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Human retrovirus pHEV-W envelope protein and the pathogenesis of multiple sclerosis

Posted on January 17, 2020 at 12:50 AM Comments comments (0)

See related content:

pHERV-W envelope protein fuels microglial cell-dependent damage of myelinated axons in multiple sclerosis - Jul 23, 2019


Viruses and Multiple Sclerosis

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an inflammatory disease of the central nervous system (CNS) (1). We have learned much about the pathogenesis of different stages of the disease, including involvement of both the white matter, rich in myelin, and cortical and deep gray matter. Based on histologic and immunohistologic examination of brain and spinal cord, there is evidence for different immunopathogenic mechanisms in different areas of the CNS as well as in different stages of the disease (2⇓⇓–5). While the etiology is still unclear, the current view is that MS develops as a result of genetic predisposition and environmental triggers, with infections, smoking, childhood obesity, and deficiency of vitamin D and/or other factors related to deficient sunshine among the most likely triggers. Infections, particularly viral infections, have long been suspected as being triggers for MS and have included myxoviruses, paramyxoviruses, herpes viruses including Epstein–Barr virus (EBV), and human retroviruses (6, 7). Over 30 y ago, infection with exogenous human lentiviruses was suspected (8), but differences in the presence of retroviral genome between MS and controls (9) or antibodies (10) to several retroviruses were not confirmed. It appears that, if a human retrovirus is involved, it is more likely to be through activation of retroviral genes that have been incorporated into the human genome (7, 11, 12). The current study by Kremer et al. (13) in PNAS is important, for it does not just look at the association of pHERV-W envelope protein and …

The Decrease in Human Endogenous Retrovirus-H Activity Runs in Parallel with Improvement in ADHD Symptoms in Patients Undergoing Methylphenidate Therapy

Posted on January 17, 2020 at 12:40 AM Comments comments (0)

Increasing scientific evidence demonstrated the deregulation of human endogenous retroviruses (HERVs) expression in complex diseases, such as cancer, autoimmune, psychiatric, and neurological disorders. The dynamic regulation of HERV activity and their responsiveness to a variety of environmental stimuli designate HERVs as genetic elements that could be modulated by drugs. Methylphenidate (MPH) is widely used in the treatment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). The aim of this study was to evaluate the time course of human endogenous retrovirus H (HERV-H) expression in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) with respect to clinical response in ADHD patients undergoing MPH therapy. A fast reduction in HERV-H activity in ADHD patients undergoing MPH therapy was observed in parallel with an improvement in clinical symptoms. Moreover, when PBMCs from drug-naïve patients were cultured in vitro, HERV-H expression increased, while no changes in the expression levels were found in ADHD patients undergoing therapy. This suggests that MPH could affect the HERV-H activity and supports the hypothesis that high expression levels of HERV-H could be considered a distinctive trait of ADHD patients.


Keywords: HERVs, HERV-H, ADHD, methylphenidate, neurodevelopmental disorders, environmental stimuli

1. Introduction

Endogenous retroviruses are genetic elements present in the genomes of all vertebrates, including humans [1,2]. They are residual of ancestral infections of germ cells by exogenous viruses, which have been integrated as proviruses into the host genome and transmitted to subsequent generations in a Mendelian fashion [3,4,5].


During evolution, human endogenous retroviruses (HERVs) amplified and spread throughout the entire genome by repeated events of retrotransposition and/or reinfection [6]. Their integration into the genome alters the structure and/or the function of neighboring genes [7]. Currently, about 8% of the human genome consists of endogenous retroviral sequences [8]. Many cellular mechanisms have evolved to restrict HERVs’ intracellular ability to replicate and to express mRNAs and proteins, including deletion and recombination events, epigenetic mechanisms such as DNA methylation and chromatin remodeling, post-transcriptional processing, and RNA interference [9,10]. However, at least some members of the HERV groups are still transcriptionally active in a tissue-specific manner [11,12], maintaining open reading frames (ORFs) that potentially code for viral proteins [13].


HERVs have been mainly taken into account for their role in the molecular evolution of genomes [14]. However, in the last decades, several studies have underlined their involvement in the etiopathogenesis of complex diseases, such as cancer [15,16], autoimmune diseases [17], type 1 diabetes [18], and neurological and psychiatric disorders [19].


Peculiarly, numerous endogenous/exogenous factors lead to the activation of HERVs, including hormones [20], cytokines [21], cytotoxic chemicals/drugs [22,23], and interactions with microorganisms .....

Molecular characteristics of Human Endogenous Retrovirus type-W in schizophrenia and bipolar disorder

Posted on January 17, 2020 at 12:35 AM Comments comments (0)

Epidemiological and genome-wide association studies of severe psychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia (SZ) and bipolar disorder (BD), suggest complex interactions between multiple genetic elements and environmental factors. The involvement of genetic elements such as Human Endogenous Retroviruses type ‘W' family (HERV-W) has consistently been associated with SZ. HERV-W envelope gene (env) is activated by environmental factors and encodes a protein displaying inflammation and neurotoxicity. The present study addressed the molecular characteristics of HERV-W env in SZ and BD. Hundred and thirty-six patients, 91 with BD, 45 with SZ and 73 healthy controls (HC) were included. HERV-W env transcription was found to be elevated in BD (P<10–4) and in SZ (P=0.012) as compared with HC, but with higher values in BD than in SZ group (P<0.01). The corresponding DNA copy number was paradoxically lower in the genome of patients with BD (P=0.0016) or SZ (P<0.0003) than in HC. Differences in nucleotide sequence of HERV-W env were found between patients with SZ and BD as compared with HC, as well as between SZ and BD. The molecular characteristics of HERV-W env also differ from what was observed in Multiple Sclerosis (MS) and may represent distinct features of the genome of patients with BD and SZ. The seroprevalence for Toxoplasma gondii yielded low but significant association with HERV-W transcriptional level in a subgroup of BD and SZ, suggesting a potential role in particular patients. A global hypothesis of mechanisms inducing such major psychoses is discussed, placing HERV-W at the crossroads between environmental, genetic and immunological factors. Thus, particular infections would act as activators of HERV-W elements in earliest life, resulting in the production of an HERV-W envelope protein, which then stimulates pro-inflammatory and neurotoxic cascades. This hypothesis needs to be further explored as it may yield major changes in our understanding and treatment of severe psychotic disorders.


Keywords: bipolar disorder, copy number variation, HERV-W, MSRV, schizophrenia, toxoplasma


Schizophrenia (SZ) and bipolar disorder (BD) are severe psychiatric disorders involving complex interactions between genetic and environmental factors.1, 2 Environmental factors, such as winter birth, urban environment and maternal infection during pregnancy, in particular caused by Influenza virus, Herpesviruses or T. gondii, are associated with an increased risk for SZ and for BD.3, 4, 5 Particular viruses or parasites have been thought to have a role in the pathogenesis of SZ or BD but, as most studies were based on serology that essentially detects an ‘immunological scar' represented by the presence of specific immunoglobulin G antibody, the period of infection is debated and may occur at variable times, as reviewed.6, 7 Nonetheless, association of BD or SZ with infectious agents quite always represent subgroups of patients and may, therefore, play different or additional roles, or may constitute different etiological causes or contributors as suggested by various studies.8, 9, 10 Genetic studies revealed an overlapped involvement of loci involved in the inflammatory/immune pathways including the major histocompatibility complex region in both SZ and BD,11, 12, 13, 14 among other candidate genes.15, 16, 17 Structural genomic studies also highlighted significant modifications in psychotic patients, including copy number variations and deletions.18, 19, 20, 21 Nonetheless, the mechanisms possibly underlying interactions between genetic and environmental risk factors contributing to the clinical onset and/or to the progression of psychotic disorders remain to be understood.16


The involvement of atypical genetic elements, such as Human Endogenous Retroviruses (HERVs), has also been reported in SZ and BD.22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32 In schizophrenia (SZ), a sequence homologous to an endogenous retrovirus (ERV) identified in MS and named ‘Multiple Sclerosis-associated Retroviral element' (MSRV)33 was first identified from differential DNA amplification in homozygote twins discordant for the disease.23 MSRV sequences later permitted to unravel a yet unknown HERV family, now named HERV-W.34, 35, 36, 37 Furthermore, though detected in different brain areas than in MS, many studies have now evidenced white matter and myelin impairment and/or inflammation predominantly in BP but also in SZ.38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 43, 44 Thus, the expression of the pro-inflammatory envelope protein of MSRV in MS brain microgliocytes within demyelinating lesions45 should now be considered in parallel with myelin alterations in the vicinity of activated microglia in BD and SZ brain.


HERVs have properties of mobile genetic elements causing genetic rearrangements21, 46, 47 potentially influenced by their interactions with microbial agents from environment.48, 49 Coincidently, important structural modifications in the major histocompatibility complex locus were associated with such characteristics of HERVs.50 For these reasons, HERVs may provide a missing link between environmental factors, genetic modifications and pathogeny with downstream neuroinflammation and neurotoxicity in psychotic disorders with such features.21, 38, 51, 52, 53, 54


HERVs are components of the genome that can be transmitted to subsequent generations through gametes, but have evolved differently from other host genes. They have significant inter-individual copy number variations within the genome of healthy humans from different ethnic origins55 or among subjects with distinct phenotype for example, complement C4 factor.56 These multicopy families have retained characteristics of retroviruses.21 In fact, HERVs, which represent 8% of the human genome,57 are part of the superfamily of repeated and transposable elements (transposons, retrotransposons and ERVs) representing about 42% of the human genome.58 They probably had a role in inter-individual gene transmission, as well as in intracellular gene retrotransposition or recombination, and may undergo changes under selective environmental pressure.21, 59 In certain conditions undisrupted HERV sequences may be expressed and display viral protein properties.49 Although most of the contemporary copies of HERVs are inactivated by mutations or deletions or silenced by epigenetic modifications,60 their plasticity and potential responsiveness to environmental triggers are of particular relevance for gene–environment interactions.21 In the case of the HERV-W family and its MSRV element, it has now consistently been shown that certain infectious agents can trigger activation of certain copies.61 In particular, HERV-W elements have been reported to be activated by T. gondii,62 as well as by Influenza virus48 in human cell lines. Such pathogenic activation of HERV-W, mainly focusing on MSRV-type elements in experimental or clinical studies,45, 63, 64, 65 may result in the production of its envelope protein (HERV-W Env) that strongly stimulates a pro-inflammatory cascade through the TLR4 receptor pathway66 and displays potential neurotoxicity.25 We, therefore, considered that these highly relevant features place HERV-W elements at the forefront of gene–environment interactions underlying complex diseases such as SZ.49, 51


In the present study, we have further investigated the genetic features and the ex-vivo transcriptional activity of HERV-W envelope copies, as reflected in appropriate blood cells, in patients with SZ and BD in comparison with healthy controls (HC). Moreover, as MSRV has now specifically been shown to have detectable and abnormal expression in the peripheral mononuclear cells (PBMC, representing of lymphocytes and monocytes) of patients with MS,45, 67 the same technical approach was applied here. The cellular RNA and genomic DNA copies were thus quantified in PBMC from patients with BD, with SZ and from HC, using an established real-time PCR technique targeting the MSRV subtype of HERV-W family......

Karma Yoga. - Bright Star Apothecary Harm Reduction Initiative Research

Posted on January 17, 2020 at 12:25 AM Comments comments (0)

“Karma yoga is the main thing which brings people together because it is a selfless service. Separation starts when there is only self-interest.” ~Babaji

Spiritual Recovery: Miraculous effects of Negative Ions on Urogenital Infections. Mira Bajirova Associate Professor, Consultant Ob-Gyn, Healthcare Medical Center, UAE. - Bright Star Apothecary Harm Reduction Initiative Research

Posted on January 16, 2020 at 1:40 PM Comments comments (0)

Miraculous effects of Negative Ions on Urogenital Infections

Mira Bajirova

Associate Professor, Consultant Ob-Gyn, Healthcare Medical Center, UAE


Correspondence: Dr. Mira Bajirova, Associate Professor, Consultant Ob-Gyn, IVF (Paris), Healthcare Medical Center, Dubai, UAE


Received: October 22, 2017 | Published: January 16, 2018


Citation: Bajirova M (2018) Miraculous effects of Negative Ions on Urogenital Infections. Obstet Gynecol Int J 9(1): 00297. DOI: 10.15406/ogij.2018.09.00297




Urogenital Infections are frequent and some of them can be transmitted sexually. The symptoms can be the same but caused by different bacteria and virus, so the treatment should be adapted according the laboratory results. Some infections can be resistant to all antibiotics witnessing low immunity and inappropriate previous treatment. The infections can be prevented by healthy hygiene, by Negative Ions (Anion) from products and from the nature, boosting the immunity by alkalinizing the body. In alkaline the bacteria, virus cannot multiply. High concentrations of Negative Ions are in the clean Nature, the God blessing Gift, which we should preserve for our health and future generation. Allah says in the Quran, Surah Al Israa 17-82: “And We send down of the Qur'an that which is healing and mercy for the believers).


Keywords: Quran; Nature; Negative Ions (Anion); Gynecological Infections



The Urogenital infections present similar symptoms like vaginal itching, burning, discharge, urinary tract symptoms, pelvic and back discomfort but caused by different bacteria, virus, and the treatment should be based on laboratory tests. Prescribing blindly the treatment without evidence based laboratory proven bacteria/virus is a big mistake.


Vaginal Candidiasis

The most frequent vaginal infection is a Vaginal Candidiasis [1] which can be caused by


Sanitary napkins. There is no research that unequivocally declares these feminine hygiene products are safe, and independent studies by women’s health organizations have found chemicals from petrol industry, pesticide. Bactericide, dioxin, carcinogens, and reproductive toxins in tampons and pads [2]

Increased humidity in genital area : synthetic underwear, jeans, leather, wet bikini

Antibiotics increasing the vaginal acidity

Hormonal contraception, IUD

Low immunity –pregnancy, diabetes, HIV, cancer, other diseases

Sexual intercourse

Low hygiene

There are many types of Candida and some of them cannot be detected by basic technique (wet and culture) and can be detected by PCR like Candida Glabrata and the treatment is completely different.


Ureaplasma and Mycoplasma

Ureaplasma and Mycoplasma became very frequent infection in women and men [3,4]. Many clinicians are unfamiliar with Mycoplasma and Ureaplasma species as etiologic agents or skeptical or do not screen for these infections or manage wrongly informing patients that they are normal microorganisms in human body. This unfamiliarity is further complicated by a lack of facilities to diagnose Ureaplasma and Mycoplasma infections in many clinical settings. Subsequently, identification of these organisms may be achieved only as a last resort, particularly if initial treatment with drugs that are ineffective against Mycoplasma or Ureaplasma species is unsuccessful.


Many patients came to see me, telling that they have Recurrent Yeast Infections, but in reality, there was no Yeast infection and there was Ureaplasma Infection, which once treated, patients were not facing the same symptoms they were having for the years.


The following conditions may be caused by infection with Mycoplasma Hominis and /or Ureaplasma species in various patient populations [3,4]:


Urethritis (Ureaplasma only)



Pelvic inflammatory disease ( Mycoplasma hominis only)

Urinary calculi ( Ureaplasma only)

Endometritis or chorioamnionitis

Infectious arthritis

Surgical and nonsurgical wound infections

Preterm labor (Ureaplasma only)




Mycoplasma and Ureaplasma causing Infertility issue in woman and man, urethritis, female cervicitis, and pelvic inflammatory disease, arthritis.


The Ureaplasma Urealyticum and Ureaplasma Parvum are now designated as separate species. Separation of these species is not possible except via molecular techniques such as polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Ureaplasma Parvum is generally the most common species detected in various clinical specimens but Ureaplasma Urea lyticum is apparently more pathogenic and can cause infertility in women and men.


Genital herpes


Genital herpes is a common sexually transmitted disease (STD) that any sexually active person can get [5]. Most people with the virus don’t have symptoms. Even without signs of the disease, herpes can still be spread to sex partners. Recovery from the Genital Herpes was quick with Negative Ions, Anion napkins. Condon cannot protect from this infection.


Human papilloma virus (HPV)


My article “Miraculous effects of Negative Ions on Cervical Dysplasia and HPV” is on the way of publication.




Chlamydia is sexually transmitted disease (STD) and in the most cases there are only few symptoms, like vaginal discomfort, smelly discharge. This infection affects the infertility in men and women. Chlamydia cases Ectopic pregnancy. In pregnant women can cause miscarriage, preterm birth and there the consequences for the newborn [6].


Islam and modern science


Recently converted to Islam after being atheist I discovered that Medicine is powerless in many health problems. There are some diseases caused by jinn possession, evil eye, black magic which can be treated only by Allah’s words, Quran. The pain can disappear just by reciting Dua, two phrases. Incurable cancer, severe diseases can disappear by Ruqya, verses from Quran.


Many physicians, after discovering the Truth about our Universe created by Allah, were converted to Islam. Just read the story of Dr. Laurence Brown, American Ophthalmologist, who was also atheist and after Allah’s Miracle, saving his daughter, converted to Islam [7-11].


Quran is a cure for everything


The Creator has clearly told us that the words of the Quran are a “shifa” (healing) for all and, therefore, when used with real belief in one’s heart, this form of treatment can bring miraculous cure to all forms of ailments.


Allah says in the Quran, Surah Al Israa 17-82: “And We sends down of the Qur'an that which is healing and mercy for the believers). “And when I am ill, it is (God) who cures me”, Quran, Surah Ash-Shu’ara, 26-80.



Allah (subhana watallah) in Surah Al Isra, Quran says: "And do not approach unlawful sexual intercourse. Indeed, it is ever an immorality and is evil as a way." [Quran, 17: 32] [13].


Positive and Negative Ions

Positive ions


Unhealthy, man-made, environment in which we live (radiation from electronic and electrical devises, lighting, signboard, WI-FI, Radars, video camera; air pollution; toxins like pesticides, chemical cleaners, building materials, air conditioning, unhealthy food and lifestyle) contributes to the excessive positive ions, increasing the acidity, inflammation in human body, the primary cause of low immunity and the diseases. In the body with high acidity, the bacteria, virus, cancer cells multiply quicker.


Negative ions are not present in normal numbers because the conditions that generate negative ions have been limited, overcome and/or removed as a result of human activity in the atmosphere.


Negative ions (anion)


Negative ions are abundant in the nature, the God blessing gift, put our body in alkaline and in alkaline, bacteria, virus, cancer cells can’t develop; can cure even incurable cancers, diseases… Negative Ions, "Nature's Battery Chargers", are a major natural element that provides energy to human body while Medical Professionals has no knowledge or remaining skeptical. Negative Ions are known since longtime (Figure 1).



Benefits of negative ions


I have been using Negative Ions products, mainly Anion Napkins and Energy Stone from Healthgate Company (initially Winalite) in Dubai since 2010 for all health conditions including infertility, premature menopause, infections, cervical dysplasia, pain, psoriasis, migraine, arthritis, constipation, stress, insomnia, depression with miraculous results. Negative ions are as necessary as water and air [14].


Negative ions are actually oxygen atoms with extra-negatively-charged electrons, invisible molecules abundant in nature, especially around waterfalls, sea, green mountains and forests, after a storm.


They are created in nature as air molecules break apart due to sunlight, radiation, and moving air and water. The degree to which negative ions contribute to overall well-being and health is scientifically proven [14-31] by keeping our body alkaline, reducing inflammation, reviving all functions:


They neutralize free radicals, have anti-bacterial, anti-viral effects

They revitalize metabolism

They enhance immune function.

They purify the blood, improve blood circulation, decrease blood sugar, cholesterol, increase calcium

Anti-Allergic, Asthma effects,

They balance the autonomic nervous system, regulate the heart rate, digestion, respiratory rate, pupillary response, urination, and sexual function

Increasing Brain Serotonin, reducing anxiety, stress, fatigue, depression, migraine, better sleep, relaxation

Natural painkiller, anti-inflammatory effect

Improve skin conditions, against hair loss

Longevity, Anti-Aging, Rejuvenation (Figure 2) [17].

Figure 2: Relation of environment in anions.


Other treatments boosting the immunity by alkalizing human body


Oxygen Therapy (Otto Warburg, MD (Nobel Prize in Physiology Winner, 1931); The Gerson Therapy, Juicing; The Budwig protocol; Detoxication. All these treatments bringing us to the clean nature, God blessing gift, out of air pollution, radiation, unhealthy food and lifestyle-man-made atmosphere

Negative Ions: Ionizing air affects influenza virus infectivity and prevents airborne-transmission. - Bright Star Apothecary Harm Reduction Initiative Research

Posted on January 16, 2020 at 1:10 PM Comments comments (0)

By the use of a modified ionizer device we describe effective prevention of airborne transmitted influenza A (strain Panama 99) virus infection between animals and inactivation of virus (>97%). Active ionizer prevented 100% (4/4) of guinea pigs from infection. Moreover, the device effectively captured airborne transmitted calicivirus, rotavirus and influenza virus, with recovery rates up to 21% after 40 min in a 19 m3 room. The ionizer generates negative ions, rendering airborne particles/aerosol droplets negatively charged and electrostatically attracts them to a positively charged collector plate. Trapped viruses are then identified by reverse transcription quantitative real-time PCR. The device enables unique possibilities for rapid and simple removal of virus from air and offers possibilities to simultaneously identify and prevent airborne transmission of viruses.


There is an urgent need for simple, portable and sensitive devices to collect, eliminate and identify viruses from air, to rapidly detect and prevent outbreaks and spread of infectious diseases1. Each year, infectious diseases cause millions of deaths around the world and many of the most common infectious pathogens are spread by droplets or aerosols caused by cough, sneeze, vomiting etc.2,3,4,5. Knowledge of aerosol transmission mechanisms are limited for most pathogens, although spread by air is an important transmission route for many pathogens including viruses6.


Today no simple validated technology exists which can rapidly and easily collect viruses from air and identify them. The problem is not the analyzing technique, since molecular biological methods such as real-time PCR enable a sensitive detection system of most pathogens7,8,9. The difficulty is to develop an effective sampling method to rapidly collect small airborne particles including viruses from large volumes of air. Furthermore, the sampling method should be robust with easy handling to enable a wide distribution and application in many types of environment. At present, the most commonly used techniques aimed to collect pathogens from air are airflow and liquid models10,11,12,13,14,15. These systems are complex, and their efficiency has not been thoroughly evaluated.


Spread of infectious diseases in hospitals can be most significant16,17,18. In many situations there is a need for a pathogen- and particle-free environment, e.g. in operation wards, environments for immunosuppressed patients as well as for patients with serious allergies. This makes it desirable to have a method not only for collection and identification19, but also for eliminating virus and other pathogens from air20. Ozone gas has been shown to inactivate norovirus and may be used in empty rooms to decontaminate surfaces, however in rooms with patients ozone should not been used due to its toxicity21. Generation of negative ions has previously been shown to reduce transmission of Newcastle disease virus22,23 and several kind of bacteria24,25 in animal experimental set-ups.


The ionizing device used in this study operates at 12 V and generates negative ionizations in an electric field, which collide with and charge the aerosol particles. Those are then captured by a positively charged collector plate. For safety reasons, the collector plate has a very low current, less than 80μA, however the ionizer accelerates a voltage of more than 200,000 eV, which enables high production of several billion electrons per second. Moreover, this device does not produce detectable levels of ozone and can thus be safely used in all environments.


This technique is known to effectively collect and eliminate cat-allergens from air26. Aerosolized rotavirus, calicivirus and influenza virus particles exposed to the ionizing device were attracted to the collector plate and subsequently identified by electron microscopy and reverse transcription quantitative real-time PCR techniques. Most importantly, we demonstrate that this technology can be used to prevent airborne-transmitted influenza virus infections

Viruses associated with human cancer

Posted on January 16, 2020 at 10:55 AM Comments comments (0)

It is estimated that viral infections contribute to 15–20% of all human cancers. As obligatory intracellular parasites, viruses encode proteins that reprogram host cellular signaling pathways that control proliferation, differentiation, cell death, genomic integrity, and recognition by the immune system. These cellular processes are governed by complex and redundant regulatory networks and are surveyed by sentinel mechanisms that ensure that aberrant cells are removed from the proliferative pool. Given that the genome size of a virus is highly restricted to ensure packaging within an infectious structure, viruses must target cellular regulatory nodes with limited redundancy and need to inactivate surveillance mechanisms that would normally recognize and extinguish such abnormal cells. In many cases, key proteins in these same regulatory networks are subject to mutation in non-virally associated diseases and cancers. Oncogenic viruses have thus served as important experimental models to identify and molecularly investigate such cellular networks. These include the discovery of oncogenes and tumor suppressors, identification of regulatory networks that are critical for maintenance of genomic integrity, and processes that govern immune surveillance.


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Human T-cell leukemia virus (HTLV-1)Hepatitis C virus (HCV)Human papillomavirus (HPV)Hepatitis B virus (HBV)Epstein–Barr virus (EBV)Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesviru .......!

Viruses and Human Cancers: a Long Road of Discovery of Molecular Paradigms

Posted on January 16, 2020 at 10:45 AM Comments comments (0)



About a fifth of all human cancers worldwide are caused by infectious agents. In 12% of cancers, seven different viruses have been causally linked to human oncogenesis: Epstein-Barr virus, hepatitis B virus, human papillomavirus, human T-cell lymphotropic virus, hepatitis C virus, Kaposi's sarcoma herpesvirus, and Merkel cell polyomavirus. Here, we review the many molecular mechanisms of oncogenesis that have been discovered over the decades of study of these viruses. We discuss how viruses can act at different stages in the complex multistep process of carcinogenesis. Early events include their involvement in mutagenic events associated with tumor initiation such as viral integration and insertional mutagenesis as well as viral promotion of DNA damage. Also involved in tumor progression is the dysregulation of cellular processes by viral proteins, and we describe how this has been investigated by studies in cell culture and in experimental animals and by molecular cellular approaches. Also important are the molecular mechanisms whereby viruses interact with the immune system and the immune evasion strategies that have evolved.



The history of cancer research is a history of trends, and perhaps no topic exemplifies this more than the role of viruses in the etiology of malignancy (1). As described in more detail in History of Tumor Virology below, it began with the discovery in 1911 of a filterable agent that was able to transmit sarcomas in chickens (2), and later this was shown to be a retrovirus that had transduced a gene, v-src, derived from a cellular homolog, illustrating the concept of proto-oncogenes and oncogenes (3). During the 1970s and 1980s, viral transformation of cells in culture by retroviruses such as Rous sarcoma virus (RSV) and specifically of human cells as shown by the small simian DNA tumor virus simian virus 40 (SV40) became widely used as models in cancer research laboratories. Such research received less emphasis in the 1990s, especially with the advent of research into the tumor suppressor genes (4). In addition, research into the role of viruses in the etiology of human cancers also became less regarded at that time. Today, there is clear evidence for the involvement of seven different viruses in the etiology of human cancers, and this is the subject of this review. ......

The Virus Hazard: Genetically Modified Foods & Organisms

Posted on January 16, 2020 at 10:35 AM Comments comments (0)

The Virus Hazard

by Jaan Suurküla, MD




Viruses are packages of hereditary material, DNA or RNA. They can get into the cells and take over the command over the cells activities and make it produce new copies of viruses. This commonly kills the infected cells. Dangerous viruses have a great ability to penetrate into cells and to spread and multiply so that extensive damage is caused. While many viruses are species-specific, some viruses may cross species borders.


Practically all genetically engineered crops contain genetic material from viruses. Research has shown that these virus genes may combine with genes from infecting viruses. The serious thing is that experimental evidence indicates the new viruses created in this way may be more infectious, may cause more serious diseases, and may have a tendency to cross species borders.


There is not enough knowledge to assess the risk for the emergence of new virus diseases from genetically engineered crops.


There is no scientific basis for excluding the possiblility that the risk for creation of dangerous viruses in GE crops (and related weeds) is large enough to represent a significant threat when large numbers of crop plants are cultivated.




A virus can be described as a package of hereditary material, DNA of RNA encapsulated by a protein coating. This coating has special properties that makes it stick on to cell walls. When attached, the virus DNA or RNA is transferred into the cell. Viral DNA and RNA has an ability to force the invaded cell to switch over from normal activity to producing large numbers of copies of the whole virus. The infected cell is commonly killed due to the infection, and if the number of infected cells is large enough, the whole organism will die. Some viruses may insert its DNA or RNA into a chromosome and remain silent for a long time (it is this kind of virus that are used in genetic engineering).


Virus genes are used very widely in genetic engineering. Experiments have shown that the artificial insertion of virus genes through genetic engineering make them prone to combine with genes from infecting viruses (so called recombination). Thereby viruses with new properties can be created. Some scientific observations indicate that such viruses tend to be more harmful than the natural viruses.


It is notable that even the largest biotech company does not deny the possibility that new viruses may be generated. For example, Roy Fuchs, Monsanto's director of regulatory science acknowledged that "some of the virus can recombine" in an article by Stan Grossfeld in The Boston Globe (09/23/98), published on line , Roy Fuchs, Monsanto's director of regulatory science acknowledged that "some of the virus can recombine."


on this page

The Virus Hazard

Cancer Risk

Ewen Statement

petri dish sprouts


more scientists speak

Crisis Position

Dr. Richard Lacey

Dr. Mae-Wan Ho

The Risks of GM Food

Genetic Meltdown

The Threat of GMOs

BMA Statement

BMA Says No to GMOs

Biotech Myths

A Geneticist's Opinion About GE

Unraveling the DNA Myth

gmo issues

Scientific Studies

Corporate Ties


Other GMOs

Farmer's Woes

In the Field

Global South

The Virus Hazard (continued)

Cauliflower Mosaic Virus (CaMV)


The most common virus DNA used in genetic engineering is the promoter of the Cauliflower Mosaic Virus (CaMV) used in plant genetic engineering. It is used in almost every case, including the presently most culitvated GE crops, the RoundupReady (RR) Soy of Monsanto, the Bt-Maize of Novartis, GE cotton and various varieties of GE Canola, a rapeseed variety widely cultivated today especially in Canada. Experiments have shown that the CaMV promoter may recombine with infecting genes yielding new viruses that may be more infectious than the natural viruses. For more details, see also "The Cauliflower Mosaic Virus promoter - a hazard in GE plants")


Recent research confirms these findings and indicates that the risks for combination with unrelated viruses is even greater than formerly understood. Studies have demonstrated that CAMV has a so called "recombination hotspot" which makes it prone to break up other DNA chains and join them at that point.


Mae-Wan Ho, biologist, Angela Ryan molecular biologist and Joseph Cummins, geneticist, have recently published a paper warning for the use of CaMV in crops.


This virus gene, they write, has the potential to reactivate dormant viruses or create new viruses in all species to which it is transferred. The development of cancer is another potential consequence.


The scientists "strongly recommend that all transgenic crops containing CaMV 35S or similar promoters should be immediately withdrawn from commercial production or open field trials. All products derived from such crops containing transgenic DNA should also be immediately withdrawn from sale and from use for human consumption or animal feed". Full text press release here. [ML] Full text here. [AL]


Also the US Department of Agriculture has expressed concern about such high-risk sequences that may trigger the process of viral replication":


Concerns at USDA about viral high-risk sequences


"..... At a meeting in Washington DC last week [Aug 1997], the US Department of Agriculture outlined possible restrictions aimed at reducing the risk of creating harmful new plant viruses .....These include a possible limit on the length of genetic sequences introduced into crop plants and the banning of genes that make functional proteins. The department is also worried about particularly high-risk sequences, such as those that trigger the process of viral replication."


[The CaMV DNA in GE crops is such a high risk sequence. It is still widely used in GE crops covering a large part of American fields. /The editor.]


[The suggested restrictions have not since been implemented to the best of our knowledge. /The editor]


Source: New Scientist magazine, 16 August 1997: "Field of genes: They have the biotechnology, but it may be running out of control, and the US is starting to worry"


Virus genes used for increasing disease resistance


Another possibly dangerous practice is the use of virus parts to make plants resistant to infecting viruses. Certain virus genes, coding for the virus protein capsule , are used for this purpose. These so called "capside genes" are combined with the CaMV promoter to ensure that they will be active in the host. Also the capsied genes have a propensity to recombine with invading viruses to create new pathogens that tend to be more aggressive than the original virus.


New viral pathogens could have an enormous impact on economically important crops, requiring considerable control costs. Source: Rissler, J. and M. Mellon. 1996. The Ecological Risks of Engineered Crops. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.


Sattelite RNA's


Another method to achieve increased virus resistance has been to insert so called viral "satellite RNA's". These genes are known to reduce the damage from a virus infection. But recent research found that such genes, when inserted into cucumbers, very often mutated into harmful variants (ref. Paulikaits P. And Rossinck MJ (1996). "Spontaneus change of a benign satellite RNA of cucumber mosaic virus to a pathogenic variant. Nature Biotechnology 14: 1264-1268).


Epidemics of new viruses might appear


Dr Joe Cummins, Professor Emeritus of Genetics at University of Western Ontario, Canada fears that the insertion of viruses may give rise to new plant disorders that may wipe out whole harvests. One plant only contains hundreds of millions of cells, each containing a CaMV virus gene. Anyone of these genes may combine with an infecting virus, generating a new virus.


It is not possible to estimate the size of the risk for the appearance of new virus diseases from genetically engineered virus parts in crops beacuse there is not enough research data available. Some researchers believe the risk is very small and others believe it is large enough to justify a prohibition of the use of virus parts in genetic engineering. But in the absence of sufficient research data, this is nothing but guesses. Considering the experimental evidence we can only say today that there is definitely a risk but of unknown size.


The serious thing is that it has been repeatedly shown experimentally that the new viruses may be more contagious and damaging and may also cross species borders. So viruses specialized on just one plant species might become infectious to other species. It is enough that one very malignant virus appears in only one cell for a new dangerous virus epidemic to appear.


Risk for harmful "GE viruses" spreading in USA and Canada?


About 30 percent (27 million acres) of the crop in USA of 1998 is calculated to be RR Soy. Also a large crop of GE Maize has been planted (19,6 million acres). In Canada, large crops of Canola are cultivated (about 7 million acres). Every cell in the present GE crops in USA and Canada contains virus genes. One plant only contains hundreds of millions of cells. The number of plants in the GE crops in North America is altogether thousands of billions.


Even if the scientists would be right who guess that the statistical risk is very small, the appearance of new hazardous viruses might be more likely than they may have realized. This is because they may have forgotten to consider the enormous large numbers of possible recombination events in one annual crop in USA + Canada. A corn plant, for example, contains about 1 billion cells and there is one CaMV promoter in each cell. There are about 50.000 plants in an average field, which means 50.000 billion recombination prone promoters per field. The gigantic acreage of of US GE crops therefore can be seen as a huge "experimental ground" for generation of new viruses with unpredictable and potentially hazardous outcomes. Even if the probability of a new dangerous virus to be generated would be extremely small, such an event may still occur due to the very large number of recombination opportunities present. Here is an analogy for you who are not so used to thinking in these terms:


Suppose there is a lottery with a million tickets. Then the chance of winning with one ticket is one on a million. But if you buy all the tickets, your chance will transform to 100% probability of winning. Every cell in the huge GE crop in North America is a "ticket" in the virus lottery. And there are zillions of cell "tickets" in the crop. Therefore, even if the chance for "winning" - for a new virus to turn up - would be extremely small, it may be likely to occur. Scientific laboratory experiments indicate that this probability may not be very small.


Even a single new very contagious virus strain might cause important damage, as it would rapidly multiply and might spread to a significant part of the crop. As it has been shown that GE-genes can readily be transferred to related weeds, these will become an uncontrollable reservoir of such virus genes even when cultivation of GE crops would cease. A highly contagious virus with low species specificity could in the worst case cause extensive damage to the crops and the ecology.




It has been scientifically established that new viruses may result from recombination with virus parts existing in GE organisms. Some studies indicate that these new viruses may become more harmful and less species specific that "natural" viruses. The size of this risk is unknown. Even if the statistical risk for the emergence of dangerous new viruses would be very small, they may still appear in North America as the number of GE virus genes in the crops is now extremely large.


One single new and highly contagious virus generated in this way might spread to a signficant part of the crops and cause extensive damage. There is presently no scientific basis for denying this possibility or even for saying that it is very unlikely as the size of the risk has not been investigated.


This is one of the reasons why we find it necessary to have a moratorium on the release of genetically engineered organisms. In addition, all presently cultivated GE crops should be withdrawn from the market.


Related articles


"Cauliflower Mosaic Viral Promoter - A recipe for Disaster?" a scientific article by Mae-Wan Ho, Angela Ryan, Joe Cummins


a) Press release about the article in non-technical language. [EL]


b) The article [AL]. This article summarizes recent research showing that the CaMV promoter has an unstable region a "recombination hotspot" that greatly increases the risk for generation of new viruses. It is maintained that the promoter may also increase the risk for cancer.


Rebuttals by the authors of critisism of the article:

Rebuttal 1. [AL]

Rebuttal 2. [AL]

"New corn viruses of unclear origin" Two new corn viruses have been discovered in the US. Their origin has not been elucidated. It is discussed whether they may have been generated in GE crops.


Published in May 1998. Last modified April 10, 2001


GM Expert Warns Of Cancer Risk From Crops

By Rob Edwards, Environment editor

Sunday Herald

December 08, 2002


Demand for Executive to ban crop trials until effects of GM food on health are studied


Eating genetically modified (GM) food could give you cancer. That is the stark warning today from one of Scotland's leading experts in tissue diseases.


Dr Stanley Ewen, a consultant histopathologist at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary, says that a cauliflower virus used in GM foods could increase the risk of stomach and colon cancers.


He is calling for the health of people who live near the farm-scale GM crop trials in Aberdeenshire, Ross-shire and Fife to be monitored. Their food and water will be contaminated by GM material, he said, which could hasten the growth of malignant tumours.


'I don't want to be scare-mongering, I want to be understated,' Ewen told the Sunday Herald. 'But I'm very concerned that people who rely on local produce might be endangering themselves.'


The government, backed by its scientific advisors, has always insisted the GM trials pose no risk to human health or the environment. Never theless, the trials have provoked widespread opposition, with dozens of protesters arrested for damaging GM crops.


Ewen's warning, which has been delivered to the Scottish Parliament's Health and Community Care Committee, is bound to be seized on by critics . The committee is just completing an investigation into the safety of GM food and is hoping to report its findings this week.


Ewen, who has 29 years' experience as a histopathologist, is currently leading a pilot project in Grampian to screen people for colon cancer. In 1999, along with Dr Arpad Pusztai, a former researcher at Aberdeen's Rowett Institute, he published a study suggesting that GM potatoes harm rats.


In his submission to the health committee, Ewen expressed 'great concern' about the use of the cauliflower mosaic virus as a 'promoter' in GM foods. The virus is used like a tiny engine to drive implanted genes to express themselves.


But Ewen pointed out that the virus is infectious, and could act as a 'growth factor' in the stomach or colon, encouraging the growth of polyps. The faster and bigger polyps grow, the more likely they are to be malignant, he added.


There are also risks in feeding GM products like maize to cattle, he cautioned.


'It is possible cows' milk will contain GM derivatives that can be directly ingested by humans as milk or cheese. Even a lightly cooked, thick fillet steak could contain active GM material.'


GM material can be destroyed by cooking or boiling for 10 minutes, and it can be broken down by the acids and enzymes in the stomach. But Ewen is worried that genes in uncooked GM fruit and vegetables could survive common stomach infections.


'It is possible GM DNA could affect stomach and colonic lining by causing a growth factor effect with the unproven possibility of hastening cancer formation in those organs,' he stated.


Ewen stressed that he is not opposed to all GM technology, which he believes could have real benefits, particularly in medicine. But he is sufficiently alarmed by the current use of the technology to urge the health committee to call for a ban on GM crop trials while their safety is tested on animals.


Doctors from the British Medical Association have also suggested a GM ban to the committee because of the unknown effects on health. The committee's investigation was prompted by a petition of 6000 signatures gathered by protesters who maintained a vigil at a GM trial site at Munlochy in Ross-shire.


'What is most worrying about Dr Ewen's evidence is that while his concerns are disease-specific, the risks extend to a wide range of GM food crops,' said Jo Hunt, director of the lobby group Highlands and Islands GM Concern.


'The effects are caused not by just one 'bad' DNA fragment, but are a result of the reaction of plant cells to genetic engineering itself. All the major GM food plants currently produced could have the same effect when eaten.'


Hunt argued that long-term research was needed to establish whether GM food was safe. 'But instead of looking at the impact of GM food on people's health, the Scottish Executive has spent over £5 million on farm-scale trials to see how growing GM crops on Scottish farms will affect butterflies and weeds. The Executive has already released GM at 11 sites and is considering allowing GM to be released anywhere in the country from 2004, before it knows whether GM food is safe to eat.'


The Executive also came under fire from the Scottish National Party's shadow environment minister, Bruce Crawford, who demanded a freeze on GM crops trials. 'We cannot allow GM material to enter the food chain until there are absolute guarantees that there are no risks,' he said.


He pointed out that, in a recent letter, the environment minister, Ross Finnie, had admitted to him that plants around GM crops could become contaminated . Finnie added, however, that the government's advice was 'unanimous in its conclusion that GM crops that have approval do not pose a safety threat.'


Ewen's evidence to the health committee is backed up by a separate submission from Arpad Pusztai, who now works as an independent consultant. He warned that GM contamination could jeopardise human health and cause irreversible environmental damage.


'We need to rethink the whole strategy of genetic engineering,' Pusztai said. 'Because of its potential importance for, and effect on, mankind, it should not be left to the decision of a few multinational companies.'


Related link: Submission of Health Impacts of GM Crops - Dr. Stanley William Barclay Ewen

Soul and Conscience Witness Statement

Royal Commission NZ

by Stanley William Barclay Ewen M.B.Ch.B., Ph.D., F.R.C.Path.,

Department of Pathology,

University of Aberdeen, Foresterhill, Aberdeen. AB25 2ZD


Human health


Human health issues are difficult to quantify but will usually relate to the 6th decade upwards in a "Western - type" society. Food related changes may thus be extremely difficult to detect as degenerative changes become dominant and life style indiscretions, occurring 20 years previously, easily forgotten or overlooked. BSE may have little to do with human GMO ingestion but lessons can be learned from the catastrophe that has all but destroyed British farming.


The possibility of transmission of an apparent species specific pathogen to cattle or humans was completely ridiculed initially and television pictures of a government minister feeding his baby daughter a pie potentially containing tainted meat was dramatic although reprehensible. BSE is, as the name indicates, a spongiform condition of the brain that was rare in humans and always recognised in the elderly. It was only after neurologists and neuropathologists recognised that some young people developed a clinical syndrome closely analogous to Creuzfeld Jacob disease that a new disease was perceived (NVCJD). The unwillingness of government agencies to recognise the remote possibility of a new food related disease in young adults was incomprehensible. The lesson revealed by this disaster seems clear; a new disease will only be recognised when it has unusual pathology, occurs in an unusual age group and has overt recognisable clinical features. The demonstrated proclivity for food related disease to affect the young should not be understated. Several diseases seem to affect growing children rather than fully developed adults with static body parameters. It must also be stated that no current test considered to be sufficient evidence of safety would or could have detected NVCJD. It follows that all new foods, in particular GM food, must be tested in animals, especially young animals, as the human guinea pig approach seems to be global anathema.


With these factors in mind, the present oft reiterated banal statement by regulatory authorities that many billions have eaten GM food with no reported ill effect seems misleading. As I commented at the recent WHO/FAO expert consultation in Geneva, diseases with a biological history measured in decades, such as cancer, would not be observed to be significantly increasing in the elderly or occurring in the young until several years of careful analysis of records had been compared. The specific reason for highlighting cancer is based on my meticulous measurement of changes within the gut lining in young rats fed GM potatoes for 10 days (Lancet 354, 1353-1354 16th October 1999). Despite all manner of attack, the peer reviewed published histological observations are unassailable and reveal a clear growth factor effect visualised as microscopic lengthening of the proliferative compartment of the lining of stomach and intestines. This effect may not be permanently harmful and is probably reversible after a few days of GM withdrawal but increased chronic inflammatory cells were also evident consistent with involvement of the immune system. Proliferative effects have been previously recorded following GM food ingestion viz. proliferation of stomach lining following 'Flavr Savr' tomatoes and proliferation of small intestinal lining following ingestion of transgenic potatoes by mice (Nat. Toxins (1998) 6,219-233).


Unfortunately food scientists seem oblivious of the fact that the population is not all adult and that approximately half of all adults have disease of either stomach or large intestine. The stomach disease I refer to is H.pylori infection that has been shown to be closely associated with gastric cancer. H.pylori is a micro organism that causes chronic inflammation accompanied by proliferation of the lining of the stomach and is present in 40% of the population by age 40 years. It is reasonable to suggest that additional dietary growth factors in GM food could further increase proliferative effect hastening the development of gastric carcinoma; similarly polyps in the colon could be accelerated to become invasive cancer. After several years of chronic inflammation, the stomach will change its lining to resemble the small intestine and, later still, lose the ability to produce acid and enzymes if the infection is not eradicated by powerful triple antibiotic therapy.


Ewen and Pusztai's histological results clearly indicate that the growth factor effect is not caused by the newly expressed transgenic protein but appears to be due to the gene construct inserted into the recipient DNA. The construct includes, not only the transgene, but also marker genes and a powerful promoter. Endogenous plant promoters seem unable to cause transgene expression and most success can be expected by using a viral promoter to drive foreign gene expression for example, (-carotene was not expressed in rice using endogenous promoters and a viral promoter was required to produce "golden rice". The use of a viral promoter, the infectious part of the virus, seems to be alien to food safety as the usual viral promoter is almost identical to human hepatitis B virus. Hepatitis B is endemic in African and Far Eastern populations and any possibility of intact promoter reaching liver might have unexpected effects. The possibility of gene transfer, either to resident gut commensal micro organisms or gut lining cells, is considered all but impossible. Most molecular biologists do not accept the possibility and assess the chance at 1 in 1027 although many experts suggest that 1 in 1015-18 is the reality. On the other hand, the infectious part of a virus might not be degraded in the stomach and could gain access to gut bacteria or lining cells similar to sporadic viral infection of the stomach or intestines.


The essential problem hinges on complete degradation of food proteins during digestion. Current testing of completeness of digestion relies on recombinant proteins exposed to stomach enzymes (non human source) and acid in vitro. This artificial system demonstrates that simple recombinant proteins are indeed destroyed but I do not consider this approach to be representative. Recently, a sample sent to the Pathology Department, University of Aberdeen was submitted as a possible gall stone found at the end of the small intestine during an operation. Histology revealed that the object was recognisable as a seed despite having been exposed to gastric juices , pancreatic enzymes and small intestinal enzymes during transit. The undigested seed contained identifiable DNA (confirmed by specific tests) that could have leaked from the seed during passage along the small intestine. Thus the plant cell walls prevented digestion in the upper gastrointestinal tract and horizontal gene transfer was a possibility throughout stomach and small intestine at least. Our histological experiments, referred to above, do reveal that cooking reduces the growth factor effect of GM potatoes consistent with the observation that 950C or higher, is required to degrade DNA beyond the point of genetic information transmission (Chiter et al). It could be argued that the presently available heavily processed GM products may not be capable of genetic information transmission and oil from rape seed contains almost no GM DNA. I believe that the real problem that we face is with fruits and vegetables that are usually eaten raw (the normal diet contains about 30% raw plant produce whereas the vegetarian diet will be at least twice this amount). GM fruits and vegetables have not been released as yet but have certainly been successfully produced.


Unfortunately human food is not suitable for testing in a standard toxicological experiment. In a classical toxicological investigation a single substance of defined chemical composition can be administered in identical dose to a group of laboratory animals. Even a single foodstuff is considered to be too complex to dissect out a single undesirable effect that can be acceptable as unsafe. For this reason, GM food safety relies on simple identity, by chemical analysis (substantial equivalence), compared to the parent - nutritional and metabolic effects are not considered. Unfortunately, substantial equivalence is imprecise and the degree of acceptable variation has never been stated. Undoubtedly, adequate nutritional and metabolic GM evaluation would require laboratory animal testing that would greatly increase the approval costs of GM products.




At the time of writing (19.10.00) the local press contains a report from Prof. R. Orskov (formerly of Rowett Research Institute) who states that he will not drink milk from cows fed with GM maize until further testing is performed.


Impressions of operation of Joint FAO/WHO Expert Consultation on foods derived from Biotechnology. I was asked to submit my curriculum vitae to WHO by Consumers International and, to my surprise, I was invited to attend the above consultation meeting in Geneva on May 29 this year. I was completely unfamiliar with proceedings but most of the others present were "old hands" and immediately subverted the meeting by proposing and seconding the chairman (Kuiper). Then Mariansky was proposed and seconded as reporter and, despite protestation, was accepted as the American influence was dominant. The WHO staff seemed powerless to prevent this take over despite trying to infuse transparency by inviting others, such as myself, new to the meeting. My enduring impression was that North American, English, Dutch and Scandinavian interests were well represented although other European, Asian, South American and African interests were not. The experts, apart from one nutritionist, one epidemiologist, one economist and one pathologist, were food scientists usually from national regulatory bodies. With amazing alacrity, they stamped their dominance on the meeting and comments from the minority groups were given rather short shrift and were not incorporated into the final version of the report. The meeting was unrepresentative and financial, industrial and government interests were not fully disclosed. Food safety was in the hands of plant molecular biologists with unknown allegiance and medical aspects were simply a nuisance that impeded dominance of big industrial companies.


One subject that did receive attention - Allergenicity of GM Foods - will be the main topic for discussion at the next meeting (Rome January 2001). Allergenicity is of concern because there is no animal model available and all testing has to be done in human volunteers, preferably allergic human subjects. Several GM foods express a bacterial toxin or lectin and these proteins are resistant to cooking and digestion and will bind to, and enter, the lining cells of the intestines (usually considered a prerequisite to allergenicity). The proposal, presented at the Geneva meeting, is to use post market surveillance to detect GM food allergy despite the fact that, for some, the allergy will be fatal.


Environmental matters


There can be little doubt that reduction of biodiversity is deprecable and once GM seeds are broadcast the ensuing contamination is permanent. Thus, should any adverse effect be traced to GM plants at some point in the future then eradication will be well nigh impossible. The difficulty is that many companies have persuaded the authorities to believe that genetic engineering resembles traditional plant breeding methods. This viewpoint negates the fact that foreign DNA has been inserted into the recipient plant in a way that is completely at odds with natural breeding. Once the foreign gene has been successfully inserted a powerful promoter, usually viral, is required and most people would prefer not to eat living virus. It is possible that the promoter may not be broken down in the mammalian gut and thus the environmental contamination would include all sea life. It does appear foolhardy to promote planetary pollution unless some other motive, such as patenting with exclusive rights and substantial profits, is at stake. Unfortunately many of those on government advisory committees have clandestine financial interests and thus plant molecular biologists determine policy best suited to profit rather than complete safety evaluation. The old refrain that GM technology is required to feed the burgeoning world population is promotion by guilt. The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) recently concluded that the world could be fed without GM food (Agriculture: Towards 2015-30, FAO April 2000). In Europe, current non GM agriculture is so productive that 10% of cereal land has to be kept out of production and it appears that civil strife and corrupt government is responsible for malnourishment in the Third World. Deliberate environmental pollution, in the form of US food aid sent to cyclone victims in Orissa, India, occurred last October and consisted of GM soy beans and maize rejected by traditional markets in Europe and Japan. It is claimed that the US government used the opportunity to create a market entry for GM products. This type of approach pays little heed to traditional agriculture and will severely limit future biodiversity

Regulators Discover Hidden Viral Gene in Commercial GMO Crop

Posted on January 16, 2020 at 10:20 AM Comments comments (0)

How should a regulatory agency announce they discovered something very important about the safety of products they have been approving for over twenty years?

How Computer Addiction Works

Posted on January 16, 2020 at 12:30 AM Comments comments (0)


Obsessively checking e-mail. Playing online games for 12 hours or more at a time. Placing more value on chat-room friends than real friends. Neglecting family, work and even personal health and hygiene. These are all symptoms of a new form of addiction that has surfaced only in recent years: computer addiction. In this article, we'll learn about computer addiction, why it's a problem -- and why some doctors disagree about whether it exists at all.


Creating a single definition for computer addiction is difficult because the term actually covers a wide spectrum of addictions. Few people are literally addicted to a computer as a physical object. They become addicted to activities performed on a computer, like instant messaging, viewing Internet pornography, playing video games, checking e-mail and reading news articles. These activities are collectively referred to as Computer Mediated Communication (CMC). Computer addiction focused on Internet use is often called Internet Addiction Disorder (IAD). .....

Computer/Internet Addiction Symptoms, Causes and Effects

Posted on January 16, 2020 at 12:20 AM Comments comments (0)


The Internet has made life a lot easier by making information more accessible to all and creating connections with different people around the world. However, it has also led a lot of people to spend too much time in front of the computer, so much so that it becomes the center of their lives. This can lead to an Internet or computer addiction.


Computer/Internet Addiction Symptoms, Causes and Effects

An Internet or computer addiction is the excessive use of the former or the latter. The latest edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-V) actually includes it as a disorder that needs further study and research. In a publication on the National Center for Biotechnology Information website, the study, which was conducted by the Department of Adult Psychiatry in the Poland Medical University, showed that Internet addiction was seen to be quite popular and common among young people, especially those who were only children. In fact, every fourth child is addicted to the Internet. This is an alarming statistic that needs to be addressed as soon as possible.


Are There Different Types of Computer or Internet Addictions?

Internet or computer addictions manifest in several ways that cover various degrees and areas of Internet usage. They are the following:


Information overload. Too much online surfing leads to decreased productivity at work and fewer interactions with family members.

Compulsions. Excessive time spent in online activities such as gaming, trading of stocks, gambling and even auctions often leads to overspending and problems at work.

Cybersex addiction. Too much surfing of porn sites often affects real-life relationships.

Cyber-relationship addiction. Excessive use of social networking sites to create relationships rather than spending time with family or friends may destroy real-life relationships.

These are the most commonly observed types of Internet addiction. If you or someone you know is suffering from this kind of addiction, you don’t have to face it on your own. We can help you. Just call at any time to speak to one of our trained advisors.


What Causes an Addiction to Computers or the Web?

Whenever Internet addicts feel overwhelmed, stressed, depressed, lonely or anxious, they use the Internet to seek solace and escape. Studies from the University of Iowa show that Internet addiction is quite common among males ages 20 to 30 years old who are suffering from depression.


Certain people are predisposed to having a computer or Internet addiction, such as those who suffer from anxiety and depression. Their lack of emotional support means they turn to the Internet to fill this need. There are also those who have a history of other types of addiction, such as addictions to alcohol, drugs, sex and gambling. Even being stressed and unhappy can contribute greatly to the development of a computer or Internet addiction. People who are overly shy and cannot easily relate to their peers are also at a higher risk of developing a computer or Internet addiction.


What Are the Signs of an Online Addiction Problem?

What Are the Signs of an Online Addiction Problem?

An addiction to the Internet is manifested in both physical and emotional symptoms; however, these specifics may vary for each person. These are basically warning signals that an addiction may be developing. If you feel that you or a loved one has these symptoms, it is not yet too late. All it takes is a phone call to and we can help you.


Emotional Symptoms of Online Addiction

The following symptoms are typical of online addicts:


Feelings of guilt




Euphoric feelings when in front of the computer

Unable to keep schedules

No sense of time



Avoiding doing work


Physical Symptoms of Online Addiction

The following symptoms are characteristic of someone who uses the computer for a very long period of time:




Weight gain or loss

Disturbances in sleep

Carpal tunnel syndrome

Blurred or strained vision

Short-Term and Long-Term Effects of an Online Addiction

The short-term effects of an online addiction include unfinished tasks, forgotten responsibilities and weight gain. Long-term effects are seen more in the physical symptoms such as backache, neck pain, carpal tunnel syndrome, and vision problems from staring at the screen. It can also lead to bankruptcy, especially if the time spent online is focused on shopping, gambling and gaming.


According to Oberlin College of Computer Science, aside from being dependent on the Internet, addicts may develop technostress wherein they internalize how a computer works, such as accelerated time and perfect results. It can also cause social withdrawal, feeling more at ease interacting with people online rather than in person.


Is There a Test or Self-Assessment I Can Do? .....

Is Society Too Dependent on Computers/Phones?

Posted on January 16, 2020 at 12:15 AM Comments comments (0)

When was the last time you did not know the answer to a question and you researched the answer? I am not referring to researching the answer using your phone/computer/tablet/or lap top. I am talking about looking through a book or article to discover the answer to the question. The answer anyone would give me would most likely be along the lines of, “I could not tell you, I cannot remember.” How about the last time you wanted to come in contact with someone and you just drove over to there house to talk to the face to face? Probably going to get the same response. I ask these questions because I believe society is becoming too dependent on computers and technology to the point where they would struggle without it, including myself.....

The millennium bug was real and 20 years later we face the same threats

Posted on January 16, 2020 at 12:05 AM Comments comments (0)

The Y2K problem is now seen as a bit of a joke – but only a fool would be complacent about the vulnerability of IT systems .....

Health risks of genetically modified foods.

Posted on January 15, 2020 at 1:55 PM Comments comments (0)

As genetically modified (GM) foods are starting to intrude in our diet concerns have been expressed regarding GM food safety. These concerns as well as the limitations of the procedures followed in the evaluation of their safety are presented. Animal toxicity studies with certain GM foods have shown that they may toxically affect several organs and systems. The review of these studies should not be conducted separately for each GM food, but according to the effects exerted on certain organs it may help us create a better picture of the possible health effects on human beings. The results of most studies with GM foods indicate that they may cause some common toxic effects such as hepatic, pancreatic, renal, or reproductive effects and may alter the hematological, biochemical, and immunologic parameters. However, many years of research with animals and clinical trials are required for this assessment. The use of recombinant GH or its expression in animals should be re-examined since it has been shown that it increases IGF-1 which may promote cancer.

Vaccines Containing Animal, Plant, Fungal Proteins Cause Autoimmune Diseases & Cancer

Posted on January 15, 2020 at 1:40 PM Comments comments (0)

Vaccines Containing Animal, Plant, Fungal Proteins Cause Autoimmune Diseases and Cancer

By: Vinu Arumugham


Here is the conclusion of my recently published paper, Analyzing 23000+ Epitopes Covering 82 Autoimmune Diseases in the Immune Epitope Database; There’s an Unmistakable Signature of the Role of Vaccines in Their Etiologies:


Vaccines containing animal, plant or fungal proteins are extremely dangerous and cause numerous autoimmune diseases and cancer. All non-target proteins in vaccines must be immediately removed using processes such affinity chromatography.


Here is an explanation in layman’s terms:

Proteins are a chain of amino acids. Proteins can have up to several hundred amino acids. Snippets of proteins (peptides), 7-15 amino acids in length are important in immunology. There are 20 types of amino acids. Each is assigned a letter (1 letter code).


Antibodies are proteins that can bind to peptides that have a specific amino acid sequence. Such a target peptide is known as an epitope. When an antibody binds to a peptide (which is part of a protein, which in turn may be part of a cell surface), it can trigger an immune attack on the cell. If the cell were a bacterium, the bacterium would be killed.


Humans (like all organisms) are made of numerous proteins (self-proteins). So, we have self-proteins, self-peptides and self-epitopes. In a healthy person, the body will not make antibodies that bind strongly to self-peptides (self-tolerance).


DNA is a chain of base-pairs. The DNA base-pair sequence determines the amino acid sequence in the protein produced. If there is a mutation that alters a single base-pair, the resulting protein will have a single amino acid that is altered. To prevent cancer, the immune system is capable of making antibodies against such altered peptides. Such antibodies can also weakly bind (cross react) to the unaltered normal peptide thus resulting in destruction of some healthy cells. ....

Computer Radiation: What are the Effects of Excessive Exposure? - Bright Star Apothecary Harm Reduction Initiative Research

Posted on January 15, 2020 at 1:25 PM Comments comments (0)



The Dangers of Computer Radiation

Computer radiation can cause fertility issues with both men and women, DNA fragmentation, skin burns as well as other serious health conditions.

The amount of time the average person spends in contact with electronic devices is growing every day.


The majority of middle-class Americans own a computer and a smart phone, not to mention other devices such as tablets, microwaves, televisions, etc.


Needless to say, these devices are so integral to our modern digitized lifestyles that interaction with them on a daily basis is seemingly inevitable.


This reality makes the idea of computer radiation that much more alarming; particularly radiation from one’s laptop, which is used for both work and leisure and often comes into close contact with one’s body.


In significant enough doses, computer radiation can have many negative effects on the body. This can range from skin burns and rashes to fertility issues with both men and women, DNA fragmentation (irreversible changes to the genetic code), and other serious health conditions like cancerous tumors.


The dangers from computer radiation come from both thermal and non-thermal biological effects of low-energy non-ionizing radiation. This stems from the computer’s internal functions, which emit extremely low frequencies (ELF) and WiFi or Bluetooth connections, which emit radio frequencies (RF).


Exposure to heat radiation from computers poses a significant danger if it is excessive.


As previously stated, prolonged use of laptop computers is common, and therefore dangers to one’s health from computer radiation are quite real.


Among the biggest risks is the possible damage to fertility if laptops are placed on a male’s lap for hours per day. Extended exposure to thermal computer radiation may not only decrease sperm count and sperm motility, but it can also cause severe irritation of the skin.


Exposure to large amounts of electromagnetic radiation can also cause meaningful damage to healthy cells and chromosome damage. Dangers posed by computer radiation come from excess exposure to electromagnetic radiation and thermal computer radiation from internal computer components.


Although there are competing studies as to how serious the dangers may be, tech users can never be too careful.


In order to protect oneself from possible negative side effects of computer radiation, there are effective solutions such as a computer radiation shield that helps to minimize possible health damage. ....