Sunday, April 27, 2008

New Study on Breast Cancer

Protein test predicts invasive breast cancer

* 27 April 2008
* From New Scientist Print Edition. Subscribe and get 4 free issues.

Thousands of women could be spared surgery for breast cancer with a test that can predict the likelihood of developing an invasive tumour.

Thea Tlsty and colleagues at the University of California, San Francisco, analysed breast tissue from 70 women who had been diagnosed with a breast-cancer precursor called ductal carcinoma in situ. They looked for abnormal expression of the proteins p16 and ki67, which are linked to tumour growth and cell proliferation, and also for the enzyme Cox-2.

Women with high levels of either p16 or Cox-2, combined with high levels of ki67, had a very high probability of developing invasive breast cancer. If ki67 was absent, however, high levels of p16 and Cox-2 indicated a very low risk.

As less than 25 per cent of women diagnosed with DCIS go on to develop an invasive tumour, those identified as high risk could be given aggressive treatment, says Tlsty, while those at low risk could be spared unnecessary surgery and drugs (Cancer Cell, DOI: 10.1016/j.ccr.2007.10.017).

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

My response to the disaffected Democrats

This campaign season will not end.... soon enough. Both of these candidates have flaws. I'm still rooting for Richardson, personally. That being said this ad {See Below}, says it all. Either of these two candidates is better than old grouchy (aka Senator McCain).

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Suing Where the Sun Don't Shine

Courtesy of the AP:

Tue Apr 22, 6:28 AM ET

A hospital did nothing wrong when it tried to examine the rectum of a construction worker who had been hit on the head by a falling wooden beam, a jury found Monday.

After deliberating for about an hour, a state Supreme Court jury awarded nothing to Brian Persaud, who sued NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital for unspecified damages. The panel found the hospital and its emergency room medical staff were not liable.

Persaud's lawyers, Gerard Marrone and Gary DeFilippo, said he might appeal.

"We're very disappointed," Marrone said after the two-week trial. "It's a miscarriage of justice."

The hospital's lawyer, Jeffrey Lawton, declined comment.

Marrone said Persaud, 38, was injured while working at a construction site in midtown Manhattan on May 20, 2003. Persaud received eight stitches for a cut over his eyebrow at the hospital, but denied emergency room staffers' request to examine his rectum, the lawyer said. He said doctors told Persaud the exam could help determine whether the accident caused spinal damage.

When Persaud resisted, staffers held him down while he begged, "Please don't do that," Marrone said. Persaud hit a doctor while flailing around, so the staffers gave him a powerful sedative and performed the rectal exam, he said.

Hospital witnesses testified at trial that the exam was never completed, but Marrone said that when Persaud woke up he was handcuffed to a bed and had an oxygen tube down his throat and lubricant in his rectum.

"He resisted because he didn't know what they were doing," DeFilippo said. "Once he said he didn't want the rectal exam, everything should have stopped."

DeFilippo said he believes the rectal exam was done as retaliation because his panicked client hit the doctor.

A judge dismissed a misdemeanor assault charge that was filed against Persaud because he hit the doctor.

DeFilippo said his client is unemployed and has been unable to hold a job since the accident.
I saw this on Slate and thought it was really interesting

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Scary Sights of Urban America

My first English composition professor taught us, that when telling stories always give the weather. I think this is a good place to start this blog. For those of you experiencing bitter winters skip the rest of this paragraph. Keep in mind that I reside in Miami, Florida. The afternoon of this story it was about 72 degrees, sunny with a light breeze. That is about as cold as it will be for the next 6 months here.

I got off work and started driving to pick up my daughter, Cassie. I turned on to Biscayne Blvd. For those of you from out of town, it’s a main business thoroughfare in downtown Miami. For those of you in New Orleans, I would compare it to Airline Highway/Drive. While the street is being revived recently, it has a rather disreputable past. As I drove down the street I imagine I added to the local color.

It had been an unsettling day. A student had been rather difficult. Keeping the rest of the class on task was difficult for the rest of the day. I needed to let off some steam. My brother had gotten me a Sirius radio as a gift about two years ago. I was listening to channel 8 (The Big 80s), as I drove to pick up Cassie. Now, dear reader, I have to ask you to do something impossible for the rest of this piece. I want you to close your eyes and imagine the picture as it unfolds. Well, it’s not impossible if you can get a friend or spouse to read it to you.

I needed to blow off steam from a difficult day at work, and I was listening to the music of my youth. While on Biscayne “Come on Feel the Noise” by Quiet Riot came on the radio. This was very popular when I was young and it brought a smile to my face. So as it was playing I turned the volume of my radio up to about 8. I then proceeded to fully unroll the windows (not necessarily smart in that neighborhood). Here again, dear reader, If you can get someone to read this to you, imagine this sight rolling down the street. A man in his mid-thirties, balding, windows down, going down the street with Quiet Riot blaring from his 4 door Buick. There are scary sights in urban America but that might have been the scariest.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

A day late and apparently a dollar short

I received this today at 3:23 PM

Is this a serious mental problem or just his age showing?

My Friends,

Today, April 15th, marks the deadline when all Americans must file their income taxes. While many of us are aggravated and displeased when we see exactly how much of our hard-earned money goes to the federal government - if one of my Democratic opponents is elected in November, you can be certain your tax rate will increase across the board.

When we elect our next president in November, we will make a clear statement about the direction we want to take our economy and our tax system. As I have said before, this election will present Americans with a clear choice between my vision for our country and that of my Democratic opponents.

I believe today, as I have always believed, in small government, fiscal discipline and low taxes. I believe that tax cuts work best when accompanied by lower spending. And I make the promise to you that if elected president, I plan to make the present tax cuts permanent, lower corporate rates from 35% to 25% and end the Alternative Minimum Tax, which will affect millions of middle class families.

But I cannot succeed in my efforts without your immediate financial support.

I know the Democrats will criticize me relentlessly for proposing tax cuts, and they have raised more than $400 million to spend attacking my candidacy and our shared conservative ideals. My campaign must be financially prepared to respond to this criticism, and that's why I ask that you follow this link immediately to make a donation of $50, $100, $250, $500, $1,000 or up to the legal limit of $2,300.

There is a lot at stake in this election. If either of my Democratic opponents, Senators Clinton or Obama is elected, they have made it perfectly clear they plan to raise your taxes.

Senators Clinton and Obama have called for higher income taxes, higher social security taxes, higher investment taxes and higher corporate taxes. They have both already laid out plans to pass record-setting tax increases.

My friends, this is not the kind of change our country needs. Your immediate donation is absolutely critical because as we've seen from their record-setting fundraising efforts, Senators Clinton and Obama will do whatever it takes to win in November. My campaign must be financially prepared for what will be a great contest come November.

I hope I can count on your immediate financial support. Thank you.

Thank you,

John McCain

P.S. My Democratic opponents are more determined than ever before to win the White House in November. To date, they've raised over $400 million for their efforts. If elected, both Senators Clinton and Obama have made it clear they will raise your taxes. I want to cut your taxes and reduce the wasteful spending that has taken over Washington, but I will not succeed in my efforts without your immediate financial support. Please follow this link right away to make a contribution of $50, $100, $250, $500, $1,000 or any other amount up to the legal limit of $2,300. Thank you.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Are you better off today than you were 4 or 8 years ago?

The first time I saw this question used in a campaign was in the Reagan years. It appears to fit for this election as well.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Pinnochio for Congress

I got this off of Daily Kingfish. I was not a big fan of his in 1996.... I don't think this endears me to him or his cause anymore.

Hmmm ... desperate attacks? Lies? I call horsepuckey. The link brings you to the agreement between Louis E. "Woody" Jenkins and the FEC regarding the fraudulent campaign finance reports filed by Woody's 1996 campaign. It states:

6. After the 1996 primary election in Louisiana, David Duke contacted Woody
Jenkins and recommended that he use the services of a computerized phone bank system run by Impact Mail. Jenkins purchased several rounds of calls from Impact Mail. After the first round of calls, Jenkins began hearing complaints that Duke's name would appear on the caller ID when a phone bank message would arrive. At that point, Jenkins tried to cancel the transaction but was unable to because Tony Perkins, his campaign manager, had signed a contract with Impact Mail. Subsequently, Jenkins instructed Perkins to put a stop payment on the check issued to Impact Mail and directed that Impact Mail be paid through Courtney Communications, the campaign's media firm. The Jenkins Committee issued three $27,500 checks Courtney. Courtney, in turn, made out three checks in the same amount to Impact Mail. The treasurer of record, Michael A. Tham, states that he was unaware of the specific transactions with Impact Mail when he entered the information on the disclosure reports. In the case of the first check, Mr. Tham simply assumed it was for TV advertising.

7. The Jenkins Committee contracted with Impact Mail for computerized phone bank services. Jenkins acknowledges that Impact Mail provided the services to the Jenkins Committee. Courtney Communications was not involved in the provision of services by Impact Mail. Jenkins decided to make disbursements for the services through Courtney Communications because he did not want his campaign to be associated with Impact Mail and did not want Impact Mail listed on the Jenkins Committee's disclosure reports.

Yep ... in 2002, he signed that paper that admitted he bought Duke's list of supporters and phonebanked them. Now that he's running for Congress, he's hoping y'all don't notice.

Monday, April 07, 2008

Interesting news on Cystic Fibrosis

Genetic mutation is behind cystic fibrosis

* 06 April 2008
* news service

Coughing and spluttering is a familiar soundtrack to winter, but for people with cystic fibrosis, lung infections are a year-round hazard. Now researchers are closer to understanding why.

Cystic fibrosis is caused by a genetic mutation in an ion transporter in lung cells. The cells were thought to dehydrate because they didn't get enough chloride ions, allowing mucus to accumulate and bacteria to flourish. But Erich Gulbins, at the University of Duisburg-Essen, Germany, and colleagues have found something different. In mice with the same mutation, faulty ion transportation raises the pH inside the cells. This disrupts the balance between an enzyme called ASM that produces ceramide, a fatty molecule, and another called acid ceramidase that breaks down ceramide.

The build-up of ceramide kills lung cells, resulting in mucus deposits and inflammation, which make lungs more susceptible to infection (Nature Medicine, DOI: 10.1038/nm1748).

People with cystic fibrosis also have high ceramide levels, so blocking ASM could be a new approach to treating the disease.

Genetics - Keep up with the pace in our continually updated special report.
Related Articles

* Interview: Clinical trials of life
* 26 September 2007
* Drug takes no nonsense from cystic fibrosis
* 22 April 2007
* Coated nanoparticles slip through mucus
* 22 January 2007


* Cystic Fibrosis Trust

From issue 2650 of New Scientist magazine, 06 April 2008, page 15