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America's Real Criminal Element: Lead

America's Real Criminal Element: Lead
Illustration: Gérard DuBois When Rudy Giuliani ran for mayor of New York City in 1993, he campaigned on a platform of bringing down crime and making the city safe again. It was a comfortable position for a former federal prosecutor with a tough-guy image, but it was more than mere posturing. Since 1960, rape rates had nearly quadrupled, murder had quintupled, and robbery had grown fourteenfold. New Yorkers felt like they lived in a city under siege. Throughout the campaign, Giuliani embraced a theory of crime fighting called "broken windows," popularized a decade earlier by James Q. Giuliani won the election, and he made good on his crime-fighting promises by selecting Boston police chief Bill Bratton as the NYPD's new commissioner. The results were dramatic. But even more remarkable is what happened next. All in all, it seemed to be a story with a happy ending, a triumph for Wilson and Kelling's theory and Giuliani and Bratton's practice. The PB Effect Did Lead Make You Dumber? Related:  Medical Matters

The Spectrum of Color Response: Take Your Medicine - The color of your pills matters. So does the color of your editing pen, of your hockey jersey, of your clothes… New research finds that when generic pills don’t share the colors given them by their original makers, patients stop renewing their prescriptions at a higher rate than if they just kept taking the old-style, brand-name medicine. Given that generics are cheaper than OEM pharmaceuticals, and that presumably the patients has gotten in the habit of both taking their medicine and renewing their prescriptions, the change in color (and shape, to a much lesser extent) seems a bit counterintuitive. Green can spark creativity. Color is a less-than-subtle indicator in human interaction and for life in general—think honey bees and coral snakes signaling their cantankerousness. In the pill study, reported in Archives of Internal Medicine, for example, the patients were drawn from more than 60,000 people taking an epilepsy medication.

Le mirage du gaz de schiste - 3 questions à Thomas Porcher Le livre "Le mirage du gaz de schiste" publié aux éditions Max Milo sort aujourd'hui. Ce livre nous propose une étude inédite sur les conséquences qu'aurait l'ouverture législative aux gaz de schiste aux gaz de schiste en France. Nous avons posé 3 questions à son auteur, Thomas Porcher, docteur en économie et professeur en marché des matières premières à l'ESG-MS et chargé de cours en économie internationale à l'université Paris Descartes. Vous sortez aujourd'hui un livre intitulé "Le mirage du gaz de schiste", quel est l'objectif de ce livre?Depuis que la France a refusé l’exploitation du gaz de schiste, les lobbies pro gaz de schiste ont orienté le débat sur les gains économiques qu’engendrerait l’exploitation. Hormis les dommages sur l'environnement et la santé, pourquoi l'exploitation du gaz de schiste n'est pas non plus économiquement viable? Prenons l’exemple de l’emploi qui est un argument fort en période de crise économique.

How Marlboro Used a Network of Young Smokers to Skirt the Laws Against Tobacco Promotion The Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act 2015, which amended the Juvenile Justice Act of 2000, was passed in the winter session of the parliament in December 2015, and came into effect on 15 January 2016. The act allows juveniles between the ages of 16 and 18 years, charged with heinous crimes, to be tried as adults. It was passed amidst the public outcry that followed the release of the juvenile accused of the rape of Jyoti Kumar Pandey in 2012, and was widely criticised for being passed in haste. The act also makes it illegal to serve children any tobacco products, alcohol, narcotic drugs, and psychotropic substances. Marlboro’s youth marketing programme, of which the connectors were a part, is something of an industry secret. This strict legal intolerance for tobacco promotion has put the industry perpetually on the lookout for ways it can still reach new consumers. BY ALL ACCOUNTS, the Indian tobacco industry is thriving.

Melanoma crushed by the body’s defence A new method for treating melanoma is showing great promise in a Danish hospital. By treating patients with their own T-cells, researchers can kick-start the patients’ immune system and make it destroy the cancer cells. (Photo: Colourbox) Melanoma is a type of skin cancer and is the leading cause of death from skin disease. So far, the disease has been regarded almost as a death sentence when it has started to spread to other parts of the body. However, a new hospital study using a treatment form known as cell-based immunotherapy may offer hope for melanoma patients. By treating patients with their own T-cells, the defence forces of our immune system, researchers can kick-start the immune system and make it destroy the cancer cells. The new method could potentially offer hope and be an effective treatment against several forms of cancer. “Most types of cancer contain T-cells, so in principle, T-cell therapy could potentially become a form of treatment for many types of cancer.” Melanoma

Shell Nigeria oil spill '60 times bigger than it claimed' | Environment Several years on ... fishing boats lie abandoned in oil-polluted water near Bodo, Nigeria. Photograph: Pius Utomi Ekpei/AFP/Getty A Shell oil spill on the Niger delta was at least 60 times greater than the company reported at the time, according to unpublished documents obtained by Amnesty International. According to Shell, the 2008 spill from a faulty weld on a pipeline resulted in 1,640 barrels of oil being spilt into the creeks near the town of Bodo in Ogoniland. But a previously unpublished assessment, carried out by independent US oil spill consultancy firm Accufacts, suggests that a total of between 103,000 barrels and 311,000 barrels of oil flooded into the Bodo creeks over the period of the leak. "The difference is staggering: even using the lower end of the Accufacts estimate, the volume of oil spilt at Bodo was more than 60 times the volume Shell has repeatedly claimed leaked," said Audrey Gaughran, director of global issues at Amnesty International.

The Gift of Death Pathological consumption has become so normalised that we scarcely notice it. By George Monbiot, published in the Guardian 11th December 2012 There’s nothing they need, nothing they don’t own already, nothing they even want. They seem amusing on the first day of Christmas, daft on the second, embarrassing on the third. Researching her film The Story of Stuff, Annie Leonard discovered that of the materials flowing through the consumer economy, only 1% remain in use six months after sale(1). But many of the products we buy, especially for Christmas, cannot become obsolescent. The fatuity of the products is matched by the profundity of the impacts. People in eastern Congo are massacred to facilitate smart phone upgrades of ever diminishing marginal utility(3). In 2007, the journalist Adam Welz records, 13 rhinos were killed by poachers in South Africa. This boom has not happened by accident. 1. 2. 3. 7.

Researchers restore hearing in mammals by regenerating auditory hair cells There is new hope for those of us who have overindulged in loud bands and dread the prospect of old age spent with an ear trumpet clamped to the sides of our heads. Researchers from Massachusetts Eye and Ear and Harvard Medical School have been able to stimulate resident auditory hair cells to become new ones, resulting in partial hearing recovery in mice whose hearing has been damaged by noise trauma. Auditory hair cells are located in the cochlea of the inner ear and are responsible for translating auditory stimuli into electrical signals that are passed to the brain via the auditory nerve. In mammals, (unlike birds and fish), once these cells are damaged, whether by excessive noise exposure, aging, infections, toxins, or certain antibiotics and cancer drugs, they do not regenerate naturally. This causes what is known as sensorineural hearing loss, the most common form of hearing loss.

Why Bernie Sanders Is Adopting a Nordic-Style Approach Bernie Sanders is hanging on, still pushing his vision of a Nordic-like socialist utopia for America, and his supporters love him for it. Hillary Clinton, meanwhile, is chalking up victories by sounding more sensible. “We are not Denmark,” she said in the first Democratic debate, pointing instead to America’s strengths as a land of freedom for entrepreneurs and businesses. Commentators repeat endlessly the mantra that Sanders’s Nordic-style policies might sound nice, but they’d never work in the U.S. A Nordic person myself, I left my native Finland seven years ago and moved to the U.S. But this vision of homogenous, altruistic Nordic lands is mostly a fantasy. When I lived in Finland, as a middle-class citizen I paid income tax at a rate not much higher than what I now pay in New York City. But wait, most Americans would say: Those policies work well because all Nordics share a sense of kinship and have fond feelings for each other. The problem is the way Sanders has talked about it.

MIT developing self-healing materials that act like blood clots Blood clots are one way in which the body heals itself after injuries on even the tiniest level. The process is fast, reliable and goes on every minute of the day without our being aware of it. Now, a team led by MIT assistant professor of materials science and engineering Alfredo Alexander-Katz is studying blood clots as a new model for producing self-healing materials. Blood clotting seems simple. Clotting or coagulation uses a squad of molecules present in the tissues and bloodstream. What they discovered was the opposite of what one would expect. The process that the team studied involves platelets and a biopolymer molecule called Willebrand factor (vWF). When coiled up the vWF just rolls by, but when stretched, the exposed sticky surfaces start to catch hold of the platelets and entangle them. The upshot of all this is a new model for a self-repairing material. These properties make clots very interesting to engineers. In the video below, Alexander-Katz describes the process.

Deep Learning Is Going to Teach Us All the Lesson of Our Lives: Jobs Are for ... Deep Learning Is Going to Teach Us All the Lesson of Our Lives: Jobs Are for Machines (An alternate version of this article was originally published in the Boston Globe) On December 2nd, 1942, a team of scientists led by Enrico Fermi came back from lunch and watched as humanity created the first self-sustaining nuclear reaction inside a pile of bricks and wood underneath a football field at the University of Chicago. Known to history as Chicago Pile-1, it was celebrated in silence with a single bottle of Chianti, for those who were there understood exactly what it meant for humankind, without any need for words. Now, something new has occurred that, again, quietly changed the world forever. Like a whispered word in a foreign language, it was quiet in that you may have heard it, but its full meaning may not have been comprehended. What actually ended up happening when they faced off? “AlphaGo’s historic victory is a clear signal that we’ve gone from linear to parabolic.” So, what is Go?