July 26, 2012 |
The psychedelic image above is a super-close-up view of the skin -- and the brightly colored blobs are immune cells. What's it about? Read on. Evidence is mounting that the bacteria that live on our bodies affect our health, for good or ill. It's a hot area of research , much of it centered on the gut -- and no wonder, for this is the spot where the richest bacterial communities are found. The bugs that dwell there seem to help our immune systems develop along the right lines, among other things.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 20, 2012 |
Decades after writer-director Nelson Lyon released the X-rated sex comedy "The Telephone Book" in 1971, the film was hailed as a neglected masterpiece. By then Lyons was a former "Saturday Night Live" writer long known for a darker connection: He went on a drug-fueled binge with John Belushi during the comedian's final days in 1982. "He was blamed for Belushi's death, and it ruined his career," said Dennis Perrin, author of "Mr. Mike," a 1999 biography of former "Saturday Night Live" head writer Michael O'Donoghue, who had been Lyon's writing partner.
June 29, 2012
Re "Polio may win this battle," June 27 Members of America's anti-vaccine movement now have like-minded allies in Pakistan's hard-line Taliban militants. But the conspiracy theory that members of the Pakistani Taliban based their decision on to end polio vaccines - that the CIA used a phony immunization program for spying - has some basis in fact. No one can say the same about the conspiracy theories offered in our country. Linda Williamson Granada Hills ALSO: Letters: A fair deal for online poker Letters: Historical ruling on healthcare Letters: Holder in contempt -- an attack by the NRA?
April 25, 2012 |
In 1992, the acquittal of four police officers accused of beating Rodney King was the match that ignited a city, setting off a wave of violence that left 53 dead, thousands injured and hundreds of businesses destroyed. There was a lot of accumulated tinder to burn. Los Angeles was struggling with a faltering and de-industrialized economy that left too many without good jobs, a wave of demographic transition that caused ethnic and generational tensions, and a widening gap between rich and poor that was just beginning to emerge into public view - a bit like the U.S. today.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 25, 2012 |
Invoking his right against self-incrimination, the former finance director of the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum declined to testify before a grand jury about alleged corruption at the stadium, then answered questions after a judge granted him limited immunity, transcripts of the proceedings show. Ronald Lederkramer, once the Coliseum's No. 2 executive, left the Coliseum late last year after The Times reported that he used his personal credit card to buy hundreds of thousands of dollars in stadium equipment to pocket valuable reward points.
April 8, 2012 |
People buy target-date mutual funds to avoid unpleasant surprises. But older investors in these retirement-oriented funds — and more broadly, any investors who hold fixed-income securities — could be in for an unexpected jolt if interest rates rise sharply, as they threatened to do in the first quarter. Interest rates fell to generational lows in recent years as the economy struggled in the aftermath of the global financial crisis. But with the economy gathering steam lately, many investment professionals say rates are much likelier to rise than fall.
April 5, 2012 |
For more than a year, Russia has prohibited its government-run museums from sending artworks to exhibitions in the United States. The ban has frustrated and puzzled American museum officials, because it was spurred by a legal decision unrelated to anything the museums themselves have done. Diplomacy has failed to lift it. Hopes have risen recently that the impasse can be broken by a bipartisan bill that passed unopposed in the U.S. House of Representativeson March 19 and is pending in the Senate judiciary committee.
March 27, 2012 |
Blocking "don't destroy me" signals that normally sit on the surface of tumor cells and render them resistant to immune-cell attack slows the growth of a broad range of human cancers when they're implanted in mice, researchers have found. The approach, reported by immunologists at the Stanford University School of Medicine, was effective against ovarian, breast, colon, bladder, liver, prostate and brain cancer cells. If the work can be repeated in people, the approach may someday help doctors marshal defender cells in patients' own bodies to fight cancers, the researchers said.
February 20, 2012 |
Now that we're deep into the cold and flu season, it's safe to assume that germs are hiding pretty much everywhere - the keypad at the grocery store checkout, the handrail on the bus, the air around that miserable-looking co-worker. Avoiding germs entirely would require something like solitary confinement or a head-to-toe application of Purell. As an alternative, many people try to do what they can to strengthen their immune systems. Vitamin C is old news, and echinacea and other herbs haven't really panned out. But there's a livelier option: probiotic supplements that supposedly fortify the immune system.
February 9, 2012 |
A nationwide settlement on foreclosure practices has ended one headache for the banks involved, but there are signs that it is only the beginning of many others. The agreement between 49 states and five large banks gives the financial giants immunity from future complaints about some aspects of their foreclosure practices. The banks had previously made changes to improve the way they foreclose on homeowners and had put aside most of the funds necessary to pay for the $25-billion settlement.