In STEM CELLS IN THE NEWS on October 8, 2015 at 12:40 pm
Don’t get me wrong. I love science. I am fascinated, jazzed and awed by what we can do with modern technology. It’s just that, every now and then, I feel like someone is really missing the boat and creating a very complicated solution for a simple problem.
There’s a great story about how NASA spent millions to develop a pen which could write in zero gravity.  The punchline? The Russians just used a pencil.  Ironically, the Zero G Space Pen story isn’t true.  Lead pencils were used on all US Mercury and Gemini space flights and all Russian space flights prior to 1968.  In December 1967 Paul C. Fisher sold 400 zero G writing and NASA tested and approved Fisher Space Pens to NASA for $2.95 each.  He developed the Fisher Space Pen privately with his own money.  But is there something to learn here?  Are we missing the forest for the trees?  The pencil for the pen?  Are we overthinking and under working problems and coming up with solutions which are way more complicated than necessary?
A TV show had this exchange:
JOEY:  “The Federal Government shouldn’t be directing scientific research.”
SAM:  “Why?”
JOEY:  “Because you stink at it. ‘If it was up to the NIH to cure polio through a centrally directed program. . . You’d have the best iron lung in the world but not a polio vaccine.'”
SAM:  “When did you get an M.D.?”
JOEY:  “I was just quoting Samuel Broder. . . . The former director of the National Cancer Institute.”
Sometimes we need to take a step back and view the problem, the whole problem, in a different way than we have been trained to, been conditioned to and been told to.
Imagine you needed a hammer.  So you went to a glass manufacturer to design and fabricate an awesome hammer. Why a glass manufacturer?
Maybe that’s all you know.
Maybe someone else told you you had to use them.
Maybe your were born in Plato’s cave and all you saw in front of you were glass manufacturers.

In any case, that’s where you went. So, after 8 years of research and $250 million you had the end all be all, most incredible, awesome-est unbreakable, high strength glass hammer in the world. Cool huh? What we can do is astounding… but at some point, shouldn’t we ask ourselves whether we are over complicating the problem?  Couldn’t you have gotten a regular hammer from the hardware store for $12.92.  Or used a rock.  Or the heel of your shoe.  And saved 8 years and a quarter million dollars.

There is an article called “Small Non-Coding RNAs Can Cross The Placenta, Scientists Say” based on the Nanjing University study “Li et al. (2015) Small Non-coding RNAs Transfer Through Mammalian Placenta And Directly Regulate Fetal Gene Expression”  In it, researchers claim that small exogenous RNAs from plants eaten by a mother can cross the placenta and affect fetal development.  Further,
“Exogenous small RNAs in food not only affect pregnant female, but influence fetus development as well. The dietary patterns of the mother will influence the fetus or even determine the postnatal health status. Dietary bias or other unhealthy dietary habits would also affect the fetus health by disrupting the balance of transplacental miRNAs or even cause a fetus—origin adult disease. This finding also reveals the possibility that maternal small-noncoding RNAs participate in fetal epigenetic regulation during pregnancy. Thus, the pathological status of the mother will result in an abnormal endogenous miRNA profile per se, which will also influence fetal health.”
Fascinating.  What Mom eats can change the gene expression in the fetus, possibly even causing ‘origin adult disease.’
So what’s my issue?
Professor Hu Yali, from the department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Nanjing Drum Tower Hospital says:
“This finding also proposes a brand new potential strategy to treat fetal diseases in utero. Given that artificial synthetic siRNAs can transfer through placenta, we can try to use gene therapy to treat fetal disease by maternal administration,” Hu said.
…or since small exogenous RNAs from plants eaten by a mother can cross the placenta and affect fetal development
…we could
…you know
…have pregnant moms eat more salads.


In ALL ARTICLES on September 16, 2015 at 6:39 pm

In the last article we discovered that we don’t know everything there is to know about the human body.  Far from it.

“In contradiction to decades of medical education, a direct connection has been reported between the brain and the immune system….It seems astonishing that, after centuries of dissection, a system of lymphatic vessels could have survived undetected.” via https://repairstemcell.wordpress.com/2015/09/16/system-connecting-brain-to-immune-system-found/

So what about processed foods?  Could the foods you are eating be a contributing factor to immune diseases like Multiple Sclerosis?

A study [Sodium chloride drives autoimmune disease by the induction of pathogenic TH17 cells ] showing that “mice fed with a high-salt diet develop a more severe form of (experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis) EAE, in line with augmented central nervous system infiltrating and peripherally induced antigen-specific TH17 cells.”  In other words, “…increased dietary salt intake might represent an environmental risk factor for the development of autoimmune diseases through the induction of pathogenic TH17 cells.”  via 

In the latest study, scientists discovered that exposing these cells in a lab to a table salt solution made them act more ‘aggressively.’  They found that mice fed a diet high in refined salts saw a dramatic increase in the number of Th17 cells in their nervous systems that promoted inflammation.  They were also more likely to develop a severe form of a disease associated with multiple sclerosis in humans.  The scientists then conducted a closer examination of these effects at a molecular level.  Laboratory tests revealed that salt exposure increased the levels of cytokines released by Th17 cells 10 times more than usual. Cytokines are proteins used to pass messages between cells.  via 

More and more we realize that all the systems of the body are connected and everything we eat and do and don’t eat and don’t do has an affect.

Bare this in mind the next time you decide to “treat yourself” with some junk food.


In ALL ARTICLES on September 16, 2015 at 11:47 am
“In contradiction to decades of medical education, a direct connection has been reported between the brain and the immune system….It seems astonishing that, after centuries of dissection, a system of lymphatic vessels could have survived undetected.”

EVERY time I have a conversation with someone who is 100% sure, I laugh inside and remember that everything we know for sure will be disproved within our lifetimes.
Medical science was 100% sure:
the heart doesn’t regenerate…wrong
the brain and central nervous system doesn’t regenerate…wrong
all of the ligaments have been found…wrong
butter is healthier, margarine is healthier, butter, margarine…wrong
stem cells don’t work…wrong
cholesterol is bad…wrong
and on and on and on and now…
This changes everything.

“It changes entirely the way we perceive the neuro-immune interaction,” says Kipnis. “We always perceived it before as something esoteric that can’t be studied. But now we can ask mechanistic questions.”

MS is known to be an example of the immune system attacking the brain, although the reasons are poorly understood. The opportunity to study lymphatic vessels that link the brain to the immune system could transform our understanding of how these attacks occur, and what could stop them. The causes of Alzheimer’s disease are even more controversial, but may also have immune system origins, and the authors suggest protein accumulation is a result of the vessels failing to do their job.

Indeed, Kipnis claims, “We believe that for every neurological disease that has an immune component to it, these vessels may play a major role.”

This changes everything.

Every single study dealing with brain and immune and GI systems must be revisited and re-evaluated.

For example, it begs the question…With so many people saying Autism is a neurological malfunction and so many people saying Autism is immune system caused and so many saying it is nutritional and heavy metal toxin caused…if these systems are all interconnected, perhaps they are all right.  Is it time to reconsider the cause (causes!) of Autism?


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