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Sat, 11 Jul 2020
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Good decision-makers may be made, not born, says Carnegie Mellon study

People who do well on a series of decision-making tasks involving hypothetical situations tend to have more positive decision outcomes in their lives, according to a study by decision scientists at Carnegie Mellon University and the RAND Corp. The results suggest that it may be possible to improve the quality of people's lives by teaching them better decision-making skills. The study is being published in the May issue of the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, and will be presented May 25 at the Association for Psychological Science's annual convention in Washington, D.C.

The paper marks an important step forward for decision science, because it shows that tasks developed to study decision-making errors in psychological labs can be used to gauge decision-making ability in real life. The study also shows that, although decision-making competence is correlated with verbal and nonverbal intelligence, it is still a separate skill.

"Intelligence doesn't explain everything. Our results suggest that people with good decision-making skills obtain better real-life outcomes, even after controlling for cognitive ability, socio-economic status and other factors," said Wändi Bruine de Bruin, a researcher in the Department of Social and Decision Sciences at Carnegie Mellon and the lead author of the study. "That is good news, because decision-making skills may be taught."

The study recruited 360 people with diverse backgrounds. Each completed seven tasks measuring "Adult Decision-Making Competence," or their ability to avoid common decision-making errors. For example, a good decision-maker should be able to make choices independent of how information is presented, or framed. Imagine that you are learning about a type of medication that is 99 percent effective, for instance. You should be equally likely to use it if it is described as 1 percent ineffective.

Health

Black Wednesday at the FDA

May 9, 2007, should be cited in the annals of cancer immunotherapy as Black Wednesday. Within an eight-hour period that day, the FDA succeeded in killing not one but two safe, promising therapies designed and developed to act by stimulating a patient's immune system against cancer. The FDA's hubris will affect the lives and possibly the life spans of cancer patients from nearly every demographic, from elderly men with prostate cancer to young children with the rarest of bone cancers.

Wine

Marks & Spenscer bans artificial additives from their food

Marks & Spenscer has become the latest store chain to announce it will remove artificial colours and flavours from 99 per cent of its food products by the end of the year.

Asda revealed it was doing the same with 9,000 own-brand items earlier this week.

Health

ID will be required to buy many cough medicines

Starting next week, if you are headed to Stop & Shop to get some relief from a cough, you had better have more than a few bucks in your pocket. You may also need ID.

Spurred by concerns about the abuse of a drug in many cough suppressants and cold medicines, the grocery chain yesterday announced it will require young people to produce identification before buying the products.

Light Saber

The Poisoned Pet Food Caper

The poisoning of pet food, as a stand-alone event, could reasonably be assumed. Such a mistake could happen and by terrible accident. But the problem is that pets, and their extraordinary numbers in American hearts and households, bother a lot of "non-profits," community "partnerships," emergency responders, and other such governmental agencies (making note that most everything is now a governmental agency). Couple this with the fact that "experimentation" upon the American people, soldiers, inmates, and people in many, many other nations of the "over-populated world" is common place, on-going, and a corporation government status quo.

Comment: Population reduction has long been a desire of the TPTB that surfaces and is rationalized in topics such as 'Peak Oil' and 'Sustainable population so that we humans don't destroy the planet'.

Perhaps this 'contamination' is a trial run of sorts and the next one will be focused on people.


Ambulance

Canadian mumps outbreak reaches Toronto

Health officials have issued a warning on an outbreak of mumps that has already infected three people in Toronto and could hit hundreds more, the city's public health agency said on Wednesday.

The three confirmed cases occurred after two university students returned to Toronto from the east coast city of Halifax, Nova Scotia, and passed it to one of their friends. That person then unknowingly exposed about 300 others to the virus at a busy downtown Toronto bar last week, Toronto Public Health officials said.

Red Flag

Diabetes drug use by US children surges

Soaring obesity in US ­children is creating a dramatic increase in the number taking medicines for type-II diabetes and those with diabetes-related conditions, according to a Financial Times analysis of prescription data.

The analysis, for the FT by Medco, the largest US drug benefits manager, found the number of children taking medicine for Type-II diabetes more than doubled between 2001 and 2005.

Health

All Pregnant Women Tested Had At Least One Kind Of Pesticide In Their Placenta, According To Researcher

Human beings are directly responsible for more than 110,000 chemical substances which have been generated since the Industrial Revolution. Every year, we "invent" more than 2,000 new substances, most of them contaminants, which are emitted into the environment and which are consequently present in food, air, soil and water. Nonetheless, human beings are also victims of these emissions, and involuntarily (what is known in this scientific field as "inadvertent exposure"). Every day humans ingest many of these substances which cannot be assimilated by our body, and are accumulated in the fatty parts of our tissues.

Health

US: Another Chemical Emerges in Pet Food Case

A second industrial chemical that regulators have found in contaminated pet food in the United States may have also been intentionally added to animal feed by producers seeking larger profits, according to interviews with chemical industry officials here.

Three Chinese chemical makers said that producers of animal feed often purchase or seek to purchase a chemical called cyanuric acid from their factories to blend into animal feed.

Stop

Chromium in US drinking water causes cancer

A type of chromium highlighted in the film "Erin Brockovich" causes cancer in lab animals when they drink it in water, and it could be harmful to people, the U.S. National Institutes of Health said on Wednesday.

Hexavalent chromium, also called chromium 6, already has been shown to cause lung cancer when inhaled and is controlled by the Environmental Protection Agency as well as by states.