Big Pharma, Holistic Doctor Death Trail, Poison in Baby Formula & Vaccines

Michael Weiss shares with Leak Project’s Douglas Dietrich the most recent information he has about the Trail of Strange Deaths behind Holistic Doctors and what they discovered before they died.

Become a Leak Project Member @ for the latest podcasts and exclusive content. Also subscribe to… for a plethora of data always free & cutting edge. Also has moved to a much faster server and podcasts are available ad free via streaming or download, Also check out Deals and Discounts only available to Leak Project listeners. Be the change you want to see!


Award Winning Reporter Jon Rappoport Talks About RFK Jr. Commission to Study Vaccines (VIDEO)

Jon Rappoport – Hour 1 – Vaccine Wars, Disneyland Measles �Outbreak� & The Synthetic Population

Note: Here’s another outstanding investigative report by Jon Rappoport from Henrik Palmgren and Red Ice Radio, on the fascist agenda unfolding behind the “Vaccine Wars” hysteria building thru mass media outlets; and, why vaccines are literally being forced the infants, children, pregnant women, seniors and the general public by physicians. Excellent material, highly recommended listening and EVERYONE who listens is asked to share this interview far and wide to help counteract the lies mainstream propaganda pushes to carry out the “collectivism” agenda mounting with forced vaccinations.

If you’re not a member of Red Ice Creations, Hour 2 is well-worth the small fee for the six month membership. I’ve been listening to Henrik Palmgren since 2007, Red Ice Radio has been a staple here since “2012 The Awakening” first began publishing back in 2009. Henrik’s one of the few hosts in alternative media who covers the “hard stuff” with objectivity, balance and always presents links on show material for further research. He’s also known for presenting both sides of an issue so listeners can come to their own well-informed conclusions.

On a more personal note, I’d also like to add the reason why you haven’t seen as many Red Ice show’s here over the last year, is because my living situation changed since moving to Kauai in January 2014. On the Big Island I had my own place and was able to turn up the volume and listen to shows day or night, whenever I pleased – usually while cleaning house, doing laundry, gardening etc . Since moving here and having to live with housemates, it’s been difficult to listen to radio programs without disturbing others. I’ve tried listening with headphones, while sitting or laying down and inevitably fall asleep.

And, on that note, I’ve found a new place to live with what appear to be much better circumstances than I’ve found on Kauai to date. Even tho I’ll still be living with others, I’m moving to a more rural area on April 1st where I “should” have more privacy and autonomy to do my work, and where I can hopefully listen to radio more programs without bothering roommates – falling asleep. It’s taken A LOT of work, but fortunately things have improved greatly over the last month in my personal life. 

As I hope it has for you. As we close out the winter season we’re approaching the spring equinox, one with all the major planetary alignments positioned for massive upheaval and change over the next few weeks. Many souls within the collective are also getting their second wind in the form of DNA activations, which will propel us forward thru the collapse of many structured geopolitical and financial institutions over the remainder of 2015.

More than ever it’s a time to stay grounded, centered and focused on what you wish to create. It’s not a time to lose our focus to fear, stress and worry “programs” designed to distract, confuse and obfuscate the truth. Remember, we live in an organic hologram where FEAR = False Evidence Appearing Real….always.

There is a center of peace within us which NOTHING can disturb. In times of doubt, go there to find that place of Source Light within and create a fresh timeline and new path to traverse on your journey on Spaceship Earth. You are the Earth, She is you and we are all One. We are “living cells” on the planet, and each one of us has a direct connection to the sentience our Earth Mother. Her love for each and everyone of us is unconditional, and she’s waiting for the collective to wake up and connect to her Divine Love so we can heal ourselves, and then take part in healing the planet for the next seven generations to come.

Much love, gratitude and aloha to All,




Febuary 18, 2015
Jon Rappoport is an investigative journalist, author and publisher of the website He has worked as an investigative reporter for 30 years, writing articles on politics, medicine, and health. He returns to give a continuation on the unfolding vaccine scandal. This time we look at the claim that Disneyland was at the center of a recent measles outbreak. Jon details the fraud of so called “herd immunity.” We also discuss the attack on parents who choose to not vaccinate their children as the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and the media have joined forced to begin the push for mandatory vaccination. We’ll talk about the key studies, the efficacy of vaccinations and real statistics when it comes to vaccine damage in the United States. The MMR vaccine and autism has been known by the CDC for many years, but continues to be denied. Jon tells us more about what he calls the advent of the “synthetic population.” In the second hour, we discuss what you can do to opt-out of vaccinations and what options are available to parents who don’t want to jeopardize the health of their children. We continue on the incentives for the vaccine lobby and the political revolving-door between government and the pharmaceutical industry. Further, we speak on the pathology of ABC news anchor Brian Williams, who recently was caught lying and exaggerating his involvement in certain stories. This brings us to the issue of the crumbling US health care system and how Obama Care will be the final nail in the coffin of health care choices. We end on the control of the media and how many stories that should be major exclusives are simply avoided and omitted. LISTEN HERE


CALL TO ACTION: Expose EbolaGate, Arrest the Perps, Stay healthy with Vitamin C **PLEASE SHARE THIS VIDEO**

Mass media’s coverage of Ebola is a complete failure, so I’m asking everyone who resonates with this information to step into the role of Citizen Reporter. If you’ve ever wanted to make a difference in the world, here’s your chance. This is your mission:

Activate your inner Spiritual Activist, take action by sharing this information with out loved ones.  It’s easy, just share this information with as many people as you can and ask them to share with at least 10 people, who are asked to share with10 more people and so on. We can reach millions of people in a very short period of time. This info is critical to breaking the mass hypnosis of the collective mind, so lets penetrate their audience by encouraging people to go to the mass media websites like CNN, MSNBC, ABC, NBC, FOX and share this video in the comment section under Ebola story’s. Don’t forget to ask readers to share.

Also, use the power of Creative Visualization to arrest the perps behind Ebolagate, who are the same people behind the wars, debt slavery, GMO’s, Big Pharma etc. Take a few minutes of focused intention in meditation, or daydreaming to “see”, visualize or picture the people accountable for crimes against humanity peacefully arrested and held accountable for their inhumanity. Imagine justice being carried out, the perps arrested and humanity set free. Spin your personal magic through the power of intention to bring this cosmic play to a “finale”.

We the people, the 99% can reach millions of unawakened souls by sharing this information. Lets use the power of the pyramid against the cabal to arrest the perps and stop the spread of this manufactured virus being released with the intention of global depopulation.

Heartfelt gratitude for your activism, for caring and sharing…Mahalo

Link to this page:

EbolaGate blog:…

To see the estimated death toll, under current infection rates of Ebola gate by June 2016:

Infected persons: 4,707,573,324 [4.7 Billion]

Dead persons: 2,877,739,573 [2.8 billion] please go to:

Regularly Updated! Deadly Ebola Virus Outbreak – EbolaGate

SHARE this Video: Expose EbolaGate, Arrest the Perps, Stay healthy with Vitamin C:


Alfred Webre: Plan A is Martial Law; Plan B is Ebola. Awareness and Critical Mass can deconstruct planned extermination


Ebola ZOMBIE HOAX – ABC NEWS Richard Besser is former Director of CDC – BUSTED!

CDC whistleblower is just the tip of the iceberg

by Jon Rappoport

August 26, 2014

William Thompson, the CDC whistleblower, has yet to step into the light and make a full and definitive statement about the CDC concealing MMR-vaccine dangers.

Mothers of autistic children are now preparing a class-action suit against the CDC for covering up the MMR vaccine-autism connection. They will undoubtedly want Thompson as a witness.

He can talk now or talk later.

The public at large still has blind faith in “medical experts” and the truth of published studies.

Fraud at the CDC? A study that was intentionally distorted to give a pass to a toxic and highly dangerous vaccine? What? How could that be?

Well, here’s a medical expert. For 20 years, she had a front-row seat that very few doctors or researchers ever occupy. Thousands of medical studies arrived at her desk. She was a “queen of judgment.”

She is Dr. Marcia Angell. She was the editor of the most prestigious medical journal in the world, The New England Journal of Medicine.

On January 15, 2009, the NY Review of Books published Dr. Angell’s devastating assessment of medical literature:

“It is simply no longer possible to believe much of the clinical research that is published, or to rely on the judgment of trusted physicians or authoritative medical guidelines. I take no pleasure in this conclusion, which I reached slowly and reluctantly over my two decades as an editor of The New England Journal of Medicine.” —(Marcia Angell, MD, “Drug Companies and Doctors: A story of Corruption.” NY Review of Books, Jan. 15, 2009.)

Here is another quote of a similar nature, also published in the NY Review of Books (May 12, 2001, Helen Epstein, “Flu Warning: Beware of Drug Companies”):

“Six years ago, John Ioannidis, a professor of epidemiology at the University of Ioannina School of Medicine in Greece, found that nearly half of published articles in scientific journals contained findings that were false.”

Here’s another quote from the same article:

“Last year, GlaxoSmithKline’s diabetes drug Avandia was linked to thousands of heart attacks, and earlier in the decade, the company’s antidepressant Paxil was discovered to exacerbate the risk of suicide in young people. Merck’s painkiller Vioxx was also linked to thousands of heart disease deaths. In each case, the scientific literature gave little hint of these dangers.”

And finally, here is yet another statement from Marcia Angell, former editor of The New England Journal of Medicine:

“A review of seventy-four clinical trials of antidepressants, for example, found that thirty-seven of thirty-eight positive studies [that praised the drugs] were published. But of the thirty-six negative studies, thirty-three were either not published or published in a form that conveyed a positive outcome.”

It turns out that the informational pipeline that feeds the entire perception of pharmaceutical medicine is a rank fraud.

So…a 2004 study at the CDC that intentionally buried the MMR vaccine’s connection to autism?

It’s just business.

Tell that to parents of autistic children.

Take your mandatory flu shot and shove it!





Last week the city Board of Health voted to force annual flu vaccinations on all babies and children under age 5 who attend day-care centers and preschool programs. Here, Sophia Ling, mother of 3-year-old Oona and a fitness instructor in Staten Island, tells The Post’s Mary Kay Linge how the risks of the shot outweigh the benefits — and wants nannying bureaucrats to stop trampling parents’ rights.


When I first heard about the new flu vaccine rule, I was upset but not surprised. The Board of Health did this so quietly, with no input from parents of young children. The unanimous vote was cast before New Yorkers had any chance to protest.


I don’t respond well to being bullied on a matter of personal health. I also dislike the underhanded way this is being forced only on our youngest citizens. Parents of toddlers aren’t an organized political faction — we’re a bit too busy keeping our kids safe and calculating the distance to the nearest potty.


To get more facts about the flu vaccine, I turned to the Staten Island Natural & Attachment Parenting group on Facebook. Moms banding together are a powerful force. I followed links to documents from the Centers for Disease Control, vaccine manufacturers and research studies. The more I learned, the more livid I became.


In any given year, the CDC admits, the flu vaccine may be totally ineffective against the flu. That’s because scientists have to guess which strains of the flu virus will be going around each year. Some years, they guess wrong.


At best, the flu vaccine may be 60 percent effective. To me, a 0 to 60 percent efficacy rate equals one thing: fail.


Plenty of people who get the flu shot come down with flu anyway. It happened to me, actually — the only time I got a flu shot, during my pregnancy, I was sick for a week.


Not only that, the CDC says, “the flu vaccine works best among healthy adults and older children,” less well for babies and toddlers — the very people being targeted by the city’s new rule. Safety testing on children, especially babies and toddlers, has been limited.


And the side effects of the flu vaccine are very real. The manufacturers’ warning labels give a long list of potential risks — everything from fever and headache to convulsions, blood disorders and Guillain-Barré syndrome. Last flu season, at least five young children died as a direct result of the flu vaccine, according to the federal database that tracked adverse reactions during the 2012-13 flu season.


So, am I willing to roll the dice and hope that Oona is one of the lucky ones? No. In my judgment, the potential risks to my daughter outweigh the possible benefits.


I’m not against vaccination per se. Oona is getting all the vaccinations required by New York state. But those shots have much higher efficacy rates, confer long-term or lifetime immunity and protect against far more dangerous illnesses than the flu.


So now I may have to change my plans for my daughter and me. Rather than send Oona to preschool in the fall, I may choose to homeschool her until she turns 6.


How sad it would be if our new mayor’s signature issue — early childhood education — is undone because parents refuse to be bullied by a government bent on taking away our most basic rights.


Did Vaccine Industry-Backed Researchers Hide SV40 Tainted Vaccine Links to Cancer?

Friday, July 19, 2013

The truth never sleeps.

Aaron Dykes and Melissa Melton
Activist Post

That’s why it’s 5 a.m. here at TSM headquarters and we’re still up researching something that we were originally only going to mention in passing.

The Organic‘s Daisy Luther wrote an article about how the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) quietly admitted that SV40 — a simian virus — had tainted polio vaccines which the CDC estimates were administered to between 10 to 30 million Americans between 1955 to 1963. Luther reported about how this was done in an informational fact sheet published online with otherwise little fanfare.

All told, over 98 million Americans received at least one (or more) doses of polio vaccine during that time.

In her article, Luther offers a cached link to the CDC’s SV40 and polio vaccine information sheet; however, when you attempt to find a current link, the info sheet has now been scrubbed — it no longer currently exists on the CDC’s website.

We at Truthstream Media were curious about this, so we decided to investigate further. Using the magical technology of Internet archiving, we were able to find that not only did the CDC have an info sheet on SV40 and polio vaccines once upon a time, but it also had a whole FAQ on the issue as well.

These pages were only recently taken down this summer, perhaps even because the subject garnered media coverage from alternative journalists like Daisy Luther over at The Organic Prepper.

A screen capture of the CDC’s information sheet shown above claims “The majority of scientific evidence suggests that SV40-contaminated vaccine did not cause cancer; however, some research results are conflicting and more studies are needed.”

So only some research results? Interesting statement considering that back in 2002, a whopping 61 reports from 49 different laboratories from all over the world were detecting SV40 monkey virus strains in many different types of human cancers including mesothelioma, lymphoma, brain and bone tumors.

In fact, only three studies failed to produce similar results then. Two of these were reportedly compromised by two of the main researchers involved: Dr. Howard Strickler and Dr. Keerti Shah.

Shah was under contract by Dr. Strickler to perform SV40 studies, and it was revealed later in a deposition that Strickler gave Shah the positive controls and allowed him to adjust his methods for SV40 detection after the study had begun, thus according to Shah’s testimony, Strickler comprised what should have been a blind study.

An excerpt from the book The Virus and the Vaccine: The True Story of a Cancer-Causing Monkey Virus, Contaminated Polio Vaccine, and the Millions of Americans Exposed by Debbie Bookchin and Jim Schumacher.

Dr. Shah had also apparently completed consulting work for pharmaceutical giants Merck (a company behind some of the polio vaccines which were tainted with SV40 back in the 1950s) and Pfizer as well, as noted in the book excerpt above.

In addition, a 2003 House of Representatives Subcommittee on Human Rights and Wellness hearing on “The SV40 Virus: Has Tainted Polio Vaccine Caused an Increase in Cancer” raised some serious questions about Dr. Strickler’s findings which only claimed less than one percent of cancer cases studied had SV40 present — a claim that stood out against a backdrop of researchers from all over the world confirming SV40 in cancer tumors again and again and ultimately finding that SV40 did, in fact, cause cancer.

During the hearing, Burton asked:

Well, Dr. Strickler evidently has done some research on this, and he showed that in 1996 there was no evidence that the SV-40 was in any tumors and was the cause of these cancers. And in 2001 he said the same thing. Now, how do you account for the fact that your scientist, he was working for you I think at the time, couldn’t find any trace of SV-40 tumors when eminent scientists that I just mentioned to you and many others from 60 different laboratories around the world found many cases of its existence? Why is there that inconsistency?

Burton also mentioned that Dr. Strickler had obvious Big Pharma ties, including to Merck and Wyeth which both developed polio vaccines used during the 1960s.

You know, this Dr. Strickler, he — one of the favored labs that he uses for the tests that he does is funded in large part and does a lot of work with Merck, Pfizer, and Wyeth, and while that doesn’t apparently look like a conflict of interest, it certainly does raise some questions.

Indeed. Under “disclosure of potential conflicts of interest” on studies done in subsequent years on human papillomavirus (HPV) for example, Dr. Strickler has listed himself as “consultant/advisory board, Merck and GSK”. (Side note: Gardasil and Cervarix, the two HPV vaccines currently approved for sale on the market, are manufactured by Merck and GlaxoSmithKline respectively.)

Interestingly, during the hearing, Burton also asked about Strickler’s position as a consultant with the FDA. Notably, the FDA was listed on the now-defunct CDC information page as “the federal government lead agency in answering questions relating to SV40 in polio vaccine.” Representatives from neither the CDC nor the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) attended the Congressional hearing on this matter.

Obviously, looking into this document brings up many more questions than answers, and more research needs to be done to connect the myriad dots here.

Even more alarming, a 2001 San Fransisco Chronicle article discusses the fact that a second, slower-growing SV40 virus was found in 1955 polio vaccines recovered from a retired public health official and tested in 1999 — a different strain that would not have been picked up by the tests used to find SV40 in the tainted vaccines back in the 1960s. This shocking discovery led the researcher who found it to warn:

It was possible…that this second strain of SV40 had been evading manufacturers’ screening procedures for years — and infecting vaccine recipients after 1962.

The CDC information sheet even brought up linkages to studies of SV40 potentially being passed from mother to infant during pregnancy, but in the end the organization’s position seemed to remain that ‘further research is needed’ in this area. Of course, that was back when the CDC had those pages up, and they are no longer live.

Regardless, nothing has been done to hold any of the pharmaceutical giants responsible for this monstrosity liable for their actions, and the companies continue to produce vaccines administered to Americans every single day.

Whatever master agenda could be at work here, it is amazing that the American and global public continue to trust their bodies to the same science that ‘accidentally’ contaminated tens of millions of people vaccinated for polio with a monkey virus found time and again in cancerous tumors. The presence of SV40 – which Merck vaccine scientist Maurice Hilleman joked in the video below caused tumors – has not officially been recognized by the government as having caused all these cancers (again, the CDC has continued to affirm ‘further research is needed’).

As this strain of monkey virus has consistently been found present in many types of cancerous cells in people all over the world at this point, the significance of such a correlation cannot be denied.

Why are the same industry and government players allowed to continue to play both God and doctor on your children? On your family, neighbors and fellow human beings? Why has no one been held accountable for these crimes of negligence, or worse?

Aaron and Melissa created, where this article first appeared, as an outlet to examine the news, place it in a broader context, uncover the deceptions, pierce through the fabric of illusions, grasp the underlying factors, know the real enemy, unshackle from the system, and begin to imagine the path towards taking back our lives, one step at a time, so that one day we might truly be free…


Cities, counties nationwide begin mass aerial sprayings of toxic ‘anti-West Nile Virus’ pesticide



(NaturalNews) Dallas County, Texas, and several nearby towns and cities in the Dallas area are currently being forcibly sprayed with toxic insecticides as part of a government effort to supposedly eradicate mosquitoes that may be carriers of West Nile virus (WNv). The mass sprayings, which are ramping up all across the country, involve blanketing entire areas with chemicals sprayed via airplanes, a highly controversial protocol that threatens not only all other insects and animals exposed, but also humans.

According to the City of Dallas, more than 380 state-confirmed cases of WNv have been reported throughout Texas this year, and at least 16 people in the Lone Star State have died in conjunction with the virus. The specifics of these cases and deaths have not been publicly released, but authorities insist that the situation is serious enough to warrant a series of at least three conjunctive aerial sprayings throughout Dallas County, including in Highland Park and

Aerial spraying chemicals linked to causing Colony Collapse Disorder

The chemical product being sprayed is known as Duet, an “advanced dual-action mosquito adulticide” that contains both sumithrin, the active ingredient in another mosquito pesticide known as Anvil, and prallethrin. Both chemicals are known to be highly-toxic neuropoisons that target not only mosquitoes, but also bees, bats, fish, crickets, and various other animals and insects (

Sumithrin, a synthetic pyrethroid, is known to kill bees, and is linked to the widespread bee die-off phenomenon known as Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD). In tests, sumithrin has been shown to damage human kidneys and the liver, and is also linked to causing both liver and breast cancers. Household pets exposed to sumithrin are also at risk of serious health complications, as are fish and other aquatic animals (

Prallethrin, another synthetic pyrethroid, is hardly any better. A 1993 study published in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives suggests that prallethrin is a human endocrine disruptor. And like sumithrin, prallethrin is highly toxic to bees and other creatures besides just mosquitoes, threatening to very seriously disrupt the natural ecosystem of areas sprayed with it (

Trust us, we’re from the government

Despite all this, officials continue to publicly insist that the spraying chemicals, the details of which are not being openly disclosed, are harmless to humans, though there is no legitimate scientific evidence to back this claim. Instead, residents are simply being told that the sprayings are safe and necessary — and many local residents seem content with this, having little or no concern about the harmful consequences of exposure.

In a recent photo published by the San Francisco Gate, for instance, local residents can be seen enjoying themselves on an outside patio at a local Dallas bar while spraying planes bombard them with chemicals overhead. As you will notice, these individuals appear to be amused by the large, toxic plumes in the sky (

The same report explains that many local residents have been largely “unfazed” by the sprayings, and even the warnings to stay indoors while they are taking place. Many local residents have reportedly continued on with their normal routines despite the sprayings, including jogging on outside trails and engaging in other outdoor activities (

Meanwhile, cities in Illinois (, California (, Massachusetts (, Pennsylvania (, and elsewhere are also conducting their own aerial sprayings for WNv at the recommendation of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Aerial mosquito spraying ineffective, unsafe

According to research compiled by the group Stop West Nile Virus Spraying Now (, aerial spraying endeavors are not even effective at preventing the transmission of WNv. Dr. Wallace LeStourgeon, a molecular biologist from Vanderbilt University in Tennessee, says there is no evidence to show that aerial sprayings legitimately fight West Nile Virus (

Contrary to the reassurances of public officials, there is also no evidence that aerial spraying chemicals are safe for humans. A Center for Public Integrity review of data compiled by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) shows that pyrethrin chemicals can cause severe reactions in many people, and may be responsible for injuring and killing far more people than they theoretically save from dying of WNv.

“Both peer-reviewed scientific research and mathematical modeling demonstrate that spraying is ineffective for WNv,” says a recent report by California Progress Report. “A model widely used for infectious diseases produced two important conclusions when applied to WNv transmission: 1) early, sufficient treatment for mosquito larvae is the key to control; 2) treatment aimed at adults later in the season cannot possibly eradicate the virus.”


New H5N1 Virus Clone Designed To Wipe Out Millions and the World Health Org (WHO) Warns of Untreatable Strain of Tuberculosis

27th November 2011

A group of scientists is pushing to publish research about how they created a man-made flu virus that could potentially wipe out civilisation.

The deadly virus is a genetically tweaked version of the H5N1 bird flu strain, but is far more infectious and could pass easily between millions of people at a time.

The research has caused a storm of controversy and divided scientists, with some saying it should never have been carried out.

Virologist Ron Fouchier of the Erasmus Medical Centre in the Netherlands lead a team of scientists who discovered that a mere five mutations to the avian virus was sufficient to make it spread far more easily.

He conducted his tests on ferrets as the animals have become a model of choice for influenza and have similar respiratory tracts to humans.

Fouchier is so prepared for a media storm that he has hired an advisor to help him work on a communication strategy.

The research done was part of an international drive to understand H5N1 more fully.

Fouchier admitted the strain is ‘one of the most dangerous viruses you can make’ but is still adamant he wants to publish a paper describing how it was done.

The study is one of two which has caused serious debate about scientific freedom and about regulating research which might have potential public health benefits but at the same time could also be useful for bio-terrorism.

The other paper, also on H5N1, was done by a joint team at the University of Wisconsin and the University of Tokyo.

It is understood to have had comparable results to the study done by Fouchier.

Both papers are now being reviewed by the U.S National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity (NSABB).

NSABB does not have the power to prevent the publication but it could ask journals not to publish.

Paul Keim, chairman of NSABB, said: ‘I can’t think of another pathogenic organism that is as scary as this one. I don’t think anthrax is scary at all compared to this.’

Traditionally scientific research has always been open so that fellow scientists can review the work of others and repeat their methods to try and learn from them.

But numerous scientists have said they believe research on the avian flu should be suppressed.

However bio-defense and flu expert Michael Osterholm, who is director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of innesota, said the work carried out was important medically.

He added he could not discuss the papers because he was a member of NSABB but said if they were published certain information could be withheld and made available to those who really need to know.

‘We don’t want to give bad guys a road map on how to make bad bugs really bad,’ he said.

Read more:…

Man-made super-flu could kill half humanity

« on: November 26, 2011, 07:58:05 PM »

A virus with the potential to kill up to half the world’s population has been made in a lab. Now academics and bioterrorism experts are arguing over whether to publish the recipe, and whether the research should have been done in the first place.

The virus is an H5N1 bird flu strain which was genetically altered to become much more contagious. It was created by Ron Fouchier of the Erasmus Medical Centre in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, who first presented his work to the public at an influenza conference in Malta in September.

Fouchier said the strain circulates in animals, particularly birds, but rarely affects humans.
In the ten or so years since bird flu first emerged in Asia, fewer than 600 cases have been reported in humans. But the H5N1 strain is particularly vicious, killing roughly half of patients diagnosed with it. What stops it from becoming a major threat to public health is that it does not readily transmit from human to human. Or at least it didn’t – until now.

Researchers in Fouchier’s team used ferrets – test animals which closely mimic the human response to influenza – and transmitted H5N1 from one to another to make it more adaptable to new hosts. After 10 generations, the virus had mutated to become airborne, which means ferrets became ill from merely being near other diseased animals.

A genetic study showed that the new, dangerous strain had only five mutations compared to the original one, and all of them were earlier seen in the natural environment – just not all at once. Fouchier’s strain is as contagious as the human seasonal flu, which kills tens of thousands of people each year, but is likely to cause many more fatalities if released.

“I can’t think of another pathogenic organism that is as scary as this one,” Paul Keim, a microbial geneticist who has worked on anthrax for many years, told Science Insider. “I don’t think anthrax is scary at all compared to this.”

Now Keim, who chairs the US National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity (NSABB), and other members of the body, have a very difficult decision to make. Fouchier wants his study to be published. So does virologist Yoshihiro Kawaoka, who led similar research in collaboration with the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and the University of Tokyo, and reached comparable results. And it is up to NSABB to give them the green light.

Many academics and biosecurity experts are naturally cautious about releasing information which could provide any bioterrorist with a ready recipe to hold the world to ransom. Some argue that such work should never have been done in the first place and call for international monitoring of potentially harmful research.

“It’s just a bad idea for scientists to turn a lethal virus into a lethal and highly contagious virus. And it’s a second bad idea for them to publish how they did it so others can copy it,” believes Dr. Thomas Inglesby, a bioterrorism expert and director of the Center for Biosecurity of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.

However the very same data, if made available to the scientific community, could potentially allow humanity to prepare for an H5N1 pandemic, which Fouchier’s study has shown to be far more probable than was previously believed. Clamping down on freedom of information in the scientific domain may in the end leave us defenseless against the flu, should it arise naturally.

NSABB plans to issue a public statement soon, says Keim, and is likely to issue additional recommendations about this type of research. “We’ll have a lot to say,” he says.

WHO warns of untreatable strain of tuberculosis

November 26, 2011NEW GUINEA – The World Health Organization is warning of the potential for an untreatable form of tuberculosis to develop on Australia’s doorstep. It says infections of multi-drug resistant tuberculosis (MDR TB) in Papua New Guinea’s remote south-west have reached crisis levels. The country’s health minister says tuberculosis is now a greater health emergency than HIV/AIDS. Dr Catharina Van Weezenbeek, from the World Health Organization, says it is now clear the problem is in a state of emergency. “If you just look at the numbers of MDR TB cases, it’s clear that we’re dealing with a crisis,” she said. “Children 14-years-old infected with MDR TB in a family with already five patients dying.” A research team from WHO found the rural health centers are rundown with very limited or no medical supplies. There is no TB coordinator in the region so no one is monitoring patients to ensure they stick to the lengthy treatment of drugs required to beat the disease, meaning many do not. WHO’s Dr Donald Enarson says that has led to the emergence of MDR TB. “Multi-drug resistance has passed from being created from bad treatment to now being established in a community by itself and spreading among community members,” he said. Local medical records show 94 people have contracted MDR TB in Western Province since 2005. But the records are incomplete and WHO suspects those cases are just the tip of a much bigger iceberg. The organization’s MDR TB expert, Dr Ernesto Jaramillo, says the situation has the potential to get much worse. “When treatment is delivered under the current conditions which many patients are having, then it’s a matter of months or years before we have forms of TB that cannot be cured,” she said. –ABC

Antibiotics: Connected to Obesity, Diabetes and Stroke?

In consideration of your glaze-eyed tryptophan coma — at least among those who weren’t frightened off by the MRSA-in-turkey news — today’s post is mostly composed of brightly colored pictures. (Also, speculation. You’ve been warned.)

About a week ago, a nonprofit research group called Extending the Cure published the latest in a fantastic series of maps they have been producing for several years, based on public and privately collected data. Earlier iterations have looked at the incidence of various resistant organisms over time. This time, they decided to look instead at the major drivers of resistance, and focused on national data about antibiotic prescriptions, broken down by drug type and by state between 1999 and 2007.

The graphics they produced document both a troubling growth in the use of some precious (because still effective) antibiotic classes, and also a surprising differential in the amounts of antibiotics prescribed in different parts of the country. The rate of use of antibiotics, measured by outpatient prescriptions per 1,000 inhabitants, varied from a low of 533 in Alaska to a high of 1,214 in West Virginia.

When those usage rates were mapped, they looked like this to the right: A strand of states that runs through the Southeastern United States and along the Appalachians lights up for  antibiotic overuse. That regional differential  — along with an obvious pattern of greater use in the entire eastern US, compared to the west — is certainly what caught the eye of the media when the maps were released, with stories such as this one in USA Today pointing out the left-to-right shift.

So. Well. I am a member of the media, and I do see that story in this map. But I am also a public-health person, and looking through those lenses, I see something a little different (and so I am sure does every other public health-person who is reading this post and waiting impatiently for me to Just Get To The Point, Maryn).

Here’s what I see: The states that map to the greatest antibiotic use happen to be the same states that also map to the worst health status in the US — the greatest incidence of obesity, asthma, tobacco use, heart disease, heart attack, diabetes and stroke. Down here in the South, we not-so-jokingly call those states the Stroke Belt; Atlanta, where I live most of the time, is essentially the buckle.

Here, for instance, is what stroke deaths looks like, in a map from the National Stroke Mortality Atlas, produced by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (In this map, the Extending the Cure map, and all the maps that follow, the darkest color represents the greatest incidence, whether or not a legend specifies so.)

Here’s a map of diabetes incidence in 2008, produced by the fantastic Slate Labs visualization project and based on data gathered by the CDC.

Here’s one of obesity — BMI greater than 30 — in 2010, generated by the seriously useful map engine attached to the data vault of the CDC’s Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) project.

And finally, here’s a map of incidence in 2010 of experiencing “at least one” (eek) heart attack, also from the BRFSS.

So what’s going on here? Let’s stipulate that correlation is not causation. Even so, it’s a bit of a mystery.

It is not new news that West Virginia, Kentucky and Alabama — and to a lesser extent, Tennessee, Georgia and Mississippi — are seriously unhealthy places. They are notoriously among the poorest states in the US, and with poverty comes the worst access to health care and the greatest incidence of lifestyle diseases.

However, lack of access to health care doesn’t, to me, correlate with higher-than usual amounts of antibiotic use. That doesn’t make sense organizationally or economically; if you can’t access health care, where are you getting the prescriptions from? It doesn’t make sense behaviorally, either. Obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease are health-ignoring behaviors; they are among the things that happen when you don’t take care of yourself. But taking antibiotics is, at least on its face, a health-seeking behavior — after all, to obtain a prescription you must visit a health professional.

I asked Ramanan Laxminarayan, the director of Extending the Cure, what he thought was going on behind this unexpected concordance. He suggested that the antibiotic use might be an effect of poor health status, in that people who have many things wrong with them may go to the doctor more, and may obtain antibiotics — perhaps inappropriately — while they are there. (He is the lead author in research showing a higher rate of antibiotic use during flu season, even though flu is a viral disease which antibiotics cannot affect.)

On the other hand, what if antibiotics cause these other health effects? That lines up with the work of Martin Blaser of New York University, who has proposed that taking antibiotics permanently kills off beneficial bacteria in the gut  — and might therefore be responsible for changes in nutrient absorption and for the rise in obesity and diabetes.

As I said up top: This is just brightly colored pictures and speculation. But I’m intrigued, and I’d love to hear reactions from public health readers. Is there something worth interrogating in this correlation between antibiotic overuse and poor health status? Or am I too addled by tryptophan to spot an artifact when I see it?


Article submission courtesy of CaliforniaKevin, thanks for sharing this great find!