29 cases of listeriosis have been confirmed in Canada plus 31 suspected cases caused by an outbreak from contaminated meat. A local meat processing plant in Toronto has been blamed. Surely lawsuits have been pouring in after the plant was shut down & a massive recall of the meat products was done with an estimated price toll of 20 million dollars.
Listeria monocytogenes, a gram positive bacterium, penetrates the gastrointestinal epithelium & is engulfed by the host’s leukocytes. Its pathogenesis lays in the ability of the bacterium to grow and multiply within the host’s phagocytic cells. It is considered an important hazard in food industry.
Source: The Vancouver Sun
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Scientists are harvesting all of them potatoes for an investigational experiment is being done on patients with Alzheimer’s disease using protein extracts obtained from a potato virus.
Alzheimer’s is associated mainly with amyloid plaque within the neurons of the brain. A major portion is formed of beta amyloid which should, in normal cases, break down on its own but rather tends to accumulate forming the insoluble hard plaque. Here is where the potatoes pitch in.
A fairly known potato virus “PVY“, basically harmless to humans, which I & probably you might have been previously exposed to, contains an amyloid-like protein. Through isolating the potato virus & injecting it in experimental animals with booster doses every month, the levels of antibodies against the protein, in 4 months, quickly rose to an extent that allowed these animals to successfully fight the formation of beta amyloid plaques, a contributing factor in the progression of Alzheimer’s disease.
Surprisingly, the mice also developed AD antibodies even when given PVY-infected potato leaves. Research on human subjects has been postponed for fear of the development of autoimmune encephalitis, although the early trials have been very promising.
Hopefully, this debate will soon be over once a purified version of the virus safe enough for human use is prepared & tested on these patients. Might be just a new ‘awakening’ 🙂
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Center for Disease Control and Prevention
Recently, it has been all over the news in the United States…warning americans about buying tomatoes, pepper, and different kinds of vegetables “They even suggested some pretty clever alternatives” due to a Salmonella outbreak, which made over 1,200 people sick throughout the nation.
Now “after two months of the intial discovery”, the outbreak has been linked to irrigation water contaminating a certain type of pepper at a Mexican farm, stored in a warehouse in Texas. Officials are being blamed now for putting too much spot-light over tomatoes when in fact they did not significantly contribute to the arousal of the problem in the first place. Their hope now would be to discover that the same irrigation water was also used on tomatoes and not just the pepper.
The FDA declares that it IS safe to eat tomatoes and pepper grown in the US, urging consumers to be open and ask their local grocery stores & restaurants about the source of these vegetables.
For the time being, I would strongly avoid any Mexian salsa 🙂
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