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December 29, 2009
Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano wisely has backed off her statement that "the system worked" because a Nigerian terrorist failed to blow up an airliner on Christmas Day. The system decidedly didn't work if an explosive could be brought aboard a plane by a man whose radicalization had been brought to the attention of the United States by his father, a prominent banker. But as Congress and the Obama administration undertake inquests into this near disaster, their primary focus should be on lapses in human intelligence, not technology.
July 14, 2013 | By Hugo Martin
In the foreseeable future, fliers can expect to be “randomized” by the Transportation Security Administration. That means an electronic device called a randomizer would randomly direct travelers to different screening lines. One reason the devices are needed, federal officials said, is so TSA officers can't be accused of profiling passengers when they direct some fliers to a line for regular screening and others to a line for a faster, less intrusive search. In many airports, the TSA operates special screening lines where travelers don't have to remove their shoes, belts and jackets or take laptops and liquids out of carry-on bags.
October 19, 2011 | By Amina Khan, Los Angeles Times / for the Booster Shots blog
An independent federal panel and several other leading medical groups are proposing new guidelines for cervical cancer screening -- in the same month that the federal panel made news by recommending against routine PSA tests to screen for prostate cancer. Among the recommendations: that women over age 21 should undergo Pap smears to test for cervical cancer only once every three years, according to the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force. This syncs somewhat with a new set of proposed guidelines from the American Cancer Society, the American Society for Clinical Pathology and the American Society for Colposcopy and Cervical Pathology, also released Wednesday.
December 13, 2010 | By Shari Roan, Los Angeles Times
Ovarian cancer is one of the most feared diseases because the tumor often produces no symptoms and the disease is often detected at an advanced stage. Despite vigorous research, there are no good screening tests that can be recommended for all women on a regular basis, such as there is with breast cancer and mammography. And that is unlikely to change anytime soon. In a study reported Monday, researchers used a mathematical model to predict that death rates would fall by only about 11% from their current levels if women were to undergo regular ovarian-cancer screening with the best available technology.
March 31, 2011
MOVIES Attend a screening of "Killer Klowns From Outer Space," a camp classic featuring creepy clown puppets by the Chiodo Brothers, who are masters of special effects puppetry. Their handiwork has spanned decades, from the toothy fur balls in the Critters franchise to the gun-toting, epically vomiting marionettes in "Team America: World Police. " The Chiodo Brothers will host a Q&A after the film. Cinefamily at the Silent Movie Theater, 611 N. Fairfax Ave., L.A.. 11:50 p.m. Fri., $10. (323)
September 27, 2011 | By Jeannine Stein, Los Angeles Times / For the Booster Shots blog
Men and women may need different screening guidelines for colonoscopies because of varying tumor rates between the genders. A study released Tuesday in the Journal of the American Medical Assn. analyzed the results of 44,350 colonoscopy screenings over four years; the tests covered adenomas (benign tumors), advanced adenomas, and colorectal cancer. Generally, screenings are recommended for men and women starting at age age 50 because colorectal rates begin to climb in the following decade.
July 11, 2010 | By Shari Roan, Los Angeles Times
High cholesterol is common enough in children these days that all of them should be screened for the condition, say the authors of a new study examining the rates of high cholesterol in children. Currently, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends screening children and teens who have a family history of premature heart disease or high cholesterol or those children who already have risk factors for heart disease, such as obesity, high blood pressure or who smoke or have diabetes.
February 4, 2010
It wasn't one of the five finalists in the Oscar's best animated feature category, but that doesn't stop this zany and surreal comic mash-up from being the wackiest film you'll see all year. The first stop-motion animated feature to be an official Cannes selection, the French-language "Panic" is made with an anarchic, anything-goes spirit that has made it a cult favorite across Europe. Focusing on Cowboy, Indian and Horse, three amigos who share a two-story house way out in the sticks, this is truly a film, not to mention a town, where you never know what's going to happen next.
April 30, 2012 | By Michelle Maltais
Anti-discrimination action has found its way into a new app for iPhone and Android phones launched today. The FlyRights app, created by the Sikh Coalition, offers air travelers a way to record the details of incidents of perceived discrimination during screening directly to the Transportation Security Administration. Not just focused on racial profiling, the app includes a reporting page that walks users through the type of discrimination they feel they were subjected to including gender and ability -- that's in addition to racial, religious, and ethnic -- and includes a way to memorialize all of the relevant information right after it happens.
January 25, 2012 | By Shari Roan, Los Angeles Times / For the Booster Shots blog
The confirmed high rates of domestic abuse -- or interpersonal violence -- led two major physicians' groups this week to call for routine screening of patients for signs of abuse. On Monday, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists released a statement urging its members to screen women "at periodic intervals" for intimate partner violence. Pregnant women should be screened during prenatal visits, they said. About 25% of U.S. women have been physically or sexually assaulted by a current or former partner, the ACOG report notes.
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