Making Unique Observations in a Very Cluttered World

Thursday, 17 January 2013

Feces Transplant More Effective For Diarrhea Than Antibiotics... -

Feces Transplant More Effective For Diarrhea Than Antibiotics... - 

A procedure that inserts fecal matter from a healthy person into the intestines of someone with diarrhea has been found to be a better treatment than antibiotics.

A new study published in the New England Journal of Medicine tested the transplant of healthy fecal material into patients experiencing repeated bouts of diarrhea caused by a bacterium known as Clostridium difficile. A bacteria that can frequently take over the intestines after antibiotic treatment has killed the beneficial bacteria in the body.

“This is the first hard evidence that has been provided for the treatment,” senior author Dr. Josbert Keller of the University of Amsterdam told Reuters Health.

The study found that a single transplant of fecal material from a healthy volunteer into someone afflicted with diarrhea cured the problem in 13 of the 16 volunteers. On the other hand, antibiotic treatment only worked in four of the 13 study participants.

Nearly 3 million people in the U.S. are infected with the “C difficile” diarrhea each year, and it commonly spreads in hospitals, doctors offices and nursing homes. In past studies, antibiotics typically worked in 15 to 26 percent of patients with C. diff., and following repeated rounds of treatment, the drugs’ effect is greatly diminished.

“Those of us who do it know how effective it is,” Dr. Colleen Kelly of Brown University’s Alpert Medical School in Providence, Rhode Island, who was not connected with the study but uses fecal transplant in her practice, told Reuters. “I’ve done 90 of these now in the last four and a half years. In patient after patient who has failed multiple courses of antibiotic, if you give them a dose of stool, they get better.”

The researchers conceded that although the feces transplants sound distasteful, the long-term benefits should outweigh a patient’s disgust with the process.

“I think the ‘yuck’ thing is overplayed, and there’s a desperation when you’re this sick this long,” Kelly told Reuters. “The patients were desperate because they had had several episodes. There was nothing else they could do. There was no psychological hurdle for them.”

Of the volunteers in the antibiotic groups who had a relapse of C. diff, 18 were later given a fecal transplant. It cured 15 of them, but four of the 15 needed an additional treatment. And although 94 percent of the patients reported various side effects, all symptoms disappeared within three hours of the transplant.


Slippery when dry? New Wrangler jeans come moisturized -

Slippery when dry? New Wrangler jeans come moisturized - 

Image 1 of Wrangler Denim Spa Molly Skinny Jeans With Olive Extract

Legs getting a little dry this winter? Don’t rub old fashioned lotion on them, instead slip on your newfangled Wrangler Spa Denim jeans.
That’s what the denim giant is hoping women around the world will be thinking as they introduce their a line of blue jeans that infuses its fabric with an assortment of skin-care ingredients.
Customers will get to choose among three moisturizers:  Aloe Vera, Olive Extract and Smooth Legs.
The jean’s spokesmodel, Mick Jagger’s daughter Lizzie, waxed poetic on their properties in an online ad.
“They definitely feel cooler than regular jeans. After a day wearing them, my legs feel great. They come out feeling more silky than usual,” she said.
The jeans are expensive, retailing for $150 through the online store ASOS. But just think of how much you’ll save on Jergens!

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/entertainment/2013/01/17/slippery-when-dry-new-wrangler-jeans-come-moisturized/?intcmp=features#ixzz2IGfD62fo

Man finds 12-lb gold nugget while prospecting with metal detector... -

Man finds 12-lb gold nugget while prospecting with metal detector... - 
5.5kg gold nugget found near Ballarat

A gold nugget with an estimated value of more than $300,000 has been unearthed near Ballarat in Victoria's west.

An amateur prospector found the nugget weighing 177 ounces, or 5.5 kilograms, with a metal detector just outside Ballarat in a popular area for prospecting.

The owner of The Mining Exchange Gold Shop in Ballarat, Cordell Kent, said the find was one of the most significant in his 20 years in the business.

"Over that period the sum total of my finds would be just over 100 ounces (2.8 kilograms)," he said.

"We have 800 prospectors on our books and only a couple of those have ever found a nugget over 100 ounces.

"So there's only been one or two big pieces and they were found a long time ago."

Mr Kent is seeking a buyer for the nugget on behalf of the lucky prospector, who wishes to remain anonymous.

Both expect the nugget to fetch more than $300,000.

Mr Kent said prospecting was becoming increasingly popular with gold valued at $1,600 per ounce.

"A lot of people think Victoria's goldfields are dead and that there's none left, but he (the prospector) has worked in an area where a lot of people have worked in the past but he persisted and he's been rewarded.

"We are 162 years into the gold rush and it's never totally waned, it's just changed."

The prospector is relatively new to the hobby and was totally overwhelmed when he brought it into the shop, Mr Kent said.

He found the nugget about 10.30am (AEDT) on Wednesday.

Mr Kent would not reveal exactly where the nugget was found.


35 Statistics About The Working Poor In America That Will Blow Your Mind -

35 Statistics About The Working Poor In America That Will Blow Your Mind - 

In America tonight, tens of millions of men and women will struggle to get to sleep because they are stressed out about not making enough money even though they are working as hard as they possibly can.  They are called “the working poor”, and their numbers are absolutely exploding.  As arecent Gallup poll showed, Americans are more concerned about the economy than they are about anything else.  But why are Americans so stressed out about our economic situation if things are supposedly getting better?  Well, the truth is that unemployment is not actually going down, and the real unemployment numbers are actually much worsethan what is officially being reported by the government.  But unemployment is only part of the story.  Most American workers are still able to find jobs, but an increasing proportion of them are not able to make ends meet at the end of the month.  Our economy continues to bleed good paying middle class jobs, and to a large degree those jobs are being replaced by low income jobs.  Approximately one-fourth of all American workers make 10 dollars an hour or less at this point, and we see them all around us every day.  They flip our burgers, they cut our hair and they take our money at the supermarket.  In many homes, both parents are working multiple jobs, and yet when a child gets sick or a car breaks down they find that they don’t have enough money to pay the bill.  Many of these families have gone into tremendous amounts of debt in order to try to stay afloat, but once you get caught in a cycle of debt it can be incredibly difficult to break out of that.

So what is the solution?  Well, the easy answer would be that we need the U.S. economy to start producing more good paying jobs, but that is easier said than done.  Our big corporations continue to ship huge numbers of good paying manufacturing jobs out of the country, and millions of Americans have been forced to scramble to find whatever work is available.  Today, there are so many very talented American workers that are trapped in low wage work.  According to the Working Poor Families Project, “about one-fourth of adults in low-income working families were employed in just eight occupations, as cashiers, cooks, health aids, janitors, maids, retail salespersons, waiters and waitresses, or drivers.”  A lot of those people could do so much more for society, but they don’t have the opportunity.

Sadly, the percentage of low paying jobs in our economy continues to increase with each passing year, so this is a problem that is only going to get worse.  So don’t look down on the working poor.  The good paying job that you have right now could disappear at any time and you could end up joining their ranks very soon.

The following are 35 statistics about the working poor in America that will blow your mind…

#1 According to the U.S. Census Bureau, more than 146 million Americans are either “poor” or “low income”.

#2 According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 57 percent of all American children live in a home that is either “poor” or “low income”.

#3 Back in 2007, about 28 percent of all working families were considered to be among “the working poor”.  Today, that number is up to 32 percent even though our politicians tell us that the economy is supposedly recovering.

#4 Back in 2007, 21 million U.S. children lived in “working poor” homes.  Today, that number is up to 23.5 million.
#5 In Arkansas, Mississippi and New Mexico, more than 40 percentall of working families are considered to be “low income”.

#6 Families that have a head of household under the age of 30 have a poverty rate of 37 percent.

#7 Half of all American workers earn $505 or less per week.

#8 At this point, one out of every four American workers has a job that pays $10 an hour or less.

#9 Today, the United States actually has a higher percentage of workers doing low wage work than any other major industrialized nation does.

#10 Median household income in the United States has fallen for four consecutive years.

#11 Median household income for families with children dropped by a whopping $6,300 between 2001 and 2011.

#12 The U.S. economy continues to trade good paying jobs for low paying jobs.  60 percent of the jobs lost during the last recession were mid-wage jobs, but 58 percent of the jobs created since then have been low wage jobs.

#13 Back in 1980, less than 30% of all jobs in the United States were low income jobs.  Today, more than 40% of all jobs in the United States are low income jobs.

#14 According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the middle class is taking home a smaller share of the overall income pie than has ever been recorded before.

#15 There are now 20.2 million Americans that spend more than half of their incomes on housing.  That represents a 46 percent increase from 2001.

#16 Low income families spend about 8.6 percent of their incomes on gasoline.  Other families spend about 2.1 percent.

#17 In 1999, 64.1 percent of all Americans were covered by employment-based health insurance.  Today, only 55.1 percent are covered by employment-based health insurance.

#18 According to one survey, 77 percent of all Americans are now living paycheck to paycheck at least part of the time.

#19 Millions of working poor families in America end up taking on debt in a desperate attempt to stay afloat, but before too long they find themselves in a debt trap that they can never escape.  According to a recent article in the New York Times, the average debt burden for U.S. households that earn $20,000 a year or less “more than doubled to $26,000 between 2001 and 2010“.

#20 In 1989, the debt to income ratio of the average American family was about 58 percent.  Today it is up to 154 percent.

#21 According to the Economic Policy Institute, the wealthiest one percent of all Americans households on average have 288 times the amount of wealth that the average middle class American family does.

#22 In the United States today, the wealthiest one percent of all Americans have a greater net worth than the bottom 90 percent combined.

#23 According to Forbes, the 400 wealthiest Americans have more wealth than the bottom 150 million Americans combined.

#24 The six heirs of Wal-Mart founder Sam Walton have a net worth that is roughly equal to the bottom 30 percent of all Americans combined.

#25 Sadly, the bottom 60 percent of all Americans own just 2.3 percent of all the financial wealth in the United States.

#26 The average CEO now makes approximately 350 times as much as the average American worker makes.

#27 Corporate profits as a percentage of GDP are at an all-time high.  Meanwhile, wages as a percentage of GDP are near an all-time low.

#28 Today, 40 percent of all Americans have $500 or less in savings.

#29 The number of families in the United States living on 2 dollars a day or less more than doubled between 1996 and 2011.

#30 The number of Americans on food stamps has grown from 17 million in the year 2000 to more than 47 million today.

#31 Back in the 1970s, about one out of every 50 Americans was on food stamps.  Today, about one out of every 6.5 Americans is on food stamps.

#32 More than one out of every four children in the United States is enrolled in the food stamp program.

#33 Incredibly, a higher percentage of children is living in poverty in America today than was the case back in 1975.

#34 If you can believe it, the federal government hands out money to128 million Americans every single month.

#35 Federal spending on welfare has reached nearly a trillion dollars a year, and it is being projected that it will increase by another 80 percent over the next decade.

Read more -