Daily Archives: July 3, 2017

CDC warns against eating placenta—in case you needed another reason

Some eat it raw, others cook it. Some make it into jerky, and others grind the cooked, dried remains into a brown powder and fill capsules.However it’s done, eating the placenta after childbirth is thought to ward off postpartum depression and boost milk production, among other things. There is no solid scientific evidence backing these benefits, though, and cooking it reduces the nutritional content. Nevertheless, the practice of eating the fetus-nourishing organ has strayed from the fringe in recent years, with celebrities such as January Jones and Kim Kardashian joining in. In a December 2015 blog post, Kardashian went through her thought process, noting anecdotes of other women who had good experiences. “So,” she wrote, “I thought, why not try it? What do I have to lose?”As it turns out, the answer is the health of your newborn, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In a new case report published in the agency’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, researchers caution against the practice, noting that the commercial and at-home preparation methods could leave your DIY organ supplements contaminated with infectious pathogens.At least that was the case for one Oregon mother. In September of 2016, the healthy woman, who gave birth to a healthy baby after an uncomplicated pregnancy, watched (likely in horror) as her newborn’s health quickly deteriorated. Shortly after birth, the baby showed signs of respiratory distress, was admitted to the neonatal intensive care unit, and was found to have a life-threatening blood infection—diagnosed as late-onset group B Streptococcus agalactiae (GBS) bacteremia. After an 11-day course of antibiotics in the hospital, the baby improved and went home.

Source: CDC warns against eating placenta—in case you needed another reason | Ars Technica

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“Scrotal Asymmetry in Man and in Ancient Sculpture” research celebrated in Greece

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“Scrotal Asymmetry in Man and in Ancient Sculpture” — the study that earned the 2002 Ig Nobel Medicine Prize — is given a keen appreciation, lavishly illustrated, in Athens magazine, in Greek. The study itself was published in the journal Nature, which featured it on the cover of their February 5, 1976 issue. The study’s author, Chris McManus, is a professor of psychology and medical education, at University College London. McManus also is founding editor of the research journal Laterality.

continue http://www.improbable.com/2017/06/28/scrotal-asymmetry-in-man-and-in-ancient-sculpture-research-celebrated-in-greece/

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Record Summer Cold Continues At The North Pole

The short polar melt season is almost half over, and hasn’t actually begun yet.

Ocean and Ice Services | Danmarks Meteorologiske Institut

But no worries. NASA’s top climate prophet says the Arctic is ice-free and we are toast.

source https://realclimatescience.com/2017/07/record-summer-cold-continues-at-the-north-pole/

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As July Fourth Approaches, Americans Debate Democracy’s Fate

NEW YORK (AP) — In his 4½ years as a state senator from Manhattan, Brad Holyman has handed out everything from flashlights to T-shirts at political rallies. But for a gathering held soon after President Donald Trump’s inauguration, he decided on something more substantial:Copies of the Constitution.”My constituents had been asking me, ‘What can I do to help?’ ‘How do I prepare myself?'” says Holyman, a Democrat in his third term who has since distributed thousands of copies. “A year ago, who would have imagined that giving away the Constitution would be seen as an act of resistance?”Americans have disagreed about government and civic life since the country’s founding, about who should vote, who should run for office and the risks of political factions. But as the U.S. nears its 241st birthday, many say democracy itself is in the dock.Trump, with his labeling the mainstream press the “enemy of the people” and his disparagement of “so-called” judges and other traditional checks on executive power, has critics anxious about not just a given policy but the fate of self-rule — at the same time that his supporters view his rise as the kind of anti-elitist triumph democracy is supposed to represent.

Source: As July Fourth Approaches, Americans Debate Democracy’s Fate | New York News | US News

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Save Free Speech From Trolls

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The first thousand times I was accused of being a politically correct, anti-free-speech censor, it seemed silly. The charge was always in response to some relatively innocuous bit of cultural criticism — like, say, that racism is bad and artists should try not to make racist art if they don’t want to be called racists. Or that if comedians want to joke about rape, they should write their jokes very carefully because rape is very horrible. I saw it happen to other women, too, women who had asked for better representation in media, or had even gone and said the words “video games.”

I always laughed at the anti-free-speech charge. I was not the government. I literally could not censor anyone. I cannot go around handcuffing comedians and dragging them off to joke jail. (Anyway, I am a prison abolitionist. That goes for open-mic-based offenses, too.)

Criticism is not censorship, and no matter how insistent Twitter’s free speech brigade might be, I felt safe knowing that we could always go back to the text. The Constitution was on my side.

But that was when I thought facts had power, when what we think of as the truth was based more on observable reality and less on the incantations of paranoid uncles who would rather die of preventable diseases than let America’s first black president leave an intact legacy. When the “free speech” canard started nibbling away at me, around 2012 or so, it seemed as goofy as the idea of Donald Trump becoming president. Oops.

continue https://www.nytimes.com/2017/07/01/opinion/sunday/save-free-speech-from-trolls.html

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Yale University Sues to Turn More Bathrooms Gender Neutral

Yale University has filed a lawsuit against the state of Connecticut after being blocked from turning most of its single-sex bathrooms into gender neutral ones.

The prestigious university filed an appeal to the state’s Superior Court  after the Connecticut government refused to give permission to turn all gender-assigned bathrooms into gender neutral toilets in a bid to accommodate LGBTQ students, the New Haven Register reported.

The state’s building code instructs all buildings to have a certain number of bathrooms labelled by gender. According to the current laws, if Yale decides to list all single-gender bathrooms as gender neutral, the school will have to build additional gender-exclusive bathrooms.

The university is arguing in the lawsuit that the school has no space for the new single-gender bathrooms and claims that a relief from the building code would help transgender people to use the bathroom.

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World’s first trials of MDMA to treat alcohol addiction set to begin

Doctors in Bristol are set to begin the world’s first clinical study into the use of MDMA to treat alcohol addiction.

Researchers are testing whether a few doses of the drug, in conjunction with psychotherapy, could help patients overcome addiction more effectively than conventional treatments. The small trial was granted ethical approval a few weeks ago and the team expects to give the first dose of MDMA, the active ingredient in ecstasy pills, within the next two months.

Ben Sessa, a clinical psychiatrist on the trial and senior research fellow at Imperial College London said: “We know that MDMA works really well in helping people who have suffered trauma and it helps to build empathy. Many of my patients who are alcoholics have suffered some sort of trauma in their past and this plays a role in their addiction.”

Source: World’s first trials of MDMA to treat alcohol addiction set to begin | Science | The Guardian

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New York City surgeon reports surge in ‘nipple tucks’ 

These days, anything can be nipped and tucked. The cosmetic surgery industry is booming, with soaring rates of women (and men) going under the knife to adjust their appearance. But now, even a simple boob job is small fry.One surgeon based in New York City says he has seen a huge surge in the number of women asking for nipple operations. In just six months, Dr Norman Rowe’s weekly number of nipple patients has more than quadrupled, from about four a week to around 18. ‘Nothing is above cosmetic surgery now,’ Dr Rowe, a board-certified plastic surgeon with the American Board of Plastic Surgery, told Daily Mail Online.’People are looking at every detail. It’s not enough now to get a breast augmentation or rhinoplasty – women want to fine-tune every element. And these days, that’s possible.

Source: New York City surgeon reports surge in ‘nipple tucks’ | Daily Mail Online

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U.S. to Arrest Parents, Sponsors Who Hire Smugglers to Bring Children Across Border – WSJ

he Trump administration said Friday it will begin arresting parents and others who hire smugglers to bring children into the U.S., in an effort to break up human-trafficking operations.The new “surge initiative” by Immigration and Customs Enforcement marks the latest get-tough approach to immigration by the federal government since President Donald Trump took office.It is also a sharp departure from policies in place under President Barack Obama, during which tens of thousands of young people crossed the border illegally. The children were then placed with sponsors—typically parents, close relatives or family friends—who cared for the minors while their cases moved through the immigration court system.

Source: U.S. to Arrest Parents, Sponsors Who Hire Smugglers to Bring Children Across Border – WSJ

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