Friday, August 1, 2014

Ebola and U(SA)

From my understanding, we have never had an outbreak of Ebola here in the states. Wouldn't we want to keep this from potentially happening? Considering that this is being said to be the "deadeliest Ebola outbreak in HISTORY?!", would it not be prudent of our gov't to do anything it could to not allow the possibility of an outbreak here in our country? 

With recent revelations about the security of our infectious disease labs (ie: CDC) around the country (misplaced small pox vaccines found; 327 other vials uncovered containing pathogens such as dengue, influenza & rickettsia; 75 scientists exposed to live anthrax bacteria), or the world for that matter (2,300 vials of potentialy lethal SARS virus goes MISSING in France),wouldn't it be safer NOT to bring a highly infectious pathogen with a mortality rate of 51% to this country, risking millions, if not billions, of lives? Even with the CDC's assurances that an outbreak here in the US is "not in the cards", it seems foolish to tempt fate with such a deadly pathogen, who's incubation period is 2 to 21 days, with an average of 8-10 days. "Even if a person exhibits no signs or symptoms of Ebola, he or she can still spread the virus during the incubation period". So, if someone has somehow been exposed, and doesn't show symptoms for a week or two weeks, how many other "potentialy" exposed people will be at risk, without even knowing they have been? 

Not saying that the CDC, because of these recent mishaps, is incompetent at containing this current outbreak. Their history has shown they are well equipped to handle just such an event. I'm not here to bash them, or the WHO, or even the French lab that has lost lethal SARS virus vials. But wouldn't it be a better idea to keep the virus contained to the area already infected, and bring the resources to them instead of risking the potential of mistakes involved with moving an infected person into a non-infected area? 

I am just a lay person with an opinion and a computer. But to risk more of our healthcare workers lives, and millions of Americans, to bring two highly infected people back to this country seems like a very high risk to take. (Not to sound harsh, or un-compassionate for these sick individuals, who gave of themselves willingly to help battle this outbreak, and place themselves in a highly contagious environment, something I commend them for, and not give them the adequate care and help they need to get better, but does the needs of the one outweigh the needs of the many?). 

Our gov't has taken to giving out "Domestic Response Capability kits to the National guard weapons of mass destruction civil support teams" to all 50 states. That report, written back on April 18, 2014, explains the need to deliver these DRC kits to the guard to provide "detection, personnel protection, and decontamination". All of these kits have already been delivered to these units. I believe it best to air on the side of caution, but why the sudden delivery of these kits prior to our first infected person arriving on US soil (and I might add, the first time that Ebola has ever crossed our borders)?

The next few weeks will be telling to say the least. I'm hopeful that this will be contained, but to err is human, and the road to hell has been paved with good intentions in the past. Viruses find a way of getting out of labs. While many have not done irreparable harm, why take the chance with one with such a high mortality rate? 

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Just wondering

Does anyone actually follow my blogs? I know post infrequently, but I'd be inclined to posting more if you're interested in what I have to say, or have said in the past.

I'm all about current events and how they tie back into politics, history, science, and mental behaviour. If that makes any sense.

So I'd love to hear from you, or anyone that finds this blog post.

Hit me up!!

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Romanian Scientis Claims to Have Developed Artificial Blood

Thanks Kevin @ Cryptogon.com for posting my post.

TrueBlood?

Romanian scientist develops artificial blood

November 4, 2013

Science, in all its grand ambition and contemporary sophistication, doesn’t quite have what it takes yet to replicate anything like blood. It not only delivers oxygen and essential nutrients, but also serves a host of other functions crucial for our survival, such as fighting infections, healing injuries and regulating hormones.  So far, researchers have concentrated the bulk of their efforts on the more modest goal of creating something that can at least effectively carry out the vital role of transporting oxygen throughout the body.
This kind of “artificial blood” would be a useful substitute for critical circumstances such as medical emergencies, when the body can’t do this on its own. It could also be designed to be sterile, unlike real blood, which can be infected and infect others during a transfusion. And while donated blood requires refrigeration, a synthetic version could be made to last longer and be readily available for various life-or-death situations, even on the battlefield.
The latest bearer of hope for such a potential breakthrough comes from a research facility located in the Transylvanian city of Cluj-Napoca, of all places. (Yes, Translyvania is a real place in Romania.) Researcher Radu Silaghi-Dumitrescu, a professor at Babes-Bolyai University, has been working on a unique concoction and his work has progressed to the point where he and his team successfully transfused a blood substitute into mice—without them experiencing any ill effects, according to a report by the Romanian news outlet Descopera. He intends for the lab-engineered blood to work inside the body for several hours or even up to an entire day as the body replenishes itself.
The creation of true artificial blood has become a medical “holy grail” of sorts. So much so in fact that some of the brightest minds in medical science, hailing from ambitious startups to multi-billion dollar health care companies, have exposed an unknowing public to risky experiments that have thus far only yielded disheartening, and at times, disastrous consequences. Industry giant Baxter Healthcare Corporation was the first to attempt clinical trials on human test subjects in the 1990s with a substitute called HemAssist; the study was quickly canceled as it became apparent that patients receiving the manufactured substance died at a noticeably higher rate than those those who got donated blood. And in the mid-2000s, a now-defunct company named Northfield Laboratories was engulfed in controversy when researchers carried out emergency transfusions using a similar substance called PolyHeme on unconscious trauma patients without their consent. At the time, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) gave regulatory approval to perform the research as a “no-consent study.”
The principal challenge in safely mimicking the oxygen-carrying properties of human blood is that hemoglobin, the molecule responsible for transporting oxygen, is prone to breaking down easily and quickly without the blood cell’s membrane to protect it from outside stresses. While modified versions of other sources such as a cow’s blood are more sturdy, they also have a tendency to attach to nitric oxide, which can lead to high blood pressure. For now, the FDA does not approve the sale or use of hemoglobin-based oxygen carriers (HBOCs) due to well-established findings that show these variations have dangerous side effects, such as high blood pressure, and can also “escape the blood vessels and damage the kidneys and other organs,” according to a statement from the government agency.
Silaghi-Dumitrescu’s product, however, isn’t hemoglobin-based but instead uses hemerythrin, a protein equivalent found in invertebrates, such as sea worms, that isn’t nearly as vulnerable to the rigors of outside stressful environments. The substitute is a mix of hemerythrin, salt and albumin—a plasma cocktail that he believes can be refined and mixed with water to someday make “instant blood.”
Although there’s the obvious irony that the research is being done in Romania, where the legend of Dracula originated, Silaghi-Dumitrescu’s work looks to be legitimate and reputable considering that a peer-reviewed paper trail has shown that he’s been developing the artificial blood for some time. He plans to continue with animal studies for a couple more years in preparation for human trials.
“Tests on humans are an extra gentle subject,” Silaghi-Dumitrescu told Medical Daily. “Authorization…represents a huge risk.”

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Syria: disillusioned rebels drift back to take Assad amnesty

This comes from the Telegraph. Even the Syrian rebels see that Jihadists have overtaken the rebellion and are more afraid of heart eating psychotic muslims who want to install Sharia law, and will take Assad over them! Yet, we are getting ready to arm the rebels. Which rebels? Who's doing the due-diligence on this one? Quote "Assad is terrible, but the alternative is worse.."

Syria: disillusioned rebels drift back to take Assad amnesty - The Telegraph


Disillusioned by the Islamist twist that the "revolution" in Syria has taken, exhausted after more than two years of conflict and feeling that they are losing, growing numbers of rebels are signing up to a negotiated amnesty offered by the Assad regime. 
At the same time, the families of retreating fighters have begun quietly moving back to government-controlled territory, seen as a safer place to live as the regime continues its intense military push against rebel-held areas. 
The move is a sign of the growing confidence of the regime, which has established a so-called "ministry of reconciliation" with the task of easing the way for former opponents to return to the government side. 
Ali Haider, the minister in charge, said: "Our message is, 'if you really want to defend the Syrian people, put down your weapons and come and defend Syria in the right way, through dialogue'." 
Mr Haider, who has a reputation as a moderate within the regime, has established a system in which opposition fighters give up their weapons in exchange for safe passage to government-held areas.

Rebel fighters have privately said that they are aware of the amnesty offer, and that some men had chosen to accept it, although they say that the numbers involved remains a small proportion of those fighting the government. 

"I used to fight for revolution, but now I think we have lost what we were fighting for," said Mohammed, a moderate Muslim rebel from the northern town of Raqqa who declined to give his last name. "Now extremists control my town. My family has moved back to government side because our town is too unsafe. Assad is terrible, but the alternative is worse." 

The prevalence of extremist Islamist groups in rebel-held areas, particularly in the north, has caused some opposition fighters to "give up" on their cause. 

Ziad Abu Jabal comes from one of the villages in Homs province whose residents recently agreed to stop fighting the regime. "When we joined the demonstrations we wanted better rights," he said. "After seeing the destruction and the power of jihadists, we came to an agreement with the government." 

Mr Haider said that he had attended a ceremony yesterday at which 180 opposition fighters rejoined the government's police force, from which they had previously defected. 

Although it was not possible to verify this claim, when The Daily Telegraph previously visited the reconciliation ministry's headquarters in Damascus the office was crowded with the family members of rebels fighting in the city's suburbs who said their men wanted to return.

A ministry negotiator, who gave his name only as Ahmed, was in the process of arranging the defection of a rebel commander and 10 of his men from the Ghouta district. 

"It took us three months of negotiation and this is a test," he said. "If this goes well, the commander says that 50 others will follow." 

He described the steps taken to allow the return of fighters willing to lay down their arms. First, he said, a negotiator must cross the front line for a meeting on rebel-held territory. "We have to hope the rebel commander orders his snipers not to shoot us." 

Would-be defectors were given papers allowing them to pass through Syrian army checkpoints, and then waited in a safe house until the officials could get their names removed from wanted lists held by the more hardline defence ministry and intelligence agencies.

The rebels "did not sign up to be part of extremist Islamist groups that have now gained influence", he said. "Now they want to come back to a normal life." 

In the days before the regime took the town of Qusayr last month, The Telegraph saw mediators on the Lebanese border work with the Syrian army to secure an amnesty for fighters wanting to surrender. 

The phone rang with desperate calls from the parents of the rebels. "These mothers know that this is the last chance for their sons. If they don't give up their weapons now they will die because they are losing the battle," said Ali Fayez Uwad, the mediator.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Lotus

I don't normally post about beauty and Buddhism or any religion. But I've recently been enlightened about this lotus plant and how much it adheres to certain concepts I've developed without really realizing it. 

See, I was raised in a religion that believes it's "the way" to heaven. As I'm sure many of you can relate, many religions have taught that "there way" is the one way too heaven. But really, how can any one man made religion speak the truth? The almighty, the grand master of all things (ALL THINGS: think about that, someone who's basically conducted the most amazing orchestra piece, with the best orchestra, has put together a symphony of parts that will ultimately mean we exist) and one RELIGION has the sole rights to say "HEY!! This is the way it happened! And you'd better believe it or else!!" 

That's impossible. Religion in itself is difficult to explain. Here:

Religion is an organized collection ofbeliefscultural systems, and world viewsthat relate humanity to the supernatural, and to spirituality.[note 1] Many religions have narrativessymbols, and sacred histories that are intended to createmeaning to life or traditionally to explain theorigin of life or the Universe. From their beliefs about the cosmos and human nature, they tend to derive moralityethics,religious laws or a preferred lifestyle. According to some estimates, there are roughly 4,200 religions in the world.[1]

You understand that? Me neither. What you need to realize is, religion is a man made object. And spirituality is the key. Because religions will keep one blinded and bounded in there philosophies of their "beliefs" but the truth will never be allowed to come forth.  

So, what am I espousing?  I don't like religion. I love spirituality. Can someone find that balance between religions that exist? And beliefs that exist. It's the most difficult sign...