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n2doc

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Gender of experimenter has big impact on rats' stress levels

Scientists' inability to replicate research findings using mice and rats has contributed to mounting concern over the reliability of such studies.

Now, an international team of pain researchers led by scientists at McGill University in Montreal may have uncovered one important factor behind this vexing problem: the gender of the experimenters has a big impact on the stress levels of rodents, which are widely used in preclinical studies.

In research published online April 28 in Nature Methods, the scientists report that the presence of male experimenters produced a stress response in mice and rats equivalent to that caused by restraining the rodents for 15 minutes in a tube or forcing them to swim for three minutes. This stress-induced reaction made mice and rats of both sexes less sensitive to pain.

Female experimenters produced no such effects.

more
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140428120652.htm

Origin of Huntington's disease found in brain; insights to help deliver therapy

The gene mutation that causes Huntington's disease appears in every cell in the body, yet kills only two types of brain cells. Why? UCLA scientists used a unique approach to switch the gene off in individual brain regions and zero in on those that play a role in causing the disease in mice.

Published in the April 28 online edition of Nature Medicine, the research sheds light on where Huntington's starts in the brain. It also suggests new targets and routes for therapeutic drugs to slow the devastating disease, which strikes an estimated 35,000 Americans.

"From day one of conception, the mutant gene that causes Huntington's appears everywhere in the body, including every cell in the brain," explained X. William Yang, professor of psychiatry and biobehavioral sciences at the Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior at UCLA. "Before we can develop effective strategies to treat the disorder, we need to first identify where it starts and how it ravages the brain."

Huntington's disease is passed from parent to child through a mutation in a gene called huntingtin. Scientists blame a genetic "stutter" -- a repetitive stretch of DNA at one end of the altered gene -- for the cell death and brain atrophy that progressively deprives patients of their ability to move, speak, eat and think clearly. No cure exists, and people with aggressive cases may die in as little as 10 years.

more

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140428120654.htm

Huge China strike peters out as workers cite intimidation

Tens of thousands of employees at a Chinese factory making shoes for Nike, Adidas and others returned to work Monday after one of the country's biggest recent strikes ended, following what campaigners called typical government intimidation.

The Communist Party fears an independent labour movement could threaten its grip on power, so it only allows one government-linked trade union.

But analysts say workers have been newly empowered by a labour shortage turning bargaining power in their favour, and the strike highlighted a wave of activism from older factory personnel nearing retirement.

The dispute broke out at a facility run by Taiwanese firm Yue Yuen, which says it is the world's largest branded footwear manufacturer, producing more than 300 million pairs of shoes last year.


more

http://www.terradaily.com/reports/Huge_China_strike_peters_out_as_workers_cite_intimidation_999.html

Overriding Their Animal Impulses


When it comes to animal intelligence, says Evan MacLean, co-director of Duke University’s Canine Cognition Center, don’t ask which species is smarter. “Smarter at what?” is the right question.

Many different tasks, requiring many different abilities, are given to animals to measure cognition. And narrowing the question takes on particular importance when the comparisons are across species.

So Dr. MacLean, Brian Hare and Charles Nunn, also Duke scientists who study animal cognition, organized a worldwide effort by 58 scientists to test 36 species on a single ability: self-control.

This capacity is thought to be part of thinking because it enables animals to override a strong, nonthinking impulse, and to solve a problem that requires some analysis of the situation in front of them.

The testing program, which took several international meetings to arrange, and about seven years to complete, looked at two common tasks that are accepted ways to judge self-control. It then tried to correlate how well the animals did on the tests with other measures, like brain size, diet and the size of their normal social groups.

more

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/28/science/overriding-their-animal-impulses.html?partner=rss&emc=rss&_r=0

Operation Choke Point- The DOJ using banks to shut down industries they don't like


snip:

Now, news is slowly surfacing that shows the US Department of Justice may be strong-arming banks into banning porn stars.

It’s called Operation Choke Point, and it has nothing to do with deep-throating.

Instead, it’s a targeted effort to shut down as many as 30 separate industries by making it impossible for them to access banking services.

In a Wall Street Journal op-ed Thursday, American Banking Association CEO Frank Keating wrote that the Justice Department is “telling bankers to behave like policemen and judges.”

“Operation Choke Point is asking banks to identify customers who may be breaking the law or simply doing something government officials don’t like,” Keating wrote. “Banks must then ‘choke off’ those customers’ access to financial services, shutting down their accounts.”

more

https://news.vice.com/articles/is-the-doj-forcing-banks-to-terminate-the-accounts-of-porn-stars?utm_source=vicefbus

The NRA has declared war on America

Ana Marie Cox

As the annual meeting of National Rifle Association members started here this weekend, the gentleman seated next to me said to settle in: "It's mostly administrative stuff. We vote on things." He paused for emphasis: "It's the law."

He's somewhat mistaken, of course. The NRA doesn't have any state-mandated obligation to hold an annual meeting. What's more, the NRA has very little respect for the law. A half an hour later, at that very meeting, NRA executive vice president Wayne LaPierre exhorted the crowd to a morally obligated vigilantism. He drew a vivid picture of a United States in utter decay and fragmented beyond repair, Mad Max-meets-Hunger Games, divided by Soylent Green:

We know, in the world that surrounds us, there are terrorists and home invaders and drug cartels and car-jackers and knock-out gamers and rapers, haters, campus killers, airport killers, shopping-mall killers, road-rage killers, and killers who scheme to destroy our country with massive storms of violence against our power grids, or vicious waves of chemicals or disease that could collapse the society that sustains us all.


LaPierre's bleak vision is exaggerated dystopianism in service of sedition, a wide-ranging survey of targets that put justice against the intrusions of the IRS on a continuum with (as an advertisement he ran during his speech put it) workplace "bullies and liars".

Talk about mission creep. At its convention in 1977, the NRA rejected its history as a club for hunters and marksmen and embraced activism on behalf Second Amendment absolutism. Rejecting background checks and allowing "convicted violent felons, mentally deranged people, violently addicted to narcotics" easier access to guns was, said the executive vice president that year, "a price we pay for freedom." In 2014, 500 days after Newtown and after a year of repeated legislative and judicial victories, the NRA has explicitly expanded its scope to the culture at large.

more

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/apr/28/nra-war-on-america-wayne-lapierre-indianapolis

Yeah, I Wrote the Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy Memo

I stand by every word of it. And it’s even worse today.
By CHRIS LEHANE

Of the thousands of Clinton presidential records released to the public last week, one among them has received of the bulk of attention: a 332-page memo from 1995. The memo, which offers an in-depth analysis of the right-wing media, describes how conservative conspiracy theories about the Clintons passed from the fringes to the mainstream.

The excitement over the report, it seems to me, comes for two reasons: one, the supposed mystery of its author and two, its very premise, which has been vigorously criticized by—you guessed it—the right-wing media.

To the first question, I would respectfully suggest folks acquaint themselves with a function available on all computers, tablets and mobile devices that support the Internet—a function known as “search,” by which you will easily discover that I was the proud author—a fact that was reported the first time this memo made a splash, back in 1997, and that has been publicly documented numerous times since, not to mention in the book I co-wrote in 2013. As for the premise of the memo, I absolutely stand by it. Not only was it right about the right wing then, it is more accurate than ever today.

Let’s go all the way back to the summer of 1995.


Read more: http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2014/04/chris-lehane-right-wing-conspiracy-memo-106059.html#ixzz30Ba83H1w

Monday Toon Roundup 2- The Rest


USA


Court




Georgia





sAINT’s






Environment








Press



Suggestions?

Monday Toon Roundup 1- Nevada Rancher and other racists

Rancher











Racist





The Unvarnished Truth

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