Thursday, April 17, 2014

Wednesday FTSidebar

Life-style determines gut microbes | Max-Planck-Gessellschaft

The gut microbiota is responsible for many aspects of human health and nutrition, but most studies have focused on "western" populations. An international collaboration of researchers, including researchers of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany, has for the first time analysed the gut microbiota of a modern hunter-gatherer community, the Hadza of Tanzania.

Via Lifestyle determines gut microbes | Machines Like Us

An Opening to More Corruption | Political Wire

Dallas Judge Bars Attorney From Appearing In Shorts Due To A Large Leg Brace After Knee Surgery | Jonathan Turley

It was a rather unsympathetic and inflexible decision but it was not the first for this particular judge. However, it is the mounting criticism of Mullin that raises the question of why the Democratic party has pushed for her reelection and why the state bar has not investigated allegations of injudicious conduct.

Conflicts of Interest | Political Irony

Politicians! Accused of pesky ethics violations? No problem!

The Tax Breaks That Are Killing the Planet | The Nation

ExxonMobil, the world's largest oil company, hauled in a $32.6 billion profit last year.

Insane cycling video will make you hold your breath for two minutes | Grist

Grist cannot be held responsible for the crapping of your pants while watching this helmet-cam of daredevil cyclist Geoff Gulevich going down a mountain

Twenty-First Century Science Writers | Sean Carroll  Favorites

Drill, Spill, Repeat: Shining a Light on the BP Gulf Disaster 4 Years Later | Oceana

Wednesday Whimsy

Orbital Mechanics | xkcd

Funny and Cute Bunny! [Compilation]  Video

Little dog attacks and utterly demolishes his defenseless prey | 22 Words  Video

The 30 Most Ridiculously Photogenic People Of All Time | Distractify  Pictures

26 Animals That Are So Adorable They Will Make You MAD | Distractify  Pictures

Share for Dogs  Video

Alternative Version Of Wikipedia Tells It Like It Is | Bored Panda

I wish this site would increase its font size.

CDC Viral Hepatitis Updates

Free CME Course Helps Physicians Identify and Care for Patients with Liver Disease
Primary care providers are on the front lines of implementing the CDC's recommendation to screen all baby boomers--people born from 1945 to 1965--for hepatitis C. In addition, the U.S. Preventative Services Task Force recently upgraded to B its recommendation for hepatitis B (HBV) screening of persons at high risk of infection. To help improve primary care physicians' knowledge of these diseases, the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD), in collaboration with ECHO, the American College of Physicians (ACP), CDC, and Department of Veterans Affairs, has developed ACT-First (, a free, online CME course. After completing the course, physicians will know which patients to screen for liver diseases, how to screen, what to do in the patient with positive serologies, what to tell the patient, and how to decide who is a candidate for therapy.

Updated Viral Hepatitis Action Plan
Building on the success of the nation's first comprehensive cross-agency action plan, the U.S. Departments of Health and Human Services (HHS), Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Justice (DOJ), and Veterans Affairs (VA) released a 3-year update of the plan. The updated Viral Hepatitis Action Plan builds on the foundation of the original action plan and is organized around six priority areas:

  1. Educate health care providers and communities to reduce health disparities
  2. Improve testing, care, and treatment to prevent liver disease and cancer
  3. Strengthen surveillance to detect viral hepatitis transmission and disease
  4. Eliminate transmission of vaccine-preventable viral hepatitis
  5. Reduce viral hepatitis caused by drug-use behaviors
  6. Protect patients and workers from health-care associated viral hepatitis

This Viral Hepatitis Action Plan underscores that its national goals cannot be achieved through federal action alone and needs active involvement of and innovation by a broad mix of nonfederal stakeholders to engage to strengthen the nation's response to viral hepatitis.

MMWR: Rapid Hepatitis C Testing Among Persons at Increased Risk for Infection - Wisconsin, 2012-2013
During 2003-2012, reports of HCV infection increased from 15 to 54 cases per 100,000 among persons aged <30 years in Wisconsin, and 58% of persons in this age group with acute HCV infection reported injecting drugs. To increase detection of HCV infection, the Wisconsin Division of Public Health (WDPH) piloted a program during Oct. 2012-Oct. 2013 that offered rapid HCV testing to clients of four agencies providing various harm reduction services to persons with drug dependence. During that period, 1,255 persons were tested using a rapid HCV test, and 246 (20%) of the results were positive. Most (72%) of the infections had not been reported to WDPH. A blood specimen for further testing was collected from 192 (78%) participants with positive HCV test results; among these participants, 183 were tested for HCV RNA using reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR), and these results were positive for 128 (70%) participants, indicating active infection. Use of the rapid HCV test detected previously unreported HCV infections and raised awareness of HCV. Persons identified with active HCV infection should be referred to medical care and counseled on ways to prevent HCV transmission to others.

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Wednesday, April 16, 2014

OWH Director Speaks Out About Sexual Assault

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"To women who have been sexually assaulted: Please know that it's not your fault," says Dr. Nancy Lee, the director of OWH. See what else Dr. Lee has to say about sexual assault in her latest blog posts [Sexual Assault: A Crime Against Women's Health and One in Three: Sexual Assault Affects Too Many Women].

We want to hear from you! Visit the OWH blog today to discuss sexual assault and other women's health topics. Keep the discussion going by sharing this post with friends, neighbors, family, and coworkers.

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NIH: SWELL1 protein; Sarcopenia diagnostic criteria; Gene linked to PCOS; Targeting inflammation

A human cell expressing both the SWELL1 (red) and green fluorescent protein. The red dots reveal the location of SWELL1 on the cell surface.This SWELL Protein Keeps Cells in Shape | NIH Director's Blog

Anyone who's taken part in a water balloon fight knows what happens when you fill a balloon with too much water--it bursts. Now, consider that most of our cells are essentially water balloons: a thin membrane envelope containing a mixture that's mostly water along with some salts, proteins, lipids, carbohydrates, and nucleic acids. Given that the average adult's body is about 60% water, what keeps our cells from overfilling and exploding?

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Research consortium including NIH proposes diagnostic criteria for sarcopenia

Sarcopenia, a loss of muscle mass often associated with weakness, is a commonly recognized cause of disability in older people. However, without consensus on ways to specifically measure this condition, the development of interventions for sarcopenia has been challenging.

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Gene linked to excess male hormones in female infertility disorder

A variant in a gene active in cells of the ovary may lead to the overproduction of androgens -- male hormones similar to testosterone -- occurring in women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), according to scientists funded by the National Institutes of Health.

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Unexpected protein partnership has implications for cancer treatment

Scientists have identified two unlikely partners in a type of immune cell called a macrophage that work together in response to cancer drugs to increase inflammation in a way that may alter tumor growth. Researchers from the National Institutes of Health published the study in the journal Cancer Research.

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Technology Tuesday (Apr 15)

New York City Restaurant Inspectors May Be Issued Google Glass | PopSci

New York City health inspectors might soon be donning Google Glass as they head out to check restaurants for rats and other hazards, under a recently proposed legislation.

'Google Glass helped me save a life' says doctor, as Google push medical applications | The Independent

Google has launched a new initiative aimed at showcasing the practical capabilities of Google Glass, including testing the device in various medical settings.

Failure Is the Best Thing That Could Happen to Google Glass | Wired

Google has yet to make a convincing case that a wearable heads-up display is a necessity rather than a novelty. If today's Glass sale flops, perhaps that could finally force an honest conversation about who and what the next generation of wearable tech is for, rather than simply trying to push a smartphone onto everyone's face.

Trolls In Their Natural Habitats: An Analysis Of Comments On TED Talks | PopSci

Think of it as a study of the natural behaviors of the troll. A team of information science researchers recently analyzed the comments people make on recorded TED talks.

This tiny portable wind turbine fits in your bag and charges your gadgets | TreeHugger

In our current gadget-centric culture, one limiting factor for mobile devices is the capacity of the batteries that power them, and while we haven't seen any massive improvements in battery technology (yet) which would allow us to go for days between charges, mobile solar chargers and battery backup systems seem to be the only solutions (well, other than to actually stop using them so much).

RideScout app compares all the ways to get around the Bay Area | TreeHugger

A new app for finding the best way around a city has launched in San Francisco and this one truly shows you all the options.

Android did not support touchscreens until iPhone release, documents show | The Guardian

Android mobile phone software did not add support for touchscreen technology until Apple released its iPhone model, according to documents released as part of the Apple vs Samsung patent trial.

Meet the people behind the Google Doodles | The Guardian

Google adapts its logo to celebrate special events. Here we revisit some of the best examples and talk to some of the 10-strong Doodlers team

Lens turns any smartphone into a portable microscope | ScienceDaily

The Micro Phone Lens can turn any smartphone or tablet computer into a hand-held microscope.

Better hard-drives, solar cells and superconductors | Machines Like Us

Using DESY's bright research light sources, scientists have opened a new door to better solar cells, novel superconductors and smaller hard-drives.

How a Silly Putty ingredient could advance stem cell therapies | Machines Like Us

The sponginess of the environment where human embryonic stem cells are growing affects the type of specialized cells they eventually become, a University of Michigan study shows.

New app turns food pictures into calorie counts | The Independent

How Preparing for the Singularity in the Present Is Shaping the Future | io9

We are living in an age of some truly grand challenges.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Monday FTSidebar is super pissed

I Was Racially Profiled in My Own Driveway | The Atlantic

It was an otherwise ordinary snow day in Hartford, Connecticut, and I was laughing as I headed outside to shovel my driveway.

Because Of Tar Sands, Energy Is Now Canada's Biggest Greenhouse Gas Source | ThinkProgress

Canada's energy industry has officially surpassed transportation as the largest producer of climate-change causing greenhouse gases, in no small part because of large increases in tar sands extraction, according to a government report quietly released Friday.

Alleged Kansas Gunman's White Nationalist Buddy: He Was "Upbeat" in Last Phone Call | Mother Jones

What explains the horrific shootings in a Kansas suburb that claimed the lives of three people? Searching for an answer, I called a jail in Stanton, North Dakota, the temporary residence of Craig Cobb, a white nationalist whom Frazier Glenn Miller, the suspect in these attacks, called a friend during a 2010 radio interview.

The Tea Party's New Hampshire Circus Takes On the GOP Establishment | The Nation

It's always a good idea to bring fruitcakes to a tea party.

RELEASE: Five Steps to Improve Safety and Avoid More Government Waste in King Cove, Alaska | Center for American Progress

Washington, D.C. -- Today, the Center for American Progress released an analysis detailing how decision makers can find common-sense solutions to the important health and safety concerns of King Cove, Alaska, while avoiding more wasted taxpayer spending on a $75 million "Road to Nowhere."

In Celebration of National Poetry Month: Four Poems Performed by Taylor Mali | Jonathan Turley  Favorites Video

Submitted by Elaine Magliaro, Weekend Contributor

Grace Under Pressure: Adrian Grajeda's Save | Jonathan Turley

By Mark Esposito, Weekend Contributor

Ten-year-old Adrian Grajeda wants to become a professional soccer player someday. And he wants to do it for love of the game -- not to be a hero. Adrian can't become a hero because he already is one.

Google confirms it's going through your emails to figure out what ads to show you | The Raw Story

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Google Inc updated its terms of service on Monday, informing users that their incoming and outgoing emails are automatically analyzed by software to create targeted ads.

FBI abruptly leaves Senate hearing after being asked about 'Insider Threat' program | The Raw Story

While we've been disappointed that Senator Chuck Grassley appears to have a bit of a double standard with his staunch support for whistleblowers when it comes to Ed Snowden, it is true that he has fought for real whistleblower protections for quite some time. Lately, he's been quite concerned that the White House's "Insider Threat Program" (ITP) is really just a cover to crack down on whistleblowers.

The Confidence Gap | The Atlantic

Evidence shows that women are less self-assured than men--and that to succeed, confidence matters as much as competence. Here's why, and what to do about it.

It's just so wrong when women start to believe this crap. There is no confidence gap, or tendency for women to shoot themselves in the foot, or insufficient dedication to career, or lack of intelligence, or failure to be assertive, or any other goddamn way that women need to change in order to be respected by their male peers. WE'RE NOT THE ONES WITH THE PROBLEM.

The pieces below appear to be excellent, but I'm done reading at this point.

Eight Hopeful Legacies Of The Arab Spring | John Cassidy | The New Yorker

Vanguard News Network: A Track Record of Violence | Hatewatch | SPLC

Worrying is My Super Power | Fowl Language Comics

Republicans Used to Support Voting Rights--What Happened? | The Nation

Lee Atwater happened.

Brown-bagging it in New Hampshire | John Breneman

IPCC finally weighs in on how to avoid further climate change | Ars Technica

Severe Texas Drought Exposed in "Years of Living Dangerously" | The Equation | UCS

African Poachers Beware: Billionaire Brandishes His Wallet | ENS

Sorting Fact From Fiction on Chinese Solar In Nevada | KCET

I couldn't have been more wrong last week in assessing the conflict over Cliven Bundy's illegally grazed public lands cattle has having "fizzled." Over the weekend a small throng of armed members of far-right groups showed up to lend Bundy support, eventually prompting the Bureau of Land Management to back down and release the cattle they'd rounded up so far.

Monday, April 14, 2014

New Items Added to CDC's HIV Website

e-HAP Web Updates: What's on the Web - Information from CDC's Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention
April 14, 2014
Several Items Recently Added to the Website
New MMWR: Revised Surveillance Case Definition for HIV Infection -- United States, 2014
This document updates the surveillance case definitions published in 2008. It addresses multiple issues, the most important of which was the need to adapt to recent changes in diagnostic criteria.
Updated Fact Sheet: HIV Among Youth
This fact sheet discusses HIV infection rates in youth living in the United States. Youth aged 13 to 24 accounted for an estimated 26% of all new HIV infections in the United States in 2010.
Updated Fact Sheet: HIV Among American Indians and Alaska Natives
HIV is a public health issue among the approximately 5.2 million American Indians and Alaska Natives (AI/AN), who represent about 1.7% of the US population.
New MMWR: Likely Female-to-Female Sexual Transmission of HIV -- Texas, 2012
In August 2012, the Houston Department of Health contacted CDC regarding the rare transmission of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) likely by sexual contact between two women. The case was investigated, and laboratory testing confirmed that the woman with newly diagnosed HIV infection had a virus virtually identical to that of her female partner, who was diagnosed previously with HIV and who had stopped receiving antiretroviral treatment in 2010.
Visit the e-HAP Web site
Additional Resources:
Visit CDC's HIV/AIDS Web site.
Get information about personal risk, prevention, and testing.
CDC National HIV Testing Resources
Text your ZIP code to KNOW IT or 566948. Locate an HIV testing site near you.
CDC National Prevention Information Network (NPIN)
Find CDC resources and technical assistance.
Locate resources on HIV and AIDS treatment and clinical trials.
Please contact us with questions, comments or other feedback about e-HAP

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"Nothing Changes If I Don't Change"

Tim Gang, a former U.S. Marine and disabled veteranWhat does being a Veteran mean to me?

It brings me a great sense of pride and accomplishment unlike nothing before. When that initial "calling" reached out to me -- someone who wanted to serve his country -- my reaction was one of uncertainty. That feeling of facing the unknown, of, "What you have gotten yourself into?" was with me while on the quiet bus ride late at night heading to boot camp.

As a Marine you learn to function as part of a team under strenuous conditions, some you wonder if they would make it through, and very few men and women I have talked to want to forget what they have experienced while in the military, no matter what it was.

But post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can stem from any number of difficult experiences that come with serving in a conflict zone or other hazardous situation: trauma, rape, murder, stress; all things most don't want to discuss.

Read More About Tim's Story

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