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Brain Eating, Deadly Amoeba Found Again in Drinking Water

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The brain eating amoeba Naegleria fowleri is an unnerving creature that supposedly exists on just about every continent. Found in warm freshwater bodies, such as lakes, ponds, hot springs and rivers, it used to be more rare in the United States.

The microorganism has a creepy, “face-like” appearance up-close.

Now, the deadly neuron-consuming microorganism is being found in Louisiana water supplies again.

In Terrebonne Parish, Louisiana, positive results for Naegleria fowleri in water supplies have come back from independent testing. A different disinfectant will be introduced into the water supply, the Terrebonne Consolidated Waterworks District confirmed on Sunday.

It’s culturally prominent in Louisiana and the South in general to go swimming in natural, beautiful lakes and rivers. However in hot, humid Louisiana, an incredibly fertile ground for microorganisms like this can be found.

This is the third time since 2015 that the brain eating microorganism has been found in Louisiana. Shocking headlines were made in March 2017, when it was found in Louisiana tap water.

According to CBS News:

“Last June, Terrebonne Parish’s water system tested positive for the amoeba in Isle de Jean Charles, where it had also been found three years ago. It impacts all fresh water sources ranging from drinking water to pool water to water used for showers.”

The official narrative is that it exists on every continent, but it’s difficult to find examples of Naegleria fowleri infection on some continents. First identified in Australia in the 1960’s, it’s not easy to even find the official narrative on how this happened in detail, but somehow it started popping up in the United States shortly after its discovery.

It’s called a brain eating microorganism because N. fowleri sometimes results in a lethal brain infection, called naegleriasis, or primary amoebic meningoencephalitis (PAM).

Normally this amoeba feeds on bacteria, but when water infected with it is inhaled through the nose, while swimming for instance, something much worse can happen. It can travel to the brain through the cribriform plate, through the olfactory and nasal nerve tissue, and start eating your brain.

Once it passes through to the brain, the amoeba’s trophozoites start to consume your neurons and astrocytes. It’s extremely unusual that this would enter the brain through the cribriform plate.

Encephalitis, or swelling of the brain comes to mind when thinking about this, and that is usually a result of blood brain barrier penetrating chemicals such as polysorbate 80 allowing a pathogen to enter the brain by crossing the barrier that is supposed to protect it, once it has been chemically forced open.

However, primary amoebic meningoencephalitis is something else entirely. Apparently the neurotransmitter acetylcholine may act as some kind of stimulus to enable the amoeba to cross.

So what symptoms appear when you’re infected with this? Symptoms appear between 1 and 9 days after exposure, and they include fever, headache, nausea, confusion, loss of balance, stiff neck, seizures, loss of ability to pay attention, and sometimes even hallucinations.

Within about 2 weeks, most people pass away from the infection. Since about 1962, only one person has been known to survive the amoeba, until 2013 when a 12 year old girl hospitalized for the infection in Arkansas managed to survive. Now the number is up to 4 known survivors.

These infections are rare, but since they are almost always fatal, they make people unfortunately have to think twice before spending some time swimming.

About 143 reported cases of infection occurred between 1962 and 2016, and only four people survived. After using neti pots to rinse out their noses, two Louisiana residents passed away of the infection in 2011.

In 2013, a 4 year old boy passed away in 2013 after playing on a Slip ‘N Slide for hours in muddy and hot conditions.

It’s a mystery of life, why we have to be aware of such lethal creatures out there in the world. It’s a natural wonder why these organisms have to even exist.

 

(Image credit: pixabay, news.nationalgeographicD.T. John & T.B. Cole, Visuals Unlimited, studyblue, pinterest, shroomery, louisianaswamp, nolagirlatheart.wordpress)

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Pot-Smoking White House Staffers Punished and Ousted For Past Use Despite Assurances

Elijah Cohen

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Dozens of White House staffers have been suspended, relocated, or asked to resign over past marijuana use, despite initial indications from transition officials that recreational use of cannabis would not be a disqualifying factor, according to the Daily Beast, citing three anonymous sources.

The policy has even affected staffers whose marijuana use was exclusive to one of the 14 states—and the District of Columbia—where cannabis is legal. Sourcesfamiliar with the matter also said a number of young staffers were either put on probation or canned because they revealed past marijuana use in an official document they filled out as part of the lengthy background check for a position in the Biden White House.” –Daily Beast

Staffers were initially told by transition higher-ups that the administration would likely overlook past marijuana use, only to later be asked for their resignation.

“There were one-on-one calls with individual affected staffers—rather, ex-staffers,” one former White House staffer told the Beast. “I was asked to resign.”

“Nothing was ever explained” on the calls led by White House Director of Management and Administration, Anne Filipic. “The policies were never explained, the threshold for what was excusable and what was inexcusable was never explained.”

The news comes after a February report from NBC News that the White House would waive the requirement that all potential appointees in the Executive Office obtain “top secret” clearance.

The rules about past marijuana use and eligibility for the clearance vary, depending on the agency: For the FBI, an applicant can’t have used marijuana in the past three years; at the NSA, it’s only one. The White House, however, largely calls its own shots, and officials at the time told NBC News that as long as past use was “limited” and the candidate wasn’t pursuing a position that required a security clearance, past use may be excused.” –Daily Beast

Reposted from Zero Hedge with permission.

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Trump Family Planning Takeover Of The RNC To Ensure Political Dynasty, Sources Say

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Donald Trump has still refused to concede the 2020 election to his Democratic rival Joe Biden, but even if he does leave the White House in January, his family is planning on beginning a Trump political dynasty. This week, three GOP advisers told CNN that Donald Trump Jr. and Kimberly Guilfoyle are making moves to expand their influence at the Republican National Committee. Other sources have said that they have ambitions to take over the party.

Donald Trump Jr. and Kimberly Guilfoyle are reportedly unhappy with RNC chairwoman Ronna McDaniel over what they perceive as a lack of support during a contested election. Speaking under the condition of anonymity, a Republican Party source with close ties to the White House said that Trump Jr. and Guilfoyle could seek leadership roles at the RNC.

“Don Jr. and Kimberly have an eye on the RNC, through themselves taking over or somebody close to them taking over,” the source said.

Donald Trump Jr. denied claims that he has ambitions to take over the party, as did Andrew Surabian, a Trump associate who said that the rumors are “100% incorrect.”

Still, for years Donald Trump insisted that he had no interest in getting involved in politics, and people usually don’t tell the media when they are after another person’s job. 

If the Trump family is able to expand its influence in the GOP and the RNC, they could position Donald Trump to run for president a second time in 2024, a possibility that has been floated by numerous Trump advisers. 

Rick Gates, an aide to Trump during his 2016 presidential campaign, expects Trump to remain in politics for the long haul.

He’s going to continue to play a significant role in the Republican Party. He’ll have that locked up for at least the next few years,” Gates said.

Gates also said Trump would likely “seriously consider another run in 2024,” according to USA Today.

Gates is not the only Trump insider to make such a prediction. Mick Mulvaney, a former chief of staff, predicted a Trump 2024 campaign recently while appearing in a recent interview with Sky News.

“I would absolutely expect the president to stay involved in politics and would absolutely put him on the shortlist of people who are likely to run in 2024,” Mulvaney said.

There are historical precedents of presidents running for re-election years after losing.

In 1840, President Martin Van Buren lost his re-election campaign as the 8th President of the United States and chose to run again in 1848 as a member of the Free Soil Party. President Grover Cleveland was both the 22nd and 24th president of the United States. He served as president from 1885 to 1889 and then again from 1893 to 1897.

Theodore Roosevelt became President in 1901 following the assassination of William McKinley and was elected to a full term in 1904. After leaving politics, he attempted a failed return in 1912 running as a Progressive.

The 22nd Amendment states that “No person shall be elected to the office of the President more than twice, and no person who has held the office of President, or acted as President, for more than two years of a term to which some other person was elected President shall be elected to the office of the President more than once.”

Even if Donald Trump does not run for president again, his family has now entered the political arena, and they don’t appear to have any plans of leaving.

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Scientists Finally Traced a ‘Fast Radio Burst’ To A Place In Our Galaxy For The First Time

Justin MacLachlan

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One of the most daunting questions scientists have faced for at least a decade is what causes fast radio bursts (or FRB’s) that pulse throughout the universe?

Scientists have long known about these energetic pulses — called fast radio bursts — for roughly 13 years observing them coming from outside our galaxy. The distance makes it harder to trace them back to what’s causing them. Making it even more difficult is that these bursts of energy happen so fast, in a couple of milliseconds and then don’t happen again for awhile.

TMU has previously reported on various FRBs with the latest being one that repeats in a looping cycle every 157 days outside of our Milky Way Galaxy. FRB 121102’ exhibits repeated burst activity for a period of about 90 days, before going quiet for about 67 days. Then the whole 157-day cycle repeats again.

FRB’s are energetic flares of radiation that last just a few milliseconds, and most of them flare randomly only once, then they are never detected again. Further, FRBs are believed to generate a billion times more energy than any known object in our galaxy. In fact, this energy equals what would be produced by 500 million of our suns, according to NASA.

As TMU further reported, scientists observed FRBs coming from somewhere deep in space in 2019. This was only the second time repeated blasts of signals of this type had ever been recorded.

Earlier this year, in April, a rare but weaker radio burst came from inside our own Milky Way galaxy that was spotted by two different astronomers using two separate telescopes: one a California doctoral student’s set of handmade antennas, which included pans, the other a $20 million Canadian observatory.

The researchers tracked April’s fast radio burst to a magnetar that’s 32,000 light-years from Earth, according to four studies published in the journal Nature.

Magnetars are incredibly dense neutron stars, with 1.5 times the mass of our sun jam packed into a space the size of a city. Magnetars have immense magnetic fields that pulse with energy, and sometimes flares of X-rays and radio waves burst come from them, according to McGill University astrophysicist Ziggy Pleunis, a co-author of the Canadian study.

The burst happened in less than a second containing about the same amount of energy that our sun produces in a month, and still that’s far weaker than the radio bursts detected coming from outside our galaxy, said Caltech radio astronomer Christopher Bochenek. Bochenak helped spot the burst with his handmade antennas, which the Associated Press reported costed him $15,000.

While astronomers believe they discovered what caused this FRB, they emphasize that magnetars may not be the only answer, especially since there are two types of fast radio bursts that repeat and those that occur only once. So the mystery continues…

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