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Friday, 17 November

20:34

I Am A Feminist, and Not All Choices Are Worth Fighting For. "IndyWatch Feed Fertility"





I want to start off by saying that I am as pro-woman as it might get.

Of course, women should be treated with equal respect. Of course, women should have the right to choose what they do with their bodies. Of course, women deserve to be paid the same as men for the same work. OF COURSE, women are worthy citizens. Absolutely. And

All the choices we have been presented with by a society dominated by men and patriarchal values are NOT worth fighting for. Meaning, just because we can do something, doesnt mean we shouldor even want to.

I get it, though. These choices we are given have been framed as rights. Rights is a charged word. Who doesnt want rights to something? Of course, women should have the right.right?

We have somehow been duped into thinking that just because society has given us an option in regard to our own lives, health, careers, etc, then it has value and we should fight for it.

But lets face it. Society misses the mark A LOT in terms of what is conducive to the health and wellbeing of its citizens. As a matter of fact, I would be so bold to say that mostly, what we deem as normal and mainstream societal expectations and behavior pretty much sucks.

I want to pause and reiterate. I am allllll for a womans right to choose. I am in no way suggesting or proposing that we remove a womans right to choose for herself, or force/inflict anything upon her without her consent and against her judgment.



The word choice is defined as: an act of selecting or making a decision when faced with two or more possibilities.

Therefore, is it really a choice if we arent given all the information about the choices we have to choose from? Is it really a choice if you are not choosing between two or more possibilities and you are just doing what is being pushed onto you by societal expectation and conditioning? Because you know, thats how your mom did it and thats how you were raised.

I am pro-woman. I am pro-health, freedom, happiness, vitality, and power of all women. Most women have so much internalized...

19:44

A Gain is Not a Gain. Faltering Growth in Breast & Formula Fed Babies. "IndyWatch Feed Fertility"

We've been running our weekly infant feeding clinic in Yorkshire for years now, and during that time it's been fascinating to note the changing trends when it comes to feeding babies.

When we first started, a common problem was parents were advised their baby needed additional milk when they didn't.  This happened because their growth was plotted on charts based on the growth patterns of formula fed babies, resulting in the breastfed babies older than a few months, appearing not to grow adequately.  We spent so much time reassuring parents that their babies were growing perfectly well for a breastfed baby and didn't need coaxing to take additional milk.

Many believe formula fed babies gain weight more rapidly than their breastfed peers; however initially the reverse is actually true.   The  non-breastfed baby typically gains weight more slowly in the first four months, it's after this the shift occurs and they start to gain weight more rapidly compared to those who are breastfed.

Thus historically on the old charts, many breastfed babies appeared to have suboptimal gain and as a result the UK growth charts were updated to reflect the typical growth patterns of those exclusively breastfeeding.

In our clinic in the last couple of years, things have definitely shifted.  Now it's rare we see an over-supplemented baby, instead we've observed a steep increase in actual cases of "faltering growth" - that is babies who aren't a little underweight, but chronically so.




What's perhaps most surprising is both these babies above were under the care of and regularly seen by healthcare professionals.
...

17:00

Meet the Leadership: Katie Peternel, ICAN of Annapolis "IndyWatch Feed Fertility"

ICAN is excited to announce Katie Peternel as our newest Chapter Leader!

katie-peternel

I want others to know that ICAN is not against all cesareans. Instead, their goal is education and advocacy, and to reduce unnecessary cesareans while promoting VBACs. ~ Katie Peternel, ICAN of Annapolis

Please introduce yourself to ICAN:

I am married, have one son (Cole 1.5), and another on the way. When pregnant with my son, I prepared for an unmedicated, intervention-free hospital birth. I agreed to be induced at 41+2, was unable to have an epidural due to low platelets, pushed for 3.5 hours, and then head a cesarean due to arrest of descent. When Cole was born, he was taken to the NICU for 1 hour, but then joined me in the recovery room. I was disappointed in almost every aspect of my birth experience, and I look forward to being a better advocate for myself and for other women in the future as an ICAN leader!

I was a self-contained special education teacher working with children with autism out of college and now I am a behavior specialist for a local school system. I like to crochet, needlepoint, and craft even though I never have the time! When not pregnant or breastfeeding, I love wine!

What led you to join ICAN?

I found out about ICAN through an internet search after the birth of my first child. I did not have any friends who had struggled with their cesareans, or any friends who had VBACs. I thought that if I was searching for this type of support in my area, certainly other women would be too!

How do you share ICAN as an organization with others?

...

11:33

Birth, Bodies, Bharat "IndyWatch Feed Fertility"




Thanks Stella, for this photo from Madurai, of a nurturing man and a pregnant (birthing?) woman.

04:27

These results demonstrate the dynamic ovarian response to BPA exposure. "IndyWatch Feed Fertility"

PMID:  Gen Comp Endocrinol. 2017 Nov 4. Epub 2017 Nov 4. PMID: 29113915 Abstract Title:  Bisphenol A accelerates meiotic progression in embryonic chickens via the estrogen receptor signaling pathway. Abstract:  Bisphenol A (BPA) as an endocrine-disrupting chemical with weak estrogenic activity affects formation of primordial follicles. This study aimed to identify the potential effects and molecular mechanisms of BPA on meiosis and primordial follicle formation in chickens. The results suggest that the cortical layer was thickened and the number of germ cells that entered into meiosis was increased in BPA-treated ovaries. The percentage ofH2AX-positive cells increased significantly. In addition, up-regulated mRNA expression of meiotic genes, including stimulated by retinoic acid gene 8 (Stra8), disrupted meiotic cDNA 1 homologue (Dmc1) and synaptonemal complex protein 3 (Scp3) were observed in BPA-treated ovaries. Therefore, progression to meiosis prophase I was accelerated by exposure to BPA. Furthermore, the results demonstrated that injection of BPA resulted in hypomethylation of Dazl (Deleted in A Zoospermia-Like gene) and Stra8 and up-regulation mRNA expression of Dazl and Stra8 during meiotic onset. Finally, the relationship between estrogen receptor (ER) expression and BPA-induced meiosis was revealed using an in vitro ovarian culture system. BPA enhanced ER expression at the levels of mRNA and protein, while BPA exerted no significant effect on ER and membrane-bound estrogen receptor (GPR30) expression. Theinducing effects of BPA on meiosis were blocked by ER inhibitor. Collectively, these results demonstrate the dynamic ovarian response to BPA exposure, which indicate that BPA affects the formation of primordial follicles by promoting meiotic progression of oocytes via hypomethylation of Dazl and Stra8 and ER signaling pathways.

read more

03:38

Gov. Releases Millions Of Man-Made Mosquitoes Which Cause Male Infertility "IndyWatch Feed Fertility"

Millions of man-made GM mosquitoes being released across the U.S. are likely to cause infertility in men, according to scientists.  Fears have grown that the lab-grown mosquitoes not only target disease-carrying insects but may also be [...]

03:01

Pregnant At Christmas: A Survival Guide "IndyWatch Feed Fertility"

Pregnant At Christmas? A Survival Guide

Youve decked the halls with boughs of holly (or tinsel). The living room furniture has been squished into one corner of the room to make way for the oversized Christmas tree. It can only mean one thing. Christmas is upon us. As Andy Williams famously sang: Its a most wonderful time of the year. Of course, Andy Williams probably never spent it pregnant. If he had, hed know the festive period can feel a lot more like hard work, when all you want to do is nap.

Pregnant At Christmas: A Survival Guide

If the thought of endless office parties, Christmas shopping, and family get-togethers makes you want to hibernate until its all over, this survival guide is for you. Dont forget, you can get away with a lot when youre pregnant. What better time to exploit it than at Christmas? Here are 10 top tips to help you survive the Christmas season with a bun in the oven:

#1: Avoid Over Scheduling

Christmas is such a busy time of year. Your diary rapidly fills with dinners and nights out with various friends you havent seen for months. There are plenty of family parties and celebratory gatherings with work colleagues. And, before you know it, youre fully booked and in desperate need of a night off. You dont have to say yes to every event, just pick the ones you really want to go to. Aim to keep one night free each weekend in December so you can rest if you need to. Growing a baby is tiring work, so dont put extra pressure on yourself, trying to keep up with everybody else. You dont need to be busy, busy, busy just because its Christmas.

#2: Dont Be Afraid To Cancel Plans

If you have overfilled your social calendar, dont be afraid to back out of plans if you need to. Nobody likes a flaky friend, but being pregnant is a perfectly valid excuse for skipping things. Youre likely to be more exhausted than usual and might even find yourself feeling run down at times. If you arent really up to doing something, be honest and say so. Your friends and family will understand you need to take a step back.

#3: Treat Yourself To Some Maternity Pyjamas

New pyjamas pretty much say Christmas, dont they? Theres nothing better than snuggling up in front of t...

02:22

Do Lactation Consultants Ever Suggest Formula? "IndyWatch Feed Fertility"

Do Lactation Consultants Ever Suggest Formula?

Breastfeeding statistics in Australia indicate most mothers want to breastfeed, with a 96% initiation rate. Breastfeeding, although natural, is still a learned skill and it can take some time to get the hang of it. Knowledgeable support is very important when it comes to helping mothers achieve their breastfeeding goals. International Board Certified Lactation Consultants (IBCLCs) are the gold standard in terms of helping mothers with breastfeeding. IBCLCs also need to be sensitive to mothers needs as they work with them to help them achieve their goals. But what if breastfeeding is not working out so well, or if a mother thinks she might want to stop breastfeeding?

Do Lactation Consultants Ever Suggest Formula?

Lactation consultants dont tell mothers what to do. When working with mothers, an IBCLCs role is to provide information and support. Its not an IBCLCs prerogative to tell a mother to use formula, any more than it is to tell her to breastfeed. A mother who is experiencing breastfeeding difficulties doesnt automatically want to wean and formula feed. To suggest this to a mother struggling with breastfeeding can undermine all the time and effort she has put in so far. Instead, a mother needs to be provided with a safe environment, to work out what will work best for her. She doesnt need an IBCLC to make up her mind for her. Of course, in situations where there is a medical need for formula, an appropriate health professional (such as a medical adviser) should inform a mother of this. An IBCLCs role, especially when working with mothers struggling with breastfeeding, is to do these 3 things:

#1: Understand What Mothers Are Experiencing

This is probably the most important aspect of supporting mothers struggling with breastfeeding. It involves being patient, listening actively, and showing empathy and unconditional positive...

02:00

How To Cook For Your Postpartum Clients "IndyWatch Feed Fertility"

When I get asked a question over and over again I know its time to write a blog post about it! I am often asked about how to cook for Newborn Mothers, what the regulations are and where to actually do the cooking.

NM - Blog Thumbnails - New Version.png

I can only speak about my experience in Australia but if you have any information regarding your own country please add it in the comments.

Health And Safety

You can do a simple Food Handlers Certificate Course online, and it only takes a few hours. This will give you the basic food handling and safety info you need, plus a certificate. Easy :)

Cooking In Your Home

When choosing whether to cook in your home or in your clients home there are a few things to consider.

If you cook at your own home its easy to forget to charge for your time and realise only later that you are barely covering your costs. Be sure to factor in your time!

To sell food prepared in your own kitchen you will need to register. An environmental health officer will come to your home and check that your kitchen is clean and hygienic, and meets certain structural requirements such as ventilation.

Cooking In Your Clients Home

If you cook in your clients home you can plan a menu together - I go through my recipe book with them.  I usually ask my clients family or friends to do the shopping or we set up online shopping as part of the village building process, or you bring the ingredients yourself.

If you buy ingredients make sure you include that in your pricing calculations.

Pricing And Scale

Cooking small batches to order is a beautiful premium service and deserves a premium price.

If you want to make your meals more affordable consider hiring a catering kitchen once a week and having a set menu. That way you can shop, cook, clean and deliver all on one day and reach and serve many more Newborn Mothers.

Your First Step

Contact your local governments Environmental Health Department and they will guide you through these certification and registration processes and more. Its usually really easy and doesnt cost too much to get started!

More Things To Consider

You may need to register your business, your business name...

01:52

Success Story: Dad Beats Traffic Jam To Get Labouring Wife To Hospital "IndyWatch Feed Fertility"

Success Story: Driver Beats Traffic Jam To Get Labouring Wife To Hospital

In most relationships, its up to the man to organise the trip to hospital when a baby is coming. Women take care of the pregnancy, the labour, the pushing and the breastfeeding. And men are in charge of getting their partners safely to the hospital. Most men know in advance this isnt going to be an easy task. Their partners will be having contractions, so that means super careful driving. They also need to plan the best route, and hope for clear roads and green lights all the way. When they arrive at the hospital, they have to make sure they have enough change to pay for parking, and pray there will be plenty of available parking spaces. But what if things dont go to plan?

Success Story: Dad Beats Traffic Jam To Get Labouring Wife To Hospital

Pete Thomas, a new dad from the UK, found out the hard way sometimes you have to go the extra mile to get your partner to the hospital safely. Being caught up in a traffic jam is definitely not something you want when youre transporting your labouring partner to the hospital. Thats exactly what happened to Thomas. The inventive dad was forced to unleash his creative side to get through the jam. Thomas honked his horn and flashed his lights, hoping to encourage other drivers to get out of the way. Luckily for him, it worked, and the bemused drivers made way for Thomas and his wife to pass. He later took to Twitter to thank the other drivers for letting him through. He tweeted: To everyone in the traffic jam on the A3 south of Guildford this morning who got out of the way of the crazy guy flashing his lights and honking his horn - thank you so much. We made it. Just. Mother and baby are doing great. The tweet was shared over 8,000 times and attracted almost 70,000 likes. Some of the drivers in the jam saw it and rushed to congratulate Thomas and his partner on the arrival of their new baby. Some users even shared stories of their own fast births, with one couple reporting their baby had been born by the side of the road. Thomas added: "It was all OK... in the end. Becs did great. Little man (9lb 9oz [4.3kg], so not that little) is l...

01:36

Breastfeeding For Two Months Halves The Risk Of SIDS "IndyWatch Feed Fertility"

Breastfeeding Halves Risk SIDS

According to new research, just two months of breastfeeding can halve a babys risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). Researchers from the University of Virginia analysed the results from eight international studies on SIDS. The research study, published in the journal Pediatrics,  included over 2,000 cases of SIDS and almost 7,000 control infants. After adjusting for variables that could otherwise distort the results, the researchers found that babies who were breastfed for at least two months saw a significant decrease in the risk of SIDS. Breastfeeding for less than two months didnt offer the same benefit. The link between breastfeeding and a reduction in the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) isnt a new discovery. It has long been known that breastfed babies are less likely to fall victim to SIDS. However, this study is the first to identify a minimum duration of breastfeeding that reduces the risk. The study also showed that breastfeeding for longer than two months allows for further protection from SIDS. Researchers found that babies didnt have to be exclusively breastfed to receive the benefit; mix-fed babies also shared the reduced risk. The number of SIDS deaths has reduced considerably over the past twenty years; it is still, however, the leading cause of death in babies aged between one and 12 months. Dr Fern Hauck and Dr Rachel Moon, two of the researchers involved in the study, appeared on Facebook Live to discuss their findings. During the video,...

01:13

Tetanus Do You Need A Shot For That Injury? "IndyWatch Feed Fertility"

Tetanus Do You Need A Tetanus Shot For That Injury?

Its a familiar enough scenario. You step on a rusty nail, or your child appears with a puncture wound sustained while playing outdoors. You immediately imagine tetanus infection and rush off to the local doctor or emergency department for treatment. The doctor wants to give a tetanus injection, and you agree because you dont know much about tetanus except its connected to rusty nails and causes lockjaw. Its important to understand what tetanus is and the best course of treatment for possible exposure.

What Is Tetanus?

Theres a common misconception that rust causes tetanus. In fact it is caused by the bacteria Clostridium tetani. These bacteria are found everywhere in the natural environment. Spores can be found in soil and dust, and in animal and human intestines and faeces. Tetanus is not a contagious disease and cant be passed from person to person. The bacteria are often introduced into the body through puncture wounds, burns, deep flesh wounds, needle punctures from drug use, bites or scratches from animals, or other wounds that are contaminated by human and animal faeces or saliva. Its important to note the difference between the vegetative and spore state of C. tetani:

Vegetative State

In a vegetative state, C. tetani is anaerobic, which means it lives in the absence of oxygen. At this stage, it produces toxins that cause tetanus infections. In a vegetative state, C. tetani is heat sensitive and will die if exposed to oxygen.

Spore State

In the spore state, C. tetani is very tough, and consists of a core which has only the bare essentials ready to begin bacterial growth. The spore basically protects C. tetani bacteria from conditions that would normally kill it in a vegetative state. In the spore state, C. tetani can survive oxygenated environments, heating and disinfectants. In this state, when C. tetani is introduced into an anaerobic environment, such as dead or injured tissue, the spores can germinate to the vegetative form, which causes tetanus infections.

What Does Tetanus Do?

Once the tetanus bacteria find their way into the body through an open wound, if the spores survive, they begin to germinate. The spores then produce two toxins:
...

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Thursday, 16 November

23:19

EU Parliament tells Poland to uphold rule of law & democracy "IndyWatch Feed Fertility"

The EU Parliament has adopted a resolution calling on Poland to uphold common European values, warning that if Polish authorities refuse to comply it could lead to the suspension of voting rights in the EU Council.
Read more

Protesters stand with banner All-Polish Youth on Polish Independence Day in Warsaw, November 11, 2017 Agencja Gazeta

The resolution calls on Warsaw to respect the right of freedom of assembly, to strongly condemn the xenophobic and fascist march that took place in Warsaw on November 11, and to provide free and accessible contraception without discrimination, while making emergency contraception available without medical prescription.

Polish President Andrzej Duda signed off on a law in June which turned emergency contraception into a prescription drug. Poland also has some of the most restrictive abortion laws in Europe, banning all terminations unless the pregnancy is the result of incest or rape, poses a health risk to the mother, or the fetus is severely deformed.

The resolution also calls on Poland to comply with the European Court of Justices (ECJ) order to immediately suspend large-scale logging in the Bialowieza forest, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Activists and the EU claim Warsaw has ignored the ECJs ruling to halt logging in the forest.

MEPs believe that the situation in Poland represents a clear risk of a serious breach of the European values, including the rule of law, enshrined in the EU Treaty, the EU Parliament wrote on its website. Parliament decided by 438 votes to 152 with 71 abstentions to prepare a formal request that the Council activate the preventive mechanism provided for in Article 7.1.

It notes that if Warsaw refuses to comply with EU recommendations, it could face a suspension of Polands voting righ...

21:06

Shikonin has been suggested as a good candidate for the induction of cell death in ER+ breast cancer. "IndyWatch Feed Fertility"

PMID:  Anticancer Agents Med Chem. 2017 Sep 19. Epub 2017 Sep 19. PMID: 28933271 Abstract Title:  Targeting cell necroptosis and apoptosis induced by Shikonin via receptor interacting protein kinases in estrogen receptor positive breast cancer cell line, MCF-7. Abstract:  Recognition of a new therapeutic agent may activate an alternative programmed cell death for the treatment of breast cancer. Here, it has been tried to evaluate the effects of Shikonin, a naphthoquinone derivative of Lithospermum erythrorhizon, on the induction of necroptosis and apoptosis mediated by RIPK1-RIPK3 in the ER+ breast cancer cell line, MCF-7. In the current study, cell death modalities, cell cycle patterns, RIPK1 and RIPK3 expressions, caspase-3 and caspase-8 activities, reactive oxygen species and mitochondrial membrane potential have been evaluated in the Shikonin-treated MCF-7 cells. Necroptosis and apoptosis have been occurred by Shikonin, with a significant increase in RIPK1 and RIPK3 expressions, although necroptosis was the major rout in MCF-7 cells. Shikonin significantly increased the percentage of the cells in sub-G1 and also those in the later stages of cell cycle, which represents an increase in necroptosis and apoptosis. Under caspase inhibition by Z-VAD-FMK, Shikonin has stimulated necroptosis, which could be arrested by Nec-1. An increase in ROS levels and a decrease in the mitochondrial membrane potential have also been observed. On the basis of present findings, Shikonin has been suggested as a good candidate for the induction of cell death in ER+ breast cancer, although further investigations are required.

read more

20:43

Shikonin enhances Adriamycin antitumor effects in A549 cells. "IndyWatch Feed Fertility"

PMID:  Oncol Lett. 2017 Oct ;14(4):4270-4276. Epub 2017 Aug 2. PMID: 28943938 Abstract Title:  Shikonin enhances Adriamycin antitumor effects by inhibiting efflux pumps in A549 cells. Abstract:  Shikonin (SHK) is a natural naphthoquinone pigment isolated from Lithospermum erythrorhizon, that has been reported to suppress the growth of a number of cancer cell types. Adriamycin (AD) is typically used as an effective anticancer agent; however, it has the propensity to induce drug resistance. The aim of the present study was to investigate the effects of SHK alone and in combination with AD on lung adenocarcinoma cells and the underlying molecular mechanisms of their effects. Colony formation, MTT and propidium iodide staining assays demonstrated that the co-treatment of A549 cells with SHK and AD significantly decreased cell viability and potently induced apoptosis. The mitochondrial membrane potential was assessed using 5,5', 6,6'-tetrachloro-1,1',3,3'-tetraethyl-benzimidazolylcarbocyanine iodide staining and fluorescence microscopy. Cells co-treated with SHK and AD exhibited marked mitochondrial membrane damage. In addition, co-treatment with SHK and AD significantly reduced ATP levels in A549 cells compared with the control. Western blot analysis revealed that SHK enhanced the antitumor effects of AD by inhibiting the expression of ATP-binding cassette transporters. These results suggest that the inhibition of glycolysis could be an effective approach for lung cancer treatment. Therefore, SHK has the potential to be used as an anticancer agent in the treatment of lung adenocarcinoma, and thus warrants further investigation and development.

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20:27

Shikonin induces apoptosis and G0/G1 phase arrest of gallbladder cancer cells. "IndyWatch Feed Fertility"

PMID:  Oncol Rep. 2017 Dec ;38(6):3473-3480. Epub 2017 Oct 17. PMID: 29039581 Abstract Title:  Shikonin induces apoptosis and G0/G1 phase arrest of gallbladder cancer cells via the JNK signaling pathway. Abstract:  Shikonin, a natural product isolated from the roots of Lithospermum erythrorhizon, is considered to have antitumor effects. Gallbladder cancer (GBC) is a prevalent biliary tract malignancy with few curative therapeutic stragegies and poor prognosis. In the present study, we detected the effects of shikonin on GBC cells as well as the underlying molecular mechanisms. The results demonstrated that GBC cell proliferation was inhibited by shikonin as determined by MTT and colony formation assays. Flow cytometry results demonstrated that shikonin treatment enhanced apoptosis and promoted G0/G1 phase arrest in the GBC cells. Western blot assay showed that shikonin induced mitochondrial-dependent apoptosis via the JNK signaling pathway. Moreover, shikonin suppressed tumor growth in mice bearing GBC-derived xenografts in a dosedependent manner without side-effects. These results revealed that shikonin exhibits anticancer effects on GBC cells by inducing apoptosis and regulating the cell cycle. Taken together, shikonin may be a novel and safe chemotherapeutic agent for the treatment of GBC.

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20:09

15,000 Scientists From Across the Globe Have Sent Out a Warning to Humanity "IndyWatch Feed Fertility"

Another Warning to Humanity has been issued by scientists across the globe. Will this one be heard?

We as a species are facing a number of threats that it seems are not being taken as seriously as they should be. Our planet as a whole could literally face disaster if we dont make BIG changes. Thousands of scientists are working to do their best to bring to the light the stature of these issues. In this Warning to Humanity, they go over things like population growth, deforestation, species extinction, loss of access to clean water, climate change and more. We are failing TERRIBLY at resolving these issues.

The letter goes as follows:

Humanity is now being given a second notice, as illustrated by these alarming trends (figure 1). We are jeopardizing our future by not reining in our intense but geographically and demographically uneven material consumption and by not perceiving continued rapid population growth as a primary driver behind many ecological and even societal threats (Crist et al. 2017). By failing to adequately limit population growth, reassess the role of an economy rooted in growth, reduce greenhouse gases, incentivize renewable energy, protect habitat, restore ecosystems, curb pollution, halt defaunation, and constrain invasive alien species, humanity is not taking the urgent steps needed to safeguard our imperiled biosphere.

As most political leaders respond to pressure, scientists, media influencers, and lay citizens must insist that their governments take immediate action as a moral imperative to current and future generations of human and other life. With a groundswell of organized grassroots efforts, dogged opposition can be overcome and political leaders compelled to do the right thing. It is also time to re-examine and change our individual behaviors, including limiting our own reproduction (ideally to replacement level at most) and drastically diminishing our per capita consumption of fossil fuels, meat, and other resources.

The rapid global decline in ozone-depleting substances shows that we can make positive change when we act decisively. We have also made advancements in reducing extreme poverty and hunger (www.worldbank.org). Other notable progress (which does not yet show up in the global data sets in figure 1) include the rapid decline in fertility r...

19:25

US Scientists Made a Genetically Modified Human Embryo "IndyWatch Feed Fertility"

US Scientists Made a Genetically Modified Human Embryo | genetically-modified-human | General Health GMOs Medical & Health Science & Technology Sleuth Journal Special Interests

By The Daily Sheeple

This is the first confirmed case of the gene editing of human embryos in the US and it gets scientists one step closer to the ability to create genetically engineered humans. Researchers in Portland, Oregon have used a powerful gene editing tool called CRISPR to create genetically modified human embryos, MIT Technology Review reported in an exclusive.

CRISPR, which is often compared to the cut-and-paste function on a word processor, is a powerful and comparatively new genetic engineering technique that allows scientists to make specific, targeted changes to the DNA of a plant, animal, or human. Its relatively cheap and easy to use and has the potential to cure a wide range of diseases, such as muscular dystrophy or HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus). But scientists seem to be using it to create designer humans and animals instead leading to ethics questions.

In 2015, Chinese scientists used CRISPR to make muscled beagles. But even beyond the often-stated fear that gene editing will lead to a world of designer babies and genetic have-nots, CRISPR is still new and may have consequences...

17:01

New Jersey Bill Would Create Commission Empowered to Probe Deaths Related to Pregnancy and Childbirth "IndyWatch Feed Fertility"

Two New Jersey lawmakers have introduced a bill to overhaul how the state examines deaths related to pregnancy and childbirth, proposing one of the most sweeping maternal mortality review processes in the country.

Under the legislation introduced last week, hospitals and clinicians would face new requirements to report maternal deaths to state regulators, families would play a much greater role in understanding what happened, and the findings would be used to push for adoption of life-saving treatment protocols and other concrete policies to protect mothers and babies.

State Sen. Joseph Vitale said the legislation, S3452, was inspired by a ProPublica and NPR report on the case of Lauren Bloomstein, a neonatal nurse who worked at Monmouth Medical Center in Long Branch, New Jersey and who died there from childbirth complications in 2011.

The ProPublica-NPR piece, part of our Lost Mothers project on maternal deaths and near-misses, highlighted a number of systemic problems in the way hospitals throughout the U.S. handle obstetric emergencies and sometimes prioritize the health and safety of infants over the well-being of their mothers.

Other ProPublica pieces have described widespread inadequacies in how maternal deaths are monitored and investigated in New Jersey and elsewhere. The new bill would address many of those problems.

New Jerseys record on maternal health has long been mixed a 2010 report by Amnesty International ranked it 35th among the states for its rate of pregnancy-related deaths. According to the most recent data, black mothers in the state are five times likelier to die from maternal complications than white mothers are.

The state already has a maternal mortality review committee in place to analyze deaths that occur within a year of the end of pregnancy. But the panel has little authority, it doesnt assess the preventability of deaths, and its sporadic reports have had little impact.

Under the new bill, a 3...

13:06

Why Millions Of Families Have Spent 30 Years With Adventures In Odyssey "IndyWatch Feed Fertility"

When Vice President Mike Pence arrived in Colorado Springs this summer to speak at Focus on the Family, the staff and their families packed out the chapel auditorium. The former Indiana congressman referred to current political battles, including health care reform. But one anecdote, which got knowing glances and laughs from the Focus crowd, made little sense to reporters in attendance.

Every time we took the 600-mile drive from Washington, D.C. back to Indiana, I can promise you we spent an awful lot of time with Connie, Eugene and Whit at Whits End, said Pence. The adventures in Odyssey were our adventures. And I remember so often the kids saying, Put in another tape.

Pence was referring to the characters of Adventures in Odyssey, an audio drama that has gone from cassette tapes to its own mobile app and a podcast climbing iTunes charts. This month, the values-driven show marks 30 years since it premiered.

Whether due to a dearth of family-friendly entertainment, 80s nostalgia, or the surprisingly broad reach of radio, millions are tuned in to Adventures in Odyssey. Seeking to entertain as well as teach, the audio drama has become todays most influential faith-based kids entertainment franchise. As such, its also a flashpoint for the clash of values playing out in the culture at large.

How the Adventures in Odyssey Began

Focus on the Family came into being in 1977 as a radio show hosted by University of Southern California child psychologist James Dobson, Ph.D. His half-hour program dispensed marriage and parenting advice while interviewing a variety of expert guests, often addressing how to handle life crises in light of Christian principles. The non-profit ministry soon became a touch point for the diverse evangelical community.

Challenged by a guest minister on-air to light a candle rather than curse the darkness, Dobson saw his teams strengths in reaching a mass audience with top-notch radio. Could they produce a dramatic, half-hour audio show geared to kids?

We werent entirely convinced it was going to work, says Paul McCusker, a writer and producer for Adventures in Odyssey since its inception. At the time Odyssey started, we were dealing with the MTV generation, he recalls. We knew we were up against a visual reality and our medium could work against us.

Yet Dobson had established a built-in audience of families who connected with his conservative values. Religious radio stations were also on the rise, partly thanks to the Christian musi...

07:30

Our Post-Term Pregnancy course starts tomorrow! "IndyWatch Feed Fertility"

I cant quite believe where 2017 has gone, but tomorrow we will be welcoming a new group of participants from around the world to our last online course of the year, Post-term pregnancy: exploring evidence, inspiring confidence.

This is one of our full-sized professional development online courses for midwives and birth folk (with the others being on the topics of Group B Strep and vitamin K) and were excited to be welcoming participants from many different countries and areas. So if youre signed up and raring to go, then keep an eye on your email inbox as youll automatically be sent a link as soon as the course opens. And well be online from Friday morning (with tea at the ready) to chat to you in the course!

If youre thinking of joining us and havent signed up yet, then you can do so anytime until the end of the first day of the course, Friday 17th November. (Weve extended the sign-up deadline by a day, as there are always a few people who just miss the deadline, but we will be closing registration at the end of the first day so that everyone can make the most of the facilitated week, where I will be chatting with you personally in the course).

This will be the last online course well be running in 2017. If the dates dont work for you, then dont worry as we are likely to run it (and our other courses) again in 2018, and the best way to make sure you get updated when we have new course dates is to jump on our newsletter list, which will also ensure you get Saras free, monthly Birth Information Update.

If you have any questions, th...

03:44

Mexico, as It Is and Wasnt:: Some Stuff Wroth Knowing "IndyWatch Feed Fertility"

For Americans concerned about  Mexico and Mexicans, and what sort of wights they be, a little history may help. We seem to know almost nothing  about a bordering nation of 130 million. It is not what most of us think it is. It is certainly not what the Loon Right would have us believe.

For many years, until 1910, Mexico was run by Europeans, lastly under Porfirio Diaz, for the benefit of Europeans. Literacy was extremely with economic conditions to match. The country was indeed, to borrow a favorite phrase of those hostile to Latin Americans, a Third-World hellhole. Many nations then were were, to include China.

In 1910 the Revolution broke out. It was godawful, as civil wars usually are. It ended in 1921, followed shortly by the Cristero religious war until 1929. This had the usual hideousness favored by religious wars.

It left the country devastated. It hadnt been much to start with, but now it was a wreck. Aldous Huxley, writing in 1934, saw no improvement. (Beyond the Mexique Bay) At least until 1940 much of Mexico was barely civilized, unlettered, lawless, and poor. Things were not all that swell in 1970.

Today, seventy-six years later (says the CIA Factbook), literacy is at 95%; the economy at $2.2 trillion, 12th  in the world in PPP; median age, 28; population growth rate, 1.12%; mothers mean age at first birth, 21.3; total fertility, 2.24 children per woman; life expectancy at birth, 76 years.

Mexico today has a large number of universities (the Technolgico of Monterrey, a premier engineering school, has some thirty campuses in as many cities: Is that one university or thirty?) Mexico graduates  well over 100,000 engineers a year, including 13,000 in software, and has a rapidly growing high-tech industry  with centers in Guadalajara and Mexico City. Major American firms, to include IBM, Oracle, and Intel, come here to hire them.

And of course internet, airlines, computerized everything, and teenagers pecking at smartphones.

This is a lot of change in less than a mans lifetime. Those hostile to Latin Americans do not want to know this, and usually manage not to.

In....

Wednesday, 15 November

23:00

Bio-Hackers Are Using CRISPR To Edit Their Own DNA "IndyWatch Feed Fertility"

Josiah-Zayner-Cybrink-Podcast-e1491181992644

Editing genetics is becoming more and more mainstream. And using the gene editing tool, CRISPR, biohackers are altering their own DNA.

CRISPR, a cheap and easy technique for making precise changes to DNA, has got researchers around the world racing to trial its use in treating a host of human diseases. But this race is not confined to the lab or to scientists donning the typical white lab coat. Last month, Josiah Zayner, a biochemist who once worked for NASA, became the first person known to have edited his own genes with CRISPR.

Zayners experiment was intended to boost his strength by removing the gene for myostatin, which regulates muscle growth. A similar experiment in 2015 showed that this works in beagles whose genomes were edited at the embryo stage. He injected himself with a copy of his own DNA that had been edited using CRISPR to remove the gene.

During a lecture about human genetic engineering that was streamed live on Facebook, Zayner whipped out a vial of edited DNA and a syringe, then injected himself. Now, following in his footsteps, other biohackers are getting ready to take the plunge and tinker with their own genes.

This may seem a little crazy to some, but humans are (and should be) allowed to tattoo, pierce, or modify their bodies surgically to create any type of appearance.  Genetic alterations should be no different.

And Zayner wants to help other alter their DNA too. Zayner has made headlines for pushing the boundaries of do-it-yourself genetic experimentation, whether by trying to clean up his gut by inoculating himself with...

22:49

EU interferes in Poland's business, tells them to "uphold European values," as if there are any "IndyWatch Feed Fertility"

The EU Parliament has adopted a resolution calling on Poland to uphold common European values, warning that if Polish authorities refuse to comply it could lead to the suspension of voting rights in the EU Council. The resolution calls on Warsaw to respect the right of freedom of assembly, to strongly condemn the "xenophobic and fascist march" that took place in Warsaw on November 11, and to provide free and accessible contraception without discrimination, while making emergency contraception available without medical prescription. Polish President Andrzej Duda signed off on a law in June which turned emergency contraception into a prescription drug. Poland also has some of the most restrictive abortion laws in Europe, banning all terminations unless the pregnancy is the result of incest or rape, poses a health risk to the mother, or the fetus is severely deformed. The resolution also calls on Poland to comply with the European Court of Justice's (ECJ) order to "immediately suspend large-scale logging" in the Bialowieza forest, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Activists and the EU claim Warsaw has ignored the ECJ's ruling to halt logging in the forest.

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