Thursday, December 28, 2006

Strange Dream

Alrighty, this morning, I was awakened from a strange dream by a phone call from my sister, Angele. I mean, I was smack-dab in the middle of it when one of the kids brought the phone to me in my bed.

Okay, the dream.

Lately, I've been having dreams of us being in a different house, right? Right. So, this time, I was asleep in my bed when something roused me. I look, and there's a small chest of drawers that also opens on top; like to store things there as well. As I look at it, I'm thinking how I just got Jeremy to bring it in the room because it was too heavy for me. Oh yeah, it was a rustic kind of green in color. So, as I'm looking at it from my bed, I see the top open slightly and some of the doors and drawers as well as a slight light coming out of it. Then it all shut as if it knew I saw it. I lay back down and next thing you know, a small drawer comes flying out of it and hovers above me, circling around and around. It finally falls right around my pillow. I am, naturally, freaking out. Now, for some reason, which I'm quite sure was all very logical while I was dreaming, my neighbors were in bed with me... sleeping, of course. So, I grab Jen's arm (who, incidently, is still in the hospital) and shake her awake so she could see the levitating drawer (obviously, this is before it fell by my pillow). Then, after the drawer falls, I shake Todd awake. Jeremy had already left for work... still can't remember why they were both sleeping in my bed though... anyways, he goes to touch the drawer and it shocks him unconscious. I'm like, 'great!'.... by this time, the green set of drawers/storage thingie is opening all of its doors and drawers over and over. Then, it also flies above us, as we were laying in bed... it starts circling above us too.
Around this time, Calista comes in and asks if she could go play with one of our neighbors (apparently, in this dream, we had a new family, black, and in the dream, I knew the little girl's name... can't think of it now). So, I tell her she can (figuring its better she's outside than in here with possessed furniture) but to stay in our yard. Then, I get out of bed and walk to the kitchen when another of our neighbors come knocks and enters the house (this neighbor is totally not real... no idea who she is)... I tell her she has GOT to see in my bedroom. Well, I bring her in and the storage thingie is on the floor again... with lots of glittery stuff on it. The drawers and doors were slightly opened... in fact, it looked like it had just fallen from somewhere... messed up looking. So, I'm like, great, you'll never believe what was just going on in here! And that's when Angele called me in real life! LOL I was so into that dream... I was all groggy and told her I'd call her back in a little while.
Whatever it means, no idea...

Friday, December 22, 2006

New Camera!

heh heh heh
Well, Jeremy knows me well & knows how much photography means to me, so he bought me another camera! He bought another Kodak EasyShare. This one is the Z710. Its like the first one I had (the one Kimber had given me) and that stopped taking the battery's charge and I exchanged plus $50 for the next one. This new one is a 7.1 MP with a 10X zoom :D So far, so good! AND I promise, this one will stay safe, out of harm's reach!!! I can't be buying a new camera every year!!!

I'll upload pics as soon as I'm able to... Blogger isn't allowing me right now.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

If You Take Painkillers During Childbirth, You May Have Difficulty Breastfeeding

Another reason to give birth naturally!

Epidurals and other painkillers used to ease childbirth are linked with decreased rates of breastfeeding. This is the result of a new study led by Dr Siranda Torvaldsen, a senior researcher in the Facultly of Medicine at the University of Sydney, Australia.
Of course, there's more to the article... click the link and read :D

Thursday, December 14, 2006

UTMB researchers discover breast-feeding overcomes genetic tendency to ear infections

Here's the link to the article and below is a snippet from it:

“This is a major finding, that breast-feeding neutralized the effect even in kids who had all the genetic polymorphisms,” Patel said. “Not only that, they were protected from recurrent infections even later in childhood, long after they stopped breast-feeding.”

Its cool how more and more evidence is proving how beneficial breastmilk really is.

13 things that do not make sense

I received the link to this article in my Mercola newsletter today.

Here are the 13:

    1. The placebo effect
    2. The horizon problem
    3. Ultra-energetic cosmic rays
    4. Belfast homeopathy results
    5. Dark matter
    6. Viking's methane
    7. Tetraneutrons
    8. The Pioneer anomaly
    9. Dark energy
    10. The Kuiper cliff
    11. The Wow signal
    12. Not-so-constant constants
    13. Cold fusion

Its a cool article, so go read it! :D

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Breast-milk compounds could be a tonic for adult ills

Copied and pasted from here:

Julie J. Rehmeyer

Catharina Svanborg thought that she already knew how remarkable breast milk is. The immunologist had logged hundreds of lab hours documenting ways in which human milk helps babies fight infections. But when the group decided to use cancerous lung cells to avoid the variability shown by normal cells in laboratory tests, Svanborg and her team at Lund University in Sweden were in for a surprise. They applied breast milk to the cancerous lung cells, and all the cells died. Breast milk killed cancer cells.

A transgenic goat named Artemis produces in her milk a human-breast milk compound called lysozyme. Lysozyme destroys bacteria by drilling through their cell walls.
E. Scharfen

"From that moment on, we've been working with it," Svanborg says.

Svanborg's serendipitous discovery of human milk's anticancer power is remarkable, but other researchers have also been finding that breast milk can both protect against and heal a remarkable variety of ailments. Perhaps these properties shouldn't be surprising: Of the thousands of substances that people eat, breast milk is the only one that evolved under natural pressure to keep people healthy.

Research teams are now learning to exploit its tricks for purposes well beyond feeding babies. Components of breast milk are being developed as drugs that fight viruses and bacteria. A particular target is diarrhea, which kills about 2.2 million
people every year, mostly children in developing countries. Other milk compounds may be added to food to improve digestion. Some milk components might fight medical conditions ranging from arthritis to septic shock.

Although some of these compounds are found in milk from other animals, others occur only in human milk, and the nonhuman versions are generally less potent in people. This presents a challenge, since human-breast milk is not available for sale. So, researchers are developing new sources for the compounds, including genetically modified bacteria, rice, goats, and cows.

The potential for therapies derived from milk is "enormous, absolutely tremendous," says Marian Kruzel, an immunologist at the University of Texas Medical School in Houston.

Good bugs and bad bugs
The protective properties of mother's milk have long been apparent. Breast-fed babies, for instance, get diarrhea half as often as infants who are fed formula do. Decades ago, scientists began wondering how breast milk stops the pathogens that cause diarrhea.

In the 1950s, Lars Hanson, an immunologist at Göteborg University in Sweden, started to solve the puzzle. He found that mothers produce antibodies in their milk and that way pass on to their babies immunities that the women had acquired over their lifetimes.

But the antibodies in breast milk didn't explain all the observations. For example, breast-fed babies have different bacteria in their guts than formula-fed babies do. The breast feeders harbor more of the beneficial, food-digesting bacteria, such as acidophilus and bifidus, as well as less of the coliform Escherichia coli and other germs that can make infants sick.

When scientists started analyzing breast milk, they found that the third-largest constituent of breast milk, making up about 1 percent by volume, is a mixture of indigestible sugars known as oligosaccharides. Many of these sugars occur only in human milk.

Initially, the scientists thought that these were useless by-products of milk production. But why would mothers expend so much energy creating compounds that their babies can't use?

In the past few years, scientists have solved this puzzle. David Newburg, of Massachusetts General Hospital in Charlestown and his colleagues genetically
engineered mice to produce oligosaccharides in their milk. He then gave their pups campylobacter, a bacterium that causes diarrhea. The pups that drank oligosaccharides didn't get sick.

Unlike the antibodies that mothers pass along to their infants through breast milk, oligosaccharides can protect the baby from pathogens to which the mother has never been exposed.

For a pathogen to infect a person via the digestive tract, it first has to latch on to the sugars that line the gut wall. Oligosaccharides have binding sites that are identical to the ones on the gut-wall sugars, so the pathogens attach to the oligosaccharides instead of to the lining of the gut. Once bound to oligosaccharides, pathogens travel harmlessly through the intestinal tract.

Surprisingly, bacteria that aid digestion prosper in the presence of oligosaccharides. Bruce German, a nutritionist at the University of California, Davis, proposes that only the beneficial bacteria digest some of the oligosaccharides, thereby gaining an advantage over the harmful bacteria. This theory is controversial, however.

German says that the beneficial microbes' advantage is a natural consequence of the coevolution of breast milk and gut bacteria. Oligosaccharides occur in thousands of slightly different forms, and the precise mix of types of oligosaccharides varies from woman to woman. Those who produced breast milk with oligosaccharides that only beneficial bacteria can eat must have had an evolutionary advantage.

German notes that because of this evolutionary process, some bacteria in human digestive tracts are found nowhere else on Earth. "What milk did is recruit an entire life form to protect the infant," German says. "To me, that's pretty inspiring stuff."

German and other scientists want to leverage that protection for babies that aren't breast-fed and for adults too. Oligosaccharides might augment elderly people's weakened natural protection against pathogens. After people have taken strong antibiotics, the sugars could help them recolonize their digestive tracks with beneficial bacteria. Foreign travelers or military personnel who expect to be exposed to unfamiliar pathogens could take oligosaccharides as a preventive measure.

Newburg expects that as bacteria continue to develop resistance to antibiotics,
oligosaccharides will be increasingly important for fighting pathogens. "This is a totally different type of defense against pathogens that mammals have been using for thousands of years, and it still works," Newburg says.

He suggests that bacteria can't evolve a resistance to oligosaccharides because if they change in such a way that they no longer bind to the oligosaccharide, they also can't bind to the cell wall to infect their targets. "The mechanisms for protection in milk are so exquisite," Newburg marvels.

Procuring a supply of oligosaccharides for preventive or therapeutic treatments presents a challenge. Newburg is working to genetically engineer E. coli bacteria to produce the sugars.

"What motivates me personally is the large number of babies in the Third World who have diarrhea," Newburg says. Oligosaccharides added to formula could protect
babies who don't receive breast milk.

Bioengineering milk
Getting bacteria to produce human oligosaccharides would be only the first step toward Newburg's vision. For protection against infections, people would have to eat substantial amounts of oligosaccharides regularly. So, to make supplements for adults or for baby formula, bacteria would need to produce oligosaccharides in large quantities and at low cost.

ATTACK THWARTED. Bacteria that can cause pneumonia attack a throat cell (top) by attaching to sugar chains on the cell. In a solution of oligosaccharides—indigestible sugars contained in breast milk—the pneumococci bind to the sugars and don't latch on to the throat cell (bottom).
B. Andersson

On the other hand, genetic engineering of larger organisms has already produced inexpensive and abundant supplies of two other human-breast–milk compounds: lysozyme and lactoferrin.

In 1998, scientists genetically engineered a goat to excrete lysozyme in its milk, and in 2002, another team created one variety of rice that produces human lysozyme and another variety that yields human lactoferrin. Also in 2002, a team engineered a cow to produce human lactoferrin. As a result, researchers are for the first time performing large-scale clinical trials of lactoferrin and lysozyme.

Lactoferrin is a dazzlingly multitalented protein. In breast-fed babies, it can appropriately suppress inflammation or boost immune activity. It also fights viruses, bacteria, and fungi. Even after the protein has broken down in the gut, the fragments fight urinary-tract infections as they are expelled from the body.

Because lactoferrin lowers the immune system's inflammatory overreactions, it may be useful against arthritis, multiple sclerosis, and septic shock. In 1998, when
researchers treated piglets with lactoferrin before inducing septic shock, the compound reduced mortality to less than one-fourth of that in untreated piglets. In 2001, another group showed that treating rats in septic shock with lactoferrin dramatically reduced blood-toxin concentrations.

The many claims for lactoferrin's capabilities "may look suspicious," admits Michal Zimecki, an immunologist at the Polish Academy of Sciences in Wroclaw. Lactoferrin "seems like a golden bullet, but it really is so."

Lysozyme is, by comparison, a one-trick pony: It chews up bacterial cell walls. However, its trick is fine-tuned. Lysozyme selectively destroys deleterious bacteria, usually leaving the beneficial ones unharmed.

At a clinic in Peru, Bo Lönnerdal, a nutritionist at the University of California, Davis, recently conducted a trial of a combination of lactoferrin and lysozyme against diarrhea. The standard treatment for acute diarrhea in children there is simple rehydration with a solution of sugar and salt.

Lönnerdal added his two compounds to the solution given to half the children treated. Those who received lactoferrin and lysozyme, he found, recovered more quickly and were less prone to a repeat bout of the disease. The study is scheduled to appear in an upcoming Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition.

Killer milk

As outlandish as lactoferrin's potential may seem, it is perhaps even stranger to think that breast milk components could cure cancer.

Once Svanborg and her team had established that something in breast milk was killing human cancer cells in the lab, they isolated the assassin. It turned out to be
the protein alpha-lactalbumin. But the compound becomes lethal only when exposed to acid, as it is in a stomach and was in the lab. The acid unfolds the alpha lactalbumin protein into a havoc-wreaking form.

Svanborg dubbed the acidified form of the protein HAMLET, for human alpha-lactalbumin made lethal to tumors.

Cancer cells take up far more HAMLET than healthy cells do. The huge quantities of unfolded proteins destroy the cancer cells.

Svanborg found that HAMLET killed 40 kinds of tumor cells in lab dishes. She has also studied the reactive compound in rats with human-cancer cells implanted in
their brains. She used an invasive cancer called glioblastoma that usually kills people in less than a year. She injected HAMLET directly into the tumors of some of the rats, while others received injections of alpha-lactalbumin that hadn't been activated by acid.

After 7 weeks, the rats getting inactive protein bore tumors seven times, on average, as large as the tumors in the HAMLET-treated rats, the researchers reported in 2004.

Svanborg has also found that HAMLET reduces warts in people. Warts and tumors share the property of growing without respect to normal controls. HAMLET reduced the volume of more than 95 percent of the warts to which it was applied, whereas only 20 percent of warts treated with a placebo decreased in size.

Svanborg is currently concluding human trials of HAMLET for bladder cancer. She says that her results "look very good," and that the treatment produced no side
effects. Pharmaceutical companies are now developing the activated protein for clinical use.

Hanson, the first scientist to isolate immune antibodies from breast milk, says that HAMLET is "quite a discovery," especially since it seems to be effective against so many kinds of cancer. He cautions, though, that "the crucial thing will be the clinical studies."

Whether or not breast milk turns out to be the source of a potent cancer therapy, its remarkable properties have led to a new view of its role. "My thinking on milk has changed totally," says Newburg. "I used to think of it as the best source of nutrients. Now, it's looking like milk is really designed to be protective."

Soon, that protection may extend to the rest of us.

The references are listed under the article online.

Two Birthday Parties

Koltin had his 3 year-old birthday party last weekend. He's Jeremy's sister's (Tasha) son. He had it at this cool skate rink that had 6 jumpy thingies in the back (inside)! Nice place for bday parties :D And then the bday boy got to ride one lap in this big skate! What kid wouldn't like that?

Here's Koltin's little sister, Korah. She is 4 mths older than Wyatt. She's so sweet. She kept calling me Nanny (she calls most ladies that! lol) and would give me kisses just whenever :D Gotta love that!

This is Jeremy's brother's (Jason) son, Carter. He's 7 mths older than Wyatt. So, yep, me, Tasha, Tori (Jason's wife), and also Jessica (my brother's wife) were all pregnant together... me and my in-laws.

The second bday party was a surprise one thrown by Tasha for their parents. They were indeed surprised and thankful :)

Here's their family minus Jason... he had to work.

We stayed up until like 3am... they have this cool room above the barn that has a pool table (with a ping pong top as well), dart board, foose ball table (sp?), full kitchen, and keg dispenser!

One bad thing happened... Ursula dropped my camera :(( And now it won't turn off and it won't take pics... it only goes to the favorites folder (which I never use). There's a year warranty on it; I just have to see about sending it in.

I still have that cheapo camera from before that will have to suffice until my camera is fixed.

And now something cool :D A few weekends ago when I went visit my family, I had brought home a box of clothes with no less than 6 pairs of jeans. Well, I brought a couple of them last weekend since we knew we'd be spending the night. And when we left, Tasha told me that my jeans looked good on me... I was like "Thanks!". She asked where I got them from and I told her they were free :D She asked me if I knew the brand, Lucky and I said 'no'. She said my jeans cost $95! Woohooo!!! So, that was cool! I found out my 'new' jeans were stylish, nice, and current! lol Because sometimes, as a mom who's stuck at home, you kind of just wear whatever is comfortable... plus, when I have the extra money, its usually spent on my children!

Alabama Police Say Mother Lied, Charge Boyfriend With Murder of 5-Year-Old Boy

And yet, another story that makes me want to cry. My sister, Angele, had called me this morning, while we were talking, she told me about this... I looked it up and will link for all to see... another case where the mom needs to be sterilized.

Here's the article link.

Apparently, the believe that the boy was dead before going to the convience store and that the car being stolen was a way to get away with murder. His mom told the sheriff that the boy died from getting a beating because he brought home a bad progress report. I am thinking, from what I've read in different articles, that the mom's boyfriend is the one who beat the boy... then, he died and they had to figure out a way to get out of it. He, apparently, was an abusive man. Its all so sickening.

I tell you what, though, it really makes you appreciate your own children and want to protect them all the more.

Puppy Eats Baby's Toes As Parents Sleep

Sickening, huh? I heard this news last night on TV. Pissed me off so badly that I had a hard time falling asleep... all I kept thinking about was this poor baby... how long she must have cried before her idiot parents woke up... the trauma that poor baby went through... heart breaking. Only one month old! I really feel these stupid parents need to be sterilized from having anymore children and then have their toes chewed on while they're strapped down.

Here's parts of the article:

Bossier City police said a couple was asleep as their pit bull puppy chewed off four of their baby daughter's toes.

Police said the parents were sleeping on a mattress in the living room of their residence and the baby was in an infant seat beside them when the puppy began chewing on their baby's toes.

The only thing that makes sense to me is that these stupid parents were drugged up or drunk... unless they were practicing the Cry-It-Out sleep method (CIO). I just don't get it. How wouldn't you attend to your baby's at the first scream? You know that baby was screaming. On the TV news, one man said that the 6 wk-old puppy must have been trying to nurse. You can't blame the puppy. I can just see that baby's legs kicking and her screaming while this puppy was probably playing and biting on her toes.

The parents are 22 and 26 yrs old and are being held in prison pending their initial court appearance. They are being charged with negligence.

Just sickens me.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Vivid Dreams

After Calista gets on the bus, I usually go back to bed if Wyatt and Ursula are still asleep. Well, this morning, I dreamt that my brother, Jared, was dressed up in this scary Halloween coustume, mask and all (all black) and he came in my room to wake us up; but, I knew it was him. We got up and I asked him how he got in my house (because I always deadbolt it when I'm in bed). He answered but it wasn't to the question that I asked... in fact, I was confused by what he was saying. Gene was with him (in fact, it seems like they were once again, working together). Gene had on this beautiful blue shirt. He was holding up another shirt of the same color as well, not sure if he was putting it on; but I was hoping he was giving it to me in my dream. I look around my living room and Aimee's (my oldest sister) here too! I asked her what she was doing here and she was kind of blase' about it... saying she used her thumb (and in my mind, it was the kind of Hitchhiker's Guide thumb). It was surprising to me to see them all in my house... for one, I live 2 hrs from my brother and about 9 hours from my sister... so, they usually call before coming.

I ask my brother how he likes my new house (apparently, that's another reason why I was surprised they showed up... I had moved). I was showing him around. And this was a nice house! You know, I've been having a few dreams involving me in a new/different house... hmmm... Anyways, it was shaped kind of like a U. When you walked in, it was the kitchen area. Walked toward the living room, that was the bottom of the U. Then, from the living room, you walk down the hallway to where the bedrooms are located.

Lately, I've been having very vivid dreams, memorable but not jotting them down. So, of course, I end up forgetting them. Funny thing is, is that Jeremy just told me that he too, has been having vivid dreams lately.

Oh, before Jeremy left for work this morning, I must have been going in and out of sleep because I had a dream about that. I dreamt that some guys from his work were carpooling with him and that Jeremy was waiting for them to arrive. I get out of bed and start doing dishes from the night before. One of his co-workers, a black guy (btw, I have no idea what his co-workers look like... I do know he works with several black guys though), arrives. He comes in the house and needs to use the bathroom. I tell him where its located. Then, they all leave the house and Jeremy comes to give me a peck before he walks out the door. And he is black... LOL I think to myself, I'm in a biracial relationship... lol Like I was surprised by that... even after all these years... LOL

What's interesting is that I've never dreamt about black people until recently. If I had, I didn't remember the dreams until recently. Usually, the people in my dreams are my family and if they aren't, usually their faces are blurred.

Dreams always fascinate me.