Saturday, March 28, 2009

African-Americans and metabolic liver disease

Where different ethnic groups store fat in their bodies may account for differences in the likelihood they'll develop insulin resistance and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center have found. According to research reported in the online edition and the March issue of Hepatology, African-Americans with insulin resistance might harbor factors that protect them from this form of metabolic liver disease. Despite similarly high rates of associated risk factors such as insulin resistance, obesity and diabetes among African-Americans and Hispanics, African-Americans are less likely than Hispanics to develop non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, or NAFLD. The disease is characterized by high levels of triglycerides in the liver and affects as many as one-third of American adults. Previous research has shown that when African-Americans do develop NAFLD, they're less likely to reach the later stages of liver disease. Prior work by Dr. Browning and other UT Southwestern scientists has revealed that NAFLD is more prevalent among Hispanics than African-Americans or Caucasians. For the current study, Dr. Browning and his colleagues analyzed data gathered in the multi-ethnic, population-based Dallas Heart Study. Starting in the year 2000, more than 2,100 participants provided blood samples and underwent multiple body scans with magnetic resonance imaging and computed tomography to examine the liver, heart and other organs. Body composition, including fat distribution, also was scrutinized. The study found that African-Americans and Hispanics both have obesity rates of about 48% among their respective populations, as well as diabetes rates of about 21%. Only 23% of African-Americans, however, have NAFLD, compared with 45% of Hispanics. Similarly, African-Americans are less likely to have high levels of triglycerides and abdominal fat - both characteristics of insulin resistance - when compared with Hispanics or Caucasians, even though overall rates of insulin resistance among all groups are the same, researchers found. The explanation might lie in where different ethnic groups typically store fat. Obese Hispanics tend to deposit fat in the liver and visceral adipose tissue - the area around the belly. Obese African-Americans deposit fat predominantly in subcutaneous adipose tissues - the area around the hips and thighs, Dr. Browning said. "This may be protective," Dr. Browning said. "In animal studies, if subcutaneous fat is increased as opposed to visceral fat, you can actually reverse fatty liver disease." Scientists aren't sure why the location of fat storage matters. "This seems to argue that there is a fundamental difference in the lipid metabolism between African-Americans and Hispanics or Caucasians, and this difference is maintained even when insulin resistance is present," Dr. Browning said.


3 Times Greater Risk Of Aggressive Breast Cancer Subtype For Black Women

Barack Obama hands more senior jobs than ever before to black women

Obama has engineered a quiet racial revolution in Washington, giving more power to black women than at any point in American political history.

The cost of Jewish ethnic nationalism to the United States

Kevin MacDonald explains why European-Americans should not support Zionism.

Smith, Jones, Zhang, Singh and Patel

While Smith and Jones remain Britain's most popular surnames, new research has found that Asian names such as Zhang, Singh and Patel are rapidly catching up. A century of immigration has seen the nation's dictionary of names drastically altered to include a host of foreign ones, the study said. It found that within the last 100 years, the number of people named Ahmed, Singh and Ali, has increased by more than 1,000% each. The name Zhang was found to be the fastest growing name, having risen by 4,718% in popularity in just 13 years. People named Singh and Patel were also found to be at a record high, with 95,203 and 53,295 of them respectively currently living in Britain. An influx of surnames from the Asian subcontinent, China, and southern Africa – such as Aslam, Kim, Xu, Ndlovu and Ncube – was also noted by the researchers. Despite a more mobile population in recent decades, the researchers found that many of the more traditional British surnames were still found clustered in specific parts of the country. People with surnames ending in "thorpe" and "ing", which originate from Viking invaders, were still found to be most prevalent along the east coast of England, where they landed hundreds of years ago.


Dead Culture Walking: Muslim Colonization Of Europe Should Frighten America

Police identify 200 children as potential terrorists

Researchers are identifying genes that give rise to a person's physical traits, such as facial structure and skin color

Scientists are finding genetic markers that influence our physical appearance.

Med school and affirmative action

Steve Sailer:

Obviously, there's a lot of affirmative action in the med school racket: the acceptance rate (43%) for Mexican-Americans is virtually the same as for non-Hispanic Whites (44%) even though Mexican Americans average around the 26th percentile of the white distribution in MCATs and college GPA. And 36% of blacks get accepted compared to 44% of whites even though blacks scores and grades are down around the 17th percentile of the white distribution.

In fact, the AAMC posts offical grids showing how much easier it is to get into medical school for Non-Asian Minorities (NAMs) than for overall applicants. For example, 32.4% of "self-identified" NAMs get accepted to medical school with 3.00 to 3.19 GPAs and MCATs of 21-23, while only 13.4% of overall applicants get in with the same credentials. For applicants with 3.40 to 3.59 GPAs and 24-26 on the MCAT, 67.1 of NAMs get in versus 27.5% of the overall applicants (and somewhat less for Whites/Asians, of course).

In summary, it's probably a good idea to get a second opinion.

There just aren't many high-scoring NAMS. Only 45 of the 1,682 applicants who scored 39-45 on the MCAT (the highest bracket) were NAMs. In contrast, NAMs made up 1,731 of the 2,705 in the lowest scoring bracket of 5-14.



Thursday, March 26, 2009

Girls who are African American are 50% more likely than girls who are white to be bulimic

Also girls from families in the lowest income bracket are 153% more likely to be bulimic than girls from the highest income bracket.

British population must fall to 30 million

Jonathan Porritt, one of Gordon Brown’s leading green advisers, is to warn that Britain must drastically reduce its population if it is to build a sustainable society. Porritt’s call will come at the annual conference of the Optimum Population Trust (OPT), of which he is patron. The trust will release research suggesting that the British population must be cut to 30 million if the country wants to feed itself sustainably. Population growth is one of the most politically sensitive environmental problems. The issues it raises, including religion, culture and immigration policy, have proved too toxic for most green groups. However, Porritt is winning scientific backing. Professor Chris Rapley, director of the Science Museum, will use the OPT conference, to be held at the Royal Statistical Society, to warn that population growth could help derail attempts to cut greenhouse gas emissions. Rapley, who formerly ran the British Antarctic Survey, said humanity was emitting the equivalent of 50 billion tons of CO2 into the atmosphere each year. Britain’s population is expected to grow from 61 million now to 71 million by 2031. Some politicians support a reduction. Phil Woolas, the immigration minister, said: “You can’t have sustainability with an increase in population.”


Labour MP Predicts Total Islamification of Britain

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Black adults develop heart failure at a rate 20 times higher than whites

Blacks in in a large multi-center study of the causes of heart disease who were in their 30s and 40s had the same rate of heart failure as whites in their 50s and 60s. Those who developed heart failure were more likely than those who did not to have been suffering from high blood pressure, diabetes and chronic kidney disease. They were also more likely to have been obese and to have had low levels of HDL, the so-called “good” cholesterol.


Black male children are four times more likely to have food allergies: study

Thousands of girls mutilated by female circumcision in Britain

Despite having been outlawed in 1985, female circumcision is still practised in British African communities, in some cases on girls as young as 5. Police have been unable to bring a single prosecution even though they suspect that community elders are being flown from the Horn of Africa to carry out the procedures.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

White slave masters and black women

Were black women really raped by white slave owners?

Up to 1,000 Gambian villagers have been abducted by witch doctors to secret detention centers and forced to drink potions, a human rights group says

Amnesty International said some forced to drink the concoctions developed kidney problems, and two had died. Officials in the police, army and the president's personal protection guard had accompanied the witch doctors in the bizarre roundup, said witnesses. The human rights group asserted that many of those abducted were elderly. The London-based rights group said the witch hunters, said to be from neighboring Guinea, were invited into Gambia after the death of the president's aunt earlier in 2009 was blamed on witchcraft.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Schizophrenia and grain consumption

Can carbohydrates cause mental illness?

A senior judge has condemned honor crimes within a Muslim family as sordid acts with no place in English law

Lord Justice Wall made his comments in the first care case to reach the Court of Appeal involving conduct within an ethnic minority community. The 41 year old father of three Muslim children placed with white foster parents was challenging being refused contact with them. He also called for them to be placed with a Muslim family, but was refused permission to appeal against the decision of the High Court Family Division. One of the children had been set on fire by her mother who also tried to burn down their house in an attempt to incriminate her sister-in-law. The sister-in-law was said to have "disgraced" the family because she fled after being beaten and her first child murdered by her husband, the mother's brother. She escaped with the help of police and social services and moved to a secret location, fearing the family would track her down and kill her because she had "disgraced" them.


How the Government pays Muslims to vote Labour

Britons who HATE Britain: The Muslim extremists hell-bent on segregation rather than integration

Women who inherit a gene that ups the risk of obesity also run a higher risk of fertility problems due to polycystic ovaries, experts have discovered

Half of white Europeans carry a copy of the FTO variant - which is the clearest genetic clue we have to explain why some people are prone to weight gain. Now experts from Oxford and Imperial College London believe the same gene may cause polycystic ovary syndrome. Dr Tom Barber and his team analysed the type of FTO gene carried by 463 patients with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and 1,336 other women. They found that the FTO version already dubbed the "fat gene" was far more common in the women with PCOS, and particularly among those who were also overweight. Experts already know that PCOS is linked with obesity and this new discovery provides genetic evidence for the link. Although not all women with PCOS are overweight, Dr Barber believes obesity is the underlying problem and may trigger disturbances in hormones including testosterone and insulin.

A Pakistani gang rape victim who won international acclaim as a campaigner for women's rights has married

Mukhtar Mai wed a policeman who is still married to another woman. He threatened to divorce his first wife if she did not marry him. Ms Mai said she decided to do so to avoid family break-up. Four men raped Ms Mai as punishment after her 12-year-old brother was accused of adultery in 2002, but she fought to have her attackers convicted. She ignored taboos about her ordeal, becoming a champion for women's rights. Six men arrested and sentenced to death in connection with the gang rape are still in custody pending a retrial.


Gandhi family member is accused

2008 SAT scores: Asian males have the highest average math score (596) and black females the lowest (420)

As IQ increases from low IQ racial groups to high IQ racial groups, a greater share of the increase goes to math IQ than to verbal IQ. The males of each race have a higher math score than the females of that race. Blacks are the only race in which the females score higher on the verbal section than the males, despite the fact that 33% more black females took the test. White males score 4 points higher in reading than white females, and traditionally this advantage is attributed to more females taking the test, but only 12% more white females took the test.

Australia has announced it is cutting its foreign migrant intake by 14% to help protect jobs for Australian workers

Australia is set to protect its workers during the looming recession by slashing its intake of skilled migrants for the first time in a decade. The 14% cut in immigration comes on a wave of concern that skilled foreign workers could stoke resentment by taking jobs at a time of rising unemployment. One expert slammed the situation as 'madness' after mine workers in Queensland and Western Australia found that their positions were being filled by foreign workers. Immigration Minister Chris Evans, who removed hairdressers and cooks from Australia's critical occupation shortage list in Christmas 2008, said he was now also deleting foreign bricklayers, plumbers, carpenters and electricians from the list that guides skilled migration intake. Further cuts were likely in the May 2009 budget, he said, leaving only health occupations, engineering and information technology skills as needed skills. 'What we'll look to do is run a smaller program and keep the capacity to make sure we can bring in any labour we might need as the year develops,' Evans said. A recession is looming in the country, with the center-left government expecting unemployment to reach 7%t midway through 2010. Australia is also due to hold an election in late 2010. Immigration has been a charged issue in past polls, particularly following economic downturn. A leading migration expert, former government official Bob Kinnaird, said record recent migrant arrivals in a fast shrinking job market were leading to 'highly combustible' conditions in regional areas, where many new arrivals had settled. In Queensland and Western Australia retrenched mine workers returning to their home towns found that jobs there had been filled by foreign workers, sparking resentment, Kinnaird said. 'You could say in those last few months that madness has reigned,' he said. The ruling Labor Party, with its roots in the workers' movement, should have acted sooner to cut migration as economic conditions cooled to lance any voter backlash and ease tensions in critical country voting areas, he said.


More than three-quarters of Britons want to see jobless immigrants forced to leave UK

Australia cuts migrant job intake

Monday, March 16, 2009

More than 4% of blacks in Washington D.C. are known to have HIV, along with almost 2% of Latinos and 1.4% of whites

At least 3% of District residents have HIV or AIDS, a total that far surpasses the 1% threshold that constitutes a "generalized and severe" epidemic, according to a report scheduled to be released by health officials. That translates into 2,984 residents per every 100,000 over the age of 12 -- or 15,120 -- according to the 2008 epidemiology report by the District's HIV/AIDS office. "Our rates are higher than West Africa," said Shannon L. Hader, director of the District's HIV/AIDS Administration, who once led the Federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's work in Zimbabwe. "They're on par with Uganda and some parts of Kenya." The District's report found a 22% increase in HIV and AIDS cases from the 12,428 reported at the end of 2006, touching every race and sex across population and neighborhoods, with an epidemic level in all but one of the eight wards. Black men, with an infection rate of nearly 7%, carry the weight of the disease, according to the report, which also underscores that the District's HIV and AIDS population is aging. Almost 1 in 10 residents between the ages of 40 and 49 has the virus. Men having sex with men has remained the disease's leading mode of transmission. Heterosexual transmission and injection drug use closely follow, the report says. Three percent of black women carry the virus, partly a result of the increase in heterosexual transmissions. Ron Simmons, who is black, gay and HIV positive, said he's not shocked by the study's findings. "You have a high incidence of HIV among African Americans, and a lot of African Americans live in the city," said Simmons, who is a member of a black gay support group. "D.C. also has a high number of gay men, and HIV is high among gay black men." More than three-quarters -- 76% -- of the HIV infected are black, 70% are men and 70% are age 40 and older. Heterosexual sex was the principal mode of transmission for blacks with the disease, 33%. Men having sex with men was the chief mode of transmission for white residents, 78%; and Latinos, 49%. Black women represent more than a quarter of HIV cases in the District, and most, about 58%, were infected through heterosexual sex. About a quarter of black women were infected through drug use.

Whites are the stoutest defenders of free speech

This means that the United States will become less supportive of freedom of speech as the country becomes less white.

Hispanics made up about 8% of the electorate in 2008

Steven Malanga points out that the Hispanic vote has been greatly exaggerated.

Steroids and ethnic differences

Current steroid (testosterone) doping tests should be scrapped for international sport, because they ignore vital ethnic differences in hormone activity, suggests research published ahead of print in the British Journal of Sports Medicine. Testosterone, and other hormones that boost testosterone levels, such as growth hormone, are among the most widely abused performance enhancers used in sport, according to the World Anti-Doping Agency. Evidence of abuse is determined by the testosterone: epitestosterone ratio, or T:E ratio for short, in the urine. The threshold is set at above four for everyone, and confirmed by chemical analysis (gas chromatography). To highlight the inadequacy of the current test, the researchers tested the steroid profiles of football players of different ethnicities, after they had deliberately added steroid to their urine samples. They used gas chromatography, and took account of a variation (polymorphism) in the UGT2B17 gene. Previous research has indicated that variations in this gene account for some of the differences in the urinary T:E ratio between men of white and Asian ethnic backgrounds. The gene affects metabolism, and therefore the rate at which testosterone is passed out of the body into the urine. They included 57 men of Black African origin; 32 of Asian origin; 32 of Hispanic origin; and 50 of white (Caucasian) origin in their research. All the men were aged between 18 and 36. The results revealed the genetic variation in almost one in four (22%) of the African footballers; in eight out 10 (81%) of the Asian players; one in 10 of the white men, and in 7% of the Hispanic players.

People who have thick heads are more intelligent, according to scientists

A study has found that the thickness of the insulation of our brain's white matter is directly linked to IQ. Memory, self-control, planning, logic and mathematical ability are all linked to the quality of myelin sheath that protects nervews of white matter from damage. Scientists at the University of California in Los Angeles examined the brains of 23 sets of identical twins and the same number of fraternal twins using a new type of magnetic resonance imaging scanner called HARDI. MRI scans usually show volumes of different tissues in the brain by measuring the amount of water present. HARDI determines water levels diffusing through white matter - an indirect measurement of myelin integrity. The research also found that inherited genes play a greater role in intelligence than was previously thought. Genes appear to affect intelligence by influencing how well nerve fibres are encased in protective and insulating fatty myelin. A good covering of myelin results in faster nerve impulses. "It's like a picture of your mental speed," chief researcher Professor Paul Thompson said. Identical twins share the same genes while fraternal twins share about half their genes. Comparing the results from each showed that myelin integrity was genetically determined in many parts of the brain important for intelligence. They include the corpus callosum, which brings together signals from the left and right side of the body, and the parietal lobes responsible for visual and spatial reasoning and logic. Myelin quality in these areas correlated with scores from tests of abstract reasoning and overall intelligence.


Intelligence genes theory backed

High-speed brains are in the genes

Beyonce fans 'among least intelligent but Beethoven fans are cleverest'

'Brain decline' begins at age 27

Longevity seems to be linked to homozygosity

Inbreeding may lead to longer lifespans.

Charles Freeman and the Israel Lobby

Charles Freeman’s disloyalty allegations

"Pay no attention to that Lobby behind the curtain!"

At least eight people have been arrested in Burundi in connection with a trade in human body parts from people with albinism

Those detained had fresh body parts in their possession, police say. Witchdoctors in the region tell clients that potions made with albino body parts will bring them luck in love, life and business. At least 10 albino people have been killed in Burundi in recent months and more than 40 in neighboring Tanzania.

A victim of a horrific attack in Nigeria's Niger Delta has described how gunmen raped pregnant women hijacked from two passenger boats

The gunmen took at least five women from the boats to a camp deep in the creeks of the swampy oil region and brutally raped them, the military said. The women were forced to lie down on the ground while the gunmen sang and danced around them, one victim said. It is the first time that a Delta attack like this has been made public. Two of the women were pregnant, a military spokesman said. A security source says one of the women has since died of her injuries but this has not been independently confirmed.

Education, race and immigration

The low test scores of black and Hispanic students are major factors in reducing the comparative standing of the United States in international surveys of achievement.


Jason Richwine On Indian Immigrant IQ

Legal immigrants: hints of IQ scores

Crime committed in Britain by foreign nationals has doubled in just five years, police figures have revealed

Records disclosed by 10 police forces reveal a 120% rise in the number of non-Britons arrested, charged or convicted of offences between 2003 and 2008. And figures from 20 forces, covering more than half the population of England and Wales, show that foreigners committed or were accused of more than 70,000 offences in 2008 – pointing to a nationwide total of well over 100,000 offences if all 43 forces had provided figures. The figures, released under the Freedom of Information Act, will renew public debate over immigration, border controls and the deportation of convicted foreign criminals at the end of their jail sentences, the issue which cost Charles Clarke his job as Home Secretary. The steep rise in crime committed by foreigners comes despite an overall fall in the number of crimes recorded by police during the five-year period. Notorious foreign killers include Nigerian-born Chester Dauda, who stabbed to death a 17-year-old student at a New Year's Eve party in Barking, east London, in 2007. Sentencing Dauda int July 2008 to a minimum of 14 years' imprisonment, Judge Martin Stephens QC described the incident as a "deliberate act of outrageous violence". Other foreign murderers have included Roberto Malasi, an 18-year-old Angolan asylum-seeker who stormed into a christening party in Peckham, south-east London, in 2005 and shot dead a 33-year-old woman as she cradled her baby niece, and while on the run stabbed to death an 18-year-old pastor's daughter and Yusuf Jama, a Somali asylum-seeker, who was in the gang that shot dead Pc Sharon Beshenivsky in Bradford in 2005.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Officials say several cases of US citizens of Somali origin returning to their homeland to join the Islamist al-Shabab militia are being investigated

A Senate committee heard most of the young recruits came from Minneapolis city in the US state of Minnesota.

Uganda's population explosion is being fuelled by electricity shortages which lead couples to go to bed early and have sex, a minister has said

More than 90% of Ugandans are without reliable access to electricity. Uganda's annual population growth rate is one of the highest in the world - 3.4% - according to statistics from the country's Population Secretariat.

Lesbians living in South Africa are being raped by men who believe it will cure them of their sexual orientation

Women are reporting a rising tide of brutal homophobic attacks and murders and the widespread use of corrective rape as a form of punishment. The report, commissioned by international NGO ActionAid, called for South Africa's criminal justice system to recognise the rapes as hate crimes as police are reportedly failing to take action over the spiralling violence. The extent of the brutality became clear when Eudy Simelane, former star of South Africa's national female football squad, became one of the victims in April 2008. Simelane, one of the first women to live openly as a lesbian and an equality rights campaigner, was gang-raped and beaten before being stabbed to death 25 times in the face, chest and legs. Triangle, a gay rights organisation, said it deals with up to 10 new cases of 'corrective rape' every week.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Thousands of people in Tanzania have been taking part in an exercise aimed at identifying those behind the killing of albinos for ritual purposes

The process - in which people fill in forms anonymously, naming those they suspect of involvement - was ordered by President Jakaya Kikwete. But some fear the nationwide exercise, which has begun in the Lake Zone area, could be used for personal vendettas. Witchdoctors reportedly buy albino body parts to make "magic" potions. Since late 2007, 45 albinos have been slaughtered in Tanzania. Forty-four of the killings have taken place in the Lake Zone district. Police believe the killers are selling their victims' limbs, hair, skin and genitals to traditional medicine practitioners who make potions promising to make people wealthy.

Children of older fathers perform less well in a range of brainpower tests during infancy and early childhood, a study has found

In contrast, children with older mothers did well on the tests, which assessed abilities such as memory, learning and concentration. Experts believe mutations in a man's sperm, which build over time, may be a factor. The University of Queensland study appears in the journal PLoS Medicine.


Old fathers have duller children

Police in India enrol rat recruits

Police in India's Haryana state believe they have found a novel way to tackle a plague of mice infesting official records and destroying evidence. They have started using a pair of domesticated white rats to scare the mice away. Rodents are a huge problem in India, consuming tonnes of grain intended for human consumption every year.

Monday, March 9, 2009

The more someone looks like us the more likely we are to help them

We feel more altruistic to those who resemble us because in the past our early ancestors assumed that they were related, according to a new study. The instinct dates back to when there were no mirrors and people could learn what their kin looked like only by inspecting the faces of household members. The study, published in Biology Letters, even found that we were more naturally drawn to people who looked like us than our own relatives, if the resemblance was strong enough.

DNA and eye color

It can be predicted with an accuracy of over 90% whether a person has blue or brown eyes by analysing DNA from only 6 different positions of the genome.


Genetic structure in northern Europe revisited

Genetic substructure and recent selection in closely related Northern European populations

More young people are seeking partners of the same ethnic background

The number of native- and foreign-born people marrying outside their race fell from 27% to 20% for Hispanics and 42% to 33% for Asians from 1990 to 2000.

Hat tip, Steve Sailer!

The Obama Bear Market

Steve Sailer explains why the stock market is reacting so negatively to the Obama presidency.


The Obama Bear Market: “Never waste a good crisis”

Friday, March 6, 2009

Nearly 7,000 Mexican soldiers and federal police have arrived in Ciudad Juarez to restore security to a city plagued by a long-standing drug war

Random vehicle checkpoints, patrols of masked soldiers and police in SWAT gear are some of the signs of the massive military buildup ordered by Mexico's president, Ciudad Juarez police spokesman Jaime Torres Valadez has said. Another 1,500 soldiers are expected to join the 3,500 that rolled into Juarez earlier in March 2009 to support municipal police in street patrols and ultimately take control of their operations, Torres said. In addition to the army troops, about 3,000 federal agents arrived to carry out investigations Torres likened to those of the FBI in the United States. "They'll stay as long as necessary," Torres said, in the city across the border from El Paso, Texas. Extreme violence among warring drug cartels and between them and the Mexican government has long plagued Juarez and the state of Chihuahua, but the situation has been getting worse. In February 2009, the city's chief of police was obliged to quit, after threats from organized crime to kill a policeman every day that he remained on the job. And now, the U.S. Consulate in Juarez has specifically warned Americans to avoid an area southeast of the city. "There has been a dramatic increase in drug related violence in the Guadalupe Bravo area and there is no indication that the situation will improve in the near future," the consulate said on its Web site.


Legalize Drugs?—Or See Mexico Become Afghanistan South?

US Census Notes And Promotes The Hispanicization Of America

Weapons to Mexico: Gun control? Mexican Failings? Or Unscrupulous Immigrant?

Mexico’s Image Circling The Drain

Only countries at war suffer as much sexual violence as South Africa, Doctors Without Borders has said in a global report highlighting rape

Some of the countries that suffer the most rapes include Liberia, Burundi, the Democratic Republic of Congo, South Africa and Colombia. On average in those countries, 35 women are raped every day, MSF said. Although sexual violence is exacerbated in war, MSF says it also affects millions of people living in post-conflict countries or even in stable environments. In South Africa rape is associated with criminal activity and domestic violence. "We have noticed that rape in societies has become normal, it has become normal to be raped," said Janine Josias, an MSF doctor working in Khayelitsha township, outside Cape Town. Khayelitsha has one of the highest rape incidences in a country where it is estimated that a woman is violated every 26 seconds.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Looking on the bright side of life is in the genes

Variations in a mood altering gene influence whether or not people take a pessimistic or optimistic view of the world, researchers believe. They found that different versions of the gene, which is involved in the transportation of the well-being chemical serotonin, affect whether or not we are drawn to negative or positive aspects of the world. Those with a long version of the gene tended to have a "sunny disposition", dwelling on positive aspects of life and deliberately downplayed the negatives. Those with a shorter version did the opposite. The psychologists behind the study from the University of Essex believe the findings could help develop new treatments for anxiety and depression.

A common virus may be the trigger for the development of many cases of diabetes, particularly in children

Signs of enteroviruses were found in pancreatic tissue from 60% of children with type 1 diabetes, but in hardly any children without the disease. They also found that 40% of adults with type 2 diabetes had signs of the infection in insulin-producing cells. The study published in Diabetologia raises the possibility of a vaccine.


New study of human pancreases links virus to cause of type 1 diabetes

Getting away with murder

A Canadian judge has ruled that a man accused of beheading and cannibalizing a fellow Greyhound bus passenger is not criminally responsible due to mental illness. The decision means Chinese immigrant Vince Li will be treated in a mental institution instead of going to prison. The family of victim Tim McLean dismissed the trial as a "rubber stamp" that allows Li to get away with murder. "A crime was still committed here, a murder still occurred," said Carol deDelley, McLean's mother. "There was nobody else on that bus holding a knife, slicing up my child." The judge said Li should not be held criminally accountable for stabbing McLean dozens of times in July 2008 and dismembering his body while horrified passengers fled. Justice John Scurfield said Li's attack was "grotesque" and "barbaric" but "strongly suggestive of a mental disorder."