Tag Archives | Health

Antibiotic resistance doesn’t just make bacteria harder to kill – it can actually make them stronger

Pseudomonas aeruginosa bacteria. CDC/ Janice Haney Carr

Pseudomonas aeruginosa bacteria. CDC/ Janice Haney Carr

Gerald Pier, Harvard Medical School and David Skurnik, Harvard Medical School

Antibiotics are wonderful drugs for treating bacterial infections. Unfortunately, disease-causing bacteria can become resistant to antibiotics that are meant to kill them. This is called selective pressure – the bacteria that are susceptible to the drug are killed, but the ones that withstand the antibiotic survive and proliferate. This process results in the emergence of antibiotic-resistant strains.

Once a bacterial strain is resistant to several different antibiotics, it has become a multi-drug-resistant (MDR) microbe. When there are virtually no antibiotics available to treat an infected patient, a microbe is said to be “pan-resistant.“ These strains are becoming more and more common in hospitals and in the community at large. You might have heard of some of them: for instance, methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), vancomycin-resistant Enterococci (VRE) and carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE).… Read the rest

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iSperm: Check Your Sperm on Your iPad

screenshot9 Taiwanese start-up, Aidmics, has created a sperm counting gadget that connects to an iPad. It was originally created to help farmers manage their livestock, but the company is hoping to expand its use to men. The device isn't the first at-home fertility tester, but it does offer live visuals of the sperm. Aidmics founder Agean Lin told Reuters that he hopes to price the device between $100 – $200. Personally, I think they should look into expanding beyond the iPad to regular ol' smart phones.
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“Cured” woman is HIV-free for 12 years without taking drugs

AJ Cann (CC BY-NC 2.0) An 18-year-old woman, who was born with HIV, no longer has traces of the virus in her blood, despite not taking antiretroviral drugs for over 12 years. Some doctors think this may have to do with the consistent use of the drugs early in the woman's life. Via New Scientist:
The woman has no genetic factors that might make her naturally resistant to the virus. Instead, it is likely that theearly, regular use of a combination of antiretroviral drugs is to credit for her remission, says Asier Sáez-Cirión of the Pasteur Institute in Paris, France, who will present the case at the International AIDS Society meeting in Vancouver, Canada, on Tuesday.
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U.S. fracking linked to higher hospitalization rates: researchers

Simon Fraser University - University Communications (CC BY 2.0)

“In areas where shale-drilling/hydraulic fracturing is heavy, a dense web of roads, pipelines and well pads turn continuous forests and grasslands into fragmented islands.”
Simon Fraser University – University Communications (CC BY 2.0)

According to new research from University of Pennsylvania and Columbia University, people who live near fracking sites are more likely to suffer from health complications.

Reuters has the story:

People who live in areas near hydraulic fracturing are more likely to be hospitalized for heart conditions, neurological illnesses and cancer, according to researchers from the University of Pennsylvania and Columbia University.

“At this point, we suspect that residents are exposed to many toxicants, noise and social stressors due to hydraulic fracturing near their homes and this may add to the increased number of hospitalizations,” Reynold Panettieri, one of the study’s authors, said in a press release.

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Check out the press release here.… Read the rest

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The 10 Inventions of Nikola Tesla That Changed The World

"Tesla circa 1890" by Napoleon Sarony - postcard (radiographics.rsna.org). Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons.

Tesla circa 1890” by Napoleon Sarony – postcard (radiographics.rsna.org). Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons.

This post was originally published on Activist Post

Nikola Tesla is finally beginning to attract real attention and encourage serious debate more than 70 years after his death.

Was he for real? A crackpot? Part of an early experiment in corporate-government control?

We know that he was undoubtedly persecuted by the energy power brokers of his day — namely Thomas Edison, whom we are taught in school to revere as a genius.  He was also attacked by J.P. Morgan and other “captains of industry.” Upon Tesla’s death on January 7th, 1943, the U.S. government moved into his lab and apartment confiscating all of his scientific research, some of which has been released by the FBI through the Freedom of Information Act. (I’ve embedded the first 250 pages below and have added a link to the .pdf of the final pages, 290 in total).… Read the rest

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Permaculture – Reconnecting with Nature

Bonzai-Tree-Permaculture

Phil Watt via Waking Times:

Humanity has lost its connection to nature. We’re so bombarded with artificial imagery and ideals of superficial living that most of us think taking in an occasional sunset or going for a bush-walk is what it means to be united with our Mother Earth. These practices are wonderful, and very grounding, however they are temporary and don’t truly represent the holistic way we most naturally connect to the spirit of our world and the life that it breathes.

As a culture, we have become disconnected from our food. We have forgotten the cycles of natural systems. We are blind to the divine patterns found in nature. We have lost the innate wisdom of knowing our environment like the back of our heart, and knowing our place within it. Instead we have accepted urbanization of our civilization as ‘natural’. In cities we live in a cement jungle, on top of each other but isolated from each other and our natural environment.

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A lack of education could be just as dangerous as smoking

Stay in school kids – it’s dangerous to your health to miss out on education, according to a study reported at the Washington Post:

Don’t use drugs, stay in school — kids hear this kind of advice all the time. What they don’t hear is that not having a good education could be just as dangerous to their health as smoking.

Mar Elias High School class_1117

Photo: James Emery (CC)

That’s the takeaway of a new study, published Wednesday in the journal PLOS ONE. The authors of the study calculated the health risks of low educational attainment in the U.S. and found that more than 145,000 deaths could have been prevented in 2010 if adults who did not finish high school had earned a GED or high school diploma — comparable to the mortality rates of smoking.

In addition, another 110,000 deaths in 2010 could have been saved if people who had some college went on to complete their degree.

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Training Schrodinger’s cat: Controlling the quantum properties of light

Zeno cat. A Zeno cat refers to non-classical states of light created by shining a cavity on resonance while it is forbidden to access a given energy level. The name originates from the Zeno effect, which can similarly prevent an energy level from being occupied by the sole fact of measuring its occupation frequently. The cat comes from the similarity of such a state with a Schrödinger cat state of light: a superposition between two classical states of light. The Zeno cat figure corresponds to the study’s experimental design. Credit: Benjamin Huard.

Zeno cat. A Zeno cat refers to non-classical states of light created by shining a cavity on resonance while it is forbidden to access a given energy level. The name originates from the Zeno effect, which can similarly prevent an energy level from being occupied by the sole fact of measuring its occupation frequently. The cat comes from the similarity of such a state with a Schrödinger cat state of light: a superposition between two classical states of light. The Zeno cat figure corresponds to the study’s experimental design. Credit: Benjamin Huard.

Stuart Mason Dambrot via Phys.org:

(Phys.org)—Constructing quantum computers and other quantum devices requires the ability to leverage quantum properties such as superposition and entanglement – but these effects are fragile and therefore hard to maintain. Recently, scientists at Ecole Normale Supérieure in Paris demonstrated a novel method for controlling the quantum properties of light by probing a superconducting circuit in a cavity with microwave photons to control the energy levels that photon quanta can occupy.

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Why can’t we stop cholera in Haiti?

Blue Skyz Studios (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Blue Skyz Studios (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

An outbreak of cholera in Haiti that began in 2010 is still killing people. Why have attempts to get it under control failed? Rose George reports.

In early February, when Jenniflore Abelard* arrived at her parents’ house high in the hills of Port-au-Prince, her father Johnson* was home. He was lying in the yard, under a tree, vomiting. When Jenniflore spoke to him, his responses, between retches, sounded strange: “nasal, like his voice was coming out of his nose”. He talked “like a zombie”. This is a powerful image to use in Haiti, where voodoo is practised and where the supernatural doesn’t seem as far-fetched as it might elsewhere. Her father’s eyes were sunk back into his head. She was shocked, but she knew what this was, because she has lived through the past five years in Haiti. She has lived through the time of kolera.… Read the rest

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How a Sense of Purpose Can Help You Live Longer

Seth Sawyers (CC BY 2.0)

Seth Sawyers (CC BY 2.0)

“Having goals in life and a sense of directedness; feeling there is meaning to present and past life; holding beliefs that give life purpose; having aims and objectives for living” can help you live longer.

Romeo Vitelli via Psychology Today:

a new research study published in the journal Development Psychology(link is external) demonstrates that having a purpose in life is especially important in successful aging.

Conducted by a team of researchers at Flinders University in Adelaide, Australia, the study examined older adults who were part of the Australian Longitudinal Study of Aging(link is external)(ALSA). Started in 1992, ALSA has followed over two thousand older Australians for decades to examine how health, emotional well-being, and living conditions have changed over time and to identify factors involved in successful aging.

As part of the broader ALSA study, 1,475 adults were questioned about their sense of purpose in life and whether they had objectives they wanted to achieve.

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