Archive for December, 2014

I forgot now….

Scientists show how you can restore lost memories.

Free Book here

Carotenoids: Astaxanthin as an internal sunscreen |.

A Former Ground Zero Goes to Court Against the World’s Nuclear Arsenals – NYTimes.com.

Smell Turns Up in Unexpected Places

Smell is one of the oldest human faculties, yet it was one of the last to be understood by scientists. It was not until the early 1990s that biologists first described the inner workings of olfactory receptors — the chemical sensors in our noses — in a discovery that won a Nobel Prize.

Since then, the plot has thickened. Over the last decade or so, scientists have discovered that odor receptors are not solely confined to the nose, but found throughout body — in the liver, the heart, the kidneys and even sperm — where they play a pivotal role in a host of physiological functions.

Now, a team of biologists at Ruhr University Bochum in Germany has found that our skin is bristling with olfactory receptors. “More than 15 of the olfactory receptors that exist in the nose are also found in human skin cells,” said the lead researcher, Dr. Hanns Hatt. Not only that, but exposing one of these receptors (colorfully named OR2AT4) to a synthetic sandalwood odor known as Sandalore sets off a cascade of molecular signals that appears to induce healing in injured tissue.

In a series of human tests, skin abrasions healed 30 percent faster in the presence of Sandalore, a finding the scientists think could lead to cosmetic products for aging skin and to new treatments to promote recovery after physical trauma.

The presence of scent receptors outside the nose may seem odd at first, but as Dr. Hatt and others have observed, odor receptors are among the most evolutionarily ancient chemical sensors in the body, capable of detecting a multitude of compounds, not solely those drifting through the air.

“If you think of olfactory receptors as specialized chemical detectors, instead of as receptors in your nose that detect smell, then it makes a lot of sense for them to be in other places,” said Jennifer Pluznick, an assistant professor of physiology at Johns Hopkins University who in 2009 found that olfactory receptors help control metabolic function and regulate blood pressure in the kidneys of mice.

Think of olfactory receptors as a lock-and-key system, with an odor molecule the key to the receptor’s lock. Only certain molecules fit with certain receptors. When the right molecule comes along and alights on the matching receptor, it sets in motion an elaborate choreography of biochemical reactions. Inside the nose, this culminates in a nerve signal being sent to brain, which we perceive as odor. But the same apparatus can fulfill other biological functions as well.

Dr. Hatt was one of the first scientists to study these functions in detail. In a study published in 2003, he and his colleagues reported that olfactory receptors found inside the testes function as a kind of chemical guidance system that enables sperm cells to find their way toward an unfertilized egg, giving new meaning to the notion of sexual chemistry.

He has since identified olfactory receptors in several other organs, including the liver, heart, lungs, colon and brain. In fact, genetic evidence suggests that nearly every organ in the body contains olfactory receptors.

“I’ve been arguing for the importance of these receptors for years,” said Dr. Hatt, who calls himself an ambassador of smell, and whose favorite aromas are basil, thyme and rosemary. “It was a hard fight.”

But researchers have gradually awakened to the biological importance of these molecular sniffers and the promise they hold for the diagnosis and treatment of disease.

In 2009, for instance, Dr. Hatt and his team reported that exposing olfactory receptors in the human prostate to beta-ionone, a primary odor compound in violets and roses, appeared to inhibit the spread of prostate cancer cells by switching off errant genes.

The same year, Grace Pavlath, a biologist at Emory University, published a study on olfactory receptors in skeletal muscles. She found that bathing the receptors in Lyral, a synthetic fragrance redolent of lily of the valley, promoted the regeneration of muscle tissue. Blocking these receptors (by neutralizing the genes that code for them), on the other hand, was found to inhibit muscular regeneration, suggesting that odor receptors are a necessary component of the intricate biochemical signaling system that causes stem cells to morph into muscles cells and replace damaged tissue.

“This was totally unexpected,” Dr. Pavlath said. “When we were doing this, the idea that olfactory receptors were involved in tissue repair was not out there.” No doubt, few scientists ever imagined that a fragrance sold at perfume counters would possess any significant medical benefits.

But it may not be all that surprising. Olfactory receptors are the largest subset of G protein-coupled receptors, a family of proteins, found on the surface of cells, that allow the cells to sense what is going on around them. These receptors are a common target for drugs — 40 percent of all prescription drugs reach cells via GPCRs — and that augurs well for the potential of what might be called scent-based medicine.

But because of the complexity of the olfactory system, this potential may still be a long way off. Humans have about 350 different kinds of olfactory receptors, and that is on the low end for vertebrates. (Mice, and other animals that depend heavily on their sense of smell for finding food and evading predators, have more than 1,000.)

Despite recent advances, scientists have matched just a handful of these receptors to the specific chemical compounds they detect — an effort further complicated by the fact that many scent molecules may activate the same receptor and, conversely, multiple receptors often react to the same scent. Little is still known about what most of these receptors do — or, for that matter, how they ended up scattered throughout the body in the first place.

Nor is it even clear that olfactory receptors have their evolutionary origins in the nose. “They’re called olfactory receptors because we found them in the nose first,” said Yehuda Ben-Shahar, a biologist at Washington University in St. Louis who published a paper this year on olfactory receptors in the human lung, which he found act as a safety switch against poisonous compounds by causing the airways to constrict when we inhale noxious substances. “It’s an open question,” he said, “as to which evolved first.”

Smell Turns Up in Unexpected Places – NYTimes.com.

What if:

A Minister of defense of Canada publicly stated that UFO’s are real

A famous USA astronaut told you that they are real and he witnessed one landing

French military wrote a report COMETA with a photo of a UFO on its cover taken by a Costa Rica plane on a mapping mission.

French NASA (CNES) releases all it’s ufo reports and its director says that UFO’s are

Nike Pope retired from Ministry of Defense of UK

Dr Allen Hynek the head of the debunking group of the USA Air Force MJ-12 says that they are from outer space.

Gordon cooper astronaut

▶ I KNOW WHAT I SAW – 2014 #1 Best UFO HD Movie – YouTube.

“Reversible Female Sterilization”

The Second Most Popular Form of Birth Control Will Surprise You | TIME.

Ottawa flu season features aggressive strain of virus – Ottawa – CBC News.

Sugar could harm blood pressure more than salt – Daily Dose.

Cocksucking ELIMINATES Autism?

New studies link brain inflammation and preeclampsia with increased autism risk – Los Angeles LA | Examiner.com

SO; Is a lack of cock sucking now child abuse?

The likelihood of developing autism and developmental delay was doubled in the mothers who experienced preeclampsia compared to the control group. The scientists determined that this could be attributed to enhanced systemic inflammation as a result of preeclampsia, leading to a restriction of the amount of nutrients and oxygen being transferred to the placenta, and restricted levels of growth and oxygenated blood in the fetus.

SINCE THE SUPREME PUNDIT KNOWS YOU WILL NOT LOOK FURTHER IT IS PROVIDED HERE FOR YOU:

STRAIGHT FROM THE NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF HEALTH WEB SITE:

r;46(2):155-66.

Correlation between oral sex and a low incidence of preeclampsia: a role for soluble HLA in seminal fluid?

Abstract

The involvement of immune mechanisms in the aetiology of preeclampsia is often suggested. Normal pregnancy is thought to be associated with a state of tolerance to the foreign antigens of the fetus, whereas in preeclamptic women this immunological tolerance might be hampered. The present study shows that oral sex and swallowing sperm is correlated with a diminished occurrence of preeclampsia which fits in the existing idea that a paternal factor is involved in the occurrence of preeclampsia. Because pregnancy has many similarities with transplantation, we hypothesize that induction of allogeneic tolerance to the paternal HLA molecules of the fetus may be crucial. Recent data suggest that exposure, and especially oral exposure to soluble HLA (sHLA) or HLA derived peptides can lead to transplantation tolerance. Similarly, sHLA antigens, that are present in the seminal plasma, might cause tolerance in the mother to paternal antigens. In order to test whether this indeed may be the case, we investigated whether sHLA antigens are present in seminal plasma. Using a specific ELISA we detected sHLA class I molecules in seminal plasma. The level varied between individuals and was related to the level in plasma. Further studies showed that these sHLA class I molecules included classical HLA class I alleles, such as sHLA-A2, -B7, -B51, -B35 and sHLA-A9. Preliminary data show lower levels of sHLA in seminal plasma in the preeclampsia group, although not significantly different from the control group. An extension of the present study is necessary to verify this hypothesis.

NOW BACK TO THE NEWS

Two new studies published this week link various risk factors with the development of autism. The first study published Wednesday in the journal Nature Communications analyzed 104 samples of brain tissue in 72 individuals, 32 of whom were diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), the largest sample thus far in a study of its kind. The researchers sought to analyze the gene expression of support cells in the brain tissues, referred to as microglia, and found that the genes that controlled for brain inflammation were permanently activated in the brains of those with autism.

While the scientists were quick to point out that it’s unlikely that this inflammation is the root cause of autism, it may be a consequence of other genetic mutation and abnormalities. This inflammatory response may be indicative of the overactive immune response seen in previous studies that analyzed possible contributors to the development of autism. Down the line, pursuing treatments for this response may lead to an amelioration of autism symptoms.

The second study published Monday in the journal JAMA Pediatrics looked at risk factors during pregnancy that may contribute to the onset of ASD. Researchers looked at 1,000 children with autism or developmental delay born to mothers who experienced preeclampsia, a condition during the second or third trimester of pregnancy in which the mother develops high blood pressure, vision problems, kidney dysfunction and other inflammatory responses, affecting between 2-8% of pregnancies worldwide.

They found that the likelihood of developing autism and developmental delay was doubled in the mothers who experienced preeclampsia compared to the control group. The scientists determined that this could be attributed to enhanced systemic inflammation as a result of preeclampsia, leading to a restriction of the amount of nutrients and oxygen being transferred to the placenta, and restricted levels of growth and oxygenated blood in the fetus. While there is no current definitive method of prevention, current medical research points to the importance of prenatal and maternal health as preventative measures for the condition.

via New studies link brain inflammation and preeclampsia with increased autism risk – Los Angeles LA | Examiner.com.

SO NOW YOU KNOW.  THOSE COUPLES WITH AN AUTISTIC KID HAVE A PRUDISH SELFISH CAUSE

How Fructose Affects FOOD PORN

Researchers found that the food porn lit up the reward centers in the brains of the fructose drinkers, but not so much in the glucose drinkers

via How Fructose Affects Weight Gain – Prevention.com.

Save the TITTIES WITH TAMOXIFEN!

Tamoxifen for five years drives down the incidence of breast cancer in women at high risk for the disease by close to 30%,

via Breast cancer prevention drug gives lasting protection, study finds – LA Times.

What are you going to do whiner?  That teacher’s job id more protected than that of a sitting judge!

The only remedy is complete abandonment of the public school system….

 

 

This Note From My Son’s Teacher Went Too Far

 

 

 

(Editor’s note: This article originally appeared on Babble.com. It has been reprinted here with permission. Disney is the parent company of both ABC News and Babble.)

I’m a responsible parent. I’m a tough disciplinarian. I don’t lie on reading logs. My kids get flu shots and their bedtimes are carved in stone. But in spite of all that Type-A parenting, I’m still human. I make mistakes and forget things once and a while, and recently I forgot to sign my second-grader’s homework. Now keep in mind, he did the homework. He did the math worksheets and the spelling activity. He studied for the geography quiz and practiced for the timed math tests. He did the required reading on his reading log and completed the reading worksheet, but what his mom failed to do was sign off on it.

I get it. I get that my son’s teacher wants parents invested in checking off the completion of every assignment. I get that she wants parents to know what’s going on, but I’d like to believe this truth is evident by the quality of the work he turns in – by the nicely written penmanship, by his carefully written name scrolled across every worksheet (front and back), and by the parent-completed reading log pictured above. But hey, I respect that that two parent signatures each week are her policy and I totally forgot one, but what I’m having a hard time reconciling is the manner in which she chose to communicate with me for a first offensive. Why have we skipped the pleasantries and reached code orange? Whatever happened to sticky notes? Or a polite reminder in the corner?

But the worst part wasn’t how the amber admonition of terror made me feel, it was how my 7-year-old reacted to it. He was afraid to show me his reading log for fear that he’d done something horribly wrong. And sadly, he’d gone above and beyond the 80 minutes of required reading that week only to be rewarded with a herculean orange tongue-lashing? Of course he thought he was in trouble. I felt like I was in trouble!

But was I crazy for feeling so shocked and angry? Was my receptivity meter off? Knowing I have a tendency to be overly sensitive, I took it to Facebook (you know, to the people who know all) to gauge the appropriateness of my reaction.

One-hundred and sixty comments later, I learned my feelings were echoed by all.

Reactions ranged from anger:

That teacher is a j*** off. Our poor kids have so much thrust upon them at school. Seriously, that reaction was over board.

She doesn’t have self control. I would be a bit scared to leave my kids with her.

I have a problem with any teacher who would demand that a parent comply with any sort of arbitrary rule. They can make rules for the kids, but as an adult, I would resent it. I graduated from high school thirty years ago. I’d be tempted to sign my name right under the phrase “bite me.”

Seriously, I would be in the Principal’s office then the district offices. Uncalled for!

What ever happened to lighting a bag of poo on a teachers door step?

To passive-aggressive:

You should get every single parent you know to sign it. Even parents you don’t know.

I would get an orange marker and freaking sign every single thing like that! That’s just rude!

That’s inappropriate on the teacher’s behalf. I would have returned it with my signature in bigger letters and bolder color because I’m feisty like that.

Hmmm, just wait till the first time SHE forgets something. Go buy some really bright markers.

Sign your name over the entire page and return it !!!

 

This Note From My Son’s Teacher Went Too Far – ABC News.

New ‘Smelly’ Food Ingredient Curbs Hunger, Prevents Obesity – American News.

The US Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) alleges the banks offered a favourable rating to the US toy retailer in return for being employed on its 2010 stock offering.

The banks include Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, Credit Suisse and Barclays.

They were fined a total of $43.5m.

via BBC News – Banks fined by US regulators over Toys R Us research.

BULLIES: Many consumers don’t know they owe money for medical procedures until they get a call from a collection agency or they discover it on their credit report, a federal consumer watchdog says.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau on Thursday released a report spotlighting concerns about how medical debts are collected and reported.

About 43 million Americans have overdue medical debt on their credit reports, the bureau said. Unlike, say, unpaid phone or utility bills, medical debt can result from an event that is unpredictable and costly, with consumers often temporarily responsible for the whole bill until their insurance companies can work it out.

“Consumers can also become responsible for the medical debt because of billing issues between medical providers and insurers,” the bureau said. “If a medical bill goes unpaid after a certain period of time, the medical provider may hand over the account to a third-party debt collector.”

Most of the collection notices on consumers’ credit reports are furnished to the credit reporting agencies, which include Chicago-based TransUnion, by third-party debt collectors, the bureau said.

Such black marks on a credit report can hurt consumers’ credit scores, which can influence whether they can get loans and at what interest rates. A collection notice generally can stay on a report for up to seven years.

Complaints from consumers who are subject to medical collections are more likely to be about amounts owed or about whether the bill was paid as compared with complaints about other types of collections. The bureau’s analysis found consumers with medical debt were more than twice as likely to argue that the debt was paid — 20 percent for medical collections compared with 8 percent for all other types of collection complaints.

“The medical billing process can be confusing for consumers,” according to the bureau, which said 52 percent of overdue debt on credit reports is from medical expenses. Also, 1 in 5 credit reports contain medical debt in collections, the bureau said.

Unpaid medical debts average $579, the bureau said.

The bureau said it’s concerned that “the complex processes by which medical bills are incurred, collected by a wide range of debt collectors and reported to credit reporting agencies can create challenges for consumers.”

“A top priority” includes holding “all players in the credit reporting market accountable for ensuring the accuracy of data in credit reports,” the bureau said. “This applies to the furnishers of the information, to the credit bureaus, and to the creditors that often both furnish information and use credit reports.”

On Thursday, the bureau said it would require major credit reporting companies to provide regular accuracy reports that would include which information furnishers and which industries have the most disputes with consumers.

The bureau “expects the credit reporting agency to investigate, identify if there is a problem and take appropriate action.”

TransUnion, one of three major credit-reporting agencies, referred questions to the Consumer Data Industry Association, a trade group.

“As part of its oversight responsibility,” the bureau “periodically asks the nationwide credit reporting agencies to provide information regarding data maintained by the” agencies, an association spokesman said. “The information they are asking about concerns data received from lenders and others that report to the credit reporting agencies.”

The association said it views the request as “being a normal course of business in dealing with the regulator.”

Ninety-eight percent of credit reports have no material errors, the association spokesman said.

byerak@tribpub.com

Medical debt collection, reporting under scrutiny – Chicago Tribune.

Were the cops trying to incite a riot so they could crack down?

Like THEY DID AT THE G20 HERE, AND HERE AND HERE.

An undercover law enforcement officer from an outside agency who was attempting to infiltrate a demonstration against police brutality in Oakland pulled a gun on the protesters after he and his partner were outed and the partner was attacked.

The undercover work — captured by a freelance photographer working for The Chronicle — raised questions about tactics employed by police and protesters as authorities seek to get a handle on rallies that have flooded the streets of Oakland, Berkeley and San Francisco, at times shutting down freeways and devolving into vandalism and looting.

About 50 people were marching near Lake Merritt just after 11:30 p.m. Wednesday when some of the demonstrators began calling out two men who were walking with the group, said the freelance photographer, Michael Short.

“Just as we turned up 27th Street, the crowd started yelling at these two guys, saying they were undercover cops,” Short said Thursday. “Somebody snatched a hat off the shorter guy’s head and he was fumbling around for it. A guy ran up behind him, knocked him down on the ground. That guy jumped backed up and chased after him and tackled him and the crowd began surging on them.

“The other taller guy had a small baton out,” Short said. “But as the crowd started surging on them, he pulled out a gun.”

Oakland police Lt. Chris Bolton tweeted about a report of “an officer in need of assistance” near the Whole Foods on Bay Place north of Lake Merritt.

Bolton, though, said the men were not Oakland police officers. Frank Bonifacio, an Oakland police spokesman, said the department responded to “a request for assistance made by an outside agency near Bay and Harrison Streets in Oakland.”

“We have received a number of questions about the incident,” Bonifacio said in an e-mail Thursday. “We are referring all inquiries regarding this incident to the California Highway Patrol.”

CHP officials did not return calls for comment.

Short said the undercover officers were wearing sweats and had their faces covered. After the shorter officer tackled the person who attacked him, he pulled out a set of handcuffs. The taller man then radioed for help, Short said.

Prior to the encounter, vandals marching with the group had smashed the windows of a T-Mobile store in Oakland’s Chinatown neighborhood and made off with some of the store’s merchandise, Short said. A nearby Wells Fargo ATM was also smashed.

Several protesters took to Twitter to say that the undercover officers had instigated acts of vandalism, and were banging on windows alongside others.

Short said he did not see the officers’ actions at this time because protesters had surrounded him and had tried to take the memory card out of his camera. Noah Berger, another freelance photographer, was similarly accosted by protesters.

The march had earlier been peaceful, beginning in Berkeley with hundreds of participants calling for justice for Michael Brown and Eric Garner, two unarmed black men who were killed by white police officers in Missouri and New York. The recent demonstrations were set off when grand juries declined to file charges in the cases.

Protesters on Wednesday disrupted traffic at times, as well as a UC Berkeley lecture given by PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel, but did not attempt to take over any freeways. Oakland police said arrests were made, but did not specify how many and for what reasons.

 

Vivian Ho is a San Francisco Chronicle staff writer. E-mail: vho@sfchronicle.com Twitter: @VivianHo

 

Undercover cops outed, attacked at Oakland protest — 1 pulls gun – SFGate.

The rise of the dead: How many ghosts are on Facebook?

  • By Jonathan Good
  • November 18, 2010

What is the fastest growing group on Facebook? One of the most surprising phenomena of 2010 is the encroachment of death onto Facebook. Just like Toy Story 3, the blissful youth of Facebook is suddenly faced with the passing of time and the first inklings of mortality. However, beyond the anecdote of an awkward experience, surprisingly few facts exist about the prevalence of death on social media. Is this an occasional curiosity or a looming tidal wave for which existing social media sites are unprepared?

We decided to do the math and estimate how many of these “social media ghosts” are living on long beyond their real-life equivalents.

Mostly the old…

The numbers suggest that 2.6 million Americans will die in 2010 [1]. The simple math that one third of Americans are now on Facebook would suggest that just over 1 million Americans will pass away on Facebook this year. The real math is a bit more complicated, of course. On Facebook, college kids sharing their drunken travails are over-represented, and the far-more-likely-to-die old, under-represented.

For a better answer, 1000Memories compared the CDC distribution (yes the best people to ask about death are the Center for DISEASE control!) with the CIA’s statistics on the American population at large. Based on this we calculated that the probability of dying this year by age. The graph looks like the ‘hockey-stick’ that social media start-ups dream about (see Chart 1).

Probability of death by age…while the young while away their days online

Facebook, the all-conquering social, sociological and now Hollywood phenomenon often seems ubiquitous. With over 500 million users it would be the third largest country in the world (and Twitter would be the 5th, LinkedIn the 13th, and 1000Memories wouldn’t be the smallest!) [2]. That said, I am always surprised how many people are not on Facebook. The Facebook-phobic include not only my grandmother, my 1-year-old cousin, and also my dad. Market estimates suggest that more than 80% of Americans between the ages of 20 and 29 use Facebook, while only 8% of those 65 and older have been sucked into social media’s black-hole like grip (see Chart 2) [3].

Facebook users by age1,000,000 Facebook ghosts this year…

At this point, the math calculates that less than 400,000 of American Facebook users will die in 2010 [4]. Facebook hasn’t commented on how many of these accounts are “memorialized” (a special state that removes status updates and disable new friendships — for more details see our forum). Anecdotal evidence suggests, however, that most accounts are not “memorialized” — they patiently await the next status update that will never come like faithful Hachikō [5].

Extrapolating globally (1 in 4 Facebook users is American and non-US users tend to be younger and hence have a lower death rate) suggests that 1 to 1.5 million Facebook accounts will outlive their users this year. That’s more than 1 million deaths on Facebook in 2010. 1 million — that’s 1,000 times more people than Mark Zuckerberg has friends [6].

…and 50 million ghosts in 2015

Of course, 2010 isn’t the first year that someone has died on Facebook, and as much as I may hope, it won’t be the last. Facebook’s own blog chronicles the team’s shock and reaction when an early employee died in a bike accident in 2006 [7]. However the recent aging of Facebook means that accounts whose owners have passed away are a relatively new phenomena. In fact, seven times as many people will die on Facebook this year than have ever died on Facebook. Projecting this forward we foresee over 50 million accounts whose owners have passed away in 2015 [8] (see chart 3).

Facebook users by ageThe impact on Facebook and beyond

So what does this all mean? As social media grows and the time we have left shrinks, death on the Internet needs to, and will, become more normal. The temporal and ephemeral tweet about “eating cereal for breakfast” needs also to be a part of something more substantial, helping our family, friends and future generations remember us not just from our “status” and activities but in the full richness of the photos, stories and relationships that capture our lives. Combining the scattered and temporal into something more substantial — and hopefully more meaningful — is exactly what we’re hoping to achieve with 1000Memories.

Footnotes

1. Based on 2010 population and death rate estimates from the CIA.
2. Twitter reports 175 million users and LinkedIn reports 85 million. 1000Memories doesn’t publish user numbers but the Vatican City has just 800 residents so we are a long, long way ahead.
3. Note that officially you are required to be 13 years of age to use Facebook which shapes our distribution here
4. Assuming that using Facebook doesn’t positively or negatively affect your mortality.
5. The faithful Japanese dog which patiently waited for its human companion long after his death.
6. Vanity Fair reported Mark Zuckerberg has 879 friends (on Facebook).
7. http://blog.facebook.com/blog.php?post=163091042130.
8. For this extrapolation we have pieced together Facebook’s historic user numbers and project forward that the site will grow to 2 billion users in 2015. We assume historically a constant second derivative of the Facebook death rate (based on our 2009 and 2010 analysis) and that this will level our to match the population death rate in 2015.

 

The rise of the dead: How many ghosts are on Facebook? | 1000memories.