Sunday, July 27, 2008

THE BIG BANG IS COMING

WORLD'S MOST POWERFUL ACCELERATOR

COULD DESTROY THE EARTH

A tunnel under the French Swiss border is looking to find invisible dark matter. It is an atom smashing experiment that could make a microscopic black hole that could doom the Earth.

This 10 billion dollar physic experiment, called CERN, is trying to re-enact the big bang.  Researchers from 80 countries are attracted to this project.  The U.S. has 1200 researchers involved, and has kicked in $531 million. 

 This atom smasher called the Large Hadron Collider, will produce protons to travel at the speed of light in its tunnel, showering off particles that will give us clues on how everything is made in the universe.

 The collider will push two proton beams around the 17-mile tunnel at 11,000 times a second.  The beams travel in two tubes the width of fire hoses, speeding through a vacuum, colder and emptier than outer space.  Super cooled magnets will guide these beams.  The beams will cross and a few protons will collide.

The detectors are huge digital cameras, weighing thousand of pounds having 150 million pixels, and will take 600 million snapshots a second. After the cameral filter discard uninteresting data, it will still fill 2 million DVDs.

The amount of data is so huge that dozens of leading computing center worldwide will monitor the experiment at above ground control centers.  Over 60,000 computers, called the LHC Grid, will analyze what happens when these protons hit each other.  The scientists will have to find out what they are looking for, since their will b a huge amount of data.

The fear is that these collisions could produce tiny black holes, with the gravity as strong as collapsed stars and could suck in other stars and even planets.  Lawsuits are filed in the European courts to stop the project, claiming it could create a black hole that will destroy the planet.

We don’t have to worry say the scientists, because if a beam at full power went out of control it would only damage the collider and burrow into the rock around the tunnel.  They are starting with low energy experiments till they know the machine better. 

 

A missing piece in the puzzle is a hypothetical subatomic particle, called a boson, that is believe to give particles mass.  It would explain how everything in the universe gets weight.  A British physicist, Higgs, postulated that invisible bosons create a field that quarks and electrons pass.

 

A boson is  a particle that has zero intergral spin.  It obeys  statistical rules that place no restriction on the number of identical particles that could be in the same state. When the particles pass slowly they pick up inertia and more mass. 

The ones that pass through easily remain light.  Whoever finds this “Higgs boson, will be a likely Nobel winner.

The stakes are high, so are the results.  Will we create a new big bang?

Potential threats that the LHC’s particle collisions could create a microscopic black hole that if stable, could swallow up the Earth.  Other potential threats include vacuum bubble, magnetic monopoles and stranglets.

Cern issued a 15 page report saying there is no basis for any concerns because thousands of cosmic rays with energies much higher than LHC can achieve, do  bombard the earth every day and no black holes or exotic particle has yet devoured the planet. 

Wouldn’t it help to have a safety and environment audit to prove its safety?

What do you think?

 Source: Science 6.27.08 , Bloomberg News, 9.09.08

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ARSENIC TOXICITY IN CHINESE RICE

HIGH LEVELS OF ARSENIC IN CHINESE RICE

Very high levels of arsenic have been found in rice crackers, rice bran and rice from China.  Three billion people live on rice especially from Asian countries.  That is over 1/2 of the world.  Arsenic is known to increase the risk of cancer, especially bladder and skin.

DANGEROUS LEVELS OF ARSENIC

Most of the arsenic is in the form of arsenate and arsenite, inorganic forms of arsenic that sickens people exposed to it from drinking water.  Rice accumulates arsenic.  The Chinese allowed 700 micro grams in its food and drink.  This was recently reduced to 150 micrograms.

Rice has 10 times the arsenic concentrated as wheat and other cereal. This occurs because rice was grown in land near mines and smelters and former cotton fields.  These areas were heavily treated with arsenic pesticides. Paddy rice takes up arsenic from waterlogged soil.  Anaerobic microbes liberate the arsenic. Other crops growing in watery environments as water chestnuts, and water spinach also have high arsenic levels.

One single dose of 100mg can shut your entire energy metabolism.  Arssenic tainted wells in Bangladesh resulted in numerous bladder and skin cancers.  These wells contain hundreds of micrograms of arsenic per liter.  The World Health Organization, WHO, has set limits up to 10 micrograms per liter per day as acceptable.  The U.S. has no standards for maximum amounts of arsenic in foods.  Most other countries also have no limits on arsenic in foods.  The FDA put a tolerance level of 130 micrograms in water

HOW MUCH ARSENIC IS DANGEROUS?

This is an insidious problem. Arsenic is a natural element and a poison. It was used medically to treat leukemia. It also was in embalming fluid 100 years ago. It is a by-product of copper mining and gold and silver refining. 
Recently it is used in batteries. Currently it is used as an herbicide on golf courses. We import 30,000 tons annually from China and Chile.

CANCER RISKS

A major concern is that there are high levels of arsenic in bladder, lung and skin cancer. The EPA has recently lowered the safe level from 50 parts/billion to 10 parts /billion. A standard of 0.8/billion is considered safe. In the US, about 5parts/billions are considered normal.  It often takes about 20 years for cancer to be evident.

California and parts of India have low arsenic levels.  Rice bran food in health stores that come from Japan or here in the United States, for some unknown reason, also have high levels of arsenic.  Baby rice cereal in England was recently tested and found to have 1/3 of the cereals  contain levels even above the new Chinese acceptable levels of 150 micrograms.  Incidentally fish and seafood also have arsenobetine, an organic compound benign at dietary levels.

SOLUTIONS

IF RICE COULD BE RAISED ON BEDS SO THE SOIL ARSENIC DOESN’T GET TO THE RICE, THE PROBLEM WOULD BE SOLVED.  But this would change the entire farming practices in Asia. 

Arsenic could be controlled genetically, by putting a family of proteins, called aqua glyceroporins, into plants to resist arsenic uptake into rice cell membranes.  “Currently this protein helps uptake of vital nutrients as boron and silicone.

It the rice is engineered to have a bacterial enzyme, it could change inorganic arsenic to methylated arsenic that would be volatile.

Yet it seems that more and more contaminated land with arsenic is being  used to grow rice.  We can certainly choose our rice crackers carefully as the Olymics in China begins.

         Sources: Science July 11, 2008, americanacupuncture.com

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Wednesday, July 23, 2008

BIPOLAR DISORDERS ON THE RISE

BIPOLAR DISORDERS

Bipolar disorders over the last 10 years have been shockingly found to attack 1% of everyone under 20 years of age.  At least they receive that diagnosis.  It was an illness that was rarely seen before the age of 20. There has been a 500% increase seen in children hospitalized for bipolar disease in 2004.

Are these illnesses relabeled or is there truly such an increase in disturbed kids?  Over diagnosing by encouraging doctors has resulted in huge use of drug prescriptions for problem children.  No one I am sure is going out and offering medications to children.  To make the diagnosis however is difficult, because there are no objective tests and the children with bipolar diseases look different than the adults.

We use to call this disease “manic depressive’.  Most of the time the mood is depression but having episodes of mania clinches the diagnosis.

This illness often exists with many other problems. It is complicated with two different mind states, suicidal depression and manic over activity.

Children have fast developing brains and their actions are often unpredictable. They can’t tell you how they feel and the poor doctor can’t tell if the behavior is a twist in normal development, since they display both euphoria and destructive behavior.

What started this rise in diagnosis?  In 1995, doctors relabeled hyperactive children who had conduct disorders as early bipolar.  These children are self destructive and angry, often will jump out of a moving car and also show abnormal sexual behavior.  They  often risk losing touch with reality, grandstand, and might even tell coaches how to coach and teachers how to teach.

When the kids have sex, more problems and symptoms occur that are hard to recognize.  Many teachers and doctors label these children as attention deficit disorders (ASHD), or anxiety and obsessive-compulsive disorders.  More recently a new diagnosis was invented, called:  intermittent explosive disorder.

As aggressive kids reach adulthood, they may be substance abusers, hotheads, and antisocial but not bipolar.  Only one out of three children labeled bipolar reach adulthood being bipolar. True bipolar disease is highly hereditary with a 10 times risk factor in a child whose parent is bipolar.

When you make the diagnosis of bipolar disorder, you put children on medication for life.  You should really be sure.  But if you give medication for ADHD to a child who is in reality bipolar, you can trigger mania.  Lithium, a mood stabilizer, is the first drug used.  Following this, 3 or 4 more drugs are quickly added.

There is no test available for this  illness, and gene and brain studies show nothing.  Many bipolar people also have endocrine and immune disorders.  Often they also have diabetes, obesity, hyperthyroidism, migraines and multiple sclerosis.

Perhaps studying children who have not yet been put on many drugs will help us get a better clue in solving this problem.  Is our new culture in raising children contributing to this problem?  What do you think?

                  Source: Science, July 11, 2008

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AUTISM PATHOGENESIS

CAUSES OF AUTISM

Autism hits 1 out of 150 children under the age of three. It is now postulated that genes lose regulation because of disturbed synaptic connections caused by early life environment and experiences.

Prominent features of the illness include repetion and stereotyped and obsessive compulsive like behavior. These are often accompanied by seizures and disturbed sleep patterns.

There seems to b a substantial genetic component. Many underlying genes are involved. Discrete changes in DNA sequence is identified in autism but rarely replicated. There are small losses and gains of DNA (7-12) called copy number variations.

Everyone has this common genetic variation and it can arise from a sporadic event. It is difficult today to interpret the observed copy number variation. This major category of genetic risk is implicated in up to 20% of the cases of autism.

Several of these genes affected by deletions are regulated by neuronal activity. Since the brain continues to grow after birth, experiences and environment play a big role in brain development. Connections between neurons (synapses) mature partly by experience dependent neuronal activity and the genes that accompany it.

If the genes are disrupted by mutation or copy number variation, it will disturb these neuronal connections.

This theory that genes lose regulation when their connections are disturbed because of early life environment and experiences still requires further research to validate this theory.

Meanwhile, the life environment and experiences that trigger the disruption of genes will be argued for some time until these experiences are truly isolated.

Source: Science, July 11, 200

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Tuesday, July 22, 2008

THE GOLDEN POTATO

SEE BETTER WITH THE GOLDEN POTATO

Genetic engineered potatoes have four times the precursor to Vitamin A as the old standby potato.  Though packed with nutrition, the potato is very poor in an essential nutrient, Vitamin A.

The potato, Solanum tuberosum, is the fourth most important source of carbohydrates in our diet, after rice, wheat, and maize. The potato is closely related to the tomato.  It is one of 1500 species of flowering plants including peppers, eggplant, and tomatoes.. 

The history of the potato dates back to Peru and Bolivia.  It was brought to Europe by the Spaniards and became a key food for the poor.  After the 19th century blight epidemic, Chilean genotypes came to replenish the potato stock.  Almost all European potatoes today are from Chilean Stock.

The Potato famine of 1850 killed the rural Irish potato fields and carried a death toll in the millions.  This resulted in a wave of European immigration to the United States.

Breeding to get blight resistant genes from wild species into cultivated potatoes works, but the mold soon overcomes resistance.

The genetic engineered golden potato requires all 3 carotene genes to get the maximum levels of carotenoids into the potato.  Unlike the golden potato, golden rice and canola only need one engineered gene.

Such engineering should help plant breeding for eggplants, pepper and even petunias. 

The potato has come a long way and still feeds a growing human population, which is estimated to be 6 billion, people in the next 2 years.  But will the golden potato be accepted by the masses?

Source: Science July 11, 2008

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SCIENTIFIC BRAIN DRAIN

BRAIN DRAIN

Politicians are not interested in research.  Italy is complaining it has only 3 scientists per 1000 workers compared to 5 in other countries.  The U.S. has 9 per 1000 workers.  Prominent scientists go abroad to get another point of view or research and they don’t come back.

Many countries limit researchers to one grant at a time and also limit its size.  If one is working on two different projects it one fund one.  Private funding is scarce and not part of the Mediterranean culture unlike the United States. 

SPAIN

 Spain is on a big push to welcome returning Spanish researchers with more grants and scientific centers.  Spain is hiring more foreign scientists from abroad by paying higher salaries and giving more grants.

Language was a barrier until 5 years ago when the official language was switched to English to teach graduate programs.  Seventy percent of all PHD students are now foreigners. The current language in restaurants, elevators, and seminars is now English.

GERMANY

Germany has high funding for science but has old-fashioned policies with state funding schemes and intellectual property law.

Universities have barriers to increase foreigners.  Professors in Germany have heavy teaching loads compared to other EU countries with 9 hours per week.  Research in Germany comes from private research institutions like Max Planck Society and from the universities themselves, and regional funding varies widely.

ENGLAND

England public funding has increased for the last 10 years.  Budgets are up 30%, primarily for biomedical research.  England is only second to the U.S. in worldwide publications and citations.  They encourage academic industrial partnerships.  Revenues from licensing added 46 million pounds to Medial Research Counsel and this money is funded back to support more research.  They have postdoctoral fellowships and let young researchers go anywhere in the world.  They can choose where to do their research with U.K. funding.  They link geneticists and epidemiologists, and are developing new medications.

CONCLUSION

Language, pay and research opportunities in a specific lab are all important, Other factors equally important to a young researcher is the growth in funding, intellectual property rights and openness to collaborate with different fields of endeavor.  In this regard, the United States is still the leader.  Scientists who come to America generally stay.

Source: Science July 11, 2008

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Sunday, July 20, 2008

LET GO OF STRESS! MOVE ON!

LET

 LET GO OF YOUR STRESS BALL!

With so much stress on all of us today with loss of a job, financial problems and social problems, we must as citizens of this great country step back, take a deep breath and LET GO! 

Each moment must be taken as it comes, good or bad, because this is what is present NOW.  Moments can’t be filled with desires and anxieties.  Let things be as they are.  Be patient.  Don’t try to squeeze another thing into a moment.  Slow everything down.  Make a little time in your life for stillness and non-doing. TAKE A TIME OUT! 

TAKE A DEEP BREATH

The breath is the way to connect your mind with your body. Each breath is a new beginning. 

FREEZE

Stop what you are doing for a while and try to listen, see, and understand.  Thoughts stop us from seeing clearly.  Thoughts are just thoughts.  Don’t confuse them with reality.  Don’t look for anything.  Sit and let things be as they are.  Silence makes space for your inner self to speak. 

LOOK AROUND

Look at your wife and family.  Do you really see them or are you just thinking about them and adding color to everything around you.  Take off your glasses and really look accurately at what you have.  We thing we know what we see, but we don’t see things as they really are. What do you really value and what is important in your life.  If something is missing, look inside yourself.  Find yourself at peach with things as they are at this moment.  There is much to see but if must be unforced.

CONTROL STRESS

You have always had stress in your life and have worked with problems.  By understanding and finding meaning in them you can make critical choices.  Forget expectations and just look.  Develop a mind that stops clinging to anything.  Let things be as they are.  Don’t try to avoid the unavoidable. 

THIS MOMENT IS ALL YOU HAVE

Nothing needs to happen to make this moment better.  Everything that is important is in this moment.  Make it worthwhile.  Don’t let is slip away unused.

MAKING THINGS PERFECT

All things are already perfect.  You can’t force things to happen your way.  If ideas don’t make sense don’t reject them.  Be patient.   Things happen because other things happen.  Everything is connected to other things.  Even if you have lost everything, don’t lose your mind.  See what really is important and see that less is actually more.

MOVE ON

We become trapped into thinking we do not know where we are going.  Where are you going?  What do you see?  Are you stuck?  How will you label this chapter in your life?  All endings are also beginning to new chapter.

It can be the most rewarding chapter in your life.  Change can be good.

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12 STEPS TO HUMILITY

TWELVE STEPS TO HUMILITY

Today people put themselves number one and trample the rights of others.  It is contagious and we must check ourselves daily.

There seems to be 12 steps to everything, why not to humility?

1.    Don’t live other people’s lives.  It is useless to give advice, judge, or criticize people.

2.    Don’t take pleasure in losses and shortcomings of others.

3.    Accept my limitations.  The only person I have power over is myself.  Events are not in my control and often my will will not be done.

4.    Must start listening to others.  Take time to shut your mouth and be silent. Listening is the best gift you can give other. Talk briefly, gently and cordially and actively listen to others.

5.    Let the needs of others come before your needs. Be optimistic and affirmative in your actions.

6.    I can’t replace every minute I live.

7.    I never stop wanting.  My wish list is only self-interest and it never ends.  My desires often lead to disaster.  I try to change the unchangeable by acquiring meaningless things.  My desires don’t need pampering.

8.    I really don’t count.  My ideas are only fantasies and my successes last only as long as a mark in the sand.  I must only act on my ideas and desires after I double-check their value.

9.    I must be patient and keep a quiet mind by being thankful for my injuries and wounds.

10.                  I must be honest about my faults and with myself.  I must be genuine and not lie to myself.

11.                  Be content with my circumstances in my life.  My job is ok. Everything that happens to me is neither good nor bad.

12.                  I must stay awake, look and speak humbly, and above all see that my world is always alive in me.

 NO ONE CAN WIN ALL THE TIME.  YOU CAN'T KEEP BETTERING OTHERS.  GET FREE FROM THE DESIRE FOR PERFECTION.  


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Saturday, July 19, 2008

THOUGHTS OF A FORMER SMOKER

NOW THAT I QUIT SMOKING

Finally I am a non smoker-and am very proud of myself. I have achieved the goal I set for myself. Now when I see a cigarette, or even think of one, I automatically hear the words, “I do not smoke-and I don’t. I have reached my goal to quit smoking and now can exercise regularly and keep fit and healthy.

This was my last bad habit that controlled and harmed me. I now feel in control of myself and of everything I do. From now on, I will do what is best for me, myself, and my future.

Taking care of myself physically is important to me. I work out at the gym again and try to keep myself fit and feeling good. I feel very energized and full of vitality. Just ask my wife!

Now that I do not smoke, I feel my lungs are strong and healthy. I can breathe deeply and fully. I really enjoy breathing clean fresh air again, and being healthy and in complete control of my body and also m mind.

I can now give myself permission to really relax, feel good, and breathe deeply and fully. I enjoy being a healthy non-smoker at all times and in all circumstances.

All my senses are clear and alive. My sight, my sense of smell, my hearing, my tasting, and even my touch are more alive than ever before.

I don’t see smoking as being strong, intelligent or glamorous in any way. I see it for what it really is, a killer, and it has no place in my life.

Hey, being a non-smoker is easy for me. After all, I was born that way-and it is the natural thing for me to do. Besides, I will live healthier 14 extra years now that I am a non-smoker.

Why don’t you try it?


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AM I RIGHT OR AM I WRONG?

AM I RIGHT OR AM I WRONG?

How can you determine if an idea is right or wrong? Is it socially wrong or morally wrong? Is it ok to take a paper clip from your office, to steal money from your buddy, or stab your boss? We agree they may be all wrong, but it sure depends on the circumstances.

You make moral decisions, on the basis that your action will yield the greatest good. You act on your thoughts and they influence the lives of others. You are not born with a code of instructions on how to conduct yourself. To make a good decision impacts your life by how you treat others and how you are treated in return.

MAKING DECISIONS

Many times we don’t have good information and cant see pertinent facts to make a good decision. If we use our brains to choose the most effective path in a complex situation, we can fall back on our past experience and good data. We can only make our decisions with what we have and be able to recognize what we know is right. Moral reasoning serves the purpose. To make a good choice certainly has future consequences. We are all judged and governed by the decisions we make.

PRINCIPLES IN MORAL REASONING

Principles of moral reasoning include the following:
What is permitted and not in social relations, the law, games, and manners is compels. Emotions and decisions vary. Some moral evaluation are made before emotions, and some come at the same time, and some emotions come before moral evaluations. Reasoning, either on inferences, unconscious intuition, or conscious reasoning often comes into play. Our beliefs on what is and isn’t moral are not always consistent nor complete.

REASONING
Reasoning is largely unconscious. It is a mental process that evaluates implications from some premise. The premise is either valid or not.

DEDUCTIVE or valid reasoning results in a conclusion that since the premise is true the conclusion is also true. It never gives more information than is in its premise.
INDUCTIVE. Not valid deductions, can lead to a conclusion that is likely to be true. Its conclusion goes beyond the premise, no matter how plausible the conclusion is.

Reasoning also depends on if you are conscious of the premises and also conscious of the conclusions. Only conscious reasoning can make memory work to hold conclusions. It has more computer power than unconscious reasoning and once in a while it can overrule our intuition.

MORAL PROPOSITONS
What should you do and not do, may do, or leave undone? This may or not deal with morality. Morals may be a matter of reason and not preference. A moral action may be carried out for its own sake.

But how do you judge whether an action should be carried out for its own sake and not just be in your self-interest? What are the reasons for your action? Social rules can become moral ISSUES and can be altered by a voluntary decision. But morals laws are immutable.

Moral rules are universal, and apply to everyone for whom their preconditions hold. They don’t describe facts but tell you what to do and not to do, and they tell you what is right and what is wrong. Only conscious reasoning can make memory hold conclusions.

Moral concepts concern welfare; justice and rights, while social rules concern acceptable behavior that helps us interact. Children judge moral actions different from rules in determining their actions. Stealing is wrong to them, whether there is a rule or not.

Only moral decisions merit punishment. But some immoral acts, as failing to keep a promise, don’t warrant a punishment. Yet people carry out act on themselves that may be moral issues, as suicide, self-abuse, and substance abuse. Not all acts that knowingly cause others harm are matters of morality. How can we decide that an action is morally good?

NEW THEORY

There is no principle to tell what is a moral issue. It is hard to pick out issues that are only moral issues. Much of this depends on the persons evaluating the issues.
But you can recognize moral and non-moral issues. We consider euthanasia immoral, but even our single culture has no clear boundaries between moral and nonmoral issues. Smoking, and overeating, are they moral issues? Its clear it is bad for you, but is it immoral?

Is there a special and dedicated way to identify the moral ones by moral reasoning? Or is moral reasoning just normal reasoning about things that happen to concern morality? Everyday beliefs are inconsistent and it does not bother us. We rely on separate sets of beliefs is different social situations. Our laws are not always logical. But moral beliefs have not had the advantage of legal scrutiny.

If our beliefs are based on moral intuitions, our moral reasoning can never be consistent. Moral evaluations can’t cover every situation if the principles are incomplete.

You recognize moral propositions, but don’t rely on them. You rely on your specific knowledge of your culture. You know what is and isn’t a moral issue. A moral issue is a matter of fact and also a matter of attitude of the interested parties.

Reasoning about a moral problem does not depend on a special process nor is there any special process for legal reasoning about legal problems.
Source: Journal of Decision Making Feb 2008
CONCLUSIONS

Social morals try to make people conform to standards rather than have standards conform to the people.  Today if you can’t pass a test we alter the test.  We change ethics to please the unethical.  The new morality of society is:  You are wrong if you do something you don’t feel like doing and right if you feel like doing something and do it.

Things must be judged by the purpose of their creation. Morality is order for an end.  It is one of the greatest treasures you can give your children.  Today we strive to leave our children only riches that rust consumes, moths eat, and robbers steal.  That is not enough my friends

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Wednesday, July 2, 2008

DRUGS DENIED FOR TERMINAL CANCER PATIENTS

TERMINAL CANCER.  NOTHING I CAN DO FOR YOU!

Many patients with terminal cancer are told there is nothing conventional medicine can do for them.  We have been looking for a cancer cure since 1937 without luck.  Nixon’s war on cancer in1971 urging more rapid cancer research has also proved fruitless.

Without an effective treatment, costly quack remedies are often used by relatives who consider money no object to save there loved ones.  In 1950 it was Krebiozem, in 1970 Latctrile, and in 1980 Interleukin-2, and today nothing. Today the Internet is searched for clinical trials of drugs that might offer hope.  Many are seeking access tot these investigational drugs. 

Since the FDA refuses this access to needed treatments, cancer patients have taken to the courts.  They have sued the FDA to prevent it from enforcing the prohibitory policy of using drugs not yet proven to be safe or effective.  The terminally ill have no other options.

The courts ruled that the 5th Amendment rights would be violated if “ it deprives life, liberty or property without due process of law.  The right of self-preservation is barred by refusing a potentially life saving treatment for the patient.  One has the right to take even risky actions without government interference in order to save one’s  life”.

The suits ask the government to step aside and change its policy so self-determination is not violated.  The FDA maintains that a drug is unsafe if using the drug  is not offset by the possibility of some therapeutic benefit.

If the court sided with the patients, the FDA would be undermined.  A patient always has a right to refuse medical treatment but never a right to DEMAND inappropriate or experimental intervention.  

The FDA has always prevented patients from exercising their own judgment about risks and benefits.  Papa FDA does not give the patient the option and freedom to choose what he wants.  What other options does the terminal patient have if legal attempts to gain access to experimental drugs are barred?

Why is the FDA so stubborn?  Clinical research is not clinical cure.  The patient accepts all the risks of an uncontrolled experiment and waives their rights is a price to pay for getting an investigational drug from a reluctant drug company.

The major stumbling block is Big Pharma.  They don’t have anything to gain by making the drugs available outside of their controlled clinical trials.  They would be at risk for liability in case a severe adverse reaction occurs.  If the FDA approved its use, clinical trails would be hard to conduct.  There would also be long delays for approval and availability of the drugs that seem effective.  It’s a no win situation for them.  The cancer patient is a willing buyer, but the drug companies are not willing sellers.

FDA WINS AGAIN!

There is no constitutional right to access of unapproved drugs.  There are better and worse ways to die.  The cancer patient would be exploited and harmed.  Choices for the patient must be limited to reasonable medical alternatives based on evidence.

FEAR OF DEATH

We are all going to die, but our culture dreads death.  Only 20% of Americans today die at home with their family around them.  They seek the latest new treatment or go to hospice.   After all, new drugs are something new to try and maybe it will help, just maybe!

Our primary attention might be to shift to compassion and palliation of pain, rather than a long shot high-risk investigational intervention.  After all, we all must die sooner or later!  

What do you think?

Source; Annas, Cancer and the Constitution, NEJM 7.26.2007

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Tuesday, July 1, 2008

DR. NEEDLES MEDICAL MINIBLOGS, JULY 2008

DR NEEDLES MEDICAL MINI BLOGS JULY 2008

ONLY 19 NEW DRUGS APPROVE LAST YEAR

Last year, the FDA only approved 19 entirely new drugs.  Many of them offer no benefit over the old drugs and are for rare conditions.  Many of these new drugs don’t have much better results than the old drugs.

We don’t need a home run drug with new miracle cures.  More clinical trials on the old winning drugs may save more lives.  We may already have the tools to improve lives but must first figure out how to use these drugs better.

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ANNUAL VACCINATIONS FOR ALL CHILDREN UP TO 18

The center for disease control panel sent a recommendation that all children under 18 should get annual flu vaccinations.  This would mean another 30 million vaccinations.  They say there will be fewer sick children missing school.

With children now receiving 30 vaccinations before starting school will one more help?  With the rates of autism climbing to 1 out of 150 children, are we certain more vaccinations may not be a factor.

                                    Source; CDC 2,27.2008

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DIOXANE IN BABY SHAMPOOS PERMITTED BY FDA

Dioxane, a cancer-causing ingredient, is found in infant shampoos and bubble baths.  The FDA tells us to read the labels and decide for ourselves.  They urge families to ask manufacturers to prove their products are free of the dioxane. 

What kind of protection is this for us the consumers?

Source Book, Secret History of the war on Cancer, D. Davis

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SPINACH AND THE FDA

Forty seven percent of 200 inspections over the last 6 years resulted in poor sanitation in bagged spinach from California.  Ecoli was found to have caused 3 deaths and 205 sick people in 2006.

Source: House Oversight & Government reform committee 3.14.2008

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TEENS AND SEXUALLY TRANSMITTED DISEASES

 3 million girls 14-19 years of age have STI, sexually transmitted disease.  This breaks down to 15% of teen girls.                            

Source: CDC 2004 Survey.

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STIFFEN YOUR CORONARIES

Seems that inflammation promotes depression, leading to inflamed coronary tissue.  This increase collagen stiffens the heart.  Causes are failure to take medications, failure to quit smoking, and al lack of exercise.

Source: American Psychosomatic Society, Kuhl,  March 2008

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WEALTHY PEOPLE ARE HEALTHIER

Educated rich people have better health than poorly educated people.  The C reactive protein, a sign of inflamed tissue that blocks coronaries, was lower in the blood of the wealthy. 

But the rich who are overweight lose all their advantage because excess body fat increases the C protein. 

It is important for all of us, rich or poor to control our weight.

Source University of South Florida, Bykowski, 3.14.2008

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LET YOUR KIDS SLEEP LONGER

Children who sleep longer are skinnier.  Less than 12 hours of sleep results in overweight kids.  Less sleep causes hormonal changes that increase appetite.

Maybe we adults should shut our TVS off and go to bed earlier!

Source; Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine, April 2008

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MEDICAL PATENTS EXTENDED

 The normal live of a patent is 17 years but often extended with amendments.  The holder of the patent has an unfair advantage. 

The biotech industry is very happy with this ruling against the US Patent offices proposal to limit these amendments and lost.  This ruling helps get financing for innovative products. One third of the US patents are controversial anyway

Source: Virginia Federal Court, March 2008

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