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Wednesday, 6 May 2015

Apple has plans for your DNA

© MIT Techonology Review

    
Of all the rumors ever to swirl around the world's most valuable company, this may be the first that could involve spitting in a plastic cup.

Apple is collaborating with U.S. researchers to launch apps that would offer some iPhone owners the chance to get their DNA tested, many of them for the first time, according to people familiar with the plans.

The apps are based on ResearchKit, a software platform Apple introduced in March that helps hospitals or scientists run medical studies on iPhones by collecting data from the devices' sensors or through surveys.

The first five ResearchKit apps, including one called mPower that tracks symptoms of Parkinson's disease, quickly recruited thousands of participants in a few days, demonstrating the reach of Apple's platform.

"Apple launched ResearchKit and got a fantastic response. The obvious next thing is to collect DNA," says Gholson Lyon, a geneticist at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, who isn't involved with the studies.

Nudging iPhone owners to submit DNA samples to researchers would thrust Apple's devices into the center of a widening battle for genetic information. Universities, large technology companies like Google (see "Google Wants to Store Your Genome"), direct-to-consumer labs, and even the U.S. government (see "U.S. to Develop DNA Study of One Million People") are all trying to amass mega-databases of gene information to uncover clues about the causes of disease (see "Internet of DNA").

In two initial studies planned, Apple isn't going to directly collect or test DNA itself. That will be done by academic partners. The data would be maintained by scientists in a computing cloud, but certain findings could appear directly on consumers' iPhones as well. Eventually, it's even possible consumers might swipe to share "my genes" as easily as they do their location.

An Apple spokeswoman declined to comment. But one person with knowledge of the plans said the company's eventual aim is to "enable the individual to show and share" DNA information with different recipients, including organizers of scientific studies. This person, like others with knowledge of the research, spoke on condition of anonymity because of the company's insistence on secrecy.

One of these people said the DNA-app studies could still be cancelled, but another said Apple wants the apps ready for the company's worldwide developers' conference, to be held in June in San Francisco.

Sophisticated data

Starting last year, Apple began taking steps to make its devices indispensable for "digital health." Its latest version of the iOS operating system includes an app called Health, which has fields for more than 70 types of health data—everything from your weight to how many milligrams of manganese you eat (as yet, there's no field for your genome). Apple also entered a partnership with IBM to develop health apps for nurses and hospitals, as well as to mine medical data.

Now Apple is closely involved in shaping initial studies that will collect DNA. One, planned by the University of California, San Francisco, would study causes of premature birth by combining gene tests with other data collected on the phones of expectant mothers. A different study would be led by Mount Sinai Hospital in New York.

Atul Butte, leader of the UCSF study and head of the Institute for Computational Health Sciences, said he could not comment on Apple's involvement. "The first five [ResearchKit] studies have been great and are showing how fast Apple can recruit. I and many others are looking at types of trials that are more sophisticated," Butte says. Noting that the genetic causes of premature birth aren't well understood, he says, "I look forward to the day when we can get more sophisticated data than activity, like DNA or clinical data."

To join one of the studies, a person would agree to have a gene test carried out—for instance, by returning a "spit kit" to a laboratory approved by Apple. The first such labs are said to be the advanced gene-sequencing centers operated by UCSF and Mount Sinai.

The planned DNA studies would look at 100 or fewer medically important disease genes (known as a "gene panel"), not a person's entire genome. These targeted tests, if done at large scale, would not cost more than a few hundred dollars each.

Like the ResearchKit apps released so far, the studies would be approved by Apple and by an institutional review board, a type of oversight body that advises researchers on studies involving volunteers.

The ResearchKit program has been spearheaded by Stephen Friend, a onetime pharmaceutical company executive and now the head of Sage Bionetworks, a nonprofit that advocates for open scientific research. Friend's vision for a data "commons" in which study subjects are active participants in scientific research was enthusiastically embraced by Apple starting in 2013. Friend, whom Apple describes as a medical technology advisor, declined an interview request through an assistant.

Silicon Valley companies are intent on using apps and mobile devices to overrun what Friend has called the "medical-industrial complex." The problem is that hospitals and research groups are notorious for hoarding data, in many cases because they are legally bound to do so by state and federal privacy regulations. But no law stops individuals from sharing information about themselves. Thus one reason to "empower patients," as rhetoric has it, is that if people collect their own data, or are given control of it, it could quickly find wide use in consumer apps and technologies, as well as in science.

One study that could get a boost from the iPhone is the Resilience Project, a joint undertaking by Sage and Mount Sinai to discover why some people are healthy even though their genes say they should have serious inherited diseases like cystic fibrosis. That project has already scoured DNA data previously collected from more than 500,000 people, and as of last year it had identified about 20 such unusual cases. But the Resilience Project was having difficulty contacting those people because their DNA had been collected anonymously. By contrast, recruiting people through iPhone apps could make ongoing contact easy.

Hard to handle

By playing this role in gene studies, Apple would join a short list of companies trying to excite people about what they might do with their own genetic information. Among them are the genealogy company Ancestry.com, the Open Humans Project, and 23andMe, a direct-to-consumer testing company that has collected DNA profiles of more than 900,000 people who bought its $99 spit kits.

That is one of the largest DNA data banks anywhere, but it took 23andMe nine years of constant media attention, such as appearance on , to reach those numbers. By comparison, Apple sold 60 million iPhones in just the first three months of this year, contributing to a total of about 750 million overall. That means DNA studies on the ResearchKit platform could, theoretically, have rapid and immense reach.

But DNA data remains tricky to handle, and in some cases what people can be told about it is regulated by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration.

One study launched this year by the University of Michigan, Genes for Good, uses a Facebook app to recruit subjects and carry out detailed surveys about their health and habits. In that study, participants will be sent a spit kit and will later gain access to DNA information via a file they can download to their desktops.

So far about 4,200 people have signed up, says Gonçalo Abecasis, the geneticist running the research. Abecasis says that the project will tell people something about their ancestry but won't try to make health predictions. "There is tension in figuring out what is okay as part of our research study and what would be okay in terms of health care," he says. "You can imagine that a lot of people have a good idea how to interpret the DNA ... but what is appropriate to disclose isn't clear."

One issue facing Apple is whether consumers are even interested in their DNA. So far, most people still have no real use for genetic data, and common systems for interpreting it are lacking as well. "In 10 years it could be incredibly significant," says Lyon, the Cold Spring Harbor geneticist. "But the question is, do they have a killer app to interact with their [DNA] quickly and easily."

Some people have ideas. Imagine you could swipe your genes at a drugstore while filling a prescription, getting a warning if you're predicted to have a reaction to the drug. Or perhaps an app could calculate exactly how closely related you are to anyone else. But Lyon believes that right now the story is mostly about helping researchers. "They need people to donate their DNA," he says. "One incentive is to have it on their phone where they can play with it."

Israel ramps up Syrian crisis - supplies al-Qaida rebels


A photo from the Israel, Syrian border along the Golan Heights showing IDF soldiers conversing with Jabhat al Nusra fighters.The Israeli army reported renewed danger along its border with Syria as long-held tensions in the region reignited late last month. Yet these reports overlook the ways in which Israel is deliberately inflaming those tensions.

    

Historically, Israel has denied most claims of direct involvement in the conflict, but army forces admitted to carrying out an attack last weekend on what they describe as a terrorist group approaching the Golan Heights.

Ruth Eglash, a Jerusalem-based reporter for , elaborated on the April 26 airstrikes based on the sparse details available from official sources:

"Arab news media have run stories on airstrikes allegedly carried out by Israel in the past few days against the Hezbollah militia, an Iran proxy, and Syrian army targets.

A statement from the Israeli army on Sunday said its forces had come across 'a group of armed terrorists who had approached the border with an explosive device intended to be detonated against [Israeli] soldiers.'

Israel said its aircraft responded with strikes, but it did not confirm casualties or identify the group that allegedly attempted the border attack. Israeli media said four men were killed.

Writing for the on Thursday, Anshel Pfeffer claims Israel is exerting extreme and "nuanced" control over media reports of its involvement in the Syrian conflict by denying involvement in most airstrikes while blaming Iran and Hezbollah for continued unrest.

"Without trying to work out the credibility of the various statements, what is clear is that Israel is trying to fine-tune its level of influence in Syria, keeping it somewhere between discreet (sic) deterrence and selective non-involvement," writes Pfeffer.

According to Pfeffer, Israel seeks to keep Syrian chemical weapons out of Hezbollah's hands, despite the fact that "even if Hizbollah obtained these capabilities, it is unlikely that they would use them any time soon ... It is anxious to avoid another devastating blow against Lebanon."

© Kobi Gideon/GPO
The Jewish state ensures regular supplies to the Al Qaeda jihadists and treats the wounded in its military hospitals. Israeli television showed Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at their bedside, comforting and congratulating the wounded jihadists.

    
Instead of taking credit for airstrikes or ground attacks, Israel blames them on Jabhat al-Nusra (the Nusra Front), an al-Qaida-aligned group fighting in Syria. However, claims of "selective non-involvement" ring false in the face of multiple reports of Israel's direct support of al-Nusra.

Arab news sources reported in December that Syrian rebels from the group were being treated in Israeli hospitals, and widely circulated video footage shows Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visiting Syrian militants in the hospital.

The practice of treating wounded Syrian rebels has continued into this year, according to investigative journalist Asa Winstanley.

Winstanley highlights a little noticed report:

"We don't ask who they are, we don't do any screening,' the unnamed Israeli military official told the paper of the hospital treatment of al-Qaeda fighters. 'Once the treatment is done, we take them back to the border [sic - ceasefire line] and they go on their way [in Syria],' he said.

An unnamed military official also said there is an 'understanding' between Israeli forces and al-Qaeda fighters there and that 'there is a familiarity of the [al-Qaeda] forces on the ground."

Winstanley estimates that Israel's direct aid began two years ago, and goes beyond just medical care to supplying actual weapons. In December, the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force accused Israel of direct collaboration with al-Nusra:

"UNDOF observed Israeli contact with armed rebels on the Syrian-controlled side of the ceasefire line on 59 occasions 'particularly during periods of heavy engagement between the Syrian armed forces and members of the armed opposition' between March and May."

Further, the United Nations observers saw "Israeli soldiers 'handing over two boxes to armed members of the opposition' from the Israeli-occupied side to the Syrian-controlled side" on one occasion.

And Pfeffer admits that "the remnants of bombs with labels in Hebrew were found on the scene" of rebel-involved conflicts in Syria.

In January, the reported that, according to Syria's President Bashar Assad, the topic has even become a joke in his country. "'How can you say that al-Qaeda doesn't have an air force? They have the Israeli air force.'" he said.

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Flawed medical research may be ruining your health

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There is a cancer eating at the core of medical research.

You've most likely heard of medical reports touting the effectiveness of a diet plan, a new drug, a supplement, or medical procedure. You may have even decided on a course of action based on these findings, only to find out later that they have been refuted by new studies.

Strikingly, the odds are that the studies that influenced your decision, and possibly the decision of your doctor, were wrong.

We are bombarded by medical research studies that don't stand the test of time and potentially cause serious negative health outcomes.

Perhaps, because of this, you've become jaded about the newest health findings. I don't wish to dissuade you from how you feel. In fact, this article will show you how untrustworthy medical research is and what you must do to protect yourself and loved ones.

The Case Against Medical Research

Medical research is fraught with incompetence, careerism, and fraud. In the April 15, 2015 edition of , the UKs leading medical journal, editor-in-chief Richard Horton stated:

"The case against science is straightforward: much of the scientific literature, perhaps half, may simply be untrue."

He ominously went on to say "...science has taken a turn toward darkness."

As early as 1996, voices were being raised against the scandal of medical research. Douglas G. Altman, head of Medical Statistics Laboratory in the UK, asked the following question in the :

"What... should we think about researchers who use the wrong techniques (either willfully or in ignorance), use the right techniques wrongly, misinterpret their results, report their results selectively, cite the literature selectively, and draw unjustified conclusions?"

His answer:

"We should be appalled. Yet numerous studies of the medical literature... have shown that all of the above phenomena are common. This is surely a scandal."

In 2005 Dr. John P.A. Ioannidis, currently a professor in disease prevention at Stanford University, published the most widely accessed article in the history of the Public Library of entitled Why Most Published Research Findings Are False. In the report, he stated:

"There is increasing concern that most current published research findings are false."

And that "...in modern research, false findings may be the majority or even the vast majority of published research claims."

Ioannidis' research model indicated that up to 80 percent of non-randomized research studies (the most common kind of study) are wrong, along with twenty-five percent of randomized trials (the supposed gold standard of research). Incredulously, these studies are published in top peer reviewed medical journals.

These numbers indicate that much of what our physicians prescribe to us is wrong. Our doctors use research to inform their medical decisions - decisions like what drug to prescribe, what surgery to elect, and what health strategy to adopt. They are making crucial treatment decisions for depression, Alzheimer's, type 2 Diabetes, cancer, obesity, etc. based on bad, incomplete or hidden medical research. Remember Vioxx, Hormone Replacement Therapy, anti-arrhythmia drugs, high carbohydrate diets? The lives of hundreds of thousands of people were damaged or ended prematurely.

What's Wrong with Medical Research?

There are serious deficiencies in medical research that have an onerous impact on our well-being.

Research Bias - Ioannidis defines bias as "the combination of various design, data, analysis, and presentation factors that tend to produce research findings when they should not be produced." Many researchers enter their study with a specific finding in mind and, not surprisingly, they find it.

Journalist David H. Freedman in Lies, Damned Lies, and Medical Science quotes Ioannidis:

"At every step in the process, there is room to distort results, a way to make a stronger claim or to select what is going to be concluded," and there is an "intellectual conflict of interest that pressures researchers to find whatever it is that is most likely to get them funded."

Bias can happen in numerous ways, such as how the research is designed, how the samples are selected, and how subjects are pressured, or though errors in data collection and measurement or publication bias. All of this leads to erroneous results and potentially disastrous medical advice.

Publication Bias - various industries, governments, and regulatory agencies may severely distort the truth by omission. Nearly half of all research studies never see the light of day. According to Live Science:

"Oftentimes, medical journals or pharmaceutical companies that sponsor research will report only "positive" results, leaving out the non-findings or negative findings where a new drug or procedure may have proved more harmful than helpful." In other words, the truth is hidden.

An example of this occurred with nearly 100,000 people dying from taking "safe" prescription anti-arrhythmic drugs in the 1980s. Or more recently, when none of the negative studies of the anti-depressant reboxitene were published.

This leaves us and our doctors in the dark about the efficacy and safety of drugs and medical procedures. We are systematically being misled!

See Dr. Ben Goldacre's Ted Talk to learn more.

Conflicts of Interest - many studies, especially drug studies, "...have the added corruptive force of financial conflict of interest." The more embedded the financial and other interests in the outcome of a study, the more likely the findings are going to be false. Ioannidis' own research found that conflicts of interest "are common in biomedical research and typically they are inadequately and sparsely reported."

Conflicts of interest are not limited to financial matters:

"Many otherwise seemingly independent, university-based studies may be conducted for no other reason than to give physicians and researchers qualifications for promotion or tenure."

Research findings can be distorted by: small sample size, poor choice of methodology, and erroneous statistical analysis, all of which are widespread in medical research.

What Can We Do to Protect Ourselves?

Given the distorted, corrupt and unreliable state of much of medical research how can we know what to do?

Short of ignoring research altogether, there are ways we can protect ourselves.

In his book Wrong, David Freedman lists some practical measures we can take to evaluate the reliability of medical research.

You can tell that a research study is probably wrong if:

  • It's simplistic, universal and definitive. It touts a cure for cancer, obesity, and aging.
  • It's supported by a single study, small studies or animal studies. One small study of mice proving a cure for dementia.
  • It claims to be groundbreaking. The truth about heart disease has finally been discovered.
  • It is being pushed by people or organizations that will benefit financially.
  • It's geared toward preventing a recent trauma or occurrence from happening in the future. A quick fix to solve serious and complex problems.
  • I would add that association does not prove causation. Unless a study is a randomized control trial (RCT) it can not prove that one thing causes another, such as red meat causing heart disease.
Read Doctoring Data by Dr. Malcolm Kendrick for an in-depth study of flawed medical research.

Conclusion

There are efforts being made within science to rectify the problem with medical research. But much remains unreliable and downright wrong. We cannot afford to be fooled by flawed studies. Arm yourself with knowledge. Review the scientific reliability of a course of action. Discuss it with your physician. This can help in wading through the biased and damaging studies given the light of day in scientific journals and media. Take responsibility. Your life may depend on it.

About the author

Oxytocin: Why the love hormone is good for you

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© Getty images

    
I've written quite a lot about oxytocin, which also goes by the name of "love hormone," "cuddle chemical," "molecule of kindness," or any other affectionate term that implies something about bonding and connecting.

If you ever wondered about those names, it's because we produce oxytocin when we're feeling love or connection (with a human, animal, tree, spiritual diety) and also when we hug.

Here's a little summary of some of the healthy things that happen in our bodies when we produce oxytocin.

1. It can make people seem more attractive

One study gave people a dose of oxytocin and then showed them photographs of men and women, asking them to rate their attractiveness. A different group were given saline instead of oxytocin, as a control. The oxytocin group gave the men and women higher attractiveness ratings than did those who got the saline.

2. It can make us more generous

A study in the field of "neuroeconomics" - where scientists study the brain while people make economic decisions - found that when people were given a squirt of oxytocin before they made an economic decision, where they had to decide on how they were going to share a sum of money, they were around 80 percent more generous than others who received a saline placebo.

3. It can make us more trusting

In an economics game known as the "Trust Game," participants given a squirt of oxytocin were found to be significantly more trusting than those given saline. Of those in the saline group, 21 percent showed the maximal trust level, yet 45 percent of those who received oxytocin showed the maximal trust level.

4. It can improve digestion

A little-known fact is that oxytocin and oxytocin receptors are found all throughout the GI tract. It plays an important role in the digestion of food (gastric motility and gastric emptyping). Research shows that in the absence of adequate levels of oxytocin, the whole digestive process slows down (known as gastric dysmotility).

In fact, some children with recurring tummy trouble or inflammatory bowel disease have been found to have low levels of oxytocin in their bloodstream. Oxytocin has even been linked with IBS.

You may have heard of the old wisdom that you shouldn't eat if you've just had a fight with a loved one. This is why. When we have a conflict, we reduce our levels of oxytocin, thereby making digestion a little more problematic.

Maybe if you want to improve your digestion, why not enjoy a meal with family or friends, or at least give someone a heartfelt hug before you start eating and again immediately afterwards.

5. It can speed up wound healing

Oxytocin also helps wound healing. It plays a key role in 'angiogenesis', which is the growth of blood vessels or re-growth of them after an injury.

Research shows that wounds take longer to heal when people are under stress or amid an emotional conflict, which is associated with lower oxytocin levels. In one study of couples, physical wounds of those who showed the most conflict behaviour healed 40 percent slower than wounds in those who weren't in conflict.

Other studies show that skin wounds may potentially heal faster when we enjoy positive social interaction.

6. It can be good for the heart

It can be very good for the heart. Oxytocin is a cardioprotective hormone, in that it protects the cardiovascular system. Oxytocin dilates the blood vessels, thereby lowering blood pressure and also helps sweep free radicals and inflammation out of the arteries. FYI, free radicals and inflammation can cause cardiovascular disease.

How to produce oxytocin

We produce oxytocin every day. It flows when you show empathy or compassion, when you are kind or genuinely pleasant, when you show affection, when you hug. Love is not the only thing we make in the intimate act. We also make oxytocin.

I find it amazing that this simple hormone, that we generate through really any heart-centred display of gentleness or affection, produces all of the above effects.

Animals, and especially dogs, help us produce it too. Research shows that when we play with dogs, oxytocin levels shoot up in both the human and the dog.

This is probably why studies show that having a pet hugely benefits the heart. In fact, among many ways to improve heart health, Dr Mimi Guarneri, founder of the Scripps Center for Integrative Medicine and author of the book, , recommends having a dog.

My beloved dog, Oscar, passed away just five months ago at only two years of age. Losing him was the most painful thing I've ever known and I still miss him terribly. But I like the fact that dogs, and in fact all animals that we bond with, help us produce oxytocin and we, in turn, help them produce it. There's something beautiful in this, in the bond we create, and how it moulds our biology. It reminds me of why we need to see all humans and all animals as our family.

Science is driving choice in vaccination

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© mercola.com

    
As the Australian Government expresses its anger over Indonesia executing two Australian drug smugglers, it is implementing a policy that will remove the free and informed consent for Australians to choose a medical intervention in healthy people: vaccination. This policy will remove our right to choose freely what we put into our own bodies, a fundamental human right that is protected in all International Bills of Human Rights. Yet this is not being discussed in the mainstream Australian media even though the risks of vaccines and valid consent (2.1.3) are required from Australian consumers before a vaccine is administered.

There is no question that the ingredients of vaccines are unsafe yet in 2012 the Australian government added 3 new vaccines to the infant schedule and linked 'fully vaccinating' a child to $2,100 in welfare benefits. A doctor's signature was required to refuse any of the 11 vaccines required before 1 year of age. This policy reverses the principle of informed consent by requiring a doctor's signature for parents to refuse a vaccine, instead of patient's consent to accept vaccines. The government's policies have been accepted with hardly any presentation of the risks of vaccines in the media. In Australia, Murdoch owns 70% of the major newspapers and by selecting the information for debate, the issues can be framed to present the desired outcomes.

In addition, many prominent community members and politicians have recently been reported professing their faith in vaccines in the media to promote the government's policies. Other strategies for promoting these beliefs (without evidence) include school curriculums and now popular cartoon or puppet characters.


If the science is supporting the government's policy of using unlimited vaccines in developing infants, then educated people would be choosing to vaccinate, but many of them are not. Many educated parents are not vaccinating because they have investigated vaccines and discovered that the government's policy is based on pharmaceutically funded studies designed by government advisory boards riddled with perceived conflicts of interests.
Many Australians would like an open debate on the government's vaccination policies which breach our right to bodily integrity. On 14 April 2015 I received a letter from the Australian Human Rights Commissioner for Individual Freedoms, Tim Wilson, stating that he was not employed to protect our rights in government vaccination policies. So what 'individual freedoms' is our new Commissioner of Human Rights (appointed December 2013) paid to protect? Here is my response to the HRC that clearly states that the government has not done the scientific studies that would disprove the causal link between vaccines and the significant increase in chronic illness that is occurring in Australian children - including autism.

In the interests of public health, please stand up for our right to free and informed consent for all medical procedures, and our right to bodily integrity, by signing this petition.

About the author

Judy Wilyman has a Bachelor of Science degree and has practiced as a science teacher for 20 years. to read her entire biography, please click here. You can find more of her writing at Vaccination Decisions: Know Your Vaccines and you can subscribe to her informative newsletter HERE.

The TTP and TTIP trade agreements: "A dystopian future in which corporations rather than elected governments call the shots"

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The Obama-proposed international-trade deals, if passed into law, will lead to "a dystopian future in which corporations and not democratically elected governments call the shots," says Alfred De Zayas, the UN's Special Rapporteur on Promotion of a Democratic and Equitable International Order.

These two mammoth trade-pacts, one (TTIP) for Atlantic nations, and the other (TTP) for Pacific nations excluding China (since Obama is against China), would transfer regulations of corporations to corporations themselves, and away from democratically elected governments.

Regulation of working conditions and of the environment, as well as of product-safety including toxic foods and poisonous air and other consumer issues, would be placed into the hands of panels whose members will be appointed by large international corporations. Their decisions will remove the power of democratically elected governments to control these things. "Red tape" that's imposed by elected national governments would be eliminated — replaced by the international mega-corporate version.


De Zayas was quoted in Britain's Guardian on May 4th as saying also that, "The bottom line is that these agreements must be revised, modified or terminated," because they would vastly harm publics everywhere, even though they would enormously benefit the top executives of corporations by giving them control as a sort of corporate-imposed world government, answerable to the people who control those corporations.

Obama is pushing for international cartels to replace important functions of today's national governments, and De Zayas is saying that, "We don't want an international order akin to post-democracy or post-law."

De Zayas told the Guardian that the panels that are proposed to be at the very center of these trade-pacts

"constitute an attempt to escape the jurisdiction of national courts and bypass the obligation of all states to ensure that all legal cases are tried before independent tribunals that are public, transparent, accountable and appealable."

That is, in fact, the motivation behind these deals. Costs get transferred from corporations onto consumers, workers, and the environment, while profits are increased for the corporation's investors, and CEO pay will soar. In fact, the EU's own study of the economic impact of the TTIP with America, calculated

"economic gains as a whole for the EU (€119 billion a year) and US (€95 billion a year). This translates to an extra €545 in disposable income each year for a family of 4 in the EU, on average, and €655 per family in the US. ... Income gains are a result of increased trade. EU exports to the US would go up by 28%, equivalent to an additional €187 billion worth of exports of EU goods and services. Overall, total exports would increase 6% in the EU and 8% in the US."

According to the analysis, no one would lose anything. For example, tariffs would be reduced but income taxes and other taxes that the public pays wouldn't be increased in order to make up for that loss of income to the state from reduced tariffs. Not at all. Instead: "As much as 80% of the total potential gains come from cutting costs imposed by bureaucracy and regulations, as well as from liberalising trade in services and public procurement."

In other words: government regulations of product-safety and the environment and workers' rights are a terrible waste, which would be eliminated and handled more efficiently by letting international corporations themselves handle those things, according to the EU's study. And "liberalising trade in services and public procurement" would cut "red tape" that has prevented government officials who are the purchasers in "public procurement" from getting high-paid corporate directorships, etc. under the existing regulatory structures in democratic nations where the public, the voters, can hold their own government accountable for such corruption. If these functions become the domain of the international corporations themselves, then existing regulations and the government employees who enforce them can be eliminated. Accountability, in other words, is such a waste, for the inside investors in large corporations. They don't need it; they fight against it. They are fighting against it. They don't even want accountability to their own outside investors, who might want them removed from corporate management.

The EU simply doesn't mention the downsides. And they also don't mention that, "Obama's TTIP Trade Deal w. Europe Would Be Disastrous for Europe, Says the First Independent Study." That study wasn't paid for by the EU, so they just ignore it. (They even ignore that it found that America's international corporations would benefit even more from the deal than would Europe's international corporations, which is the exact opposite result than the EU's own study calculated. President Obama performs brilliantly for America's billionaires, even though most of them are Republicans.) The economist who did that study wasn't paid by anybody to do it. Occasionally, a study like that is performed by an economist. However, paid-for studies get far more publicity, because the findings are then heavily promoted by the sponsoring organization — after all, it's propaganda.

On 23 January 2015, Britain's Financial Times bannered, "Davos 2015: Businesses rally support for transatlantic trade deal." Attendees there would pop the champagne corks if these deals pass.

David Korten at YES! magazine, headlined on 15 April 2015, "A Trade Rule that Makes It Illegal to Favor Local Business? Newest Leak Shows TPP Would Do That And More." He stated, in common language, a recently-leaked (from wikileaks) chapter of the TPP, the treaty's Investment chapter. Key provisions of it are:

Favoring local ownership is prohibited. ...

Corporations must be paid to stop polluting. [Yes: Obama demands that corporations possess an actual right to pollute! It's in the contract!! Ignore his mere rhetoric.] ...

Three [corporate] lawyers will decide who's right in secret tribunals. ...

Speculative money must remain free [of governmental regulation] ...

Corporate interests come before national ones. ...

Then, there's a sixth basic provision: to "prohibit governments from requiring that a foreign investor be under any obligation to serve the host country's people or national interest."

And that's just one chapter of the proposed document. No wonder, then, why the billionaires at Davos are eager for Obama to ram this secret treaty through Congress. (Their people were in on the drafting of this proposed treaty, so Davosians didn't need Julian Assange's organization for them to know what the treaty contains. Only we do. And so now we understand why Obama wants to imprison or execute Assange.)

In the United States, congressional Republicans are almost unanimously in support of Obama's trade-deals, but most congressional Democrats are opposed to these deals. President Obama doesn't even enforce the workers' rights provisions in the existing NAFTA and other existing trade-deals. Murders of labor union officials are prohibited under NAFTA but the Obama Administration ignores them. On April 22nd, Huffington Post bannered, "AFL-CIO's Trumka: USTR Told Us Murder Isn't A Violation Under U.S. Trade Deals" and quoted an AFL-CIO official,

"'The question is whether USTR [Obama's U.S. Trade Representative, the same man who is negotiating both the TPP and the TTIP] considers murder to be a violation of the labor chapter. That is the question,' she said. 'The point is that USTR has informed us that labor-related violence does not constitute an actionable violation of the labor provisions [of NAFTA]'."

Obama relies almost entirely upon congressional Republicans for support of his proposed trade-deals, and of his existing trade-policies (such as non-enforcement of NAFTA). The only real question is whether congressional Democrats will be able to block his deals. When American voters in 2014 elected Republicans to majorities in both houses, the result was to ease the way for passage of Obama's proposed international-trade deals. Harry Reid controlled the Senate and blocked them, but he was now replaced by the Republican Mitch McConnell, who is trying to win Senate approval for the TTIP. Reid, now as the Minority Leader, is still doing the best he can to block that; he just doesn't have the power he did when he was Majority Leader.

Within the general American public, however, there seems to be more support for the TTIP among Democrats than among Republicans. On 9 April 2014, Pew Research Center issued a poll that was sponsored by the pro-deal Bertlelsmann Foundation, headlined "Support in Principle for U.S.-EU Trade Pact," and the poll's key question was:

"Q3 As you may know, the U.S. and the EU are negotiating a free trade agreement called the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, or TTIP. Do you think this trade agreement will be a good thing for our country or a bad thing?"

In the United States, 53% of respondents marked "Good thing," 20% marked "Bad thing," and 14% marked "Haven't heard enough." (Most of the others marked "Don't know.") Whereas 53% of all respondents said "Good thing," 60% of Democratic respondents did, but only 44% of Republican ones did. That's a 16% difference — substantial. Thus, apparently, at least as of a year ago, when a member of the public heard "TTIP," the person mainly thought that it came from Obama (which it does), and that Obama is a Democrat (which he isn't, except in rhetoric, but members of Congress are different; they know that he's not, even if the public don't); and, so, Republican voters were far less supportive of TTIP than were Democratic voters.

The general public judged the deal by the nominal party of the person who initiated and is negotiating it. This is why, whereas in Congress, Republicans almost unanimously want TTIP to pass, and most Democrats want it to fail, the situation among the voting public is in the exact opposite direction: overwhelmingly favorable to the deal among Democrats, but only slightly favorable to the deal among Republicans. On the other hand, all Republican U.S. Presidential candidates support Obama's trade-deals in principle and they only want him to speed up his getting other nations' leaders to sign onto to them — as if he even has the power to do that.

If the TTIP and the TPP pass and become law, then historians will almost certainly remember Obama far more for those international trade-deals than for Obamacare or anything else, because of the enormous global political change they will bring. And Obama will then probably be generally regarded as the worst President in U.S. history, because he will then have done more to bring back dictatorship as the global norm and ended democracy, than any other nation's leader, in all of history, ever did.

The evidence strongly supports Alfred De Zayas's statement, that these trade-deals would produce "a dystopian future in which corporations and not democratically elected governments call the shots." His statement was alarming, but not at all alarmist.

De Zayas is the chief UN official responsible for "reporting" on proposed international-trade treaties. As the likelihood of Obama's proposed treaties passing has increased, he has become increasingly vocal about what their implications would be, for the UN's founding vision of gradual evolution toward a democratic world-government — something comprehensive like what is now being suddenly rammed through, but democratic instead of fascist, and thus more the opposite of Obama's vision instead of similar to it. On April 23rd, Reuters headlined, "U.N. expert says secret trade deals threaten human rights," and De Zayas spoke in far more measured terms, not nearly so direct. He said:

"I am concerned about the secrecy surrounding negotiations for trade treaties, which have excluded key stakeholder groups from the process, including labour unions, environmental protection groups, food-safety movements and health professionals"


Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of
They're Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010, and of CHRIST'S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity, and of Feudalism, Fascism, Libertarianism and Economics.

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Monsanto genes: How glyphosate makes you fat

    
This information was sent to me by a colleague Rose Stevens in Canada. Not only did I think it was very clever, especially the anonymous graphic above, but the narrative that came with it. I don't know whom to thank for this information other than the person who emailed it to me. So, I'm using it invoking 17 U.S. Code §107 Fair Use (news reporting):

Simply put, Glyphosate disrupts bacterial homeostasis and our enzymes. With obesity, more precisely, glyphosate destroys the species of bacteria which manufacture 90% of our Serotonin as only 10% is manufactured by our body. Serotonin is necessary for the production of other important biomolecules like melatonin the precursor to melanin.

Serotonin is also a signaling molecule and affects Grehlin and Amylin which are gut derived hormones. Our Grehlin and Amylin are directly impacted and these biomolecules control our satiety. Eating is modulated via aminergic neurotransmitters within the hypothalamus. Amylin is a peptide hormone that is co-secreted with insulin from the pancreatic beta-cell and is thus deficient in diabetic people. It inhibits Glucagon secretion, delays gastric emptying and acts as a satiety agent. Grehlin inhibits the release of Serotonin in the brain and Amylin inhibits dopamine release while not affecting Serotonin or norepinephrine. So depending on the severity, two conditions can be created, obesity by overeating or the opposite end of the spectrum, anorexia.

[Listen to Dr. Samsel explain what glyphosate does to the human gut in this YouTube video.]

[embedded content]


What I didn't mention in that interview is that there is initial weight loss before weight gain. This was seen in laboratory animals fed a contaminated diet by glyphosate. We even saw this in worm experiments done by a student which Stephanie and I mentored. A lot of data was developed in the experiments which has not been published, but I evaluated the bacteria colonies and the effects that both GM proteins and glyphosate had on the soil communities and the effects exhibited on the worms. Both the stacked GM events and glyphosate caused distinct reactions in populations and weight gain. So, to sum up, it's all about the disruption of bacterial homeostasis, that is where obesity and all chronic disease begins. The imbalance and overgrowth of species causes obesity and it can also cause anorexia as well as worsening symptoms of autism, ADHD, other neurosis and a plethora of chronic disease states which include tumorigenic growth and cancers of major glands and organs.

......

Carbohydrate metabolism, which include metabolization of the isomers of sugar are processed in different parts of the intestines, particularly in the ilea and secum, by different species of bacterial colonies. Some of the enzymes that metabolize sugar are sucrose-isomaltase, maltase-glucoamylase and lactase. Lactase metabolizes disaccharide and lactose (milk sugar) and this enzyme also lines the gut. Glyphosate disrupts such enzymes.

The homeostasis or balance of bacteria such as, Clostridia sp., Bacteriodetes sp., and Fecalis sp. Are three main species that show both increased weight gain and weight loss depending on their balance.

When gut bacteria are not in balance, they display hyperactive behavior and and produce biomolecules that interfere with the regulation of IGF-1, Insulin secretion, Amylin and Grehlin. Additionally, various species of bacteria release proteases which destroy immunoglobulins such as IgA, IgG and IgM, imbalances which can lead to immunodeficiencies and many different pathologies.

~~~

It's not altogether clear how it's happening (glyphosate making us fat) but I believe there's very strong evidence to show that, when countries start to adopt a Western diet, that's when they also start gaining weight. Anthony has some explanations based on serotonin, and that makes sense because serotonin deficiency is linked to obesity, and serotonin is a product of the shikimate pathway which glyphosate disrupts.

Another theory that I have is that fat (especially abdominal fat) is protective, because the body can hide toxic chemicals (like toxic phenols and PCBs, but also free iron and other metals that can be toxic) inside the fat cells, keeping the rest of the body safe from exposure.

Glyphosate makes these toxins much more toxic in part because it interferes with CYP enzymes that degrade them (in the case of the organic compounds) and because it disrupts the body's normal management of metals (e.g., it interferes with the synthesis of pyrrole, a building block of heme, which is needed for safe iron transport). It also interferes with bile flow, which is needed to redistribute manganese to the body.

So obesity becomes protective in the context of glyphosate because the poisons that can't be degraded can be hidden safely inside the fat cells.

Yet another theory is that glyphosate probably disrupts the metabolism of fructose by gut microbes to PEP (phosphoenolpyruvate) which would normally then go on to become an aromatic amino acid (this is the shikimate pathway). Because shikimate is blocked, PEP piles up, and this prevents the microbes from converting fructose to PEP. Instead, they convert it to short chain fatty acids, which are then stored in the abdominal space

~~~

Doctor Nancy Swanson's hypothesis on how glyphosate may be causing us to gain weight.

I also think that it somehow (mechanism not clear) disrupts lipid metabolism. The body is not digesting/metabolizing the fats. There are excess fats in the bloodstream and the body tries to sock them away somewhere.

~~~

Dr. Don Huber: GMOs and Glyphosate and Their Threat to Humanity YouTube video:

[embedded content]

There may come a day when cops are automatically assumed to be the bad guys

    
I wonder if it's time for a new song.....

It's unlikely that police officers would turn on each other during a trial, due to the loyalty that typically runs through departments, David A. Harris, a University of Pittsburgh law professor and an expert on racial profiling, told The New York Times.

Jurors are often "inclined to give [police officers] the benefit of the doubt," according to The Times, because behavior "such as beating or even shooting another person" is assumed to be part of a cop's job.

"It's always difficult to get a guilty verdict against a police officer except in the worst and strongest cases," Harris told The Times. "A police officer comes into a courtroom not just presumed to be innocent, but presumed to be the good guy."

That's been true for a long time, but as the number of people who have this sort of experience mount....

I had no idea why I might be getting pulled and I was extremely surprised when the officer told me it was for not stopping at the stop sign.

I said, "I absolutely did stop."

He said, "Sir, you didn't even slow down."

Simply put, that was a bald-faced lie. (And also utterly ridiculous — the cop was claiming that I approached an intersection, going 20 or 30 miles per hour, and executed a 90-degree turn without braking, in an SUV.)

I had this sort of experience, but at a somewhat-lesser level, a number of years ago. There was a "no right turn" sign that was intentionally hidden behind a tree that had become very overgrown in the direction of the sign such that it was flatly impossible to see the sign until after you had committed to the turn. There was no other indication that the street was one-way or the turn was otherwise restricted visible; in fact it was a two-way, normal street — you just couldn't turn right there at that particular intersection.

I did, and there was a cop waiting right there who immediately pulled me over and issued a ticket. I fought it, complete with coming to court with a bunch of pictures (film shot, developed, printed; this was before the rise of digital photography and cellphones) documenting that it was flatly impossible to avoid knowing that the turn was prohibited until you were already committed to it.

every single one of them, roughly a dozen before my case was called was for the same violation at the same intersection.

The city was simply using this sign placement as a means of extortion, and making a hell of a lot of money doing it, with the cops all in on it. It was a flat-out extortion racket complete with guns.

As a result I'm sure you can guess what my expectation is if I am ever asked to sit on a jury with regard to whether the cops are telling the truth — or are the "good guys." Our numbers are mounting by the day, and this means that eventually the cops, when they show up in a courtroom, are going to be presumed to be the bad guys, and while the case will still have to be proved that "halo" will be flat out gone.

Is it time yet? No, but it's coming folks, and while it may not quite get to the level where the common man with a cup of water who sees a cop on fire will drink it, it doesn't have to go that far for the thug cop problem to disappear. No, only the halo needs to be quashed, and the more of their union reps and captains stand up and "support" cops who cause a man to die from a nearly-severed spine never mind arresting people without probable cause, the closer this day comes......

[embedded content]

Doctor's open letter to US legislator: Stop the fearmongering, unvaccinated children are fine

© unknown
Did 2014 Mark the Collapse of the Vaccine Establishment?

    

Re: VACCINE LEGISLATION

Dear Legislator:

My name is Tetyana Obukhanych. I hold a PhD in Immunology. I am writing this letter in the hope that it will correct several common misperceptions about vaccines in order to help you formulate a fair and balanced understanding that is supported by accepted vaccine theory and new scientific findings.

Do unvaccinated children pose a higher threat to the public than the vaccinated?

It is often stated that those who choose not to vaccinate their children for reasons of conscience endanger the rest of the public, and this is the rationale behind most of the legislation to end vaccine exemptions currently being considered by federal and state legislators country-wide. You should be aware that the nature of protection afforded by many modern vaccines - and that includes most of the vaccines recommended by the CDC for children - is not consistent with such a statement. I have outlined below the recommended vaccines that cannot prevent transmission of disease either because they are not designed to prevent the transmission of infection (rather, they are intended to prevent disease symptoms), or because they are for non-communicable diseases. People who have not received the vaccines mentioned below pose no higher threat to the general public than those who have, implying that discrimination against non-immunized children in a public school setting may not be warranted.

1. IPV (inactivated poliovirus vaccine) cannot prevent transmission of poliovirus (see appendix for the scientific study, Item #1). Wild poliovirus has been non-existent in the USA for at least two decades. Even if wild poliovirus were to be re-imported by travel, vaccinating for polio with IPV cannot affect the safety of public spaces. Please note that wild poliovirus eradication is attributed to the use of a different vaccine, OPV or oral poliovirus vaccine. Despite being capable of preventing wild poliovirus transmission, use of OPV was phased out long ago in the USA and replaced with IPV due to safety concerns.

2. Tetanus is not a contagious disease
, but rather acquired from deep-puncture wounds contaminated with C. tetani spores. Vaccinating for tetanus (via the DTaP combination vaccine) cannot alter the safety of public spaces; it is intended to render personal protection only.

3. While intended to prevent the disease-causing effects of the diphtheria toxin, the diphtheria toxoid vaccine (also contained in the DTaP vaccine) is not designed to prevent colonization and transmission of C. diphtheriae. Vaccinating for diphtheria cannot alter the safety of public spaces; it is likewise intended for personal protection only.

4. The acellular pertussis (aP) vaccine (the final element of the DTaP combined vaccine), now in use in the USA, replaced the whole cell pertussis vaccine in the late 1990s, which was followed by an unprecedented resurgence of whooping cough. An experiment with deliberate pertussis infection in primates revealed that the aP vaccine is not capable of preventing colonization and transmission of B. pertussis (see appendix for the scientific study, Item #2). The FDA has issued a warning regarding this crucial finding.[1]

  • Furthermore, the 2013 meeting of the Board of Scientific Counselors at the CDC revealed additional alarming data that pertussis variants (PRN-negative strains) currently circulating in the USA acquired a selective advantage to infect those who are up-to-date for their DTaP boosters (see appendix for the CDC document, Item #3), meaning that people who are up-to-date are more likely to be infected, and thus contagious, than people who are not vaccinated.
5. Among numerous types of H. influenzae, the Hib vaccine covers only type b. Despite its sole intention to reduce symptomatic and asymptomatic (disease-less) Hib carriage, the introduction of the Hib vaccine has inadvertently shifted strain dominance towards other types of H. influenzae (types a through f). These types have been causing invasive disease of high severity and increasing incidence in adults in the era of Hib vaccination of children (see appendix for the scientific study, Item #4). The general population is more vulnerable to the invasive disease now than it was prior to the start of the Hib vaccination campaign. Discriminating against children who are not vaccinated for Hib does not make any scientific sense in the era of non-type b H. influenzae disease.

6. Hepatitis B is a blood-borne virus

. It does not spread in a community setting, especially among children who are unlikely to engage in high-risk behaviors, such as needle sharing or sex. Vaccinating children for hepatitis B cannot significantly alter the safety of public spaces. Further, school admission is not prohibited for children who are chronic hepatitis B carriers. To prohibit school admission for those who are simply unvaccinated - and do not even carry hepatitis B - would constitute unreasonable and illogical discrimination.

In summary, a person who is not vaccinated with IPV, DTaP, HepB, and Hib vaccines due to reasons of conscience poses no extra danger to the public than a person who is. No discrimination is warranted.

© whydontyoutrythis

    
How often do serious vaccine adverse events happen?

It is often stated that vaccination rarely leads to serious adverse events. Unfortunately, this statement is not supported by science. A recent study done in Ontario, Canada, established that vaccination actually leads to an emergency room visit for 1 in 168 children following their 12-month vaccination appointment and for 1 in 730 children following their 18-month vaccination appointment (see appendix for a scientific study, Item #5).

When the risk of an adverse event requiring an ER visit after well-baby vaccinations is demonstrably so high, vaccination must remain a choice for parents, who may understandably be unwilling to assume this immediate risk in order to protect their children from diseases that are generally considered mild or that their children may never be exposed to.

Can discrimination against families who oppose vaccines for reasons of conscience prevent future disease outbreaks of communicable viral diseases, such as measles?

Measles research scientists have for a long time been aware of the "measles paradox." I quote from the article by Poland & Jacobson (1994) "Failure to Reach the Goal of Measles Elimination: Apparent Paradox of Measles Infections in Immunized Persons."Arch Intern Med 154:1815-1820:

"The apparent paradox is that as measles immunization rates rise to high levels in a population, measles becomes a disease of immunized persons."[2]

Further research determined that behind the "measles paradox" is a fraction of the population called LOW VACCINE RESPONDERS. Low-responders are those who respond poorly to the first dose of the measles vaccine. These individuals then mount a weak immune response to subsequent RE-vaccination and quickly return to the pool of "susceptibles'' within 2-5 years, despite being fully vaccinated.[3]

Re-vaccination cannot correct low-responsiveness: it appears to be an immuno-genetic trait.[4] The proportion of low-responders among children was estimated to be 4.7% in the USA.[5]

Studies of measles outbreaks in Quebec, Canada, and China attest that outbreaks of measles still happen, even when vaccination compliance is in the highest bracket (95-97% or even 99%, see appendix for scientific studies, Items #6&7). This is because even in high vaccine responders, vaccine-induced antibodies wane over time. Vaccine immunity does not equal life-long immunity acquired after natural exposure.

It has been documented that vaccinated persons who develop breakthrough measles are contagious. In fact, two major measles outbreaks in 2011 (in Quebec, Canada, and in New York, NY) were re-imported by previously vaccinated individuals.[6] - [7]

Taken together, these data make it apparent that elimination of vaccine exemptions, currently only utilized by a small percentage of families anyway, will neither solve the problem of disease resurgence nor prevent re-importation and outbreaks of previously eliminated diseases.

Is discrimination against conscientious vaccine objectors the only practical solution?

The majority of measles cases in recent US outbreaks (including the recent Disneyland outbreak) are adults and very young babies, whereas in the pre-vaccination era, measles occurred mainly between the ages 1 and 15. Natural exposure to measles was followed by lifelong immunity from re-infection, whereas vaccine immunity wanes over time, leaving adults unprotected by their childhood shots. Measles is more dangerous for infants and for adults than for school-aged children.

Despite high chances of exposure in the pre-vaccination era, measles practically never happened in babies much younger than one year of age due to the robust maternal immunity transfer mechanism. The vulnerability of very young babies to measles today is the direct outcome of the prolonged mass vaccination campaign of the past, during which their mothers, themselves vaccinated in their childhood, were not able to experience measles naturally at a safe school age and establish the lifelong immunity that would also be transferred to their babies and protect them from measles for the first year of life.

Luckily, a therapeutic backup exists to mimic now-eroded maternal immunity. Infants as well as other vulnerable or immunocompromised individuals, are eligible to receive immunoglobulin, a potentially life-saving measure that supplies antibodies directed against the virus to prevent or ameliorate disease upon exposure(see appendix, Item #8).

In summary: 1) due to the properties of modern vaccines, non-vaccinated individuals pose no greater risk of transmission of polio, diphtheria, pertussis, and numerous non-type b H. influenzae strains than vaccinated individuals do, non-vaccinated individuals pose virtually no danger of transmission of hepatitis B in a school setting, and tetanus is not transmissible at all; 2) there is a significantly elevated risk of emergency room visits after childhood vaccination appointments attesting that vaccination is not risk-free; 3) outbreaks of measles cannot be entirely prevented even if we had nearly perfect vaccination compliance; and 4) an effective method of preventing measles and other viral diseases in vaccine-ineligible infants and the immunocompromised, immunoglobulin, is available for those who may be exposed to these diseases.


Taken together, these four facts make it clear that discrimination in a public school setting against children who are not vaccinated for reasons of conscience is completely unwarranted as the vaccine status of conscientious objectors poses no undue public health risk.

Sincerely Yours,

~ Tetyana Obukhanych, PhD

Tetyana Obukhanych, PhD, is the author of the book Vaccine Illusion. She has studied immunology in some of the world's most prestigious medical institutions. She earned her PhD in Immunology at the Rockefeller University in New York and did postdoctoral training at Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA and Stanford University in California.

Dr. Obukhanych offers online classes for those who want to gain deeper understanding of how the immune system works and whether the immunologic benefits of vaccines are worth the risks: Natural Immunity Fundamentals.


Appendix

Item #1. The Cuba IPV Study collaborative group. (2007) Randomized controlled trial of inactivated poliovirus vaccine in Cuba. N Engl J Med 356:1536-44

http://1.usa.gov/1JR2f1b

The table below from the Cuban IPV study documents that 91% of children receiving no IPV (control group B) were colonized with live attenuated poliovirus upon deliberate experimental inoculation. Children who were vaccinated with IPV (groups A and C) were similarly colonized at the rate of 94-97%. High counts of live virus were recovered from the stool of children in all groups. These results make it clear that IPV cannot be relied upon for the control of polioviruses.

Image
    
Item #2. Warfel et al. (2014) Acellular pertussis vaccines protect against disease but fail to prevent infection and transmission in a nonhuman primate model. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 111:787-92

http://1.usa.gov/1JrOX82

"Baboons vaccinated with aP were protected from severe pertussis-associated symptoms but not from colonization, did not clear the infection faster than naïve [unvaccinated] animals, and readily transmitted B. pertussis to unvaccinated contacts. By comparison, previously infected [naturally-immune] animals were not colonized upon secondary infection."

Item #3. Meeting of the Board of Scientific Counselors, Office of Infectious Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Tom Harkins Global Communication Center, Atlanta, Georgia, December 11-12, 2013

http://1.usa.gov/1JR2d9A

Resurgence of Pertussis (p.6)

"Findings indicated that 85% of the isolates [from six Enhanced Pertussis Surveillance Sites and from epidemics in Washington and Vermont in 2012] were PRN-deficient and vaccinated patients had significantly higher odds than unvaccinated patients of being infected with PRN-deficient strains. Moreover, when patients with up-to-date DTaP vaccinations were compared to unvaccinated patients, the odds of being infected with PRN-deficient strains increased, suggesting that PRN-bacteria may have a selective advantage in infecting DTaP-vaccinated persons."

Item #4. Rubach et al. (2011) Increasing incidence of invasive Haemophilus influenzae disease in adults, Utah, USA. Emerg Infect Dis 17:1645-50

http://1.usa.gov/1JrOZwx

The chart below from Rubach et al. shows the number of invasive cases of H. influenzae (all types) in Utah in the decade of childhood vaccination for Hib.

Image
    
Item #5. Wilson et al. (2011) Adverse events following 12 and 18 month vaccinations: a population-based, self-controlled case series analysis. PLoS One 6:e27897

http://1.usa.gov/1JR2g54

"Four to 12 days post 12 month vaccination, children had a 1.33 (1.29-1.38) increased relative incidence of the combined endpoint compared to the control period, or at least one event during the risk interval for every 168 children vaccinated. Ten to 12 days post 18 month vaccination, the relative incidence was 1.25 (95%, 1.17-1.33) which represented at least one excess event for every 730 children vaccinated. The primary reason for increased events was statistically significant elevations in emergency room visits following all vaccinations."

Item #6. De Serres et al. (2013) Largest measles epidemic in North America in a decade - Quebec, Canada, 2011: contribution of susceptibility, serendipity, and superspreading events. J Infect Dis 207:990-98

http://1.usa.gov/1JrOXol

"The largest measles epidemic in North America in the last decade occurred in 2011 in Quebec, Canada."

"A super-spreading event triggered by 1 importation resulted in sustained transmission and 678 cases."

"The index case patient was a 30-39-year old adult, after returning to Canada from the Caribbean. The index case patient received measles vaccine in childhood."

"Provincial [Quebec] vaccine coverage surveys conducted in 2006, 2008, and 2010 consistently showed that by 24 months of age, approximately 96% of children had received 1 dose and approximately 85% had received 2 doses of measles vaccine, increasing to 97% and 90%, respectively, by 28 months of age. With additional first and second doses administered between 28 and 59 months of age, population measles vaccine coverage is even higher by school entry."

"Among adolescents, 22% [of measles cases] had received 2 vaccine doses. Outbreak investigation showed this proportion to have been an underestimate; active case finding identified 130% more cases among 2-dose recipients."

Item #7. Wang et al. (2014) Difficulties in eliminating measles and controlling rubella and mumps: a cross-sectional study of a first measles and rubella vaccination and a second measles, mumps, and rubella vaccination. PLoS One 9:e89361

http://1.usa.gov/1JR2g56

"The reported coverage of the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine is greater than 99.0% in Zhejiang province. However, the incidence of measles, mumps, and rubella remains high."

Item #8. Immunoglobulin Handbook, Health Protection Agency

http://bit.ly/1JR2fhA

HUMAN NORMAL IMMUNOGLOBULIN (HNIG):

Indications

  1. To prevent or attenuate an attack in immuno-compromised contacts
  2. To prevent or attenuate an attack in pregnant women
  3. To prevent or attenuate an attack in infants under the age of 9 months
[1] http://1.usa.gov/1JrOZwG

[2] http://bit.ly/1JR2g58

[3] Poland (1998) Am J Hum Genet 62:215-220

http://1.usa.gov/1JrOZwH

" 'poor responders,' who were re-immunized and developed poor or low-level antibody responses only to lose detectable antibody and develop measles on exposure 2 - 5 years later."

[4] ibid

"Our ongoing studies suggest that seronegativity after vaccination [for measles] clusters among related family members, that genetic polymorphisms within the HLA [genes] significantly influence antibody levels."

[5] LeBaron et al. (2007) Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med 161:294-301

http://1.usa.gov/1JR2g5a

"Titers fell significantly over time [after second MMR] for the study population overall and, by the final collection, 4.7% of children were potentially susceptible."

[6] De Serres et al. (2013) J Infect Dis 207:990-998

http://1.usa.gov/1JrOXol

"The index case patient received measles vaccine in childhood."

[7] Rosen et al. (2014) Clin Infect Dis 58:1205-1210

http://1.usa.gov/1JrOXon

"The index patient had 2 doses of measles-containing vaccine."

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Three earthquakes in 30 minutes strike Concord Fault in California

    
CONCORD (CBS SF) — The U.S. Geological Survey is reporting three earthquakes, two with a 3-plus magnitude, have struck Concord Wednesday morning.

The USGS says the first quake, a magnitude 3.2, was centered east of Highway 242 in Concord and struck at about 7:01 a.m. PDT Wednesday. The second and largest, a 3.6-magnitude, struck at 7:32 a.m. It was later downgraded to a 3.5. The third, a 2.6-magnitude, hit shortly after at 7:35 a.m.

Over 100 people, mostly in Pleasant Hill, reported feeling the earthquakes, according to USGS' online "Did You Feel It" survey.

    
People chimed in over Twitter after some light shaking.
There have been no reports of injury or damage.

Aftershocks continue to rattle the East Bay after a 3.6-magnitude earthquake struck the same area on Sunday afternoon.

The U.S. Geological Survey says an earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 4.0 hit at 2:13 p.m. Sunday. That quake was later downgraded to a 3.6 by the USGS. It was centered a mile south of Concord, along the Concord fault.

Following the 3.6 quake, at least eight aftershocks were reported as of Wednesday.

1.8 — 05/05 05:51 a.m.
2.8 — 05/04 6:52 p.m.
1.6 — 05/04 1:52 a.m.
1.5 — 05/03 9:30 p.m.
2.3 — 05/03 6:54 p.m.
1.6 — 05/03 3:56 p.m.
2.1 — 05/03 3:28 p.m.
3.0 — 5/03 3:14 p.m.

Scientists says the Concord fault, which runs through Concord to Suisun Bay, has the potential to do major damage in the East Bay.

The Hayward and San Andreas faults steal most of the spotlight, but the Concord fault stretching from the Mount Diablo foothills to the Carquinez Strait could cause major damage due to its location.

"If we saw a 6.0 on Concord, we could see far more damage than we did in Napa," USGS Seismologist Dr. David Schwartz told KCBS news following Sunday's quake.

Even if the Concord Fault only produced a 5.0 quake, it could cause significant damage to refineries in the area.

There was a damaging 5.4-magnitude quake in 1955 that killed one person and caused property damage estimated at $1 million.

The USGS estimates there's a 3 to 4 percent probability of a magnitude-6.7 or higher earthquake striking on the Concord of lower Green Valley Fault in the next 30 years compared with 6.4 percent for the San Andreas and 14.3 percent for the Hayward Fault.

A series of smaller quakes shook the area in the moments before and after the larger one.

Strong earthquakes with an epicenter off the coast can trigger tsunamis, depending on the size and type of the fault movement. The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center tracks earthquake data for the West Coast.

Corporate Media Connects Garland Shooters to ISIS Through British Hacker

The Daily Mail reports one of the two suspects in the Garland, Texas shooting were assisted by Junaid Hussain, described as a British hacker loyal to ISIS.

From Daily Mail:

Just hours before the shooting in Garland, Texas took place, a Twitter account understood to belong to gunman Elton Simpson, 31, demanded readers follow a second account controlled by a notorious ISIS fighter who uses the nom de guerre Abu Hussain al-Britani.

That man is known to be Junaid Hussain, 21 – a former computer hacker turned jihadi who joined ISIS after fleeing his home city of Birmingham in 2013.

The Daily Mail says “within minutes of the first bullets being fired and while details of the attack were still vague, Hussain posted messages praising the gunmen as Muslim ‘brothers’ and revealed their target had been a exhibition where artists were drawing pictures of the Prophet Mohammed.”

The conclusion reached by the British news website is that Hussain and ISIS knew about the attack and likely had a hand in its execution.

“The apparent link between Hussain and at least one of the Garland shooters prompted experts to question whether the Briton had been in some way connected to the attack.”

Daveed Gartenstein-Ross, a senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, told the Mail the “interesting question is whether Junaid Hussain knew about the attack in advance.”

The Foundation for Defense of Democracies is a leading neocon think tank with a roster of influential neocons and government insiders, including James Woolsey, Frank Gaffney, Bill Kristol, Steve Forbes, Richard Perle, Charles Krauthammer and others. Toby Dershowitz, a former spokesperson for the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, is listed as a policy wonk and senior staffer.

British Intelligence Has Long Track Record of Shepherding Terrorists

Hussain was arrested in 2012 after he confessed to stealing former British Prime Minister Tony Blair’s personal details and blocking an anti-terror hotline with prank telephone calls. He posted the information about Blair and other government officials online.

He was sent to prison for six months and upon release fled to Syria and reportedly joined ISIS. He was later said to be responsible for hacking of Twitter and Facebook accounts belonging to U.S. Central Command.

cybercal

Since at least the 1990s British intelligence has recruited, groomed and protected a number of terrorist figures, including Abu Qatada, Anas al-Liby, Omar Bakri Mohammed, Abu Hamza al-Masri and others.

Hamza was the imam presiding over the infamous Finesbury Park mosque, described as “a first port of call, a meeting place and a haven for terror suspects arriving and operating in the UK,” including Richard Reid and Zacarias Moussaoui.

Hamza began working for British intelligence and police in 1997. Hamza collaborated with Haroon Rashid Aswat, said to be the mastermind behind the London 7/7 bombings. Aswat, according to terrorism expert and a former prosecutor for the Justice Department, John Loftus, was a British intelligence asset.

For more on the connections between British and U.S. intelligence and terrorists and terror sympathizers, see CIA Double Agent? CIA and British Intelligence Created Ruse Known as al-Qaedaand Terror Created by British Intelligence Will Be a Threat for “Many Years,” . Both articles are posted at Infowars.com.

The unanswered question, and one unlikely to be addressed by the corporate media, is what happened to Junaid Hussain while he was in custody in Britain. Why did British authorities release him after serving a mere six months for hacking the accounts of the prime ministers a