Source: We stand with London
With the explosion of affordable smart phones has dawned a new era of connectivity. Technology drives healthcare, so it seemed inevitable that care would become portable. Up to 40% of new mobile ap…
Source: Smart apps may save lives
How did past toxic chemical exposure (two to three generations prior) affect the whole human genome? Is it Voodoo Science?
Introducing pesticides into agriculture saved countless lives by feeding many of the poorest of the poor. Bountiful harvests have been the hallmark of the late 20th century and part way into the 21st as well. However, there appears an unwanted, if not horrific, effect of pesticides upon human physiology and health.
The pesticides such as glyphosphate (RoundUp [TM] ) and organo-phosphate pesticides (insecticides) are strongly implicated in the physiological and neurological problems in new borns. The evidence strongly suggests that children born of farm workers and children exposed in urban settings (in close proximity to household pesticides) to lice and roach treatments suffer disproportionately in contrast to their more affluent peers.
While the ag-business may not subscribe to such data or conclusions, there may have been reasons for the skepticism. In the 1970s, glyphosphate was invented, and much data was generated on the toxicity of the chemical. What was known in that time period was the rapid degradation of the herbicide. It would rapidly degrade in sunlight and seemed to pose little if any harm (references at the end of the post). Thus, it seemed as if the ag- business had invented a miracle —a truly non-toxic herbicide.
That news was greeted by most as cause for celebration, since Agent Orange was a debacle of the Vietnam War (in the early-to-mid 1970s). Many an American Veteran returned from Vietnam with mysterious symptoms that seemingly defied medical description. All too often, I heard from my uncles, who served during WWII and Korea–it made no sense that they had been exposed to quite a few industrial chemicals during their tours but showed no ill effects. Moreover, their newborn children seemingly escaped harm. — or did they?
A Case of Voodoo Science? –Oral History or Coincidence?
Although the data seems quite spurious and anecdotal, what needs to be investigated— the links between past exposures to generational ancestors and the present day alterations to the human genome. WWII saw numerous countries turn their economies into war machines–industrial centers like SF-Oakland Bay Area and Detroit, Michigan turned much of their industrial waste back into the Pacific Ocean or the Great Lakes. Much of the industrial area roadways became breeding grounds for chemical sterility. Higher levels of Pb (lead), Cr (chromium), As (arsenic) and other elements are found on the freeways of inner urban areas. It does not take a rocket scientist to surmise — we poisoned our inner cities– but no one understood why aspects of crime, economics, and poor school performance became the hall-marks for their areas. While other factors make it plain that the areas were neglected due to indifference and lack of small business attractiveness–there were other (so-called) reasons.
What may need to be answered is: how did past toxic chemical exposure (two to three generations prior) affect the whole human genome as we now know it? Is the question relevant or is it ‘fear-mongering’? 0r Is it Voodoo Science?
The Science Speaks!
What can be said for certain– “…. (glyphosate) use has increased approximately 100-fold since the first decade of its use in the 1970s. … Initial risk assessments of glyphosate assumed a limited hazard to vertebrates because its stated herbicidal mechanism of action targeted a plant enzyme not present in vertebrates. … ” –taken from:
National Institutes of Health — Review article: Concerns over use of glyphosate-based herbicides and risks associated with exposures: a consensus statement
Link between hazardous chemicals and neurological problems — Opens up to YouTube lecture from the University of California, Davis, MIND Institute
Industrial Chemicals and Autism Link — Epidemiological studies
http://journal.frontiersin.org/article/10.3389/fpubh.2016.00148/full — Exposure studies
Pesticide Exposure and Effects on Estrogen Receptors — Biochemical study
Toxic Pesticides of the Late 20th Century — Opens up to Decodedscience.com article
By Deutsch: Maler der Grabkammer des Sennudem English: Painter of the burial chamber of Sennedjem [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Hello I’m John, my last name is Jaksich (it is a Croatian surname)–but you can call me John. I am an aspiring science writer. I am strong believer in education and what it can do for h…
The Zika virus promises a new reality for the USA and ‘the rest of the world.’ The virus will be infecting more individuals in the coming months, and ‘the true tragedy’ becomes apparent for those not infected by the virus.
Many of us will do our best eliminate standing water and ‘dangerous hot spots.’
Otherwise, ‘some encouraging words’ come from the researchers–
Purported MECHANISTIC DETAILS of Zika’s Infection in humans and in animal models:
The word mechanism implies that researchers, doctors and most of the ‘informed community’ understands how the virus infects ‘new borns and adults.’ It is also called a ‘mode of action’ — in some circles.
The impaired neurogenesis (in the fetus) is the focus of research and the impaired growth of ‘neural stem cells.’ The virus causes what is termed as apoptosis–a death of cellular material. The precise ‘chemical mechanism’ is unknown… if it were known, the scientific community would know the best approach for deterrence. The public is justifiably upset, skeptical, confused and frightened. However, research is a slow and a precise affair in which progress –is marked by ‘repeatable and accurate experimentation.’
The entry point for the virus can happen at multi-sites –and can happen before, during and after ‘egg fertilization.’ The placenta– a safe haven– is, in this case, susceptible. The plea to the public is–be safe and minimize potential exposure.
Treatment Options (Future)… Detection? Vaccines? and Potential Therapies?
Presently, some in the medical community believe it will find a vaccine within two years while others speculate one year and even three years. The discovery of a vaccine hinges upon poorly understood aspects of the viral replication cycle and diagnosis of infection — an intimate knowledge its bio-chemical and mechanistic details is needed.
Diagnosis of viral infection has returned false negatives in some instances–a terrifying outcome. The reasons for diagnostic problems arise when one understands that Zika–is an arboreal virus– it is similar to Dengue Fever and West Nile with its mode of infection. Mosquitos, the culprits for much death, can carry other viruses. That is a challenge we face…
Presently, the medical community believes its best chance to contain the spread of the illness is through vaccination.
A vaccine for Zika is pursued in at least three ways: targeting DNA replication of Zika, modifying live viruses of Zika and modifying inactive Zika virus. There are a number of different strains of the Virus. Namely, the original 1947 virus (less problematic to people) transformed– aspects of its biochemistry changed from the Zika River Valley in Africa to its infectious form of 2007-08 Micronesia and the present infection of the Americas.
How a virus transforms would go far in understanding how to treat the infection. That type of mechanistic detail would expedite the path to vaccination and therapy.
Therapies, presently, are in planning stages. One route of investigation subverting viral replication —
The immuno-suppressor, Rapamycin is one potential candidate for therapeutic success. It subverts the immune system and may interfere with a viral replication.
As with many candidates such as Rapamycin, it is a ‘hot compound– toxic to many vital organs.’ However, in the war against pathogens, humanity can not afford to rest…
The arrival of the Zika virus promises to be the tip of a proverbial iceberg of problems. That is how many environmentalists view it and the other deadly viruses that have plagued our planet of late. While most notable, public scientists have railed against inactivity that many corporations have pursued– there is no defacto scientist or environmentalist that quickly springs to mind as a spokesperson for the ‘little man’?
The activism of the 1960s and 70s is a faded memory for most. However, the standard-bearers seem to be the groups of individuals– like the Sierra Club or the NRDC…. The groups are great for galvanizing and polarizing opinions into two camps of individuals.
The obvious problem is — the continued polarization of the US populace. It has resulted in a divided country that, at times, sounds quite disgusting. If it were not a presidential election year–we would have not known the extent of bigotry that plagues the US. Zika will cross our borders … No wall can keep mosquitos away…
The figures are adapted from the publication: Moritz U.G. Kraemer and others. The global distribution of the arbovirus vectors Aedes aegypti and Ae. Albopictus elifesciences.org Published: 30 June 2015
Our public policies should be to address the coming problems that will accompany warming of the planet—not building walls to keep away the so-called undesirables. At this juncture we can decide to pull together and keep safe our fellow humans. It is often stated– “it is how you treat the least among you– that will dictate your truest and darkest outcome.” Whether it is labeled Christianity or Karma— it matters little. It is the coming problems we face that should galvanize our world and not divide us up much like the Tower of Babel.
Here is my hope and almost a prayer… That we can come together and stop the divisive rhetoric. Hate speech may be covered under the First Amendment— but the the US populace will tread a dark path if it continues to find scapegoats to blame… We know better— our hearts seek love as well. In the end, we must ask ourselves– is hatred justified?