Pat writes "Today is United Nations International Day for the Eradication of Poverty. As the economies of the developing world take a beating, we can only imagine how much worse it can be for someone in the developing world. Luckily, new web-based innovations have made it so easy to do something that truely makes a truely measurable difference in the actual underlying problems of poverty. One of the tools that has been proven to help end poverty faster is the use of microfinance (wikipedia): small loans made to individuals in impoverished areas so they can start or expand a small business and help lift themselves and their families out of poverty and raise their community up along with them. Now might be a good time to consider Kiva.org or OptINnow.org (a relative online newcomer that is different from Kiva in that loans automatically recycle as they are paid back instead of being first offered back to the investor — this makes the donation tax deductable to the donor) to get "all the other" economies going again too."
Patmann writes "Apparently legions of Slashdot commentors over the years have been correct — Americans really are getting fatter, lazier, and more sick. And apparently it's not just sysadmins and gamers, because now there is empirical data to prove it. The 2007 America's Health Rankings report released today has data on all 50 states. Even comparatively healthy states like Hawaii, Vermont and Minnesota get trounced by 43 other countries! And, if you live in Mississippi, Louisiana, or Arkansas you are, statistically, among the unhealthiest of all."
The problem with various transplant approaches is that they don't cure type 2 diabetes, since it's the reactive cells in the body that are resistant to insulin, rather then the insulin producing cells not working. And in type 1 diabetes, the autoimmune reaction will destroy any transplanted cells over time, just as it did the original cells. I think the future is in polymer encapsulated islet cells, where transplanted islets (hopefully grown from the patient's own dwindling supply) are coated in a polymer that allows insulin out and O2/nuetrients in, but selectively blocks antibody's.