August 8, 2011 |
Dear Parents, I'm afraid we have some work to do. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently published a report on childhood immunizations and our own state of Washington had the highest proportion of kindergartners who hadn't been vaccinated, at 6.2%. At the other end of the spectrum, Mississippi had the best performance with fewer than 1% of kids unvaccinated. That's right, Mississippi. Maybe we could learn a thing or two from the parents down there. I know we've discussed this before, but please indulge me because it's really important.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 7, 2011 |
Dr. Baruj Benacerraf, who shared the 1980 Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine for his pioneering work explaining why some people are able to fight off infections and tumors while others are not, died Tuesday at his Boston home. He was 90. The cause was pneumonia, according to the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, where he spent most of his career. "Dr. Benacerraf's seminal discoveries about genetic control of the immune system made possible much of what we now know about basic disease processes such as infection, autoimmune disorders and cancer," Dr. Edward J. Benz Jr., president of Dana-Farber, said in a statement.
August 5, 2011 |
As students return to middle schools and high schools in California this fall, they will need more than fresh notebooks and apples for their teachers. Thanks to a state law that took effect last month, students entering grades 7 through 12 will need proof that they received a vaccine for whooping cough. The law was prompted by last year's outbreak of the highly contagious respiratory infection, which is also known as pertussis. Nearly 9,500 cases were reported in California, the most in 65 years, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
July 9, 2011 |
Measles are making a comeback. The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says travelers to countries with large recent outbreaks, including France, Britain, Spain, Switzerland, India and areas of Africa and Asia, have returned to the U.S. and brought cases of the highly contagious disease with them. "Every traveler needs to make sure they are immune to measles," Dr. Phyllis Kozarsky, a consultant for the CDC's division of global migration and quarantine, said in an interview.
June 25, 2011 |
Preliminary experiments in a handful of people suggest that it might be possible to reverse Type 1 diabetes using an inexpensive vaccine to stop the immune system from attacking cells in the pancreas. Research in mice had already shown that the tuberculosis vaccine called BCG, prevents T cells from destroying insulin-secreting cells, allowing the pancreas to regenerate and begin producing insulin again, curing the disease. Now tests with very low doses of the vaccine in humans show transient increases in insulin production, researchers will report Sunday at a San Diego meeting of the American Diabetes Assn.
June 14, 2011 |
If California's new political redistricting process accomplishes nothing else, it's already made a lot of incumbents edgy. Who can complain about that? Moreover, if the preliminary maps for legislative, congressional and State Board of Equalization districts released Friday drive a few California politicians away from the ideological fringes, it might even get us a deal on taxes and a budget that's more than smoke and mirrors. But don't expect any magic. "Bold" reforms are rarely immune to the law of unintended consequences, and our redistricting change is no exception.
June 10, 2011
Not for the first time, the Supreme Court has refused to hold high government officials responsible for outrageous abuses of human rights. Late last month, the court rejected a lawsuit against former Atty. Gen. John Ashcroft by a U.S. citizen who was unfairly imprisoned and mistreated under the pretense of securing his appearance as a witness. Abdullah Kidd, a convert to Islam who was known as Lavoni Kidd when he played football for the University of Idaho, claimed that Ashcroft had authorized a policy of using the material witness statute — designed to ensure the presence of witnesses at trial — as a way of holding suspected terrorists when there was no probable cause to do so. Kidd was detained at Dulles International Airport in 2003 as he prepared to fly to Saudi Arabia to study.
May 23, 2011 |
Hundreds of armed supporters of Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh trapped Western and gulf diplomats inside an embassy in the capital for hours Sunday to prevent them from brokering a deal for the longtime leader to step down within a month. Government loyalists took to the streets of Sana, bringing the city to a standstill in what appeared to be an organized campaign by Saleh's beleaguered regime. Antigovernment activists alleged that at least one demonstrator near the airport was killed by Saleh loyalists.
May 21, 2011 |
Yemen's political opposition signed an internationally negotiated deal Saturday that lays the groundwork for an end to President Ali Abdullah Saleh's nearly 33-year rule. Saleh has said he intends to sign the agreement Sunday. But in a speech Saturday, he dismissed the plan as "a mere coup operation. " He also claimed that if he left office, Yemen's Al Qaeda offshoot would overrun parts of the country. "This is the message that I send to our friends and brothers in the United States and the European Union," Saleh said.
May 21, 2011 |
Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh on Friday called for early elections, casting into doubt a deal brokered by a regional alliance that would have had him step down within a month, with immunity from prosecution. "We call for an early presidential election in a democratic way, in order to avoid bloodshed," Saleh said, speaking during what has become a regular post-prayers speech to thousands of supporters in the capital. Saleh did not make clear when early elections might be held, whether he was accepting the deal brokered by the Gulf Cooperation Council or whether his offer was part of that deal or an alternate proposal.