Making Unique Observations in a Very Cluttered World

Friday, 30 November 2012

SIBLING RIVALRY: Video shows twins fighting in the womb... -

SIBLING RIVALRY: Video shows twins fighting in the womb... - 

Striking new MRI images show that for twins, sibling rivalry starts early–even before birth.  Researchers in London were trying to find out more about a rare blood disease that can complicate the pregnancies for women carrying twins, when they captured video of what appears to be two fetuses pushing each other as they try to make more room.
Researchers at London’s Center for Fetal Care were studying a potentially deadly condition called twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome. It only occurs in identical twins, when the blood supply from one flows into the other. It can cause one twin to become much larger, leaving the smaller with health deficiencies.
The researchers say the study has provided unexpected insight into sibling relationships.


How long will YOU live? Startling map reveals dramatic differences in life expectancy across the globe -

How long will YOU live? Startling map reveals dramatic differences in life expectancy across the globe - 
How long will you live? This colour coded map shows the average life expectancy in 188 of the world's nations

This colour-coded map reveals the startling difference in life expectancies across 222 of the world's countries.
The map shows how people are likely to live the longest in developed countries with state-funded healthcare systems like Japan, Canada and the UK, which each have average life expectancies of over 80 years.
The tiny tax haven of Monaco - with its notoriously wealthy inhabitants and compulsory state-funded health service - has the highest life expectancy at an average of 89.68 years, five years higher than anywhere else on earth, according to the CIA World Factbook. The country with the worst life expectancy is the African state of Chad at a shocking 48.69 years.
Life expectancy in America ranks 51st in the CIA's table at 78.49 years - lower than Canada (81.48), Australia (81.90), New Zealand (80.71), Japan (83.91), the UK (80.17) and much of Europe.



Thursday, 29 November 2012

Man who claimed Parkinson's drug turned him into 'gay sex addict' wins $250,000 settlement... -

Man who claimed Parkinson's drug turned him into 'gay sex addict' wins $250,000 settlement... - 

A Parkinson's sufferer has won a six figure pay-out against a drug giant after his medication turned him into a 'gay sex and gambling addict'.
Didier Jambart had been a well respected man, an upstanding member of the community in Nantes, western France, and a loving father and husband. 
But within two years of taking the drug Requip he was so addicted to both his vices he sold his children's toys to raise money and advertised himself on the internet for sex. He has now been given £160,000 in damages after a court in Rennes, France, upheld his claims.

The ground-breaking ruling was made yesterday by the appeal court, which awarded the damages to Mr Jambart from GlaxoSmithKline, the British pharmaceuticals giant.
With his wife Christine beside him, Mr Jambart, 52, broke down in tears as judges upheld his claim that his life had become 'hell' after he started taking Requip, a drug made by GSK.

He told reporters 'this is a great day' after the court threw out the firm's appeal against an earlier ruling to award him 117,000 euros.
The court increased the level of damages to 197,468.83 euros after finding that there was 'serious, precise and corroborated' evidence to blame his transformation on Requip. 

The father, from Nantes, France, said the drug had turned his life into hell after he sold his children's toys and advertised himself for sex on the internet after taking the drug
Mr Jambart said: 'It's been a seven-year battle with our limited means for recognition of the fact that GSK lied to us and shattered our lives.'
He added: 'I am happy that justice has been done. I am happy for my wife and my children. I am at last going to be able to sleep at night and profit from life. '
But he added that the money he was awarded was not like winning the lottery, and said: 'This will never replace the years of pain.'
The court heard that Mr Jambart began taking Requip for Parkinson's disease in 2003.
The formerly well respected bank manager, local councillor and a father of two from Nantes in western France, had tried to commit suicide eight times after he turned into a sex-crazed gambling addict.
He told the court that he had emptied his bank account, sold his children's toys and stolen money from work colleagues, friends and neighbours. 
In total he gambled away a total of 82,000 euros, mostly placing internet bets on horse races, and engaged in a 'frantic search for gay sex'. 
He began exhibiting himself on internet websites and arranging encounters, one of which resulted in him being raped. 
He said his family had not understood what was going on at first.
But his behaviour returned to normal when he stumbled upon a website that made the link between Requip and addictions in 2005, and stopped taking the drug.
He said : 'My life was hell. It still is because you cannot forget a catastrophe like that.'

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2240249/Didier-Jambart-said-Parkinsons-drug-gay-sex-addict-awarded-160k-French-court.html

Two thirds of pork products in U.S. supermarkets contaminated with fever-inducing bacteria -

Two thirds of pork products in U.S. supermarkets contaminated with fever-inducing bacteria - 

Over two thirds of raw pork products sold in US supermarkets contain a dangerous bacteria that can lead to illness, a study has claimed.
The report found that a large proportion of pork products harbour bacteria - but the prevalence of yersinia enterocolitica is the most striking finding.
The food-borne pathogen was discovered in 69 per cent of all raw meat sampled in the study, carried out by Consumer Reports.

More well-known bacteria were significantly less prevalent in the study. Salmonella was found in only four per cent of products, while three per cent of meat samples tested positive for listeria.
Eleven percent of samples, most of which were taken from popular supermarkets, contained the enterococcus bacteria and seven percent contained staphylococcus aureus bacteria.
Yersinia enterocolitica affects more than 100,000 Americans every year, many of whom are children, and can induce fever, cramps and diarrhea.
The bacteria though is relatively unheard of and for every diagnosis it is estimated that 120 cases go undetected.

The study sampled a range of commonly consumed products, made up of 148 pork chops and 50 ground pork samples.
The ground pork samples proved more likely to carry bacteria than the chop samples.
Urvashi Rangan, who helped compile the report, described the results as 'concerning'.
He told ABCNews: 'It’s hard to say that there was no problem.  It shows that there needs to be better hygiene at animal plants. Yersinia wasn’t even being monitored for.'

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2239826/Two-thirds-pork-products-U-S-supermarkets-contaminated-fever-inducing-bacteria-according-Consumer-Reports-study.html

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Bacteria thriving in lightless, low-oxygen, super-salty Antarctic lake may give clues to origins of life -

Bacteria thriving in lightless, low-oxygen, super-salty Antarctic lake may give clues to origins of life - 

Christian H. Fritsen/Desert Research Institute

A study by polar researchers has revealed an ancient community of bacteria able to thrive in the lightless, oxygen-depleted, salty environment beneath nearly 70 feet (20 metres) of ice in an Antarctic lake, giving insight into the unique ecosystem.

The research, funded by the National Science Foundation and NASA, provides clues about biochemical processes not linked to sunlight, carbon dioxide and oxygen – or photosynthesis.

Emanuele Kuhn/Desert Research InstituteMembers of the 2010 Lake Vida expedition team use a drill inside on the lake’s surface to collect an ice core and brine existing below the lake surface.
The authors of the study say it may explain the potential for life in salty, cryogenic environments beyond Earth, where energy in ecosystems is typically fueled by the sun.

The study, published this week in Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, came out of a collaborative effort of polar researchers from a number of institutions, including the University of Illinois at Chicago, Montana State University and the University of Colorado.

The energy driving bacterial life in Lake Vida, a mostly frozen, brine lake below the Antarctic ice shield, may be derived from chemical reactions between the salt water and the underlying, iron-rich rock, researchers said.


Mammograms Linked With Unnecessary Breast Cancer Treatment

Mammograms Linked With Unnecessary Breast Cancer Treatment

Mammograms have done surprisingly little to catch deadly breast cancers before they spread, a big U.S. study finds. At the same time, more than a million women have been treated for cancers that never would have threatened their lives, researchers estimate.

Up to one-third of breast cancers, or 50,000 to 70,000 cases a year, don't need treatment, the study suggests.

It's the most detailed look yet at overtreatment of breast cancer, and it adds fresh evidence that screening is not as helpful as many women believe. Mammograms are still worthwhile, because they do catch some deadly cancers and save lives, doctors stress. And some of them disagree with conclusions the new study reached.

But it spotlights a reality that is tough for many Americans to accept: Some abnormalities that doctors call "cancer" are not a health threat or truly malignant. There is no good way to tell which ones are, so many women wind up getting treatments like surgery and chemotherapy that they don't really need.

Men have heard a similar message about PSA tests to screen for slow-growing prostate cancer, but it's relatively new to the debate over breast cancer screening.

"We're coming to learn that some cancers – many cancers, depending on the organ – weren't destined to cause death," said Dr. Barnett Kramer, a National Cancer Institute screening expert. However, "once a woman is diagnosed, it's hard to say treatment is not necessary."

He had no role in the study, which was led by Dr. H. Gilbert Welch of Dartmouth Medical School and Dr. Archie Bleyer of St. Charles Health System and Oregon Health & Science University. Results are in Thursday's New England Journal of Medicine.

Breast cancer is the leading type of cancer and cause of cancer deaths in women worldwide. Nearly 1.4 million new cases are diagnosed each year. Other countries screen less aggressively than the U.S. does. In Britain, for example, mammograms are usually offered only every three years and a recent review there found similar signs of overtreatment.

The dogma has been that screening finds cancer early, when it's most curable. But screening is only worthwhile if it finds cancers destined to cause death, and if treating them early improves survival versus treating when or if they cause symptoms.

Mammograms also are an imperfect screening tool – they often give false alarms, spurring biopsies and other tests that ultimately show no cancer was present. The new study looks at a different risk: Overdiagnosis, or finding cancer that is present but does not need treatment.


Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Car pollution linked to Autism -

Car pollution linked to Autism - 

Children exposed to higher levels of air pollution early in life may have an increased risk of autism, a new study suggests.
In the study, children living in areas with high levels of traffic-generated air pollution during their first year of life were three times more likely to have autism than children living in areas with low levels.
There was also a link between exposure to air pollution in the womb — particularly during late pregnancy — and an increasedrisk of autism, according to the study.
The findings held even after the researchers accounted for factors possibly related to autism risk, including a child's gender and ethnicity, their parent's education and smoking in pregnancy.
The results add to previous findings linking exposure to air pollution with autism risk
However, the new study shows only an association, not a cause-effect link, and the researchers did not gather information on the children's nutrition, or their exposure to indoor pollutants and secondhand smoke, which could affect the results.
"Although additional research to replicate these findings is needed, the public health implications of these findings are large because air pollution exposure is common and may have lasting neurological effects," the researchers write in the Nov. 26 issue of the journal Archives of General Psychiatry.

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/health/2012/11/27/car-pollution-linked-to-autism/?test=latestnews

Grinch Wastes Little Time: Thieves Steal $3,000 Worth Of Xmas Trees From Boy Scouts -

Grinch Wastes Little Time: Thieves Steal $3,000 Worth Of Xmas Trees From Boy Scouts - 

Police are calling it a heartless holiday crime. Thieves stole dozens of Christmas trees from the Boy Scouts.

But as CBS 2’s Don Dahler found out on Monday, this story of a holiday Grinch has become a reflection of the spirit of the season.

At around 1:30 a.m. Thanksgiving morning, an Ulster police officer noticed something was wrong at the Boy Scout tree lot.

“One of the patrols actually drove up to this location and saw the Christmas tree sign and wooden gate area that fences it in knocked over,” Ulster Police Chief Anthony Cruise said.

Paul Vanderkruik oversees the lot.

“I arrived at about 2 a.m. and someone had pulled over the entire front of our stand. It looked like they had hooked a chain to it and just drove in,” the Scout camp ranger said.

In all, 60 Christmas trees were missing. They were trees the Scouts were selling to raise money for their camp. The stolen trees amounted to a loss of about $3,000.

“That’s a major amount. We’re a small council. We serve Ulster County and Greene County, about 1,600 to 2,000 kids. We’ve got a pretty small budget and $3,000 is a lot,” Rip Van Winkle Council Scout executive Raymond Braun said.

When asked what the reaction was from some of Scouts, Vanderkruik said, “They were sad, but they took a stiff upper lip. The next morning, Friday morning, they were here to rebuild. Yeah, 7 a.m. they were here.”

It takes a pretty heartless person to steal Christmas trees from Boy Scouts on Thanksgiving morning, but before you start feeling too bad about humanity, read the rest of this story.

People began dropping by to make donations. And then a competitor down the road, Adams Fairacre Farms, a large grocery store that also sells Christmas trees, donated 60 of theirs to replace the ones stolen.

“I was hurt. I was very hurt about what had happened to them and I just thought we needed to help,” Jason Becker of Adams said.

Braun was overwhelmed by the generosity.

“Unbelievable. Unbelievable. I feel like Jimmy Stewart. I feel like, you know, it’s a wonderful life,” Brain said.

And there it is – a Hollywood ending in a town that never forgot what this season is really all about.

Ulster police have no suspects. The theft was the second Christmas tree theft in upstate New York this year. A trailer with 350 trees was stolen from a farm last week.


China's Party Paper Falls for Onion Joke about North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un as the "Sexiest Man Alive" -

China's Party Paper Falls for Onion Joke about North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un as the "Sexiest Man Alive" - 

The online version of China's Communist Party newspaper has hailed a report by The Onion naming North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un as the "Sexiest Man Alive" - not realizing it is satire.

The People's Daily on Tuesday ran a 55-page photo spread on its website in a tribute to the round-faced leader, under the headline "North Korea's top leader named The Onion's Sexiest Man Alive for 2012."

Quoting The Onion's spoof report, the Chinese newspaper wrote, `'With his devastatingly handsome, round face, his boyish charm, and his strong, sturdy frame, this Pyongyang-bred heartthrob is every woman's dream come true."

"Blessed with an air of power that masks an unmistakable cute, cuddly side, Kim made this newspaper's editorial board swoon with his impeccable fashion sense, chic short hairstyle, and, of course, that famous smile," the People's Daily cited The Onion as saying.

The photos the People's Daily selected include Kim on horseback squinting into the light and Kim waving toward a military parade. In other photos, he is wearing sunglasses and smiling, or touring a facility with his wife.

People's Daily could not immediately be reached for comment. A man who answered the phone at the newspaper's duty office said he did not know anything about the report and requested queries be directed to their newsroom on Wednesday morning.

It is not the first time a state-run Chinese newspaper has fallen for a fictional report by the just-for-laughs The Onion.

In 2002, the Beijing Evening News, one of the capital city's biggest tabloids at the time, published as news the fictional account that the U.S. Congress wanted a new building and that it might leave Washington. The Onion article was a spoof of the way sports teams threaten to leave cities in order to get new stadiums.

Two months ago, Iran's semiofficial Fars news agency reprinted a story from The Onion about a supposed survey showing that most rural white Americans would rather vote for Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad than President Barack Obama. It included a quote from a fictional West Virginia resident saying he'd rather go to a baseball game with Ahmadinejad because "he takes national defense seriously."


After 19 years of marriage, husband discovers wife was once a man... -

After 19 years of marriage, husband discovers wife was once a man... - 

The man, only named as Jan, married Monica, his family's former au pair in a previous marriage, in 1993 despite legal difficulties raised by the Belgian immigration authorities.
But it was only in recent weeks that he discovered that his wife had originally been a man and had undergone a sex change.
"I feel I've been assaulted," he told the Het Nieuwsblad newspaper.
"I brought her to Belgium. That was not easy. The Belgian courts had serious doubts about the authenticity of her birth and her identity papers, but eventually they accepted it anyway. I thought she was an attractive woman, all woman. She had no male traits."
Jan, 64, said that he and his wife had decided not to have children because he had two by his previous marriage and she fooled him by pretending to menstruate, using sanitary towels, "to conceal the truth".

"Even during sex, I never noticed anything," he said.
For many years the couple lived a normal family life and Monica, 48, was like a "big sister" to his children until their marriage started to come under strain when she got a new full-time job.
"Monica began to change very much," he said.
"My oldest son saw her sometimes at a nightclub. She began to wear very flashy clothes, those ultra-short skirts or tiny tops, so her abdomen was completely exposed."
Finally rumours began to surface and after Jan found "amorous messages" from other men on her computer, he confronted her in a violent row that led to the police being called.
"A friend told me that he had heard that Monica was actually a sex-changed man. I could not believe it. My son heard similar rumours," he said.
"I pushed her against the wall and said: Now I know the truth. Are you a man? She then announced that she was born as a boy and that she had been operated on. She was now a woman, and so she did not need to tell me about her past as a man. My world collapsed. That evening came to blows. The police came."
Jan, who is undergoing psychiatric treatment following the discovery, has started legal proceedings to have the marriage annulled but the Belgian courts have so far refused to allow him to turn her out of the familiy home.
"That person has deliberately deceived him for years, even scammed. Presumably she has also forged documents used here to get a residence permit. The children, who for years have lived with her, are devastated," said his Liliane Verjauw, his lawyer.

Read more -

Monday, 26 November 2012

REPORT: US planned to blow up moon during Cold War... -

REPORT: US planned to blow up moon during Cold War... - 

Would Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin even had a moon to walk on if the United States had its way in the 1950s?

During the height of the Cold War, U.S. officials debated whether to detonate nuclear bomb on the moon in order to send a message to the Soviet Union, the Asian News International reports.

The secret project dubbed, “A Study of Lunar Research Flights” and nicknamed “Project A119,” was seriously being considered until it was scrapped because military officials were worried it would hurt the people on Earth.

The Daily Mail reports that astronomer Carl Sagan’s calculations were used regarding the dust and gas the blast would generate. The website also states that physicist Leonard Reiffel told the Associated Press in an interview in 2000 that a U.S. nuclear flash from Earth might have “intimidated” the Soviets.

The plan consisted of carrying a nuclear device some 238,000 miles to the moon on a missile that would have detonated on impact.


Smoking "rots" the brain by damaging memory, learning and reasoning -

Smoking "rots" the brain by damaging memory, learning and reasoning - 

Smoking "rots" the brain by damaging memory, learning and reasoning, according to researchers at King's College London.

A study of 8,800 people over 50 showed high blood pressure and being overweight also seemed to affect the brain, but to a lesser extent.

Scientists involved said people needed to be aware that lifestyles could damage the mind as well as the body.

Their study was published in the journal Age and Ageing.

Researchers at King's were investigating links between the likelihood of a heart attack or stroke and the state of the brain.

Data about the health and lifestyle of a group of over-50s was collected and brain tests, such as making participants learn new words or name as many animals as they could in a minute, were also performed.

They were all tested again after four and then eight years.

The results showed that the overall risk of a heart attack or stroke was "significantly associated with cognitive decline" with those at the highest risk showing the greatest decline.

It also said there was a "consistent association" between smoking and lower scores in the tests.

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These results underline the importance of looking after your cardiovascular health from mid-life”

Dr Simon Ridley
Alzheimer's Research UK
One of the researchers, Dr Alex Dregan, said: "Cognitive decline becomes more common with ageing and for an increasing number of people interferes with daily functioning and well-being.

"We have identified a number of risk factors which could be associated with accelerated cognitive decline, all of which, could be modifiable."

He added: "We need to make people aware of the need to do some lifestyle changes because of the risk of cognitive decline."

The researchers do not know how such a decline could affect people going about their daily life. They are also unsure whether the early drop in brain function could lead to conditions such as dementia.

Heart and brain
Dr Simon Ridley, from Alzheimer's Research UK, said: "Research has repeatedly linked smoking and high blood pressure to a greater risk of cognitive decline and dementia, and this study adds further weight to that evidence.

"Cognitive decline as we age can develop into dementia, and unravelling the factors that are linked to this decline could be crucial for finding ways to prevent the condition.

"These results underline the importance of looking after your cardiovascular health from mid-life."

The Alzheimer's Society said: "We all know smoking, a high blood pressure, high cholesterol levels and a high BMI [Body Mass Index] is bad for our heart. This research adds to the huge amount of evidence that also suggests they can be bad for our head too.

"One in three people over 65 will develop dementia but there are things people can do to reduce their risk.

"Eating a balanced diet, maintaining a healthy weight, exercising regularly, getting your blood pressure and cholesterol checked and not smoking can all make a difference."


Grapefruit juice reacts with expanding list of drugs - including effects such as sudden death -

Grapefruit juice reacts with expanding list of drugs - including effects such as sudden death - 

More prescription drugs are coming on the market that can interact with grapefruit juice with potentially serious effects such as sudden death, Canadian doctors warn.

David Bailey, a clinical pharmacologist at the Lawson Health Research Institute in London, Ont., discovered the interaction between grapefruit and certain medications more than 20 years ago. Since then, he said the number of drugs with the potential to interact has jumped to more than 85.

The researchers advised people taking certain medications not to consume grapefruit. (Goh Chai Hin/AFP/Getty)
Grapefruit juice is known to interact with some types of medications, leading to an overdose hazard.

Bailey reviews new product monographs and prescribing information for the Canadian Pharmacists Association, and keeps a close eye on those with the potential to produce serious adverse reactions.

"What I've noticed over the last four years is really quite a disturbing trend and that is the increase in the number of drugs that can produce not only adverse reactions but extraordinarily serious adverse drug reactions," Bailey said. "Between 2008 and 2012, the number of drugs in the list has gone from 17 to now 44."

Many of the drugs are common, such as some cholesterol-lowering statins, antibiotics and calcium channel blockers used to treat high blood pressure. Others include agents used to fight cancer or suppress the immune system in people who've received an organ transplant.

People older than 45 buy the most grapefruit and take the most prescription drugs, making this group the most likely to face interactions, researchers said in an article published in Monday's issue of the Canadian Medical Association Journal, titled Grapefruit-medication interactions: forbidden fruit or avoidable consequences?

Older adults also tend to be less able to compensate when faced with excessive concentrations of drugs compared with young and middle-aged people — another reason that those over 45 seem to be particularly vulnerable, they added.

Of the 85 known drugs that interact with grapefruit, 43 can have serious side-effects, including sudden death, acute kidney failure, respiratory failure, gastrointestinal bleeding and bone marrow suppression in people with weakened immune systems.

The authors noted that all sources of grapefruit — the whole fruit or 200 mL of grapefruit juice — and other citrus fruit such as Seville oranges (often used in marmalade), limes and pomelos can lead to drug interactions.


Military dogs being diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder -

Military dogs being diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder - 

Experts say dogs, like humans, can suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder, the Los Angeles Times reported.
Case in point: Cora, a 5-year-old Belgian Malinois, who spent months in Iraq sniffing out buried bombs. A ‘push-button’ dog, meaning she didn’t need much supervision, Cora would roam around detecting explosives and lie down when she found danger. In return, she would be rewarded with treats or play time.
However, Cora’s happy disposition didn’t last long after her work in Iraq – she didn’t want to leave her handler’s side, loud noises bothered her and she would pick fights with other military dogs.
Marine Staff Sgt. Thomas Gehring, a dog handler at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, works with Cora on a daily basis and said she has canine PTSD, most likely due to the many stressful situations, loud sounds and the sights and sounds of death.
Lackland trains dogs for all branches of the U.S. military. It has a $15 million animal hospital devoted to treating such dogs.
“Dogs experience combat just like humans,” Gehring said.
Lackland dog handlers and veterinarians say dogs need to be treated for the condition similarly to humans. This can include conditioning, retraining and anti-anxiety medicines. For Cora, she will be treated as an “honored combat veteran” and start living a life without stress.
There are no statistics on how many dogs return from war with PTSD, but Walter Burghardt Jr., chief of behavioral medicine and military working-dog studies at Lackland, said approximately 10 percent of dogs sent overseas develop the disorder.

Read more: - 

Couple, Teenage Son Swept To Sea and Die Trying To Save Dog... - then the dog swims back to shore -

Couple, Teenage Son Swept To Sea and Die Trying To Save Dog... - then the dog swims back to shore - 

A couple died and their 16-year-old son went missing after being swept into sea in Northern California while trying to save their dog, authorities said Sunday.
The family was at Big Lagoon, a beach north of Eureka, Saturday afternoon when the dog chased after a thrown stick and got pulled into the ocean by eight to ten foot waves, said Dana Jones, a state Parks and Recreation district superintendent.
Jones said the boy went after the dog, prompting his father to go after them. She said the teenager was able to get out, but when he didn't see his father, he and his mother went into the water looking for him.
"Both were dragged into the ocean," Jones said.
The Times-Standard reports (http://bit.ly/UmSP2P) the couple's daughter called police.
Jones said a park ranger had to run a half mile to get to the beach because his car wasn't made to handle the terrain. When he arrived, he wasn't able to get to them because of the high surf, she said.
Rescuers eventually retrieved the mother's body and the father's body washed up.
The Coast Guard deployed a helicopter and two motor life boats to search for the teenager, but the aerial search was suspended Saturday evening by thick coastal fog.
A call seeking the status of the Coast Guard's search on Sunday wasn't immediately returned.
The dog got out of the water on its own, Jones said.


Saturday, 24 November 2012

New Vending Machine In Beverly Hills Dispenses Caviar, Escargot, Truffles... -

New Vending Machine In Beverly Hills Dispenses Caviar, Escargot, Truffles... - 

(credit: Gourmet Tfood/Facebook)

Caviar is not the usual fare one would expect from a vending machine.

Beverly Hills Caviar has unveiled its first touch-screen vending machine at the Burbank Towne Center, offering “a large selection of the world’s finest selection of caviar, truffles, escargot, bottarga, blinis, oils, Mother of Pearl plates and spoons, gift boxes and gourmet salts.”

Prices range from under $50 up to $500, KNX 1070’s Vytas Safroncikas reports.

“Oh my God, too expensive for me. I can’t afford that,” one passersby said of the products offered by the vending machine.

All manner of products are now being offered via vending machine – ranging from the usual fare of candy, snacks and soda all the way to pricey electronics like iPods and iPhones – but fresh foods seem to be the latest trend.

Earlier this year, the LA-based cupcake bakery that started the cupcake craze began dispensing the treats via an ATM called 24-Hour Sprinkles.

“Yeah, I can think of probably better things I can buy out of a vending machine than fish eggs,” another passersby said.

Curious to try the automatically-dispensed caviar? The vending machine is at Burbank Towne Center mall, 201 E. Magnolia Blvd., on the second floor across from Bath and Body Works and operates daily from 7 a.m. till 2 a.m.

Read more -

Sales of adult diapers in Japan exceed those for babies... -

Sales of adult diapers in Japan exceed those for babies... - 

Last year, for the first time, sales of adult diapers in Japan exceeded those for babies. Factor in how the strong yen has been making the country’s critical exports more expensive, and you can see why the world’s No. 3 economy (recently pushed into third place by China) has been quicksand for investors; when international markets hit bottom in early 2009, Japan’s Nikkei slumped to levels it hadn’t seen since 1983. A Merrill Lynch survey of global fund managers discovered that their net exposure to Japan is at its lowest in a decade

Read more -

Friday, 23 November 2012

$300,000 worth of gold dust found in home during HVAC installation -

$300,000 worth of gold dust found in home during HVAC installation - 

Sacramento homeowners called for what was going to be an expensive new heating and air system but ending up striking gold.
Workers installing the equipment found a secret gold stash hidden away in the house. They pride on customer service at Clark & Rush, but this is one guarantee they say they can’t make, finding gold on every house call. 

The total value of what they found was $300,000 worth of gold. The total cost of the HVAC installation was around $6,500. After hundreds and hundreds of HVAC installations, Steve Ottley said the jackpot discovery was one of a kind. “I still can’t believe it today,” he said. “It’s unreal. We kind of just looked at each other and said ‘wow’.”

Back in September, beneath the floor grille of an older home, Steve and his partner discovered 12 baby food jars filled to the brim with gold dust. “I looked at it and said, ‘I think that’s gold,’” he said. Clark & Rush has been in Sacramento for 50 years and they’re celebrating their golden anniversary. But don’t expect a guarantee of “gold after every installation.” 

“That’s one promise we can’t make, but I can say this, the integrity and professionalism of Clark & Rush, every time we find this type of thing, we are always trustworthy and upfront,” Mark Thyne said. Where the gold came from is still a mystery. The lucky homeowners didn’t want to be part of the story, but we’re told they’re handling their new gold just fine.


Sweet tooth thieves steal 18 tons of Austria chocolate -

Sweet tooth thieves steal 18 tons of Austria chocolate - 

Thieves with a huge sweet-tooth have driven off with 18 tons of chocolate in Austria.
State broadcaster ORF says on its website that the driver of a Slovak tractor trailer loaded the 33 pallets of milk chocolate onto his vehicle from the producer in the western town of Bludenz earlier this week — supposedly to deliver an order from a company in the Czech Republic. But, police in the westernmost province of Vorarlberg say that the license plates and papers of the Slovak truck and driver were apparently counterfeit.
The trip should have taken less than a day, but as of Friday — four days after the truck was loaded — the delivery was still outstanding.
Police are investigating.


Spire for 1 WTC making its way to New York City by barge from Canada -

Spire for 1 WTC making its way to New York City by barge from Canada - 

The giant spire that will top 1 World Trade Center is making its way to Manhattan from Canada.

The spire is divided into 18 sections that weigh between five tonnes and more than 67 tonnes. Eight of the sections are being transported via barge from Canada on the Atlantic Salvor.

It left Quebec on Nov. 16 and is expected next week at Port Newark in New Jersey.

The remaining sections are expected to arrive via truck in mid-December.

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which owns the World Trade Center site, says progress of the barge and the spire can be tracked online: http://bit.ly/UWwvio.

Once the 125-metre spire is installed, the tower will stand 541 metres tall, making it the tallest in the Western Hemisphere. The Port Authority says it will take about three months to install.


Those interested can follow the barge’s journey via the WTC Spire Tracking Web site.

Thursday, 22 November 2012

Women in Saudi Arabia are now monitored by an electronic system that tracks any cross-border movements -

Women in Saudi Arabia are now monitored by an electronic system that tracks any cross-border movements - 

Denied the right to travel without consent from their male guardians and banned from driving, women in Saudi Arabia are now monitored by an electronic system that tracks any cross-border movements.

Since last week, Saudi women's male guardians began receiving text messages on their phones informing them when women under their custody leave the country, even if they are travelling together.

Manal al-Sherif, who became the symbol of a campaign launched last year urging Saudi women to defy a driving ban, began spreading the information on Twitter, after she was alerted by a couple.

The husband, who was travelling with his wife, received a text message from the immigration authorities informing him that his wife had left the international airport in Riyadh.

"The authorities are using technology to monitor women," said columnist Badriya al-Bishr, who criticised the "state of slavery under which women are held" in the ultra-conservative kingdom.

Women are not allowed to leave the kingdom without permission from their male guardian, who must give his consent by signing what is known as the "yellow sheet" at the airport or border.

The move by the Saudi authorities was swiftly condemned on social network Twitter -- a rare bubble of freedom for millions in the kingdom -- with critics mocking the decision.

"Hello Taliban, herewith some tips from the Saudi e-government!" read one post.

"Why don't you cuff your women with tracking ankle bracelets too?" wrote Israa.

"Why don't we just install a microchip into our women to track them around?" joked another.

"If I need an SMS to let me know my wife is leaving Saudi Arabia, then I'm either married to the wrong woman or need a psychiatrist," tweeted Hisham.

"This is technology used to serve backwardness in order to keep women imprisoned," said Bishr, the columnist.

"It would have been better for the government to busy itself with finding a solution for women subjected to domestic violence" than track their movements into and out of the country.

Saudi Arabia applies a strict interpretation of sharia, or Islamic law, and is the only country in the world where women are not allowed to drive.

In June 2011, female activists launched a campaign to defy the ban, with many arrested for doing so and forced to sign a pledge they will never drive again.

No law specifically forbids women in Saudi Arabia from driving, but the interior minister formally banned them after 47 women were arrested and punished after demonstrating in cars in November 1990.

Last year, King Abdullah -- a cautious reformer -- granted women the right to vote and run in the 2015 municipal elections, a historic first for the country.

In January, the 89-year-old monarch appointed Sheikh Abdullatif Abdel Aziz al-Sheikh, a moderate, to head the notorious religious police commission, which enforces the kingdom's severe version of sharia law.

Following his appointment, Sheikh banned members of the commission from harassing Saudi women over their behaviour and attire, raising hopes a more lenient force will ease draconian social constraints in the country.

But the kingdom's "religious establishment" is still to blame for the discrimination of women in Saudi Arabia, says liberal activist Suad Shemmari.

"Saudi women are treated as minors throughout their lives even if they hold high positions," said Shemmari, who believes "there can never be reform in the kingdom without changing the status of women and treating them" as equals to men.

But that seems a very long way off.

The kingdom enforces strict rules governing mixing between the sexes, while women are forced to wear a veil and a black cloak, or abaya, that covers them from head to toe except for their hands and faces.

The many restrictions on women have led to high rates of female unemployment, officially estimated at around 30 percent.

In October, local media published a justice ministry directive allowing all women lawyers who have a law degree and who have spent at least three years working in a lawyer's office to plead cases in court.

But the ruling, which was to take effect this month, has not been implemented.


Deer attacks two men, then takes man's cigarettes -

Deer attacks two men, then takes man's cigarettes - 

Joseph Rose and Cole Kellis were leaving their home in Whitehouse on Friday morning when they noticed a deer in their front yard.

Rose approached the deer and he says the deer seemed friendly. But then Kellis and Rose say the deer then charged them and started to attack.

Rose and Kellis ran to Rose's pick-up truck to try to get away from the wild buck. The deer then "poked" Rose in his ribs, so Rose jumped out of his truck into the back-bed. Rose says he left his driver-side door open and the deer climbed in and took his pack of cigarettes that were sitting in his center console.

The deer starting eating Rose's smokes, and when Rose tried to get them back, Rose says the deer got more aggressive.

They then had to call Whitehouse police and the Game Warden. When police arrived they had to tase the deer and then Rose says it took more than 5 men to restrain the buck.

KETK spoke to Smith County Game Warden, Dustin Dockery, and he says, "Admire deer from a distance but do not approach them because they can be dangerous."


Women are over-treated for cancer -

Women are over-treated for cancer - 

ONE of Australia's top medicos has agreed with a US study on mammograms that says women are treated for cancers that are not life-threatening.

The study, led by Dr H. Gilbert Welch of Dartmouth Medical School and Dr Archie Bleyer of St Charles Health System and Oregon Health and Science University, is claimed to be the most detailed look yet at over-treatment of breast cancer.

But Steve Hambleton, federal president of the Australian Medical Association, has slammed another of the report's claims that mammograms have "done surprisingly little to catch deadly cancers before they spread".

"It is completely false screening does not pick up cancers before they spread," he said.

"Early detection plays a huge part in the fight against breast cancer, but yes, I agree there are times when there is overdiagnosis.

"Sometimes there is no way of telling if a cancer will spread. There are cases where women end up having surgery or chemotherapy when their cancers were not life-threatening.

"But while there is a small degree of harm from screening, the benefits heavily outweigh them," he said.

"It is often the fear factor and a cautiousness in patients that leads to surgeries. Patients may pressure doctors to cut out the tumours. It is a very emotional thing.

"Cancers need to go under the microscope to study them further and of course that will involve biopsies and other tests. But screening is necessary. Self-examination is not enough."

He admits mammograms are not the perfect screening tool, but reminds Australian women that detecting abnormalities helps save lives.
The breast cancer death rate in Queensland has significantly decreased and survival rates have dramatically improved, according to the Queensland Cancer Council.

It says the five-year survival for breast cancer is now 89 per cent and that has improved from 74 per cent from 1982 to 1989.

More than half of Queensland women aged 50 to 69 participate in BreastScreen Queensland.

According to the Queensland Cancer Council: "Mammograms are not 100 per cent accurate, but they remain the best method for the early detection of breast cancer."

The authors of the US report concluded that: "The good news in breast cancer - decreasing mortality - must largely be the result of improved treatment, not screening."


Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Gun store employee accidentally shoots customer -

Gun store employee accidentally shoots customer - 

Authorities say an employee at a New Mexico gun shop was unloading a handgun when he accidentally shot a customer in the back, wounding him.
The Las Cruses Sun-News reports the 65-year-old customer was airlifted from Silver City to a Texas hospital, where he is listed in stable condition.
Silver City Police Chief Ed Reynolds says an employee at Copper County Sporting Arms was unloading a .45 caliber handgun Tuesday when the weapon went off, shooting the man in the back.
Emergency responders closed off the street in front of the shop so a medical helicopter could land. The helicopter then flew the man to an El Paso, Texas, hospital for treatment.
Reynolds says the investigation is ongoing, and it's unclear whether any charges will be filed. No names have been released.

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/us/2012/11/21/gun-store-employee-accidentally-shoots-customer-in-back/?test=latestnews

Monday, 19 November 2012

Nose cell transplant enables paralysed dogs to walk -

Nose cell transplant enables paralysed dogs to walk - 

Scientists have reversed paralysis in dogs after injecting them with cells grown from the lining of their nose.

The pets had all suffered spinal injuries which prevented them from using their back legs.

The Cambridge University team is cautiously optimistic the technique could eventually have a role in the treatment of human patients.

The study is the first to test the transplant in "real-life" injuries rather than laboratory animals.

Olfactory ensheathing cells

The only part of the body where nerve fibres continue to grow in adults is the olfactory system.

Found in the at the back of the nasal cavity, olfactory ensheathing cells (OEC) surround the receptor neurons that both enable us to smell and convey these signals to the brain.

The nerve cells need constant replacement which is promoted by the OECs.

For decades scientists have thought OECs might be useful in spinal cord repair. Initial trials using OECs in humans have suggested the procedure is safe.

In the study, funded by the Medical Research Council and published in the neurology journal Brain, the dogs had olfactory ensheathing cells from the lining of their nose removed.

These were grown and expanded for several weeks in the laboratory.

Of 34 pet dogs on the proof of concept trial, 23 had the cells transplanted into the injury site - the rest were injected with a neutral fluid.

Many of the dogs that received the transplant showed considerable improvement and were able to walk on a treadmill with the support of a harness.

None of the control group regained use of its back legs.

The research was a collaboration between the MRC's Regenerative Medicine Centre and Cambridge University's Veterinary School.

Professor Robin Franklin, a regeneration biologist at the Wellcome Trust-MRC Stem Cell Institute and report co-author, said: 'Our findings are extremely exciting because they show for the first time that transplanting these types of cell into a severely damaged spinal cord can bring about significant improvement.

"We're confident that the technique might be able to restore at least a small amount of movement in human patients with spinal cord injuries but that's a long way from saying they might be able to regain all lost function. '

Prof Franklin said the procedure might be used alongside drug treatments to promote nerve fibre regeneration and bioengineering to substitute damaged neural networks.

Partial repair
The researchers say the transplanted cells regenerated nerve fibres across the damaged region of the spinal cord. This enabled the dogs to regain the use of their back legs and coordinate movement with their front limbs.

The new nerve connections did not occur over the long distances required to connect the brain to the spinal cord. The MRC scientists say in humans this would be vital for spinal injury patients who had lost sexual function and bowel and bladder control.

Prof Geoffrey Raisman, chair of Neural Regeneration at University College London, who discovered olfactory ensheathing cells in 1985 said: "This is not a cure for spinal cord injury in humans - that could still be a long way off. But this is the most encouraging advance for some years and is a significant step on the road towards it."

He said the clinical benefits were still limited: "This procedure has enabled an injured dog to step with its hind legs, but the much harder range of higher functions lost in spinal cord injury - hand function, bladder function, temperature regulation, for example - are yet more complicated and still a long way away."

Jasper, a 10-year-old dachshund, is one of the dogs which took part in the trial.

His owner May Hay told me: "Before the treatment we used to have to wheel Jasper round on a trolley because his back legs were useless. Now he whizzes around the house and garden and is able to keep up with the other dogs. It's wonderful."


Saturday, 17 November 2012

Empirical Data Confirm Autism Symptoms Related to Aluminum and Acetaminophen Exposure -

Empirical Data Confirm Autism Symptoms Related to Aluminum and Acetaminophen Exposure - 

Abstract: Autism is a condition characterized by impaired cognitive and social skills, associated with compromised immune function. The incidence is alarmingly on the rise, and environmental factors are increasingly suspected to play a role. This paper investigates word frequency patterns in the U.S. CDC Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System (VAERS) database. Our results provide strong evidence supporting a link between autism and the aluminum in vaccines. A literature review showing toxicity of aluminum in human physiology offers further support. Mentions of autism in VAERS increased steadily at the end of the last century, during a period when mercury was being phased out, while aluminum adjuvant burden was being increased. Using standard log-likelihood ratio techniques, we identify several signs and symptoms that are significantly more prevalent in vaccine reports after 2000, including cellulitis, seizure, depression, fatigue, pain and death, which are also significantly associated with aluminum-containing vaccines. We propose that children with the autism diagnosis are especially vulnerable to toxic metals such as aluminum and mercury due to insufficient serum sulfate and glutathione. A strong correlation between autism and the MMR (Measles, Mumps, Rubella) vaccine is also observed, which may be partially explained via an increased sensitivity to acetaminophen administered to control fever.


Friday, 16 November 2012

Taliban accidentally CCs everybody on its mailing list -

Taliban accidentally CCs everybody on its mailing list - 

Living in fear of "replying all" to your company-wide emails? Hey, it could be worse. ABC News reports:

In a Dilbert-esque faux pax, a Taliban spokesperson sent out a routine email last week with one notable difference. He publicly CC'd the names of everyone on his mailing list.

The names were disclosed in an email by Qari Yousuf Ahmedi, an official Taliban spokesperson, on Saturday. The email was a press release he received from the account of Zabihullah Mujahid, another Taliban spokesperson. Ahmedi then forwarded Mujahid's email to the full Taliban mailing list, but rather than using the BCC function, or blind carbon copy which keeps email addresses private, Ahmedi made the addresses public.

"Taliban have included all 4 of my email addresses on the leaked distribution list," tweeted journalist Mustafa Kazemi, a prolific Kabul-based tweeter with more than 9,500 followers. "Quite reassuring to my safety."

The list, made up of more than 400 recipients, consists mostly of journalists, but also includes an address appearing to belong to a provincial governor, an Afghan legislator, several academics and activists, an ... Afghan consultative committee, and a representative of Gulbuddein Hekmatar, an Afghan warlord whose outlawed group Hezb-i-Islami is believed to be behind several attacks against coalition troops.

Where's AOL's old "unsend" button when you need it? On the other hand, perhaps this is an opportunity to establish a listserv for Afghan peace talks?

Read more -