Jennifer Lake's Blog

December 4, 2017

Petkau Effect: devastating low dose radiation

In 1972, more than 46 years ago, the nuclear science world got its first definitive proof of the devastating effects of low-level radiation on humans and the environment. The messenger of that news was Dr. Abram Petkau who worked for the Canadian nuclear establishment. His work lives on as the Petkau Effect.

Dr. Abram Petkau*

I recently obtained a book The Petkau Effect; Nuclear Radiation, People and Trees by Ralph Graeub, updated fourth edition 1992. Dr. Ernest Sternglass provided a lengthy introduction including a description of damage to biological cells:

“…Petkau and his co-workers showed that the cell membrane damage was due to a completely different biological mechanism than the direct hit on the DNA molecules in the nucleus of cells that had been observed at the high doses and dose-rates of atomic bomb detonation or medical exposures. It turned out that the cell membranes were destroyed as the result of the action of a negatively charged, short-lived form of ordinary oxygen, the so-called O2-negative free radical, produced by the absorbed radiation from the life-giving oxygen dissolved in the surrounding fluid. This highly toxic form of oxygen diffused to the outside of the membranes, where it initiated a chain reaction that dissolved the membrane in a matter of minutes to hours, causing the cell to leak and die.
“It became clear that a single O2negative molecule was sufficient to destroy an entire cell, so that only a handful needed to be produced per cell-volume at very low dose rates. But at high dose rates, many millions would be formed in the same volume in the lifetime of the molecule. This was a form of overkill, much like the case of a balloon where a single dart is enough to destroy it, and throwing millions of darts at it only represents a waste of energy. In fact, the more free radicals are created in a given volume, the more they tend to run into each other causing them to become deactivated to harmless ordinary oxygen. Thus, per unit of energy deposited in living tissue consisting of cells, high doses given at the rate of 10,000 rads per minute were found to be 100 billion times less efficient in destroying a cell than at one ten-millionths of a rad per minute, the rate at which we experience background radiation.
“As described in The Petkau Effect, the consequence of the enormously greater efficiency of radiation at low, as compared to high, dose rates is that the dose-response curve rises very rapidly at small doses…
“…As discussed by Graeub, the indirect free radical type of damage that dominates at low dose-rates is particularly serious for the cells of the immune system, which must be constantly renewed from their progenitors in the bone marrow. This is especially true for strontium-90 and other bone-seeking isotopes chemically similar to calcium that concentrate in bone and emit relatively long-range beta particles or electrons…”


*Dr. Ernest Sternglass:

*** “Graeub presents enormously important but little-known evidence that nuclear plant releases are also contributing to the production of acid rain, ground-level ozone and the death of forests… the death of trees has reached epidemic proportions…   Again, the indirect effects of radiation through the production of free radicals on ordinary air pollutants and the cell membranes of plants seem to be the reason…” [into p.25, The Petkau Effect]

*The Petkau Effect:*

“In 1972 the scientist Abram Petkau at the Canadian Atomic Energy Commission’s Whiteshell Nuclear Research establishment in Manitoba, made an accidental discovery deserving of the Nobel Prize. Petkau irradiated artificial cell membranes under water, using phospholipid membranes which are similar to the cell membranes in living cells. He discovered that if the irradiation continued over an extended period, the membranes would tear after a much lower total absorption of radiation dose than if this total dose were emitted in the form of a short burst, as used for x-ray film. A living cell consists of a cell membrane and a cell nucleus. But the cell membrane is not only there to hold the watery cell plasma together; it has many important functions in biological processes. These tasks have been compared with those of an entire industrial corporation. Thus, intact cell membranes are essential for a healthy life. What Petkau discovered was the following: A short term irradiation of 26 rads per minute (i.e., a high dose rate) from a large x-ray machine required the high total dose of 3,500 rads in order to destroy the cell membrane. However, with protracted radiation of only 0.001 rads per minute (i.e., a low dose rate) from radioactive table salt (Na22Cl) dissolved in water, a total dose of only 0.7 rads was required to break it. Thus, in the case of low-level, protracted irradiation, a 5,000-times smaller total dose was necessary. This was truly an incredible discovery.” [p86]


“Ionizing radiation affects the structure and chemistry of the cells. Ions [or electrically charged molecules] are formed, and..may be split apart, forming radicals. Radicals are pieces of molecules that are chemically very aggressive and can form new compounds which are foreign and in some cases toxic.” [p26]
“In the cell fluid, which contains dissolved oxygen, the radiation can cause the formation of a highly toxic, unstable form of oxygen. These so-called ‘free radicals of O2- [or superoxide anions] are attracted by the cell membrane, where they set off a chain reaction that successively oxidizes the molecules of the cell membrane; this weakens or even destroys the membrane. Thus, unlike the case of the cell nucleus [containing DNA], the damage is not the direct result of radiation; rather it occurs indirectly, as the result of the ‘free radicals’ created by the radiation.
…The fewer free radicals present in the cell plasma, the greater their efficiency in producing damage. This is because the free radicals can deactivate each other to form ordinary oxygen molecules. Thus, the fewer free radicals created by radiation in a given volume –and smaller doses create fewer of them– the greater their chances of reaching..the cell wall without first being subjected to a recombination.
Conversely, the more free radicals created..the faster they recombine and become ineffective before they can reach and damage the membrane. In addition, there is a further effect. Cell membranes generate an electrical field in the cell plasma which attracts negatively-charged molecules such as the highly toxic free radical. Computer calculations have shown that the greater the concentration of free radicals, the weaker the attraction by the electric field. Thus, if the concentration of radicals is high, [they] are even less capable of reaching the cell wall than if the immediate concentration of radicals is very low.” [p88]
“Numerous scientific studies of the past..have shown that indirect cell membrane damage must also be effective in biological systems, even at the most minimal doses of 10-100 mrads [millirads] (0.1–1mGray), i.e. in the range of natural radiation, fallout and emissions from a nuclear power plant.” [p90]


* Low-dose radiation effects on insects living near nuclear power plants are under close observation by scientific illustrator Cornelia Hesse-Honegger, who says in her own words: “When Chernobyl happened, I knew it was time for me to act… I traveled to Sweden, which was also affected by the radioactive plume, to look for mutated bugs… They stay near the same piece of ground for generations, making them excellent subjects for the study of..prolonged radiation… I found terribly deformed insects, even though the levels of radiation there were relatively low… In the southern part of Switzerland, which was highly irradiated by Chernobyl, I collected three pairs of [fruit] flies and bred them in my kitchen… From the first generation on, the flies were deformed. In 1988, I published this and similar data…  In 1992, I decided to start a systematic study of the effects of nuclear power, traveling to nuclear plants around the world and gathering..bugs living around them… What I found was..a consistently higher rate of deformations.”


“The first signs of forest death coincide with the first appearance of artificial radioactivity in our environment. [p162, The Petkau Effect] …Of all civilization-induced pollutants, radionuclides have had the highest rate of increase relative to their natural rate of production. The military and civilian use of nuclear energy is responsible for the massive increase in the level of radioactive pollutants… For instance, the atmospheric concentration of krypton85 has increased by millions…  [L]arge accumulations of radionuclides and their daughter products in leaves, needles and the soil due to the bomb fallout of the ’50s and ’60s have been proven with certainty. This is also true for plutonium, americium, tritium and carbon14… [It’s] now determined that forest death has been strongly increasing throughout the Northern Hemisphere since the time that the long-lived radionuclides from the A-bomb tests started spreading to the root areas of trees… Thus, the observed delay of the damage… [pp155-157] “Reduction of its concentration in the air by dry sedimentation or wet precipitation is only minimally successful. This is a very serious factor, for 97% of the krypton remains in the atmosphere and is eliminated only by..radioactive decomposition which may take decades… The long half-life of krypton means irresistable build-up in the environment… If the krypton reaches even one percent of the maximum permissible concentration in the air (300 nCi/m3), measurable global changes in the electric conditions of the atmosphere will begin to occur… It might be possible for lightning bolts in widely separated regions to be connected by electrical feedback. This may cause unexpected changes in the weather.” [p140-141]




“During the 1950s and 1960s, there must have been a global wave of air pollution which caused the initial damage. It was certainly not our cars with NOx emissions and photosmog that were to blame, nor is it likely that SO2 was solely responsible…[p123]
“The acid rain hypothesis [in forest death] is based on the assumption that sulphuric, nitric, hydrochloric and carbonic acids lead to chemical reactions in the soil. This liberates plant-toxic aluminum and manganese ions, damaging to root hairs…. However, if SO2 (sulphur dioxide) is dissolved in water in the lab, nearly the only thing that is produced is sulphurous acid (H2SO3) which is much weaker than sulphuric acid (H2SO4). In order to produce the very acidic sulphuric acid, it is first necessary to oxidize the sulphur dioxide (SO2) to sulpher trioxide (SO3)… It is thought that photo-oxidants such as ozone and hydrogen peroxide (generated by the effect of sunlight on NOx’s and hydrocarbons) act as catalysts or promoters of the reaction. However, artificial radioactive substances may have the same effect. Artificial radiation produces radiant energy and can directly oxidize SO2 to SO3, or form ozone from atmospheric oxygen. Radiolysis in water can form hydrogen peroxide directly, and may even produce NOx from atmospheric nitrogen. [p124]
“At a 1975 meeting of the International Atomic Energy [Agency], a number of very interesting correlations involving radioactivity were presented by the scientist K.C. Vohra of the Bhabba Atomic Research Center at Trombay, India… Vohra began with the assumption that so-called condensation nuclei are constantly forming in our atmosphere by means of chemical reactions of various substances. He was able to determine by experiment that this condensation-nucleus formation increased somewhat in the [sulphur dioxide]-rich exhaust gases under the effect of sunlight or cosmic radiation. However, when radioactive gases were released from the nuclear power plant, condensation-nucleus formation increased rapidly. The SO2 was quickly oxidized to SO3, which in turn leads to sulphuric acid, which also forms condensation nuclei much more readily.” [p125]
“Moreover, ozone can be produced in the lower atmosphere by radioactivity, utterly independent of sunlight. Thus, such radioactive inert gases as krypton85 and xenon133, which are released unchecked in all atomic fission processes, are known as effective ozone-generators.” [p132]

……….more to come: quotes from The Petkau Effect and info on oxygen free radicals…………..


October 24, 2012


Morgification is something I’ve been thinking about for months. In part, as the involuntary and evil twin of Borgification, and in breadth as a process that derives “morg” from its original word-root as a condition of death. It only so happens that All Hallows Eve is on our doorstep and this haphazard piece turns out to be timely. The inspiration didn’t come from philosophy or religion, but from polymer science; specifically, the activities of the (defunct) Polaroid Corporation and the men who were dipping their probes into the mysteries of organic stereochemistry to make “interesting” plastics. And then there’s the overall driver which is a psychic hologram of scientific tyranny. Pardon my negativity but there’s a problem Houston! We’re losing the Race for Space –and I mean losing control of those engineered aliens ( the “race” for space).   So, I guess what I want to say is: get jiggy with it science guys or get morgued for a comeback as zombie pumpkins.

“Morg”, of course, is taken from Morgellon’s, a name on overdrive, standing in for the range of disorders manifesting as recurrent lesions, extruding fibers, films, crystals, technological objects and insects oozing and tearing out of people’s skin. Prognosis unknown. Morgellon’s suggests these are medical problems. Morgification, I’m suggesting, is conquest.

   No one can yet tell me if it’s killing people because so far what I’ve heard is that ‘morgs’ are killing themselves. I have too little to offer in the face of this tragedy, but recent exposure to advanced cases of morgification support a conviction that the issue needs to be, and must be, defined. It was Edwin (“call me Din”) Land, the founder and genius of Polaroid, who was fond of telling people that a problem defined opened the way to its solution.


The following description and accompanying photos (in the link) fits some of the morg specimens I’ve seen: “In this work, we discovered that.. PVP could self-assemble to form a macroscopic matrix made of a branched hollow polymer nanofibers… The self-assembled fibrous PVP structure formed in the aqueous solution was a jellyfish-like three-dimensional aggregate with a centimeter scale… Based on the..analysis of the early stage during the formation of the jellyfish-like PVP aggregate, the aggregate formation process can be divided into two steps: formation and fusion of PVP microspheres into pearl-necklace-like chains and growth of hollow fibers from the chains… The branched fibers produced in this work may serve as new templates for the synthesis of fibers or tubes of other materials… We discovered that polyvinylpyrrolidone (PVP) could self-assemble into branched hollow fibers in an aqueous solution after aging the PVP solution for about two weeks. Based on this finding, we demonstrated two approaches by which the self-assembly of PVP into branched hollow fibers could be exploited to template the formation of branched hollow inorganic fibers.” [i.e. silica and gold nanoparticles]

 PVP powder, sold widely as a food additive, binding and thickening agent for foods, adhesives, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, medical devices and blood plasma substitute. Mixed with iodine it’s called povidone, able to make light-polarizing film — it could have been among the many thousands of polymer compounds prepared by Polaroid.

Edwin Land, c1947 

For much of its early existence, Polaroid functioned as a think tank more than a product-wielding corporation. In 1937, Polaroid was officially reorganized  “Under the enthusiastic sponsorship of Jimmy  [James A.] Warburg, [as] a group came together that included W. Averell Harriman, Lewis Strauss and Strauss’s partners at Kuhn Loeb, and several members of Schroder-Rockefeller… and clearly demonstrated what they were investing in by granting Land control of a voting trust of the stock… The board directors [were] Warburg, Harriman, Strauss…” [p55, Land’s Polaroid]   Din Land had shown them miracles, including a 3-D movie, which they restaged multiple times for scientists, capitalists, and the press. For the 1939 “World of Tomorrow” Fair in New York, Chrysler presented a 3-D Polaroid film of a car self-assembling as the animated parts danced before the audience. Still, Polaroid had little to sell and fewer customers, but 1940, World War II, new premises near M.I.T. and a flow of contracts from the US Navy changed everything. Near the end of the war, Polaroid took on a team of crack chemists and set out to make the products that Edwin Land had dreamed of.

One of the chemists who signed on to Polaroid in 1943 was Elkan Rogers Blout, newly promoted out of Columbia University with a chemical PhD and accommodated as a research fellow at Harvard Medical School. Blout managed to keep his parallel life going between Polaroid and Harvard –Polaroid gave him wealth and Harvard gave him prestige– until 1962 and the fruition of Polaroid’s great commercial one-trick-pony: the instant color camera. Blout “led the team of chemists that synthesized more than 5,000 compounds in search of the key ingredients of the Polaroid color process.” By leaving the lab at Polaroid, Blout was to have time to make his mark in medicine. Since 1950, he’d had private lab space at the Children’s Hospital in Boston, sponsored by the Children’s Cancer Research Foundation under Sidney Farber: “Elkan established a spectroscopy laboratory at Children’ study biophysics of peptides and proteins… Indicative of his stature in the field of biopolymers, Elkan was a founding editor of the journal Biopolymers…”  At the top of his Harvard career, Elkan Blout was the Dean of academics at the Harvard School of Public Health, treasurer of the National Academy of Sciences responsible for a five-fold increase in monetary holdings and lastly, in retirement after having won the highest national awards, senior science advisor to the FDA.  But, from his first days at Polaroid during WWII, Blout (who was 24 at the time) had joined in the ‘classified’ culture of military secrets. It may have taught him much about networking and discretion, as doubtlessly as hobnobbing with financiers did with money. Perhaps it suited him as it suited Edwin Land.

When the Korean War kicked into gear and nuclear tests moved to Nevada, Edwin Land joined another small group to study and recommend military development; they called themselves the Beacon Hill group and issued a highly classified report on ideas for aerial reconnaissance and atmospheric monitoring. Land’s fellow in these studies, James R. Killian (pres. of M.I.T), was later to pick him as chair for the special intelligence committee. In 1954, Land and Killian, together, went to Eisenhower with the plan for the U-2 spy plane. It was at Land’s urging and arrangement that Kelly Johnson of Lockheed was brought into the project, and potentially many other contributors as well. “He knew much of the country’s scientific establishment personally. He was a visiting lecturer at M.I.T. and would later persuade Killian to join Polaroid’s board… Land quickly assumed a leading role…  From the first flight on July 4, 1956, to the day Gary Powers was shot down on May 1, 1960, the U-2 changed the course of history… suddenly a hidden world was totally revealed. It quickly became apparent that the bomber gap and the missile gap [promoted as falling behind the Soviets] were misapprehensions… the Western powers had overestimated Soviet strength… Subsequent flights totally revised American and NATO thinking about Russian capabilities.” [pp111-112, Land’s Polaroid]

The essential telling of U-2 surveillance and the involvement of Land is in the timing of its early flights a full year before the United States blew off the longest and dirtiest series of nuclear bombs over the heads of its citizens.  The Nevada tests known as Operation Plumbob in the summer and fall of 1957 initiated the period of peak atmospheric fallout that, according to epidemiological data, has never really abated due to the growth of nuclear industries, accidents, re-pollution and bioaccumulation. For some time now, even the public knows that the ‘testing’ excess was militarily unnecessary by any standard.  In the field of synthetic and biopolymers, however, fallout is magic.


Got a minute?

All polymers are made of linked units called monomers.
A biopolymer is a polymer found in nature.  Starch, proteins and peptides, and DNA and RNA are all examples of biopolymers, in which the monomer units, respectively, are sugars [polysaccharides], amino acids [polypeptides], and nuceic acids [polynucleotides]. The exact chemical composition and the sequence in which these units are arranged is called the polymer’s primary structure. Many biopolymers spontaneously “fold” into characteristic shapes, which determine their biological functions and depend in a complicated way on their primary structures. Structural biology is the study of the shapes of biopolymers.”
“Stereochemistry, a subdiscipline of chemistry, involves the study of the relative spatial arrangement of atoms that form the structure of molecules and their manipulation…also known as 3D chemistry because the prefix “stereo-” means “three-dimensionality”.
The term ‘plastics’ includes materials composed of various elements such as carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen, chlorine, and sulfur. Plastics typically have high molecular weight, meaning each molecule can have thousands of atoms bound together… Most plastics are based on the carbon atom. Silicones, which are based on the silicon atom, are an exception. The carbon atom can link to other atoms with up to four chemical bonds .. When we combine monomers, we generate polymers or plastics… The raw material formation may begin by separating the hydrocarbon chemicals from natural gas, petroleum, or coal into pure streams of chemicals. Some are then processed in a “cracking process.” Here, in the presence of a catalyst, raw materials molecules are converted into monomers such as ethylene (ethene) C2H4, propylene (propene) C3H6, and butene C4H8 and others….  Each monomer yields a plastic resin with specific properties and characteristics. Combinations of monomers produce copolymers with further property variations. So, within each polymer type, such as nylons, polyesters, polyethylenes, etc, manufacturers can custom make plastics that have specific features.”
“A single polymer molecule may consist of hundreds to a million monomers and may have a linear, branched, or network structure. Covalent [shared electron] bonds hold the atoms in the polymer molecules together and secondary bonds then hold groups of polymer chains together to form the polymeric material. Copolymers are polymers composed of two or more different types of monomers.”
“Most plastics are dielectrics or insulators…and resist the flow of a current… [but] Not all polymers behave the same when subjected to voltage and plastics can be classified as ‘polar’ or ‘nonpolar’…The polar plastics do not have a fully covalent bond and there is a slight imbalance in the electronic charge of the molecule… This ‘dipole’ will move in the presence of an electric field and attempt to line up with the electric field.”
Molecular self-assembly is mediated by weak, noncovalent bonds –notably hydrogen bonds, ionic bonds (electrostatic interactions), hydrophobic interactions, van der Waals interactions and water-mediated hydrogen bonds. Although these bonds are relatively insignificant in isolation, when combined together as a whole, they govern the structural conformation of..macromolecules…”
Polymer fabrication techniques often use free radicals: Free radical polymerization is a which a polymer forms by the successive addition of free radical building blocks. Free radicals can be formed via a number of different mechanisms… The relatively nonspecific nature of free radical chemical interactions makes this one of the most versatile forms of polymerization available.. In 2001, 40 billion of the 110 billion pounds of polymers produced in the United States were produced by free radical polymerization.”
High-energy ionizing radiation produces free radicals for chemically cross-linking polymers: “..[a] polymer may be crosslinked using..electron beam (or e-beam), gamma, or x-ray. Gamma irradiation is usually most economical at lower doses..and for large, high-density parts…Irradiation creates free radicals which will often chemically react in various ways… The free radicals can recombine forming the crosslinks. The degree of crosslinking depends upon the polymer and radiation dose… Another oxidation during irradiation. Furthermore, oxidation can continue after irradiation causing changes in properties with time… A competing process, called scissioning occurs when polymers are irradiated. In this case, the polymer chains are broken…”
Plasma polymerization: …”as early as the 1870s ‘polymers’ formed by this process were known, but these polymers were initially thought of as undesirable…It was not until the 1960s that the properties of these polymers where found to be useful… Glow discharge is a technique in polymerization which forms free electrons which gain energy from an electric field, and then lose energy through collisions with neutral molecules in the gas phase. This leads to many chemically reactive species, which then lead to a plasma polymerization reaction… These plasmas are formed by a direct current, alternating current or radio frequency generator.
“This review describes recent developments in the emerging field of biomimetic polymeric biomaterials, which signal to cells via biologically active entities.  …The next topics are then the basic design rules for the creation of biomimetic materials. Here, the major emphasis is on polymers that are assembled in separate building blocks, meaning that the biologically active entity is attached to the polymer in a separate chemical reaction.”
“Here we report a top-down biomimetic approach…by coating biodegradable polymeric nanoparticles with natural erythrocyte [red blood cell] membranes..for long-circulating [drug or gene] cargo delivery…”
“Cellulose has received much attention as an emerging smart material, named as electro-active paper (EAPap)…”
“Conductive polymers are expected to play an important role in the emerging science of molecular computers…”
Indeed… polymers are smart materials. If you knew nothing about plastics before reading this, I hope this random selection of quotes does a ‘Polaroid’–  gives you the picture in a minute.
   I have one last addition about the “pyrroles” :
“Polypyrroles are conducting polymers of the, all basically derivatives of polyacetylene. Polypyrrole was the first polyacetylene derivative to show high conductivity. In a series of papers in 1963, D.E.Weiss and coworkers reported high conductivity in iodine-doped oxidized polypyrrole… In 2006, scientists from Brown University published work on a fast-charging and discharging battery chemistry based on polypyrroles. There are current studies into the medical applications… Polypyrrole..has been actively studied as a material for ‘artificial muscles’… Polypyrrole is used in the microwave fabrication of multiwalled carbon nanotubes, a new method that allows to obtain CNTs in a matter of seconds.”
….now there’s a real Polaroid moment.
In 1940, equal to Polaroid’s up-and-coming status as a think tank floating on Navy contracts, Edwin Land adopted Robert Burns Woodward as a special science advisor and chief “problem solver” to the company. Woodward was a Boston area native, PhD graduate of MIT, and soon to become the resident wizard of organic chemistry at Harvard. He was “considered by many to be the preeminent organic chemist of the twentieth century… During the..1940s, Woodward synthesized many complex..products including quinine, cholesterol, cortisone, strychnine, lysergic acid, reserpine, chlorophyll, cephalosporin and colchicine. With these, Woodward opened up a new era of which he showed that natural products could be synthesized by careful applications of the principles of physical organic chemistry, and by meticulous plannng…  it was thought by some..that it would be impossible to create these substances in the lab… Woodward was a pioneer in showing how, with exhaustive and rational planning, one could conduct reactions that were stereoselective. Many..syntheses involved forcing a molecule into a certain configuration by installing rigid structural elements in it, [a] tactic that has become standard today.”
   “In 1944, Land brought together two brilliant young chemists who had worked for Polaroid… twenty-seven..[and]..William E. Doering..[who] was twenty-six. Land provided them with a Polaroid laboratory and assistants, his own insistent energy and ideas, and a challenge to solve the classical problem… Synthetic quinine…” [p76, Land’s Polaroid] It was through Woodward, who had also been serving the War Production Board, that Elkan Blout came to Polaroid too. Woodward was to stay in the family –in 1946 he divorced his first wife and married Eudoxia ‘Doxie’ Muller, one of Polaroid’s first hires, described as a “humorous, cynical, blonde sprite” who was recruited to learn science on-the-job. “Doxie had been assigned by Land to begin the first chemical experiments on his instant photography project, given the code name SX-70, under Land’s daily guidance.” [p9, ibid.]
   Woodward’s “new era” in chemistry was to bear his name. “In the early 1950s, Woodward, along with the British chemist Geoffrey Wilkinson then at Harvard, postulated a novel structure for ferrocene, a compound consisting of a combination of an organic molecule with iron. This marked the beginning of the field of transition metal organometallic chemistry…  In the early 1960s, Woodward began work on what was the most complex natural product synthesized to date– vitamin B12… The synthesis included almost a hundred steps…  This [work] convinced organic chemists that the synthesis of any complex substance was possible given enough time and planning.” [wiki, above]
   Blout wrote of his friend, “Theoretically, interesting molecules always intrigued Woodward… He concluded that electronic effects had to be at work…”
“Recently the mixtures of collagen with synthetic polymers..are becoming more and more interesting for scientists and technologists… Since collagen alone does not show interesting enough mechanical properties, the idea to develop collagen based composite materials by adding a selected synthetic polymer is interesting. Polyvinylpyrrolidone (PVP) is an interesting water-soluble synthetic… used for..plasmas (substitute of blood plasma), for hydrogel production by radiation methods and..hydrophilic gels…  Collagen and polyvinylpyrrolidone (PVP)..are also well known for their interesting biological properties. The blending of collagen with PVP makes it possible to obtain new materials in which strong interactions between the synthetic and biological components occur.”
“…surgically induced fibrocollagenous tunnels induces angiogenesis in ischemic rat hindlimb model… collagen-polyvinylpyrrolidone plus heparin induced significant vascularization…”
“Vascular tube formation and angiogenesis induced by polyvinylpyrrolidone-coated silver nanoparticles” [abstract title]
   Angiogenesis, the growth of new blood vessels, was a term first coined in 1900 but made-over in 1960s medical literature as a feature of cancer by the effort of a Boston [Children’s Hospital/Harvard] colleague, Moses Judah Folkman. Dr. “Folkman is widely known as a pioneer in the sudy of angiogenesis… Today [2008] there are more than 1,000 laboratories worldwide engaged in the study of angiogenesis, the field he founded.” In measurable practical value, however, Folkman may be better known for creating plasticized implants, including an early pacemaker: “While doing blood research for the Navy [Bethesda], Folkman had noticed that plastic tubing will gradually leak oil-based fluids… That led to a new drug-delivery system– implantable plastic capsules..[and] directly to the development of Norplant, the long-term contraceptive… Folkman gave the original the Population Council.”
…”Judah Folkman has taken us enormously close to converting cancer into a manageable chronic disease…”
   Without digressing here on the utility of cancer, this last comment fairly captures my perception of the goals of establishment medicine and brings up another haunting concept I’ve been thinking about as a result of this research: autoincarceration –for now, one to keep rolling. There are endless interesting citations about PVP.
   Polyvinylpyrrolidone was first made in a BASF laboratory, the company that advertizes “We don’t just create chemicals, we create chemistry” : “Polyvinylpyrrolidone is a genuine ‘multi-talent’ among BASF products because polyvinylpyrrolidones are good at (almost) everything… It all began around the end of Ludwigshafen. Walter Reppe, the inventor of acetylene chemistry, used acetylene and pyrrolidone to produce a new monomer called vinylpyrrolidone… PVP started its career as a substitute for blood plasma in the Second World War. Known as Periston, it saved the lives of thousands of people… Half of the polyvinylpyrrolidones produced by BASF are destined for the pharmaceutical sector…  Today, BASF is the biggest producer of PVP in Europe –and an end to this success story is nowhere in sight.”–PVP+and+more+Versatile+specialty+polymers+for+technical+applications-English.pdf
“When dry, it is a light flaky powder which readily absorbs up to 40% of its weight in atmospheric water. In solution it has excellent wetting properties and readily forms films…”
[1953]”This work..may serve as a basis for later investigations..on the combining of PVP for certain physiologic products with which it comes into intimate contact when used as a plasma expander…”
“Pulsed electron beam irradiation at high repitition rate generates several carbon-centered free radicals along the polymeric chain simultaneously and enhances the intra-crosslinking radical reactions. Smaller nano-gel particles..were attained at higher pulse repitition rate (300 pulses per second)…the nano-gel structure was synthesized using relatively low dose-rate radiation…”
“The microemulsion was..subjected to either electron-beam or UV-radiation to induce free-radical crosslinking of PVP at low temperature… E-beams produced orderly grids and UV produced a tangled mess…”
“Recently studies have shown that infection can occur in the presence of neutralizing antibodies…if the virus is first subjected to polymer encapsulation… By substituting polyvinyl pyrrolidone (PVP) for PVA [polyvinyl alcohol], gene transfer increased seven-fold…”
Naturally existing pyrroles, incidently, come from tobacco, and as part of its intriguing history as the first confirmed isolation of  any virus (published 1892), Tobacco Mosaic Virus (TMV) turns out to “exhibit fascinating structural features… TMV-based materials have already shown great potential in nanoelectronics.”
–now, I can only speculate what kind of story Big Tobacco might have to contribute here. Tobacco keeps coming up in my radiation biology studies; as a source of desirable chemicals such as nicotinic acid and pyrrole, as a crop target of early “radium fertilizer” and as a factor in the cancer of Henrietta Lacks, whose tumor cells were designated the immortal HeLa line in 1951 (beginning of US domestic atomic fallout), then to become the most ubiquitous of laboratory creatures (i.e., the basis of polio vaccines) –and now this too, ready nanoelectronics.
   Americans should know from history that the burgeoning economy of the Atlantic colonies was built on the slave labor of tobacco plantations. By the 1700s, excluding J.J. Astor, great fortunes were in tobacco, exemplified by Pierre Lorillard: “Lorillard is the oldest tobacco company in the world.; In 1968, Lorillard was acquired by Loews Corporation, controlled by the Tisch family. If you like, take the rabbit hole:; or jump in and follow the money
BASF, creator of the chemistry, was the 1925 founding corporation of I.G. Farbenunder the leadership of Carl Bosch…all shares were exchanged for BASF shares prior to the merger. Rubber, fuels and coatings were added to the product range“.

In 1927, prior to the Wall Street Crash and the construction of Rockefeller Center,  Standard Oil and I.G. Farben formalized a joint partnnership that created the world’s largest chemical consortium. Howard Ambruster published a critical work in 1947 on the interwar history of the Standard-Farben venture: “Treason’s Peace, German Dyes and American Dupes”.  Ambruster wrote, “ is and must be recognized as a cabalistic organization which..operates a far-flung and highly efficient espionnage machine –the ultimate purpose being world conquest and a world super-state directed by Farben.”…”

“Under the direction of Walter Reppe (1892 – 1969, chemist and member of the  Board of Executive Directors from 1952 to 1957), research begins in 1928 on the catalytic reactions of acetylene under pressure… Carl Bosch and Friedrich Bergius receive the Nobel Prize for the development of  high-pressure technology for ammonia synthesis and coal hydrogenation…Researchers in Ludwigshafen develop a groundbreaking new invention – magnetic  tape…  Ten years of intensive research into synthetic rubber culminate in success… A patent is filed in 1939 for one of the most interesting  derivatves of acetylene chemistry: polyvinylpyrrolidone (PVP)… Times of war, 1940…The first 20 tons of caprolactam-based polyamide are produced in  Ludwigshafen. This opens up new ways of manufacturing fibers (nylon and Perlon)  and engineering plastics… ”

“I.G. Farben had a holding company in the United States… Paul M. Warburg, first director of the Federal  Reserve Bank of New York and chairman of the Bank of Manhattan, was a Farben director and in Germany his brother Max Warburg was also a director of I.G,  Farben. H. A. Metz of I.G. Farben was also a director of the Warburg’s Bank of  Manhattan. Finally, Carl Bosch of American I.G. Farben was also a director of  Ford Motor Company A-G in Germany… Another elusive case of reported financing to Hitler is that of Fritz Thyssen, the German steel magnate…[whose]..personal banking operation was affiliated with W.A. Harriman interests in New York..”  “Virtually all members of the German Warburg family fled to the United States or Great Britain by 1938.”  “The I.G.Farben cartel was created by loans from Wall Street in what has been called the Dawes Plan. Carroll Quigley calls the Dawes Plan ‘largely a J.P. Morgan production.’ The J.P. Morgan Group set up the loan to I.G. Farben, which created Hitler… Do you see what happened? A Rothschild agent [Morgan & Co.] set up a cartel that was directly involved in the horrible persecution of the Jews. Still the family maintains the illusion of being totally supportive of their race. At first Germany had a significant disadvantage… The nation had a fuel shortage…[but] were able to fight WWII through the use of synthetic fuels that were created by the hydrogenation process (turning coal into gasoline)… Standard Oil..was able to complete the research, facilitating the war…” [from Bloodlines of the Illuminati, by Fritz Springmeier,]

While the processes for producing gaseous and liquid fuels by conventional techniques were being developed, exploratory experiments to investigate the rapid pyrolysis of coal to gaseous products were in progress… The results of these studies show that the rapid pyrolysis of coal produces a gaseous mixture of which acetylene is the principal hydrocarbon constituent…”

The US Government’s sample of PVP came to the military in 1943 as captured German medical supplies: “At the 28 July 1943 [Subcommittee on Blood Substitutes] Conference..a bottle of Periston [polyvinylpyrrolidone]..that had been captured in Tunisia..was exhibited and arrangements were made for various studies to be conducted on it… [T]oxicity experiments revealed gross pathologic changes in the spleen..described as the type to be expected in severe bone marrow damage… Autopsy also revealed changes in the liver that were apparently progressive…”  Despite this, blood substitute science was unable to find suitable materials and Periston was bypassed because of adequate supplies of donated blood from the Red Cross program. The military dropped its inquiry at the end of the war, but in 1950 the Korean War revived their interest: “Periston was..[next] considered in the Subcommittee on Shock on 14 October 1950. Although it had been widely used in Germany during WWII and about half a million cases had since been followed up, not much was known… Apparently it caused no lasting damage to the tissues… At the 11 was learned that the Schenley [Distillers] Corp. could then import 5,000 to 10,000 bottles of Periston a month from Germany and by July 1951 expected to import an intermediate form that could be processed further in the United States… A research project had been approved in principle… The Food and Drug Administration was prepared to clear Periston…” [pp788-790] So Schenley Corp. became the government’s PVP contractor until late 1953 when Periston was dropped again in favor of another blood substitute called dextran –also provided by Schenley.

“Schenley had been owned by one Danny Weiskopf, formerly the right-hand man of Julius Kessler, the whiskey king of pre-Prohibition America. Weiskopf had sold out to Lew Rosenstiel..[who] managed to build up considerable stocks of ‘prescription whiskey’..[p95, The Bronfmans]… Before Repeal Rosenstiel had acquired..the important firm of Schenley with the help of..the totally respectable banking firm of Lehman Brothers… Rosenstiel was a true monster… He was a workaholic, needing only two hours of sleep, working seven days a week, impetuous.. a control freak who treated his employees like dirt, sacking them at a moment’s notice..[expecting] them to compromise themselves by talking in his absence, unaware that he had installed bugging devices in his offices… Rosenstiel was married four times and was bisexual…revealed from evidence given in a bitter divorce his fourth wife. If, as is possible, her evidence is true, it guarantees him a place in history as organizer of the parties at which J. Edgar Hoover could frolic in his favorite frocks, parties that featured boy prostitutes for the enjoyment of..guests like Roy Cohn. According to the fourth Mrs. Rosenstiel, at one party she attended Hoover ‘was wearing a fluffy black dress..with..lace stockings and high false eyelashes.’ Indeed it was the blackmail potential of the conversations recorded on the microphones Rosenstiel had thoughtfully installed throughout the house that allegedly explained Hoover’s refusal to pursue the Mafia. For it was at Lew’s place that Hoover met some of Rosenstiel’s business Frank Costello, Sam Giancana…Santo Trafficante..Angelo Bruno..and Meyer Lansky…” [p66, The Bronfmans, by Nicholas Faith] Sam Bronfman bought a 20% stake in Schenley. “Mr. Sam..–and above all Edgar– had been introduced to what would now be called ‘insider’ stock market dealings by the Loebs and the Gunzbergs… In France the Gunzberg connection with the Rothschilds enabled the Bronfmans to get in on the ground floor of..the innovative holiday group Club Mediterranee. In the United States the investments included a highly successful speculation into Polaroid..” [p175, ibid.]


This story, as you might surmise, has more places to go than tunneling nanotubes, and at some point I just have to leave-off and mention that the early medical research on PVP by the government was mixed at best. They sanctioned ’emergency use’ of PVP blood substitute and called for more study. The only moderately favorable clinical trial done in 1950 was submitted by Dr. Robert M. Zollinger of Ohio State U, the beloved mentor of Judah Folkman who got him into Harvard Medial School. Polaroid eventually filed a number of PVP-containing patents, some of which appear near the end of Edwin Land’s life in 1983. “Paradoxically, a man who spent much of his life developing devices and systems for recording history didn’t leave much of his own. He didn’t keep a journal and his personal papers were destroyed upon death.”



PVP in RESidence
Polyvinylpyrrolidone stores in the reticulo-endothelial system (RES), currently called the mononuclear phagocyte system (MPS), “part of the immune system that consists of the phagocytic cells located in reticular connective tissue. The cells..accumulate in lymph nodes and the spleen. The Kupffer cells of the liver and tissue histiocytes are..part of the MPS… The mononuclear phagocyte system is part of both humoral and cell-mediated immunity..[with] an important role in defense against microorganisms… [In] the liver, Kupffer cells store excess iron [coming] from the breakdown of red blood cells. In bone marrow and spleen, iron is stored in RES cells mostly as ferritin… The functions of the MPS..[are] formation of Red and White blood cells [RBCs and WBCs], destruction of old RBCs and WBCs, formation of antibody, formation of plasma proteins, formation of bile pigments [and] storage of iron.”
“When administered in very large amounts or over long periods (either as a plasma replacement or as a dryg carrier) deposits identified as PVP have been found in RES cells of various organs and in the lung, kidney and intestines… For example, PVP storage was apparent in 28 of 29 autopsies of patients who received intravenous injection over 2-81 days at total doses of 4 g[grams]. Microscopic examination revealed slight structural changes… Slight adverse effects to the function of lungs, kidneys, liver and intestines..have been described… Other reports have also noted..granulomatous or inflammatory reactions in association with PVP deposits in..the liver and lymph nodes… PVP deposits in a wide range of tissues..when examined up to 15 years later…”[noted here also at 20 years]
Edwin Herbert Land, “As a member of PSAC [the President’s Scientific Advisory Committee], Land co-authored a study that led to the establishment of the highly secretive National Reconnaisance Office (NRO), participated..and promoted the development of satellites..[and] also served on the special committee..that laid the foundations for the transformation of the National Advisory Committee on Aeronautics (NACA) into NASA…”; EHL would certainly have been aware of the research objectives expressed by Manfred Clynes and Nathan S. Kline in 1960 :

Altering  man’s bodily functions to meet the requirements of extraterrestrial environments  would be more logical than providing an earthly environment for him in space…”

December 7, 2011

The Disease Continuum

Of all the subject matter in this blog, the collective weight gathers on the topic of the Disease Continuum, so named as a manmade phenomenon of modern times. I’m challenging myself here to grasp its scope, locate its origins, describe its momentum and filter out a sensible narrative.

Like an exhausted competitor in an old-time Depression-era Dance Marathon, I’m leaning hard on my ‘partners’, relying on refreshment and support until the music stops. When it stops (if it stops), the grand prize will be survival –merely that– in a fiction of celebration designed for the desperate by the cruel. Thus, simply, stands my take on the practical medical ‘establishment’ paradigm.

In general terms, the mater materia of the Disease Continuum compares to the elements of the ancients [fire, water, earth, air]; four fundamental essences from which it’ s composed. By disease names they are influenza, polio, cancer and AIDS and together, they forge a Ring of Power in the kingdom of Public Health.

…”One Ring to rule them all and in the darkness bind them”

   Common to the four elements of the Continuum is the eugenical substrate on which they emerge in history; they are timely, political, and as inevitable as the science and industry that sustains them. It should interest us that they are characterized as viral and not the foreign biological intruders we suppose.
   “We have travelled a long way from the mysterious filtrable infective particle of..years ago… [W]e have even the evidence that..portions of certain..viruses can be dissociated and later recombined to form a reconstituted infective particle… Clearly discoveries of this sort are providing the basis for an understanding of the host-virus relationship… For virus multiplication is after all a special case of protein biosynthesis… We seem thus to have reached a point at which biochemical and biophysical studies of viruses have really come into their own and offer the greatest prospects of advance.”
–Sir Charles Harington, March 1956,
Ciba Foundation Symposium at the National Institute for Medical Research (NIMR), Mill Hill London [ref. The Nature of Viruses, 1956, Little Brown & Co.]
From the same publication, Sweden’s polio researcher Sven Gard wrote, “The question of the kinetics of chemical virus inactivation has become a problem of more than academic interest after the occurrance in the USA of inoculation poliomyelitis in children vaccinated with formalin-treated virus… Salk (1956) has repeatedly stated that inactivation of polio virus by formaldehyde (F) runs the course of a first order reaction.  At the Third International Poliomyelitis Conference in Rome in 1954 I pointed out that the Swedish observations did not conform with this statement (Gard, 1955). On the contrary, we had found a systematic and consistently reproducible deviation...”
   Work on polioviruses helped to prove that intestinal “Enteroviruses can infect all tissues of the human body. The tropism of each virus for certain tissues is not well understood…”. Reconstituting pathogens in the form of gut bacteria and viruses was learned early. Simon Flexner designed experiments in 1897 to alter the properties of harvested human colon bacilli and turn them virulent several years before he became the director of the Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research. Flexner’s cadavers in 1890s Baltimore, taken to the labs of the newly medicalized Johns Hopkins University, were mostly victims of pneumonia and influenza, a ready surfeit of bodies that littered the northern port cities of industrial America.
Dr. Nancy Banks writes in AIDS, Opium, Diamonds and Empire on cancer and AIDS, ..”new research suggests that ..[what] may be the primary cause of malignant growth..[is] the reduced efficiency of mitochondrial energy conversion as the result of oxidative/nitrosative stress… What is becoming imminently more difficult to suppress is the evidence that impaired mitochondrial metabolism, and specifically the Krebs cycle activity, may promote malignant growth… People diagnosed with AIDS are in a hypercatabolic low oxygen state where the body becomes exhausted in attempting to repair itself.” As she explains, “no virus need apply”. [p58]
… “There is no scientific data validating the contention that what is currently referred to as HIV is, in fact, a virus! …The goal was perception management… [and] the proteins claimed to be specific for HIV are universally present in everyone.” [pp306-308]
… Dr. Banks treats readers to a quote from Peter Duesberg: “Even very few oncogenic retroviruses –those endowed with cancer genes– hardly play a role as carcinogens for two reasons. First, viral cancer genes accidentally acquired are never kept by retroviruses after they are generated because they are entirely useless to the virus… Second, even if a rare oncogenic retrovirus infects an immunocompetent animal, a small tumor will appear within days after the infection, only to disappear again as the animal develops antiviral immunity. Antiviral immunity kills both the virus and all virus-infected cells.” [p54, AIDS, Opium, Diamonds and Empire]
   So all is not peace and harmony in the Disease Continuum. But we should remember the words of H.R. Shepherd, 1993 founding chairman of the Sabin Vaccine Institute:  “Vaccines are the most powerful tool available to equalize the health of human beings in every corner of the world. Enlightened leaders understand the power of vaccines to help bring peace and opportunity to the most troubled places…”
   No story of great or worldly achievement in the 20th century seems complete or soluble without a reconciliation to public medicine. It electrifies the most compelling events of our time like the JFK assassination.
   Edward Mandell House, the intimate alter-ego and adviser to Woodrow Wilson, was reputed to have said (prior to WWI), “Very soon, every American will be required to register their biological property in a national system designed to keep track of the people… They will be our chattel… stripped of their rights and given a commercial value…”
   Without this knowledge can we know anything about the new designs of peace and opportunity planned for the 21st?
 As is my recent posting custom, this article is going to grow long and thick expositioning currents of power and change in the methods of modern disease.
For a blog review that covers a lot of disease-continuum content, read here
“Throughout history, infectious diseases have killed more soldiers than have weapons… It has always been very hazardous to be a soldier.. but in recent decades the greatest risk seems to be carried by civilians… In 1993, the World Bank provided one of the first attempts to combine both death and suffering into a single number to represent the burden of disease (Disability Adjusted Life Years, or DALYs)… They found in 1990 a total of 1.4 billion DALYs lost in the world. Twenty-four different conditions each accounted for more than one percent of that total. Five of these 24 conditions involved violence: automobile injuries, falls, homicide, suicide, and war… The five violence conditions were second only to respiratory diseases..” –pages 4-5, War and Public Health, 1997, editors Barry S. Levy and Victor W. Sidel
So, there’s your commercial value –the unit measure of productivity representing your (everyone’s) worth.
INFLUENZA, notoriously lethal as the 1918 Spanish Flu, became a very interesting disease in the pandemic of 1889-1893, known as the Russian Flu: “The pandemic spread rapidly, taking only 4 months to circumnavigate the planet, peaking in the United States 70 days after the original peak in St. Petersburg.”
An 18 page document describing the collective experiences of doctors with 6,000 Philadelphia patients notes that “The most important symptoms were undoubtedly those connected with the nervous system, and it is a serious question whether all the symptoms were not due primarily to derangement of that system.”
…”The duration varied from one week to three months of more…The sputum..was frequently noticed to be quite black from minute particles resembling soot or coal dust… Insane ideas were acknowledged by many…Fear of going crazy was excessively frequent… Vertigo was common… Violent headache..often continued for months… Cases which were left with local or general paralysis were subject as a premonitory symptom to exceptionally violent headache… Sight was often temporarily lost… We noted numbness of the limbs… A sudden loss of power in the limbs was sometimes an initial symptom… In many cases power was lost for long periods– ten months or a year, and sometimes it seems, permanently… For months after apparent recovery, fatigue or exposure would bring on exhaustion… Sustained thought was often utterly impossible… in effort there was a sudden slowing down of the heart… Heart-failure caused most of the deaths in the earlier part of the first year’s epidemic… The influenza type seemed to be stamped upon all diseases, modified them, and caused confusion in diagnosis… In what light are we to regard the persistent occurrance of innumerable paralyses of involuntary muscles? The list is too full to be accidental –bronchial, vesicular, ocular, intercostal, cardiac, gastric, biliary, hepatic, vascular, intestinal and rectal. These occur at once to the mind, and do they not indicate some disorder, some disarrangement, some alteration or possession of the nerve-centres and nerve-trunks concerned in the vital processes of the economy?”
   Spanish Flu was another complex of neurological, hemorrhagic, and mixed illnesses confounded in wartime with lingering and permanent disabilities in survivors. I wrote of it here as an additional consequence of nitrate toxicosis, opening material for this blog as the H1N1 was advancing. My look back in history then, at influenza, was also looking like polio and AIDS moreso than any respiratory disease. Spanish Flu was a special case, rather a complicated set of conditions, and could not be a beginning for the “DC” but its extension. The pandemic of 1889, however, distinguishes itself with consistency as a conumdrum of “confusion in diagnosis”. The Philadelphians wrote, “The initial nasal cartarrh so associated with the name of influenza as to be popularly synonymous with it, often failed to appear early and was manifested later amid other affectations… vertigo and unsteady gait [was how] some cases began their attacks (in the first year) and in relapses these symptoms were often forerunners of renewed attack… The influenzal poison, whatever its nature, exhibits in protracted cases a likeness to malarial poisoning in symptoms and length of duration… The most severe and protracted cases were generally in the educated classes… Influenza cannot be a filth disease, as its initial outbreak was among the wealthy rather than the poor.
   Suggestive of something malaria-like, the Pennsylvania doctors concluded uncertainly that they were dealing with a bloodborne agent vectored similarly (by mosquitos) in a fashion of today’s West Nile Virus. Interest in the Russian Flu has revived since 2009 “reinforced by..the work of French epidemiologist Alain-Jacques Valleron from the Institut National de la Sante et de la Recherche Medicale in Paris.”  Valleron’s research is visualized in a short (and silent) video clip displaying a progressive ground-zero approach to the spread of 1889 Russian Flu:
   What is most interesting to me about the flu pandemic is that it followed so closely on the heels of the world’s first major polio epidemics in Sweden, which occurred in Stockholm shortly after modern vaccination practices came into being. Vaccination’s foremost advocate, Pasteur, found an institutional home in Paris during 1887-1888 with an international cast of fellows and more interesting still, the first credited scientist to isolate virus with disease-transmitting filtrate, Dimitri Ivanovsky, joined the University of St. Petersburg in 1887. By 1892, botanist Ivanovsky had proved his transmissable”virus” theory with the Tobacco Mosaic Virus, marking the birth of virology in history.
   The next year, 1893, with the Russian Flu still circulating, the United States had its first recorded outbreaks of epidemic polio.
POLIO (poliomyelitis) was a bugaboo of unknown causes when it emerged in the 19th century, called infantile paralysis for its most recognizable signs as a children’s disease. In this “golden age” of medicine (referring to the next link), a sparse timeline which appears dedicated to polio demonstrates the importance attached to it, retrospectively.
   “Confusion in diagnosis”, however, is polio’s outstanding historical feature. Even as late as the public distribution of Salk’s polio vaccine (the IPV) in 1955, polio was often diagnosed as grippe –the French-language equivalent of influenza– with significant intestinal involvement. Albert Sabin proved in 1947 that (enough) polioviruses caused grippe. For the longest time what could not be proven was that polioviruses caused polio.
   Researcher/author Jim West writes, “Mainstream science admits that most viruses are harmless, yet the word “virus ” adds to a biased and highly promoted language of fear regarding natureearly virus studies considered virus filtrates to be a poison… My site has several articles by the Nobel Laureate Alexis Carrel regarding injections of highly dilute poisons, similar to formaldehyde in Salk vaccine, which was 1:4000 concentration. Carrel injected carcinogens at 1:5000 to 1:250000 and caused reliably, cancer in chickens… Central nervous system diseases other than polio continue in the U.S. and throughout the world: acute flaccid paralysis, chronic fatigue syndrome, encephalitis, meningitis, muscular sclerosis… The unique correlations between CNS disease and CNS toxins present a variety of research opportunities not only in medical science, but political science, philosophy, media studies, psychology, and sociology.
   Mr. West’s well made and far-reaching point, unfortunately, is just not far-reaching enough. Janine Roberts, too, followed the West path, augmenting the polio resources and writing, “I had begun my research by looking at the many contaminants in the vaccine, but finally was forced to conclude: 1) that polio..was not primarily caused by the nominated ‘poliovirus’ –but primarily by human environmental pollution, particularly..insecticides… 2) that the disease was not stopped by the vaccine, but many cases were deliberately hidden by relabelling it –this led to the vaccine being attributed with a fictitious victory…[and]… 3) that polio might well be curable –if it is treated as a toxin-caused disease.”  Broadly speaking, all diseases not classed as genetic in origin are toxin-caused. The statements above are a benign way of not being wrong but they’re also a clever way of not being forthright. Perhaps for some researchers it’s a beginning –not my beginning– that ‘settles’ prematurely.
The first recorded U.S. outbreak was in 1841 in West Feliciana, Louisiana (10 cases, no deaths). There was a half-century gap until the next cluster, in 1893 in Boston (26 cases, no deaths). Then, in 1894, came what is widely regarded as the first major epidemic, in Rutland and Proctor, Vermont (132 cases, 18 deaths). Thirty more outbreaks – from such seemingly disparate locations as Oceana County, Michigan, and California’s Napa Valley — were reported in the United States through 1909. The worst by far was New York in 1907, with 2,500 cases and a five percent mortality rate, a harbinger of the 1916 epidemic… Setting aside for now the 1841 Louisiana outbreak, reported retrospectively, something seems to have happened around 1890 to launch The Age of Polio in the United States. And something else must have changed around the end of World War II to create the large modern epidemics seared into the minds of older Americans, thousands of whom are poliomyelitis survivors and almost all of whom know someone who was afflicted.”
  The authors and editors of ‘age of autism’, Dan Olmstead and Mark Blaxill, cite West and Roberts in an exemplary description of early pesticide-caused polio (from 1893 onwards, incriminating the poisons arsenic, lead, mercury and DDT) and then appear to lose track of the subject –polio– and follow pesticides, venturing conclusions that neither West nor Roberts suggest: “To summarize our theory: Polio is a virus, contagious like all viruses… When it is introduced into the human body, it has the capacity to enter the nervous system when nerves are damaged. Damage can occur many ways: mechanically through needle puncture or surgery, or, we propose, biochemically via pesticidal or other toxic exposure. Once the virus enters the nervous system, it becomes dangerous..[and] spreads through the nervous system via “retrograde axonal transport… lead[ing] to paralysis or death.”
   The failures and limitations of polio researchers presented so far unanimously neglect to actually follow the occurrence of the disease –if they did, they would fall over a body of evidence that associates polio with influenza and the most potent of co-factors that is a cause on its own, radiation. This was my beginning, and it immediately opened not just a door on disease, but a dimension. Welcome to the continuum…
THE POLIO TIMELINE is an expanding resource that initially listed polio incidence but is growing to accommodate the confluence of factors in the DC:

“We have the capacity to ignore the obvious, to become fatalistic about what we do not understand, and to accept because of familiarity what should not be acceptable” –p3, War and Public Health

(post in progress– I’ve been temporarily diverted by Manipulative Extraterrestrials
but I will return…)

October 15, 2011

Temples of Science

I can hardly think of a subject that needs and deserves an extraordinary essay as much as this one. In all my reading of late, no concept taps at the essence of occult development more than the idea of “scientific inquiry” transforming men into gods. And no time  seems more dangerously prophetic in attempting to fulfill that transition than the present.  But alas, this is not that essay and I am not that writer.  True to form, though, I can still take steps toward better elucidation.  The upside of all the reading and research going into my “books” is a swimming collection of quotes. I’m a quote junkie now. C’mon share the pain.


“If the conquests useful for humanity touch your heart, if you are overwhelmed before the astonishing results of electric telegraphy, of the daguerrotype, of anesthesia, and of other wonderful discoveries, if you are jealous of the part your country may claim in the spreading of these marvelous things, take an interest I beg you, in those sacred places to which we give the expressive name of laboratories. Demand that they be multiplied and ornamented, for these are the temples of the future.” –Louis Pasteur (ref. Pierre Curie, p70, by Marie Curie, 1923)

 “Science Angel” in the crypt of Institut Pasteur


“..early in May 1912 Weizmann wrote to Judah Leon Magnes, outlining a new scheme. Weizmann had just read in the press that Mr. Nathan Straus, a German-born philanthropist now residing in New York, had established in Hadera (Palestine) a health station under the direction of Dr. Wilhelm Bruenn… Weizmann suggested the following: Why not combine the various projects into one big institute, ‘something like a small Pasteur Institute…Such an institute could fulfill two functions: a teaching institute and a research institute, and could develop into the nucleus of the great Jewish research centers of the future.’ …In short, such a project would consolidate all the small scientific enterprises in Palestine… Moreover, Baron Edmond de Rothschild was moving closer to Zionism…’but it is up to us to steer him in this direction’ [he wrote]… the baron was indeed prepared to cooperate with the Zionist movement…  Weizmann did not waste a minute…[H]e called on Leopold Landau, a gynecologist in Berlin..[and] relative of Paul Erhlich, one of Germany’s most eminent scientists… Weizmann met Erhlich in the latter’s laboratory on March 10, 1913..[and] won over an important new ally… Weizmann [then] returned to Manchester full of energy. His friends on the Continent and in England promised their full support and he felt that his moment had come. ‘The movement has begun to smack of gunpowder,’ he wrote [to his wife] Vera, ..’I feel that I don’t belong to Manchester at all. Everything here is temporary and alien… To my way of thinking, this is the one slogan that can evoke a response just now –the Hebrew University. Die Zionsuniversitat auf dem Berge Zion! The Third Temple!’ ” –(Weizmann biographer) Jehudah Reinharz, Chaim Weizmann, The Making of a Zionist Leader, pp 375-378

>>>Rothschild did not support a university at this time, but endorsed a research institute “like the Pasteur..or Rockefeller institutes”; Nathan Straus was a subject in an article I wrote in 2008 called The Ruination of Milk

  Weizmann Institute


“Emerson said that an institution is the lengthened shadow of one man, and the [Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research] did reflect Simon Flexner… Flexner made Rockefeller sharp, edgy, cold… The room most feared in the institute was Flexner’s office. He could be brutal there, and several prominent scientists were afraid of him… He sought attention for the institute from the press and credit from the scientific community. His own work created controversy… The result was a publicity machine. Highly respected investigators mocked the institute for, said one who himself spent time there, ‘frequent ballyhoo of unimportant stuff as the work of genius’… Flexner..wanted the institute to become a living thing… It was a place of excitement, of near holiness… Flexner, [Peyton] Rous said, made the institute ‘an organism, not an establishment.’ ” –(historical writer) John Barry, The Great Influenza, pp 75-78

“Science would be the magic wand waved over any project… In 1917, when advising his father to pump another fifty million dollars into the RIMR, Junior explained his preference for medicine: ‘This is a field in which there can be no controversy, so that I think the possibility of criticism as regards the use of the fund or its potential dangers would be almost nothing. There is no limit to the development of medical work.’ ” –(John D. Rockefeller biographer) Ron Chernow, Titan, p568

 Rockefeller Institute


“Our society, in which reigns an eager desire for riches and luxury, does not understand the value of science. It does not realize that science is a most precious part of its moral patrimony… Neither public powers nor private generosity actually accord to science and to scientists the support and the subsidies indispensable to fully effective work.” –Marie Curie, 1923

The oral history of radium/uranium dealer Boris Pregel, Manhattan Project supplier : “..The centralization was at the Institute Curie… It was also a kind of scientific monopoly. They did the whole thing…  they were the most important… In fact, the Institute of the Curies had tremendous quantities of radium all along… That’s why later also, when Joliot-Curie and Halban and Kowarski wanted to discuss the..application of atomic energy, they were received very well… [A] lot of the most important work was done in France, because of the establishment of the Institute”

 Radium Institute, Paris


“The society of experts which I am imagining will embrace all eminent men of science… It will possess the sole up-to-date armaments and will be the repository of all new secrets in the art of war. There will therefore be no more war since resistence by the unscientific will be doomed to obvious failure. The society of experts will control propaganda and education. It will teach loyalty to the world government and make nationalism high treason. The government… will instill submissiveness into the great bulk of the population… It is possible that it may invent ingenious ways of concealing its own power, leaving the forms of democracy intact and allowing the plutocrats to imagine that they are cleverly controlling these forms. Gradually, however, as the plutocrats become stupid through laziness, they will lose their wealth; it will pass more and more into public ownership and be controlled by the government of experts. Thus whatever the outward forms may be, all real power will come to be concentrated in the hands of those who understand the art of scientific manipulation.” –Bertrand Russell, The Scientific Outlook, 1931


“The Public Health Law posits…that government has both the power and the duty to regulate private behavior in order to promote public health. The constitutional source of this authority is the police power which encompasses both directly coercive interventions and policies such as taxes and subsidies that shape behavior by altering the costs of certain choices.” –New England Journal of Medicine, 2003


“Judaism is not a creed: the Jewish God is simply a negation of superstition… It is also an attempt to base the moral law on fear,… regrettable…  Yet it seems to me that the strong moral tradition of the Jewish nation has to a large extent shaken itself free from this fear… Judaism is thus no transcendental religion… It seems to me, therefore, doubtful whether it can be called a religion in the accepted sense of the word, particularly as no ‘faith’ but the sanctification of life in a supra-personal sense is demanded of the Jew… [T]he Jewish tradition also contains something else …a sort of intoxicated joy and amazement at the beauty and grandeur of this world… This joy is the feeling from which true scientific research draws its spiritual sustenance… To tack this feeling to the idea of God seems mere childish absurdity… In its pure form, it is nowhere to be found, not even in Judaism where the pure doctrine is obscured by much worship of the letter. Yet Judaism seems to me one of its purest and most vigorous manifestations.  This applies particularly to the fundamental principle of the sanctification of life.”….. “The pursuit of knowledge for its own sake, an almost fanatical love of justice and the desire for personal independence –these are the features of the Jewish tradition which make me thank my stars that I belong to it… we shall continue not merely to survive as the oldest of living peoples, but by creative work to bring forth fruits which contribute.. as heretofore… We must be conscious of our alien race and draw the logical conclusions from it…” –Albert Einstein, Ideas and Opinions, p184-186, 1934


“Just as some people live by the sword, we shall live by science” –Chaim Weizmann, 1948


“[Jonas] Salk dreamed of organizing his own Institute for Experimental Medicine, and in May of 1957, he drew up what he called its “Magna Carta”. He gave it the loftiest of goals, not merely to cure disease but to address ‘the problems of humanity that are the most important of the day’…he imagined an alliance of like-minded colleagues who valued ‘the freedom, integrity, and independence of the individual’ at a scale that preserved ‘flexibility and freedom’ and rewarded ‘boldness and courage’. Unlike traditional research insitutes, this one would include humanists as well as scientists…Its senior members would be fellows for life, a self-governing body..with ‘unencumbered time for contemplation and for action’… Following the Rockefeller Institute’s example, Salk would build his institute…’A shot in the light’ Salk called it.”…”In December 1959, Salk and architect Louis Kahn began a unique partnership to design such a facility… The buildings soon gained international fame for their dramatic and innovative design…“the modern equivalent of a temple of Zeus beside the Aegean”…Deliberately elitist, the Salk Institute would free its half dozen or so fellows from grant-writing, teaching, and administrative distractions. As masters of their own laboratories, the fellows could set independent research agendas. Salk, directly inspired by the cloister of St. Francis of Assisi and by its carceri (cells), provided the fellows with individual studies, places for reflection connected to, and yet buffered from, the bustle of laboratory life.”  –quotes referenced at

 Salk Institute


[On the creation of the Investigation of Human Ecology, a cover program for the CIA’s MKUltra]  “I am frightened about this one. If the scientists do what they have laid out for themselves, men will become manageable ants.” –Adolf Berle, personal diary, 1950s


“We have had the bomb on our minds since 1945. It was first our weaponry and then our diplomacy, and now it’s our economy. How can we suppose that something so monstrously powerful would not, after forty years, compose our identity? The great golem we have made against our enemies is our culture, our bomb culture –its logic, its faith, its vision.” –historian E.L. Doctorow, 1980s (ref.  preface, American Prometheus, Bird and Sherwin)


“I feel that at least several hundred scientists trained in the biomedical aspect of atomic energy –myself included– are candidates for Nuremburg-type trials for crimes against humanity for our gross negligence and irresponsibility. Now that we know the hazard of low-dose radiation, the crime is not experimentation –it’s murder.” –Dr. John Gofman, 1979; read more about fallout;

May 11, 2011

The Minimal Genome Project

“Since the early days of molecular biology, the search for the minimal genome has been the ‘Holy Grail’..”
“The search for the ‘smallest autonomous self-replicating entity,’ which subsequently became the search for the smallest cell genome, was begun in the late 1950s by Harold Morowitz… This led to studies of the mycoplasmas, showing that these microorganisms have the smallest reported cell and genome sizes [as of 1996]. The DNA sequence of the smallest known mycoplasma genome, that of Mycoplasma genitalium, recently was determined… The nature of selective pressure for repeated genome not known..[but] have been suggested to be due to selection for faster (hence, smaller) replicating genomes to produce greater progeny..yields, selection for smaller genomes to reduce the energy limiting nutrient environments, and loss..[due to] deleterious mutations… Since the early days of molecular biology, the search for the minimal genome has been the ‘Holy Grail’… subtracting the minimal gene set from an organism’s total gene inventory should reveal genes for the phenotype characters that make each organism unique.”
Harold J. Morowitz:
Oral History Interview, March 16, 2005 — “This interview chronicles Morowitz’s scientific career in detail, beginning with his education in physics, his transition to biophysics, to his ongoing attempt to apply..information theory to..biological problems. His a valuable insight of how and why physicists after WWII came to be interested in..biological problems…[and] illustrates the reciprocal interaction between scientific Yales’s biophysics program..and the Atomic Energy Commission’s promotion of the peaceful use of atomic energy (e.g. nuclear fallout debate)..”

Remember SARS in 2003? Looking back on SARS led me to something dubbed the Minimal Genome Project which I found a lot of experimental documentation for between 1998 and 2000, including the creation of completely new amino acids –until this, every biological entity that has ever existed used the same available 20 amino acids. SARS patients were found to be infected with a novel corona virus and, coincidently, a novel corona virus was created in a lab with a new amino acid in 2001. Since the original outbreak, the SARS creature seems to have disappeared. Was it part of an experiment to create a new “minimal genome organism” ?  Indirect evidence is tantalizingly suggestive that it could be the case.  First, consider this research news in the right time window, and I’ll add more to this post supporting a proof-of-concept. This link, within Sweating the Small Stuff states that coronavirus is the largest known genome in nature –ripe for a take-away project, I suppose. Since the 2003 outbreak new information about coronavirus is being published, such as this statement from August 2004: “The coronavirus replicase-transcriptase was recently predicted to contain RNA-processing enzymes that are extremely rare or absent in other RNA viruses” –in other words, the researchers have made a novel discovery about their specimen. In this case, the studied coronavirus is generating a unique protein that has an ability to preferentially cleave double stranded RNA (dsRNA): . This feature of the SARS virus is creating a handy new enzyme tool for genetic engineers.

Minimal genomes are a boon to living DNA computers:“Human cells and computers process and store information in much the same way… ‘If you look inside the cell, you find a bunch of amazing little tools,’ said Adelman, who made the first DNA-based computation in 1994. ‘The cell is a treasure chest.’ ”; Leonard Adelman is employed by George Mason University and the MITRE Corporation, producer of the JASON reports for the DoE, DoD, etc.; Leonard Adelman says “Late one evening, while lying in bed reading Watson’s text, I came to a description of DNA polymerase. This is the king of enzymes – the maker of life. Under appropriate conditions, given a strand of DNA, DNA polymerase produces a second “Watson-Crick” complementary strand, in which every C is replaced by a G, every G by a C, every A by a T and every T by an A. For example, given a molecule with the sequence CATGTC, DNA polymerase will produce a new molecule with the sequence GTACAG. The polymerase enables DNA to reproduce, which in turn allows cells to reproduce and ultimately allows you to reproduce. For a strict reductionist, the replication of DNA by DNA polymerase is what life is all about… DNA polymerase is an amazing little nanomachine, a single molecule that “hops” onto a strand of DNA and slides along it, “reading” each base it passes and “writing” its complement onto a new, growing DNA strand.; ; simpler genomes are helping this process along. Adelman’s counterpart in Israel, Ehud Shapiro, works on a project at the Weizmann Institute called “The Human Cell Lineage Tree** Flagship Initiative” An accomplishment of Shapiro and colleagues in 2004 illustrates a DNA computer at work: “Recently, simple molecular-scale autonomous programmable computers were demonstrated..allowing both input and output…. Such computers, using biological molecues as input data and bilogically active molecules as outputs, could produce a system for ‘logical’ control of biological processes… As proof of principle we programmed the computer to identify and analyse mRNA of disease-related genes associated with models of..cancer, and to produce a single-stranded DNA molecule after an anticancer drug.”

There it is: cell surveillance and cancer ‘self’ control.

With DNA polymerase to “process”, restriction enzymes to “cut” and ribozymes to “paste”, the working parts of DNA computers look to be on hand with the exception maybe of genetically stable, high-fidelity replicators.
I speculate that cancer cells are very useful for this purpose with their immortal qualities, and in so many cases, engineered recombinant microbes (i.e. viruses) in current therapy use end up causing cancers, that the cancer cells, and controlling the cells, in the first place is the most useful approach. Minimal genomes, real and artificial, look like other lines of pursuit running apace for the ultimate creation of DNA computer life. This general field of study is called bioinformatics and another of its Holy Grails is finding perfect cell-based delivery systems. The DNA computer ‘proof of principle’ by the Israelis (above) used a “stochastic molecular automaton” to provide the computer input, meaning a precise-targeting agent –I’m perusing the literature to find the exact agents– but this fundamentally defines the action of viruses. And the genetically small ones, like SV40 monkey virus and polioviruses are already human-adapted and under intense ‘quantitative’ experimentation to see how well they deliver genetic information.
**Human Cell Lineage Tree Project collaborators in the U.S. are Shimon Weiss of UCLA  and Stephen Quake at *Stanford; for more ‘flagship’ programs see this


Chalk this up to spooky things scientists say.
November 22, 2002 — “Craig Venter’s ‘minimal genome’ project announced Wednesday is not about creating a new life form…[that comes later with Synthia]. The high profile project was just funded by the U.S. Department of Energy (DoE) with $3 million going to the Institute for Biological Energy Alternatives (IBEA), one of the nonprofit research institutes Venter founded after leaving..Celera Genomics early this year.
   “The question of the minimal genome for an organism [–the base gene set required for life–] is always ‘minimal in which environment,’ said Francisco J. Silva of the University of Valencia in Spain. Silva and colleagues..are studying the genome of the insect endosymbiont Buchnera aphidicola, which appears to have an even smaller genome than that of the parasite Mycoplasma genitalium, Venter’s organism of choice.
   “..pathogenic bacteria usually have more genes than their harmless relatives do..but the disease-related genes are not essential to life, so they could be the first catagory of genes a scientist would jettison from a minimal genome organism… ‘A minimal genome organism’ [Silva] said, ‘will be a prisoner of the laboratory dish where it lives, and will be unable to compete with the outer world.’
   “The minimal genome organism now being planned..will be further crippled so that it cannot survive wihout laboratory coddling. The strategy is to synthesize an artificial chromosome containing the presumptive minimal gene set, remove all existing genetic material.. and then insert the synthetic chromosome into the vacant cell… The long-term goal..will be to help the world solve some of its environmental problems. That’s why the funding is coming from DoE, where recent genetics projects have focused on bioremediation…”
>>>In June 2010, Venter announced “Synthia” –“a synthetic cell from scratch” and “a hitherto unseen lifeform…To do this, he read the DNA of Mycoplasma mycoides, a bug that infects goats, and recreated it piece by piece. The fragments were then ‘stitched together’ and inserted into a bacterium of a different species… he claimed the breakthrough had changed his views on the definition of life. ‘We have..the first synthetic cell powered and controlled by a synthetic chromosome and made from four bottles of chemicals,’ he said..”–wipe-humanity.html
“The constraints of the genetic code are history”
Feb. 14, 2002 – ” ‘The constraints of the genetic code are history,’ proclaims Peter Schultz of the Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, California…’At least in bacteria, the genetic constraints..are gone.’ Dr. Schultz’s statement is no idle boast…[His] laboratory, along with another team of chemists based in Japan, are introducing completely new strands [of DNA]…If successful, they will fabricate..a new sort of living thing… [C] developed unnatural versions of all the ingredients in this process: the bases, the DNA, the RNAs and the amino acids. The result is a protein that could never have existed in nature… By exposing..unnatural bacteria to the sort of conditions believed to have prevailed on the early might be possible to observe whether bacteria with 21, 22, or even more amino acids might win out over those with the standard complement… Back in the present, the next order of business is to apply the research to mammals. Dr. Wang says that a certain strain of monkey cells has shown a promising tendency to incorporate unnatural amino acids. Within a year, he thinks, the group should have made mammalian cells equipped with 21 amino acids.”
>>>Dr. Lei Wang is on the faculty of the Salk Institute; it certainly seems like the Schultz team was eager to know if their creations would ‘compete’ outside the lab.
   In July 2002, Eckard Wimmer of SUNY, in conjunction with the Pentagon, announced the result of his DARPA-funded project to create viruses from scratch:
“This is the first time that a working biological entity has been made using chemicals alone…But poliovirus is easier to build than many others. It has a short and simple genome and assembles itself directly from a DNA template… More complex viruses could be synthesized, Wimmer believes, by additional chemical steps or by putting synthetic genes into living cells..”
Commenting on Wimmer’s achievement: ” ‘This work should never have been done, funded, or published,’ said J.Craig Venter…’Somehow the whole system broke down here.’ ..The work, [Wimmer] said, was intended to serve as a warning of what is now possible.”
2004— “Several attempts have been made to identify the minimal set of genes that is required for life using computational approaches… These experiments resemble those already performed by nature; a few hundred million years ago an ancestor of E. coli was domesticated by aphids which resulted in the elimination of 70-75% of the original bacterial genome. Amazingly, the small genomes of the imprisoned bacteria are more stable than those of their free-living relatives.
   ..”Obligate host-associated bacteria have among the smallest genomes known in nature… Two different scenarios have been proposed to explain the process of genome shrinkage in B. aphidicola… that the minimization..was continuous, with genes being lost individually through a large number of small deletion events..[or] that many genes were lost simultaneously at an early stage of the internalization process..through the elimination of large blocks of DNA spanning multiple genes…
 …”as computational analysis becomes more refined and the data sets grow larger, fewer genes remain that are conserved among all taxa…[and] the few remaining genes are organized in a surprisingly similar manner… The lack of..sequences..reduces rearrangement possibilities…
   “The next few years will tell whether..the..endosymbiont genomes are self-sustainable… An interesting question for the future is to determine whether the dependent partner will be ‘allowed’ to stay as a ‘silent parasite’ if the need for its functions is lost during evolution, or if such a loss will cause it to deteriorate and collapse.”
Error Catastrophe
Too many mutations, too rapid a pace and/or too few genes leads to a potential species collapse in a  nose-diving degenerative process that microbe researchers in the lab call “error catastrophe”; virus experimenters document the fundamental principle, noting, “There is an intrinsic limit to the maximum variability of viral genetic information before it loses meaning and if an RNA virus quasispecies goes beyond that mutation limit, the population will no longer be viable. The phenomenon that occurs when the loss of genetic fidelity results in a lethal accumulation of errors has been termed ‘error catastrophe’. Most cellular organisms have evolved a number of sophisticated processes to maintain their genetic information with high fidelity and stay far away from the threshold of error catastrophe. In contrast, it has been predicted that RNA viruses with high mutation frequencies exist close to the edge of error catastrophe and can be forced into error catastrophe by a moderate increase in mutation rate… We also describe direct evidence that the error catastrophe theory applies to poliovirus.”
“One very important fact to remember is that radiation increases the spontaneous mutation rate” — Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) power plant training manual on the effects of ionizing radiation
   Another important fact is that viruses are not organisms or cells and have no strategies for survival! The authors of the ‘error catastrophe’ paper are really telling us that the “edge of viability” on which polioviruses (and others) exist needs maintenance to prevent their extinction. Circulating polioviruses were determined in 2000 to be all vaccine-derived, and the buzz around the conference tables of the WHO and other agencies brought up the issue of stopping the inoculation programs. Very soon thereafter
a complete scratch poliovirus made from mail-order chemicals blitzed the science headlines invoking a new threat from terrorists. As a mode of comparison, organisms do have an array of survival strategies.

April 28, 2011

Transgenic Round-up


NATURE is literally forced at the point-of-a-gun to permanently accept mutant biological shrapnel or die. Only the survivors, be they microbes or caged lab rats are allowed to multiply and pass on their new genes while a potentially unlimited variety of species are being cross-linked for use. An alarmingly escalated pattern of ‘blight’ and disease which threatens world food supplies and human survival appears to closely precede the mass introduction of transgenics wherever they take root. I’ll write more about this pattern in future posts — for now, here’s a sample roll call of transgenic progress.
The Helios Gene Gun..”uses..DNA- or RNA-coated gold particles..loaded into the gun and you pull the trigger.”

“..Monsanto researchers encountered enormous diffculties in introducing [a mutant gene] into soybean cells… In the face of this resistance from nature, [they] decided to bring out..a “gene gun” invented by two Cornell University scientists…When John Sanford and his colleague Ted Klein came up with the idea for this last-ditch weapon, they were considered crazy, even though laboratories at the time were prepared to do anything to force the desired DNA to penetrate the target cells… But nothing was working. The gene gun is now the insertion tool most frequently used by the ‘artillerymen’ of genetic engineering. It works by attaching genetic constructs to microscopic gold or tungsten* bullets and shooting them into a culture of embryonic cells… As Arnold Apotheker points out..,’In their determination to subjugate nature, humans use the technologies of war to force cells to accept genes of other species’.” [pp140-141] >>>Monsanto found its pesticide-resistant mutant gene near its most highly glyphosate-contaminated production plant. So what about us? Is the purpose of forced healthcare to search for mutant DNA?

..”The New York Times was able to get its hands on a draft of a secret document, dated October 13, 1986, in which the company’s directors established a veritable battle plan to impose GMOs in the United States. Among the primary objectives were ‘creating support for biotechnology at the highest U.S. policy levels’, and ‘working to gain the presidential the 1988 election’… On June 2, 1987..Monsanto researchers conducted their first field test of transgenic crops in Jerseyville, Illinois… George H.W. Bush assumed the presidency in January 1989… Dan Quayle..presented American policy on GMOs…’We are taking this step as part of the President’s regulatory relief initiative..’ [and published by the FDA as] its regulatory policy on ‘foods derived from new plant varieties..developed by methods of genetic modifications are regulated within the existing framework..utilizing an approach identical to that applied to foods developed by traditional plant breeding.’ ” [p143-145]  “..the techniques of genetic manipulation have absolutely nothing to do with the genealogical selection that has been practiced by breeders since the..mid-nineteenth century… genealogical selection is based on natural laws”.. [p136, The World According to Monsanto, 2008, Marie-Monique Robin]

Spying on our cells – “Gold, DNA Mix Could Result in Biological Nano Spies; A current use of nanogold is “laser-guided” treatment: NanoPulse Biosciences: “We at NanoPulse Biosciences harness the power of optically excited nanomaterials  by pulsed lasers to develop some of the most precise targeted-therapeutic  technologies available…  NPB’s diverse product portfolio and intellectual capital is based on two  scientific technologies: noble-metal nanoparticles and short-pulsed lasers.  Currently, NPB is working with The University of Texas at Austin to obtain  exclusive licensor of the ‘Plasmonic Laser Nanoablation Methods’ patent… Disease-specific targeting of functionalized gold nanoparticles enables highly  selective and precise treatment.”; NanoPulse cofounder Daniel Eversole wrote: “Gold nanoparticles have shown great potential as in-vivo, optically-active, biospecific probes with highly controllable and tunable optical properties for simultaneous molecular imaging and phototherapy. The strong plasmon resonance has led to the development of a variety of nanoparticle-based cancer therapies we term Plasmonic Laser Phototherapy (PLP). “

Transformation of Filamentous Fungi, “over the last few years, microprojectile bombardment has become a powerful tool for transformation on intact cells, particularly for the transformation of fungal strains…such as obligate plant pathogens”
“Stable transformation of..mitochondria was achieved by particle bombardment..using plasmid DNA coated onto to gold or tungsten microparticles. Results demonstrate that the kind and size of microparticles are important factors in determining efficiency of transformation…approximately five-fold [to ten-fold] more efficient with 0.6 gold particles…”


“Just as some people live by the sword, we shall live by science” —Chaim Weizmann
                                                           The Transgenic Human?
Maxine Singer and Paul Berg
In 1972, one of [Maxine] Singer’s colleagues and personal friends Paul Berg of Stanford University was the first to create recombinant DNA molecules… In the early 1990s.. Singer issued an article encouraging the public to try the first genetically engineered food to reach American supermarket shelves.”
Berg wrote in his Nobel Prize autobiography:..”After 6 years in St. Louis, I moved to Stanford University’s Medical Center (1959) to help Kornberg set up the new department of biochemistry. In time, my interests shifted from..microorganisms to mammalian cells and I spent a year experimenting with Polyoma and SV40..with Renato Dulbecco at the Salk Institute. Soon after, I returned to Stanford [and] conceived of using SV40 as a means for introducing new genes into mammalian cells… My colleagues and I succeeded in developing a general way to join two DNAs together in vitro; in this case, a set of three genes responsible for metabolizing galactose in the bacterium E. coli was inserted into the SV40 DNA genome. That work led to the emergence of the recombinant DNA technology ” >>>SV40 monkey virus was a vaccine contaminant in the 1950s & 60s, now thought to be possibly contagious as well as heritable.

“So it was at Stanford, not in St. Louis, that the first genetic manipulations took place. In 1972, as Monsanto was preparing to launch Roundup, Paul Berg succeeded in ‘recombining’ DNA– that is, putting together two fragments of DNA from different species into a hybrid molecule. A little later, his colleague Stanley Cohen announced that he had succeeded in transferring a frog gene into the DNA of a bacterium… These discoveries, which broke a law that had been considered inviolable, the impossibility of crossing what was known as the ‘species barrier’, created great excitement, along with deep concern, in the international scientific community. The worries turned into an uproar when Paul Berg announced his intention to insert a carcinogenic virus, SV40, from a monkey into an E.coli cell*, a bacterium that colonizes the human digestive tract. Some scientific authorities, such as Robert Pollack, a cancer virus specialist, worried: “What will happen if the manipulated organism inadvertantly escapes from the laboratory?” The general outcry led to a temporary moratorium on genetic manipulation and, on February 25, 1975, the first international conference on recombinant DNA… But, at no point did they broach ethical questions, which were excluded from the outset. It was as though the biologists had already decided to ‘limit the involvement of the public and the government in their affairs to the minimum’. The message was soon received loud and clear by the future world leader in biotechnology.” [pp133-134, The World According to Monsanto]

*Berg’s “success” was a done deal long before 1972. SV40 was the “cancer-causing” virus transferred to polioviruses used in the Salk and Sabin vaccines –viruses known to have been cultured on human HeLa cells (immortalized cancer cells).  Berg’s original work with SV40 seems to parallel its discovery in 1960 and its public outing as a vaccine contaminant in 1963.  While Berg supposedly perfected his recombinant techniques using SV40 as a carrier ‘mule’, Maxine Singer was on a year’s sabbatical at the Weizmann Institute (1971-72) while Albert Sabin was its president (1970-72), working on SV40 research which proved that the host cell transferred its genes into the SV40 virus (creating a defective virus that was still able to replicate and pass on its genes ). The polio vaccines of the 1950s and 60s were not just a radiation experiment, or an anti-cancer vaccine as the government insiders may have believed, but in fact an unacknowledged transgenic alteration of the human population, presented as an after-the-fact occurrance in scattered, stepwise scientific studies.

“Molecular biologists knew very well that plant organisms possess defense mechanisms designed to protect them from the intrusion of foreign bodies, including, of course, genes coming from other living species. From the very beginning, those biologists understood that genetic manipulation could not be carried out without using an intermediary, or a ‘mule’, able to transport the selected gene and make it enter by force into the target cell. For this purpose, they turned to [bacteria with] the capacity to insert some of its genes into.. cells to cause tumors… In 1974, a Belgian* research team succeeded in identifying the plasmid (a ring of DNA) constituting the vector by which the gene that induces the tumor is transferred from the bacterium to the [host]. In St. Louis, as in laboratories around the world at the time, they then attempted to isolate in the plasmid the gene responsible for the tumors and replace it with the gene of interest by adding a gene ‘promoter’, a sequence of DNA that triggers the expression of the gene to be triggered.” [p137, The World According to Monsanto]
“Vectors [plasmids] based on recombinant SV40 viruses (rSV40) are highly effective in delivering transgene expression”..
*”From 1960-1965, [Charles] Thomas was Chairman of the Board and during his tenure Monsanto established a permanent overseas headquarters in Brussels . “Monsanto was also a key player in nuclear reactor development…”



“Transgenic: Having genetic material (DNA) from another species. This term can be applied to an organism that has genes from another organism. It is understood that the foreign genes are in the transgenic animal’s germ-cell DNA and so can be transmitted from one generation to the next.” ”

“Transfection: The introduction of DNA into a recipient eukaryote cell, and its subsequent integration into the recipient cells chromosomal DNA..”

Recombinant DNA technology: A series of proceedures used to join together (recombine) DNA segments..from 2 or more different DNA molecules..”

Example of an applicaton:
“Recombinant virus-like particles as drug delivery system; The drug delivery system described here is based on a virus-like particle consisting of the recombinant protein of Polyomavirus VP1… The VP1 protein acts as a major ligand for certain membrane receptors during virus infection… VP1 proteins provide a targeting a well as a drug binding site when used as a..drug carrier for gene therapy.”
Horizontal gene transfer “is any process in which an organism [or virus] transfers genetic material (i.e.DNA) to another cell that is not its offspring… common among bacteria..[and] thought to be a significant cause of drug resistance… Also, [intestinal] bacteria appear to exchange genetic material with each other within the gut in which they live..”;
**gut bacteria can cause pneumonia and flu:


“[T]his direction was followed by the Democratic administration of Bill Clinton, whose campaign director was Mickey Kantor, later U.S. trade representative and commerce secretary..[who] became famous for the harsh comments and the threats he made against his European counterparts when they announced their intention to label GMO products. In this area, his greatest ally was Dan Glickman…Appointed secretary of Agriculture just after Monsnto’s transgenic soybeans had gone on the market, Dan Glickman was the one who authorized all subsequent GMO crops …in September 2004 he had been apponited CEO of the Motion Picture Association of America, which brings together the six majors in Hollywood. [p165-166]
“[In 1992]..the FDA..felt that the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, which ensures the safety of all foods except meat, poultry and egg products, which are regulated by the [U.S.] Department of Agriculture (USDA), had enough deal with new technologies..[using] the ‘principle of substantial equivalence’… Roundup Ready soybeans as an a plant which has a modified [mutated] enzyme that is essentially the same enzyme that’s already in the plant: it has a very small mutation..[pp146-147]  …[A]s Maryanski acknowledged, the document published by the FDA in 1992 was in no way a regulation, since its purpose was primarily to provide justifications for not regulating GMOs… drafted so the biotechnology industry could propagate the myth that GMOs are regulated, which is completely false. [p156] …Decided on at the highest levels..this huge enterprise of disinformation was carried on by an unshakable team: James Maryanski and Michael Taylor. [p159].
…Mickey Kantor, U.S. trade representative from 1992-1997 and commerce secretary from 1996-1997, immediately thereafter joined [Monsanto’s] board of directors.. [p163, The World According to Monsanto]
1991 — “We have established a regeneration protocol for melon…to produce transgenic melon plants..”
“On January 31, 1992, Samuel Shibiko of the Toxicology Section of the FDA wrote: ‘We cannot assume that all gene products, particularly those encoded by genes from non-food sources, will be digestible. For example, there is evidence that certain types of proteins..are resistant to digestion and can be absorbed in biologically active form.’ ” [p154, The World According to Monsanto]
1992 — “Bioengineers at one company learned that the Arctic flounder produces an antifreeze to protect itself in freezing waters. They plan to find the gene that regulates production of the antifreeze and introduce it into strawberry plants.”

1994— FDA approved Flavr Savr tomato on May 17, 1994: “The tomato was fed in laboratory trials to mice who, normally relishing tomatoes, refused to eat..and had to be force-fed by tubes… seven of forty mice died within two weeks.” ; “a significant number  of them..developed stomach lesions…The cultivation of the transgenic tomato..turned out to be a catastrophe: yields in California were so low that the inventors decided to move production to Florida…Flavr Savr was then shifted to Mexico… [and]’Since 1996, Flavr Savr tomatoes have been taken off the fresh produce market in the United States. The manipulation..had unintended consequences such as soft skin, strange taste and compositional changes…In the interim, Calgene* had fallen into the pocket of Monsanto, which had definitely buried the doomed tomato.” [p149, World According to Monsanto]*”.. produced by the Californian company Calgene and submitted to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1992″ ; the Fish Tomato “was created when a tomato plant..was infected with bacteria containing recombinant DNA”


1995— Generation of Transgenic Banana; “An Agrobacterium-mediated plant transformation system was developed..which demonstrated chromosomal integration of foreign DNA..with no indication of chimeric tissues..” ;
[2005] Banana vaccine: “..The group succeeded in transferring a Hepatitis B antigen to bananas..”
Uganda prepares to plant transgenic bananas [2010]
Transgenic tobacco — “protein involved in nicotine synthesis..corresponding to affect nicotine content in transgenic tobacco” [1998] “Recent..studies have indicated that smoking or nicotine or both may have protective effects against certain diseases… nicotine may prove useful as a tool..”
In 2006, transgenic tobacco was used to create an experimental vaccine against Shiga toxin E. coli (STEC)
Transgenic cotton..carries its own insecticide within the plant tissues ..  “The toxin kills caterpillars by paralyzing their guts… In 1995 the EPA granted final clearance for..Bt-carrying cotton..released by the Delta and Pine Land Company.”
1996 — Transgenic Crops
Over 20 engineered crops are now being commercialized and quickly brought to market… While transgenic seed introductions in the major field crops (corn, soybeans, cotton and potatoes) have taken the early lead, specialty crops in fruits, vegetables, and forages are not far behind. Major agribusinesses such as Novartis, Monsanto, Dekalb, and Pioneer Hi-Bred International, are putting the full efforts of their research..into engineered crops.”
Seeds of Doubt – “In June 1996, the University of California, Davis, began an unprecedented effort to help the West African nation of Mali, using the promising and controversial new tool of agricultural biotechnology…disease-resistant rice to help feed the impoverished country…So far – like UC Davis’ effort to aid Mali – biotechnology has not delivered.”
“[E]xamples of unpredicted immunogenicity or toxicity are two food products. In the 1990s, in feeding trials with rats (and mice), genetically engineered (GE) tomatoes in the US (Calgene) as well as GE potatoes in the UK [6,7] were found to cause damage to the gut and its mucosal cell lining. In both cases, the transgenes used were coding for proteins regarded as harmless when ingested by mammals. Another major risk in the IMR project is horizontal gene transfer
”In 1996, Genzyme Transgenics Corp., working with Bristol-Myers, announced the birth of a genetically altered goat, which carried the gene for an anticancer drug. Beginning in 1996, Bristol-Myers scientists collaborated with BioServe Technologies, a NASA-funded non-profit, to explore the use of space for developing commercial products.” [Bristol-Myers-Squibb ]
1998 — “Transgenic potatoes engineered to generate an immune response to E.coli infection have passed their first test in human beings… [The potatoes were] developed at the Boyce Thompson Institute for Plant Research [BTI]*..[and the human trials] were conducted at the University of Maryland Center for Vaccine Development.” ; *the BTI was founded in 1920 by William Boyce Thompson (1869-1930), the first Director of the New York Federal Reserve Bank (1914-1919) and owner of Newmont Mining, 3rd largest mining operation in the world (for some time) behind DeBeers and Anglo-American. Thompson financed Tobacco Products Co. and Cuban Cane Sugar Co. ;
[2000] Jellyfish potato, tagging potato leafroll virus…aphids fed on extracts ..transmitted [the gene] test plants”
[2005] Potato vaccine for HepB
“The fact remains that the transgenic potatoes had unexpected effects on the [test] rats’ organisms… First, the rats in the experimental groups had brains, livers, and testes less well as atrophied tissue, particularly in the pancreas and the intestine. We also found a proliferation of cells in the stomach, and that is troubling because it can facilitate the development of tumors caused by chemical products. Finally, the immune system of the stomach was overactive which suggests that the rats’ organisms were treating the potatoes as foreign bodies… Apparently, contrary to what the FDA claimed, the insertion technique was not a neutral technology because by itself it produced unexplained effects.” –Arpad Pusztai, [pp180-181, The World According to Monsanto]
“In the late 1980s, the group of Gonsalves at Cornell..and Hawaii started a research project to develop transgenic papaya resistant to PRSV [Papaya Ring Spot Virus] by biolistic transformation method…By May, 1998, PRSV-CP gene transgenic papaya Rainbow and SunUp were deregulated..and granted approval..”
1999 — “In its lab the Cornell team..fed monarch butterfly larvae with milkweed leaves, their favorite diet, dusted with Bt corn pollen. ‘Four days later, 44 percent of the larvae had died, and the survivors had lost their appetite… none of the larvae exposed to leaves..with natural pollen had died.’ …Cornell team’s results were confirmed by a University of Iowa study published on August 19, 2000..with milkweed leaves gathered in proximity to transgenic crops…’We found that after five days exposure to Bt pollen, 70 percent of monarch butterfly larvae died ” [pp230-231, The World According to Monsanto]
Genetically modified forests: “ArborGen is the world’s biggest GM tree company. Formed in April 1999 as a joint venture between Monsanto, International Paper, Westvaco and Fletcher Challenge… [Also] Formed in 1999, GenFor is a joint venture between Chilean technology think tank Fundación Chile and Cellfor (Canada).”
2001Jellyfish gene in a monkey: Gerald Schatten, “The biologist who took a gene from a jellyfish and inserted it into a rhesus monkey egg, creating the world’s first transgenic primate.. will join the..faculty of the University of Pittsburgh..[and] continue to focus on how to transfer foreign genes into monkeys… These genetically engineered monkeys promise to be particularly effective animal models of disease..[for human] health problems..”;
Green glowing monkeys have green glowing babies
Transgenic Rice and Potato Plants Expressing Human Cytochrome [enzyme] — “The transgenic plants metabolized exogenous chemicals, including herbicides, which they were able to tolerate..”
“Epicyte [biotech] 2001 announced..genetically engineered corn which contained a [human] spermicide which made the semen of men who ate it sterile…”
GM canola, has, in fact, spread much more rapidly than we thought it would. It’s absolutely impossible to control.” –Martin Entz, U Manitoba [p216, The World According to Monsanto]
2002Spider gene “switches on” in the mammary glands of dairy goats to make “milk silk” for the materials industry, marketed as ‘Biosteel’ super-strong fiber. “The mammary gland is a perfect natural factory for the synthesizing and production of proteins….’In the future, animals will be our factories,’ Turner says..’Very cheap factories.’
 “[T]his project [will] evaluate transgene expression and milk properties for a number of transgenic dairy goat lines harboring three separate transgenes..”
“Bactofection, a novel technology for introducing genes into cells using live, attenuated invasive bacterial vectors, has been licensed to Microscience Ltd. by the University System of Maryland (USM)…Microscience, based in Berkshire, United Kingdom, will use its proprietary attenuated Salmonella serovar Typhi and serovar Typhimurium derivatives to deliver a range of DNA antigens … The inventors of DNA Bactofection are with UMBI’s Institute of Human Virology….Robert Gallo, director, UMBI’s Institute of Human Virology, comments, “Bactofection has the potential to get vaccines to people in developing areas of the world where they may have been unaffordable and unavailable”…
October, 2002 — “Japanese organic foods test positive for GMOs… 33% of products tested…”
Pharma-crops ‘jump the fence’ –USDA “orders ProdiGene to destroy 155 acres of corn..developed to produce trypsin for diabetes as well as another chemical to treat diarrhea..”
2003 — Yorktown Technologies of Austin Texas introduces ‘GloFish’ to the pet market
Genetic Engineering and Animal Rights
“In 2003, countries that grew 99% of the global transgenic crops are the United States (63%), Argentina (21%), Canada (6%), Brazil (4%), China (4%) and South Africa (1%) and today the Grocery Manufacturers of America estimate that 75% of all processed foods in the U.S. contain a GM ingredient.”
  “Greenhouse and field testing of transgenic wheat…”
[In Egypt]..”Dr. Bahieldin used microprojectile bombardment to transform immature embryos of Egyptian and American bread wheats with genes for salt and drought tolerance..”
[2008] “Seven transgenic lines [of wheat] were identified that expressed the..transgene..”
“..all our foreign customers, led by Japan and Europe, have clearly stated they did not want transgenic wheat… Canada could have gone out of business..” [p226, The World According to Monsanto]
[Aug2003] “U.S. company AviGenics has successfully produced biologically active human interferon and human monoclonal antibodies in transgenic chickens.”
[Oct2003] “France’s BioProtein developed..therapeutic [vaccine] proteins in the milk of transgenic rabbits
2004 — “We have developed transgenic cucumber the expression of rice chitinase..”
 Xenotransplantation: “Embryonic pig liver, pancreas, and lung as a source for transplantaion.. represent an atractive option for organ transplantation..” Weizmann Institute of Science
2005 — GMO alfalfa released:
[2005] “Recent advances in molecular biology and plant biotechnology have shifted the concept of growing crops as a food source to serving as a bioreactor for the production of therapeutic recombinant proteins. Plants are potential biopharming factories because they are capable of producing unlimited numbers and amounts of recombinant proteins safely and inexpensively” ; “The vegetative type [gene] expression system uses plants such as tobacco, lemna, and alfalfa while grain-based systems use corn, rice, and others.”
2006 — European Union approved “ATryn..a recombinant form of human antithrombin..isolated from the milk of goats that have been engineered to produce the protein.”
2007Chicken eggs make human drugs: “engineered chickens may become a more economical and effective method of drug production than current industrial techniques… The genes for the desired proteins were injected into the embryos of newly-laid eggs…The eggs hatched, giving the researchers a transgenic cockerel..who was mated with normal hens to produce more transgenic hicks that also carried the genes. The protein is only found in the whites of a chicken egg… ‘There is also some evidence that proteins [from] chickens may have characteristics closer to human protein than if they are produced in bioreactors,’ said [Roslin Institute team leader, Helen] Sang.”
“Biotechnology now allows us to genetically engineer animals so that they produce proteins that are human pharmaceuticals. For certain drugs that are difficult to produce using existing methods or are needed in large quantities, production in GE animals offers the most efficient and practical solution… Other applications include making animal organs compatible with humans, a technology known as xenotransplantation. Research is being conducted to produce transplant organs in pigs that may be a source of organs for humans.”
2009 — “Only a few countries have the technology to clone farm animals and Iran is one of them, having proven its capabilities..[with its] first cloned sheep in the Royan Institute. The success rate of cloning proceedures at Royan Institute is comparable with pioneer countries in this field such as New Zealand, Denmark and the USA… Producing the first transgenic goat cells that contain a genome for producing t-PA is another achievement of Royan Institute, which gives the hope of producing transgenic goats that can secrete their milk. The Institute is also ready to revive animal species which are exposed to extinction by using cloning technology.”
GE trees: genetically modified eucalyptus from ArborGen approved by the USDA for planting in 7 states
GM mosquitoes:

[fall 2009] “British company Oxitec announced that it carried out the world’s first..outdoor trial in the Caribbean island of Grand Cayman; flightless female mosquitoes developed in a collaboration between U.California Irvine  (UCI) and Oxitec Ltd.
Oxitec is introducing sterile males into India: “The sterile insect technique (SIT), as it is called, may work in the lab but not in the field… it will be disastrous if the released sterile males get back their fertility as a result of random gene mutations. “Probability of such an accident cannot be dismissed when millions of GM mosquitoes are released day after day or week after week,” [Pushpa Bhargava, renowned biologist] says. He says fertility can also be restored with terrible consequences, by the antibiotic tetracycline that may be found in soil or water bodies because, according to Oxitec, its GM mosquitoes are designed to stay sterile only as long as its diet does not contain tetracycline.”
Is this an ‘unexpected consequence’ of transgenic grain: mutant food susceptible to mutant microbes? “Flour..emerged as a ‘new’ potential carrier of pathogens like E.coli and Salmonella..when Nestle’s raw cookie dough was blamed for infecting 72 people in 30 states with 0157:H7..[but] the research did not lead to a ‘root cause’ for the 2009 outbreak… [T]he flour was the only ingredient not cleared at the supplier level.”; deadly 0157:H7 E.coli
Toxic E.coli learning page (includes worst outbreaks, genetic engineering and bioweapon potential from the Stx toxin)
[2009]Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation purchased 500,000 shares of Monsanto
2010 — “The first attempts at GE in animals resulted in some physiological problems in the transgenic animals… studies focusing on the health and welfare of the GE livestock are lacking in the literature… The hLZ [human lysozyme] line was generated by pronuclear microinjection with a transgene consisting of the hLZcDNA linked to a bovine..promoter..[and] transmitted in a Mendelian fashion..currently in the fifth generation”
Engineered microbial Bioremediation in the Gulf of Mexico
2011 — [Jan] GM mosquito..”has been southeast Asia..”
Food Safety Modernization Act “allows the FDA to administratively detain food the agency believes has been produced under..unsafe conditions. Previously, the FDA’s ability to detain food products applied only when the agency had credible evidence…”
“..the genetic engineering of these foods can take a safe food and make it toxic… not only that..but there can be novel allergens.. new allergens never seen before… This food is not safe.” –Andrew Kimbrall [minute 12]
May 2011 — Stink bug spread worries growers across nation…”If I was a mad scientist doing gene splicing and putting together a bug that would really be nasty and I was turning it loose on my enemy, I probably couldn’t do a better job,” Bartlett said. “One might define this thing as the bug from hell.”
July 2011 —GMO Kentucky Bluegrass : “This is perhaps the most serious change in US regs for (genetically modified) crops…” ; “Going Rogue: USDA may have just opened the GMO floodgates”
Aug 11, 2011“Researchers say they have created the first ever animal with artificial information in its genetic code.. [which] could give biologists ‘atom-by-atom control’ over the molecules in living organisms… Sebastian Greiss and Jason Chin have re-engineered the nematode worm’s gene-reading machinery to include a 21st amino acid, not found in nature. Dr. Chin..describes the technique as ‘potentially transformational’..[built] on techniques first developed at the Scripps Research Institute, in La Jolla [San Diego, CA]..where Dr. Chin worked 10 years ago… But that was in the bacterium E.coli; until now, no one had succeeded in doing the same in a whole animal… Dr. [Mario] de Bono suggests the approach could now be used to introduce..designer proteins that could be controlled by light …tiny laser flashes.”
Feb, 2012 — AquaBounty awaits FDA approval for its GE Salmon
VIDEO — Monsanto and recombinant E.coli– the timeline is faulty (the technologies have been around much longer than stated) but worth watching:
GMO FOOD Warnings
“It turns out the soy in Kashi cereals come from genetically modified Roundup-ready soybeans… The ‘natural’ label is unregulated and companies can define it as they please…’One Kashi product in particular, GoLean Shakes, is composed almost entirely of synthetic and unnaturally processed ingredients…”; made by Kellogg’s
“There are almost 300 non-organic and synthetic compounds approved for use in organics, including a genetically mutated algae that’s linked to cancer..”

March 9, 2011

The Culture of Organs


Watch this presentation by Dr. Anthony Atala on growing and printing organs, with an “inkjet” that uses cells!

Midway through the delivery onstage, the doctor appears to remove a newly made kidney from solution but “Reports in the media that Dr. Anthony Atala printed a real kidney at the TED conference in Long Beach, Calif., are completely inaccurate. At the conference, Dr. Atala used a new type of technology to print a kidney-shaped mold and explained how one day – many years from now – the technology might be used to print actual organs.”

The “printed” kidney got Dr. Atala’s audience to its feet, forgetting for the moment perhaps, the already amazing “biomaterials” able to provide structural scaffolding for new cells to grow on. He called them “smart biomaterials” in the first minutes of this show. Take away the Big Finish and Atala’s applications are in substance what the “Cheeseburger In Paradise” article is expressing. This is lab-grown meat with a twist, or I should say, a pulse.
In a reality of Virtual Organs, can Virtual Humans be far behind?
 Curiously Dr. Atala invokes the name of Alexis Carrel, author of The Culture of Organs along with co-author Charles A. Lindbergh who befriended Carrel in 1929 :
“In 1929, the interests of two prominent people intersected. Charles Lindberg’s sister-in-law, Elizabeth Morrow, was left with severe disease of the heart valves after acute rheumatic fever. Lindberg asked her doctor why her heart could not be repaired by surgery. When told that the heart could not be stopped long enough for surgeons to work on it, Lindberg questioned why a mechanical pump could not be used for circulating the blood while the heart was stopped. A physician friend introduced him to Carrel. Lindberg asked to become a volunteer assistant in Carrel’s laboratory and work on the perfusion pump. By 1935, the pump was able to keep the thyroid gland of a cat alive for eighteen days. Cells of that gland were then successfully transferred to tissue culture. Time magazine’s cover of July 1, 1935 pictured Carrel and Lindberg with their ‘mechanical heart’.”
Alexis Carrel is best known for his career (1906-1939) at the Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research where he gained a reputation as a philosopher-mystic, operating in his darkened experimental surgery lab in long black robes, isolated from the normal interaction of his scientific fellows. The same year that Time put him on the cover, Carrel published Man, The Unknown.
Carrel wrote, “The natural fate of all civilizations is to rise and to decline–and to vanish into dust. Our civilization may perhaps escape the common fate, because it has at its disposal the unlimited resources of science. But science deals exclusively with the forces of intelligence. And intelligence never urges men to action. Only fear, enthusiasm, self-sacrifice, hatred, and love can infuse with life the products of our mind. The youth of Germany and Italy, for example, are driven by faith to sacrifice themselves for an ideal–even if that ideal is false. Perhaps the democracies will also engender men burning with the passion to create. Perhaps, in Europe and in America, there are such men, still young, poor, and unknown. But enthusiasm and faith, if not united to the knowledge of the whole reality, will remain sterile. The Russian revolutionists had the will and the strength to build up a new civilization. They failed because they relied upon the incomplete vision of Karl Marx, instead of a truly scientific concept of man. The renovation of modern society demands, besides a profound spiritual urge, the knowledge of man in his wholeness.” [p1]
  …”None of the dogmas of modern science are immutable. Gigantic factories, office buildings rising to the sky, inhuman cities, industrial morals, faith in mass production, are not indispensable to civilization. Other modes of existence and of thought are possible. Culture without comfort, beauty without luxury, machines without enslaving factories, science without the worship of matter, would restore to man his intelligence, his moral sense, his virility,and lead him to the summit of his development.” [p299]
…”We must be freed from the universe created by scientists with their marvelous intelligence. We stand in awe before the great expanse of the material world, but it is too narrow for mankind… We know that we have a wider expanse that transcends the physical.”
   Alexis Carrel left a legacy that defies casual perusal –he appears in Man, The Unknown to be indoctrinated with the “negative eugenics” of his time, however, as a (very late) latecomer. Three decades earlier, while Cold Spring Harbor’s Eugenics Record Office was launching its family survey program from New York, Carrel, as an inexperienced MD in France,  was witnessing an unexplainable healing at the springs of Lourdes that changed his life. His new enthusiasm for the human soul and life-of-the-spirit soon excluded him from a medical career in his home country. He packed up for Montreal on the invitation of Canadian missionaries and carried on with building a brilliant reputation as a surgeon that led him to Chicago, the Rockefellers’ RIMR, and the winning of a Nobel Prize in 1912. He was different than his colleagues. His wife worked beside him as a surgical assistant. He spoke against war even though he dutifully served. Lindbergh was so impressed with Carrel that he bought a summer house in France so the two couples could spend long vacations together but it is unclear whether or not their camaraderie lasted beyond a summer or two. Lindbergh did not spend the “rest of his life” working with Carrel at the Rockefeller as Atala suggests.
   RIMR’s director, Simon Flexner, personally lobbied Carrel to join the staff (in 1906), but when Flexner retired in 1936, it seems Carrel was no longer welcome. By 1939, his lab was taken away and disassembled. The Carrels departed for France and became caught in wartime circumstances. Alexis Carrel, himself, made at least one more sojourn to New York on wartime medical business in the interests of the Rockefellers and thereafter “collaborated” with the Vichy government for a position leading the Institute for the Study of Human Problems. In 1944, Carrel died of heart failure. It is said that days later the press “mistakenly” reported that Carrel was a Nazi collaborator, an item of information that is prominently mentioned in his biographical sketches today, but referencing only his notable eugenical remarks. Some have even called him the “Father of the Gas Chambers” for penning an endorsement of euthanasia, though he was far from originating the idea. Edwin Black, author of War Against the Weak, would not have missed the opportunity to nail Carrel, as a payrolled Rockefeller employee, if it were true. Black’s treatise is devoted to the American origin of “negative eugenics” .
    So, it’s a curiosity that Dr. Atala should cite Carrel’s The Culture of Organs as his inspiration given the man’s controversial background and the Nazi taint that haunts both his and Lindbergh’s personal history There was so much more to him. A newspaper article from 1935 printed this: “Dr. Anton Julius Carlson, in whose laboratory fame first came to Dr. Alexis Carrel, scoffed today at his former associate’s new theory that [proposes]… [k]eeping a man in suspended animation.. so he can come back to life in the future century of his choice… The Chicago physiologist was even more critical of the Rockefeller Institute scientist’s declaration that ‘we know positively that clairvoyances are capable of perceiving past and future events’ and ‘it is far from being unreasonable to believe that some part of human personality may escape death.’
 “Lindbergh’s work with Carrel was interrupted on March 1, 1932,when his 2-year-old son, Charles, Jr, was kidnapped, and hisdead body was found 10 weeks later in a shallow grave. It took21/2 years for a suspect to be apprehended; Bruno Richard Hauptmannwas arrested on September 19, 1934, and was later was put ontrial. Because of Lindbergh’s celebrity, the events surroundingthe kidnapping, murder, and trial received enormous attentionfrom the press; it was billed as the trial of the century. Hauptmannwas convicted and executed. The United States Congress passeda law in response to the kidnapping, which made kidnapping acrossstate lines a federal crime for the first time. Both Charlesand Anne Lindbergh were intensely private people; therefore,to escape public attention they boarded a ship for Europe in1935, and they remained there until 1939 when they were forcedhome by the start of the war in Europe. Certain eventsduring that time placed Lindbergh on a downward spiral of publiccondemnation, parallel to a similar fall by his colleague, AlexisCarrelWhen the war began, the Lindberghs returnedto America, and in 1941, Lindbergh became a major spokesmanfor the “America First Committee,” an isolationist organizationopposed to the entry of the United States into the war in Europe.The once great man endured widespread condemnation within hisown country… 
    After the liberation of France in 1944,[Carrel] was relieved of all duties related to his institute and wasplaced under surveillance. An investigation began to evaluatethe extent of his collaboration with the Nazis and the Vichygovernment, but no conclusions were reached. Unremitting attacksby the press left Carrel deeply saddened, embittered, and depressed.He was a broken man when he died on November 5, 1944… 
America First Comittee
“Founded in 1940 to fight against U.S. participation in World War II, the AFC initially enjoyed the backing of Henry Ford and the historian Charles A. Beard… the committee was especially active in Chicago. After Charles Lindbergh, an AFC leader, made what was widely considered an anti-Semitic speech in September 1941, the organization began to decline…
   “Peaking at 800,000 members, it was likely the largest anti-war organization in American history… Nothing did more to escalate the tensions than the speech [Lindbergh] delivered to a rally in Des Moines Iowa on September 11,1941. In that speech he identified the forces pulling America into the war as the British, the Roosvelt administration, and the Jews… During its existence it was seen by some on the left, especially Communists, as a Nazi front..”
Once war was declared, however, Lindbergh served the U.S. heroically as a civilian, flying over 32 (or 50) missions for the armed services. . The America First Committee’s beginnings are retrospectively claimed to have a shadowy founding by Lessing J. Rosenwald, the son of Sears Roebuck & Co. magnate Julius Rosenwald. Lessing Rosenwald became a division chieftain of the War Production Board and Sears’ president, Robert Wood, took the leadership of the AFC.
   Maybe it’s glamour, mystique, and the larger-than-life auras of Carrel and Lindbergh that prompts Dr. Atala to cite them as his inspiration. They did not fundamentally contribute to the science for his work but they did provide Big Ideas. The nuts and bolts of virtual organs relies on the intrepid progress made in the culture of cells.


Eastman-Kodak has “longterm plans to sell inkjet printers” , although no statement is made about medical use. Kodak has long participated in medical ‘establishment’ business, from x-ray plates, radiation badges, cigarette filters, vitamins and pharmaceuticals.
The Culture of Cells
‘For the previous sixty years, from the time when cell culture technology began, in the late 1890s or 1900s,’ [Leonard] Hayflick explained, ‘it was believed virtually from day one that all cells put into culture were inherently immortal..’ …Alexis Carrel, a prominent doctor at the Rockefeller Institute, had mesmerized all of biology early in the century with the claim that cells grown in a culture dish would live forever. The French-born Carrel, who received a Nobel Prize in 1912 ..had in that same year placed a smidgen of heart muscle from a chick in a dish, replenished it almost daily with nutrients, and purportedly kept the cells growing and dividing right up to his death in 1944. It wasn’t just Carrel’s results but the theatrics surrounding his technique that created almost a cult of invincibility about the experiments. He insisted that the walls of a cell culture lab had to be painted black, and while performing their manipulations, his technicians donned long black gowns and hoods…[p25] ..everyone assumed that normal cells, whether isolated from chickens or humans, were immortal. Carrel’s mistake, science historian Jan Witkowski suggests, was that in replenishing the cell cultures with nutrients collected from freshly killed chicken embryos, he and his colleagues may inadvertently have supplied fresh new cells to the culture each time they fed them. In other words, they had merely created the illusion of immortality through sloppy laboratory technique. The gerontologist Steven Austad puts it more strongly: ‘It is now clear that the errors and incompetence were Carrel’s own, although a more charitable interpretation is that in his case it was the laboratory assistants who were incompetent or that they spiked the dishes occasionally with fresh cells because they were just too afraid to tell him that the cultures had died.’ .” [p26, Merchants of Immortality, 2003, by Stephen S. Hall]
More from the Merchants of Immortality:
“One day during medical school in Texas, Michael West stared down at an unusual tumor in his dissection pan. The tumor is known as a teratoma or, when malignant, a teratocarcinoma. It is a rare form of cancer that typically develops in a cell of the reproductive organs, appearing adjacent to either an ovary or a testicle, and it is arguably the most bizarre amalgam of run-amok tissue that can occur in human beings. It behaves something like a cancerous embryo, capable of forming any of the body’s two hundred or so tissues, but without any of the embryo’s exquisitely honed biochemical checks and balances that herd cells toward normal development… West was fascinated by the teratoma in his dissection tray that day. ‘I opened it up,’s an incisor and a molar,’ he said… ‘Beautiful pristine teeth. And the first thing I thought is, Can we make that happen in a dish? People need those cells… but what cells form these tissues, and how does it work?…I looked in textbooks and there was hardly anything on it. And I just stumbled across some stuff on mouse embryonic stem cells, which pointed out that if you put a mouse embryonic stem cell in perfect conditions, it’ll form a teratoma. And all of a sudden, it all made sense –that of course these are very primitive cells gone awry… And I thought, if we could just culture human embryonic stem cells, we could potentially make teeth and lots of other things..” [pp92-93]
“About that same time, a researcher at the University of California at San Francisco named Gail Martin isolated a version of the [mouse embryonic stem] cells. But there were intriguing early hints about this same class of regenerative cells in cancers known as embryonal carcinomas during the 1970s and, in a broader sense, in the purely observational annals of nineteenth- and early-twentieth-century medicine. Mark Pittenger, a researcher at Osiris Therapeutics in Baltimore, points out references to “wandering cells” in old medical journals, regenerative cells that appeared to gravitate to wounds and facilitate healing. Some of the first clues, Pittenger notes, were observed by battlefield surgeons… Julius Cohnheim, a famous nineteenth-century German pathologist, was among the first to assert that ‘wandering cells’ seemed to play a role in tissue regeneration….
…What exactly is a stem cell? That is a more controversial question to answer now than it was just a few years ago, following a host of preliminary but intriguing reports suggesting that brain stem cells can form blood, and blood stem cells can form neurons. This degree of developmental versatility has forced scientists to rethink the definition of the term…” [p94]
“In 1995, Alta Charo, a law professor at the University of Wisconsin, received a call out of the blue from a stranger who happened to be a colleague on the university’s science faculty. Jamie Thomson introduced himself… ‘He said he had been working on primates and was considering moving on to human work..” [p158] He applied to the university’s institutional review board, or IRB, shortly after publishing a paper in 1995 reporting the isolation of embryonic stem cells from monkeys…  Thomson..didn’t pave his route with press releases. He declined even to describe his lab’s creation of monkey stem cells at meetings until the experiments were published in August 1995 (although he shared the news with several like-minded researchers, including Roger Pedersen). And he rebuffed potential collaborators like Joseph Itskovitz-Eldor, of the Rambam Medical Center in Haifa, Israel, who approached Thomson’s lab immediately after the 1995 paper.
   But Itskovitz-Eldor was persistent, and he felt a special affinity for the University of Wisconsin. In 1985 he had traveled to Madison to learn micromanipulation techniques from Neal First, an animal scientist..who had been a pioneer in cattle cloning; Itskovitz-Eldor returned to Haifa and was among the first in the world to apply the technology to assisted reproductive medicine for humans. Twelve years later, in 1997, Itskovitz-Eldor organized a scientific meeting in Israel in honor of First and invited Jamie Thomson to speak. It provided another opportunity to lobby Thomson about a possible collaboration. The two scientists spent a couple of days together traveling around Israel, and Thomson finally agreed to work with Itskovitz-Eldor. It was a fateful decision. As a result, the Wisconsin group was able to work with both domestic and overseas sources of human embryonic material… As it turned out, the Israeli embryos generated more stem cell lines than the Wisconsin embryos –an outcome not without legal and scientific ramifications…[p159] For the Wisconsin group, the key to the entire set of experiments may not have had anything to do with the embryos per se but rather with the elixir in which the embryos grew. The Thomson lab received embryos at the cleavage stage, a very early phase of development that is reached a few days after fertilization. As this clutch of identical embryonic cells continues to divide, the primordial clump slowly doubles in roughly geometric progression: next 16 cells, then 32 cells, and so on. About 5 days after fertilization, the embryo contains 200 to 250 cells. At this point, a very primitive segregation of fate begins to unfold, and the first faint architecture begins to emerge in the form of the blastocyst, with about 30 embryonic stem cells. For a fleeting embryonic moment, each of these cells is endowed with a pluripotent genetic cargo: the biological capacity to become any cell type in the organism. That was the goal– to capture those fleeting, changeable cells.” [p161].
    “In May 1998 the NIH held a symposium on embryonic stem cells in Madison [Wisconsin]. Unbeknownst to government officials –indeed, to almost everyone– human ES cells had already been isolated. ‘At that time,’ recalled Itskovitz-Eldor, who had traveled to Madison for the meeting, ‘we never mentioned that there were human ES cells actually growing a few blocks from where the meeting was held.’ [p162] As the Wisconsin researchers began to explore the properties of these unusual cellular dynamos, the stem cell story, perhaps fittingly, converged with the telomere story. Unlike normal human cells, of the sort first grown in a test tube by Leonard Hayflick [at the Wistar Institute, ], embryonic stem cells expressed high levels of telomerase; in other words, these cells had managed to switch on the gene that tells the cell how to make telomerase, and the presence of this normally rare and suppressed enzyme effectively immortalized embryonic stem cells… they seemed never to hit the Hayflick Limit. They are, in a very real sense, immortal, until they receive a signal to specialize… Thomson and his colleagues acknowledged that the ability to produce a ‘potentially limitless source’ of neurons and cardiac cells, for example, had widespread implications for transplantation therapy.” [p163]
“In the summer of 1998, a young South American scientist named Jose Cibelli worked at Advanced Cell Technology [ACT] where [Michael] West had agreed to serve as president. He was due to arrive in Worcester full-time in October, but several months earlier Cibelli was dispatched to Haifa with the express intent of trying to clone human embryonic stem cells –in the same lab as one of [Jamie] Thomson’s collaborators…Itskovitz-Eldor…[p165]
“In the spring of 1998, exiled from Geron and divorced from the stem cell race he had personally organized, Michael West was wandering the world like an entreprenurial nomad, searching for a way to become a player again… West traveled to Scotland specifically to ask [Ian] Wilmut [‘main architect of Dolly, the cloned sheep’] based at the Roslin Institute near Edinburgh, if he would like to collaborate in an effort to create human stem cells through cloning. [p166]  West continued to talk to anyone who would listen… He became infatuated with ‘nuclear transfer’, or cloning, as a way to obtain stem cells…
   “On the day West met with the Avian Farms delegation.. several [ACT] scientists dropped in to give brief seminars on their work. One of them was Jose Cibelli… He had done graduate studies at the University of Massachusetts in the laboratory of James Robl, one of ACT’s founders and eventually joined the company. As Cibelli spoke, West’s jaw dropped because the Argentine scientist described experiments he had done in Robl’s lab in which he had created a hybrid embryo, albeit short-lived, through the union of a cow egg and an adult human cell.
   “When Cibelli showed a slide of the cow-human embryo, West couldn’t believe his eyes… ‘I mean, he showed me human embryos that had made by cloning. And I had no idea– no one in the world had any idea that it’d been done… and I thought, ‘..this is exactly what I want to be doing..’  …What West probably didn’t know is that the 1994 embryo panel specifically mentioned interspecies cloning as one of those Rubicons of experimentation that should not be crossed.” [p167]
   “James Robl had stepped in to stop Cibelli’s original line of research at U Mass, but West has always given his scientific colleagues very free rein. West joined ACT as president in the fall of 1998 and immediately instructed Cibelli to get the cow-human work going again. West decided.. that he needed to disclose the company’s intention to pursue this line of experimentation, given the burgeoning controversy surrounding cloning and embryo research (he did not feel similarly compelled to mention Cibelli’s efforts in Israel just a few months earlier). And as he has often done, he went shopping for a friendly media outlet to retail his story. [p168]  ‘I was intrigued,’ admitted Alta Charo, who was at the time a member of the Clinton bioethics panel. ‘If it were the case that you could take an enucleated cow egg ad a human cell, and create an entity that functioned like a human that you could get the stem cells, and then it decompensated later on, you would have evaded the problems of human embryo research because you would not have destroyed a viable human embryo.’ ” [p171]
Advanced Cell never set out, of course, to create cow-human embryos… The company first set out to clone barnyard animals, especially cows. Robl wanted.. bovine embryonic stem cells for a simple biological reason: ..[to] pluck these cells out of an embryo, genetically modify them (insert, for example, the gene for a pharmacologically desirable human protein like albumin) and reinsert them into another cow embryo to create..a pharmaceutical factory on hoofs… All of a sudden, Robl’s group had stumbled upon the very techniques.. mentioned as a theoretical route to the creation of human embryos: ‘somatic cell nuclear transfer’, or cloning… Here was a get fetal animal cells for clinical use; the initial interest was the creation and harvest of dopaminergic neurons, the kind of brain cells that steadily disappear in Parkinson’s disease. [p215] Around that time, a..veterinarian from Argentina..arrived in Robl’s lab to pursue a master’s degree. Jose Cibelli..[came] to Amherst in January 1994. [p216]
    ‘We were talking about cells and organ transplants.. and saying ‘Wouldn’t it be great if there were a source of human tissue for transplants? That’s sort of where it started.’ The three scientists –Cibelli, Stice, and Golueke– knew they couldn’t obtain human [ES] cells because of the federal ban on funds for research… But they bandied about the idea of an audacious..experiment: Why not fuse the contents of an adult human cell with a cow egg? …It’s not clear whether anyone..was aware that the precedent had already been set by Philippe Collas’s similar experiments with rabbit eggs in 1990, although Collas [said] ‘Jose knew perfectly well what had gone on…[p217] His first attempt at human cloning began with..some large cells from the inside of his cheeks. Known as epithelial mucosal cells, these provided the adult cells he would use for nuclear transfer. Using the same techniques honed by years of cattle cloning, he vacuumed out the DNA from the cow eggs and then, using a tiny needle, inserted his own cheek cells, one per egg. ‘And after that, if you don’t do anything, the egg’s going to sit there and it’s just going to ..die after a few days,’ Cibelli explained. ‘It’s waiting for the sperm. So what you do is, you fool the egg..that it is fertilized.’ This bit of biochemical chicanery is achieved by dousing the cow egg with a chemical that makes it behave as though it has been impregnated by sperm… ‘He did a bunch of them,’ Robl remembered, ‘..but [it’s] very difficult to get a blastocyst.’ [p218]. When all was said and done, Cibelli had managed to create several short-term cow-human embryos… The biologists never characterized the cells in their hybrid embryo, and never even bothered to submit a scientific paper reportng it… no one can say with any biological certainty what exactly Jose Cibelli had created in the union of his cheek cell and a cow egg…” [p219] But it was also clear, even then, that cow-human embryos were less than ideal as a source of human stem cells. The best source, obviously, would be an intact human embryo…[T]he world would learn in good time, human oocytes were indeed under consideration at ACT. [p224]
“Ali Hemmati Brivanlou..on the seventh floor of a building at Rockefeller University..the morning of November 10, 2000..[p174]..had already made arrangements with Zev Rosenwaks, director of the Center for Reproductive Medicine and Infertility at New York Weill Cornell, to collaborate. ‘He has already given me eight embryos’…[p176] In the summer of 2000, he had reached a tentative..arrangement with Zev Rosenwaks, an Israeli-born expert in reproductive medicine, who had agreed to supply Brivanlou’s lab with surplus human embryos left over from in vitro Weill Cornell’s IVF center..[p177] In purely pragmatic terms, the earliest moments of human development held the key to tissue regeneration and cellular repair… ‘As you know,’ Brivanlou said that day, ‘nobody can stop scientists from doing the experiments they want to do. Nobody.’ [p178]
1998 Report: Embryonic stem cell lines derived from human blastocysts
“[Michael] West was pilloried for announcing that ACT was conducting the experiments, but in fact a number of leaders in he field..end[ed] up pursuing variations on the same general theme: create a ‘thing’ that couldn’t techncally be called a human embryo but could be used to harvest immunologically compatible stem cells… Other researchers, in England and Israel and Singapore, where the political constraints on research were not driven by the same religious concerns, were trying to create embryos in IVF clinics… [p172]
   “They never saw it as a way to create copies of animals, or humans for that matter. Rather, they saw it as an immensely powerful biological tool… Following his studies in England, [Douglas] Melton returned to Harvard..[and] began to catalogue the proteins that control the development of organs, especially in the nervous system. They learned that certain of these growth factors, or ‘morphogens’, could basically generate nearly any cellular fate depending on their concentration… [Brivanlou] was astonished to find that when you blocked activin, virtuallyall the cells in [an]..embryo became brain cells…[pp181-182]
   “[I]n the late 1990s, work at the Salk Institute, in the laboratory of Fred Gage,..another of StemCell’s cofounders,..electrified the field of neuroscience when they reported the existence of adult neural progenitor cells in the mammalian brain. Gage deliberately shies away from the term stem cell to describe these adult cells, because he’s still not sure what they are. But they can be recovered from the brain tissue of rats, for example, and possess the capacity to differentiate into either of the two main neural cells, neurons and glial cells… [p238] Gage’s group has shown that neural progenitor cells, when transplanted into an adult nervous system, migrate to the zone in the brain where new neurological cells are formed, and will also migrate to areas of injury…’Not only are new cells born, but they undergo synaptogenesis,’ Gage said..meaning they form the connections, or synapses, that link nerve cells.” [p239]
…and finally, a last composition of excerpts from Merchants of Immortality:
“Bone marrow transplants, first attempted in the early 1960s, achieved a routine success by the 1970s..because patients received..hematopoietic (or blood-forming) stem cells. These are progenitor cells of the blood system and possess the ability to differentiate..into all the cells of a healthy and whole blood system… [T]his spongy matrix of tissue, encased in a sanctuary of bone, is..recognized as the body’s safe-deposit box..for some of the body’s most precious regenerative jewels –namely, cells that can differentiate into many other tissues. In fact, adult stem cells from the marrow have actually been a proven..respectable feature of medicine for about four decades. It’s just one referred to them as stem cells.[p229].  The existence of that marvelously prolific [‘mother’] cell was first proposed in the early 1960s and grew out of medical experiments related to nuclear warfare and radiation exposure. Two Canadian researchers, J.E. Till and E.A. McCulloch, ..subjected mice to lethal doses of radiation that destroyed the rodents’ entire blood-making apparatus in the marrow; then they infused small amounts of blood..sufficient to rebuild the animals’ entire blood and immunological systems. [p230] According to [Bob] Deans, these mesenchymal [marrow] stem cells are conspicuously denuded of typical immunological markings…meaning that they can evade a basic form of scrutiny by immune sentinels known as T cells; they also lack a marker known as B-7 which..revs up an immune response. Deans added that these stem cells may even secrete a factor that actively inhibits a normal immune response…’The cells seem to be totally immunoprivileged and we are currently doing a study where we are injecting cells from one animal into another with no immunosuppression, and we are seeing no rejection.’ The cells, in other words, seem to deploy a biological stealth technology to remain immunologically invisible. This…could open the door to the use of universal donor cells…’It changes the whole ball game in terms of commercialization,’ said Brad Martin. When this immunological invisibility was first observed, Osiris scientists were stunned. ‘In the last year, this all came to light, and we are all just amazed,’ said Martin in May 2001.” [p234].
Info on Dr. Atala
Video (8min) on regenerating organs and tissue; “it’s the future today”
Dr. Atala’s bioengineered “neo-organs”
[2009] “Lab grown penis helps rabbits mate…like rabbits”

“Biotechnology now allows us to genetically engineer animals so that they produce proteins that are human pharmaceuticals. For certain drugs that are difficult to produce using existing methods or are needed in large quantities, production in GE animals offers the most efficient and practical solution… Other applications include making animal organs compatible with humans, a technology known as xenotransplantation. Research is being conducted to produce transplant organs in pigs that may be a source of organs for humans.”

January 5, 2011

Immortal Cancer

Reposted from

Atomic testing and other sources of radiation put the population at risk for cancer. It’s an open question to this researcher if the polio vaccines were also intended to be cancer vaccines but the evidence weighs in favor of the assumption.  When human cancer cells (HeLa) were harvested and distributed in 1951 for research, their express initial purpose was for “polio vaccines”. Leo Szilard, of the Manhattan Project and Salk Institute, helped William Scherer and Jerome Syverton at the University of Minnesota design a method for culturing polioviruses on Hela cells.

Besides a predictable long-term rise in cancer from radioactivity, could the polio vaccines bearing viral “cancer genes” contribute to the escalation? Like the statements made by Judyth Vary Baker (page SV40 Monkey Virus,  below**) in the quest for a cancer bioweapon, will injected “cancer genes” (if they exist) take in an immune-compromised person?

Dr. Nancy Banks writes in “AIDS, Opium, Diamonds and Empire” on the subject of cancer, ..”new research suggests that ..[what] may be the primary cause of malignant growth..[is] the reduced efficiency of mitochondrial energy conversion as the result of oxidative/nitrosative stress… What is becoming imminently more difficult to suppress is the evidence that impaired mitochondrial metabolism, and specifically the Krebs cycle activity, may promote malignant growth… People diagnosed with AIDS are in a hypercatabolic low oxygen state where the body becomes exhausted in attempting to repair itself.” As she explains, “no virus need apply”. [p58]

                                                              HeLa [hee-lah]

“HeLa cells are a human epithelial cervical cancer, and the first human cells from which a permanent cell line* was established. On 9 February 1951, surgeon Lawrence Wharton Jr. removed the tissue from the patient Henrietta Lacks, a 31-year-old African American woman from Baltimore, in the Women’s Clinic of the Johns Hopkins Hospital. The cells were from the carcinoma of the cervix…The patient died 8 months later… A portion of cells from the biopsy were sent to George Gey, the then head of the cell culture laboratory at Johns Hopkins Hospital. The cells were cultivated and propagated in cell culture so well that since they are widely used in research. The HeLa cells were used in the establishment of the first polio vaccine by Jonas Salk.”
*a cell line is a genetically identical type of cell used in research as a standard base for experimentation

History of HeLa S3 cells:


Excerpts from The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, by Rebecca Skloot, 2010 Crown Publishers:
[The voice of Deborah Lacks, Henrietta’s daughter] “When I go to the doctor for my checkups I always say my mother was HeLa. They get all excited, tell me stuff like how her cells helped make my blood pressure medicines and antidepression pills and how all this important stuff in science happen cause of her. But they don’t never explain more than just sayin, Yeah, your mother was on the moon, she been in nuclear bombs and made that polio vaccine. I really don’t know how she did all that, but I guess I’m glad she did, cause that mean she helpin lots of people. I think she would like that.” [Prologue, p9]
“All it takes is one small mistake anywhere in the division process for cells to start growing out of control… Just one enzyme misfiring, just one wrong protein activation, and you could have cancer. Mitosis goes haywire”… [p3]
“It all started on January 17, 1912, when Alexis Carrel, a French surgeon at the Rockefeller Institute, grew his ‘immortal chicken heart’. Scientists had been trying to grow living cells since before the turn of the century, but their samples had always died. As a result, many reserchers believed it was immposible… But Carrel set out to prove them wrong… He hoped someday to grow whole organs in the laboratory, filling massive vaults with lungs, livers, kidneys, and tissues he could ship through the mail for transplantation.
…But Carrel wasn’t interested in immortality for the masses. He was a eugenicist… He dreamed of never-ending life for those he deemed worthy, and death or forced sterilization for everyone else. He’d later praise Hitler for the “eugenic measures” he took in that direction. Carrel’s eccentricities fed into the media frenzy about his work… Carrel was a mystic”… [pp 58-60]
“Not long after Henrietta’s death, planning began for a HeLa factory –a massive operation that would grow to produce trillions of HeLa cells each week. It was built for one reason: to help stop polio. By the end of 1951 the world was in the midst of the biggest polio epidemic in history.” [p93]
“ April 1952, [George] Gey and one of his colleagues from the NFIP advisory committee –William Scherer, a young postdoctoral fellow from the University of Minnesota– tried infecting Henrietta’s cells with poliovirus. Within days they found that HeLa was, in fact, more susceptible to the virus than any cultured cells had ever been… they knew they’d found exactly what the NFIP was looking for”… “On Memorial Day 1952, Gey…sent Mary to the post office…When the package arrived in Minneapolis about four days later, Scherer put the cells in an incubator and they began to grow. It was the first time live cells had ever been successfully shipped in the mail.” …”When the NFIP heard the news that HeLa was susceptible to poliovirus and could grow in large quantities for little money, it immediately contracted Scherer to oversee development of a HeLa Distribution Center at the Tuskegee Institute… [p95] …it was the first-ever cell-production factory and it started with a single vial of HeLa that Gey had sent Scherer in their first shipping experiment, not long after Henrietta’s death. [p96]
…”Black scientists and technicians, many of them women, used cells from a black woman to help save the lives of millions of Americans, most of them white. And they did so on the same campus –and at the very same time– that state officials were conducting the infamous Tuskegee syphilis studies.
…At first, the Tuskegee Center supplied Hela cells only to polio testing labs.” [p97]
“HeLa was also being used in research that would advance the new field of human genetics” [p99]
“As the Cold War escalated, some scientists exposed Henrietta’s cells to massive doses of radiation to study how nuclear bombs destroyed cells… Scientists cut HeLa cells in half to show that cells could live on after their nuclei had been removed, and used them to develop methods for injecting substances into cells without destroying them.
…At the request of the U.S., Gey took Henrietta’s cells with him to the Far East in 1953 to study hemorrhagic fever… He also injected them into rats to see if they’d cause cancer” [p102]
–they did.
“[Researchers] mastered the techniques of cell culture and simplified them to such a degree that, as one researcher put it, they’d “made it possible for even the rank amateur to grow a few cultures” [p139]
“By the 1960s, scientists joked that HeLa cells were so robust that they could probably survive in sink drains or on doorknobs. They [Hela cells] were everywhere. The general public could grow HeLa at home using instructions from a Scientific American do-it-yourself article, and both Russian and American scientists had managed to grow HeLa in space. Henrietta’s cells went up in the second satellite ever in orbit…
When the first humans went into orbit, Henrietta’s cells went with them so researchers could cancerous and noncancerous cells responded to zero gravity. What they found was disturbing; in mission after mission, noncancerous cells grew normally in orbit, but HeLa became more powerful, dividing faster with each trip. And HeLa cells weren’t the only ones behaving strangely. Since the start of the [1960s], researchers had been noticing two new things about all cultured cells. First, it seemed that all normal cells growing in culture eventually died or underwent spontaneous transformation and became cancerous. This phenomena was exciting for researchers trying to understand the mechanisms of cancer because it suggested that they might be able to study the moment a normal cell becomes malignant.
…The other unusual thing scientists had noticed about cells growing in culture was that once they transformed and became cancerous, they all behaved alike –dividing identically and producing exactly the same proteins and enzymes, even though they’d all produced different ones before becoming malignant. Lewis Coriell, a renowned cell-culturist, thought he might have an explanation. He published a paper suggesting that perhaps “transformed” cells behaved the same..because they’d been contaminated by something –most likely a virus or bacterium– that made them behave similarly. Almost as an aside, he pointed out..all transformed cells seemed to behave identically to HeLa, he wrote, which could mean that HeLa was the contaminant.” [p139]
“In September 1966, a geneticist named Stanley Gartler.. announced that he’d found ‘a technical problem’ in their field… Gartler..told [a conference] audience that, in the process of looking for new genetic markers for his research, he’d found eighteen of the most commonly used cell cultures..all contained a rare genetic marker called glucose-6-phosphate-dehydrogenase-A (G6PD-A) which was present almost exclusively in black Americans. And even among them it was fairly rare.
…Gartler knew he’d found the source of the problem…”they are all HeLa cell contaminants.”  …It turned out Henrietta’s cells could float through the air on dust particles. They could travel from one culture to the next on unwashed hands or used pipettes; they could ride from lab to lab on researchers’ coats and shoes, or through ventilation systems. And they were strong; if just one HeLa cell landed in a culture dish, it took over, consuming all the [nutrient] media and filling all the space. Gartler’s findings did not go over well.” [p153]

“The serious problem of HeLa cell contamination in cancer and vaccine research is revealed in Michael Gold’s  ‘A  Conspiracy of Cells: One Woman’s Immortal Legacy and the Medical Scandal It Caused’.  Even Jonas Salk, who developed the legendary  Salk polio vaccine, was fooled when HeLa cells contaminated his animal cell lines. He admitted this years later in 1978 before a stunned audience of cell biologists and vaccine makers. In experiments performed in the late 1950s  on dying cancer patients,  Salk tried injecting them with a cell line of monkey heart tissue – the same cell line he used to harvest polio virus for his famous vaccine. He hoped the monkey cell injections would stimulate the immune system to fight cancer. However, when abcesses developed at the site of injections Salk began to suspect that he might be injecting HeLa cells rather than monkey cells,  and he stopped the experiment.
Mark Nelson-Rees, a HeLa cell expert and one of the 1978 conference attendees,  offered to test Salk’s line if it was still available. Salk graciously agreed and the monkey cells indeed proved to be HeLa cells which had invaded and taken over the monkey cell line. According to author Gold, Salk thought there were adequate ways to separate viruses from the tissue cell lines  they were harvested in, so that it really didn’t matter what kind of cells were used. Even  if vaccines weren’t filtered, and even if whole cancer cells were injected directly into a human,  Salk believed they would be rejected by the body and cause no harm. In those days doctors didn’t much believe in cancer-causing viruses. Nowadays, no researcher would dare try injecting cancer cells into a human being. But in the 1950s Salk had done it accidently. He had injected HeLa cells into a few dozen patients and it hadn’t bothered him a bit.”–Alan Cantwell MD ; 

Dr.  Banks treats readers to a quote from Peter Duesberg: “Even very few oncogenic retroviruses –those endowed with cancer genes– hardly play a role as carcinogens for two reasons. First, viral cancer genes accidentally acquired are never kept by retroviruses after they are generated because they are entirely useless to the virus… Second, even if a rare oncogenic retrovirus infects an immunocompetent animal, a small tumor will appear within days after the infection, only to disappear again as the animal develops antiviral immunity. Antiviral immunity kills both the virus and all virus-infected cells.” [p54, AIDS, Opium, Diamonds and Empire]

From “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks”, pp 127-130: “Chester Southam had a frightening thought: What if Henrietta’s cancer cells could infect the scientists working on them? [George] Gey and several others had already shown that some rats grew tumors when injected with live HeLa. Why not humans?..’There is the possible danger’, Southam wrote, ‘of initiating neo-plastic disease by accidental inoculation during laboratory investigation, or by injection with such cells or cell products if they should be used for production of virus vaccine.’ Southam was a well-respected cancer researcher and chief of virology at Sloan-Kettering Institute for Cancer Research. He and many other scientists believed that cancer was caused by either a virus or an immune system deficiency, so Southam decided to use HeLa to test those theories… He told [cancer patients] he was testing their immune systems; he said nothing about injecting them with someone else’s malignant cells.
   “Within hours, the patients’ forearms grew red and swollen. Five to ten days later, hard nodules began growing at the injection sites. Southam removed some of the nodules to verify that they were cancerous, but he left several to see if patient’ immune systems would reject them or the cancer would spread…
   “Southam eventually removed most of the HeLa tumors, and those he didn’t remove vanished on their own in a few months. But in four patients, the nodules grew back. He removed them, but they returned again and again…
   “Since those patients all had cancer to begin with, Southam wanted to see how healthy people reacted to the injections, for comparison’s sake. So, in May 1956, he placed an ad in the Ohio State Penitentiary newsletter… Southam began injecting prisoners in June 1956 using HeLa cells that his colleague, Alice Moore, carried from New York to Ohio in a handbag… Soon tumors grew on the prisoners’ arms just as they’d grown in the cancer patients…Southam gave multiple cancer cell injections to each prisoner, and unlike the terminally ill patients, those men fought off the cancer completely. And with each new injection, their bodies responded faster, which seemed to indicate that the cells were increasing the inmates’ immunity to cancer.
   “In the coming years, Southam injected HeLa and other living cancer cells into more than six hundred people for his research, about half of them cancer patients. He also began injecting them into every gynecological surgery patient who came to Sloan-Kettering’s Memorial Hospital or its James Ewing Hospital. If he explained anything [to patients] he simply said he was testing them for cancer.”

**Part of the JFK assassination conspiracy was a plot to kill Fidel Castro by giving him cancer with injections and xrays. In the words of Judyth Vary Baker (Lee Oswald’s girlfriend), during her film segment of the documentary The Men Who Killed Kennedy, Ms. Baker revealed her role as a 19-year-old cancer researcher:

[from the episode “The Love Affair”, segments 3 and 4]
“I convinced Dr. Ochsner and others that the real thing we needed to do was pull down Castro’s immune system by using several ploys, and then when the cancer’s introduced into his body, it would be found in his blood system and they’d put him in front of the x-ray again and again and again. Supposedly he’d be getting treatments to kill the cancer when actually his immune system was getting destroyed. That could be done, in other words, Castro could be eliminated by using x-ray and they’ll think that it’s the side effects from lung cancer. And that was my idea”
[the secret US ‘cancer’ team]..went to Jackson Mental Hospital..[with] these prisoners that were going to be injected…and at that time those prisoners received the injections that were necessary to begin that terrible round of injections and x-ray, injections and x-ray..that they hoped would actually kill these people.”


December 22, 2010

AIDS, Opium, Diamonds and Empire

Dr. Nancy T. Banks has exploded the myth of the HIV virus in her first book  AIDS, Opium, Diamonds and Empire: The Deadly Virus of International Greed. Not only does she walk her readers through the medical fraud and science behind AIDS but she lays out the modus operandi of “just business” in unequivocal terms of official government policy and programming. The beauty of Dr. Banks’ work is that we have a tool to help deconstruct the other “public health” practices of the 20th century and look at the historical objectives hiding behind the so-called epidemics of the past.
Dr. Banks writes, “There is no scientific data validating the contention that what is currently referred to as HIV is, in fact, a virus! …The goal was perception management… [and] the proteins claimed to be specific for HIV are universally present in everyone.” [pp306-308]
   “The fallacy that a hypothetical retrovirus caused AIDS was used as an excuse to use carcinogenic drugs in human subjects to determine whether the loss of function of  T-helper immune cells could cause the development of tumor cells. …AZT was too toxic for most people to tolerate, had no lasting effect on HIV blood levels and left patients with fewer CD4+ cells than they started with..[p254] …AZT has been shown to be maximally toxic to the energy producing intracellular organelles called mitochondria. [p256]
   “AIDS is a free radical and oxidative [plus nitrosative] stress induced condition that appears more easily in people with malnutrition… AIDS is really not an immune deficiency but an energy deficiency..[p257] …The mitochondrian is also the major organelle that helps to control the redox potential of the cell environment measured in millivolts. In living cells, the effective proportion of reduced* substances to oxidized substances is called the redox balance.  …[O]xidative damage to mitochondrial DNA and to energy production enzymes inhibits the production of ATP… With less energy available the cell has three options: cell death, cell degeneration as occurs in disease states, or cell transformation as occurs in cancer..[p219]
   “With the prodigious help of the FDA, Burroughs Wellcome was about to make enormous profits by planned human experimentation of a drug known to cause AIDS and cancer. [p255]”
   “The mitochondrial stress effects of this drug [AZT] are analogous to the effects of nitric oxide (NO) radicals..[p262] …Microbes and humans possess the same type of eukaryotic cells. If a drug attacks the metabolism of the microbe, it also has the possibility to attack the metabolism of the human, and a range of antibiotics have been shown to do just that. However, the microbes have a distinct advantage. Because of evolutionary biology and their short life cycles, they have the ability to adapt to hostile environments faster than humans. Many of the drugs humans create to kill microbes end up killing themselves. [p263]”
   “Cells communicate by means of viral-like particles, electric currents, chemical emission, photons, and magnetic fields. There are about 100,000 reactions per second in all of our cells… Cells also make particles that travel through extra-cellular space to other cells, not to attack them, but to pass on information. The little particles have become known as retroviruses [p53]. …retroviruses do not kill the cells in which they reside as HIV/AIDS proponents claim that HIV does to T cells [p55].
“…when independent researchers were finally able to get access to [Robert] Gallo’s original research, they discovered that no virus was found in any of Gallo’s patients– only antibodies against something he was calling HIV. Antibodies are traditionally a sign that the immune system has rejected the virus. Gallo turned the function of the immune system upside down, and the medical community let him get away with that nonsense for three years before they began to speak out. He made the world believe that having immunity to a virus would lead to a disease [p56].”
“…there has been a huge increase in the number of genetic defects found in patients with mitochondrial disorders and..the true impact of mitochondrial disease is only just becoming apparent… mitochondrial diseases are far more common than was anticipated. [p265].
   “…chronic deficits in the more efficient mitochondrial oxidative metabolism are factors in the development of many chronic diseases [p57] …Otto Warburg’s work suggests that malignant growth might be caused by a decrease in mitochondrial energy metabolism paralleled by an increased glycolytic flux. The new research suggests that it is not so much the increase in glycolysis that may be the primary cause of malignant growth but the reduced efficiency of mitochondrial energy conversion as the result of oxidative/nitrosative stress. Numerous cancer specimens exhibit mitochondrial DNA deletions, reduced mitochondrial content, altered mitochondrial morphology and impaired oxidative capacity as well as an increase in glycolytic rate and lactate production. What is becoming imminently more difficult to suppress is the evidence that impaired mitochondrial metabolism, and specifically the Krebs cycle activity, may promote malignant growth… No virus need apply. [p58]”
I chose the quotes above for my own purposes in augmenting medical science articles on this blog, but as the book title anticipates, Dr. Banks has written a connect-the-dots model of the geopolitical usefulness of disease and the perception of disease. I could as well quote statements about history, finance, and power relationships from this book. Adding one more quote from the opening paragraph of Chapter 1:
“It is a great mistake to think that wars only concern armies, regulars or guerillas involved in active engagement… The real forces of evil wage another kind of warfare…[that is] principally financial. The dark princes of debt finance have gained practically unopposed leverage over every important social, economic and political institution, including and especially the healthcare delivery system.”
…point taken. Elaborating on how the medical system is “especially” integral in the military-complex is an objective here. It’s rare to find a medical expert who is able and willing to articulate such a broad context on the record and treat of so many aspects in detail. 
Thankyou Dr. Banks!
Background on GlaxoSmithKline (formerly BurroughsWellcome) is here:
A “reduced” substance has gained a stabilizing electron

November 3, 2010

Molecular Vision: Rockefeller Science

During the 1930s a new biology came into being that by the late 1950s was to endow scientists with unprecendented power over life. These three decades culminated in…the cognitive foundations for genetic engineering. Scientists could now[by the ’50s] manipulate genes on the most fundamental level and attempt to control the course of biological and social evolution; they laid claim to “the secret of life”. …As has been well documented, the Rockefeller Foundation served as the principal patron of molecular biology from the 1930s to the 1950s; Caltech [was] a primary site for implementing the Foundation’s project“…
>>These are the opening words in a book by Dr. Lily E. Kay called “The Molecular Vision of Life ; Caltech, the Rockefeller Foundation, and the Rise of the New Biology“, published in 1993 by Oxford University Press. Lily Kay’s book, her first of only two, is scarce and expensive. A used hardcover will cost you $300. Kay passed away in 2000 at age 53 and I wonder if her book is now appreciating like a piece of art. One suspects she was a consummate insider participating in the abstraction of scientific history. She wrote that the Rockefeller-created field of molecular biology was the incarnation of redirected eugenics which was “animated by a potent conjunction of Protestant values and technocratic visions” [p10] making clear that its purpose was “to control biological destiny” [p17]. To prove her point naming giants in the field with Protestant bona fides, still with great subtlety, however, like a code running through the text, Lily Kay coaxes a truer sense of ‘values’ from her subject than she perhaps intended. Her Protestants are tainted, weak, ‘old school’ and “not religious” (a “not religious” Protestant is no Protestant at all) and these leading personalities were beholden to their advisors and collaborators. Much in the way that Kay wrote “Scientists could now manipulate genes…they laid claim to ‘the secret of life'”, it was the scientists who were Lily Kay’s heroes. They were the creators and they made it all possible by devotedly navigating their special ideas through the turbulence of rough political times. The Molecular Vision’s retrospective abruptly ends for its readers in 1955, the year that polio vaccine set a precedent in public medicine.  
You may guess that the social and biological destiny of mankind was at hand.
They intended to create a new science of life [p6]…The new biology not only reflected the particular bias of its principal architects –physicist Max Mason and mathematician Warren Weaver– but the more general bias of a technocratic elite who had dominated American culture during the 1920s…
Conceived during the late 1920s, the new agenda was articulated in terms of the contemporary technocratic discourse of human engineering… the new biology (originally named “psychobiology”) was erected on the bedrock of the physical sciences in order to rigorously explain and eventually control the fundamental mechanisms governing human behavior”[p8]
A concerted physicochemical attack on the gene was initiated at the moment in history when it became unacceptable to advocate social control based on crude eugenic principles…
Time was seldom a deterrent for the visionaries of the Rockefeller Foundation..[which] had been the main force behind the development of the social sciences in America..[p9]
Programmatic statements, reports, and memoranda from the various Rockefeller divisions attest that on social and ideological levels there was no fundamental separation of purpose between the heads of corporations and the leadership of the Foundation.” [p10]
>> The Rockefeller method of building a science establishment depended upon creating a “hegemonic bloc” in the period between 1913, when the RF received a Congressional charter, and 1933, when the program goals were “fully articulated”. Despite what Kay called “echoes of minor dissent” [p28], we are told that “these voices of dissent..did not represent the majority of academic scientists who kept knocking on the foundations’ gates… The efforts of this group came to fruition after World War I“.  I’ve posted a sketch of the Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research (RIMR) at  . “Fruition” entailed the significant marriage of the RIMR to the U.S. military, accomplished during the Spanish Flu of 1918-1919 when the epidemiologic investigation centered in New York City. The RIMR, under the leadership of Simon Flexner,  earned its stripes as a flagship institution in the 1916 polio epidemic which spread widely across the states claiming 27,000 victims. One third of them, 9,000 cases, were reported in NYC. At that time, and for the next several decades, Simon Flexner and the RIMR were the principal researchers of polio. Polio is only superficially addressed in “The Molecular Vision”, appearing briefly as another pressing dilemna by mid-century, but in the wider context of Rockefeller science, it stands out like a red thread on a blue field. Its causes are acute radiation and chemical poisoning.
Look to the link for a list of RIMR staff presidents. See if you can find a Protestant. This was Rockefeller’s primary pool of “advisors and collaborators”. 
A cursory glance at Caltech during the 1930-1950s reveals that the Institute nutured some of the most important ‘founding fathers’ of American molecular biology [a]ll supported by the Rockefeller Foundation [p12]… Caltech, of course, was not the sole center for the new biology… A survey of the Foundation’s annual reports from 1930 to 1955 reveals that the Foundation supported molecular biology projects in scores of elite institutions but invested the largest sums in six… In accord with its long-standing policy of supporting the strong –“making the peaks higher”– the University of Chicago, Caltech, Stanford, Columbia, Harvard, and the University of Wisconsin most consistently received grants [p13]…
…the Foundation’s support of Chicago equaled that of Caltech [p14]… Chicago’s genetics [research] had a strong focus on populations..[with biology] under the leadership of Paul Weiss…[and] by the late 1920s, Caltech formed the hub of America’s scientific establishment” [p15]
“[T]he Rockefeller Foundation’s “Science of Man” agenda.. linked the particular forms of social control sought by that agenda with the specific kinds of control supplied by the new biology… Greatly influenced by Jacques Loeb’s project, which had adopted the engineering standpoint toward the control of life, the Rockefeller Foundation officers and their scientific advisors sought to develop a mechanistic biology as the central element of a new science of man whose goal was social engineering… The life sciences aimed to map the pathways in the molecular labyrinth of the human soma and psyche in order to control biological destiny.” [p17]
Not all branches of science were equally relevant to the pressing problem of social control, however. During the 1920s, under the leadership of Wickliffe Rose, the [RF] International Educational Board directed its resources to the physical sciences –grants for the rehabilitation of European research centers and travel fellowships for chemists, physicists, and mathematicians. Guided in part by Frederick Soddy’s fear of premature use of nuclear fission, [Raymond] Fosdick [future RF president] prophesied doom if the physical sciences proceeded unchecked and the savage was left unrestrained.
…Fosdick’s judgement that overinvestment in the physical sciences merely accelerated the pace of runaway technology and that underinvestment in the human sciences amplified the atavistic social response became the guiding principle in the Foundation’s singular commitment to support the human sciences durng the 1930s.” [p33]
>>Was the “fear of premature use of nuclear fission” a problem in the late1920s? Kay is suggestively framing around a hole in history. What else could be as imperative and demanding a driver for a “pressing problem of social control”? Is this a veiled way of discerning early and secretive achievements in nuclear power? It’s rarely brought to our attention that perceived boons to medicine like X-rays were also the first nuclear weapons, “biological” in application and essence.  The achievement of fission led to radiopharmaceuticals in the late 1920s, but did it also lead to controllable “chain reaction”? No new technology was required for this advance. Edward Teller wrote in his Memoirs that Enrico Fermi could have produced chain reaction in 1932, when Teller worked with him, if his theoretical equations had only been right.
 >>It was unequivocally in the name of medicine that nuclear proliferation erupted across the developing world.
Fosdick did not underestimate the opposing forces, however…He had no “illusions as to the speed or ease with which mankind can alter its way of life. There is no royal road to the millenium, no short cut to the Promised Land.” [p36]
>>Raymond Fosdick and his brother Harry Emerson Fosdick both represent what Lily Kay called the “Calvinist ethos”. These brothers were descriptive of “extreme evangelism”. Harry Fosdick was hired by John D. Rockefeller Jr. as the pastor of  the Riverside Church, founded by Rockefellers in Morningside Heights, NY, and opened in October 1930. Publicist Ivy Lee was hired to create a direct mailer promoting “The New Knowledge and the Christian Faith”. Ecumenism and Zionismwere central to the doctrine of the Rockefeller religion.
>>The conservative funding policies of the RF for New Biology were couched in terms of ‘stimulus’; money that kept programs afloat while their administrators sought ‘matching funds’ (an idea credited to Julius Rosenwald) and local business support. In the case of Caltech, Lily Kay recounts how the strategic witholding of RF funds prompted an energetic campaign among CIT leadership to creatively solicit support from a wide community of philanthropists and agribusiness. Caltech’s survival required the cooperative financial input of California agribusinesses seeking industry advantages but as Kay points out on page 214, “Caltech’s biology was never intended to play a service role to California’s agribusiness.” The PR spin was delivered in future terms as promises of medical advance for “the welfare of mankind throughout the world” [p219] and the solving of the “problems of medicine“. In the post-WWII era the problems were polio and cancer. The National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis became a generous benefactor to the immunochemistry project at Caltech.
“Gone was the rhetoric of biological improvements of the race… Gone also was Caltech’s connection to the old eugenics. With the death of E.S. Gosney in 1942, the trustees of the Human Betterment Foundation (including Millikan and a few Caltech trustees) agreed that the Foundation’s interests would be best served by transferring its activities to Caltech. In October 1943 an agreement was drawn up dissolving the Human Betterment Foundation as such and turning over its assets to the Institute. The Institute, in turn, agreed to use these resources “and the proceeds thereof to establish the Gosney Research Fund, the income from which will be devoted in perpetuity to the promotion of research into the biological bases of human qualities…”. Linguistically watered down from its eugenic potency, the Gosney Fund would support postdoctoral fellowships in “those branches of biological science basic to our understanding of human welfare.” The New York Times too refurbished its prose. The announcement emphasized the medical connection: “$700,000 to Trace Polio and Cancer –Rockefeller Grant is Made for California Institute Research in Molecular Biology”. [pp238-239]
In May 1946, physicist Lee DuBridge, protege of former RF president Max Mason, took the presidency of Caltech:
 “DuBridge had built up the ‘Rad Lab’ [at M.I.T.] into the largest single-purpose scientific research plan in history, larger even than the atomic bomb project.” [p235]
 “The Berkeley cyclotron project, financed by the Rockefeller Foundation, was diverted during the war years from its putative medical applications to the production of fissionable material… However, they [the RF] would have preferred to distance themselves from the dubious honor bestowed by Ernest O. Lawrence who unwittingly boasted that “if it hadn’t been for the RF, there would have been no atomic bomb.” [p219]
The Molecular Vision of Life is an insightful book for demonstrating the modus operandi of RF funding policies; conservative, witholding, nurturing, and rewardingly lavish when pleasing, what Lily Kay describes as “mixed”. Like a sociologist interpreting the mechanisms and benefits of Tough Love, Kay points to the collective negotiating endeavors of the scientists to earn their allowances from strict and demanding parents. There was, unspokenly, no reason to expect they would not be bankrolled in the end. Her exemplary choice of Linus Pauling (a flambuoyantly grandiose, nonreligious Protestant) who was harnessed and quartered at Caltech, is emblematic of not only the Rockefeller Foundation style of grooming, but is telling on herself as a visible process of concensus shaping in the creation of history, what I’d prefer to call “distory” for its characteristic distortion and negligence. Kay, no doubt, was keen to master a facility for presentation and reap lavish rewards herself. Interesting, isn’t it, that a daughter of Polish concentration camp survivors who migrated to Israel and then to the United States would posthumously attain the iconic status of the greatest science historian of her generation with so little to show for it? Somebody at the Wikipedia made this up: 
Her statements are powerful, however; the methods sound genuine. Perhaps she was balancing on a razor’s edge. I know nothing about her or the cancer that caused her death, except that she seemed eager and pleased by the spotlight, so much like the Protestants in her book. 
According to Charles E. Carlson who is exposing the roots of Christian Zionism, the Oxford University Press created a New York office expressly for selling bibles, in particular the Scofield Bible which was issued c. 1908.
“The North American branch was established in 1896 at 91 Fifth Avenue in New York City to facilitate the sale of Oxford Bibles in the United States. Subsequently, it took over marketing of all books of its parent from Macmillan. This office grew in sales between 1928 and 1936, eventually becoming one of the leading University Presses in the United States. It is focused on scholarly and reference books, Bibles, and college and medical textbooks. In the 1990s, this office moved from 200 Madison Avenue (a building it shared with Putnam Publishing) to 198 Madison Avenue, which was the former B. Altman Company headquarters.”
Caltech, or C.I.T., was founded in 1891 as “Throop Polytechnic University”. Pasadena’s Mount Wilson Observatory, est. 1904, was enfolded by its founder George Ellery Hale (U. Chicago) who joined the Board of Trustees. In 1921, the school was renamed the California Institute of Technology. The biology department was organized under the direction of Thomas Hunt Morgan in 1928. That same year, an endowment by Daniel Guggenheim established the Guggenheim Aeronautical Laboratory (or GALCIT) which contracted Hungarian Theodore von Karman as its director. Caltech and von Karman went on to create the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) which came under co-management with NASA.
The focus of scientific research at the Institute under Millikan during the 1930s ranged from Drosophila genetics and the biochemistry of vitamins in biology, to the theory of turbulence and airplane wing design in aeronautics; from cancer therapy with radiation and the radioactivity of the light elements in nuclear physics, to soil erosion and the transmission of water from the Colorado River to Los Angeles in engineering; from the application of quantum mechanics to molecular structure in chemistry, to the introduction of the magnitude scale in seismology. An educational institution in name only during the war, Caltech had a war arsenal that included rockets, proximity fuses, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, and $80 million in federal funds for war-related research and development.”


Creation of the Atom Bomb in the mid-20th century followed a forecast made in 1875 when  the Englishman Samuel Tolver Preston, scientist and theologian, published the equation that later became the foundation of Einstein’s Theory of General Relativity (1905). Many researchers speculate that Einstein was a fraud for laying (or accepting) a personal claim on the hard work and genius of his predecessors and peers which included his first wife. His complicity in military research has been veiled to support his public stance as a pacifist. Einstein’s zionism is downplayed by his mainstream biographers but there is no evidence that he was not idealogically complete and commited to the World Zionist cause. In 1921, Einstein made his first trip to the United States with Chaim Weizmann, president of the WZO, to promote the Jewish interests in Palestine and the building of Hebrew University. A legacy of that visit was the formation of a zionist “Physicians Committee” in New York.

   Einstein established a special relationship with Caltech between 1931 and 1933, prior to his permanent U.S. residency in Princeton, New Jersey, at the Institute for Advanced Study (IAS). The IAS was founded by Abraham Flexner and funded by the Bambergers in 1930. Co-incident with IAS’s founding was the construction of Rockefeller Center in NYC. The small town of Princeton was also home to Rockefeller’s Department of Animal Pathology (DAP). DAP infamously developed a human-swine bacterial mutant in 1937, intentionally infecting a herd at one of its experimental (open air) farms that may be the first genuine occurrance of “swine flu” involving human genes.

   Abraham Flexner was the younger brother of Simon Flexner, longtime director of the Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research(RIMR) in Manhattan and also Bernard Flexner who was well known as a leading American Zionist. Abraham Flexner presided over Rockefeller’s General Education Board and helped to co-found premier American medical colleges, such as the University of Rochester (essential to the Manhattan Project) and Vanderbilt medical schools.  He is widely known as the creator of the “Flexner Report” in 1910,  a medical school survey that was used to establish accreditation requirements thereafter. Abraham Flexner counted RF trustees Julius Rosenwald and son Lessing J. Rosenwald among his few lifelong associates, as is commonly found between the “associates”  in the Rockefeller/Carnegie foundation network. Julius Rosenwald specifically reserved a grant-making endowment in 1933 for “cultural” Jewish refugee academics who relocated to the U.S. when the 1933 headlines read “Jews Declare War on Germany”. The Rosenwald Fund was disseminated by the “Emergency Committee In Aid of Displaced Jewish Scholars”. Bernard Flexner was a top officer in this prominent organization, however, it was only one among hundreds of “rescue” operations, notable for its selectivity. A larger relocation effort was launched by the British Academic Assistance Council which was sponsored by governors of the London School of Economics, aided by physicist Leo Szilard (Einstein’s friend) and Churchill’s war counselor, Lord Cherwell, the physicist Frederick Lindemann (founder of Clarendon Lab, Oxford). For new readers, this is a taste of Rockefeller’s web-like infrastructure. The cooperation, hegemony, and concensus platform of the RF was in itself a compartment of a larger global network.

Albert Einstein, incidentally, makes a first appearance in Seymour Hersh’s The Samson Option in a footnote on page 25: “According to Shimon Peres, Weizmann approached Albert Einstein, then teaching at Princeton, and asked him to recommend one of his students to run the [Daniel Sieff] institute. Einstein instead suggested [Ernst] Bergmann, who didn’t get the job [at that time] for reasons not known.” On the following page Hersh writes, from an interview with Herman Mark, “Without Bergmann..there would have been no Israeli bomb:…He was the man who completely understood it [nuclear fission]”. Hersh further adds, on page 44, “Herman Mark explained years later why Ben-Gurion had picked the right man: ‘Bergman was one of the few scientists who saw the lamp and knew how to make a light bulb’…in 1979, Shimon Peres eulogized one of the seven founders of the State of Israel.” It may have gone unnoticed by The Samson Option readers that Hersh introduced Bergmann’s connection to Einstein buried in a footnote. Einstein, who originally “picked the right man”, surely, knew well of Bergmann’s capacity to build a nuclear arsenal for Israel. Between 1934 and 1936, Einstein’s “patent” partner, Leo Szilard, submitted a nuclear reactor design to the British Admiralty, requiring controlled fission and an earlier-than-advertized apprehension of nuclear power. The significant hole in history that is being skirted by all sources cited here, is that “nuclear options” were secretly tabled many years before the public was allowed to know, obtaining the announcements in the heat of WWII and the “race for the bomb” in which Einstein played a tremendously influential role.

Warren Weaver, who is named above as an ‘architect’ of the RF molecular biology program, became the Chairman of the Salk Institute after his retirement from active service as an RF division president. Popular books that trace the history of Jonas Salk never fail to remark upon the “anti-Semitism” of the Rockefeller Institute (RIMR) where Salk aspired to work in research after his MD residency at Mount Sinai Hospital. Salk was rejected (we can say “distanced”) for better “grooming” but was nevertheless taken well in hand. Salk’s mentor, Thomas Francis Jr., was personally close to the Rockefeller family. Together, Francis and Salk developed flu vaccine for the military under the auspices of the Army Epidemiological Board (AEB or AFEB) during WWII. The war-time AEB was dominated by Rockefeller alumni.

 It was Rockefeller that came to Salk, by appearances, in the late 1950s, providing the bedrock of Salk Institute staff and oversight.   

Rockefeller Foundation officers and trustees, 1913-1930
Lily Kay’s first printed words, under Acknowledgements read, “My interest in molecular biology, the science and its history, go back a decade and a half, to my days at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in La Jolla, California. This inspiring intellectual and physical space..initiated a search for answers beyond the scope of the laboratory. …A Smithsonian Fellowship contributed to this project… A grant from the National Science Foundation has aided the writing, and an Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Fellowship provided an exposure to the wealth of manuscript the American Philosophical Society Library… I am indebted to the Rockefeller Archive Center for their research grants...”
From 1991 through 2001, much of what was learned about the use of anthrax as a bioweapon was investigated by Salk Institute fellows. 


One does not need to be a scientist to intuitively understand the potential of  “upward causation”; the molecular equivalent of the “butterfly effect” which posits that even the minutest ‘force’ of a change-agent can be magnified as it transmits a local effect “upward” into a greater sphere of complexity and force. Upward causation in biology is still not well understood according to Kay who wrote, “..the question of how much we can learn about life by examining its building blocks has not been resolved. Mechanisms of upward causation have been remarkably effective for a finite range of biological phenomena but have not effectively explained some of the primary characteristics of life.” [p17]. From the pen of a true-believer, Kay is telling us that Science must be allowed to progress. Kay’s patrons had narrowed their Vision in the past, choosing from the “multiplicity of biological realities..that could have been singled out and promoted by the Rockefeller Foundation during the 1930s.”  But this does not square with the multiplicity of Rockefeller realities. The primary characteristics of life were never to be found in petri dishes or between the sheets of one-inch-square glass. “Theoretical biology” was not to be indulged in on the Rockefeller dime.

On this, at least, the message is discernibly clear: “..a molecular vision of life…is embedded in the matrix that linked the particular forms of social control sought by that agenda with the specific kinds of control supplied by the new biology.”

For more on how the Rockefeller Foundation implemented its “fully articulated” program and staffed its institutions in 1933, and onward, read

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