Tuesday, May 31, 2016

cell phones and cancer of the brain?

a lot of anecdotal questions about brain tumors and cellphones, and a recent mouse study suggests there may be a connection.

But a look at the data shows some statistical questions such as small population base, an excess of premature deaths in the control group (meaning they might not live long enough to get cancer), and of course, the dosage was constant and huge: No human would get a comparable dose during his lifetime.

But never mind. The headline is there, and people will believe it, never mind statistics.

however, this has been questioned for years: Back in 1970, I had a lymphoma patient who was in the Air Force radar or microwave type job...and there were six people in similar jobs in his military hospital (I saw him at our hospital ER, which was closer than the Naval hospital in his emergency).

But lymphoma back then and now is found in that age group, so the statistical chance was no higher in this job than in a control population.

there was only one tumor that had a couple of cases in male rats (not female rats), and in only one type of radiation from one type cellphone (not a different radiation): and it was a schwanoma of the heart.

However, among a group of 90 males exposed to the strongest levels of CDMA radiation, six developed schwannomas of the heart. For the sake of comparison, there were no schwannomas among males in the control group.

Do rats get schwanomas of the heart? This is a nerve cell tumor. Or rather the cell that sheaths the nerve. The cancerous changes are rare, usually in people with Neurofibromatosis (aka Von Recklinghausesn's disease, which is common). Usually they are in peripheral nerves but can occur in the ear (acoustic neuroma) or in the brain. They are a slow growing tumor.

But why heart schwannomas? I'm probably missing something in the literature.

the researchers concetrated on schwannoma and glial cell tumors...the latter a common and terrible brain tumor.

The researchers focused on two kinds of tumors: malignant gliomas, which arise in glial cells in the brain, and schwannomas in the heart, which begin in so-called Schwann cells.

the Mayo clinic paper suggests one epidemiological study showed no problem, except maybe (maybe) in salivary gland benign tumors (which are common), and maybe (maybe) more gliomas in heavy cellphone users.

  • In one study that followed more than 420,000 cellphone users over a 20-year period, researchers found no evidence of a link between cellphones and brain tumors.
  • Another study found an association between cellphones and cancer of the salivary glands. However, only a small number of study participants had malignant tumors.
  • Another study suggested a possible increased risk of glioma — a specific type of brain tumor — for the heaviest cellphone users, but no increase in brain tumor risk overall.
as for gliomas: These are found in young adults, of course, but also seen in very young children: Who don't use cellphones.

and the actual incidence is low:

The most commonly diagnosed primary brain tumor of adults is glioblastoma multiforme (grade IV). The incidence is two to three cases per 100,000 population per yeaThe most commonly diagnosed primary brain tumor of adults is glioblastoma multiforme (grade IV). The incidence is two to three cases per 100,000 population per year

yet there are other problems thought to be associated with all these radio/microwave/ etc stuff in the modern world.

or are they? Take lymphomas.

so did the microwaves etc. cause my patient to have lymphoma? How about CIA head Casey: did he die because of all the microwaves at the CIA headquarters, or was there another possibility?

now read this factoid: ( Lymphoma of the brain is associated with HIV, due to immune problems in stopping another cancer causing virus from being destroyed by the body's immune system.)

no, I am not saying that these people had HIV (all of these cases were before HIV got a foothold and spread like wildfire in the promiscuous bath houses of San Francisco).

So hysteria about rare cancers from cellphones but silence on a politically correct protected disease causing brain tumors, because because no one wants to acknowledge that this disease is completely preventable, or the practices that are spreading it are not those practiced by fundamentalist Christians or Muslims.

Personally, I had one of the first cellphones, but now with smartphones, it is impossible to get through a meal without my granddaughter texting friends or my daughter in law talking business.

Reminds me of the start of the movie "warm bodies" where the zombie longs for the days when people actually talked to one another (while the memory shows people not talking to each other but talking on cellphones).

So in summary, worry about real problems that cause problems.

Like this snippet at the bottom of the LATiimes article:

 1.2 million college students drink alcohol on a typical day, and more than 703,000 use weed

the epidemic of using drugs has hit the point that the powers that be want everything legalized (read soros's open culture money).

Yet no one is noting that a drug with a long half life might have adverse effects: DUI's, shoddy workmanship, child abuse, abortion, staying unmarried (how many of my single moms refused to marry their partner because he was "immature"? (read drug user))

one only has to ask cops and doctors about the devestation to families and communities where getting high is considered normal, and the dulling of the conscience and the effects on people's ability to work, to support a family, not to wreck a car with DUI, not to lower production values by shoddy work because you are high is not discussed.

I read last week that many factories etc. are hiring illegals because local men can't pass a drug test.

Similarly, when Toyota etc. came to the US to start a factory, they went to the south, where unions were weak but also where the dirty little secret of drug use on the line in Detroit (with the unions stopping you from firing them) was a major problem for the auto industry.

in other words, when the death rate from motor vehicle accidents is 10 in 100 thousand population, and 40 percent of these test positive for drugs, maybe we are straining at a gnat and swallowing a whale.

The fight against Zika: Doing it right

If you want an excellent article on how Brazil is trying to get rid of the mosquitos that spread the zika virus, check out MomJones.

aside form the usual things, the guy in charge of the fight seems to know how they live in the slums, because they are inspecting houses:

There's no privacy when it comes to Zika: As part of the government's Aedes aegypti eradication plan, federal health agents have been going door to door to inspect backyards and educate the public. Ever since Rousseff signed a new ruleinto law in January, these agents have been allowed to force their way into public and private buildings—including people's homes—to search for mosquito breeding sites if no one answers the door after two separate visits. If necessary, the police can be called upon to help gain entrance.
The reason? I don't know about Brazil, but often poor people keep buckets of water in their houses to wash up and flush the toilet. You see, often the public water pressure is low, and some don't have running water, so borrow the water from a neighbor.

There are also puddles from water run off that might have to be corrected, and simple garbage like cans or husks from coconuts can have enough water for the bugs to breed.

Here, I have to keep an eye on the animals food and water dishes...even my flower vases have little wigglers in them after the third day if I don't change water.

and I had to laugh at this:

Poor Brazilians are more affected by microcephaly, and officials aren't sure why:Microcephaly, the most severe condition so far associated with Zika, seems to be impacting the poor more intensely
Really? Maybe because they don't have money for insect repellant, screens on their doors, and they live in neighborhoods with lots of places (including poor drainage leading to puddles) that will let the mosquitos grow.

and when you are poor and overwhelmed with the problems of living, sometimes you get careless and don't use repellant or mosquito nets all the time. You just accept fate.

And there are lots of comments about GM Mosquitoes by the usual crazies.

Here is an article about GM mosquitos that give some background on their use.

and they point out the hysteria by the local anti western paranoids (read commies) and the anti western mullas (read ignorant but who read the UKGuardian) and the crazies in the NGO's who hate anything new, never mind all those kids dying of malaria and dengue fever:

The lessons that have been learnt from the GM crop controversy in Europe and North America would suggest that for GMMs to be acceptable for malaria control, scientists need to involve the public prior to trials, as well as during the research process and the development of such sophisticated tools [7]. There is much speculation surrounding genetic modification from pressure groups in various parts of the world and most misconceptions are a result of lack of accurate information. For example, Oxford Insect Technologies (Oxitec) faced a backlash from non-governmental organizations and the public in the case of release of sterile Ae. aegypti in the Cayman Islands [7]. Oxitec was criticized for their financial interest to public health by dealing with GMMs as a commercial product and releasing the GMMs before international regulations were set [711]. Oxitec was also accused of not publicly announcing the releases in the Cayman Islands and deliberately conducting the release in secret and then publishing the release after a one year delay [712]. GMMs generate debate in many parts of the world because of the prospect of releasing flying transgenic organisms into the environment. Before a field trial is conducted, it is imperative to find out the attitudes and concerns of people towards the potential release of GMMs. Through better communication and transparency prior to a release in Africa, such controversies like that generated by the release in Cayman Islands could be avoided. 

Monday, May 30, 2016

the time of the month in Africa

traditionally women use old rags, which they wash out at night to dry and use again.

A nice "green" solution.

But sometimes they leak

A BBC story on how a local girl invented a cheap solution.

Friday, May 27, 2016

dog delusions

men who live like dogs, article from UKGuardian

most are male and gay of course, despite claims that some straights are into this fetish.

Then, of course, there is the sex. Puppy play is often part of a larger sexual practice that crosses over with leather folk, furries and BDSM. 

definition of BDSM 

Herbs: Popular and dangerous?

Tea at Trianon links to an article on British Herbal books in medieval times

herbal medicine in the past was a skill, and if some old ladies were accused of witchcraft, it  might be because people died from the herbs...not only accidental overdoses, but from abortion causing herbs or because someone wanted to "off" an elderly parent or inconvenient spouse.

The Inquisition, ironically, was instituted partly to stop lynch mobs against the accused: They would actually investigate and often say the accusation was wrong. Most of the inquisition's black legend is that: Propaganda, greatly exaggerated by those who hated Catholics.

But herbs are dangerous.

most work by "placebo effect", but those that do have active ingredients often have a close "theraputic/toxic" ratio: meaning if you give enough to work you might be close to killing the patient.

For example, when I started medical school, we still used digitalis extract, which could vary in strength from batch to batch, depending if the leaf was grown in the sun or in the shade (e.g. cloudy days). Then they came out with Lanoxin (digoxin). The brand name was from the plant grown in central Canada by irrigation, so the variation was minimal.

But we still didn't have a way of testing the drug level, so digitalis related overdoses was still a major cause of death and hospitalization.

When someone was in congestive heart failure, we loaded them up, essentially using the criteria first described in 1790: give doses until they either pee (diuresis), vomit, or get diarrhea (signs of overdose). We also could check the EKG for heart block, and another sign of toxicity was vision that saw yellow halos around lights etc.

Then came lasix, the ACE blockers, etc and we pretty well stopped using it, except maybe to slow the heart down in atrial fibrillation. Too dangerous.

I suspect similar problem with other herbs.

And in Africa, often accidental herbal poisoning was a cause of death. We had outreaches with the local N'angas (aka "witchdoctors"). One was to encourage them to refer to us if the bewitched person who was losing weight didn't get better, to check for TB. Another was to encourage quality control in their dosages (i.e. care in concocting the medicines by proper measuring etc).

When I hear about "mind body" medicine, I shrug because a lot of this is hypnosis/suggestion/placebo effect. And indeed, one Nigerian psychiatrist I dated in Liberia was the grandson of an herbalist/witchdoctor, who told me the story that during the Nigerian cisvil war, when they ran out of anesthesia, he would hypnotize them as his grandmother taught him to do, to control the pain.

There is a reason for scientific medicine: Herbs do work, but like the Reiki and other mind body things, a  lot is hypnosis, and a lot is the magical idea that you are in control of your life, so can heal yourself.... heal as in "I am in control (when you are sick, you are vulnerable because you aren't in control, hence religion)... and of course, you do it yourself, meaning no expert needed (feminist who hate men doctors are especially prone to do this... even now, with women docs, the feeling is the same because the dirty little secret is that these men haters really hate doctors of either sex because we studied 8 to 12 years and know more then they do and they are jealous.)

I had quite a few herbal books (some I brought with me here). And you know what? They don't agree with each other

and a lot of those that work are in a book I have is a field guide about "dangerous plants" in the eastern USA...many of these plants are now weeds, brought by early settlers, and I often found them walking through the woods and glades outside our coal town (where farms had been abandoned a century earlier, when the mines opened, but the mints, blackberries, elder berries, apple trees etc. still were there).

Related book: Wicked plants.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Muslim states, HIV and gay advocacy

Reuters reports that a combination of Muslim states is blocking gay groups from attending a conference on HIV.

Samantha Power, U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, wrote to General Assembly President Mogens Lykketoft and said the groups appeared to have been blocked for involvement in lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender advocacy. “Given that transgender people are 49 times more likely to be living with HIV than the general population, their exclusion from the high-level meeting will only impede global progress in combating the HIV/AIDS pandemic,” Power wrote.

the "correct" story is these people are bigoted and that homophobia only increases HIV spread.

but the real story is that these groups aim at the entire gay agenda (gay marriage, making gay activity legal so gay tourism, including that by pedophiles, is welcome in a country, opposing the relgions that say promiscuity and gay sex are wrong by pressuring these religions as is being done in the USA).

In other words, instead of trying to stop HIV, they will hijack the conference to promote the gay agenda.

And a lot of countries, as in Africa, where heterosexual transmission is common, or in Asia, where IV drug use and blood transfusion HIV is common, it means you are changing the subject to promote your agenda, an agenda that goes against local culture and religion.

The dirty little secret is that the Obama administration has pushed their sexual agendas on poor countries. It is so bad the Pope has complained of it several times (but the press never quotes him when he says such things).

We see this in Manila, where the pro gay astroturfs have resulted in Makati being a center for HIV and a "very rough" gay lifestyle.

Instead of saying: We need to push the gay community into self control, to get married and then be faithful to their spouses, the opposite is pushed: who am I to judge.

It is well known that when a behavior is frowned on, it still goes on underground. But it goes on statistically less than if it were legal and socially acceptable, and this goes for prohibition of drugs too (the meme is that alcohol prohibition in the US was ignored, but public health statistics actually showed a decrease in alcohol related deaths).

In the third world, the gay rights agenda, along with the planned parenthood "sex ed" agenda which teaches teen agers sex outside of marriage is okay, has been shown to be fatal to family

a broken family in the US and Europe means going on welfare. In Africa, it means mom finds a new boyfriend and the kids end up abandoned on the streets, becoming thieves, taking drugs, and being vulnerable to sexual exploitation.

So if the gay agenda means that you get rid of laws against male homosexual activity, it is not homophobia: It protect our kids from powerful teachers/clergy/businessmen/tourists who exploit them sexually.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Mystery epidemics? Uh not so much

via the presurfer:

Ten mystery epidemics doctors don't know the cause of.

many of these are hysteria/suggestion...

but others, such as diarrhea after a meteorite hit, are probably viral gastroenteritis spread because of the crowds who went to view the site ate or drank something contaminated.

and number3, the sweating sickness, is well documented in England and parts of northern Europe, and there is still a question of the cause of the disease, which was often fatal. I wasn't aware that it persisted in one area of Europe until 1906...

similarly, the "nodding sickness" of Uganda is probably not a worm but from cyanide/pesticide or a similar toxin in food used by poor people...

Energy drinks and stimulents in combat

StrategyPage link.

For later reading.