Archive for scientific study

Oreo Cookies, The Next Cocaine

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oreocookies"Put your hands up and step away from the cookie jar," could be bellowing you hear through a police megaphone in the near future. Stop and frisk will include pat downs for guns, drugs and Oreo Cookies. Yup, if the results of these recent tests are any indication. It's just a matter of time. If you adore those cream-filled treats, stock up on them before they become banned.

I can't vouch for the science or the quality of the test cookies or the cocaine, but I will ask this-- why did they have to use rats for their subjects and not humans. I know a few people from my college past who would gladly have volunteered to take this test. They'd even have brought their own testing materials. And they could verbally answer questions this test generates. And if my freedom to pick my poison exists, I want to exercise it. I want my Oreos.

Someone felt that Oreo cookies was posing a threat -- enough so that a research test was run. Could it be that Oreos are presenting society with something new to worry about? I could see if sugar side-affects were being measured or whether the inside of an Oreo Cookie could last for thousands of years as the legend goes, but is it addictive? Could it be a danger? Yikes.

According to the NEW YORK POST:

Lab rats who ate “America’s favorite cookie” formed an equally strong association as they did when injected with cocaine or morphine, student researchers at Connecticut College claim.  Neuroscience Professor Joseph Schroeder, who led the study.

The research was the brainchild of neuroscience major Jamie Honohan, who wanted to see if the prevalence of high-fat and high-sugar food in low-income neighborhoods contributed to the US obesity epedemic.

“We chose Oreos not only because they are America’s favorite cookie, and highly palatable to rats, but also because products containing high amounts of fat and sugar are heavily marketed in communities with lower socioeconomic statuses,” she said.

I guess if we're going to run a link connection between pleasure (eating) and potential outcome (death) we might want to see if a product should be regulated or even outlawed. I mean who doesn't enjoy an Oreo once in while? And nobody seemingly wants to die. Obesity and diabetes are potential side-effects from devouring that great little cookie in vast amounts.

Dr. Schroeder, who will present the research next month at the Society for Neuroscience conference in San Diego, told reporters he hasn’t touched an Oreo since finishing the experiment.

A rep for Nabisco, which makes Oreos, could not immediately be reached.

The nexus has been made. Never before has anyone drawn the conclusion that they are addictive, as much so as cocaine or morphine. And now those results have been the published. I'm sure  more studies will be done, but it certainly does make you think, doesn't it? Doing a few Oreos or snorting a few lines of cocaine? Scientists, please... !!!

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Worrisome South Carolina climate change report kept secret for over a year

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what's the big secret

One of the nation’s most conservative states failed to release a 102-page report by scientists on how climate change is a reality and how the public should be educated about it. Or as I like to call it, cutting off their lives nose to spite their face.

Honesty, common sense, facts, and self-preservation. How novel.

The report includes studies from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

For example, they say, South Carolina "should prepare for increases in wildlife disease, loss of prime duck hunting habitat and the potential invasion of non-native species such as piranha and Asian swamp eels. Many such exotic species have taken hold in Florida, but as temperatures rise, could move into South Carolina."

Among other disturbing consequences that the state faces, the findings say that “dead zones” in the ocean will increase, as will droughts, flooding due to a rise in sea levels, and of course, disease that would affect sea life and vegetation.

Via The State:

A team of state scientists has outlined serious concerns about the damage South Carolina will suffer from climate change – threats that include invading eels, dying salt marshes, flooded homes and increased diseases in the state’s wildlife.

But few people have seen the team’s study. The findings are outlined in a report on global warming that has been kept secret by the S.C. Department of Natural Resources for more than a year because agency officials say their “priorities have changed.” [...]

Authors of the November 2011 draft said global warming is a reality and the DNR should take a lead role in educating the public about climate change while also increasing scientific research. [...]

Team members left little doubt in the report that they believe rising global temperatures are linked to man-made pollution. That point is widely accepted in the scientific community. Data show sharp increases since the Industrial Revolution of pollutants, such as carbon dioxide, that cause global warming.

The Department of Natural Resources head, who had wanted the report released, retired after he and the then-board chairwoman Caroline Rhodes clashed. Guess which conservative politician promoted Rhodes to her position as board chair shortly after being elected governor? Hint: It rhymes with Schnikki Schnaley.

Here's an idea: Keep the public informed instead of failing to disclose pesky scientific facts that irk your fellow Republicans (Gov. Haley, I'm talking to you) and your corporate pals. Then again, nobody ever said Republicans had foresight, wisdom, ethics, or good judgment.

 cutting off nose to spite face smaller

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WI Governor Scott Walker just got even more Scott Walkery

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Sometimes the stupid get stupider, if that's even possible:

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker plans to speak next week at a prominent think tank that denies the existence of man-made global warming.

Apparently he never got wind of this:   Koch-funded study: “Global warming is real” and “is due to the human emission of greenhouse gases.”

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

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Koch-funded study: "Global warming is real" and "is due to the human emission of greenhouse gases.”

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Think Progress has a bombshell for us:

A Koch-funded reanalysis of 1.6 billion temperature reports finds that “essentially all of this increase is due to the human emission of greenhouse gases.”

Key words: Koch-funded:

What makes this “man bites dog” is that Muller has been a skeptic of climate science, and the single biggest funder of this study is the “Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation ($150,000).” The Kochs are the leading funder of climate disinformation in the world! [...]

In short, a Koch-funded study has found that the IPCC “consensus” underestimated both the rate of surface warming and how much could be attributed to human emissions!

Hey Kochs, eat crow, or just desserts, or eat s***, I'm not picky. There are two huge points to be made here. One, the Team Koch just got put it in its place by one of their own, and two, a study proving that the climate crisis is caused by humans was funded by the very Koch suckers who are doing their level best to exacerbate the crisis.

And then there's that little detail that climate change deniers are dead wrong, but hey, who's counting?

Now we better get on the stick and do something about it.

Think Progress has a lot of tasty details. Please read their report, it's an eye-popper.

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Climate change critics' project, funded by Charles Koch Foundation, supports (gasp!) scientific consensus

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What more appropriate way to kick off a TPC fundraiser than with a post about the most notorious GOP donors this side of Karl Rove and his band of GPS thugs, the Koch brothers. Our cause is worth it, theirs is the reason this site must succeed.

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Now, here's the story: This is delightfully schadenfreudy, so grab some extra crispy freude to go with your schaden, pour yourself a drink, sit back, and enjoy the ride.

The Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation-- yes that Koch-- is funding the Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature project. This is a study intended to debunk all those silly climate change scientists' findings, because they are clearly delusional and are only imagining that we the people could possibly create enough pollution to alter the earth's climate.

What? No way. Us earthlings, mess up our own planet? Pfft. It's much more important to cling to our coal and nuclear plants and oil rigs and gas-burning cars and nobody-- not nobody, no way, no HOW-- is gonna pry them from our fracking cold dead exhaust pipes.

But something really amusing happened on the way to the Americans For Prosperity tea party rally. All that data? The data that a team of UC Berkeley physicists and statisticians came up with to mock warnings about global warming? So far, it has come up with the same results as all those Commie pinko French gay Kenyan socialist Marxist liberal tree-hugging scientists did.

So there:

... Muller unexpectedly told a congressional hearing last week that the work of the three principal groups that have analyzed the temperature trends underlying climate science is "excellent.... We see a global warming trend that is very similar to that previously reported by the other groups."

The hearing was called by GOP leaders of the House Science & Technology committee, who have expressed doubts about the integrity of climate science.

Oh man, bummer.

Here's the best part. The best part ever. Look who's dumping their slimy cash into this little review to prove us right:

The Berkeley project's biggest private backer, at $150,000, is the Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation. Oil billionaires Charles and David Koch are the nation's most prominent funders of efforts to prevent curbs on the burning of fossil fuels, the largest contributor to planet-warming greenhouse gases.

Their digging isn't done yet, and at this rate, I wouldn't put it past the Koch-heads to somehow, you know, alter the Berkeley team's final product. But at least for now:

The L.A. Times has more.

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UC studies find promise in medical marijuana

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By GottaLaff

But... but... it's a-- dun dun dun-n-n!-- gateway drug!

As an $8.7-million state research effort comes to an end, investigators report that cannabis can significantly relieve neuropathic pain and reduce muscle spasms in MS patients. More research is urged. [...]

Much of the research is still underway or under review, but five studies have been published in scientific journals. Four showed that cannabis can significantly relieve neuropathic pain and one found that vaporizers are an effective way to use marijuana. Another study, submitted for publication, found that marijuana can reduce muscle spasms in multiple sclerosis patients.

Dr. Igor Grant, a neuropsychiatrist at UC San Diego who is the center's director, called the pain studies "pretty convincing" and urged the federal government to pay for additional clinical studies.

Something this promising deserves more attention.

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Study: Focus on abstinence in sex-ed classes can delay sexual activity

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By GottaLaff

http://blog.beliefnet.com/pontifications/imgs/Abstinence%20only.jpg

Before we get all wee-wee'd up, there seems to be a difference or two between this study and the programs brought to us by BushCo:

Sex education classes that focus on encouraging children to remain abstinent can convince a significant proportion to delay sexual activity, researchers reported Monday in a landmark study that could have major implications for the nation's embattled efforts to protect young people against unwanted pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases.

In the first carefully designed study to evaluate the controversial approach to sex ed, researchers found that only about a third of 6th and 7th graders who went through sessions focused on abstinence started having sex in the next two years. In contrast, nearly half of students who got other classes, including those that included information about contraception, became sexually active.[...]

The new study is the first to evaluate an abstinence program using a carefully "controlled" design that compared it directly to alternative strategies -- considered the highest level of scientific evidence. [...]

Even long-time critics of the approach praised the new study, saying it provided strong evidence that such programs can work and may deserve taxpayer support. [...]

Several critics of abstinence-only approach argued that the curriculum tested was not representative of most abstinence programs. It did not take on a moralistic tone as many abstinence programs do. Most notably, the sessions encouraged children to delay sex until they are ready, not necessarily until they were married, did not portray sex outside of marriage as never appropriate or disparage condoms.

"There is no data in this study to support the 'abstain-until marriage' programs, which research proved ineffective during the Bush administration," said James Wagoner, president of Advocates for Youth.[...]

The new study involved 662 African-American students who were randomly assigned to go through one of five programs: An eight-hour curriculum that encouraged them to delay having sex; an eight-hour program focused on teaching safe sex; an eight- or 12-hour program that did both; or an eight-hour program focused on teaching the youngsters other ways to be healthy, such as eating well and exercising.

Nobody ever said abstinence was a bad thing. Forcing it exclusively, on the other hand...

Abstinence only never made much sense to me. This particular study seems to put it all into context and provides some leeway and common sense.

Plus, this is only one study. As credible as it may be, one study is not exactly definitive. And why were only African American students involved? More research, please.

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