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Sunday, August 4, 2013
Friday, July 26, 2013
Heading for regeneration: Researchers reactivate head regeneration in regeneration-deficient species of planarians
Wednesday, July 24, 2013
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) ? A Food and Drug Administration review concludes that menthol cigarettes likely pose a greater public health risk than regular cigarettes but does not make a recommendation on whether to limit or ban the minty smokes ? one of the few growth sectors of the shrinking cigarette business.
The federal agency released the independent review on Tuesday and is seeking input from the health community, the tobacco industry and others on possible restrictions on the mint-flavored cigarettes.
The FDA evaluation concluded that there is little evidence to suggest that menthol cigarettes are more or less toxic or contribute to more disease risk to smokers than regular cigarettes. However, there is adequate data to suggest that menthol use is likely associated with increased smoking initiation by younger people and that menthol smokers have a harder time quitting, the review said.
There's also evidence indicating that menthol's cooling properties can reduce the harshness of cigarette smoke and that menthol cigarettes are marketed as a smoother alternative, the review said.
"Menthol cigarettes raise critical public health questions," Mitch Zeller, director of the Center for Tobacco Products, said in a conference call with reporters.
Zeller said there's "no holdup" on the FDA proposing restrictions on menthol but that there are still "some important questions" that need to be answered. The agency is commissioning further research.
A 2011 FDA advisory panel report, which was mandated under the 2009 law giving the agency the authority to regulate tobacco, made many of the same findings, and said that removing menthol cigarettes from the market would benefit public health and highlighted greater use among minorities, teenagers and low-income people. Panels like the tobacco committee advise the FDA on scientific issues. The agency doesn't have to follow its recommendations, but often does.
Meanwhile, a tobacco industry report to the FDA acknowledged that all cigarettes are hazardous but said there's no scientific basis for regulating menthols differently. The industry also has raised concerns that restrictions on menthol would lead to a black market for the cigarettes.
Menthol cigarettes are one of the few growth areas in a shrinking cigarette market. The percentage of U.S. cigarette smokers using menthol brands grew from 33.9 percent in 2008 to 37.5 percent in 2011, according to a study by the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, with more significant growth among younger smokers.
A menthol ban or other restriction on the flavored cigarettes would fall heavily on Lorillard Inc., whose Newport brand is the top-selling menthol cigarette in the U.S., with nearly 38 percent of the market. Lorillard, based in Greensboro, N.C., is the country's third-largest tobacco company.
CEO Murray Kessler said in a statement Lorillard looks forward to participating in the regulatory process and reiterated its long-held belief that menthol cigarettes shouldn't be treated differently.
The move comes ahead of a Wednesday deadline for the U.S. to respond to the World Trade Organization's findings last year that the FDA's ban on manufacturing, importing, marketing and distributing candy-, fruit- and clove-flavored tobacco breaks trade rules because it exempts menthol cigarettes, most of which are made in the U.S.. The investigation was launched following a request from Indonesia, which claims more than 6 million of its people depend on the production of clove cigarettes ? a staple of the country's smoking culture.
Michael Felberbaum can be reached at http://www.twitter.com/MLFelberbaum.Associated Press
Tuesday, July 23, 2013
Warner Bros.It's DC vs. Marvel at the movies.
As Warner Bros. prepares to go to battle with Disney at theaters in 2015 with the newly announced Batman/Superman movie, The Hollywood Reporter says WB?is also planning a "Flash" film and "Justice League" movie.
THR reports sources revealed plans for a?"Flash" adaptation set for 2016 and a "Justice League" film for 2017.
Throughout DC history, there have been a few different members of the Justice League at any given time.?
The original members include?Superman, Batman,?the Martian Manhunter, Green Lantern, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, and the Flash.
Other versions have included Hawkgirl/man, Black Canary, Green Arrow, Atom, and Zatanna.
The popular WB animated series included seven members with Flash and Wonder Woman.
At Comic-Con CW "Arrow" actor?Stephen Arnell has said he'd love to be in a "Justice League" adaptation.
"I think that Green Arrow has an opportunity to mature in much the same way Iron Man did in the Marvel universe," Arnell told SciFiNow.
"It's always up to what's popular at the moment," he added. "Right now archery seems to be having a mini renaissance, so hopefully he can settle into a firm rotating member of the DC?Justice League of America."
Saturday, July 20, 2013
by KGW reporter Wayne HavrellyBio | Email | Follow: @HavrellyKGW
Posted on July 20, 2013 at 4:11 PM
Updated today at 5:13 PM
PORTLAND -- The eviction notices went up late Friday night telling camping protesters they must leave the sidewalks around City Hall, but the notices were ripped down by protesters faster than they went up.?
"If they raid us, we will raid them because there are a lot more kids that are crazier than cops think," said a young homeless protester who goes by Angel.?
"I decided to handcuff myself to this tree due to the fact that I believe in my First Amendment rights to protest," said Trevor Matney who has lived in front of City Hall for six months now.
Alvin Ronald Taylor is a pastor at the Union Gospel Mission.? He's concerned about the city's new plan to evict the homeless from City Hall.?
"It creates a domino effect and what happens is when people have no where to go, they're out on the street and the next step is crime," he said.
Dana Haynes with the Mayor's office said crime is what's behind the Mayor's move to evict.
"When police showed Mayor Hales there had been 113 calls to the block around City Hall over the past 180 days, Mayor Hales said enough is enough," said Haynes.?
He said the city changed the zoning around City Hall to a high-use pedestrian zone which they said makes it illegal to camp.
"Portland is in a dilemma," said homeless veteran Dwayne Owen, who first learned about Portland after his wife died of a stroke in Indiana and his alcohol abuse sent him to a homeless shelter in Indiana.? "I was told if you're going to be homeless then Portland, Oregon is the best place in the U.S. to be homeless."
Portland's reputation as a caring place could be seen at an annual downtown compassion event at the Veteran's Memorial Coliseum Saturday.? More than 400 volunteers provided food, health care, dental care, even haircuts to those in need.? More than 1,000 people were served in just a few hours.
Portland is performing a tough juggling act: In the air, compassion, the right to protest and public safety.? Which ball will fall first?
"None of us are leaving this sidewalk outside City Hall," said a young homeless protester.
The Sony Xperia Z Ultra was announced last month as the company?s first foray into the realm of phablets with its robust 6.5-inch screen.
Besides the new Triluminous display engine, the Z Ultra features Sony?s handwriting recognition technology, which lets you write on the display using nearly anything with tip less than 1mm in diameter. This latest video takes a closer look at exactly what does and doesn?t work as a writing device ? from a set of keys to Stanley knives.
Most things worked fairly well, and it?s good to see that the key worked very well, especially since it?s one thing you?ll most likely have on hand in a pinch. Oddly enough, the mechanical pencil didn?t register at all, neither did the plastic ruler, and that goes without saying for the Stanley knife ? although we recommend you don?t use the latter even if it did work. Good news is, even if many of these didn?t make for great stylus alternatives, they didn?t damage the display either, which means the Xperia Z Ultra certainly won?t be an easy to scratch device.
Either way, you?ll be able to try all of these and more soon enough, as the Xperia Z Ultra is set to hit Europe in September and Asia this month.
Thanks, gmfady, for the tip!
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