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Sat, 11 Jul 2020
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FDA says food recall is urgent health threat

A recall of canned meat products and dog food made at a Georgia plant due to botulism fears could involve tens of millions of cans that pose an urgent public health threat, U.S. officials said on Monday.

U.S. food regulators appealed to consumers and retailers to find and dispose of the cans.

Two people in Texas and two others in Indiana remain seriously ill and hospitalized with botulism poisoning associated with eating Castleberry's Hot Dog Chili Sauce, officials said.

Red Flag

Can cholesterol go too low? Study sees cancer link

WASHINGTON/LONDON - Lowering cholesterol as much as possible may reduce the risk of heart disease, but with a price: taking it too low could raise the risk of cancer, U.S. researchers reported on Tuesday.

Red Flag

Study: Diet Soda Linked to Heart Risks

BOSTON - People who drank one or more diet sodas each day developed the same risks for heart disease as those who downed sugary regular soda, a large but inconclusive study found. The results surprised the researchers who expected to see a difference between regular and diet soda drinkers.

Attention

1 in 4 NYC adults has elevated blood mercury levels

Pregnant and breastfeeding women and children under 6 should avoid fish high in mercury -- seafood still part of a healthy diet

A quarter of adult New Yorkers have elevated blood mercury levels, according to survey results released today by the Health Department, and the elevations are closely tied to fish consumption. Asian and higher-income New Yorkers eat more fish, and have higher average mercury levels, than others both locally and nationally. These mercury levels pose little if any health risk for most adults, but may increase the risk of cognitive delays for children whose mothers had very high mercury levels during pregnancy.

Major Findings on Blood Mercury Levels from NYC-HANES

Today's findings are the latest presented from New York City's Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NYC-HANES), the first such survey ever conducted by a U.S. city. It's possible that other cities have similarly high levels, or higher ones, but haven't yet documented them. Because mercury is a concern for the health of newborns, recommendations on mercury exposure are most important for pregnant and breastfeeding women.

Bulb

Do I know you? Researchers identify woman's struggle to recognize new faces

The woman's condition, known as prosopamnesia, is extremely rare and has only been found in a handful of people around the world, according to University of Queensland cognitive neuroscientist Professor Jason Mattingley.

"For many years, scientists have been interested in how people learn to recognise new faces, and people who have difficulty with faces often have trouble interacting in social settings," he said.

The woman - whose identity remains protected - presented herself to researchers after experiencing social embarrassment when she found she was unable to recognise colleagues, people to whom she had already been introduced.

The research, in collaboration with colleagues at Macquarie and La Trobe universities, is published in this month's edition of Current Biology. The work suggests the woman's "disability" might lie in her inability to encode or recognise new faces, rather than her ability to perceive them.

"She reports relying heavily on featural cues such as hair colour and style, eyeglasses, and eyebrows to recognise new acquaintances," Professor Mattingley said.

On a battery of standard face-recognition tests, the woman consistently registered scores that indicated her ability to recognise new faces was severely impaired.

Stop

The Age of Autism: The last word

This is my 113th and final Age of Autism column. United Press International, which has been the hospitable home for this series, is restructuring, and I'm off to adventures as yet unknown -- although I intend to keep my focus on autism and related issues.

Why? Because it is the story of a lifetime.

Question

Why is yawning contagious?

Rather than being a precursor to sleep, yawning is designed to keep us awake, say US researchers. But why does seeing someone else yawn make you to do the same?

Yawning is an involuntary action that everyone does. We start before we are born and most creatures on the planet do it - even snakes and fish.

New research suggests rather than being a precursor to sleep, the purpose of yawning is to cool the brain so it operates more efficiently and keeps you awake.

©unk
The average yawn lasts six seconds.

The theory could explain a puzzling question about subconscious human behaviour - why many of us yawn when we see or hear another person doing it, or even read about it or even just think about it?

Life Preserver

Doctors Treating Older Anorexics

MINNEAPOLIS -- Kelli Smith was nervous as she walked into the Philadelphia treatment center, seeking help at last for her anorexia. Looking around at the other patients, she was struck by how young they seemed.

Comment: Who promotes and who profits from women's self-destructive eating disorders?

The reader might want to read Naomi Wolf's book, The Beauty Myth: How Images of Beauty Are Used Against Women, to understand the war waged by patriarchy/psychopathy against women. In the author's own words:
'Beauty' is a currency system like the gold standard. Like any economy, it is determined by politics, and in the modern age in the West is the last, best belief system that keeps male dominance intact.



Black Cat

OxyContin makers fined for profiting off lies which led to deaths

Purdue Pharma L.P., the maker of OxyContin, and three of its executives were ordered Friday to pay a $634.5 million fine for misleading the public about the painkiller's risk of addiction.

©Getty Images
OxyContin is a pain medicine that can be deadly if abused.

Comment: This story is just another in a long line that shows how white collar businessmen and the rich are treated differently than everyone else. A fine and a criminal conviction means nothing to the super-rich.


Black Cat

Race in Medical Care: Skin Color Matters with Patient Care

Study Finds Doctors Have Racial Bias When Treating patients.

The color of your skin may affect the care you receive at the doctor's office -- as a new study has found evidence of racial basis in medical care.

Researchers found unintentional racism, feelings physicians are unaware of, can affect how doctors diagnose and treat patients.