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  • Topics:
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    • Geeky science rocks!
    • Should we bring back the era of big government?
    • Time to let gays serve openly in the military?
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  • Today's newsletter has details of today's guests and links to the major stories and alerts that Thom covered in the show, plus lots more. If you haven't signed up for the free newsletter yet, please do. If you missed today's newsletter, it is in the archive.
  • Quote: "You don't have to be straight to be in the military; you just have to be able to shoot straight" - Barry Goldwater.
  • Song video: SPONSOR PATCH: style tip for lobbied-up Senators etc. by Jim Terr.
  • Article: Vaccine Output Falls Short by Betsy McKay And Jennifer Corbett Dooren.

    "Less than half of the swine-flu vaccine expected to be shipped to doctors, hospitals and clinics in the U.S. this month has been shipped so far. The disease now is widespread in 46 states and the U.S. death toll has passed 1,000.

    The delays are occurring around the globe, officials said, and are due to a series of manufacturing difficulties, as vaccine makers scramble to fill vast orders using an old technology that requires growing virus in chicken eggs.

    It takes about six to nine months to produce vaccine once a flu strain has been identified.

    A total of 11.3 million doses of vaccine had been shipped to U.S. doctors, hospitals, and clinics as of Wednesday, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, out of a total of 14.1 million doses that manufacturers had shipped to warehouses by that time."

  • Article: Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, and other large city employers have started receiving small quantities of swine flu vaccine for high-risk employees by Esmé E. Deprez.

    "To the list of hundreds of schools, hospitals, and community health centers that have received limited allocations of the H1N1 swine flu vaccine, you can now add some of New York's largest employers. In the past week or so 13 companies, including Citigroup (C) and Goldman Sachs (GS), have begun receiving small quantities of the vaccine, according to city health authorities.

    Citigroup has been supplied with 1,200 units and Goldman with 200, says Jessica Scaperotti, press secretary for the Department of Health & Mental Hygiene. The agency has so far approved orders by 29 employers—including 16 that have yet to receive any vaccine—after they were cleared by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC). Big employers that have received or are scheduled to receive vaccine so far include Time Warner (TWX), JPMorgan Chase (JPM), Memorial Sloan-Kettering, New York Presbyterian Healthcare System, and New York University."

  • Article: Cancers Can Vanish Without Treatment, but How? by Gina Kolata.

    "Call it the arrow of cancer. Like the arrow of time, it was supposed to point in one direction. Cancers grew and worsened.

    But as a paper in The Journal of the American Medical Association noted last week, data from more than two decades of screening for breast and prostate cancer call that view into question. Besides finding tumors that would be lethal if left untreated, screening appears to be finding many small tumors that would not be a problem if they were left alone, undiscovered by screening. They were destined to stop growing on their own or shrink, or even, at least in the case of some breast cancers, disappear.

    “The old view is that cancer is a linear process,” said Dr. Barnett Kramer, associate director for disease prevention at the National Institutes of Health. “A cell acquired a mutation, and little by little it acquired more and more mutations. Mutations are not supposed to revert spontaneously.”

    So, Dr. Kramer said, the image was “an arrow that moved in one direction.” But now, he added, it is becoming increasingly clear that cancers require more than mutations to progress. They need the cooperation of surrounding cells and even, he said, “the whole organism, the person,” whose immune system or hormone levels, for example, can squelch or fuel a tumor."

  • Article: Curry spice 'kills cancer cells'.

    "An extract found in the bright yellow curry spice turmeric can kill off cancer cells, scientists have shown.

    The chemical - curcumin - has long been thought to have healing powers and is already being tested as a treatment for arthritis and even dementia.

    Now tests by a team at the Cork Cancer Research Centre show it can destroy gullet cancer cells in the lab.

    Cancer experts said the findings in the British Journal of Cancer could help doctors find new treatments.

    Dr Sharon McKenna and her team found that curcumin started to kill cancer cells within 24 hours."

  • Article: Guy Fawkes Night.

    "Remember, remember the Fifth of November,
    The Gunpowder Treason and Plot,
    I know of no reason
    Why the Gunpowder Treason
    Should ever be forgot. "

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