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ScienceDaily (Aug. 31, 2010) — There's something beyond plain old ignorance that motivates Americans to believe President Obama is a Muslim, according to a first-of-its-kind study of smear campaigns led by a Michigan State University psychologist.
The research by Spee Kosloff and colleagues suggests people are most likely to accept such falsehoods, both consciously and unconsciously, when subtle clues remind them of ways in which Obama is different from them, whether because of race, social class or other ideological differences.
These judgments, Kosloff argues, are irrational. He also suggests they are fueled by an "irresponsible" media culture that allows political pundits and "talking heads" to perpetuate the lies.
ScienceDaily (Aug. 13, 2010) — People with extremely strong ties to their countries or groups are not only willing, but eager, to sacrifice themselves to save their compatriots, according to new psychology research from The University of Texas at Austin.
In a study to appear in Psychological Science, Bill Swann, professor of psychology, and a team of researchers found the majority of "fused" people, those who view themselves as completely immersed in a group (be it ethnic, national or other), are willing to commit extreme acts for the good of their compatriots.
"Fused group members believe that through suicide, their lives will achieve tremendous significance," Swann said. "Their strong sense of moral agency drives them to see not only that justice is done, but to also take an active role in its implementation."
ScienceDaily (Aug. 16, 2010) — The freedom of emigration at will is internationally recognized as a human right. But, in practice, emigration is often restricted, whether by policy or by poverty. A new study published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science, finds that people who are told that their right to emigrate will be restricted have what could be considered a strange reaction: they respond by defending their country's system.
ScienceDaily (Aug. 17, 2010) — Many Americans believe they can save energy with small behavior
changes that actually achieve very little, and severely underestimate the major effects of switching to
efficient, currently available technologies, says a new survey of Americans in 34 states. The study, which
quizzed people on what they perceived as the most effective way to save energy, appears in this week's
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
ScienceDaily (Aug. 4, 2010) — Using a combination of scientific methodology and old-fashioned legwork, human rights researchers based at the University of California, Berkeley, have systematically canvassed nearly 2,000 households in the Central African Republic, carefully documenting the devastating human impact of violence in the country, as well as detailing the opinions of how the country should move forward.
Their findings are detailed in a study to appear in the Aug. 4 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) and in a complementary report to be released the same day by the UC Berkeley Human Rights Center. The researchers present a stark picture of a population traumatized by decades of political strife, military coups and poverty.
ScienceDaily (Aug. 12, 2010) — According to 16 social science researchers from across the country, a renewed federal effort to fix the nation's stalled nuclear waste program is focusing so much on technological issues that it fails to address the public mistrust hampering storage and disposal efforts.
Writing in the latest issue of the journal Science, experts including Sharon M. Friedman of Lehigh University say that President Obama's Blue Ribbon Commission on America's Nuclear Future is not focusing enough on the social and political acceptability of possible solutions. "While scientific and technical analyses are essential, they will not and arguably should not carry the day unless they address, substantively and procedurally, the issues that concern the public," the experts write.
BBC News US & CANADA
4 August 2010 Last updated at 21:24 ET
A military dog named Gina is recovering from post-traumatic stress disorder after a six-month tour in Iraq, where she conducted door-to-door searches.
A veterinarian diagnosed the dog with PTSD, which some experts say can affect animals in a similar way to humans.
The two-year-old dog returned home to Peterson Air Force base in the US state of Colorado one year ago terrified, skittish and fearful.
ScienceDaily (July 26, 2010) — Racial and ethnic disparities remain a challenge for patients in the U.S. health care system, the American College of Physicians (ACP) said in an updated paper. Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Health Care, Updated 2010, an update to a policy paper that was originally released in 2003, outlines recommendations on how to close the gap between racial and ethnic minority patients and their white counterparts.
ScienceDaily (July 30, 2010) — Researchers at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health assessed the geographical distribution of the long-term burden of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) in a region of Liberia and report that the prevalence of PTSD remains high nearly two decades after the principal conflict there and five years after war in Liberia ended entirely.
Particularly interesting was the geographic distribution of PTSD. Investigators found that certain villages in the region had a much higher prevalence of PTSD than did others. When they compared to the historical record about the path of the violent civil conflict that Nimba County experienced from 1989 to 1990 the team found that these were villages that had experienced the greater burden of war.
ScienceDaily (July 21, 2010) — U.S. military operations to protect oil imports coming from the Middle East are creating larger amounts of greenhouse gas emissions than once thought, new research from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln shows.
Regulators do not currently attribute these emissions to U.S. gasoline use -- but they should, the authors say.
UNL researchers Adam Liska and Richard Perrin estimate that emissions of heat-trapping gases resulting from military protection of supertankers in the Persian Gulf amount to 34.4 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent a year. In addition, the war in Iraq releases another 43.3 million metric tons of CO2 annually.
ScienceDaily (July 20, 2010) — MDMA (±3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine, also known as Ecstasy), may one day offer hope for individuals with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), even people for whom other treatments have failed. Clinical trial results out July 19 in the Journal of Psychopharmacology suggests that MDMA can be administered to subjects with PTSD without evidence of harm and could offer sufferers a vital window with reduced fear responses where psychotherapy can take effect.
Translation: "We will not tolerate wrongdoing by small fry (just forget Bush/Cheney, etc., etc., etc.)."
By Jeremy Pelofsky
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Six more New Orleans police officers have been indicted in connection with the shooting deaths of two people and the wounding of four others who were walking on a bridge after Hurricane Katrina devastated the city in 2005, the Justice Department said on Tuesday.
U.S. prosecutors unsealed a 27-count indictment that charged three current officers and one former officer with the killing, and subsequent cover-up, of James Brissette, a 17-year-old city resident, and Ronald Madison, a 40-year-old man who suffered disabilities and was shot in the back.
ScienceDaily (June 21, 2010) — Veterans with substance use disorders who die by suicide are more likely to use violent means (such as a firearm) rather than nonviolent means (such as a drug overdose), new research suggests.
In a study of more than 5,000 Veterans Affairs (VA) patients with substance use disorders, researchers found that, despite having access to potentially lethal substances, 70% of those who died by suicide used violent means. The study was reported in the July issue of the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs.
Truth is the first casualty of war; and common sense the first casualty of insecurity.
6/10 – The Department of Veterans Affairs Compensation and Pension Service has issued 2 lists of naval vessels it has verified conducted operations on the inland “brown water” rivers and delta areas of Vietnam. The lists also identify certain vessel types that operated primarily on the inland waterways. If a veteran’s service aboard one of these ships can be confirmed through military records during the time frames specified, then exposure to herbicide agents (e.g., Agent Orange) can be presumed. The lists include all vessels of Inshore Fire Support (IFS) Division 93; all vessels with the designation LST, LCVP, PCF (“Swift Boats”), and PBR during their entire Vietnam tour; all Coast Guard WPBs and WHECs during their Vietnam tours. Several other vessels and time frames of operations are included in these lists. See list issued 1/10, and list issued 6/10 (below).
ScienceDaily (June 28, 2010) — Vietnam War-era veterans exposed to Agent Orange appear to have significantly more Graves' disease, a thyroid disorder, than veterans with no exposure, a new study by endocrinologists at the University at Buffalo has shown.
Ajay Varanasi, MD, an endocrinology fellow in the UB Department of Medicine and first author on the study, garnered first prize in the oral presentation category for this research at the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists annual meeting held in Boston in April.
"Our findings show that Vietnam veterans who came in contact with Agent Orange are more likely to develop Graves' disease than those who avoided exposure," says Varanasi.
ScienceDaily (June 28, 2010) — Radical cuts to social welfare spending to reduce budget deficits could cause not just economic pain but cost lives, warn experts in a study published online in the British Medical Journal.
While there is a major debate under way about the potential economic impacts of radical budget cuts in Europe, David Stuckler from the University of Oxford and his colleagues dissect the effect of public spending on people's health.
Their analysis shows that levels of social spending in Europe are "strongly associated" with risks of death, especially from diseases relating to social circumstances, such as heart attacks and alcohol-induced illness.
As such, they argue that, although governments may feel they are protecting health by safeguarding healthcare budgets, social welfare spending is as important, if not moreso, for population health.
British Medical Association
28 June 2010
By Anita Wilkinson
The government needs to overturn incoherent and divisive market-based policies in healthcare, BMA council chairman Hamish Meldrum has insisted.
He called on health secretary Andrew Lansley to reverse the market reforms that pit trusts against one another, secondary against primary care, increase costs and duplicate services
Dr Meldrum was applauded by doctors at the BMA annual representative meeting when he said: ‘We can’t go on promoting a failed market philosophy, with its burgeoning bureaucracy, competitive fragmentation and increasingly perverse incentives. It’s time for change.
British Medical Association
28 June 2010
By Lisa Pritchard
Scrapping the market in healthcare could help the NHS make substantial savings in the harsh economic climate, experts have claimed.
A BMA-hosted debate, An NHS Beyond the Market, concluded that scrapping the competitive market and the purchaser-provider split would not require costly and disruptive reorganisation, and could generate ‘substantial savings’ for the NHS.
The round table discussion involving representatives of the BMA, the NHS Support Federation, the NHS Consultants Association and the campaign group Keep Our NHS Public agreed that one of the more costly consequences of the NHS market in England had been the arrival and growth of transaction costs, such as payment by results.