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Wed, 28 Jul 2021
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Ambulance

Superbugs claim 427 lives over past five years in Northern Ireland

Two of the deadliest hospital superbugs have helped cause the deaths of at least 427 patients in Northern Ireland over the past five years, it was revealed last night.

The serious threat of hospital- acquired infections was underlined by new Government figures which detail how many deaths have been officially registered as linked to MRSA and Clostridium Difficile since 2002.

Red Flag

Avian flu, H7N3, confirmed in Saskatchewan

Avian influenza has been confirmed at a large chicken farm near Regina, officials with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency said Thursday.

The H7N3 strain of the virus found at Pedigree Poultry at Regina Beach is fatal to birds, but is not dangerous to humans, the agency said. All 50,000 birds at the farm will be destroyed with carbon dioxide gas over the next few days.

©CBC
Saskatchewan farmers produced about 23 million chickens in 2005, according to the provincial Agriculture Department.

Ambulance

Arizona Boy Dies Of Rare Infection, Naegleria fowleri

A 14-year-old Lake Havasu boy has become the sixth victim to die nationwide this year of a microscopic organism that attacks the body through the nasal cavity, quickly eating its way to the brain.

Aaron Evans died Sept. 17 of Naegleria fowleri, an organism doctors said he probably picked up a week before while swimming in the balmy shallows of Lake Havasu.

Heart

How the Heart Can Rule the Head

Many philosophers have argued that people make decisions about what's right and wrong based on moral principles and rational thought. But other philosophers--and more recently, some psychologists and neuroscientists--have argued that there's more to the story. When faced with a moral dilemma, these scholars say, we rely on emotional reactions as well as our powers of reasoning. In a study of brain damage, published today, neuroscientists report evidence that emotions indeed exert a powerful influence on moral judgments.

In the new study, Antonio Damasio of the University of Southern California in Los Angeles and colleagues examined moral reasoning in six people who had damage to the ventromedial prefrontal cortex (VMPC), a brain region that regulates emotions. The researchers presented the patients with moral dilemmas that forced them to decide whether it was acceptable to sacrifice one person's life to save several others. For example, participants had to decide whether to flip a switch that diverts a runaway trolley from a track leading to five workers to a track leading to just one worker. The researchers also gauged the decisions of 12 people without brain damage and 12 patients with damage to brain regions unconnected to emotion.

Health

Brain Damage 'Causes Bad Behavior'



©BBC
Damage to the brain can change behaviour.

Anti-social behaviour may be linked in some cases to brain damage suffered as a child, researchers have found.

A team from the Institute of Child Health has found that brain damage inflicted on a specific area of the brain can lead to serious anti-social behaviour in puberty and adulthood.

The discovery raises the possibility that brain scans could be used in future to determine which people are most likely to suffer from long-term behavioural problems following an accident.

Comment: The effects of such brain damage on individuals and societies goes much further than isolated 'bad behavior.' Andrew Lobaczewski writes:
The pathological character of such people, generally containing a component of hysteria, develops through the years. The non-damaged psychological functions become overdeveloped to compensate, which means that instinctive and [emotional] reactions predominate. Relatively vital people become belligerent, risk-happy, and brutal in both word and deed.

Persons with an innate talent for intuiting psychological situations tend to take advantage of this gift in an egotistical and ruthless fashion. In the thought process of such people, a short cut way develops which bypasses the handicapped function, thus leading from associations directly to words, deeds, and decisions which are not subject to any dissuasion. Such individuals interpret their talent for intuiting situations and making split-second oversimplified decisions as a sign of their superiority compared to normal people, who need to think for long time, experiencing self-doubt and conflicting motivations. The fate of such creatures does not deserve to be pondered long.

Such "Stalinistic characters" traumatize and actively spellbind others, and their influence finds it exceptionally easy to bypass the controls of common sense. A large proportion of people tend to credit such individuals with special powers, thereby succumbing to their egotistic beliefs. If a parent manifests such a defect, no matter how minimal, all the children in the family evidence anomalies in personality development. [Political Ponerology: The Scientific Study of Evil Adjusted for Political Purposes]



Info

Wal-Mart Expands $4 Drugs Program

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is expanding its national $4 generic prescription drug program by about 10 percent, adding drugs for some new conditions.

The world's largest retailer said Thursday it has added drugs covering glaucoma, attention deficit disorder, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, fungal infections and acne.

Propaganda

No Shock! Federal Study run by former Merck employee says Thimerosal doesn't affect brain function

A mercury-based preservative once used in many vaccines does not raise the risk of neurological problems in children, concludes a large federal study that researchers say should reassure parents about the safety of shots their kids received a decade or more ago.

However, the study did not examine autism - the developmental disorder that some critics blame on vaccines. A separate study due out in a year will look at that issue, said scientists at the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, who led the latest analysis and published results in Thursday's New England Journal of Medicine.


Attention

Deadly Immunity

In June 2000, a group of top government scientists and health officials gathered for a meeting at the isolated Simpsonwood conference center in Norcross, Ga. Convened by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the meeting was held at this Methodist retreat center, nestled in wooded farmland next to the Chattahoochee River, to ensure complete secrecy. The agency had issued no public announcement of the session -- only private invitations to 52 attendees. There were high-level officials from the CDC and the Food and Drug Administration, the top vaccine specialist from the World Health Organization in Geneva, and representatives of every major vaccine manufacturer, including GlaxoSmithKline, Merck, Wyeth and Aventis Pasteur. All of the scientific data under discussion, CDC officials repeatedly reminded the participants, was strictly "embargoed." There would be no making photocopies of documents, no taking papers with them when they left.

Arrow Up

Scottish obesity 'just behind US'

Obesity levels in Scotland are the second highest in the developed world behind the USA, new statistics have revealed.

The figures were published as the Scottish Government announced plans to remove sweets and fizzy drinks from schools.

Under new rules, the amount of chips served in school meals will also be cut and more fruit and vegetables provided.

Children's Minister Adam Ingram said he wanted to change young people's habits.

The figures , released by ISD Scotland, the statistical wing of the NHS, said the "obesity epidemic" in Scotland must be addressed and outlines the extent of the "major public health problem".

Attention

Coffee 'triples paracetamol risks'

Reaching for the paracetamol alongside your morning coffee may be bad for your health, researchers say.

A study indicated that a combination of large quantities of the pain-killer and caffeine appeared to increase the risk of liver damage. Scientists found that caffeine tripled the amount of a toxic by-product created when paracetamol was broken down.

However, the University of Washington team so far has plied only bacteria and rats with large doses. British scientists emphasised that far more research would be needed to prove any danger to humans.