Health


Over 30,000 Published Studies Could Be Wrong Due to Contaminated Cells

18th Oct 2017

Researchers warn that large parts of biomedical science could be invalid due to a cascading history of flawed data in a systemic failure going back decades.

A new investigation reveals more than 30,000 published scientific studies could be compromised by their use of misidentified cell lines, owing to so-called immortal cells contaminating other research cultures in the lab.

The problem is as serious as it is simple: researchers studying lung cancer publish a new paper, only it turns out the tissue they were actually using in the lab were liver cells. Or what they thought were human cells were mice cells, or vice versa, or something else entirely.

If you think that sounds bad, you’re right, as it means the findings of each piece of affected research may be flawed, and could even be completely unreliable.

“Most scientists don’t intentionally publish findings on the wrong cells,” explains one of the researchers, Serge Horbach from Radboud University in the Netherlands.

“It’s an honest mistake. The more concerning problem is that the research data is potentially invalid and impossible to reproduce.”

Horback and fellow researcher Willem Halffman wanted to know how extensive the phenomenon of misidentified cell lines really was, so they searched for evidence of what they call “contaminated” scientific literature.

Using the research database Web of Science, they looked for scientific articles based on any of the known misidentified cell lines as listed by the International Cell Line Authentication Committee’s (ICLAC) Register of Misidentified Cell Lines.

There are currently 451 cell lines on this list, and they’re not what you think they are – having been contaminated by other kinds of cells at some point in scientific history. Worse still, they’ve been unwittingly used in published laboratory research going as far back as the 1950s.

“After an extensive literary study, we believe this involves some 33,000 publications,” Halffman explains.

“That means there are more than 30,000 scientific articles online that are reporting on the wrong cells.”

9325 cells 2Radboud University

Of the 451 cell lines known to be compromised, the most famous contaminating source is what’s known as HeLa cells, named after their source, Henrietta Lacks.

In 1951, this 31-year-old mother of five from Virginia died from cervical cancer. But during treatment before her death, cells were taken from Lacks’ cervix in a biopsy without her consent.

Later, cell biologist George Otto Gey discovered these cells could be kept alive and grow indefinitely in a lab – as such, HeLa cells became the first immortalised cell line, meaning they didn’t eventually die due to cellular senescence.

That everlasting quality made them a valuable research specimen that was distributed across the world, ultimately contributing to the development of cell cloning, the polio vaccine and many other firsts.

It’s estimated as many as 20 tonnes of HeLa cells were ultimately grown, with the discovery featuring in a stunning 11,000 patents, but the cells’ undying nature came with a hidden cost.

Not only do the cells proliferate, they can also contaminate other exposed cell cultures in laboratory setting, and due to decades of use and misuse in the lab, HeLa cells and other contaminating and immortal cells have been estimated to have tainted up to 36 percent of cell lines scientists use in research.

“It’s astonishingly easy for cell lines to become contaminated,” ICLAC chair Amanda Capes-Davis explained in 2015 at Retraction Watch.

“When cells are first placed into culture, they usually pass through a period of time when there is little or no growth, before a cell line emerges. A single cell introduced from elsewhere during that time can outgrow the original culture without anyone being aware of the change in identity.”

Over decades, these cases of mistaken identity have in turn contaminated some 33,000 scientific papers by Horback and Halffman’s count, and it’s something that not enough in the research community know about.

 

 

source/read more: http://www.sciencealert.com/more-than-30-000-scientific-studies-could-be-wrong-due-to-contaminated-undying-cells

Eight of Iran’s women’s football team ‘are men’ FLASHBACK

18th Oct 2017

Eight of Iran’s women’s football team are actually men awaiting sex change operations, it has been claimed.

The country’s football association was accused of being “unethical” for knowingly fielding eight men in its women’s team.

Mojtabi Sharifi, an official close to the Iranian league, told an Iranian news website: “[Eight players] have been playing with Iran’s female team without completing sex change operations.”

On Wednesday, authorities reportedly ordered gender testing of the entire national squad and leading league players. The names of the players thought to be male were not revealed.

The Iranian women’s team play in hijab headscarfs, long-sleeved tops and tracksuit bottoms.

In 2014, the country’s football governing body introduced random checks after it was revealed that four national team players were either men who had not completed sex change operations, or were suffering from sexual development disorders.

In 2010, doubts were raised about the gender of the team’s goalkeeper.

Gender change operations are legal in Iran according to a fatwa – or religious ruling – pronounced by the late Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, spiritual leader of the 1979 Islamic revolution.

The law contrasts with the strict rules governing sexual morality under the country’s Sharia legal code, which forbids homosexuality and pre-marital sex.

Sex changes are commonly carried out in phases in Iran, with the full procedure taking up to two years and including hormone therapy before the full gender transformation is completed.

Football is highly popular among many Iranian women, despite religious rules that bar them from entering stadiums to watch matches between male teams.

Earlier this month the women’s national team captain was unable to fly with the squad to Malaysia because her husband refused her permission to fly.

 

 

 

source/read more; http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/iran/11903290/Eight-of-Irans-womens-football-team-are-men.html

Stress Can Be Dangerous to the Digestive System

18th Oct 2017

A diet full of junk food isn’t the only thing that can have a negative impact on the digestive system.

Researchers from Brigham Young University (BYU) found that stress could be just as harmful to the human body as a nutritionally poor diet.

The scientists discovered that when female mice were exposed to stress, their gut microbiota—the microorganisms vital to digestive and metabolic health—morphed to look like the mice had been eating a high-fat diet.

“Stress can be harmful in a lot of ways but this research is novel in that it ties stress to female-specific changes in the gut microbiota,” BYU professor of microbiology and molecular biology Laura Bridgewater said in a statement. “We sometimes think of stress as a purely psychological phenomenon but it causes distinct physical changes.”

The team performed an experiment on a large group of eight-week old mice and exposed half of the males and half of the females to a high-fat diet. After 16 weeks, all of the mice were exposed to mild stress over the course of 18 days.

Microbial DNA from the mice’s fecal pellets were extracted before and after the stress to test how the gut microbiota was impacted. They also measured mouse anxiety based on how much and where the mice traveled in an open field arena.

After analyzing the results, the researchers learned males on a high-fat diet exhibited more anxiety than females on the high-fat diet. Males on the high-fat diet also showed decreased activity in response to stress.

However, stress only caused the gut microbiota composition to shift in female mice as if they were on a high-fat diet.

“In society, women tend to have higher rates of depression and anxiety, which are linked to stress,” Bridgewater said. “This study suggests that a possible source of the gender discrepancy may be the different ways gut microbiota responds to stress in males vs. females.”

 

 

source/read more: https://www.rdmag.com/article/2017/10/stress-can-be-dangerous-digestive-system

Did Trump Roll Back Birth Control Coverage For ‘62.4 MILLION Women’? FACT check

8th Oct 2017

Pro-choice activist group NARAL claimed that the Trump Administration “just issued a rule rolling back birth control coverage for 62.4 MILLION women” in a Friday tweet.

“Now your employer can refuse to cover it [birth control] for any reason they see fit,” an image attached to the tweet also claimed.

Verdict: False

NARAL’s claim that 62.4 million women will lose birth control coverage is unfounded.

Fact Check:

The White House under President Donald Trump announced Friday that it would permit employers with moral or religious objections to birth control to be exempt from the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA or Obamacare) mandate that certain-sized employers provide birth control coverage.

Under the original Obamacare framework, employers above a certain size were mandated to provide health insurance to full-time employees and were also mandated to include birth control at no cost for women as part of that health care coverage. (Places of worship were exempted from the mandate.)

The National Women’s Law Center estimates 62.4 million women are covered for birth control without out-of-pocket costs– the same figure NARAL cited in its tweet.

Although employers are no longer bound by Obamacare’s birth control mandate, it is not clear if every (soon previously-mandated) employer in the U.S. will drop birth control coverage. NARAL’s 62.4-million-figure assumes the most extensive case scenario possible for women who gained birth control coverage through Obamacare.

Putting aside headline-making lawsuits involving organizations like crafts store Hobby Lobby and Catholic group Little Sisters Of The Poor that were against the mandate – citing religious and moral convictions – relatively few other organizations or companies have signaled public opposition to covering birth control. Only 52 for-profit or non-profit companies had even applied for an exemption to the birth control mandate as of March 2016, Politico reported.

Past trends do not indicate that NARAL’s 62.4 million number will come to fruition.

 

source/read more: http://dailycaller.com/2017/10/06/fact-check-did-trump-roll-back-birth-control-coverage-for-62-4-million-women/

Offshore Human Testing Of Herpes Vaccine Stokes Debate Over U.S. Safety Rules

31st Aug 2017

Defying U.S. safety protections for human trials, an American university and a group of wealthy libertarians, including a prominent Donald Trump supporter, are backing the offshore testing of an experimental herpes vaccine.

The American businessmen, including Trump adviser Peter Thiel, invested $7 million in the ongoing vaccine research, according to the U.S. company behind it. Southern Illinois University also trumpeted the research and the study’s lead researcher, even though he did not rely on traditional U.S. safety oversight in the first trial, held on the Caribbean island of St. Kitts.

Neither the Food and Drug Administration nor a safety panel known as an institutional review board, or an “IRB,” monitored the testing of a vaccine its creators say prevents herpes outbreaks. Most of the 20 participants were Americans with herpes who were flown to the island several times to be vaccinated, according to Rational Vaccines, the company that oversaw the trial.
This KHN story also ran in The Daily Beast. It can be republished for free (details). logo daily beast 18

“What they’re doing is patently unethical,” said Jonathan Zenilman, chief of Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center’s Infectious Diseases Division. “There’s a reason why researchers rely on these protections. People can die.”

The risks are real. Experimental trials with live viruses could lead to infection if not handled properly or produce side effects in those already infected. Genital herpes is caused by two viruses that can trigger outbreaks of painful sores. Many patients have no symptoms, though a small number suffer greatly. The virus is primarily spread through sexual contact, but also can be released through skin.

The push behind the vaccine is as much political as medical. President Trump has vowed to speed up the FDA’s approval of some medicines. FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, who had deep financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry, slammed the FDA before his confirmation for over-prioritizing consumer protection to the detriment of medical innovations.

“This is a test case,” said Bartley Madden, a retired Credit Suisse banker and policy adviser to the conservative Heartland Institute, who is another investor in the vaccine. “The FDA is standing in the way, and Americans are going to hear about this and demand action.”

American researchers are increasingly going offshore to developing countries to conduct clinical trials, citing rising domestic costs. But in order to approve the drug for the U.S. market, the FDA requires that clinical trials involving human participants be reviewed and approved by an IRB or an international equivalent. The IRB can reject research based on safety concerns.

Robert Califf, who served as FDA commissioner in the Obama administration until January, said he couldn’t think of a prior instance in which American researchers did not set up an IRB abroad.

“There’s a tradition of having oversight of human experimentation, and it exists for good reasons,” he said. “It may be legal to be doing it without oversight, but it’s wrong.”

However, Rational Vaccines downplayed safety concerns, asserting there was little risk the participants would be harmed because they had herpes already. Agustín Fernández III co-founded­ Rational Vaccines with tenured SIU professor William Halford. He said Halford, the lead investigator, took the necessary precautions during the trial conducted from April to August in 2016. Halford died of cancer in June.

The university backed its professor’s work by posting a glowing article on its website about the vaccine. SIU is one of the patent holders of the vaccine and set up a business account to collect donations for the work.

Nonetheless, Southern Illinois University officials said they had no legal responsibility to ensure safety measures were in place because the university has an arms-length relationship with Rational Vaccines. Fernández said the company licensed two patents related to the vaccine from the university.

“SIU School of Medicine did not have any involvement in Rational Vaccines’ clinical trial,” said Karen Carlson, the university’s spokeswoman. “But we are confident that as the chief scientific officer of Rational Vaccines, Dr. Halford followed safety protocols appropriate to the clinical trial.”

But other researchers said they were appalled by what they described as the university’s complicity in ignoring more than 70 years of safety protocols. Scientists called for more rigorous clinical trial oversight in the wake of Nazi atrocities involving human experiments in the 1940s.

 

 

source/read more:http://khn.org/news/offshore-rush-for-herpes-vaccine-roils-debate-over-u-s-safety-rules/

Breaking: Bomb found at Fukushima nuclear plant

10th Aug 2017

Mainichi, Aug 10, 2017 (emphasis added): Suspected bomb found on premises of Fukushima power plant: TEPCO — What appears to be an undetonated bomb has been discovered on the premises of the Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant, Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) announced on Aug. 10. The device was discovered buried in the ground at a parking lot currently undergoing maintenance in the western corner of the premises… Police have cordoned off the surrounding area…

 

 

source:http://enenews.com/breaking-bomb-found-at-fukushima-nuclear-plant-military-unit-is-headed-to-the-site-police-have-cordoned-off-the-surrounding-area

DoD Not Providing Adequate Care to Troops at Risk of Suicide

9th Aug 2017

Defense Department health care providers do a good job of screening for suicide risk, but they fail to provide critical and effective follow-up treatment to servicemembers identified as suicidal, according to a Rand Corp. report released Monday.

Rand researchers found appropriate follow-up care was given to only 30 percent of servicemembers with depression and 54 percent of servicemembers with post-traumatic stress disorder who were at risk of suicide. The rest did not receive follow-up care or got medication and psychotherapy that has not been proven to help.

The report is based on observations of nearly 39,000 servicemembers with diagnosed PTSD or depression over a one-year period. It’s one of the largest evaluations of military mental health care, said Kimberly Hepner, a behavioral scientist and the lead researcher.

“The military health system did quite well in screening for suicide risk,” Hepner said. “Where we found they could do better was how the providers responded to servicemembers with suicide risk identified.”

The Pentagon asked Rand for an independent report on the care it provides to servicemembers with PTSD and depression.

It’s difficult to know how many active-duty servicemembers suffer from PTSD or depression, Hepner said. The report cites between 4 and 20 percent of the more than 2.6 million people who deployed to Afghanistan or Iraq during Operation Enduring Freedom or Operation Iraqi Freedom.

The Department of Veterans Affairs analyzed millions of veterans’ records and reported last year an average of 20 veterans died from suicide each day in 2014. While veterans made up about 8.5 percent of the U.S. population in 2014, they accounted for 18 percent of suicides.

 

 

read more/ source: http://www.military.com/daily-news/2017/08/07/report-dod-not-providing-adequate-care-troops-risk-suicide.html

International “anti-vaxxers” banned from Australia

Make no mistake on our stance, a documentary about potential adverse effects, injured children and flawed testing is NOT an ‘anti vax’ film. – TMN

 

9th aug 2017

INTERNATIONAL anti-vaccination ringleaders have been banned from returning to Australia for a “substantial” period after a controversial film tour.

US anti-jab radicals Polly Tommey and Suzanne Humphries staged several secret meetings in Melbourne and nationwide in which Vaxxed: From Cover-Up to Catastrophe, was shown, and parents were encouraged to expose children to deadly diseases.

“Australia to me is literally the worst country I’ve visited. Not the people, the government,” she said in a video.

“I had my phone taken away as I left Australia. They confiscated my phone and took photographs of all my emails and texts. They also told me I am banned from Australia for three years.”

 

 

read more/ source:http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/international-antivaxxers-banned-from-australia/news-story/e1a00e0af748d115a57b5eaae5d5c804

Suicide Rate For Teenage Girls Hits 40-Year High

7th Aug 2017

…The government has tracked numbers on suicide rates since 1975. In 1975, the suicide rate among females aged 15 to 19 sat at 2.9 per 100,000 before it increased to 3.7 per 100,000 in 1990. It then fell to 2.4 per 100,000 in 2007 before peaking at 5.1 per 100,000 in 2015.

For young men, the suicide rate declined from 18.1 per 100,000 in 1990 to 10.8 per 100,000 in 2007 before reaching 14.2 per 100,000 in 2015.

According to the CDC, 5,900 kids and adults aged 10 to 24 died by suicide in 2015.

 

read more/source: http://www.informationliberation.com/?id=57140