Sunday, April 30, 2006

How good is your eyesight?

People professing "Morgellons" are usually middle aged white women.

Why could this be?

I wonder if some tiny fraction of Morgellons sufferers are simply people who have fading eyesight, and simply do not realize this.

The "fibers" that are claimed are often very small. Such as the vellus hairs on the back of your hand. They are mostly invisible to the naked eye, but can become visible when lotion is applied, or when lighting conditions change, or when viewed at a different angle. This sudden appearance might make it seem like the hairs are "shooting" out of your skin. The hairs were not there, then they were - at least to your eyes.

This phenomenon might in turn be magnified by poor eyesight, which usually takes a turn for the worse after the age of 35.

Women also tend to use a lot more lotion, which both attracts fibers, and contributes to the sudden "appearance" of hairs (both vellus and terminal) when the lotion is applied.

I'm not saying this explains every case. But it might explain some. You need to eliminate such possibilities before moving on to others.

How good are your eyes? Check here:

http://www.preventblindness.org/eye_tests/near_vision_test.html

Saturday, April 29, 2006

Causes of itching

Dear Morg Folk, I just want to check - have you considered everything listed here?

http://www.ca.uky.edu/agc/pubs/ent/ent58/ent58.pdf

An if so, can you explain how you demonstrated that none of the things listed here could be responsible for your symtoms?

Like this:

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Margellons

I've change my display name from Morgellons to Margellons, since calling myself by the name of the meme under discussion was confusing to me, hence probably to others. Better to have a name of my own.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

The Mental Health Pharma-conspiracy

The deeper Morgellonites are pushing this story
The implication being that many doctors and psychiatrist are in league with the pharmacutical industry - and have a vested interest in diagnosing things as psyciatric disorders so that Big Pharma can sell more psychopharmalogical drugs.
This is about as likely as the clothing manufacturers being in cahoots with the dry-cleaning cartels by labling their garments "dry-clean only", when you know perfectly well they'll do just fine in the laundry.
The question to ask (and I'm borrowing here, Seinfelt I believe) is "how would that even work?"
When your doctor suggests perhaps a component of your disorder is mental, then does he get some kind of kickback from Big P? How much might that be? How does that money get to him?
Doctors get paid a lot already. What portion of their income comes from these psych-referral kickbacks?
How does the accounting work? Follow the money. In all the decades of auditing of various health industries - has there been one shred of evidence of such a kickback scheme?
It must be more subtle - the Doctors get paid by insurance companies that get paid by the consumers, who get high premiums because the price of psych drugs is so high. Doctors keep over-prescribing them, so everyone makes money.
Consider though, how would that even work? The individual doctor will get paid regardless. If he writes needless pescriptions, he does not get paid more. He's taking a risk of getting caught. So it's better for the individual doctor to get paid as normal, and let others take the risk.
So there HAS to be a kickback scheme involved.
But nobody has ever produced one shred of evidence of any financial irregularities.
And don't point at that Reuters story above - read it first, it explains why they have "links". Their links are most tenuous, and quite innocent looking. Heck, I have links just because I own share in SPY, which includes some pharma companies. Most of you dear readers, if you have a 401K, or other retirement account, will have some shares in a mutual fund that also invest in Pharma. Are you involved?
How would that even work?

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Use of Scanners

The problem with a lot of "Morgellons" photographs is that they look like things that could have been picked up off the bathroom floor. It's difficult to see exactly how they came from someone's body.
Microscopes such as the QX5 are cheap, but difficult to use handheld at the high magnifications.
Scanners nowadays are pretty commonplace, cheap and powerful.

You could use one as a simple microscope to provide photos of fibers in-situ? In fact you could even use it to show the fibers emerging after you apply the tea-tree oil. You'd just have to have some kind of support for your arm.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Fibers are Everywhere - Part 2

http://www.rense.com/general39/chhmit.htm

"You may be astonished to find them ALL OVER -- your skin. your rug, your mirrors (they seem 'attracted' to mirrors!)... They're in the air, swirling and floating on the slightest air currents. Check your hair -- it is exposed outdoors -- it can 'host' hundreds! Your clothes can glow like galaxies of miniature stars are on them. 'Dust' on every flat surface in your home can be filled with them.
Some wave and squirm, almost as if they're alive."


This is something I noticed myself, when playing around with a black light. I also noticed a white t-shirt (and most white items of clothing) glow bright white. It's part of the dyeing process that makes them white. Plus, laundry detergent glows white. The fibers from these things are the fibers that you see under black light.

It's funny - they make the same case I was making before, fibers are everywhere, yet somehow reason escapes them and they attribute it to aliens and the government's secret mind control chemtrail spraying activities.

Why is it not lint?

"First of all, you can SEE lint on your clothes. You CANNOT see these filaments in regular light EVEN if you are looking right at them. Catch one with tweezers under UV light, keep a firm grip, and turn on the room light. It 'vanishes'! Turn the room light off, turn the UV on, and it's still there"

That's because it's tiny! You can see it under black light because it emits light against a black background. when you turn the light on, it blend in with everything, as it's so small.

"Secondly, there were a lot of people in the 1970's who owned UV lights of this type for illuminating posters and creating a party mood. No one from that era claims to remember this material."

WHAT!? "Er, do you remember, going to a party sometime in the 70's, did you happen to notice, when it was really dark and you were next to a black light, that there were these tiny fibers on people's clothes?" - This is evidence of a vast government conspiracy? - that you can't find anyone who remembers the fibers from a party in the 70s? Well, that could equally well be evidence that detergent manufacturers started using stilbenes in their detergent sometime between 1980 and 2000? Or, it could mean nothing at all. Or maybe that people who decorated with black light did not do much laundry. What do you remember from the 70s? What color were lava lamps? Did pet rocks have hair? Did mood rings work?

"Thirdly - [...] all you need is a microscope [...] a known piece of lint [...] Note the twisted fibers -- they look like rope. These are solid (not translucent), dusty-looking, and have bushy ends. [...] Now pick up a suspected 'CT-UV fallout' filament [...] They seem to made of some sort of prismatic flat filament that twists -- extruded looking, about 1/3- 1/5 the diameter of a human hair laid side-by-side -- obviously NOT fibrous"

Total nonsense. Lint contains all kinds of fibers. Most of them are emphatically NOT twisted like rope, they are single fibers. Brushed cotton/polyester blend fibers also look like a "sort of prismatic flat filament that twists ". They are also about 1/3 the diameter of a human hair. Obviously fibrous.

And then:

"No one posting at Carnicom seems to have access to a photography microscope. We hope that someone with access to such will post some photomicrographs"

How unfortunate. Try the QX5, only $70
http://www.shopdigitalblue.com/product_info.php?products_id=101

Here's some "photomicrographs" of lint. 200x and 60x. Note how there are ALL KINDS of fibers. Probably a few from my florescent white t-shirts. Note the white ones, kind of "sort of prismatic flat filament that twists ", don't you think?




Fibers are indeed everywhere. Perfectly naturally.

UPDATE: Looks like someone got themselves a QX3/5 http://www.rense.com/general39/chem.htm
Strikingly similar to my photos, you think?

It's a Quantum disease!

Of course!

http://www.whatdoesitmean.com/index689.htm

"To ourselves today we know of this quantum disease that afflicts these soulless and faceless Westerners, who have turned from the right knowledge to the lies of these dragons of old, and who lead their lives in insanity of thought and spirit. Caring not for others beyond themselves and like all lower animals craving only those things that are of this world that fulfill their insane lusts"

Makes sense to me!

Why do some hairs move?

Somewhere herein, Patti said:
"When certain hairs on your head and body move while ones right next to them are dead-still, there simply is no explanation except whatever the "pathogen" is that has invaded our bodies"

Interesting. So, I resolve to investigate:

I look at my arm, it's got a bunch of hairs on them, up to nearly an inch long. I blow on them, they move. I blow very gently, ONLY ONE HAIR MOVES!



That one there. It's a longer hair, kind of lonely out there on its own, it's also a bit kinked.

So, here I'm theorizing, that hair is an older hair, that's nearly at the end of its life cycle, it's kinked because its internal structure is breaking down, making it loose rigidity. As it's at the end of its life cycle, its root will not be firmly embedded in the follicle, in fact there is probably another hair growing, pushing it out.

I can blow very very gently towards that patch of skin, and I can't feel the air movement at all. yet the hair still moves and occasionally a few other very isolated hairs move. Since I can do this, it seems quite possible that small air currents might do the same.

The point is Patti - there is an explanation as to why only individual hairs move. I was able to demonstrate this with just a few minutes of experiments. There are probably several other explanations as well. There is no need to go for the most complex explanation possible, just because you can't immediately think of a simple explanation.

"Chemtrails" or "Morgellons is from Europa"

Chemtrails are a theory that almost makes sense if you don't think about it. It's a gateway fringe theory. Once you accept chemtrails, your mind is permanently open.

Chemtrails to Morgellons is an easy two way road. Consider:

http://educate-yourself.org/lte/morgellonsandchemtrails16oct05.shtml
"I seem to have stumbled upon a chain of information that links Morgellons with Chemtrails, rashes in public schools, increased rate of Cancer, the new bugs found deep in the Antartic with their homeworld of Jupiter's moon, Europa."

Well, now, this sounds very interesting. Unfortunately the link given just goes a site I'd already visited, someone with athelete's foot and a camera.

Here's how "Ken" of "Educate-Yourself" responds:
"How incredible dense of these people at the Moprgellons sites are to suggest that organisms are PRODUCING these fibers when the fibers THEMSELVES are SYNTHETIC FIBERS! "

Oh dear, can't we all just get along? Incidently, if you are interested in the fringe movement, then that web site is a good place to start - they have an excellent list of topics.

I would research Europa, but we were told to leave it alone, it's the exception.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Morgellons in California

Why is there so much Morgellons in California?

Morgellons.org states:

Note: Although California represents 12% of the US population, 26% of all who have registered with the Morgellons Research Foundation reside in California

Now it's tempting to say things like "California is full of dirty hippy druggies!", but that's not really true. Besides, most of the Morgellons sufferers are nice middle-aged white women.

So, why this disproportionate number of Morgellons sufferes from California?

Note what the above is measuring - it's a percentage of all who have registered with the Morgellons Research Foundation. i.e, over the internet.

How do people find out about Morgellons - on the internet.

How do people share their photos of fibers - on the internet.

How do people form communities to share stories of their illness?

The internet - a common factor in Morgellons suffers.

Morgellons is an interesting syndrome because of the visual aspect - fibers, and hence photos of fibers. Lots of sites have many many photos of fibers. These sites really need a broadband internet connection (DSL or Cable Internet).

In June 2004, California had 13 broadband lines per 100 persons, and the rest of the US had 9.

http://www.m9systems.com/broad_dep_2.html

Could it be that there is more Morgellons, because there is more broadband?

These simple figures don't tell the whole story either - California's population is clustered into cities. The Morgellonites in CA also cluster around the four major population centers. In those population centers, the access to broadband internet is unparalleled through the United States. People in Urban California have the best availability to broadband internet in the country.

If Morgellons is a phenomenon fueled by the internet, then obviously there would be more cases in California.

California is a unique state in many ways - perhaps there are some other factors?

Sunday, April 16, 2006

The Chain of Chance - Introduction

In the book "The Chain of Chance", by Stanislaw Lem, a detective is investigating a series of mysterious deaths occuring to foreign businessmen at a seaside spa. If you'd like to read the book, then don't read this article, as they share many of the same themes.

Consider a magic trick - a performer is in a fairly large theater, it holds 2000 people. He asks them all to take out a coin and flip it. He then asks all the people for who the coin comes up heads to flip it again. This repeats, and more and more people are eliminated. Eventually after ten tosses, only one person remains - the magician calls this person to the stage, the winner.

Now consider this from the point of view of the person who "wins". They flip the coin, it comes up heads - they flip it again and again, it keeps coming up heads! Something must be going on? From their perspective, the continual heads is very surprising.

But it had to happen to someone.

Consider now, that 5% of the US population have some form of Eczema. That's about 15 million people (out of a total US population of 300 million)

Consider furthur, that 2.2 million Americans have Obsessive-Compulsive disorder, that's about 0.73% of the population.

Now, assuming an even spread, then of our 15 million people who have eczema, then 0.73% of them will have both eczema and OCD. That's 110,000 people.

The numbers get larger if we consider the number of americans who have a Major Depressive Disorder. That's 9.5% of our 15 million, or 1,425,000 people who have Eczema and a Major depressive disorder.

So out of those, who also has Fibromyalgia? Well, the prevelence of Fibromyalgia is 1.36%, so out of the people who have a major depressive disorder, and Eczema, then 19,380 also have Fibromyalgia.

So that means nearly 20,000 people will have the combined symptoms of:
- Eczema
- A Major Depressive Disorder
- Fibromyalgia.

That means they will have
- Intense itching
- Rash
- Lesions
- Major Depression
- Abnormally irritable mood
- Fatigue
- Brain fog
- And several other symptoms.

Some of these 20,000 people meet one-another and compare symptoms. They find they have the same symptoms. They figure they have the same disease. They call it Barstow Syndrome after the town it was first discovered in. They form a support group, they start a web site, more people find out about it, everyone thinks it's a real disease. They start to speculate as to the cause of the disease.

But there is no Barstow Syndrome - they are simply the 20,000 people who were unlucky enough to get combined Eczema, Major depression and Fibromialgia all at the same time. From their point of view this is very unlikely. But right now, 20,000 people HAVE all three problems. It's just simple statistics. It's unfortunate for them, but it's nothing special.

The Barstow Syndrome Research Institute dislikes this analysis. How likely is it, they ask, that all these people, thousands and thousands, all have the exact same symptoms? Well, as we just saw, it's not only likely, it's inevitable. Like the guy who tosses heads ten times in a row - it just had to happen to someone. It HAD to happen to 20,000 people.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

The Chain of Chance

How many people in the USA have both Eczema and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder? Of these, how many also have Fibromyalgia?

More to come later, when I work out some numbers.

Friday, April 14, 2006

The far side of Morgellons meets the near side.

In the Morgellons community, there are several folk who think that their problems are due to some kind of genetically modified organism, typified by this post from TamTam

Fibers are stray target of experimental biology.
In particular experimental micro biology class 3 (C3)

That cellulose type fibers move on its own is because it are micro organisms that go dormant (pseudo apoptotic) In particular micro organisms that breath and become static because of low metabolism.
During formation they show nerve cell type behavior.

Nerve cell type behavior they will show in particular when they unite as a fiber most resembling a shaft that is related to the mold of the cyanobacterium.

This dominant type gene expression in the form of a semi autonomous and sensing fiber is in fact a break away group cell.
A variant form.

Its character is inbetween plant(cellulose) and insect (chitin)cell.

Single cell micro organisms with an aquired property called quorum sensing will make the organisms act multi cellular.

Quorum sensing is a stem cell like property.
Quorum sensing micro organisms unite hence differentiate during formation of a multi cellular organism.

Hence multi lineage differentiation synonymous with stem cell.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Fast dividing tissue forms a base(culture medium) for this organism.
This type target can only be kept alive and cultered in test animal.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Fibers show inbetween behavior like "plant cell that think they are insect cell"

The agent its intermediate stage resembles a protoplasm.
A transparent cloud with basic properties preserved.

All elements are quorum sensing
All elements differentiate

check: chitin / cellulose wound dressing


TamTam writes in an unusual way. Declarative sentences with little explanation. This reminds me of the way AIs are portrayed in Science Fiction. Or perhaps someone with a brain wired a particular way - maybe Asbergers (not that there's anything wrong with that, Bill Gates has often been diagnosed with Asbergers).

TamTam is probably responsible for this video:

http://www.silentsuperbug.com/

Which shows text similar to the above, overlaid on footage of some microscopic video.

Interstingly, mainstream Morgellons hits fringe Morgellons when Randy Wymore analyses this video on mogellon.org
http://morgellons.org/rwupdate.html
He basically says "there is no science here", but uses several more word, trying to be kind.



Morgellons Fiber Photo Galleries

There are a surprising number of Morgellons photos on the web. There seem to be a few basic types. Here's a few, who knows, maybe someone here is actually infected with something?

Morgellons.org - Images page
http://morgellons.org/images.html
Scabs and lesion scraping with cloth fibers (probably cotton) embedded in them. Two stained photos of paper fibers. Some SEM photos of slightly crusted skin with a few fibers seming to poke through, probably vellus hairs and stray paper fibers.

Ron Wells - Critter
http://rewells.com/Ordeal/page2.htm
Several close-ups of a largish sebum plug (hardened zit or blackhead), from his nose.

Ant Guy - Photos
http://antguy.50megs.com/photo.html
Various - sebum plugs, dead insects, tufts of fur, flakes of skin,

Carrie, Orion and Patti from Lymebusters - Photos
http://pg.photos.yahoo.com/ph/lymebusters/my_photos
A mixed bag - some poor quality microscop pictures of nothing. Some hairs and fibers (described as filaria - parasitic baby worms). Scabs. "Amber fluid" (sebum). Fungal toenails.

Cherokee Chas
http://www.texramp.net/~chazman/MorgImgs.htm
All scabs with clothing fibers embedding in them.

Ruth - Stormsky22000
http://pg.photos.yahoo.com/ph/stormysky22000/my_photos
Dead insects. Hairy scabs. Congealed blood and fluids with fibers. Sebum plugs. Possible colon polyp or worm. She even has one photo titled "tissue stuck on lesion becomes..." Ya think?
http://pg.photos.yahoo.com/ph/stormysky22000/detail?.dir=effc&.dnm=54ae.jpg

Uk Guy
http://morgellons.shutterfly.com/action/
Sebum plugs, hairballs, loose fibers, and combinations of the above.

Funtigo - Ann Dill ?
http://www.funtigo.com/AnneDill?g=1029121&cr=1&rfm=y
Huge page with lots of photos. Mostly skin flakes, coagulated blood, possibly mixed blood/sebum.

Another Pattie
http://pg.photos.yahoo.com/ph/pattismorgellons/my_photos
Plant Material. Tissue fibers. Sebum fragments. Fuzz balls. Things "from urine" ! I can't go on...

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Tea-tree objects identified

(The latest version of this article can be found here:
http://morgellonswatch.wordpress.com/2006/04/11/tea-tree-objects-identified/)


Over on the incredibly long biology-online thread, someone was going into great detail on his experiences with tea-tree oil. He posted a link to a photo album:

http://morgellons.shutterfly.com/action/

I'd expect a lot of fiber photos, but was surprised to find most of the photos were of things that looked like blobs of some kind of gelatinous stuff, like this:


(lots more on the site, check it out).

Intrigued, I read that all he did was rub tea tree oil on his arm, and the fibers appeared. Fibers? He must include these blobs as some kind of compressed fiber.

Anyway, I got some tea tree oil and rubbed it onto my arm - smelly stuff!

Nothing seemed to be happening for a while, I notice the small hairs stuck to the skin, maybe that's what people were seeing. Hmm, or maybe as the oil drys, the hairs pop up?

Nothing really going on, I stared at my arm, shining a flashlight, wishing I had a magnifying glass. Then suddenly I noticed a tiny little speck at the base of one hair. Whoa! I'm infected! I pinch the skin, and gently scrape it off with a sharp knife, and transfer it under the microscope, x200.



Hey, that looks familiar - it's a "fiber" thing. I have Morgellons!

Zoom out a little:



It's about 1mm long, 0.25 mm wide. Not sure where that fiber came from.

Okay, so I'm not itching. I probably don't have Morgellons. So what is this thing?

It's a sebum plug.

Hair on your arms is rooted in little pits called follicles. Sebaceous glands in the follicle secrete an oil substance called sebum. The follicles can become blocked (both with or without a hair growing from them). A plug of sebum forms in the follicle and can harden.

Tea tree oil dissolves the material (skin and hardened sebum) blocking the top of the follicle, and allows the sebum plug to emerge. Tea tree oil is a well-known treatment for blocked pores.

Tiny fibers could quite easily become trapped in the follicle and become part of the sebum plug. Not many of the photos actually have fibers though.

Shutterfly guy - you are collecting sebum plugs.

He also has a video of a sebum plug dissoving in some alcohol. It's quite an energetic dissolution - titled "supernova". Sebum is fat, alcohol dissoves fat. Fat is semi-soil and dissolving it is a naturally violent reaction due to localized changes in surface tension and density.

Here's the big picture of my sebum plug, produced from my arm by the application of tea tree oil.:



Not photos of Morgellons.

Here's another sebum plug (60x)



You can see how people might think it was some kind of fibrous organism

(The latest version of this article can be found here:
http://morgellonswatch.wordpress.com/2006/04/11/tea-tree-objects-identified/).

Fibers are Everywhere

Right now you are surrounded by billions of fibers.

This is perfectly natural, since fibers are everywhere. But if you think you might have a fiber disease such as Morgellons, then you need to able to distinguish normal fibers from fibers that are part of the disease.

Here's a quick experiment. Turn your monitor off for a second and look at the screen. Covered with dust right? Look closer (get a magnifying glass if you have one), you will see the dust is mainly comprised of tiny fibers, about 1/16th of an inch long (1mm or so).

Where do they come from?

The biggest sources of fibers in the home are paper products and clothing.

Paper products are things like facial tissues, toilet tissue and paper. Paper is actually MADE from fiber. When you tear paper, the edges look like this (60x magnification):



That's just regular letter sized paper, the kind you use in your printer. Paper is actually made of millions of fibers!

Here's the same piece of paper at 200x



Those are some pretty serious fibers. Tiny though, only about 20 microns in diameter. They are visible to the naked eye if you have good eyesight.

Another common paper product is facial tissues such as Kleenex. Here's some Kleenex at 60x:



See it's just like paper, made from millions of fibers - the fibers are just more spaced out to make it softer.

All paper products are basically the same, made entirely from cellulose fibers (extracted from wood).

What about clothes?

When you wash your clothes and dry them in the dryer, some of the fibers in the clothes come off, and that's what makes the lint. If you look at lint under a microscope, it looks like this:



You can see it's made from all different kinds of fibers, all different colors. Both from the clothes that were in the dryer, and other fibers the clothes might have picked up as you wore them, perhaps in contact with other clothes, or the clothes of other people you touched, or off furniture.

When paper, clothing or furniture shed fibers, the tiny fibers float around in the air and land on surfaces. Often they will land on you. If you take a fresh post-it pad and dab the sticky part over your face a few times, you will find it get quite a few fibers on it. Like this (10x):



Here's a close-up (60x):



Not many, but I bet you did not think there were any fiber on your face, eh?

So, all these fibers flying everywhere from natural sources. If they touch something soft, they stick to it. So you tend to always find a few embedded in (and under) scabs or any mucus-like stuff you have one your body. Like this:



Notice how the fibers here are just the same as the lint in the dryer. This indicates they are probably fibers from clothing. Paper fibers are probably there as well, just a bit harder to see.

What can we conclude?

There are lots of fibers on every surface and floating around in the air. This is not a bad thing, as the fibers are just paper or clothing fibers. The fibers will get on your skin, and get inside any damp lesion.

It's almost impossible NOT to find fibers on your skin. Everyone has them, just most people don't notice them, since they don't look closely enough.

Failing to make connections

http://www.biology-online.org/biology-forum/about1958-1152.html

"Also, I have noticed that for me the colour of the fibres depends upon what colour is next to my skin. I was getting a lot of red fibres when I was wearing a red thermal. I have stopped wearing red and they changed to blue. I'll make a note when I change back to red."

Is this a clue? Is it possible the fibers sense what color you wear and change color to match - some kind of camouflage?

Or... could the fibers actually be coming from the clothes you wear?

Fibers, as I shall explain shortly, are everywhere.

Objects emerging from lesion on child's lip are Kleenex fibers

(To add comments, please visit the new blog location)

Morgellons.org has, for a long time (since 2002), shown two pictures titled:

Objects emerging from lesion on child's lip at 200x

The two photos were probably taken with a QX3 microscope, and have an image size of 512x384 pixels (standard size for QX3 and QX5 microscopes) and they exhibit the characteristic lighting of QX microscopes.

Here is one of the photos from Morgellons.org:



Here is a photo I took on a QX5 at 200x



Notice the similarities. The size of the "structures" are almost identical. They exhibit a characteristic "flattening" in places. They have similar lengths, thickness and variety.

What are they? Kleenex tissue, stained with blood.

Here's the same thing at 10x




The only difference here is in the color, which can be accounted for by the lighting, and the amount of blood soaked into the sample. Mine just had a tiny bit of blood on it, so the fibers are not fully soaked.

So, the fibers that were found in a lesion on a child lip look exactly like Kleenex soaked in blood. Does it seem at all unlikely that if you (or your child) has some seeping lesions on their lip, then they might at some time dab them with a Kleenex, perhaps leaving a few fibers?

Morgellons.org also says the fibers "have tentatively been identified as cellulose". What is Kleenex made from? Cellulose (refined from wood pulp).

While this does not explain the dark fibers in other photos, it's an obvious and simple explanation for the "Objects emerging from a lesion", and Morgellons.org should no longer be claiming that these are somehow unusual, unidentified, hyphae-like structures.

They look exactly like Kleenex fibers, soaked in blood. That's probably what they are.

(To add comments, please visit the new blog location)

Monday, April 10, 2006

CliffMickelson: MORGELLONS WHAT WE DO AND DON'T KNOW ABOUT THE FIBER DISEASE!

CliffMickelson: MORGELLONS WHAT WE DO AND DON'T KNOW ABOUT THE FIBER DISEASE!

CliffMickelson is a very interesting writer. He has spent some considerable time picking scabs, and theorizing about what might be contained therein. His musings make for some most amusing prose.

Similar to morgellons

Somatization Disorder is a chronic condition in which there are numerous physical complaints that are caused by psychological problems.

Conversion Disorder is a similar condition

Polysymptomatic syndromes such as nonatopic, self-reported chronic sensitivities to multiple environmental chemical agents, or Multiple Chemical Sensitivities

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Maybe Fungus

Maybe some suffers have fungus?

http://www.doctorfungus.org/mycoses/human/human_index.htm

Seems reasonable

Tinea actually has hyphae and spores and is very common

Less common is T. pulvinata.

There are 20 species of dermatophytes

DermaTechRx

Is it SCABIES?

Or is it really an Unidentified Parasite?

Or a total rip-off?

The site http://www.cure-skin-parasite.com/ is preying on the fears of people who think they have something along the lines of Morgellons.

They have a ridiculously long home page - fully of testemonials like

" Doctors said I was delusional and I knew what I had.. Those things hurt and I couldn't sleep! I had spent literally thousands of dollars on doctors & treatments that didn't work! I can finally say, after using your products and doing everything you suggested, I am finally parasite free! "

I'm convinced!

Unfortunately they have such a wide range of products for sale, that I don't know what to buy. Looks like the best value is the "Human Mite and Unidentified Parasite Family Superpack", recntly reduced from $339.95 to $199.95. Sweet! What do you get?

2-8oz. Mitactin Spray
1-8oz. PuraCleen Healing Spray
1 Gallon Rejuvenating Body Wash and Skin Conditioner
1 Gallon PuraCleen Disinfectant Cleaner
1-Free 2oz.Mitactin Salve
1-Mud Pack

Okay - let's look at their "Mitactin Spray", normally $39.95 for 8oz (or $199.95 for a Gallon). The ingredients are listed as : "Nonionic and anionic surfactants ". A surfactant is a "wetting agent", something that reduces the surface tension of liquids. Soap is a surfactant. Nearly all cosmetic creams contain one or more surfactant. How is this special? What does it do to the mites that any other soapy spray would not? Can't I just make my own from water and some 2-in-1 shampoo?

Solution of nonionic and ionic surfactants is used in the pesticide industry as "Adjuvants" - an additive to make the pesticide "wetter" and to spread over the surface of plants more. Perhaps that's where they got the idea from - pesticide without the harmful chemicals!

Next Up: The PuraClean Healing spray 8oz for $39.95 - now this actually has an active ingredient: Benzalkonium chloride. Yup, just one - and it's the same active ingredient as is in several other products, like the ringworm cream, and the skin burn cream. What is Benzalkonium chloride? It's "A yellow-white powder prepared in an aqueous solution and used as a detergent, fungicide, bactericide, and spermicide". According to Wikipedia it "must not be mixed with anionic surfactants" Whoops! Better not use it with your Mitactin spray! And don't use soap!

But benzalkonium chloride is at least known to work, such solutions are "rapidly acting anti-infective agents with a moderately long duration of action. They are active against bacteria and some viruses, fungi, and protozoa." - nothing about mites though. Probably covering the bases.

Bactine is a benzalkonium chloride spray. About $20 for 8oz. You can get 32oz for $6. It's sold as "Foot Rot and Ringworm Spray for cattle,horse, dogs". Some people are allergic to benzalkonium chloride.

Moving on, what do we get in our "1 Gallon Rejuvenating Body Wash and Skin Conditioner"? The "active ingredient" is again benzalkonium chloride, but we also have "hydrooxyethyl cellulose, propylene glycol, cetyl trimethyl ammonium chloride, octoxynol - 9, methyl paraben, citric acid, fragrance. " All these are normal inactive ingredients in cosmetic creams, except for octoxynol-9 which is a spermicide and an inhibitor of various pathogens. Huh? Sounds like an active ingredient to me. It's actually a non-ionic surfactant, perhaps as used in other potions.

Then: "1 Gallon PuraCleen Disinfectant Cleaner" ($69.95) - Purified water, cetyl trimethyl ammonium chloride, fragrance, color. and an active ingredient: Benzalkonium chloride. Just like the other things we got in the pack.

A note on "cetyl trimethyl ammonium chloride" aka Cetyltrimethylammonium chloride aka CTAC, aka cetrimonium chloride (and lots of other names) It's a cationic surfacant. Calling it CTAC is a bit obscurantist, as it's better known as Cetrimonium chloride. It's generally used in conditioners.

If you really want some of the magic ingredeint, Benzalkonium chloride, it's generic Zephiran, you can get it extra strength at Trask Research - where they make 1:750 aqueous solution. One gallon for $99.95. More expensive? but wait - for dermatology applications up to "oozing and open infections", you can use a 1:5000 solution. So that makes about 6.5 gallons, or just $15 per gallon! Yay! And a gallon is $640 worth of PuraClean Healing spray!

Finally the feebies - Micatin Salve is like Micatin spray, but as a salve, exact same ingredients. The "Mud Pack" contains "Diatomacious Earth, Rosemary Oil, Tea Tree Oil, & Antimicrobial formulas" and is "Manufactured in our FDA approved lab"

What does the FDA Recommend for lice?
http://www.fda.gov/cder/drug/infopage/lindane/lindaneQA.htm#14
Scabies:
Crotamiton cream and lotion 10% (Eurax) - Rx
Permethrin cream 5%, (Acticin, Elimite) - Rx
Permethrin cream rinse 1% (Nix) - OTC
Head and pubic lice:
Malathion lotion 0.5% (Ovide) - Rx
Pyrethrum extract 0.33% with piperonyl butoxide shampoo (Rid) - OTC
Permethrin cream rinse 1% (Nix) - OTC

Hmm, DermaTech has none of the above.

How do fibers get under the skin?

Fibers in Morgellons people are often described as being "under the skin", or "in the skin". They are also described as "coming out of the skin" when various liquids are applied.

However, the "under the skin" usually seems to refer to being "from a lesion", or "under a scab". Scabs form over several days, and it's quite possible the fibers might simply become mixed in with the normal lesion seepage, and become encased in the scab.

The skin's integrity has been compromised - there is a hole in it, so any kind of contaminant can get in it.

Likely sources of fibers:
- clothes
- tissues
- bedding
- pets
- airborne fibers from any number of sources


Another thing that might be mistaken for a fiber is a "vellus hair". This is a tiny hair, less than 30 microns in diameter, found all over the body, but almost invisible to the naked eye.

If some fibers are vellus hairs, then they are already in the skin. Ingrown hairs are possible explanation.

What about the application of liquid causing the fibers to come out?
- for fibers that are nearly invisible, getting them wet can change the refractive index, causing them to be more visible.
- coating fibers or hairs with a liquid increases their effective diameter, making them more noticeable.
- application of liquid can cause "goose-bumps", causing hairs (including vellus hairs) to stand on end, and become more noticeable. The bump in the skin may be interpreted as the fiber "pushing" itself out of the skin.
- wet skin will attract air-bourne fibers, which will then stick to the skin.
- applying the liquid will cause some hairs to stick to the skin, as the liquid dries they will gradually pop up, making it look like they are coming out of the skin.
- some liquids may make hairs and fibers actually less noticeable (depending on both the liquid and the fiber). Again, as the liquid dries, the hairs will become noticeable.
- some liquids contain salts. As they dry, they deposit the salts on the surface of vellus hairs, leading to increased visibility.

Eczema vs. Chemtrails

Google search for morgellons eczema = 494 results
Google search for morgellons chemtrails = 420 results

A lot of people believe that chemtrails are connected to Morgellons. Chemtrails afficionados often point to "fibers" being found in chemtrails, so it's a natural link.

An early exchange

Back in July 2002, Mary Leitao posted a request for help on the medhelp.org buletin board, and entered into a brief discussion with Dr Rockoff (a dermatologist). Dr Rockoff was very polite. After a few back and forth exchanges the thread devolved into a "me too!" state.

Dr Rockoff's responses are very reasonable, and should be a model for similar exchanges.

http://www.medhelp.org/perl6/dermatology/messages/31706a.html

Atopic Dermatitis, Scabies, et al.

Patients claiming to have Morgellons frequently present symptoms of Atopic Dermatitis (which is coded 691.80, amusingly I saw someone claim this was the insurance code for morgellons - that's probably what the doctor told them so they would get their prescription filled).

http://www.niams.nih.gov/hi/topics/dermatitis/

and

http://www.aafp.org/afp/990915ap/1191.html


Atopic Dermatitis symptoms are:
- Itching
- Rashes
- scratching
- Inflammation

How does Morgellons differ from Atopic Dermatitis?

And how does it differ from scabies - it seems with all these known diseases out there that cover the symptoms, why invent new diseases? Scabies actually is caused by a mite that burrows into the skin.

A long thead with a sprinkling of rationality

An interesting thread over here, on a mainstream forum:

http://www.biology-online.org/biology-forum/about1958.html

Particularly interesting are the posts by "CliffMickelson", someone who also seems to be devotee of Chemtrails and other unusual sky phenomena. Also of note is "tamtam". Both big on the quorum sensing, etc.

Hypha? Hair?

Consider the photos here:
http://www.morgellons.org/symptoms.html




* "These structures can be described as fiber-like or filamentous"
* "The unknown fibers associated with skin lesions can be described as coenocytic (aseptate), smooth-walled, branching, filamentous objects. The fibers have been analyzed by FTIR (Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy) and have tentatively been identified as cellulose."
* "The fibers are clearly hyphae-like structures, and yet, do not fall within the description of known hyphae or pseudohyphae
"

So can the items in the photos be described as "coenocytic" or "hyphae-like"? The two photos are titled "Objects emerging from lesion on child's lip at 200X". Now given this "200X", how long does that make the "objects"? We can't really say, as the images themselves could be scaled to any size. But approximately, the "fibers" on my screen are 40mm long, and 2mm thick. This makes them 0.2mm long, and 0.01mm thick. (200 microns by 10 microns, where 1 micron=0.001mm). This puts them approximately in the same scale as hyphae (the living, growing parts of fungi, tiny tubes filled with cytoplasm and nuclie).

On an old page at morgellons.org, that is still up, but seemingly not linked to, it says:
"The fibers are clearly hyphae-like structures, and yet, due their immense size (150 microns wide), they do not fall within the description of known hyphae or pseudohyphae. "
Huh? Even if measuring off 1:1 the screen, then at 200x magnification, 150 microns would appear as 30mm wide (about an inch). Plainly the objects are not 150, and are more like 15 microns thick. Either that or the photos are labled incorrectly. However, the SEM photos clearly show "fibers" that are about 15 microns.

Hypha can be both septate and aseptate (Coenocytic). Septate hyphae are divided by cross section segments called septa. Aseptate hyphae are not. Detrmining if a structure is septate or aseptate is difficult with the images provided, as the most of the structures are out of focus. The clearest structure (in the first image) actually shows some evidence of being septate, rather than aseptate. The picture appears to have been taken with reflective light (from above), and a better determination could be made with transmissive light (from below). Additionally, the specimen should be mounted on a slide and stained to enhance contrast.

Additional stained images are given here:
http://www.morgellons.org/images.html



However, this photo does not resemble the first photos at all, clearly they are different structures, much longer, and smoother.

Then we have some SEM (Scanning Electron Microscope) photos. These photos reveal surface features.

Here we have a scale, showing the object is about 15 microns thick. Human hair is generally described as "60-100 microns in diameter", which would seem to eliminate that as a candidate. However, that is the diameter of full grown head hair (a "terminal" hair). Finer new grown body hair will emerge with an initial diameter that is much smaller, children are covered in "vellus" hair, which has a diameter of under 30 microns.

Going back to the first photo, since the "structures" here are from a lesion on the lip of a child", and the lesions clearly extend beyond the actual lip surface, then is it not reasonably to think they might be vellus hairs, coated in some viscous liquid (blood, puss or sebum)?

In this photo of the site from which the specimen was obtained:

You can clearly see what look like vellus hair in the lower portions of the image

Use of words

Morgellons proponents sometimes use technical language in describing their findings. I feel this clouds the meaning somewhat.

consider:

http://www.morgellons.org/symptoms.html
"The unknown fibers associated with skin lesions can be described as coenocytic (aseptate), smooth-walled, branching, filamentous objects. The fibers have been analyzed by FTIR (Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy) and have tentatively been identified as cellulose."

What does this mean?

coenocytic - I like how this is "explained" as being "aseptate", as if this will somehow help the reader understand. Of course, you can look these words up, on the internet.

Coenocytic basically means cells with multiple nuclei. Aseptate can mean the same thing, but more literally means lacking the cell walls (septate) between nuclei. This type of cellular growth is typical of the threads of many fungi and some algae. See:
http://www.botany.hawaii.edu/faculty/wong/BOT135/Lect03_b.htm


"Smooth walled" seems a little odd, as the example photos at the top of the "symptoms" page do not look smooth walled at all. The next set of photos show some very thin black fibers, that appear at first glance to be smooth walled (but you can't really tell), which surround a much thicker white fuzzy object. Where did "smooth walled" come from?

"FTIR" is your standard chemical spectography thing. You measure the absoption of various wavelengths of light, and that gives you graphs you can compare against known substances to see if it matches. A tentative identification as "cellulose" is not surprising. Cellulose is the most abundanant form of living biomass on the planet. Cotton, for example, is composed largely of cellulose (91% cellulose, 8% water, 1% other).
http://www.tis-gdv.de/tis_e/ware/fasern/baumwoll/baumwoll.htm. Other cellulose fibers are linen, ramie, rayon, tencel and lyocell all of which are almost purely cellulose. Paper and paper tissues are also largely comprised of cellulose fibers.