Flesh-eating germ rare, especially for the healthy
By MIKE STOBBE
ATLANTA — Aimee Copeland, a Georgia grad student, is fighting for her life because of the flesh-eating bacteria that infected her after she gashed her leg in a river two weeks ago. One of her legs was amputated and her fingers will be too, her father says, because of the spreading infection.
She has a rare condition, called necrotizing fasciitis, in which marauding bacteria run rampant through tissue. Affected areas sometimes have to be surgically removed to save the patient’s life.
Q: How often do people get these infections?
A: The government estimates roughly 750 flesh-eating bacteria cases occur each year, usually caused by a type of strep germ.
However, Aimee Copeland’s infection was caused by another type of bacteria, Aeromonas hydrophila. Those cases are even rarer. One expert knew of only a few reported over the past few decades.
Q: Do most people survive?
A: Yes, but about 1 in 5 people with the most common kind of flesh-eating strep bacteria die. There are few statistics on Aeromonas-caused cases like Copeland’s.
The dirtiest clean places — and how to clean them up
By Laura Roberson, Men’s Health
You expect some spots to be filthy—your kitchen floor, your garbage can, your toilet. But how germy are the things designed to keep you and your home clean?
Even if your drawers are free of skid marks–please, guys–trace amounts of feces still cling to your dirty underwear, says Charles Gerba, Ph.D., a microbiologist at the University of Arizona. “If you wash a load of undergarments, you transfer about 500 million E. coli bacteria to the machine.” This can contaminate other clothing items, which may harbor germs of their own. (For the dos and don’ts of boxers and briefs, read What She Thinks of Your Underwear. Because yes, she’s looking. And yes, she cares.)
Stay clean: Wash most whites first, and use chlorine bleach. “It sanitizes the machine,” Gerba says. Then dedicate a load to underwear, using hot water (150°F) and a color-safe bleach substitute. Once a month, run an empty cycle with bleach to wipe out any lingering germs. This is especially important for front-loading machines; water tends to settle in the bottom of these machines, allowing bacteria to proliferate, Gerba says.
Crusty scrambled eggs = bacterial breakfast. “When you allow dishes to accumulate for a few days, growth of bacteria invariably increases,” says Philip Tierno Jr., Ph.D., director of microbiology and immunology at NYU’s Langone Medical Center and the author of The Secret Life of Germs. “And even if you can’t see it, there is viable foodstuff in the rinse water to feed them.” Plus, the dishwasher’s door gasket may be contaminated with fungus and black yeast. “That outer rim never reaches a temperature high enough to kill everything off.” And that’s to say nothing of what you’re actually ingesting–find out how to clean–and avoid–The 10 Dirtiest Foods You’re Eating.
Stay clean: If you don’t plan on running a load soon, rinse your plates with a mild bleach solution (a shot glass of bleach to a half quart of water). This kills surface organisms so you can let dishes accumulate, Tierno says. Use the same solution to periodically clean the gasket.
New mom diagnosed with flesh-eating bacteria days after giving birth
By NBC News
GREENVILLE COUNTY, S.C. — An Upstate, S.C. mom is in critical, but stable condition after her husband said she was diagnosed with a flesh-eating bacteria days after giving birth to twins. Lana Kuykendall was discharged Thursday evening from Emory University Hospital in Atlanta, and was admitted into Greenville Memorial Hospital about 13 hours after coming home to the Upstate, friends said.
Friend Kayla Moon said Kuykendall was having a lot of pain and noticed a spot on her leg. Moon said that spot grew quickly.
“(Kuykendall) just kept getting worse in front of your eyes. She would just get worse and worse and worse. Every minute it was like she was going down,” said Moon. “She was never really able to hold (her babies) and enjoy it.”
Friends said no one is sure how Kuykendall contracted the bacteria.
6 cups a day? Coffee lovers less likely to die, study finds
Trish Hamilton / FeaturePics.com
Men who drank six cups of coffee or more a day had a 10 percent lower risk of dying; for women, it was 15 percent lower, according to a large new study.
Coffee drinkers who worry about the jolt of java it takes to get them going in the morning might just as well relax and pour another cup.
That’s according to the largest-ever analysis of the link between coffee consumption and mortality, which suggests that latte lovers had a lower risk of death during the study period.
“I would say it offers some reassurance to coffee drinkers,” said Neal Freedman, a nutritional epidemiology researcher at the National Cancer Institute. “Other studies have suggested a higher risk of mortality with coffee drinking and we didn’t see that in our study.”
In fact, men who drank at least six cups of coffee a day had a 10 percent lower chance of dying during the 14-year study period than those who drank none. For women, the risk was 15 percent lower, according to Freedman’s work, published in the latest issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.
Reassuring, indeed, for hard-core coffee drinkers like Spencer Turer, who guzzles four to six cups of coffee every day for personal consumption — and sips between 75 and 300 cups more as part of his job as a professional coffee taster.
The vital importance of Coenzyme Q10 for health and longevity
By Tony Isaacs,
(NaturalNews) Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) is a naturally occurring oil-soluble, vitamin-like substance which is absolutely essential for optimum health and longevity. Also known as ubiquinone, CoQ10 is found in virtually every cell in the body, primarily in cellular mitochondria, and it is a vital component of the electron transport chain which generates 95 percent of the body’s energy via adenosine triphosphate (ATP). CoQ10 is vital for the heart Organs with the highest energy requirements – such as…
Top food choices for avoiding and beating cancer
By Tony Isaacs,
(NaturalNews) The right food choices can greatly increase the odds of beating cancer. Fortunately, nature offers a multitude of foods which have great cancer fighting and immune boosting properties. Here are some of the very best: Cancer fighting and immune boosting superstarsCruciferous Vegetables. Cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower and kale are among the most powerful cancer fighting foods to be found. Cruciferous vegetables are high in fiber, vitamins…
Herbs that help prevent nausea during pregnancy
(NaturalNews) Congratulations! You’re expecting. Welcome to the roller coaster ride that is pregnancy. For many women, fatigue is the first sign of pregnancy, followed closely by morning sickness. Morning sickness is most common between the fourth and fourteenth weeks of pregnancy and is most often experienced upon rising, thus the term, but one can experience nausea at any time of the day. Roughly three quarters of women experience nausea during the first trimester. Half of all pregnant women…
The lemon detox diet – a recipe that really works
By Aurora Geib,
(NaturalNews) Ever since Beyonce Knowles was associated with the Lemon Detox diet, there has been a surge of interest in this particular program. Also known as the Master Cleanse, this detox diet has been around for almost 50 years and has seen variations on its recipe and program. It’s effectivity in breaking down built up toxins in the body while contributing to short term weight loss has made it a popular option for a spring detox. Reviewing the Master CleanseThe Lemonade Detox diet first became…
Sun exposure lowers cancer risk
By Randall Neustaedter OMD,
(NaturalNews) A study that correlated exposure to sunlight with cancer risk found that people exposed to more sunlight had a significantly lower risk of many types of cancer (Lin, 2012). This study followed more than 450,000 white, non-Hispanic subjects aged 50-71 years from diverse geographic areas in the US. Researchers correlated the calculated ultraviolet radiation (UVR) exposure in these different areas with the incidence of a variety of cancers. The diverse sites included six states (California…
Forget Everything Bad You’ve Been Told about Essential Oils for Pets
By Dr. Becker
- Dr. Melissa Shelton is a holistic DVM who has pioneered the use of essential oils to treat animals in her practice – with really outstanding results.
- Dr. Shelton’s interest in essential oils began very gradually, but ultimately became her passion. She considers the importance of oils to heal pets second only to a solid nutritional foundation.
- Using essential oils, the doctor has brought several animals back from the brink of euthanasia, including a cat named Cowboy, Emmett the parrot, and one of her own pets.
- Dr. Shelton believes the quality of essential oils and proper handling is the key to success with oils. According to her extensive research, the bad reputation essential oils have received is wholly undeserved, and certainly, the results she has achieved in her practice are a testament to the benefits of their use.
Cats and Dogs: The Art of the Introduction
By Dr. Becker
- Introducing the new dog to the family cat or a new kitty to your dog is not a meeting to take lightly. Prepare for the worst, hope for the best, and focus on achieving a safe, sane outcome.
- There’s a high likelihood the cat in this equation – whichever role he is in – will need more TLC than the dog. (In case you hadn’t noticed, cats aren’t good with change.)
- There is really no way to predict how well the new canine and feline siblings will get along down the road, but there are many ways to help them begin their relationship safely and respectfully.
- Since dogs on the whole are more social than cats, it will be your dog you’ll need to keep on a short leash (pun intended). You don’t want her boundless enthusiasm to scare the living daylights out of the cat right off the bat.
- Kitties can take a long time to accept a new animal on their turf, and cats just joining the family also need plenty of time and their own space in which to adjust to a new, strange environment.
File photo shows a man holding a wombat at a zoo in Australia. A mystery liver disease thought to be caused by introduced weeds is causing hairy-nosed wombats in southern Australia to go bald and die, researchers said Tuesday.
A mystery liver disease thought to be caused by introduced weeds is causing hairy-nosed wombats in southern Australia to go bald and die, researchers said Tuesday.
The illness, which causes the wombat to lose some or all of its fur and then starve to death, is tearing through South Australia’s native southern hairy-nosed wombats, threatening entire populations.
Wildlife workers at first thought the animals had mange, but it became so widespread and severe — with shiny, healthy skin revealed beneath — that autopsies were carried out to determine what was causing the illness.
University of Adelaide researcher Wayne Boardman said the non-native toxic potato weed appeared to be affecting the wombats’ livers, triggering a reaction with ultraviolet light that caused them to lose their fur.
Boardman said it was unclear why the herbivorous wombat had suddenly taken to eating the noxious weed but a shortage of their usual grasses and alternative foods could be to blame.
“We have a feeling it might well be a struggle to find enough vegetation, leading them to eat other plants like weeds, and particularly potato weed, which is then having a deleterious effect on the liver,” Boardman told ABC Radio.
The creatures were also roaming in areas where they were not usually seen, supporting the theory that there were food shortages and they “have to move out to find vegetation”, he added.
Squat and thickly furred, wombats are small burrow-dwelling marsupials that walk on all fours and are bear-like in appearance with a wide muzzle and a flattened head.
They are not a threatened species but Boardman said the population in parts of South Australia state could die out completely if their habitat was not restored to a healthy balance of native plants.
Brigitte Stevens, from the Wombat Awareness Organisation, said it was a “huge and overwhelming” problem.
“Some of them are just lying down… on their side and just eating dirt. You know, they can’t even lift their heads,” she told ABC.
“As the disease progresses, it’s as if they simply cannot eat anymore. Once the dehydration sets in, they basically just lie there waiting to die.”
(c) 2012 AFP
by Staff Writers
Seattle WA (SPX)
The percentage of mammal species unable to keep pace with climate change in the Americas range from zero and low (blue) to a high of nearly 40 percent (light orange). Credit: U of Washington.
A safe haven could be out of reach for 9 percent of the Western Hemisphere’s mammals, and as much as 40 percent in certain regions, because the animals just won’t move swiftly enough to outpace climate change. For the past decade scientists have outlined new areas suitable for mammals likely to be displaced as climate change first makes their current habitat inhospitable, then unlivable.
For the first time a new study considers whether mammals will actually be able to move to those new areas before they are overrun by climate change.
Carrie Schloss, University of Washington research analyst in environmental and forest sciences, is lead author of the paper out online the week of May 14 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
“We underestimate the vulnerability of mammals to climate change when we look at projections of areas with suitable climate but we don’t also include the ability of mammals to move, or disperse, to the new areas,” Schloss said.
Indeed, more than half of the species scientists have in the past projected could expand their ranges in the face of climate change will, instead, see their ranges contract because the animals won’t be able to expand into new areas fast enough, said co-author Josh Lawler, UW associate professor of environmental and forest sciences.
In particular, many of the hemisphere’s species of primates – including tamarins, spider monkeys, marmosets and howler monkeys, some of which are already considered threatened or endangered – will be hard-pressed to outpace climate change, as are the group of species that includes shrews and moles. Winners of the climate change race are likely to come from carnivores like coyotes and wolves, the group that includes deer and caribou, and one that includes armadillos and anteaters.
The analysis looked at 493 mammals in the Western Hemisphere ranging from a moose that weighs 1,800 pounds to a shrew that weighs less than a dime. Only climate change was considered and not other factors that cause animals to disperse, such as competition from other species.
To determine how quickly species must move to new ranges to outpace climate change, UW researchers used previous work by Lawler that reveals areas with climates needed by each species, along with how fast climate change might occur based on 10 global climate models and a mid-high greenhouse gas emission scenario developed by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
The UW researchers coupled how swiftly a species is able to disperse across the landscape with how often its members make such a move. In this case, the scientists assumed animals dispersed once a generation.
It’s understandable, for example, that a mouse might not get too far because of its size. But if there are many generations born each a year, then that mouse is on the move regularly compared to a mammal that stays several years with its parents in one place before being old enough to reproduce and strike out for new territory.
Western Hemisphere primates, for example, take several years before they are sexually mature. That contributes to their low-dispersal rate and is one reason they look especially vulnerable to climate change, Schloss said. Another reason is that the territory with suitable climate is expected to shrink and so to reach the new areas animals in the tropics must generally go farther than in mountainous regions, where animals can more quickly move to a different elevation and a climate that suits them.
Those factors mean that nearly all the hemisphere’s primates will experience severe reductions in their ranges, Schloss said, on average about 75 percent. At the same time species with high dispersal rates that face slower-paced climate change are expected to expand their ranges.
“Our figures are a fairly conservative – even optimistic – view of what could happen because our approach assumes that animals always go in the direction needed to avoid climate change and at the maximum rate possible for them,” Lawler said.
The researchers were also conservative, he said, in taking into account human-made obstacles such as cities and crop lands that animals encounter. For the overall analysis they used a previously developed formula of “average human influence” that highlights regions where animals are likely to encounter intense human development. It doesn’t take into account transit time if animals must go completely around human-dominated landscapes.
“I think it’s important to point out that in the past when climates have changed – between glacial and interglacial periods when species ranges contracted and expanded – the landscape wasn’t covered with agricultural fields, four-lane highways and parking lots, so species could move much more freely across the landscape,” Lawler said.
“Conservation planners could help some species keep pace with climate change by focusing on connectivity – on linking together areas that could serve as pathways to new territories, particularly where animals will encounter human-land development,” Schloss said.
“For species unable to keep pace, reducing non-climate-related stressors could help make populations more resilient, but ultimately reducing emissions, and therefore reducing the pace of climate change, may be the only certain method to make sure species are able to keep pace with climate change.”
The third co-author of the paper is Tristan Nunez, now at University of California, Berkeley. Both Schloss and Nunez worked with Lawler while earning their master’s degrees. Lawler did this work with support from the UW School of Environmental and Forest Sciences using, in part, models he previously developed with funding from the Nature Conservancy and the Cedar Tree Foundation.
by Staff Writers
San Francisco CA (SPX)
Groupers are among the highest priced market reef species (estimated to be a multi-billion dollar per year industry), are highly regarded for the quality of their flesh, and are often among the first reef fishes to be overexploited.
Groupers, a family of fishes often found in coral reefs and prized for their quality of flesh, are facing critical threats to their survival. As part of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Species Survival Commission, a team of scientists has spent the past ten years assessing the status of 163 grouper species worldwide.
They report that 20 species (12%) are at risk of extinction if current overfishing trends continue, and an additional 22 species (13%) are Near Threatened. These findings were published online on April 28 in the journal Fish and Fisheries.
“Fish are one of the last animal resources commercially harvested from the wild by humans, and groupers are among the most desirable fishes,” said Dr. Luiz Rocha, Curator of Ichthyology at the California Academy of Sciences, and one of the paper’s authors.
“Unfortunately, the false perception that marine resources are infinite is still common in our society, and in order to preserve groupers and other marine resources we need to reverse this old mentality.”
The team estimates that at least 90,000,000 groupers were captured in 2009. This represents more than 275,000 metric tonnes of fish, an increase of 25% from 1999, and 1600% greater than 1950 figures. The Caribbean Sea, coastal Brazil, and Southeast Asia are home to a disproportionately high number of the 20 Threatened grouper species. (A species is considered “Threatened” if it is Critically Endangered, Endangered, or Vulnerable under IUCN criteria.)
Groupers are among the highest priced market reef species (estimated to be a multi-billion dollar per year industry), are highly regarded for the quality of their flesh, and are often among the first reef fishes to be overexploited. Their disappearance from coral reefs could upset the ecological balance of these threatened ecosystems, since they are ubiquitous predators and may play a large role in controlling the abundance of animals farther down the food chain.
Unfortunately, groupers take many years (typically 5-10) to become sexually mature, making them vulnerable for a relatively long time before they can reproduce and replenish their populations.
In addition, fisheries have exploited their natural behavior of gathering in great numbers during the breeding season. The scientists also conclude that grouper farming (mariculture) has not mitigated overfishing in the wild.
Although the prognosis is poor for the restoration and successful conservation of Threatened grouper species, the authors do recommend some courses of action, including optimizing the size and location of Marine Protected Areas, minimum size limits for individual fish, quotas on the amount of catch, limits on the number of fishers, and seasonal protection during the breeding season.
However, the scientists stress that “community awareness and acceptance, and effective enforcement are paramount” for successful implementation, as well as “action at the consumer end of the supply chain by empowering customers to make better seafood choices.”
These findings are posted online here.
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Articles of Interest
Genetic engineering: The world’s greatest scam?
Uploaded by GreenpeaceVideo
(French version — http://www.greenpeace.org/ogm)
Genetic engineering is a threat to food security, especially in a changing climate. The introduction of genetically manipulated organisms by choice or by accident grossly undermines sustainable agriculture and in so doing, severely limits the choice of food we can eat.
Once GE plants are released into the environment, they are out of control. If anything goes wrong – they are impossible to recall.
GE contamination threatens biodiversity respected as the global heritage of humankind, and one of our world’s fundamental keys to survival.
A recent move by the Supreme Court stop commercial production of genetically-modified Bt eggplant in the Philippines was welcomed by a group of environmentalists and concerned individuals
- By Gilbert P. Felongco, Correspondent
Manila: A recent move by the Supreme Court stop commercial production of genetically-modified Bt eggplant in the Philippines was welcomed by a group of environmentalists and concerned individuals.
Greanpeace said the Supreme Court decision to grant a Writ of Kalikasan in favour of stopping Bt eggplant field trials in the country while further studies are being conducted is a step forward in the fight against so-called “Frankenstein” food that harm not only the human body but the environment as well.
“Many independent scientific studies provide clear evidence that GMOs such as Bt eggplant, as well as Bt corn, can negatively impact the liver, kidneys or blood when ingested”
“Greenpeace believes the granting of the Writ of Kalikasan to be a recognition of the threats that GMOs pose to human health and the environment. We welcome this as a positive development: GMOs and GMO field trials clearly violate every Filipino’s constitutional right to a balanced and healthful ecology, and their invasion into our fields and our diets must be stopped,” said Daniel Ocampo, Sustainable Agriculture Campaigner, Greenpeace Southeast Asia.
The Writ of Kalikasan (Nature) is a legal remedy designed for the protection of one’s constitutional right to a healthy environment.
In the same breath, Greenpeace called for greater scrutiny of the country’s GMO approval system as it welcomed the Supreme Court decision to stop field trials of the genetically-modified organism (GMO) Bt eggplant in the Philippines.
“The Supreme Court has given hope to Filipinos as its decision now puts into the spotlight the country’s flawed GMO approval system which has never rejected any GMO application, allowing dangerous GMO crops to be eaten and planted by Filipinos. This is an outrage and such a regulatory system which clearly disregards public good must be scrapped,” he added.
According to Greenpeace, there are serious uncertainties regarding the safety and long-term impacts of GMOs.
“Many independent scientific studies provide clear evidence that GMOs such as Bt eggplant, as well as Bt corn, can negatively impact the liver, kidneys or blood when ingested,” the group said.
Last April 26, petitioners led by Leo Avila of Davao City Agriculturist Office, Atty. Maria Paz Luna, former Senator Orlando Mercado and Greenpeace Southeast Asia Executive Director Von Hernandez filed a petition asking the Supreme Court to issue a Writ of Kalikasan against GMO field trials.
The petition seeks to immediately stop the field trials of Bt eggplant. It also puts into question the flawed government regulatory process for approving GMOs and ensuring the safety of GMOs first on health and environmental grounds before they are released into the open.
Despite the scientific doubt that surrounds GMO food crops, the Philippines has never rejected any GMO application, approving, since 2002, a total of 67 GMOs for importation, consumption and propagation.
Most of these GMOs are approved as food for Filipinos.
While other countries are taking the precautionary approach to GMOs, Greenpeace said the Philippine Department of Agriculture has done exactly the opposite.
Argentinian mother sticks it to Monsanto, wins major environmental award
By Jonathan Benson,
(NaturalNews) The tragic, but inspiring, story of one woman’s quest for justice in her local community has resulted in a significant victory for health freedom. Sofia Gatica, an ordinary, working-class mother from Argentina, successfully mobilized more than a dozen of her neighbors to fight the indiscriminate spraying of Monsanto’s Roundup (glyphosate) herbicide and other chemicals near the town of Ituzaingo where she lives — and in the process, she has earned a prestigious environmental award for…
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