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Gender: Female
Current location: sun,sea,sand
Member since: Sun Sep 11, 2016, 01:18 AM
Number of posts: 6,113

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Studies help explain link between autism, severe infection during pregnancy


A Korean couple who are both working as professors at prestigious U.S. universities proved the main cause of autism.

The couple found that certain bacteria in the mother’s digestive tract can lead to having an autistic child. Furthermore, they found the exact brain location linked to autistic behaviors, which can be used to find a cure for autism.

Science journal ‘Nature’ published the couple’s two research studies on the 14th. The couple are Harvard Medical School’s professor Huh Jun-ryeol, and MIT’s professor Gloria Choi.

The studies vividly explain the detailed process of a pregnant mouse, which is infected by a virus, having offspring that shows autistic behaviors.

The researchers found out that certain bacteria in the mother’s digestive tract can develop immune cells that directly influence the baby’s brain cells development. When the researchers removed the bacteria with antibiotics, the mouse had a normal baby mouse.

From MIT:

The researchers found that the patches are most common in a part of the brain known as S1DZ. Part of the somatosensory cortex, this region is believed to be responsible for proprioception, or sensing where the body is in space. In these patches, populations of cells called interneurons, which express a protein called parvalbumin, are reduced. Interneurons are responsible for controlling the balance of excitation and inhibition in the brain, and the researchers found that the changes they found in the cortical patches were associated with overexcitement in S1DZ.

When the researchers restored normal levels of brain activity in this area, they were able to reverse the behavioral abnormalities. They were also able to induce the behaviors in otherwise normal mice by overstimulating neurons in S1DZ.

The researchers also discovered that S1DZ sends messages to two other brain regions: the temporal association area of the cortex and the striatum. When the researchers inhibited the neurons connected to the temporal association area, they were able to reverse the sociability deficits. When they inhibited the neurons connected to the striatum, they were able to halt the repetitive behaviors..

EDIT: Changed original OP title to headline from MIT.

Dolores Huerta: The Civil Rights Icon Who Showed Farmworkers 'Si Se Puede'

Huerta was 25 when she became the political director of the Community Service Organization, run by influential community organizer Fred Ross. That's where she met Chavez, and in 1962 the two teamed up to form what became the UFA, organizing farmworkers who toiled for wages as low as 70 cents an hour, in brutal conditions.

"They didn't have toilets in the fields, they didn't have cold drinking water. They didn't have rest periods," Huerta tells NPR.

In 1965, the grape workers struck, and Huerta was a leading organizer. She faced violence on the picket lines — and sexism from both the growers she was staring down and their political allies, and from within her own organization. At one point, a lawmaker is seen referring to Huerta as Chavez's "sidekick." At a time when the feminist movement was taking root, Huerta was an unconventional figure: the twice-divorced mother of 11 children. "Who supports those kids when she's out on these adventures?" one of her opponents is shown asking in historical footage.

Now grown, her children provide some of the most moving accounts in the film. They speak with great admiration for their mother, but are also candid about the price her tireless dedication to the cause exacted on the family. As one daughter puts it, "The movement became her most important child."


And yet, her role in the farmworkers movement has long been overshadowed by that of Cesar Chavez, her longtime collaborator and co-founder of what became the United Farm Workers of America union. That's true even when it comes to credit for coining the movement's famous slogan, Sí se puede — Spanish for "Yes, we can" — which inspired President Obama's own campaign battle cry and has often wrongly been attributed to Chavez. (Obama acknowledged Huerta as the source of that phrase when he awarded her the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2012. She talks about its origins below.)


more links:



Hillary Clinton: A Vox Conversation on What Happened.


On page 239 of What Happened, Hillary Clinton reveals that she almost ran a very different campaign in 2016. Before announcing for president, she read Peter Barnes’s book With Liberty and Dividends for All, and became fascinated by the idea of using revenue from shared natural resources, like fossil fuel extraction and public airwaves, alongside revenue from taxing public harms, like carbon emissions and risky financial practices, to give every American “a modest basic income.”

Her ambitions for this idea were expansive, touching on not just the country’s economic ills but its political and spiritual ones. “Besides cash in people’s pockets,” she writes, “it would be also be a way of making every American feel more connected to our country and to each other.”

This is the kind of transformative vision that Clinton was often criticized for not having. It’s an idea bigger than a wall, perhaps bigger even than single-payer health care or free college. But she couldn’t make the numbers work. Every version of the plan she tried either raised taxes too high or slashed essential programs. So she scrapped it. “That was the responsible decision,” she writes. But after the 2016 election, Clinton is no longer sure that “responsible” is the right litmus test for campaign rhetoric. “I wonder now whether we should’ve thrown caution to the wind, embraced [it] as a long-term goal and figured out the details later,” she writes.

The whole interview is worth the watch. It's seriously good.

I went to medical school in Charlottesville. I know white anger well

For four years, my task was to learn to treat people who were sick. Even the ones who wore their Confederate pride openly, even the ones who threatened to shoot me on home health visits. My task was to learn from experienced physicians how to help people get well. Even when they witnessed racist behavior directed toward me. Even when they glossed over that bigotry.

The response to the violence in Charlottesville has had its fair share of denial — people saying, this is not the city I know, the protesters came from elsewhere, this is not the America I know.

Such statements are infuriating.

In Charlottesville, this was exactly the America I knew. This was the Virginia I knew. This was the medicine I knew. Even on graduation day, one the happiest days of my life, my family broke bread at a restaurant I later learned was owned by a man affiliated with the University of Virginia who had made controversial and racist statements.

This is the quiet racism of every day — the small transgressions that we gloss over in our daily lives. The outrage that only comes when men carrying tiki torches march openly. The America I know tolerates racism as long as it’s quiet, as long as it doesn’t cause a scene. Until it kills an innocent protester.


As for me, a few weeks ago, an angry patient kept referring to me as “that woman.” Another patient refused to look at me, a black doctor, as she believed black people, “are more prone to violence.”

This is the America I know, the medicine I know. Bigotry in a hospital gown — it’s a risk I face every day when I go into work.

But, during the first incident, a nurse intervened, reminding the patient that I was her doctor, Dr. Okwerekwu, and deserved her respect. And during the second incident, my attending spoke up, telling the patient that her views were misinformed.

And after the second incident, my attending asked me how I was doing, how I was coping. That woman hadn’t been the first patient that week to spew racism. A team social worker, an occupational therapist, and even a medical student I was working with offered their support.

What happened when I talked about what others ignore — racism in medicine
This is the America I want. The medicine I aspire to.


"to the "socially conscious" objectors who didn't vote".....

"I just saw a middle-aged man from West Africa who is living with HIV and has been in the US since the mid 2000s. He came here on asylum and has been applying repeatedly and appealing rejections each time. He works construction and got insurance to pay for his HIV meds and has been doing well.

He told me today that he was fired due to 45's initiatives trying to purge the US of non-white immigrants who are not citizens yet. He had to scramble to get the Medicaid-funded AIDS Drug Assistance Program (ADAP) so he can continue to get his meds, but missed 10 days in the process.

To those of you who pseudo-intellextualize your decision to "take a stand and not vote last year because of apathy, anger about Bernie not being the candidate, or because "Hillary was just as bad," please sit the fuck down. It's great to blog and get hundreds of "likes" for typing half-baked ideas in social media spaces as you stand defiant and stern in your decision to let this disaster happen - but what is happening to people in the US now as a result is very real and will be adversely impacting people's lives and health for years to come. This clown in the White House is systematically dismantling programs that are going to kill people. My patient's clinical outcome depends on this idiot that many Americans allowed to assume power. If you think that none of this will affect you because you're not HIV-positive, you're dead wrong.

When the Republicans destroy Medicaid, my patient won't be able to get meds because ADAP will be impacted by these cuts. He will get sick, and will likely die and/or get deported, whichever comes first. He has been a productive worker in this country for 13 years, and this is what he gets.

So spare me with your posts/articles about being an HIV advocate and "doing the work" if you didn't vote last year. You ain't doing shit - you actively contributed to setting this country back decades, just when we are starting to see a decrease in new HIV cases in many areas.

And oh yeah, the used car salesman you allowed to get in the White House just banned our transgender brothers and sisters from serving in the military.

So while you're at it, take your "LGBT advocacy" social media diatribes and shove them up your asses.
I hope you're all proud of yourselves. You really made your point by being the "socially conscious" objectors who didn't vote. Well done."

From a public status on FB.

I've zero empathy for the narcissism of those who refused to vote, the "Meh, Guess I'm With her" idiots, the faux piety of conscience voters. It was always going to be an uphill battle, especially knowing Trump would indulge in white resentment to the hilt.

Sure Clinton made tactical errors but we are left with the outcomes and that is ALL that matters in elections - not the career of a politician who ran and lost, or even a political party, but the OUTCOMES and the impact of these outcomes on our quality of life.

Nothing else matters. If you squandered the opportunity to prevent these outcomes, you are culpable and own the Trumpster fire that is this presidency.

Maybe journos should ask black voters why we vote the way we do instead of tweeting nonsense:

For a whole year countless articles about Trump supporters, maybe hundreds about Bernie supporters - The number profiling HRC supporters? - ----------------- I could count on one hand ( maybe both if I'm lucky) the number of articles profiling clinton supporters.

so shut up Matt:

this exchange...

These reasons reflect my own...

So maybe instead of trying to school someone about the motivations of african americans and our voting habits or whether there's "Over interpretation" of how we vote, Matt should do something journalists , for the most part, couldn't be assed to do last year -
...talk to us.

On Joy just now:

A panel discussion about Ossoff's loss and South Carolina:

Points I took away:

1) We have to focus on our base, we have to micro target those who consistently support the Democratic Party through thick and thin and demonstrate consistently we actually care . That would be African Americans, "latinos", single women, young people. In SC , specific messages were used to reach out to African American voters about their concerns. It wasn't just about the repeal of "Obamacare" or having John Lewis do an ad but talking about heart disease and how gutting healthcare would impact vulnerable communities.( for example)

2) Nationalising campaigns enables the opposition to continue demonising our national leaders tying them to small local races.

3) DCCC should have channeled more funds to SC.

4) GA is a Republican district. Quit trying to convince people who will never vote for you and work on buttressing those who consistently do - that means targeting voter suppression, and engaging in mass voter registration efforts to counter Republican chicanery.

5) Stop crying over losses and using losses in red districts to attack democratic leaders.

Good discussion which made me revise some of my views.

The Lonely Women of the Rustbelt

We have the worst administration in office to deal with the problems described in this article. Steve Mnuchin said earlier this year that the impact of AI and automation will only be felt in 50-100 years time and it's not even on his radar.

This would be funny if he wasn't Treasury Secretary.

As the robotic revolution continues apace, a dystopian future of chronic unemployment, drug addiction, and dissipation will be inevitable - - - unless we admit to the problem now, take control and prepare ourselves for a future that just might be better than anything we've ever known.

"His research suggests that men aged 21 to 30 without a college degree worked 12 percent less in 2015 than they did in 2000, and men aged 31 to 55 worked 8 percent less. Women’s shares were lower: younger women worked 7 percent less, while older women worked four percent less. Much of this decline is not just that all men worked fewer hours, but that a large number of men just stopped working, Hurst said, a trend that he attributed to automation and the disappearance of good jobs. The fraction of men who say they had worked zero hours over the past year has skyrocketed since 2000, he found. As they drop out of the labor force, men depend on family members and partners more, in some cases quite a lot. About 70 percent of non-working men ages 21 to 30 live with a parent or close relative other than a spouse, according to the Hurst data; 20 percent live with a spouse or with friends."


James Vardaman - One of the original White Demagogues

"So who was this Mississippi carnival barker, known for his white suits and white cowboy hat and long dark locs, who claimed to be the voice of "rednecks" and "hillbillies"? James Vardaman had been a newspaperman, who understand the power of invective. Southerners from Andrew Johnson to Wade Hampton had recurred to the barnyard insult when they damned their enemies. For Vardaman, democracy, no matter how dirty, belonged to "the people", and the people had the right to say whatever they felt. Friends and foes alike called him the "White Chief," partly for his white garb and partly for his supremacist rhetoric. But he was a "medicine man" to his enemies, a witch doctor who knew how to inflame the low-down tribe of white savages.

"He saw himself as the defender of poor whites. In his run for the governorship in 1903, Vardaman pitted poor whites against all blacks. Educating blacks was pointless and dangerous, he argued, and the state should ensure that tax dollars from white citizens should only go to white schools. The consummate showman rode to Senate victory in 1912 - quite literally - on the back of an ox. When his Democratic primary opponent derided his supporters as an ignorant herd, he exploited the incident. Travelling through Mississippi giving speeches, he liked to pull up in a "cracker cart" amid a long line of cattle. At one rally he rode into town astride a single ox. The beast was adorned with flags and streamers labeled "redneck," "cattle," and "lowdown." He dramatically embraced the white trash identity."

Insofar as the surviving planter elite and middle-class Mississippians despised Vardaman, he intentionally drummed up class resentments. In his reminiscence, William Percy, the son of Vardaman's Democratic opponent, Le Roy Percy, best expressed the class anger. Recalling how he surveyed the surly crowd, wondering if Vardaman's army would launch rotten eggs at his father, Percy wrote:

"They were the sort of people that lynch Negroes, that mistake hoodlumism for wit, and cunning for intelligence, that attend revivals and fight and fornicate in the bushes afterwards. They were undiluted Ango-Saxons. They were the sovereign voter. It was so horrible it seemed unreal."

Though he had no patience for the politics of hate run as a sideshow, Percy conceded that Vardaman was a savvy politician who gave the "sovereign voter" what he wanted - red meat.

Roosevelt, a patrician, had little choice but to joust with his redneck foes. In 1905, during his southern tour, he rebuked Arkansas governor Jeff Davis for defending the lynch mob. One newspaper joked that the president's entourage was wise to travel though Mississippi at night, so that Vardaman wouldn't have to shoot him. Roosevelt also ruffled the feathers of the proud white women of the South when he had dared to class Jefferon Davis ( the Confederate President) with Benedict Arnold. When he did that, one incensed Georgia woman declared that the president had dishonoored his mother's blood."

From White Trash, by Nancy Isenberg

I don't need to point out modern day parallels.

Florida's real estate nightmare: Disappearing coastlines.

This is an emergency, and those in charge don't care.

The Nightmare Scenario for Florida’s Coastal Homeowners

Demand and financing could collapse before the sea consumes a single house.

“These boats are going to be the canary in the mine,” said Cason, who became mayor in 2011 after retiring from the U.S. foreign service. “When the boats can’t go out, the property values go down.”

If property values start to fall, Cason said, banks could stop writing 30-year mortgages for coastal homes, shrinking the pool of able buyers and sending prices lower still. Those properties make up a quarter of the city’s tax base; if that revenue fell, the city would struggle to provide the services that make it such a desirable place to live, causing more sales and another drop in revenue.

And all of that could happen before the rising sea consumes a single home.

As President Donald Trump proposes dismantling federal programs aimed at cutting greenhouse gas emissions, officials and residents in South Florida are grappling with the risk that climate change could drag down housing markets. Relative sea levels in South Florida are roughly four inches higher now than in 1992. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration predicts sea levels will rise as much as three feet in Miami by 2060. By the end of the century, according to projections by Zillow, some 934,000 existing Florida properties, worth more than $400 billion, are at risk of being submerged.

The impact is already being felt in South Florida. Tidal flooding now predictably drenches inland streets, even when the sun is out, thanks to the region’s porous limestone bedrock. Saltwater is creeping into the drinking water supply. The area’s drainage canals rely on gravity; as oceans rise, the water utility has had to install giant pumps to push water out to the ocean.

The effects of climate-driven price drops could ripple across the economy, and eventually force the federal government to decide what is owed to people whose home values are ruined by climate change.

Sean Becketti, the chief economist at Freddie Mac, warned in a report last year of a housing crisis for coastal areas more severe than the Great Recession, one that could spread through banks, insurers and other industries. And, unlike the recession, there’s no hope of a bounce back in property values.

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