Sunday, April 16, 2006


More race differences: "The highly charged discussion about what role, if any, race plays in medicine has taken a quiet but significant turn. The pharmaceutical company Schering-Plough has begun testing a hepatitis C drug, codenamed SCH 503034, and has specifically excluded African-American patients from the Phase 2 trial - the stage that attempts to find the right dosage. The exclusion has led two patient groups to accuse the company of racism. For reasons unknown, black patients have a lower response rate than whites to standard therapies for hepatitis C. Schering-Plough says the exclusion will make the drug trials "more prudent and scientifically valid", and that African-Americans can come on board as the study advances (and as the law requires)."

Another difference between male and female brains: "A key part of the brain involved in processing emotionally influenced memories acts differently in men and women, even in the absence of stimuli, University of California, Irvine researchers have found. Larry Cahill, Ph.D., an associate professor of neurobiology and behavior, and Lisa Kilpatrick, Ph.D., a former postdoctoral fellow in his laboratory, have found that the amygdala, an almond-shaped structure found on both sides of the brain, behaves very differently in males and females while the subjects are at rest. In men, the right amygdala is more active and shows more connections with other regions of the brain, even when there is no outside stimulus. Conversely, in women, the left amygdala is more connected with other regions of the brain. In addition, the regions of the brain with which the amygdala communicates while a subject is at rest are different in men and women."

Genes and aging: "In 2003, Nir Barzilai and Gil Atzmon, who study aging at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York, discovered that people with a certain polymorphism of the cholesterol-influencing gene CETP lived longer than those without it (ScienceNOW, October 2003). Now the researchers have identified another part of the longevity code. In a study reported in this month's issue of PLoS Biology, Barzilai and Atzmon examined the genetic makeup of 213 centenarians. All were Ashkenazi Jews, a group with a relatively uniform genetic pool in which differences tend to stand out. The researchers also compared the centenarians' children with a control group comprised of individuals whose parents died before reaching 85. They found that 25% of the centenarians carried a particular variation of the gene APOC3, which helps determine cholesterol levels. The same variation was found in 20% of their children but only 10% of the control group, suggesting that long life runs in families. Those with the polymorphism were 15% less likely to have high blood pressure and had a significantly decreased risk for cardiovascular disease or diabetes".

Another physical basis for IQ: "Fast language learners have more white matter and less symmetrical brains, a new scanning study has revealed. The results among the first to link brain differences to language learning aptitude in healthy people, says Narly Golestani at University College London, UK. "The bigger picture is that we're starting to understand that brain shape and structure can be informative about people's abilities," she says. Those in the study who were quickest to hear subtle differences in sounds from a foreign language were found to have the greatest amount of white, fatty tissue in a brain region responsible for sound processing. "It could be that this translates into greater efficiency in the brain," comments Adam Brickman, who researches brain structure the Columbia University Medical Center in New York".



There is a carefully-worded article in the NYT about illegal immigrants being pulled up by local rather than Federal police and then being handed over to immigration authorities. The whole tenor of the article is about how unfair it all is to the poor illegals that they can be pulled up over "trivial" matters and then get deported over it. To the NYT, lawbreaking should apparently be condoned. No word of what the illegals concerned cost the U.S. taxpayer.

Very troubling if true: "The key plotters behind the July 7th 2005 London bombings planned to trap and drown tens of thousands of innocent people ... A team of terrorists with a fifth bomb - intended to explode in the tube network directly under the River Thames - was arrested the night before. The arrests were made when uniformed officers in police patrol cars stopped the terror gang, apparently by fortunate accident. Within minutes of their notifying their superiors they were `swamped' by plain-clothes police, Special Branch and/or MI5 officers and the whole affair was taken out of their hands. They were ordered to tell no-one about the incident and several who have since tried to find out what happened to the small group of Islamics they arrested have been unable to do so. The men have vanished without trace".

What BS! Premature babies feel pain-but fetuses don't: "Do unborn children feel pain? Two new reports in research journals shed light on some of the latest scientific thinking on the deeply charged question, an ever-present part of the debate over abortion rights. One paper is a study finding that prematurely born babies feel pain. Anti-abortion activists immediately cited this to support their contention that fetuses, too, feel pain. But a second report dismisses this notion, claiming the true experience of pain can arise only after birth".

NBC fails to entrap NASCAR fans: "NBC News baited the hook, but netted nothing in its "sting" attempt to find anti-Muslim sentiments during the Martinsville race weekend.... The inference is that NASCAR fans are bigots, and NBC News was hoping to bait fans into making insensitive remarks to the Muslim/Arab people it had planted at the track. Ramsey Poston, NASCAR's managing director of corporate communications, said Wednesday that no instances of unrest were reported. "No one bothered them," Poston said. It's hard to imagine that NBC News would try to entrap fans in a ploy to make its Dateline segment juicier. But apparently the network did just that; NBC did not deny its actions when confronted by NASCAR...." (HT Newsbusters)

Bush's October surprise -- it's coming: "One hears not an encouraging word about US President George W Bush these days, even from Republican loyalists. Yet I believe that Bush will stage the strongest political comeback of any US politician since Abraham Lincoln won re-election in 1864 in the midst of the American Civil War. Two years ago I wrote that Bush would win a second term as president but live to regret it. Iraq's internal collapse and the president's poll numbers bear my forecast out. But Bush's Republicans will triumph in next November's congressional elections for the same reason that Bush beat Democratic challenger John Kerry in 2004. Americans rally around a wartime commander-in-chief, and Bush will have bombed Iranian nuclear installations by October."

For more postings, see EDUCATION WATCH, GREENIE WATCH, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE and AUSTRALIAN POLITICS. (Mirror sites here, here, here, here, here and here). I also post several times a week on TONGUE-TIED. There is an archive of my "Tongue-Tied" posts here or here


Practically all policies advocated by the Left create poverty. Leftists get the government to waste vast slabs of the country's labour-force on bureaucracy and paperwork and so load the burden of providing most useful goods and services onto fewer and fewer people. So fewer useful goods and services are produced to go around. That is no accident. The Left love the poor. The Left need the poor so that they can feel good by patronizing and "helping" them. So they do their best to create as many poor people as possible.

The Big Lie of the late 20th century was that Nazism was Rightist. It was in fact typical of the Leftism of its day. It was only to the Right of Stalin's Communism. The very word "Nazi" is a German abbreviation for "National Socialist" (Nationalsozialistisch)

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