Africa Doesn’t Need Genetically Modified Mosquitoes

Some scientists have proposed genetically modified (GM) mosquitoes as a solution to controlling malaria, a scourge that has been around for centuries and is spread by mosquitoes.

I am skeptical that this is the answer.

Through CRISPR technology, a gene that prevents procreation is inserted in the lab and is passed on to mosquitoes in the wild. In essence, it rapidly transmits a sterilizing mutation through other members of the mosquito’s species, eventually wiping out the insects.

Creating GM mosquitoes is a contentious topic. Supporters of the technology consider it a huge step forward in the war against mosquitoes and by extension, vector-borne diseases like malaria, dengue, yellow fever, and Zika. Critics of the idea, however, say it is dangerous to manipulate the DNA of any animal, and that experimentation could bring disastrous consequences that are yet unknown.

Africans should be included in these discussions. They should be allowed to have a say concerning a technology that could affect them and generations yet unborn if something should go wrong. Africans should have been consulted before the mosquitoes were created in the first place.

Read the full article at Scientific American

Can A Diet Rich In Fish Help Fight Childhood Asthma?

New research from La Trobe University in Australia suggests a diet rich in fish may help reduce asthma symptoms in children, a disease affecting one in 12 kids in the United States, according to the Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

For the study, scientists conducted a trial involving 64 children from Athens, Greece, all of whom had mild asthma. The children, aged 5 to 12 years, were divided into two groups: the Greek Mediterranean diet group and the group that followed their healthy diet. Those in the Greek Mediterranean group ate two meals of cooked fatty fish (at least 150 grams) every week for six months.

Researchers found that at the end of the trial, the Mediterranean diet group experienced a significant reduction in bronchial inflammation.

According to the CDC, approximately 16 million American children have asthma, which can cause wheezing, difficulty breathing and coughing. If left untreated, asthma can cause permanent lung damage over time.

While yearly asthma hospitalizations have declined since 2003, experts warn that climate change may make matters worse.

“Climate change is a huge threat to respiratory health by directly causing or aggravating pre-existing respiratory diseases and increasing exposure to risk factors for respiratory diseases,” the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America wrote on its website.

Continue Reading at AJC

How to Treat and Prevent Cold Sores on Your Lips

If you’ve ever looked in the mirror and saw a pimple-looking dot on your mouth that hurts a lot, you’re not alone — but it’s not always something as simple as a blemish. The inflamed bump may be a cold sore, which is super familiar. (Right now, about 50 to 80 percent of Americans have been exposed to the virus.) And because there is currently no cure for the herpes simplex virus (HSV-1), once you are infected the virus remains in your system for life, says Sonia Batra, a board-certified dermatologist and co-host of the show The Doctors. We tapped the experts to find out how to soothe, treat, and prevent cold sore flare-ups.

How to Spot Them

Cold sores might get confused with pimples, ingrown hairs, and canker sores, but they’re easy to spot once you realize what the symptoms are and how they differ. A cold sore will often appear outside the mouth on the skin of the lip, rather than inside (like a canker sore), and it’ll resemble a small cluster of white blisters, rather than a singular dot, says Batra. And pimples tend to have a central white plug whereas cold sores do not, Agrawal adds.

How to Treat Them

Realize that cold sores are contagious until they are entirely gone. “It is thought that cold sores are less contagious once they scab over, but you are still contagious until they go away completely, which typically takes about two weeks,” says Batra.

How to Prevent Them

Cold sores tend to recur when the immune system is relatively weak, like when you have a terrible cold. “To reduce their frequency, support the immune system with healthy habits including adequate sleep, exercise, and stress minimization,” says Batra.

Allure

How To Manage Menopause Wth A Plant-Based Diet

“If you’re a healthy adult woman, by the time you’re in your 40s or 50s, you’ve already spent decades learning how to tackle the ups and downs of your menstruation cycle, mastering the fine art of period management.

The bad news is once menopause hits and your fertility game totally changes, you may have to start learning about your body and food-related needs all over again.

Dr Jillian Forer, GP at Bondi Road Women’s Health Centre, tells SBS that the year leading up to your last period (also known as ‘perimenopause’) can be fraught with physical and often confusing changes.

Dr Forer, who has specialised in the area of women’s health for over 30 years, explains that during menopause, the female body slowly produces less oestrogen. This is just one reason why many women will experience menopausal symptoms.

She advises females going ‘through the change’ to eat a plant-based diet or – as a minimum – increase their consumption of plant-based foods. This is because phytoestrogens – naturally occurring plant oestrogens – produce a similar chemical structure to our own body’s oestrogen, and are able to bind to the same receptors as our body’s own oestrogen does.

“Plant-based diets will usually feature a lot of phytoestrogen,” she says. “Traditional Asian-style diets – those that may be eaten in China, Singapore and Japan – are predominately plant-based diets that include a lot of tofu and soy.

Read the full article at SBS

It May Be Carcinogenic, But Thank Goodness It’s Non-GMO

“Perhaps nowhere is that more apropos than the ongoing stampede of marketers to proclaim their products as non-GMO. We now have GMO-free salt, water, and literally thousands of products from foods to household cleaners, none of which contain ingredients derived from GMO crops. But scare sells.

A recent publicity barrage by Smirnoff, includes a slickly produced (and expensive, given the talent costs) TV commercial featuring actors Ted Danson, he of the in-forever-reruns “Cheers” series in which he played the jovial, but somewhat out to lunch bartender, and actress-author Jenna Fischer. They proudly announce that Smirnoff No. 21 Vodka is now made with non-GMO corn.

A press release notes that the commercial uses two “American treasures” to get the word out about No. 21’s new GMO-free status, pointing out, too, that it “has always been gluten-free” (whoop-de-do), and that because there will be no price increase “everyone can enjoy a quality vodka without having to break the bank.”

Continue Reading at Delta FarmPress

Natural Remedies To Help People With Thyroid Disease

HOUSTON – Women are more at risk than men, with one in eight women developing thyroid problems in her lifetime, especially after pregnancy and menopause. If you notice symptoms like fatigue, weight gain, constipation or depression, seek treatment from your doctor, but you can also bring treatment into your home with how you live.

It’s only a few centimeters long, but the thyroid plays a significant role.

An estimated 27 million Americans, half undiagnosed, suffer from thyroid disease. Natural remedies are not a cure, but they can lower stress, prevent disease, and make you feel better. A healthy diet, focusing on citrus fruits, leafy greens, coconut oil, ginger, and whole grains like quinoa and buckwheat can offer antioxidants and vitamin B12. Studies show that apple cider vinegar boosts metabolism and weight loss; a significant issue with hypothyroidism.

Women’s Health Network states that your stress response can directly influence thyroid function because the stress hormone cortisol can inhibit high thyroid stimulating hormones. Getting adequate sleep, meditating, practicing breathing exercises, and taking time to relax can counter unnecessary stress.

Click 2 Houston

Natural Remedies To Cure Sore Throat

A sore throat, causing pain and irritation, can be quite uncomfortable, especially when you swallow. It is essentially body’s immune response to viral or bacterial infections, and is caused due to inflammation and swelling of the mucous membranes in the throat.

However, certain natural remedies can help you deal with sore throat.

Here are top 3 of them.

1. Salt water gargles can help get rid of sore throat
A time-tested treatment to get relief from sore throat is to regularly gargle with salt water.

2. Because honey is more than just sweet taste
Honey is often used, with other ingredients, to get rid of a sore throat. It is particularly effective in helping fight infection, and providing relief from pain.

3. Ginger’s antibacterial and anti-inflammatory effects to the rescue
Ginger, a common Indian spice, packed with antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties can help reduce pain and irritation from sore throat.

Read the full article at NewsBytes

Stress in America and Possible Botanical Solutions

It’s no secret that Americans are stressed. Recently, the American Psychology Association (APA) found Americans are stressed more than ever before.1 While the source of this stress may vary between different populations, stress in America is on the rise.

Environmental stress, no matter the source, often sparks the same chain of neurological and hormonal responses in the body. As these processes continue, lasting negative effects can manifest as various chronic diseases, such as obesity and coronary heart disease (CHD) and psychological disturbances, including insomnia and increased anxiety. Consequently, many individuals have started to look to various forms of lifestyle changes to help reduce daily stress and the many lasting negative results that accompany it. Notably, APA reported 53 percent of Americans are turning to exercise, with yoga and meditation seeing a 3 percent jump in participation from last year alone.

Despite the negative overtones between diet and stress management, botanical-based supplements are also seen as a common way to cope with stress. A 2015 meta-analysis suggested a wide variance of reported use (2.3 to 22 percent) among members of western societies, depending on nation and cohort characteristics.5 Nonetheless, herbal remedies are acknowledged as possible aids in maintaining healthy cognitive functions.

Valerian root (Valeriana Officinalis), a flowering plant that is native to Europe and Asia, has shown some promise throughout literature. Supplementation with valerian root has been shown to help reduce psychological markers of stress in those suffering from generalized anxiety disorder and in healthy individuals. Similar results have also been reported accompanied by decreases in physiological markers of stress, such as blood pressure. It has been suggested these results are due to valerian root’s interaction with neurotransmitters such as gamma-aminobutyric (GABA) by influencing production10 and inhibiting breakdown.

Read more at Natural Products Insider

Stress in America and Possible Botanical Solutions

It’s no secret that Americans are stressed. Recently, the American Psychology Association (APA) found Americans are stressed more than ever before.1 While the source of this stress may vary between different populations, stress in America is on the rise.

Environmental stress, no matter the source, often sparks the same chain of neurological and hormonal responses in the body. As these processes continue, lasting negative effects can manifest as various chronic diseases, such as obesity and coronary heart disease (CHD) and psychological disturbances, including insomnia and increased anxiety. Consequently, many individuals have started to look to various forms of lifestyle changes to help reduce daily stress and the many lasting negative results that accompany it. Notably, APA reported 53 percent of Americans are turning to exercise, with yoga and meditation seeing a 3 percent jump in participation from last year alone.

Despite the negative overtones between diet and stress management, botanical-based supplements are also seen as a common way to cope with stress. A 2015 meta-analysis suggested a wide variance of reported use (2.3 to 22 percent) among members of western societies, depending on nation and cohort characteristics.5 Nonetheless, herbal remedies are acknowledged as possible aids in maintaining healthy cognitive functions.

Valerian root (Valeriana Officinalis), a flowering plant that is native to Europe and Asia, has shown some promise throughout literature. Supplementation with valerian root has been shown to help reduce psychological markers of stress in those suffering from generalized anxiety disorder and in healthy individuals. Similar results have also been reported accompanied by decreases in physiological markers of stress, such as blood pressure. It has been suggested these results are due to valerian root’s interaction with neurotransmitters such as gamma-aminobutyric (GABA) by influencing production10 and inhibiting breakdown.

Read more at Natural Products Inside

Can Diet Prevent Breast Cancer From Spreading?

Healthy diets that include plenty of antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables that can boost the body’ s natural immune system can help people in their fight against cancer.

While some foods, namely unhealthy, high-fat/high-caloric foods, are best avoided, women who have been diagnosed with breast cancer who want to prevent the spread of cancer to other areas of their bodies may want to cut some surprising foods from their diets.

A study published in the journal Nature found that reducing asparagine consumption in laboratory mice with triple-negative breast cancer could dramatically reduce the ability of cancer to travel to distant sites in the body.

Asparagine is found in foods like asparagus, whole grains, soy, seafood, eggs, poultry, beef, legumes, and more. While reducing asparagine will not affect the original breast cancer tumor, it could stop cancer from showing up elsewhere in the body.

Continue Reading at Daily News