The Corpus Callosum

Archives for January, 2007

(This is a public health announcement for women and men.) News agencies are, appropriately, reporting on the finding that the average levels of folate in American women are falling.  (e.g. Folate levels in young American women fall, could lead to rise in birth defects) The media are doing a pretty good job of putting this…

Drug For Fat Dogs

The big Pharma news of the day is that Pzifer is marketing  (Slentrol®), a drug to help obese dogs lose weight.   Dirlotapide, also known as N-{(1S)-2-[benzyl(methyl)amino]- 2-oxo-1-phenylethyl}-1-methyl-5-[4′-(trifluoromethyl)biphenyl- 2-carboxamido]-1H-indol-2-carboxamide, is definitely not recommended for humans: Slentrol (dirlotapide) Goes to the Dogs By Peggy Peck, Managing Editor, MedPage Today January 05, 2007 ROCKVILLE, Md., Jan. 5…

Two Views of Richat Structure

The Richat Structure is not a structure in the usual sense.  It is a natural feature located in the Sahara Desert of Mauritania.  It is unusual because it is nearly circular.  It was first observed from space, in 1965, by the astronauts James A. McDivitt and Edward H. White.  (Irrelevant comment: both McDivitt and White…

(I know Shelly has already posted about this on Retrospectacle.  Hopefully, you’ll see there is a different slant to this.)   Significant controversy arose over the idea of using pharmaceutical and surgical methods to permanently stunt the growth of children with severe disabilities.  The controversy arose with the publication of stories in the media about…

Why Hawks Prevail…

…from a psychological standpoint, that is.  This is the topic of an article in the current edition of Foreign Policy.  In it, the authors examine the effect of common systematic cognitive errors, or biases, on the process of evaluating the prospects for war.  They argue that when a country’s leaders are contemplating war, the hawks…

I Can’t Resist

From National Geographic “Top Ten Photos of 2006″ Photo in the News: Cat Chases Bear Up Tree I thought it was staged, but apparently not.  Story here.

According to the CDC, there is a risk of pet hamsters harboring some darn serious pathogens.   photo credit: Yukari. Hamsters, technically Class: Mammalia; Order: Rodentia; Suborder: Myomorpha; Superfamily: Muroidea; Family: Cricetidae; Subfamily: Cricetinae, are cute little pets that people routinely get for their kids.  My sisters used to have some. But there is a…

The End of Privacy

There have been stories and novels about the end of privacy.  1984, by George Orwell, comes to mind.  I also remember reading a science fiction short story once, about how technology had made privacy so difficult to maintain, and so accepted by society, that it was considered rude to want privacy.  I can’t remember who…

Promoting Biodiesel

What could be a better advertisement than this?