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Two Percent Of The World’s Right Whales Have Recently Died — Pushing The Species Closer To Extinction



Two Percent Of The World’s Right Whales Have Recently Died — Pushing The Species Closer To Extinction

At least eight North Atlantic right whales have died this summer — about 2% of the endangered marine mammal‘s total population. All of the animals have been found in Canadian waters, and alarmed scientists are working to confirm the causes of the deaths. 

While eight deaths have been confirmed, three more whales are currently entangled in fishing gear, so the number could increase, according to Sean Brilliant, a senior conservation biologist of marine programs at the Canadian Wildlife Federation

There are only about 411 right whales on Earth. All eight deaths have occurred in the last two months, a disastrous number reminiscent of the alarming amount of right whale deaths in 2017.

Brilliant said one of the major and most apparent reasons for the recent decline is the increase in human activities like fishing and shipping that have not accommodated to the whale population, which has faced a significant decline in reproduction.   

According to Heather Pettis, an associate scientist at the Anderson Cabot Centre for Ocean Life at the New England Aquarium, all eight whale deaths occurred between June 4 and July 18, and they may not be the only ones. 

“It is important to note that these are the mortalities that we have detected,” she told CBS News. “We believe that we document only 40-50% of mortalities due to carcasses sinking and/or being in areas where there are no surveillance efforts. So the reality is that it is highly likely that we have lost more than 2% of the population this year.” 

So far, necropsies have been performed on five of the animals. Three of those deaths were attributed to vessel strikes and the other two are pending analyses, Pettish said. 

The right whale population has been declining since 2010, and there are fewer than 100 reproductive females left in the population. According to a recent study, not one adult or juvenile right whale died of natural causes between 2003 and 2018.

Image source: CBC CA

“At the mortality rates we are seeing, this population could become functionally extinct within the next 20 years,” Pettis said. “With that said, this is a resilient species and researchers have no doubt that the species can recover if we stop killing them at unsustainable rates.” 

Canada’s Department of Fisheries and Oceans announced a plan in February to protect North Atlantic right whales from vessel strikes and fishing gear entanglement. While the government had success in 2018, citing no whale deaths in Canadian waters, their actions were only temporary and subject to change. 

Last week, a coalition of lawmakers and whale experts presented a document asking the U.S. Congress to pass the Save the Right Whales Act, sponsored by U.S. Rep. Seth Moulton of Massachusetts. The bill would provide $5-million per year for 10 years to find ways to protect the animals, CBS Boston reports

Scientists have a few recommendations for altering human activity to help the population recover. Fishing gear could be modified to reduce the severity and lethality of entanglements. Additionally, the implementation of ropeless fishing technology and vessel speed restrictions in whale habitats could remove some mortality pressures on the species. 

But Pettis cautions that action must be taken sooner rather than later, as the species is nearing extinction. “We don’t have another 20 years to fix this – the population doesn’t have that much time.”

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Are You A Human Being Or Just A Programmable Life Form?



Are You A Human Being Or Just A Programmable Life Form?

There is no clear line dividing science fiction and reality. If we can think it, we can create it, and so the world becomes a stranger and more interesting place by the day. This applies both to our individual universes within, and with the outer world at large.

We really have no idea at all what it means to be a human. We don’t know where we come from or how we got to this shining gem of a planet. We don’t know why the earth is covered with the mysteries of antiquity and the monolithic footprints of giants. We certainly have little understanding of our fate, nor much of the heavy forces at play against us.

But we do have the brilliant spark of consciousness as well as free will to help mould our 3-D experience during the wink of time that passes from birth to what we fear is death. We are in a sense programmable life forms, and so the question is, what are being programmed with and by whom?

The Science Fiction Side

Programmable life forms (PLFs) are thought to be artificially created biological organisms that move about autonomously, yet within the operating parameters prescribed to them by their creators.

Some surmise that PLF’s are nano-sized creatures designed to invade the human body to influence its performance, affect the mind in some dastardly way, or to collect information. Others say PLF’s are more complex extra-terrestrial creatures, similar to grey aliens, or other cold entities, perhaps created by the military or alien scientists, tasked with analysing and influencing human behaviour, with experimenting on us as well as ruling over us.

Public information about this is sketchy at best, with some claiming that the Pentagon and Black-Ops military programs have already pioneered and deployed these technologies for purposes of psychological and physical warfare. Others believe that PLF’s are part of a sophisticated array of mind-control technologies presently engaged in manipulating the human race, along with HAARP, chemtrails, GMO’s, nano-fibers, vaccines, ELF’s, and so much more.

The common thread is that PLF’s are thought to be artificially-generated, yet somehow biologically living creatures, confined to a pre-programmed range of awareness which determines their function and behaviour, along with their purpose and mission.

Creepy stuff to be sure, but don’t many people act as programmable life forms? Don’t they behave as though they’ve been given a script to read and a character to play? Don’t most of us seem to be performing a predictable role in this matrix, mindlessly obedient to the whims of the main stream?

Human Beings are PLF’s

As human beings, we ourselves are indeed programmable life forms, influenced by incomprehensible collage of internal and external factors, suggestions and demands. We are anything but static beings.

Atomically, we are stardust, made up of atomic matter held together by the influence of universal forces. Deoxyriobonucleic acid, DNA, is the most fundamental community of molecules in all life, containing the genetic information that determines the type of life form and it’s physical characteristics. At this level, our genetic makeup determines one’s basic characteristics by directing cellular activity, and science is fast at work exploring and debating the possibility for gene manipulation to program human beings to adopt more favourable traits such as resistance to certain diseases and resistance to addictive behaviour.

Human Beings are PLF’s. Image source: CSGlobe

We are what we eat, and we are what we think, and the human body is affected by our environment and whatever we consume, either consciously or unwittingly. The mind is an impressive machine that responds to education, cultural and religions influence, peer pressure, trickery and manipulation. Philosophy can change how it operates, as can propaganda, and the psyche is an instrument of extreme sensitivity, capable of the subtlest communication, yet prone to developing abhorrent blind spots, depending on how it is trained.

The holistic composition of the human being also determines our level of happiness and our ability to adapt to and thrive in the day-to-day conditions of life. In this way, as integral beings, if we are being influenced on one level, the effects radiate outward to each other part of our make-up. If something goes wrong at the cellular level, disease can overcome and destroy the body. If something negative occurs at the spiritual level, this can have impact physical health, mood and even personality. From our spirit to our DNA, to our body to our mind, we are comparable to computers which perform functions in accordance with whatever software or program is loaded.

Human beings are multi-dimensional entities made up of a complex array of inter-dependent and evolving systems. We are dynamic creatures at every level, and each part of our make-up is the product of whatever influences we accept. In this manner, the overall health, wellness, condition, and behaviour of a human being is hardly a matter of chance, but instead, we are the on-going product of an ever-changing amalgam of many inputs, internal and external, seen and unseen, positive and negative.

The Greatest War is the War on Consciousness

There is a great war happening right now, far more significant than any theatre of military operations. It is a war to alter human consciousness in such a way that our lives play out in chaotic, confusing, depressing struggles, never quite understanding the true value of our lives, always falling again and again for the lowest of political tricks and schemes, acquiescing to war and institutionalized theft while ignoring corruption and contempt.

Either we acknowledge our dynamism and work to insert beneficial programs and habits into our lives, or we stumble on as programmable life forms, performing whatever task we’ve been told to, remaining blind to our potential destiny as stewards of a prosperous, peaceful and beautiful planet.

Perhaps the existence of PLF’s is truth. Maybe it’s half-truth, or not at all, who really knows? The average person has no direct contact with advanced science like this, so it’s impossible for most of us to know what is actually happening in the realms of the top-secret or of the alien.

What we do know for sure, however, is that we are capable of awakening, of expanding our own individual and communal consciousness, the very aspect of life which animates our material bodies, and demonstrates that we have more power and control in our lives than we are told. It is up to each of us to commandeer our personal evolution in defiance of a warped and deadly system which has us all targeted for extinction.

“You must understand the whole of life, not just one little part of it. That is why you must read, that is why you must look at the skies, that is why you must sing, and dance, and write poems, and suffer, and understand, for all that is life.” ~Jiddu Krishnamur

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About the Author

Dylan Charles is the editor of Waking Times and co-host of Redesigning Reality, both dedicated to ideas of personal transformation, societal awakening, and planetary renewal. His personal journey is deeply inspired by shamanic plant medicines and the arts of Kung Fu, Qi Gong and Yoga. After seven years of living in Costa Rica, he now lives in the Blue Ridge Mountains, where he practices Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and enjoys spending time with family. He has written hundreds of articles, reaching and inspiring millions of people around the world.

This article (Are You a Human Being or Just a Programmable Life Form?) was originally created and published by Waking Times and is published here under a Creative Commons license with attribution to Dylan Charles and

Featured Image: Collective Evolution

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Garlic Proven 100 Times More Effective Than Antibiotics, Working In A Fraction Of The Time!



Garlic Proven 100 Times More Effective Than Antibiotics, Working In A Fraction Of The Time!

A compound in garlic is 100 times more powerful than two common types of antibiotics in fighting a type of bacteria that causes food poisoning, according to scientists.

The garlic ingredient called diallyl sulphide works for targeting a specific metabolic enzyme and is especially effective in penetrating the slimy ‘biofilm’ that protects colonies of Campylobacter bacterium that makes the food bug 1,000 times more resistant to antibiotics than bacteria without the film.

The new study, recently published in the Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy, found that not only was diallyl sulphide 100 times more effective than antibiotics erythromycin and ciprofloxacin, the garlic compound was also able to destroy Campylobacter in just a fraction of the time taken by the drugs.

Researchers said that the latest discovery may lead to future treatments for raw and processed meats, and food preparation surfaces, that most bacterial infections stem from.

 “This is the first step in developing or thinking about new intervention strategies,” researcher Dr. Michael Konkel, from Washington State University, who has been studying Campylobacter jejuni for 25 years, said in a statement.

“Campylobacter is simply the most common bacterial cause of food-borne illness in the United States and probably the world,” Konkel said.

Around 2.4 million Americans are affected by the bacteria each year, according to statistics from the U.S. Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, and symptoms include diarrhoea, cramping, abdominal pain and fever.

Campylobacter is also responsible for causing nearly a third of cases of Guillain-Barré syndrome, a rare paralyzing disorder.

Most Campylobacter infections are from eating raw or undercooked poultry or foods that have been cross-contaminated through infected surfaces or utensils used to prepare poultry.

Previous studies published in 2011 also showed that the garlic ingredient was also effective against other types of food-borne pathogens, including Listeria monocytogenes and Escherichia coli O157.

Konkel warned that while earing garlic is generally considered a healthy proactive, it was unlikely to prevent Campylobacter food poisoning.

However “diallyl sulphide may be useful in reducing the levels of the Campylobacterin the environment and to clean industrial food processing equipment, as the bacterium is found in a biofilm in both settings,” Konkel added.

“Diallyl sulphide could make many foods safer to eat,” Co-researcher Dr. Barbara Rasco, another member of the Washington State University team said in a statement. “It can be used to clean food preparation surfaces and as a preservative in packaged foods like potato and pasta salads, coleslaw and deli meats.”

“This would not only extend shelf life but it would also reduce the growth of potentially bad bacteria,” she added.

Ironically, many researchers think that antibiotics may be just one of several factors that contribute to intestinal blockage in young children.

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This Futuristic Hospital Has Introduced Nature As Medicine



This Futuristic Hospital Has Introduced Nature As Medicine

Communal gardens, landscaped rooftops, and wide-open windows aren’t features of your typical hospital—but maybe they should be. Khoo Teck Puat Hospital in Singapore is a case study in what can happen when nature-inspired design is applied to the medical setting to promote healing.

The Green Treatment

In 2005, CPG Corporation, a Singapore-based design firm, was tasked with creating a hospital that actually lowered visitors’ blood pressure.

How do we challenge the idea of a hospital to deinstitutionalize it and make it look, smell, and feel unlike a hospital?” Jerry Ong Chin-Po, an architect who worked on the project.

We felt the best way to do it was to integrate nature into the space.”

The hospital, which opened its doors in 2010 and now serves 800,000 residents in northern Singapore, has masked the smell of medicine and chemicals with over 700 species of fragrant native plants. In the lobby, sounds of machines are drowned out by bird species in the central courtyard. And instead of walking through sterile white hallways, patients, caretakers, and the occasional butterfly navigate the space on outdoor bridges wrapped in greenery.

In Singapore, medical buildings have multiple tiers of patient rooms (it’s part of how the country maintains its famously cheap health care). Some are private and have air conditioning; others have up to five beds and rely on natural ventilation. In order to ensure that all patients feel comfortable—regardless of how much they’re paying to be there—Chin-Po’s team again leaned on nature. They installed new windows that could be opened wider to allow for more airflow and made sure that every patient could see greenery from their bed, even if it was just a planter box on the other side of their window.

At mealtimes, patients are given organic food grown in a massive rooftop garden, and everyone fills their plates with fruits and veggies on the weekly, hospital-wide Meatless Mondays. “We always bring this idea of creating a total healing environment,” Chin-Po says. “Not just for the patients but for the caregivers and staff as well. It’s all part of the whole system.”

Image by Khoo Teck Puat Hospital
The Healing Power Of Nature And Community

In keeping with this commitment to creating community, the public hospital is a gathering place for more than just patients and their families. Local residents have been known to stop in to grab a coffee in the food court or read the paper in one of the property’s dozens of gardens. Up to 15% of visitors who come to the hospital do so for social and recreational reasons, according to one survey.

“When we first opened in 2010, it came out in the papers that the hospital was a hot spot for students to study for exams,” Chin-Po. “It demonstrated that the environment we created was conducive not just to patients and caregivers but the community at large… You don’t feel like you need to go there only when you have a problem.” 

In the years since its opening, Khoo Teck Puat has also added activity centres that anyone can join to do crafts, watch cooking demonstrations, and listen to talks on healthy living, and its Share a Pot program has become a place where the elderly can gather, eat soup, and do light exercise together.

In a world where loneliness has become a health epidemic thought to lower life expectancy by up to 15 years, turning hospitals into more social hubs makes sense.

But is all the greenery, natural light, and community actually doing what it set out to do? Is it getting people healthier? While there are no scientific studies to back this up, Chin-Po says that anecdotally, patients seem to appreciate the hospital’s unique design and are actually willing to pay more to go there than other hospitals in the area.

And, though it’s not extensive, there is a body of research showing that greenery and natural light do aid in recovery. One 2008 study found that patients who had plants in their rooms had lower blood pressure and reported less pain, anxiety, and fatigue than patients who didn’t. Another one back from 1984 concluded that hospital rooms that had windows overlooking nature helped patients recover from surgery more quickly than ones that faced brick walls. Outside of a clinical setting, spending time around nature has been shown to reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and stress.

This Futuristic Hospital Has Introduced Nature As Medicine
Image by Khoo Teck Puat Hospital
The Future Of Hospitals Is Looking Bright

So why isn’t every hospital greening up its act? Well, for starters, designing spaces like Khoo Teck Puat is technically challenging. “You are talking about creating gardens on a high-rise—so you need to design a structure to support that,” explains Chin-Po. Not to mention, not every country is blessed with the lush, tropical growing conditions that Singapore, also known as “The Garden City,” enjoys. Plus, creating a veritable jungle in a building isn’t cheap, and Singapore’s medical system is better funded and more efficient than most. (Every citizen is required to put a decent percent of their wages toward a health care savings account.)

Though Khoo Teck Puat is difficult to replicate, Chin-Po has since worked in other countries like Malaysia, China, and Pakistan to create similar spaces that fit their climate and culture. 

The International Living Future Institute, a non-profit that supports healthier, more sustainable communities, is in full support of projects like these. The Institute granted Khoo Teck Puat its inaugural Stephen R. Kellert Biophilic Design Award for its commitment to building spaces that support the health of visitors. “We noted the project because it’s so unusual for hospitals to be integrating any of these strategies and to really be thinking about how you can connect people to nature and incorporate wellness strategies as a healing strategy,” Amanda Sturgeon, FAIA, the Institute’s CEO, says. “We hope that by giving it awards it would also influence other hospitals to do the same.”

Here’s hoping that projects like this continue to gain traction and the clinics of the future feel a little less—well—clinical.

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Scientists Successfully Turn Breast Cancer Cells Into Fat To Stop Them From Spreading



Scientists Successfully Turn Breast Cancer Cells Into Fat To Stop Them From Spreading

Researchers have been able to coax human breast cancer cells to turn into fat cells in a new proof-of-concept study in mice.

To achieve this feat, the team exploited a weird pathway that metastasising cancer cells have; their results are just a first step, but it’s a truly promising approach.

When you cut your finger, or when a foetus grows organs, the epithelium cells begin to look less like themselves, and more ‘fluid‘ – changing into a type of stem cell called a mesenchyme and then reforming into whatever cells the body needs.

This process is called epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) and it’s been known for a while that cancer can use both this one and the opposite pathway called MET (mesenchymal‐to‐epithelial transition), to spread throughout the body and metastasise.

The researchers took mice implanted with an aggressive form of human breast cancer, and treated them with both a diabetic drug called rosiglitazone and a cancer treatment called trametinib.

Thanks to these drugs, when cancer cells used one of the above-mentioned transition pathways, instead of spreading they changed from cancer into fat cells – a process called adipogenesis.

“The models used in this study have allowed the evaluation of disseminating cancer cell adipogenesis in the immediate tumour surroundings,” the team wrote in their paper, published in January 2019.

“The results indicate that in a patient-relevant setting combined therapy with rosiglitazone and trametinib specifically targets cancer cells with increased plasticity and induces their adipogenesis.”

Although not every cancer cell changed into a fat cell, the ones that underwent adipogenesis didn’t change back.

“The breast cancer cells that underwent an EMT not only differentiated into fat cells, but also completely stopped proliferating,” said senior author Gerhard Christofori, a biochemist at the University of Basel, in Switzerland.

“As far as we can tell from long-term culture experiments, the cancer cells-turned-fat cells remain fat cells and do not revert back to breast cancer cells.”

So how does this work? Well, as a drug trametinib both increases the transition process of cells – such as cancer cells turning into stem cells – and then increases the conversion of those stem cells into fat cells.

Rosiglitazone was less important, but in combination with trametinib, it also helped the stem cells convert into fat cells.

“Adipogenic differentiation therapy with a combination of rosiglitazone and [trametinib] efficiently inhibits cancer cell invasion, dissemination, and metastasis formation in various preclinical mouse models of breast cancer,” the team wrote.

(Department of Biomedicine, University of Basel)

The image above shows this process, with the cancer cells tagged with a green fluorescent protein and normal red fat cell on the left. The cancer-turned-fat cells display as brown (on the right) because the red of the fat cells combines with the green of the protein cancer cell tag.

What’s exciting is that these two drugs are already FDA-approved, so it should be easier to get this type of treatment into clinical trials for actual people.

That’s exciting even despite the fact that we know many mouse-tested treatments don’t actually make it to, or fail, the clinical trial stage. The fact this worked on human cancer cells gives a little extra hope.

In the meantime, the team is investigating whether this therapy would work combined with chemotherapy, and whether it would apply to other types of cancers.

“In future, this innovative therapeutic approach could be used in combination with conventional chemotherapy to suppress both primary tumour growth and the formation of deadly metastases,” Christofori explained to the Press Association.

“The clinical evaluation of the treatment’s repressive effect on experimental breast cancer metastasis and, thus, of its potential in treating stage IV breast cancer will require adjuvant combinations with chemotherapy in advanced preclinical models,” the team wrote.

“Since we have used FDA-approved drugs to study the preclinical effect of the treatment, a clinical translation may be possible.”

The research has been published in Cancer Cell.

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This article was originally published by Science Alert. Read the original article.

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