News StoriesExcerpts of Key News Stories in Major Media
Note: This comprehensive list of news stories is usually updated once a week. Explore our full index to revealing excerpts of key major media news stories on several dozen engaging topics. And don't miss amazing excerpts from 20 of the most revealing news articles ever published.
A shipment of 36 million pounds of soybeans sailed late last year from Ukraine to Turkey to California. Along the way, it underwent a remarkable transformation. The cargo began as ordinary soybeans. They were fumigated with a pesticide [and] priced like ordinary soybeans. But by the time the 600-foot cargo ship carrying them to Stockton, Calif., arrived in December, the soybeans had been labeled “organic,” according to receipts, invoices and other shipping records. That switch - the addition of the “USDA Organic” designation - boosted their value by approximately $4 million, creating a windfall for at least one company in the supply chain. About 21 million pounds of the soybeans have already been distributed to customers. The multimillion-dollar metamorphosis of the soybeans, as well as two other similar grain shipments in the past year examined by The Post, demonstrate weaknesses in the way that the United States ensures that what is sold as “USDA Organic” is really organic. The three shipments, each involving millions of pounds of “organic” corn or soybeans, were large enough to constitute a meaningful proportion of the U.S. supply of those commodities. All three were presented as organic, despite evidence to the contrary. USDA officials say that their system for guarding against fraud is robust. The system suffers from multiple weaknesses: Farmers hire their own inspection companies; most inspections ... lack the element of surprise; and testing for pesticides is the exception rather than the rule.
Note: Sign an online petition to stop an Oregon county from forcing a well-established organic farm to spray their gardens with Monsanto's poisonous Roundup. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corruption in the food system and in the corporate world.
The High Plains dairy complex reflects the new scale of the U.S. organic industry: It is big. The complex is home to more than 15,000 cows, making it more than 100 times the size of a typical organic herd. It is the main facility of Aurora Organic Dairy, a company that produces enough milk to supply the house brands of Walmart, Costco and other major retailers. But a closer look at Aurora and other large operations highlights critical weaknesses in the unorthodox inspection system that the Agriculture Department uses to ensure that “organic” food is really organic. The critical issue is grazing. Organic dairies are required to allow the cows to graze daily throughout the growing season. The cows are supposed to be grass-fed, not confined to barns and feedlots. But during visits by The Washington Post to Aurora’s High Plains complex across eight days last year, signs of grazing were sparse, at best. During most Post visits the number of cows seen on pasture numbered only in the hundreds. The milk from Aurora also indicates that its cows may not graze as required by organic rules. Testing ... by Virginia Tech scientists shows that on a key indicator of grass-feeding, the Aurora milk matched conventional milk, not organic. The inspectors who visited Aurora’s High Plains dairy and certified it as “USDA Organic” ... conducted the annual audit well after grazing season, [and] would not have seen whether the cows were grazing as required, a breach of USDA inspection policy.
A decade-old internet scourge called ransomware went mainstream on Friday when cybercriminals seized control of computers around the world, from the delivery giant FedEx in the United States to Britain’s public health system, universities in China and even Russia’s powerful Interior Ministry. Ransomware is nothing new. For years, there have been stories of individuals or companies horrified that they have been locked out of their computers and that the only way back in is to pay a ransom to someone, somewhere who has managed to take control. But computer criminals are discovering that ransomware is the most effective way to make money in the shortest amount of time. Friday’s attacks were a powerful escalation of earlier, much smaller episodes. Hackers exploited a vulnerability in Microsoft servers that was first discovered by the National Security Agency and then leaked online. It allowed the ransomware to spread [to] more than 70,000 organizations. There is even now a concept of “ransomware as a service” - a play on the Silicon Valley jargon “software as a service,” which describes the delivery of software over the internet. Now anyone can visit a web page, generate a ransomware file with the click of a mouse, encrypt someone’s systems and demand a ransom to restore access to the files. If the victim pays, the ransomware provider takes a cut of the payment. Ransomware criminals also have customer service lines that victims can call to get help paying a ransom.
Note: In 2014, it was reported that the NSA was developing tools to make it relatively easy to hack millions of computers at once. Two years later, a large collection of NSA hacking tools was leaked. Now, these tools are being used by criminals against people all over the world. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about intelligence agency corruption and the disappearance of privacy.
The suspected pedophile could see people banging on his front door. The Philippines National Bureau of Investigation smashed their way [in]. Children's underwear, toddler shoes, cameras, bondage cuffs, fetish ropes, meth pipes and stacks of hard drives and photo albums cluttered [David Timothy Deakin's] townhouse. In his computer were videos and images of young boys and girls engaged in sex acts. Deakin's arrest ... reveals one of the darkest corners of the internet, where pedophiles in the U.S., Canada, Europe and Australia pay facilitators on the other side of the world to sexually abuse children, even babies, directing their moves through online livestreaming services. Webcam sex tourism is spreading rapidly. The FBI says ... that at any given moment, 750,000 child predators are online. Almost every case stems from the Philippines, where good English speakers, increased internet connections and widespread international cash transfer systems combine with widespread poverty and easy access to vulnerable kids. There have been as many as three busts a week there this spring. The youngest victim ... was an infant, two months old. Most are under 12. Because it's a newer crime, legal systems grapple with how to prosecute. In the U.S., the buyers are typically charged with possessing, distributing or producing child pornography. In the Philippines, it's a human trafficking crime. Deakin's bust turned out to be one of the largest seizures of its kind in the Philippines.
Note: A recent University of Portsmouth study found that sites with paedophile material account for 83% of all "Dark Web" traffic. Watch an excellent segment by Australia's "60-Minutes" team "Spies, Lords and Predators" on a pedophile ring in the UK which leads directly to the highest levels of government. A second suppressed documentary, "Conspiracy of Silence," goes even deeper into this topic in the US. For more, see concise summaries of sexual abuse scandal news articles.
Your perceptions of the outside world arise through brain activity. Scientists in China have managed to reverse-engineer this process, using brain activity to guess what people are looking at. Their algorithm, which analyses functional MRI brain scans collected while volunteers gaze at digits and letters, is able to furnish uncannily clear depictions of the original images. It has been termed a mind-reading algorithm; a more accurate, though less catchy, description would be a “reconstruction of visual field” algorithm. The algorithm, called the Deep Generative Multiview Model, was highlighted this month by MIT Technology Review as an emerging technology to watch. What is true for the visual cortex is also true for our auditory systems: if you hear a song, the auditory part of your brain whirrs into action. Scientists in the US have developed a programme that can turn the associated firing of neurons back into real sounds. These technologies are turning thoughts into pictures and sounds. In short, science is coming remarkably close to being able to access what is inside our heads. If such algorithms were to find their way into advertising, we may find ourselves digitally stalked not only by images of hotels and consumer goods that we once clicked on, but also by pictures we glanced at or by songs that we streamed. This requires access to brain signals, but who would bet against such a future? Millions of people, by wearing fitness bands, sign up to having their physiological signals charted round the clock.
Note: Software breakthroughs like this have many potential benefits. But these new technologies may also be used for electronic harassment or mind control. And a 2008 US Defense Intelligence Agency report described the brain as the "battlefield of future".
The federal government sued UnitedHealth Group on Tuesday alleging the Minnetonka-based health care company wrongly received from Medicare at least $1 billion in “risk adjustment” payments based on inaccurate data submissions. The federal government’s civil fraud action comes in a whistleblower case first brought by a former UnitedHealth Group employee. Earlier this year, the federal government disclosed it had ongoing investigations about risk adjustment practices at four other carriers including Aetna and a division of Cigna. In Medicare Advantage plans, the government pays health insurers a per-member per-month payment for enrollees. The government says the fees can be increased when health plans submit information about an enrollee’s health that justifies a higher “risk score” for the patient. The federal lawsuit filed Tuesday highlighted UnitedHealth’s program to review charts, calling it a “one-sided revenue-generating program.” The insurer collected “millions of medical records” and employed chart reviewers “in order to mine for diagnoses that the providers themselves did not report to United for their patients,” the lawsuit states. “United used the results of the chart reviews to only increase government payments ... while in bad faith systematically ignoring other information from the chart reviews which would have led to decreased payments.”
Health care is a tempting target for thieves. Medicaid doles out $415 billion a year; Medicare (a federal scheme for the elderly), nearly $600 billion. Total health spending in America is a massive $2.7 trillion, or 17% of GDP. In 2012 Donald Berwick, a former head of the Centres for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), and Andrew Hackbarth of the RAND Corporation, estimated that fraud ... added as much as $98 billion, or roughly 10%, to annual Medicare and Medicaid spending - and up to $272 billion across the entire health system. Federal prosecutors had over 2,000 health-fraud probes open at the end of 2013. A Medicare “strike force”, which was formed in 2007, boasts of seven nationwide “takedowns”. In the latest, on May 13th, 90 people, including 16 doctors, were rounded up in six cities - more than half of them in Miami, the capital city of medical fraud. Punishments have grown tougher: last year the owner of a mental-health clinic got 30 years for false billing. Yet the sheer volume of transactions makes it easier for miscreants to hide: every day, for instance, Medicare’s contractors process 4.5m claims. In this context the $4.3 billion recovered by fraud-busters in 2013, though a record, looks paltry. Some criminals are switching from cocaine trafficking to prescription-drug fraud because the risk-adjusted rewards are higher. This is the medical world’s “dirty secret”, says John Holcomb of the Texas Medical Association. Everyone talks about it in the doctor’s lounge, but few complain.
A handful of military personnel from the 4th Psychological Operations Group, based at Fort Bragg, NC, have until recently been working in CNN's headquarters in Atlanta. [A] Dutch journalist named Abe de Vries came up with this important story ... and remains properly astounded that no mainstream news medium in the US has evinced any interest in it. De Vries ... originally [came] upon the story [following] a military symposium in Arlington, VA that discussed the use of the press in military operations. De Vries saw a good story, picked up the phone, and finally reached Maj. Thomas Collins of the US Army Information Service, who duly confirmed the presence of these Army psy-ops experts at CNN. "Psy-ops personnel, soldiers, and officers," De Vries quoted Collins as telling him, "have been working in CNN's headquarters ... through our program, training with industry. They helped in the production of news." Eason Jordan, who identified himself as CNN's president of news-gathering and international networks, [confirmed] that CNN had hosted a total of five interns from US Army psy-ops. Jordan said the program began ... just before the end of the war against Serbia and only recently terminated. Executives at CNN now describe the Army psy-ops intern tours at CNN as having been insignificant. The commanding officer of the psy-ops group certainly thought them of sufficient significance to mention at that high-level Pentagon powwow in Arlington about propaganda and psychological warfare.
Note: This article strangely has been removed from the Los Angeles Times archives. The link above shows a scanned image of the actual newspaper. The article was first published in the San Jose Mercury News on March 23, 2000, though the article is also strangely not available in their archives. U.S. Congressional testimony in the 1970s revealed that the CIA paid employees of major media networks to influence public opinion. The CIA's Operation Mockingbird revealed blatant efforts by the CIA to manipulate public opinion in the U.S., thus violating its charter.
He has restored eyesight to more than 100,000 people, perhaps more than any doctor in history. His patients ... stagger and grope their way to him along mountain trails from remote villages, hoping to go under his scalpel. A day after he operates to remove cataracts, he pulls off the bandages - and, lo! They can see clearly. At first tentatively, then jubilantly, they gaze about. A few hours later, they walk home, radiating an ineffable bliss. Dr. Sanduk Ruit, a Nepali ophthalmologist ... has pioneered a simple cataract microsurgery technique that costs only $25 per patient and is virtually always successful. Indeed, his “Nepal method” is now taught in United States medical schools. In the United States, cataract surgery is typically performed with complex machines. But these are unaffordable in poor countries, so Dr. Ruit [pioneered a] small-incision microsurgery to remove cataracts without sutures. At first, skeptics denounced or mocked his innovations. But then the American Journal of Ophthalmology published a study of a randomized trial finding that Dr. Ruit’s technique had exactly the same outcome (98 percent success at a six-month follow-up) as the Western machines. One difference was that Dr. Ruit’s method was much faster and cheaper. He founded the Tilganga Institute of Ophthalmology, which ... conducts eye surgery on 30,000 patients annually, [as well as] manufactures 450,000 tiny lenses a year for use in cataract surgery, keeping costs to $3 a lens compared to $200 in the West.
Note: Your direct donation to help this man can cure blindness for many people. Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.
Founder and principal of San Francisco’s Life Learning Academy, Dr. Teri Delane says that the success of the school that serves the city’s highest-risk, highest-need students can be replicated. The school tracks a 99% graduation rate with 85% of the students going on to college. The kids that do so well here [have] histories of school failure, truancy, arrest and substance abuse. The ones that traditional school settings can’t provide for. [Life Learning Academy] has it roots in the Delancey Street Foundation, a well-known San Francisco-based self-help program for drug addicts and ex-offenders. Delane ... has first hand experience of the Delancey Street program - entering the program as an addict herself. Delane incorporated practices of the program that would could be integrated into a school environment: creating community, engagement, leadership, dress code and working toward rewards. And woven through it all is Delane’s philosophy. “What we do at the school is a circle around the kids with a number of things that have to be included in their lives in order for them to have a full life: education, a job, having money and ... learning how to give back,” she said. “I teach that the way you get is by giving. Not by sitting around talking about your problems. We don’t stay stuck in our past.” All the students know Delane’s background, see what she has accomplished and witness her giving back every day.
Tiny houses are closer than ever to being a reality in Atlanta. Last week, the Atlanta City Council voted on and approved an amendment to city zoning laws allowing “accessory dwelling units.” Local advocacy group Tiny House Atlanta called it “a great step in the right direction.” The language in the amendment ... carves out space for accessory dwelling units of larger main structures. A tiny house counts as one of these secondary units if it is less than 750 square feet and has its own kitchen. The amendment also allows “accessory dwelling units without off-street parking on parcels without a curbcut or parcels without off-street parking,” making the affected areas more attractive to car-less Atlantans. While the change sets out possibilities for tiny houses that are satellites of existing homes, it does not allow for standalone tiny homes on their own lots. The new language specifically prohibits subdividing accessory units from the primary house. It also says nothing about tiny homes on wheels. Many tiny home owners make their homes into RVs, which subject them to a whole separate set of rules. Still, tiny house advocates said they are happy with the changes. “The sky’s the limit to what’s possible,” Atlanta city councilman Kwanza Hall, the bill’s sponsor, [said]. “It’s just up to us as a community to figure out what we want to do, what we envision in the future, and opening up as many possibilities as we can dream up.”
Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.
A global child sexual exploitation ring has been taken down by the FBI and Europol, leading to the arrest of hundreds of suspected paedophiles. Florida man Steven W Chase, 58, was sentenced to 30 years in prison for creating what is believed to have been “the world’s largest child pornography website” with more than 150,000 users. In total some 870 people were arrested or convicted worldwide, including 368 in Europe alone, and so far at least 259 sexually abused children have been identified or rescued from abusers outside the US. Chase created the website, called 'Playpen', in August 2014 on the Dark Web network Tor, where people can communicate and access material anonymously through "hidden service" websites. Special Agent Dan Alfin ... pointed out the initial difficulty in investigating the case. “Given the nature of how Tor hidden services work, there was not much we could do about it," he said. However, in December 2014, Chase accidently revealed Playpen’s IP address in Florida, prompting a foreign law enforcement agency to contact the FBI. A copy of the website was seized by US law enforcement; search warrants were issued for email accounts and eventually, said Mr Alfin, “everything led back to Steven Chase”. One month later the FBI, along with support from European and local law enforcement, launched Operation Pacifier to find Playpen’s thousands of members.
Note: A recent University of Portsmouth study found that sites with paedophile material represent just 2% of the estimated 45,000 hidden services websites online at any one time, but account for 83% of all "Dark Web" traffic. Watch an excellent segment by Australia's "60-Minutes" team "Spies, Lords and Predators" on a pedophile ring in the UK which leads directly to the highest levels of government. A second suppressed documentary, "Conspiracy of Silence," goes even deeper into this topic in the US. For more, see concise summaries of sexual abuse scandal news articles.
A cybersecurity taskforce chief turned child pornography collector seems poised to dodge prison. Before agents arrived at his house across from Ballard’s West Woodland Elementary School ... Brian Haller led the Seattle chapter of an FBI/private-sector group tasked with fighting computer crime. Haller had access to a secure FBI online platform and email system, though he is not alleged to have used either to collect child porn. Haller was one of the smaller fish caught in an expansive FBI sting last year. Agents found the law enforcement insider used a “dark web” service – a Tor network site – to collect 600 files capturing the sexual abuse and exploitation of countless children. Usually, Haller’s crimes could carry a five-year prison term. Instead, federal prosecutors have asked that Haller, 40, be spared even jail time when he is sentenced Friday for possession of child pornography. The standard sentencing range for a defendant like Haller is four to five years in federal prison. [Haller] was identified through a wide-ranging, controversial sting operation [that] has prompted charges against more than 130 others, including a Vancouver special education worker and a Fort Lewis soldier.
Note: It was reported in 2012 that two US states appeared to be "running state-protected child trafficking rings, with evidence of cops, judges, lawyers, clergy and government employees covering for each other." Watch an excellent segment by Australia's "60-Minutes" team "Spies, Lords and Predators" on a pedophile ring in the UK which leads directly to the highest levels of government. A second suppressed documentary, "Conspiracy of Silence," goes even deeper into this topic in the US. For more, see concise summaries of sexual abuse scandal news articles.
More than 20 states have proposed bills that would crack down on protests and demonstrations since Donald Trump was elected, in a move that UN experts have branded “incompatible with US obligations under international human rights law”. The proposed laws would variously increase the penalties for protesting in large groups, ban protesters from wearing masks during demonstrations and, in some states, protect drivers from liability if they strike someone taking part in a protest. The ACLU and the National Lawyers Guild have said many of the bills are likely unconstitutional. The flurry of legislation has prompted UN experts to intervene, with two special rapporteurs from the UN’s Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights – the UN body which works to promote and protect human rights – to complain to the US state department at the end of March. In a recent letter to the government, David Kaye and Maina Kiai, from the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), listed specific pieces of legislation which they said were “criminalizing peaceful protests”. Kaye and Kiai ... said the bills represent “a worrying trend that could result in a detrimental impact on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and freedom of expression in the country”.
A US Central Command investigation found that a March US airstrike in northern Syria did in fact strike a building that was part of a "mosque complex." For days following the March 16 strike, the Pentagon adamantly rejected the notion that a mosque was hit and that there were civilian casualties - even as numerous social media reports showed images of bodies being taken out of the rubble. Instead, in the initial hours following the strike by US drones and aircraft, the Pentagon insisted that it hit only a building some 40 feet away from the mosque, where it said al Qaeda members were holding a meeting. Typically any religious structure would be on a so-called no-strike list, along with hospitals and schools. There are procedures to move structures off the no-strike list if it is clear they have lost their protected status because terrorists are using them and there are no civilians present. It is ... not clear if the building was listed as a religious site on a database that the mission planners were unaware of. One official said the investigation found that "religious use" was a primary function of the building at times. The day after the strike, Pentagon spokesman Capt. Jeff Davis told reporters: "We do not currently assess there were any civilian casualties."
Note: Record numbers of civilians have reportedly been killed by US-led strikes in recent months. Casualties of war whose identities are unknown are frequently misreported to be "militants". For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing war news articles from reliable major media sources.
Decades later, it's hard to grasp what the federal government did to hundreds of black men in rural Alabama. For 40 years starting in 1932, medical workers in the segregated South withheld treatment for unsuspecting men infected with a sexually transmitted disease simply so doctors could track the ravages of the horrid illness and dissect their bodies afterward. Finally exposed in 1972, the study ended and the men sued, resulting in a $9 million settlement. Twenty years ago this May, then President Bill Clinton apologized for the U.S. government. But it did not mark the end of the study's ugly legacy. Relatives of the men still struggle with the stigma of being linked to the experiment, what's commonly known as the "Tuskegee Syphilis Study." In 1929, government doctors ... recruited 600 black men into a health program with the promise of free medical checks, free food, free transportation and burial insurance. Health workers told syphilitic fathers, grandfathers, sons, brothers and uncles only that they had "bad blood." None of the men was asked to consent to take part in a medical study, [or] told that "bad blood" actually was a euphemism for syphilis. Instead, doctors purposely hid the study's purpose from the men, subjecting them ... to painful spinal taps and blood tests. Medical workers periodically provided men with pills and tonic that made them believe they were being treated, but they weren't. And doctors never provided them with penicillin after it became the standard treatment for syphilis in the mid-1940s.
The story of Cambridge Analytica is one of the most profoundly unsettling of our time. SCL/Cambridge Analytica [is] effectively part of the ... defence establishment. This is not just a story about social psychology and data analytics. It has to be understood in terms of a military contractor using military strategies on a civilian population. David Miller, a professor of sociology ... and an authority in psyops and propaganda, says it is “an extraordinary scandal that this should be anywhere near a democracy.” David, [an] ex-Cambridge Analytica employee, [was] working at the firm when it introduced mass data-harvesting to its psychological warfare techniques. “It brought psychology, propaganda and technology together in this powerful new way,” David [said]. Facebook was the source of the psychological insights that enabled Cambridge Analytica to target individuals. The company ... bought consumer datasets – on everything from magazine subscriptions to airline travel – and uniquely it appended these with the psych data to voter files. “The goal is to capture every single aspect of every voter’s information environment,” said David. “And the personality data enabled Cambridge Analytica to craft individual messages.” Cambridge Analytica could target people high in neuroticism, for example, with images of immigrants “swamping” the country. Brexit came down to ... just over 1% of registered voters. It’s not a stretch to believe that ... the global 1% found a way to influence this crucial 1% of British voters.
Note: Another Guardian article recently exposed how billionaire Robert Mercer used new technology to build a corporate empire capable of swinging elections. The above article further details how mass media is being combined with Big Data to produce powerful new forms of mind control.
Your average life expectancy now varies by more than 20 years depending on where you live in the United States, according to an in-depth study by the University of Washington. America’s “life expectancy gap” is also predicted to grow even wider in future, with 11.5% of US counties having experienced an increase in the risk of death for residents aged 25–45 over the period studied (1980-2014). No previous study has put the disparity at even close to 20 years. “This is way worse than any of us had assumed,” said [study author] Ali Mokdad. The researchers found that while residents of certain affluent counties in central Colorado had the highest life expectancy at 87 years, people in several counties of North and South Dakota, typically those with Native American reservations, could expect to die far younger, at only 66. “Inequalities will only increase further if recent trends are allowed to continue uncontested,” the report states. If the figures are surprising, the factors cited in the study to explain the “large and increasing” geographic inequalities perhaps are not. The authors point the finger at differences in socioeconomic and race/ethnicity factors, the availability of – and access to – quality healthcare and insurance, and “preventable risk factors” such as smoking, drinking and physical inactivity. “You expect disparities in any country, but you don’t expect the disparities to be increasing in a country with our wealth and might,” Mokdad said.
[The CIA] has since 1945 succeeded in deposing or killing a string of leaders, but was forced to cut back after a Senate investigation in the 1970s. Some of the most notorious of the CIA’s operations to kill world leaders were those targeting the late Cuban president, Fidel Castro. Attempts ranged from snipers to imaginative plots worthy of spy movie fantasies. But although the CIA attempts proved fruitless in the case of Castro, the US intelligence agency has ... succeeded in deposing or killing a string of leaders elsewhere around the world – either directly or, more often, using sympathetic local military, locally hired criminals or pliant dissidents. On Friday, [North Korea accused] the CIA and South Korea’s intelligence service of being behind an alleged recent assassination attempt on its leader Kim Jong-un. Such a claim cannot be dismissed as totally outlandish – given the long list of US involvement in coups and assassinations worldwide. The agency was forced to cut back on such killings after ... then president Gerald Ford signed in 1976 an executive order stating: “No employee of the United States government shall engage in, or conspire in, political assassination.” In spite of this, the US never totally abandoned the strategy, simply changing the terminology from assassination to targeted killings. A leaked document obtained by WikiLeaks and released earlier this year showed the CIA in October 2014 looking at hacking into car control systems, [potentially allowing] an agent to stage a car crash.
Note: Strong evidence suggests that courageous journalist Michael Hastings was killed when his car controls were hacked causing him to crash head on into a tree. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on verified or suspected assassinations from reliable major media sources.
The DNA in our cells, which contains the genetic instructions that make us human, is passed on from parent to child along an unending line of generations. However, as recent experiments in mice have demonstrated, there is more to transgenerational inheritance than that. “Learned” experiences, which do not alter the underlying genetic material, can be passed on from one generation to the next - in mice, fruit flies, and possibly even humans. A new study ... has shown that such “epigenetic” memories can be passed down for 14 generations. This is the longest maintenance of transgenerational environmental memory observed in any animal to date. The researchers inserted a gene coding for fluorescent protein in [a species of] worms that, when activated, made them glow brightly under ultraviolet light. If the worms were kept at 20 degrees Celsius (68 degrees Fahrenheit), the array of transgenes was less active ... but when they were exposed to a warmer temperature of 25 degrees Celsius (77 degrees Fahrenheit), the activity of the transgenes was significantly increased. When these worms were moved back to the cooler temperature, their transgenes remained active - a sign that they were retaining the memory of their exposure to warmth. This high activity level was passed on for seven subsequent generations. Keeping worms at 25 degrees for five generations led to the transgene activity being maintained for at least 14 generations.
Note: Read more about the emerging science of epigenetics, which clarifies how environmental factors and lifestyle choices influence our genetic makeup. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing health news articles from reliable major media sources.
Important Note: Explore our full index to revealing excerpts of key major media news stories on several dozen engaging topics. And don't miss amazing excerpts from 20 of the most revealing news articles ever published.