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Sunday, November 30, 2014

11/30/14 Health News: Chemicals That Poison our Food ♦ Missing gene linked to autism ♦ Drugs better against colorectal cancer ♦ Save thousands with student's DIY microscope

Our Daily Poison: How Chemicals Have Contaminated the Food Chain
(Image: The New Press)Kirkus Reviews praises Our Daily Poison, From Pesticides to Packaging, How Chemicals Have Contaminated the Food Chain and Are Making Us Sick: "For readers with a strong interest in environmental and public health and food safety policy, this may be one of the most important books of the year." Contribute to Truthout and receive the book now by …Continue Reading
Missing gene linked to autism
Researchers have shed light on a gene mutation linked to autistic traits. The team already knew that some people with autism were deficient in a gene called neurexin-II. To investigate whether the gene was associated with autism symptoms, the Leeds team studied mice with the same defect. They found behavioral features that were similar to autism symptoms, including a lack of sociability or interest in other mice. Continue Reading  
One-two punch of drugs better than either alone against colorectal cancer
Experimental anti-cancer agents PF-04691502 and PD-0325901 excel in lab tests against colorectal cancer models and enter phase 1 trial, scientists report. "This study demonstrates strong potential for this combination in treating laboratory models of colorectal cancer. We hope that if we can discover biomarkers that predict which tumors respond and which don't respond to the combination that we can optimize its use," one researcher says.  Continue Reading
Scientists could save thousands with student's DIY microscope

Expensive tests for measuring everything from sperm motility to cancer diagnosis have just been made hundreds of thousands of dollars cheaper by a Ph.D. student from England who hacked his own microscope  Continue Reading

Saturday, November 29, 2014

11/29/14 Health News:Trans fat can hurt your memory ♦ RARE STRAIN OF E. COLI OUTBREAK ♦ Obesity linked to cancer ♦ Superbug shows recent decline

Trans fat may hurt your memory
If you can’t remember where your car keys are, you may want to eat fewer muffins.It turns out the more trans fat you eat, the less you may remember, according to a study presented at the American Heart Association’s scientific conference last week. Maybe that explains why some people don’t know how they pack on the pounds over the holidays. Continue Reading
10 SICK IN UK FROM E. COLI O55 OUTBREAK
At least 10 people in Blandford, United Kingdom, have been diagnosed with infection of E. coli O55, a rare strain of E. coli never before recorded in the U.K., according to BBC News. Seven patients have developed hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), a kidney disease associated with the most severe E. coli illnesses. Some of the... Continue Reading
Overweight, obesity linked to nearly 500,000 new cancers in 2012 worldwide
Researchers estimate that a quarter of all obesity-related cancers in 2012 were attributable to the rising average body mass index (BMI) in the population since 1982, and were therefore “realistically avoidable” Continue Reading
Superbug in SE Michigan shows recent decline
A new study finds a decrease in an emergent strain of methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA) that is resistant to last line defense antibiotics. Researchers examined the prevalence of vancomycin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (VRSA) infections in southeastern Michigan, where the majority of these infections have occurred in the US Continue Reading

Friday, November 28, 2014

Ireland: More Bottled Water Recalled

Dunnes Stores Extends Bottled Water Recall (Update 1)
Product:
Dunnes Stores “my family favourites” Natural Irish Still Water; pack size: 12x 500ml bottles (multipack)
Batch Code:
Barcode: 5099874083153; best before end (BBE): Nov 15
Country Of Origin:
Ireland
Message:
Dunnes Stores is extending its recall of “my family favourites” bottled still water, to include all batches with expiry dates of November 2015. This is a precaution following the detection of residues of cleaning fluid in one batch of the water. Point of sale recall notices are being displayed in stores.
Dunnes Stores Water Multipack

11/27/14 Health News:Metals found in food ♦ Bean Sprouts Tainted With Banned Additive ♦ nanoparticles infiltrate and kill cancer cells ♦ Football players have brain damage

Metals in food a concern for WA children, study
Metals in food a concern for Western Australian children. Children in Western Australia are being exposed to potentially elevated levels of metals from their food, according to research from Edith Cowan University Continue Reading
Bean Sprouts Tainted With Banned Additive Are Again Found in China
Bean sprouts are back in the news for all the wrong reasons. Not for the first time, Chinese inspectors have found bean sprouts tainted with a banned food additive, in this instance in a production center on the southern outskirts of Beijing. The sprouts being produced at the site in Daxing district were treated with high levels of 6-benzyladenine, a plant hormone, to speed up the …Continue Reading
An inside job: Designer nanoparticles infiltrate, kill cancer cells from within
Nanoparticle designs target and treat early stage cancer cells by killing those cells with heat, delivered from inside the cell itself. Normal cells are thus left unaffected by the treatment regimen Continue Reading
Football players found to have brain damage from mild 'unreported' concussions

There wasn't a diagnostic capability to identify mild brain injury early after the trauma until recently. In the NFL, other professional sports and especially school sports, concern has grown about the long-term neuropsychiatric consequences of repeated mild Traumatic Brain Injury (mTBI) and specifically sports-related concussive and sub-concussive head impacts. Continue Reading

Experimental Ebola vaccine appears safe and prompts immune response

Results from NIH Phase 1 clinical trial support accelerated development of candidate vaccine
An experimental vaccine to prevent Ebola virus disease was well-tolerated and produced immune system responses in all 20 healthy adults who received it in a phase 1 clinical trial conducted by researchers from the National Institutes of Health. The candidate vaccine, which was co-developed by the NIH’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) and GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), was tested at the NIH Clinical Center in Bethesda, Maryland. The interim results are reported online in advance of print in the New England Journal of Medicine.
A 39-year-old woman, the first participant enrolled in VRC 207, receives a dose of the investigational NIAID/GSK Ebola vaccine at the NIH Clinical Center in Bethesda, Maryland. on Sept. 2, 2014.
“The unprecedented scale of the current Ebola outbreak in West Africa has intensified efforts to develop safe and effective vaccines, which may play a role in bringing this epidemic to an end and undoubtedly will be critically important in preventing future large outbreaks,” said NIAID Director Anthony S. Fauci, M.D. “Based on these positive results from the first human trial of this candidate vaccine, we are continuing our accelerated plan for larger trials to determine if the vaccine is efficacious in preventing Ebola infection.”
The candidate NIAID/GSK Ebola vaccine was developed collaboratively by scientists at the NIAID Vaccine Research Center (VRC) and at Okairos, a biotechnology company acquired by GSK. It contains segments of Ebola virus genetic material from two virus species, Sudan and Zaire. The Ebola virus genetic material is delivered by a carrier virus (chimpanzee-derived adenovirus 3 or cAd 3) that causes a common cold in chimpanzees but causes no illness in humans. The candidate vaccine does not contain Ebola virus and cannot cause Ebola virus disease.
The trial enrolled volunteers between the ages of 18 and 50. Ten volunteers received an intramuscular injection of vaccine at a lower dose and 10 received the same vaccine at a higher dose. At two weeks and four weeks following vaccination, the researchers tested the volunteers’ blood to determine if anti-Ebola antibodies were generated. All 20 volunteers developed such antibodies within four weeks of receiving the vaccine. Antibody levels were higher in those who received the higher dose vaccine.
The investigators also analyzed the research participants’ blood to learn whether the vaccine prompted production of immune system cells called T cells. A recent study by VRC scientist Nancy J. Sullivan, Ph.D., and colleagues showed that non-human primates inoculated with the candidate NIAID/GSK vaccine developed both antibody and T-cell responses, and that these were sufficient to protect vaccinated animals from disease when they were later exposed to high levels of Ebola virus.
The experimental NIAID/GSK vaccine did induce a T-cell response in many of the volunteers, including production of CD8 T cells, which may be an important part of immune protection against Ebola viruses. Four weeks after vaccination, CD8 T cells were detected in two volunteers who had received the lower dose vaccine and in seven of those who had received the higher dose.
“We know from previous studies in non-human primates that CD8 T cells played a crucial role in protecting animals that had been vaccinated with this NIAID/GSK vaccine and then exposed to otherwise lethal amounts of Ebola virus,” said Julie E. Ledgerwood, D.O., a VRC researcher and the trial’s principal investigator. “The size and quality of the CD8 T cell response we saw in this trial are similar to that observed in non-human primates vaccinated with the candidate vaccine.”
There were no serious adverse effects observed in any of the volunteers, although two people who received the higher dose vaccine did develop a briefly lasting fever within a day of vaccination.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

11/26/14 Health News: GO ANTIBIOTIC-FREE WITH THANKSGIVING TURKEY ♦ SALMONELLA OUTBREAK♦Selenium boost immune system to fight against cancer

CONSUMERS URGED TO GO ANTIBIOTIC-FREE WITH THEIR THANKSGIVING TURKEY
Public health advocates are calling on consumers to go antibiotic-free with their traditional Thanksgiving dinner. Earlier this week, the Pew Charitable Trusts posted its three reasons to buy a Thanksgiving turkey raised without antibiotics — the main one being that consumers can influence food producers to curb the overuse of antibiotics in livestock raised for... Continue Reading
SPROUT SALMONELLA OUTBREAK UP TO 68 IN NORTHEAST
As of November 24, a total of 68 persons infected with the outbreak strains of Salmonella Enteritidis have been reported from 10 states. The number of ill people identified in each state is as follows: Connecticut (4), Maine (3), Massachusetts (31), Montana (1), New Hampshire (4), New York (5), Ohio (1), Pennsylvania (10), Rhode Island... Continue Reading
Selenium compounds boost immune system to fight against cancer
Cancer types such as melanoma, prostate cancer and certain types of leukemia weaken the body by over-activating the natural immune system. Researchers have now demonstrated that selenium -- naturally found in, e.g., garlic and broccoli -- slows down the immune over-response. In the long term, this may improve cancer treatment. Continue Reading
Cataloguing 10 million human gut microbial genes: Unparalleled accomplishment

Over the past several years, research on bacteria in the digestive tract (gut microbiome) has confirmed the major role they play in our health. An international consortium has developed the most complete database of microbial genes ever created. The catalogue features nearly ten million genes and will constitute a reference for all research on gut bacteria Continue Reading

Canada: More Beef Balls Recalled

The food recall warning issued on November 13, 2014 has been updated to include additional product information. This information was identified during the Canadian Food Inspection Agency's (CFIA) food safety investigation.
Nha Trang Deli Inc. is recalling Beef Balls from the marketplace due to possible Listeria monocytogenes contamination. Consumers should not consume the recalled product described below.
Recalled products
Brand Name
Common Name
Size
Code(s) on Product
UPC
Nha Trang Deli Inc.
Beef Balls
454 g
Best Before Dates from 14 12 06 to 14 12 17, inclusively
6 20937 00001 2
What you should do
Check to see if you have recalled product in your home. Recalled product should be thrown out or returned to the store where it was purchased.
Food contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes may not look or smell spoiled but can still make you sick. Symptoms can include vomiting, nausea, persistent fever, muscle aches, severe headache and neck stiffness. Pregnant women, the elderly and people with weakened immune systems are particularly at risk. Although infected pregnant women may experience only mild, flu-like symptoms, the infection can lead to premature delivery, infection of the newborn or even stillbirth. In severe cases of illness, people may die.

  • Nha Trang Deli Incorporated: Beef Balls - 454 grams

Soybean Sprouts recalled Due to Listeria

Henry’s Farm Inc. of Woodford, VA is recalling all packages of Soybean Sprouts because they may be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes, an organism which can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections to individuals with weakened immune systems. Although healthy individuals may suffer only short term symptoms such as high fever, severe headache, stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain and diarrhea, Listeria infection can cause miscarriages and stillbirths among pregnant women.
The following products are being recalled by the firm.
  1. All clear 1 lb packages of Natto Soybean Sprouts. These products are labeled as produced by Henry’s Farm Inc. The packages were not coded.
  2. All clear 2 lb packages of Bean Sprouts. These products are labeled as distributed by Rhee Bros. Inc. Columbia, MD. The packages were not coded.
  3. All bulk (approximately 10 lbs.) black plastic bags of Soy Bean Sprouts. These products are labeled as produced by Henry’s Farm Inc. The packages were not coded.
These items were distributed to retail stores in Virginia and Maryland.
The contamination was discovered after sampling by the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Food Safety & Security Program and subsequent analysis by the Virginia Division of Consolidated Laboratory Services revealed the presence of Listeria monocytogenes in the products. No illness has been reported to date.
Individuals who purchased Soybean Sprouts, distributed by Henry’s Farm should return the product to the place of sale for a full refund.
Consumers with questions may contact the company directly at 301-802-2996 or the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Food Safety and Security Program at 804-786-3520.

Ireland: Bottled Water Recall

Ireland Bottled Water Recall
Dunnes Stores Recalls a Batch of Bottled Water Due to the Presence of Residues of Cleaning Fluid

Product:
Dunnes Stores 'my family favourites' Natural Irish Still Water; pack size: 12 x 500ml bottles (multi pack).
Batch Code:
L214314; best before end (BBE): Nov 15
Country Of Origin:
Ireland
Message:
Dunnes Stores is recalling one batch of its 'my family favourites' bottled water due to the presence of residues of cleaning fluid.  Point of sale notices are being displayed in stores.
Dunnes Stores Bottled Water
Dunnes Stores Water Multipack
Dunnes Stores Still Water

Smoked Nova Salmon Recalled Due to Listeria

Acme Smoked Fish Corporation of Brooklyn, NY is voluntarily recalling 564 pounds of its Imported (Product of Denmark) Acme 4oz. (113g) vacuum packs of Smoked Nova Salmon with lot code of L.05122014 because it may be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes. This organism can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people and others with weakened immune systems. Although healthy persons may suffer only short-term symptoms such as high fever, severe headache, stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain and diarrhea, listeria infection can cause miscarriages and stillbirths among pregnant women.
This product was distributed to Giant Food of Landover, MD, which operates supermarkets in Virginia, Delaware, Maryland, and the District of Columbia.
The contamination was noted after routine testing by the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services revealed the presence of Listeria monocytogenes in one 4 ounce package of "Imported (Product of Denmark) Acme 4oz. Smoked Nova Salmon" with product lot code L.05122014.
No illnesses have been reported to date in connection with this problem.
Consumers who have purchased 4oz. Smoked Salmon (Acme – Product of Denmark) with lot code L.05122014 are urged to return product to store or discard product. Contact Acme for further details and full refunds. Consumers with questions may contact the Quality Assurance Department at Acme Smoked Fish Corporation at 718-383-8585.

Label, Acme Smoked Nova Salmon 4 oz

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

11/25/14 Health News: Drink will reduce your cancer risk ♦ Untapped source of antibiotic drugs ♦ Personalized vaccines ♦ Longer work hours for moms means obesity for preschoolers

This drink will substantially reduce your cancer risk
Attention, ladies: Science says it’s time to put the kettle on. A new study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that women who consumed the most flavonoids, a type of antioxidant abundant in tea, were significantly less likely to develop endothelial ovarian cancer—the fifth leading cause of cancer death among women.  Continue Reading
Life's extremists may be an untapped source of antibacterial drugs
Life's extremists, a family of microbes called Archaea, may be an untapped source of new antibacterial drugs. That conclusion arises from the discovery of the first antibacterial gene in this ancient lineage  Continue Reading
Possibilities for personalized vaccines
Medical researchers are considering the possibilities for personalized vaccines in all types of cancer. The first vaccine will be prepared from a warehouse of 72 targets previously identified by the researchers as relevant for treatment in glioblastoma Continue Reading
Longer work hours for moms mean less sleep, higher BMIs for preschoolers
A link between moms' employment and overweight/obesity in preschoolers has been found by researchers. The study investigated links between mothers' employment status and their children's weight over time, exploring the impact of potential mediators, such as children's sleep and dietary habits, the amount of time they spent watching TV and family mealtime routines  Continue Reading

EVO® Cat and EVO® Ferret Food Recalled

Natura Pet Recalls 5 Lots of Dry Cat and Dry Ferret Food due to Vitamin Insufficiency
Fremont, Nebraska – Natura Pet Products has initiated a limited, voluntary recall of certain dry cat and dry ferret food lots produced in its Fremont, Nebraska facility. Due to a formulation error, these products contain insufficient levels of vitamins and excess minerals.
Pets can become ill if they lack vitamins for prolonged periods. Early signs of vitamin deficiency may include decreased appetite, lethargy, vomiting and weight loss. If treated promptly, vitamin deficiency can be successfully reversed. The presence of excess minerals in these products poses no health concern.
There have been no reports of animal health concerns to date, but these lots do not meet our quality standards and should not be consumed by pets. No other EVO® products or lots are affected by this issue.
The affected product and lot codes are:
EVO® Grain Free Turkey & Chicken Formula dry cat & kitten food
15.4 LB
5148 541400
02/19/2016
4300A700D2
EVO® Grain Free Turkey & Chicken Formula dry cat & kitten food
2.2 LB
5148 541402
02/20/2016
4301A700A4
EVO® Grain Free Turkey & Chicken Formula dry cat & kitten food
2.2 LB
5148 541402
02/20/2016
4301A700B4
EVO® Grain Free Turkey & Chicken Formula dry cat & kitten food
2.2 LB
5148 541402
02/20/2016
4301A700C4
EVO® Grain Free Ferret Food
6.6 LB
5148 542101
02/19/2016
4300A700D3
The problem was discovered during the investigation of an ingredient inventory discrepancy. Only these 5 lots are affected. These lots were distributed through independent retailers in CA, GA, MI, MN, NV, PA, TX, VT and Canada, as well as online. No other Natura products are affected.
Retailers have been contacted and are instructed to immediately withdraw these lots from store shelves. Consumers who purchased the product should discontinue feeding the product immediately and discard as normal household waste. We apologize for the inconvenience caused by this incident. We are taking immediate corrective action as a result of our investigation.
For more information, consumers can reach Natura Consumer Relations at 1-855-206-8297, Monday through Friday 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM EST or visit www.evopet.com.
Label, EVO Turkey and Chicken Cat Food
Label, EVO Ferret Food

Flying Cow Creamery Voluntarily Recalls Yogurt

Flying Cow Creamery Voluntarily Recalls Yogurt
Flying Cow Creamery is voluntarily recalling one lot of whole milk yogurt due to a faulty time and temperature recording during pasteurization. Pasteurization heats milk to eliminate all illness-causing bacteria such as Listeria monocytogenes and Salmonella.
The process of making yogurt at Flying Cow Creamery takes the milk beyond the required pasteurization time. However, during the production of Batch 70, the time and temperature recorder malfunctioned leaving no record that the yogurt was properly pasteurized. As a precaution, Flying Cow Creamery is voluntarily recalling one batch of yogurt. They are not aware of any illness or complaints associated with the recalled yogurt.
Batch number 70 with a Best Before date of 12/3 yogurt has been recalled. The batch number and best before date can be found on the top of the container. The product is sold in 32 oz returnable glass jars with white caps. Recalled yogurt was sold at retail locations in Rochester, Olympia, Seattle, Chehalis, Federal Way and Tacoma.
Washington State Department of Agriculture discovered inadequate pasteurization records during a routine inspection. A review of the pasteurization recorder charts did not prove adequate time for pasteurization. The recorder chart may not have been operating correctly.
If you have this product, you are urged to return it to the place of purchase for a full refund or replacement. Consumers with questions may contact the company at 360-273-1045 between the hours of 8 AM and 5 PM PST or via email,info@flyingcowcreamery.com.

Only 3 in 10 Americans with HIV have virus in check

New study finds that two-thirds of Americans with virus not in check have been diagnosed,
HIV STAGES OF CARE
There is an urgent need to reach more people with testing and make sure those with the virus receive prompt, ongoing care and treatment.
Just 30 percent of Americans with HIV had the virus under control in 2011, and approximately two-thirds of those whose virus was out of control had been diagnosed but were no longer in care, according to a new Vital Signs report published today by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  The new study underscores the importance of making sure people with HIV receive ongoing care, treatment, and other information and tools that help prevent transmission to others, as well as the need to reach more people with HIV testing.  Among those whose infection was not under control, more than three times the proportion (66 percent) were no longer in care as had never been diagnosed (20 percent).
The HIV epidemic continues to threaten the health and well-being of many Americans – with more than one million people living with the disease in the U.S. and 50,000 new infections each year.
When used consistently, antiretroviral medication can keep HIV controlled at very low levels in the body (known as viral suppression), allowing people with HIV to live longer, healthier lives and reducing the likelihood they will transmit HIV to others. Treatment has been shown to reduce sexual transmission of HIV by 96 percent, and U.S. clinical guidelines now recommend that everyone diagnosed with HIV receive treatment, regardless of their CD4 cell count or viral load.
"For people living with HIV, it’s not just about knowing you’re infected – it’s also about going to the doctor for medical care,” said CDC Director Tom Frieden, M.D., M.P.H.  “And for health care facilities, it’s not just about the patients in your care – it’s every person diagnosed, and every person whose diagnosis has not yet been made.  Key to controlling the nation’s HIV epidemic is helping people with HIV get connected to – and stay in – care and treatment, to suppress the virus, live longer and help protect others.”
The new study estimates that of the 1.2 million Americans living with HIV in 2011, 70 percent did not have their virus under control. Among the nearly 840,000 people who had not achieved viral suppression:
  • 66 percent had been diagnosed but were not engaged in regular HIV care,
  • 20 percent did not yet know they were infected,
  • 4 percent were engaged in care but not prescribed antiretroviral treatment, and
  • 10 percent were prescribed antiretroviral treatment but did not achieve viral suppression.
The percentage of Americans with HIV who achieved viral suppression remained roughly stable (26 percent in 2009 vs. 30 percent in 2011).
CDC focus on stopping HIV transmission through treatment
CDC has increased the focus on diagnosing people with HIV, supporting linkage to ongoing care and treatment, provision of risk reduction information, and increasing medication adherence.  By making the most of these strategies for those who are HIV-positive, as well as other high impact strategies to protect those who remain uninfected but are at highest risk for HIV, CDC believes substantial progress can be made in reducing new infections.
“There is untapped potential to drive down the epidemic through improved testing and treatment, but we’re missing too many opportunities,” said Jonathan Mermin, M.D., director of CDC’s National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and Tuberculosis Prevention. "Treatment is crucial.  It is one of our most important strategies for stopping new HIV infections."
Current initiatives to promote HIV testing and treatment include innovative partnerships to make HIV testing simple, accessible and routine; programs to help health departments identify and reach out to infected individuals who have fallen out of care; and public awareness campaigns to urge testing and encourage people with HIV to seek ongoing care.
These efforts are an essential component of the National HIV/AIDS Strategy, launched in 2010.  Key goals of the strategy include reducing HIV incidence, increasing access to care and optimizing health outcomes, and reducing HIV-related health disparities.
Younger adults with HIV least likely to have virus under control
Today’s study also found that viral suppression increased with age, with young people significantly less likely than older age groups to have their virus under control – only 13 percent of people aged 18-24 were virally suppressed, compared to 23 percent among those aged 25-34, 27 percent among those aged 35-44, 34 percent among those aged 45-54, 36 percent among those aged 55-64, and 37 percent among those aged 65 and older. The researchers attribute the disparity in large part to the fact that fewer than half (49 percent) of 18- to 24-year olds with HIV have been diagnosed, underscoring the need for more HIV testing in this population.
“It’s alarming that fewer than half of HIV-positive young adults know they are infected,” said Eugene McCray, M.D., director of CDC’s Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention.  “Closing that gap could have a huge impact on controlling HIV – knowing your status is the first critical step toward taking care of your own health and avoiding transmission to others.”