This year is coming to an end. And even though we did not wait for another major event of the year — the end of Baktun 13 (cycle 5125 years) on the Mayan calendar, we can not resist the temptation to take stock. We collected ten key events of the year in the field of medicine and global health, which is impossible to miss.
Our rating events is not quite standard. We have tried to highlight the most outstanding events of the year, which expose the important issues and sheds light on the adverse trends in medicine. We will not talk about the successes as well as to know the weaknesses are much more important. So, let's begin.
10th place: global warming is the risk of epidemics
Gloomy predictions of environmentalists about global warming are already starting to come true. One of the first signs by which we can feel climate change is likely to be an increased incidence of intestinal infections.
Cases where the bacteria are transmitted to humans by eating raw seafood or raw water is not uncommon in the cool waters of the Baltic Sea. The microorganisms of the genus Vibrio (Latin vibrio) can cause epidemics of cholera and other intestinal infections. An international team of scientists analyzed the change in sea temperatures and record satellite, as well as statistical data on cases of infection. The number and distribution of cases in the Baltic Sea region have been associated with the peaks of the temperature of the surface water in the sea. Outbreaks have also emerged in the temperate and cold regions of Chile, Peru, Israel, in the north-western United States and northwestern Spain.
Climate Research proves that the rise of greenhouse gases leads to an increase in the average sea surface temperature of about 0,17 ° C per decade from 1980 to 2010. In addition to the global warming observed more frequent and powerful rainfall that lead to the reduction of the salt content of estuaries and coastal wetlands. This leads to the fact that strains of the genus Vibrio bacteria appear in new areas.
9th place: vegetarianism — the future of humanity
We are waiting for the vegetarian world in 2050?
Reducing the consumption of red meat may benefit not only our bodies, but also the environment. Numerous studies have hinted to us that the failure of red meat can change our lives for the better.
Scientists from Cambridge University have found that the reduction in the consumption of red meat can lead to a reduction in the incidence of chronic disease by 3% -12%, and reduce carbon dioxide emissions by nearly 28 million tons a year.
This year, the Harvard study involved 83,644 women and 37,698 men who every four years reported their diets and passed inspection. The scientists also found that beef, lamb and pork increase the risk of death from heart disease and cancer. If red meat substitute chicken, fish or nuts, significantly reduced the risk of disease.
Even more bold conclusions do scientists from the International Water Institute in Stockholm. In 2050, when we will be 9 billion, we will not be able to exist if the current way of eating. Water scarcity and agricultural land does not allow for the entire population of necessary food. The scientists concluded that humanity will lead a vegetarian lifestyle to maintain health and the planet.
8th place: euthanasia is gaining momentum
Perhaps Hippocrates would have felt a deep sadness, if he knew that the doctors now help to die. According to data provided by the Swiss Federal Statistical Office, the number of cases of euthanasia in Switzerland is growing every year. Over the past 10 years, about 700 Swiss passed away prematurely by euthanasia. In Switzerland, in 3% of cases the cause of euthanasia has become a deep depression.
In March of this year in the Netherlands were organized six teams of doctors, evtanaziologov who will travel to your home. For Russia this question is closed, since, according to the currently accepted "Oath Russian doctor", the doctor is obliged to "exercise the highest respect for human life, never resort to the implementation of euthanasia."
7th place: Russia ranks 97th in terms of health
Indexed by Bloomberg 145 countries around the world where the population exceeds one million people. The health status index is calculated by subtracting the risk factors of the health index of the country. In assessing the health of the country taking into account life expectancy, infant mortality, mortality by age, their causes, the life expectancy of men and women who have reached the age of 65.
For risk factors were taken percentage of smokers older than 15 years, the level of alcohol consumption per capita, the percentage of people who are overweight and obese, the percentage of people with elevated cholesterol levels, high blood pressure, high glucose, the percentage of HIV-infected people, the environmental situation in the country, childhood diseases, maternal mortality.
Studies have shown that most healthy people live in Singapore, then in Italy, Australia, Switzerland and Japan. In the first ten were also: Israel, Spain, the Netherlands, Sweden and Germany. Britain was on the 21st, the United States — the 33 th place. Russia ranked 97th, next to East Timor, Madagascar, Iraq and Bangladesh.
6th place: popular eugenics
The founder of Microsoft billionaire Bill Gates, through its "Grand Challenges Global Health Program" funded about 80 research programs. Areas of activity — this new contraceptive technology, the development of vaccines and GMOs.
In 2010, Bill Gates spoke at the TED conference on the issue of emissions of CO2. He introduced viewers to a formula based emissions of CO2. In this formula, according to Gates, a key factor — it's the people who use services and energy. Therefore, to reduce emissions, it is necessary to reduce the number of people. Bill Gates said: "The world today has 6.8 billion people … soon that number will increase to about 9 billion. If we really spend a lot of work to develop new vaccines and health care, reproductive health services, we can reduce this number, perhaps 10 or 15%. "
2012 failed to Gates in the shuffle. With the help of scientists from the University of North Carolina, he came up with "accessible, inexpensive, reliable and reversible method of contraception for men." It's flexible — ultrasound irradiation of eggs, after which spermatogenesis is suppressed to the point of sterility.
Scientists have found that when subjected to ultrasonic irradiation rat testes or monkeys for two times for 15 minutes, the number of viable spermatozoa in the semen decreases to a level of infertility. Then the probability to conceive offspring in six months is close to zero. Scientists plan to test the method on male volunteers.
5th place: pharmaceutical mayhem
Photo: ODD ANDERSEN / AFP / Getty Images
In 2012, the fraud was uncovered many pharmaceutical giants. Some of them affect its scale and brutality. For example, the vaccine trials by British pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline 14 babies died from poor Argentine families.
Journalists are not allowed to pull the thing on the brakes. As a result of investigations it was found that in trials involving thousands of children. For every immunized child "doctors" were obtained from the company's $ 300-400. Immoral medical activities of pharmaceutical companies has been proven in court, resulting in a ridiculous she escaped with a fine of $ 93,000.
GlaxoSmithKline also was penalized in the United States. After about nine years of federal investigation, it became clear that GSK wildly abused the law and carried out the illegal marketing of drugs, falsification of research results on the security, bribery of doctors, as well as contributed to the creation and dissemination of dangerous and expensive drugs. Instead of pursuing each of those responsible for the crime, the federal government has issued just over $ 1 billion in criminal fines and $ 2 billion in the form of civil penalties. That $ 3 billion — just a small part of the profits that earned GSK.
GlaxoSmithKline is the largest pharmaceutical company, the total number of its staff of about 100,000 people. This is one of the largest (second in the world after Pfizer) pharmaceutical companies by turnover products. Each year the company's revenues in the tens of billions of pounds.
The company sells therapeutic drugs (Augmentin, Panadol, Koldreks, Solpadein), and is well known throughout the world as a manufacturer of vaccines. Every day, the company produces more than 3 million doses of vaccine (about 30 species), which are available in 176 countries worldwide.
4th place: deceptive statins
Cardiovascular diseases are the leading places in the reporting of morbidity and mortality worldwide. One of the leading theories of cardiovascular disorders associates them with the process of atherosclerosis and increase the levels of "bad cholesterol." Statins (cholesterol-lowering drugs) are used in the body to reduce levels of "bad" cholesterol and prevent atherosclerosis. Thus, it is believed that statins prevent the development of cardiovascular disorders such as myocardial ischemia, as well as strokes and heart attacks. They make tens of millions of people around the world.
However, statins have significant side effects. As it became known this year, statin therapy significantly increases the chances of getting sick with diabetes. In a study of Women's Health Initiative participated 153,000 women over 45 years. The study began in 1990. When summed up, it was found that almost 10% of women taking statins developed diabetes, compared with 6.4% of women who did not take statins. Although the difference seems small, statins are investing a significant role in the development of diabetes in women.
Statins are positioned as a panacea for the key of heart disease and related complications. However, the association of diabetes and coronary heart disease is extremely strong. Adults with diabetes are 2-4 times more likely to suffer from heart disease or stroke. Then, we treat with statins?
3rd place: vaccines leave questions
In recent years, scientists are trying to create a vaccine for almost every occasion. If this continues, soon we will have every day to do some vaccinated. But this year, researchers from Harvard Medical School found that the theory of vaccination is not all clear.
The theory is that in order that the body can fight the infection, he needs help to stimulate the production of antibodies against antigens of the pathogen. This can be achieved ill with the infection, or by administering a vaccine containing a weakened or killed pathogen. Thus formed acquired immunity.
New data suggest that innate immunity plays perhaps a more important role in fighting infections than acquired. Scientists believe that the acquired immune antibodies are unable to fight some infections. However, the innate immune system can easily overcome them if he does not get in the way. The researchers believe that this may be of great importance for the further analysis of the role of antibodies in the fight against such viruses that attack the nervous system, such as rabies or West Nile.
This year also provided data on the relationship of mercury-containing vaccines with autism. A study by researchers from the University of Pittsburgh found that macaques vaccinated with a vaccine MMR, observed biological changes (problems with the gastrointestinal tract), and changes in behavior similar to that observed in children with autism. Many of the young monkeys that received standard doses of childhood vaccines, developed symptoms of autism.
The results were presented at the International Meeting for Autism Research (IMFAR). Now a team of scientists from the University of Pittsburgh insists on holding a series of large-scale studies that have never been done before.
2nd place: the bacteria took the last bastion
Vancomycin died a heroic death. He represented the last hope of the pharmaceutical companies in opposition to the microcosm and antibiotics. Now he is no longer invincible. Deadly strain of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is resistant to him.
It had to happen sometime, and it happened. Doctors believe that while the deadly strain has not spread beyond the U.S. hospitals, the antibiotic vancomycin, the last line of defense can no longer be considered a panacea.
Now there is VRSA, who is not afraid of no antibiotic presented in the pharmaceutical market. What's next? Maybe it does not mean the end of everything, and lead to a new development. There are many alternatives to antibiotics, which have far fewer side effects. For example, colloidal silver, bacteriophages, plant components.
1st place: GMO associated with cancer development
GMO leads to multiple tumors.
GMO leads to multiple tumors. Collage: Cyril BELAN / The Epoch Times (The Epoch Times)
Although the experiment with the use of GMOs on people in real life has been dragging on for many years, large-scale studies almost was not. In 2012, data were published two studies that have dispelled doubts about the safety of GMOs.
At the conference "Days of protection from environmental hazards", which took place in Russia since April 15, scientists have proposed a temporary moratorium in Russia on the use of GMOs. The fact that, according to the National Association of genetic experimentation and security of the Institute of Ecology and Evolution. Severtsov, genetically modified organisms harmful to mammals. Russian scientists have discovered that GMOs leads to extinction: laboratory animals already in the 3 generations lose their ability to reproduce.
The second study was conducted by researchers from the University of Caen in France. All previous studies have been limited for a period of 90 days. For the first time in a study of rats fed a lifelong one of the best sellers of GM maize, selling all over the world, resulting in the animals developed multiple organ damage.
Dr. Michael Anthony, an expert on genetically modified foods, a molecular biologist at King's College London, commented on the results: "It's just an incredible number of tumors that develop early and very active, particularly in female animals. I am amazed by these extremely negative consequences for health. "
The team of French scientists are not trying to cause a panic, but once again insists on carrying out larger studies of discarded producers of GM products. Indeed, many governments take toward DuPont, Monsanto and other biotech giants, have assured safety of GMOs, and do not require any proof of them.