Using an automated threat response framework to protect government

Using an automated threat response framework to protect government
Unfortunately, none of us has any trouble imagining a security breach. Breaches are so frequent these days, so fast and so clever, that seemingly out of nowhere we could find critical infrastructure threatened, networks at risk, markets in danger …
Read more on Government Security News

MOTHER TRUCKER
Parking at CSULB can be a frustrating event at best, especially during the first few weeks of the semester. Sadly, students pay a good chunk of money for a parking permit or, as I like to call it, a parking opportunity. That being said, imagine my …
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Sex positivity promotes healthy sexuality
In discussions of adolescent sexuality, people often ignore the fact that the majority of young adults in industrialized nations have sexual intercourse before turning 20. Little will dissuade people from having sex. Regardless of how one might feel …
Read more on The Massachusetts Daily Collegian

RxISK.org A Megaphone for Patients and Their Doctors to Help Change Drug Safety


Toronto, Canada (PRWEB) November 05, 2012

RxISK.org, the first free independent website for researching and reporting drug side effects, is now live. RxISK.org layers an easy-to-use interface over data from FDAs MedWatch system, allowing users to search the 4.1 million drug side effect reports from 2004 to June 30, 2012 and see information unavailable anywhere else, including warnings and interactions, tag clouds, heat maps, and interactive graphs. Users can search more than 35,000 prescription drug names from 103 countries.

The website has a unique reporting feature that provides users with a personalized RxISK Report linking their side effects and their meds. This report can be taken to a doctor or pharmacist to facilitate a better treatment conversation. RxISK will also show whats happening with other people taking the same drug around the world and in the users community.

As more reports are filed, the RxISK database will become the most comprehensive source of independent information on what drugs do.

Many people think that if the FDA or their countrys drug regulator has approved a drug then its safe. Not always. All drugs have effects. Some good, some bad, and some deadly. But fewer than 5% of serious drug side effects those leading to hospitalization, disability, or death are reported.

Drug side effects are the fourth leading cause of death in hospitals and the number one cause in some health domains. But with such a huge data gap, it often takes a decade or more for doctors to hear about serious hazards or for country regulators to take action.

The RxISK.org website is a solution to a problem outlined by Dr. David Healy, world-renowned psychiatrist who has written extensively about the lack of data in evidence based medicine, especially in his latest book, Pharmageddon.

I didnt want to just moan about the problems we are facing with drug safety, says Healy, who with the help of like-minded colleagues, created Data Based Medicine Americas Ltd. with the purpose of developing a website that would be independent of advertising and government funding and that would get to the root of the issue.

No one knows a drugs effects like the person taking it, and yet this voice has been silenced, says Healy. As a result, medicines have become riskier rather than safer. The Avandia and Vioxx tragedies clearly show that the system is not working. The problem is huge and will only get worse.

Healy says he is also concerned about the data that is reported. What many people dont realize, he says, is that most drug side effects that are reported come from drug companies, which can manipulate and filter what they report to a country drug regulator.”

RxISK.org also enables users to easily report directly to their countrys drug regulator, such as the FDA in the United States, Health Canada in Canada, and Yellow Card in the United Kingdom.

Dr. Dee Mangin, Data Based Medicines Chief Medical Officer and a family doctor in Christchurch, New Zealand and a professor and Director of Research in the Department of Public Health and General Practice in the University of Otago, says that not only can the RxISK data save lives, but it can also save money. There are enormous costs to patients, health insurers, and governments, says Mangin. Globally, the direct costs of drug side effects are US$ 12.5 billion and the indirect costs are US$ 250 billion. With the right data and intervention strategies, many of these costs are avoidable, she says.

The collection of accurate, reliable data can also be a catalyst in the development of new drugs or new uses for existing drugs. This is exactly what happened with Latisse, which was originally prescribed for glaucoma patients who noticed darker, fuller eyelashes from their eye drops, and Viagra, which was originally developed to treat pulmonary arterial hypertension.

Watching out for unexpected effects has often been an effective way to discover new drug uses, says Mangin. At a time when new drug discovery has dried up, we need people more than ever to report the full range of things that happen to them on treatments.

Healy says the RxISK.org website is designed to give patients a voice and help them and their doctors gain insight into the real life experiences of other people on the same prescription drugs.

About Data Based Medicine Americas Ltd.

RxISK.org is owned and operated by Data Based Medicine Americas Ltd. (DBM), based in Toronto, Canada. DBM’s founders have international reputations in early drug-side-effect detection and risk mitigation, pharmacovigilance, and patient-centered care. Although drug side effects are known to be a leading cause of death and disability, less than 5% of serious drug side effects are reported. DBMs mission is to capture this missing data directly from patients through RxISK.orgs free drug side effect reporting tool and use this data to help make medicines safer for all of us.

Media contact

David Carmichael

david(dot)carmichael(at)RxISK(dot)org

+1 (647) 799-3792







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Next Generation Bliss Formers Reducing Total Cost of Ownership

Spokane, Washington (PRWEB) August 14, 2014

Pearson Packaging Systems announces the rollout of its redesigned Bliss Former product line, including the BF25-GH and BF30-G models.

With the acquisition of Moen Industries in October of 2012, Pearson added bliss and tray forming capabilities to its product portfolio. The integration effort initiated an extensive reengineering program to incorporate the Pearson principles of lowering total cost of ownership while retaining the original machine concepts, functionality, performance and value points.

The redesign produced several key product enhancements. Standardization on PackML allows customers to integrate the machines easily into their manufacturing monitoring system. Simplified changeovers utilizing standard scales, pointers, quick release handles and HMI graphical guided instructions directly support uptime, while lube free-bearings, high-reliability mechanical rams and improved machine accessibility ease overall maintenance burden. Energy and air consumption have been reduced to support sustainability efforts and the addition of stainless steel options fulfills customer requirements for corrosion resistance and easier cleaning.

Specifically designed for high-volume manufacturing operations, Pearson Bliss Formers are ideal for heavy or bulk products that are non-self-supporting and at risk of damage when palletized or during transport. Bliss boxes are characterized by their superior stacking strength due to their single-piece bottom and laminated corners. Pearsons ability to accommodate a wide range of case sizes, shapes and cutouts including two- and three piece bliss boxes further supports retail ready packaging requirements.

For more information on Pearsons Bliss Former portfolio, please visit http://pearsonpkg.com/products/bliss-former-bf25 or contact us at (509) 838-6226 or toll-free at (800) 732-7766.

About Pearson Packaging Systems:

Pearson Packaging Systems specializes in the design, production, integration and service of secondary packaging automation solutions. As a systems provider, Pearson offers a full line of customizable machinery that erect, pack, seal, and palletize top-loaded cartons and cases. Focused on minimizing total cost of ownership, Pearson Packaging Systems is dedicated to a solution-driven partnership. For over fifty years, a diverse set of high-volume manufacturers and distributors has relied on our engineered systems and continuous service support.







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News About How to Avoid Painful Bladder Stones and What to Do if You Get Them


(PRWEB) June 19, 2014

Bladder stones are exactly what they sound like; hard stone-like pieces of concentrated urine which have crystallized and clumped together. Interestingly enough, in developing nations, bladder stones are fairly common in children and sadly, as a result of dehydration, infection and a low-protein diet. In the U.S., bladder stones tend to occur primarily in adults, and men over the age of 30 are the most vulnerable.

How stones get in the bladder

While water makes up the majority of urine content, about five percent is made up of minerals and salts along with proteins and other waste products. When urine becomes overly concentrated due to dehydration, infection or other problems the color will vary from dark amber to brown depending on the types of waste and minerals it contains.

Bladder stones can become so large or numerous that they block the tube (called a urethra) that urine flows through from the bladder. A blocked urethra may cause slow and/or painful urination or it might make urination impossible. Sometimes, bladder stones cause no problems at all even when stones become quite large. However, real problems begin to develop as stones irritate the bladder wall or block the flow of urine, causing a variety of symptoms including:

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Losing Weight Can Lead to a Better Nights Sleep: Uk-med.co.uk releases a report looking at the latest study at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore

London UK (PRWEB UK) 9 November 2012

In the UK there are half a million sufferers that have sleep apnoea, but generally it affects obese men, that are over forty. During their night time slumber they can stop breathing hundreds of times. Apart from possibly suffering from other ailments, diabetes being one of them, this type of disturbed sleep pattern can lead to cardiovascular complications and high blood pressure.

A recent American survey amongst pre-diabetes and type 2 diabetes patients indicated that losing a stone in weight, would also tone their waistline down by 15% and markedly improved sleep quality.

Of the 77 overweight volunteers that took part in the John Hopkins University research half were put on a diet and the other half partook in monitored exercise and diet. Members of each of the groups completed questionnaires before and after the study, so that a comparison could be made to deduce any improvement. This also helped to compare individuals data, to see if there was a common factor relating to the results.

All the patients regardless of group managed to lose an average of 15lbs and they also lost a similar quantity of fat from their waistlines. To ascertain accurately how much was lost they used an MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) scan.

Fat collecting around the waistline also inhibits testosterone secretion, which does not help with an added problem of sleep apnoea and will lead to difficulties with sexual activity. Sleep that is disturbed by hypoxia, which is when someone stops breathing for small amounts of time when asleep, is an added problem that affects sex drive. This is because the central nervous system is inhibited by the lack of oxygen when resting and does not achieve its chemical balance to give sexual satisfaction when awake. Extra weight around the waist can also cause a testosterone deficiency; it mainly effects men and causes Erectile Dysfunction, which under medical advice can be relieved by taking ED medications like Viagra or the increasingly popular Cialis.

There were many types of sleep syndromes that the patients declared, but there was not a particular one that they could classify as being predominant. So this meant that the study had to show the results according to the groups as a whole and not categorize the different types of sleep disturbance. This showed that there was a 20% improvement across all the participants.

This research was carried out at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, by Dr Kerry Stewart whom is a professor of Cardiology. He confirmed that the weight loss was the main contributor to better sleep patterns. It was also found that gender or age was immaterial to the results and the aftereffects were the same whichever combination of weight loss plan was followed.

Written By Graham Hall

Article Source:Lose Weight For A Better Nights Sleep







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Back to School and the Newest Chemical to Watch: Phthalates

With children across the country returning to school this week, many parents are just completed the infamous back-to-school shopping trip, wherein backpacks, notebooks, pencils, markers, and locker decorations were purchased. This year, some scientists and politicians are warning about the dangers of phthalates.

Phthalates are also known as “plasticizers.” This is a group of industrial chemicals, used in everything from raincoats, shower curtains, toys, and children’s backpacks. According to the Environmental Working Group, phthalates can disrupt the endocrine system, decrease a man’s sperm count, and possibly even cause cancer.

This week, the Center for Health, Environment and Justice released the “Back-to-School Guide for PVC-Free School Supplies.” The report tells parents how to avoid PVCs, calling them “poisonous.” A number of media sources have picked up the story and are cautioning parents against purchasing products containing these chemicals. However, not everyone is necessarily ready to call phthalates a health hazard just yet.

An op-ed piece appearing on Forbes.com this week blasts the allegations made by some politicians and environmental groups, noting that many of the studies only involved animals or test groups so small that it would be irresponsible to draw sweeping conclusions from them:

Most recently, in NeuroToxicology, the Mt. Sinai Hospital researcher linked phthalates and another controversial plasticizer, bisphenol A, to a variety of health problems including neuro-developmental delays, behavioral issues and reduced fertility. Her evidence? She examined urine samples from 10 Mennonite women —yes, 10 of 1.5 million Mennonites worldwide. From a science perspective, any conclusions she might make from such a dismally small sample is literally ridiculous—but the media had a field day, nonetheless.

The truth is that there simply is not enough information out there at this point to make a definite determination regarding the safety of phthalates. These chemicals not not highly regulated, and science is still emerging about any potential long-term effects.

 

Surface Miners Inhaling Toxic Dust At Risk for Black Lung

Many surface coal miners previously believed that only their colleagues working underground were at risk for contracting black lung disease. A new study conducted by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) says otherwise.

Black lung disease is simply a common name used to describe any lung disease that can be contracted by inhaling coal dust. The name is derived from the appearance of a person’s lungs, which normally appear to be pink. There are two types of black lung disease, also known as coal workers’ pneumoconiosis: coal workers’ pneumoconiosis (CWP or the “simple” form); and progressive massive fibrosis (PMF or the “complicated” form).

Utilizing chest x-rays and breathing tests, researchers at NIOSH discovered severe cases of black lung disease in surface coal miners. While a prior study, completed in 2002, revealed less than a 2% incidence rate of black lung disease, this current study revealed that the rate is actually about five times higher.

Although it is still somewhat unclear as to what specific chemicals are the most harmful, researchers have speculated that silica dust, found primarily in the Appalachian region, is especially dangerous.

Because of these findings, researchers are now alleging that federal regulations governing coal miners may be insufficient to protect workers. Currently, miners who work on the surface are often exposed to clouds of dust around coal trucks, mines, and along mine roadways.

Inhaling coal dust also increases the risk of contracting emphysema, chronic bronchitis, or COPD. X-rays are able to detect many lung diseases early, so workers who are concerned should get tested so that early treatment options are available to them. If an x-ray does reveal a formal positive diagnosis of black lung disease, workers have a legal right to be transferred to a less dusty working environment without a reduction in pay.

If you have suffered a lung injury from working in a coal mine or by inhaling toxic substances, contact our firm for a complimentary consultation or fill out the form below.

For more information on the study and on black lung disease, please see the following sources:

North Carolina Governor Rejects Fracking Legislation

On Sunday, North Carolina Governor Bev Perdue vetoed a bill which would have allowed companies to drill for natural gas in North Carolina through the highly controversial fracking process. (For background information on fracking, please see our blog post from August 24, 2011.) Governor Purdue said in a public statement that she did not believe the legislation contained adequate environmental protection.

“I support energy policies that create jobs and lower costs for businesses and families,” Perdue said. “Our drinking water and the health and safety of North Carolina’s families are too important; we can’t put them in jeopardy by rushing to allow fracking without proper safeguards.”

While Governor Perdue’s veto was criticized by the leadership in both the State House and Senate, the move received praise from a number of state and national environmental groups, who have been cautioning against the risks associated with fracking for many months now.

While Republicans in North Carolina supported fracking for its potential to create many jobs within the state, Democrats and many environmental groups fear that the process will contaminate drinking water and is therefore not worth the risk. They argue that releasing toxic chemicals into potable water could create massive health risks for those consuming water from sources near fracking sites.

To read more about the bill in North Carolina, please see the article in the Charlotte Observer.

If you or a loved one has been injured by contaminated water or soil, please contact our firm for a complimentary consultation to learn more about your rights.

New Vaccination Designed to Help Smokers Quit and Prevent Non-Smokers from Starting

British scientists have developed a vaccination that is designed to remove all addictive properties of nicotine. Specifically, the pleasure your body associates with smoking would no longer be generated when you smoke a cigarette.

While human trials for the vaccine have yet to begin, tests on mice have proven to be successful. After a single dose, mice were found to be immune to nicotine addiction for their entire lifespan.

The vaccine contains a harmless virus, which is engineered to generate anti-nicotine antibodies upon administration. The virus works by selectively affecting cells in the liver.

Because the vaccine works by turning liver cells into antibody generators, it is expected to cost far less than prior vaccines, which required antibodies to be administered directly. Because older vaccines have required numerous administrations of these antibodies, they were believed to be less effective and more costly.

If human trials are successful, scientists believe that the vaccine could be administered to children, who have never tried a cigarette. This should prevent any recipients of the vaccine from ever deriving pleasure from smoking.

To read more about the vaccine, please visit Sky News.

Certain Toxic Chemicals Possibly Linked to Autism

The product of a conference hosted by the Children’s Environmental Health Center (CEHC) in 2010 has gained publicity in the past few days. Philip Landrigan, MD, MSc, Luca Lambertini, PhD, MPH, MSc, and Linda Birnbaum, Director of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, recently published an editorial called “A Research Strategy to Discover the Environmental Causes of Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disabilities.” The editorial focuses on certain toxic chemicals that the editors suggest are linked to autism.

Autism Awareness Ribbon

According to the National Academy of Sciences, 3 percent of neurobehavioral disorders in children are caused by exposure to toxins in the environment. The disorders in this category include ADHD and autism spectrum disorder (ASD). An additional 25 percent of these disorders are believed to be caused by a mix of exposure to environmental factors and genetics, though the exact causes are still unknown. Researchers at Mount Sinai have estimated that between 400,000 and 600,000 of the 4 million children born each year in the U.S. are affected by these issues.

For these reasons, Dr. Landrigan, as well as four other editorials, have called for additional studies to be conducted to determine which chemicals might be causing conditions like autism. The CEHC listed ten chemicals it believes to be linked to causing autism and learning disabilities. They are:

1. Lead

2. Methylmercury

3. PCBs

4. Organophosphate pesticides

5. Organochlorine pesticides

6. Endocrine disruptors

7. Automotive exhaust

8. Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons

9. Brominated flame retardants

10. Perfluorinated compounds

If you or a family member have been injured by exposure to a toxic substance, contact our firm for a complementary consultation. We have over 25 years of experience and would be happy to explain your legal options, free of cost.

For more information on these chemicals and their potential link to autism, please click here.

The New Drug of Choice: Hand Sanitizer?

While you certainly can’t sue over the subject matter of this post, this new trend is so baffling that it nonetheless merits attention. According to a recent article in the L.A. Times, a new trend is emerging on college campuses throughout the country: drinking hand sanitizer.

In the past year, the California Poison Control System announced that it has received sixty reported cases of teenagers drinking hand sanitizer. In order to kill all of those germs on your hands, sanitizer contains 62% ethyl alcohol. Unfortunately, many teens have begun to utilize the substance to create a very potent alcoholic beverage, which sometimes includes salt to separate out the alcohol. Some students reported locating instructions for making this stiff cocktail on the Internet.

If you are concerned that your child might be interested in experimenting, there are ways to continue using hand sanitizer, while minimizing the availability of the product around your house. According to Cyrus Rangan of the Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, “All it takes is just a few swallows and you have a drunk teenager.” Health experts have advised purchasing foam hand sanitizers instead of the liquid versions, as the foam is more difficult to transform into a legal beverage.

To read more about this, please see the following sources:

California Study Finds Toxins in Nail Polish

Reports in a variety of scientific journals demonstrate that nail salon employees suffer from more frequent headaches, respiratory issues, and skin irritation than most Americans. Furthermore, those working in nail salons are frequently exposed to dangerous chemicals at higher levels than most.

With this in mind, it is disturbing that the Department of Toxic Substances Control is releasing a report, showing that toxic chemicals were found in a number of nail products, claiming to be toxic-free. ”Toxic-free” refers to products not using the “toxic trio:” formaldahyde, toluene, and dibutyl phthalate. Exposure to these three chemicals has been linked to both cancer and birth defects.

According to Thu Quach of the Cancer Prevention Institute of California, nail products are not closely regulated, and the toxic effects of nail products can be compounded if a nail salon is not properly ventilated. Therefore, some cities have begun to pay attention and implement stricter regulations. While Boston has approached the issue by requiring salons to obtain health permits, the city of San Francisco has used an incentive approach by recognizing salons that use toxic-free products.

If you or a loved one have been injured by a toxic product, contact us for a complementary consultation.

For more information on toxic nail products, please see the article appearing in today’s Los Angeles Times.

Cancer Cluster in Fridley, MN? Erin Brockovich is on the Scene.

Shortly after wrapping up an investigation in upstate New York, Erin Brockovich has traveled to Fridley, Minnesota, where she and her team are now attempting to decipher what might be causing elevated cancer levels in the area. Current estimates place the incidence of cancer in Fridley at around ten percent higher than other areas in the state.

While heightened occurrences of all types of cancer are cause for concern, epidemiologists are working to trace which types of cancers are appearing more than others. John Soler, an epidemiologist for the Minnesota Cancer Surveillance System, indicated that initial findings revealed higher concentrations of lung cancer, especially in women. Despite this, Soler noted that final numbers have yet to be crunched.

In the meantime, Bob Bowcock, Brockovich’s associate, is reaching out to Fridley residents on the facebook page, “Fridley Cancer Cluster.” The page was started by residents and was one of the reasons Fridley caught Brockovitch’s attention.

The page has nearly 1,900 members and is full of stories from locals whose lives have been affected by cancer.

For more on this issue, please visit any of the following sites:

More Reasons to Quit Smoking

Just when you thought you had heard every possible reason under the sun to quit smoking, another one emerges. The latest incentive for kicking your habit comes from an article released today by Reuters. The article pronounces, not only is smoking bad for you, for your friends and family, for those around you, but it’s a “drag on the world economy.”

The Tobacco Atlas, funded by the American Cancer Society and World Lung Foundation, launched a book, which contains a number of statistics concerning the harm caused by tobacco. One of the most important figures indicates that smoking costs around 1 to 2 percent of the world’s gross domestic product every year. Included in these figures are costs such as healthcare expenses for treating tobacco-related illnesses and the costs of tobacco-related absences from work.

Today, there are around 7 billion people on the planet, and approximately one out of every seven smokes. Each year, approximately 600,000 non-smokers die as a result of second-hand smoke.

Sadly, these staggering statistics don’t seem so staggering after being in the news for so many years. The World Health Organization is taking action to curtail global tobacco use, and so are nations around the globe. As of today, 174 countries have signed and ratified the WHO’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control.

While this is certainly a step in the right direction, the Convention lacks any penalties for a State’s failure to comply with Convention provisions. The United States has signed the treaty, but it has not been ratified. Therefore, the signature is nothing more than a symbolic gesture; treaties are not binding until they have been ratified.

While frightening statistics about tobacco use and related injuries have become the norm, and while one more article likely won’t cause anyone to to toss their last pack of Marlboros in the trash, it remains important to be reminded every once in a while that kicking the habit can not only save lives, but apparently, it can help our ailing economy.

Is Fluoride in Water Dangerous?

Recently, the New Jersey State Legislature introduced a bill, requiring all public water systems to add fluoride to local water supplies. This bill was proposed in light of the discovery that around two hundred New Jersey municipalities have stopped adding fluoride to water.

 

Fluoride prevents tooth decay and guards against the development of cavities. According to WebMD, the mineral allows teeth to resist being damaged by bacteria and sugars in the mouth, and it reversed early tooth decay. In fact, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention has hailed the addition of fluoride to local water supplies as one of the top ten public health achievements of the 20th century.

Objections to fluoridation of water have been raised over concerns that fluoride, in addition to preventing tooth decay, also can cause bone weakness if consumed in high doses over many years.

In 1986, the E.P.A. mandated that fluoride levels in water could not exceed 4.0 milligrams per liter. This regulation was accompanies by a suggestion that levels actually be limited to 2.0 milligrams per liter. Twenty years later, the National Research Council released a study it was asked by the E.P.A. to conduct. The study indicated that the 4.0 maximum level should be lowered, though it does not specify by how much. Today, the E.P.A. is still pondering how to proceed.

It seems that other federal agencies are beginning to take notice of the issue as well. In January 2011, the Department of Health and Human Services recommended that fluoride levels be capped at 0.7 milligrams per liter.

In light of these findings and recommendations, cities throughout the country have begun to explore the issue in greater detail. While many cities in New Jersey have elected to abandon fluoride in local water, others like Aspen, CO and Shippensburg, PA have elected to continue adding it.

If you or a loved one has been harmed by a toxic substance, click here to contact our firm for a complementary consultation. A member of our staff who specializes in toxic torts will be happy to speak with you.

To learn more about fluoride in water, please see any of the following sources:

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