"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!!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Little Green Men Get Stoned, Stupid, and Sick 

OK, this is America, so they're probably a little more like, uhm, larger green men. And women. And children.

Hopkins researchers have found that a topical application of broccoli extract 'activates' protective enzyme systems which reduce the harmful effects of UV rays, while still allowing stimulation of vitamin D production (which is deficient in people using sunscreen all the time). The problem? Thus far, there is no way to make the stuff so it doesn't turn you green. I suppose some people would be in to that.

Speaking of good greens, in what may be a first, UCSD researchers have published an actual clinical trial which indicates that moderate doses of THC, via smoked marijuana, reduce induced neuropathic pain. The more trials like this that get done, the closer we can (hopefully) get to a sensible pot policy. I just wish the trial had been done in actual neuropathy patients, as opposed to induced healthy ones...it's not like it's a rare condition!

The ban on marijuana leads to depriving many people of needed treatments and improved lifestyle, but possibly even more serious is the poor quality of care received by elderly Americans. A UCLA study of Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries found that they are only getting about 65% of the care they ought to be getting. This includes really basic stuff, like diabetic sugar control and eye exams - things that cost nothing to provide, relative to their enormous costs after failure. YET ANOTHER reason we need a serious national health coverage adjustment. Hillary's isn't the best ever, but it's the best anybody's got now.

Finally, some good/bad news. There's a line of evidence that more education delays Alzheimer's onset, and a study in the current issue of Neurology confirms this, but also finds that it's associated with a more rapid decline once incidence occurs. This could seem like a wash, but I'd much rather be healthy for longer and die quicker, than linger on longer, unable to think or remember or do anything, really.

Now playing: Fancy Fruit - Kvarnen Vs Carmen
via FoxyTunes

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