April 25th, 2021 1-3PM ET
Sunday on The Robert Scott Bell Show:
Some people are reporting abnormal periods after a COVID-19 vaccine. U. of I. professor is looking for answers When Katy Fyksen got a heavy period a few days after she received her second dose of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine, she didn’t consider there might be a link. The 43-year-old Plainfield woman hadn’t had a period in over a year and a half because of her Mirena IUD, so the sudden red flow was a surprise. But she didn’t think about the timing in relation to when she received her vaccine until she saw a Twitter thread. “I didn’t really think that it was anything until I saw that someone had said that, that it might’ve been a symptom or a side effect of the vaccine. It was like, ‘Oh, that’s interesting,’” she said. The tweet was from Kathryn Clancy, an associate professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, who posted April 7 about a new survey she’s running to catalog people’s menstrual experiences after receiving the COVID-19 vaccine. The survey is a joint effort between Clancy and Katharine Lee, a postdoctoral research scholar at Washington University School of Medicine. As of Monday, Lee said more than 25,000 people have filled it out. So far, there have been only anecdotal reports of menstruation changes following the COVID-19 vaccines, and experts emphasize there is no sign of danger in getting the vaccine, nor is this a reason to skip getting vaccinated.
Pfizer’s COVID Vaccine May Trigger Herpes Virus That Causes Shingles, Study Says A recent study published in the journal Rheumatology found six women out of 491 patients who developed a skin rash known as herpes zoster (HZ) infection — or shingles — within three to 14 days of receiving either the first or second dose of the Pfizer’s COVID vaccine. Researchers from Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center and Carmel Medical Center in Haifa also found the risk of developing HZ infection following a COVID vaccine increases among people with autoimmune inflammatory rheumatic diseases, Jerusalem Post reported. Out of 491 patients, six people — or 1.2% — experienced the infection, researchers said. Five of them developed the shingles infection after the first dose and one after the second. Shingles occurs when the varicella zoster virus, which causes chickenpox, is reactivated after lying dormant in the cranial and spinal nerves in the body. It then travels along affected nerves to the area of the skin served by those nerves, where it causes a distinctive, stripe-like rash on one side of the face or body. Shingles is a painful and itchy condition consisting of blisters that scab over in seven to 10 days and take two to four weeks to fully resolve. The most common complication is postherpetic neuralgia — severe and debilitating nerve pain that can take months or years to clear up, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
UC And Cal State Systems To Require COVID-19 Vaccinations For In-Person Fall Classes The California State University and University of California systems announced on Thursday that all 33 campuses will require students and staff returning for in-person instruction this fall to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. The new directive will go into effect once the Food and Drug Administration gives “full approval” to a COVID-19 vaccine. The Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna shots currently going into people’s arms only have an Emergency Use Authorization. CSU Chancellor Joseph Castro said the two higher education systems enroll and employ more than 1 million students and employees, and called the directive “the most comprehensive and consequential university plan for COVID-19 vaccines in the country.” “Receiving a vaccine for the virus that causes COVID-19 is a key step people can take to protect themselves, their friends and family, and our campus communities while helping bring the pandemic to an end,” said Dr. Michael Drake, president of the University of California, in the joint statement. The university leaders said the timing of the announcement is intended to give students, faculty and other staff ample time to obtain vaccinations before the start of the fall term. Both UC and Cal State have said schools are preparing for mostly in-person instruction and activities this fall.
MIT researchers say you’re no safer from Covid indoors at 6 feet or 60 feet in new study challenging social distancing policies The risk of being exposed to Covid-19 indoors is as great at 60 feet as it is at 6 feet — even when wearing a mask, according to a new study by Massachusetts Institute of Technology researchers who challenge social distancing guidelines adopted across the world. MIT professors Martin Z. Bazant, who teaches chemical engineering and applied mathematics, and John W.M. Bush, who teaches applied mathematics, developed a method of calculating exposure risk to Covid-19 in an indoor setting that factors in a variety of issues that could affect transmission, including the amount of time spent inside, air filtration and circulation, immunization, variant strains, mask use, and even respiratory activity such as breathing, eating, speaking or singing. Bazant and Bush question long-held Covid-19 guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization in a peer-reviewed study published earlier this week in Proceedings of the National Academy of Science of the United States of America. Students will be required to update immunization documents with their respective universities as they do with other infectious diseases, including measles, mumps, rubella and chickenpox. Medical exemptions or approved exceptions will have to be cleared prior to campus arrival, according to the latest notice.
33-Year-Old Woman Hospitalized for ‘Mysterious’ Paralysis 12 Hours After Pfizer Vaccine A healthy 33-year-old woman in Bethel Park, Pennsylvania, who asked to remain anonymous, experienced paralysis 12 hours after getting her first dose of the Pfizer COVID vaccine and is still hospitalized, WPXI-TV reported. The Pennsylvania woman said she initially felt fine after being vaccinated, but woke up in the middle of the night with no feeling in her arms or legs. “It was the scariest thing in the world to go to sleep completely fine (and walking), to wake up 1:30 in the morning and not be able to move at all,” the woman said. “I’m literally counting on my daughter to hand me my phone to call to get help.” Paramedics rushed her to the hospital where she was later transferred to the Cleveland Clinic where doctors ran tests to figure out how and why she suffered paralysis. An MRI and spinal tap were clear and blood work all came back negative, ruling out any rare diseases or disorders. “There is just nothing they can find wrong with me,” the woman told Channel 11. “No underlying conditions, I have nothing in my history and they are basically telling me, ‘You’re healthy and we can’t figure out why this is going on.’” Although she has regained feeling and strength in her arms, she has no function from her lower chest down besides very slight movement in a few toes. The woman’s family confirmed with Channel 11 that her case was reported to Pfizer.
Even Raises $1.5 Million To Launch Solution To Replenish Nutrients And Manage Side Effects Resulting From Medication Use For many entrepreneurs, the story of building their own business starts with a personal experience. The same happened to Sarah Morgan, cofounder and CEO of Even—a medical company focused on improving the quality of life of medication users. Using food and nutrients to optimize gene expression, for more than 13 years of running her clinical practice in Denver, Sarah has helped thousands of individuals with complex health issues. She also wrote the book Buddies In My Belly to teach children about the microbiome and gut health. Even’s nutrient repletion systems are designed to address Medication-Induced Nutrient Depletions (M.I.N.D.) and mitigate potential side effects of antidepressants, birth control, and statins related to nutrient deficiencies. The brand offers medical foods backed by decades of known medication-nutrient research, designed by a team of physicians, nutritionists, and pharmacists. Cofounded by Morgan and her cofounder Grant Hosking, Even is on a mission to enrich medication users’ daily quality of life. “It all started when I personally experienced the side effects of my medication. I started birth control in my early 20’s and quickly felt moody and just not myself. So I went to my most trusted, advisors, my girlfriends on the pill, and asked them if they had any issues. They all smiled and said, ‘Sarah, welcome to the club of depression, anxiety, headaches, fatigue, breakouts, weight gain, and low libido. Isn’t it fun?!’ I laughed on the outside but inside I knew there had to be a better way. I was determined to figure out why these side effects occur for women on birth control. And my experience continued in my clinical practice,” Morgan shares with me.
Hour 2 ENCORE – Special Guest – Jeffrey Smith!
The leading consumer advocate promoting healthier non-GMO choices, Jeffrey Smith’s meticulous research documents how biotech companies continue to mislead legislators and safety officials to put the health of society at risk and the environment in peril. His work expertly summarizes why the safety assessments conducted by the FDA and regulators worldwide teeter on a foundation of outdated science and false assumptions, and why genetically engineered foods must urgently become our nation’s top food safety priority.
Mr. Smith’s feature-length documentary Genetic Roulette — The Gamble of Our Lives was awarded the 2012 Movie of the Year (Solari Report) and the Transformational Film of the Year (AwareGuide). Seen by millions world-wide, the film links genetically engineered food to toxic and allergic reactions, infertility, digestive disorders, and numerous other problems that have been on the rise in the US population since genetically modified organisms (GMOs) were introduced.
His books include: Seeds of Deception, the world’s bestseller on GMOs; and Genetic Roulette: The Documented Health Risks of Genetically Engineered Foods. They expertly demonstrate why the safety assessments by the FDA and regulators worldwide are based on outdated science and false assumptions, and why genetically engineered foods must urgently become our top food safety priority.
IRT utilizes a multi-platform strategy to speak truth to power, inform the public and create consumer behavior change. This includes (but is not limited to):
- Speaking engagements around the world
- Newsletter providing both audio and written versions
- Highly active Facebook page
- Regular Facebook Live segments
- Video and short film production
- Weekly podcast
- Curated YouTube Channel
- Collaboration with other non-profits and companies in line with our mission
- Petitions addressing key issues in the movement
- Our website
Founded in 2003 by international bestselling author and GMO expert Jeffrey Smith, IRT has worked in over 45 countries on 6 continents and is credited with improving government policies and influencing consumer-buying habits to create the tipping point of consumer demand.
Can Genetically Modified Microbes Undermine the Health of Humans and the Environment? Why on earth is a significant portion of human breast milk entirely indigestible by the nursing infant? Is this a design flaw? Actually, it’s part of an incredibly intelligent system that evolved over millennia. Specialized sugars in mother’s milk are specifically designed not to be digested in the stomach or small intestine. They’re not meant to feed the baby at all. Rather, they are food for bacteria living inside the child’s large intestine (Zivkovic, 2011; Musilova, 2014; De Leoz, 2015; Pacheco, 2015; Yong, 2016; Bridgman, 2017; Ayechu-Muruzabal, 2018; Elsen, 2019). The gut microbes are so important for the baby’s long-term health (Stanislawski, 2018; Vatanen, 2018), there’s a complex system in place for their installation and maintenance. This includes inoculation by healthy bacteria in the birth canal, by microbes in breast milk, and even by bacteria transferred from the mom’s skin around her nipple (Pannaraj, 2017; Science Daily, 2017; Mandavilli, 2019). But it doesn’t stop there. Research suggests that microbes from the mouth of the nursing baby convey information to the mom about the baby’s health needs (Fernandez, 2013). These are just a few of the breathtaking feats performed by the microbiome—the bacteria, viruses, yeasts, etc., that live in and on us. In fact, some experts estimate that humans have outsourced up to 90 percent of their day-to-day metabolic functions to these unseen kingdoms (Krishnan, n.d). We are not the only creatures that co-evolved with these little critters. They are everywhere in the environment. And we are just now learning how critical they are for the balance and health of all ecosystems and their inhabitants (Merten, 2020). The human microbiome is considered so crucial to human health that the National Institute of Health launched the Human Microbiome Project in 2007 with the explicit goal of analyzing the genomes of all the microbes that live in the human body. By 2020, over 200,000 genomes from the human gut microbiome alone have been cataloged and published, along with 170 million protein sequences from 4,600 bacterial species (Science Daily, 2020).
New scholarly briefing raises tough questions about gene editing in agriculture The UK government’s public consultation on deregulating gene-edited GM crops, foods and livestock animals closes tomorrow. Today the STEPS Centre, a global research and policy engagement centre funded by the Economic & Social Research Council (ESRC), published a new briefing discussing the governance of genome editing applications in agriculture, especially in crop breeding. The briefing collates key insights arising from desk-based research and an expert dialogue which was convened during October 2020 by the policy hub of the GEAP3 network, an international consortium of scholars who are studying the domestic and international ramifications of the EU’s approach to genome editing. The briefing raises tough policy and regulatory questions for the European Union (EU) and the United Kingdom (UK) in the context of their trade relationships with each other and with third countries, especially in North America and sub-Saharan Africa. The briefing identifies the major themes arising from the dialogue and documentary sources, and sets out a number of outstanding questions for policy. It presents all sides of the debate on gene editing. For example, it counters claims of the precision of the technology from some stakeholders by noting that critics point to “scientific reports in which CRISPR was found to have created unintended changes in genomes, both at the target location and in non-target areas”. On claims that gene editing will improve sustainability, the briefing says, “The doubters want to see evidence that new genome-edited crop varieties will really enable farmers to achieve a step-change in sustainable productivity, resource-use efficiency, or other desirable objectives, or do so any quicker than other methods of crop improvement.”
New analytical tool reveals massive DNA damage caused by CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing New research from Chinese scientists shows that CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing causes massive damage to the genome, much of which would have been missed by the analytical tools used so far. In a previous study, the same authors described a novel DNA sequencing procedure, which they called a “primer-extension-mediated sequencing assay” or PEM-seq. By applying this procedure, they found that DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs) brought about by the CRISPR/Cas9 gene-editing tool could lead to unintended chromosomal translocations and large deletions. In their latest follow-up report, the researchers describe a new computer program, which enabled them to analyse the PEM-seq data to greater depth than previous programs had allowed. They used this program to analyse real sequence data from their own new experiments, as well as previous ones, following CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing in mouse and human cells. In gene editing, while the initial double-strand break made by the DNA “scissors” or gene-editing tool can be targeted to a given location, the subsequent DNA repair that makes the “edit” is performed by the cell’s own repair mechanisms and is not controllable or precise. The researchers analysed the outcomes of the gene edit – and found what they call “tremendous deleterious DSB repair byproducts of CRISPR/Cas9 editing”. The unintended outcomes or genetic errors ranged from unintended small insertions or deletions (indels) to large deletions, plasmid (gene-editing tool delivery vehicle) integrations, and chromosomal translocations. The researchers wrote, “Our findings provide an extra dimension for genome editing safety besides off-targets” – the well documented unintentional DNA damage at locations of the genome that were not targeted for editing. They added, “Caution should be exercised to avoid not only off-target damages but also deleterious DSB repair byproducts during genome editing.”