Salon: Mississippi could begin prosecuting women for miscarriages.
Ol’ Miss wants to play God.
Newsweek/DailyBeast: Why Suicide Has Become an Epidemic—and What We Can Do to Help.
Looking at it sideways, as I am wont to do, it’s more dangerous to own a brain than a gun.
Discover Mag: New Bird Flu May Be Able to Spread Between People.
“Now a study in ferrets, considered the best model animal of flu transmission in humans, has found that the virus is transmissible via air and direct contact, making it possibly capable of human-to-human transmission as well. Such transmission was seen with the last major bird flu threat, H5N1, but it was limited to small number of cases.”
WSJ, MarketWatch: Study—Vitamin B treatment could curb dementia.
“After 2 years the treatment group had a loss of gray-matter mass of 0.6%, roughly in line with the shrinkage normally associated with aging; the placebo group lost more than 5%. The researchers’ conclusion: ‘B vitamins lower homocysteine, which directly leads to a decrease in GM atrophy, thereby slowing cognitive decline.’” Can’t seem to find the size (# of patients) in the study.
Guardian.UK: Peering at bright screens after dark could harm health, doctor claims.
Harrumph. I used to stare at CRTs for hours in cold dark ballrooms, dark warehouses, darkened offices, demo rooms. Never had a problem sleeping. Aren’t LCDs supposed to be better for you anyway?
NY Times: Revisiting the ‘Crack Babies’ Epidemic That Was Not.
This makes me want to spit nails. It wasn’t an epidemic. But it existed — don’t try to wash it away. Until you’ve taken infant CPR, walked the floors with a newborn who won’t stop crying from suffering detox, having to remain calm when their heart monitor goes off (again), and more … I’d certainly like to give these folks a piece of my mind. Not a one of these ‘investigative reports’ ever talks with foster parents of the era.
Later: Perhaps I wasn’t clear. Many of the victims are dead from heart defects. If they made a year, they were lucky. Who speaks for them?
CJR: Untangling Obamacare — What’s behind the rate increases?
What does a 100% increase sound like to you? Subsidies will soften the blow … I remain maximally skeptical.
Guardian.UK: Pioneering author’s body found mummified in New Mexico home.
“Her brother-in-law Louis Ponce found the body after he and his wife Edna, Salinas’ sister, drove from their home in California to check on her after two years of unreturned phone calls and letters.”
NY Times: No Benefit in Sharply Restricting Salt, Panel Finds.
“As you go below the 2,300 mark, there is an absence of data in terms of benefit and there begin to be suggestions in subgroup populations about potential harms.” First eggs, then butter … now salt. Everything in moderation.
NY Times: My Medical Choice.
Angelina Jolie undergoes a voluntary double mastectomy. Gutsy lady.
Oh … and under the weather.
Spring cold knocked me off my feet Friday night. Recovering now. Hopefully.
NY Times: Practicing Yoga at 30,000 Feet.
Airline yoga. I’m sure the person in the seat next to you will appreciate that rogue elbow or knee.
NY Times: Suicide Rate Rises Sharply in U.S.
“The boomers had great expectations for what their life might look like, but I think perhaps it hasn’t panned out that way.” We also remember how it was, perhaps, and despair of it ever being that fine again.
BBC: MMR—How parents feel now about avoiding jabs.
“People needed a degree in critical reading to understand some of the science, but the newspapers were tapping into a public terror. The public wasn’t getting a balanced view from the media, as it wasn’t reporting the some of the robust studies in 1999 and 2000 which showed there was no causal link between MMR and autism.” Any measles jab, whether single or combined, tends to have some severe side effects in very few cases. This got conflated into the mix as a ‘sign’ of MMR ‘badness’.
Guardian.UK: Scientists find key to ageing process in hypothalamus.
CJR: Untangling Obamacare—Rate shock!?
“In her remarks admitting rate increases would be coming, Sebelius said she is ‘a believer in the market strategies that will minimize the rate impact.’” The more I learn about it, the more I expect a swift kick in the wallet. Esp. when anyone mentions “market strategies” as an ameliorating influence.
Guardian.UK: Scientists concerned at H7N9 bird flu outbreak that has killed 24 people.
“One of the biggest problems is that the virus does not cause illness in chickens, so it is impossible to know which are infected and which are not. In the past, China has slaughtered flocks to eradicate bird flu viruses, but H7N9 is now known to be present in chickens in all 31 provinces of China.” I’ve posted previously from other sources that this flu is not supposed to be a concern; however, the speed at which it is ‘spreading’ may increase mutation … ?
Telegraph.UK: Mad cow infected blood ‘to kill 1,000’.
Mention ‘Mad Cow’ and watch the British lose it. Note that 1,000 number is a ‘high case’ scenario. Panic never solves anything.
The New Yorker: What if the Tsarnaevs Had Been the “Boston Shooters”?
Our responses to extreme violence are skewed.
Discover: When Media Uncritically Cover Pseudoscience.
Pacific Standard: Should We Be Worried About the Bird Flu Outbreak?
Apparently not. This time.
Politico: Lawmakers, aides may get Obamacare exemption.
“There is concern in some quarters that the provision requiring lawmakers and staffers to join the exchanges, if it isn’t revised, could lead to a “brain drain” on Capitol Hill, as several sources close to the talks put it. The problem stems from whether members and aides set to enter the exchanges would have their health insurance premiums subsidized by their employer — in this case, the federal government. If not, aides and lawmakers in both parties fear that staffers — especially low-paid junior aides — could be hit with thousands of dollars in new health care costs, prompting them to seek jobs elsewhere.”
BBC: Bringing people back from the dead.
“While 45 minutes is absolutely remarkable and a lot of people would have written her off, we now know there are people who have been brought back, three, four, five hours after they’ve died and have led remarkably good quality lives.”
Pacific Standard: Genetic Evidence of Yoga’s Impact on the Immune System.
“The researchers found that the nature walk and music-driven relaxation changed the expression of 38 genes in these circulating immune cells. In comparison, the yoga produced changes in 111.” Grain of salt time (very small sample size), but still worthy of note.
NY Times/Editorial Board: A Toothless Law on Toxic Chemicals.
“ For the most part, the law requires the government to prove that a chemical is unsafe before it can be removed or kept off the market instead of requiring manufacturers to prove that their chemicals are safe before they can be sold and used.”