Daily Archives

For kids with ADHD, regular ‘green time’ is linked to milder symptoms

Medical Xpress – A study of more than 400 children diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder has found a link between the children’s routine play settings and the severity of their symptoms, researchers report. Those who regularly play in outdoor settings with lots of green (grass and trees, for example) have milder ADHD symptoms than those who play indoors or in built outdoor environments, the researchers found. The association holds even when the researchers controlled for income and other variables. Read article

Dark chocolate ‘may improve health’

UKPA – Those who would rather eat chocolate than exercise can take heart from new research that suggests one is as good as the other. Scientists found that small amounts of dark chocolate may improve health in a similar way to exercise. Epicatechin, a plant compound in chocolate, appeared to stimulate the same muscle response as vigorous activity. Researchers focused on mitochondria, tiny powerhouses in cells that generate energy. Read article

‘Miracle’ plant boosting health in Sierra Leone

Medical Xpress – A tropical plant said to be nutritional dynamite is being plugged by Sierra Leone’s government as a natural cure-all in the country, which has some of the worst health indicators in the world. The Moringa plant, native to northern India, has been called the “tree of life” and its use is spreading in Africa, advocates say, where it can prevent diseases and malnutrition and even boost development by creating job opportunities. Doctors … agree on the value of Moringa. “It sure is a good herbal plant complementing our medical practice. Anything that provides good health is worth our nod,” said private practitioner Harry Sankoh in the northern city of Makeni. Read article

Saudi Arabia Sends War Tanks to Yemen

YemenPost – According to military sources, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia would have dispatched a convoy of armored vehicles, amongst which were war tanks, and other military equipment to Yemen in order for its regime to quell the rising popular movement against president Saleh. Read article

UK: GM wheat trial backed by Government

UKPA – Scientists have been given the go-ahead to conduct a trial of genetically modified wheat, the Environment Department said. The field trials of the wheat, which has been modified to make it resistant to aphids, will take place over a three-acre site at Rothamsted Research farm in Harpenden, Hertfordshire, with the crops sown in spring 2012 and 2013. Read article

Geithner warns EU against infighting over Greece

BBC – US Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner has warned European leaders to stop the “loose talk” about divisions over how to solve the eurozone debt crisis, the Dow Jones news agency has reported. Read article

Gulf War Syndrome Is Brain Damage Caused By Nerve Gas, Not Psychological Issues, UT Southwestern Study Proves

Dallas Observer – ?There’s no denying it now: Gulf War Syndrome, characterized by memory loss, lack of concentration, neuropathic pain and depression, is a physiological illness, not a psychological one. A UT Southwestern study, published in the journal Radiology, used a specialized MRI that specifically measures blood flow in the brain and detected marked abnormalities in the brains of those with Gulf War Syndrome. Not only have those abnormalities persisted for 20 years, but in some cases they’ve worsened. Read Article

Canada: Caribou recovery plan near oilsands may target wolves

CTV – Ottawa - Thousands of wolves stand to be killed in Alberta as part of the federal government’s new plan to sustain caribou in the oilsands area, environmental researchers say. Read article

Support grows for tax on Italian wealth

Financial Times – Visitors to Milan are often advised to look up to get an idea of the city’s wealth. Even from street level, the trappings of Milan’s elite are visible: wide terraces covered in vines and marble, low-lit rooms filled with designer furniture and contemporary art. As Italy’s economy and its banks lurch deeper into the eurozone sovereign crisis, some are calling for a one-off mega tax on Italians’ substantial private wealth as a way to offset fears about its €2,000bn ($2,750bn) public debt. Read Article

Namibia: Chobe/Zambezi Overfishing Tops Region’s Agenda

All Africa – A debate around overfishing and netting in the Zambezi and Chobe rivers has made it to the top of the region’s agenda.For many in the area, including Namibians and Botswana nationals, the issue has reached boiling point, with the chief concern being that fish species are declining. Read article

Human-Rights Court Backs Return of Chávez Foe

Wall St Journal – A human-rights court has sided with a prominent opposition leader in Venezuela who argued he was improperly banned from holding public office, potentially clearing the way for him to challenge the 2012 re-election bid of President Hugo Chávez. The Inter-American Court of Human Rights, or IACHR, ordered Venezuela to “re-establish the political rights of Mr. Leopoldo López Mendoza,” in the decision posted on the court’s website Friday. Read Article

Libyan forces battle to loosen grip on Gaddafi towns

Reuters – Libyan interim government forces charged a desert stronghold controlled by fighters loyal to Muammar Gaddafi and battled on the streets of the ousted leader’s hometown as they struggled to quash his last pockets of support. Nearly a month since they drove Gaddafi’s forces out of the capital Tripoli, transitional government fighters have become mired in sieges of his loyalists’ remaining redoubts, raising doubt over whether they can quickly unite the vast country. Read Article

US: Adult vitamin D consumption declines

UPI — A University of Minnesota researcher says vitamin D in adult diets has been on the decline for the past 25 years. Lisa Harnack, director of the Nutrition Coordinating Center and professor of epidemiology at the University of Minnesota’s School of Public Health, says many Americans don’t get enough vitamin D in their diets to meet recommended intake levels. “Both men and women have shown a steady decrease in their vitamin D intake,” Harnack says in a statement. Read article

Palestinian leader ignores US warnings on UN statehood bid

Guardian – The Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, has said he will go ahead with a request to the United Nations security council to recognise what amounts to a unilateral declaration of independence despite warnings from the US that it will raise “dangerous” false hopes and set back real self-determination. Read article

Climate Fact Of The Day – NASA satellite data shows the Earth’s atmosphere is allowing far more heat to be released into space than computer models

Remote Sensing 2011, 3, 1603-1613; doi:10.3390/rs3081603

On the Misdiagnosis of Surface Temperature Feedbacks from Variations in Earth’s Radiant Energy Balance

Authors: Roy W. Spencer * and William D. Braswell

The sensitivity of the climate system to an imposed radiative imbalance remains the largest source of uncertainty in projections of future anthropogenic climate change. Here we present further evidence that this uncertainty from an observational perspective is largely due to the masking of the radiative feedback signal by internal radiative forcing, probably due to natural cloud variations. That these internal radiative forcings exist and likely corrupt feedback diagnosis is demonstrated with lag regression analysis of satellite and coupled climate model data, interpreted with a simple forcing-feedback model. While the satellite-based metrics for the period 2000–2010 depart substantially in the direction of lower climate sensitivity from those similarly computed from coupled climate models, we find that, with traditional methods, it is not possible to accurately quantify this discrepancy in terms of the feedbacks which determine climate sensitivity. It is concluded that atmospheric feedback diagnosis of the climate system remains an unsolved problem, due primarily to the inability to distinguish between radiative forcing and radiative feedback in satellite radiative budget observations. Read Paper

Video Of The Week – After 9/11: Ten Years Of War

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Quotation Of The Week

“It isn’t what you have, or who you are, or where you are, or what you are doing that makes you happy or unhappy. It is what you think about.”
- Dale Carnegie

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Vitamin D not tied to fibrillation

Reuters – Despite some research linking low vitamin D levels to heart disease, a new study suggests that lacking D does not increase one’s risk of an irregular heartbeat known as atrial fibrillation. Researchers followed nearly 3,000 middle-aged and older adults in the long-running Framingham Heart Study for roughly 10 years and found that 425 people developed atrial fibrillation. But, Dr. Michiel Rienstra of Massachusetts General Hospital and his colleagues found there was no difference in the likelihood of getting the condition between people with the highest vitamin D levels in their blood and those with the lowest. Read article

Mother Tongue Comes from Your Prehistoric Father

Science Daily – Language change among our prehistoric ancestors came about via the arrival of immigrant men — rather than women — into new settlements, according to new research. Read Article

‘Racists’ aged THREE: Toddlers among thousands of British children accused of bigotry after name-calling

Mail Online – Teachers are branding thousands of children racist or homophobic following playground squabbles.  More than 20,000 pupils aged 11 or younger were last year put on record for so-called hate crimes such as using the word ‘gaylord’. Some of them are even from nursery schools where children are no older than three. Read Article

U.S. household debt burden eases in second quarter

Reuters – The level of U.S. household debt compared with after-tax income fell in the second quarter to the lowest level since 2004, according to data on Friday, a trend that could lay the groundwork for greater consumer spending. A Federal Reserve report showed that household mortgage debt fell while after-tax income rose in the second quarter. But consumer credit, which accounts for a smaller portion of household balance sheets, rose. Read Article

Britain: Law Is Changed On Arrests of Foreign Officials

NY Times – Britain has altered a law to make it more difficult for private citizens and activist groups to seek the arrest of foreign politicians for crimes like torture, genocide and war crimes. The change, which took effect Thursday, means that Israeli officials who had feared traveling to Britain because of threats that they might be arrested will now be able to visit again. Read Article

Ob-gyn guidelines often based on opinion, weak data

Reuters – Solid evidence is often missing from the practice guidelines used by obstetrician-gynecologists across the U.S., a new study shows. Less than a third of the recommendations from the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) are based on gold-standard scientific experiments, researchers found. The rest are based on anecdotal evidence or expert opinion, which is subject to personal biases, they reported.
“That is often the fall-back when there is no data,” said Dr. Andrew D. Auerbach, a professor of medicine at the University of California, San Francisco, who was not part of the study. Read article

EU police fly in to secure Kosovo border crossings

BBC – Helicopters have been ferrying EU police to Kosovo border crossings with Serbia after ethnic Serbs blocked roads to stop Kosovan police entering. Read article

Ultrasecret satellite spy shop NRO turns 50

AP – As it turns 50, the ultra-secretive National Reconnaissance Office is putting a multibillion-dollar misstep behind it and casting its spy satellites on new enemies, from al-Qaida bomb planters to North Korean nuclear engineers, according to its chief. The agency has launched six satellites in seven months, “the best we’ve done in about 25 years,” said director Bruce Carlson, ticking off what he saw as milestones during rare comments Thursday to reporters. Read Article