Archive for the ‘Health’ Category

How to stop the drug wars

March 6, 2009

Mar 5th 2009
From The Economist print edition

Prohibition has failed; legalisation is the least bad solution

Illustration by Noma Bar

A HUNDRED years ago a group of foreign diplomats gathered in Shanghai for the first-ever international effort to ban trade in a narcotic drug. On February 26th 1909 they agreed to set up the International Opium Commission—just a few decades after Britain had fought a war with China to assert its right to peddle the stuff. Many other bans of mood-altering drugs have followed. In 1998 the UN General Assembly committed member countries to achieving a “drug-free world” and to “eliminating or significantly reducing” the production of opium, cocaine and cannabis by 2008.

That is the kind of promise politicians love to make. It assuages the sense of moral panic that has been the handmaiden of prohibition for a century. It is intended to reassure the parents of teenagers across the world. Yet it is a hugely irresponsible promise, because it cannot be fulfilled. (more…)

Music taste ‘linked to drug use’

January 1, 2009

More than a quarter of classical music fans have tried cannabis, says a study from the University of Leicester.

Researchers were trying to find out what people’s taste in music revealed about their lifestyles.

They discovered that fans of every style of music had taken drugs, with those who preferred DJ-based club music topping the list. (more…)

So Long Crystal Meth, Hello Cocaine!

January 1, 2009



Generational forgetting means the media’s drug coverage just stays the same.

Coke is back—according to the New York Times. The Sunday Styles section helpfully pointed users and potential users (and presumably police as well) to online advertisements and tried to give the terminally un-hip some clues about current cocaine references in pop culture. (more…)

Bush’s Final F.U.

December 15, 2008

The administration is rushing to enact a host of last-minute regulations that will screw America for years to come

TIM DICKINSON

Posted Dec 25, 2008 11:55 AM

With president-elect Barack Obama already taking command of the financial crisis, it’s tempting to think that regime change in America is a done deal. But if George Bush has his way, the country will be ruled by his slash-and-burn ideology for a long time to come. (more…)

Strong health care equals strong emergency response

October 21, 2008

By Laura H. Kahn | 14 October 2008

Guest Blog – A Crisis of Conscience

October 21, 2008

Published October 17, 2008 @ 11:31AM PST

Wanted to follow the recent pieces on world hunger and declining humanitarian funding with a post by Alison Woodhead of Oxfam, about Stand Up and Take Action, which starts today. (To take action through change.org, click here.)

Sometimes, it seems like writing about humanitarian relief is simply describing a parade of horribles – which makes Alison’s post, about what we can do to help change the situation, all that much more important.

A Crisis of Conscience

The numbers are mind boggling; the sense of panic is contagious. The global financial crisis has galvanised world leaders into finding unimaginable sums of money almost overnight to prevent banks collapsing, shore up failing systems and reassure nervous punters.

The arguments for urgent action to avoid systemic collapse are of course genuine and persuasive. But they reveal something extremely dark about the world’s priorities: we can find the money to bail out banks, but not to prevent the deaths of 30,000 children a day from povert

(more…)

McCain’s Radical Agenda

September 16, 2008

Talk about a shock to the system. Has anyone bothered to notice the radical changes that John McCain and Sarah Palin are planning for the nation’s health insurance system?

These are changes that will set in motion nothing less than the dismantling of the employer-based coverage that protects most American families. (more…)

LSD used to treat terminally ill patients in clinical trials

August 13, 2008

Good and Evil: A Cancer Vaccine from Tobacco Plants

July 23, 2008

Human trial shows experimental vaccine is safe–but does it work?

By Nikhil Swaminathan

tobacco plant cancer vaccine

CANCER VACCINE?: Researchers used tobacco plants as manufacturing facilities to make protein to combat cancer.
© ISTOCKPHOTO/MICHAL HRNCIR

In the first human trial of its kind, a vaccine grown in genetically engineered tobacco plants has proved to be safe, paving the way to one day use it to help combat a potentially fatal form of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

Researchers report in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA that the experimental vaccine triggered the immune systems of 11 of 16 volunteers (with so-called follicular B-cell lymphoma) to attack their tumors without any apparent dangerous side effects. (more…)

The United States of Obesity

July 18, 2008

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