Digital Dharma

The Middle Path, One Day At A Time

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Taste for Sweets May Offer Clues to Addiction Risk

“…women with a positive family history of alcoholism exhibited a preference for significantly higher sucrose concentrations and craved sweets significantly more often than did women with a negative family history (P=0.05).

Beyond implications for food preferences and consumption, the results could have implications for identifying people who are prone to addictive behaviors, the investigators concluded. …”

Medical News: Sweet Taste May Offer Clues to Addiction Risk – in Psychiatry, Addictions from MedPage Today

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Pope to make climate action a moral obligation

The Pope is expected to use his first address to the United Nations to deliver a powerful warning over climate change in a move to adopt protection of the environment as a “moral” cause for the Catholic Church and its billion-strong following.

The New York speech is likely to contain an appeal for sustainable development, and it will follow an unprecedented Encyclical (a message to the wider church) on the subject, senior diplomatic sources have told The Independent.

Pope to make climate action a moral obligation – Independent Online Edition > Europe

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Vilayanur Ramachandran: A journey to the center of your mind

Vilayanur Ramachandran explores how brain damage can reveal the connection between the internal structures of the brain and the corresponding functions of the mind. He talks about phantom limb pain, synesthesia (when people hear color or smell sounds), and the Capgras delusion, when brain-damaged people believe their closest friends and family have been replaced with imposters.

Watch this talk >>

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Think Outside The Bottle — Take The Pledge

Bottled water corporations are changing the very way people think about water. Though many bottled water brands come from the same source as public tap water, they are marketed as somehow more pure. What’s more – bottled water corporations sell water back to the public at thousands of times the cost. Plastic bottles also require massive amounts of fossil fuels to manufacture and transport. Billions of these bottles wind up in landfills every year.

You can help reverse this trend. At events and over online networks tens of thousands are supporting the efforts of local officials to reduce the social impact and environmental harm of bottled water by prioritizing public water systems. Taking the Think Outside the Bottle Pledge is quick, easy, and sends the message that water is a human right, not a commodity.    Take the pledge!

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AMA, Pediatricians Condemn Bush’s Lack Of Understanding and Compassion

The legislation, said Jay E. Berkelhamer, M.D., of Children’s Hospital of Atlanta, president of the AAP, “specifically targets America’s lowest income children.” President Bush and other critics of the legislation alleged that it would expand coverage to include middle class children whose parents could afford private health insurance.

With this position, they “demonstrated a fundamental misunderstanding of the bill,” he said.

Show no hesitation, never look back, and for goodness’ sake, don’t ever get caught changing your mind! The Windshield Cowboy rides again!

And, time after time, people say they like that about him.

Medical News: AMA and Pediatricians Condemn Failure to Override SCHIP Veto – in Public Health & Policy, Health Policy from MedPage Today

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Medical News

Statins May Slow Lung Function Decline in Former Smokers (CME/CE) [Image]

— As former smokers age, those who take statins may benefit from a
slow-down in the decline of their lung function, according to
researchers here. [more]

New CPT Codes for Substance Abuse Screening 

— Two new Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) codes will allow
physicians to report specific services they provide to screen and
counsel patients with alcohol or drug abuse problems. [more]

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The politics of kids’ health

 Children’s issues will top the agenda on Capitol Hill this week, as Democrats try to override President Bush’s veto of a popular child-health bill.

It’s a moment of political drama that could tip close congressional races next fall, as well as raise the profile of other bills dealing with children’s health in the US and abroad.

The politics of kids’ health |

Have you called your congressperson yet?  Too late to write.

Congressional Phone Numbers

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News From MedPage Today

Does Stress Cause Disease? It Doesn’t Help, Reviewers Say (CME/CE)

— There is strong evidence suggesting — but not proving — the
existence of a causal link between psychological stress and chronic
conditions such as depression, cardiovascular disease, and HIV/AIDS,
asserted researchers here. [more]

High Blood Pressure in Women Tied to Diabetes Risk (CME/CE)

— Women with high or rising blood pressure are up to three times more
likely to develop diabetes, researchers here found. [more]

Migraine Agent Found Promising for Alcohol Dependence (CME/CE)

You Can’t Judge a Running Shoe by Its Price Tag (CME/CE)
Blood Test May Detect Lung Cancer Early (CME/CE)

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Headlines from MedPage Today

24-Hour Blood Pressure Measurement Urged for Cardiovascular Prediction (CME/CE)

Belgium — Night-time and day-time blood pressure predicts different
cardiovascular endpoints, according to a large multinational study. [more]

AHRP: Women Find Menstrual Suppression Attractive Idea but Question Safety 

— Patients seem more skeptical than their doctors do on the safety of
menstrual suppression with continuous-use oral contraceptives, but the
women like the idea, survey results suggested [more]

IDSA: More Data Support H. pylori�-Asthma Link (CME/CE)

DIEGO — Eradication of Helicobacter pylori may have had the unintended
consequence of unleashing an asthma threat even as the risk of gastric
ulcer and cancer declined, results of a study reported here suggest. [more]

Thalidomide Improves Survival for Older Multiple Myeloma Patients (CME/CE)

France — Older treatment-na�ve stages II or III multiple myeloma
patients have a survival advantage when thalidomide (Thalomid) is added
to standard therapy, researchers found in a randomized trial. [more]


I’m As Mad As The Red Bulls Should Be

This last July and August Minnesota’s National Guard Unit, The Red Bulls, returned after twenty-two months of deployment in Iraq. Theirs has been the longest National Guard Unit deployment in the war. In fact, the Red Bulls served a longer tour than any other outfit, including regular Army and Marine units.

This month many of the “Red Bulls” attempted to “get on” with their lives by registering for college courses around the state. There was one problem: when they tried to use Montgomery G.I. Bill benefits to help pay for those classes, they found they were not eligible. They could apply for lesser National Guard benefits, but once those are in effect they lose out on the Montgomery G.I. Bill benefits. Oh, yes, they were told in July when they returned the “situation would be addressed.”

What happened? The deployment orders were written for 798 days. This is one day short of the 799 required for soldiers to be eligible for G.I. benefits. It doesn’t affect only education, but there are a whole raft of benefits these soldiers have been robbed of.   Backwash – Content – Anything Under the Sun

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U.N. revs up over global warming

UNITED NATIONS, N.Y. –  The annual summertime retreat of the Arctic icecap, greater this year than perhaps at any time during the 20th century. The nightmare of intensifying storms in some areas and extended drought in others, already taking place in developing countries of South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa.

It is against this backdrop of almost daily news of what scientists describe as signs of advancing global warming that the United Nations holds Monday what may be the largest high-level international meeting ever on climate change.

Be sure to check and see how this is covered in the “liberal media.”

U.N. revs up over global warming |