Friday, December 10, 2010

Fortean / Oddball News: Creepy Louisiana, Regenerate Human Limbs and Ugandan Human Sacrifice



Louisiana News Station Asks For Weird Photos...Well, They Got A Few

nbc33tv - An NBC 33 viewer claims to have caught an "alien-looking thing" on a deer cam. He chooses to remain anonymous but says the pic was taken on a reserve in Berwick near Morgan City. The viewer says the cam itself was busted when it was found, but the SIM card was still in it and so was the image.

The viewer claims this is NOT a hoax.


Click for video

**********

Incredible salamander enzyme that could one day let humans regrow organs and limbs

dailymail - Amputees could regenerate limbs and organs thanks to scientists who have come close to discovering how salamanders grow back lost legs and damaged organs.

Axolotl salamanders are now going under the knife - while anaesthetised - in experiments at the Hanover Medical School in Germany.

The hope is one day for their genes to be transplanted to people who lose limbs and organs only to see them re-grow.

The axolotl salamander is able to regrow its limbs and even damaged organs.

'Coagulation sets in instantly,' scientist Bj√∂rn Menger told Germany‘s Spiegel magazine this week. 'You can almost watch the healing process happening.'

They can even grow back sections of their brains and spinal columns, raising hopes that disabled people might one day be able to walk if such feats can be copied.

Ambystoma mexicanum is almost extinct in Mexico due to diminishing habitats and human hunting - they are regarded as a delicacy in much the way the French like frogs legs.

Scientists experimenting on a batch of them in Hanover notice that after a limb has been amputated a layer of skin cells forms from the cells at the spot of the incision.

Scar tissue forms underneath and new tissue begin to grow, such as blood vessels, muscles, sinews, bones and nerves. The researchers are homing in on a particular enzyme called amblox which makes the axolotl unique in the animal kingdom.

The grail is to create amblox artificially. Initial tests on human skin cells have been encouraging; wounds do heal faster, skin grows back at an accelerated pace. But a breakthrough in terms of regenerating limbs and organs is a long way off.

All animals can regenerate to some degree. A human fingertip can sometimes grow back and cuts often heal with minimal scarring.

In salamanders, the blood vessels contract quickly and limit bleeding when a limb is cut. Skin cells quickly cover the wound and form what is called a blastema.

Researchers thought these cells must be pluripotent stem cells -- the body's master cells, which retain the ability to start growing into any kind of cell in the body.

These cells are found in days-old embryos, but quickly differentiate -- becoming the various cell types from muscle to nerve to skin or blood.
The Hanover research centre also acts to save the axolotl as a species.

After experimentation on an individual, it is allowed to live out its life in peace - with its new limbs back in place.

**********


"Spiritual" Suitcase Contained Elephant Tails, Hedgehog

baltimoresun - Press releases from the Customs and Border Protection never cease to amaze with the strange items seized from people coming into the country.

Today, the agency said that a passenger arriving at Dulles from Ghana - and destined for Maryland - on Dec. 3 tried to pass through with a suitcase containing a hedgehog, elephant tails, chameleons, skins from genets (a cat-like species indigenous to Africa), seed pods, sheets soaked with the blood of sacrificed chickens, and "a lot of soil." He said the items were for "spiritual purposes."

The 59-year-old passenger had initially told agents that his suitcase contained dried herbs and clothing.

“This is by far one of the strangest suitcases we’re ever opened. The passenger told us that the items were to be used for spiritual purposes. From what we were able to learn, the items seem consistent with that explanation,” said Christopher Hess, CBP Port Director for the Port of Washington. “Regardless of its intended purpose, each item posed potentially severe animal and plant disease threats to American agriculture. Customs and Border Protection agriculture specialists were required to destroy them.”

**********

Human Sacrifice on the Rise in Uganda!

theweeklyconstitutional - Maybe this is just a sign of the troubling times we are all living in. Maybe it is more proof that zealots everywhere are right and that our world is truly on the doorstep of Armageddon. Or maybe it is another horrible story coming out of Africa, a place as close to Hell on Earth as it gets.

Any way you slice it, it's being reported by the US State Department that the ritual sacrifice of humans (especially children) is on the rise in Uganda.

The practice of human sacrifice is on the rise in Uganda, as measured by ritual killings where body parts, often facial features or genitals, are cut off for use in ceremonies. The number of people killed in ritual murders last year rose to a new high of at least 15 children and 14 adults, up from just three cases in 2007, according to police. The informal count is much higher — 154 suspects were arrested last year and 50 taken to court over ritual killings.

Children in particular are common victims, according to a U.S. State Department report released this month. The U.S. spent $500,000 to train 2,000 Ugandan police last year to investigate offences related to human trafficking, including ritual killings.

Apparently, over the past few years the ritual killing and maiming of people (especially children) has been so rampant in Uganda that the nation's government ordered its police force to establish an "Anti-Human Sacrifice Taskforce", complete with its own specially made propaganda which reads "Prevent child sacrifice".

Despite these efforts however, the rise in human sacrifices in Uganda appears to come from a desire for wealth and a belief that drugs made from human organs can bring riches, according to task force head Moses Binoga. They may be fueled by a spate of violent Nigerian films that are growing in popularity, and showcase a common story line: A family reaping riches after sacrificing a human.

"I call it a problem of psychological disorientation," said Binoga. "People get disoriented. People stop having respect in humanity and believe more in the worth of money and so-called good fortune, and they lose that natural social respect for people."

The sacrifices are also linked to a deep belief in traditional healers, or witch doctors, which can be found practically every half mile in Uganda.

"A traditional healer with powers over spirits. Solves all cases, demons, thieves, tooth decay, madness fevers, epilepsy, and genital affairs."

Other than increasing enforcement of anti-sacrificing laws and educating the poor people of that nation that good fortunes do not come pouring out of the opened bodies of sacrificial toddlers, no solution can be seen for this rising epidemic viewed by many international entities (including our own government) as just more bad shit coming out of a worse place.

**********

Forget the Prosthetic Arm...Get a Tentacle Instead