‘Hyperprogressive’ Cancers Due to COVID Vaccine-Induced IgG4 Antibodies

SUMMARY: mRNA COVID vaccines, previously not used outside of small laboratory animal studies, were given to billions of people after perfunctory and rushed clinical trials. As scientists learned in 2022, mRNA vaccines cause a ‘class switch’ to IgG4 antibodies. Another study found that this specific antibody subclass is associated with more aggressive cancer growth and causes hyperprogressive cancer disease in mice and humans.

A while ago, this blog explored a unique, rare class of antibodies called IgG4, caused by repeat injections of mRNA COVID vaccines.

These IgG4 antibodies are usually created in response to persistent irritants such as worms. Unfortunately, repeat injections of mRNA Covid vaccine are perceived by our immune systems as a “persistent irritant” and cause the IgG4 antibody switch.

The “persistent irritation” effect possibly occurs not only because of repeat injections but also due to mRNA gene expression never stopping in half of the vaccinated people.

Are these IgG4 antibodies harmless? Do they have any effects outside of our immune reactions to COVID-19? Is there something to worry about?

Unfortunately, a 2020 study published in the British Medical Journal’s Journal for Immunotherapy of Cancer suggests that having more IgG4 antibodies — of ANY kind – enhances cancer progression. The study by Wang et al. was done two years before the discovery of mRNA vaccine-related class switch to IgG4 antibodies.

https://jitc.bmj.com/content/8/2/e000661

The study authors found cancer-enhancing effects of any IgG4 antibodies in people and laboratory mice.

RESULTS: In a cohort of patients with esophageal cancer we found that IgG4-containing B lymphocytes and IgG4 concentration were significantly increased in cancer tissue and IgG4 concentrations increased in serum of patients with cancer. Both were positively related to increased cancer malignancy and poor prognoses, that is, more IgG4 appeared to associate with more aggressive cancer growth. We further found that IgG4, regardless of its antigen specificity, inhibited the classic immune reactions of antibody-dependent cell-mediated cytotoxicity, antibody-dependent cellular phagocytosis and complement-dependent cytotoxicity against cancer cells in vitro, and these effects were obtained through its Fc fragment reacting to the Fc fragments of cancer-specific IgG1 that has been bound to cancer antigens. … We found that local application of IgG4 significantly accelerated growth of inoculated breast and colorectal cancers and carcinogen-induced skin papilloma. We also tested the antibody drug for cancer immunotherapy nivolumab, which was IgG4 in nature with a stabilizing S228P mutation, and found that it significantly promoted cancer growth in mice. This may provide an explanation to the newly appeared hyperprogressive disease sometimes associated with cancer immunotherapy.

The scientists provide an excellent explanation of the IgG4 antibody subclass:

IgG4 is a unique antibody that has the lowest concentration among IgG subtypes in healthy individuals, and its function has not been well understood. IgG4 was regarded as a ‘blocking antibody’ because of its reduced ability to trigger effector immune reactions. Therefore whatever molecules IgG4 reacts to, the subsequent immune reaction was subdued.

The study details Wang et al.’s multidimensional investigation of IgG4 in a wide array of patients with cancer and tissues with both in vitro and in vivo experiments. Again, this research was done in 2020, well before the effects of Covid vaccines on IgG4 could be seen.

After collecting blood and tissue samples from 82 patients, scientists found that greater levels of IgG4 were associated with higher grade (cancer grade is the tumor’s degree of malignancy) and poor prognosis.

Do IgG4 antibodies cause worse cancer outcomes, or do worse cancers create more IgG4? What is the horse, and what is the cart here?

The rest of the scientific study tries to answer this question, and scientists conclude that IgG4 drives malignancy and aggressiveness of the real-life cancers they observed.

They found that even non-cancer-specific IgG4 inhibited immune reactions to cancer cells. Since human experiments of this kind would be unethical, authors instead experimented with mouse models:

I illustrated the image scientists provided and circled larger tumors – and tumor size increases – they found to happen after IgG4 injections:

The authors describe hyperprogressive disease that occurs due to certain monoclonal IgG4-based antibody nivolumab, despite previous hopes of their potential usefulness.

Recent awareness of hyperprogressive disease (HPD) associated with anti-PD-1 and anti-PD-L1 monoclonal antibody treatment for cancer has caught widespread attention,61–65 but no consensual explanation for this phenomenon has arrived. HPD appeared to be a common complication for immunotherapy with nivolumab in many cancer types, including head and neck squamous cell carcinoma,61 non-small cell lung cancer,62 gastric cancer66 and so on. Our findings suggest that these IgG4 antibody drugs might have undesired side effects of inhibiting local immune responses and indirectly promote cancer growth. When the specific target molecule is present in cancer, these IgG4 antibody drugs might be effective. However, when the targets are absent or scanty, the IgG4’s immune inhibitory effect might prevail and accelerate cancer growth. This possible detrimental effect of IgG4 might contribute to HPD in patients treated with PD-1 targeting drugs with IgG4 structure.

What is ‘hyperprogressive disease’? It is the same thing as “turbo-cancer,” of course, but it is a more fitting scientific term.

The authors conclude:

Conclusion There appears to be a previously unrecognized immune evasion mechanism with IgG4 playing an essential role in cancer microenvironment with implications in cancer diagnosis and immunotherapy.

Unfortunately, relatively few recent cancer statistics are officially available. An Internet researcher named the Ethical Skeptic found some recent alarming numbers. I do not want to highlight any of his specific findings because I have not yet been able to verify them personally, but my readers may take a critical look of their own.

However, what is available is about a 7% increase in cancer deaths reported in Australia, a highly vaccinated country. Since cancers typically take years to develop and grow, such an increase is concerning, given that only two years passed since Australians received their ‘safe and effective’ vaccines.

This blog never takes cheap shots at vaccinated people and does not make unfounded, dire predictions not supported by evidence. I would rather forgo additional clicks and subscribers than misinform my readers. Let me summarize my reasons for hope that these biological findings will hopefully leave some people unscathed:

  • We are only beginning to understand the effects of IgG4 antibodies on cancer

  • Only about half of vaccinated people produce IgG4 antibodies in quantity

  • Even though experiments showed increases in IgG4 over time, these antibodies may wane over the long run

  • No evidence to date suggests that IgG4 antibodies cause cancer – the evidence only points to them enhancing and speeding up existing cancers.

What the evidence shows is that some cancers, possibly treatable before mRNA injections, may become aggressive and difficult to treat, a condition that the BMJ study authors call ‘hyperprogressive disease.’

I hope and pray that the number of people affected by ‘hyperprogressive disease’ will be low – and I hope that my readers will agree with this statement.

(also, please upgrade your subscription to paid if you like my content – you can cancel at any time)

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‘Hyperprogressive’ Cancers Due to COVID Vaccine-Caused IgG4 Antibodies

SUMMARY: mRNA COVID vaccines, previously not used outside of small laboratory animal studies, were given to billions of people after perfunctory and rushed clinical trials. As scientists learned in 2022, mRNA vaccines cause a ‘class switch’ to IgG4 antibodies. Another study found that this specific antibody subclass is associated with more aggressive cancer growth and causes hyperprogressive cancer disease in mice and humans.

A while ago, this blog explored a unique, rare class of antibodies called IgG4, caused by repeat injections of mRNA COVID vaccines.

These IgG4 antibodies are usually created in response to persistent irritants such as worms. Unfortunately, repeat injections of mRNA Covid vaccine are perceived by our immune systems as a “persistent irritant” and cause the IgG4 antibody switch.

The “persistent irritation” effect possibly occurs not only because of repeat injections but also due to mRNA gene expression never stopping in half of the vaccinated people.

Are these IgG4 antibodies harmless? Do they have any effects outside of our immune reactions to COVID-19? Is there something to worry about?

Unfortunately, a 2020 study published in the British Medical Journal’s Journal for Immunotherapy of Cancer suggests that having more IgG4 antibodies — of ANY kind – enhances cancer progression. The study by Wang et al. was done two years before the discovery of mRNA vaccine-related class switch to IgG4 antibodies.

https://jitc.bmj.com/content/8/2/e000661

The study authors found cancer-enhancing effects of any IgG4 antibodies in people and laboratory mice.

RESULTS: In a cohort of patients with esophageal cancer we found that IgG4-containing B lymphocytes and IgG4 concentration were significantly increased in cancer tissue and IgG4 concentrations increased in serum of patients with cancer. Both were positively related to increased cancer malignancy and poor prognoses, that is, more IgG4 appeared to associate with more aggressive cancer growth. We further found that IgG4, regardless of its antigen specificity, inhibited the classic immune reactions of antibody-dependent cell-mediated cytotoxicity, antibody-dependent cellular phagocytosis and complement-dependent cytotoxicity against cancer cells in vitro, and these effects were obtained through its Fc fragment reacting to the Fc fragments of cancer-specific IgG1 that has been bound to cancer antigens. … We found that local application of IgG4 significantly accelerated growth of inoculated breast and colorectal cancers and carcinogen-induced skin papilloma. We also tested the antibody drug for cancer immunotherapy nivolumab, which was IgG4 in nature with a stabilizing S228P mutation, and found that it significantly promoted cancer growth in mice. This may provide an explanation to the newly appeared hyperprogressive disease sometimes associated with cancer immunotherapy.

The scientists provide an excellent explanation of the IgG4 antibody subclass:

IgG4 is a unique antibody that has the lowest concentration among IgG subtypes in healthy individuals, and its function has not been well understood. IgG4 was regarded as a ‘blocking antibody’ because of its reduced ability to trigger effector immune reactions. Therefore whatever molecules IgG4 reacts to, the subsequent immune reaction was subdued.

The study details Wang et al.’s multidimensional investigation of IgG4 in a wide array of patients with cancer and tissues with both in vitro and in vivo experiments. Again, this research was done in 2020, well before the effects of Covid vaccines on IgG4 could be seen.

After collecting blood and tissue samples from 82 patients, scientists found that greater levels of IgG4 were associated with higher grade (cancer grade is the tumor’s degree of malignancy) and poor prognosis.

Do IgG4 antibodies cause worse cancer outcomes, or do worse cancers create more IgG4? What is the horse, and what is the cart here?

The rest of the scientific study tries to answer this question, and scientists conclude that IgG4 drives malignancy and aggressiveness of the real-life cancers they observed.

They found that even non-cancer-specific IgG4 inhibited immune reactions to cancer cells. Since human experiments of this kind would be unethical, authors instead experimented with mouse models:

I illustrated the image scientists provided and circled larger tumors – and tumor size increases – they found to happen after IgG4 injections:

The authors describe hyperprogressive disease that occurs due to certain monoclonal IgG4-based antibody nivolumab, despite previous hopes of their potential usefulness.

Recent awareness of hyperprogressive disease (HPD) associated with anti-PD-1 and anti-PD-L1 monoclonal antibody treatment for cancer has caught widespread attention,61–65 but no consensual explanation for this phenomenon has arrived. HPD appeared to be a common complication for immunotherapy with nivolumab in many cancer types, including head and neck squamous cell carcinoma,61 non-small cell lung cancer,62 gastric cancer66 and so on. Our findings suggest that these IgG4 antibody drugs might have undesired side effects of inhibiting local immune responses and indirectly promote cancer growth. When the specific target molecule is present in cancer, these IgG4 antibody drugs might be effective. However, when the targets are absent or scanty, the IgG4’s immune inhibitory effect might prevail and accelerate cancer growth. This possible detrimental effect of IgG4 might contribute to HPD in patients treated with PD-1 targeting drugs with IgG4 structure.

What is ‘hyperprogressive disease’? It is the same thing as “turbo-cancer,” of course, but it is a more fitting scientific term.

The authors conclude:

Conclusion There appears to be a previously unrecognized immune evasion mechanism with IgG4 playing an essential role in cancer microenvironment with implications in cancer diagnosis and immunotherapy.

Unfortunately, relatively few recent cancer statistics are officially available. An Internet researcher named the Ethical Skeptic found some recent alarming numbers. I do not want to highlight any of his specific findings because I have not yet been able to verify them personally, but my readers may take a critical look of their own.

However, what is available is about a 7% increase in cancer deaths reported in Australia, a highly vaccinated country. Since cancers typically take years to develop and grow, such an increase is concerning, given that only two years passed since Australians received their ‘safe and effective’ vaccines.

This blog never takes cheap shots at vaccinated people and does not make unfounded, dire predictions not supported by evidence. I would rather forgo additional clicks and subscribers than misinform my readers. Let me summarize my reasons for hope that these biological findings will hopefully leave some people unscathed:

  • We are only beginning to understand the effects of IgG4 antibodies on cancer

  • Only about half of vaccinated people produce IgG4 antibodies in quantity

  • No evidence to date suggests that IgG4 antibodies cause cancer – the evidence only points to them enhancing and speeding up existing cancers.

  • Even though experiments showed increases in IgG4 over time, these antibodies may wane over the long run

What the evidence shows is that some cancers, possibly treatable before mRNA injections, may become aggressive and difficult to treat, a condition that the BMJ study authors call ‘hyperprogressive disease.’

I hope and pray that the number of people affected by ‘hyperprogressive disease’ will be low – and I hope that my readers will agree with this statement.

(also, please upgrade your subscription to paid if you like my content – you can cancel at any time)

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Atlantic Council: A Hidden Hand Censoring the Internet and Pushing the US Toward War

CARTOON: Twitter

Front and center in the suppression of speech challenging the New Underworld Order is a sinister “international affairs think tank” known as the Atlantic Council (AC). The AC is highly active in the Russia-Ukraine narrative. Last week, one Fred Kempe, AC’s CEO, appeared on CNBC predicting Putin will likely to move forces into Ukraine over the weekend (Feb 12 and 13). Other AC flunkies left the invasion window open for a few more days, all duly reported in the Lugenpresse.

Alexander Ward, by the way, used to work for Northrop Grumman, the State Department and for NATO think tank the Atlantic Council. 🙃 #conflictofinterests pic.twitter.com/jJIGRxpOWW

— Alan MacLeod (@AlanRMacLeod) February 12, 2022

Expert advice brought to you by a fellow at the Atlantic Council, NATO’s think tank, which receives funding from the State Department and weapons companies like Raytheon. pic.twitter.com/7MoHX7rTzo

— Human Rights Watch Watcher (@queeralamode) February 12, 2022

AC is engaged in every sketchy policy on the planet. With momentum fading for vaccines and mandates, the Council on Feb. 1 published a piece called “Vaccinate the World.”

Today The IMF Is Showcasing A New Paper on ‘Central Bank Digital Currencies’ (CBDC’s)

In Partnership With The Atlantic Council & Several Major Central Banks…

One Step Closer To The New Digital System of Control…

The Cherry on Top of The International Surveillance State… pic.twitter.com/naPr3ZbnBu

— Covid-1984 (@Orwells_Ghost_) February 9, 2022

The AC has been deeply involved with pushing the Russiagate and “everyone is a Putin puppet” narrative. An example of this is PropOrNot, a website that claims to expose Russian propaganda. Two independent researchers attempted to identify the clandestine group behind PropOrNot and published their findings online. First, data forensics identified the owners, then they used linguistic analysis. Both pieces of research independently came to the conclusion: The main man behind PropOrNot is the Atlantic Council’s Michael Weiss.

Weiss is an author, the senior editor for The Daily Beast, a columnist for Foreign Policy and a frequent national security contributor for CNN. He’s also editor in chief of The Interpreter, a nonresident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council and co-chairs the Russia Studies Center at the Henry Jackson Society.

Then there is Crowdstrike, the security company that examined the DNC’s email server and then told the FBI who hacked it. This explored the allegation that the hacks leading to Wikileak’s releases of DNC and Clinton campaign manager John Podesta’s emails were orchestrated by the Russian government. Crowdstrike CEO and co-founder Dmitri Alperovitch is a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council.

The Council early on found a niche as “center for get togethers” of leaders from both sides of the Atlantic, with members working to develop “networks of continuing communication.”

The AC is also a revolving door of fifth-column neocon apparatchiks for the military-diplomacy-surveillance-bankster state. Paul Craig Roberts calls it the marketing arm of the military-security complex. For example, in February 2009, James L. Jones, then-chairman of the Atlantic Council, stepped down in order to serve as President Obama’s new National Security Advisor and was succeeded by Sen. Chuck Hagel. Four years later, Hagel stepped down to serve as U.S. Secretary of Defense.

Fifth Column

[A] clandestine group or faction of subversive agents [foreign or domestic] who attempt to undermine a nation’s solidarity by any means at their disposal. … A cardinal technique of the fifth column is the infiltration of sympathizers into the entire fabric of the nation under attack and, particularly, into positions of policy decision and national defense. From such key posts, fifth-column activists exploit the fears of a people by spreading rumours and misinformation, as well as by employing the more standard techniques of espionage and sabotage.Encyclopedia Britannica

Despite the obvious connections, the Council claims to be and is by charter independent of the U.S. government and NATO and is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. However, it has received donations from more than 25 foreign governments. AC is one of a number of think tanks that receives substantial overseas funds and conducts activities that “typically align with the foreign governments’ agendas.”

In 2015 and 2016, one of the largest donors was the United Arab Emirates. The leading donors in 2018 were Facebook (aka Meta) and the British government. Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey donated millions of dollars to the AC.

In recent years, its reach has expanded well beyond international affairs and neocon propaganda. It dove into the censorship business, including work with the German Marshall Fund to promote internet censorship.

To help monitor misinformation and remove “inauthentic accounts,” donor Facebook partnered with the Atlantic Council. The AC’s board of directors is loaded with hacks who have misinformed the public and manipulated into supporting war and regime change.

Now, they’re working with Facebook to protect us from misinformation in the name of democracy. Since announcing their partnership with the AC to fight misinformation, Facebook has removed thousands of accounts for “inauthentic behavior.”

Before partnering with Facebook, the AC worked with the U.K. government to identify twitter accounts that it said spread disinformation.

Reddit specifically brought in an Atlantic Council hack to shut down dissent and run thought police operations. What’s left is a sterile platform.


Read “Neocon Hack Now Running Reddit’s Thought-Police Cesspool”

The AC’s board of directors has been filled with members of George W. Bush’s administration, including Stephen Hadley, Condoleezza Rice and Colin Powell. Of course Henry Kissinger and his minions have been instrumental from the beginning. This posse launched the most disastrous disinformation campaign in modern history when they lied about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, lied about a connection between 9/11 and Iraq, and then got a million people killed by manipulating the country to war in Iraq based on those lies.

Incredibly, the same day the council announced their partnership with Facebook, they were engaging in their own blatant disinformation campaign, praising Bush and honoring him with a Distinguished International Leadership Award.

AC Vice Chair Richard Edelman is president and CEO of the largest private PR firm in the world. He has also done PR work for fellow AC board member and billionaire media mogul Rupert Murdoch. Edelman has been caught multiple times creating fake grassroots campaigns, like the anti-union Workers for Walmart group secretly funded by Walmart.

The Council presented Murdoch with an award for Distinguished Leadership.

Here’s a priceless quote from the Council’s international advisor James Clapper, painting all Russians as genetically untrustworthy.

“Just the historical practices of the Russians who typically [are] almost genetically driven to co-opt, penetrate, gain favor, whatever.”

AC Executive Vice Chair Stephen Hadley is especially eager to go to war with Russia.

“If I were in my old job I would be thinking about lethal action, yes. But you know this is why you have a CIA.. This is why you have covert action … You know I think now we tend to talk too much and act too little. And sometimes it’s good if weapons just start showing up …”

The AC promoted the “Assad government supports ISIS” narrative. The Council at the same time supported al-Qaeda terrorist boogeymen for regime change in Libya and Syria.

Migrations to Libya: An Enslavement Operation From Start to Finish


Speaking of weapons, the Council gets funding from literally the largest military contractors in the world.

The AC has been pushing to ramp up the proxy war between Russian Ukrainians and nationalist Ukrainians for some time. In 2015, the Council helped prepare a proposal for arming the Ukrainian military with offensive weaponry, like Javelin anti-tank missiles. The AC has been funded by the two manufacturers of the Javelin system, Raytheon and Lockheed Martin. It presented its li’l paper certificate, the Distinguished Business Leadership Award, to Lockheed CEO Marillyn Hewson that same year.

Pay-to-play collaborations have helped explode the Atlantic Council’s revenue ever since the Iraq war. In almost every case, and practicing proto-typical corruption, infiltration, and influence peddling the Atlantic Council has churned out policy prescriptions that suited its donors’ interests.

I Fought for the I.D.F. in Gaza. It Made Me Fight for Peace.

Mr. Sanders is the Jerusalem program director of Extend, a group that connects Palestinian and Israeli human rights leaders with American Jewish audiences, and a former staff member of Breaking the Silence, an anti-occupation veterans group.

When my Israeli infantry unit arrived at the first village in Gaza, in July 2014, we cleared houses by sending grenades through windows, blowing doors open and firing bullets into rooms to avoid ambush and booby traps. We were told Palestinian civilians had fled.

I realized this wasn’t true as I stood over the corpse of an elderly Palestinian woman whose face had been mutilated by shrapnel. She had been lying on the sand floor of a shack, in a pool of blood.

That was my experience the last time Israeli troops entered the Gaza Strip in a large-scale way, when my special forces unit, attached to the 993rd Nahal Brigade, was one of the first to go in.

Like the invasion that the Israeli military has said is imminent, that campaign was precipitated by atrocities carried out by Hamas terrorists. On June 12 of that year, Hamas kidnapped and murdered three Israeli teenagers; soon after, Israelis murdered a Palestinian teenager. The horrific exchange escalated into a larger conflict; ultimately some 70 Israelis and 2,250 Palestinians were killed over seven weeks. Then, as now, Israelis were told that we were going in to deal a decisive blow to Hamas.

As Israeli troops made incursions into Gaza on Friday and prepared for possible street-by-street urban combat, complicated by the presence of more than 200 hostages still being held by Hamas, I know firsthand the terror they can expect in an landscape of ​​postapocalyptic bombed-out neighborhoods, where Hamas fighters could be lying in wait. There’s also the constant fear of coming under attack by mortars and missiles, and the possibility of a gunman emerging from the group’s underground network of tunnels.

Those three fateful weeks inside the Gaza Strip transformed me from a deeply religious, Modern Orthodox yeshiva student and West Bank settler into an activist with the movement opposing the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories, first with the antiwar veterans organization Breaking the Silence and now with Extend, a group that connects Palestinian and Israeli human rights leaders with American Jewish audiences.

All our casualties and the suffering brought on Palestinians in Gaza accomplished nothing since our leaders refused to work on creating a political reality in which more violence would not be inevitable. While I believe in self-defense, fighting in Gaza taught me that if my government doesn’t change its approach from crushing Palestinian hope to committing to Palestinian independence, not only will this war kill an untold number of Israelis and Palestinians in addition to the thousands who already have died, but it also will not decisively end terror. A ground invasion is doomed to failure.

Even today, I remember how the ground shook from the constant explosions as we moved into Gaza at dusk at the start of the ground invasion on July 17. As we marched into the village of Umm al-Nasr, our Merkava tanks plowed through the fields next to us, and the aerial and artillery bombardments created relentless thunder and lightning — what we jokingly called the sound-and-light show.

Our main task over the two weeks I was in the northern Gaza Strip was to clear and secure a perimeter in urban areas to enable combat engineers to identify and demolish tunnels leading into Israel. We never wanted to stay stationary and become easy targets, so we would take up positions in a new house every night. Each house had to be cleared; in one, I found a Kalashnikov rifle with a combat vest and an explosive device. At one point, I listened in terror to graphic reports from our radioman of soldiers from my unit searching for body parts after a missile struck a nearby house they had taken over, injuring and killing some of my comrades.

The battle was unpredictable as we faced an enemy that used the complicated terrain to its advantage. It seemed that the Hamas fighters, like most of the civilians, had fled from our advance. Yet on the fourth day of the ground invasion, as we moved toward the Al-Burrah neighborhood in Beit Hanoun, a city in northeast Gaza, Hamas fighters suddenly came out from a tunnel behind us and killed four soldiers at the border fence.

As we withdrew from Beit Hanoun, we heard the roar of Air Force fighter jets overhead, followed by deafening explosions and towering plumes of debris and smoke rising from Al-Burrah. I later learned that in those moments, the airstrikes killed eight members of the Wahdan family, mostly women and children, whose home soldiers from my unit had occupied for days while the family was there.

At one point, I scribbled some thoughts on a piece of paper. I wrote that some members of my team had been tallying the number of soldiers killed and discussing whether this operation was worth the losses. “I think it could be worth it,” I wrote, “as long as we decisively eliminate the threat.”

That’s the lie they told us, and the lie that’s being repeated today: that we can decisively eliminate the threat of Hamas through a military operation. In the years since, Hamas has only grown stronger, despite our sacrifices and despite the death and destruction we had wrought on Gaza.

These periodic episodes of killing and destruction, which Israeli commentators and politicians cynically call “mowing the lawn,” have been a price Israel was willing to pay to avoid being pushed toward a two-state solution. We chose to “manage” the conflict through a combination of brute force and economic incentives, instead of working to solve it by ending our perpetual occupation of Palestinian territory.

Many of my Palestinian human rights partners who organize nonviolent protests are targeted and harassed by the Israeli military. I believe these policies have the goal of preventing pressure for a Palestinian state and permitting Israeli settlement development and creeping annexation in the West Bank.

For years, many of us on the left in Israel have been warning that we will never have peace and security until we find a political agreement in which Palestinians achieve freedom and independence. It isn’t just human rights activists taking this position: Even Ami Ayalon, the former head of the Israeli security service Shin Bet, has argued for years that Palestinian terror can be defeated only by creating Palestinian hope.

Tragically, many of those who made this argument were also the victims of Hamas’s heinous attack on Oct. 7. They included a fellow member of my unit who also served with me in Breaking the Silence, an anti-occupation veterans group. He was a security guard at a kibbutz attacked by Hamas and fought the terrorists for seven hours until he ran out of ammunition and was murdered.

I left his funeral last week crushed, knowing we had lost such a righteous soul. To me it’s clear. My friend not only fought against Hamas during his final moments to protect his friends and family; he also fought against Hamas during years of activism against the occupation.

My heart is broken but I am more resolved than ever to continue his legacy.

 

Source: https://www.nytimes.com

Earth slammed by ultra-powerful ‘goddess particle’ cosmic ray, and we have no idea where it came from

When powerful cosmic rays hit gas molecules in Earth’s atmosphere they create a cascade of energetic particles that are detected on the ground. By tracing back these particles to their source, researchers can estimate how powerful the original cosmic ray was.  (Image credit: Osaka Metropolitan University/L-INSIGHT, Kyoto University/Ryuunosuke Takeshige)

Researchers have detected one of the most powerful cosmic rays ever seen slamming into Earth — but they have no idea what caused it or where it came from. The extremely energetic particle, which has been named after a Japanese goddess, arrived from the direction of a void in the universe where almost nothing is known to exist, according to new research.

Cosmic rays are highly energetic particles, mainly consisting of protons or helium nuclei, that are constantly raining through every square inch of the universe (including our bodies). But a small subsection of cosmic rays, which hit Earth roughly once per square mile every year, are accelerated to even greater energy levels by some of the universe’s most intense phenomena.

These extra-energetic particles, known as “ultra-high-energy cosmic rays,” have at least one exa-electron volt (EeV), or 1 quintillion (1 followed by 18 zeros) electron volts, of energy, which is around a million times more energetic than the fastest particles from human-made particle accelerators.

On May 21, 2021, researchers detected one of these supercharged cosmic rays with the Telescope Array project — a detector made of individual substations covering more than 270 square miles (700 square kilometers) in Utah. This particular particle had a whopping 244 EeV of energy, which makes it the most energetic cosmic ray since the “Oh My God” (OMG) particle in 1991 — the most powerful cosmic ray ever detected, which had an energy of 320 EeV and traveled at more than 99.9% the speed of light.

Researchers from Osaka Metropolitan University (OMU) described the recent cosmic ray in a  new study that will be published in the journal Science on Nov. 24. They named the mysterious particle “Amaterasu” after the sun goddess from the Shinto religion who is believed to have helped create Japan.

Cosmic rays from the sun and elsewhere in the universe create colorful “airglow” when they smash into Earth’s atmosphere. (Image credit: NASA/JSC)

“When I first discovered this ultra-high-energy (UHE) cosmic ray, I thought there must have been a mistake, as it showed an energy level unprecedented in the last 3 decades,” study lead author Toshihiro Fujii, an astrophysicist at OMU, said in a statement.

The scientists are unsure exactly where the UHE ray came from. “Its arrival direction points back to a void in the large-scale structure of the Universe,” the researchers wrote in Science. This region has no known galaxies, nebulas or other cosmic structures.

It is possible that the cosmic ray originated somewhere else and was deflected toward us by magnetic fields surrounding a star or other massive object. However, UHE cosmic rays are less likely to be deflected than less-energetic counterparts, the researchers wrote.

It is also unclear what could have produced such a powerful cosmic ray. The researchers have suggested several possible sources, including supernova explosions, black hole mergers and pulsars.

But the particle could also come from an “unknown astronomical phenomena and novel physical origins beyond the Standard Model [of physics],” Fujii said.

Researchers are also still unsure what caused the OMG particle in 1991.

The team hopes that next-generation observatories will be able to trace the origins of these UHE particles and help reveal what causes them.

 

Source: https://www.livescience.com

Nailing the Sweet Spots for Exercise Volume

Download Interview Transcript | Download my FREE Podcast | Video Link

  • If you’re sedentary and begin to exercise, you get a dose-dependent decrease in mortality, diabetes, depression, high blood pressure, coronary disease, osteoporosis, sarcopenia, falls and more

  • People who are doing the highest volume of vigorous exercise start losing longevity benefits. If you’re doing full distance triathlons when you’re in your 40s and 50s, your risk of atrial fibrillation increases by 500% to 800%

  • In the case of moderate exercise — loosely defined as exercising to the point where you’re slightly winded but can still carry on a conversation — there’s clear evidence that more IS better and cannot be overdone

  • Every 1,000 steps you get on average per day reduces your mortality by 10% to 15%. Benefits plateau around 12,000 steps (6 miles) a day

  • Strength training adds another 19% reduction in all-cause mortality on top of the 45% reduction that you get from one hour of moderate exercise per day. However, benefits cease once you go beyond one hour per week. The sweet spot is 20 to 40 minutes of strength training, two to three times a week. Above 60 minutes per week, the benefits of strength training are nullified, and you’re worse off than if you did no resistance training at all

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In the video above, I interview Dr. James O’Keefe, a cardiologist with the Mid-America Heart Institute at St. Louis Hospital in Kansas City, about exercise dosing. He completed his cardiology training at Mayo Clinic.

He and three other coauthors published a meta-analysis in the March-April 2023 issue of Missouri Medicine,1 the journal of the Missouri State Medical Association, which has profound implications. I view this study as a landmark that radically changed my views on exercise.

Without doubt, we need exercise. The question is, how much? Many of us who are committed to being optimally healthy tend to overdo it, which is certainly true in my case. Had I had the information in O’Keefe’s study earlier, I could have saved myself a lot of time and effort.

As it turns out, O’Keefe also has a history, just like me, of overdoing it when it comes to exercise, which is ultimately what led him to pursue this research, trying to find out where the sweet spot is — the amount of exercise that delivers the greatest benefits.

“I’ve always used exercise, whether I’m nervous or happy or sad. Exercise has been my coping mechanism. I played varsity basketball and ran track. When I quit playing basketball in college and focused on medicine, I made a personal note that I have to exercise every day because this is super important for me.

A lot of people have this notion that if some is good, more is better. So I got into triathlons and I was running 5K, 10K races and occasional marathons. I was really, really fit and I was pushing my body. But when I got to be about 45, I started to get palpitations and sometimes I’d get this aching after a really high intensity bike ride or things like that.

I realized, ‘Wait a minute, where did I get this notion that if exercise is good, this extreme exercise in middle age is better?’ It’s just not. And so I started doing research. I have a lot of connections around the world in the clinical research community. We started looking at this question, and sure enough, it’s quite obvious that you can overdo exercise.

I did a TED Talk on it. It has millions of views. And I’ve just focused on this. Exercise is good for you — 70% of U.S. adults don’t get enough exercise, and they would be healthier getting more exercise, any exercise.

In fact, the first 20 minutes of exercise will get you most of the benefits. Even getting out for a walk is dramatically better than sitting on the couch, sitting in front of a screen or sitting behind a windshield.

We have a sedentary lifestyle, and if you don’t actively incorporate movement into your day, you’re going to be in trouble, no question about it, just like following the standard American diet will absolutely get you in trouble.

But about 2% of people are overdoing it. It might be 5%. Highly active people, competitive people. And it’s probably because the world you and I live in — I know a lot of people like this. I see patients like this all the time.

They come with AFib, or accelerated atherosclerosis with a lot of calcium in the coronary, or ventricular problems. It can even shorten your lifespan if you get really extreme about it.”

O’Keefe recounts the story of how his mentor at the Mayo Clinic, decades ago, would admonish him when he’d go for a run at lunchtime saying “You know James, you’re just wasting your heartbeats. Your heart has only so many heartbeats.”

His mentor made the case that everything appears to have a sort of programmed life expectancy that correlates with your heart rate. A hummingbird, for example, has a heart rate of 500 beats a minute and lives a year or two. The mouse has a similarly high heart rate and lives about two years. Animals with really slow heart rates, on the other hand, like the whale, can live 200 years.

This is not to make a case for being a couch potato though. “It’s a complex math problem,” O’Keefe says. What you want is to do enough exercise so that your pulse remains nice and low while you’re not exercising.

“That’s the way to maximize your heart rate,” he says. “But you don’t want to be exercising intensely for five, seven hours a day, let alone do a full-distance triathlon. You’re just asking way too much of your heart. There’s an intuitive logic about this as well. Like everything in nature, you’re better off not [being] in the extremes.

And that’s true with exercise. When you drill down on what types of exercise really correlate best with longevity, it’s not the maximum amount of high intensity interval training. Some of that’s important, but more is not necessarily better for vigorous intense exercise.”

O’Keefe’s systematic review revealed that if you’re sedentary and begin to exercise, you get a dose-dependent decrease in mortality, diabetes, depression, high blood pressure, coronary disease, osteoporosis, sarcopenia, falls and more. So, most definitely, you can dramatically slow aging and improve life expectancy with exercise.

However, at the very high end, the people who are doing the highest volume of vigorous exercise start losing those benefits.

“They’re not as bad off as sedentary people, but virtually every study you can find, they will lose some of those benefits for longevity, and certainly for things like atrial fibrillation.

If you go from sedentary to exercise moderately, you have less atrial fibrillation. But if you’re doing full distance triathlons when you’re over age 40 or 45, you start seeing a 500% to 800% increase in atrial fibrillation.”

O’Keefe cites a recent large-scale study that followed about 1 million individuals for more than 10 years. While vigorous exercise up to 75 minutes per week reduced the risk of all-cause mortality and other diseases in a dose-dependent manner, benefits plateaued after that.

So, people who were doing four to seven hours of vigorous exercise per week didn’t get any additional benefit, “and probably, from a cardiovascular standpoint, lost a little bit,” O’Keefe says.

In the case of moderate exercise, however — loosely defined as exercising to the point where you’re slightly winded but can still carry on a conversation — it’s very clear that more IS better and cannot be overdone.  

“We’re talking gardening, housework, walking, recreational bike riding, yoga, nonintense swimming, pickleball. [When doing] these things, more is better,” O’Keefe says.

Perhaps even more surprising, moderate exercise also improves all-cause survival better than vigorous exercise — about two times better. “If you look at the people who are doing the most vigorous exercise compared to the people doing the most moderate exercise, the moderate exercisers have twice as good a reduction in long-term mortality as the high volume vigorous exerciser,” he says. What this means in practical terms is that:

  • There’s no need to engage in high-intensity strenuous exercise beyond 75 minutes per week. Doing so can be highly counterproductive. If you’re an overachiever, stick to moderate exercise instead and your benefits will continue to accrue and your efforts won’t eventually backfire.

  • Once you get into your mid-40s and 50s, exercise should be fun and stress-reducing, not competitive. In his analysis, O’Keefe also stresses the importance of “social exercise” over solo exercise: playing a game of pickleball with friends, for example.

    
    

    Several years ago, he conducted a study with colleagues in Copenhagen, Denmark, in which they looked at long-term granular data on physical activity and longevity.

    
    

    Playing tennis conferred 9.5 years of extra life expectancy; playing badminton got seven years; running, swimming and cycling were associated with just 3.5 years of extra life expectancy. Health club activities such as weightlifting and running on a treadmill only conferred 1.5 years of additional life expectancy compared to sedentary life.

    
    

    At first, O’Keefe thought the analysis had somehow gone wrong. But then he realized it was the social aspects of the sports that conferred the added benefits.

    
    

    “Exercising and making social connections at the same time, that is an absolute goldmine of a longevity activity,” he says. “That means that even walking with your dog or your friend or [playing] pickleball is huge … The whole thing is to move your body in a fun, playful manner and make it social.”

Walking should not be underestimated either. The average American walks about 3,800 steps a day, which is just short of 2 miles. It’s about 2,000 steps per mile, and every 1,000 steps you get on average per day reduces your mortality by 10% to 15%, O’Keefe notes.

“There’s been more and more studies on this all the time, using activity trackers. We’re getting big data, like the UK biobank, which is a half a million people, and there’s a sizable subgroup of them who have been wearing activity trackers and been followed for 10 years now.

Clearly, more is better. You get the big gains going from sedentary lifestyles — 2,000 to 3,000 steps a day — up to 7,000 or 8,000. [Here] you have this very steep reduction in mortality, improvement in survival. It continues to about 12,000 steps a day. Most of the studies show that it plateaus at 12,000.”

If you’re strapped for cash, you don’t need to invest in a special fitness tracker. Most cellphones have free activity trackers, so all you need to do is carry your phone with you. It’s not ideal due to the electromagnetic fields (EMFs) emitted, but you could put it in airplane mode.

I recently gave a lecture at an autism event called Documenting Hope in Orlando. They’re committed to research and have invested hundreds of thousands of dollars to do detailed analyses of autistic children to identify the causes of autism.

I almost fell off my chair when I heard the results. EMF was the No. 2 cause of autism. No. 1 was antibiotics, No. 3 was toxins, and No. 4 was vaccines. So, please, do take EMF exposures seriously. While adults aren’t going to develop autism from EMF exposure, it can still cause neurological damage. So, keep your cellphone in airplane mode when not in use, or better yet, in a Faraday bag.

O’Keefe’s meta-analysis also detailed the sweet spot for strength training, and the results truly shocked me. I radically changed my exercise program after reviewing these data.

Without question, strength training will improve muscle mass, muscle and bone strength. It can also boost your testosterone level if not overdone. It helps to improve mood and prevent falls. As you get into your 30s, you start to lose muscle mass and if you don’t train to maintain muscle mass, you’ll eventually end up with sarcopenia (low muscle mass) or osteoporosis (low bone density). O’Keefe comments:

“I’ve always been a fan of strength training … But again, the devil is in the details about the dosing. When you look at people who do strength training, it adds another 19% reduction in all-cause mortality on top of the 45% reduction that you get from one hour of moderate exercise per day.

When I strength train, I go to the gym and spend anywhere from 20 to 40 minutes, and … I try to use weights that I can do 10 reps with … After that, you’re feeling sort of like spent and … it takes a couple of days to recover. If you do that two, at the most three, times a week, that looks like the sweet spot for conferring longevity.”

The graph above, from the meta-analysis, shows the J-shaped dose-response for strength training activates and all-cause mortality. As you can see, the benefit maxes out right round 40 to 60 minutes a week. Beyond that, you’re losing benefit.

Once you get to 130 to 140 minutes of strength training per week, your longevity benefit becomes the same as if you weren’t doing anything, which is nothing short of shocking. If you train for three to four hours a week, you actually end up with WORSE long-term survival than people who don’t strength train!

Recall, when you’re doing intense vigorous exercise in excess, you’re still better off than people who are sedentary. But for some (yet undetermined) reason, excessive strength training leaves you worse off than being sedentary.

So, the take-home message here is that 20 minutes twice a week on non-consecutive days, or 40 minutes once a week is the sweet spot. You also don’t want your exercise regimen to center around strength training. It should be an add-on, as you get far greater benefits simply from walking, or any other moderate exercise.

Now, there may be a caveat to this. Conventional strength training involves lifting weights that are anywhere from 70% to 90% of your one-rep max, and that’s the style of weight training most studies are based on. Another form of strength training is blood flow restriction (BFR) training or to use the Japanese term, KAATSU.

In KAATSU, you’re using very light weights — 70% lower than conventional weightlifting. Considering you’re not pushing your body to the max with heavy weights, you can likely train longer than one hour a week without nullifying benefits. It’s closer to moderate movement exercise than conventional resistance training.

O’Keefe is not familiar with KAATSU and has not studied its effects, but he agrees that it makes rational sense that you should be able to work out longer when doing KAATSU — maybe two to three hours a week.

O’Keefe’s paper also discusses the benefits of spending time in nature. A British study cited found you need at least 1.5 to two hours outdoors each week for good health, even if it’s only a local park or tree-lined street.

“And then forest bathing is really interesting,” he notes. “Japanese people who live in Tokyo, one of the biggest cities in the world, will get on a bullet train and an hour or two later be at the mountains and in the forest. They go hike around or even just sit in nature and smell the pine and the fresh air. Then they get on the bullet train and go back home.

They show reductions in blood pressure and improvement in mood. And there’s really, really strong benefits … It’s been shown to … reduce anxiety and improve sleep and all those kinds of things that are important for well-being.”

Lastly, we review a simple clinical assessment that gauges nonaerobic components of fitness — strength, balance and flexibility — skills that undergird long-term survival. It’s called the sitting-rising test (or sit-to-stand test). To perform this test:

  • Standing, cross your feet at the ankles

  • Squat down until you’re sitting cross-legged on the floor

  • Raise yourself back up to standing

The object of the exercise is to sit down and stand back up using as few supports as possible. A perfect score of 10 — 5 points down and 5 points up — is obtained if you can squat down and stand back up without using your hands, elbows or knees for added stability or support. For each body part that touches the floor — a hand, forearm, elbow, knee or side of the leg — either on the way down or up, deduct 1 point.

This test has been shown to be remarkably accurate for predicting longevity. Having a score of 8 to 10 means you have a very low risk of dying within the next 14 years while a score of 0 to 3 is associated with six-fold higher all-cause mortality.

As noted by O’Keefe, the ability of this test to predict survivability “speaks to the fact that fitness is a multifaceted thing and you need to work on all those different things,” meaning balance and flexibility, in addition to aerobic exercise and strength training.

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