Saturday, August 31, 2013

Giant Sloth Captured on Trail Cam








As my readers know, I have identified and collected several reports as of a giant sloth in the Appalachians except for one in the mountains of California.  It was getting pretty lonely as no one else caught on.  Here we have an excellent shot although sadly we are missing the face.


This is actually very good news.  It should be possible to locate these creatures and trap them for study.  They like cadavers and bury them lightly to produce a large crop of maggots.  Plus they occupy hunting ranges meaning they can be targeted.


Bigfoot unfortunately is a past master of avoiding us and will not be easily enticed unless trust is built up.  In this way they more resemble us and know we are dangerous.

This picture is definitely much more convincing than the reconstructions.   now i must see the backside of the 'lions' of Delos


Stunning Bigfoot Breakthrough?

Posted: 28 Aug 2013 04:30 PM PDT

JOTB Analyzes Virginia Trail Cam Bigfoot


Every once in a while, even we are confounded and bewildered by the results of one of our own investigations.  Our analysis of the shaggy cryptid caught on a trail cam in Virginia is one such example.  The image of this mysterious creature, recently released by Roger William, has been creating quite a buzz around the Bigfoot and cryptozoology community in recent days, stumping even the most experienced cryptozoologists, and we believe that we may have solved the mystery of this creature's identity.


On August 27, the Bigfoot Evidence blog sought the opinion of Bizarre Zoology's Jay Cooney, who surmised: 


"While the animal's stretched forelimb and apparent long hair made me wonder if this could be an actual wood ape, other features of its anatomy make it clear what its identity truly is. Its hind limbs/hind quarters make it obvious that this is a habitual quadruped, as they lack the hallmarks of biped anatomy such as calves and prominent gluteals. Simple comparative anatomy with black bears will reveal that the animal exhibits the hind limbs and feet of a bear, rather than those of a hominid. "


Cooney's analysis has been echoed by several other researchers, who also tend to favor the theory that the Viginia trail cam creature is a quadruped.  We at Journal of the Bizarre also agree with this fact; however, we believe that the creature in question is not a bear, but aground sloth- an extinct quadruped mammal which last roamed North America 11,000 years ago.



One critical aspect which researchers seem to have overlooked is the enormous tail, which has apparently been mistaken as the creature's hind leg.  However, a close look of the photo reveals that the creature's left hind leg is in front of the tree limb on the ground.  As you can see by the following photo, the creature's legs appear to be straddling the fallen tree limb.

Once this is distinctive anatomical feature has been recognized, the pool of possible "suspects" shrinks considerably, so considerably, in fact, that the ground sloth is the only possibility.


Another tell-tale clue is provided by Bigfoot researcher Rick Jacobs, who states that the creature appears to have fingers, which are grasping the base of the tree limb.  This would obviously rule out the prevailing theory among cryptozoologists that the creature is a bear.  Sloths, on the other hand, have elongated claws used for gripping branches (much like in the trail cam picture) which could easily be mistaken for fingers.  The elongated arms also point to the tree sloth.


The final giveaway is the animal's fur, which appears to be more "shaggy" than that of a bear or a primate.  Of all the possible "suspects", the fur most closely resembles that of living species of tree sloths (the much-smaller tree-dwelling cousin of the ground sloth).


But how could this Virginia "Bigfoot" be an animal long believed to be extinct?  Our very own Marlin Bressi, crytozoologist and paranormal researcher, offers his opinion:

"Scientists believe that the North American ground sloth was hunted to extinction by humans roughly ten to eleven thousand years ago.  Unlike a species wiped out by a cataclysmic event, whose extinction cannot be questioned, species which have been made 'extinct' by the hand of man have a long history of re-appearing in the natural world.  Scientists refer to these animals as 'Lazarus species'.  Examples of these include the Arakan forest turtle of Asia and the Javan elephant of Southeast Asia.  Whenever an animal is said to have been hunted to extinction, the possibility of a few surviving members escaping from their predators always remains."


He also points out that fossilized remains of the North American ground sloth Megalonyx are frequently found in Alaska, British Columbia, and the Pacific Northwest- geographic locations long associated with Bigfoot.  Another smaller species, Pliometanastes protistus, also inhabited the southern United States.  Based on fossil evidence, experts believe that the Megalonyx ground sloths were capable of growing as large as elephants.


"The interesting thing about sloths is their ability to vocalize," Bressi adds.  "Since we have no examples of ground sloth vocalization, we can only speculate that the vocalization would sound like that of a tree sloth, but much louder and deeper based on it's size in relation to it's much smaller cousin.  The chirps and whoops and growls of the tree sloth, interestingly, are not wholly different from that of Bigfoot.  I believe it would be erroneous to imply that all Bigfoot creatures are ground sloths, but the trail cam photo from Virginia shows an animal which I strongly believe is a species of ground sloth."


"One question I am frequently asked is, 'If Bigfoot does exist, why haven't any bones been dug up?'  Well, bones of ground sloths are dug up all the time, so that may help shed some light on that mystery.  In fact, if not for ground sloths, the world of paleontology may look quite different today.  In 1796, Thomas Jefferson read a paper he had written on ground sloths to the American Philosophical Society, which in turn sparked the golden age of paleontology in America."



Bressi isn't the only person who thinks ground sloths might still be alive; at the onset of the Lewis and Clark expedition,  President Jefferson instructed Meriwether Lewis to keep an eye out for ground sloths, believing that some of these creatures were still living in the Northwest.

Monsanto: Corporate Rap Sheet



We actually needed this as the global confrontation with Monsanto steadily comes to a head.  This is a history of willful disregard and planned manipulation to push whatever their product portfolio comprises of.

To say their decision threshold is significantly lower than anyone naturally presumes is the only way this company can be characterized.  They really think that they know best even in the face of clear opposing evidence which just shows how much they have manipulated their own evidence.  It really becomes clear that it is a case of we will cook our data and you will cook yours.

It is fair to say that the company is skillfully playing monopoly with the farming industry every way it can and this is turning out to be a damaging idea.  Pushback was inevitable and is now gaining global momentum simply because the company has demolished trust. 

Just what were they thinking when they sued a farmer who was stuck with their seeds?  I could not find a better way to declare war on the independent farmer if I tried.

Monsanto: Corporate Rap Sheet

Monsanto

by Philip Mattera


Once a controversial chemical company, Monsanto remade itself into an even more controversial agricultural biotechnology corporation that holds a dominant position in both herbicides and genetically engineered seeds. Identified more closely than any other company with the effort to introduce genetically modified organisms (GMOs) into the food supply, Monsanto has been the target of ongoing campaigns for more than 20 years.

Despite been labeled "Mutanto" and a purveyor of Frankenfoods, Monsanto has not backed down. It has made aggressive use not only of marketing and public relations, but also the courts, where it has frequently brought suits against farmers it claimed were not following the company's strict rules on how its products can and cannot be used. Some of those cases have gone all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, which in 2013 strongly affirmed Monsanto's patent rights. The company also has friends in Congress, which passed what critics call a Monsanto Protection Act limiting the ability of federal courts to halt the sale of genetically engineered seeds deemed to pose a health risk.

Starting with Saccharin

The original company named Monsanto was created in St. Louis in 1901 by John Queeny to produce the artificial sweetener saccharin, which was otherwise available only from Germany. The operation took off and soon expanded to other products such as caffeine, vanillin, aspirin, synthetic rubber and synthetic fibers (the latter would later include AstroTurf). After the Second World War, it moved into herbicides, using Western-themed brand names such as Ramrod, Lasso and later Roundup.

In 1985 the company purchased drug house G.D. Searle, which brought with it the artificial sweetener aspartame (sold under the name NutraSweet) as well as a spate of lawsuits charging that it ignored evidence of the harmful effects caused by its Copper-7 intrauterine contraceptive device. (In 1988 a federal jury found the company negligent and awarded $8.75 million in damages.) Despite being approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, aspartame wasbelieved by many to have harmful health effects.

During the 1980s Monsanto sold off many of its long-standing industrial chemical businesses and decided to focus on agricultural biotechnology.  It initially focused on developing crops that would not be damaged when the company's herbicide Roundup was applied to kill weeds.

Monsanto's first genetically engineered product was a growth hormone, bovine somatotropin (BST, sold under the name Posilac), used to stimulate higher rates of milk production in dairy cows. It was approved by the FDA in 1993 and went on sale the following year. The move sparked widespread protests, prompting some large grocery chains to seek to avoid milk from farms using the hormone.

Undeterred, Monsanto increased its bet on biotechnology, acquiring a 49.9 percent stake in Calgene, which was at the center of controversy over its introduction of a genetically modified tomato called Flavr Savr (Monsanto later bought the rest of the company). Also in 1995, Monsanto received approval for a bioengineered potato. The company then introduced genetically modified cotton seed and Roundup Ready soybeans. In the late 1990s Monsanto solidified its position in the seed business with the acquisition of DeKalb Genetics as well as the foreign seed operations of Cargill.

During this period Monsanto negotiated a merger with drugmaker American Home Products, but the deal collapsed in a dispute over control. Monsanto did, however, proceed with a complicated corporate reorganization. It announced plans to spin off the remainder of its old chemical business into a company called Solutia (which later filed for bankruptcy as a result of legal settlements relating to PCBs); the sweetener business was also sold off. The agriculture and pharmaceuticals businesses merged with Pharmacia & Upjohn in 2000, with the combined company taking the name Pharmacia.

Pharmacia then spun off the agricultural business as the new Monsanto (the rest of the company was acquired by Pfizer). During the following years Monsanto focused on the seed business, purchasing regional firms as well as the large fruit and vegetable seed company Seminis; it later bought the large cotton seed company Delta and Pine Land as well.

The restructuring did not change the fact that there was growing opposition to GMOs, especially in Europe. In the U.S. there were calls for at least labeling genetically modified foods, though they were long resisted by the Food and Drug Administration. In 2000 the Wall Street Journal reported that McDonald's was quietly telling its french-fry suppliers to stop using Monsanto's GMO potatoes because of concern about a backlash from customers, while big food processors such as Kraft shunned bioengineered corn after some inadvertently ended up in some of its taco shells.  More than 1,000 poor farmers stormed and occupied a Monsanto plant in Brazil. A 2001 article in the New York Times described the state of the GMO industry as a "debacle." That same year, Monsanto quietly discontinued its genetically modified potato in the face of price resistance from farmers.

Monsanto, nonetheless, pushed ahead with new products such as GMO wheat despite strong farmer resistance in places such as North Dakota. It also continued to prosper from the sale of its Roundup herbicide, which had become the all-time best-selling agricultural chemical product (though the product's reputation took a hit with reports that its use was contributing to the spread of herbicide-resistant weeds).

In 2002 Monsanto and Aventis CropScience revealed that some of their GMO canola seeds that had not yet been approved for use in the United States might have found their way to farmers' fields. The following year Monsanto received federal approval for GMO corn that was resistant to corn rootworm, a leading agricultural pest (though there were later reports questioning its effectiveness).

The Bush Administration sought to assist Monsanto and the rest of the GMO industry with the 2003 filing of a World Trade Organization action against the European moratorium against their products. Bush himself charged that the ban had discouraged third world governments from approving the technology and thereby exacerbated world hunger. (The ban was later lifted for some crops.)

Also in 2003, the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced that Monsanto and its research partners had in 2001 paid $63,000 in fines for previously undisclosed violations relating to the testing of genetically modified crops.

In 2004 Monsanto bowed to worldwide protests and finally abandoned its GMO wheat project.  The company also ran into problems with its genetically engineered alfalfa. In 2007 a federal judge in San Francisco ordered the company to suspend sales of the crop because the USDA had approved it without conducting an environmental impact assessment. This was the first time a court had ever taken such an action. Monsanto appealed the case all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, which in 2010 ruled in the company's favor.

In the meantime, Monsanto was able to dampen the impact of the anti-GMO movement by focusing on seeds used for crops that would serve as agricultural or industrial inputs rather than those for produce that would end up directly on people's plates. In 2008 it sold its controversial Posilac dairy growth hormone.

In 2010 the Environmental Protection Agency announced that Monsanto would pay a $2.5 million penalty for selling mislabeled bags of genetically engineered cotton seed.

In 2011, amid accusations that GMO crops, together with their pesticides and herbicides, were playing a role in the decline of honeybee populations, Monsanto acquired  a company called Beeologics, which was doing cutting-edge research on the problem. There have been reportslinking Monsanto's Roundup to a decrease in the population of Monarch butterflies.

The company has also had to contend with repeated efforts to require labeling of GMO foods. It was buoyed by the defeat of a 2012 California ballot measurement on the issue which Monsanto and other agribusiness and food corporations spent some $46 million to oppose. But in 2013 Whole Foods became the first major grocery chain to require the labeling of all GMO foods sold in its stores.

The anti-GMO movement has been gathering new steam with actions such as the March Against Monsanto protests that were held in 52 countries and more than 400 cities in May 2013. Monsanto has been under heightened scrutiny because of the revelation that the company's unapproved GMO wheat was found growing on a farm in Oregon. Monsanto denied responsibility and claimed that sabotage was probably involved. The company is now beingsued over the matter.


Disputes with Farmers and Processors

When Monsanto introduced its first genetically modified seeds in the 1990s, it forced farmers to sign contracts prohibiting them from continuing the traditional practice of saving some of the seeds from a harvest for planting the following season. To make sure farmers were compelled to purchase a new supply of the GMO seeds for every season, the company made sure it had the right to inspect and monitor the fields of its customers. It also brought lawsuits against farmers it claimed violated the company's policies.

Monsanto then reinforced its control by developing seeds that would beget sterile progeny. Dubbed the Terminator by critics, this patent was designed to make it impossible for farmers to save seeds and thus make them totally dependent on proprietary seeds. In the face of strong opposition, the company discontinued the product in 1999.

Later that year, however, a group of famers in the U.S. and France filed a class action lawsuit against Monsanto, alleging that the company had failed to test its GMO seeds adequately and thus had defrauded farmers when it told them that the seeds were safe. They also accused the company of antitrust violations because of its dominant position in the GMO seed market and because of its requirement that farmers "license" its seeds rather than buying them outright. (In 2003 a federal judge denied class-action status to the suit.)

Monsanto kept up its own legal offensive against farmers accused of using its patented seeds without permission. In 2001 a Canadian court awarded damages to Monsanto from a Saskatchewan farmer because some of the company's GMO canola plants were found growing in his fields, apparently as a result of pollen that had been blown onto his land from nearby farms. The Canadian Supreme Court later upheld the ruling against the farmer, Percy Schmeiser.

In 2003 Monsanto sued a small milk producer in Maine for supposedly disparaging its Posilac artificial growth hormone by labeling its products as being free of the substance. The case wassettled out of court.

In 2007 Monsanto sued Indiana farmer Vernon Bowman, who had supplemented the patented seeds he purchased from the company with additional seeds purchased from a local grain elevator that turned out to include some produced with Monsanto technology. The company won a judgment against Bowman, who appealed the case. The matter eventually made its way to the U.S. Supreme Court, which in May 2013 ruled that Bowman had violated Monsanto's patent and that farmers needed to pay the company every time they used its genetically modified soybeans.

In 2012 a French court found Monsanto guilty of chemical poisoning of a farmer who reported suffering neurological problems after using one of the company's herbicides.  


Lobbying,  Public Relations and the Revolving Door

When faced with opposition to its products and policies, Monsanto has not hesitated to enlisthigh-powered assistance from the federal government. In the late 1990s it got members of the Clinton Administration to lobby against possible European restrictions on GMOs. In Washington it made use of former U.S. Senators Dennis DeConcini and John Chaffee to promote its interests on issues ranging from patents to taxes. And it made frequent use of the revolving door by hiring former federal bureaucrats to joint its army of lobbyists and flacks. Among those were Carol Tucker Foreman, who had served both as assistant secretary of agriculture during the Carter Administration and as executive director of the Consumer Federation of America. Foreman, however, later returned to the CFA and became more critical of Monsanto and other GMO companies.

As criticism of "Frankenfoods" grew in the late 1990s, Monsanto and other biotech companiesdevoted tens of millions of dollars to make their case, forming front groups such as the Alliance for Better Foods.

A 2001 New York Times investigation found that Monsanto had exerted a great deal of control over the federal regulation of its biotech activities, first pushing for greater oversight in the 1980s as a way to reassure the public of the safety of GMOs and later insisting on weaker rules so that it could get its products to market more quickly.

Monsanto’s influence has been strong in both Republic and Democratic Administrations, including the Obama Administration. For example, in 2010 Michael R. Taylor, a former Monsanto executive and a corporate lawyer who once represented the company, became the FDA’s deputy commissioner for foods, making him the country’s food safety czar.

In 2013 Congress passed an agricultural appropriations bill that contained a provision, which critics dubbed the Monsanto Protection Act, restricting the ability of federal courts to stop the sale of GMO seeds deemed to pose a health risk. 

Controversies in India

Monsanto’s introduction of genetically engineered Bt cotton in India has been linked to the serious deterioration of conditions for small farmers in the country. Critics such as Dr. Vandana Shiva have charged that the company is responsible for a growth in the number of suicides among such farmers.

A 2012 report by the Fair Labor Association and the India Committee of the Netherlands linked Monsanto and other Western seed companies to the payment of subminimum wages to agricultural laborers, especially women, and to the use of child labor.

Agent Orange
Monsanto was one of the manufacturers of the devastating defoliant Agent Orange used by U.S. troops during the Vietnam War.  Along with the vast number of deaths and suffering it caused, Agent Orange was linked to environmental issues. The deforestation upset the ecological balance of many areas, and the lingering dioxin in soil and water caused ongoing contamination of the food chain.

The use of the defoliant also had repercussions back in the United States. The manufacturers found themselves targeted by thousands of lawsuits filed by Vietnam veterans who charged that the dioxin in Agent Orange had caused liver damage, nervous disorders, birth defects, and other health problems. The litigation was settled out of court in 1984 with the creation of a $180 million fund.

In 2004 the Vietnam Association for Victims of Agent Orange (VAVA) filed a lawsuit in federal court against the manufacturers on behalf of Vietnamese victims. The case was dismissed the following year and the dismissal was upheld in 2007.

Other Environmental and Workplace Safety Issues

In 1929 Monsanto introduced polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), chemicals that were adopted for a wide range of consumer and industrial products. Although there was evidence as early as the 1930s that PCBs had harmful health effects, Monsanto kept producing them until the late 1970s, by which time they were recognized to be carcinogenic and were being banned by the Environmental Protection Agency.

In 1986 a federal jury in Galveston, Texas found Monsanto guilty of negligence and ordered the company to pay $108 million to the family of a worker who died from leukemia after being exposed to benzene while working at a Monsanto chemical plant. Monsanto had refused to pay workers compensation to the family, insisting that the disease was not work-related. The award was later overturned and the family settled with Monsanto for $6 million.

In 1987 a state court jury found Monsanto liable for failing to warn the residents of Sturgeon, Missouri about the risks of a 1979 train accident that spilled chemicals including a small quantity of dioxin. The residents were granted more than $16 million in damages, but the award was later overturned.

In 1988 Monsanto agreed to pay $1.5 million to settle a lawsuit that had been brought by a group of workers who charged that their exposure to a rubber additive at the company's plant in Nitro, West Virginia caused them to contract a rare form of bladder cancer.

In 2003 Monsanto (which retained liability for some liability matters relating to its old chemical businesses), along with Solutia and Pfizer (which had acquired Pharmacia), agreed to pay some $700 million to settle a lawsuit over the dumping of PCBs in Anniston, Alabama.

In 2007 The Guardian reported that it had obtained evidence that dozens of dangerous chemicals related to dioxins, Agent Orange and PCBs were leaking from an unlined quarry in Britain that was among various landfills in the country believed to have been used as dump sites for contractors working for Monsanto decades earlier.

Corrupt Practices

In 2005 the U.S. Justice Department announced that Monsanto had agreed to pay penalties totaling $1.5 million to resolve criminal and civil charges that it violated the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act through illegal payments to government officials in Indonesia.

Antitrust

In 1984 Monsanto lost an antitrust dispute with its distributor Spray-Rite, which Monsanto had sought to prevent from selling its herbicides at less than its suggested price. It appealed the case all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, which upheld the award and thus in effect found Monsanto guilty of price fixing.

A 2004 investigation by the New York Times found that during the 1990s Monsanto executives met repeatedly with their counterparts from competitor Pioneer Hi-Bred International and agreed to charge higher prices for genetically modified seeds in what seemed to be a case of price-fixing. The companies acknowledged that the meetings took place but claims they were legitimate negotiations about licensing arrangements.

In 2010 Monsanto disclosed that the U.S. Justice Department had formally demanded information on its herbicide-resistant soybean seed business as part of an investigation into anti-competitive practices.  To make itself less of a target, Monsanto decided to let patents on its bioengineered farm seeds expire without a fight. This would make it easier for rivals to produce cheap knockoffs, yet Monsanto expected to maintain its market dominance by introducing new patented versions of the seeds. The Justice Department notified Monsanto in 2012 that it was ending the investigation.


Discrimination

In 1996 Monsanto and Chevron Chemical agreed to pay a total of $18.25 million to settle an age, race and disability discrimination suit that had been brought by a group of workers who were terminated after Chevron sold its Ortho Consumer Products business to Monsanto.

Watchdog Groups and Campaigns

Key Books and Reports
Application of Biotechnology for Functional Foods (Pew Initiative on Food & Biotechnology, May 2007).
Child Bondage Continues in Indian Cotton Supply Chain by Dr. Davuluri Venkateswarlu (India Committee of the Netherlands, September 2007).
Eating in the Dark: America's Experiment with Genetically Engineered Food by Kathleen Hart (Pantheon, 2002).
Faith, Hope and $5,000: The Story of Monsanto—The Trials and Triumphs of the First 75 Years by Dan J. Forrestal (Simon & Schuster, 1977).
Food, Inc.: Mendel to Monsanto--The Promises and Perils of the Biotech Harvest by Peter Pringle (Simon & Schuster, 2003).
Monsanto: A Corporate Profile (Food & Water Europe, April 2013)
Monsanto vs. the World: The Monsanto Protection Act, GMOs and our Genetically Modified Future by Jason Louv (Ultraculture Press, 2013).  
Seeds of Deception: Exposing Industry and Government Lies About the Safety of the Genetically Engineered Food You’re Eating by Jeffrey M. Smith (Yes! Books, 2003).
Selling Suicide: Farming, False Promises and Genetic Engineering in Developing Countries by Andrew Simms and Angela Burton (Christian Aid, 1999).
Stolen Harvest: The Hijacking of the Global Food Supply by Vandana Shiva (South End Press, 2000).
The Children Behind Our Cotton (Environmental Justice Foundation, December 2007).
The World According to Monsanto: Pollution, Corruption, and the Control of the World’s Food Supply by Marie-Monique Robin (New Press, 2010).
Wages of Inequality: Wage Discrimination and Underpayment in Hybrid Seed Production in India by Davuluri Venkateswarlu and Jacob Kalle (Fair Labor Association and India Committee of the Netherlands, December 2012).


Glue Spitting Velvet Worm





This is a real oddity and clearly an early penetrator of the land sea boundary.  Its ability to take down essentially any insect it gets close to is impressive. 

It is also a timely reminder of just how huge the global insect biomass truly is.  It readily outweighs any other non - plant live forms altogether.

It also suggests an insect control strategy that should be better explored.  Why not do way more banding of plants or simply spray on sticky droplets that remain naturally hydrated.  I think we actually know enough to do this.


New Glue-Spitting Velvet Worm Found in Vietnam

The ancient animals, which spit an immobilizing material onto prey, hadn't been spotted before because they spend most of their lives hidden in soil to keep their permeable skin moist



Small bugs of the rain forest have many things to worry about, assuming they are capable of anxiety. But surely some of their more feared predators are velvet worms, a group of ancient animals that spit an immobilizing, gluelike material onto prey before injecting them with saliva and chomping down.

It turns out the velvet worm family is more diverse than thought: A new species has been found in the jungles of Vietnam. Unlike related velvet worms, this species has uniquely shaped hairs covering its body. It reaches a length of 2.5 inches (6 centimeters), said Ivo de Sena Oliveira, a researcher at the University of Leipzig, Germany, who along with colleagues describes the species in Zoologischer Anzeiger (A Journal of Comparative Zoology).

The paper and related work by Oliveira suggest thousands of unknown species of these creatures are waiting to be found throughout the world's tropical rain forests, he said. Research by Oliveira in the Amazon rain forest alone suggests there may be one new species of velvet worm about every 15 miles (25 kilometers), he told LiveScience.

Little-known glue-spitter

The animals are extremely difficult to find and little known, because they spend most of life hidden in moist areas in the soil, in rotting logs or under rocks, due in part to the fact that their permeable skin allows them to quickly dry out, Oliveira said. In some areas, "if you're not there at the right moment of the year, during the rainy season, you won't find them," he added. The rainy season is the one time of year this Vietnamese species exits the soil, he said.
Unlike arthropods (a huge group of animals that includes ants and spiders), velvet worms lack hard exoskeletons. Instead their bodies are fluid-filled, covered in a thin skin and kept rigid by pressurized liquid. This hydrostatic pressure allows them to walk, albeit very slowly, on fluid-filled, stubby legs that lack joints.

Slimed

Their slowness works to their advantage. To hunt, they sneak up on other insects or invertebrates. And that's when the sliming begins — velvet worms like the newfound species hunt by spraying a "net of glue" onto their prey from two appendages on their backs, Oliveira said. This nasty material consists of a mix of proteins that impedes movement. "The more the prey moves, the more it gets entangled," he said.
Oftentimes the velvet worms will eat any excess "glue," which is energetically costly to make. Although the animals have been shown to take down prey larger then themselves, they often choose smaller creatures, likely to ensure they don't waste their precious bodily fluids, Oliveira said.
Fossils show that velvet worms haven't changed much since they diverged from their relatives (such as the ancestors of arthropods and waterbears) about 540 million years ago, Oliveira said. Studies of velvet worms could help shed light on the evolution of arthropods, he added.


There are two families of velvet worm, one spread around the tropics, and another found in Australia and New Zealand. Members of the former group generally tend to be loners. But the other family may be more social. One 2006 study found that members of the species Euperipatoides rowelli can hunt in groups of up to 15, and that the dominant female eats first.



Super Organs on the Way



Let us take this a long step further.  We will soon enter the age of genetic body sculpting.  Not only will we heal all our organs, we will optimize then also.  Just as easily, we can turn on our youthful machinery for muscle optimization so that our musculature can also be properly optimized.  This means that everyone will be ripped and supremely healthy.

All this is reminiscent of the lifeway of the Greek Gods.  I never did understand the rational for the ancient Greek pantheon until I realized that this is our human destiny once experienced before the Pleistocene Nonconformity.  

Hang on folks and welcome our real future which will have absolutely zero in common with our past.


Super-organs: building body parts better than nature

AUGUST 23, 2013

http://nextbigfuture.com/2013/08/super-organs-building-body-parts-better.html#more

Synthetic DNA circuits inserted into human stem cells could soon allow us to build new organs with unprecedented precision and speed. The circuits can be designed on a computer and assembled from ready-made parts ordered online. The technique could prove an efficient way of making organs for transplant without the worry of rejection, and raises the tantalising possibility that it might one day be possible to upgrade the organs we were born with. Human cells have already been used to create a tiny liver and a set of neurons.


"At the moment, the aim is to normalise cells, but in future, enhancement has to be on the menu," says Chris Mason, a professor of regenerative medicine at University College London, who wasn't involved in the work.


Oxford Journal Nucleic Acids Research - Rapid, modular and reliable construction of complex mammalian gene circuits

To turn induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells into a specific tissue type, they are typically placed in a soup of DNA and signalling molecules. These enter the cells and flick certain epigenetic switches. What gets turned on or off depends on the ingredients in the soup. "The problem is that there are tens of thousands of these switches that all need to be set in the right way," says Mason. Another hurdle is that all cells in the soup are influenced in the same way and grow into the same tissue type. But a piece of liver tissue, say, is not the same as a functioning liver. The issue is even more apparent with complex organs such as hearts, says Guye.


What would be more helpful is an instruction manual that each individual stem cell can follow during its development. And this is exactly what Guye's team has provided. They started by looking at what happens in neurons and liver cells during natural embryonic development – which genes are switched on and when. They then designed and built artificial DNA control circuits to reproduce this switching in iPS cells. The circuits are slotted together using a combination of standard DNA parts – such as sequences that code for different proteins – available from online repositories and newly synthesised genetic material.


"You assemble it into one large logic circuit and put it into the cell," Guye says. "It's interfacing with the natural system. We're not replacing anything, we're putting a control layer on top."


Once in the cell, the circuitry kicks into action. "The idea is that the circuit is pretty much autonomous," says Guye. It can measure activity – such as levels of gene expression in the cell – and react to it. When the circuit detects that an iPS cell has turned into a precursor cell, for example, it can initiate the next stage of development.


As yet unpublished results suggest that the technique is faster and more reliable than existing methods of creating tissues from iPS cells. In one study, his team turned iPS cells into neurons in just four days with almost 100 per cent success. "If true, it's incredibly rapid," says Mason. "Normally it takes weeks."


ABSTRACT Rapid, modular and reliable construction of complex mammalian gene circuits –


We developed a framework for quick and reliable construction of complex gene circuits for genetically engineering mammalian cells. Our hierarchical framework is based on a novel nucleotide addressing system for defining the position of each part in an overall circuit. With this framework, we demonstrate construction of synthetic gene circuits of up to 64 kb in size comprising 11 transcription units and 33 basic parts. We show robust gene expression control of multiple transcription units by small molecule inducers in human cells with transient transfection and stable chromosomal integration of these circuits. This framework enables development of complex gene circuits for engineering mammalian cells with unprecedented speed, reliability and scalability and should have broad applicability in a variety of areas including mammalian cell fermentation, cell fate reprogramming and cell-based assays.


Organs enhanced with sensor or that release drugs on demand


In theory, he says, we can imagine creating a human organ for detecting magnetic fields – birds have such things, for example. But augmenting organs, rather than making entirely new ones, is within closer reach. Synthetic biology provides a rapidly increasing number of biological sensors that react to different stimuli. These could be inserted into tissues so that gene expression could be controlled by light alone, say, which may allow less invasive treatments.


People with brain disorders like Parkinson's, caused by the loss of nerve cells that produce dopamine, could benefit from neurons that release an extra hit. Growing 1000 more-potent brain cells instead of 100,000 normal cells would make cell therapies more affordable and quick to implement, says Chris Mason of University College London.


Other ideas suggested by researchers contacted by New Scientist include organs that can release drugs on demand, that are resistant to parasites or that break down toxins we can't deal with.

Friday, August 30, 2013

GOD and Consciousness




I have demonstrated through mathematical technique that the physical world cum universe is generated by a simple elementary action in which the first particle pair or plausibly the neutral neutrino is generated.  From this the universe itself expands naturally at the speed of light and is filled through natural geometric decay taking advantage of the curvature boundedness that arises profusely.  This universe contains our three dimensions and time.

This initial step, simple as it is requires the conscious will to exist.  Yet this consciousness appears initially external to the universe but evolves as content to the universe itself.  At the moment of first creation, this consciousness surely lacked content.  The act of creation set content generation in motion of which we are products.  It is as if the consciousness of the universe reached out and triggered is own existence.

Thus the phrase that God is the beginning and the end nicely closes the logic loop and does describe the act of creation correctly.  Recall, it is correct that a wormhole can loop to any point in space and even time, although with increasing difficulty, yet theoretically to every point in time.  Perhaps it is the increasing difficulty that makes GOD an evolved consciousness.

Our consciousness is our share in the universal consciousness.   Spiritualism is our attempt to improve sharing in the universal consciousness to which we are largely blinded.  Out of Eden means we have been deliberately cut off some 45000 years ago as noted by one informant until we evolve our disciplines to fully emerge and ascend as a people.

Much has been said about universal GOD serving all life in the universe.  This appears valid.  Yet it is also a constraint.  It is a guide and consciousness holding all knowledge acquired by life not unlike the internet that requires skillful querying rather than passive acceptance.  Thus the role of a great master is to investigate questions and to ask.  A man is only as smart and wise as his questions.

Prayer is a moment used to address and define questions and pray for their resolution.  These may even be selfish questions but must be morally couched.  Is it right to ask for the death of my sworn enemy? 


Almost unconsciously, I have addressed problems unsolved by the great geniuses of history.  These were always interesting.  All led to fresh insights and rewards.  I know no more worthy road.

Gadget

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