Category "National news"

July 26, 2005

'Glass ceiling' remains intact

Star Tribune
The Economist
Published July 26, 2005

This article basically says that not much has changed in the workforce over the past two decades since the term 'glass ceiling' was initiated in terms of women holding top positions in corporations. "Women account for almost half the workforce in Western countries... But at the top of the corporate ladder it is a different story."

The article describes some reasons why women have not increased in numbers holding these top positions, but at the same time explains why they should be. Some of the same companies who have NOT promoted women to these power psitions, are convinced that it makes good business sense to have more women in these leadership roles. Some companies ARE changing and the article states that research conducted in America, Britain and Scandanavia supports the idea that companies believe that it would be good for their profits -- there is a "trong correlation between shareholder returns and the proportion of women in the higher executive ."

As we have discussed in class during the leadership segments, the article states women are better at team-building and communication. Companies who are promoting women in these positions include IBM, Hewlett-Packard and Alcan.

The article is summarized by making suggestions as to what companies should do if women have to leave the corporate office for a length of time, i.e. to raise their children or care for a family member, in order to bring them up-to-speed and on track again for these positions.

I don't know about you, but I have always believed that women are effective leaders and should be in the top corporate positions. I am glad to see that more corporations are beginning to address this issue, and of course, IT'S ABOUT TIME!

Posted by at 6:57 PM | National news

Category "National news"

July 22, 2005

New device lab-on-a-chip sensor to detect milk contamination

News-Medica.Net

Dated: May 15, 2004

As I mentioned, I located this article to assist with our group project. I didn't realize that research had been conducted on the topic of milk contamination and vulnerability until I noticed the date of this article.

If what this article states is true, why isn't everyone using the new 'lab-on-a-chip' to provide safe milk to the public. The research notes the sensors are disposable, inexpensive, needs no power supply and uses no electronic parts. In addition the sensors can be "constructed to test for a particular toxin in as little as an hour with test results available in minutes." The research paper describing the research can be found in the journal Electrophoresis. The website link is http://www.wiley-vch.de/publish/en/journals/alphabeticIndex/2027/
and the journal describes itself as "one of the world's leading journals for new analytical and preparative methods and for innovative applications on all aspects of electrophoresis.

What do you think? Why isn't this device being used today? Wouldn't all suppliers want to use this mechanism? FYI, it can be used for food supplies, but the study mentioned in the article focused on the nation's milk supply in particular.

Posted by at 4:17 PM | National news

Category "National news"

July 5, 2005

Report says, Benefits of owning a home are declining

A recent article states that "Easy money and low inflation have combined to undermine the value of buying a house with a fixed rate mortgage, a conclusion that may surprise home buyers who rapidly have been bidding up house prices in recent years." This after a new report stated that the financial advantages of buying a home are the lowest since they have been since 1970. There are many economists who are wondering if house prices have climbed too fast and are ready for a fall. The report doesn't specifically target the rising of falling prices of the house itself, but is focused on the financial risks of owning a home on an interest only loan or with a zero down payment. The article points out that homes as a sure-fire investment may be waning.
The article also points out the up and downside to low inflation rates. This in the fact that with high inflation the "real" value of money helps out home buyers because the money they are paying back the lone with is worth less than the money they had originally purchased with.
It may not be the best idea to purchase more house than is neccesarry, the article states, as a way to invest. Roger Harrington stated that "If you want a risk-free investment, put the (extra) money into an FDIC-insured account where you can be assured of the return of your principal."-

Posted by at 6:23 PM | National news

Category "National news"

June 30, 2005

Doctors reexamine lung cancer arsenal

Extended treatments for lung cancer patients.

Each year in the United States 50,000 people will develop one kind of lung cancer, called non-small-cell lung cancer. In the past, these people would have been treated just by surgical removal of the tumors, but now they’ll be treated with chemotherapy after their surgeries. According to this article, “…69 percent of patients who had surgery and chemotherapy were still alive five years later, as compared to 54 percent who had just surgery”. This difference in the percentage of survivors is huge for cancer patients, as is the time it offers them. For many lung cancer patients, grueling treatments provide less than 5 more months of life. This treatment could mean living long enough to see milestones in the lives of family members for these 50,000 patients.
One question that people often have about theses types of treatment is in the cost/benefit analysis. Surgery can mean removing all or a portion of a lung, and chemotherapy makes patients very sick and weak. Patients wonder if their quality of life will justify undergoing invasive treatments. This new approach alleviates some of that concern in that the chemotherapy lasts for 16 weeks, but the patient could gain years of life after treatment is over.

Posted by at 3:09 PM | National news