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What are Little Boys Made of? Too Many Chemicals!

What are Little Boys Made of? Too Many Chemicals! 86

By The World Mercury Project Team

At least one in six American children (roughly 17%) has a diagnosed developmental disability. No matter which once-rare disorder one considers—learning disabilities, autism spectrum disorder (ASD), attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), tics, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) or emotional disturbances—each has witnessed a dramatic escalation over the past several decades. A systematic literature review recently published in Acta Neurobiologiae Experimentalis contends that these trends are at crisis proportions. The crisis is spiraling out of control, with society-wide impacts on services, institutions, families and, especially, boys.

There are at least two boys for every girl with a neurodevelopmental disorder. For ASDand ADHD, the male-to-female ratio is roughly four and five to one, respectively. Genetics cannot explain this consistent sex-specific pattern. What can explain it is children’s vastly increased exposure to and bioaccumulation of chemical neurotoxins at the same time that the explosion in neurodevelopmental disorders has unfolded. The studies examined in the systematic review indicate that males are more vulnerable to leading environmental toxins—and there are plausible biological mechanisms to explain this heightened vulnerability. In fact, the skewed sex ratio is, in and of itself, a vital clue that can help pinpoint major causes of neurodevelopmental disorders.

The primary chemical culprits

The review’s authors examined over four decades’ worth of studies (1970–2016) covering roughly 16 types of neurotoxicants. They used a six-point scoring system to categorize research that involved either humans, animal models or tissue cultures. The review identified a number of sex-dependent effects, some of which were clear-cut and others somewhat less so:

  • Seven neurotoxins had more adverse effects for males, including extremely consistent effects for ethylmercury-containing thimerosallead, some organochlorine pesticides (dieldrinendosulfan and heptachlor) and air pollution (including automotive exhaust and airborne toxic metals). Male-specific effects were present but somewhat less consistent for three other neurotoxins: elemental mercury vapor, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and organophosphate pesticides (OPPs).
  • Two organochlorine pesticides (DDT and DDE) affected more females.
  • For three categories of neurotoxins—inorganic mercury salts, methylmercury and endocrine disruptors such as phthalates and bisphenol A (BPA)—there were gender-specific neurotoxic effects but it was not possible to determine whether males or females were more adversely affected.

There was either insufficient or no research to draw conclusions about gender-specific neurotoxic effects for six types of neurotoxins: aluminum adjuvants in vaccines, arsenic, glyphosate, perfluorinated compounds, polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). The authors remind us, however, that “the lack of findings cannot be taken as a priori evidence of no gender-specific neurotoxic effects.”

…studies are needed to understand whether combined neurotoxic exposures (such as receiving both thimerosal-containing and aluminum-containing vaccines) provoke gender-specific effects.

The shortage of research on whether aluminum adjuvants are associated with gender-specific neurotoxic effects is particularly disturbing, given the ease with which injected aluminum particles enter the brain. Evidence indicates that the increased use of aluminum adjuvants is having serious neurological consequences and correlates with the rise in ASD. Moreover, a groundbreaking study that recently examined brain tissue from deceased ASD individuals found unprecedented levels of aluminum, particularly in male brains.

Male vulnerabilities

The review’s authors discuss half a dozen plausible reasons why neurotoxins encounter increased susceptibility in males—particularly during sensitive developmental stages. These include biological mechanisms that protect females, such as greater availability in females of glutathione and sulfate (both of which are critical for detoxification); less vulnerability to oxidative stress and free-radical-mediated damage; and more neuroprotection from female hormones, which help “deactivate” inflammatory processes and suppress neuronal hyperexcitability.

Males, in contrast, tend toward a greater neuroinflammatory response, and testosterone appears to enhance and “potentiate” neurotoxicity. Illustrating this point, the authors cite work showing that “thimerosal toxicity to neurons was significantly increased by co-exposure with testosterone, whereas estrogens significantly reduced the toxicity of thimerosal to neurons.”

In 2013, the federal government awarded more than 38 times as much funding ($291 million) to ASD researchers studying genetics as to those studying ASD’s environmental aspects ($7.5 million)—even though genetics “only addresses at best about 20% of the ASD population.”

Addressing the crisis

The systematic review concurs with several other consensus papers (from 20062014and 2016) that link neurodevelopmental disorders to environmental toxins. According to the 40 years of research examined in the review, four neurotoxins (thimerosal, lead, air pollutants and some organochlorine pesticides) stand out in exhibiting consistent male-specific effects. These toxins likely have played “a leading role in the recent and dramatic increase in neurodevelopmental disorders.”

The review’s authors spell out several important areas for further research. For example, studies are needed to understand whether combined neurotoxic exposures (such as receiving both thimerosal-containing and aluminum-containing vaccines) provoke gender-specific effects. In addition, the authors note the many other variables that can come into play and contribute to toxic effects, including age and timing of exposure; dose; absorption and transport of toxins within the body; and the strength of the individual’s detoxification, cellular repair and compensation systems. Unfortunately, research funding priorities in the U.S. are highly distorted, as the field of ASD research illustrates. In 2013, the federal government awarded more than 38 times as much funding ($291 million) to ASD researchers studying genetics as to those studying ASD’s environmental aspects ($7.5 million)—even though genetics “only addresses at best about 20% of the ASD population.”

Emphasizing the high cost of inaction, the authors outline steps that can be taken immediately. Stating that “a true preventive program would address the exposure-related issues by reducing or stopping the causative exposures to the identified neurotoxicants” [emphasis added], the authors recommend:

  • Banning (once and for all) thimerosal as a vaccine ingredient and in the manufacture of vaccines
  • Eliminating toxic metals from all makeup and cosmetics
  • Banning organochlorine pesticides
  • Using existing technologies to reduce air pollution

Perhaps most importantly, they call for the formation of an independent scientific task force—meaning one without any ties to industry—to study neurodevelopmental toxicity and “make recommendations to effect legislation that would address and reduce toxic exposures among pregnant women, infants and children.” Surely there is no shortage of scientists who would embrace the task of protecting our most vulnerable boys and girls.

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Science & Technology

The goal of human civilization is to create AI and disappear?

The goal of human civilization is to create AI and disappear? 93

Various sources often talk about civilizations that lived long before us. They all developed, prospered for a while, and then disappeared in an incomprehensible way. 

What is the reason for their decline, we probably will not know. All we can do is admire the remains of stone buildings, over which time has almost no power.

While looking for an answer, we somehow accidentally stumbled upon an interesting saying about the life of Japanese samurai: “A samurai has no goal, but a path.” In the end, the “path of the samurai” ended in what is known – death. The path of any civilization ended in the same way.

If you look at the issue through the prism of a samurai saying, then there is no point in looking for why and how civilization ended its existence. Probably, the process itself and its result are important here. But to whom is it important and what result does it expect?

Mysterious director

Apparently, behind the curtains of this “ancient theater” there is a mysterious “director” who periodically makes necessary adjustments to the history of civilization.

To figure out what’s what, you need to look at current trends in science. Where does a person strive with such an irresistible desire to “play God.” This attracts him and at the same time frightens him, but in no way turns him away from the intended path. Most likely, artificial intelligence (AI) is the purpose of our civilization’s existence.

About 50 years ago it would have seemed nonsense, but to someone, perhaps even now. However, if you trace the last 100 years of the life of our civilization, you get the feeling that most of the discoveries were given to mankind at the same time. A powerful leap has taken place in a hundred years. Why did it happen?

At the beginning of the last century, scientists recognized the existence of fields that have memory and the ability to store and transmit information. It is very likely that such or a similar field can be around the Earth and, more interesting, possess intelligence. Isn’t this the same “Director” hiding behind the screen of the “ancient theater”?

If this is so, then at a certain moment the “Director” gives the selected scientist “access” to certain knowledge (perhaps even in a dream, like Mendeleev), and another scientific breakthrough occurs in the world. Step by step, discovery after discovery, humanity is steadily moving towards the creation of AI. The trend is already well visible.

The goal of human civilization is to create AI and disappear? 94

AI is probably the next “Babylon”, which will combine all the knowledge, culture and accumulated experience of civilization. In the future, the neural network will enter into a connection with the general information field and leave humanity without knowledge, technology, and even a spoken language. This will be the next decline of civilization. And the “Director” will receive another array of new data (experience) in order to start creating a new civilization.

If someone believes that past civilizations ended in large-scale conflicts, then most likely this is already the consequences of “turning off” AI.

Co-founder of Skype talked about the threat of AI to humanity

One of the creators of the Skype internet call service, Jaan Ta

The goal of human civilization is to create AI and disappear? 95
Photo: 
© still from the movie “Terminator 2: Judgment Day”

llinn, said that the development of artificial intelligence (AI) threatens humanity. According to him, humans face three key threats, but it is AI that should be feared most of all, the expert said. 

Tallinn explained that at the moment, no one can predict what development AI will achieve in the next decades. In addition, the fact that scientists are creating artificial intelligence that can form a new AI without human intervention is also a cause for concern.

In addition, as the co-founder of the popular video calling service noted, the development of synthetic biology also causes concern. According to him, this direction in science allows the creation of artificial DNA sequences and biological systems that may not exist in nature.

Tallinn also drew attention to the fact that he fears we are entering an era of “unknown unknowns”, things that people are not even able to imagine right now.

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Volkswagen robot will autonomously charge cars: a working prototype presented

Volkswagen robot will autonomously charge cars: a working prototype presented 96
Copyright: © VW

The renowned German car manufacturer announced a new development. This time, engineers have created a unique robot capable of autonomously charging electric vehicles. 

For more than a year, specialists have been developing this project, but only now the concern was ready to demonstrate the first working prototype. The robot is ready to charge electric vehicles and has shown the high efficiency of this process.

It is called the Mobile Charging Robot, and experts have already compared it to the R2-D2 droid from Star Wars, including squeaks and clangs. Indeed, there is a similarity. Before implementing this idea, the engineers decided that robots should be allowed to charge cars parked in large residential complexes.

This will save their owners from leaving in order to find a gas station. Another advantage is that large parking lots and garages do not have to contain several expensive charging points for electric cars. The car company said in a press release that the robot works exclusively autonomously.

It independently controls and interacts with the vehicle being charged. It opens the cover of the charging socket and independently connects the power plug, then disconnects it. The robot looks like a trailer, which is a mobile energy storage.

It is capable of charging multiple electric vehicles at the same time. Despite the fact that the manufacturer confidently praises its concept, experts saw inefficiency in the fact that first it is necessary to charge the robot’s battery, which is then used to recharge electric cars.

Volkswagen Group Components CEO Thomas Schmall noted that creating an efficient charging infrastructure for the cars of the future is an important step in the company’s development.

Its engineers focus on finding solutions to avoid costly do-it-yourself measures. The mobile robot is only part of the concept that will continue to be developed.

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This video will forever change the way you think about time

This video will forever change the way you think about time 97

Business Insider, one of the world’s leading news portals, made a three-minute video that depicted the Earth’s timeline as a journey from Los Angeles to New York.

So, the beginning of the journey is 4.54 billion years ago, when the Earth was formed from the accumulation of gases and stardust. After some time, a significant event occurs – a giant space body crashes into the still not cooled Earth, as a result of which the breakaway part becomes its satellite – the Moon.

Further, the route runs through the mountains of Arizona, formed about 3.95 billion years ago. A few more kilometers to the east and we are at the 3.8 billion year mark. This is where the first evidence of life in the form of replicating molecules appears.

The next “stop” Kansas – 2.7 billion years ago. Cyanobacteria that produce oxygen appeared on Earth. It took the next 200 million years for the atmosphere of our planet to accumulate sufficient reserves of this most important gas.

Halfway through, we reach Pennsylvania. We are separated from it “only” by 660 million years. Life is developing rapidly: the Earth is covered with vegetation, amphibians are evolving. Unusual time travel is coming to an end – to the point “Now”. By the time the dinosaurs become extinct, we finally reach the outskirts of New York.

And where is the most important thing – people? To find out, you need to carve out three minutes and watch the entire video.

Source: Business Insider

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