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The Navy is investigating two unnamed members of the elite SEAL Team 6 in the death of an Army Green Beret who was found strangled to death in Mali last June, according to a report published Sunday.
Staff Sgt. Logan J. Melgar, 34, was found dead June 4 in embassy housing he shared with other Special Operations forces staying in Bamako, Mali.
Melgar’s superiors, based in Stuttgart, Germany, sent an investigating officer to Bamako immediately after the incident because they suspected foul play, the New York Times reported.
A military medical examiner ruled the death a homicide due to strangulation.
The two SEALs were flown out of Mali and put on administrative leave shortly after the incident.
The Army’s Criminal Investigation Command spent months investigating before turning the case over to Naval officials in September.
In nature, toxic metals generally are bound with other elements rather than being present in their pure form. However, with the advent of large-scale industrial processes to extract metals from naturally occurring compounds, humans let the genie out of the bottle, contributing significantly to the distribution of mercury, aluminum and other heavy metals in the environment. When released from nature’s semi-protective hold, these “invariably toxic” metals wreak havoc on living systems, including humans, animals and plants alike.
Modern-day scientists have been amassing evidence of mercury’s toxicity for decades, with a growing focus in recent years on the metal’s association with neurodevelopmental disorders, including autism spectrum disorder (ASD). A new review article in the multidisciplinary journal Environmental Research pulls together a wide body of literature with the aim of summing up current research and emerging trends in mercury toxicology. Geir Bjørklund, the study’s lead author, is the founder of Norway’s non-profit Council for Nutritional and Environmental Medicine and has published prolifically on topics related to heavy metals, autoimmune disorders and ASD.
Multiple avenues of exposure
Exposure to mercurial compounds remains widespread, despite feeble attempts to ban some uses. Bjørklund et al.’s review covers all three categories of mercury: elemental, organic and inorganic. Exposure to volatile elemental mercury can come about as a result of occupational contact or vapor from dental amalgam fillings. Organic mercury—the most frequent form of exposure, according to Bjørklund and colleagues—exists as methylmercury (in fish) and ethylmercury (in the vaccine preservative thimerosal). Coal-fired power plants send inorganic mercury into the environment, where the toxic metal works its way up the marine food chain.
Interconversion between various forms of mercury also occurs. For example, elemental and organic mercury can cross the blood-brain barrier and bioaccumulate in the form of inorganic mercury. Studies also have described “mixed exposure” in the brain to both organic and inorganic mercury compounds. Because mercury plays no constructive metabolic role whatsoever, humans have not evolved effective mechanisms to excrete it. Children with ASD have a particularly hard time detoxifying and excreting mercury.
Multiple mechanisms of toxicity
Mercury exerts toxicity through a number of different mechanisms and has effects at both the molecular and cellular levels. For their purposes, Bjørklund and coauthors zero in on eight interrelated mechanisms, although there are others. Every single one of the toxic mechanisms that they describe has a documented association with ASD.
- Sulfur: A key and widely recognized fact about mercury is that it is “thiophilic,” meaning that it has an affinity for biochemically important sulfur compounds called thiols. Mercury binds to the sulfur-containing amino acid cysteine (which contains a thiol group); this allows mercury to piggy-back into brain cells and other target cells through a phenomenon known as molecular mimicry (meaning that the problematic mercury-cysteine entity “mimics” the useful amino acid methionine). According to leading toxicologists at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), mercury then “blocks or attenuates [the] protein molecule’s range of availability for normal metabolic function.” Mercury also reduces sulfate absorption. Individuals with ASD frequently have low levels of sulfate.
- Immune activation and autoimmunity: Bjørklund et al. outline numerous mercury-related immune system effects, including “immunostimulation, immunosuppression, immunomodulation, delayed-type hypersensitivity…, and autoimmunity.” These effects occur largely due to mercury’s influence on immune cytokines—proteins that are important in helping cells communicate. Chronic elevation of inflammatory cytokines and other immune abnormalities such as activation of microglia (immune cells in the brain) are hallmarks of both mercury exposure and ASD.
- Protein synthesis: Researchers have reported since the late 1960s that mercury inhibits protein synthesis (a fundamental cell process that involves both DNA and RNA), interfering with cells’ ability to build new proteins. Bjørklund and coauthors report that inorganic mercury is particularly disruptive in this regard. Investigators have postulated that dysregulated protein synthesis, which disrupts the balance between excitation and inhibition in brain cells, plays a causal role in ASD.
- Brain microtubules: Neuropsychiatrist Jon Lieff describes microtubules as “the brains of the cell” and suggests that cerebral microtubules may be “the seat of consciousness.” Microtubules form the scaffolding required by axons (nerve fibers that transmit neuronal signals). Mercury preferentially targets axonal microtubules, leading to their “depolymerization and derangement,” according to the Environmental Research Moreover, mercury is unique among toxic metals in having these microtubule effects. Axonal disturbances and the altered brain connectivity that these disturbances promote are widely documented features of ASD.
- Membrane transport: Cell membrane transport refers to the process whereby molecules (such as amino acids) pass into or out of a cell. Mercury can disturb amino acid transport and also “penetrate” across biological membranes. The authors note the need for “approaches to inhibit [mercury’s] transfer both at the placental border and at the blood-brain barrier.” An international research group recently described the relationship between ASD and impaired amino acid transport at the blood-brain barrier.
- Glutathione: Numerous researchers have described how organic mercury, in particular, impairs glutathione activity, thereby lessening protection from oxidative stress and weakening the body’s detoxification capacity. The relationship is bidirectional, according to Bjørklund and coauthors, because when brain glutathione levels drop, the uptake of mercury in brain tissue increases substantially. Lowered glutathione levels, elevated oxidative stress and a higher body burden of mercuryhave been repeatedly documented as core characteristics of ASD.
- Metallothioneins: Metallothioneins (MTs), a family of proteins, are antioxidants and metal chelators that work to maintain metal homeostasis. MTs also play an important role in neuroprotection and regeneration. Although MTs are present to “protect the brain and gastrointestinal tract against overload by toxic metals,” Bjørklund and coauthors cite evidence showing that common genetic mutations and variations in MTs may increase some individuals’ susceptibility to mercury-induced neurotoxicity, including individuals with ASD. Studies have identified “a significant increase in both metal content and metallothionein expression” in autistic children.
- Zinc and copper: Appropriate metabolism of zinc and copper is important for healthy neurological functioning. When mercury binds to metallothioneins, it can substitute for zinc and copper, “interact with [zinc] and [copper] availability” and thereby disturb the normal zinc-copper ratio. In a previous publication, Bjørklund described mercury’s role in disturbing zinc and copper metabolism and the typically low zinc-copper ratio in autistic children. Other researchers have measured the zinc-copper ratio in plasma as a biomarker for mercury toxicity in ASD children.
Reducing mercury toxicity
Bjørklund and coauthors also devote several paragraphs to a discussion of the essential trace element selenium, which plays an important antioxidant role, among other functions. The authors note that mercury is highly “selenophilic,” binding to selenium “with an extraordinarily high affinity…when compared with the affinity for sulfur.” The welcome implication spelled out by the authors—which has been known to researchers for nearly half a century—is that selenium has a “high capability…to reduce the toxicity of [mercury] compounds.” The authors list several mechanisms whereby selenium can minimize mercury-induced toxicity, such as by improving mercury’s excretion or sequestration and strengthening antioxidative activity. Autism researchers have identified “a significant elevation of [mercury]…together with a significant decrease in the [selenium] levels in [red blood cells] of patients with ASD when compared to…healthy controls.” These researchers agree that selenium has an important role to play in reducing mercury toxicity in ASD patients.
Translating research into action
It has been over a decade and a half since a seminal publication in Medical Hypothesesdescribed autism as “a novel form of mercury poisoning” and showed how “every major characteristic of autism has been exhibited in…cases of documented mercury poisoning.” Ten years later, Kern and colleagues published a detailed consideration of “parallels between mercury intoxication and the brain pathology in autism” in Acta Neurobiologiae Experimentalis. A 2017 publication in Molecular Neurobiology by autism expert Dr. Richard Frye and others reviews “associations between mercury exposure and ASD subtypes,” even “at doses well below the current reference levels considered to be safe.” Thus, Bjørklund and coauthors are far from alone in synthesizing the evidence base and drawing attention to the global public health epidemics of mercury toxicity and autism.
Last year, CDC toxicologists published a comprehensive review that specifically focused on the two forms of organic mercury. The CDC authors concluded that there are “many commonalities [and] similarities in the mechanisms of toxic action of methylmercury and ethylmercury,” particularly regarding their association with neurotoxicity and neurodevelopmental disorders such as ASD. Both forms of organic mercury cause DNA damage (or impair DNA synthesis), affect cell division, decrease glutathione activity and increase oxidative stress, among other similar effects. These findings are particularly noteworthy in light of Bjørklund and coauthors’ observation that “co-exposure with [ethylmercury] and [methylmercury] might induce more adverse neurotoxic effects than each agent alone.” Bjørklund’s team calls on researchers to actively investigate these additive toxicological effects.
At the end of the day, as noted by mercury expert Philippe Grandjean, there is a need to move beyond simply generating “endless replications” in the form of “thousands of toxicology publications every year” on mercury and other well-understood toxic metals. The Bjørklund team’s broad review of over 200 studies—including recent findings as well as articles dating back several decades—shows that we already know more than enough about mercury’s hazards to take decisive action.
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In this new film called Prosperity, you can learn the ways in which companies are changing the game in order to change our world. CE’s founder Joe Martino is in this film talking about CE’s business practices.
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A woman and her two children have been arrested in Long Island in connection to seven armed robberies, all of which took place over the last month.
Deborah Salvatore, 55, and her children, Rick Mascia, 25, and 31-year-old Lauren Mascia, are accused of robbing a number local establishments: Two Family Dollar locations, two Dunkin Donuts, one Dollar Tree and the same Carvel twice.
The most recent robbery was at a Dunkin Donuts on Oct. 21, and it initially didn’t go as planned: Rick entered alone and said he wanted to buy a donut, but the cashier replied, “We’re about to close, so you can have the doughnuts for free,” recounted another employee to the New York Post.
Rick allegedly responded, “No, I want you to charge me.” Then, after the employee opened the cash register, he allegedly brandished a knife and demanded all the money.
His mother was waiting in the car outside.
Police arrived before the two could even flee the scene, the 17-year-old employee said. Although she was absent from the Dunkin Donuts heist, Lauren was arrested along with her mother and brother after cops began investigating. All three are are waiting arraignment in Central Islip court.
- This article was initially published on AOL.com: Mother, son and daughter all arrested in connection to multiple robberies on Long Island
Two law enforcement officers were arrested with three other suspects in what investigators are calling a racially-motivated killing of a man in rural Georgia 34 years ago.
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SPALDING COUNTY, Ga. – Investigators said two men got away with murder for more than three decades thanks, in part, to help from two law enforcement officers.
The explosive news came in a news conference from the Spalding County sheriff Friday.
The death of Timothy Coggins was “no doubt” racially-motivated, according to sheriff Darrell Dix.
It was in 1983 that Coggins’ body was found abandoned near power lines on Manley Road.
According to the report, Coggins died of multiple forms of trauma. The sheriff said after an exhaustive investigation, the case went cold.
A new witness came forward earlier this year, which led to a re-examination of the case. Original witnesses were contacted and re-interviewed.
Channel 2 Action News learned that two of the five people implicated in the death of Coggins were acting in their official capacity when the crime happened. Dix said Milner Police Officer Lamar Bunn was charged with obstruction, and Spalding County Detention Officer Gregory Huffman was charged with violation of oath office.
Frankie Gebhardt, 59, and Bill Moore Sr., 58, were charged with felony murder.
Sandra Bunn, 58, was charged with obstruction.
“There is no doubt in the minds of all investigators involved that the crime was racially motivated, and if the crime happened today it would be prosecuted as a hate crime,” Dix said.
Coggins’ family thanked the current sheriff and the GBI for taking another look at this case.
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I recently interviewed Dr. James Fetzer. The holes in the Vegas massacre’s “official narrative” are incredible as Dr. Fetzer destroys the official story about of a lone-nut-gunman shooting from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Hotel.
Dr. Fetzer mesmerized the audience with his stunning comparisons between the most recent false flag attacks.
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For most of us, sugar is an essential part of our days. Think about how often you start craving ice cream, chocolate, or candy whenever you find yourself down or stressed. For myself, despite my understanding that sugar is toxic and therefore doing my best to avoid it, I still crave a sugary treat when I am in these lowered states. We use sugar to soothe, to energize, and to reward ourselves for a job well done, often without even realizing it.
Can you relate?
Disclaimer: The reference to sugar in this article is about added sugars, not sugars that are naturally found in fruits and vegetables.
So, Why Is This?
A study recently published in Scientific Reports found that there was a greater risk of depression among men whose diets were high in sugar.
You may be thinking that this makes sense because feeling depressed may lead to more sugar consumption rather than the other way around, but it seems as though, like many other drug addictions, this is a vicious cycle that we can easily fall into if we are not careful.
Researchers determined that, in many cases, sugar consumption actually occurred before depression, rather than being a consequence of it. An increasing number of studies have been emerging which explore the implications of diet on mental health, especially with the knowledge that up to 90% of our serotonin is produced in our gut — aptly giving the gut the name of our second brain. It has been difficult, however, to determine exactly how they are linked.
How Are Diet and Mental Health Linked?
A study conducted in 2002 monitoring the overall sugar consumption per person in six different countries — including Canada, France, Germany, Korea, New Zealand, and the United States — was able to connect the instance of sugar consumption to higher rates of major depression.
Since then, other research teams have also investigated the effect of diet on mental health. Two studies determined that eating fast foods like hamburgers, pizza, french fries, and other fried foods correlated with higher rates of depression in both children and adults.
Another study showed that female seniors from the United States with high levels of sugar in their diet also had greater rates of depression than those who consumed less sugar.
Another study determined that adults who drank unsweetened tea, compared to those who drank soft drinks, had lower rates of depression.
Does Sugar Affect Our Neurons?
Neurons are highly sensitive cells, and aren’t really designed to handle blood sugar spikes. Because of this, those suffering from diabetes are at a greater risk for neuronal damage, and scientists are now starting to understand how this can be linked directly to high blood sugar.
Researchers from the Department of Neurobiology at Huazhong University of Science and Technology in Wuhan, China, performed a study on diabetic rats and discovered that high blood glucose led to neural inflammation and damage.
This same group also discovered that even neurons grown in the laboratory showed increased inflammation when exposed to high levels of glucose.
Does Sugar Affect Our Cognitive Ability?
A review of several studies written by Margaret Morris, Ph.D., a professor of pharmacology in the School of Medical Sciences of the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia, and her team of researchers, determined that high rates of sugar consumption directly correlated with mild cognitive impairment in both seniors and children.
This group was also able to show that, after being put on a high sugar diet for just five days, laboratory rats had difficulty recognizing familiar places, a problem that went hand in hand with the inflammation and oxidative stress their brains had suffered.
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Test This Theory for Yourself
Are you wondering if the sugar in your diet has been impacting your mood? Well, there is one way that you can easily find out: Limit your consumption, or even cut out all added sugars in your diet entirely. If you are a heavy consumer of sugar, then you will likely experience some detox symptoms, so it may take several weeks to see if your mood or general well-being improves after limiting or cutting out sugar altogether.
Limiting the amount of sugar you consume will benefit your physical health as well. To read more about how quitting sugar can have a positive impact on your health, check out the related CE articles below.
Related CE Articles
Having trouble losing excess weight? This could be one of the biggest reasons why.
We know so much about food now yet much of the population is overweight and unhealthy because of the quality of our food and our perception about food.
Luckily there’s a quiz that you can take to find out where you stand on food addiction. You can take it here.
After you will get results and specific information based on your score. Try the quiz!
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Hurricane Harvey has been making headlines all over due to the scale of destruction it has caused in Texas. While covering Harvey for Al Jazeera, reporter Shihab Rattansi told MSNBC host Ali Velshi last week that fossil fuel companies have been robbing locals in the Texas, Louisiana, and Gulf Coast area of infrastructure funds that could have lessened their suffering dramatically.
Shihab says himself that as an “Al Jazeera guy,” his job is to “get to the point.” Al Jazeera has always been known for creating news and media focused on openness, transparency, and calling out corruption — things we don’t often see in North American mainstream media.
In the clip below, Rattansi discusses climate change and the oil industry’s role in it. It must be noted that the oil industry has been responsible for a ton of environmental destruction including pollution, clear cutting, ocean life destruction, and more. Humanity needs to move beyond oil and we have, and have had, all the technologies to do so for decades. But there is also much to talk about when it comes to the climate change agenda that is taking place. Yes our climate is shifting and we need to respond. We also need to stop pollution from things like oil, but understanding the cause, the natural cycles at play, and how to properly prepare, is much more important than creating tax systems and carbon credits. These won’t solve anything.
Rattansi Exposes Big Oil
“It’s pretty clear something has gone wrong here,” Rattansi said, describing the unexpected flooding. “We’re in what’s called the Golden Triangle… the reason why it’s called the Golden Triangle is because this is the first place in the United States that they discovered large quantities of oil. And that led to the Texas oil boom and the money flowing into this region.”
“It’s pretty clear though,” he continued, “money has not been flowing into this region for the infrastructure for the climate change effects that we knew were inevitable because of the oil and gas industry’s activities on this coastline, even after those oil and gas industries were covering up what they knew about climate change in the ’70s.”
“You can’t make a connection between the oil and gas industry and climate change much clearer,” he said. “In the past, oil and gas companies have gotten away with sort of covertly losing their toxic waste in emergencies like this.”
“This is something we’ve been warned about for years by climate scientists, Pro Publica had a piece just last year warning something like this was about to happen in the Houston area… And there aren’t the preparations for it. And yet, so much money has been generated here.”
Just seconds after this exposure, Velshi tells viewers that MSNBC had lost contact with Rattansi, and they went on to cover more rescue footage. While it’s nice to see people being helped, the timing is suspicious, given he was speaking against corporate interests.
There’s one other detail I wanted to bring attention to. As I watched this video for the second or third time, I thought I heard whispers before Rattansi’s audio was cut. I played it back many times, but couldn’t make it out or even determine for sure if that’s what it was, but clearly something can be heard around 4:52 that resembles a whisper. Check it out for yourself and let us know your thoughts in the comments below.
Watch the video below.
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Your life path number can tell you A LOT about you.
With the ancient science of Numerology you can find out accurate and revealing information just from your name and birth date.
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