

Bird flu research published
2011: Concerns about bird flu strain

Testing pointed at a new strain of the H3N8 flu virus being called seal H3N8.

“When initial tests revealed an avian influenza virus, we asked the obvious question: How did this virus jump from birds to seals?” lead researcher Simon Anthony of Columbia University said.

The virus developed the ability to attack mammalian respiratory tracts, scientists learned.

It may also have developed enhanced virulence and transmission in mammals, they said, but they need to do more tests to be sure.

Avian flu has spread to humans before, most notably H1N1 and H5N1, so the new strain could pose a threat to public health, scientists warned.

“HIV/AIDS, SARS, West Nile, Nipah and influenza are all examples of emerging infectious diseases that originated in animals,” said W. Ian Lipkin, director of the Center for Infection and Immunity at Columbia University.

“Any outbreak of disease in domestic animals or wildlife, while an immediate threat to wildlife conservation, must also be considered potentially hazardous to humans,” he said.

The research is published in the journal mBio.

It was carried out by scientists from the Center for Infection & Immunity at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, New England Aquarium, the USGS National Wildlife Health Center, SeaWorld and EcoHealth Alliance.

CNN’s Miriam Falco contributed to this report.

 

Dr. Mae-Wan Ho and Prof. Peter Saunders

Institute of Science in Society

“We lost Japan,” said Rie Inomata, who works as an interpreter [1].

“I feel guilty and sorry for the children. They did not choose nuclear power plants, they did not choose to be born; but it is them that have to suffer in the future.”

“By not protesting against nuclear power I allowed this accident to happen. If we go in the same direction, I don’t see any future.”

“If we [are to] make a difference, we must decide now, it is now or never.”

Potential future of Fukushima children written in Chernobyl

The potential future for the Fukushima children victims is written starkly in the government birth and death registries of the heavily contaminated regions in the Chernobyl fallout; dedicated doctors, scientists, and ordinary citizens are bearing witness to the humanitarian disaster still unfolding.

There have been at least close to a million excess deaths, with general mortality rates doubled or tripled [2] (Chernobyl Deaths Top a Million Based on Real Evidence, SiS 55). A diversity of illnesses continue to claim lives including those of children: birth abnormalities, cancers, cardiovascular malfunction, premature aging, defects affecting practically every organ system, often multiple illnesses in the same individual, all associated with exposure to radioactivity in the body either inhaled or ingested in contaminated food. The number of children in Belarus has fallen by more than 27% since 2000, despite increasing birth rates. The horrific health impacts of the nuclear accident are still emerging more than 26 years later because the land is still contaminated, and the genetic/epigenetic legacy is just as long lasting.

Many of the deaths and sicknesses could have been avoided had governments not done their best to suppress the evidence from the start, even to the point of persecuting doctors and scientists – who put their lives and careers at risk in trying to save the children -including cutting off major funding for a simple treatment that would have reduced the children’s radioactive burden [3, 4] (Apple Pectin for Radioprotection, The Pectin Controversy, SiS 55).

Fukushima fallout as big as Chernobyl

Chernobyl was generally recognized as the biggest nuclear accident in history. Within days of the first explosion, Fukushima was reclassified by the International Atomic Energy Agency to the highest grade 7 – with “widespread health and environmental effects” – the same as Chernobyl [5] (Fukushima Nuclear Crisis, SiS 50).

But as in Chernobyl, the government has withheld vital information from people, the international regulators are downplaying the health impacts, and to this day, the total radioactivity released from the stricken Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant is still unknown [6] (Truth about Fukushima, SiS 55).fukushima

The most authoritative estimates based on measurements carried out by the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty monitoring stations around the globe indicate that the total radioactivity released from the Fukushima accident is at least as great as from Chernobyl; some 15 times the official estimate, and much more global in reach [7] (Fukushima Fallout Rivals Chernobyl, SiS 55). The radioactivity in the waste water discharged into the Pacific Ocean is already the single largest release into the ocean in history.

The Japanese government’s own measurements show widespread contamination, with levels of radioactivity outside the official evacuation zone so high that within a matter of weeks, people would have been exposed to 10-200 times the legal limit dose for a whole year [6]. Evacuation especially of children from those areas is a matter of the utmost urgency. Yet the Japanese government is still refusing to do that.

Nuclear reactors to restart despite lag in crisis plan

On 16 June 2o12, Japanese premier Noda ordered the restart of two nuclear reactors amid widespread protest, and new crisis plans drafted after the Fukushima disaster are still to be implemented by any local community living near the nuclear power reactors. The Ohi nuclear reactors to be restarted are a case in point.

If a Fukushima-style meltdown were to happen, the only route for escape or sending help is [8] “a winding, cliff-hugging road often closed by snow in winter or clogged by beachgoers in summer.” Radioactivity from the meltdown could contaminate Lake Biwa, the country’s biggest freshwater source serving 14 million people. The reactors sit on Wakasa Bay, a region home to 13 commercial reactors. Some of the crucial measures designed to protect residents in the new crisis plans are not ready, such as a raised seawall in 2013 and an onsite command centre by March 2o16. And filter vents that could reduce radiation leaks to the environment won’t be ready for three more years.

The Fukui provincial government has only started survey in June 2012 for a multibillion dollar project to repair the sole route to the Ohi nuclear plant and to add a new alternative evacuation road.

Governor Yukuko Kada of neighbouring Shiga province accuses the central government of still ignoring the residents, and says it has still refused to provide radiation simulation data she has asked for in order to compile an evacuation map and to study the impact on Lake Biwa, as another Fukushima-class crisis could “instantly make the lake water undrinkable.”

Public opposition to resuming operations remains high because of the Fukushima disaster and a lingering distrust of the nuclear industry as well as the pro-nuclear regulators and governments.

But the public have good reason on their side.

 

Read Full Article Here

A cattle ranch in Elgin, Texas., where 15 head succumbed to death by cyanide poisoning after eating genetically-modified grass. (KEYE)

(CBS News) ELGIN, Texas – A mysterious mass death of a herd of cattle has prompted a federal investigation in Central Texas.

Preliminary test results are blaming the deaths on the grass the cows were eating when they got sick, reports CBS Station KEYE.

The cows dropped dead several weeks ago on an 80-acre ranch owned by Jerry Abel in Elgin, just east of Austin.

Abel says he’s been using the fields for cattle grazing and hay for 15 years. “A lot of leaf, it’s good grass, tested high for protein – it should have been perfect,” he told KEYE correspondent Lisa Leigh Kelly.

The grass is a genetically-modified form of Bermuda known as Tifton 85 which has been growing here for 15 years, feeding Abel’s 18 head of Corriente cattle. Corriente are used for team roping because of their small size and horns.

“When we opened that gate to that fresh grass, they were all very anxious to get to that,” said Abel.

Three weeks ago, the cattle had just been turned out to enjoy the fresh grass, when something went terribly wrong.

“When our trainer first heard the bellowing, he thought our pregnant heifer may be having a calf or something,” said Abel. “But when he got down here, virtually all of the steers and heifers were on the ground. Some were already dead, and the others were already in convulsions.”

Within hours, 15 of the 18 cattle were dead.

“That was very traumatic to see, because there was nothing you could do, obviously, they were dying,” said Abel.

Preliminary tests revealed the Tifton 85 grass, which has been here for years, had suddenly started producing cyanide gas, poisoning the cattle.

“Coming off the drought that we had the last two years … we’re concerned it was a combination of events that led us to this,” Dr. Gary Warner, an Elgin veterinarian and cattle specialist who conducted the 15 necropsies, told Kelly.

What is more worrisome: Other farmers have tested their Tifton 85 grass, and several in Bastrop County have found their fields are also toxic with cyanide. However, no other cattle have died.

Scientists at the U.S. Department of Agriculture are dissecting the grass to determine if there might have been some strange, unexpected mutation.

Until it can be determined why this grass suddenly began producing cyanide, Abel is keep his livestock far away.

“The grasshoppers are enjoying it now,” he said.

Mysterious Mass Cattle Deaths in Texas has U.S. Department of Agriculture baffled (June 24, 2012)

A mysterious mass death of a herd of cattle has prompted a federal investigation in Central Texas.Preliminary test results are blaming the deaths on the grass the cows were eating when they got sick.The cows dropped dead several weeks ago on a ranch in Elgin, just east of Austin.Jerry Abel opens the gate on his 80-acre ranch in Elgin, walking on a field of grass he’s been using for cattle grazing and hay for 15 years.”This is it, a lot of leaf, it’s good, grass, tested high for protein – it should have been perfect,” said Abel.The grass is a genetically modified form of Bermuda known as Tifton 85 which has been growing here for 15 years, feeding Abel’s 18 head of Corriente cattle. Corriente are used for team roping because of their small size and horns.”When we opened that gate to that fresh grass, they were all very anxious to get to that,” said Abel.Three weeks ago, the cattle had just been turned out to enjoy the fresh grass, when something went terribly wrong.”When our trainer first heard the bellowing, he thought our pregnant heifer may be having a calf or something,” said Abel. “But when he got down here, virtually all of the steers and heifers were on the ground. Some were already dead, and the others were already in convulsions.”

Within hours, 15 of the 18 cattle were dead.”That was very traumatic to see, because there was nothing you could do, obviously, they were dying,” said Abel.Dr. Gary Warner, an Elgin veterinarian who specializes in cattle, conducted the 15 necropsy. Preliminary tests revealed the Tifton 85 grass, which has been here for years, had suddenly started producing cyanide gas, poisoning the cattle.”Coming off the drought that we had the last two years, we’re concerned it was a combination of events that led us to this,” said Warner. “The problem is, we don’t know, and there needs to be some caution exercised until we know more about the situation.”Until scientists can determine why this tried and true grass suddenly began producing cyanide, Abel is keep his livestock far away.”The grasshoppers are enjoying it now,” said Abel.What is even more worrisome – other farmers have tested their Tifton 85 grass, and several in Bastrop County have found their fields are also toxic with cyanide, although no other cattle have died.Scientists at the U.S. Department of Agriculture are dissecting the grass to determine if there might have been some strange, unexpected mutation. http://www.weareaustin.com/news/top-stories/stories/vid_2393.shtml

Published on Jun 24, 2012 by

Pop Culture Examiner

Examiner.com

Reports that GMO grass suddenly started producing cyanide and killed almost an entire herd of cattle in Texas are only partially true. CBS News reported June 23, 2012 that rancher Jerry Abel of Elgin, near Austin, Texas had been growing Tifton 85, a GMO version of Bermuda grass, for 15 years when the grass suddenly started emitting poisonous cyanide. However, Tifton 85 is not GMO grass, but a hybrid.

According to the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension service, Tifton 85 is a hybrid between an African Bermuda grass and Tifton 68, a different hybrid produced in Tifton, Georgia(*). Tifton 85 is highly digestible and has good protein content, something that first drew Mr. Abel to the grass. Hybridization has been practiced by farmers as long as plants have been grown, and is not the same as GMO at all. (Story continues below.)

According to local station KEYE, Abel first knew something was wrong when the cows started bellowing. He thought he was about to witness a calving but instead saw his unfortunate animals staggering around, obviously dying. Others in the area have also since tested their grass and found the same results—the grass has started venting cyanide.

  • True: Cattle died after eating grass that suddenly started venting cyanide [Update: the animals died of prussic acid or hydrogen cyanide poisoning.]
  • False: The grass was genetically modified

Texas is starting to recover from a long drought and this may be a factor in the sudden self-poisoning of the grass. The USDA has dispatched scientists to find out what went wrong.

According to the Animal Health Library, Bermuda grass is high in hydrocyanic acid, which may be concentrated during times of drought. Those fighting the GMO food good fight will need to find another cause, because the only thing in this story that’s been genetically modified are the facts.

Update June 24, 2012 at 6:49 p.m.:

Dr. Larry Redmon of the Texas AgriLife Extension has confirmed, by way of this blog post, that the animals in question died of prussic acid poisoning–prussic acid is also known as hydrogen cyanide (HCN).

One of these, Tifton 68, is a stargrass, a species that has potential for generating HCN, but hasn’t apparently done so since the time the University of Florida starting using it for grazing in Ona, Florida in 1972.

Several factors resulted in the cattle dying, including abnormal growth patterns after drought and the fact that stressed and hungry cattle were released straight into a pasture previously ungrazed. The most significant remains that Tifton 85 can and does produce HCN–something not previously known.

Facts confirming the status of Tifton 85 as a hybrid, not a GMO, can be found at the links below. For those with cattle grazing Tifton 85, Dr. Redmon offers several tips.

Further resources are listed below.

Sources: CBS News; CBS News; Texas AgriLife A&M Extension; Animal Health Library; Human Genome Project: Genetic modification of food; UGA College of Agricultural & Environmental Sciences: Tifton 85

(*) Corrected from Tifton, Texas on 6/24/2012.

“Cyanide Grass” is not GMO

Published on Jun 25, 2012 by

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