Tuesday, July 31, 2007
Nicotine Addiction Is Quick in Youths, Research Finds
A young cigarette smoker can begin to feel powerful desires for nicotine within two days of first inhaling, a new study has found, and about half of children who become addicted report symptoms of dependence by the time they are smoking only seven cigarettes a month.
“The importance of this study is that it contradicts what has been the accepted wisdom for many decades,” said Dr. Joseph R. DiFranza, the lead author, “which is that people had to smoke at least five cigarettes a day over a long period of time to risk becoming addicted to nicotine. Now, we know that children can be addicted very quickly.” Dr. DiFranza is a professor of family medicine at the
The definition of tobacco addiction is controversial, but the scientists used widely accepted criteria to diagnose dependence and a well-validated questionnaire to determine the extent to which smokers had allowed the habit to dictate their behavior.
The researchers write that it may seem implausible that intermittent smoking could provide relief from withdrawal symptoms. But in fact a single dose of nicotine has effects on the brain that can last as long as a month, and the nicotine obtained from just one or two puffs on a cigarette will occupy half of the brain’s nicotinic receptors, the molecules specifically sought by nicotine in tobacco addiction.
“People used to think that long-term heavy use caused addiction,” Dr. DiFranza said. “Now, we know it’s the other way around: addiction is what causes long-term heavy use.”
Symptoms of Tobacco Dependence After Brief Intermittent Use
The Development and Assessment of Nicotine Dependence in Youth–2 Study
Joseph R. DiFranza et al
Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine 2007;161:704-710.
The new note, issued by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe from Wednesday, can buy 1kg (2.2lb) of sugar.
The official annual rate of inflation in
In practice, this means the price of a loaf of bread costs 50 times more in cash than it did a year ago.
Monday, July 30, 2007
The research, to be published in the journal Thorax, found cannabis damaged the large airways in the lungs causing symptoms such as coughing and wheezing. It also damaged the ability of the lungs to get oxygen to, and remove waste products from tissues.Researchers from the Medical Research Institute of New Zealand,
The extent of this large airway damage was directly related to the number of joints smoked - the more joints smoked, the more damage was seen.
They said the impact of cannabis was likely to be due to the way in which cannabis joints are smoked - joints do not usually have filters, and they reach higher temperatures with users inhaling more deeply and holding their breath for longer than cigarette smokers.
Newswise also covers the story
And provides a link to view the paper in full:
Sunday, July 29, 2007
This is just a reminder to the Witch Finders of Washington State in their quest to "reform" private practice counseling that some of us still see the Francis Farmer story as a reminder of how draconian the state machine can be.
Yes we know that the new take is that she, herself, was never given an ice-pick lobotomy in a Washing State Hospital. It's interesting that is supposed to make us fell o.k. about all the others who were! And, whatever else, she paid an inordinate price for being "difficult"
Nivarna: Francis Farmer Will Have Her Revenge on Seattle
Raves from Lulu's
We seem to have spent the week calming down the Brit. We all understand that venting is supposed to be good but . . . We think he may be a little sad (don’t say “depressed” --- we wouldn’t to be accused of making a diagnosis) but we are certain that he is more than a little pissed.
Saturday, July 28, 2007
The magazines current edition includes Wired’s second annual How To . . . “geeked out” by Martha Stewart .
Are your co-workers skimping when it comes to the donations next to the coffee maker? Research shows that a picture of a face – or even just eyes – will inspire folk to fork over 30 percent more money. Something about being watched, even though the conscious mind knows that it’s just a picture, seems to enhance altruism
You can also
Dive Into the Wired How To Wiki
The Wired How To Wiki, is a collaborative site dedicated to the burgeoning DIY culture. Here you'll find all kinds of projects, hacks, tricks and tips on how to live, work and play better. Anyone can contribute new items or edit an existing item.
These are extreme but far from unique examples of the devastation wrought by cyber-bullying. Since Halligan died in 2003 and Jones in 2000, more and more children are logging onto the internet, so it's likely that online bullying, including sending threatening messages, displaying private messages and posting embarrassing video and photos online, is also increasing.
Online bullies attack adults too
Friday, July 27, 2007
Who knew? Washington Professional Counselors Association is getting the word out that Registered Counselors with a private practice in Washington State this year almost lost the right to practice and their clients came very close to losing their right to work with them.
Legislative action was initiated at the request of the Governor Christine Gregoire after an inflammatory article in the Seattle Times --- License to Harm (
What seems strange and inequitable (let alone crassly inefficient and flawed) is that the task force which met at the Governor's request to "study the problem of registered counselors" did not include any Registered Counselors in private practice.
Astoundingly, the bill to eliminate Registered Counselors in private practice passed the Washington State House 94 to 3. Fortunately there was sensible bi-partisan reaction in the Senate. But the struggle continues. A new bill is to be introduced in the 2008 legislative session. At least now Registered Counselors may be heard. One can only wonder if they have a voice strong enough to counter the special interests who stand to gain from putting private practice out of business,
It seems to us that theGovernor's reaction to the tabloid analysis was too knee jerk. After all the large number of RCs working in the community are not unqualified ex-hippies reading tarot cards in a room at the back of their house. Nor are they the sex offenders seeking to use their position to groom victims --- at least, to be honest, they are no more so than any of other professional group within the community. Indeed, it doesn't seem that the Governor is aware how many RCs there are doing work in the community --- not least in State Agencies. This kind of witch hunt not only undermines those working in Corrections, Public Health, Child Protective Services, Case Management (to name but a few) but it will also bring the system to a halt.
Perhaps the major absurdity in all this is the HIV/AIDS issue. The only training requirement that the State has ever mandated for RCs was HIV/AIDS awareness. CDC and all WA State’s Prevention imperatives have acknowledged that provider prevention was so important. Instead, at this stage in the pandemic, what a choice --- to attempt to remove so many from the front line.
As always, the Governor invites questions, comments and opinions
Washington Professional Counselors Association
Link to WPCA news
Swabs in Hand, Hospital Cuts Deadly Infections
He notes the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention projected this year that one of every 22 patients would get an infection while hospitalized — 1.7 million cases a year — and that 99,000 would die, often from what began as a routine procedure. The cost of treating the infections amounts to tens of billions of dollars, experts say.
Thursday, July 26, 2007
“It’s certainly a warning sign that we need to be extremely vigilant,” Dr. Lyle Petersen, the director of the division of vector-borne infections at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said yesterday. “The worst is yet to come.”
So far this year, 122 cases have been reported, with the most in
The wire services (AP), newspapers, television, even the BBC, are all carrying the story of a cat. Oscar has a habit of curling up next to patients at the home in
According to Dr. David Dosa, a geriatrician at
We know of a local therapy office where one or two cats have gathered regularly and interact with clients who express emotion. But sh! that is in Washington State and we wouldn't want the Witch Finder General's Task Force to pursue an investigation into them for uncredentialed therapy.
David M. Dosa, M.D., M.P.H.
Meat is murder on the environment
points out a kilogram of beef is responsible for more greenhouse gas emissions and other pollution than driving for 3 hours while leaving all the lights on back home.
"Methane emissions from beef cattle are declining, thanks to innovations in feeding practices," says Karen Batra of the National Cattlemen's Beef Association in Centennial, Colorado. "Everybody is trying to come up with different ways to reduce carbon footprints," says Su Taylor of the Vegetarian Society in the
Evaluating environmental impacts of the Japanese beef cow-calf system by the life cycle assessment method
Akifumi Ogino et al
Animal Science Journal 78 (4), 424–432.
Wednesday, July 25, 2007
Adrian Searle is the chief art critic of The Guardian
Call this a national treasure?
Her art depresses me. I thought I would be able to summon some sort of enthusiasm for its Englishness, its playfulness, its sauciness. But I can't. The best that can be said is that Cook celebrates ordinariness - large women with large appetites, broad-shouldered men, hen parties, booze-ups, dances, dinners, shopping, sunbathing, a bit of slap and tickle.
Searle who has been writing for the paper since 1996, previously was a painter who taught at various Colleges of Art. This was the beginning of his reactions to her work specifically focused on a new exhibition of more than 40 paintings by Cook which has opened at the Baltic,
Myself, I love her work and she was a particular icon for Little Malcolm, himself.
Maybe in an attempt to disarm, Searle ends his piece:
Say no to Cook and it shows you are an illiberal, snobbish bore, with no sense of fun. After all, everyone likes a bit of rubbishy art now and again. Worse, dissing Beryl risks incurring charges of caddish elitism, incipient ageism and a lack of humanity. Bring it on!
We will let one of Beryl Cooks own pieces have the last word!
The New Scientist (21 – 27 July 2007 print edition) asks the question
When they studied bacteria from the guts of people with inflamed small intestines, they found no evidence of MAP, a bacterium that some have blamed for Crohn's. MAP is related to the TB bacterium.
However, they did find higher than normal levels of the common gut bacteria E. coli in more inflamed areas. These E.coli uniquely carry disease-related genes from a host of other pathogens, including salmonella, cholera and bubonic plague, as well as from strains of E. coli that cause disease outside the gut.
Culture independent analysis of ileal mucosa reveals a selective increase in invasive Escherichia coli of novel phylogeny relative to depletion of Clostridiales in Crohn's disease involving the ileum
Martin Baumgart et al
The ISME Journal advance online publication, 12 July 2007; doi:10.1038/ismej.2007.52
Link to New Scientist article
Pfizer Sings `Viva Viagra' to Boost Sales of Its Drug
reports Pfizer will begin airing new Viagra TV ads today that feature a band of men in their 40s and 50s singing ``Viva Viagra'' to the tune of Elvis Presley's ``Viva Las Vegas.'' The first ad, an attempt to make men less embarrassed about the disorder, will run during the NBC Nightly News, the company said.
Pfizer is struggling to boost sales of Viagra, which have fallen 11 percent to $1.7 billion since 2003, when Eli Lilly's Cialis and Bayer's Levitra became available.
Sales of Viagra, which costs $10 a pill, rose 1 percent to $1.7 billion last year, while revenue from Eli Lilly's rival Cialis gained 30 percent to $971 million. Pfizer spent $95 million on Viagra advertising last year.
In a break from past Viagra advertising -- which had spokesmen such as former senator and presidential candidate Bob Dole and television sex expert Dr. Drew Pinsky -- this ad features middle-aged men playing guitars and driving motorcycles and vintage cars.
Advocacy groups and
The AIDS Healthcare Foundation, which runs 14 AIDS clinics in the
``Pfizer has been an outlier in shamelessly promoting Viagra as a party drug,'' Weinstein said. ``All those
Pfizer is also studying new formulations and a possible non-prescription version of the drug that could increase usage.
AIDS Healthcare Foundation Ad
Tuesday, July 24, 2007
Hepatitis C clusters reveal international transmission among HIV-positive gay men
reports clusters of acute hepatitis C in the
Six years ago, sexual transmission of HCV among gay men was almost completely under the radar, with many physicians believing that it was a very rare occurrence. Beginning in the early 2000s, however, doctors in large cities in the
The researchers concluded that their analysis reveals a large HCV transmission network among HIV-positive gay men in
They recommended that national public health agencies should implement targeted prevention strategies, including HCV screening for high-risk HIV-positive men who have sex with men, to reduce the spread of hepatitis C in this population. American researchers were also urged to collaborate
Evidence of international transmission of HCV in pan-European study of HIV-positive men who have sex with men (MSM).
Danta M et al
Fourth International AIDS Society Conference on HIV Treatment and Pathogenesis, Sydney
abstract TUAB201, 2007.
Society Conference in
a new report by
Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF)
This follows on from yesterdays report in the New York Times of the recent worldwide recall of Roche's antiretroviral drug Viracept which has "disrupted treatment for tens of thousands of the world's poorest patients” and left many with no treatment at all.,
AmfAR - American Foundation for AIDS Research on Tuesday announced at the 4th International AIDS Society Conference in
Look at their video
Monday, July 23, 2007
World 'losing fight against Aids'
according to Dr Anthony Fauci the director of the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, who. told the conference that progress had been made but more people were being infected with HIV than were being treated.
"For every one person that you put in therapy, six new people get infected. So we're losing that game, the numbers game,"
Last year, 2.2 million people in the developing world had access to the anti-retroviral drugs that help treat the virus, compared with less than 300,000 people three years ago. But new infections are continuing to outpace the global effort to treat and educate patients.
"We've had one important breakthrough this year, with understanding the role of circumcision in prevention," Dr Fauci said. We need to do more of that and importantly, we need to make available to the people throughout the world the prevention methods that are proven technologies."
But in many parts of the developing world, effective prevention strategies like condoms and sterile syringes are available to less than 15% of the population.
The statistics remain daunting”
- The number of people with HIV is expected to rise from around 40 million today to 60 million by 2015
- Aids has already killed 25 million people
- Only 28% of the world's HIV/Aids patients are on anti-retroviral drugs
- Just one in 10 pregnant women with Aids get treatment to stop them transmitting the disease to their unborn children
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Source: UNAids, all figures estimates