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December 5, 2006
While Indiaâs population has been growing, its rice harvests have been declining. Two of the culprits, reports the BBC (citing a study from Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences), are particulate and greenhouse-gas pollution. South Asia suffers from a particularly nasty âbrown cloudâ â…
December 4, 2006
by PotomacFeverish  The Washington Post announced what we already knew.  That the lame duck sessions of Congress (one already past, one this week) will not accomplish much.  So what, you say?  They hadnât accomplished much for the last year, why should we care now? Jonathan Weisman reports:…
December 4, 2006
By David Michaels Every year, Marion Ohio (nickname: âpopcorn capital of the worldâ) hosts the largest popcorn festival in the world, with 250,000 attendees. The Orville Redenbacher Parade is one of the festivalsâ highlights. Redenbacher, who developed the hybrid corn strain that pops so uniformly…
December 1, 2006
Today is World AIDS Day, and thereâs no shortage of coverage in the blogosphere. Christy Hardin Smith at Firedoglake combines links to news stories with her own reflections, and Izzy at Unbossed remembers 1982, before they called it AIDS. Michael Bernstein and Nandini Oomman of Global Health Policy…
December 1, 2006
by OSHAL It is worthwhile reading the Government Accountability Office (GAO) report (report PDF here; Jordan Barabâs take here) that recommends a review of the effectiveness of current strategies for workplace safety and health. Of particular interest to me is the attitude and direction of this…
December 1, 2006
by Susan F. Wood  After the recent post here on KETEK, both the Wall Street Journal and Senator Grassley are on the move.  The WSJ reports today on another antibiotic Cubicin which has been seeking approval for use in endocarditis and discusses the competing issues of data quality and high…
December 1, 2006
By David Michaels The Bush Administration is manufacturing uncertainty about global warming, even as its allies in the carbon producing industries are abandoning it. Last week, the Washington Postâs Steven Mufson and Juliet Eilperin reported that âtop executives at many of the nation's largest…
November 30, 2006
By Laura H. Kahn The medical community is devoting a lot of effort to researching bioterrorism agents and diseases that could become human pandemics. But in many cases, theyâre overlooking a potentially critical resource: veterinarians. Zoonoses are diseases of animals that can be transmitted to…
November 30, 2006
 by PotomacFeverish  What is on the agenda for science during the last 2 years of this Administration?  Many believe that with the change in Congress, now we can relax regarding the abuse of science that we have seen in recent years.  The scientific community needs to be aware that much of the…
November 30, 2006
by Susan F. Wood Much has been written about the antibiotic drug, telithromycin, otherwise known as Ketek. It seems to combine a host of concerns all in one place (see also Matthews, AW, WSJ, May 19, 2006:B1). Critically, concerns about safety, from visual effects to fatal liver toxicity, are…
November 30, 2006
By David Michaels In a move that recognizes the post-election climate change in Washington, the EPA has told two Democratic Senators that it is revising plans to roll-back the reporting requirements of the Toxics Release Inventory (TRI). In a post yesterday, I wrote about TRI as an important (and…
November 29, 2006
By David Michaels Last week, public scorn forced Rupert Murdock, powerful chief executive of the News Corp, to cancel âIf I Did It,â OJ Simpsonâs book and Fox TV tie-in. While shaming has fallen out of favor in the field of criminal justice, the heaping of public scorn and anger - dating back to…
November 28, 2006
by Liz Borkowski  Parties to the Basel Conventionâthe international treaty dealing with the transport and disposal of hazardous wastesâare meeting this week in Nairobi, and e-waste is on their agenda. Each year, consumers generate 20 â 50 million tons of e-waste (waste from electrical and…
November 28, 2006
By David Michaels Meat factories continue to be among the most dangerous places to work in America. According to a devastating article in the Dallas Morning News, âthousands of illegal immigrants gravitate toward meatpacking plants in places like Cactus, Texasâ where each year more than one out of…
November 27, 2006
There is this woman in Colorado who's being sued for displaying a peace symbol on her home—it's very weird. A homeowners association in southwestern Colorado has threatened to fine a resident $25 a day until she removes a Christmas wreath with a peace sign that some say is an anti-Iraq war protest…
November 27, 2006
by Dick Clapp The publication of my article on mortality among IBM workers was the culmination of a two and a half year process. I obtained the data, which included information on the deaths of nearly 32,000 former workers who had died between 1969 and 2001, when I served as an expert witness in a…
November 27, 2006
by Liz Borkowski If you haven't read Laurie David's op-ed, "Science a la Joe Camel," in yesterday's Washington Post, I recommend clicking over to it. David was a producer of Al Gore's climate change documentary "An Inconvenient Truth," and reports that the National Science Teachers Association (…
November 26, 2006
by revere [This is another cross-post from Effect Measure but it fits here because it lays out some of the history of the progressive public health blogosphere and welcomes The Pump Handle as its newest -- and we hope brightest -- member!] This weekend is Effect Measure's Second Blogiversary and it…
August 20, 2006
Welcome to the new Thoughts from Kansas. I've moved a few of the posts I'm most proud of across from the old Blogger site, and I encourage you to check them out, that's probably the easiest way to get to know me, and don't be afraid to dig into all the archives back there. By way of quick…
August 9, 2006
The mind likes a strange idea as little as the body likes a strange protein and resists it with similar energy. It would not perhaps be too fanciful to say that a new idea is the most quickly acting antigen known to science. If we watch ourselves honestly we shall often find that we have begun to…
June 30, 2006
The Daily Telegraph today reported that "Scientists who carry out embryonic stem cell research and politicians who pass laws permitting the practice will be excommunicated." Does this policy make rational sense, even on religion's own terms? Here's more from the article: Scientists who carry out…
June 9, 2006
No surprise here: a highly-regarded climatologist declares that the Bush administration is "muzzling government scientists" and covering up the facts about global warming. Warren Washington, a senior scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, said that Bush appointees are…
June 9, 2006
With a click of your mouse, you find yourself in a chaotic utopia. That click sent an electrical signal inside your computer, passing through circuits, joined by a contact made of gold. The gold, you may find, was mined from a mafic vein, deep within the Rocky Mountains, surrounded by Precambrian…
May 26, 2006
Welcome to your new blog. You can post to and manage your weblog by selecting an option from the menu located to the left of this message. If you need assistance, email your local ScienceBlogs representative, who can assist you. Important Blog authors have been given the ability to edit their own…
May 22, 2006
In the April-May issue of Seed, Josh Braun wrote that the Center for Biological Diversity was moving to get two species of coral & the polar bear listed under the Endangered Species Act. The NY Times article on the news makes no mention that the strategy behind this was to get the US to do…
April 20, 2006
The New York Times reported yesterday that many of the authors of the DSM-IV, the sine qua non diagnostic manual (I'm 300.00, thanks for asking) for mental health professionals had ties, either before or after their involvement in creating the manual, with the pharmaceutical industry. The…
April 20, 2006
Has anybody been following the Letters page of The New Yorker recently? Quick recap: TNY writes something about Capote, which film includes a character named William Shawn, who was in fact the editor of TNY for a great many years, and who enjoys a tremendous reputation for excellence among the…
January 10, 2006
So what do you see? A groove and some lines? Truth be told, this is possibly the oldest recorded chordate fossil (or, should I say, one of a number of seventeen specimens of same). It dates from the pre-Cambrian - i.e. before 543 million years ago - during a period known as the Ediacarian. Found by…
January 6, 2006
My son Jim loved his bottle when he was a baby. By about 15 months of age, he loved baby formula so much that he was going through over a hundred dollars' worth a week -- more than the rest of the food budget for the entire family! (Yes, we were buying the powdered stuff, not pre-made formula.)…