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Heavy Screen Time Changes Children’s Brains





Most people today live in a sea of radiofrequencies emitted from wireless technologies of all kinds, from routers to smartphones, tablets, baby monitors, TVs, appliances, smart meters and many more.

According to many experts, chronic, heavy exposure could have severe repercussions for our health, especially that of children, who are now exposed even before birth. Research also suggests interaction with social media, games and apps online produces a number of effects, both physical and psychological.

Heavy Use of Wireless Devices Changes Brain Structure in Children 

In the largest long-term study1,2,3 of brain development and youth health in the U.S., the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) Study,4 reveals the brains of the most prolific users of electronic devices look different compared to those who use smartphones, tablets and video games less frequently.

In all, more than 11,000 children will be followed for a decade to assess how various childhood experiences and environments affect brain development and psychological health. As noted by the researchers,5 “The data will provide a resource of unprecedented scale and depth for studying typical and atypical development.”

These preliminary findings, based on the brain scans of 4,500 9- to 10-year-olds, reveal children who use electronic devices for seven hours or more each day have premature thinning of the brain cortex, the outer brain layer that processes information from the five physical senses (taste, touch, sight, smell and sound).

The exact ramifications of this anomaly are still unknown. According to Dr. Gaya Dowling, a researcher with the National Institutes of Health, which is sponsoring the $300 million study, thinning of the cortex is thought to be part of the brain maturation process, so what these scans are showing is that this process is being sped up in children who get a lot of screen time6 (7-plus hours a day).

They cannot prove that the changes are definitively caused by the screen time, and the full effects won’t be known until years from now, as the emotional and mental health outcomes of these children are evaluated. Still, preliminary results suggest as little as two hours of screen time per day may impact cognition, resulting in lower scores on thinking and language tests.

American Academy of Pediatrics’ Guidelines for Screen Time

According to the “Growing Up Digital” report by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), published in October 2015:7

“The 2013 Zero to Eight study … showed that 38 percent of infants younger than age 2 use mobile devices like smartphones. A 2015 Pew Research study reports that 73 percent of 13- to 17-year-olds have smartphones and 24 percent admit using their phones almost constantly.”

The report cites data from research showing infants under the age of 1 do not effectively learn language from videos, whereas they do learn language from live interactions. Up to age 2, live presentations are far superior for language processing and learning compared to video presentations.

According to the report, “It is clear that very young children need ‘contingent interaction — two-way social interchange — to promote learning.” This is also noted in the 60 Minutes report8 (see featured video).

Research shows that babies do not transfer what they learn from the iPad to the real world, or from two-dimensional interaction to three-dimensional reality. For example, the ability to play with virtual Legos does not transfer over into the skill of manipulating real Lego blocks.

Despite such concerns, the 2015 AAP guidelines for screen time for children relaxed its recommendations, noting that “Parents should model responsible media use,” and that media content and diversity are important considerations, but that video games can be “powerful tools for learning because they help youth work toward reward,” and “engage in experimentation.”

Previous guidelines — developed before the popularity of iPads and smartphone apps designed for young children — discouraged all screen time for children under the age of 2, and recommended a limit of two hours of screen time for kids older than 2.

The updated guidelines removed specific time limits, stressing the need for parental control instead. Recommendations include setting limits for screen time at every age, avoiding displacement (i.e., not letting screen time dominate and take the place of face-to-face interactions and creative play), addressing digital etiquette, engaging in digital media use together, and establishing definitive media-free zones and periods, such as during meals and at bedtime.

Digital Media Is Designed To Be Addictive

While the AAP’s guidelines may be based in what seems to be common sense of good parenting, the reality is that many parents have just as much trouble moderating their usage as their children. What’s worse, young children, especially those under the age of 2, are far more susceptible to addictive behavior than older children and adults.

The fact that apps and social media are designed to be addictive adds to the challenge. Last year, Tristan Harris, a former Google product manager, revealed how smartphone apps and social media feedback are designed to get you hooked.9

Behavior patterns are often etched into neural pathways,10 and when those behaviors are also linked to hormone secretion and physiological responses, they become even more powerful. In fact, Harris describes the reward process of using a smartphone as “playing the slot machine.”11

Google has discovered a way to embed that reward system into the apps on your phone. In the video below, Harris describes the process, known in programming circles as “brain hacking,” as they incorporate knowledge of neuropsychology into the development of digital interfaces that boost interaction.

For instance, getting likes on Facebook and Instagram, the “streaks” on Snapchat or cute emojis on texts are all designed to boost your engagement and keep you coming back.

Harris describes it as a race to the bottom of the brainstem where fear and anxiety live, two of the most powerful motivators known to advertisers. Both advertisers and computer software developers use these techniques to write code that will engage your attention.12

Research discussed in the featured 60 Minute segment reveals that addiction to smartphones and social media is indeed a reality, triggering the release of dopamine — a neurochemical involved in cravings and desire that promotes impulsive and compulsive behavior.

Indeed, many, both children and adults, exhibit signs of addiction to their electronic devices. Many even sleep with their smartphones right next to them in bed, or directly under their pillow — a trend that is bound to cause severe harm to both their mental and physical health.

Screen Time Linked to Sleep Deprivation

The radiation alone is a significant hazard and is known to disrupt sleep, but the blue light from the screen, plus the beeping and pinging when messages and other notifications come in are bound to interrupt sleep as well. This does not even factor in the influence of microwave radiation from cellphones influencing melatonin, which regulates your sleep-wake cycle.

When your melatonin production is disrupted, it can have long-term health effects, as shown in a 2013 animal study13 which assessed the effects of cellphone radiation on the central nervous system. Exposure to cellphone radiation for just one hour a day for one month caused rats to experience a period of delay before entering rapid eye movement deep sleep — a phase necessary for restorative sleep.

Another study14 published in 2015 found that 1.8 GHz frequencies affected rats’ circadian rhythm and decreased their daily production of melatonin. Superoxide dismutase and glutathione peroxidase (which help prevent cellular damage) were also decreased.

Low melatonin is used as a marker for disturbed sleep.15 It comes as no great surprise then that sleep deprivation among teenagers rose by 57 percent between 1991 and 2015. Many do not even get seven hours of sleep on a regular basis, while science reveals they need a minimum of eight and as much as 10 hours to maintain their health.

The research clearly shows that heavy computer and cellphone users are more prone to insomnia.16 For example, one 2008 study17 revealed that people exposed to radiation from their mobile phones for three hours before bedtime had more trouble falling asleep and staying in a deep sleep.

Universal Smartphone Use Has Dramatically Altered Social Interactions

Smartphones and tablets have also had a tremendous impact on youths’ social interactions, which has significant ramifications for their psychological health. For example, teens today are far less likely to want to get a driver’s license than previous generations, and a majority of their social life is carried out in the solitude of their bedroom, via their smartphones.

As of 2015, 12th-graders spent less time “hanging out” and socializing with friends than eighth-graders did in 2009. While this makes them physically safer than any previous generation, this kind of isolation does not bode well for mental health and the building of social skills required for work and personal relationships.

In fact, today’s teens are also far less prone to date than previous generations. In 2015, 56 percent of high school seniors dated, nearly 30 percent less than boomers and Gen Xers. Not surprisingly, sexual activity has also declined — down by about 40 percent since 1991, resulting in a 67 percent drop in teen pregnancy rates.

Depression and Suicide Risk Rises in Tandem With Increased Screen Time

Avoiding the drama of those early love experiences has not had a positive effect on emotional health, however. Data from the annual Monitoring the Future survey reveals the more time teens spend online, the unhappier they are, and those who spend more time than average on in-person relations and activities that do not involve their smartphone are far more likely to report being “happy.”18

Results such as these really should come as no surprise. Spending time outdoors has been scientifically shown to dramatically improve people’s mood and significantly reduce symptoms of depression.19

Interestingly, it doesn’t matter what type of screen activity is involved. They’re all equally likely to cause psychological distress. Between 2012 and 2015, depressive symptoms among boys rose by 21 percent. Among girls, the rise during that same time was a whopping 50 percent20 — a truly remarkable increase in just three years’ time.

Rates of teen depression, self-harm and suicide have also dramatically risen. Emergency room visits for self-harming behavior such as cutting has tripled among girls aged 10 to 14, and data suggest spending three hours or more each day on electronic devices raises a teen’s suicide risk by 35 percent.21

Between 2007 and 2015, the suicide rate for 12- to 14-year-old girls rose threefold — a gender trend that can in part be blamed on a rise in cyberbullying, which is more common among girls. The suicide rate among boys doubled in that same time frame.22

The issue is not entirely black-and-white, however. Recent polling23 by the Pew Research Center reveals 81 percent of teens say social media helps them feel more connected to their friends, and 69 percent say it helps them interact with a more diverse group of people. Sixty-eight percent also said they feel they have people online to whom they can turn for support during rough times.

On the other hand, 45 percent admit they feel overwhelmed by the drama on social media, and 43 percent feel pressured to only post content that presents them in a good light.

Still, recent research shows that limiting social media usage has a definitive, and beneficial, impact on mental health. The study24 in question recruited 143 undergraduate students at the University of Pennsylvania who were randomly assigned to either use social media (Facebook, Instagram and/or Snapchat) as usual for three weeks, or limit their usage to 30 minutes per day.

According to the researchers, “The limited use group showed significant reductions in loneliness and depression over three weeks compared to the control group. Both groups showed significant decreases in anxiety and fear of missing out over baseline, suggesting a benefit of increased self-monitoring.”

How Electronic Devices Trigger Anxiety, Depression and Memory Problems

Aside from purely psychological factors, one of the reasons for why social media use tends to raise a child’s risk for anxiety and depression25 has to do with the fact that smartphones emit electromagnetic fields (EMFs).26

Research27,28 by professor Martin Pall, Ph.D., reveals EMFs activate voltage gated calcium channels (VGCCs) embedded in your cell membranes. This releases a flood of calcium ions which, through a cascade of effects, result in the creation of hydroxyl free radicals — some of the most destructive free radicals known to man. In turn, this decimates mitochondrial and nuclear DNA, their membranes and proteins, ultimately resulting in mitochondrial dysfunction.

Your brain has the highest density of VGCCs in your body, which is why excessive EMF exposure is associated with depression and neurological dysfunction, including dementia.

According to Nicholas Carr, author of the book, “The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains,” millennials are experiencing greater problems with forgetfulness than seniors.29 This is the “dark side” of neurological plasticity that allows your brain to adapt to changes in your environment. This type of plasticity is one way your brain recovers after a stroke has permanently damaged one area.

Aside from reduced cortical thickness (found in other studies30,31 beside the ABCD study), long-term internet use has also been linked to a loss of white matter32,33 and impaired cognitive functioning.34

It is impossible to ignore that these devices are changing your child’s brain structure, and the experience is also increasing exposure to microwave radiation and large amounts of blue light at night, thereby impacting his or her body’s ability to produce melatonin.

So, if your child or teen is showing signs of anxiety, depression or cognitive problems, please, do what you must to limit their exposure to wireless technology. Teach them more responsible usage. At bare minimum, insist on their turning off phones and tablets at night, and to not sleep with their phone beneath their pillow or directly near their head.

Really try to minimize the presence of electronic devices in their bedroom and, to protect everyone in your household and instill the concept of “off times,” shut down your Wi-Fi at night.

As noted in 60 Minutes, what we’re dealing with is a completely uncontrolled experiment on our children, and while it’s still too early to determine all of the ramifications, preliminary findings strongly suggest precautions are necessary to protect our children’s physical health and mental well-being.


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





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





(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





(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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