Thursday, April 1, 2010

[links] flaxseed, unpublished results, gene patenting and some comments

CBC News - Film - Japanese vets admit on film to Nanjing atrocities:
On Dec. 13, 1937, Japanese troops marched into Nanking and murdered 300,000 Chinese people, including many civilians, in a six-week orgy of violence. Chinese authorities say as many as 20,000 women were raped. Japanese historians and journalists refer to the event as an "incident" and many deny the casualty rate was so high.
Lula Succession Race Starts as Rousseff, Serra Resign - BusinessWeek:
Rousseff, a former member of Brazil’s Marxist underground who has never run for office, may increase public spending, Bank of America said. Serra, who as recently as July 2009 newspaper column criticized Brazil’s “stratospheric” interest rates and strong exchange rate, raises questions about how independent the central bank would be under his government, the bank said.
Short Sharp Science: Is this the end of gene patenting? - New Scientist:
A court in New York yesterday ruled that patents on two genes linked to breast cancer are invalid. By declaring that the genes can't be patented because they are essentially products of nature rather than inventions, the US District Court for the Southern District of New York state has effectively cast doubt on whether patents on 2000 other human genes - around 20 per cent of the total - are valid, The Times of London reports.
Animal studies paint misleading picture : Nature News:
Published animal trials overestimate by about 30% the likelihood that a treatment works because negative results often go unpublished, a study suggests. This is a surprisingly strong bias, says the study's lead author, Malcolm Macleod, a neurologist at the Centre for Clinical Brain Sciences at the University of Edinburgh, UK. The work, published today in PLoS Biology, analyses the effect of publication bias in animal models of disease.
Flaxseed lowers high cholesterol in men, study suggests - Science Daily:
Suzanne Hendrich, an ISU professor in food science and human nutrition, led a study that examined the effects of flaxseed lignan in 90 people diagnosed with high cholesterol. The results showed that consuming at least 150 milligrams of flaxseed lignans per day (about three tablespoons) decreased cholesterol in men, but not women, by just under 10 percent over the three months that they were given the flaxseed. While Hendrich admits that's considerably less than the expected outcome from cholesterol-lowering drugs -- approximately 10 to20 percent for three months, depending on the individual -- it's still enough to make flaxseed a more natural option for some men.

PS: I still haven't found a good formula for when to publish here and when to publish on my rant blog... as long as nobody complains I won't think too much about it. I'm liking this tumblr blog, it doesn't take up my time and I have more freedom than on twitter. For now I use it as a fancy bookmark. And I know that writing too many twitter updates is not an effective approach. On a related note, I had to stop following a lot of interesting tweeters and then I set up a twitter list so that I can read them on my spare time using hootsuite. Which means that I won't be following them on real time...

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