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Microbes that live at the gym are pumped up on antibiotic resistance

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When environmental engineer Erica Hartmann hits the gym, she sees the floor where people lie down to do crunches as the perfect place to test dust for microbes.

You may think of dust as dead. But dust actually teems with bacteria because it acts as a final resting place for everything drifting through the air.

At a gym, people are often encouraged to wipe down the weights and machines with a sanitizer. One antimicrobial ingredient called triclosan stops the growth of bacteria, fungus and mildew as well as deodorizes.

Manufacturers add triclosan to a variety of products, such as antibacterial soap, knife handles and textiles.

“What’s happening to the bacteria in dust with all the antimicrobial chemicals?” Hartmann wondered.

In a new study, she and her team at Northwestern University in Illinois discovered dust in gyms is not only alive, but shows signs of antibiotic resistance.

Triclosan is a germ-killing ingredient found in antibacterial liquid soaps, body washes and a variety of household products from cutting boards to toys. (Kiichiro Sato/Associated Press)

The scientists first took samples of vacuum-collected dust from gyms at 42 athletic facilities in Oregon, including private fitness clubs, public recreation centres and studios for dance, yoga and martial arts.

Hartmann and her colleagues were able to grow more than 7,000 colonies of different types of bacteria. “I was a little overwhelmed” at the result, she said.

In Tuesday’s issue of the journal mSystems, Hartmann reported about 30 per cent of the bacteria were resistant to one of three medically relevant antibiotic drugs.

About 100 years ago, infectious diseases were one of the leading causes of death. Now, thanks to proper sanitation of water and antibiotic drugs, infectious diseases are way down the list of top killers in Canada.

Hartmann suspects we’ve swung too far when it comes to sanitation. It’s overkill, she says, like building an atomic bomb to go after one bad germ.

Antibacterial resistance happens when drugs kill some bacteria, but not all of them. Some remaining bugs evolve ways to protect themselves and thrive. When that occurs, people can develop infections that are much harder to treat.

The discs show bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics. (Taylor Brown/Northwestern University)

When scientists first synthesized new compounds, it was assumed that the chemicals would be inactive in the environment. Hartmann said scientists are just starting to appreciate the full consequences of synthesizing chemicals, such as how they can affect microbial ecosystems.  

When we introduce synthetic chemicals such as triclosan, she says, the bacteria see a ready-made food source to exploit.  “Bacteria are just trying to make a living.” 

The study doesn’t prove triclosan causes antibiotic resistance. The researchers found genetic markers indicating antibiotic resistance in general, not resistance to triclosan specifically. Nonetheless, “the associations we see are quite suspicious,” Hartmann said.

When triclosan is used in personal care products, it leaves a long-lasting residue on indoor dust. Overall, the residues at the gym aren’t a major threat, she said. “If you compare antibiotic resistance in any environment compared with the human gut, there’s way more in the human gut.”

If a patient in an industrialized country develops an antibiotic resistant infection while in hospital, those infections are  tracked by governments and the World Health Organization. But infections acquired outside of a health-care facility often don’t get reported, so it’s hard to say what infections are coming from where and what the true cause is, Hartmann said.

That’s why the overall magnitude of the problem of antibiotic resistance traced to dust is unknown.

Soap and water recommended

But given how antibiotic resistance is a huge threat to public health right now, she has a suggestion for consumers: “Antibiotic hand soap is not necessary. Regular soap and water is perfectly fine.”

Until 2017 in the U.S., manufacturers commonly added triclosan to antibacterial hand soap and cleaning solutions. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration banned companies from selling antibacterial hand washes with triclosan because the manufacturers didn’t prove the ingredients “are both safe for long-term daily use and more effective than plain soap and water in preventing illness and the spread of certain infections.”

In 2012, Health Canada and Environment Canada reviewed triclosan and proposed that industry voluntarily cut the amount it uses, particularly in personal-care products that tend to get rinsed away into lakes and rivers.

In the U.S., triclosan is still found in wipes people use at the gym as well as in toothpaste and many consumer products like cutting boards and toys that aren’t necessarily labelled because the products are regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency, not the FDA.

Environment Canada deems triclosan highly toxic to a variety of aquatic organisms, such as algae and fish, as well as to certain soil organisms.

“At current levels of exposure, triclosan is not harmful to human health,” the Canadian government reiterated last month.  

The federal government proposed a pollution prevention plan to limit the presence of triclosan in Canadian waterways. The proposal is open to public comments until Jan. 23, a spokesperson for Health Canada said.

Fears of bacteria overblown

Hartmann said if triclosan affects ecosystems, it will eventually affect human health. Regulators typically evaluate substances by acute toxicity, such as how much you can feed a rat before it keels over and dies.

She’d like to see regulators pay more attention to potentially chronic effects of chemicals that could take decades to appear, particularly in the case of microbial ecosystems that influence antibiotic resistance and eventually human health.

“My position has always been that [triclosan] is unnecessary in a home and that we shouldn’t be using such potent chemicals to assuage our fears of bacteria,” said Dr. Kapil Khatter, a family physician in Ottawa and formerly executive director of the Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment.

He said triclosan makes sense where sterility is essential, such as in health-care settings, but not for broader use in households or gyms. 

Researchers at the University of Oregon, Arizona State University, the Santa Fe Institute and Harvard also worked on the study.

The research was partially supported by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, a philanthropic non-profit organization established by the former head of General Motors.

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Bill Gates: Third Shot May Be Needed to Combat Coronavirus Variants

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With more than 40 million Americans having received at least the first dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, a third dose may be needed to prevent the spread of new variants of the disease, Bill Gates told CBS News Tuesday.

Gates’ comments come amid growing concern that the current vaccines are not effective against the more contagious Brazilian and South African variants.

Pfizer and Moderna have stated that their vaccines are 95% and 99% effective, respectively, against the initial strain of COVID. However, some scientists have questioned those statements. Additionally, the World Health Organization and vaccine companies have conceded that the vaccines do not prevent people from being infected with COVID or from transmitting it, but are only effective at reducing symptoms.

Gates told CBS Evening News:

“The discussion now is do we just need to get a super high coverage of the current vaccine, or do we need a third dose that’s just the same, or do we need a modified vaccine?”

U.S. vaccine companies are looking at making modifications, which Gates refers to as “tuning.”

People who have had two shots may need to get a third shot and people who have not yet been vaccinated would need the modified vaccine, explained Gates. When asked whether the coronavirus vaccine would be similar to the flu vaccine, which requires yearly boosters, Gates couldn’t rule that out. Until the virus is eradicated from all humans, Gates said, additional shots may be needed in the future.

AstraZeneca in particular has a challenge with the variant,” Gates explained. “And the other two, Johnson & Johnson and Novavax, are slightly less effective, but still effective enough that we absolutely should get them out as fast as we can while we study this idea of tuning the vaccine.”

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is funding the studies being conducted in Brazil and South Africa, CBS News said. The foundation has also invested in the AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson and the Novavax vaccines, which are being tested against new variants. Once the AstraZeneca vaccine is approved, the Global Alliance for Vaccine Initiative or GAVI, founded by Gates, will distribute it globally.

“Gates continues to move the goalposts,” said Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., chairman and chief legal counsel of Children’s Health Defense. “Meanwhile the strategies he and others have promoted are obliterating the global economy, demolishing the middle class, making the rich richer and censoring vaccine safety advocates, like me.”

Kennedy said that the exclusive focus on vaccines has prevented the kind of progress required to actually address and recover from the pandemic:

“From the pandemic’s outset, clear-headed people familiar with the challenges inherent in the vaccine model have understood that the path out of crisis would require multiple steps. Those steps would need to include the development and/or identification of therapeutic drugs, the sharing of information among doctors to hone improved treatment models that reduce infection mortality rates below those for flu, and the kind of broad-spectrum long-term herd immunity that protects against mutant strains and that only derives from natural infection.”

Instead, Gates and vaccine makers are proposing a lifetime of boosters, supporting insufficient testing to determine safety and failing to address the inadequate monitoring of vaccine injuries, Kennedy said.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of Children’s Health Defense.

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Young nurse suffers from hemorrhage and brain swelling after second dose of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine

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(Natural News) A 28-year-old healthcare worker from the Swedish American Hospital, in Beloit, Wisconsin was recently admitted to the ICU just five days after receiving a second dose of Pfizer’s experimental mRNA vaccine. The previously healthy young woman was pronounced brain dead after cerebral angiography confirmed a severe hemorrhage stroke in her brain stem.

Her family members confirmed that she was “breaking out in rashes” after the vaccine. She also suffered from sudden migraine headaches, and got “sick” after taking the second dose of the vaccine. At the very end, she lost the ability to speak and went unconscious. The migraines, nausea, and loss of speech were all symptoms of a brain bleed and brain swelling, something her family did not understand at the time, and something nobody would expect after vaccination.

While on life support, neurologists used angiography to image the damage inside the brain. They found a subarachnoid hemorrhage, whereas a bulging blood vessel burst in the brain, bleeding out in the space between the brain and the tissue covering the brain. The ensuing swelling cut off oxygen to the brain and caused brain death. On February 10, 2021, Sarah reportedly had “no brain activity.” Some of the woman’s organs are now being procured, so they can be donated to other people around the world.

Doctors warn FDA about COVID vaccines causing autoimmune attacks in the heart and brain

Experimental COVID-19 vaccines may cause inflammation along the cardiovascular system, leading to heart attack and/or stroke. This serious issue was brought forth to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) by Dr. J. Patrick Whelan, M.D., Ph.D. and further confirmed by cardiothoracic surgeon, Dr. Hooman Noorchashm, M.D., Ph.D. The two doctors warned that a recently-infected patient who is subject to COVID-19 vaccination is likely to suffer from autoimmune attacks along the ACE-2 receptors present in the heart, and in the microvasculature of the brain, liver and kidney. If viral antigens are present in the tissues of recipients at the time of vaccination, the vaccine-augmented immune response will turn the immune system against those tissues, causing inflammation that can lead to blood clot formation.

This severe adverse event is likely cause of death for the elderly who are vaccinated despite recently being infected. There is no adequate screening process to ensure that this autoimmune attack doesn’t occur. The elderly are not the only people vulnerable to vaccine injury and death. Pfizer’s experimental COVID-19 vaccine could be the main cause behind the sudden death of Sarah Sickles, a 28-year-old nurse from Wisconsin. The Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System has captured five permanent disabilities in Wisconsin, 58 ER visits, and eleven deaths in just one month. This is the first case in Wisconsin of someone under 44 years of age suffering from severe COVID-19 vaccine side effects and death. There are now more than 1,170 deaths recorded in the U.S. related to the experimental mRNA vaccines, a reality that the FDA and CDC continue to ignore.

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Powering hypersonic weapons: US armed forces eyeing dangerous 5G tech

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(Natural News) Much of the conversation surrounding the benefits of 5G is geared toward the consumer side of the technology. People will be able to download videos at lightning speed and will be more connected than ever, proponents claim, although there are serious questions regarding its safety. However, some of the most important 5G applications are not civil at all – the technology will be used extensively in the military domain.

Some of its military uses are outlined in the Defense Applications of 5G Network Technology report, which was published by the Defense Science Board. This federal committee gives scientific advice to the Pentagon. Their report states: “The emergence of 5G technology, now commercially available, offers the Department of Defense the opportunity to take advantage, at minimal cost, of the benefits of this system for its own operational requirements.”

The 5G commercial network that is being built by private companies right now can be used by the American military for a much lower cost than if the network had been set up exclusively for military purposes.

Military experts expect the 5G system to play a pivotal role in using hypersonic weapons. For example, it can be used for new missiles that bear nuclear warheads and travel at speeds superior to Mach 5. These hypersonic weapons, which travel at five times the speed of sound and move a mile per second, will be flying at high altitudes on unpredictable flight paths, making them as hard to guide as they will be to intercept.

Huge quantities of data need to be gathered and transmitted in a very short period in order to maneuver these warheads on variable trajectories and allow them to change direction in milliseconds to avoid interceptor missiles.

5G for defense

This type of technology is also needed to activate defenses should we be attacked by a weapon of this type; 5G automatic systems could theoretically handle decisions that humans won’t have enough time to make on their own. Military bases and even cities will have less than a minute to react to incoming hypersonic missiles, and 5G will make it easier to process real time data on trajectories for decision-making.

There are also important uses of this technology in combat. 5G’s ability to simultaneously link millions of transceivers will undoubtedly facilitate communication among military personnel and allow them to transmit photos, maps and other vital information about operations in progress at dizzying speeds to improve situational awareness.

The military can also take advantage of the high-frequency and short-wavelength millimeter wave spectrum used by 5G. Its short range means that it is well suited for smart military bases and command posts because the signal will not propagate too far, making it less likely that enemies will be able to detect it.

When it comes to special forces and secret services, the benefits of 5G are numerous. Its speed and connectivity will allow espionage systems to reach unprecedented levels of efficiency. It will also make drones more dangerous by allowing them to identify and target people using facial recognition and other methods.

Like all technology, 5G will also make us highly vulnerable. The network itself could become an attractive target for cyber-attacks and other acts of war being carried out with cutting-edge weaponry. In fact, the 5G network is already viewed as critical infrastructure and is being carefully protected before it is even fully built.

While the focus on 5G’s dangers to human health and the environment is absolutely warranted, it is also important not to lose sight of the military implications of 5G. After all, it is not just the United States that is developing this technology for military purposes; our enemies, like China and other countries, are also making great strides in this realm.

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