Second Man Cured of HIV After Successful Stem Cell Transplant

By Aaron Kesel

The second man to undergo stem-cell treatment for HIV has been cured for 30 months, according to doctors.

Adam Castillejo is still free of the virus and has no trace of it in his blood, urine, semen, or tissues more than 30 months after stopping anti-retroviral therapy, according to a report in the journal Lancet HIV.

The donors of those stem cells have an uncommon gene that gives protection against HIV. While this isn’t a widely acceptable cure, it is a step forward. However, the doctors involved note that while stem-cell transplants appear to stop the virus from being able to replicate inside the body by replacing the patient’s own immune cells with donor ones that resist HIV infection, the treatment is high-risk.

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“It is important to note that this curative treatment is high-risk and only used as a last resort for patients with HIV who also have life-threatening haematological malignancies,” Professor Ravindra Gupta said. Adding, “Therefore, this is not a treatment that would be offered widely to patients with HIV who are on successful anti-retroviral treatment.”

It is worth noting that stem cell therapy was primarily used to treat the patient’s cancer, not his HIV.

Currently, HIV drugs remain very effective allowing those infected to live healthy normal lives, so most won’t undergo this risky treatment even if it has positive results.

Still, doctors are hopeful that this is a step forward in reaching a universal cure for HIV potentially using gene therapy.

The most commonly used receptor by HIV-1 is CCR5 and scientists believe that those humans who are born with mutated copies of this receptor may be the answer.

A very small number of people who are resistant to HIV have two mutated copies of the CCR5 receptor. This mutation apparently stops the penetration of cells in the body that HIV normally infects.

Researchers say it may be possible to use gene therapy to target the CCR5 receptor in people with HIV.

The lead researcher, Professor Ravindra Kumar Gupta from the University of Cambridge, told BBC News:

This represents HIV cure with almost certainty.

We have now had two and a half years with anti-retroviral-free remission.

Our findings show that the success of stem-cell transplantation as a cure for HIV, first reported nine years ago in the Berlin Patient, can be replicated.

In 2011, another patient, Timothy Brown, became the first person reported as cured of HIV three and half years after having a similar treatment to Castillejo. Despite being cured of the virus, both men still have remnants of it inside their bodies so it is impossible to know whether or not the HIV will someday return.

As professor Sharon Lewin, from the University of Melbourne, Australia, stated:

Given the large number of cells sampled here and the absence of any intact virus, is the London Patient truly cured?

The additional data provided in this follow-up case report is certainly encouraging but unfortunately, in the end, only time will tell.


By Aaron Kesel | Creative Commons | TheMindUnleashed.com

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Study: This Artificial Sweetener Might Be Making You Fatter and Sicker

By Aaron Kesel

A study published in the journal Cell Metabolism by a group of Yale researchers found that the consumption of the common artificial sweetener sucralose (found in Splenda, Zerocal, Sukrana, SucraPlus, and others) in combination with carbohydrates can actually raise blood sugar and increase weight.

Sucralose is found in thousands of baked goods, condiments, syrups, and other consumer packaged goods—almost all of them containing carbohydrates.

The finding, which researchers expressed has yet to be replicated in other studies, raises new questions about the use of artificial sweeteners and their effects on weight gain and overall health.

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Researchers of the study took 60 healthy individuals who weren’t overweight and separated them into three groups:

One group that consumed a regular-size beverage containing the equivalent of two packets of sucralose sweetener, a second group that consumed a beverage sweetened with table sugar at an equivalent sweetness, and a third control group that had a beverage with the sucralose as well as a carbohydrate called maltodextrin.

The maltodextrin molecules don’t bind to taste receptors in our mouths and are impossible to detect. While the sensation of the third group’s beverage was identical to the sucralose-only group, only this group exhibited significant adverse health effects.

The artificial sweetener by itself seemed to be fine, but that changed when combined with a carbohydrate. Seven beverages over two weeks and the previously healthy people in this group became glucose intolerant, a metabolic condition that results in elevated blood glucose levels and puts people at an increased risk for diabetes.

The experiment follows research that was published in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine last year that found that consumption of two or more glasses of artificially sweetened soft drinks a day increased a person’s chance of death from circulatory diseases. While a 2008 study by scientists at Purdue University showed that artificial sweeteners alone could result in higher blood pressure, weight gain, and increased risk of diabetes, stroke, and heart disease in rats.

The scientists in the Purdue study fed yogurt sweetened with glucose to a group of rats. A second group then was given yogurt sweetened with zero-calorie saccharin. This group consumed more calories, gained more weight, put on more body fat, and didn’t make up for it by cutting back later.

Dana Small, one of the researchers, wondered why the rats gained weight in Purdue’s experiment. It was that yogurt, which was high in carbs, according to the study.

Small and her team state the carbs and sucralose work together to confuse the brain, which then miscommunicates with the rest of the body harming its ability to metabolize sugar.

However, Ali Webster, a director of research and nutrition communications for the International Food Information Council, said the study’s methodology is flawed, according to the Hour.

“Take this study with a big grain of salt,” Webster told the Hour. “This had no measurement of food intake over the course of those two weeks. You’d want to keep track of everything else they are eating and drinking.”

Small acknowledged to the news publication, “We had no measure of food intake.” But she said:

All three groups were exactly the same at pre-test and were randomly assigned to one of the groups. The chance that there was a systematic difference in eating only in those people assigned to the combo group would be statistically highly unlikely. In no study can you ever account for every factor-that is why we randomize.

“The question is,” Small asks, “are artificial sweeteners bad for you? We need to figure out the mechanism, but the hypothesis is that this would work with any carbohydrate.”

Previous studies published by the Purdue University from Susan E. Swithers and colleagues show that frequent consumption of high-intensity sweeteners may have the opposite effect by confusing the body’s natural ability to manage calories based on tasting something the body perceives as sweet when it actually poisoning you.

According to a report published in General Dentistry, phosphoric acid in soda also causes tooth enamel erosion, even with just minimal exposure to the chemical.

Scientists at the Nicolaus Copernicus University and Professor Franciszek Lukaszczyk Memorial Hospital in Bydgoszcz in Poland have previously found that a sweetener in soda could damage arteries in the penis, resulting in restricted blood flow to the organ (erectile dysfunction), lowering sperm count.

Other studies have revealed that artificial sweeteners like Splenda are dangerous and could cause disease like Leukemia when scientists fed rats with Splenda until they died. In another study it was announced that sugar is not good for your body, is addictive and it could also cause serious health conditions.

Now we have a study that is suggesting that artificial sweetener may also be causing obesity and other health problems.


By Aaron Kesel | Creative Commons | TheMindUnleashed.com

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Minnesota Mother Fights for Bill to Allow Son With Seizures to Receive CBD Oil at School

By Aaron Kesel

A mother is taking her fight to the Minnesota State Capitol so that her son with epilepsy can use CBD oil in case he has a seizure.

Fox News reports:

Twelve-year-old Kade King gets on the bus in the morning and for about seven hours does not have what he needs to stop a seizure. His mother, however, is working very hard to get through the roadblock that she says is putting his life and others at risk.

Kade is a happy and generally healthy sixth grader, but his mom worries what will happen if he has a seizure at school. His first seizure was at school back in 2017. Since then, he’s had many more.

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The worried mother expressed that her son has tried three different epilepsy medications resulting in life-threatening reactions. However, the two things that safely and reliably work for him are medical marijuana and CBD oil.

“Usually he’s standing up and kind of starts twisting,” Kade’s mother Kelly said. “We start yelling his name and he doesn’t respond and drops dead to the ground, usually hits his head, gets a hematoma and it’s pretty violent shaking on the ground.”

CBD oil is derived from the hemp plant and it is similar to compounds that our bodies produce naturally called endocannabinoids. Cannabinoids aren’t only found in the cannabis plant, they’re also naturally occurring in other plants but are found at a higher potency in cannabis. CBD oil offers the healing power of marijuana without the psychoactive effect of the chemical compound THC.

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CBD has shown promise as a treatment for conditions like epilepsy and anxiety in early research. Although more research is needed into CBD oil and its effects, many of the studies have been positive.

A 2017 survey found that an overwhelming amount of CBD users were women, while men preferred tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)-dominant products such as oils derived from marijuana known as “dabs.”

“We are seeing an exponential rise in the interest of CBD products from our patient community-particularly among women. While we still have much to learn about CBD, we cannot ignore this one fact; the majority of those using CBD product today receive great benefit. This has the potential for far-reaching consequences,” HelloMD Chief Medical Officer Dr. Perry Solomon said.

The most common uses were to treat insomnia, depression, anxiety, and joint pain, according to Dr. Perry Solomon, Chief Medical Officer of HelloMD. A shocking 42% of the CBD users said they had stopped using traditional medications like Tylenol pain relievers or prescription drugs like Vicodin and had instead switched to using CBD.

According to law, school nurses cannot administer CBD oil or medical marijuana. With the help of Minnesota Senator Scott Jensen (R-Chaska) and others, Kelly is fighting to pass a bill that would allow school nurses and staff to administer medical cannabis and CBD oil. Over 500 children aged five to 17 years old are enrolled in the medical cannabis program, Fox reported.

Some believe that allowing medical cannabis or CBD oil would open the door to allowing other substances to be administered by nurses. According to Fox, Senator Jensen is hoping that changes can be made to the legislation or that he can include it in end of session negotiations.


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Marijuana Use Among Adults Over 65 is on the Rise, Study Shows

By Aaron Kesel

With the legalization of cannabis in several states for medical and recreational purposes, older adults are taking an increased interest in the plant to combat numerous health issues.

According to a recent study published in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine, adults 65 years and older who reported using marijuana increased from 2.4% in 2015 to 4.2% in 2018.

Researchers at the New York University School of Medicine analyzed data collected from the 2015-2018 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, and identified a number of key groups among older adults who have experienced an increase in cannabis use. Those groups included women, racial and ethnic minorities, adults with higher family incomes, those who reported being under care of mental health treatment, and individuals with diabetes.

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“Cannabis use was very stigmatized in the past but now we have all these new laws passing about medical use of cannabis, so people are curious to see if it is something that can be used to treat their chronic disease,” said Benjamin Han, one of the researchers who lead the study.

However, Han added that it is important for health care providers to be aware of the growing cannabis use among older adults because, while it’s possible that cannabis use could provide health benefits, older adults are vulnerable to the potential side effects of the plant as well.

“As health care providers, we don’t do a very good job of screening older patients for substance use. This is something we need to be asking, and be prepared to answer any questions about,” said Han.

The Associated Press reports that more and more aging Americans are seeking to treat their aches, sleeplessness, and other problems that come with old age. Many are choosing the method of cannabis-infused snacks or drinks rather than smoking.

Another study by B  found that once cannabis and CBD products were used by participants to replace Big Pharma’s drugs, users found themselves not wanting to use drugs, with more than ultimately half discontinuing their use.

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A whopping 90 percent of people in the study reported they were likely to buy plant-derived CBD products again in the future, while many reported using a variety of CBD products rather than just one.

There are at least 850 brands of marijuana-derived CBD products on the market and 150 hemp-derived solutions, according to the study. It’s worth noting that marijuana and hemp are the two variations of the cannabis plant. While this can be confusing to some, hemp CBD oil is mostly legal thanks to a bill signed in 2018 by President Donald Trump and marijuana CBD-derived oils containing THC remain still illegal.

CBD and marijuana have shown promise as treatment for conditions like epilepsy and anxiety in early research. Although, more research is needed into CBD oil and marijuana and its effects.

Cannabis remains illegal at the federal level, but 11 states including Alaska, California, Colorado, Illinois, Massachusetts, Maine, Michigan, Nevada, Oregon, Vermont, Washington, and the District of Columbia have laws on the books legalizing marijuana for recreational use. Ten states also allow for the regulated sale of the plant.


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Billions of Locusts Pose an “Unprecedented Threat” to Africa, UN Warns

By Aaron Kesel

Desert locusts are invading and feasting on crops across Africa, and those affected are calling for international help, a new report states.

The outbreak of desert locusts is reportedly the worst that Kenya has seen in 70 years, according to the Associated Press. The insects have been flooding the country from Ethiopia and Somalia, leaving destroyed farmland in their wake in a part of the world that already suffers from hunger, drought, and flooding warned the UN.

“We must act immediately,” David Phiri of the UN Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) said.

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“This has become a situation of international dimensions that threatens the food security of the entire subregion. FAO is activating fast-track mechanisms that will allow us to move swiftly to support governments in mounting a collective campaign to deal with this crisis,” FAO Director-General QU Dongyu said in a statement earlier this week.

Phiri called for aid to “avert any threats to food security, livelihoods, malnutrition.”

According to an FAO fact sheet, a swarm of locusts the size of Paris could eat the same amount of food as half the population of France in just a single day. The UN states that even a small swarm of locusts can eat through enough food for 35,000 people in a single day and can travel more than 90 miles.

The FAO estimates one swarm in Kenya to be around 930 square miles, suggesting it could contain up to as many as 200 billion locusts.

Ethiopia, Kenya, and Somalia are all struggling with “unprecedented” and “devastating” swarms of the insects, the FAO has said. And the locusts are not only eating crops but disrupting farm animals and basic farming operations, according to the agency.

Beyond that, the locusts can even disrupt passenger planes in the region and may have already done just that. In fact, earlier this month an Ethiopian Airlines flight from Djibouti to Dire Dawa performed an emergency landing after the insects collided with it. A report states that the locusts were trapped in the engine and others hit the aircraft’s windshield.

The UN proposed a six-month emergency action plan estimated to cost $70 million. The cost would include aerial pesticide spraying, which they say is the only effective way to combat the insects. However, that task won’t be an easy effort especially in Somalia, where parts of the country are controlled by the al-Qaeda-linked al-Shabab extremist group.

The United Nations said that the problem could increase in March when rainfall picks up in the region.

FAO expressed fears that if the problem is left uncontained when new vegetation grows, the swarms could grow 500 times by June of this year. If the infestation is not controlled, the agency warns that South Sudan and Uganda are also at risk.

Ethiopia and Somalia have not faced an infestation on this scale for 25 years while Kenya has not seen a locust threat this size for 70 years, the FAO said earlier this week.

In November of last year, Ethiopia issued a call for “immediate action” to deal with the problem affecting four of the country’s nine states.

In northern Amhara state some farmers have lost “nearly 100%” of their crop of the staple grain teff, the FAO said. The FAO estimate that the insects were eating 1.8 million tons of vegetation a day across 135 square miles of Ethiopia.

“The speed of the pests’ spread and the size of the infestations are so far beyond the norm that they have stretched the capacities of local and national authorities to the limit,” the FAO said.

Besides locusts in east Africa, the insects have also been breeding in India, Iran, Egypt, Sudan, Eritrea, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, and Pakistan which could turn into massive swarms in the spring. The locusts in East Africa are believed to have originated from Yemen last August, having traveled across the Red Sea.

The unusually heavy rain that has recently hit the region may also be a factor in the swarms, according to Accuweather. Warmer temperatures can also play a role in desert locust swarms.

A donor conference in Rome next week will be asked to pledge $70 million to deal with the plague of desert locusts that are threatening where tens of millions of people already face extreme hunger. The UN has so far released $10 million from its Central Emergency Response Fund to combat the invasion according to to VOA who spoke to Jens Laerke, spokesman for the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.

By Aaron Kesel | Creative Commons | TheMindUnleashed.com

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46 Million Under Lockdown as China Suddenly Increases Death Toll by Over 60%

By Aaron Kesel

The Wuhan coronavirus—now called 2019-nCoV—is spreading rapidly at an alarming rate. There are an estimated 900 cases and 41 deaths, in addition to confirmed patients in at least 9 countries with several potential cases inside the United States.

UPDATE: 5:45 p.m. EST — The virus has now left 41 people dead in China, according to CBS News. Hours ago the official death toll was 26.

Texas is investigating a suspected case of the Chinese coronavirus, while there are rumors of as many as nine suspected cases in LA and one confirmed in Chicago at the time of this report. The CDC also announced they are monitoring 63 people who came into contact with patient zero in the U.S. or the case in Chicago. Two suspected cases have been sent to the CDC from Minnesota.

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U.S. lawmakers said health authorities expect to confirm a third case of coronavirus in the United States following a closed-door briefing in Washington between federal health officials and lawmakers according to Bloomberg.

New reports suggest that there are now three confirmed cases in France, marking Europe’s first cases of coronavirus. A 48-year-old man tested positive after passing through Wuhan. He is being treated in a Bordeaux hospital and came in contact with approximately 10 people between his arrival to France on Wednesday and his hospitalization. Little is known about the second and third case that is being treated in Paris.

China has quarantined the following 16 cities (total population 46 million):

  • Wuhan: 11 million
  • Huanggang: 7.5 million
  • Xiangyang: 6.1 million
  • Yichang: 4.2 million
  • Jingmen: 3 million
  • Xianning: 2.8 million
  • Huangshi: 2.5 million
  • Suizhou: 2.2 million
  • Xiantao: 1.6 million
  • Ezhou: 1 million
  • Qianjiang: 962,000
  • Enshi: 780,000
  • Xiaogan: 780,000
  • Zhijiang: 550,000
  • Dangyang: 560,000
  • Chibi: 530,000

Here’s what we know so far:

  • Total number of confirmed cases is over 900 with 26 dead.
  • China has restricted travel for 46 million people.
  • Hospitals in Wuhan make urgent pleas for help and supplies.
  • U.K. and U.S. governments tell citizens to avoid outbreak zones.
  • Two deaths have now been reported outside Wuhan.
  • Health officials expect to confirm a third U.S. case of coronavirus soon.

The unnamed 30-year-old man from Washington state is being treated by a robot in a guarded bio-containment room at Providence Regional Medical Center in Everett, Washington—a fact that illustrates the danger of this virus.

The U.S. citizen had returned to Seattle in the middle of last week after traveling to Wuhan on January 15, according to the CDC.

Earlier this week several major U.S. airports including those in San Francisco, New York, Los Angeles, Atlanta, and Chicago’s O’Hare began screening airline passengers arriving from central China for the virus. However, the confirmed patient in Chicago exhibited no symptoms at the time and, therefore, would not have been caught by an airport screening.

The CDC is sending 100 staffers to aid in the screenings at major airports.

There have also been reports of domestic flights in Wuhan being scanned for the virus by medical personnel in hazmat suits according to video posted by Yahoo News.

Shocking footage uploaded to social media also shows citizens in China collapsing in the streets.

Other videos uploaded to social media shows people filling the halls in a Red Cross Hospital in Wuhan, the city at the epicenter of the deadly viral outbreak. People can be seen covered by sheets and blankets in the video, leading some to believe that they are deceased.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has so far declined to call the outbreak a global health emergency while the Center For Disease Control (CDC) has issued a level three warning (Avoid Nonessential Travel) with the U.S. State Department, advising the avoidance of China and specifically Wuhan.

The U.S. military has also warned its personnel in Japan to watch out for symptoms of the deadly pneumonia-like virus, according to an alert posted by Stripes.

If you must travel to China, the following precautions are recommended:

  • Avoid contact with sick people.
  • Avoid animals (alive or dead), animal markets, and products that come from animals (such as uncooked meat).
  • Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
  • Older adults and travelers with underlying health issues may be at risk for more severe disease and should discuss travel with their healthcare provider.

If you traveled to Wuhan in the last 14 days and feel sick with fever, cough, or difficulty breathing, you should:

  • Seek medical care right away. Before you go to a doctor’s office or emergency room, call ahead and tell them about your recent travel and your symptoms.
  • Avoid contact with others.
  • Not travel while sick.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing.
  • Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.

Scientists have said that the coronavirus is similar to the Spanish flu and suspect it most likely came from snakes. The outdoor food market that is alleged to be the origin included over 100 different animals both live and dead, as TMU reported.

Symptoms include a fever, cough, shortness of breath, and breathing difficulties. However, according to Chinese state media, some are not experiencing any of these symptoms and are instead experiencing nausea, diarrhea, tiredness, bad concentration, headache, irregular heartbeat, chest pain, cornea inflammation, and muscular pains in the limbs, back, and waist.

The WHO has advised governments to be prepared for the disease and to be ready to test anyone with symptoms that has traveled to affected regions.

A top official at the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) revealed Wednesday that trials for a vaccine targeting 2019-nCoV could potentially begin within three months.

Anthony S. Fauci, the director of NIH’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told Bloomberg Law that they are working with Cambridge, Massachusetts-based biotech company Moderna Inc. to develop a vaccine.

“We’re already working on it,” Fauci said. “And hopefully, in a period of about three months, we’ll be able to start a phase I trial in humans.”

In just over 72 hours, the number of those infected increased from 200 infected to over 900.  According to the Daily Mail, a report written by researchers from England, Scotland, and Florida believe that up to 350,000 people could potentially be infected in Wuhan by the beginning of February.

Many people suspect that the Chinese government is covering up the actual number of people who have thus far been infected by the virus. Some are even stating that the virus itself is far more dangerous and is currently mutating, according to posts on social media. One Wuhan patient stated on Twitter in Chinese that the virus that triggered such an epidemic is not a coronavirus but something else that is not included in the official report:

This is a very aggressive virus, mine is not the coronavirus. The numbers are only covering the coronavirus. Mine is another (type of) viral pneumonia.

Wang Guangfa, a top medic who contracted coronavirus, says the deadly respiratory disease is so contagious it can be transmitted through the eyes and recommends for people to wear eye protective gear.

One journalist shared a picture on Twitter allegedly showing that all staff at hospitals are forbidden to discuss the latest development of the outbreak with family, relatives, and friends through email, phone calls, texts, WeChat, Weibo, or e-mail. This suggests that China is in fact trying to cover up something about the virus.

A source on the ground told TMU that Wuhan is already running out of medical resources with hospitals and doctors asking for donations of supplies privately.

Last year in December, shortly before the first known case, scientists argued that the global community as a whole was not ready for a disease X in a pandemic preparedness exercise called Event 201. The program was a collaboration between the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, the World Economic Forum, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Event 201 simulated a fictional coronavirus called CAPS.

Bill Gates previously warned in 2018 about a virus that would cause over 30 million deaths in 6 months.

READ NEXT: Coronavirus Pandemic Simulation Run 3 Months Ago Predicts 65 Million People Could Die


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China Confirms Human-to-Human Spread of Deadly New Virus as 14 Medics Catch Infection

By Aaron Kesel

China’s National Health Commission has confirmed that a new SARS-like coronavirus has the ability to jump between humans. Several airports are now examining passengers prior to take off in hopes of stopping the spread of the illness that has so far killed four people.

Those infected with the unnamed coronavirus go on to develop pneumonia.

Fifteen medical workers treating those infected with the mystery coronavirus in Wuhan have now been diagnosed with pneumonia with one additional suspected case, according to the Wuhan Municipal Health Commission. The Health Commission also revealed that the virus is able to jump from human to human.

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The origin of the outbreak is said to be Wuhan, a central city in China with 11 million people. The disease was reportedly first picked up at a fresh food market. Since then, the mystery virus that is baffling scientists has spread to additional areas of China including Beijing, Guangdong province, and Shanghai, with more than 200 reported cases according to Reuters. There have also been two reported cases in Thailand, one in Japan, and one in South Korea.

The Wall Street Journal reports that the number of cases has tripled since the first case was confirmed.

The rate of the outbreak has begun to worry experts. Observers are concerned the Chinese government may not be telling the full truth of the outbreak due to the large population of 11 million in Wuhan.

Scientists with the MRC Centre for Global Infectious Disease Analysis at Imperial College in London are warning that the true number of those infected is likely far higher than what is officially being acknowledged.

Airports all over the world—including those in major U.S. cities like San Francisco, New York, and Los Angeles—are proceeding with the screening of travelers from Wuhan as fears of a global pandemic have been raised.

There have also been reports of domestic flights in Wuhan being scanned for the virus by medical personnel in hazmat suits according to video posted by Yahoo News.

Zhong Nanshan, a Chinese official tasked with investigating the virus, reassured the public that there was no danger of a repeat of the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) epidemic during the 2002-2003 outbreak as long as precautions were taken by Chinese medical officials. The SARS outbreak started in China and killed nearly 800 people across the globe.

“It took only two weeks to identify the novel coronavirus,” Zhong told China’s state news agency Xinhua.

The World Health Organization (WHO) stated on Twitter in an information thread:

An animal source seems the most likely primary source of this novel #coronavirus (2019-nCoV) outbreak, with some limited human-to-human transmission occurring between close contacts.

Researchers worry the number of infections are being underestimated. Hong Kong’s Apple Daily reports that the WHO first said the virus had “limited” ability to travel from human to human, but Chinese officials now contradict that claim.

The United Nations (UN) also called for an emergency committee meeting to determine whether an international health emergency should be issued.

Chinese President Xi Jinping stated that it is “extremely crucial” to contain the outbreak. Some believe that the virus is being under reported and covered up like the SARS virus was, the Guardian reported.

“The state-run Global Times said in an editorial on Sunday: In the early days of Sars, there was a cover-up and delayed reporting. Such things can never be repeated again in China,” the Guardian wrote.

In 2004, China punished five top officials of the Chinese Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for the outbreak of SARS. The investigation found that the release of the virus was due to the negligence of two CDC employees who were infected and was not deliberate, China Daily reported.

The new mystery virus exhibits acute respiratory infection symptoms with many having developed severe pneumonia, fever, cough, and chest pains. Little else is known about it. However, some cases have presented without an increase in body temperature.

Authorities have yet to identify the current coronavirus which is common in animals that occasionally leaps to humans. This is especially worrying given that the Chinese New Year is right around the corner with hundreds of millions expected to travel abroad and within China’s provinces on trains and planes to celebrate.

So far the WHO has not recommended any travel restrictions and Chinese authorities have not yet issue any either.


By Aaron Kesel | Creative Commons | TheMindUnleashed.com

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Iowa Town Bans Fluoride And Ends Program As Chemical’s Danger Becomes Apparent

By Aaron Kesel

A small town in northwestern Iowa called Ida Grove has voted to end treating its city’s drinking water with fluoride.

The Ida Grove City Council voted to halt fluoride treatment in the city’s water supply, the Sioux City Journal reported. The move comes after city leaders and residents challenged whether the fluoride was effective at preventing tooth decay or presented health risks

A recent survey distributed through utility bills found that most citizens of the 2,000 population city didn’t support fluoridation, according to the clerk’s office.

Fluoridating water has long been debated across the country, and some opponents have argued that its health effects aren’t completely understood.

There are three types of fluoride used to “fluoridate” water supplies: Fluorosilicic acid, sodium fluorosilicate, and sodium fluoride.

Fluorosilicic acid is the type most often used for cost reasons, and it is derived from phosphate fertilizers according to the CDC’s website.

The other two are created by adding either table salt or caustic soda to the mix.

Although if you bring up the topic of fluoride you are heavily ridiculed, the cited scientific research in this article will make you think twice. That maybe, just maybe a chemical does cause damage to the human body in numerous ways and is linked to several disorders affecting teeth, bones, the brain, and the thyroid gland, as well as lowering IQ.

To this writer’s knowledge, everything started in 1995 when Dr. Phyllis Mullenix Ph.D., a highly respected pharmacologist and toxicologist, found that rats who had fluoride added to their diet exhibited abnormal behavioral traits in a published study.

In 2005, a study conducted at the Harvard School of Dental Health found that fluoride in tap water directly contributed to causing bone cancer in young boys.

“New American research suggests that boys exposed to fluoride between the ages of five and 10 will suffer an increased rate of osteosarcoma – bone cancer – between the ages of 10 and 19,” according to a London Observer article about the study.

Based on the findings of the study, the respected Environmental Working Group — a non-profit research organization environmental watchdog — lobbied to have fluoride in tap water be added to the U.S. government’s classified list of substances known or anticipated to cause cancer.

After reviewing fluoride toxicological data, the NRC reported in 2006, “It’s apparent that fluorides have the ability to interfere with the functions of the brain.”

In another article by Scientific American, a study “Concluded that fluoride can subtly alter endocrine function, especially in the thyroid — the gland that produces hormones regulating growth and metabolism.”

The report also notes that “a series of epidemiological studies in China have associated high fluoride exposures with lower IQ.”

“Epidemiological studies and tests on lab animals suggest that high fluoride exposure increases the risk of bone fracture, especially in vulnerable populations such as the elderly and diabetics,” writes Dan Fagin.

Fagin interviewed Steven Levy, director of the Iowa Fluoride Study which tracked about 700 Iowa children for sixteen years. Nine-year-old “Iowa children who lived in communities where the water was fluoridated were 50 percent more likely to have mild fluorosis… than [nine-year-old] children living in nonfluoridated areas of the state,” writes Fagin.

In 2012, years later, a Reuters headline read: “Harvard Study Finds Fluoride Lowers IQ – Published in Federal Gov’t Journal.”

Then the U.S. government finally admitted in 2015 that they’ve overdosed Americans on fluoride and, for the first time since 1962, lowered its recommended level of fluoride in drinking water, Mercola reported.

Even the Chinese have found that fluoride in drinking water causes damage to children’s livers and kidneys, according to an August 2006 Chinese study.

So is the anti-fluoride conspiracy global? Or maybe there is really something there to suggest that chemical waste is dangerous … go figure.

Interestingly enough, when digging I found a case in town where they found out the hard way that fluoride added to their water supply began corroding pipes and even damaging city vehicles.

In 2014, a report from the world’s oldest and most prestigious medical journal, The Lancet, officially classified fluoride as a neurotoxin — in the same category as arsenic, lead, and mercury.

Further, the EPA published a now-deleted document stating that fluoride is a chemical “with substantial evidence of developmental neurotoxicity.”

A study, published in the journal Environmental Health in 2015, found that states with a higher portion of artificially fluoridated water had a higher prevalence of ADHD. This relationship held up across six different years examined. The authors, psychologists Christine Till and Ashley Malin at Toronto’s York University, looked at the prevalence of fluoridation by state in 1992 and rates of ADHD diagnoses in subsequent years.

“States in which a greater proportion of people received artificially-fluoridated water in 1992 tended to have a greater proportion of children and adolescents who received ADHD diagnoses [in later years], after controlling for socioeconomic status,” Malin says. Wealth is important to take into account because the poor are more likely to be diagnosed with ADHD, she says. After income was adjusted for, though, the link held up.”

Another study in 2015 from the University of Kent suggests that fluoride in drinking water may trigger depression and weight gain by causing thyroid problems, Telegraph.co.uk reported.

Fluoride isn’t the only chemical to worry about in our water; in 2017, the Environmental Working Group, released a searchable database that shows almost 50,000 public water systems in the U.S. that are contaminated with dozens of harmful chemicals.

Some of the chemicals found in your drinking water include – arsenic, hexavalent chromium, radiation, chloroform, perfluorooctanoic acid, Bromodichloromethane, Dichloroacetic acid, Barium, and Uranium; and that’s just scratching the surface of the 250-plus contaminants the group discovered.

In 2016, the EWG found that two-thirds of Americans’ water is contaminated with the carcinogen that Erin Brockovich exposed – chemical chromium 6 or hexavalent chromium – affecting the tap water of more than 218 million Americans.

A 2008 study by the National Toxicology Program found that chromium-6 in drinking water caused cancer in rats and mice that were exposed to the chemical.

It’s been 20 years since the EPA last passed any new drinking water regulations. Regardless, it’s clear that municipalities have not been following the guidelines anyway.

If you’re in the U.S. you can check your own water supply by visiting the Tap Water Database, which allows anyone in the U.S. to enter their zip code or local utility’s name and find out what’s lurking in their local water supply.

Today, nearly 75% of the U.S. gets fluoridated water from the community system. However, in the past five years, 74 cities have voted to remove fluoride from their drinking water, according to NBC. So the tides are turning against the elitists pushing for using an essentially slow-kill poison on the public. See FluorideAlert.org for an up-to-date list of countries and cities that have opposed adding fluoride to their water supply.



The first appearance of fluoridated drinking water was found in Germany’s Nazi prison camps. The Nazis had no concern at all about fluoride’s supposed effect on children’s teeth; their alleged reason for mass-medicating water with sodium fluoride was to sterilize humans and force people in their concentration camps into calm submission by dumbing them down. (Ref. book: The Crime and Punishment of I.G. Farben by Joseph Borkin.)

On the other side of the battlefield, in the U.S. fluoride was being tested in the Manhattan Project. According to declassified government documents summarized by Project Censored, Manhattan Project scientists discovered early on that fluoride was a “leading health hazard to bomb program workers and surrounding communities.” Now, fluoride is a chemical used in our water to keep our teeth healthy.

Does anyone else not see a problem with all of the evidence above? I’ll leave you with the song, “Water Crimes” by New Zealand rapper Trillian and a question.

[embedded content]

Why do you want to poison me?

Aaron Kesel writes for Activist Post. Support us at Patreon. Follow us on Minds, Steemit, SoMee, BitChute, Facebook and Twitter. Ready for solutions? Subscribe to our premium newsletter Counter Markets.

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NJ to Vote on Marijuana Legalization Next Week, as PA Proposes Recreational Bill

By Aaron Kesel

According to Reddit /r/cannabis, two neighboring states this week in the U.S — New Jersey and PA — have had cannabis legislation action in favor of legalizing marijuana.

“Colorado has been a success. The tax revenue it putting money into the schools, the healthcare system,” Greg Cox of Lancaster, Pensylvania told WNEP ABC 16. “If the budget is tight these days, why not make it legal to get the tax revenue?”

New Jersey’s Assembly and Senate committees voted in favor of companion bills that would legalize marijuana and provide for the expungement of prior cannabis convictions, Marijuana Moment reported.

The Assembly Appropriations Committee voted 6-1, with two abstentions, to advance the bill.

The Senate Judiciary Committee also approved its own version of the legalization legislation which resulted in a 6-4 vote, with one abstention.

Assembly and Senate committees also approved separate companion bills to amend requirements to qualify for medical cannabis in the state. Another piece of legislation was also passed by both committees that would change the procedure for expunging criminal records.

Now the bill goes off for one final vote on the NJ Senate floor where the full Senate and Assembly must approve the measure before NJ Gov. Phil Murphy (who is pro-legalization) can sign it, NJ.com reported.

“This legislation is critically important as we move toward legalization of adult-use cannabis in New Jersey,” Assembly member Jamel Holley (D), who sponsored the expungement bill, said in a press release. “Without this bill, many residents would continue to be affected by the criminalization of small amounts marijuana as a result of prior convictions long after the laws change.”

If passed, the law would allow adults 21 and older to possess, consume and purchase a certain amount of cannabis as restricted by the bill.

Going forward, a five-member commission would be formed and held responsible for studying the effects of legalization as well as assuring social equity in the marijuana industry. The regulatory commission would also be put in charge of approving licenses for the local cannabis industry including cultivators, processors, wholesalers and retailers.

Marijuana deliveries and social consumption sites would be approved; however, home cultivation would be prohibited if the law passes.

“Today’s votes are an important step toward legalizing adult-use marijuana in New Jersey. Although this bill is not perfect, we greatly appreciate the changes that the sponsors of the legislation have made based on the recommendations of advocates,” Roseanne Scotti, New Jersey state director for the Drug Policy Alliance, said in a press release. “While we are encouraged by the inclusion of provisions that our coalition has advocated for – such as expanded expungement – to better address fairness and equity, we are disappointed that there is no provision that allocates tax revenue generated by marijuana sales back to the communities most harmed by marijuana prohibition.”

Further, If the bill passes, it gives regulators about six months to set up the full rules and regulations on the industry. It then gives another six months for the commission to start allowing sales of marijuana throughout the state.

Lawmakers have also expressed there will be a $42 tax on each ounce of marijuana grown in the state. The tax would be imposed on the growers, not the buyers, but would be passed down to consumers in the form of how much each ounce would cost.

Municipalities would then be able to claim some of the revenue, according to the statement from lawmakers. Towns that have marijuana stores would be able to impose up to a 3 percent tax on all items sold, while towns that have growers could charge up to a 2 percent tax and towns with wholesalers could charge at least 1 percent of tax.

It’s worth noting that towns banning marijuana businesses would not get any tax revenue that is accumulated from the marijuana industry.

Meanwhile, in New Jersey’s neighboring state of Pennsylvania, lawmakers have proposed a marijuana recreational bill. Unlike NJ’s bill, it would allow people to grow up to six of their own plants, something that NJ opted to vote against.

However, similar New Jersey, it would also enable expunging or erasing marijuana-related convictions from citizens’ records.

Marijuana is now legal for medical purposes in 33 states and as a recreational drug in 10 out of the 50 states. Meanwhile, marijuana remains illegal federally; however, the 2018 Farm bill slightly legalized the other industry hemp when President Donald Trump signed what’s being deemed “the Farm Bill of 2018” into law right before Christmas of last year on December 20th, 2018.

The Farm Bill was introduced by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell who announced that he would propose the legislation alongside Senator Rand Paul to legalize hemp by removing it from the list of controlled substances, where cannabis sits alongside psilocybin mushrooms, MDMA, and heroin. The bill would also offer “full protection for individual farmers as well as the interstate commerce of U.S. grown and manufactured hemp products; normalize finance, banking, insurance, and other business proceedings for the hemp industry; advance research opportunities; ensure access to public water rights for hemp farmers; and protect the increasing and perhaps unlimited variety of hemp-derived products by promulgating a ‘whole plant’ definition of Hemp.”

It’s “an $867 billion, five-year spending bill that funds agricultural, nutrition and other federal programs — also loosened some federal restrictions on cannabis. It legalized hemp by removing it from the Controlled Substances Act while preserving the FDA’s authority to regulate the products,” CNBC reported.

The FDA currently prohibits companies from adding CBD and THC to food, drinks, and supplements. The agency also forbids manufacturers and retailers from making any therapeutic claims about their products. It also restrains the sale of food, supplements and other products containing CBD across state lines at its current state of laws.

However, recently resigned FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb even stated that the agency is looking for “pathways” to legalize the sale of CBD oil and other cannabis-derived compounds in food, beverages, and supplements.

Gottlieb also said that the FDA plans to maintain a website specifically dedicated to cannabis and CBD called “FDA and Marijuana: Questions and Answers.”

“We recognize the potential opportunities that cannabis or cannabis-derived compounds could offer and acknowledge the significant interest in these possibilities,” Gottlieb said in a statement. “We’re committed to pursuing an efficient regulatory framework for allowing product developers that meet the requirements under our authorities to lawfully market these types of products.”

Activist Post previously wrote that several restaurants are suddenly offering cannabidiol (CBD) infused snacks and drinks; however, according to several state regulators, selling them is illegal.

CBD oil is derived as a powerful ingredient reaped from the hemp plant. Many may find it shocking to learn that CBD is similar to a compound that our bodies produce naturally, and from birth, called endocannabinoids. Cannabinoids aren’t just found in the cannabis plant, they’re also naturally occurring in other plants in nature, they are just found at a higher potency in cannabis.

CBD and marijuana has shown promise as a treatment for conditions like epilepsy and anxiety in early research. Although more research is needed into CBD oil and marijuana and its effects, much of the studies have been positive. So much so that there are now colleges adding cannabis to their curriculum, teaching on both the hemp and cannabis industries as Activist Post reported last week.

Aaron Kesel writes for Activist Post. Support us at Patreon. Follow us on Minds, Steemit, SoMee, BitChute, Facebook and Twitter. Ready for solutions? Subscribe to our premium newsletter Counter Markets.

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Universities Across The U.S. Are Adding Cannabis To Their Curriculum

By Aaron Kesel

All across the U.S. colleges are now adding cannabis (both hemp and marijuana) programs to their curriculum, including schools in states where recreational marijuana remains illegal, for students to major in the cannabis industry, according to a new report by CBS 3.

“More jobs are being created in this space than in any other space in North America, with salaries sometimes more competitive than other industries,” Karson Humiston, founder of Vangst, an employment agency focused on cannabis jobs, recently told the Associated Press. “With every new state that legalizes, tons of jobs are opening up.”

Research shows there several career openings in the cannabis industry, varying from greenhouse and dispensary operators to edible product developers, marketing specialists, quality assurance lab directors, and even pharmaceutical researchers. Activist Post previously reported that a study found, “More Than Half Quit Using Prescription Drugs After Using Cannabis and CBD Products.”

There are an exceeding number of at least 850 brands of marijuana-derived CBD products on the market and 150 hemp-derived solutions according to the study. It’s worth noting for the reader that marijuana and hemp are the two variations of the cannabis plant.

Arcview Market Research, a firm that focuses on cannabis business, estimates the industry will be responsible for 467,000 jobs by 2022.

Colleges all over the U.S. are now offering a cannabis curriculum to students even in states where recreational marijuana remains illegal or pending legislation like New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut.

Other states offering degrees in the cannabis industry at numerous universities to students include North Dakota, Michigan, Colorado, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and California, to name a few.

Specifically, the universities that are following suit, according to the report:

  • Colorado State University offers a cannabis studies minor focusing on social, legal, political and health impacts.
  • Minot State University in North Dakota, offers students the ability to learn lab skills applicable to medical marijuana, botanical supplements and food science industries.
  • Ohio State University, Harvard, the University of Denver and Vanderbilt offer classes on marijuana policy and law.
  • The University of Connecticut is launching a cannabis horticulture program this spring.
  • Stockton University started an interdisciplinary cannabis minor last fall and recently forged an academic partnership with Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia that gives students the opportunity for internships and research work in medical marijuana and hemp.
  • UCLA’s Cannabis Research Initiative, which bills itself as one of the first academic programs in the world dedicated to the study of cannabis, has studies underway ranging from medical treatments to economic impacts.

In 2017, the University of Northern Michigan was the first college to offer a four-year undergraduate major degree in Medicinal Plant Chemistry program. One of its professors told CNBC how much money students could make out of school:

“All of our graduates are going to be qualified to be analysts in a lab setting,” Brandon Canfield, the associate professor of analytical chemistry who started the program, tells CNBC Make It. That could lead to a position that pays $70,000 right out of school, he added.

Cannabis businesses differ from medical and recreational marijuana to foods, fabrics and a myriad of other products derived from industrial hemp.

Hemp has only a trace of THC, but produces cannabidiol, or CBD, used in nutritional and therapeutic products as well as beverages and snacks that are increasingly being banned as Activist Post previously reported.

CBD oil is derived as a powerful ingredient reaped from the hemp plant. Many may find it shocking to learn that CBD is similar to a compound that our bodies produce naturally, and from birth, called endocannabinoids. Cannabinoids aren’t just found in the cannabis plant, they’re also naturally occurring in other plants in nature, they are just found at a higher potency in cannabis.

CBD has shown promise as a treatment for conditions like epilepsy and anxiety in early research. Although more research is needed into CBD oil and its effects, much of the studies have been positive.

Marijuana is now legal for medical purposes in 33 states and as a recreational drug in 10 out of the 50 states. Meanwhile, marijuana remains illegal federally; however, the 2018 Farm bill slightly legalized hemp when President Donald Trump signed what’s being deemed “the Farm Bill of 2018” into law right before Christmas of last year on December 20th, 2018.

The Farm Bill was introduced by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell who announced that he would propose the legislation alongside Senator Rand Paul to legalize hemp by removing it from the list of controlled substances, where cannabis sits alongside psilocybin mushrooms, MDMA, and heroin. The bill would also offer “full protection for individual farmers as well as the interstate commerce of U.S. grown and manufactured hemp products; normalize finance, banking, insurance, and other business proceedings for the hemp industry; advance research opportunities; ensure access to public water rights for hemp farmers; and protect the increasing and perhaps unlimited variety of hemp-derived products by promulgating a ‘whole plant’ definition of Hemp.”

It’s “an $867 billion, five-year spending bill that funds agricultural, nutrition and other federal programs — also loosened some federal restrictions on cannabis. It legalized hemp by removing it from the Controlled Substances Act while preserving the FDA’s authority to regulate the products,” CNBC reported.

The FDA currently prohibits companies from adding CBD and THC to food, drinks, and supplements. The agency also forbids manufacturers and retailers from making any therapeutic claims about their products. It also restrains the sale of food, supplements and other products containing CBD across state lines at its current state of laws.

However, recently resigned FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb even stated that the agency is looking for “pathways” to legalize the sale of CBD oil and other cannabis-derived compounds in food, beverages, and supplements.

Gottlieb also said that the FDA plans to maintain a website specifically dedicated to cannabis and CBD called “FDA and Marijuana: Questions and Answers.”

“We recognize the potential opportunities that cannabis or cannabis-derived compounds could offer and acknowledge the significant interest in these possibilities,” Gottlieb said in a statement. “We’re committed to pursuing an efficient regulatory framework for allowing product developers that meet the requirements under our authorities to lawfully market these types of products.”

Meanwhile, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) stressed that CBD is still illegal. Last year, a spokesperson for the agency explained to Indiana news WTHR that those who violate federal drug laws still run the “risk of arrest and prosecution.” Although, he reassured that the DEA is not going after individuals who have benefited from CBD oil.

“It would not be an appropriate use of federal resources to go after a mother because her child has epileptic seizures and has found something that can help and has helped. Are they breaking the law? Yes, they are. Are we going to break her door down? Absolutely not. And I don’t think she’ll be charged by any U.S. Attorney,” DEA spokesperson Rusty Payne told the Indiana news station.

With the Farm Bill of 2018 passed and signed by U.S. President Trump, the legislation effectively removes industrial hemp from Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act. While it federally legalizes the commercial cultivation of the crop, what wasn’t touched was CBD oil-based products.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved its very first cannabis-derived drug in June of last year, Epidiolex a (cannabidiol) [CBD] oral solution for the treatment of seizures associated with two rare and severe forms of epilepsy, according to the regulator’s website.

So now a new extension of the drug war seems to be brewing against products with CBD oil in them as an adjuvant, with the states fighting back against the FDA’s own opinion on CBD oil.

As the marijuana industry grows high time alongside the hemp and CBD industries, these colleges are preparing graduates for careers in cultivating, researching and analyzing both hemp and marijuana herbs. A report from New Frontier Data predicts that by 2020 the legal cannabis market will create more than a quarter of a million jobs and people will need to be trained for those businesses. This is a step in the right direction to enable future generations a career in medical marijuana, hemp or any of the other cannabis industries.

Aaron Kesel writes for Activist Post. Support us at Patreon. Follow us on Minds, Steemit, SoMee, BitChute, Facebook and Twitter. Ready for solutions? Subscribe to our premium newsletter Counter Markets.

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