June 30, 2010

Hey, How is your Hair Dude? New Genetic Cause Found.

Scientists Find Possible Genetic Roots of Type of Hair Loss

Genetic Finding Could Lead to New Targets for Treatment of Alopecia Areata, Researchers Say
By Katrina Woznicki
WebMD Health News

June 30, 2010 -- Scientists have identified eight genes that may be associated with the skin disease alopecia areata, a common cause of hair loss that affects 5.3 million Americans.
This is one of the first studies to locate genes potentially linked to alopecia areata. What is most striking about the genes identified is that they are already associated with a number of autoimmune disorders, including type 1 diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis. Now, researchers at Columbia University Medical Center in New York suggest these genes could be targets for new alopecia areata treatments.

Genes Linked to Hair Loss

One gene in particular caught the eye of study author Angela M. Christiano, PhD, a professor of dermatology and genetics and development at Columbia, and her colleagues. Known as ULBP3, this gene is normally not present in hair follicles, but ULBP3 proteins were found in high concentrations in hair follicles affected by alopecia areata. ULBP3 attracts immune cells called cytotoxic cells. If an infection is present in the body, cytotoxic cells can help fight the infection or destroy damaged cells, but if there is no infection or damage, these immune cells end up attacking healthy tissue.
The ULBP3 proteins attract cells marked by a killer cell receptor, known as NKG2D, which is also involved in other autoimmune disorders and could potentially serve as a biomarker for alopecia areata. Two other genes were also expressed in hair follicles, while the remaining five genes were involved in immune system response.
The findings are based on the genome analysis of 1,054 people with alopecia areata and 3,278 people without the disorder and appear in the July 1 issue ofNature.
“Finding the initial genes underlying alopecia areata is a big step forward, but the nature of the genes is even more exciting,” Christiano says. “There seems to be a shared mechanism among organs that express NKG2D danger signals as part of the initiating process. And since drugs are already in development that target these pathways -- because they are being tested to treat rheumatoid arthritis, type 1 diabetes, and other diseases where the NKG2D receptor is involved -- we may soon be able to test these drugs in clinical trials for alopecia areata. Finally, we have the possibility of developing drugs that specifically target the mechanism behind the disease.”

New Alopecia Areata Treatments Needed

Alopecia areata was originally thought to be associated with psoriasis; however,psoriasis treatments failed to offer any benefit in treating alopecia areata. There is a 1.7% lifetime risk for alopecia areata, which can begin with a sudden whitening of hair and then losing patches of hair on the scalp. The condition may ultimately lead to complete scalp hair loss or even total body hair loss. The condition’s severity varies by person and the hair does grow back in some patients. However, alopecia areata greatly affects quality of life that can be socially marginalizing, particularly for children. Current treatments range from topical foams to steroid injections.
“This research is very exciting, as alopecia areata affects a huge number of people worldwide, and there are very few treatments for it -- resulting in an enormous unmet medical need,” says Vicki Kalabokes, president and CEO of the National Alopecia Areata Foundation, which funded Christiano’s early pilot studies on the genetic basis of alopecia areata. “Hair loss is life-altering - sufferers, especially children, experience social stigma. It affects their quality of life and can lead to long-term psychosocial impact.”

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Dell Deliberately Shipped Millions of PCs that it knew to be Faulty

Dell deliberately shipped millions of PCs that it knew to be faulty, according to recently unsealed court papers.
The three-year-old documents, obtained by theNew York Times, show that at least 11.8 million Dell OptiPlex PCs, which shipped between May 2003 and July 2005, were at risk of failure from faulty capacitors.
They relate to a civil case filed against the company in the North Carolina Federal District Court by web hosting company Advanced Internet Technologies.
The capacitors, says the paper, were supplied by vendors including  Japan's Nichicon, and were used by other PC vendors too, including HP and Apple. But, they show, Dell was most affected.
According to the documents, shortly after problems started emerging, Dell was warned by a consultant that the machines were ten times as likely to fail as had been initially estimated by Dell. An internal Dell study also showed that PCs containing the suspect capacitors had a 97 percent fail rate.
But not only did the company not recall them, says the New York Times, sales staff were told to conceal the problems. Emails show them being told not to bring problems to customers' attention.
Dell looked like one of the best players on the block at one time, but has declined over the last few years. In 2005, it announced that it was taking a $300 million charge, related in part to the faulty capacitors.

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16 Different Ways to Understand the Disaster on The Gulf

Gulf Oil Spill by the Numbers: 16 Different Ways to Understand the Disaster

All the media coverage can be overwhelming, here's a drill down of some of the key facts.
Story by Susan Chaityn Lebovits, originally published June 2010 on Ecosalon.
The Deepwater Horizon disaster has leaked more than one million barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico. The magnitude is so large that many people are struggling to put the numbers into tangible context. Cutler J. Cleveland, a Boston University professor of Geography and Environment, and the editor of the Encyclopedia of Earth, has calculated the energy equivalents for EcoSalon readers to better grasp the enormity of this disaster. Dr. Cleveland is also a Senior Fellow at the National Council for Science and the Environment.
The energy content of one million barrels is about 5.8 trillion Btu (British Thermal Units), which is equivalent to:
1. Years of energy used in a single average America home: 61,117
2. Number of miles that could be driven by a Prius: 2,320,000,000
3. Number of airplane round trips between London and Louisiana that could be taken by BP CEO Tony Hayward: 198,352
4. Hours of motor gasoline consumption for the entire United States: 3
5. Minutes of world energy use: 6
6. Minutes of energy that could power the entire country of Ghana: 22,252 (about 15 days)
7. Members of the Chinese population whose energy consumption could be met for year: 98,472
8. Number of Americans whose energy consumption could be met for year: 17,211
9. Dollars of GDP produced in China: $210,893,753
10. Dollars of GDP produced in the United States: $743,971,267
11. Amount of energy harnessed from 3,385,540,566 peanut butter and jelly sandwiches
12. Number of acres of corn needed to produce the equivalent amount of ethanol: 159,928
13. Number of Tour de France races that Lance Armstrong could complete burning an equivalent amount of food energy: 81,408,631
14. Years of energy use in Boston's John Hancock Tower: 30.3
15. Equivalent amount of energy in tons of firewood: 494,459
16. Tons of steel that could be produced: 354,393

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Sex&Dating..My Fav is Kayaking on The Hudson..Want to Come?

Great dates…

Moth’s StorySlam: Celebration
Photograph: Matt Bresler
Outdoor date
See how in sync you and your date are by hopping in a double kayak for a Hudson River tour from the Riverside Park Fund. Make sure you have a rainy-day backup plan—the event may be canceled for inclement weather. FREE W 72nd St at the Hudson River (914-682-5135, riversideparkfund.org). Sat 3 10am–5pm.
Storytelling date
Open up to your date—and the rest of the room—by telling your own story at the Moth’s StorySlam: Celebration. You could just sit back and watch, but you won’t impress anyone unless you go for the big prize, a spot at an upcoming Moth GrandSLAM. Southpaw, 125 Fifth Ave between St Johns and Sterling Pls, Park Slope, Brooklyn (212-742-0551, themoth.org). Mon 5 at 8pm; $7.
Salsa date 
Spice up your date with some Caribbean rhythms at St. Mary’s Park. Vocalist Chris Alfinez will be joining musician Hector Tricoche for an evening of hot salsa tunes. FREE E 149th St at St Anne’s Ave (212-360-2777, summerstage.org). Wed 7 at 7pm.

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Rugby Club Fined for Homophobic Chants by Fans

Rugby Club Fined for Homophobic Chants by Fans

Gareth Thomas plays for the Celtic Crusaders
Castleford have been fined £40,000 by the Rugby Football League after fans aimed homophobic abuse at Crusaders winger Gareth Thomas. Thomas, 35, announced in December 2009 that he was gay. “The RFL finds homosexual abuse unacceptable, which is reflected in the size of the fine,” RFL spokesman John Ledger told BBC Sport. Castleford chief executive Richard Wright said he was “shocked” by the decision, adding the club will appeal.


Castleford fined £40,000 for homophobic 

chants by fans

Castleford have been fined £40,000 by the Rugby Football League after fans aimed homophobic abuse at Crusaders winger Gareth Thomas.
Thomas, 35, announced in December 2009 that he was gay.
"The RFL finds homosexual abuse unacceptable, which is reflected in the size of the fine," RFL spokesman John Ledger told BBC Sport.
Castleford chief executive Richard Wright said he was "shocked" by the decision, adding the club will appeal.
"The evidence does not support the decision and does not in any way support the scale of the penalty. We totally refute the outcome of the hearing," stated Wright, whose club have had half the fine suspended until the end of 2011.
The Tigers were found guilty of unacceptable behaviour, of breaching the RFL's Respect Policy, of misconduct by their supporters and of conduct prejudicial to the interests of the sport.
The tribunal which looked into the incident criticised the club for perceived failures in trying to stop the chanting and in identifying the perpetrators, as well as for failing to conduct a "meaningful inquiry" afterwards.
Thomas, who captained Wales and the British and Irish Lions in rugby union before switching codes, was subjected to the abuse during the Crusaders' visit to The Jungle in the Super League on 26 March.
Castleford's legal advisor, Rod Findlay added: "The club condemns any person who makes or chants obscene remarks towards players or officials.
"But the charges against the club are not that there was chanting, they are that the club failed to take its best endeavours to prevent or stop any chanting.
"This the club refutes totally. The club has a well-established system for dealing with chanting and could not have done any more on the day."
Thomas's manager Emanuele Palladino issued a statement congratulating the RFL on its action.
"This has been an historic day," he said. "Gareth Thomas is all about delivering positive messages and positive changes and, to that end, this was a huge step forward for Gareth and the world of sport.
"It is not about the fine, but rather recognition that this behaviour from a small section of the Castleford fans is not acceptable in 2010.
Our sport is viewed by Stonewall as a model with the way it deals with issues around homosexuality 
RFL spokesman John Ledger
"Unfortunately, what happened at Castleford could not be ignored. We are delighted that the RFL has taken action against what is a serious and upsetting incident for all parties.
"Its stance makes it clear that behaviour like this is not, and should not be acceptable in the world we live in today."
Castleford will receive a full written judgement before the end of the week and have until 14 July to appeal.
The RFL has stressed that it has taken more steps than any other governing body to crack down on homophobia having joined forces with gay rights charity Stonewall.
"Our sport is viewed by Stonewall as a model with the way it deals with issues around homosexuality," stated Ledger.
"In March 2009 we signed the Stonewall Charter to show our commitment towards these issues. The RFL is the only national governing body to have joined the Stonewall diversity programme which raises awareness over diversity issues."
Ledger also warned that the fans' behaviour could cost the club its Super League status.
"The behaviour of club supporters is one of our considerations in the licensing process," he said.
"It would be wrong to say Castleford getting a licence or not may hinge on this but the fans need to be aware they are doing the club no favours. This kind of behaviour would not get a favourable tick in the RFL's consideration of Super League licences."


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What People Against Gay Adoptions Aren't telling...

The push against gay, lesbian, and same-sex couple adoption is more about
gay discrimination than child welfare. So, before you buy into the myths and
rhetoric that gay adoption poses an unsafe environment for children or that a
gay household is a "recruitment center" for young adults, the facts those against
same-sex adoption aren't telling you:
  • There are already thousands of children living in gay couple households. The 2000 U. S. 
  • Census reports 33% of female same-sex couple households and 22% of male same-sex 
  • couple households already have at least one child under the age of 18 living at home.
  • According to the American Psychological Association Policy Statement on Sexual 
  • Orientation, Parents, & Children, "there is no reliable evidence that homosexual 
  • orientation per se impairs psychological functioning. Second, beliefs that lesbian and 
  • gay adults are not fit parents have no empirical foundation."
  • The American Psychological Association also states "Research suggests that sexual 
  • identities (including gender identity, gender-role behavior, and sexual orientation) develop
  •  in much the same ways among children of lesbian mothers as they do among children of 
  • heterosexual parents"
  • There is no conclusive evidence that homosexuality is linked to one's environment. In other words, 
  • growing up in a gay couple household will not "make" a child gay. Read Nature vs. Nurture: 
  • Born or Made Gay
  • According to The Sydney Morning Herald, only 50,000 of the 120,000 children available
  •  for adoption in recent years have found homes yet groups against gay adoption seek 
  • to reduce
  •  the number of available homes based on false perception and unfounded evidence
  •  about gay parents.
What happens if children in gay and lesbian couple households can't be adopted 
(or the parents aren't granted legal custody)?
  • By banning gay adoption, children in gay couple households have no legal status should something happen to the parents, including death or serious illness.
  • Neither the parent or child has visitation rights if the parents separate.
  • The child cannot claim inheritances or other household assets in case of death.
  • If one parent dies, the second parent has no legal right to take custody or care for the child.
  • A parent without legal right to a child cannot legally register him/her for school.
  • Parents cannot put children on some health insurance plans.
  • Parents cannot make medical decisions for the child.
  • The child has no claim to the social security or other insurance benefits of the parent.
  • Gay couple parents without adoption rights do not benefit from the generous tax deductions 

  • By , About.com Guide

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