December 7, 2008

A French Doctor Uses Medicine to Cure Alcoholism

A French Doctor Uses Medicine to Cure Alcoholism

Dr Olivier Ameisen, 55, of France quit drinking by self-administering amounts of a muscle-relaxant.

“The first effects were a magical muscular relaxation and baby-like sleep,? he said. Almost immediately his desire for a drink decreased.

Baclofen is still not authorized for treating alcoholism.

“I prescribed it to two alcoholics who were really at the end of the road. To be honest, it was pretty miraculous,? Says Dr Renaud de Beaurepaire of the Paul-Guiraud hospital at Villejuif near Paris.

“Encouraging people to think that there is a miracle molecule is to completely misunderstand the nature of alcoholism, and is extremely irresponsible,? says Dr Michel Reynaud of Paul-Brousse hospital in Paris.

“But even if it turns out to work, that does not mean a drug alone is the solution.?


BBC “France abuzz over alcoholic ‘cure’? By Hugh Schofield

Two Teens Missing Since Saturday

Two Teens Missing Since Saturday

Autumn Estey, 13, and Jeanette Solis, 14, both of Minneapolis, were walking to Solis’s home Saturday night but never arrived.

“She calls. Even if she knows we’re mad she still calls,? Autumn’s mother, Jennifer Claypool said.

The 2 girls had been together all weekend and everything appeared normal. Their parents called police when they never arrived home.

“I am so worried. We don’t know if they’re with some friend or if something bad happened to them,? Solis’s mother, Alejandra Giron said.

The investigation is ongoing.


WCCO- “Mothers Search For 2 Teens Missing Since Walk Home?

Death on Medicine Lake

Death on Medicine Lake

An ice skater died after going through the ice on a Twin Cities lake.

Around 2 p.m. Sunday Hennepin County authorities responded to a call of a person through the ice on Medicine Lake.

The 53-year-old man was found wearing ice skates and a camera around his neck. Emergency workers found the man underwater and about 600 yards from land. The man was brought to North Memorial Hospital and later died.


WCCO "Skater Dies After Going Through Ice On Lake"



In “Ongoing Steroid Coverage? Michael O’Keeffe used computer assisted reporting to investigate the use of performance enhancing drugs in sports, particularly baseball.

O’Keeffe needed to have basic computer knowledge as well as computer aided resources that allowed him to examine data throughout the year long investigation.

O’Keeffe also had the computer knowledge to keep digital track of Jose Canseco, Major League Baseball, steroids and drugs prevalent to his research.

Motherly Love

Motherly Love

A New York mother went to extreme lengths to prove her son’s innocence. Doreen Giuliano’s son, John Giuca, was convicted of murdering Mark Fisher, a 19-year-old college student in 2003.

Giuliano went through an extreme transformation by losing weight at a gym, dying her hair blond, tanning, creating a phony name and a sexy change of wardrobe. She then initiated a relationship with one of the jurors, John Allo, for almost eight months. The two drank at bars, had dinners and smoked marijuana in Giuliano’s Brooklyn residence.

With recorded tapes of their conversation, Giuliano has a base for a defense motion that was filed this week.

“What she did was extraordinarily commendable,? said one of Giuliano’s lawyers, Ezra Glaser. “It shows the love of a mother and the great lengths she’ll go to help her child.?

Giuliano accuses Allo of having personal knowledge that Giuliano’s son ran with a rough crowd.

“Allo went on to explain that he didn’t know Giuca directly, but used to hang out in his clique and heard rumors that the Fisher slaying—something he failed to mention when questioned under oath during jury selecti0on. Asked if he had been curious about newspaper accounts of the trial, he responded that he’d read them. He also bragged that he had been the first one during deliberations to vote for a conviction.?-Star Tribune

“I shouldn’t have been in that jury,? Allo said.

“My main concern was that John got a fair trial,? said Giuliano.


Star Tribune “ Undercover Mother? By Tom Hays

6 Degrees of Happiness

6 Degrees of Happiness

A 20 year long study finds that happiness is contagious and spreads further than immediate friends and family. Researchers found that happiness can even filter its effects beyond people who do not know each other.

Over 4,700 people were followed over 20 years for the happiness study.

“You would think that your emotional state would depend on your own choices and actions and experience,? said Nicholas Christakis, a medical sociologist at Harvard University who helped conducted the study, “But it also depends on the choices and actions and experiences of other people, including people to whom you are not directly connected. Happiness is contagious.?- Star Tribune

After hearing about the study, a person is likely to ask, “Well, what about sadness or depression?? The same study found that depression is also contagious but not nearly to the extent of happiness.

When one individual in a network becomes happy, the likeliness that a sibling, friend or spouse would become happy increased 8 to 34 percent, the researchers found.


Star Tribune- “Turns out happiness spreads like the flu? By Rob Stein of the Washington Post

November 23, 2008

The United States of America Food and Drug Administration opened an office in Beijing on Wednesday

The United States of America Food and Drug Administration opened an office in Beijing on Wednesday
The goal is to ensure safety standards and quality controls in consumer goods at all the point of manufacture said Mike Leavitt, the secretary of Health and Human Services.

The Administration is also hoping to aide the current Chinese milk crisis. Over the last few months there has been many recalls of Chinese made milk products. The tainted milk had traces of melanin that have sickened thousands of babies from the use of baby formula.

Sources: New York Times "Amid tainted food scandal, FDA opens an inspection office in Beijing"

November 17, 2008

Diversity Analysis

Diversity Analysis

“American Muslims get country’s cold shoulder? by Allie Shah truly depicts the Muslim stereotype and its effects on the Obama campaign.

The article depicts American’s views of Muslims and the double standard people set on the culture.

Shah interestingly tied in how an Obama staff moved a Muslim woman to a different person of the stage before he gave a speech in Wisconsin.

“The Obama camp also took action against further association between Obama and Muslims during a Michigan appearance. A female Obama supporter, who happened to be Muslim, attended his speech wearing a head scarf. The woman was standing on the stage behind Obama’s speech podium. An Obama camp staffer saw the woman and decided to move her to a different, less prominent spot.? –my previous blog

More importantly Shah made some very valid points on Obama promoter’s quickly and loudly denouncing Obama’s affiliation with the Muslim community without adding a “so what if he was?.

November 16, 2008

New Gopher Statium

New Gopher Stadium

Beer will be 5 bucks for people who have already spent $1,800 or more on seats, the rest of the fans might not be able to buy alcholol within the statium.

However, the liquid gold will not be offered to students and the rest of the fans. The sales will be limited to specific areas of the stadium.

“NCAA discourages schools from selling alcohol at games and has itself banned the sale of alcohol at championship games.? – Jenna Ross

Sources: New U stadium: Pay big bucks $ buy a beer, too??

November 15, 2008

Metro Transit getaway

Metro Transit getaway

A man robbed a southern Minneapolis bank Wednesday, by passing a note to the teller demanding the money. He then proceeded to flee on foot and got on a Metro Transit bus.

Around 10:30 a.m., a teller at the TCF Bank at 1444 W. Lake St. called the police after the incident. The police found a man matching the description of the robber and was identified as Herbert Ray Kelly, 42, of Minneapolis.

Kelly was charged with bank robbery said FBI.

Sources: Star Tribune “Minneapolis bank robber hops on the bus to make getaway? by Tim Harlow

November 13, 2008

Underlying confusion with Obama being Muslim

Underlying confusion with Obama being Muslim

This year’s presidential election has brought about many interesting quarrels and disputes. One in particular I found interesting was a study that found 10 percent of American’s believed Barack Obama is Muslim.

In “American Muslims get country’s cold shoulder? Allie Shah says, “Obama’s defenders were quick to point out that he was not a Muslim, but they stopped short of adding that even if he were one, who cares??

I personally have witnessed accounts of this and caught myself wondering why would that be a big deal?

With the campaign team clearly aware of the misconceived notion of Obama being Muslim, flyers were sent out broadly stating him as an American Christian who attends church regularly.

This hit at the Muslim community is disappointing and misunderstood. “There is a deep-seated mistrust of Muslims and a belief that Muslims are not Americans,? Allie Shah said.

The Obama camp also took action against further association between Obama and Muslims during a Michigan appearance. A female Obama supporter, who happened to be Muslim, attended his speech wearing a head scarf. The woman was standing on the stage behind Obama’s speech podium. An Obama camp staffer saw the woman and decided to move her to a different, less prominent spot.

It is not known whether Obama was aware of this but he did later apologize.

“Is there something wrong with being a Muslim in this country?? Colin Powell asked on “Meet the Press.?

“The answer is ‘no.’ yet I have heard senior members of my own party drop the suggestion, ‘He’s a Muslim, and he might be associated with terrorists.’ This is not the way we should be doing it in America,? Powell said.

Sources: Star Tribune “American Muslims get country’s cold shoulder? By Allie Shah

2,000-year-old bling found

2,000-year-old bling found

A 2,000-year-old gold, pearl and emerald earring has been found by archaeologists in Israel.
The archaeologists found the earring beneath a parking lot adjacent to the walls of Jerusalem’s Old City. Doron Ben-Ami, director of the dig, said he the earring is believed to date back to the Roman period, just after the time of Jesus.

Sources: Star Tribune “2,000-year-old earring found?

African American's are more susceptible to high blood pressure related deaths

African American's are more susceptible to high blood pressure related deaths

New studies by the Annals of Family Medicine show that 8,000 African Americans could be saved every year if doctors could find a way to lower their average blood pressure.

Medical practitioners have known about the increase in blood pressure of black Americans but had no idea the numbers would be as high as 8,000 deaths yearly.

“We expected it to be big, but it was even larger than we anticipated,? said the lead author, Dr. Kevin Fiscella of the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry.

Health risks and high blood pressure have always coincided. The results are increased chances of heart disease, stroke, and other serious problems. High blood pressure can usually be regulated through diet, medicine and exercise.

The reasons behind black Americans having higher blood pressure than whites is due to poverty and cultural habits.

Only 30 percent of whites have uncontrolled blood pressure compared to 40 percent of blacks.

Dr. David Satcher said changes need to be made to ensure minority patients get good medical care when they need it.

Sources: Star Tribune “Racial blood-pressure gap to blame for deaths of 8,000 blacks yearly? By Associated Press

November 9, 2008

Pacemakers and headphones do not mix

Pacemakers and headphones do not mix

Magnets within headphones could interfere with heart devices, according to a meeting in New Orleans this week at the American Heart Association.

Different heart devices are made to speed up slow heart rhythms. If exposed to certain magnets, the devices may signal the heart to beat faster.

A study was done where researchers put eight types of headphones to iPods and tested them on 60 different patients with implantable cardioverter defibrillators. The electronic interfered with 14 patients.

“For defibrillator patients, it is a much bigger concern because the magnet can temporarily deactivate it,? says the study’s senior author, Dr. William H. Maisel, director of the Medical Device Safety Institute in Boston, Massachusetts.

Sources: “Study: Headphones could interfere with pacemakers? By Patrick Sauer

November 6, 2008

Parents seek prayer for dying child instead of medical help

Parents seek prayer for dying child instead of medical help

Wisconsin parents prayed for their sick 11-year-old daughter rather than seek medical help.

Madeline Neumann died at her home in Weston Wisconsin on Easter from diabetes after becoming to ill to talk, walk or eat. The girl likely had symptoms for weeks or even months that should have prompted medical help.

Parents, Dale and Leilani Neumann have pleaded not guilty to second-degree reckless homicide. The parents have said that they believe in the Bible which says healing comes from God. They considered their daughter’s illness “a test of faith? and never expected her to die.

Madeline’s parents claim that she has not been to a doctor since she was three.

Wisconsin laws state that it is not child abuse to treat illness through prayer alone. However, a second, a homicide law, states that makes no exception for prayer.

The judge is undecided to weather the parents should face trial.

Sources: Star Tribune “Judge torn as he ponders if parents should face trial?