WyrdeOne: So sorry for the delay getting back to you. There really is no excuse, but… I’ve not been on the computer much at all recently…
haven’t had too much time to do much reading either… been getting a grant polished up for submission as well as making edits to a chapter re: the
evolution of antibiotic resistance for a buddy’s book.
Polonium is one of the rarest metals on earth is it not? I was under the impression that it decayed very rapidly, let off a lot of heat
through this decay, and generally is not stable outside of the minute concentrations found in Uranium ore. It's so rare, that those companies who
manufacture it charge obscene amounts for the end product.
I am not too sure about the relative abundance of polonium on earth, I do understand that it is pretty unstable. Irrespective of this though, the
medical community believes there is a significant risk of polonium exposure via tobacco smoking.
The properties of the metal would seem to make it poorly suited to absorbtion by plants, though it is semi-soluble in alkali, which makes some
sense as to why it would end up in tobacco...
This is a great point… further indicates that tobacco, for whatever reason IS particularly good at concentrating polonium. There exist many
precedents for this as well. I don’t really feel like tracking down the specifics now, but several plants have been shown to concentrate certain
heavy metals. This is of course, the theory behind bioremediation.
I know the lethal dosage is quite small, on the order of less than a tenth of a micro curie, so if it's heavily concentrated in tobacco plant
matter, wouldn't the Native Americans have been dropping like flies with every hit off the peace pipe?
As I understand it, the problem is two fold: tobacco concentrates polonium, which wouldn’t be a problem in places where polonium wasn’t
concentrated. However there seems to be something with the fertilizers used. The contamination is sourced in naturally occurring radioactive radon
gas, which is absorbed and trapped in apatite rock. Apatite is mined for the purpose of formulating the phosphate portion of most chemical
fertilizers. So there’s some synergy here.
I've also heard stories that the types of cancer surfacing since mass produced cigarettes took off are markedly different from the types of
cancer suffered from in earlier times. Can you confirm this, and would it tend to implicate the production methods or growing methods rather than the
actual drug itself?
I cannot confirm or deny this. Though it makes total sense. Production and or growing methods absolutely can and do impact the end ‘product.’ This
is evidenced by the ‘less nutritious’ food available today that I believe you and I’ve discussed before.
I suspect the ammonia used in modern cigarettes might be principally responsible. Those grey lines down the shaft of the cig are sprayed on
anhydrous ammonia if I'm not mistaken. That could be a more likely culprit, what do you think? I haven't been able to find any evidence of controls
placed on the ammonia used by tobacco companies, and I haven't been able to find any research to indicate scientists have even considered this
possibility. There is most definitely a link between Polonium and Ammonia, whether or not the Ammonia in the cigarettes is the source of the Polonium
that seems to be killing smokers, well, only research will tell.
I am not aware of any issues surrounding ammonia per se. I would imagine that ammonia, when oxidized could catalyze the formation of a variety
cancerous nitroso compounds, but ammonia groups are readily available in biologicals, and in a partially oxidized state, via the presence of amines.
Why do you feel the presence of ammonia is more significant than the presence of ordinary amines? I am unaware of any correlation between Po and
ammonia… only the above mentioned correlations between polonium and phosphate.
Aint that the truth.. America, home of the Double Whopper, the Super Sized Extra Value Meal, the Hummer, the mile long buffet, I could go on
and on. I'm sure moderation would mitigate the health problems of tobacco users, especially concerning emphysema and COPD, which are more concretely
linked to tobacco use than cancer ever has been.
There is definitely a link between nuclear testing and cancer. You can't put millions of radioactive particles into the upper aptmosphere and
expect them to disappear. The government needs to come clean, but of course they can't because it would amount to suicide. They found a scapegoat and
most people are none the wiser, just getting sicker.
I’ve been thinking about this a lot since you and I first began this conversation. I’d have to tend to agree with you. There is no justification
for this, and it almost definitely has affected human health. However, I don’t feel comfortable giving smoking a clean bill of health, especially
after the correlations I’ve seen re: lung cancer incidence and cigarette smoking. Again to revisit the polonium thing, it could be that cigarettes
are more positively correlated with cancer because of this, but it still doesn’t give cigs a clean bill of health.
Certainly The government 'public awareness' campaign against tobacco seems to me like a poorly concealed effort to redirect public anger away
from the government.
Could be. I tend to think it reflects peoples increasing tendency to gravitate away from personal responsibility though. People buy into these
campaigns in an effort to avoid personal responsibility for their situation…. Like suing McDonalds because eating there all the time made you fat.
Smoking is unhealthy. Anyone who’s ever smoked can tell you this. It doesn’t take a bunch of scientists to realize this. If you want to smoke,
fine, but be aware of the consequences associated with it. I don’t think it’s inherently bad that the gov’t has these public awareness
campaigns. Are you opposed to the awareness campaigns that provide dietary or exercise advice?
However, this vitamin could prove a valuable tool in stopping some of the more virulent cancers from metastasizing out of control. It could
also be used in situations where the patient's health is too weak to consider typical therapies like radiation and poison, I mean chemo.
If there is any validity to the mechanism of B17 as it is described, then I agree with you. But as I mentioned the mechanism of action relies on a
very specific genetic situation. Specifically, upregulation of beta-glucoronidase. It may be extremely effective in those cancers. However in a cancer
where beta-glucoronidase is either unaffected or in fact, downregulated, the presence of B17 could in fact kill off healthy cells.
In any case, I think a great deal more research is needed to identify the benefits of B17, and that sort of research is going to be hard to do
for the same reason marijuana research is difficult.
I can agree that B17 shouldn’t be dismissed as absolute quackery.
I'm sure in some alien bestiary, we are classified as a cow parasite, which is sort of depressing and beautifully ironic at the same time. I
personally am past the point of worrying about what I eat and drink, because I have shed my fear of death.
It’s not death that I fear. I have a really difficult time supporting industries that I feel violate so many of my particular moral principles.
Don’t misinterpret this is as me saying, “People shouldn’t eat animals,” because I am not.
Still, I am greatly upset by the fact that so many Americans place trust in their government (regulatory agencies) to care for them. I can't
imagine a decision more solidly rooted in ignorance.
Again, I agree… 100%
I think anyone who wants to live a long and healthy life would do well to grow their own food, kill their television, and bury it in the back
yard along with every piece of plastic they own.
I hear that too… apparently I am not that strong though… pretty addicted to history, discovery and discovery times channel.
I think you misunderstood, I wasn't saying that K causes the folding (though I suppose it could), rather, K might be necessary to bind and
remove the misfolded proteins before they can pile up. K is passed through the body incredibly quickly, probably quicker than any other mineral, no?
If you were going to bind trash to any ion for speedy removal, K would be the one, right? I'm talking out of my here, I have no basis other than
unfounded speculation, so don't lose any sleep over my theory.
I did misunderstand. However, as I understand it K wouldn’t be more likely to pass through any quicker than say Na, another monovalent ion. The
other thing to consider is K’s location. In mammals, K tends to be concentrated intracellularly, not extracellularly. This is why injections of K
will stop your heart… screws up the concentration gradient that allows action potentials to be created. This is also my other problem with the K
deficiency theory. K is so heavily involved with nerve impulses, etc… things that function to keep an organism not only healthy, but functioning as
an organism. Nerve impulses, muscle contractions, other essential cellular processes are completely dependent on K.
Ironically enough, my wife’s grandmother just passed away, and one of her biggest things was not being able to absorb sufficient potassium. But I
suppose this is a different situation, as we are talking about absorption and not overall ‘exposure.’
Researchers at Berkley found that soda accounts for anywhere from 7% - 25% of American's daily calories - by far the largest single source!
Wow! I mean..Wow.... I myself drink 4 litres of Mountain Dew a day, give or take a litre. My sugar consumption allows me to get by on one meal a day,
if I didn't have soda I would have NO energy. It's obviously a very unhealthy lifestyle Americans practice, but I can't help but thinking they were
raised that way. We're living in a convenience culture, and we're paying for it with the second half of our lives.
I recently gave up soda. I can agree with the research though. When I go to the grocery store, I am astonished at the amount of soda that people
purchase. I gave up sugared sodas because they made it too hard to keep my weight where I want to. Now that I stopped consuming all those extra
calories from soda, I weigh pretty much what I weighed in my late teens and early twenties. After giving up sugar, I was drinking tons of Diet Pepsi,
which I am convinced degraded my eyesight significantly. Now I am off of all soda… I discovered it was the carbonation that I liked… now I pretty
much drink seltzer and club soda. When I do drink a regular soda, like when I go out for lunch occasionally, it makes my stomach hurt.
According to those same researchers, alcohol, sweets, and soda combined account for fully one third of the average American's diet. That just
blows my mind, but I can't say I'm surprised. It's just that looking at those figures really makes one wonder how our bodies can deal with all the
crap we put in them. The human body really is a marvellous machine, and we are pushing it beyond its considerable means. I really am in awe of the
body's ability to cope with our brain's stupidity.
I agree again. My wife’s grandmother… lived to be 80, which isn’t that old, but I don’t think the woman consumed anything but French fries and
coffee from the time she was 40, I don’t think she ever got any exercise… and she lived to be 80!
I don't agree with widespread supplement use either, I think the danger of overdose far outweighs the benefit. My friend's mother has this
lazy susan on her dining room table, it's 'home' for all her supplements. I spun it around one day and read all the labels, mostly out of boredom
while waiting for my friend. Some of her supplements were 2000% RDV. That stunned me, and when I asked, her reply was 'can't have too much of a good
thing.' I vehemently disagreed with her and told her if she didn't believe me, she should try drinking more than a gallon of water in one sitting.
She didn't want to hear it of course, and I think she is representative of the widely held misconception that vitamins are good for you in any
dosage, no matter how obscene.
With some vitamins… specifically the water solubles, it might not be unhealthy, it’s really just a waste of money. The systems for absorbing these
nutrients become saturated at levels far below the 2000% you’ve mentioned. The water solubles tend to just get pissed away at that point. Taking
that much of the fat solubles could be toxic….especially vitamin A.
Gene therapy is very promising, if we could develop a way to completely understand the system we're mucking with, we might be able to
effectively use it to treat any illness. There is an underlying system that we have to understand first, and I understand fully how complex it is, but
computers are helping us a great deal. If we can actually identify the interactions between 'code' and 'construct' we can essentially rebuild the
human body on the fly, in any conceivable configuration - with the purpose of course being treatment, prevention, or alleviation of the symptoms of
Obviously, I too think that gene therapy holds significant promise. Your assessment is basically correct too. We don’t quite know enough about the
system to effectively manipulate it yet. I wonder if the public will be able to tolerate the mistakes it will take to get there though. I’ve no
doubt that gene therapy can be an effective method for treating illness. However, I also believe that in figuring all of this out, mistakes will be
made. People will be injured, maimed, and have already been killed in figuring out this process. In my opinion, the survivability and efficacy of gene
therapy is going to be dependent on the ability of the public in general to accommodate the ‘growing pains’ that are going to be associated with
this technology. The growing pains are going to be unlike any they’ve ever experienced before though.
The trick is understanding, and I think laymen overestimate the limits of modern scientific knowledge. Most people think DNA is old news, that
the mapping of the genome solved the riddle. LOL The mapping just clarified the riddle, it didn't even come close to solving it. We still have
absolutely no idea how 90% of the human body's processes function, and we have a very limited understanding of the body systems' interactions with
one another - that's critical.
This probably mostly the fault of the scientists though. They touted the human genome as being the be-all-end-all of science projects related to human
health. They neglected to tell the public that the human genome project was just a huge exercise in gathering information. Now that we’ve got it,
we’ve got to sort through it all. That’s where the real work comes in. The genome is just a small part of picture anyway… sort of like having
all of the parts of all the known aircraft thrown into a big pile… now we’ve got to sort through the pile, identify which parts are associated
with which aircraft, and figure out how they all work together. It’s a huge task.
One problem with the human body is that it keeps its own blueprints and they get damaged over time, so a 'perfect' set of schematics would be
needed, but aside from that, I don't see any reason why gene therapy wouldn't work to cure every conceivable illness/damage.
Might not be as much of a problem as you think. While it’s true that individual copies of ‘blueprints’ do become corrupted, we’ve got billions
of other copies with which to compare it. Just by comparing blueprints between cells you could obtain an uncorrupted copy… or at least extrapolate
NC is a wonderful place to live, as long as you're not on the coast. When you get there, look up my buddy David Boltt and check out his tattoo
Not going to live on the coast… moving to Asheville. I personally love the mountains, and the coast is just a day trip away… perfect climate. I
can’t wait to get out of Phoenix… though the weather lately has been pretty much perfect. Looks like your buddy is right there. A friend of mine
owns a studio in the Upstate NY town where I am from. He’s actually a piercer, but has some award winning ink. He’s got a b&W of DeNiro from
‘Taxi Driver’ that he won an award for… has actually traveled to Peru (?) to get one of those traditional tattoos. Said it hurt like a
m^*(^%F@er, this coming from a guy who did his own Prince Albert. I have three tattoos, last one hurt like hell… have thought about another, but
have to have adequate inspiration. It’s cool that you know someone in Asheville… gives me someone/something to check out when I get there. Thanks
for the contact.
Sorry it took me so long to reply,
No problemo… Sorry for the extreme length of time it took me to respond to this.