What is Nanotechnology?

Small devices such as nanowire sensors that could detect cancer

Small devices such as nanowire sensors that could detect cancer.

In this diagram, nano sized sensing wires are laid down across a microfluidic channel. These nanowires by nature have incredible properties of selectivity and specificity. As particles flow through the microfluidic channel, the nanowire sensors pick up the molecular signatures of these particles and can immediately relay this information through a connection of electrodes to the outside world.

These nanodevices are man-made constructs made with carbon, silicon and other materials that have the capability to monitor the complexity of biological phenomenon and relay the information, as it is monitored, to the medical care provider.

They can detect the presence of altered genes associated with cancer and may help researchers pinpoint the exact location of those changes.

NCI Alliance for Nanotechnology in Cancer

Drug Labels will become Clearer for Pregnant and Breastfeeding Women

FDA issues final rule on changes to pregnancy and lactation labeling information for prescription drug and biological products

Content and Format of Labeling for Human Prescription Drug and Biological Products; Requirements for Pregnancy and Lactation Labeling

SUMMARY

fda logo
FDA agency official says labeling changes should help patients ‘make critical decisions’ about medicines

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is amending its regulations governing the content and format of the “Pregnancy,” “Labor and delivery,” and “Nursing mothers” subsections of the “Use in Specific Populations” section of the labeling for human prescription drug and biological products. The final rule requires the removal of the pregnancy categories A, B, C, D, and X from all human prescription drug and biological product labeling.

The detailed subsections must include a summary of the risks of using a drug during pregnancy and breastfeeding, a discussion of the data supporting the summary and relevant information to help health care providers make prescribing and counseling decisions.

  • The Pregnancy subsection will provide information relevant to the use of the drug in pregnant women, such as dosing and potential risks to the developing fetus, and will require information about whether there is a registry that collects and maintains data on how pregnant women are affected when they use the drug or biological product. Information in drug labeling about the existence of any pregnancy registries has been previously recommended but not required until now.
  • The Lactation subsection will provide information about using the drug while breastfeeding, such as the amount of drug in breast milk and potential effects on the breastfed child.
  • The Females and Males of Reproductive Potential subsection will include information about pregnancy testing, contraception and about infertility as it relates to the drug. This information has been included in labeling, but there was no consistent placement for it until now.

The “Pregnancy” and “Lactation” subsections will also include three subheadings: “risk summary,” “clinical considerations” and “data.”  These subheadings will provide more detailed information regarding, for example, human and animal data on the use of the drug, and specific adverse reactions of concern for pregnant or breastfeeding women.

Sources and more information
  • FDA issues final rule on changes to pregnancy and lactation labeling information for prescription drug and biological products, FDA News Release, December 3, 2014.
  • Content and Format of Labeling for Human Prescription Drug and Biological Products; Requirements for Pregnancy and Lactation Labeling, federalregister.gov, December 04, 2014.

Endocrine disruptors alter thyroid levels in pregnancy, may affect fetal brain development

Strongest evidence to date that EDCs can travel across the placenta, affecting the fetus

image of Thomas Zoeller
Thomas Zoeller and colleagues’ study provides the strongest evidence to date that endocrine-disrupting chemicals can travel across the placenta and affect a fetus.

A new study led by biologist R. Thomas Zoeller of the University of Massachusetts Amherst provides “the strongest evidence to date” that endocrine disrupting chemicals such as polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB) found in flame retardant cloth, paint, adhesives and electrical transformers, can interfere with thyroid hormone action in pregnant women and may travel across the placenta to affect the fetus.

In this prospective birth cohort study, researchers looked at the effects of low-dose chemical exposure in 164 pregnant women. Tissue from their placentas, the uterine structure that provides oxygen and nutrients to the fetus, was analyzed for a specific enzyme, CYP1A1, which changes endocrine-disrupting chemicals into a form that can interfere directly with the body’s thyroid hormone receptors.

Abstract

Context
Thyroid hormone (TH) is essential for normal development; therefore, disruption of TH action by a number of industrial chemicals is critical to identify. Several chemicals including polychlorinated biphenyls are metabolized by the dioxin-inducible enzyme CYP1A1; some of their metabolites can interact with the TH receptor. In animals, this mechanism is reflected by a strong correlation between the expression of CYP1A1 mRNA and TH-regulated mRNAs. If this mechanism occurs in humans, we expect that CYP1A1 expression will be positively correlated with the expression of genes regulated by TH.

Objective
The objective of the study was to test the hypothesis that CYP1A1 mRNA expression is correlated with TH-regulated mRNAs in human placenta.

Methods
One hundred sixty-four placental samples from pregnancies with no thyroid disease were obtained from the GESTE study (Sherbrooke, Québec, Canada). Maternal and cord blood TH levels were measured at birth. The mRNA levels of CYP1A1 and placental TH receptor targets [placental lactogen (PL) and GH-V] were quantitated by quantitative PCR.

Results
CYP1A1 mRNA abundance varied 5-fold across 132 placental samples that had detectable CYP1A1 mRNA. CYP1A1 mRNA was positively correlated with PL (r = 0.64; P < .0001) and GH-V (P < .0001, r = 0.62) mRNA. PL and GH-V mRNA were correlated with each other (r = 0.95; P < .0001), suggesting a common activator. The mRNAs not regulated by TH were not correlated with CYP1A1 expression.

Conclusions
CYP1A1 mRNA expression is strongly associated with the expression of TH-regulated target gene mRNAs in human placenta, consistent with the endocrine-disrupting action of metabolites produced by CYP1A1.

Sources and more information
  • Endocrine disruptors alter thyroid levels in pregnancy, may affect fetal brain development, eurekalert, 4-Dec-2014.
  • Endocrine Disruption in Human Placenta: Expression of the Dioxin-Inducible Enzyme, Cyp1a1, Is Correlated With That of Thyroid Hormone-Regulated Genes, Endocrine Society, October 09, 2014.

How poultry firms systematically feed antibiotics to flocks

Pervasive use fuels concerns about impact on human health, emergence of resistant superbugs

Chicken factory farmer speaks out
Pervasive use fuels concerns about impact on human health, emergence of resistant superbugs

Major U.S. poultry firms are administering antibiotics to their flocks far more pervasively than regulators realize, posing a potential risk to human health.

Internal records examined by Reuters reveal that some of the nation’s largest poultry producers routinely feed chickens an array of antibiotics – not just when sickness strikes, but as a standard practice over most of the birds’ lives.

In every instance of antibiotic use identified by Reuters, the doses were at the low levels that scientists say are especially conducive to the growth of so-called superbugs, bacteria that gain resistance to conventional medicines used to treat people. Some of the antibiotics belong to categories considered medically important to humans. ”

continue reading Reuters Investigation Farmaceuticals, The drugs fed to farm animals and the risks posed to humans, includes:

  • Pervasive use fuels concerns about impact on human health, emergence of resistant superbugs
  • FDA has reviewed just 7 percent of animal antibiotics for superbug risk
  • Problems at Foster Farms plants emerged amid salmonella outbreak, documents show
More press releases
  • Abusing Chickens We Eat,
    nytimes, Nicholas D. Kristof, DEC. 3, 2014
  • Watch What It’s Like to Be a Factory-Farmed Chicken,
    motherjones, Dec. 4, 2014.
  • Perdue Whistleblower Video Reveals Horrors,
    opednews, Martha Rosenberg, Dec. 4, 2014.
  • Hoping to Change the Industry, a Factory Farmer Opens His Barn Doors, wired, Dec. 4, 2014.
  • Better Chicken Initiative, CWIF.

Can Brain Scans diagnose Autism accurately?

Brain activity analysis in response to social words such as “hug”

Right now, diagnosing disorders like autism relies heavily on interviews and behavioral observations. But scientists from Pittsburgh’s Carnegie Mellon University have shown that a much more objective measure – reading a person’s thoughts through an fMRI brain scan – might be able to diagnose autism with close to perfect accuracy…

Abstract

Brain scan activity image
The researchers could distinguish “autism” from “not autism” (control) in 33 of 34 study participants, by using computerized analysis of brain scans showing activity in response to social words such as “hug.”

Autism is a psychiatric / neurological condition in which alterations in social interaction (among other symptoms) are diagnosed by behavioral psychiatric methods. The main goal of this study was to determine how the neural representations and meanings of social concepts (such as to insult) are altered in autism. A second goal was to determine whether these alterations can serve as neurocognitive markers of autism. The approach is based on previous advances in fMRI analysis methods that permit (a) the identification of a concept, such as the thought of a physical object, from its fMRI pattern, and (b) the ability to assess the semantic content of a concept from its fMRI pattern. These factor analysis and machine learning methods were applied to the fMRI activation patterns of 17 adults with high-functioning autism and matched controls, scanned while thinking about 16 social interactions. One prominent neural representation factor that emerged (manifested mainly in posterior midline regions) was related to self-representation, but this factor was present only for the control participants, and was near-absent in the autism group. Moreover, machine learning algorithms classified individuals as autistic or control with 97% accuracy from their fMRI neurocognitive markers. The findings suggest that psychiatric alterations of thought can begin to be biologically understood by assessing the form and content of the altered thought’s underlying brain activation patterns.

Sources and more information
  • Identifying Autism from Neural Representations of Social Interactions: Neurocognitive Markers of Autism,
    PLOS one, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0113879, December 2, 2014.
  • Can a Brain Scan Diagnose Autism?
    autismspeaks, December 03, 2014.
  • How Brain Scans Can Diagnose Autism With 97% Accuracy,
    Time, Dec. 2, 2014.
  • Researchers: Brain activity can help predict autism,
    mcall, Dec. 2, 2014.

The Cost of Inaction with EDCs on Male Reproductive Health: Billions Euros/Year

EU countries would save huge amounts every year if the use of endocrine disruptors was reduced

A new report, from the Nordic Council of Ministers, focuses on the costs of endocrine disruptor chemicals on health and the ability to work but warns that they “only represent a fraction of the endocrine-related diseases” and does not consider damage to wildlife.

Abstract

The Cost of Inaction report image
@nordenen report shows that the EU countries would save huge amounts every year if the use of endocrine disruptors was reduced. The Nordic environment ministers together demand EU action.

Exposure to endocrine disruptors (EDs) is suspected to lead to a number of negative effects on human health and for wildlife. In this report the costs for effects on male reproductive health (testicular cancer, hypospadias, cryptorchidism and infertility) are estimated. The model used is built on incidence of disease in the five Nordic countries (Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden) and cost per case based on cost per patient data from Sweden. Extrapolation to EU28 is made based on population size. Assuming that EDs constitute 2, 20 or 40% the total costs for the selected health effects are 3.6, 36.1 or 72.3 million Euros/year of exposure in the Nordic countries, this corresponds to 59, 592 and 1,184 million Euros/year at EU-level. As these costs only represent a fraction of the endocrine related diseases there are good reasons to continue the work to minimize exposure to EDs.

Sources and more information
  • The Cost of Inaction : A Socioeconomic analysis of costs linked to effects of endocrine disrupting substances on male reproductive health, urn:nbn:se:norden:org:diva-3517, 2014-11-24.
    Full text PDF.
  • Endocrine disruptors cost the EU billions every year,
    norden news, Nov 18, 2014.
  • Toiletry chemicals linked to testicular cancer and male infertility cost EU millions, report says, the guardian, 2 December 2014.

Résultats de l’étude Réseau DES France 2014

L’essentiel, informations primordiales

image Resultats-Etude-DES-3-Generations
L’essentiel, les résultats, et les revues de presse début décembre 2014.

L’essentiel, les résultats de l’étude Distilbène 3 générations, et les revues de presse début décembre 2014

  • Augmentation du risque de cancer du sein pour les mères – 1ère génération.
  • Le risque de cancer du sein apparaît multiplié par deux pour les filles DES – 2ème génération.
  • Augmentation d’enfants infirmes moteurs cérébraux (IMC) – 3ème génération.
  • Sources: Résultats de l’étude Distilbène 3 générations, Réseau DES France.

Les résultats publiés

Les revues de presse depuis hier
  • Distilbène : des effets délétères sur trois générations ou plus…, lepoint.
  • Les “petites-filles du Distilbène” épargnées par des anomalies lourdes, lepoint.
  • Les “filles Distilbène” ont deux fois plus de risque d’avoir un cancer du sein, lexpress.
  • Deux soeurs “Distilbène”, deux cancers du sein avant 40 ans: “Ce n’est pas un hasard”, lexpress.
  • Les “filles du Distilbène” oscillent entre angoisse et soulagement, europe1.
  • « Filles du Distilbène » : le risque de cancer du sein doublé, lefigaro.
  • Distilbène: deux fois plus de risques de cancer du sein chez les filles de patientes traitées, francesoir.
  • Distilbène : des conséquences sur trois générations, allodocteurs.
  • Distilbène : trois générations touchées, mutualite.
  • Distilbène, la 3e génération est également touchée, la-croix.
  • Distilbène : un risque doublé de cancer du sein, LeMonde.
  • Distilbène : un risque doublé de cancer du sein, ledauphine.
  • Distilbène : une étude confirme les ravages sur trois générations, santemagazine.
  • DEUX FOIS PLUS DE CANCERS DU SEIN CHEZ LES FILLES DISTILBÈNE, e-sante.
  • Distilbène : la troisième génération moins exposée aux anomalies, franceinfo.
  • Davantage de cancers du sein chez les filles du Distilbène, viva.
  • L’effet du Distilbène se fait toujours sentir, journaldelenvironnement.
  • DISTILBÈNE: Double risque de cancer du sein pour les filles exposées in utero, santelog.
  • Les filles du Distilbène ont un risque doublé de cancer du sein, lequotidiendumedecin.
  • Distilbène : le risque de cancer du sein est multiplié par 2 chez « les filles D.E.S », parents.
  • Distilbène : risque de cancer, bienpublic.
  • « Filles Distilbène » : un risque doublé de cancer du sein, bienpublic.
Le Distilbène DES, en savoir plus

To all DES People out there, this Song is for you ; from a DES GrandSon

“… To all DES Sons and all DES Daughters, we have all been sold out and led to the slaughter… “

by J. Soul – DES
published on 1 Dec 2014 by Josh Redmon

Lyrics ; Bobbie’s life story

I was told never give up
I was told never give up

Without any reason
rhythm or rhyme
the course of my life
is almost out of time.
If I had known then
just what I know now
I’d get out of this body
get a new one somehow.
How can they live
knowing what they have done
to DES Daughters
and DES Sons
So on, and on
and on it will go
Will it ever stop
No, I don’t think so.

You did horrible things
to my daughters and sons
Is the money well worth
the damage that you’ve done?
I didn’t know
I passed on something that bad
to the five greatest gifts
that I ever had.
The difference in drug lords
and some doctors I say
is one has a license
and can do things their way.
You tried to help
but that’s just not true
I heard you put DES
in prenatal vitamins, too.

I was told never give up
I was told never give up

So what we have here
is a guinea pig session
What will this cause
for us, a hard lesson
Think the next time
you’re out playing golf
cruising in your beemer
or riding on your horse
All of your money
and ill-gotten gain
Came at a great price
DES is the name.
To all of you scholars
Please hear my tone!!!
Let me get my sicknesses
all on my own
To all DES Sons
and all DES Daughters
We have all been sold out
and led to the slaughter

I was told never give up
I was told never give up

More DES DiEthylStilbestrol Resources

About Female Sexual Dysfunction and (new) sex drugs for women

Pink Viagra or Pink Elephant?

Orgasm Inc drug image
To date, clinical trials for FSD drugs have shown no evidence of efficacy, and their high placebo rates indicate that anticipation effects alone may be as effective as any pill.
  • “My personal drug-therapy breakthrough for sexual dysfunction turned out to be stopping a drug, not starting one.”
  • “For this young Turkish woman, now a graduate student at Yale, books rather than pills were the key to overcoming her sexual difficulties.”
  • “Transforming everyday problems of life into medical problems with pharmaceutical treatments also transforms the people who experience those problems.”
  • DES Daughters are living proof that good intentions and poor research lead to disaster, potentially for generations to come.”

Read: Pink Viagra or Pink Elephant?, Rxisk, December 1, 2014.
Related: Evening the score on sex drugs: feminist movement or marketing masquerade? Rxisk bmj.g6246.full_.pdf.

BPA free: estrogenic chemicals often leach from BPA-free plastic products

BPA-free does not mean estrogenic activity free…

Abstract

coffeecup EC image
Many BPA-free PC- replacement products still leached chemicals having significant levels of estrogenic activity, as did BPA-containing PC counterparts they were meant to replace. That is, BPA-free did not mean EA-free…

BACKGROUND:
Xenobiotic chemicals with estrogenic activity (EA), such as bisphenol A (BPA), have been reported to have potential adverse health effects in mammals, including humans, especially in fetal and infant stages. Concerns about safety have caused many manufacturers to use alternatives to polycarbonate (PC) resins to make hard and clear, reusable, plastic products that do not leach BPA. However, no study has focused on whether such BPA-free PC-replacement products, chosen for their perceived higher safety, especially for babies, also release other chemicals that have EA.

METHODS:
We used two, well-established, mammalian cell-based, assays (MCF-7 and BG1Luc) to assess the EA of chemicals that leached into over 1000 saline or ethanol extracts of 50 unstressed or stressed (autoclaving, microwaving, and UV radiation) BPA-free PC-replacement products. An EA antagonist, ICI 182,780, was used to confirm that agonist activity in leachates was due to chemicals that activated the mammalian estrogen receptor.

RESULTS:
Many unstressed and stressed, PC-replacement-products made from acrylic, polystyrene, polyethersulfone, and Tritan™ resins leached chemicals with EA, including products made for use by babies. Exposure to various forms of UV radiation often increased the leaching of chemicals with EA. In contrast, some BPA-free PC-replacement products made from glycol-modified polyethylene terephthalate or cyclic olefin polymer or co-polymer resins did not release chemicals with detectable EA under any conditions tested.

CONCLUSIONS:
This hazard assessment survey showed that many BPA-free PC- replacement products still leached chemicals having significant levels of estrogenic activity, as did BPA-containing PC counterparts they were meant to replace. That is, BPA-free did not mean EA-free. However, this study also showed that some PC-replacement products did not leach chemicals having significant levels of EA. That is, EA-free PC-replacement products could be made in commercial quantities at prices that compete with PC-replacement products that were not BPA-free. Since plastic products often have advantages (price, weight, shatter-resistance, etc.) compared to other materials such as steel or glass, it is not necessary to forgo those advantages to avoid release into foodstuffs or the environment of chemicals having EA that may have potential adverse effects on our health or the health of future generations.

Sources and more information
  • Estrogenic chemicals often leach from BPA-free plastic products that are replacements for BPA-containing polycarbonate products, NCBI, PMID: 24886603, 2014 May 28;13(1):41. doi: 10.1186/1476-069X-13-41.
  • Full study NCBI, PMC4063249, Environ Health. 2014; 13: 41.
Mother Jones BPA-free posts