Brandon Ambrosino | The Daily Beast | July 26, 2015
Brandon Ambrosino | The Daily Beast | July 26, 2015
Certain age groups — adolescents and those over the age of 30 — are more likely to contract leprosy, and men are more at risk than women. (Illustration: Getty Images)
Korin Miller | Yahoo News | July 23, 2015
Diseases you probably thought were obliterated have been making headlines lately. First, there was the measles outbreak at Disneyland this past winter. Then, cases of the plague appeared in Colorado. And now, Florida is seeing a spike in leprosy cases.
Yes, leprosy is still around.
Florida has seen nine leprosy cases so far this year, but typically only sees an average of four annually, according to the Florida Department of Health. And experts say the reason for the outbreak may be … armadillos.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, some armadillos are naturally infected with leprosy. The small animals are naturally nocturnal but are now in their breeding season, according to the University of Florida. As a result, they’re out more during the day now, when they may come into contact with people.
Researchers link endocrine disrupting chemical exposure to altered gene function in pregnant women’s placentas, which could hamper fetal growth. (Image: Ultrasound image via Shutterstock)
Women exposed to widely used chemicals while pregnant are more likely to have altered gene function in their placentas, according to a new study.
It is the first study to show that exposure to phenols and phthalates may alter how genes are expressed in the placenta of pregnant women and suggests that such exposures may hamper fetuses’ proper development and growth.
“Altered expression of a gene is of concern because we will have more or less of a protein,” said senior author of the study, Karin Michels, a professor and epidemiologist at the Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, in an emailed response. “Proteins have essential function, for example, as hormones in the body.”
Elisabeth A. Sheff Ph.D. | Pyschology Today | July 5, 2015
The recent US Supreme Court decision Obergefell v. Hodges legally recognizing same-sex marriage has potentially opened the door to multiple-partner/extra-dyadic marriage. Supreme Court Justice Roberts (link is external) noted that:
It is striking how much of the majority’s reasoning would apply with equal force to the claim of a fundamental right to plural marriage. If “[t]here is dignity in the bond between two men or two women who seek to marry and in their autonomy to make such profound choices,” why would there be any less dignity in the bond between three people who, in exercising their autonomy, seek to make the profound choice to marry? If a same-sex couple has the constitutional right to marry because their children would otherwise “suffer the stigma of knowing their families are somehow lesser,” why wouldn’t the same reasoning apply to a family of three or more persons raising children? If not having the opportunity to marry “serves to disrespect and subordinate” gay and lesbian couples, why wouldn’t the same “imposition of this disability,” serve to disrespect and subordinate people who find fulfillment in polyamorous relationships?
THE Family vs. Families
Those who cast one form of family as the only natural or legitimate form are culturally and historically myopic. While in the US we idolize a family composed of a man who works for pay outside the home and a woman who works inside the home for free – what family historian Stephanie Coontz calls a “male-breadwinner family” (link is external) – it is not the only form family has ever taken. Indeed, it has never been the dominant form, even in 1950s America, because women of color and poor women have always had to work outside of the home for pay to support their families. Historians, anthropologists, and sociologists like myself understand that families take many forms throughout time and across cultures. To pretend that the heterosexual, dyadic (two-person), monogamous, male breadwinner family is universal shows a significant lack of understanding of the world as a whole.
Joel Warner | International Business Times | Raw Story | July 2, 2015
CASCADE, Colorado — Matt Stys funnels a mound of finely ground God?s Gift, a sativa strain of marijuana, into his multicolored glass bowl and takes a hit. ?It allows the images and all the things in your head to lose focus and drift away for a while,? says Stys as wisps of smoke curl from his mouth. For Stys, the images of being a noncommissioned officer running an entry control point in Iraq in 2007 and 2008 can fade away with the smoke: recollections of struggling to differentiate potential combatants from Iraqi citizens, of watching the wounded and dead flowing through his security checkpoint. Other demons in his head can waft away too, like the memories of spending his teenage years in foster care, and the moral ache of questioning the war in which he fought.
?I had this misconception that we were over here to help Iraq,? he says. ?But we were just there to destroy a nation.?
These images and anguish caused the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to diagnose Stys, 43, with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), along with service-related shoulder, knee and ankle injuries this past March, six years after getting out of the Army. Stys sees a VA therapist, but he?s not taking drugs for his condition — that is, except for cannabis, for which he has a Colorado medical marijuana card. He says the marijuana helps him sleep, manage anxiety and avoid succumbing to road rage. And cannabis helps Stys avoid the other substance he?s used to keep the images away: alcohol, which led him to fall asleep behind the wheel in 2009. He somehow managed to avoid ending up dead or in jail.
Gary Page crime scene in Harmony, Indiana. (photo: Indiana State Police)
Wesley Lowery, Kimberly Kindy and Keith Alexander | The Washington Post | Reader Supported News | July 1, 2015
It was not yet 9 a.m., and Gary Page was drunk. The disabled handyman had a long history of schizophrenia and depression and, since his wife died in February, he had been struggling to hold his life together.
That bright Saturday morning in March, something snapped. Page, 60, slit his wrists, grabbed a gun and climbed the stairs to his stepdaughter’s place in the Pines Apartments in Harmony, Ind. He said he wanted to die. And then he called 911.
“I want to shoot the cops,” Page slurred to the dispatcher, prodding his stepdaughter to confirm that, yes, he had a gun. “I want them to shoot me.”