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Tuesday, 28 December 2010

Thursday, 23 December 2010

Chronic Fatique And Virus

For a little time now there has been the proposition that the cause of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome could be a particular virus. There is now some doubt about this after further research.

My view is that CFS is a complex condition with complex causes. If the body or brain has vulnerabilities either genetic or from past events or contamination then there could be a number of ways in which the immune system then reacts when either an illness or other event or events occur.

In this case a nasty virus infection does not “cause”, it simply allows the pre-conditions to exist for something else to impact. Sometimes perhaps only mild or temporary but in some cases more severely.

Yahoo News 20 December 2010

Study finds contamination in virus link to fatigue

A virus previously thought to be linked to a baffling condition known as chronic fatigue syndrome is not the cause of the disease, scientists said on Monday after their study found previous research was contaminated in the lab.

Researchers from University College London, the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute and Oxford University said cell samples from patients in earlier studies were contaminated with the virus, known as XMRV, which is found in the DNA of mice.

This suggests the patients were not infected with XMRV and it could not have triggered their illness, the scientists said.

The finding, published in the journal Retrovirology, is the latest to contradict a U.S. study from 2009 which suggested a link between XMRV and chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) when the virus was found in the blood of 68 out of 101 CFS patients.

The XMRV virus has also been identified in samples from certain prostate cancer patients.

"Our conclusion is quite simple: XMRV is not the cause of chronic fatigue syndrome," said Greg Towers, of UCL, who worked on the latest study. "All our evidence shows that the sequences from the virus genome in cell culture have contaminated human chronic fatigue syndrome and prostate cancer samples."

CFS is a debilitating condition of disabling physical and mental fatigue that does not improve with rest. It also known as myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME) and affects around 17 million people worldwide.

There is no cure for CFS and scientists don't know what causes it, but many sufferers say they think their illness started after a viral infection.


Towers said it was vital to understand that this latest research did not suggest chronic fatigue syndrome is not caused by a virus of some sort. "We cannot answer that yet," he said. "But we know it is not this virus causing it."

The 2009 U.S. study that found a link had prompted hopes that CFS patients might benefit from a range of drugs designed to fight AIDS, cancer and inflammation.

But in January 2010, British researchers found no evidence of XMRV in 186 patients with chronic fatigue syndrome, and two separate studies published in February also failed to identify the virus in groups of ME patients.

Towers' team said their study found that the XMRV found in the studies that linked it to CFS was from contamination by a laboratory cell line or mouse DNA.

The sequences from the contaminated cell line and chronic fatigue patient samples were very similar, they said, and this is contrary to what scientists would expect from a virus if it were spreading in humans.

Tim Peto, a consultant in infectious diseases at Oxford University who was not involved in the research, said Monday's findings meant "it now seems really very, very unlikely that XMRV is linked to chronic fatigue syndrome."

"It came as a great surprise when XMRV was first suggested as being linked to chronic fatigue syndrome," he said in an emailed statement.

"There have now been a number of attempts which have failed to find the retrovirus in other samples, and this research suggests that in fact XMRV is probably a contamination from mouse DNA."

(Editing by Alison Williams)


Given the battering the human body now has to take both from the risk of more infections by the sheer scale of modern human interaction and from a wide range of substances and chemicals increasingly powerful and unavoidable then increases in the numbers suffering severe illnesses will increase.

CFS is one of the consequences.

Thursday, 16 December 2010

The Hypocrisy Of Addiction

On the TV today has been a lot of discussion about the legalisation of classified drugs and the ways and means of dealing with those addicted. Much of this has turned on the issues of health, spending and nature of the trade.

The costs to health and well being as well as the personal effects on the individuals were stressed by all sides to the debate. The extent of the damage they can do are a key argument.

One strong view was put forward that in recent years the introduction of a wider range of synthetic substances both within older types as variants and newer ones not yet made illegal because they are newly devised have made the problems worse.

This is because they are far stronger, more pervasive and more potent in their addictive properties and in the nature of the damage they do to people.

Can anyone think of other substances pushed heavily for profit by ruthless commercial operators that also seriously damage health, can be addictive, that seem to be beyond the scope of any control and are now found everywhere?

Is it possible that there are more people more seriously affected and costing more to the NHS by these substances than those who use classified drugs and their allied substances?

Why is it that one bundle of damaging chemicals can incur the wrath the State and all the powers that be and medical advisers when the other is totally ignored?

Sunday, 12 December 2010

Blood On The Brain

The web site Nanowerk that covers the science of Nanotechnology and its applications featured an article dated 8 December 2010 titled “Can Nanoparticles End Up In The Brain?” dealing with the issues arising from the Blood Brain Barrier and the effects of new drugs.

It is a long and complicated article and the link is given below. Also I have copied the Conclusions. It is about drugs and the treatment of diseases with more targeted and complex substances.

But this technology is not being applied only to closely monitored and regulated drugs. It is being used in a range of unregulated, untested and powerful commercial products that are designed to impact on the brain. Moreover there is limited or no research in many jurisdictions.

If the professionals in this field using it in highly controlled and examined testing and functions have so little knowledge about the risks just how much do the global consumer product companies know?

What notice of this is being taken by the relevant authorities or research in the UK? The answer to that is a simple one. None whatsoever.


Artificially manufactured particles can be applied to help overcome natural physiological barriers such as the blood-brain barrier. This phenomenon can be used to intentionally transport drugs to parts of the organism where they are needed, for example the brain.

Research is currently being conducted to determine whether nanoparticles are able to reach the brain by other mechanisms such as along the olfactory nerve. It also remains poorly known whether nanoparticles unintentionally pass the blood-brain barrier and cause potential damage.

The few available studies on the risks of nanoparticles that have entered the central nervous system are controversial. This prevents drawing definitive conclusions about the health effects of unintentional exposure of the brain to nanoparticles

Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Life As We Don't Know It

The BBC have just had a run of three programmes dealing with modern multi-billion pound industries each with ranges of products forming brands within global super companies.

Through the extent and reach of their marketing and publicity and because of the way retailing has developed in both the developed and less developed world their message is now in every home, almost every media outlet and every retailer.

The programmes were about bottled water, breakfast cereals and yoghurt. The second of these have been around now for over a century in various forms but the other two as mass produced products for mass markets rather less. The many modern yoghurt brands have existed for only about forty years.

The strange thing about all of these is that the essential element in marketing them is the notion of health. Bottled water is because the tap water or local supplies are unsafe. This will be true in some places but rarely in the developed world. With cereals it will depend on the processing.

Yoghurt has been with us for thousands of years as a basic nutrition derived from milk that takes advantage of any surplus and as a versatile element in diet. In its manufactured form it has gone well beyond that and is something else altogether.

But the breakfast cereals are another matter. In the late 1960’s Robert Chote claimed that the cardboard packaging was actually more nutritious than the processed cereal. Since then all sorts of extras, mostly synthetic have been added to avoid that sort of complaint.

Then there is the sugar and recently not just ordinary sweetening but a range of artificial ones and others based on corn syrup. These are claimed to be addictive and raises the question whether this is accidental or intentional. The “healthy” yoghurts are also full of sweetening agents and other additives.

For those of us obliged to study content in detail and research them because of medical issues it is often scary to see what is what and the potential effects. Also there are the issues of what happens when you combine all this elements together in one strong package. Who knows? And who is researching?

Luckily there are some jurisdictions where there are independent and other interests who are able to chose what to look and to publish the results. It is largely from these that we learn much of what we know. This is not the case with the UK however.

Between the grip of the major companies on the politicians and the civil servants, the way research funds are allocated, on a basis that demands added value, means that very few in the UK are looking at adverse effects or causes of illness and reactions. The emphasis is on new more powerful products or medical treatments.

This means that any questioning or complaining is left to others. In the UK this means they are open to legal defamation proceedings that even if they win will ruin them. This puts a lock on the work of not only individuals but research institutes and universities. Nobody can afford to take on the big boys.

There are a lot more products and other companies selling goods on a similar basis. These often have health claims. There are all those claiming to get rid of smells. What they do get rid of is the human sense of small and the capacity of the brain to deal with it.

What is truly weird is that in the economic data it is all this stuff that is said to represent the “cost of living” and very little of the basic and/or natural foods and substances our great grandparents used.

Humanity has existed, often thrived and grown for many thousands of generations without it. Yet now the populations of the developed world and others believe and have been persuaded that life would be impossible without it.

The irony is that it might not the possible at all if we continue to use it in the form it is now supplied to us.

Saturday, 4 December 2010

Flights And Fancies

It is the season to be jolly, or something. We are more or less confined to barracks gazing out at the snow and slush that is due to turn to black ice as soon as the light goes down.

Just as well we are not galloping about going to a lot of different places for one thing or another. In recent years there has been a lot less of that because of the chemical issues we have, increasingly those of fragrances.

Being at home now means staying clean.

The term “ambient air pollution” is much in use and there is a lot of it about. It is scary how far it can travel. One USA West Coast blogger found that in tests on the air in her locality there was one chemical that could only have come from China.

So here are a couple of things to think about.

The first is that the advert’s on the TV for the Christmas shopping season have a huge number selling scents of different kinds.

Take all those Alpha males who are risking becoming Omega in their ability to reproduce by their choice of the deodorant to plaster themselves with.

Then add the females seeking to attract by using products that remove them from gene pool.

On the other hand you might like to take a trip to somewhere sunny or exciting to be out in about. After a fun time at the airport you will be packed into a box for up to 18 to 24 hours in most cases with air flow systems that do not use fresh air.

Try this one, from which the poster above comes:

Now what happens when you put the two together?

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Anti Bacterial As Anti Personnel

The story below has appeared in several sources and this one is a summary but does give the picture.

I have been going on about Triclosan for a little time partly because I get nasty reactions I do not like and also because of the extent of the adverse possibilities.

One is that as it is used in mouth things, if you are taking an antibiotic to say stop an infection it either impedes or disrupts the antibiotic. Used in the context of hospitals as a means of controlling infection it has meant that it is likely that people on the necessary antibiotics have been badly affected.


Toothpaste chemical 'that can leave unborn babies brain damaged'
Daily Mail, 1st November 2010 By Pat Hagan
A chemical in toothpastes and soaps has been linked with brain damage to babies in the womb.

Scientists fear pregnant women who are exposed to high levels of the chemical, called triclosan, may be putting their babies at risk. Alarming new findings suggest triclosan may disrupt the flow of blood to the uterus, starving a baby’s brain of the oxygen it needs to develop properly.

Last night researchers involved in the study called for urgent investigations into the dangers to unborn babies. Professor Margaret James of the University of Florida said: ‘We know it’s a problem. But we just don’t know how much of a problem.’

Triclosan is a powerful anti-bacterial that was developed nearly 50 years ago.
It is now commonly used in everything from toothpastes, deodorants and handwashes to washing-up liquid, anti-bacterial chopping boards and even some toys.

However, it has been dogged by concerns over its safety and earlier this year the Food and Drug Administration in the U.S. announced it was carrying out a major review on its safety.

In the latest study, tests on sheep showed it interferes with an enzyme that allows the hormone oestrogen to circulate in the womb. Oestrogen helps to keep open the main artery carrying oxygen-rich blood to the foetus. If there is too little, this artery narrows and oxygen supplies are depleted.

In the UK, the chemical’s use is covered by the EU Cosmetics Directive, which says it is safe to use but only in small doses. The maximum content allowed in any product is 0.3 per cent.

Drug giant GlaxoSmithKline has phased out the use of triclosan in its Aquafresh and Sensodyne toothpaste and Corsodyl mouthwash. It is still used in brands such as Colgate Total.

Elizabeth Salter-Green, director of the ChemTrust, which lobbies for responsible use of man-made chemicals, urged pregnant women to avoid triclosan. Still used: Triclosan can be found in products such as Colgate Total Toothpaste

‘They should absolutely avoid anything with triclosan listed in its ingredients,’ she said. ‘We don’t all need to be using anti-bacterial soaps if we wash our hands properly. ‘It has been on our radar for many years and I’m not surprised at these latest findings.’

But a spokesman for the Cosmetics, Toiletry and Perfumery Association said the study in sheep did not prove the same effects would be seen in humans.
She added: ‘Much research on human and environmental safety has been done on triclosan over the years.

‘To date, it has been shown to be safe. ‘Our industry’s number one priority is consumer safety and we work with the regulatory authorities to ensure that all new research is taken into consideration. ‘In 2009, the Scientific Committee for Consumer Safety, an independent body of experts reporting to the EU Commission, confirmed the safety of triclosan as a cosmetic ingredient, as commonly used, at a limit of 0.3 per cent.’


The “safe” limit is safe only in certain contexts. Where people are MCS or vulnerable to anaphylaxis then it is unsafe below that figure and it can build up in the tissues.

Whilst one small shot of scotch may be one thing, one when the effects of the previous several are still in the system can be quite different.