Daily Archives

You’re (Probably) a Federal Criminal

Fox News - Federal law now criminalizes activities that the average person would never dream would land him in prison. Consequently, every year, thousands of upstanding, responsible Americans run afoul of some incomprehensible federal law and end up serving time in federal prison. Read Article

India rejects key ‘scientific findings’ on global warming

Financial Times - A split between rich and poor nations in the run-up to climate-change talks widened on Thursday. India rejected key scientific findings on global warming, while the European Union called for more action by developing states on greenhouse gas emissions. Jairam Ramesh, the Indian environment minister, accused the developed world of needlessly raising alarm over melting Himalayan glaciers. He dismissed scientists’ predictions that Himalayan glaciers might disappear within 40 years as a result of global warming.”We have to get out of the preconceived notion, which is based on western media, and invest our scientific research and other capacities to study Himalayan atmosphere,” he said.”Science has its limitation. You cannot substitute the knowledge that has been gained by the people living in cold deserts through everyday experience.” Read Article

The Historian – Unfortunately for humanity every rational opinion can eventually be bought at the right price. For the Indian Government that is  few billion dollars.

‘Bacterial Computers’: Genetically Engineered Bacteria Have Potential To Solve Complicated Mathematical Problems

ScienceDaily (July 24, 2009) “” US researchers have created ‘bacterial computers’ with the potential to solve complicated mathematics problems. The findings of the research demonstrate that computing in living cells is feasible, opening the door to a number of applications. The second-generation bacterial computers illustrate the feasibility of extending the approach to other computationally challenging math problems.

A research team made up of four faculty members and 15 undergraduate students from the biology and mathematics departments at Missouri Western State University in Missouri and Davidson College in North Carolina, USA engineered the DNA of Escherichia coli bacteria, creating bacterial computers capable of solving a classic mathematical problem known as the Hamiltonian Path Problem. [Read Article]

You’re Appointing Who? Please Obama, Say It’s Not So! or Obama appoints a fox to oversee the chickens at the FDA

The Huffington Post – The person who may be responsible for more food-related illness and death than anyone in history has just been made the US food safety czar. This is no joke.

Here’s the back story.

When FDA scientists were asked to weigh in on what was to become the most radical and potentially dangerous change in our food supply — the introduction of genetically modified (GM) foods — secret documents now reveal that the experts were very concerned. Memo after memo described toxins, new diseases, nutritional deficiencies, and hard-to-detect allergens. They were adamant that the technology carried “serious health hazards,” and required careful, long-term research, including human studies, before any genetically modified organisms (GMOs) could be safely released into the food supply. [Read Article]

Canadian judge calls for tight Taser controls

AFP - A Canadian judge has recommended tight controls on the use of Taser stun guns as part of an inquiry into the death of a Polish passenger at Vancouver airport two years ago. But Justice Thomas Braidwood did not call for a ban on police use of such weapons in his first report into the death in 2007 of Robert Dziekanski after he was Tasered and subdued by four police officers. ”A police officer’s job has become far more demanding and much more dangerous,” and officers need tools, Braidwood wrote in his report released Thursday. But “because we give police officers extraordinary powers of search, arrest, and use of lethal force, we are entitled to expect that they will use these powers prudently and with restraint.” He argued however that in “the great majority of deployments, the conducted energy weapon is effective.”And he told reporters at a press conference Thursday: “Our society is better off with these.” Read Article

Stock Traders Find Speed Pays, in Milliseconds

New York Times - It is the hot new thing on Wall Street, a way for a handful of traders to master the stock market, peek at investors’ orders and, critics say, even subtly manipulate share prices. It is called high-frequency trading “” and it is suddenly one of the most talked-about and mysterious forces in the markets.Powerful computers, some housed right next to the machines that drive marketplaces like the New York Stock Exchange, enable high-frequency traders to transmit millions of orders at lightning speed and, their detractors contend, reap billions at everyone else’s expense. Read Article

The Historian – The real reason why big banks and hedge funds are reaping mega profits and the stock market is rising at a time when in reality, not least due to quantative easing and massive government debt, they should be still retreating?

Chimpanzees Infected With SIV Do Develop And Die From AIDS, Contrary To Prevailing View

ScienceDaily (July 23, 2009) “” Although the AIDS virus (HIV-1) entered the human population through chimpanzees, scientists have long believed that chimpanzees don’t develop AIDS. But a new study from an international team, including University of Minnesota professors Anne Pusey and Michael Wilson, shows that chimpanzees infected with SIV (simian immunodeficiency virus), the precursor to HIV-1, do contract and die from AIDS. The discovery is published in the July 23 issue of Nature.

The authors report that infected chimpanzees in their study group were 10-16 times more likely to die than those who were uninfected. The team also found that infected females were less likely to give birth and infants born to infected mothers were unlikely to survive. The virus, they learned, was transmitted sexually and through mother’s milk. Over the nine-year study period, 10-20 percent of the 94 chimpanzees were infected at any one time. [Read Article]

BioChemist – related article ‘Scientists find HIV’s “˜missing link’ in sick chimps’ published OYENews Midday 24/07/09

All parents to sign ‘behaviour contracts’

Daily Telegraph -22 Jul 2009 – Pupils and their families will be required to agree to the deal – setting out minimum standards of behaviour and attendance – before the start of term. Contracts, known as Home School Agreements, will also establish parents’ responsibilities for the first time.

They face court action and possible fines of up to £1,000 for repeatedly breaking rules. [Read Article]

Epidemic Influenza And Vitamin D

MedicalNews today – In early April of 2005, after a particularly rainy spring, an influenza epidemic (epi: upon, demic: people) exploded through the maximum-security hospital for the criminally insane where I have worked for the last ten years. It was not the pandemic (pan: all, demic: people) we all fear, just an epidemic. The world is waiting and governments are preparing for the next pandemic. A severe influenza pandemic will kill many more Americans than died in the World Trade Centers, the Iraq war, the Vietnam War, and Hurricane Katrina combined, perhaps a million people in the USA alone. Such a disaster would tear the fabric of American society. Our entire country might resemble the Superdome or Bourbon Street after Hurricane Katrina.

It’s only a question of when a pandemic will come, not if it will come. Influenza A pandemics come every 30 years or so, severe ones every hundred years or so. The last pandemic, the Hong Kong flu, occurred in 1968 – killing 34,000 Americans. In 1918, the Great Flu Epidemic killed more than 500,000 Americans. So many millions died in other countries, they couldn’t bury the bodies. Young healthy adults, in the prime of their lives in the morning, drowning in their own inflammation by noon, grossly discolored by sunset, were dead at midnight. Their body’s own broad-spectrum natural antibiotics, called antimicrobial peptides, seemed nowhere to be found. An overwhelming immune response to the influenza virus – white blood cells releasing large amounts of inflammatory agents called cytokines and chemokines into the lungs of the doomed – resulted in millions of deaths in 1918.
[Read Article]

Some Guantanamo detainees may come to US jails

AP — The Pentagon’s top lawyer said Friday that the Obama administration has not abandoned the possibility of transferring some prisoners from the Guantanamo Bay detention center to a prison in the United States despite strong congressional concerns. Defense Department general counsel Jeh Charles Johnson told the House Armed Services Committee that some suspected terrorists might be transferred to the U.S. for prosecution and others sent to a facility inside the U.S. for long-term incarceration. Read Article

Afghanistan women outraged at proposed family planning law

Guardian – A few days after the Taliban were toppled in 2001 I was in Kabul. The city was jubilant and full of hope for the future, and I remember talking to some laughing teenage girls in the street. One was excited because she could now go back to school. Another sang terrible disco songs and showed me dance steps she had been practising for five years in secret. A third debated whether to take off her burka. “Is it safe enough yet?” she asked me. “For five years, I lived inside this prison.”
Eight years later I returned, but the Afghanistan I found was far from jubilant. Despite the money poured into reconstruction and development, it is one of the five poorest countries in the world. There is 40% unemployment ““ nearly 80% in some parts of the country. A third of children under five are malnourished. Life expectancy is 43 ““ and it is one of only three countries in the world where women die earlier than men. Read article

Bottled water companies win fluoride battle

Bellingen Courier-Sun – Bottled water containing fluoride is expected to hit shelves within six months in a move that has irked anti-fluoride crusaders.

Australia’s food safety authority decided to allow the voluntary addition of fluoride into packaged water today after lengthy appeals by the Australasian Bottled Water Institute. [Read Article]

Biochemist: Think, investigate: How much Fluoride is too much? What motivates people to buy bottled water in the first place?

Obama: ‘Victory’ Not Necessarily Goal in Afghanistan

Fox News – The enemy facing U.S. and Afghan forces isn’t so clearly defined defined, Obama explained in a TV interview.
President Obama has put securing Afghanistan near the top of his foreign policy agenda, but “victory” in the war-torn country isn’t necessarily the United States’ goal, he said Thursday in a TV interview.
“I’m always worried about using the word ‘victory,’ because, you know, it invokes this notion of Emperor Hirohito coming down and signing a surrender to MacArthur,” Obama told ABC News.
The enemy facing U.S. and Afghan forces isn’t so clearly defined, he explained.
“We’re not dealing with nation states at this point. We’re concerned with Al Qaeda and the Taliban, Al Qaeda’s allies,” he said. “So when you have a non-state actor, a shadowy operation like Al Qaeda, our goal is to make sure they can’t attack the United States.” Read article

Polemic – so the USA is looking after itself and is not concerned about the welfare of the citizens of countries it is invading and bombing. Hardly news at all is it?

Body of missing Russian rights activist found

Reuters – The body of a missing Russian human rights activist has been found, his organization and local officials said Wednesday.
Russia is already investigating last week’s killing of Chechen human rights activist Natalia Estemirova, which triggered worldwide outrage.
Andrei Kulagin, who disappeared two months ago, headed the local branch of Spravedlivost (Justice) a human rights organization in the Russian region of Karelia, around 1,000 km (620 miles) north of Moscow.
“The body of Andrei Kulagin, a resident of Petrozavodsk, was discovered on July 10 in a quarry near the Klyuchevaya neighborhood of Petrozavodsk,” a source in Karelian law enforcement told Interfax news agency.
The reports made no reference to how Kulagin may have died. Read article

Therapy For Parkinson’s, Other Diseases Advanced With Miniaturization Of Device

ScienceDaily (July 23, 2009) “” By miniaturizing a device that monitors the delivery of healthy cells, researchers at Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory are developing a powerful instrument for physicians to use in treating patients with Parkinson’s syndrome, brain tumors and other diseases.

While cell replacement therapies can be effective, the challenge is to deliver a sufficient quantity of healthy cells, said Boyd Evans III of the lab’s Measurement Science and Systems Engineering Division.

“Regardless of the source of cells and the location of delivery, there is a great need to improve cell viability after the cells are transplanted,” Evans said. [Read Article]