This dog turned to stone while living as a stray dog in Greece. Look at her amazing transformation after being rescued and given a second chance at life.
Credit: Valia Orfanidou
Last year, a concerned woman saw a stray dog on the streets of Athens, Greece and snapped a picture of the dog to post on Facebook with the hope that the right people might see it and help.
The woman was shocked at the condition of the stray dog because it appeared as though she had turned to stone. Her face had completely hardened with no sign of fur left and her body looked as though it wasn’t far behind in following suit.
Credit: Valia Orfanidou
Aptly named Petra, which is the Greek word for “stone,” she quickly gained the attention of people who wanted to help and they spent countless hours and energy attempting to capture her. On top of having obvious skin and health issues, Petra seemed to also suffer from something much harder to treat: a fear of humans.
By the looks of it, Petra had never been around humans and was absolutely terrified of them, making her rescue extremely difficult and her time at the shelter tough on her at first.
Credit: Valia Orfanidou
Lucky for her, Valia Orfanidou met Petra at Save A Greek Stray shelter and knew she could help the poor pup. Orfanidou, who has rehabilitated many animals before, told The Dodo,
“I think she’s always been a stray because she looked like she had never been around people. Even dogs in that condition, if they’ve been around people are more friendly. Petra looked like she had never been touched.”
In addition to her deep-rooted fears and lack of social skills, Petra had some serious skin issues as well as internal infections. It turns out that the cause of her stone-like appearance was actually the result of a very severe case of mange, which is treatable. She was also treated for another skin infection that caused painful scabs and lesions and leishmaniasis, a parasitic disease that could have killed her if left untreated.
Credit: Valia Orfanidou
Even as Petra’s health began to improve, her fearful behavior was still present, so Orfanidou worked hard to help her overcome it. She said that at the beginning,
“She never wanted to leave her cage; she would hide every time she was approached and growl at the other dogs at the shelter.”
During Orfanidou and Petra’s first encounter, the petrified pup peed in her own cage because she was so scared. On their second encounter, “it took us one whole hour to walk just a few meters from her cage. She would make three or four steps, and then stop. I’d pull her slightly and then a few more steps.”
Credit: Valia Orfanidou
As the weeks went by, Orfanidou noticed a huge improvement. She told The Dodo,
“She started wagging her tail and looked willing to play with us, her toys and the other dogs.”
A little love can go a long way, and Petra’s life has improved more than she ever could have imagined it could as a sickly stray dog. View the images below to see her amazing transformation into a beautiful, loving dog who just needed someone to believe in her. You can also watch the video of her miraculous change below.
Mathematician Benoit B. Mandelbrot explains how he discovered that everything – from the micro to the macro – is connected.
“There are no coincidences,” your friend tells you from across the table. “Truly,” she assures. “You create your reality, and what you put out comes back.”
While you roll your eyes, part of you wonder if there is any truth to the belief that we live in a vibrational universe, and that each of us is responsible for the course of our own lives. It sounds romantic, and you’d like to think that you might have played a role in the past because that means you could change the future… Right?
Immediately, the thought flits out of your head. But later that day, you come across Benoit B. Mandelbrot, an infamous mathematician who claims to have discovered the thumbprint of God.
Listening to his video (above), you’re suddenly struck with the inspiration to learn more. And it begins…
Mandelbrot was just a boy when he discovered that he was exceedingly gifted at math. And that talent allowed him to later discover that everything in this universe is connected. Because we live in a world where everything demands scientific validation, Mandelbrot’s discovery has changed many peoples’ beliefs about the idea that we all come from the same Source – and will return to the One eventually.
We’ll let you hear from him how he discovered that everything in the Universe – from the micro to the macro – connects, in this last interview which took place before he died.
Truly, there’s more to the cosmos than meets the eye, and this genius’ work may just help all of us discover and experience our limitless potential.
Cartoon illustrating male sperm cells fertilizing a female egg
A revolutionary new study reveals that the core tenet of classical genetics is patently false, and by implication: what we do in this life — our diet, our mindset, our chemical exposures — can directly impact the DNA and health of future generations.
In classical genetics, Mendelian laws specify that the inheritance of traits passed from one generation to the next can only occur through sexual reproduction as information is passed down through the chromosomes of a species’ germline cells (egg and sperm), and never through somatic (bodily) cells. Genetic change, according to this deeply entrenched view, can take hundreds, thousands and even millions of generations to manifest.
The new study, however, has uncovered a novel mechanism through which somatic-to-germline transmission of genetic information is made possible. Mice grafted with human melanoma tumor cells genetically manipulated to express genes for a fluorescent tracer enzyme (EGFP-encoding plasmid) were found to release information-containing molecules containing the EGFP tracer into the animals’ blood; since EGFP is a non-human and non-murine expressed tracer, there was little doubt that the observed phenomenon was real. These EGFP trackable molecules includedexosomes (small nanoparticles produced by all eukaryotic cells (including plants and animals), which contain RNA and DNA molecules), which were verified to deliver RNAs to mature sperm cells (spermatozoa) and remain stored there. The authors of the study pointed out that RNA of this kind has been found in mouse models to behave as a “transgenerational determinant of inheritable epigenetic variations and that spermatozoal RNA can carry and deliver information that cause phenotypic variations in the progeny.”
The researchers concluded that their study’s findings strongly suggest, “exosomes are the carriers of a flow of information from somatic cells to gametes,” and that their “results indicate that somatic RNA is transferred to sperm cells, which can therefore act as the final recipients of somatic cell-derived information.”
Breaking Through Weismann’s Genetic Barrier
These findings overturn the so-called Weismann barrier, a principle proposed by the German evolutionary biologist August Weismann (1834 – 1914), that states hereditary information can only move from genes to body cells, and not the other way around, which has long been considered a nail in the coffin of the Lamarkian concept that an organism can pass on characteristics it has acquired during its lifetime to its offspring.
Over the past decade, however, the seeming impenetrability of the Weismann barrier has increasingly been called into question, due to a growing body of evidence that epigenetic patterns of gene expression (e.g. histone modifications, gene silencing via methylation) can be transferred across generations without requiring changes in the primary DNA sequences of our genomes; as well as the discovery that certain viruses contain the enzyme reverse transcriptase, which is capable of inscribing RNA-based information directly into our DNA, including germline cells, as is the case for endogenous retroviruses, which are believed responsible for about 5% of the nucleotide sequences in our genome. Nonetheless, as the authors of the new study point out, until their study, “no instance of transmission of DNA- or RNA-mediated information from somatic to germ cells has been reported as yet.”
The researchers further expanded on the implications of their findings:
“Work from our and other laboratories indicates that spermatozoa act as vectors not only of their own genome, but also of foreign genetic information, based on their spontaneous ability to take up exogenous DNA and RNA molecules that are then delivered to oocytes at fertilization with the ensuing generation of phenotypically modified animals –. In cases in which this has been thoroughly investigated, the sperm-delivered sequences have been seen to remain extrachromosomal and to be sexually transmitted to the next generation in a non-Mendelian fashion . The modes of genetic information delivery in this process are closely reminiscent of those operating in RNA-mediated paramutation inheritance, whereby RNA is the determinant of inheritable epigenetic variations , . In conclusion, this work reveals that a flow of information can be transferred from the soma to the germline, escaping the principle of the Weismann barrier  which postulates that somatically acquired genetic variations cannot be transferred to the germline.”
The implications of research on exosome-mediated information transfer are wide ranging. First, if your somatic cells, which are continually affected by your nutritional, environmental, lifestyle and even mind-body processes, can transfer genetic information through exosomes to the DNA within your germline cells, then your moment-to-moment decisions, behaviors, experiences, toxin and toxicant exposures, could theoretically affect the biological ‘destinies’ of your offspring, and their offspring, stretching on into the distant future.
Exosome research also opens up promising possibilities in the realm of nutrigenomics and ‘food as medicine.’ A recent study found common plant foods, e.g. ginger, grapefruit, grapes, produce exosomes that, following digestion, enter human blood undegraded and subsequently down-regulate inflammatory pathways in the human body in a manner confirming some of their traditional folkloric medicinal uses. If the somatic cells within our body are capable through extrachromosomal processes of modulating fundamental genetic processes within the germline cells, or, furthermore, if foods that we eat are also capable of acting as vectors of gene-regulatory information, truly the old reductionist, mechanistic, unilinear models of genetics must be abandoned in favor of a view that accounts for the vital importance of all our decisions, nutritional factors, environmental exposures, etc., in determining the course, not only of our bodily health, but the health of countless future generations as well.
After decades of wrongful cancer diagnoses and treatments, and millions harmed, the National Cancer Institute and high gravitas journals like JAMA finally admit they were wrong all along.
Back in 2012, The National Cancer Institute convened an expert panel to evaluate the problem of cancer’s misclassification and subsequent overdiagnosis and overtreatment, determining that millions may have been wrongly diagnosed with “cancer” of the breast, prostate, thyroid, and lung, when in fact their conditions were likely harmless, and should have been termed “indolent or benign growths of epithelial origin.” No apology was issued. No major media coverage occurred. And more importantly, no radical change occurred in the conventional practice of cancer diagnosis, prevention, or treatment.
Essentially, in one sleight of the semantic hand, entire swaths of the U.S., and global population, who thought they had “lethal cancer,” and were subsequently treated for it, often with violent procedures and treatments, were being told that “oops….we got that wrong. You never had cancer after all.”
If you look at the problem through just breast cancer overdiagnosis and overtreatment in the U.S. over the past 30 years, it has been estimated that approximately 1.3 million women were wrongly treated. Most of these women still have no idea they were victims, and many have identified with their “aggressors” in Stolkholm syndrome like fashion, because they think their “lives were saved” by unnecessary treatment, when in fact the side effects, both physical and psychological, have almost certainly reduced both the quality and duration of their lives.
At the time, I based this on available research on the natural history of DCIS, and the extremely high survival rates from DCIS, as well as the fact that breast cancer related mortality had not declined in pace with the expansion of so-called “zero” or “early stage” cancers detected through mammography screenings, as would be expected if these diagnoses actually represented harmful clinical entities. To learn more about this still underreported tragedy in women’s healthcare, watch Dr. Gilbert Welch’s video on the topic below:
An international panel of doctors has decided that a type of tumor that was classified as a cancer is not a cancer at all.
As a result, they have officially downgraded the condition, and thousands of patients will be spared removal of their thyroid, treatment with radioactive iodine and regular checkups for the rest of their lives, all to protect against a tumor that was never a threat.
Their conclusion, and the data that led to it, was reported Thursday in the journal JAMA Oncology. The change is expected to affect about 10,000 of the nearly 65,000 thyroid cancer patients a year in the United States. It may also offer grist to those who have been arguing for the reclassification of some other forms of cancer, including certain lesions in the breast and prostate.
The reclassified tumor is a small lump in the thyroid that is completely surrounded by a capsule of fibrous tissue. Its nucleus looks like a cancer but the cells have not broken out of their capsule, and surgery to remove the entire thyroid followed by treatment with radioactive iodine is unnecessary and harmful, the panel said. They have now renamed the tumor. Instead of calling it “encapsulated follicular variant of papillary thyroid carcinoma,” they now call it “noninvasive follicular thyroid neoplasm with papillary-like nuclear features,” or NIFTP. The word “carcinoma” is gone.
Many cancer experts said the reclassification was long overdue. For years there have been calls to downgrade small lesions in the breast, lung and prostate, among others, and to eliminate the term “cancer” from their name. But other than the renaming of an early stage urinary tract tumor in 1998, and early stage ovarian and cervical lesions more than two decades ago, no group other than the thyroid specialists has yet taken the plunge.
In fact, said Dr. Otis Brawley, chief medical officer at the American Cancer Society, the name changes that occurred went in the opposite direction, scientific evidence to the contrary. Premalignant tiny lumps in the breast became known as stage zero cancer. Small and early-stage prostate lesions were called cancerous tumors. Meanwhile, imaging with ultrasound, M.R.I.’s and C.T. scans find more and more of these tiny “cancers,” especially thyroid nodules.
“If it’s not a cancer, let’s not call it a cancer,” said Dr. John C. Morris, president-elect of the American Thyroid Association and a professor of medicine at the Mayo Clinic. Dr. Morris was not a member of the renaming panel.
Dr. Barnett S. Kramer, director of the division of cancer prevention at the National Cancer Institute, said, “There’s a growing concern that many of the terms we use don’t match our understanding of the biology of cancer.” Calling lesions cancer when they are not leads to unnecessary and harmful treatment, he said.”
The article goes on to discuss the fact that while some major medical centers are starting to treat encapsulated thyroid tumors less aggressively, this is still not the norm in the rest of the country. It is a consistent pattern that there is an over decade long lag between changes in evidence and the clinical practice of medicine, which is therefore far less “evidence-based” as is commonly claimed and/or assumed.
Clearly, the truth about cancer’s true nature, and the cancer industry’s misrepresentations, is beginning to come to light via the very institutions like JAMA and the major media who have been responsible, historically, for generating so many commonly held misconceptions on the topic.
With plants and trees lining every floor, the hotel is like a reconstruction of the former hill on the site that was demolished years before. Photo credit: Stefano Boeri Architetti China
We’ve heard of vertical gardens but what about vertical forests? The Mountain Forest Hotel in Guizhou, China’s Wanfeng Valley is a carbon-sucking, sky-high marvel created by Milan-based architect Stefano Boeri.
Boeri is the visionary behind similar plant-covered structures, such as Bosco Verticale in Milan and The Tower of the Cedars in Lausanne, Switzerland that features trees and plants on every floor.
“It’s a symbol of restitution,” Boeri told TIME of the Mountain Forest Hotel that’s opening fall 2017. “Buildings have to take care of nature.”
The 31,200-square-meter development was designed in collaboration with Chinese artist and interior designer Simon Ma for the Hong Kong-based Cachet Hotel Group. In addition to rooms and suites, additional hotel amenities will include two restaurants and lounges and recreation facilities such as a swimming pool, spa and a fully equipped fitness center.
The Mountain Forest Hotel, located in Guizhou, China, is so green that it will improve the air surrounding it. Photo credit: Stefano Boeri Architetti China
The developers point out on their website that the hotel was inspired by the site’s original topography and ecosystem, which is also known as the Forest of Ten Thousands Peaks.
“The design aims to restore the landscape, by reconstructing a former existing hill that was flattened years ago, in this way emulating the past and present hills,” Boeri’s group said.
“Symbiosis is the goal. Sustainability not only depends on energy conservation, but on a wider biodiversity. The symbiosis between man, architecture and nature is the real sustainability.”
The New York Times named Guizhou as one of its 52 Places to Go in 2016. The province had been one of China’s least inaccessible regions until a $20 billion high-speed railway that opened in 2014 cut travel time from Guangzhou, the nearest major city, from 20 hours to four.
Spa Business Magazine notes that Boeri is involved with several Chinese projects, including a stock exchange building in Shanghai and a “Forest City” masterplan in Shijiazhuang, the smog-choked capital and largest city of North China’s Hebei Province.
“Shijiazhuang for its part, has a sad record: it is the city with the highest rate of air pollution in China. A pall of smog and soot that rises only a few days a year,” Boeri says of his concept.
“The Forest City in Shijiazhuang will be a new city for 100,000 inhabitants. A city of new generation, capable of becoming a model of sustainable growth in a large country that each year sees 14 million farmers migrating to the cities.”
A Dutch design firm has redefined living by creating a house that doesn’t need a foundation, can be built in one day and is three times more sustainable than a normal house.
The Wikkelhouse, designed by Fiction Factory in Amsterdam, is built by snapping multiple 1.2 meter (4 feet) wide sections together. Each section is made by wrapping a basic house shape with curved edges in 24 layers of cardboard that are glued together. The sections are then finished with waterproof, breathable foil and covered with a layer of wood paneling for extra protection.
“Using cardboard as its main building material, Wikkelhouse is a cutting-edge sustainable house with a beautiful design and exceptional constructive strength,” the website explains.
With the flexible construction process, a house can range from the standard order of three sections to as many as desired.
Each section of the Wikkelhouse only weighs 500 kilos (1,100 pounds). It can be taken apart and moved easily when you want to relocate or remodel. You can place the house on the beach, in your backyard or even on top of a building, Fiction Factory boasts.
Despite being lightweight, the Wikkelhouse is durable and has a minimum life span of 50 years. The wood outer layer is designed to protect the house from all types of weather elements and events. The cardboard layers also provide maximum insulation, cutting down on energy costs for the owner.
The Wikkelhouse is designed to accommodate a kitchen, bathroom and bedrooms, making it fully functional. Customers can pick the inside wall and floor design as well as glazed or opaque facades.
Fiction Factory only produces 12 homes a year to maintain optimum quality control, each selling for 25,000 Euros or around $28,000. There is a wait list for orders.