(Subjects: Religion/Worship, Lightworkers, Food, Health, Prescription Drugs, Homeopathy, Innate (Body intelligence), New Age movement, Global Unity, ... etc.) - (Text version)

“…… Should I use Doctors and Drugs to Heal Me or Spiritual Methods?

"Dear Kryon, I have heard that you should stay natural and not use the science on the planet for healing. It does not honor God to go to a doctor. After all, don't you say that we can heal with our minds? So why should we ever go to a doctor if we can do it ourselves? Not only that, my doctor isn't enlightened, so he has no idea about my innate or my spiritual body needs. What should I do?"

First, Human Being, why do you wish to put so many things in boxes? You continue to want a yes and no answer for complex situations due to your 3D, linear outlook on almost everything. Learn to think out of the 3D box! Look at the heading of this section [above]. It asks which one should you do. It already assumes you can't do both because they seem dichotomous.

Let's use some spiritual logic: Here is a hypothetical answer, "Don't go to a doctor, for you can heal everything with your mind." So now I will ask: How many of you can do that in this room right now? How many readers can do that with efficiency right now? All of you are old souls, but are you really ready to do that? Do you know how? Do you have really good results with it? Can you rid disease and chemical imbalance with your mind right now?

I'm going to give you a truth, whether you choose to see it or not. You're not ready for that! You are not yet prepared to take on the task of full healing using your spiritual tools. Lemurians could do that, because Pleiadians taught them how! It's one of the promises of God, that there'll come a day when your DNA works that efficiently and you will be able to walk away from drug chemistry and the medical industry forever, for you'll have the creator's energy working at 100 percent, something you saw within the great masters who walked the earth.

This will be possible within the ascended earth that you are looking forward to, dear one. Have you seen the news lately? Look out the window. Is that where you are now? We are telling you that the energy is going in that direction, but you are not there yet.

Let those who feel that they can heal themselves begin the process of learning how. Many will be appreciative of the fact that you have some of the gifts for this now. Let the process begin, but don't think for a moment that you have arrived at a place where every health issue can be healed with your own power. You are students of a grand process that eventually will be yours if you wish to begin the quantum process of talking to your cells. Some will be good at this, and some will just be planting the seeds of it.

Now, I would like to tell you how Spirit works and the potentials of what's going to happen in the next few years. We're going to give the doctors of the planet new inventions and new science. These will be major discoveries about the Human body and of the quantum attributes therein.

Look at what has already happened, for some of this science has already been given to you and you are actually using it. Imagine a science that would allow the heart to be transplanted because the one you have is failing. Of course! It's an operation done many times a month on this planet. That information came from the creator, did you realize that? It didn't drop off the shelf of some dark energy library to be used in evil ways.

So, if you need a new heart, Lightworker, should you go to the doctor or create one with your mind? Until you feel comfortable that you can replace your heart with a new one by yourself, then you might consider using the God-given information that is in the hands of the surgeon. For it will save your life, and create a situation where you stay and continue to send your light to the earth! Do you see what we're saying?

You can also alter that which is medicine [drugs] and begin a process that is spectacular in its design, but not very 3D. I challenge you to begin to use what I would call the homeopathic principle with major drugs. If some of you are taking major drugs in order to alter your chemistry so that you can live better and longer, you might feel you have no choice. "Well, this is keeping me alive," you might say. "I don't yet have the ability to do this with my consciousness, so I take the drugs."

In this new energy, there is something else that you can try if you are in this category. Do the following with safety, intelligence, common sense and logic. Here is the challenge: The principle of homeopathy is that an almost invisible tincture of a substance is ingested and is seen by your innate. Innate "sees" what you are trying to do and then adjusts the body's chemistry in response. Therefore, you might say that you are sending the body a "signal for balance." The actual tincture is not large enough to affect anything chemically - yet it works!

The body [innate] sees what you're trying to do and then cooperates. In a sense, you might say the body is healing itself because you were able to give it instructions through the homeopathic substance of what to do. So, why not do it with a major drug? Start reducing the dosage and start talking to your cells, and see what happens. If you're not successful, then stop the reduction. However, to your own amazement, you may often be successful over time.

You might be able to take the dosage that you're used to and cut it to at least a quarter of what it was. It is the homeopathy principle and it allows you to keep the purpose of the drug, but reduce it to a fraction of a common 3D dosage. You're still taking it internally, but now it's also signaling in addition to working chemically. The signal is sent, the body cooperates, and you reduce the chance of side effects.

You can't put things in boxes of yes or no when it comes to the grand system of Spirit. You can instead use spiritual logic and see the things that God has given you on the planet within the inventions and processes. Have an operation, save your life, and stand and say, "Thank you, God, for this and for my being born where these things are possible." It's a complicated subject, is it not? Each of you is so different! You'll know what to do, dear one. Never stress over that decision, because your innate will tell you what is appropriate for you if you're willing to listen. ….”

Monsanto / GMO - Global Health

(Subjects: Big pharma [the drug companies of America] are going to have to change very soon or collapse. When you have an industry that keeps people sick for money, it cannot survive in the new consciousness., Global Unity, ... etc.) - (Text version)
"Recalibration of Free Choice"– Mar 3, 2012 (Kryon Channelling by Lee Caroll) - (Subjects: (Old) Souls, Midpoint on 21-12-2012, Shift of Human Consciousness, Black & White vs. Color, 1 - Spirituality (Religions) shifting, Lose a Pope “soon”, 2 - Humans will change react to drama, 3 - Civilizations/Population on Earth, 4 - Alternate energy sources (Geothermal, Tidal (Pedal wheels), Wind), 5 – Financials Institutes/concepts will change (Integrity – Ethical) , 6 - News/Media/TV to change, 7 Big Pharmaceutical company will collapse “soon”, (Keep people sick), (Integrity – Ethical) 8 – Wars will be over on Earth, Global Unity, … etc.) - (Text version)
"The Recalibration of Awareness – Apr 20/21, 2012 (Kryon channeled by Lee Carroll) (Subjects: Old Energy, Recalibration Lectures, God / Creator, Religions/Spiritual systems (Catholic Church, Priests/Nun’s, Worship, John Paul Pope, Women in the Church otherwise church will go, Current Pope won’t do it), Middle East, Jews, Governments will change (Internet, Media, Democracies, Dictators, North Korea, Nations voted at once), Integrity (Businesses, Tobacco Companies, Bankers/ Financial Institutes, Pharmaceutical company to collapse), Illuminati (Started in Greece, Shipping, Financial markets, Stock markets, Pharmaceutical money (fund to build Africa, to develop)), Shift of Human Consciousness, (Old) Souls, Women, Masters to/already come back, Global Unity.... etc.) - (Text version)
"THE BRIDGE OF SWORDS" – Sep 29, 2012 (Kryon channeled by Lee Carroll) (Subjects: ... I'm in Canada and I know it, but I will tell those listening and reading in the American audience the following: Get ready! Because there are some institutions that are yet to fall, ones that don't have integrity and that could never be helped with a bail out. Again, we tell you the biggest one is big pharma, and we told you that before. It's inevitable. If not now, then in a decade. It's inevitable and they will fight to stay alive and they will not be crossing the bridge. For on the other side of the bridge is a new way, not just for medicine but for care. ....) - (Text Version)

Pharmaceutical Fraud / Corruption cases

Health Care

Health Care
Happy birthday to Percy Julian, a pioneer in plant-drug synthesis. His research produced steroids like cortisone. (11 April 2014)

Friday, March 29, 2019

Doggy diagnosis can sniff out seizures: study

Yahoo – AFP, March 28, 2019

Dogs are awesome (AFP Photo/Astrid Stawiarz)

Paris (AFP) - Dogs can use their remarkable sense of smell to recognise the specific scent of seizures, researchers said Thursday, raising hope that canine carers could one day protect sufferers before a fit takes hold.

Previous tests have shown dogs are able to detect the odours of certain diseases, including some cancers, diabetes and malaria.

There is also anecdotal evidence they can sense that their owner may be about to have a seizure, though this was poorly understood until now.

Researchers in France used five dogs -- Casey, Dodger, Lana, Zoey and Roo -- in a study to sniff out a scent specifically linked to a human seizure.

Dogs' noses have evolved to be highly sensitive, and can detect specific organic 
compounds at a concentration of less than 0.001 part per billion (AFP Photo/OLI SCARFF)

They presented the dogs with a variety of smells taken from epileptic patients, including body odours emitted during calm activity, while exercising, and during an attack.

Casey, Dodger and Zoey all identified the seizure scent 100 percent of the time, while Lana and Roo sniffed out the right sample two goes out of three.

"The results went beyond our expectations by showing that there is indeed a general odour of an epileptic seizure," Amelie Catala, a researcher at the University of Rennes and lead study author, told AFP.

"We hope it will open new lines of research that could help anticipate seizures and thus get patients to seek security."

Dogs are awesome (AFP Photo/Astrid Stawiarz)

Dogs' noses have evolved to be highly sensitive, and can detect specific organic compounds at a concentration of less than 0.001 part per billion.

The most sophisticated current "electronic noses", meant to pick up potentially harmful odours that humans can't smell, have a detection threshold of around 300 parts per billion.

Catala said that while dogs had been shown previously to be able to sniff out chronic diseases, this experiment showed they could potentially diagnose acute health episodes that last just a few minutes.

"The study of odours by the use of dogs constitutes a fast, low-cost, non-invasive, and effective screening method of diseases that can be difficult to identify normally," she said.

The paper was published in the journal Nature Scientific Reports.

Sunday, March 24, 2019

Massive lawsuit says Sackler family broke laws to profit from opioids

The Guardian, Joanna Walters in New York, Fri 22 Mar 2019

Group of more than 500 cities, counties and tribes accuses family of helping to create ‘worst drug crisis’ in US history

Photographer Nan Goldin leads a protest out of the Guggenheim Museum in
Manhattan, New York, against its funding by the Sackler family, the owners of
Oxycontin manufacturer Purdue. Photograph: Yana Paskova/The Guardian

A group made up of more than 500 cities, counties and Native American tribes across the United States has filed a massive lawsuit accusing members of the Sacklerfamily, who own the maker of the opioid painkiller OxyContin, of helping to create “the worst drug crisis in American history”.

The lawsuit represents communities in 26 states and eight tribes and accuses Sackler family members of knowingly breaking laws in order to enrich themselves to the tune of billions of dollars, while hundreds of thousands of Americans died.

“Eight people in a single family made the choices that caused much of the opioid epidemic,” the lawsuit, filed earlier this week in federal court in the southern district of New York, states.

The same eight members of the family had recently been added to a small number of lawsuits that are underway against a string of opioid-makers, including the Connecticut-based pharmaceutical company the Sacklers wholly own, Purdue Pharma, but they have not been sued as individuals on anything like this scale before.

“This nation is facing an unprecedented opioid addiction epidemic that was initiated and perpetuated by the Sackler defendants for their own financial gain, to the detriment of each of the plaintiffs and their residents. The ‘Sackler defendants’ include Richard Sackler, Beverly Sackler, David Sackler, Ilene Sackler Lefcourt, Jonathan Sackler, Kathe Sackler, Mortimer DA Sackler, and Theresa Sackler,” this week’s lawsuit states.

The eight are the most high-profile members of a family which has long been known for prolific philanthropy to famous arts and education institutions, including the Metropolitan and Guggenheim museums in New York, which have faced fierce recent protests against the taking of Sackler money. Other institutions include Columbia, Yale, MIT, Tufts and other US universities, and, in the UK, the Victoria & Albert Museum, the Serpentine Gallery, Glasgow University and other recipients.

Earlier this week Britain’s National Portrait Gallery decided not to take up the offer of a £1m Sackler family grant and, in the US, Columbia University and the University of Washington, which have both received Sackler donations in the past, have announced they are not now accepting gifts from the family.

Court documents accuse the eight family members of purposely playing down the dangers of the prescription painkiller OxyContin, which is more potent than heroin or morphine. They are accused of deceiving doctors and patients and directing sales and marketing techniques that drove huge over-prescribing and ever stronger doses for many patients who should never have been prescribed the pills in the first place.

“The defendants’ actions caused and continue to cause the public health epidemic…caused deaths, serious injuries, and a severe disruption to public peace, order and safety, it is ongoing and it is producing permanent and long-lasting damage,” the court documents allege.

Many of the allegations have already been made public in a lawsuit naming the same eight family members in Massachusetts, and are contained in court documents in the multi-district litigation taking place in a federal court in Cleveland, Ohio, which has been brought against Purdue and other companies, though no members of the Sackler family individually, by more than 1,200 cities and counties.

The family and Purdue deny wrongdoing.

“This complaint is part of a continuing effort by contingency-fee counsel to single out Purdue, blame it for the entire opioid crisis in the United States, and try the case in the court of public opinion rather than the justice system,’’ Robert Josephson, a Purdue spokesman, said in an emailed statement to the Bloomberg news agency.

“These baseless allegations place blame where it does not belong for a complex public health crisis, and we deny them,’’ the Mortimer and Raymond Sackler families said in a statement. They also noted OxyContin sales “represented a tiny portion of the opioid market”.

The lawsuit filed in New York on 18 March is extraordinary because it focuses almost entirely on the individual Sacklers.

Richard and Jonathan Sackler are sons of the late Raymond Sackler, one of the founding brothers of Purdue. Beverly is Raymond’s widow and David his grandson.

Ilene, Kathe and Mortimer David Alfons are children of the late Mortimer Sackler, another of the founding brothers of Purdue, and Theresa is his widow.

The only other defendants named in the lawsuit are the family trust connected to Raymond Sackler’s branch of the family and Rhodes Pharmaceuticals, a company owned by the Sacklers that produces generic opioid painkillers.

Other cases focus mostly on Purdue and other well known pharmaceutical giants involved in opioid production, such as Johnson & Johnson and Allergan.

The lawsuit in the southern district of New York has been brought by city and county authorities across America, including, for example, 42 counties and cities in Alabama, 31 counties in California, 21 cities and counties in Florida, 28 counties in Illinois, 51 cities and counties in Kentucky, more than 100 towns and cities in Massachusetts and dozens of cities and counties in other states including Wisconsin, Virginia, Utah, Tennessee, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Indiana and Michigan.

Among the eight Native American tribes suing the Sacklers are parts of the Cherokee, the Chippewa and the Sioux, the Oneida Nation and the Blackfeet.

Drug overdoses now kill more than 72,000 people in the US a year, according to government figures from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and 49,000 of those are caused by opioids.

Purdue’s business has attracted a wave of lawsuits alleging deception about the safety of OxyContin, which the company had admitted misbranding in a 2007 criminal case.

Purdue has not ruled out filing for bankruptcy, which would cause a hiatus in the civil cases brought against it, but also indicates it could be short of the kind of funds that would be needed for a massive settlement or a fine at trial in the cases against it, to compensate communities for the cost of the crisis.

But a victory in the latest lawsuit against the Sacklers would give the plaintiffs access to the Sacklers’ personal fortune.

".... Let me tell you what else is in the field. Two things: These are going to be things that exist now in the field and they are upcoming potentials. The reason I give you these potentials is so if they happen, just like the handshake, you might believe a little more in this process.

There will come a time when Big Pharma will fall over because of a growing higher consciousness of the public. [Applause in the audience] There is a consciousness growing here that begins to have a new respect for each other, so that abuse of women will no longer be tolerated. Things that never happened before will begin happening, like bishops and cardinals resigning. [All 34 bishops in the Catholic Church resigned May 2018 after the new wild card pope called them on their reaction to child abuse for years by their colleagues.] All the things my partner brought today [in the seminar] are actually happening now. Why should some of these drug companies fail? Because there will be a strong reaction from your general public when they realize there are companies that have policies that would keep a Human sick or let him die for money. [Applause in the audience] It would be unconscionable, and the potential grows stronger daily that it's going to happen. The trigger? It's coming. When it does, that industry will be in trouble. Not all pharma is this way, dear ones - understand this - but the ones who are will fall. ..."

"Recalibration of Free Choice"–  Dallas Texas, Mar 3, 2012 (Kryon Channelling by Lee Carroll) - (Subjects: (Old) SoulsMidpoint on 21-12-2012, Shift of Human Consciousness, Black & White vs. Color, 1 - Spirituality (Religions) shifting, Loose a Pope “soon”2 - Humans will change react to drama, 3 - Civilizations/Population on Earth,  4 - Alternate energy sources (Geothermal, Tidal (Paddle wheels), Wind), 5 – Financials Institutes/concepts will change (Integrity – Ethical) , 6 - News/Media/TV to change, 7 – Big Pharmaceutical company will collapse “soon”, (Keep people sick), (Integrity – Ethical)  8 – Wars will be over on Earth, Global Unity, … etc.) (Text version)

Saturday, March 16, 2019

A third of women can’t function normally during their period: survey

DutchNews, March 15, 2019

Photo: Depositphotos.com 

One third of women can’t function normally during their period, a survey by the Radboud teaching hospital in Nijmegen among 42,000 women has found. 

Half of women who experience problems related to menstruation don’t talk about it, head researcher and gynaecologist Bertho Nieboer said.

‘They hide the fact that they have not been able to do certain things because of period pain, for instance. That means a condition may go untreated,’ he told broadcaster NOS.  A painful condition like endometriosis, or tissue growth outside the uterus, could go undetected and cause infertility, he warned. 

The most frequently mentioned problems by women are severe stomach ache, psychological problems, tiredness and back ache, Nieboer said. 

It is important women discuss the problem, gynaecologist Joke Schutte said. ‘You really don’t have to bring up your period pain at every birthday party you go to but if you are really suffering then that is not normal and you need to speak out,’ the broadcaster quotes her as saying. 

The survey, the biggest of its kind, may not represent all women in the Netherlands because it was conducted online and this may have caused selection bias. In other words those not experiencing problems less likely to participate in a survey, but it gives a good indication of the scale of the problems, the researchers said.

Monday, March 11, 2019

Do Kraft Heinz's travails signal a reckoning in US food?

Yahoo – AFP, John BIERS, March 10, 2019

As Campbell Soup turns 150, the company is having to rethink the business of soup
due in part to competition from private label companies. (AFP Photo/Jerod Harris)

New York (AFP) - Buffeted by rising consumer taste for fresh ingredients, competition from upstarts and a tricky retail environment, 150-year-old Campbell Soup now finds itself having to rethink the business of soup.

It is a similar tale at Kraft, whose once-popular yellow and white cheese singles are no longer ubiquitous. And at Kellogg, which has seen demand for cereal go soft.

As the travails of these and other companies show, iconic brands that dominated 20th century American supermarkets are having a much tougher time in the Amazon-Whole Foods era.

Kraft Heinz last month announced a steep annual loss following a $15.4 billion asset impairment, partly from writing down the value of the Oscar Mayer and Kraft trademarks.

Some experts see a broader reckoning in the American food industry akin to the shakeout in other sectors, though technology is not really the main culprit in this case.

Many of Kraft Heinz's products are "geriatric brands" that were "created in the early or mid-20th century, at a time when consumers aspired to eat 'American food' and advertising reached almost everyone through television," said Anastacia Marx de Salcedo, author of "Combat-Ready Kitchen," a history of processed foods.

By contrast, today's consumers are more ethnically diverse, health-conscious and food-adventurous, she said, adding that many of the older brands will see market share fall further or disappear entirely.

A huge write-down by Kraft Heinz has sparked questions about a reckoning in
the broader US food business. (AFP Photo/JUSTIN SULLIVAN)

Saved by treats, snacks

The industry's response thus far has included healthier options that are low-fat, low-sodium or gluten-free items. There are also more flavors of flagship products, with Special K breakfast cereal now available in vanilla and almond as well as blueberry with lemon clusters, among other options.

But these efforts have not reversed the trend.

Major food companies also have popular cookie and snack products that can make up for weakness in other products, although the industry's overall record with consolidation is mixed.

Campbell Soup, which has faced pressure from activist investor Daniel Loeb, has offset weakness in soup with solid Pepperidge Farm sales.

The company acquired Pepperidge Farm, known for Milano cookies and Goldfish crackers, in 1961.

But Campbell Soup last year wrote down $748 million mostly on a 2011 acquisition of Bolthouse Farms' refrigerated salad dressings, carrots and other fresh foods it now plans to divest.

Soups, meanwhile, remain challenged, suffering lower US sales in 2018.

Campbell's blamed the decline on the change in promotion strategy by a major retail customer and said retail sector consolidation and the rise of private label competitors could further affect sales, according to a securities filing.

General Mills, maker of Haagen-Dazs, paid $8 billion for a pet food company, 
raising eyebrows (AFP Photo/Denis Charlet)

Campbell's new Chief Executive Mark Clouse said last month he was still developing a strategy for turning around soups but that a "much more holistic and comprehensive" approach was needed.

Targeting Rover

At General Mills, which announced a $193 million write down last year on Progresso soups and two other brands, part of the strategy is to diversify.

Last year, General Mills, which makes Cheerios cereal, Yoplait yogurt and Haagen-Dazs ice cream, bought natural pet food company Blue Buffalo for $8 billion, a sum that raised eyebrows with some analysts.

Chief Executive Jeffrey Harmening gave a bullish outlook on the brand during a recent conference call, highlighting wet pet food and treats as two growth areas that have high profit margins.

Treats "are just pet food speak for snacking and we see snacking can trend in human food and we see it in Pet the same way," Harmening said, calling the dynamic the "humanization of pet food."

Times change: In an earlier era, now disgraced actor Bill Cosby marketed Jell-O 
gelatin, a product of Kraft Heinz, which recently announced a big 2018 loss (AFP Photo/
Michael Buckner)

Whither Miracle Whip?

But the dangers of acquisitions were underscored with Kraft Heinz, which shareholder Warren Buffett has said was a case of spending too much.

Baruch Lev, an accounting professor at New York University, said big mergers like Kraft Heinz usually underperformed, undermining the logic of further deal-making by the company.

Daniel Binns, chief executive of Interbrand NY, said some of Kraft Heinz's brands, such as pasta sauce Classico or Philadelphia cream cheese can be successfully updated, while others, such as Jell-O or Miracle Whip sauce, could fade further.

"It's so rooted in another era," he said. "You're not going to create a Miracle Whip for the 21st Century that's going to appeal to the farm-to-table consumer."

But Moody's analyst Brian Weddington predicts leading food companies will adapt to changing consumer needs over time, adding that established brands still have credibility.

"Brands like these still resonate with the core consumer," he said.

"There's no question that more consumers are looking for premium or fresher products, but there will always be a very large market for products that give you consistency and value as well. Everyone can't afford organic products."

Sunday, March 10, 2019

Japanese woman confirmed as world's oldest person aged 116

Yahoo – AFP, March 9, 2019

Kane Tanaka was born in 1903, the year when the Wright brothers launched
humanity's first powered flight (AFP Photo/JIJI PRESS)

Tokyo (AFP) - A 116-year-old Japanese woman who still enjoys studying math and playing board games has been recognised as the world's oldest person, the Guinness World Records said Saturday.

Kane Tanaka was born on 2 January 1903, the year when the Wright brothers launched humanity's first powered flight, according to Guinness.

Tanaka's recognition was celebrated at the nursing home where she lives in western Japan's Fukuoka by city mayor Soichiro Takashima and other well-wishers.

Asked what moment she was the most happy in life, she replied: "Now."

She married Hideo Tanaka in 1922, giving birth to four children and adopting a fifth.

Kane normally wakes each morning at 6 am and passes the afternoons by studying mathematics and practicing calligraphy.

"One of Kane's favourite pastimes is a game of Othello and she's become an expert at the classic board game, often beating rest-home staff," Guinness said.

Japan has one of the world's highest life expectancies and has been home to several people recognised as among the oldest humans to have ever lived.

They include Jiroemon Kimura, the longest-living man on record, who died soon after his 116th birthday in June 2013.

The oldest verified person ever -- Jeanne Louise Calment of France -- died in 1997 at the age of 122, according to Guinness.

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Second HIV remission patient rekindles cure hope

Yahoo – AFP, Marlowe HOOD and Patrick GALEY, 5 March 2019

Ten years after the first confirmed case of an HIV-infected person being rid of the
deadly disease, a man known only as the 'London patient' has shown no sign of the
virus for nearly 19 months

For just the second time ever an HIV patient is in sustained remission from the virus in what was hailed by experts Tuesday as proof that the AIDS-causing condition could one day be curable.

Ten years almost to the day since the first confirmed case of an HIV-infected person being rid of the deadly disease, a man known only as the "London patient" has shown no sign of the virus for nearly 19 months, doctors reported in the journal Nature.

Both patients underwent bone marrow transplants to treat blood cancers, receiving stem cells from donors with a genetic mutation present in less than one percent of Europeans that prevents HIV from taking hold.

"It is a landmark. After 10 years of not being able to replicate (the first case), people were wondering if this was a fluke," said lead author Ravindra Gupta, a professor at the University of Cambridge.

"I think it is important to reaffirm that this is real and it can be done," Gupta told AFP.

The findings will be presented later Tuesday at a medical conference in Seattle, Washington.

Graphic on how HIV attacks white blood cells

Millions of people infected with HIV around the globe keep the disease in check with so-called antiretroviral therapy (ARV), but the treatment does not rid patients of the virus.

Close to 37 million people are living with HIV worldwide, but only 59 percent are receiving ARV. Nearly one million people die every year from HIV-related causes.

A new drug-resistant form of HIV is also a growing concern.

The first sustained remission survivor, announced in 2009 as "the Berlin patient" and later named as American Timothy Brown, was given two transplants and underwent total body irradiation to treat leukaemia -- a process that nearly killed him.

Gupta said that while a second successful transplant did not constitute a generalised cure, it showed that even milder forms of treatment can achieve full remission.

"There are a number of learning points here," he said. "Radiation has a lot of side-effects and leads to a delayed recovery of the bone marrow, so it's really good that we've shown you don't need radiation.

"The Berlin patient also had two rounds of chemotherapy because the first one didn't work. We've done ours just once, and it was also a milder form, which is important," he added.

Close to 37 million people are living with HIV worldwide, but only 59 percent 
are receiving treatment

'HIV is curable'

Both patients received stem cell transplants from donors carrying a genetic mutation that prevents expression of an HIV receptor, known as CCR5.

The London patient was diagnosed with HIV infection in 2003 and had been on antiretroviral therapy since 2012.

Later that year, he was diagnosed with advanced Hodgkin's Lymphoma, a deadly cancer.

He underwent a stem cell transplant in 2016 from a donor with two copies of a CCR5 gene variant, which is resistant to most HIV-1 virus strains.

"CCR5 is something essential for the virus to complete its life-cycle and we can't knock out many other things without causing harm to the patient," said Gupta.

"We know that CCR5 can be knocked out without any serious consequences because people are walking around without that gene."

Map showing the latest data on HIV infections for adults between 2010 to 2017

CCR5 was the target in the genome of the controversial gene-edited twins born last year in China, whose father is HIV-positive.

Experts cautiously welcomed Tuesday's announcement.

The International AIDS Society said in a statement Tuesday that results from the second patient "reaffirm our belief that there exists a proof of concept that HIV is curable".

Sharon Lewin, director of the Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity, told AFP that the second case showed a cure was "feasible".

"We can try to tease out which part of the transplant might have made a difference here, and allowed this man to stop his anti-viral drugs," she added.

New communities

After the bone marrow transplant, the London patient remained on ARV for 16 months, at which point treatment was stopped.

Regular testing has confirmed that the patient's viral load remained undetectable since then.

But scientists were keen to stress that the technique is likely only viable among a tiny percentage of sufferers.

The first sustained remission survivor, announced in 2009 as "the Berlin patient" and 
later named as American Timothy Brown, was given two transplants and underwent 
total body irradiation to treat leukaemia -- a process that nearly killed him

"Due to the rarity of suitable donors, this precise approach will not be available to all HIV patients," said Aine McKnight, professor of Viral Pathology at Queen Mary University, London.

"However, this work has the potential to stimulate research into more generally applicable therapies."

Gupta said he hoped to expand research on the stem-cell transplant technique to focus on communities in Africa, where the HIV-beating mutation does not naturally occur.

"Expanding remission to populations that are affected disproportionately is quite important," he told AFP.

Sunday, March 3, 2019

Canada appeals court upholds landmark tobacco ruling

Yahoo – AFP, March 2, 2019

The trial against the three tobacco companies in Canada's Quebec province began in
March 2012, more than a decade after it was first launched (AFP Photo/GEOFF ROBINS)

Montreal (AFP) - Quebec's appeals court on Friday upheld a historic ruling ordering three tobacco firms to pay Can$15.5 billion (US$11.6 billion) to smokers in the Canadian province who claimed they were never warned about the health risks associated with smoking.

Imperial Tobacco Canada, a subsidiary of British American Tobacco, Rothmans Benson & Hedges and JTI-MacDonald have one month to launch an eventual appeal before Canada's Supreme Court.

In June 2015, the Superior Court of Quebec ruled that the three companies should pay the whopping amount to tens of thousands of smokers suffering from emphysema, lung cancer or throat cancer.

According to media reports, accruing interest will bring the final amount to more than Can$17 billion.

The two class action lawsuits behind the award, which were originally filed in 1998, affected nearly one million smokers or ex-smokers, some of whom had been consuming tobacco since the 1960s. The trial only began in March 2012.

"We are disappointed with today's decision," Imperial Tobacco Canada spokesman Eric Gagnon told reporters. "As the ruling in the lower court showed, Canadian consumers know the risks associated with tobacco use. We should not be held responsible."

Lawyers for the plaintiffs meanwhile celebrated the "historic" ruling, going so far as to call it a "masterpiece."

"The ruling reached the same conclusions as did the lower court, solidifies them and confirms that the companies conspired for 50 years to lie to the public," one of the attorneys, Andre L'Esperance, told journalists.

"This is a total victory, on all fronts," added his colleague Philippe Trudel.

The lower court had ruled that the companies failed in their general duty "not to cause injury to another person" and to inform their customers of the risks associated with their products.