Tag Archives: Hard
Who wants some more Wang? Flying Wild Hog does: the developer behind Hard Reset today revealed it’s remaking 1997 first-person shooter Shadow Warrior, along with Hotline Miami publisher Devolver Digital.
The original follow-up to Duke Nukem 3D stars Lo Wang, a former bodyguard for an evil corporation. Wang slices and shoots his way to vengeance against the head of his ex-employer, portraying a questionable mish mash of Asian culture and kung fu movie tropes along the way.
Flying Wild Hog’s Facebook page revealed only the logo and above website, but if the new Shadow Warrior resembles the recent surge of ’90s shooter resurrections–Duke Nukem Forever, Rise of the Triad, and Wolfenstein: The New Order to name a few–fast, gorey action is a no-brainer.
THURSDAY April 18, 2013 — Demanding physical work may boost a person’s risk of heart disease, two new studies suggest.
“Physicians know that high stress can be associated with increased risk of heart disease,” said one expert not connected to the study, Dr. Lawrence Phillips, a cardiologist at NYU Langone Medical Center in New York City. “These two studies suggest that, in addition to normal life stressors, the physical demands a person experiences in the workplace can independently increase their risk as well.”
“The reason for this [labor-linked risk] is unclear, but might be related to higher stress levels,” Phillips said.
In one study, researchers looked at 250 patients who had suffered a first stroke and 250 who had suffered a first heart attack or other type of heart event. They were compared to a control group of 500 healthy people.
Stroke and heart patients were more likely to have physically demanding jobs than those in the control group, researchers found. After adjusting for age, sex and a number of lifestyle and health factors, they concluded that having a less physically demanding job was associated with a 20 percent lower risk of a heart event or stroke.
The findings suggest that people with physically demanding jobs should be considered an important target group for prevention of cardiovascular disease, said study author Dr. Demosthenes Panagiotakos, an associate professor of biostatistics and epidemiology at Harokopio University in Athens, Greece.
The results seem to conflict with recommendations that people should exercise to reduce their risk of heart trouble. But Panagiotakos said the increased risk of stroke and heart events among people with physically demanding jobs may be due to mental stress, while exercise helps reduce stress. He also said people with physically demanding jobs tend to have lower incomes, which might limit their access to health care.
The study suggests that leisure-time exercise might be important to “balance out” the physical stress encountered in laborious jobs, said Dr. Tara Narula, associate director of the cardiac care unit at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City. She was not connected to the study.
“This delicate interaction between work and leisure-time activity warrants further research in order to appropriately guide public health,” she said.
The study was presented at a meeting of the European Society of Cardiology, taking place this week in Rome.
In a second study presented at the same meeting, researchers looked at more than 14,000 middle-aged men who did not have heart disease and were followed for about three years on average. The investigators found that physically demanding work was a risk factor for developing coronary heart disease.
They also found that men with physically demanding jobs who also did moderate to high levels of exercise during their leisure time had an even greater risk (more than four-fold higher) of developing coronary heart disease.
Phillips, who also is an assistant professor in the department of medicine at NYU Langone, said the finding was a bit surprising. “This is a new finding that was not previously seen,” he said. “Further studies to support this finding will be needed. As with many areas of medicine, a one-size-fits-all approach to leisure exercise might not work.”
Study author Dr. Els Clays, of the department of public health at the University of Ghent, in Belgium, weighed in on the study in a society news release.
“From a public health perspective, it is very important to know whether people with physically demanding jobs should be advised to engage in leisure-time activity,” Clays said.
“The results of this study suggest that additional physical activity during leisure time in those who are already physically exhausted from their daily occupation does not induce a ‘training’ effect but rather an overloading effect on the cardiovascular system,” Clays said.
On the other hand, the study did find that men with less physically demanding jobs were 60 percent less likely to develop heart disease if they exercised during their leisure time.
“Further studies will be needed to find out the cause of increased heart disease in those people who have high physical job demands,” Phillips said.
Both studies could point only to an association between hard physical labor and increased heart risk, not a cause-and-effect. Studies presented at a medical meetings typically are viewed as preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed journal.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more about heart disease.
Posted: April 2013
Eighteen states (plus the District of Columbia) allow cannabis use for certain medical conditions. Despite that, scientists have a harder time doing research on the potential medical benefits of marijuana than they do on “harder” drugs like ecstasy or magic mushrooms. The public may think of pot use as no big deal, but federal laws make it difficult for researchers to obtain legal supplies. Clinical researchers can get permission from the DEA to grow or create restricted compounds like LSD, MDMA or psilocybin in the lab; not so with cannabis.
The Controlled Substances Act of 1970 placed marijuana in the most restrictive use category, Schedule I, deeming it a drug with no medicinal value and high potential for abuse. To do clinical research with marijuana, you need a DEA license, and you need to get your study approved by the FDA. When it comes to actually obtaining research-grade marijuana, though, you have to go through the National Institute on Drug Abuse, a process that has proved problematic for some researchers determined to study the potential medical benefits of pot.
“Marijuana is a linchpin in the War on Drugs,” explains Brad Burge, the director of communications for the Multidisciplinary Association of Psychedelic Research (MAPS), an organization currently embroiled in a lawsuit with the DEA over the right to establish a medical marijuana farm. “There’s a lot of investment in marijuana remaining illegal.”
Anecdotal evidence suggests that marijuana can reduce chronic pain, reduce muscle spasms in patients with multiple sclerosis and perhaps even help treat symptoms of PTSD. The small amount of clinical research out there also supports the idea that marijuana could be an effective treatment for pain. A 2007 study found that smoking cannabis reduced chronic pain in HIV-positive patients by 34 percent. Results from a Canadian study in 2010 further supported the theory that it can reduce the intensity of neuropathic pain–pain caused by damage to the nervous system–and help patients sleep.
Both the American Medical Association and the American College of Physicians have called for more research into the therapeutic uses of marijuana and for the U.S. government to reconsider its classification as a Schedule I substance.
The University of Mississippi grows and harvests cannabis for studies funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, yet because NIDA’s congressionally mandated mission is to research the harmful effects of controlled substances and stop drug abuse, the institute isn’t interested in helping establish marijuana as a medicine.
“If you’re going to run a trial to show this is going to have positive effects, they’re essentially not going to allow it,” Lyle Craker, a professor and horticulturist at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, says.
The federal government’s position on marijuana, according to a January 2011 document featured prominently on the DEA’s homepage, is that
The clear weight of the currently available evidence supports [Schedule I] classification, including evidence that smoked marijuana has a high potential for abuse, has no accepted medicinal value in treatment in the United States, and evidence that there is a general lack of accepted safety for its use even under medical supervision… Specifically, smoked marijuana has not withstood the rigors of science–it is not medicine, and it is not safe.
Burge tells a different story. “The United States government has gone to great lengths to prevent [medical] research on whole-plant marijuana,” he says, though research into isolated components of the plant has gone on.
“We have an FDA-approved protocol, but the only way to actually get marijuana for the study, the only federally approved source, is at University of Mississippi,” he says. “NIDA refused to sell us the marijuana for this study.”
According to NIDA, the agency can provide research-grade marijuana to projects that have received funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), or to a non NIH-funded project that has an approved Investigational New Drug application on file with the FDA; has proper DEA registration; and has been approved as scientifically valid by a Health and Human Services scientific review panel.
The agency describes its position on cannabis research as such:
NIDA as well as other Institutes and Centers within the National Institutes of Health (NIH) have supported and will continue to support research on both the adverse effects and therapeutic uses for marijuana provided the research applications meet accepted standards of scientific design and, on the basis of peer review, public health significance, and Institute priorities.
Because MAPS only needs supplies, not funding, the organization, with the help of Lyle Craker, has been trying to establish a private medical marijuana farm to supply cannabis for research for the past 12 years. The organization is currently suing the DEA for denying its license even after a DEA judge ruled in 2009 that such a license would serve the public interest.
Meanwhile, MAPS has applied to buy pot from the NIDA for a study on PTSD. In 2011, the scientific review panel from the Department of Health and Human Services rejected the application, citing concerns with the study’s design, though the protocol had already been approved by the FDA and has since been approved by the University of Arizona’s institutional review boards. MAPS has added a few safety procedures and plans on resubmitting the protocol to the HHS scientific review panel, but MAPS founder Rick Dobiln says he is “not hopeful since the core elements of the protocol design remain the same.”
Not everyone has had solely negative experiences with the bodies that control the flow of research-grade marijuana. The process just requires some bureaucratic legerdemain.
In 1992, Doblin approached Donald Abrams, a professor of medicine at the University of California, San Francisco and the chief of Hematology/Oncology at San Francisco General Hospital, and suggested he look into doing a clinical trial on the benefits of cannabis for HIV patients.
“Having gone to college in the ’60s myself, I thought it might be worth investigating,” Abrams says. “Little did I know how difficult that would be.” First, he attempted to study the role cannabis could play in treating patients suffering from HIV Wasting Syndrome, a condition that caused patients to lose weight and basically wither away and die without even getting an infection. But NIDA failed to approve his request for funding.
Continue reading article @ http://www.popsci.com/science/article/2013-04/why-its-so-hard-scientists-study-pot?page=1
Author: Shaunacy Ferro
Source: Popular Science
MONDAY March 4, 2013 — At the top of his game, it’s hard to imagine New York Giants linebacker Mark Herzlick as anything other than the picture of health. But the 25-year-old is a cancer survivor.
In 2009, Herzlick was diagnosed with Ewing’s sarcoma, a particularly rare form of bone tumor with few treatment options. Rarer cancers often have fewer therapies because the research money just hasn’t been there to seek out new cures.
So, Herzlick, along with stars such as “Saturday Night Live” comic Seth Meyers and “Top Chef” host Padma Lakshmi, donned bike shorts Sunday and joined in the annual “Cycle for Survival” fundraiser for rare cancer research at New York City’s Rockefeller Center.
“I’m here,” Herzlick said, “because I know what having this kind of rare disease is all about.”
Launched in 2007, “Cycle for Survival” is hosted nationwide at outlets of event co-founder Equinox gyms. Each year the event attracts thousands of self-sponsored teams of volunteers — the famous and not-so-famous.
Sunday’s New York City event, staged at three of Equinox’s facilities, also included “Survivor” winner (and cancer survivor) Ethan Zohn; Olympic figure skating silver medalist Sasha Cohen; and Huffington Post editor-in-chief Arianna Huffington.
Together they jumped on indoor stationary bikes and, in four-hour shifts, spun wheels with one goal in mind — to fund research being conducted at NYC’s Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center.
The name “rare cancers” might even be a misnomer. According to the U.S. Rare Diseases Act of 2002, enacted to help boost research funding, a “rare disease” is anything affecting less than 200,000 people a year. This means that many lymphomas and subtypes of colon cancer might be considered “rare,” as well as every form of cancer affecting children.
“Cycle for Survival” started with the late Jennifer Goodman Linn, who was affected by a rare soft tissue sarcoma and passed away in 2011. Jennifer and her husband Dave organized the event as a practical response to the fact that although, in sum, rare cancers account for more than 50 percent of all cancer diagnoses in the United States, individually such diseases affect too few patients to attract significant research dollars.
“I first got involved four or five years ago,” SNL’s Meyers said at the event. “Dave [Linn] and I went to Northwestern [University] together, so I’ve known him for 20 years. And even though Jennifer ultimately didn’t make it, it’s really special to continue to come out and participate and honor her memory.”
Herzlick’s participation is even more personal.
“I was a senior in college, and I was told that I would never be able to walk again,” he said. Ewing’s sarcoma typically occurs among children and young adults, affecting the long bones of the arms, legs, pelvis or chest. “Actually, if I had had it 20 years ago they would’ve amputated my leg immediately,” the linebacker said.
He added that the same disease took the life of a good family friend just this past year.
“But I’m in full remission now,” Herzlick added. “Cancer-free for three years. And I’m playing football. And that’s only because of external organizations like this one, that raise money and attention for these very rare diseases that wouldn’t get the kind of federal funding that more common diseases, like prostate or colon cancer, would get. So I feel it’s really important to come and show my support.”
The organizers for this year’s “Cycle for Survival” said the event is being hosted at 10 different Equinox locations from coast to coast, and will be attended by more than 13,000 volunteer cyclists. So far, the annual event has raised nearly $ 31 million for cancer research ($ 12 million in 2013 alone), 100 percent of which has gone toward the funding of 53 different Memorial Sloan-Kettering rare cancer research programs.
Beyond his personal connection to the Linns, Meyers said he believes the effort is enriching on many levels, both public and private.
“Of course, it’s great that an event like this draws awareness to awful diseases that don’t get enough attention,” he said. “But I also think that we shouldn’t underestimate how really inspiring it is for the people who get involved. I think that people who come down here to participate get a lot out of it. Because a cancer diagnosis can make people feel helpless. And this is a way for them to do something and feel empowered.”
Find out more about rare cancers and their treatment at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center.
Posted: March 2013
FRIDAY Feb. 8, 2013 — Death, taxes … and bedbugs?
Infestations of bedbugs are on the rise in the United States and elsewhere, and while people are “bedbug magnets,” the tiny pests are hard to detect, an expert says.
One in five Americans has had a bedbug infestation in their home or knows someone who has encountered bedbugs, according to the National Pest Management Association.
You may not have seen any in your home, but that doesn’t mean they’re not there, said Dr. Jorge Parada, medical director of the infection control program at Loyola University Health System in Maywood, Ill.
“Look closely because bedbugs are very hard to see,” Parada said in a university news release. “Bedbugs love to hide in the cracks and crevices associated with mattresses, cushions, bed frames and other structures. They are rarely seen out in the open or on the resting surface of beds or chairs.”
“Bedbugs are champions of hide-and-seek. It is not uncommon to miss the bedbugs altogether, so also look for telltale signs of bedbug infestation,” he added. “These may be suspected if specks of blood or feces are found on the linens, mattresses or behind wallpaper.”
“Bedbugs are sometimes described as appearing like an apple seed,” Parada said.
Adult bedbugs range in size from five to seven millimeters (less than one-quarter of an inch), while juveniles may be as small as 1.5 mm (one-sixteenth of an inch).
“With feeding, they enlarge, or engorge, with blood,” Parada said. “The adults turn from more brown to more red in color, while the translucent nymphs may become bright red.”
Bedbugs typically bite at night on exposed areas of skin such as the face, neck, hands and arms. The bite itself is painless and can look like other insect bites.
“Clues that can suggest the presence of bedbugs include finding red, itchy bites upon awakening — especially if the bites line up in a row on the skin,” Parada said. “However, while some people develop a bite reaction immediately, others may take two to three days before a reaction becomes noticeable, and not all people react to bites.”
He noted that a bedbug bite can look like a tiny puncture wound without a surrounding reaction, and can easily be missed. Thirty percent of people living in bedbug-infested homes don’t report bites or skin reactions.
However, “other people have exuberant reactions, with large, red, raised and itchy welts,” Parada said. “This is especially true if one becomes sensitized to bedbug bites, so that with repeated bites there may be an exaggerated reaction to the bite.”
Eliminating bedbugs is not something you can do yourself. “Bedbugs are notoriously difficult to eradicate and there is good reason to get professional help from qualified pest professionals with expertise in treating bed bugs,” Parada advised.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more about bedbugs.
Posted: February 2013