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+ - Twitter, Stephen Fry stuck on a lift ->

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reprint
reprint writes "Stephen Fry, a British comedian, has got stuck in a lift (elevator) in England around 6pm EST (11pm English time) today Feb 3rd. A big fan of Twitter, he tweets out a message "Ok. This is now mad. I am stuck in a lift on the 26th floor of Centre Point. Hell's teeth. We could be here for hours. Arse, poo and widdle". Find out more through the power of twitter."
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Comment: Re:Disease gene hunting (Score 2, Informative) 159

by reprint (#22502590) Attached to: Identical Twins Not Identical After All
If you search for meta-genetics (with the hyphen) you will find a pseudo-science which really has no mainstream scientific support. How genes connect with how an organism looks, behaves etc (phenotype) is quite complicated. Gene expression is controlled by many factors and new ones are being discovered. The term I think you are looking for is epigenetic or gene imprinting. I won't get into a long explanation because you can find good information by searching. If you look up gene expression, you will also find many method of gene expression control such as siRNA or the recent discovery of miRNA, a very hot area right now.
Biotech

+ - Thimerisol and developmental problems in kids->

Submitted by
reprint
reprint writes "A new study published in the New England Journal of Medicine looked at over 1000 children to see if early exposure to a mercury containing preservative used in vaccines affected children aged 7 — 10 years of age. A controversy has been raging over the safety of vaccines and your child's health is on the line. Despite no scientific evidence to support them, advocacy groups have asserted that vaccines are unhealthy and linked to increases in autism.

This new study did not look at autism but looked at many measurements of nervous system development in kids exposed to thimerosal, a mercury containing preservative that was in vaccines given to infants. Other than some forms of the flu vaccine, no vaccines today contain this preservative and a thimerosal free version of the flu vaccine is available.

This large study concluded that there was no correlation between thimerosal (mercury containing preservative) and the neuropsychological outcomes at 7 to 10 years. They looked at 378 statistical endpoints and found 19 endpoints which changed. Of these 12 showed better functioning with higher thimerosal and 7 showed worse functioning. This number could be predicted by chance.

The only observation of possible concern was an increase in tics, involuntary muscle movements or twitches. Transitory tics have no consequence and go away by themselves whereas permanent tics would be more serious. The study couldn't determine if they were short term or permanent but parents' reports of tics in their kids did not associate with the level of thimerosal. Because an increase of tics was seen in previous studies, the authors recommend follow up studies.

This is yet another scientific study that again shows no link between vaccines and defects in development. Another CDC sponsored study looking at vaccination and autism in 250 children is due out in the next 12 months. This issue is highly emotional and the legal system is already involved. Scientific studies will probably not stop the advocacy movement but the removal of thimerosal from vaccines that has already taken place probably will. The risks of not vaccinating still far outweigh any theoretical risk from the vaccine itself.

The original paper in the New England Journal of Medicine can be accessed here
A great commentary on the vaccine controversy can also be found in the same journal here
The CDC press briefing transcript can be found here"

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"A mind is a terrible thing to have leaking out your ears." -- The League of Sadistic Telepaths

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