/* mobile /* end mobile MEDDESKTOP: July 2007

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Aquafina changes labels to say water is from tap

PepsiCo is the latest company to offer some clarity about the source of its top-selling bottled water as it announced Friday it would change the label on Aquafina water bottles to spell out that the drink comes from the same source as tap water.

A group called Corporate Accountability International has been pressuring bottled water sellers to curb what it calls misleading marketing practices. The group has criticized PepsiCo over its blue Aquafina label with a mountain logo as perpetuating the misconception that the water comes from spring sources.

Aquafina is the single biggest bottled water brand, and its bottles are now labeled "P.W.S." The new labels will spell out "public water source."

The corporate accountability group is also pressing for similar concessions from Coca-Cola, which owns the Dasani water brand, and Nestle Waters North America, seller of Nestle Pure Life purified drinking water, which gets some of its water from municipal sources.

Monday, July 23, 2007

West Nile, something to watch out in California!

West Nile virus has surged in parts of California, killing one woman and infecting 27 other people, health officials said on Sunday.One elderly woman has died from complications of the disease, making her the first death in the state from the virus this year, according to health officials. They also attributed the surge to unusually high temperatures throughout the state in March. Of the 27 cases, 18 incidents were recorded just last week. By this time last year, only five had been reported.

Dead birds or other animals in 36 of California's 58 counties, have tested positive for West Nile virus, according to the state website tracking the disease, westnile.ca.gov.

Dr. Mark Horton, director of the state's public health department, recommended that people take steps to avoid mosquito bites.
"Even though the likelihood of serious illness from West Nile virus is low for most people, all Californians should take every precaution to reduce their risk of exposure," he said.
Less than 1 percent will become seriously ill, with those older than 50 particularly vulnerable. Recent data also indicate that people with diabetes or hypertension are at greatest risk.

Severe symptoms can include disorientation, coma, tremors, convulsions, muscle weakness, vision loss, numbness and paralysis. The neurological effects can be permanent.

News source Xinhua

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Fight Summer heat and fatigue in Japanese way!

I used to live in Japan and Japanese summer is not an easy Summer. Hot, muggy and (add your own) never ending. Even if office allowed to wear summer attire "Cool Biz"(tie not required) I used to take a few baths a day. Because I perspire a lot. I am fine in hot weather as long as there is enough liquid to drink and water wash myself. But I have seen many fight it with less comfort and succumb to Natsubate, summer fatigue .
Anyway back to Japanese Summer fighting!
Tomoko Otake at The Japan Times has written a very nice article that made me remember the summers in Japan!, which I am looking forward to spend again in the future!
I am going to pick best parts and let you enjoy Tomoko's article by following th link below.

"Carry clothes that are easy to put on and take off: Many offices are excessively air-conditioned. Bring a cardigan or a long-sleeved shirt to your office and wear it when you feel cold. To counter the air conditioning, some office workers nowadays bring to their offices a yutampo (hot-water bottle), which many Japanese traditionally use to make their futon warm in the winter. You can buy yutampo at a drug store for a few thousand yen apiece. Another tip is to ask your office to turn their air conditioning down (which conserves energy, too.)

Get enough sleep: It might sound elementary, but sleep is indeed essential to avoid and recover from natsubate. If you have problems going to sleep because of the heat, place a bag of ice on your pillow for a few minutes, or turn on an air-conditioner with a timer, making sure that it switches off after several hours. Turning air conditioning on throughout the night is often a cause of natsubate.

Work out regularly: People who can sweat effectively are less likely to suffer from natsubate because their bodies are better conditioned to accommodate temperature changes. Regular exercise can prepare people for that. It also helps them build stamina to survive the summer."

All right now the link to Tomoko's article where you can find a recipe for Hiyajiru, ( a soup I enjoyed a lot) from hiyajiru otaku (obsessive fan of hiyajiru) among many other summer food sugestions;

How to survive summer fatigue by Tomoko Otake

Updated: Pulparindo tainted with hight levels of Lead. Picture added

SACRAMENTO—State health officials issued a public warning Friday against eating certain candy from Mexico that appears tainted with high levels of lead.

Department of Public Health Director Dr. Mark Horton warned consumers not to eat De La Rosa Pulparindo candy imported from Mexico."Lead is toxic to humans, especially infants, young children and developing fetuses, and can result in learning disabilities and behavioral disorders that could last a lifetime," Horton said.
De La Rosa Pulparindo is a tamarind pulp candy that comes packed in 10-ounce boxes containing individually wrapped half-ounce candies. The boxes are bright red in color with the word "Pulparindo" boldly printed in black letters.
A department analysis found the candy contained between 0.12 and 0.18 parts per million of lead. California considers candies with lead levels more than 0.1 ppm unacceptable.
Dul-Mex Guadalajara Inc. of Hayward, the distributor where the De La Rosa Pulparindo was sampled, initiated a voluntary recall of the product, the department said.


Illinois has third West Nile virus case!

The Illinois state announced Wednesday July 18 that a third Illinoisan for 2007 has been found infected with mosquito-borne West Nile virus.

The Madison County man in his 60's suffered a neuroinvasive disease, a severe form of West Nile virus while the virus in mosquitoes was not reported in the county. He reportedly traveled within Illinois and other states during the incubation period.

“So far this year there are three cases of people reported to have West Nile virus in Illinois, compared with no human cases this time last year. So, this third human case this year should make everyone more cautious,” said Dr. Eric E. Whitaker, Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) Director.


Castleberry Recalls Canned Meat Products

There is a new recall released on July 19 by the FSIS following two early recalls released by the FDA and Castleberry for certain chili sauces and canned meat products due to concerns about the possible contamination of Clostridium botulinum, which can lead to botulism, a potentially fatal food poisoning.
FSIS Report; (Product Labels are below!)

WASHINGTON, July 19, 2007 - Castleberry's Food Company, an Augusta, Ga., establishment owned by Bumble Bee Foods, LLC, is voluntarily recalling approximately 721,389 pounds of canned meat products that may contain Clostridium botulinum as a result of an equipment malfunction, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service announced today.

The following products are subject to recall:

10-ounce cans of "Castleberry's BUNKER HILL, ORIGINAL Chili NO BEANS." Each label bears the establishment number "EST. 195" inside the USDA seal of inspection. The bottom of each can is stamped with a "best by" date of "5/22/2009."

15-ounce cans of "Castleberry's CHILI WITH BEANS." Each label bears the establishment number "EST. 195" inside the USDA seal of inspection. The bottom of each can is stamped with a "best by" date of "5/17/2009."

10-ounce cans of "Castleberry's HICKORY SMOKED, OVEN ROASTED, WITH SKINS, BARBECUE PORK IN BARBECUE SAUCE." Each label bears the establishment number "EST. 195" inside the USDA seal of inspection. The bottom of each can is stamped with a "best by" date of "5/17/2009."

15-ounce cans of "Cattle Drive CHILI WITH BEANS." Each label bears the establishment number "EST. 195" inside the USDA seal of inspection. The bottom of each can is stamped with a "best by" date of "4/30/2009," "5/10/2009" or "5/21/2009."

15-ounce cans of "Meijer CORNED BEEF HASH." Each label bears the establishment number "EST. 195" inside the USDA seal of inspection. The bottom of each can is stamped a "best by" date of "5/3/2009."

15-ounce cans of "MORTON HOUSE Corned Beef Hash." Each label bears the establishment number "EST. 195" inside the USDA seal of inspection. The bottom of each can is stamped with a "best by" date of "5/3/2009."

15-ounce cans of "SOUTHERN HOME CORNED BEEF HASH." Each label bears the establishment number "EST. 195" inside the USDA seal of inspection. The bottom of each can is stamped with a "best by" date of "5/3/2009."

The canned meat products were produced between April 30 and May 22, 2007 and were distributed to retail establishments in Alabama, Arkansas, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia and Wisconsin.
The problem regarding the equipment malfunction was discovered during an investigation into illnesses in Indiana and Texas. The investigation led to a recall by the Food and Drug Administration of three types of meatless hotdog chili sauce. There have been no reports of illness from consumption of the products listed in this news release.

Botulism is a rare but serious paralytic illness caused by a nerve toxin. Symptoms of botulism include double vision, blurred vision, drooping eyelids, slurred speech, difficulty swallowing, dry mouth, and muscle weakness. The illness can cause paralysis, respiratory failure and death. Symptoms usually occur from 18 to 36 hours after eating contaminated food. Anyone concerned about an illness should contact a physician.

Consumers with questions about the recall should contact Castleberry's Consumer Hotline at (888) 203-8446. Media with questions about the recall should contact the company public affairs representative Della Sweetman at (619) 200-0436 or Doug McGraw at (212) 453-2202.

Last Modified: July 19, 2007
Product Labels

Label, recalled chili

Label, Recalled Chili with Beans

Label, recalled barbecue pork

Label, recalled chili with beans

Label, recalled corned beef hash

Label, recalled corned beef hash

Label, recalled corned beef hash

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Nerites Gekel, new wet and dry medadheshive!

New Nerites adhesive that combines the sticky prowess of both geckos and mussels, works well on wet and dry surfaces, and can be
reused over a thousand times. The adhesive, dubbed "GECKEL(TM)", was developed by Nerites Scientific Advisor Dr. Phillip Messersmith at
Northwestern University's Biomedical Engineering Department.
"Like our mussel derived synthetic adhesives, we believe these new GECKEL adhesives will complement our developing portfolio of innovative
products," said Thomas J. Mozer, Ph.D., President and CEO of Nerites Corporation. "This technology will help us develop medical devices with a
wide variety of unique applications."

Video of various properties of the adhesive.

The specialized foot hairs of a gecko give the animal its ability to hang on to surfaces upside down with a temporary adhesion that allows the
gecko to walk. By creating tiny nanostructures very similar to these hairs, scientists have captured these properties in synthetic mimics. However the
maintenance of adhesive performance over many cycles has been elusive and greatly diminished upon full immersion in water. The GECKEL adhesive
contains an array of pillars resembling the geckos' foot hairs. To improve adhesion and durability, Dr. Messersmith coated the pillar with a thin
layer of a different synthetic polymer, developed in his labs, that mimics the wet adhesive proteins found in mussel holdfasts. In addition to a
15-fold increase in wet adhesion, the system maintained its adhesive performance for over a thousand contact cycles in both dry and wet
Nerites Corporation develops novel tissue repair products and coatings that prevent bacterial adhesion to medical devices
base on unique water resistant adhesive technology. These synthetic hair-like compounds are based upon research by Dr. Phil Messersmith at
Northwestern University's Department of Biomedical Engineering on how marine mussels bind to surfaces underwater. This research is a breakthrough
advance in biologically-compatible adhesives that provide completely new options for tissue repair, skin adhesives, and device coatings. Nerites is
based in Madison, Wisconsin.

Nerites nes release

SBA Chief Steve Preston Focuses on Health Care With President

WASHINGTON, July 18 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- SBA Administrator Steve
Preston today discussed health care issues with President Bush and small
business owners during a visit to Man & Machine, Inc. of Landover, MD.

"Since coming to SBA I've met hundreds of small business people around
the country," Preston said. "When I ask what Washington can do to help
them, it is clear health care reform tops the list. They pay a
significantly higher cost for medical coverage, which takes dollars away
from investment, expansion, and job creation in our country."

SBA Chief Steve Preston Focuses on Health Care With President

Monday, July 09, 2007

Kylin Therapeutics Licenses an RNAi Delivery Technology

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Purdue Research Foundation announced Monday (July 9) that it has granted Purdue Research Park startup company Kylin Therapeutics Inc., an exclusive license to commercialize a biotechnology that will better target RNA interference (RNAi) delivery technology to combat disease-causing genes.

The license agreement includes more than 12 patent applications covering pRNA. The pRNA technology was invented and developed by Peixuan Guo when he was a professor of molecular virology and biomedical engineering and faculty scholar at Purdue University. Currently, he is an endowed professor and director of the Nanomedicine Bionanotechnology Center at the University of Cincinnati.

"RNAi was the subject of the 2006 Nobel Prize for Medicine and Physiology and is regarded as one of the most important therapeutic discoveries in decades," Guo said. "Through the use of small interfering RNA (siRNA), RNAi-based technologies can be used to silence disease-causing genes.

"The therapeutic relevance of siRNA is in jeopardy unless it can be delivered in a targeted fashion. pRNA solves this problem for RNAi and other RNA-based therapeutics."

Kylins Therapeutics lead product is a pRNA-based therapeutic to treat cancer, and the company's initial plans are to focus on cancer therapy, with follow-on treatments for viral diseases such as AIDS.

RNAi represents a paradigm shift in the pharmaceutical industry giving clinicians and scientists the ability to selectively silence disease-causing genes. pRNA is the missing link necessary for RNAi to be delivered in a targeted, systemic fashion," said Eric Davis, CEO of Kylin Therapeutics, which is a Purdue Research Park company. "This will allow Kylin to realize RNAis full therapeutic potential.

IN-vivo Ventures and Golden Pine Ventures helped to form Kylin Therapeutics and provided seed financing to launch the companys development efforts.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Organic Tomatoes better for Blood Pressure control and your heart

Flavanoids are a class of water-soluble pigments that are present in many plants. Scientists have identified a few thousand different flavonoids. Flavonoids are known to lower hypertension (high blood pressure), thus lowering heart disease and stroke risk. Studies have also indicated that flavonoids may protect us to some extent from cancer and dementia.
So where do we usually get Flavanoids, basically from colorful vegetables! You are eating your vegetables right? I really don't like my vegetables but I eat them.
Anyway researchers have found that quercetin and kaempferol, two flavonoids, in dried tomato samples. They found that levels of quercetin were 79% higher, and kaempferol 97% higher in the organic tomatoes, compared to the non-organic ones.
So don't pass that organic isle just because too expensive. It is healthier to eat organic food, always as long as the farmers, producers have followed the guidelines.
You can read the new scientist article "Organic tomatoes have more antioxidants" based on the research conducted at the University of California, Davis.
The research and study, is also published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, (Abstract only! The complete paper could be had after registration at the site)

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Happy Independence Day! America!!

Be happy, enjoy the BBQ's, fireworks and mostly the Freedom that many others in the world crave!
Be careful, be healthy!
ak, alaska, alaska animal, alaska animals, alaska bald eagle, alaska bald eagles,  alaskan bald

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Dark Chocolate, for your health

Effects of Cocoa Intake on Blood Pressure

Preliminary evidence suggested that regular consumption of polyphenols in cocoa (equivalent to ≥100 g of chocolate per day) was associated with lower blood pressure (BP). Given concerns about the high sugar, fat, and calorie intake from cocoa consumption of this magnitude, the effects of low doses of cocoa would be of interest. Taubert and colleagues report results of a clinical trial in which 44 older adults who had untreated prehypertension or stage 1 hypertension were randomly assigned to either 6.3 g (28.9 kcal) per day of dark chocolate containing 30 mg of polyphenols or a matching amount of polyphenol-free white chocolate. At the 18th week of follow-up, the authors found that participants consuming dark chocolate had experienced reductions from baseline in mean (SD) systolic and diastolic BP of 2.9 (1.6) mm Hg and 1.9 (1.0) mm Hg, respectively, without changes in body weight or other adverse effects. Persons who were consuming white chocolate experienced no change in BP.

Results From baseline to 18 weeks, dark chocolate intake reduced mean (SD) systolic BP by –2.9 (1.6) mm Hg (P < .001) and diastolic BP by –1.9 (1.0) mm Hg (P < .001) without changes in body weight, plasma levels of lipids, glucose, and 8-isoprostane. Hypertension prevalence declined from 86% to 68%. The BP decrease was accompanied by a sustained increase of S-nitrosoglutathione by 0.23 (0.12) nmol/L (P < .001), and a dark chocolate dose resulted in the appearance of cocoa phenols in plasma. White chocolate intake caused no changes in BP or plasma biomarkers.

Conclusions Data in this relatively small sample of otherwise healthy individuals with above-optimal BP indicate that inclusion of small amounts of polyphenol-rich dark chocolate as part of a usual diet efficiently reduced BP and improved formation of vasodilative nitric oxide.

Visit JAMA for complete Article!

West Nile Virus FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) and Answers!

From CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)

What Is West Nile Virus?
West Nile virus (WNV) is a potentially serious illness. Experts believe WNV is established as a seasonal epidemic in North America that flares up in the summer and continues into the fall. This fact sheet contains important information that can help you recognize and prevent West Nile virus.

What Can I Do to Prevent WNV?
The easiest and best way to avoid WNV is to prevent mosquito bites.

  • When you are outdoors, use insect repellent containing an EPA-registered active ingredient. Follow the directions on the package.
  • Many mosquitoes are most active at dusk and dawn. Be sure to use insect repellent and wear long sleeves and pants at these times or consider staying indoors during these hours.
  • Make sure you have good screens on your windows and doors to keep mosquitoes out.
  • Get rid of mosquito breeding sites by emptying standing water from flower pots, buckets and barrels. Change the water in pet dishes and replace the water in bird baths weekly. Drill holes in tire swings so water drains out. Keep children's wading pools empty and on their sides when they aren't being used.

What Are the Symptoms of WNV?

  • Serious Symptoms in a Few People. About one in 150 people infected with WNV will develop severe illness. The severe symptoms can include high fever, headache, neck stiffness, stupor, disorientation, coma, tremors, convulsions, muscle weakness, vision loss, numbness and paralysis. These symptoms may last several weeks, and neurological effects may be permanent.
  • Milder Symptoms in Some People. Up to 20 percent of the people who become infected have symptoms such as fever, headache, and body aches, nausea, vomiting, and sometimes swollen lymph glands or a skin rash on the chest, stomach and back. Symptoms can last for as short as a few days, though even healthy people have become sick for several weeks.
  • No Symptoms in Most People. Approximately 80 percent of people (about 4 out of 5) who are infected with WNV will not show any symptoms at all.

How Does West Nile Virus Spread?

  • Infected Mosquitoes. Most often, WNV is spread by the bite of an infected mosquito. Mosquitoes become infected when they feed on infected birds. Infected mosquitoes can then spread WNV to humans and other animals when they bite.
  • Transfusions, Transplants, and Mother-to-Child. In a very small number of cases, WNV also has been spread through blood transfusions, organ transplants, breastfeeding and even during pregnancy from mother to baby.
  • Not through touching. WNV is not spread through casual contact such as touching or kissing a person with the virus.

How Soon Do Infected People Get Sick?
People typically develop symptoms between 3 and 14 days after they are bitten by the infected mosquito.

How Is WNV Infection Treated?
There is no specific treatment for WNV infection. In cases with milder symptoms, people experience symptoms such as fever and aches that pass on their own, although even healthy people have become sick for several weeks. In more severe cases, people usually need to go to the hospital where they can receive supportive treatment including intravenous fluids, help with breathing and nursing care.

What Should I Do if I Think I Have WNV?
Milder WNV illness improves on its own, and people do not necessarily need to seek medical attention for this infection though they may choose to do so. If you develop symptoms of severe WNV illness, such as unusually severe headaches or confusion, seek medical attention immediately. Severe WNV illness usually requires hospitalization. Pregnant women and nursing mothers are encouraged to talk to their doctor if they develop symptoms that could be WNV.

What Is the Risk of Getting Sick from WNV?

People over 50 at higher risk to get severe illness. People over the age of 50 are more likely to develop serious symptoms of WNV if they do get sick and should take special care to avoid mosquito bites.

Being outside means you're at risk.
The more time you're outdoors, the more time you could be bitten by an infected mosquito. Pay attention to avoiding mosquito bites if you spend a lot of time outside, either working or playing.

Risk through medical procedures is very low.
All donated blood is checked for WNV before being used. The risk of getting WNV through blood transfusions and organ transplants is very small, and should not prevent people who need surgery from having it. If you have concerns, talk to your doctor.

Pregnancy and nursing do not increase risk of becoming infected with WNV. The risk that WNV may present to a fetus or an infant infected through breastmilk is still being evaluated. Talk with your care provider if you have concerns.

What Is the CDC Doing About WNV?
CDC is working with state and local health departments, the Food and Drug Administration and other government agencies, as well as private industry, to prepare for and prevent new cases of WNV.

Some things CDC is doing include:

  • Coordinating a nation-wide electronic database where states share information about WNV
  • Helping states develop and carry out improved mosquito prevention and control programs
  • Developing better, faster tests to detect and diagnose WNV
  • Creating new education tools and programs for the media, the public, and health professionals
  • Opening new testing laboratories for WNV
  • Working with partners on the development of vaccines

What Else Should I Know?

Worried about a mosquito bite? Reduce your stress and learn how to avoid them in the future:

If you find a dead bird: Don't handle the body with your bare hands. Contact your local health department for instructions on reporting and disposing of the body.
They may tell you to dispose of the bird after they log your report.

For more information call the CDC public response hotline
at (888) 246-2675 (English), (888) 246-2857 (EspaƱol), or (866) 874-2646 (TTY)

Monday, July 02, 2007

No you and your atitude make me sicko!

I now know you tried to explain what you meant, but that is not what most understood it to be;
I learned that from ZDNET Post by Dan Farber below;
"Moore’s film portrays the industry as money and marketing driven, and fails to show health care interest in patient well-being and care."
Either you were taken care by health care industry so well that you are incapable of what you are saying.
Health care industry is in it for money lady. If they were in it for
patient well-being and care, we will not have what we have today and Michael Moore does not need to make movies.
You can place some of those paid stuff here and I will gladly accept
f4324asdd. But it will not change the facts. So Turner, when it comes to human health, be less heartless.

Update 2: Now we have an explanation from Ms. Turner regarding how to read her post. She just meant to state Google’s position that “advertising is a very democratic and effective way to participate in a public dialogue.” I won’t argue with the idea of advertising as democratic. Anyone with the money or winning bid can get their message out into the ether. But ads tend to be one-sided sales pitches without footnotes, not a public dialog. If we want a public dialog, having the two opposing sides in a public debate would be a far better way to educate the public.

Here is the text of Ms. Turner’s post :

My opinion and Google’s
9:03 AM
Posted by Lauren Turner, Account Planner, Health

Well, I’ve learned a few things since I posted on Friday. For one thing, even though this is a new blog, we have readers! That’s a good thing. Not so good is that some readers thought the opinion I expressed about the movie Sicko was actually Google’s opinion. It’s easy to understand why it might have seemed that way, because after all, this is a corporate blog. So that was my mistake — I understand why it caused some confusion.

But the more important point, since I doubt that too many people care about my personal opinion, is that advertising is an effective medium for handling challenges that a company or industry might have. You could even argue that it’s especially appropriate for a public policy issue like healthcare. Whether the healthcare industry wants to rebut charges in Mr. Moore’s movie, or whether Mr. Moore wants to challenge the healthcare industry, advertising is a very democratic and effective way to participate in a public dialogue.

That is Google’s opinion, and it’s unrelated to whether we support, oppose or (more likely) don’t have an official position on an issue. That’s the real point I was trying to make, which was less clear because I offered my personal criticism of the movie.

Google Health Advertising Blog: Does negative press make you Sicko?ran


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