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Wednesday, September 21, 2011

These Used to Be Legal - Ngày xưa là hợp pháp

Depending on the drug and area, this punishment can involve anything from a warning to a lengthy jail sentence. But things weren’t always that way. Many drugs that are severely restricted today were once commonplace and completely legal. In fact, not only were these drugs available, they were actually recommended and promoted by healthcare professionals, often with unfortunate results. Here are ten of them:

10. Opium

Opium is the crudest form and also the least potent of the Opiates. Opium is the milky latex fluid contained in the un-ripened seed pod of the opium poppy. As the fluid is exposed to air, it hardens and turns black in color. This dried form is typically smoked, but can also be eaten. Opium is grown mainly in Myanmar (formerly Burma) and Afghanistan. Today opium is sold on the street as a powder or dark brown solid and is smoked, eaten, or injected.
Opium is highly addictive. Tolerance (the need for higher and higher doses to maintain the same effect) and physical and psychological dependence develop quickly. Withdrawal from opium causes nausea, tearing, yawning, chills, and sweating. San Francisco first banned opium dens in 1875, and California restricted opium possession in 1907. The 1914 Harrison Narcotics Tax Act effectively outlawed the drug throughout America. Today, drugs derived from the opium poppy, such as morphine and codeine, are legal but heavily restricted.

These Used to Be Legal

9. Marijuana

Marijuana is a mixture of the dried and shredded leaves, stems, seeds, and flowers of the cannabis sativa plant. The mixture can be green, brown, or gray. A bunch of leaves seem harmless, right? But think again. Marijuana has a chemical in it called delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, better known as THC. A lot of other chemicals are found in marijuana, too—about 400 of them, many of which could affect your health. But THC is the main psychoactive (i.e., mind altering) ingredient. In fact, marijuana’s strength or potency is related to the amount of THC it contains. The THC content of marijuana has been increasing since the 1970s. For the year 2007, estimates from confiscated marijuana indicated that it contains almost 10 percent THC on average. The earliest state to ban the plant was California in 1913. Federal laws passed in 1937 restricted marijuana usage to the medicinal, and later laws in the 1950s introduced mandatory sentencing for possession, with the justification that marijuana was a ‘gateway drug’ into heavier narcotics. Medical marijuana is now legal in over a dozen states, although still prohibited by federal law.

These Used to Be Legal

8. Methamphetamine

The chemical n-methyl-1-phenyl-propan-2-amine is called methamphetamine, methylamphetamine, or desoxyephedrine. The shortened name is simply ‘meth’. Methamphetamine was first created by a Japanese chemist in 1893. When it is in its crystalline form, the drug is called crystal meth, ice, Tina, or glass. Usually crystal meth is smoked in glass pipes, similar to how crack cocaine is used. It may be injected (either dry or dissolved in water), snorted, swallowed, or inserted into the anus or urethra. Some people take meth because of the long-lasting high that it gives. Methamphetamine causes numerous neurotransmitters to be released in the brain, producing a sense of euphoria that may last as long as 12 hours, depending on how the drug was taken.Passed in 1970, the Controlled Substances Act severely restricted its usage, although meth is still available under the name of Desoxyn for very limited and controlled medical uses.

These Used to Be Legal

7. Peyote

Peyote is a small, spineless cactus in which the principal active ingredient is mescaline. This plant has been used by natives in northern Mexico and the southwestern United States as a part of religious ceremonies. Mescaline can also be produced through chemical synthesis. The top of the peyote cactus, also referred to as the crown, consists of disc-shaped buttons that are cut from the roots and dried. These buttons are generally chewed or soaked in water to produce an intoxicating liquid. The hallucinogenic dose of mescaline is about 0.3 to 0.5 grams, and its effects last about 12 hours. Because the extract is so bitter, some individuals prefer to prepare a tea by boiling the cacti for several hours. It has been used by Native American religious ceremonies for thousands of years. Peyote use was outlawed in several US states in the 1920s and 30s, but remained legal in most of the US throughout the 1960s and was often shipped interstate to interested parties. Mescaline was restricted by Congress under the 1970 Controlled Substances Act. Currently, members of the federally-recognized Native American Church are exempt from criminal penalties for peyote use, as long as further state restrictions do not apply.

These Used to Be Legal

6. Cocaine

Cocaine is a drug extracted from the leaves of the South American coca plant. It is a strong stimulate that effects the body’s central nervous system. Many famous people of the early 20th century, including Sigmund Freud and the Pope, were cocaine users. Although cocaine is derived from the coca plant, which has been in use for at least 3000 years, its modern incarnation only appeared around the 1860s. Available in many forms, including dissolved into wine, it was prescribed by doctors to treat depression and morphine addiction. In America, it was popular as a treatment for coughs and pain, and was famously included in early versions of Coca-Cola. Although technically restricted by the Harrison Narcotics Tax Act in 1914, prosecution for cocaine usage was rare, and only became common after it was listed a controlled substance in 1970.

These Used to Be Legal

5. LSD

The psychedelic effects of LSD, or ‘acid’, were discovered by accident in 1943, after the Swiss scientist who invented the chemical accidentally absorbed some through his skin. LSD (lysergic acid diethylamide) is a synthetic (man-made) drug that has been abused for its hallucinogenic properties since the 1960s. If consumed in a sufficiently large dose, LSD produces delusions and visual hallucinations that distort the user’s sense of time and identity.The effects associated with LSD use are unpredictable and depend upon the amount taken, the surroundings in which the drug is used, and the user’s personality, mood, and expectations. Some LSD users experience a feeling of despair, while others report terrifying fears–of losing control, going insane, or dying. In 1966, after widespread abuse and ill-effects caused in part by people making the drug incorrectly, LSD was outlawed in California. In 1970, it was listed by Congress as a Schedule I substance, meaning it has no recognized medicinal or therapeutic uses.

These Used to Be Legal

4. GHB

GHB is gamma-hydroxybutyrate. Famous these days as a ‘date rape’ drug, GHB is a naturally-occurring neurochemical that produces a depressant, pain-relieving effect. It was originally developed as anesthetic, but was withdrawn due to unwanted side effects.After GHB became associated with abuse and accidental deaths, the FDA cracked down on its sale in 1990. It was not listed federally as a controlled substance (illegal to possess as well as to sell) until 2000 when, like LSD, it became a Schedule 1 drug. However, GHB has recently been approved as a heavily-controlled treatment for narcolepsy.

These Used to Be Legal

3. Magic Mushrooms

There are more than 180 species of mushrooms which contain the psychedelics psilocybin or psilocin. They have a long history of use in Mexico and are currently one of the most popular and commonly available natural psychedelics.Use among Westerners was popularized in the 1950s after an article on the subject appeared in Life Magazine. In the 1960s, psychologist Timothy Leary and many others promoted these mushrooms for psychological use. Possession of psilocybin-containing mushrooms was outlawed in 1968. However, since the mushroom spores do not contain psilocybin, spores are still legal in most states.

These Used to Be Legal

2. Ecstasy

MDMA (Ecstasy) is an illegal synthetic drug, which acts as a hallucinogen and stimulant. Its chemical structure (3-4 methylenedioxymethamphetamine) is similar to two other synthetic drugs, MDA and methamphetamine, which are known to cause brain damage. It was originally developed as a diet aid, but was also used experimentally during counseling because of its ability to remove individual’s inhibitions.Ecstasy also became popular in non-therapeutic settings, particularly nightclubs, and in 1985 was put under an ‘emergency ban’ and became a Schedule I controlled drug.

These Used to Be Legal

1. Heroin

Heroin is a highly addictive and rapidly acting opiate (a drug that is derived from opium). Specifically, heroin is produced from morphine, which is a principal component of opium. Opium is a naturally occurring substance that is extracted from the seedpod of the opium poppy.First synthesized in 1874, heroin was first created as a non-addictive alternative to morphine. The word ‘heroin’ is actually a brand name created by the pharmaceutical company that invented it, Bayer. It`s intended purpose was to treat cough, but atfter hundreds of thousands Americans replaced their sore throats with crippling addiction by using heroin, heroin usage was severely restricted in the Harrison Narcotics Tax Act of 1914, and outlawed altogether in 1924.


These Used to Be Legal


A mother-heroine - Bà mẹ Anh hùng - Một mẹ 17 con

17 Rhodesian Ridgeback puppies were born near Berlin, leaving the owner the dog without sleep for almost four weeks.

Dog, Ethan bore a huge amount of puppies on September 28 and would be unable to bring up their own, so that the hostess Ramona Vegemann had to fight for the life of the puppies. According Vegemann, often with huge numbers of litters, many puppies die soon after birth, but this time have survived everything. “This is incredibly wonderful,” – said the 32-year-old Vegemann. All born pups named with the letter B: bitch – Bahati, bandages, Bahia, Bashimov, Batuli, Binky, Bora, Bissau males – Bakir, Bandzhoku, Belay, Brook, Bundu, Bayo, Bukekayo, Beaton and Bulus.

mother heroine


mother heroine

mother heroine

mother heroine

Smallest Monkey in the World - Khỉ nhỏ nhất thế giới

Smallest Monkey in the World - Khỉ nhỏ nhất thế giới

Anyone have a monkey as a pet? I was always , I don’t know, doubting about wild animals as a pets; yet, I think that I’d keep a pet like this, just have to be careful not to lose it.

No, really – these monkeys are just 14 inches tall. And, they are so cute! They’re called finger monkeys, and these species coming from rain-forests of South America – Brazil, Peru, Bolivia, Ecuador and Colombia.

They are also known by the names ‘Pocket Monkey’ and ‘Tiny Lion’. These primates belong to the family Callitrichidae, species Cebuella and genus C. pygmaea.

Smallest Monkey in the World

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Smallest Monkey in the World

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Smallest Monkey in the World

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Smallest Monkey in the World

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Smallest Monkey in the World

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Smallest Monkey in the World

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Smallest Monkey in the World

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Smallest Monkey in the World

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Smallest Monkey in the World

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Smallest Monkey in the World


Ghen tỵ: Động viên hay Kìm hãm

Envy: a Motivator or a Brake

17 Apr

by Olga SE

Recently I have noticed myself mention the word “envy” a couple of times. It set my philological and also psychologically-oriented mind thinking. As the term is not normally very widely used, I decided to investigate into the matter.

It always makes sense to start with a definition. Here is how Wikipedia defines envy:

Envy is best defined as an emotion that occurs when a person lacks another’s (perceived) superior quality, achievement, or possession and either desires it or wishes that the other lacked it.

Envy can also derive from a sense of low self-esteem that results from an upward social comparison threatening a person’s self image: another person has something that the envier considers to be important to have. If the other person is perceived to be similar to the envier, the aroused envy will be particularly intense, because it signals to the envier that it just as well could have been he or she who had the desired object.

Bertrand Russell said envy was one of the most potent causes of unhappiness. It is a universal and most unfortunate aspect of human nature because not only is the envious person rendered unhappy by his envy, but also wishes to inflict misfortune on others. Although envy is generally seen as something negative, Russell also believed that envy was a driving force behind the movement towards democracy and must be endured to achieve a more just social system.

Can envy also be a driving force that stimulates human beings to move towards a better future? Or is it only an energy-blocking feeling that prevents one from taking any steps? There are popularly suggested to be two types of envy. Here is a very nice post Envy – White or Black? about it. Envy is called black if it makes you sit around doing nothing, feeling sad and thinking about other people’s progress. White envy is something that makes you work hard to achieve what others have achieved and even more because you’re neither worse nor less decent.

But there is the rub. Common sense tells me that an industrious person whose life is carefully planned, who takes advantage of every minute and does his best to reach his goals has neither time nor desire to compare his achievements with someone else’s. In such a life each difficulty presents a challenge and there is no room for envy.

As it turns out, comparison is the fair way to envy. It is exactly what Nancye Sims says in the opening lines of her famous poem:

Don’t undermine your worth by comparing yourself with others. It is because we are different that each of us is special.

Don’t set your goals by what other people deem important. Only do what is best for you.

Now the way out is clear. What is not clear is how to overcome envy (even in its most “white” sense). Here are eight ways to do it:

  1. Getting more information about the person you envy eliminates the unwanted emotion.
  2. Complimenting the object of your envy helps you reveal the truth.
  3. Learning to do one thing better than the person you envy helps you build self-esteem.
  4. Remembering that life is not a competition and there is more than one way to success does you no end of good.
  5. Learning from the object of your envy provides the fastest way to success.
  6. Going back to the most important moment in your life helps you believe in yourself.
  7. Finding yourself will compensate both for your time and efforts.
  8. Doing your best is bound to bring results.

Well, now that the right track has been found, good luck!

pavement painting - Tranh hè phố


A British artist, Julian Beever, works on his pavement painting of a crater in Paris, to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the 2001 blast at the AZF petrochemical plant in the southern French city of Toulouse, which caused the deaths of 31 people and injured thousands of others.

Millennium Development Goals on health 'will not be met' - Mục tiêu phát triển Thiên niên kỷ sẽ không đạt được

Infant in Uganda

Millennium Development Goals on health 'will not be met'

Mục tiêu phát triển Thiên niên kỷ sẽ không đạt được

By Jane Dreaper Health correspondent, BBC News

Thực hiện phóng viên Jane Dreaper Y tế, BBC News

The under-five death rate remains too high in the developing world

Tỷ lệ tử vong dưới 5 tuổi vẫn còn rất cao ở các nước đang phát triển

Researchers say just nine of 137 developing countries will achieve ambitious targets to improve the health of women and children.

Các nhà nghiên cứu cho rằng 9 trong số 137 quốc gia phát triển sẽ đạt được mục tiêu đầy tham vọng nhằm cải thiện sức khỏe cho phụ nữ và trẻ em.

The analysis in The Lancet updates previous estimates of progress on the fourth and fifth Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

Phân tích trong bản cập nhật đăng trên tạp chí Lancet ước tính trước về sự tiến bộ của mục tiêu thứ tư và thứ năm trong danh mục các Mục tiêu Phát triển Thiên niên kỷ (MDGs).

The experts predict that no country in sub-Saharan Africa will meet the goals to dramatically reduce deaths by 2015.

But they say progress is speeding up in most countries.

Các chuyên gia dự đoán rằng không có một quốc gia Châu Phi cận Sahara sẽ đáp ứng được mục tiêu giảm tử vong mạnh mẽ vào năm 2015.

Nhưng họ nói rằng tiến bộ được đẩy mạnh ở hầu hết các quốc gia.

The targets were set by world leaders in 2000. MDG4 aims to reduce the death rate for children aged under five by two-thirds between 1990 and 2015.

Các chỉ tiêu đã được thiết lập bởi các nhà lãnh đạo thế giới năm 2000. Mục tiêu phát triển thiên niên kỷ (MDG4) nhằm mục đích làm giảm hai phần ba tỷ lệ tử vong ở trẻ em dưới 5 tuổi trong giai đoạn 1990 đến 2015.

MDG5 states an ambition to cut deaths among pregnant women and new mothers by three-quarters during the same timescale.

Mục tiêu phát triển thiên niên kỷ (MDG5) nêu tham vọng cắt giảm ba phần tư tử vong ở phụ nữ mang thai và các bà mẹ trẻ trong cùng một khoảng thời gian.

The researchers from Seattle estimate there were 7.2m infant deaths around the world in the past year - compared with 11.6m in 1990.

Các nhà nghiên cứu từ Seattle ước tính có khoảng 7.2 triệu trẻ sơ sinh tử vong trên thế giới trong năm qua so với 11.6 năm 1990.

China, Rwanda and Botswana were praised for "substantial acceleration" in tackling child mortality in the past decade.

Trung Quốc, Rwanda và Botswana được ca ngợi về “tăng tốc quan trọng” trong giải quyết tỷ lệ tử vong ở trẻ em trong thập kỷ qua.

Intervention strategies

There were 273,500 maternal deaths, of which 56,100 were related to HIV.

In 1990, an estimated 409,100 women died during pregnancy or childbirth.

Chiến lược can thiệp

Có 27,500 ca tử vong bà mẹ, trong đó có 56,100 liên quan đến HIV.

Năm 1990, ước tính khoảng 409,100 phụ nữ chết trong thời kỳ mang thai hoặc sinh con.

The highest level of maternal death is seen in Eritrea, Liberia and Afghanistan. The lowest is in Iceland and Austria.

Countries making slower progress on the infant death target include Nigeria and Ethiopia.

Mức tử vong cao bà mẹ nhất được thấy ở Eritrea, Liberia và Afghanistan. Tỷ lệ thấp nhất là Iceland và Austria.

Các quốc gia có sự tiến bộ chậm hơn trong mục tiêu tử vong trẻ sơ sinh bao gồm Nigeria và Ethiopia.

The authors said 23 countries in sub-Saharan Africa were unlikely at the present pace to achieve MDG4 before 2040.

"Many aspects of health systems limit the scale-up of child and maternal interventions," they said.

Các tác giả cho biết có 223 quốc gia ở Châu Phi cận Sahara khó bắt kịp tốc độ hiện nay để đạt được Mục tiêu thiên niên kỷ 4 (MDG4).

Họ nói, “Nhiều khía cạnh về hệ thống y tế giới hạn việc nâng cao quy mô các biện pháp can thiệp với trẻ em và bà mẹ”.

"Nevertheless, some intervention strategies can be delivered without a health system that has the capacity for referral and emergency management.

"These include vaccination, distributing insecticide-treated bed nets, vitamin A supplementation and deworming."

“Mặc dù vậy, một số chiến lược can thiệp vẫn có thể được chuyển giao mà không có hệ thống y tế có khả năng và quản lý chuyển bệnh và cấp cứu”.

“Điều này bao gồm tiêm phòng, phân phối mùng tẩm thuốc diệt côn trùng, bổ sung vitamin A và tẩy giun”.

They praised India for "promising and substantial" progress in reducing maternal mortality during the past five years.

The authors concluded: "The MDG targets have helped rally donors to recognise the urgent need for further investment.

Ấn Độ được khen ngợi về sự tiến bộ “đầy triển vọng và đáng kể” trong việc giảm tỷ lệ tử vong bà mẹ trong 5 năm qua.

Các tác giả đã kết luận: “Mục tiêu thiên niên kỷ đã giúp các nhà tài trợ nhận ra những nhu cầu cần thiết để đầu tư thêm.

"Even with major accelerated efforts, most countries are unlikely to achieve both targets”.

"Although some might see this as a failure of global health action, it is perhaps more important to keep track of whether the pace of progress for children and mothers has improved."

“Ngay với những nỗ lực tăng tốc lớn, hầu hết các quốc gia cũng không đạt được cả hai mục tiêu”.

“Mặc dù một số người có thể nhìn nhận điều này như một thất bại của hoạt động y tế toàn cầu, nhưng có lẽ điều quan trọng là theo dõi liệu tiến độ của tiến bộ đối với trẻ em và bà mẹ đã được cải thiện hay chưa”.

A year ago, governments around the world pledged £25bn to reinvigorate efforts on both targets.

But the Lancet paper says the potential for delivering the aid is "unclear", because aid money for health has been growing at a slower pace in recent years.

Một năm trước, các chính phủ khắp trên thế giới cam kết 25 tỉ bảng Anh nhằm phục hồi nổ lực trên cả 2 mục tiêu.

Tuy nhiên theo tạp chí Lancet thì tiềm năng cung cấp viện trợ là “không rõ ràng”, bởi vì tiền viện trợ cho y tế được tăng lên với tốc độ chậm trong những năm gần đây.

Midwife training

The authors acknowledge estimating the death rates is contentious, and that their work has triggered a "vigorous academic debate on measurement strategies".

In an accompanying comment, global health experts Peter Byass and Wendy Graham said: "Numerical assessments against the MDGs are inevitably processes that are plagued by poor and missing data.

Đào tạo nữ hộ sinh

Các tác giả đã thừa nhận có tranh cãi trong ước tính tỷ lệ tử vong, và rằng công trình của họ đã gây ra một “cuộc tranh luận học thuật mạnh mẽ về chiến lược đo lường”. Trong một bình luận đi kèm, các chuyên gia y tế toàn cầu Peter Byass và Wendy Graham cho nói, “Đánh giá Mục tiêu thiên niên kỷ bằng con số chắc chắn là một quá trình bị cản trở bởi dữ liệu thiếu thốn và mất mát.”

"It is self-evident that the greatest numbers of avoidable deaths happen in some of the world's largest countries."

A report by the Partnership for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health (PMNCH) - also released on Tuesday - says some of the world's poorest countries have pledged £7bn of their own resources to try to reduce the death rates.

“Hiển nhiên rằng con số lớn nhất về các trường hợp tử vong có thể tránh khỏi xảy ra ở các quốc gia lớn nhất thế giới”.

Một báo cáo của Đối tác về sức khỏe bà mẹ, trẻ sơ sinh và trẻ em (PMNCH) – cũng được phát hành vào ngày thứ ba – cho biết một số quốc gia nghèo nhất thế giới đã cam kết đóng góp nguồn lực 7 tỷ bảng Anh vào nổ lực giảm tỷ lệ tử vong.

Bangladesh has committed to train 3,000 midwives by 2015, while Congo has promised to provide free obstetric care, including Caesarean sections.

Bangladesh đã cam kết đào tạo 3,000 nữ hộ sinh trước năm 2015, trong khi đó Công-gô hứa cung cấp chăm sóc sản khoa miễn phí, bao gồm mổ lấy thai.

Translated by HỒ KIẾN PHÁT Y2E


Polio strain spreads to China from Pakistan - Bại liệt lan từ Pakistan tới Trung Quốc

A toddler receives a polio vaccine. File photo
Polio is highly infectious and affects the nervous system, sometimes resulting in paralysis


Polio strain spreads to China from Pakistan - Bại liệt lan từ Pakistan tới Trung Quốc
Polio has been found in China for the first time since 1999 after spreading from Pakistan, the World Health Organization (WHO) has confirmed.
It said a strain of polio (WPV1) found in China was genetically linked with the type now circulating in Pakistan.
At least seven cases have now been confirmed in China's western Xinjiang province, which borders Pakistan.
The WHO warned there was a high risk of the crippling virus spreading further during Muslim pilgrimages to Mecca.
Polio (also called poliomyelitis) is highly infectious and affects the nervous system, sometimes resulting in paralysis.
It is transmitted through contaminated food, drinking water and faeces.
'Right things done'
On Tuesday, the WHO said the polio cases in Xinjiang had been detected in the past two months.
The Chinese authorities are now investigating the cases, and a mass vaccination campaign has been launched in the region.
"So far all the right things are being done," WHO spokesman Oliver Rosenbauer told Reuters news agency.
Polio was last brought into China from India in 1999. China's last indigenous case was in 1994.
Pakistan is one of a handful of countries where polio remains endemic.
WHO officials had been warning for some time that the virus was spreading within the country to previously uninfected areas.
The UN's children fund, Unicef, has said that eradicating polio from Pakistan depends on delivering oral vaccines to each and every child, including the most vulnerable and the hardest to reach.
Polio was virtually eliminated from the Western hemisphere in the 20th Century.



Polio awareness campaign in Pakistan
It is hoped that 16.5 million children will be vaccinated before the end of next month

UN issues warning on Pakistan polio rates
Pakistan has continued to see a rising numbers of polio cases since the beginning of 2011, the UN children's fund, Unicef, has said.
The agency says that 63 cases have been diagnosed so far, compared to 36 cases over the same period last year.
The bulk of the cases are in the province of Balochistan, which has reported 22 cases this year.
The UN says that Pakistan could be the "last polio reservoir worldwide" standing in the way of eradication.
"We must ensure access to all children as specified in the president's National Emergency Action Plan for Polio Eradication in Pakistan," Unicef South Asia Regional Director Daniel Toole said.
"We have a huge task ahead of us, and we must build on lessons learned and act now."
Mr Toole - who is in Pakistan to meet senior government and UN officials - has reiterated Unicef's "commitment to the eradication of polio" and emphasised the need urgently to improve the battle against the spread of the disease.
The UN says the virus circulated in five high-risk districts in Balochistan and has now spread to areas not previously infected for the past five years, including the country's tribal areas and the provinces of Sindh and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
Unicef says eradicating polio from Pakistan depends on delivering oral polio vaccines to each and every child, including the most vulnerable and the hardest to reach.
"This massive undertaking can succeed, but only with the tireless efforts and commitment of the people of Pakistan," a Unicef statement said.
The next polio vaccination campaign will be held 19-21 September, targeting 16.5 million children in the districts at the highest risk.

Car fumes 'raise heart attack risk for six-hour window' - Khói xe hơi tăng nguy cơ cơn đau tim đột ngột


Car exhaust

Car fumes 'raise heart attack risk for six-hour window'

Khói xe hơi làm tăng nguy cơ đau tim đột ngột.

By Michelle Roberts Health reporter, BBC News

Michelle Roberts – Phóng viên chuyên mục Sức Khỏe, Đài BBC

Breathing in heavy traffic fumes can trigger a heart attack, say UK experts.

Theo các chuyên gia ở Anh, việc hít khói xe cộ dày đặc có thể gây ra cơn đau tim.

Heart attack risk is raised for about six hours post-exposure and goes down again after that, researchers found.

Các nhà nghiên cứu nhận thấy rằng nguy cơ đau tim tăng lên trong vòng 6 giờ sau khi tiếp xúc và giảm xuống lại sau đó.

They say in the British Medical Journal that pollution probably hastens rather than directly cause attacks.

But repeated exposure is still bad for health, they say, substantially shortening life expectancy, and so the advice to people remains the same - avoid as far as is possible.

Theo tạp chí Y học Anh, sự ô nhiễm có thể thúc đẩy những cơn đau tim hơn là trực tiếp gây ra. Nhưng sự tiếp xúc khói bụi lặp lại cũng rất có hại cho sức khỏe, về thực chất, có thể làm giảm tuổi thọ, vì vậy, lời khuyên cho mọi người vẫn là – tránh nó càng xa càng tốt.

Prof Jeremy Pearson, associate medical director at the British Heart Foundation, which co-funded the study, said: "This large-scale study shows conclusively that your risk of having a heart attack goes up temporarily, for around six hours, after breathing in higher levels of vehicle exhaust.

Giáo sư Jeremy Pearson, Chủ tịch Hiệp hội tim mạch Anh, đồng tài trợ cho cuộc nghiên cứu, nói: “Nghiên cứu với quy mô lớn này cho thấy một cách thuyết phục rằng nguy cơ đau tim của bạn tăng lên tạm thời trong vòng 6 tiếng, sau khi hít vào không khí dày đặc khói xe.”

"We know that pollution can have a major effect on your heart health, possibly because it can 'thicken' the blood to make it more likely to clot, putting you at higher risk of a heart attack.

Chúng ta biết rằng sự ô nhiễm có ảnh hưởng quan trọng đến tim, có lẽ bởi vì nó làm máu đặc hơn và dễ đông hơn, dẫn đến tăng lên nguy cơ đau tim đột ngột.

"Our advice to patients remains the same - if you've been diagnosed with heart disease, try to avoid spending long periods outside in areas where there are likely to be high traffic pollution levels, such as on or near busy roads."

“Lời khuyên của chúng tôi cho bệnh nhân vẫn là – nếu bạn được chẩn đoán là mắc bệnh tim mạch, hãy cố gắng tránh ở lâu những nơi có mức độ ô nhiễm do xe cộ cao, chẳng hạn như đi trên hay ở gần những con đường đông đúc.”

Early peak

Lên cơn sớm

The research looked at the medical records of almost 80,000 heart attack patients in England and Wales, cross-referencing these details with air pollution data.

Cuộc khảo sát đã xem xét hồ sơ y tế của 80,000 bệnh nhân tim mạch ở Anh và xứ Wales, tham khảo chéo các chi tiết này với những dữ kiện ô nhiễm.

This enabled the investigators to plot hourly levels of air pollution (PM10, ozone, CO, NO2, and SO2) against onset of heart attack symptoms and see if there was any link.

Điều này cho phép những người nghiên cứu xác định mức ô nhiễm không khí mỗi giờ (PM10, ozone, CO, NO2, và SO2) đối chiếu với sự khởi phát các triệu chứng cơn đau tim đột ngột và xem thử liệu có mối liên hệ nào không.

Higher levels of air pollution did appear to be linked with onset of a heart attack lasting for six hours after exposure. After this time frame, risk went back down again.

Mức ô nhiễm không khí cao dường như có mối liên hệ với sự khởi phát các triệu chứng đau tim đột ngột kéo dài trong 6 giờ sau khi tiếp xúc ô nhiễm. Sau khoảng thời gian này, nguy cơ giảm xuống lại như lúc đầu.

Krishnan Bhaskaran from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, who led the research, said the findings suggested that pollution was not a major contributing factor to heart attacks.

Krishnan Bhaskaran thuộc Trung tâm Vệ sinh và Y học nhiệt đới London, người chỉ đạo cuộc khảo sát, nói rằng phát hiện này cho thấy sự ô nhiễm không phải là nhân tố đóng góp quan trọng dẫn đến cơn đau tim đột ngột.

For example, being exposed to a spell of medium-level rather than low-level pollution would raise heart attack risk by 5%, by his calculations.

Ví dụ như, theo tính toán của ông, việc tiếp xúc với mức ô nhiễm trung bình thay vì mức thấp sẽ làm tăng nguy cơ cơn đau tim đột ngột lên 5%.

"If anything, it looks like it brings heart attack forward by a few hours. These are cardiac events that probably would have happened anyway."

“Nếu có, thì có vẻ như nó làm tăng nguy cơ đau tim đột ngột trong vòng vài giờ. Những vấn đề về tim hầu như cũng sẽ xảy ra cho dù không có ô nhiễm.”

But he said the findings should not detract from the fact that chronic exposure to air pollution was hazardous to health.

Nhưng ông cũng cho rằng những phát hiện này không phủ định sự thật rằng tiếp xúc lâu ngày với ô nhiễm không khí là rất nguy hại cho sức khỏe.

Prof Pearson from the BHF agrees: "Unhealthy diets and smoking etc are much bigger heart attack risk factors, but car fumes are the cream on the cake that can tip you over."

Giáo sư Pearson thuộc BHF đồng ý rằng: “Chế độ dinh dưỡng không lành mạnh cùng với thuốc lá… là những tác nhân gây bệnh tim lớn hơn nhiều, nhưng khói xe hơi sẽ như giọt nước tràn ly có thể đánh gục bạn”



Translated by Trần Thị Huyền Trân, Y2E Gr2 - huyentran.1101@gmail.com



ILL sets ultra-cool neutron science record - ILL lập kỷ lục khoa học về nơ-tơ-rông siêu lạnh

Wide-angle view of the ILL
Neutrons produced at ILL are used in a range of experiments from medicine to engineering

ILL sets ultra-cool neutron science record
By Jason Palmer Science and technology reporter, BBC News


Researchers have trapped the greatest number of the subatomic particles known as neutrons ever held in place.
The method could lay bare a number of as-yet unknown basic properties of the particles and even help shed light on how the Universe formed in the first fleeting moments after the Big Bang.
Neutrons are particularly difficult to trap, as they have no electric charge.
But a team reporting in Physical Review Letters says it has smashed the prior "ultra-cold" neutron record.
Neutrons were discovered nearly a century ago, but still hold a few secrets. For example, a lone neutron can transform into other subatomic particles - a proton, an electron and an electron antineutrino - but efforts to measure just how long this decay takes have come up with different numbers.
Such decay times are fundamental in the "Standard Model" of physics, which aims to describe in detail how matter as we now know it came to be in the earliest moments of the Universe's history, and also shed light on the fusion happening for example in stars.
The Standard Model also suggests that despite having no net charge, there is a small separation of charges within neutrons that would give them what is known as an electric dipole moment - a kind of electric north and south pole. However, experiments have until now been too inexact to measure it.
A number of research efforts continue worldwide to pin down these basic properties, such as those at the Isis neutron source at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory in the UK.

Numbers game
What these measurements have needed to gain more precision is, quite simply, a greater number of "ultra-cold" - or very slow-moving - neutrons to study.
Now Oliver Zimmer and colleagues working at the Institut Laue Langevin (ILL) in Grenoble, France have bottled up neutrons at a density of 55 per cubic centimetre - more than five times higher than the previous record - also at the ILL.
As the highest-intensity neutron source in the world, the ILL puts the particles to work on topics ranging from gravity to medicine to the environment, and has a particular focus on the slow-moving variety.
The turbine used to slow neutrons before now has been the workhorse for their world-beating neutron density for some 26 years.
The new approach, first developed by Dr Zimmer and colleagues at the Technical University Munich in 2007 and reported in a paper in Physical Review Letters, has been refined at the ILL.
It uses superfluid helium-4 at a temperature of -269C - just four degrees above absolute zero - to slow the neutrons down, taming them toward the 55-per-cubic-centimetre benchmark.
However, Dr Zimmer said, "these are still scarily low numbers".
"Things often depend on statistical precision," he told BBC News. "The more particles you have, the more precise result you will get."
Although the current density is enough to start to tackle the big questions about neutrons, Dr Zimmer said he believes that the same approach could bring the neutron density to 1,000 per cubic centimetre.
"By increasing the precision of these experiments you can peek into this region where you can exclude theories beyond the Standard Model, or even find the signs of new physics," he said.
"There's big interest in getting these numbers better."

Neutron flux reactor (ILL)
Neutrons produced in a reactor at the ILL escape at scorching speeds, and must be slowed significantly

Whales take Northwest Passage as Arctic sea-ice melts -Cá voi đi về phía Tây Bắc do băng tan

Whales take Northwest Passage as Arctic sea-ice melts -Cá voi đi về phía Tây Bắc do băng tan
Tagging a bowhead
Bowhead whales were tagged on both sides of North America - and met up halfway round the top


Map of bowhead distribution
The classical map of bowhead distribution does not include the Northwest Passage - an update may be looming


Bowhead whales, the giants of the Arctic, are using the Northwest Passage to move across the top of the Americas.
Skeletons, DNA samples and harpoon heads have all suggested that bowhead populations living on each side of the continent did meet and mingle.
Now, research published in the journal Biology Letters has used satellite tags to provide confirmation.
The work may provide insights into the development of Arctic cultures in which bowhead hunting plays a central role.
Mads Peter Heide-Jorgensen from the Greenland Institute of Natural Resources led a team that has satellite-tagged more than 100 bowheads over the last decade - much of the work funded by oil and gas companies interested in the Arctic's new mineral wealth.
Last August, as the Arctic sea ice neared its annual minimum, the satellite data told them that one whale from the Greenland side and one from the Alaskan side had arrived in pretty much the same area, north of the Canadian mainland.
They spent about 10 days circling in the same patch of water before heading back to their respective home ranges.
This is the first time such mingling has been seen directly, although there is plenty of circumstantial evidence that it has happened sporadically in the past.
Bowhead skeletons are found on elevated beaches through the Canadian archipelago. In 19th Century Alaska, whales were caught containing tips of harpoons that had been thrown by whalers in the Atlantic.
Passage may have been easier in the last four summers than in preceding decades, as the Arctic ice has shrunk to a smaller size than at any time in the satellite record.
"I'm pretty sure that the low sea ice in the summer has triggered this migration through this area," Dr Heide-Jorgensen told BBC News.
"I'm pretty sure that when it occurred in the past, when we got all these skulls on the beach, that was during a warm period.
"During any climatic period, there could have been years with less ice in the Northwest Passage; and I'm pretty sure the bowheads can find cracks [in the ice] that are too small to show up on satellite images."

MP Heide-Jorgensen
The other fascinating line of evidence for bowhead migration along northern Canada lies in the human societies that depend on the whales, where communities are structured around the process of whaling.
The best known example today are the Inupiat of Alaska.
They are descended from the Thule culture, which appears to have emerged in Alaska about 1,000 years ago.
Thule people spread across Canada to Greenland in the three centuries following.
They ate meat and blubber from the bowhead, built houses using their bones and burned their oil.
Traditional whaling boat Arctic whaling culture, ancient and modern, hinges around the bowhead
Given their dependence on the single species, could they have made the migration without access to the whales?
Anne Jensen, an archaeologist who has lived in the northern Alaskan town of Barrow for many years and is a leading authority on the Thule people, said the routes taken by the two whales last year passed close by sites that date the Thule expansion.
"This supports the idea that the expansion was connected to whaling," she told BBC News.
"People were moving - presumably after having done some small-group exploring that is archaeologically invisible - to places where they knew whales went, perhaps in a period when the ice cover was reduced for some reason.
"Certainly, they were not settling in places where whales weren't available at that point.
"Since the Thule seem to have been able to hunt whales from the ice at leads, it doesn't mean that there was an ice-free Northwest Passage - just one that bowheads could get through, with enough leads for hunters to see and catch the whales."
Of all the great whales, the bowheads are the best adapted to life in the harsh Arctic environment, with a domed bony head that can force a way through relatively thin sheets of ice, and a thick layer of blubber.
"They have their lunch package on them - they can move for months without eating because they have blubber almost half a metre thick, so so they can move through the Northwest Passage without eating," said Dr Heide-Jorgensen.
Continue reading the main story

Bowhead whale
Genetic evidence also suggests that in periods past, bowheads also moved along the northern coast of Siberia.
They do not have a set migration pattern, unlike some other whale species - which raises questions about how they may adapt in future, if the projected declines in summer Arctic sea ice materialise.
"I'm sure they will be going all over the area when there's open water," said Dr Heide-Jorgensen.
"They're capable of moving relatively long distances in a short period of time, and they can venture into areas where we haven't seen them for a very long time - so I'm sure they will use the open water if the ice disappears."
The one question mark would be over their food supply, with major changes in Arctic sea ice likely to disrupt food webs that include the swarms of copepods (tiny crustaceans) that are the key ingredient of their diet.

Traditional whaling boat
Arctic whaling culture, ancient and modern, hinges around the bowhead


Bowhead whale
Guide to the 'great whales'

HMS Erebus and Terror depicted in the Northwest Passage
Franklin famously assaulted the Northwest Passage in 1859 - but voyages are now more routine


Powerful Typhoon Roke hits Japan - Bão Nhiệt đới đổ bộ Nhật Bản

BBC's Roland Buerk: "There are concerns that rain could force radioactive water into the sea" Footage


courtesy of TV Osaka

A powerful typhoon has struck Japan, bringing torrential rains and floods that have killed five people.
Typhoon Roke is now closing in on Fukushima, where engineers are still struggling to bring a nuclear plant under control after the March tsunami.
There are concerns heavy rain could force radioactive water into the sea.
The storm, packing winds of 162km/h (100mph), passed near Tokyo stranding tens of thousands of commuters as trains and flights were cancelled.
The typhoon made landfall on Wednesday afternoon (05:00GMT) in Hamamatsu, scouring its way up the main island of Honshu.
The storm is now tracking a path towards Fukushima prefecture and is then expected to travel up along the north-east coast, which was battered by the 11 March earthquake and tsunami.
The BBC's Roland Buerk in Tokyo says pools of radioactive water remain at the Fukushima nuclear site, and there is concern that a heavy downpour could cause them to overflow into the sea or groundwater.
A spokesman for Tepco said the firm was taking "every possible measure against the typhoon".
"We have tied down cables and hoses while fixing equipment so that radioactive materials will not spread [in violent winds]," said Naoki Tsunoda.
He said the work on the ground and at sea had been suspended.
Caution urged
Five people have so far been found dead in central and western Japan, public broadcaster NHK reported.
Four people are missing including a nine-year-old boy and 84-year-old man who were swept away by flood waters in Gifu prefecture as the storm approached.


The Land of Gas and Honey - Mảnh đất Dầu khí và Mật Ong

The Land of Gas and Honey - Mảnh đất Dầu khí và Mật Ong

Israel's giant new natural gas find will transform the Middle East -- and add more fuel to an already combustible region.

BY ROBIN M. MILLS | SEPTEMBER 15, 2011

Mother Nature's distribution of oil and gas resources around the world suggests she has a mischievous sense of humor. In the Persian Gulf, South China Sea, and Caspian Sea, large fields lie in disputed zones between unfriendly neighbors.
Now we must add another hot spot to that list. New, giant, natural gas finds promise to transform the energy security and economy of Israel and, perhaps, its neighbors. But these treasures could hardly have been better placed to stir up trouble, complicating three of the world's most intractable conflicts: between Israel and the Palestinians, Israel and Lebanon, and Greek and Turkish Cypriots. The recent sharp deterioration in Turkish-Israeli relations makes disputes over gas even more fraught with danger.
Golda Meir, the feisty, cantankerous, and quotable fourth Israeli prime minister, used to complain that Moses led the Israelites through the desert for 40 years to bring them to the only place in the Middle East without oil. In 2000, after Britain's BG had discovered significant volumes of gas at Gaza Marine, she was proved at least half-wrong when U.S. exploration company Noble Energy found a similar-sized field, Mari-B, in Israeli waters.
In 2009, though, Noble put these efforts completely into the shade. Some bold and creative geological thinking led it to find 8.5 trillion cubic feet (Tcf) of gas in deep water at Tamar, the world's largest discovery that year. In late 2010, Noble uncovered an even larger field, aptly named Leviathan, containing 16 Tcf. These fields alone could meet U.S. gas demand for an entire year.
The Levant Basin, the geological area containing Tamar and Leviathan, spans not only Israel's offshore but also that of Lebanon, Cyprus, and Syria. The U.S. Geological Survey estimates it could contain 120 Tcf of gas, equivalent to almost half of U.S. reserves. Given that Cyprus, Lebanon, Israel, and the Palestinian territories between them have a population of less than 17 million, that's potentially a huge windfall.
The gas, therefore, suddenly eliminates one of Israel's key strategic and economic weaknesses: its lack of indigenous energy resources. Tamar alone could supply all of Israel's power plants for more than 20 years. And the discoveries are very timely, because Mari-B will be depleted by 2013 and because of the sudden insecurity of Egyptian gas imports.
Israel receives about 40 percent of its gas consumption from Egypt, though the deal is deeply unpopular there, with ex-president Hosni Mubarak and his cronies accused of underpricing the gas and profiting corruptly from sales. The pipeline through the volatile Sinai has been attacked five times this year, cutting supplies and forcing Israel to raise electricity prices by almost 10 percent in August to cover the increased costs of burning oil.
Replicating Israel's success would likewise transform the prospects of energy-poor Lebanon and Cyprus. Cyprus is still reeling from the accidental destruction of its main power station, blown up in July by confiscated Iranian munitions stored with remarkable carelessness next to it.

Noble has been given the green light by the U.S. Embassy in Nicosia to go ahead with drilling in Cypriot waters adjacent to Leviathan. In contrast, Lebanon and Syria have been painfully slow to realize their opportunity. Major oil companies had looked at the area as early as 2001, yet Lebanon's fractious parliament only passed an oil law in 2010 after enviously eyeing Israel's success. Syria had planned to award exploration blocks this year, but this seems unlikely as long as the uprising against the Assad regime continues.

Meanwhile, the unfortunate people of Gaza, whose field arguably started the whole rush, suffer from daily power cuts. Long negotiations to develop their gas predictably went nowhere because the Israelis had no intention of giving the Palestinian Authority an additional source of revenue, especially after Hamas's 2007 takeover of the strip.

The Israelis now have an abundance of riches. They could export gas to Jordan, whose economy is struggling under the burden of expensive oil. The Jordanians, though, might play them off against Iraq, a more politically palatable supplier that will also have excess gas to sell within a few years.

Other than that, without any friends in the region, the Israelis will have to look west for markets. They could have built a pipeline through Cyprus and on to Turkey and mainland Europe. But, with impeccable timing, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's government has escalated a war of rhetoric against Turkey, as Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman reportedly threatened with his characteristic finesse to arm the Kurdish PKK group.

Instead, Israel will probably require more costly and complicated liquefaction facilities in order to ship the gas by tanker to customers in Southern Europe.

The other problem is the region's territorial disputes. Israel and the Republic of Cyprus -- that's the Greek one -- have delineated their maritime border and have shared economic interests. But the maritime border between Israel and Lebanon is not demarcated, and Lebanon has weakened its position with diplomatic missteps while each side has submitted its own claims. These will be hard to resolve: International courts and arbitration do not apply while the two states have no diplomatic relations, and Israel has not signed the 1994 Convention on the Law of the Sea.

The actual overlapping claims area is surprisingly small, and it seems clear that Tamar and Leviathan lie in Israeli waters. Yet Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah has vowed to retaliate against Israel's gas installations for any attempt to "steal" Lebanese natural resources. It appears that underwater gas could become another Shebaa Farms issue, a minor territorial claim exploited to perpetuate the Lebanese-Israeli conflict.
The Israelis are probably well capable of defending offshore installations against Lebanese or Palestinian threats, particularly as the wells will be on the seabed beneath 1,600 meters of water. Turkey is an entirely different matter. Turkey, of course, recognizes neither EU member Cyprus, having backed the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus since the 1974 war and partition of the island, nor the Cyprus-Israel accord.

Turkish Cypriot President Dervis Eroglu said in early August that Cyprus's gas (not a molecule of which has yet been discovered) belonged not only to Greek Cypriots but to Turkish Cypriots and Turkey too.

Turkish pressure is likely to push Cyprus deeper into Israel's willing embrace. Solon Kassinis, head of Cyprus's Energy Service, fired back at the Turks, "I expected Turkey to bark, but I don't think they will do anything ... if they want to be considered a country that respects international law." Greece, which has been wooed by Israel following its rupture with the Turks, vowed to defend Greek Cypriot sovereignty.

The most explosive issue, however, is the rupture of Turkish-Israeli relations. Although Turkey has no maritime border with Israel, nor much prospect of sharing in the offshore gas bounty, the Cyprus and Lebanon disputes give it an excellent opening to retaliate for Israeli intransigence over the Gaza-bound flotilla raid and other areas of dispute.

Interviewed by Al Jazeera, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan declared on Sept. 8, "Turkey will not allow Israel exclusive use of the resources of the Mediterranean Sea" and said he planned to dispatch three frigates to confront Israeli warships. Israeli Infrastructure Minister Uzi Landau responded, "Israel can support and secure the rigs that we are going to have in the Mediterranean." But in the current political climate, neither Turkey nor Lebanon wants to give Israel an easy path to riches.

The United States has urged Turkey and Israel to ease tensions, while saying that it viewed the gas discoveries overall as positive. In a few years, if all goes well, some brave soul in Congress might question the irony of a major gas exporter's being the largest recipient of U.S. foreign aid.

But in the short term, the lure of riches makes conflict resolution more difficult and gives hard-liners on all sides another casus belli. Tamar and Leviathan are unfortunately not the catalyst for regional peace and prosperity, but, rather, more fuel in an already combustible mix.
http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2011/09/15/the_land_of_gas_and_honey?page=0,2&wpisrc=obinsite