Tag Archive: DNA


Black death was not spread by rat fleas, say researchers

Black death

Black death researchers extracted plague DNA from 14th century skulls found in east London. Photograph: Philip Toscano/PA

Archaeologists and forensic scientists who have examined 25 skeletons unearthed in the Clerkenwell area of London a year ago believe they have uncovered the truth about the nature of the Black Death that ravaged Britain and Europe in the mid-14th century.

Analysis of the bodies and of wills registered in London at the time has cast doubt on “facts” that every schoolchild has learned for decades: that the epidemic was caused by a highly contagious strain spread by the fleas on rats.

Now evidence taken from the human remains found in Charterhouse Square, to the north of the City of London, during excavations carried out as part of the construction of the Crossrail train line, have suggested a different cause: only an airborne infection could have spread so fast and killed so quickly.

The Black Death arrived in Britain from central Asia in the autumn of 1348 and by late spring the following year it had killed six out of every 10 people in London. Such a rate of destruction would kill five million now. By extracting the DNA of the disease bacterium, Yersinia pestis, from the largest teeth in some of the skulls retrieved from the square, the scientists were able to compare the strain of bubonic plague preserved there with that which was recently responsible for killing 60 people in Madagascar. To their surprise, the 14th-century strain, the cause of the most lethal catastrophe in recorded history, was no more virulent than today’s disease. The DNA codes were an almost perfect match.

 

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NutritionFacts.org

Published on Mar 14, 2014

Subscribe for free to Dr. Greger’s videos at:
http://bit.ly/nutritionfactsupdates

DESCRIPTION: Less than a teaspoon a day of turmeric appears to significantly lower the DNA mutating ability of cancer-causing substances.

This is second of a three-part video series on turmeric curcumin and its relationship to cancer. To find out more, check out the prequel Back to Our Roots: Curry and Cancer (http://nutritionfacts.org/video/back-…) and the last video in the series Turmeric Curcumin Reprogramming Cancer Cell Death.

Smokers are common research subjects for carcinogen studies. For example, see what happens to carcinogen levels when those eating processed meat start eating vegetarian in my video Heterocyclic Amines in Eggs, Cheese, and Creatine? (http://nutritionfacts.org/video/heter…).

Other foods that may protect DNA include kiwifruit (Kiwifruit and DNA Repair, http://nutritionfacts.org/video/kiwif…), cruciferous vegetables (DNA Protection from Broccoli, http://nutritionfacts.org/video/dna-p…), leafy vegetables (Eating Green to Prevent Cancer, http://nutritionfacts.org/video/eatin…), garlic (Cancer, Interrupted: Garlic & Flavonoids, http://nutritionfacts.org/video/cance…), green tea (Cancer, Interrupted: Green Tea, http://nutritionfacts.org/video/cance… (but which is better? Antimutagenic Activity of Green Versus White Tea, http://nutritionfacts.org/video/antim…)), and plants in general (Repairing DNA Damage, http://nutritionfacts.org/video/repai…).

More information on cancer prevention, treatment, and reversal can be found in my two latest annual presentations Uprooting the Leading Causes of Death (http://nutritionfacts.org/video/uproo…) and More Than an Apple a Day: Combating Common Diseases (http://nutritionfacts.org/video/more-…).

Have a question for Dr. Greger about this video? Leave it in the comment section at http://nutritionfacts.org/video/carci… and he’ll try to answer it!

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Breaking News: FDA’s Sneak Attempt to Ban Another B Vitamin

March 11, 2014

Vitamins Close-upYou can’t live without this vitamin. But the FDA wants to reserve the natural form for monopoly drug companies, leaving only the synthetic form for supplements. Urgent Action Alert!

 

The FDA has just released a new 109-page guidance on the revision of nutrition and supplement labels. (You can read more about the implications of the new labeling rules in our other article this week.)

 

On page 69, the agency slipped in two little paragraphs that could risk the health of millions of people who desperately need folate. It’s a sneak attack so quiet and unobtrusive that few people will even realize it’s there.

 

According to the guidance, the word “folate” will be banned from the Supplement Fact labels—only the term “folic acid” will be allowed.

 

Folate is the naturally occurring form of the water-soluble vitamin B9. It is found in foods such as black-eyed peas, chickpeas and other beans, lentils, spinach, turnip greens, asparagus, avocado, and broccoli, but is also available as a supplement.

 

The human body needs folate to synthesize and repair its DNA. It’s especially important during the kind of rapid cell division and growth seen in infancy and pregnancy. Children and adults both require folate to produce healthy red blood cells and prevent anemia among many other vital functions.

 

Folic acid, on the other hand, is synthetically produced, and refers to just one member of the folate group: pteroylmonoglutamic acid. While folic acid occurs only rarely in whole foods, it’s extremely stable, which is why it’s widely used in dietary supplements and to fortify processed foods.

 

The important thing to remember is that folic acid is not itself biologically active, though for most people the liver can convert it to the folate we need. Most, however, does not mean all. It’s estimated that 30% to 40% of the population can’t efficiently convert synthetic folic acid into folate.

 

In other words, about a third of the human population has two potential problems: a deficiency in folate (because it is hard to get enough from a diet full of processed foods), and possibly even an excess of folic acid (because their body can’t metabolize what could become an overabundance of folic acid present in “fortified” foods):

 

  • According to Dr. Jonathan V. Wright, folate deficiency is one of the most dangerous medical conditions, leading to Alzheimer’s and other brain diseases. If pregnant women are deficient in it, it can also lead to spina bifida and other neural tube birth defects in their children.

 

 

Note that the FDA is not exactly banning the inclusion of folate and requiring the inclusion of folic acid in supplements. As usual, it is playing a much more subtle insider’s game. It is simply banning supplement producers from using the word folate on their labels and conversely only allowing the word folic acid on their labels. But it would of course be fraudulent to put folic acid on your label and then use something else. The FDA understands that perfectly.

 

So on what grounds is the agency banning the use of the word folate on the label? Believe it or not, it is arguing that folate can only be found in “conventional” (whole or minimally processed) foods.

 

Before we examine this absurd claim, we must first explain that limiting a folate claim to food would not prevent drug companies from becoming the only source of folate outside of food. Drug companies don’t care what a chemical is called so long as they can create a high priced monopoly in it. Ironically, the FDA’s position that folate can only be used to describe what is in food would still turn folate over to the drug companies—so long as supplement labels can only use the term folic acid.

 

So what about the agency’s assertion that “folate” can only be found in food? “Folate” is actually a term for a whole B vitamin group. The term “folate” we see on dietary supplement labels refers to “dietary folates,” members of the folate group that can be naturally found in foods. Folinic acid (5-FTHF), calcium methylfolate, and various other tetrahydrofolates can be found in dietary supplements. Many brands feature dietary folate.[1] It would be completely inaccurate and misleading to refer to these dietary folates as “folic acid.” Legally, it would be fraudulent.

 

Why did the FDA do this? One can only guess. But it would not be surprising if it eventually turns out to be a blatant attempt to reserve for drug companies the use of dietary folates. After all, B vitamins are not only essential for life. They are also proven therapeutic agents. Drug company research programs have been coming up short for years; new drug therapeutic agents are in very short supply.

 

Moreover, the drug company Merck already holds patents on Metafolin, which the body recognizes as a bioavailable dietary folate. Metafolin is licensed by dietary supplement companies for some of their products.

 

If, according to FDA “logic,” dietary supplements can’t contain folate like Metafolin, it would only be available from whole foods…or drugs, and only from drugs in higher doses. Since Merck would have exclusivity for a Metafolin “drug,” our guess is that they would make billions. And other forms of patentable folate could then follow.

 

Sound unlikely? It’s not—both forms of fish oil and vitamin D have already been turned into patented drugs. Imagine if competition from supplemental forms of fish oil or D could be wiped out at one stroke by saying no supplement label could use the term!

 

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NutritionFacts.org

Published on Sep 30, 2013

Subscribe for free to Dr. Greger’s videos at:
http://bit.ly/nutritionfactsupdates

DESCRIPTION: Simple changes in diet and lifestyle may quadruple a woman’s survival rate from breast cancer.

I recommend that all women with breast cancer eat broccoli sprouts. See my 8-part video series:

1. DNA Protection from Broccoli (http://nutritionfacts.org/video/dna-p…)
2. Sulforaphane: From Broccoli to Breast (http://nutritionfacts.org/video/sulfo…)
3. Broccoli Versus Breast Cancer Stem Cells (http://nutritionfacts.org/video/brocc…)
4. Liver Toxicity Due to Broccoli Juice? (http://nutritionfacts.org/video/liver…)
5. How Much Broccoli Is Too Much? (http://nutritionfacts.org/video/how-m…)
6. The Best Detox (http://nutritionfacts.org/video/the-b…)
7. Sometimes the Enzyme Myth Is True (http://nutritionfacts.org/video/somet…)
8. Biggest Nutrition Bang for Your Buck (http://nutritionfacts.org/video/bigge…)

They may also help out with other cancers (Lung Cancer Metastases and Broccoli, http://nutritionfacts.org/video/lung-…, and Raw Broccoli and Bladder Cancer Survival, http://nutritionfacts.org/video/raw-b…).

For more on breast cancer survival, see:

• Breast Cancer Survival, Butterfat, and Chicken (http://nutritionfacts.org/video/breas…)
• Breast Cancer Survival and Trans Fat (http://nutritionfacts.org/video/breas…)
• Breast Cancer Survival and Soy (http://nutritionfacts.org/video/breas…)
• Breast Cancer Survival and Lignan Intake (http://nutritionfacts.org/video/breas…)
• Flaxseeds & Breast Cancer Survival: Epidemiological Evidence (http://nutritionfacts.org/video/flaxs…)
• Flaxseeds & Breast Cancer Survival: Clinical Evidence (http://nutritionfacts.org/video/flaxs…)

And even better, preventing it in the first place. Here are the last 10 videos, but there are 81 other videos on breast cancer (http://nutritionfacts.org/topics/brea…

• Fiber vs. Breast Cancer (http://nutritionfacts.org/video/fiber…)
• Breast Cancer and Alcohol: How Much is Safe? (http://nutritionfacts.org/video/breas…)
• Which Seaweed is Most Protective Against Breast Cancer? (http://nutritionfacts.org/video/which…)
• Breast Cancer Risk: Red Wine vs. White Wine (http://nutritionfacts.org/video/breas…)
• PhIP: The Three Strikes Breast Carcinogen (http://nutritionfacts.org/video/phip-…)
• Preventing Breast Cancer By Any Greens Necessary (http://nutritionfacts.org/video/preve…)
• Cancer, Interrupted: Green Tea (http://nutritionfacts.org/video/cance…)
• PhIP: The Three Strikes Breast Carcinogen (http://nutritionfacts.org/video/phip-…)
• Estrogenic Cooked Meat Carcinogens (http://nutritionfacts.org/video/estro…)
• Cancer Risk From CT Scan Radiation (http://nutritionfacts.org/video/cance…)

Some of this video may sound familiar—I included it in my 2013 live presentation, which you can watch here (http://nutritionfacts.org/video/more-…).

Have a question for Dr. Greger about this video? Leave it in the comment section at http://nutritionfacts.org/video/breas… and he’ll try to answer it!

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Broccoli Versus Breast Cancer Stem Cells

NutritionFacts.org

Published on Mar 12, 2012

Subscribe for free to Dr. Greger’s videos at http://bit.ly/nutritionfactsupdates
Donate at http://bit.ly/nutritionfactsdonation
DESCRIPTION: A new theory of cancer biology—cancer stem cells—and the role played by sulforaphane, a phytonutrient produced by cruciferous vegetables. Have a question about this video? Leave it in the comment section at http://nutritionfacts.org/videos/broc… and I’ll try to answer it! Broccoli also protects our DNA. See the preceding video-of-the-day, DNA Protection From Broccoli (http://nutritionfacts.org/video/dna-p…), and my other 35 videos on greens (http://nutritionfacts.org/topics/greens/) and 98 videos on cancer (http://nutritionfacts.org/topics/cancer/). And those are two of the 1,290 topics (http://nutritionfacts.org/topics/) I cover here at NutritionFacts.org (http://nutritionfacts.org/). Note that most of the sources for this video are all open access, so you can click on them above in the Sources Cited section and read them full-text for free.

Please also check out my associated blog post: http://nutritionfacts.org/blog/2012/0…

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Are you inflamed over GMO foods?

Several years ago the general public was completely unaware of GMOs and GE foods (genetically modified organisms or genetic engineering), but today the topic is becoming rather well known, thanks to growing education and alternative media coverage. The general public is becoming better informed about the potential harms and health issues associated with biotechnology and bioengineered foods, but the smoke and mirrors the mega-corporations use to obfuscate deeper understanding of the dangers inherent in such ‘mad science’ increases in tandem with growing awareness.

Ok, so a lot of people know they are eating GMO’s and what they are, but the real question is: are GMOs actually safe, as proponents and supporters of biotechnology claim, or are they not? Should we be worried about the long-term health and environmental effects of genetically altered foods? In the following article I hope to present clear evidence and data for stating very definitively: YES! We should be very concerned!

As an organic farmer, agriculture consultant and researcher, I became interested in the GMO issue over seven years ago, particularly their effects on the soil and the contamination or mutation of various plant species. ‘Connecting the dots’, so to speak, it dawned on me how serious this issue is, not just in terms of the environmental effects of GMOs, but also the consequences of eating GMO foods for human health.

A very disturbing picture began to emerge.

As I realized that this ‘genetic engineering’ is essentially a mad science, I joined a local group called ‘Seeds of Truth‘. We began meeting weekly to discuss how to get the word out about the growing takeover of Hawaii’s agricultural lands by several biotechnology corporations.

In November 2010, I had an opportunity to do a podcast with the SOTT team: GMO Frankenfoods and What You Can Do to Improve Your Health. The transcript for the podcast can be read here.

What exactly is Biotechnology & Genetic Engineering?

For those who are new to this topic, it’s important to explain some background knowledge when using the term ‘Biotechnology’. According to Wikipedia:

Biotechnology (sometimes shortened to “biotech”) is the use of living systems and organisms to develop or make useful products, and it is usually seen in agriculture, food production and medicine production. Modern use of similar terms includes genetic engineering as well as cell and tissue culture technologies. The concept encompasses a wide range of procedures (and history) for modifying living organisms according to human purposes – going back to domestication of animals, cultivation of plants, and “improvements” to these through breeding programs that employ artificial selection and hybridization. By comparison to biotechnology, bioengineering is generally thought of as a related field with its emphasis more on higher systems approaches (not necessarily altering or using biological materials directly) for interfacing with and utilizing living things. The United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity defines biotechnology as:[1]

“Any technological application that uses biological systems, living organisms, or derivatives thereof, to make or modify products or processes for specific use.”

Genetic engineering, also called genetic modification, is the direct manipulation of an organism’s genome using biotechnology. New DNA may be inserted in the host genome by first isolating and copying the genetic material of interest using molecular cloning methods to generate a DNA sequence, or by synthesizing the DNA, and then inserting this construct into the host organism.

For the purpose of this article I will use the term ‘genetic engineering’ and ‘genetically modified organisms’ (GMO’s) in place of ‘biotechnology’. I hope to clearly explain that ‘genetic engineering’ is not in humanity’s best interest, regardless of claims by avid supporters. The agriculture industry, or Big Ag, began introducing ‘genetically engineered foods’ to the public in the early 1990s. Today, 80% of U.S. grocery store foods contain GMOs.The following articles carried on SOTT.net provide important background information regarding the ‘mad science’ behind GMO technology:

Explained: What Are GMOs?

A GMO (genetically modified organism) is the result of a laboratory process where genes from the DNA of one species are extracted and artificially forced into the genes of an unrelated plant or animal. The foreign genes may come from bacteria, viruses, insects, animals or even humans. Since this involves the transfer of genes, GMOs are also known as “transgenic” organisms.

The genetic engineering technology was developed in the 1970s. In the early 1990s, the tomato was one of the first to fall victim to this technology. The anti-freeze genes from an Arctic fish were forced into tomato DNA, allowing the plants to survive frost. Fortunately, this type of tomato was not introduced into the marketplace. Actually, it never left the lab.

In 1976, a major biotechnology company manufactured a herbicide called Roundup. When the farmers sprayed this herbicide on their crops, not only would it kill the weeds, but it would also kill the crops. This biotech company developed genetically modified crops after finding bacteria in a chemical waste dump near its factory that were not dying in the presence of the herbicide. The bacterial gene that produced the protein that allowed it to survive in the presence of herbicide was inserted into soy, corn, cotton and canola.

In 1996, this company (Monsanto) introduced genetically modified soybeans, and slowly introduced genetically engineered corn, cotton and canola. When these crops are sprayed with this Roundup, all plants except the resistant crop are killed.

In 1992, the FDA declared that GM crops are GRAS (Generally Recognized As Safe) as long as their producers say they are. Therefore, the FDA doesn’t require any safety evaluations or labeling of GMOs. A company can even introduce a genetically modified (GM) food to the market without telling the agency. The official FDA policy stated, “The agency is not aware of any information showing that foods derived by these new methods differ from other foods in any meaningful or uniform way.” But behind closed doors an internal FDA report stated: “The processes of genetic engineering and traditional breeding are different and according to the technical experts in the agency, they lead to different risks.”

Internal memos made public from a lawsuit showed that GM crops can have unpredictable, hard-to-detect side effects including allergies, toxins, nutritional effects and new diseases as potential dangers. The FDA doesn’t require a single study, and the complex biology of GM crops may produce far more side-effects than drugs. GM foods are fed to the entire population, and they are not labeled or monitored, so symptoms are difficult or impossible to track.

Dr. Tim O’Shea, author of the website ‘The Doctor Within’, provides more background information explaining what exactly GMOs are:

Genetically Modified Foods: 80% of What’s In Your Grocery Cart:

Since the 1990s world agriculture and food production has undergone the most radical transformation in history. With very little public awareness, in just a few short years genetically modified foods have come to dominate both global agriculture and supermarket shelf space.

The first GMO experiment was crossing the DNA of a flounder with that of a tomato. This was done in order to make the tomato able to withstand colder temperatures. Oh yes, did we mention? – in the biotech industry, pieces of DNA can be transferred theoretically from any plant to any animal, vice versa, or any combination thereof.

Segments of DNA from one species are randomly spliced into the DNA of the other species hundreds and hundreds of times until the desired effect appears. How this cross-species DNA insertion is accomplished is a little less than scientific. The two most common methods of DNA modification are

  • the gene cannon
  • using bacteria and viruses as carriers for the DNA fragment

Scientists refer to the Position Effect when talking about not being able to predict where the inserted fragments will end up in the genetic sequence. Limitless possibilities result – recombining genetic sequences that can turn on or turn off vital processes that have taken thousands of years to refine.

In the gene cannon method tiny little golden bullets are shot into the cells of the target organism with a .22 calibre pistol. Not kidding. Hundreds of times. In this way the DNA of the host organism can be available for splicing in new fragments from the donor species. Of course this method is imprecise and unpredictable and anything but scientific. Only a tiny percentage of the blasted foreign DNA ends up inside the host DNA, of course. But if you do it enough times, you might eventually get a desired recombination. This was the how the flounder and tomato genes were combined.

The more popular method however is to use bacteria and viruses as carriers of donor DNA fragments which may then invade the host’s DNA and splice in the new pieces. We have long known that viruses have this ability to invade the host’s DNA and to actually splice themselves into the DNA strands. Both these methods of genetic modification result in the random scrambling of the host’s DNA, which has virtually unlimited unpredictable consequences.

Are you inflamed because of GMOs?

By ‘inflamed’, I’m not just referring to the state of anger and frustration people feel upon learning the sneaky, deceptive tactics Biotechnology corporations use to put these unsafe ingredients in our food. I am talking about inflammation in the body as a result of eating genetically engineered food loaded with ‘genetically mutated bacteria and viruses’.

Extensive study has been conducted regarding inflammatory responses to disease in the body. Doctors like Mark Hyman and Gabor Mate have written about the connections between inflammation in the body and the onset of disease:

Is Your Body Burning Up with Hidden Inflammation?

Inflammation: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Everyone who has had a sore throat, rash, hives, or a sprained ankle knows about inflammation. These are normal and appropriate responses of the immune – your body’s defense system – to infection and trauma.

This kind of inflammation is good. We need it to survive – to help us determine friend from foe.

The trouble occurs when that defense system runs out of control, like a rebel army bent on destroying its own country.

Many of us are familiar with an overactive immune response and too much inflammation. It results in common conditions like allergies, rheumatoid arthritis, autoimmune disease, and asthma. This is bad inflammation, and if it is left unchecked it can become downright ugly.

What few people understand is that hidden inflammation run amok is at the root of all chronic illness we experience – conditions like heart disease, obesity, diabetes, dementia, depression, cancer, and even autism.

How to Locate the Causes of Hidden Inflammation

So if inflammation and immune imbalances are at the root of most of modern disease, how do we find the causes and get the body back in balance?

First, we need to identify the triggers and causes of inflammation. Then we need to help reset the body’s natural immune balance by providing the right conditions for it to thrive.

As a doctor, my job is to find those inflammatory factors unique to each person and to see how various lifestyle, environmental, or infectious factors spin the immune system out of control, leading to a host of chronic illnesses.

Thankfully, the list of things that cause inflammation is relatively short:

  • Poor diet – mostly sugar, refined flours, processed foods, and inflammatory fats such as trans fats – Lack of exercise
  • Stress
  • Hidden or chronic infections with viruses, bacteria, yeasts, or parasites
  • Hidden allergens from food or the environment
  • Toxins such as mercury and pesticides
  • Mold toxins and allergens

Dr. Gabor Mate also describes inflammation in the body in his book, When the Body Says No: Understanding the Stress-Disease Connection:

Inflammation is an ingenious process invoked by the body to isolate and destroy hostile or noxious particles ( think GMO’s). It does so by tissue swelling and the influx of a host of immune cells and anti bodies. To facilitate it’s defensive function, the lining or mucose, of the bowel is in a perpetually controlled or orchestrated state of inflammation. This is a normal state in healthy people. The powerfully destructive forces of the immune apparatus must be routinely regulated, kept in balance, so that it can carry out policing duties without harming the delicate body tissues, it is in charge of defending. Some substances (again think GMO’s) promote inflammation others inhibit it. If the balance is upset disease can result.

Additional information about the connection between inflammation and disease is available at the Greenmedinfo.com website:

The Truth About Disease – What it is and What Causes it

Modern medicine describes hundreds of individual “diseases.” Each “disease” is generally named for a group of symptoms and the area of the body affected. Many are suffixed by -itis, meaning inflammation of… like tonsill-itis or arthr-itis. And interestingly, recent studies are finding inflammation involved in virtually all of them. Does this terminology serve to pigeonhole distinct “diseases” and distract us from seeing the big picture of inflammation as the disease? Have we been looking at secondary pathologies and opportunistic microbes, and treating them at symptom-level… instead of addressing a common root cause? Is there some imaginary partition that separates human health from chemistry, physics and cell biology?

Whether inflammation is acute like appendicitis or chronic like atherosclerosis and obesity, an immune response is taking place. In-flam-mation literally means “on fire” and is classically marked by the Latin: rubor, tumor, calor and dolor – or redness, swelling, heat and pain – so we know from those words that oxidation is at work.

Oxidation is simply fire or rust or whenever one molecule seizes an electron from another molecule. The needy oxidant grabs or shares the electrons of an electron rich anti-oxidant. When the electrons are stolen from chemical bonds, those molecules (like DNA) come apart or are deformed (like fats) and said to be oxidized, burnt.

Inflammation does not just happen; a bacterium or toxin or some other irritant triggers an immune response. The ammunition used by the body for immune firefights is singlet oxygen, an all-purpose defensive weapon. With an unpaired electron, an oxygen radical is a powerful oxidant.

It can deconstruct and destroy pathogens, poisons, cell debris and other unwanted substances, molecule by molecule, by snatching the electrons that hold them together. Immune cells initiate the conflagration, armed with mini-flamethrowers that generate oxidative bursts of singlet oxygen to burn the area clean.

Now that we have covered both the history of GMO technology and the inflammatory response in the body, we can begin to look at the deeper issues associated with ‘genetic engineering’ and the introduction of mutated foreign pathogens into our bodies, such as bacteria and viruses.

© naturalfamilymedicine.com

Is it possible that GMOs trigger and cause inflammation in the body?

With the introduction of ‘genetic engineering’ and its widespread use in the production of food for both humans and animals, we can begin connecting the dots. The issue here is that this ‘genetic mad science’ is producing disease and illness in the population based on the foods that are being touted as safe and healthy. Basically the population is being used as guinea pigs to test the long term effects of eating a diet composed of genetically modified organisms. Naysayers and pro GMO advocates say that ‘genetically altered foods’ are safe, GRAS (Generally regarded as Safe) or substantially equivalent to non GMO food, but where is the data to back up such a claim? Biotechnology corporations like Monsanto claim that there is no need for value testing the safety of GMO foods. What do scientists working in the field say?

“As a scientist, actively working in the field [of GMO] I find that it is very, very unfair to use our fellow citizens as guinea pigs.” – Arpad Pusztai, PhD

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LA Times  Science

Neanderthal toe bone

This toe bone from a Neanderthal, discovered in Denisova Cave in Siberia, is helping scientists understand interbreeding among species of ancient humans. (Bence Viola / December 18, 2013)

A 50,000-year-old toe bone found in a Siberian cave is giving scientists a surprising view of the breeding habits of early humans.

In what has been described as a “Lord of the Rings”-type world, researchers say that Homo sapiens, Neanderthals and two other groups of early humans mingled and interbred thousands of years before all species but ours became extinct.

The findings were presented Wednesday in the journal Nature by a team of scientists who sequenced the DNA from the Neanderthal toe fossil and compared it to the genomes of 25 present-day humans, as well as the genome of a sister group to Neanderthals called Denisovans.

According to their analysis, Neanderthals contributed roughly 2% of their DNA to modern people outside Africa and half a percent to Denisovans, who contributed 0.2% of their DNA to Asian and Native American people.

The biggest surprise, though, was the finding that a fourth hominin contributed roughly 6% of the DNA in the Denisovan genome. The identity of this DNA donor remains a mystery.

“It is possible that this unknown hominin was what is known from the fossil record as Homo erectus,” said lead study author Kay Prufer, a geneticist at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany. “Further studies are necessary to support or reject this possibility.”

Geneticists and anthropologists said the inch-long bone and resulting analysis have greatly illuminated a period of time roughly 12,000 to 126,000 years ago.

“It does seem that Eurasia during the Late Pleistocene was an interesting place to be a hominin, with individuals of at least four quite diverged groups living, meeting and occasionally having sex,” biologist Ewan Birney of the European

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Soubor:DNA molekula života - česky.jpg

The DNA molecule of life   ( Čeština: DNA molekula života – česky )

Human_Genome/graphics/slides

Autor     Modify by Reo On at cs.wikipedia

Original source: http://www.ornl.gov/hgmis

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University of Washington

 

Scientists discover double meaning in genetic code

Scientists have discovered a second code hiding within DNA. This second code contains information that changes how scientists read the instructions contained in DNA and interpret mutations to make sense of health and disease.

Genome scientist Dr. John Stamatoyannopoulos.

Genome scientist Dr. John Stamatoyannopoulos led a team that discovered a second code hidden in DNA.

A research team led by Dr. John Stamatoyannopoulos, University of Washington associate professor of genome sciences and of medicine, made the discovery. The findings are reported in the Dec. 13 issue of Science.

Read the research paper.  Also see commentary in Science, “The Hidden Codes that Shape Protein Evolution.

The work is part of the Encyclopedia of DNA Elements Project, also known as ENCODE. The National Human Genome Research Institute funded the multi-year, international effort. ENCODE aims to discover where and how the directions for biological functions are stored in the human genome.

Since the genetic code was deciphered in the 1960s, scientists have assumed that it was used exclusively to write information about proteins. UW scientists were stunned to discover that genomes use the genetic code to write two separate languages. One describes how proteins are made, and the other instructs the cell on how genes are controlled. One language is written on top of the other, which is why the second language remained hidden for so long.

“For over 40 years we have assumed that DNA changes affecting the genetic code solely impact how proteins are made,” said Stamatoyannopoulos. “Now we know that this basic assumption about reading the human genome missed half of the picture. These new findings highlight that DNA is an incredibly powerful information storage device, which nature has fully exploited in unexpected ways.”

 

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Prevent Disease.com

  September 27, 2013 by MARCO TORRES

We are now very conscious to ingredient exclusions in our foods and cosmetics. No-GMO, no-dairy, no-gluten, no-soy, no-artificial flavors or colors are just a few of the warnings we look out for on labels. However, one very important and often overlooked warning is no-nanotechnology or non-nano. Nano particles that enter the circulatory system are implicated in arteriosclerosis, blood clots, arrhythmia, heart diseases, and ultimately death from heart disease. Should these particles enter other organs, such as liver, spleen, etc., they can lead to diseases of these organs. Like GMO, the labeling of nanotechnology in food, agriculture and cosmetics is desperately needed to help increase awareness of this technology which has societal implications. Above all, it will give people the choice of accepting or refusing products made through nanotechnology.
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A review analyzing the potential ethical and regulatory issues associated with the applications of nanotechnology in food and agriculture suggests that while current regulations do not require labeling, such measures should be considered in order to increase wider ethical and societal implications and awareness.

Writing in Trends in Food Science & Technology , the UK-based experts said that many large scale manufacturers of foods and agricultural products have already ‘invested heavily’ in nanotechnology R&D “and nanotechnology is already being used in some countries in the production of agricultural products, processed foods and drinks, and in food packaging.”

However, the team noted that there is currently little regulation that relates specifically to applications of nanotechnology in any field of application, “and particularly in relation to food.”

“Regulators therefore rely instead on a range of other relevant current regulations designed principally with applications other than nanotechnology in mind,” said the authors – led by Professor Lynn Frewer from Newcastle University.

Serious Health Implications

A large consortium of scientists from across the country have found that breathing ultra-fine Titanium dioxide (TiO2) nano particles, found in everything from cosmetics to sunscreen and paint to vitamins, can cause lung inflammation and damage. A vast and rapidly expanding array of engineered nano-products are flooding the consumer market unregulated as evidence of toxicities accumulate.

Research on two of the most common types of engineered nano materials is being published online in Environmental Health Perspectives (EHP), the journal of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS). It is the first multi-institutional study examining the health effects of engineering nano materials to replicate and compare findings from different labs across the country.

The study is critical, the researchers said, because of the large quantities of nano materials being used in the food industry, electronics and medicine. Earlier studies had found when nano materials are taken into the lungs they can cause inflammation and fibrosis. The unique contribution of the current study is that all members of the consortium were able to show similar findings when similar concentrations of the materials were introduced into the respiratory system.

Titanium dioxide (TiO2) nano particles have already been found to cause systemic genetic damage in mice, according to an earlier comprehensive study conducted by researchers at UCLA’s Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center.

The TiO2 nano particles induced single- and double-strand DNA breaks and also caused chromosomal damage as well as inflammation, all of which increase the risk for cancer.

All types of nano particles have been found in human cells to manifest in the specific transformation of the amino acid arginine into the molecule called citrulline which can lead to the development of autoimmune conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis.

In the transformation to citrulline, human proteins which incorporate this modified amino acid as building blocks, can no longer function properly and are subject to destruction and elimination by the bodily defense system. Once programmed to get rid of citrullinated proteins, the immune system can start attacking its own tissues and organs, thereby causing the autoimmune processes which may result in rheumatoid arthritis.

Other diseases associated with inhaled nano particles include asthma, bronchitis, emphysema, lung cancer, and neuro degenerative diseases, such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases. Nano particles in the gastrointestinal tract have been linked to Crohn’s disease and colon cancer. Nano particles that enter the circulatory system are implicated in arteriosclerosis, blood clots, arrhythmia, heart diseases, and ultimately death from heart disease. Nano particles entering other organs, such as liver, spleen, etc., may lead to diseases of these organs.

No Requirements or Regulation

“At present, the European regulatory frameworks which deal with agri-food nanotechnology (including those related to labeling) are rather diverse, and none of these deal with ethical issues focused on agri-food nanotechnology.”

“There are currently no requirements for nano-materials used in agri-food production to be labelled,” they added.

As a consequence, Frewer and her team suggest that food manufacturers and suppliers are left with uncertainties regarding legislation relevant to food nanotechnology – for example in relation to risk-benefit assessment, labeling, or ethical production.

“Ethical principles, and societal acceptance require labeling of food products that are produced using nanotechnology,” they said.

Nano particles, Natural, Artificial, Old and New

What’s new about nano particles, as far as risk is concerned, is that many of them are chemically inert as ordinary ions or as larger particles (and hence never had to go through regulatory approval before the nano particles were used); but as soon as the particle size reaches nano meter dimensions, they acquire novel physico-chemical properties, causing oxidative stress and breaking DNA, and they can get access to every part of the body including the brain, via inhalation and the olfactory nerve.

A comprehensive review by Cristina Buzea and colleagues at Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario, in Canada, pointed out that human beings have been exposed to natural nano particles since the origin of our species, in the form of viruses, dusts from terrestrial and extraterrestrial dust storms, volcanic eruptions, forest fires, and sea salt aerosols (which are largely beneficial).

Nano particles have been created by human activities for thousands of years, by burning wood in cooking, and more recently, chemical manufacturing, welding, ore refining and smelting, burning of petrol in vehicles and airplane engines, burning sewage sludge, coal and fuel oil for power generation, all of which are already known to have health impacts. Automobile exhaust particular pollution is linked to heart and lung diseases and childhood cancers.

However, the introduction of nano particles in food and cosmetics is less than a decade old and the industry must advise the public of the health implications which are largely man-made.

The Industry Must Act

There is clearly an urgent need not only to stem but also to reverse the unregulated tide of nano particles that are released onto the market. In view of the existing evidence, the following actions should be taken.

- Engineered nano-ingredients in food, cosmetics and baby products for which toxicity data already exist (e.g., silver, titanium oxide, fullerenes, etc.) should be withdrawn immediately

- A moratorium should be imposed on the commercialization of nano-products until they are demonstrated safe

- All consumer products containing nanotechnology should be clearly labelled

- A robust regulatory program on nanotechnology – including characterization and standardization of manufacture – should be implemented as soon as possible

- There should be earmarked funding for research into the hazards of nanotechnology.

Marco Torres is a research specialist, writer and consumer advocate for healthy lifestyles. He holds degrees in Public Health and Environmental Science and is a professional speaker on topics such as disease prevention, environmental toxins and health policy.

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FDA to hold first public hearing on GM babies

Rady Ananda
Actvist Post

Next month, the US Food and Drug Administration will hold a two-day public meeting to discuss genetic modification within the human egg, which changes will be passed on generationally.

Human gene therapy has been ongoing since 1990, but most of that involved non-heritable genes, called somatic (non-sex cell) gene therapy. Somatic modifications only affect the individual and are not passed on, and so do not affect the human genome.

The game changed with the successful birth of at least 30 genetically modified babies by 2001. Half of the babies engineered from one clinic developed defects and so the FDA stepped in and asserted jurisdiction over “the use of human cells that receive genetic material by means other than the union of gamete nuclei” (sperm and egg).

Now the FDA is considering going forward with “oocyte modification” which involves genetic material from a second woman, whereby offspring will carry the DNA from three parents. These kinds of genetic changes (“germline modification”) alter the human genome.

This is the first such meeting ever to be held in public by the FDA, reports Biopolitical Times (BPT), speculating that the meeting will likely include discussing a mitochondrial replacement technique developed by Shoukhrat Mitalipov at Oregon Health and Science University (OHSU).
Notes the BPT, “mitochondrial replacement is a form of inheritable genetic modification.” This type of gene therapy is the source of much controversy, because it permanently changes the human genome and risks unforeseeable changes in growth and development, and aging.

As late as 2008, all germline modification therapies and enhancements were banned in 83% of the 30 nations making up the OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development), including the US and UK, reports the Center for Genetics and Society (CGS).

Testifying before the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Subcommittee on Terrorism, Nonproliferation and Trade in 2008, CGS Executive Director Richard Hayes advised:

Most people strongly support therapeutic applications of genetic science, but they also realize that the manipulation of inheritable genetic traits crosses a consequential barrier. In the great majority of instances, couples at risk of passing on a serious genetic disease can ensure that their child is disease-free by means of medically-related trait selection, thus obviating the need for the far more complex and risk-prone intervention that germline modification would entail.

Making humans better, smarter, stronger has long been the goal of eugenicists. Hayes warns:

Germline enhancement has also been seriously proposed as a means of creating people with such novel cognitive, psychological, and behavioral traits that they would constitute a new, ‘post-human’ species, incapable of interbreeding with ‘normal’ humans.

With ooplasmic transfer, the technique injects healthy mitochondrial DNA from a donor into the egg of an infertile woman. Mitochondrial DNA floats outside a cell’s nucleus which contains the regular DNA, and is only inherited from the mother.

Read More Here

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The US government is bankrolling the engineering of humans

The US government bankrolls the engineering of humans

by Jon Rappoport

August 22, 2013

www.nomorefakenews.com

If you still remember a piece of paper called the US Constitution, you might wonder under what section of that document the government is permitted to alter the human species.

A current Pentagon plan to create a biological platform inside the human body, using it to deliver new genetic information, and thus changing what the human body is and does…well, that is about as outrageous as you can get, when it comes to the violation of permitted federal powers.

Yet, the White House doesn’t care, nor does Congress, nor does the Supreme Court, nor does any federal agency or oversight department. It’s all right. It’s not a problem. It’s a “medical” program, you see. And therefore it will help people, and the government’s job is to help people.

This is the new version of the Constitution: “the government is here to help you, and anything it does in that regard is legal.” Sign up now. Get on the list. Help overrides anything written into the Constitution.

If the government wants to help me, it’s fine. That’s what government is for. It’s like a parent. If the daddy is injecting me with genetic material to make me better, I love it.”

DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) is preparing to launch these genetic experiments. DARPA is organized under the Pentagon, which is organized under the Dept, of Defense, which is an agency of the executive branch, which means the White House, which refers to the President, where the buck stops. So that’s the chain of command. The violation of the Constitution goes all the way to the top.

Here is a key quote from the DARPA proposal: “…the successful development of technologies for rapid introduction of large DNA vectors into human cell lines will enable the ability to engineer much more complex functionalities into human cell lines than are currently possible.”

DARPA plans to insert a 47th chromosome into human cell lines. That chromosome will serve as a kind of platform that will make subsequent delivery of new genetic information much easier.

New genetic information means alterations in the body, at the level of DNA.

Engineering humans.

(For a pdf copy of the DARPA solicitation in question — which is entitled “Advanced Tools for Mammalian Genome Engineering“, click here.)


The Matrix Revealed


DARPA will justify these experiments on the basis of improving soldiers’ performance on the battlefield, their general health, their capacity to recover from illness, injury, exhaustion. They can justify it any way they want to, but it adds up to the same thing.

“We will change you. We will make you better. And, ahem, uh, easier to control.”

But this isn’t a debate about how a human could be made better or what “better” should mean or who should decide. It’s an argument that the whole program is a violation of the Constitution—because if we don’t stand on that, we don’t stand on anything.

Read More Here

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