Tuesday, June 24, 2014

A Cure For Congress & The Supreme Five: Fickle Fecal Transplants

Extinction is about bad timing
Timing is everything in some circumstances ("I'm such a profound believer that timing is everything; I would tattoo that on my arm." - Drew Barrymore).

The Supreme Five conservatives on the U.S. Supreme Court have really, really bad timing.

In the case of Utility Air Regulatory Group v. Environmental Protection Agency, (EPA), they weakened the ability of the EPA to regulate greenhouse gases.

In fact, they have weakened the EPA at the worst possible time.

But more than that, they have done so at the worst possible time in recorded history and in the history of that court as well, as shown by recent NOAA data:
With records dating back to 1880, the combined average temperature over global land and ocean surfaces reached a record high for May, at 0.74°C (1.33°F) higher than the 20th century average. This surpassed the previous record high anomaly of 0.72°C (1.30°F) set in 2010. Four of the five warmest Mays on record have occurred in the past five years: 2010 (second warmest), 2012 (third warmest), 2013 (fifth warmest), and 2014 (warmest); currently, 1998 has the fourth warmest May on record. Additionally, May 2014 marked the 39th consecutive May and 351st consecutive month (more than 29 years) with a global temperature above the 20th century average. The last below-average global temperature for May occurred in 1976 [38 years] and the last below-average temperature for any month occurred in February 1985 [29 years].”
(NOAA, emphasis added). To make that simple and clear:
2014 – hottest May
2010 – second hottest
2012 – third hottest
1998 – fourth hottest
2013 – fifth hottest
This is not the time to weaken the EPA, because a whole host of dangerous events are taking place because the air, land, and seas are being polluted by Oil-Qaeda and its minions (Oil-Qaeda: The Indictment - 3, Insecticides Endanger Food Worldwide).

The President indicated a few days ago that even our national security is at stake because of our Earth destroying ways (Will We Destroy Food - The Bees? - 2).

The timing of congress has also been so bad that it is polling at its lowest in history as things heat up.

Nevertheless, there are more global warming deniers than ever ... bad timing.

The timing of scientific discoveries and their application to medical procedures is a bit off as well.

For example, and to tie in the title of today's post, Darwin indicated that our human appendix was untimely.

He said it was a leftover relic of evolution that had moved on, but he was not correct:
"Maybe it's time to correct the textbooks," says William Parker, Ph.D., assistant professor of surgical sciences at Duke and the senior author of the study. "Many biology texts today still refer to the appendix as a 'vestigial organ.'"
The lowly appendix, long-regarded as a useless evolutionary artifact, won newfound respect two years ago when researchers at Duke University Medical Center proposed that it actually serves a critical function. The appendix, they said, is a safe haven where good bacteria could hang out until they were needed to repopulate the gut after a nasty case of diarrhea, for example.
"Darwin simply didn't have access to the information we have," explains Parker. "If Darwin had been aware of the species that have an appendix attached to a large cecum, and if he had known about the widespread nature of the appendix, he probably would not have thought of the appendix as a vestige of evolution."
(The Appendix of Vestigial Textbooks). The appendix is now said to be a safe haven for microbes that aid in our digestion and immune system dynamics:
Parker’s idea, his hypothesis, predicts individuals with their appendix should be more likely to recover from severe gut infections than those without. To test this prediction, one could compare the fate of individuals with and without their appendixes after being experimentally infected with a gut pathogen.
And then, second, the big result …. Individuals without an appendix were four times more likely to have a recurrence of Clostridium difficile, exactly as Parker’s hypothesis predicted. Recurrence in individuals with their appendix intact occurred in 11% of cases. Recurrence in individuals without their appendix occurred in 48% of cases.
(The Appendix of Vestigial Textbooks - 4). Add to that a healthy diet and we can deduce that the medical procedure of removing the appendix is problematic in general.

Since once the appendix is gone it is not coming back, what can be done to correct the bad timing we are talking about?

Doctors have a medical procedure now which is named, on main street, as "getting your shit together" --or just "shit transplants" for short:
Fecal microbiota transplantation --- the process of delivering stool bacteria from a healthy donor to a patient suffering from intestinal infection with the bacterium Clostridium difficile --- works by restoring healthy bacteria and functioning to the recipient’s gut, according to a study published this week in mBio®, the online open-access journal of the American Society for Microbiology.

The study provides insight into the structural and potential metabolic changes that occur following fecal transplant, says senior author Vincent B. Young, MD, PhD, an associate professor in the Department of Internal Medicine/Infectious Diseases and the Department of Microbiology & Immunology at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. The transplants, which have been successful at curing more than 90 percent of recipients, have been used successfully since the 1950s, he says, though it hasn’t been clear how they work to recover gut function.

“The bottom line is fecal transplants work, and not by just supplying a missing bug but a missing function being carried out by multiple organisms in the transplanted feces,” Young says. “By restoring this function, C. difficile isn’t allowed to grow unchecked, and the whole ecosystem is able to recover.”
(Fecal Transplants - ASM). So they take out the hideout of gut microbiota, the appendix, then eventually due to bad diet, antibiotics, and other bad poisons and bad timing, the gut ecosystem is damaged or destroyed and we get sick.

The doctor says bring in a bag of crap from a close relative who is healthy, and we will inject it into your southern parts.

Wow, you just can't make this stuff up folks ... it is so now ... which is a bad time on many issues:
One day in 2008, Ruth, a Long Island teacher, walked into her doctor's office with a container of a relative's feces, lay down, and had her doctor pump the stool inside her.
(Weekend Rebel Science Excursion - 8). Whoopie, the cart before the horse thingy.

Timing is everything.

We now find out that those gut microbiota also have an impact on our brains, which seems to tie in with these timing problems of our culture:
U.S. spending on mental illness is soaring at a faster pace than spending on any other health care category, new government data released Wednesday shows. The cost of treating mental disorders rose sharply between 1996 and 2006, from $35 billion (in 2006 dollars) to almost $58 billion, according to the report from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. At the same time, the report showed, the number of Americans who sought treatment for depression, bipolar disorder and other mental health woes almost doubled, from 19 million to 36 million. The new statistics come on the heels of a study, released Monday, that found antidepressant use among U.S. residents almost doubled between a similar time frame, 1996 and 2005"...
(The Undiscovered Side of Science & Life - 3). Our war on microbes, as I have called it in other posts, is a war on ourselves and is bad timing.

In closing, let me mention that there is a timing delay with respect to the things the EPA is trying to do.