|Posted on December 30, 2020 at 9:00 AM||comments (0)|
In 2008, a curious find was discovered down a coal mine in the Ukrainian city of Donetsk. As it could not be safely or successfully cut out due to the nature of the sandstone in which it was embedded, the mysterious artifact looking much like an ancient wheel remains in situ down the mine. The following article is extracted from The Myth Of Man by J.P. Robinson.SMXL
Whilst drilling the coal coking stratum named J3 ‘Sukhodolsky’ at a depth of 900 meters (2952.76 feet) from the surface, workers were surprised to find what appears to be the imprint of a wheel above them in the sandstone roof of the tunnel that they had just excavated.
Thankfully, photographs of the unusual imprint were taken by the Deputy Chief V.V. Kruzhilin and shared with the mine foreman S. Kasatkin, who brought news of the find to light. Without being able to further explore the site and inspect the imprint at close hand, we are left with only the photographs as evidence of their existence (there was more than one imprint) and the word of a group of Ukrainian miners.
Without being able to definitively date the strata in which the fossilized wheel print was found, it has been noted that the Rostov region surrounding Donetsk is situated upon Carboniferous rock aged between 360-300 million years ago, and the widely distributed coking coals have derived from the middle to late Carboniferous; suggesting a possible age of the imprint at around 300 million years old. This would mean that an actual wheel became stuck millions of years ago and dissolved over time due to a process called diagenesis, where sediments are lithified into sedimentary rocks, as is common with fossil remains.
The following is an extract from a letter written by S. Kasatkin (translated from Ukrainian) in reference to his testimony of having been witness to the anomalous wheel imprint discovered by his team of miners in 2008:
‘This finding is not a PR action. In due time (2008), we as a team of engineers and workers asked the mine director to invite scientists for detailed examination of the object, but the director, following the instructions of the then owner of the mine, prohibited such talks and instead only ordered to accelerate work on passing through this section of lava and on fast ‘charging’ of the section with mining equipment.
Owing to that, this artifact and the smaller one found during further work came to be in a tunnel blockage and could not be taken out and studied. It is good that there were people, who in spite of the director’s prohibition, photographed this artifact.
I have connections with the people who first discovered these imprints and also with those who photographed them. We have more than a dozen witnesses. As you understand, the admission in the mine is strictly limited (it is dangerous on sudden emissions) and to obtain such permit is rather difficult.
The ‘wheel’ was printed on sandstone of the roof. Guys (drifters) tried to ‘cut away’ the find with pick hammers and to take it out to the surface, but sandstone was so strong (firm) that, having been afraid to damage a print, they have left it in place. At present the mine is closed (officially since 2009) and access to the ‘object’ is impossible - the equipment is dismantled and the given layers are already flooded.’
Evidence for the existence of wheeled vehicles in antiquity has surfaced in other parts of the world, as petrified ancient tracks found in France, Spain, Italy, Malta, Kazakhstan, Ukraine, and even North America reveal. A prehistoric site known formally as Misrah Ghar il-Kbir meaning the Great Cave in Maltese (and commonly referred to as Clapham Junction), is located at Siggiewi, near the Dingli Cliffs in Malta.
It is at this now famous site that what have been termed ‘cart ruts’ cut into the limestone have mystified all that have visited the area. Likewise, a number of unusual tracks in stone are also visible on the island of Sicily at the Greek amphitheater called the Great Theater of Syracuse. Interestingly, most archaeologists have suggested that the Maltese tracks were probably created by Sicilian settlers who traveled to Malta around 2000 BC at the start of the Bronze Age.SML
Yet more tracks are to be found in Turkey. Some at Sofca cover an area roughly 45 by 10 miles (72.42 by 16.09 km), and also in Cappadocia, where several pockets of tracks can be seen. The many ruts discovered around the world have caused a great deal of controversy as to their purpose, age, and origin. These mysterious factors remain up for debate, but due to the association and close proximity with megalithic structures, in Malta particularly, and due to the fact that many tracks are now submerged below the sea in that region, many researchers have concluded that the fossilized lines show signs of great antiquity.
Bizarrely, considering the anomalous wheel print discovered in Ukraine that we have just discussed, a medieval city-fortress in the Crimean Mountains of Ukraine called Chufut-Kale lies in ruins, but also plays host to a number of cart ruts in stone like those at the nearby site of Eski-Kermen.
Dr. Alexander Koltypin is a geologist and director of the Natural Science Research Center at Moscow’s International Independent University of Ecology and Politology. He has spent a great deal of time visiting these sites and comparing them to one another in search of similarities.
“I first saw tracks in stone - fossilized car or terrain vehicle traces (usually called cart ruts) on Neogen plantation surface (peneplene in Phrygian) plain in May 2014 (Central Anatolia Turkey). They were situated in the field of development of Middle and Late Miocene tuffs and tuffites and according to age analysis of nearby volcanic rocks, had middle Miocene age of 12-14 million years,” wrote Koltypin.
This particular region which Koltypin has researched further is relatively unknown and the guide books offer nothing in the way of information. Whilst orthodox researchers claim that the tracks are simply the remnants of old petrified cart ruts from the kind of wheeled vehicles which donkeys or camels would have pulled, Koltypin has other ideas. “I will never accept it,” he explained when confronted with the standard explanations. “I myself will always remember . . . many other inhabitants of our planet wiped from our history.”
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|Posted on December 30, 2020 at 8:55 AM||comments (0)|
The details of the story depicted in the cave art surprised the researchers. Previously, the oldest known cave art first appeared in Europe 40,000 years ago, showcasing abstract symbols. By 35,000 years ago, the art became more sophisticated, showing horses and other animals.
But detailed scenes that share a story and therianthropes didn’t appear until 20,000 years ago – until this discovery. It “suggests that there was no gradual evolution of Paleolithic art from simple to complex around 35,000 years ago – at least not in Southeast Asia,” Aubert said.
“The hunters represented in the ancient rock art panel are simple figures with human-like bodies, but they have been depicted with heads or other body parts like those from birds, reptiles and other faunal species endemic to Sulawesi,” said Adhi Agus Oktaviana, study co-author and a PhD student at Griffith University in Australia, who has also studied rock art in Borneo, Sumatra, Raja Ampat and Misool.
|Posted on December 30, 2020 at 8:50 AM||comments (0)|
A 100,000-year-old workshop used to mix and store the reddish pigment ochre has been discovered in Blombos Cave on the rugged southern coast near Cape Town. At the same site, scientists have found some of the earliest sharp stone tools, as well as evidence of fishing.
The latest find is reported in Friday's edition of the journal Science. It includes pieces of ochre, grinding bowls, shells for storage and bone and charcoal to mix with the pigment.
Lead researcher Christopher Henshilwood of the University of Bergen, Norway, said the find represents an important benchmark in the evolution of complex human mental processes.
The ochre could have been used for painting, decoration and skin protection, according to the researchers.
The discovery shows that even at that time "humans had the conceptual ability to source, combine and store substances that were then possibly used to enhance their social practices."
Two separate tool kits for working ochre were found at the site, the researchers said.
Henshilwood, who is also affiliated with the South Africa's University of Witwatersrand, said in a statement that researchers believe that pieces of ochre were rubbed on rock to make a fine red powder, and that was mixed with crushed bone, charcoal, stone chips and a liquid. The mixture was put into abalone shells and stirred with a bone.
|Posted on December 30, 2020 at 8:45 AM||comments (0)|
Rock art dated to a minimum age of almost 40,000 years has been discovered in the Maros region of southern Sulawesi, Indonesia. This is an incredible result, published in Nature today, because one of the biggest challenges in rock art research is dating.
Consequently, every time we get dates for rock art, wherever from and no matter how old or young, it is important. But when we get really old dates outside Europe it is both highly significant and very exciting.
Specifically, the earliest minimum age for a hand stencil was found to be at least 39,900 years at the site of Leang Timpuseng and the oldest animal painting, of a babirusa “pig-deer” at the same site, dates back to at least 35,400 years.
A second animal painting (probably a pig) at another site has a minimum age of 35,700 years.
Obtaining 36,000 to 40,000 year minimum ages for paintings of animals and hand stencils of Sulawesi is an especially important rock art dating result because it has long been argued that the origin of art began in the deep caves of Europe more than 30,000 years ago.
Rock art is found all over the world. It is an archive of Indigenous arts and history stretching back tens of thousands of years and in this sense is a major component of world art history.
Rock art typically consists of paintings, drawings, engravings, stencils, prints, bas-relief carvings and figures made of beeswax in rock shelters and caves, on boulders and platforms.
Rock art sites are special, often spectacular places that reflect ancient experience and sometimes spirituality. They are locations where aspects of ceremony, belief and history are recorded in visual form. They are a testament to thousands of years of Indigenous culture and cultural interaction with other peoples, other creatures and the environment.
Where does the first rock art come from?
The Sulawesi dates show that the making of rock art did not originate in Europe, that it is more likely a much older behaviour brought by the first humans to both Europe and Southeast Asia. Or that rock art practices of making hand stencils and skilfully executed depictions of wild animals were independently invented in far flung parts of the world many tens of thousands of years ago.
Both possibilities are equally exciting as they force us to rethink many things about our most ancient modern human ancestors. They significantly change debates about the origin of art, the behavioural practices modern humans brought with them when they left Africa more than 60,000 years ago and what it is to be human.
Certainly, it appears that when modern humans reached new lands in vastly different parts of the world they literally put a human stamp on the new landscapes.
From southwest China to Malaysia, from Indonesia to the north of Australia, research by all three of us indicates the oldest surviving rock art to invariably consist of naturalistic paintings of animals.
In many places we also find hand stencils among the oldest surviving art forms. All attempts to date this early art have indicated considerable antiquity with various minimum ages but the new results from Sulawesi show this early widespread practice may have begun almost 40,000 years ago right across the region.
Australian rock art
In Australia there are at least 100,000 rock art sites, most across the north of the continent. But unlike Sulawesi, the oldest paintings are mostly in sandstone shelters rather than limestone, making them much more difficult to date.
Many researchers have suggested the oldest paintings include depictions of long extinct animals but we can never be absolutely sure of this. Used pieces of ochre, “crayons”, are found in the lowest levels and throughout excavated rock shelter floor deposits in Australia.
At more than one location they have been dated to up to 50,000 years ago. Sulawesi is not far from northern Australia and the first people to reach Australia’s shores more than 50,000 years ago would have passed through that region of Southeast Asia.
The ochre crayons from sites in northern Australia combined with the new dates of similar-looking imagery from Sulawesi give us strong circumstantial evidence that the oldest naturalistic animal paintings and hand stencils from Australia may also rival those of Europe in terms of age.
|Posted on December 30, 2020 at 8:40 AM||comments (0)|
According to the Guardian, the destroyed site was a rock shelter located in Juukan Gorge in Western Australia that had been continuously occupied by the early inhabitants of the territory dating back over 46,000 years.
The cave was one of the oldest in the western Pilbara region and the only inland site with evidence of continual habitation which lasted through the last Ice Age.
“It’s one of the most sacred sites in the Pilbara region…we wanted to have that area protected,” said Burchell Hayes, the director of the Puutu Kunti Kurrama and Pinikura (PKKP) Aboriginal Corporation which oversees the land. .....
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|Posted on December 30, 2020 at 8:25 AM||comments (0)|
Hematite Mining in the Ancient Americas: Mina Primavera, A 2,000-Year-Old Peruvian Mine
Kevin J. Vaughn, Moises Linares Grados, Jelmer W. Eerkens and Matthew J. Edwards
Mina Primavera, a hematite (Fe2O3) mine located in southern Peru, was exploited beginning approximately 2,000 years ago by two Andean civilizations, the Nasca and Wari. Despite the importance of hematite in the material culture of ancient Americas, few hematite mines have been reported in the New World literature and none have been reported for the Central Andes. An estimated 3,170 tonnes of hematite were extracted from the mine for over 1,400 years at an average rate of 2.65 tonnes per year, suggesting regular and extensive mining prior to Spanish conquest. The hematite was likely used as pigment for painting pottery, and the mine demonstrates that iron ores were extracted extensively at an early date in the Americas.
"Iron mining in the Old World, specifically in Africa, goes back 40,000 years.
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|Posted on December 30, 2020 at 8:20 AM||comments (0)|
Archaeologists have discovered a 12,000-year-old iron oxide mine in Chile that marks the oldest evidence of organized mining ever found in the Americas, according to a report in the June issue of Current Anthropology.
A team of researchers led by Diego Salazar of the Universidad de Chile found the 40-meter trench near the coastal town of Taltal in northern Chile. It was dug by the Huentelauquen people -- the first settlers in the region -- who used iron oxide as pigment for painted stone and bone instruments, and probably also for clothing and body paint, the researchers say.
The remarkable duration and extent of the operation illustrate the surprising cultural complexity of these ancient people. "It shows that [mining] was a labor-intensive activity demanding specific technical skills and some level of social cooperation transmitted through generations," Salazar and his team write.
An estimated 700 cubic meters and 2,000 tons of rock were extracted from the mine. Carbon dates for charcoal and shells found in the mine suggest it was used continuously from around 12,000 years ago to 10,500 years ago, and then used again around 4,300 years ago. The researchers also found more than 500 hammerstones dating back to the earliest use of the mine.
"The regular exploitation of [the site] for more than a millennium … indicates that knowledge about the location of the mine, the properties of its iron oxides, and the techniques required to exploit and process these minerals were transmitted over generations within the Huentelauquen Cultural Complex, thereby consolidating the first mining tradition yet known in America," the researchers write. The find extends "by several millennia the mining sites yet recorded in the Americas."
Before this find, a North American copper mine dated to between 4,500 and 2,600 years ago was the oldest known in the Americas.
Indexed and Archived from University of Chicago Press Journals. "Archaeologists uncover oldest mine in the Americas." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 20 May 2011. by Dragonfly Kingdom Library
|Posted on December 30, 2020 at 8:00 AM||comments (0)|
The veins of copper that ripple through its bedrock drew the attention of early Native Americans, who used the metal to make tools. However, many details of their activities—such as when they mined—remain hidden behind the thick haze of time.
Now, new research suggests that Isle Royale’s mining boom peaked about 6000 years ago and left a legacy of aquatic pollution. The high levels of copper, lead, and potassium in sediments from a cove on the island point to a long and intense period of indigenous mining. Researchers presented these results, published recently in the journal The Holocene, in a poster session on 16 December at the 2014 American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting.
Evidence of Ancient Mining
European explorers first noticed evidence for indigenous copper mines back in the 1800s. In some places, miners had dug down more than 20 meters into bedrock—an impressive feat considering their limited tools. However, without a way to date the pits directly, the timing of these mining activities could only be loosely constrained by the ages of copper artifacts found across the Great Lakes region. Archaeologists have dated many objects associated with the so-called Old Copper Complex, but the objects span thousands of years.
The mines caught the interest of David Pompeani, a Ph.D. student at the University of Pittsburgh, who went looking for clues beneath the chilly waters of Lake Superior. He hypothesized that chemicals released during the process of mining and annealing copper would leak into the lake and settle in its sediments. These sediments could then be dated using carbon-14 and other radioactive isotopes.
One such indicator of mining activity is lead, which would have leached from mine tailings and vaporized when miners heated copper to shape the metal, only to collect again in nearby waters. Pompeani and his colleagues previously found lead pollution in 8000- to 5000-year-old sediments along the south shore of Lake Superior. They interpreted this pollution as evidence of an extended era of widespread copper mining on Michigan’s Keweenaw Peninsula.
A Focus on Isle Royale
Several questions followed. How far did these ancient miners range? Did they migrate from one mine to another? To learn more, Pompeani’s team jumped across the lake to Isle Royale, a streak of rock that lies just off the Canadian shore. There, indigenous miners excavated the largest known pre-Columbian copper mine on top of Minong Ridge.
In nearby McCargoe Cove, a deep inlet that cuts diagonally across the island’s glacial striations, the researchers found elevated levels of lead and copper, along with potassium—a by-product of the fires used for mining and annealing. At their peak, lead and copper concentrations reached values an order of magnitude greater than background levels and about half as high as those associated with modern contamination.
The spike in pollution began 6500 years ago and lasted for about a millennium. Then, abruptly, it ended, suggesting mining ended too. Pollution did not rise again until the mid-1800s, when mining resumed on Isle Royale, smelting began on the Keweenaw Peninsula, and leaded gasoline emissions grew.
The scientists do not know why mining screeched to a halt. They speculate that miners may have exhausted all the easily accessible veins and moved on. Climate changes may have also played a role—evidence from lake sediments around the Midwest suggests climate began to get dryer. In time, geologic clues may continue to provide more information.
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|Posted on December 30, 2020 at 7:05 AM||comments (0)|
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Researchers analyzing one of the radial Archaeopteris tree root systems at the Cairo, New York, site CHARLES VER STRAETEN
Scientists have discovered the world’s oldest forest—and its radical impact on life
By Colin BarrasDec. 19, 2019 , 11:00 AM
Scientists have discovered the world’s oldest forest in an abandoned quarry near Cairo, New York. The 385-million-year-old rocks contain the fossilized woody roots of dozens of ancient trees. The find marks a turning point in Earth’s history. When trees evolved these roots, they helped pull carbon dioxide (CO2) from the air and lock it away, radically shifting the planet’s climate and leading to the atmosphere we know today.
“The Cairo site is very special,” says team member Christopher Berry, a paleobotanist at Cardiff University in the United Kingdom. The quarry floor, about half the size of a U.S. football field, represents a horizontal slice through the soil just below the surface of the ancient forest. “You are walking through the roots of ancient trees,” Berry says. “Standing on the quarry surface we can reconstruct the living forest around us in our imagination.”
Berry and colleagues first discovered the site in 2009 and are still analyzing the fossils it contains. Some of the fossilized roots there are 15 centimeters in diameter and form 11-meter-wide horizontal radial patterns spreading out from where the vertical tree trunks once stood. They seem to belong to Archaeopteris, a type of tree with large woody roots and woody branches with leaves that is related in some way to modern trees, the team reports today in Current Biology. Previously, the oldest Archaeopteris fossils were no more than 365 million years old, Berry says, and exactly when the tree evolved its modern-looking features has been unclear. .......
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The term “diagenesis” refers to essentially everything that happens to sediments and rocks after their deposition but prior to metamorphism. There are a variety of diagenetic processes, biological, chemical and physical, that ultimately convert sediments into sedimentary rocks. The earliest of those events are covered in this chapter on near-surface diagenesis; subsequent chapters cover processes and products that occur primarily during later stages of diagenesis (mainly mesogenesis). Those include mechanical and chemical compaction, cementation, dissolution, replacement and structural deformation. All these processes can profoundly affect the porosity, permeability and hydrocarbon reservoir potential of clastic terrigenous deposits, and most of them are a function of initial sediment composition and the changes in pressure, temperature and water chemistry that accompany progressive burial. Less explicitly covered, but potentially no less important, is diagenesis that can occur during one or more episodes of local or regional uplift and consequent exposure (telogenesis). These events also introduce changes in the pressure/ temperature/water chemistry regime of rocks, and thus can cause major diagenetic changes, especially grain dissolution and cementation. In an attempt to address the impacts of the various diagenetic events that rocks may experience, this book includes both a section on the recognition of porosity types as well as one on paragenesis (i.e., the placement of diagenetic events into a temporal sequence related to the burial/uplift history of rocks). Burial diagenesis is critically important in controlling the porosity of clastic terrigenous rocks and is, in the main, porosity destructive—that is, almost all rocks lose porosity with increased burial depth. Nonetheless, several factors can retard or inhibit porosity loss, including early grain-coating cements, that block later overgrowth cementation, regional overpressuring of basins that reduce effective overburden stresses and, under some circumstances, hydrocarbon entry that can reduce rock-water interactions. In addition, the processes of dissolution and fracturing may, under the right circumstance, lead to actual increases in subsurface porosity. So the discussion of porosity destruction, preservation and creation pervades all chapters in the diagenesis section, and emphasis is placed on recognition of key features associated with anomalous porosity retention or creation.
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|Posted on December 30, 2020 at 6:35 AM||comments (0)|
A RUSSIAN academic has claimed an ancient non-human civilisation drove GIANT CARS on the Earth's surface 12 to 14 MILLION years ago - with the tracks still visible TODAY.
Dr Alexander Koltypin, a leading geologist in his home country, claims that mysterious groove-like markings in the Phrygian Valley of central Turkey were artificially made by all-terrain vehicles and NOT created by any natural process.
The scientist, a director of the Natural Science Scientific Research Centre at Moscow's International Independent University of Ecology and Politology, has just returned from a field trip to the site in Anatolia with three colleagues.
He described the markings as "petrified tracking ruts in rocky tuffaceous deposits" made from compacted volcanic ash.
He said: "We can suppose that ancient vehicles on wheels were drove on soft soil, maybe a wet surface.
"Because of their weight the ruts were so deep.
"And later these ruts - and all the surface around - just petrified and secured all the evidence.
Describing what could have made such tracks, he added: "All these rocky fields were covered with the ruts left some millions of years ago... we are not talking about human beings."
"We are dealing with some kind of cars or all-terrain vehicles.
"The pairs of ruts are crossing each other from time to time and some ruts are more deep than the others."
According to Dr Koltypin's observations, "the view of the ruts does not leave any doubt that they are ancient, in some places the surface suffered from weathering, cracks are seen here".
The age of the ruts is between 12 and 14 million years old, the academic believes.
"The methodology of specifying the age of volcanic rocks is very well studied and worked out," he said.
"As a geologist, I can certainly tell you that unknown antediluvian all-terrain vehicles drove around Central Turkey some 12-to-14 million years ago."
Dr Koltypin claimed archeologists "avoid touching this matter" because it will "ruin all their classic theories".
He added: "I think we are seeing the signs of the civilisation which existed before the classic creation of this world.
"Maybe the creatures of that pre-civilisation were not like modern human beings. "
He said the ancient "car tracks" are one of a number of clues "which prove the existence of ancient civilisations" but are often ignored by mainstream scientists.
There was no comprehensible system for the tracks but the distance between each pair of tracks "is always the same", he added.
He suggested "this distance very much fits that between the wheels of modern cars" but that the tracks are too deep for today's vehicles.
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|Posted on December 30, 2020 at 6:25 AM||comments (0)|
Controversial Claim by Geologist: Mysterious tracks in Turkey caused by unknown civilization millions of years ago
Dr. Alexander Koltypin , geologist and a director of the Natural Science Scientific Research Centre at Moscow's International Independent University of Ecology and Politology has recently completed investigations at the site in Anatolia which is marked with strange ruts, described as “petrified tracking ruts in rocky tuffaceous deposits’ made from compacted volcanic ash,” according to MailOnline.
The tracks cut across the landscape of the Phrygia Valley, dating back to various historical periods, according to conventional academia. The earliest roads are thought to have been made during the Hittite Empire (circa 1600 BC – 1178 BC). As time went on, paths were cut deeply into the soft rock by the Phrygians, then by the Greeks, and Alexander the Great with his armies. They eventually became part of the Roman road network, writes Culture Routes in Turkey
Koltypin and colleagues have examined the rocky fields interlaced with deep grooves, and have suggested that it was indeed vehicles which caused the tracks, but not lightweight carts or chariots. Instead he suggests the “unknown antediluvian all-terrain vehicles” were huge and heavy. In addition, he dates them back to approximately 14 million years ago, and claims they were driven by an unknown civilization.
He told MailOnline, “All these rocky fields were covered with the ruts left some millions of years ago....we are not talking about human beings.”
The geologist says with certainty that the ruts are prehistoric without a doubt, due to the weathering and cracks observed.
“The methodology of specifying the age of volcanic rocks is very well studied and worked out,” Koltypin said.
The scientist notes that the distance between each pair of tracks remains consistent, and that the measurement fit that between the wheels of a modern vehicles. However, the tracks are much too deep for today’s cars, raising more questions about what sort of transport device was being used.
The deepest ruts are three feet (one meter), and on the walls of these ruts are horizontal scratches, very much appearing to have been left by the ends of axels poking out of ancient wheels.
News site Express reports that Koltypin believes the deep channels were cut into the soft, wet soil and rock due to the sheer weight of the large prehistoric vehicles. He says, “And later these ruts - and all the surface around - just petrified and secured all the evidence. Such cases are well known to geologists, for example, the footprints of dinosaurs were ‘naturally preserved’ in a similar way.”
Koltypin is aware that his claims are controversial, but says mainstream academia will not address the subject matter as it will “ruin all their classic theories.”
“I think we are seeing the signs of the civilization which existed before the classic creation of this world. Maybe the creatures of that pre-civilization were not like modern human beings,” he proposes.
Very similar interesting and mysterious tracks exist in other locations of the world, notably in the Maltese archipelago. These ancient grooves continue to puzzle researchers. Some of the strange tracks of Misrah Ghar il-Kbir deliberately plunge off cliffs or continue off land and into the ocean. It is not yet known who made the tracks, or why.
Like the channels at Malta, questions remain surrounding the deep tracks cut into the stone in the Phrygian Valley.
Koltypin’s research work continues as he investigates anomalous sites, but it will likely be some time before established academia embraces his unconventional theories.
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How a giant tree's death sparked the conservation movement 160 years ago
160 years ago a giant sequoia in California was cut down, becoming the inspiration for the national park system
On Monday, 27 June, 1853, a giant sequoia – one of the natural world's most awe-inspiring sights - was brought to the ground by a band of gold-rush speculators in Calaveras county, California. It had taken the men three weeks to cut through the base of the 300ft-tall, 1,244-year-old tree, but finally it fell to the forest floor.
A section of the bark from the "Mammoth Tree", as newspapers soon described it, had already been removed and was sent to San Francisco to be put on display. The species had only been "discovered" (local Native American tribes such as the Miwok had known of the trees for centuries) that spring by a hunter who stumbled upon the pristine grove in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada whilst chasing an injured bear. Word of the discovery quickly spread.
In the age of PT Barnum's freak shows, the speculators, mostly gold miners, had sensed a commercial opportunity. The section of bark – re-erected using scaffold, with a piano inside to entertain paying visitors - would later be sent to Broadway in New York, as would the bark from a second tree felled a year later. The bark of the "Mother of the Forest" – as the second tree was named – would even go on to be displayed at London's Crystal Palace causing great excitement and wonder in Victorian England before it was destroyed by fire on 30 December 1866. (The bark of the original mammoth tree was also lost to fire as it lay in storage in New York in 1855. A fitting end, perhaps, as fire plays such a crucial role in the life cycle of giant sequoias.)
The fame of the trees was such that a hotel was quickly built at the site to host the influx of tourists. To entertain the guests, tea dances were regularly held on the stump of the mammoth tree and a bowling alley was built on the now prone trunk. (This page has a wonderful range of images of the Mammoth Tree and the Mother of the Forest.)
The remarkable, engaging story of these two doomed trees is too detailed to be told here, but what is worth recalling on this anniversary is the reaction their destruction caused in the media at the time – and its subsequent effect on some progressive politicians a decade later when they cited their felling and exploitation as an inspiration to establish what later came to be known as the US national park system.
Was the outrage expressed by some in the popular media of the day evidence of the first stirrings of an environmental consciousness in the US? It would be wrong to assess such statements without noting the historical context of that age – a time of the "manifest destiny" when nature was viewed as a God-given resource for Mankind to exploit – but it is also hard to ignore the clear outrage and bemusement among some commentators that such magnificent natural specimens had been brutalised in this way.
According to Gary D Lowe, a local historian, author and "Big Tree" aficionado, the first-known negative commentary came a month before the tree was felled. An article in the Sonora Herald, a local newspaper, reported that Captain Hanford, the man leading the enterprise, "is about stripping off the bark". The report went on: "This will of course kill the tree, which is much to be deprecated."
On 27 June, 1853 – the same day the tree finally fell - a report in San Francisco's Placer Times and Transcript also noted an article, again in the Sonora Herald, expressing regret that Captain Hanford was preparing for a "portion of the mammoth tree" to be sent to New York.
"Amator" [Latin for "friend"] is dreadfully shocked at the vandalism and barbarity of flaying that giant of the woods, and depriving California of its greatest "growing" exponent.
However, the same report also goes on to say that the stripping of the tree's bark is "characteristic of California enterprise" and that Hanford's efforts to exhibit the bark in New York will allow "millions of the inhabitants of the earth to see it, has rendered his adopted state a lasting benefit, given to science a page, and the world a natural curiosity". So any sadness at the tree's demise was counteracted by the boost to local pride.
But these were reports in local newspapers with little influence outside the communities they served. A far more significant report came that autumn when Maturin M Ballou, the Boston-based editor of Gleason's Pictorial Drawing Room Companion, one of the most widely read magazines of the day, printed an illustration of the "largest tree yet discovered in the world" on 1 October, 1853. The accompanying text said:
To our mind it seems a cruel idea, a perfect desecration, to cut down such a splendid tree…In Europe, such a natural production would have been cherished and protected, if necessary, by law; but in this money-making, go-ahead community, thirty or forty thousand dollars are paid for it, and the purchaser chops it down, and ships it off for a shilling show! We hope that no one will conceive the idea of purchasing the Niagara Falls with the same purpose!...But, seriously, what in the world could have possessed any mortal to embark in such speculation with this mountain of wood? In its natural condition, rearing its majestic head towards heaven, and waving in all its native vigour, strength and verdure, it was a sight worth a pilgrimage to see; but now, alas, It is only a monument of the cupidity of those who have destroyed all there was of interest connected with it.
Five months later, on 11 March, 1854, Ballou printed a further remark in his magazine:
A tree of such gigantic proportions as well might excite the wonder and curiosity of the world. Although the destruction of such a magnificent object was an act of vandalism not to be forgiven, yet the desecration has been committed, and it is useless now to reiterate our vain regrets.
However, the ripples of outrage took a further year – and the stripping of the Mother of the Forest – to really gain traction. Then came this editorial in the New York Herald, dated 17 December, 1855:
The finest, the most beautiful and symmetrical of these trees, (though not the largest) has been cut down…From this beginning, unless the Goths and Vandals are arrested in their work, the destruction of the incomparable forest will probably go on till the last vestige of it is destroyed. In this view, the point that we make is, that the State of California and the Congress of the Union should interpose to preserve these trees, as the living proofs that the boasted monarchs of the wood of the Old World are but stunted shrubbery compared with the forest giants of our own country. We say that Congress should interpose, upon the presumption that these trees are public property, are on the public lands of California, and because Congress has already interposed to protect the public live oak forests of Florida from the rapacity of unscrupulous speculators…We repeat, that it is the duty of the State of California, of Congress, and of all good citizens, to protect and to preserve these California monuments of the capabilities of our American soil. Let it be the law that this…Mammoth Grove shall stand.
The next notable article was printed in the March 1859 issue (pdf) of Hutchings' California Magazine. It was also later reprinted the following year in the popular tourist guide, Scenes of Wonder and Curiosity in California:
In our estimation, it was a sacrilegious act; although it is possible, that the exhibition of the bark, among the unbelievers of the eastern part of our continent, and of Europe, may have convinced all the "Thomases" living, that we have great facts in California, that must be believed, sooner or later. This is the only palliating consideration with us for this act of desecration.
And then, in 1864, came the culminating moment when John Conness, the senator from California, rose in Congress to make a speech urging his colleagues to pass a bill that would see the now nationally famous Yosemite Valley and its neighbouring grove of sequoias in the mountains above Mariposa secured and protected "inalienable forever". In making his case, he directly referenced the fate of the felled trees at Calaveras just over a decade earlier:
From the Calaveras grove some sections of a fallen tree were cut during and pending the great World's Fair that was held in London some years since…The English who saw it declared it to be a Yankee invention, made from beginning to end; that it was an utter untruth that such trees grew in the country; that it could not be; and, although the section of the tree was transported there at an expense of several thousand dollars, we were not able to convince them that it was a specimen of American growth. They would not believe us. The purpose of this bill is to preserve one of these groves from devastation and injury. The necessity of taking early possession and care of these great wonders can easily be seen and understood.
The bill passed and the "Yosemite grant" paved the way for the first official national park being established at Yellowstone in 1872. Celebrated conservationists such as John Muir would all later visit the stump of the original "mammoth tree" to reflect on both its fate and influence. However, the grove of sequoias at Calaveras – where the story of the US conservation movement arguably began – did not become a state park until 1931 following a decades-long fight to see off the desires of lumber companies.
Today, the trees are now safe from the "Goths and Vandals", but not, alas, some of the side-effects of modern civilization: urban ozone, climate change, uncontrolled frequent fires, to name but a few.
Indexed and archived from the Guardian by Dragonfly Kingdom Library
|Posted on December 28, 2020 at 8:05 AM||comments (0)|
The Giant Antaeus, from 'The Divine Comedy' (Inferno) by Dante Alighieri (1265-1321) c.1868 (engraving) by Gustave Doré (1832-83)
Credit: Private Collection/ The Bridgeman Art Library
The ancient Greeks told stories of giants, describing them as flesh-and-blood creatures who lived and died--and whose bones could be found coming out of the ground where they were buried long ago. Indeed, even today large and surprisingly human-like bones can be found in Greece. Modern scientists understand such bones to be the remains of mammoths, mastodons, and woolly rhinoceroses that once lived in the region.
But ancient Greeks were largely unfamiliar with these massive animals, and many believed that the enormous bones they found were the remains of human-like giants. Any nonhuman traits in the bones were thought to be due to the grotesque anatomical features of giants.
At A Glance: Giant
From Paul Bunyan of American folklore to the Norse creator-god Ymir, human-like giants populate the myths of many cultures.
The long bones of elephant relatives and humans are similar enough to be confused.
Geological events tend to destroy the skulls of prehistoric elephant relatives, leaving only enormous, human-like long bones, ribs, and vertebrae.
Ancient authors often reported finding the remains of giants hundreds of feet tall--much bigger than an elephant or any other animal. These reports may represent attempts to reconstruct the bones of several animals found jumbled together as a single giant.
The Battle With the Gods
According to Greek myth, the giants were the children of Uranus (the Sky) and Gaia (the Earth) but were almost never born. Afraid the giants would be too powerful, Uranus would not allow them to be born, imprisoning them in Gaia's womb. Uncomfortable, Gaia convinced her older son Kronos to attack Uranus; he did and the blood that spilled on Gaia released the giants from their prison.
Kronos took power, but was soon overthrown by the god Zeus. The giants were enraged by the defeat of their savior and brother, and they took up trees as clubs and boulders as missiles, waging war on Zeus and the other Greek gods in an epic battle--the Gigantomachy. But the giants were ultimately defeated and buried under mountains, where their tormented shivers were said to cause earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.
Seeing Is Believing
The people of Tingis (modern-day Tangier, Morocco) once boasted that their city's founder was a giant named Antaeus who was buried in a mound south of town. To test the claim, Roman soldiers dug into the mound in 81 BC. Much to their surprise, an enormous skeleton surfaced--which they then reburied with great honors. Modern scientists confirm that ancient elephant fossils are common in the area.
|Posted on December 13, 2020 at 6:20 PM||comments (0)|
The connection between IGF-1—also known as the insulin-like growth factor 1—and the human growth hormone (HGH) for healthy aging is complex.
If excessive levels –low or high– of IGF-1 are present in the body, they could lead to some health problems. Additionally, HGH is generally considered to employ anti-insulin actions, whereas IGF-1 has insulin-like properties. Maintaining relatively low levels of IGF-1 and synergy between HGH and IGF-1 throughout most of one’s adult life is an important factor by which adults can live a healthy lifestyle and experience an optimal aging process.
HUMAN GROWTH HORMONE (HGH) AND INSULIN-LIKE GROWTH FACTOR-1 (IGF-1) PLAY ESSENTIAL ROLES IN HEALTH
HGH and IGF-1 play essential roles in childhood growth and continue to serve important metabolic functions in adults. One of the conditions that may affect healthy aging includes low levels of growth hormone presenting in adults. This condition is mainly characterized by increased visceral adiposity, abnormal lipid profiles, decreased quality of life, and other important risk factors.1 Interestingly, HGH deficiency in adults predisposes insulin resistance.2 High doses of HGH treatment have major effects on lipolysis, which plays a crucial role in promoting its anti-insulin effects. On the other hand, IGF-1 acts as an insulin sensitizer that does not exert any direct effect on lipolysis or lipogenesis.3
Unlock the potential of human growth hormone (HGH). Find out how in our white paper.*
THE ROLE OF HGH AND IGF-1 IN METABOLISM AND AGING
Research shows that one’s metabolism slows down with age. A few reasons for this include less physical activity (exercise), muscle loss (sarcopenia), and the normal aging of the organs. Additionally, loss in lean body mass and muscle tissue can be detrimental when it comes to ill adults. Yet HGH has major effects on metabolism. It has been shown that HGH’s potential benefits when it comes to protein metabolism.4 Some of the functions of HGH are facilitated through IGF-1. Administration of HGH induces a rise in circulating IGF-1 that stimulates glucose and amino acid uptake in muscle, which improves muscle protein synthesis.4 In catabolic circumstances, the levels of IGF-1 decrease while its binding proteins increase, leading to a lower local IGF-1 activity and contributing to the decreased insulin sensitivity seen in catabolism.5
The metabolic effects of HGH are, in part, mediated through IGF-1 produced in the liver and in the peripheral tissues influenced by HGH.5 In skeletal muscle, a reduced gene-expression of the HGH-receptor can occur. This reduces the local IGF-1 synthesis, an effect that may be offset by HGH supplementation.* Change in the GH/IGF-1 can possibly counteract through amino acid supplementation.*6,7,8,9 Specific amino acids—such as arginine, lysine, and ornithine—can stimulate HGH release when infused intravenously or administered orally. It has also been demonstrated that glycine is also one of the stimulatory agents inducing the pituitary gland to secrete HGH.8 These are all important amino acids utilized in the growth of HGH.
As specified above, a combination of HGH and IGF-1 has beneficial potential because the decreased insulin sensitivity induced by HGH can be outbalanced by the addition of IGF-1. In general, HGH increases the binding protein for IGF, and concomitant administration may, therefore, increase the bioavailability of IGF-1 and its effects on the tissues.2,6,7,8,9
HAVING ADEQUATE LEVELS OF IGF-1 IS EXTREMELY IMPORTANT FOR THE ELDERLY
Having low levels of IGF-1 in the elderly is linked to developmental changes. Adequate levels of IGF-1 are needed for the maintenance of bone mass, muscle mass, and brain function at later ages.9
In order to extend a patient’s lifespan, the goal should be to maintain a relatively low IGF-1 throughout most of their adult life. Then, once they reach the age of eighty, they should consume enough protein along with the amino acids arginine, lysine, ornithine, and glycine necessary to prevent their IGF-1 level from becoming excessively low.
It is also important to pay attention to their diet to ensure that their IGF-1 levels are favorable throughout their lives.
HOW IGF-1 WORKS IN THE HUMAN BODY
As previously mentioned above, IGF-1 is a hormone with a similar structure to insulin as well as a cell growth-promoter important for brain development and muscle and bone growth during childhood. HGH from the pituitary gland stimulates IGF-1 production in the liver and IGF-1 levels peak during the teenage years and twenties, but those levels start to decline as one ages.10,11
The intake of protein and amino acids regulates IGF-1 circulating in the body. Animal protein has high levels of all the essential amino acids, thus it can trigger excessive body production of IGF-1, whereas plant protein does not.12,13 Still, if animal protein is not an option, there are other ways to consume these amino acids. Finally, high-glycemic, refined carbohydrates can also raise IGF-1.14
WHAT ARE THE OPTIMAL IGF-1 LEVELS?
One study, conducted in Europe, found the following averages for IGF-1 levels in healthy patients of different age ranges:15
Average Serum IGF-1 (ng/ml)
The study reported an average serum IGF-1 level of 200-210 ng/ml, suggesting that this is the typical level for adults on a Western diet.16 The amount of animal products consumed by most Americans drives their IGF-1 into danger quantities (above 200), increasing their risk of other conditions.
Therefore, it is important to keep in mind that low IGF-1 levels also increase the risk of health complications, these levels being generally about 70-80 ng/ml or lower.12,13,14,17 Studies in elderly men (average age 75) have found an increased risk of cardiovascular problems in high IGF-1 groups (approximately 190 ng/ml).12,15,18,19,20,21
By taking all this information into account, most adults must keep IGF-1 below 175 ng/ml or even 150 ng/ml if possible. At the same time, serum IGF-1 levels below 80 ng/ml can be detrimental, especially after the age of 75.22,23
In essence, restricting the consumption of animal protein to maintain a relatively—but not excessively—low IGF-1 is an important objective for optimal aging. Since protein digestion and absorption can decline during the elderly years, adopting a more nutritional diet and lifestyle may be helpful for protein tolerability while aging, along with preventing the excessive lowering of IGF-1 commonly seen with other plant-based diets. To achieve greater micronutrient completeness, patients can add important amino acids like arginine, lysine, ornithine, and glycine, along with other sources of protein to their diets.
Indexed for Davinci Labs by Dragonfly Kingdom Library
|Posted on December 13, 2020 at 6:15 PM||comments (0)|
Background and objectives
A plant-based diet is an effective strategy in the treatment of obesity. In this 16-week randomized clinical trial, we tested the effect of a plant-based diet on body composition and insulin resistance. As a part of this trial, we investigated the role of plant protein on these outcomes.
Subjects and methods
Overweight participants (n = 75) were randomized to follow a plant-based (n = 38) or a control diet (n = 37). Dual X-ray Absorptiometry assessed body composition, Homeostasis Model Assessment (HOMA-IR) assessed insulin resistance, and a linear regression model was used to test the relationship between protein intake, body composition, and insulin resistance.
The plant-based vegan diet proved to be superior to the control diet in improving body weight, fat mass, and insulin resistance markers. Only the vegan group showed significant reductions in body weight (treatment effect −6.5 [95% CI −8.9 to −4.1] kg; Gxt, p < 0.001), fat mass (treatment effect −4.3 [95% CI −5.4 to −3.2] kg; Gxt, p < 0.001), and HOMA-IR (treatment effect −1.0 [95% CI −1.2 to −0.8]; Gxt, p = 0.004). The decrease in fat mass was associated with an increased intake of plant protein and decreased intake of animal protein (r = -0.30, p = 0.011; and r = +0.39, p = 0.001, respectively). In particular, decreased % leucine intake was associated with a decrease in fat mass (r = +0.40; p < 0.001), in both unadjusted and adjusted models for changes in BMI and energy intake. In addition, decreased % histidine intake was associated with a decrease in insulin resistance (r = +0.38; p = 0.003), also independent of changes in BMI and energy intake.
These findings provide evidence that plant protein, as a part of a plant-based diet, and the resulting limitation of leucine and histidine intake are associated with improvements in body composition and reductions in both body weight and insulin resistance.
Suboptimal nutrition is a major cause of obesity, chronic disease, and premature death across the nation and worldwide1,2. Certain dietary habits, such as high intakes of sodium and processed meat products and low intakes of fruits and vegetables, are associated with 45.5% of cardio-metabolic deaths in the United States3. Fortunately, research has shown a plant-based vegan diet to be beneficial in improving nutrient intake4, decreasing all-cause mortality, and decreasing risk of obesity, type 2 diabetes, and coronary heart disease5.
A plant-based vegan diet excludes all animal products and is centered around grains, legumes, vegetables, and fruits. While adequate in macro and micronutrients6, people sometimes question the ability to reach protein requirements on a plant-based vegan diet. A sufficient protein intake is necessary to supply nitrogen and amino acids to our cells to ensure the growth and maintenance of the protein pool in our bodies7. However, a diet based entirely on plants provides all essential amino acids and an adequate quantity of overall protein, even without the use of special food combinations6. Further, the consumption of exclusively plant proteins has been associated with reduction of the concentrations of blood lipids8,9,10,11, obesity12, and cardiovascular disease13,14,15.
The specific composition of dietary protein has been shown to influence the balance of glucagon and insulin activity14, which may play a role in body composition and insulin resistance12. A high intake of branched chain amino acids (leucine, isoleucine, and valine) can increase insulin resistance16. In addition, dietary restriction of sulfur containing amino acids (methionine and cysteine), is associated with a reduction in body weight, adiposity and metabolic changes in both adipose and liver tissues, which enhance insulin sensitivity and energy expenditure17. Plant protein low in sulfur also reduces blood lipids, homocysteine, and blood pressure18,19. Furthermore, low protein diets are also associated with increased life span, especially if the consumed protein is plant derived20.
In this secondary analysis of data from a 16-week randomized clinical trial21, we explore the effects of plant protein, as part of a plant-based diet, on weight control, body composition, and insulin resistance in overweight individuals.
This study demonstrated that the quality and quantity of dietary protein from a plant-based vegan diet are associated with improvements in body composition, body weight, and insulin resistance in overweight individuals. A decreased intake of animal protein and an increased intake of plant protein were associated with a decrease in fat mass, by 1.45 and 0.88 kg respectively. Exchanging plant protein for animal protein explains more than half of the reduction in fat mass in the vegan group (2.33 out of 4.3 kg). A large portion of fat mass reduction may be explained by the amino acid composition of plant protein, specifically by decreased leucine intake, which was associated with a decrease in fat mass by 0.82 kg, independent of changes in BMI and energy intake. Additionally, decreased histidine intake was associated with a decrease in insulin resistance, also independent of changes in BMI and energy intake. Finally, decreased intakes of threonine, leucine, lysine, methionine, and tyrosine were each associated with a decrease in insulin resistance. However, these associations were mainly driven by weight loss.
Plant vs. animal protein in weight regulation, body composition, and insulin resistance
Multiple randomized controlled studies have established the effectiveness of plant-based diets for weight loss25,26. Plant-based diets have also been shown to decrease the risk of developing diabetes in additional prospective studies27. The specific role of plant protein in weight regulation and metabolic health is of particular interest. In a study focusing specifically on the association between protein sources and body weight regulation using data from the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition study, increases in body weight were positively correlated with an increased intake of animal protein, especially in women28. Similarly, in a 2011 observational study, increases in animal protein consumption were found to be positively correlated with increases in BMI, while increases in plant protein intake were negatively associated with changes in BMI29.
Dietary protein triggers release of both insulin and glucagon12. Specifically, a higher intake of essential amino acids can stimulate secretion of insulin and up-regulate insulin like growth factor 1 (IGF-1)12. Essential amino acids are found in greater abundance in animal protein, compared to plant protein. In contrast, a higher intake of non-essential amino acids is associated with down-regulation of insulin secretion and increased glucagon secretion, resulting in stimulation of gluconeogenesis, hepatic lipid oxidation, lipolysis and reduction in both IGF-1 and cholesterol synthesis. Hepatic lipid oxidation promotes appetite control and lowers the respiratory quotient, which may play a role in body weight reduction, and may further be supported by the thermogenic effect of glucagon. Human adipocyte express IGF-1 receptors, thus down-regulation of IGF-1 activity can also promote leanness12. Non-essential amino acids in plant protein promote higher net glucagon activity than an omnivorous diet, promoting weight loss and reduction of LDL-cholesterol12.
The role of specific amino acids in insulin resistance and weight regulation
A 2018 prospective study that included more than 1,200 adults, who were followed-up for a mean of 2.3 years, showed that higher intake of branched chain amino acids (BCAA), especially leucine, can increase insulin resistance. Participants in the highest tertile for leucine intake had a 75% higher risk of developing insulin resistance compared with people in the lowest tertile (OR 1.75; 95% CI 1.09–2.82)16.
Increased serum concentrations of BCAA have been associated with increased risk of type 2 diabetes and underlying metabolic abnormalities30,31. High serum BCAA levels activate the mammalian target of rapamycin complex 1 (mTORC1) signaling pathway, leading to inhibition of glucose transport in muscle and fat tissues16. Animal protein from meat and dairy products contains a high percent of leucine. Therefore, these foods may stimulate the mTORC1 pathway, thus contributing to insulin resistance, and obesity32.
Randomized controlled trials have shown that reduced dietary intake of BCAA promote weight loss, reduce adiposity, and improve glycemic control and metabolic health33,34. In our study, the vegan group consumed less than 75% of the control group’s daily grams per day of BCAA. Our data also show that reduced dietary intake of leucine, in particular, was associated with decreased fat mass and reduced insulin resistance.
Additionally, our results suggest that a decreased intake of histidine, leucine, threonine, lysine, methionine, and tyrosine were all associated with a decrease in HOMA, with histidine being the only one having a significant association independent on changes in BMI and energy intake. The vegan group reduced both its absolute and relative intake of all six of these amino acids. The significant decrease in the consumption of sulfur-containing amino acids, i.e. cysteine and methionine, in the vegan group, is of particular interest. Several studies have shown that diets restricting sulfur-containing amino acids have shown beneficial effects in the prevention of chronic diseases, including type 2 diabetes, cancer, and cardiovascular disease14,17. Dietary restriction of methionine and cysteine without caloric restriction has been associated with reductions in body weight, adiposity, blood levels of insulin, IGF-1, and glucose17, as well as reductions in cardiovascular risk factors including blood lipids, homocysteine, and blood pressure18,19. Our results suggest that reduced intake of methionine through a plant-based diet may correlate with a decrease in both body weight and insulin resistance.
Meeting and exceeding the recommended daily intake on a plant-based diet
Higher animal protein consumption has been associated with increased risk of metabolic disease and mortality. A 2015 study using data from NHANES II reported the link between protein intake and mortality in men and women. Subjects in the high-protein group (consuming 20% or more of daily calories as protein) had a 73-fold increase in risk of diabetes mortality and a 74% increase in relative risk of all-cause mortality20. Our data suggest that both the decreased intake of animal protein and the amino acid composition of the plant-based diet are associated with decreased body fat and reduced insulin resistance.
The United States Department of Agriculture recommends a minimum of 46 g of protein per day for women and 56 g per day for men35. In the current study, all participants in the vegan group exceeded the recommended daily intake of protein and of each individual amino acid. While animal protein is higher in essential amino acids, containing significant amounts of leucine, histidine, threonine, methionine and lysine, consumption of plant protein, which is higher in non-essential amino acids, offers clear metabolic benefits. People following a plant based diet still consume more than 100% of the recommended dietary intake of essential amino acids. The main plant sources of these amino acids are legumes, grains, and vegetables. For example, 2 servings of oatmeal made from 100 g of oats contain 102% of recommended daily intake of tyrosine36.
|Posted on December 11, 2020 at 1:00 PM||comments (0)|
Treatment of SARS-CoV-2 infection with a new antiviral drug, MK-4482/EIDD-2801 or Molnupiravir, completely suppresses virus transmission within 24 hours, researchers in the Institute for Biomedical Sciences at Georgia State University have discovered.
The group led by Dr. Richard Plemper, Distinguished University Professor at Georgia State, originally discovered that the drug is potent against influenza viruses.
"This is the first demonstration of an orally available drug to rapidly block SARS-CoV-2 transmission," said Plemper. "MK-4482/EIDD-2801 could be game-changing."
Interrupting widespread community transmission of SARS-CoV-2 until mass vaccination is available is paramount to managing COVID-19 and mitigating the catastrophic consequences of the pandemic.
Because the drug can be taken by mouth, treatment can be started early for a potentially three-fold benefit: inhibit patients' progress to severe disease, shorten the infectious phase to ease the emotional and socioeconomic toll of prolonged patient isolation and rapidly silence local outbreaks.
"We noted early on that MK-4482/EIDD-2801 has broad-spectrum activity against respiratory RNA viruses and that treating infected animals by mouth with the drug lowers the amount of shed viral particles by several orders of magnitude, dramatically reducing transmission," said Plemper. "These properties made MK-4482/EIDD/2801 a powerful candidate for pharmacologic control of COVID-19."
In the study published in Nature Microbiology, Plemper's team repurposed MK-4482/EIDD-2801 against SARS-CoV-2 and used a ferret model to test the effect of the drug on halting virus spread.
"We believe ferrets are a relevant transmission model because they readily spread SARS-CoV-2, but mostly do not develop severe disease, which closely resembles SARS-CoV-2 spread in young adults," said Dr. Robert Cox, a postdoctoral fellow in the Plemper group and a co-lead author of the study.
The researchers infected ferrets with SARS-CoV-2 and initiated treatment with MK-4482/EIDD-2801 when the animals started to shed virus from the nose.
"When we co-housed those infected and then treated source animals with untreated contact ferrets in the same cage, none of the contacts became infected," said Josef Wolf, a doctoral student in the Plemper lab and co-lead author of the study. By comparison, all contacts of source ferrets that had received placebo became infected.
If these ferret-based data translate to humans, COVID-19 patients treated with the drug could become non-infectious within 24 hours after the beginning of treatment.
MK-4482/EIDD-2801 is in advanced phase II/III clinical trials against SARS-CoV-2 infection.
Co-authors of the study include R.M. Cox, J.D. Wolf and R.K. Plemper at Georgia State.
The study was funded by public health service grants from the National Institutes of Health/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases to Georgia State
Indexed for Science Daily & NIH by Dragonfly Kingdom Library
|Posted on December 4, 2020 at 5:45 PM||comments (0)|
Neighborhood Disparities in Access to Healthy Foods and Their Effects on Environmental Justice
Angela Hilmers, MD, MS,corresponding author David C. Hilmers, MD, MPH,corresponding author and Jayna Dave, PhD
Author information Article notes Copyright and License information Disclaimer
This article has been cited by other articles in PMC.
Environmental justice is concerned with an equitable distribution of environmental burdens. These burdens comprise immediate health hazards as well as subtle inequities, such as limited access to healthy foods.
We reviewed the literature on neighborhood disparities in access to fast-food outlets and convenience stores. Low-income neighborhoods offered greater access to food sources that promote unhealthy eating. The distribution of fast-food outlets and convenience stores differed by the racial/ethnic characteristics of the neighborhood.
Further research is needed to address the limitations of current studies, identify effective policy actions to achieve environmental justice, and evaluate intervention strategies to promote lifelong healthy eating habits, optimum health, and vibrant communities.
ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE HAS been defined as
fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people regardless of race, ethnicity, income, national origin, or educational level in the development, implementation, and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations, and policies.1(p1)
Fair treatment signifies that “no population, due to policy or economic disempowerment, is forced to bear a disproportionate exposure to and burden of harmful environmental conditions.”1(p1) The concept of environmental justice, which has its roots in the fight against toxic landfills in economically distressed areas, can be similarly applied to the inequitable distribution of unhealthy food sources across socioeconomic and ethnic strata.1 The neighborhood environment can help promote and sustain beneficial lifestyle patterns or can contribute to the development of unhealthy behaviors, resulting in chronic health problems among residents.2–4 The higher prevalence of obesity among low-income and minority populations has been related to their limited access to healthy foods5–18 and to a higher density of fast-food outlets and convenience stores where they live.9,19–21 These environmental barriers to healthy living represent a significant challenge to ethnic minorities and underserved populations and violate the principle of fair treatment.
Several studies have investigated disparities in the distribution of neighborhood vegetation,22,23 the proximity of residences to playgrounds,24 and the accessibility of supermarkets and grocery stores,25,26 but fewer have examined access to fast-food outlets and convenience stores as a function of neighborhood racial and socioeconomic demographics. To our knowledge, our review is the first to expand the focus of environmental justice from environmental hazards and toxic exposures to issues of the food environment by examining research on socioeconomic, ethnic, and racial disparities in neighborhood access to fast-food outlets and convenience stores.
We reviewed studies of differences in accessibility of fast-food outlets and convenience stores by the socioeconomic and racial/ethnic characteristics of neighborhoods. With the assistance of an experienced health science librarian, we conducted searches in the MEDLINE, PubMed, PsycINFO, EBSCO Academic Search Premier, and Scopus databases. Key words were “neighborhood deprivation,” “food environment,” “food sources,” “fast-food restaurants,” “convenience stores,” “bodegas,” “disparity,” “inequality,” “minorities,” “racial/ethnic segregation,” and “socioeconomic segregation.” We included only original, peer-reviewed studies published in English between 2000 and 2011. Comments, editorials, dissertations, conference proceedings, newsletters, and policy statements were excluded. We also excluded studies that focused on methods and measurements, did not examine socioeconomic or racial/ethnic characteristics of the neighborhood, or used schools as a proxy for neighborhood environment.
Our search identified 501 unique citations; after detailed inspection, we selected 24. The primary reasons for exclusion were irrelevant outcomes or comparisons (n = 316), focus on dietary behavior (n = 96), and methodology studies (n = 65). We defined fast-food outlets as
take-away or take-out providers, often with a ‘drive-thru’ service which allows customers to order and pick up food from their cars; but most also have a seating area in which customers can eat the food on the premises (http://www.merriam-webster.com).
Examples of fast-food outlets were fast-food restaurant chains, take-away or carry-out establishments, and small local fast-food businesses. We defined convenience stores as
retail stores that sell a combination of gasoline, fast foods, soft drinks, dairy products, beer, cigarettes, publications, grocery items, snacks, and nonfood items and have a size less than 5000 square feet.27(p996) .......... https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3482049/
Indexed for National Institute Of Health by Dragonfly Kingdom Library
|Posted on December 4, 2020 at 5:30 PM||comments (0)|
A human skull that is prominently displayed at the National Museum here has been attracting crowds and controversy in equal measure since it was first unveiled early this month. After two decades in storage, the fossilized cranium has now been identified by Brazilian scientists as the oldest human remains ever recovered in the Western Hemisphere.
The skull is that of a young woman, nicknamed Luzia, who is believed to have roamed the savannah of south-central Brazil some 11,500 years ago. Even more startling, a reconstruction of her cranium undertaken in Britain this year indicates that her features appear to be Negroid rather than Mongoloid, suggesting that the Western Hemisphere may have initially been settled not only earlier than thought, but by a people distinct from the ancestors of today's North and South American Indians.
''We can no longer say that the first colonizers of the Americas came from the north of Asia, as previous models have proposed,'' said Dr. Walter Neves, an anthropologist at the University of Sao Paulo, who made the initial discovery along with an Argentine colleague, Hector Pucciarelli. ''This skeleton is nearly 2,000 years older than any skeleton ever found in the Americas, and it does not look like those of Amerindians or North Asians.''
If the date is confirmed, the find could transform thinking about the peopling of the Americas. It may be some time before that work is completed, but meanwhile, archeologists here and abroad say the find is potentially very important.
The finds, along with recent discoveries in North America like those of the so-called Kennewick Man and Spirit Cave Man, are forcing a reassessment of long-established theories as to the settling of the Americas. Based on such evidence, Dr. Neves suggests that Luzia belonged to a nomadic people who began arriving in the New World as early as 15,000 years ago.
Luzia's Negroid features notwithstanding, Dr. Neves is not arguing that her ancestors came to Brazil from Africa in an early trans-Atlantic migration. Instead, he believes they originated in Southeast Asia, ''migrating from there in two directions, south to Australia, where today's aboriginal peoples may be their descendants, and navigating northward along the coast and across the Bering Straits until they reached the Americas.''
About one-third of Luzia's skeleton has been recovered, enough to indicate that she appears to have perished in an accident or perhaps even from an animal attack. She was in her 20's when she died, stood just under five feet tall, and was part of a group of hunter-gatherers who appear to have subsisted largely on whatever fruits, nuts and berries they came across in their meanderings, plus the occasional piece of meat.
AMER'ICAN, adjective Pertaining to America.
AMER'ICAN, noun A native of America; originally applied to the aboriginals, or copper-colored races, found here by the Europeans; but now applied to the descendants of Europeans born in America.
The name American must always exalt the pride of patriotism. - Washington