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Scientific Evidence

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SCIENCE
October 24, 2012 | By Rosie Mestel, Los Angeles Times
Though the balance of evidence supports the idea that genetically modified foods are safe to eat and don't harm the environment, a few reports have suggested otherwise. Here are three of them. •French scientists reported in September that rats fed a lifelong diet of Roundup-resistant corn developed more tumors and died earlier than rats fed conventional corn. The widely publicized study, published in the journal Food and Chemical Toxicology, was conducted by Gilles-Eric Seralini, the scientific head of an independent institute opposed to genetically modified foods.
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NEWS
March 26, 2014 | By Scott Martelle
Here's a statistic for you. Out of 10,855 peer-reviewed articles in scientific journals last year that dealt with some aspect of global warming, all but two accepted human behavior as the primary cause. Oddly, that represents a bit of backsliding. The previous year, only one study rejected human factors, according to an annual roundup by geochemist James Lawrence Powell and reported by Salon . Science is not a theory but a process, a mechanism for distilling truth from observation.
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NEWS
October 28, 1994 | MAURA DOLAN, TIMES LEGAL AFFAIRS WRITER
The California Supreme Court, in a ruling that could help O. J. Simpson's defense, reaffirmed Thursday that novel scientific evidence must be shown to be generally accepted by scientists before it can be admitted in a trial. The court, ruling on a field sobriety test, had been asked to substitute the state's stricter standard for admitting scientific evidence such as DNA results with a federal test that gives more discretion to the trial judge.
SCIENCE
March 24, 2014 | By Mary MacVean
A fair amount of conversation about e-cigarettes has involved their use in purportedly helping people to quit smoking. Researchers on Monday said the evidence for that has been “unconvincing,” and they suggest that regulations should forbid such claims until there's supporting research. In a letter Monday in the Journal of the American Medical Assn. Internal Medicine, researchers from the Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education and the Department of Medicine at UC San Francisco noted that e-cigarettes are “aggressively promoted as smoking cessation aids.” Electronic cigarettes, or e-cigarettes, are battery operated; they heat substances that usually include nicotine to deliver a vapor for inhalation that often also contains flavors (fruit, bubble gum and others)
NEWS
March 30, 1993 | DAVID G. SAVAGE, TIMES STAFF WRITER
The Supreme Court hears a case today that could affect virtually every scientific dispute that reaches the courtroom. In 1972, Jason Daubert of Southern California was born with a shortened right arm. A suit brought on his behalf claimed that the culprit was the anti-nausea drug Bendectin, which his mother had taken.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 14, 1995 | EDWARD J. IMWINKELRIED, Edward J. Imwinkelried is a professor of law at UC Davis. He is a co-author of "Scientific Evidence (second edition, 1993) and a former chair of the evidence section of the American Assn. of Law Schools.
The California courts have long stood firm on an especially restrictive approach to the admission of scientific testimony. In a 1976 decision, the California Supreme Court required that scientists base their testimony on generally accepted theories and techniques even though it was acknowledged that the traditional test had been criticized as being "too conservative." Lay jurors, the court said, tend to give undue weight to scientific testimony.
OPINION
April 17, 1994 | THOMAS J. DUESTERBERG, Thomas J. Duesterberg directs the Competitiveness Center at Hudson Institute. He was U.S. assistant secretary for international economic policy in the Department of Commerce from 1989 to 1993. and
A new chapter has been opened in the debate between self-styled environmental advocates and proponents of high-yield American agriculture. Only this time, the debate is more than academic. The environmental lobby's actions pose a threat not only to American agriculture but also to one of our fastest-growing high-technology industries and to consumers. They also threaten the global environment.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 31, 1994 | RICHARD C. PADDOCK, TIMES STAFF WRITER
In a case that could affect the admissibility of DNA evidence in the O.J. Simpson trial, the California Supreme Court began deliberating Tuesday whether to give trial judges greater flexibility to allow scientific evidence at trial. The high court, hearing arguments in a Huntington Beach drunk-driving case, has been asked by California Atty. Gen. Dan Lungren to broaden the state's evidence rules to allow controversial DNA testing.
NEWS
August 31, 1994 | RICHARD C. PADDOCK, TIMES STAFF WRITER
In a case that could affect the admissibility of DNA evidence in the O.J. Simpson trial, the California Supreme Court began deliberating Tuesday whether to give trial judges greater flexibility to allow scientific evidence at trial. The high court, hearing arguments in a Huntington Beach drunk driving case, has been asked by California Atty. Gen. Dan Lungren to broaden the state's evidence rules to allow controversial DNA testing.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 14, 1994 | ANDREA FORD and JIM NEWTON, TIMES STAFF WRITERS
Without waiving any of their rights to contest the DNA evidence in the O.J. Simpson case, lawyers for the accused football great asked Tuesday that a hearing on the scientific tests be postponed until after the murder trial begins and that it take place in front of the jury. In a 13-page motion, Simpson's lawyers asked Superior Court Judge Lance A. Ito to schedule opening statements for Jan. 4. Prosecutors had no comment after the filing of the defense motion. On Monday, Deputy Dist. Atty.
OPINION
March 12, 2014
Re "Sowing doubt about science," Column, March 9 Michael Hiltzik makes an excellent argument about the widespread and vast dissemination of ignorance today, from many sources, corporate and government alike, currently pushed by the social-networking phenomena whereby ignorance, propaganda and anti-social movements are amplified. That has been obvious since the self-creation of the Fourth Estate during the latter part of the 18th century. Hiltzik's extended complaint about Big Tobacco seems, however, to suppose our ignorance commenced in the mid-20th century.
NEWS
December 30, 2013 | By Karin Klein
Saturated fat's bad, bad image - the evil ingredient that supposedly makes people fat and keeps them that way, while clogging our blood vessels and raising our cardiovascular risk - has been getting a bit of a makeover. That shouldn't surprise anyone too much. Just a few years ago, anything but a low-fat diet was considered sure to doom people to a life of obesity. Then studies began finding that “good” fats such as those from olives, nuts and some fish were healthful for us and that people on diets high in refined carbohydrates - so-called high-glycemic diets --lost less weight than those on some diets richer in fats, even when the groups ate the same number of calories.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 7, 2013 | By Maura Dolan, Los Angeles Times
SAN FRANCISCO - A prison inmate whose triple-murder arson conviction was overturned after he demonstrated "actual innocence" will be retried rather than released, prosecutors said. U.S. District Judge Anthony W. Ishii ordered the state last month to release George Souliotes, 72, or retry him immediately. After finding that Souliotes had proved his innocence, the judge overturned his conviction on the grounds he had been incompetently represented by his lawyer. Souliotes has spent 16 years in prison for murder in the deaths of Michelle Jones, 31, and her two children, Daniel Jr., 8, and Amanda, 3. The three died when a fire erupted in the home the family was renting from Souliotes.
NEWS
January 23, 2013 | By Karin Klein
The appellate court decision on marijuana is understandable: We don't have solid, gold-standard scientific evidence, just as the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration says, that it's helpful medically. And that is precisely because the DEA controls the marijuana available for such scientific studies and makes it all but impossible for serious researchers to get their hands on it for studies. The courts would be hard put to order the DEA to make marijuana available for the kinds of studies required by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
NEWS
December 7, 2012 | By Melissa Healy, Los Angeles Times, For the Booster Shots Blog
Meditation this week won the scientific stamp of approval from a federal panel as a means of  reducing the severity of chronic and acute pain. The influential committee also concluded the practice of mindfulness has demonstrated effectiveness in reducing stress and anxiety, but it found the scientific evidence for that claim weaker and more inconsistent. As a therapy to promote positive feelings, induce weight loss and improve attention and sleep, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality was less impressed with meditation.
SCIENCE
October 24, 2012 | By Rosie Mestel, Los Angeles Times
Though the balance of evidence supports the idea that genetically modified foods are safe to eat and don't harm the environment, a few reports have suggested otherwise. Here are three of them. •French scientists reported in September that rats fed a lifelong diet of Roundup-resistant corn developed more tumors and died earlier than rats fed conventional corn. The widely publicized study, published in the journal Food and Chemical Toxicology, was conducted by Gilles-Eric Seralini, the scientific head of an independent institute opposed to genetically modified foods.
NEWS
January 13, 1995 | HENRY WEINSTEIN, TIMES LEGAL AFFAIRS WRITER
A state appeals court in Los Angeles issued a sweeping decision Thursday that will make it easier for DNA test results to be admissible in California courts. A three-justice panel of the state's 2nd Appellate District said the thorny question of whether genetic profiling evidence satisfies legal requirements for the use of scientific evidence "has been unequivocally answered in the affirmative."
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 30, 1993 | CONNIE KOENENN, TIMES STAFF WRITER
But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret, and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly. --Matthew 6:6, King James Translation * The lecture room of the C.G. Jung Institute in West Los Angeles had assumed a sacred air as Saturday's workshop group filtered back in after a lunch break.
NEWS
April 2, 2012 | By Sara Lessley
“Conservatives lose faith in science,” trumpeted the headline on a story in last week's Times.   “A study … in the American Sociological Review concludes that trust in science among conservatives and frequent churchgoers has declined precipitously since 1974, when a national survey first asked people how much confidence they had in the scientific community. At that time, conservatives had the highest level of trust in scientists.” Though the article ran inside the paper on a weekday, it certainly didn't go unseen by Times letter writers.
OPINION
July 13, 2011
What is it that makes marijuana more frightening to the federal government than cocaine or morphine? The Drug Enforcement Administration has steadfastly, over decades, listed marijuana as a Schedule I drug, meaning that it has no medical value and that the potential for abuse is high. Cocaine and morphine, far more dangerous and habit-forming, are listed as Schedule II because they have some medical value. Last week the DEA ruled once again, a decade after it made the same decision, that marijuana is a potentially dangerous drug without known medical benefits.
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