21 July 2011

Mosquito Alert


Attack of the Urban Mosquitoes
Aggressive and Hard to Kill: Two Asian Cityslickers Swarm the East Coast

http://www.mda.state.md.us/plants-pests/mosquito_control/_asian_tiger_mosquito_md.php 

The latest scourge crossing the country has a taste for the big city.
The Asian tiger mosquito, named for its distinctive black-and-white striped body, is a relatively new species to the U.S. that is more vicious, harder to kill and, unlike most native mosquitoes, bites during the daytime. It also prefers large cities over rural or marshy areas—thus earning the nickname among entomologists as "the urban mosquito."
"Part of the reason it is called 'tiger' is also because it is very aggressive," says Dina Fonseca, an associate professor of entomology at Rutgers University. "You can try and swat it all you want, but once it's on you, it doesn't let go. Even if it goes away, it will be back for a bite."
Swat Team: What Works

Dr. Fonseca is leading a U.S. Department of Agriculture effort to develop a cost-effective method to control the Asian tiger mosquito (Aedes albopictus) population. The university is currently focusing on using larvacides, which render larvae incapable of growing into adults.
Since urban areas tend to be warmer—often by 5 to 10 degrees—than rural areas, cities are seeing tiger mosquitoes earlier and sticking around longer, often into October.
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05 July 2011

Virtual Infection of Human Genome Database


Human Genome Contaminated With Mycoplasma DNA

The discovery of alien DNA in the published human genome raises important questions about preventing 'virtual infections'
KFC 06/23/2011, MIT Technology review
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Earlier this year, molecular biologists announced that 20 per cent of nonhuman genome databases are contaminated with human DNA, probably from the researchers who sequenced the samples.
Now, the human genome itself has become contaminated. Bill Langdon at University College London and Matthew Arno at Kings College London say they've found sequences from mycoplasma bacteria in the human genome database.
This contamination has far reaching consequences. Biotech companies use the human genome database to create DNA chips that measure levels of human gene expression. Langdon and Arno say they've found mycoplasma DNA in two commercially available human DNA chips.
Anybody using these chips to measure human gene expression is also unknowingly measuring mycoplasma gene expression too.
In some ways, this is hardly a surprise. "It is well known that mycoplasma contamination is rife in molecular biology laboratories," says Langdon and Arno. With any luck the discovery of this stuff in the human genome database will focus minds on the problem.
A key question is the nature of this kind of information transmission. These mycoplasma genes are clearly successful in reproducing themselves in silico. One possibility is that we're seeing the beginnings of an entirely new kind of landscape of infection.
Here, genes that can masquerade as human (or indeed as other organisms) can successfully transmit themselves from one database to another. And if we think of this as virtual infection, a sure bet is that we'll be worrying about virtual evolution in the near future.
But what to do? The level of contamination and the way in which it is spreading suggests that researchers are losing the battle to eliminate it. "We.. fear current tools will be inadequate to catch genes which have jumped the silicon barrier," they say.
Most frightening of all is the possibility that Langdon and Arno may have only scratched the surface. "Having found two suspect DNA sequences, it seems likely the published "human genome" sequence contains more," they say.
If virtual infection is really as big a problem as Langdon and Arno suggest, we may well need to protect databases with the genomic version of antivirus software, a kind of virtual immune system.
But this in itself is likely to trigger an evolutionary arms race that selects genes most capable of beating the safeguards.
Clearly, this is a nettle that needs to be grasped quickly. That's if it's not too late already.
Ref: arxiv.org/abs/1106.4192: More Mouldy Data: Virtual Infection of the Human Genome

03 July 2011

Lyme: It's not what your doctor is telling you it is!



Lyme Cover Up Rages On
Submitted by Lois Rain on July 1, 2011 – 9:16 pm

What have you heard about tickborne Lyme for the last 30 years? That it’s rare, scary, acute, treatable… The government warns about its spread and implores people to go to a doctor upon seeing the telltale bulls-eye rash. What happens when they actually do?

Many have researched the controversial beginnings of Lyme disease, but this article focuses on what happens to victims when they contract it and what they can do now.
Under Our Skin is a documentary that lends a voice to the many who in fact suffer from chronic Lyme and are victims of a greater abomination.

Why do conventional doctors tell them it’s in their head? Why won’t they quickly test for it? Treat it? Acknowledge it? Why do medical boards shut down doctors who can treat and cure Lyme?

Lyme’s Disease is NOT RARE – Bigger Than AIDS
In the late 70s, a Lyme, Connecticut mom reported a mysterious new disease sweeping the town, leaving its people with debilitating, chronic symptoms. In 1981, Dr. Willy Burgdorfer discovered the Lyme bacteria, called Borrelia burgdorferi.

The bacteria spirochetes closely resemble syphilis in their make up. While a carrier tick is feeding, its backwash enters the host and transmits Lyme. The corkscrew spirochetes wreak havoc, drilling into any healthy cells and tissue. They create painful, crippling neurological and immunological damage.
In the beginning, doctors only knew that it resembled syphilis but remained unaware of its wide spread, how to proceed, and the political, medical clash that awaited them.

In recent years, the CDC has reported over 35,000 new Lyme cases annually but admit that since it is so overlooked the actual number may be 12 times higher, up to 420,000 cases each year.

Think of how much more likely it is to contract Lyme than the media-touted West Nile virus which is only reported at around 1,300 cases annually. If the actual number of Lyme cases is even just a modest amount above the CDC’s 35,000, then Lyme is far more prevalent than AIDS, reported at 39,000 cases annually.

Since 1982, the number of cases continues to climb and spike prompting media reports and health officials to label it epidemic as early as 1989. Reported cases have tripled since 1992. Every summer we hear the same cautionary reports. Yet doctors constantly tell their patients “You don’t have Lyme” or “Lyme only happens in such-and-such state, not here.”

Lyme is a national health crisis in every state and has traveled the globe! Read more ...

02 July 2011

CRKP: carapenem-resistant Klebsiella pneumoniae

CRKP is becoming wide spread. This week I am seeing it in the U.S., Europe, and Korea. For frequency work it is simply another anti-biotic resistant bacteria. Frequencies will be available on the Frequency Foundation subscribers list.

Antibiotics are increasingly becoming an obsolete technology. They were never good for the human body's immune system even when they killed bacteria. I haven't used any since 1993 and they should only be used in emergencies when nothing else works.

Deadly Antibiotic-Resistant Superbug Spreads in Southern California

An antibiotic-resistant superbug once thought to be rare is spreading through health-care facilities in Southern California, health officials say.








Roughly 350 cases of carbapenem-resistant Klebsiella pneumoniae, or CRKP, were reported in Los Angeles County between June and December of 2010, according to a study from the L.A. County Department of Public Health to be presented April 3 in Dallas at the annual meeting of the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America.

"These patients tend to be elderly, they are commonly on ventilators and they often stay at the facility for an extended period of time," Dr. Dawn Terashita, medical epidemiologist and lead author of the study, said in a statement.

CRKP joins other superbugs such as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, or MRSA, in a league of bacteria that outwits typical antibiotics.

"We develop new drugs to defeat the infections and germs change to get around those drugs and this is one of those cases," Dr. Richard Besser, ABC News chief health and medical editor, said today in an interview on ABC News' "Good Morning America."

Besser is a former acting director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta. "It's like an arms race and in many ways the germs are winning," he said.

CRKP is not new to California, or the rest of the country for that matter. The CDC has been tracking it across 35 states since 2009. It is young, however, compared to MRSA, according to Dr. Arjun Srinivasan, associate director of the CDC's health care-associated, infection-prevention programs.

"But in terms of mortality and morbidity, it's very, very serious," Srinivasan said. "These infections are more difficult to treat than MRSA."

CRKP is an enterobacterium like salmonella and E. coli.

It is unclear how many cases of the 350 reported by Terashita and colleagues were fatal. It is also unclear whether the infections stemmed from improper care at long term-care facilities or the frailty of the patients they serve. But Terashita said infected patients tended to have health problems that often resulted in antibiotic use, which might have made them more susceptible.

"All of these factors contribute to a greater risk for health care-acquired infections," she said.
Besser said, "This superbug is very dangerous. It tends to affect people that are in the hospital for long periods of time; people that have underlying medical problems; people who have been in nursing homes."
Although healthy people in the general public are not at risk for infection, they could transmit the bacteria to sick loved ones.

"As a loved one of someone that is in the hospital, you have to be vigilant when you're sitting there with your relative and anyone comes in and wants to touch your relative without washing their hands," Besser said. "You have to say something. ... It does come down to simple things like that, making sure no one is giving a germ to someone you care about."

Health-care workers should be equally vigilant, Besser said. "A lot of it comes down to hospitals," he said. "They need to make sure that health-care workers aren't spreading it from patient to patient. That's mainly what takes place.

Preventing the spread of CRKP is key because the infections are so difficult to treat, the CDC's Srinivasan said. The "mainstay treatment," colistin, is an older generation antibiotic with toxic side effects. And newer, more effective treatment options are unlikely to be developed any time soon.