"It is true, and thus the question of whether it is sad or happy has no meaning whatever."
Bernhard Schlink

Science is best when discussed: leave your thoughts and ideas in the comments!!

Monday, April 16, 2007

Passing Blame 

The American Taliban is really obsessed with sex. They don't want people to have any fun with it, for starters, and they certainly don't want anyone who isn't Just. Like. Them. to be having it. And since they are mostly middle-aged or older, we get "abstinence-only sex ed." Which, aside from being ridiculous, is now officially ineffective. But we all knew this - if abstinence rules, as are claimed to have been followed "in the good old days," were followed, the human race would have dies out long ago. But of course these folks (who also claim to be big on "fiscal responsibility") want to keep spending hundreds of millions of dollars on abstinence-only programs.

Once you've had sex, they really, REALLY don't want you to be able to control whether or not you get pregnant. Luckily, the Washington State government has just passed a law requiring that pharmacies (though not necessarily individual pharmacists) must fill any and all legal prescriptions. This will hopefully defuse a particularly odious tactic employed by the AT - that of health care providers (all of whom took an oath of one sort or another to provide care) refusing to fill certain prescriptions or care for certain patients on "moral" grounds.

And speaking of things that you can justifiably blame for all your problems: UK researchers have found that hypertension may be due to brain inflammation, in addition to or as opposed to (it's not clear which) circulatory causes. The culprit seems to be a newly discovered protein called junctional adhesion molecule-1 (JAM-1)...for once it may be time to, errr ... pump down the JAM.

Speaking of blame and stomach-turning puns, Pittsburgh researchers have identified three more genes which appear to contribute to Crohn's disease: PHOX2B, NCF4, and autophagic gene ATG16L1. Cool!

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