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18 of Nature's Most Powerful Medicinal Plants (Part of an Exclusive WebEcoist Series on Amazing Trees, Plants, Forests and Flowers) From marijuana to catnip, there are hundreds of remarkably common herbs, flowers, berries and plants that serve all kinds of important medicinal and health purposes that might surprise you: anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal, insect repellent, antiseptic, expectorant, antibacterial, detoxification, fever reduction, antihistamine and pain relief. Here are eighteen potent medical plants you're likely to find in the wild – or even someone's backyard – that can help with minor injuries, scrapes, bites and pains.*
Study Finds High-Fructose Corn Syrup Contains Mercury MONDAY, Jan. 26 (HealthDay News) -- Almost half of tested samples of commercial high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) contained mercury, which was also found in nearly a third of 55 popular brand-name food and beverage products where HFCS is the first- or second-highest labeled ingredient, according to two new U.S. studies. HFCS has replaced sugar as the sweetener in many beverages and foods such as breads, cereals, breakfast bars, lunch meats, yogurts, soups and condiments. On average, Americans consume about 12 teaspoons per day of HFCS, but teens and other high consumers can take in 80 percent more HFCS than average. "Mercury is toxic in all its forms. Given how much high-fructose corn syrup is consumed by children, it could be a significant additional source of mercury never before considered.
FDA draws criticism after U-turn on antibiotics in animal feed Environmental and consumer groups have condemned the US Food and Drug Administration's move to renege on its long-held policy to regulate the use of human antibiotics in animal feed. Last week, the agency quietly announced it was withdrawing its plan to limit the use of antibiotics fed to healthy livestock intended for human consumption. Critics say the U-turn, which comes amid the FDA's own stated concerns over food safety, is at odds with its obligations to protect the public. The groups also criticised the timing of the announcement, which was made during the holiday season and disclosed only in the federal register. The use of low doses of antibiotics in agricultural animal feed contributes to drug-resistant superbugs, according to food and health experts. One leading food policy writer described the policy reversal as "pathetic" and "dismaying."
cosmic dawn Astronomers have detected a signal from the first stars as they appeared and illuminated the universe, in observations that have been hailed as “revolutionary”. The faint radio signals suggest the universe was lifted out of total darkness 180m years after the big bang in a momentous transition known as the cosmic dawn. The faint imprint left by the glow of the earliest stars also appears to contain new and unexpected evidence about the existence and nature of dark matter which, if confirmed by independent observatories, would mark a second major breakthrough. “Finding this minuscule signal has opened a new window on the early universe,” said Judd Bowman of Arizona State University, whose team set out to make the detection more than a decade ago. The Leading Cause of Breast Cancer? Profiteers in the medical CT scan business took a big hit last week from a major new government report on the causes of breast cancer. Published by the Institute of Medicine (IOM), the health arm of the National Academy of Sciences, the exhaustive analysis found that medical radiation, particularly the large radiation dose delivered by CT scans, is the foremost identifiable cause of breast cancer. Almost 230,480 new cases of breast cancer will be diagnosed this year in the United States, and about 40,000 women will die of the disease, roughly one out of every 3,875 women. The new Institute of Medicine report probably doesn’t sit well with the industry, hospitals and clinics that make so many millions of dollars selling and over-using CT machines. The authors suggest that women avoid “unnecessary” or “inappropriate” medical radiation, a thinly veiled criticism of the industry that will give you a CT scan for a tooth ache if you don’t object to it.
quantum supremacy For Google it was a historic announcement: a declaration that it had won the race to achieve “quantum supremacy” – the moment that a futuristic quantum computer performed a task that stumped even the most powerful standard computer in the world. But for all the fanfare, which saw Google’s CEO Sundar Pichai compare the feat to building the first rocket to reach space, the claim has sparked a bunfight. The tech firm’s rival, IBM, was swift to dismiss the excitement. Google has not, it asserts, achieved the highly prized goal of quantum supremacy.
Shock: Gulf Truth Activist Shot At His New Orleans Home. Tucker Mendoza, a gulf truth activist, was shot early this morning 4 times through the door of his home in Laplace. He was hit 3 times in the chest and once across the forehead. With him was a niece, he reports she was struck in the neck and bottom. Tucker has been able to communicate via his phone and post to FB on the events. crispr use inside body Scientists say they have used the gene editing tool Crispr-Cas9 inside a person’s body for the first time, a new development in efforts to operate on DNA to treat diseases. A patient recently underwent a procedure at the Casey Eye Institute at Oregon Health & Science University in Portland for an inherited form of blindness, the companies that make the treatment announced on Wednesday. They would not give details on the patient or when the surgery occurred. It may take up to a month to see whether the procedure worked to restore vision. If the first few attempts seem safe, doctors plan to test the technique on 18 children and adults.