liveonearth: (moon)
It is much more important to know what sort of person this disease has than what sort of disease this person has.
--William Osler
liveonearth: (kiss kiss bang bang)

Source: Rick Ungar "from the left" at Forbes Magazine
http://www.forbes.com/sites/rickungar/2013/01/16/here-are-the-23-executive-orders-on-gun-safety-signed-today-by-the-president/

President Obama has signed 23 executive orders designed to address the problem of gun violence in America. The following are the items addressed:

Gun Violence Reduction Executive Actions:

1. Issue a Presidential Memorandum to require federal agencies to make relevant data available to the federal background check system.

2. Address unnecessary legal barriers, particularly relating to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, that may prevent states from making information available to the background check system.

3. Improve incentives for states to share information with the background check system.

4. Direct the Attorney General to review categories of individuals prohibited from having a gun to make sure dangerous people are not slipping through the cracks.

5. Propose rulemaking to give law enforcement the ability to run a full background check on an individual before returning a seized gun.

6. Publish a letter from ATF to federally licensed gun dealers providing guidance on how to run background checks for private sellers.

7. Launch a national safe and responsible gun ownership campaign.

8. Review safety standards for gun locks and gun safes (Consumer Product Safety Commission).

9. Issue a Presidential Memorandum to require federal law enforcement to trace guns recovered in criminal investigations.

10. Release a DOJ report analyzing information on lost and stolen guns and make itwidely available to law enforcement.

11. Nominate an ATF director.

12. Provide law enforcement, first responders, and school officials with proper training for active shooter situations.

13. Maximize enforcement efforts to prevent gun violence and prosecute gun crime.

14. Issue a Presidential Memorandum directing the Centers for Disease Control to research the causes and prevention of gun violence.

15. Direct the Attorney General to issue a report on the availability and most effectiveuse of new gun safety technologies and challenge the private sector to developinnovative technologies.

16. Clarify that the Affordable Care Act does not prohibit doctors asking their patients about guns in their homes.

17. Release a letter to health care providers clarifying that no federal law prohibits them from reporting threats of violence to law enforcement authorities.

18. Provide incentives for schools to hire school resource officers.

19. Develop model emergency response plans for schools, houses of worship and institutions of higher education.

20. Release a letter to state health officials clarifying the scope of mental health services that Medicaid plans must cover.

21. Finalize regulations clarifying essential health benefits and parity requirements within ACA exchanges.

22. Commit to finalizing mental health parity regulations.

23. Launch a national dialogue led by Secretaries Sebelius and Duncan on mental health.

It does not appear that any of the executive orders would have any impact on the guns people currently own-or would like to purchase- and that all proposals regarding limiting the availability of assault weapons or large ammunition magazines will be proposed for Congressional action. As such, any potential effort to create a constitutional crisis—or the leveling of charges that the White House has overstepped its executive authority—would hold no validity.

liveonearth: (dont_be_heavy)

  • This epidemiologic analysis revealed that mortality rates are increasing in the middle-aged white male population, largely due to preventable conditions like poisonings and overdoses.

  • Reductions in mortality were seen in other racial groups.

ARTICLE from Medpage, primary care )


SOURCE

http://www.medpagetoday.com/PrimaryCare/GeneralPrimaryCare/54456
liveonearth: (moon)
When I have a morning at home alone I work on my lists and I fall into my practice more easily.  The sun is streaming in and I am doing triage on piles of "urgent" items which have become buried under a stream of distractions and amusements like my nonstop study of public health.  One observation this morning is that the strong balancing poses which I find so elusive when surrounded by empty air and other students are more accessible when I am alone in my office.  Here I can step into a warrior 3 knowing that the sunny windowsill is right there to hold me up, and yet confidently not needing it.  This strength and balance that I find in my own small office is something I would like to take with me into the world.
liveonearth: (moon)
Over the Edge: Death in the Grand Canyon
by Tom Myers and Michael Ghiglieri


This book logs all the mistakes you can make at the Grand Canyon.  There's an interview with the authors here.  There have been some changes since the first edition.  There are more environmental deaths, climbing deaths down in the canyon, and suicides than when the book was written. There are fewer deaths overall and fewer falls from the top of the canyon. Perhaps the park has improved safety and access to cliff tops to cause this change.

Q: What are common risk factors for death at the Canyon?

A: "Men, we have a problem," Ghiglieri said to an audience at NAU's Cline Library this winter, displaying a graphic with a skull and crossbones.

Being male, and young, is a tremendous risk factor, he and Myers found.

Of 55 who have accidentally fallen from the rim of the canyon, 39 were male. Eight of those guys were hopping from one rock to another or posing for pictures, including a 38-year-old father from Texas pretending to fall to scare his daughter, who then really did fall 400 feet to his death.

So is taking unknown shortcuts, which sometimes lead to cliffs.

Going solo is a risk factor in deaths from falls, climbing (anticipated or unplanned) and hiking.

Arrogance, impatience or ignorance also sometimes play a part.


SOURCE
http://azdailysun.com/news/local/canyon-deaths-and-counting/article_ba588a05-e816-55be-87f6-80f15b76f744.html
liveonearth: (Donkey)
Arabian peninsula = Bahrain, Iraq, Iran, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Leb┬Čanon, Oman, Palestinian territories, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, United Arab Emirates, Yemen

MERS is the viral infection that's causing severe respiratory disease in lots of folks over there. There have been just a few cases in the US, starting in May. I'm wondering if military personel are coming back sick? Apparently pretty much all of the camels on the Arabian peninsula have this virus. We don't know if it causes chronic infections, but I wouldn't be surprised if it did, considering what we are learning about viral DNA mingled with our own.
liveonearth: (officer?)
Statistics show that the "stroke belt" is also where you have the highest likelihood (in the US) of dying of cardiovascular and lower respiratory disease (smoking), cancer and accidents. Obesity, diabetes and metabolic syndrome are probable causes, but what about accidents? Why do southerners have the most accidents? Bless their dangerous little hearts....

SOURCE
http://consumer.healthday.com/cardiovascular-health-information-20/heart-attack-news-357/southeastern-states-have-highest-number-of-preventable-deaths-687436.html
liveonearth: (Oprah_shocked)
Fascinating new research uses masses of data from NHANES to find that current cannabis users have less insulin resistance, smaller waists, and higher HDL, than former or non-users.

Notes from study and articles )
liveonearth: (microbes)
Only one type of plastic does not float *in salt water at least*, and that is type I PETE plastic, the hard clear kind that drink bottles are made of. It is the most abundantly manufactured kind, and it does not float.

Types of Plastic:
1 PET
2 HDFE
3 PVC (rafts)
4 CDPE (bags)
5 PP
6 PS (polystyrene)
7 Other

I posted once about the Great Pacific Waste Dump, basically just parroting media hype. It turns out the plastic in the ocean is mostly in tiny bits instead of in a big island of capped bottles. It is thickest in the five GYRES on the planet, which appear to me to be doldrums where there are no tradewinds or strong currents. The most directly alarming thing about the litter of plastic bits is that it is covered in life that is migrating in a whole new way. Barnacles, biofilm and plankton all hitch a ride or get tangled in the mess. We had NO IDEA what this is going to mean in the long run. A new name has been coined for all the microorganisms on the polypropylene and polyethlene in the ocean: the Plastisphere. The only organism named by Emelia DeForce PhD in last night's Science Pub talk was Vibrio, the same genus as cholera. I was dying to ask if MRSA was on the plastic around Hawaii but we left because the line was long and we were done. All the factoids in this post are courtesy of Dr DeForce.

Plastic is made from crude oil into nerdles (sp?), which are small balls of hard petroleum product. Those can then be shipped to the manufacturers who combine them with additives and make their product.
liveonearth: (moon)
http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/780807?src=wnl_edit_specol&uac=89474MT

Great to hear a conventional oncologist going over the recent research and saying that doctors should suggest walking instead of chemo for cancer patients. But guess what: it's more effective. So getcha some sneaks and get out there. And get a dog: it will MAKE you walk.
liveonearth: (skull candle book)
"The search for unpolluted drinking water is as old as civilization itself. As soon as there were mass human settlements, waterborne diseases like dysentery became a crucial population bottleneck. For much of human history, the solution to this chronic public-health issue was not purifying the water supply. The solution was to drink alcohol. In a community lacking pure-water supplies, the closest thing to "pure" fluid was alcohol. Whatever health risks were posed by beer (and later wine) in the early days of agrarian settlements were more than offset by alcohol's antibacterial properties. Dying of cirrhosis of the liver in your forties was better than dying of dysentery in your twenties. Many genetically minded historians believe that the confluence of urban living and the discovery of alcohol created a massive selection pressure on the genes of all humans who abandoned the hunter-gatherer lifestyle. Alcohol, after all, is a deadly poison and notoriously addictive. To digest large quantities of it, you need to be able to boost production of enzymes called alcohol dehydrogenases, a trait regulated by a set of genes on chromosome four in human DNA. Many early agrarians lacked that trait, and thus were genetically incapable of "holding their liquor." Consequently, many of them died childless at an early age, either from alcohol abuse or from waterborne diseases. Over generations, the gene pool of the first farmers became increasingly dominated by individuals who could drink beer on a regular basis. Most of the world population today is made up of descendants of those early beer drinkers, and we have largely inherited their genetic tolerance for alcohol. (The same is true of lactose tolerance, which went from a rare genetic trait to the mainstream among descendants of the herders, thanks to domestication of livestock.) The descendants of hunter gatherers--like many Native Americans or Australian Aborigines--were never forced through this genetic bottleneck, and so today they show disproportionate rates of alcoholism. The chronic drinking problem in Native American populations has been blamed on everything from the weak "Indian constitution" to the humiliating abuses of the U.S. reservation system. But their alcohol intolerance most likely has another explanation: their ancestors didn't live in towns."
--Steven Johnson, in The Ghost Map, pages 103-4.
liveonearth: (endless_knot)
http://www.medpagetoday.com/InfectiousDisease/Vaccines/36480

Looks like we'll keep having mercury in multiple-use vials of vaccines for the foreseeable future, because we don't have a better preservative to put in there, and not all nations have refrigeration.
liveonearth: (warthog?)
If Progressive is proud of their tactics, they should say so. "We fight against claims to keep our costs low, saving you money." But if they're not proud, they should tell the truth, learn from it and apologize.
--Seth Godin
http://sethgodin.typepad.com/seths_blog/2012/08/corporations-are-not-people.html

Seems like this is what we'd expect from insurance. It's only unfortunate when you are the one denied coverage.
liveonearth: (chemistry colorful)
And that's just what we need to make the movie Idiocracy predictive. A recently published Harvard University meta-analysis funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has concluded that children who live in areas with highly fluoridated water have "significantly lower" IQ scores than those who live in low fluoride areas.

SOURCE
http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2012/08/14/fluoride-effects-in-children.aspx?e_cid=20120814_DNL_artNew_1
liveonearth: (Default)
Sounds like a bad joke, but it isn't. A H3N8 influenza strain has jumped species and killed at least 162 seals on the New England Coast. Seal pups under 6 months old were most affected by the pneumonia and skin lesions. Other marine animals, such as whales, may also get infected. The bird flu strains that have jumped to humans were H1N1 and H5N1. Nobody knows if the new seal flu is going to be able to infect humans, but it appears to be another bird flu that has traveled.

liveonearth: (Default)
And you thought you could trust a pharmaceutical company? LOL, probably not, you're smarter than that. GSK promoted off-label uses for two drugs, and didn't reveal safety information on another. (They make lots of vaccines, in case you don't know.) Scientific research done by corporations with a profit motive is guaranteed to be reported in a biased way. This will be the biggest fine ever paid by a drug company, and it might even big enough to serve as a disincentive to standard pharmaceutical policies of disinformation. Too bad that these drugs are what insurance will pay for, and not preventative care. And too bad that nobody goes to jail; the decisionmakers of GSK get to hide behind the corporation. Maybe their bonuses will get cut. I can only hope. I know there are humans behind these decisions. Humans with greed and pride where their love and compassion ought to be.

NEWS
http://www.mercurynews.com/business/ci_20990296/glaxosmithkline-pay-largest-health-care-fraud-fine-history?source=rss
http://bottomline.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2012/07/02/12525279-glaxosmithkline-settles-fraud-case-for-3-billion?lite
http://www.cbc.ca/news/health/story/2012/07/02/health-glaxosmithkline-fraud-settlement.html
liveonearth: (Default)
This study had a sample size of nearly 400,000 adults and lasted for 13 years. They had to adjust the findings for cigarette smoking, which is of course prevalent among coffee drinkers.
notes )
liveonearth: (pyramid eye)

According to Mercola the coating that's found these days on romaine lettuce is intentionally applied to increase shelf life, and it is supposed to be edible. That remains to be seen. Apparently it's on some organic lettuce as well.

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