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UK teenager wins battle to have body cryogenically frozen – CNN

Posted: November 25, 2016 at 10:13 am

The girl — who can’t be identified and is referred to only as “JS” — suffered from a rare form of cancer and expressed a hope to be brought back to life and cured in the future.

She died on October 17 but details of the case at London’s High Court were not allowed to be made public until now.

In his judgment, obtained by CNN, Mr. Justice Peter Jackson said the girl had expressed her desire to be cryogenically frozen.

She wrote: “I have been asked to explain why I want this unusual thing done. I’m only 14 years old and I don’t want to die, but I know I am going to. I think being cryo-preserved gives me a chance to be cured and woken up, even in hundreds of years’ time. I don’t want to be buried underground.

“I want to live and live longer and I think that in the future they might find a cure for my cancer and wake me up. I want to have this chance. This is my wish.”

According to the judgment, the girl’s parents are divorced and their relationship is “very bad.” Her mother was supportive of her wish, but her father — who had not seen his daughter face-to-face since 2008 — initially was not.

At the start of proceedings, the teenager’s father, who also has cancer, wrote: “Even if the treatment is successful and [JS] is brought back to life in let’s say 200 years, she may not find any relative and she might not remember things and she may be left in a desperate situation given that she is only 14 years old and will be in the United States of America.”

However, he subsequently changed his position, saying he “respected the decisions” his daughter was making.

The judge said this fluctuation in his views was understandable, adding, “No other parent has ever been put in his position.”

But he emphasized he was not ruling on the science of cryonics, but rather on the dispute between her parents over who was responsible for the arrangements after her death.

The judge also said there was no doubt the girl — described as “a bright, intelligent young person who is able to articulate strongly held views on her current situation” — had the capacity to start legal action.

“Over recent months, JS has used the internet to investigate cryonics: the freezing of a dead body in the hope that resuscitation and a cure may be possible in the distant future,” he said.

“The scientific theory underlying cryonics is speculative and controversial, and there is considerable debate about its ethical implications.

“On the other hand, cryopreservation, the preservation of cells and tissues by freezing, is now a well-known process in certain branches of medicine, for example the preservation of sperm and embryos as part of fertility treatment.

“Cryonics is cryopreservation taken to its extreme.”

The judge ruled in favor of her mother and said the girl had died peacefully, knowing her wishes had been met.

But he cautioned that hospital officials had had “real misgivings” about the way the process was handled on the day she died.

The girl’s mother was said to have been preoccupied with the arrangements after her death, rather than being fully available to her child, he said, and the voluntary organization which helped get her body ready for preservation was disorganized.

The case was said by the judge to be the only one of its kind to have come before the courts in England and Wales, and probably anywhere else. “It is an example of the new questions that science poses to the law, perhaps most of all to family law,” he added.

The cost of the procedure in the United States — which the judge said was about 37,000 ($46,000) — is being met by her maternal grandparents, he said, although the family is not well off. They chose the most basic arrangement, he said, which “simply involves the freezing of the body in perpetuity.”

The Cryonics Institute, which is based in Michigan, said the body of a 14-year-old girl from London arrived at its facility, packed in dry ice, on October 25, about eight days after her death.

“The patient was then placed in the computer controlled cooling chamber to cool to liquid nitrogen temperature,” a statement posted on its website said.

“The human cooling program from dry ice was selected and the time needed to cool the patient to liquid nitrogen temperature was 24 hours. The patient was then placed in a cryostat for longterm cryonic storage.”

The Cryonics Institute said the girl was its 143rd patient.

Its website explains the process as “a technique intended to hopefully save lives and greatly extend lifespan. It involves cooling legally-dead people to liquid nitrogen temperature where physical decay essentially stops, in the hope that future scientific procedures will someday revive them and restore them to youth and good health.

“A person held in such a state is said to be a ‘cryopreserved patient’, because we do not regard the cryopreserved person as being inevitably ‘dead’.”

However, some skepticism remains about the science of cryogenics.

Barry Fuller, professor in Surgical Science and Low Temperature Medicine at University College London, said that cryopreservation “has many useful applications in day to day medicine, such as cryopreserving blood cells, sperm and embryos.”

But, he said, “cryopreservation has not yet been successfully applied to large structures, such as human kidneys for transplantation, because we have not yet adequately been able to produce suitable equipment to optimize all the steps.

“This is why we have to say that at the moment we have no objective evidence that a whole human body can survive cryopreservation with cells which will function after rearming.”

CNN’s Simon Cullen and Meera Senthilingam contributed to this report.

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UK teenager wins battle to have body cryogenically frozen – CNN

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First Amendment Defense Act – Wikipedia

Posted: November 21, 2016 at 11:02 am

The First Amendment Defense Act (often abbreviated FADA) (H.R. 2802) is a bill introduced into the United States House of Representatives and United States Senate on June 17, 2015. The Senate sponsor of the bill is Mike Lee (R-Utah), and the House sponsor is Raul Labrador (R-Idaho).[1] The bill aims to prevent the federal government from taking action against people who discriminate against LGBTQ people for religious reasons.

The bill provides that the federal government “shall not take any discriminatory action against a person, wholly or partially on the basis that such person believes or acts in accordance with a religious belief or moral conviction that marriage is or should be recognized as the union of one man and one woman, or that sexual relations are properly reserved to such a marriage.”[1]

The FADA was introduced into both the House and Senate on the same day (June 17, 2015), by Mike Lee and Raul Labrador. As of November 21, 2016, the House version had 172 co-sponsors, and the Senate version 34.[1] Also as of that date, the House bill had not been considered by either of the two committees it had been referred to.[1]

When asked by Heritage Action, FRC Action, and the American Principles Project if they would pass the bill in their first 100 days in office, three of the top four Republican presidential candidates in the 2016 election said they would, the exception being Donald Trump.[2] It was also supported by the Family Research Council, the American Family Association, and the Liberty Counsel, among other groups, shortly after it was introduced.[3] On September 22, 2016, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump changed his mind and said in a press release, “If I am elected president and Congress passes the First Amendment Defense Act, I will sign it to protect the deeply held religious beliefs of Catholics and the beliefs of Americans of all faiths.”[4]

On July 21, 2015, the Los Angeles Times editorial board wrote that FADA was “unnecessary and could allow discrimination against gays and lesbians.”[5] Later that year, Walter Olson of the Cato Institute wrote in Newsweek that the bill does not “try to distinguish rights from frills and privileges,” and also criticized it for only protecting those who opposed same-sex marriage, not those who supported same-sex marriage or cohabitation or non-marital sex.[6] It has also been criticized by Ian S. Thompson, legislative director for the American Civil Liberties Union, who claimed that it would, if passed, “open the door to unprecedented taxpayer-funded disagreement against LGBT people.”[3]

A version of the FADA was introduced in Georgia on January 21, 2016, by Greg Kirk, a Republican state senator.[7] The bill would, if passed, protect government employees who do not want to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples because they object to the practice for religious reasons. Kirk cited Kentucky county clerk Kim Davis as an example of the people who would be affected by the law.[8] This bill was passed by the Georgia State Senate on February 19. The bill was then sent to the State House for consideration.[9][10] Governor Nathan Deal vetoed this bill in March 2016.[11]

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Longevity – Wikipedia

Posted: October 27, 2016 at 11:56 am

The word “longevity” is sometimes used as a synonym for “life expectancy” in demography – however, the term “longevity” is sometimes meant to refer only to especially long-lived members of a population, whereas “life expectancy” is always defined statistically as the average number of years remaining at a given age. For example, a population’s life expectancy at birth is the same as the average age at death for all people born in the same year (in the case of cohorts). Longevity is best thought of as a term for general audiences meaning ‘typical length of life’ and specific statistical definitions should be clarified when necessary.

Reflections on longevity have usually gone beyond acknowledging the brevity of human life and have included thinking about methods to extend life. Longevity has been a topic not only for the scientific community but also for writers of travel, science fiction, and utopian novels.

There are many difficulties in authenticating the longest human life span ever by modern verification standards, owing to inaccurate or incomplete birth statistics. Fiction, legend, and folklore have proposed or claimed life spans in the past or future vastly longer than those verified by modern standards, and longevity narratives and unverified longevity claims frequently speak of their existence in the present.

A life annuity is a form of longevity insurance.

Various factors contribute to an individual’s longevity. Significant factors in life expectancy include gender, genetics, access to health care, hygiene, diet and nutrition, exercise, lifestyle, and crime rates. Below is a list of life expectancies in different types of countries:[3]

Population longevities are increasing as life expectancies around the world grow:[1][4]

The Gerontology Research Group validates current longevity records by modern standards, and maintains a list of supercentenarians; many other unvalidated longevity claims exist. Record-holding individuals include:[citation needed]

Evidence-based studies indicate that longevity is based on two major factors, genetics and lifestyle choices.[5]

Twin studies have estimated that approximately 20-30% the variation in human lifespan can be related to genetics, with the rest due to individual behaviors and environmental factors which can be modified.[6] Although over 200 gene variants have been associated with longevity according to a US-Belgian-UK research database of human genetic variants,[7] these explain only a small fraction of the heritability.[8] A 2012 study found that even modest amounts of leisure time physical exercise can extend life expectancy by as much as 4.5 years.[9]

Lymphoblastoid cell lines established from blood samples of centenarians have significantly higher activity of the DNA repair protein PARP (Poly ADP ribose polymerase) than cell lines from younger (20 to 70 year old) individuals.[10] The lymphocytic cells of centenarians have characteristics typical of cells from young people, both in their capability of priming the mechanism of repair after H2O2 sublethal oxidative DNA damage and in their PARP gene expression.[11] These findings suggest that elevated PARP gene expression contributes to the longevity of centenarians, consistent with the DNA damage theory of aging.[12]

A study of the regions of the world known as blue zones, where people commonly live active lives past 100 years of age, speculated that longevity is related to a healthy social and family life, not smoking, eating a plant-based diet, frequent consumption of legumes and nuts, and engaging in regular physical activity.[13] In a cohort study, the combination of a plant based diet, normal BMI, and not smoking accounted for differences up to 15 years in life expectancy.[14] Korean court records going back to 1392 indicate that the average lifespan of eunuchs was 70.0 1.76 years, which was 14.419.1 years longer than the lifespan of non-castrated men of similar socio-economic status.[15] The Alameda County Study hypothesized three additional lifestyle characteristics that promote longevity: limiting alcohol consumption, sleeping 7 to 8 hours per night, and not snacking (eating between meals), although the study found the association between these characteristics and mortality is “weak at best”.[16] There are however many other possible factors potentially affecting longevity, including the impact of high peer competition, which is typically experienced in large cities.[17]

In preindustrial times, deaths at young and middle age were more common than they are today. This is not due to genetics, but because of environmental factors such as disease, accidents, and malnutrition, especially since the former were not generally treatable with pre-20th century medicine. Deaths from childbirth were common in women, and many children did not live past infancy. In addition, most people who did attain old age were likely to die quickly from the above-mentioned untreatable health problems. Despite this, we do find many examples of pre-20th century individuals attaining lifespans of 75 years or greater, including Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Cato the Elder, Thomas Hobbes, Eric of Pomerania, Christopher Polhem, and Michelangelo. This was also true for poorer people like peasants or laborers. Genealogists will almost certainly find ancestors living to their 70s, 80s and even 90s several hundred years ago.

For example, an 1871 census in the UK (the first of its kind, but personal data from other censuses dates back to 1841 and numerical data back to 1801) found the average male life expectancy as being 44, but if infant mortality is subtracted, males who lived to adulthood averaged 75 years. The present male life expectancy in the UK is 77 years for males and 81 for females, while the United States averages 74 for males and 80 for females.

Studies have shown that black American males have the shortest lifespans of any group of people in the US, averaging only 69 years (Asian-American females average the longest).[18] This reflects overall poorer health and greater prevalence of heart disease, obesity, diabetes, and cancer among black American men.

Women normally outlive men, and this was as true in pre-industrial times as today. Theories for this include smaller bodies (and thus less stress on the heart), a stronger immune system (since testosterone acts as an immunosuppressant), and less tendency to engage in physically dangerous activities.

There is a current debate as to whether or not the pursuit of longevity is a worthwhile health care goal for the United States. Bioethicist Ezekiel Emanuel, who is also one of the architects of ObamaCare, has stated that the pursuit of longevity via the compression of morbidity explanation is a “fantasy” and that life is not worth living after age 75; therefore longevity should not be a goal of health care policy.[19] This has been refuted by neurosurgeon Miguel Faria, who states that life can be worthwhile in healthy old age; that the compression of morbidity is a real phenomenon; that longevity should be pursued in association with quality of life.[20] Faria has discussed how longevity in association with leading healthy lifestyles can lead to the postponement of senescence as well as happiness and wisdom in old age.[21]

All of the biological organisms have a limited longevity, and different species of animals and plants have different potentials of longevity. Misrepair-accumulation aging theory [22][23] suggests that the potential of longevity of an organism is related to its structural complexity.[24] Limited longevity is due to the limited structural complexity of the organism. If a species of organisms has too high structural complexity, most of its individuals would die before the reproduction age, and the species could not survive. This theory suggests that limited structural complexity and limited longevity are essential for the survival of a species.

Longevity traditions are traditions about long-lived people (generally supercentenarians), and practices that have been believed to confer longevity.[25][26] A comparison and contrast of “longevity in antiquity” (such as the Sumerian King List, the genealogies of Genesis, and the Persian Shahnameh) with “longevity in historical times” (common-era cases through twentieth-century news reports) is elaborated in detail in Lucian Boia’s 2004 book Forever Young: A Cultural History of Longevity from Antiquity to the Present and other sources.[27]

The Fountain of Youth reputedly restores the youth of anyone who drinks of its waters. The New Testament, following older Jewish tradition, attributes healing to the Pool of Bethesda when the waters are “stirred” by an angel.[28] After the death of Juan Ponce de Len, Gonzalo Fernndez de Oviedo y Valds wrote in Historia General y Natural de las Indias (1535) that Ponce de Len was looking for the waters of Bimini to cure his aging.[29] Traditions that have been believed to confer greater human longevity also include alchemy,[30] such as that attributed to Nicolas Flamel. In the modern era, the Okinawa diet has some reputation of linkage to exceptionally high ages.[31]

More recent longevity claims are subcategorized by many editions of Guinness World Records into four groups: “In late life, very old people often tend to advance their ages at the rate of about 17 years per decade …. Several celebrated super-centenarians (over 110 years) are believed to have been double lives (father and son, relations with the same names or successive bearers of a title) …. A number of instances have been commercially sponsored, while a fourth category of recent claims are those made for political ends ….”[32] The estimate of 17 years per decade was corroborated by the 1901 and 1911 British censuses.[32] Mazess and Forman also discovered in 1978 that inhabitants of Vilcabamba, Ecuador, claimed excessive longevity by using their fathers’ and grandfathers’ baptismal entries.[32][33]Time magazine considered that, by the Soviet Union, longevity had been elevated to a state-supported “Methuselah cult”.[34]Robert Ripley regularly reported supercentenarian claims in Ripley’s Believe It or Not!, usually citing his own reputation as a fact-checker to claim reliability.[35]

The U.S. Census Bureau view on the future of longevity is that life expectancy in the United States will be in the mid-80s by 2050 (up from 77.85 in 2006) and will top out eventually in the low 90s, barring major scientific advances that can change the rate of human aging itself, as opposed to merely treating the effects of aging as is done today. The Census Bureau also predicted that the United States would have 5.3 million people aged over 100 in 2100. The United Nations has also made projections far out into the future, up to 2300, at which point it projects that life expectancies in most developed countries will be between 100 and 106 years and still rising, though more and more slowly than before. These projections also suggest that life expectancies in poor countries will still be less than those in rich countries in 2300, in some cases by as much as 20 years. The UN itself mentioned that gaps in life expectancy so far in the future may well not exist, especially since the exchange of technology between rich and poor countries and the industrialization and development of poor countries may cause their life expectancies to converge fully with those of rich countries long before that point, similarly to the way life expectancies between rich and poor countries have already been converging over the last 60 years as better medicine, technology, and living conditions became accessible to many people in poor countries. The UN has warned that these projections are uncertain, and cautions that any change or advancement in medical technology could invalidate such projections.[36]

Recent increases in the rates of lifestyle diseases, such as obesity, diabetes, hypertension, and heart disease, may eventually slow or reverse this trend toward increasing life expectancy in the developed world, but have not yet done so. The average age of the US population is getting higher[37] and these diseases show up in older people.[38]

Jennifer Couzin-Frankel examined how much mortality from various causes would have to drop in order to boost life expectancy and concluded that most of the past increases in life expectancy occurred because of improved survival rates for young people. She states that it seems unlikely that life expectancy at birth will ever exceed 85 years.[39]Michio Kaku argues that genetic engineering, nanotechnology and future breakthroughs will accelerate the rate of life expectancy increase indefinitely.[40] Already genetic engineering has allowed the life expectancy of certain primates to be doubled, and for human skin cells in labs to divide and live indefinitely without becoming cancerous.[41]

However, since 1840, record life expectancy has risen linearly for men and women, albeit more slowly for men. For women the increase has been almost three months per year, for men almost 2.7 months per year. In light of steady increase, without any sign of limitation, the suggestion that life expectancy will top out must be treated with caution. Scientists Oeppen and Vaupel observe that experts who assert that “life expectancy is approaching a ceiling … have repeatedly been proven wrong.” It is thought that life expectancy for women has increased more dramatically owing to the considerable advances in medicine related to childbirth.[42]

Mice have been genetically engineered to live twice as long as ordinary mice. Drugs such as deprenyl are a part of the prescribing pharmacopia of veterinarians specifically to increase mammal lifespan. A large plurality of research chemicals have been described at the scientific literature that increase the lifespan of a number of species.

Some argue that molecular nanotechnology will greatly extend human life spans. If the rate of increase of life span can be raised with these technologies to a level of twelve months increase per year, this is defined as effective biological immortality and is the goal of radical life extension.

Currently living:

Non-living:

Certain exotic organisms do not seem to be subject to aging and can live indefinitely. Examples include Tardigrades and Hydras. That is not to say that these organisms cannot die, merely that they only die as a result of disease or injury rather than age-related deterioration (and that they are not subject to the Hayflick limit).

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Dermatitis – Wikipedia

Posted: October 20, 2016 at 11:31 pm

Dermatitis, also known as eczema, is a group of diseases that results in inflammation of the skin.[1] These diseases are characterized by itchiness, red skin, and a rash.[1] In cases of short duration there may be small blisters while in long term cases the skin may become thickened.[1] The area of skin involved can vary from small to the entire body.[1][2]

Dermatitis is a group of skin conditions that includes atopic dermatitis, allergic contact dermatitis, irritant contact dermatitis, and stasis dermatitis.[1][2] The exact cause of dermatitis is often unclear.[2] Cases are believed to often involve a combination of irritation, allergy, and poor venous return. The type of dermatitis is generally determined by the person’s history and the location of the rash. For example, irritant dermatitis often occurs on the hands of people who frequently get them wet. Allergic contact dermatitis; however, can occur following brief exposures to specific substances to which a person is sensitive.[1]

Treatment of atopic dermatitis is typically with moisturizers and steroid creams.[3] The steroid creams should generally be of mid to high strength and used for less than two weeks at a time as side effects can occur.[4]Antibiotics may be required if there are signs of skin infection.[2] Contact dermatitis is typically treated by avoiding the allergen or irritant.[5][6]Antihistamines may be used to help with sleep and to decrease nighttime scratching.[2]

Dermatitis was estimated to affect 334 million people globally in 2013.[7] Atopic dermatitis is the most common type and generally starts in childhood.[1][2] In the United States it affects about 10-30% of people.[2] Contact dermatitis is two times more common in females than males.[8] Allergic contact dermatitis affects about 7% of people at some point in time.[9] Irritant contact dermatitis is common, especially among people who do certain jobs, however exact rates are unclear.[10]

Dermatitis symptoms vary with all different forms of the condition. They range from skin rashes to bumpy rashes or including blisters. Although every type of dermatitis has different symptoms, there are certain signs that are common for all of them, including redness of the skin, swelling, itching and skin lesions with sometimes oozing and scarring. Also, the area of the skin on which the symptoms appear tends to be different with every type of dermatitis, whether on the neck, wrist, forearm, thigh or ankle. Although the location may vary, the primary symptom of this condition is itchy skin. More rarely, it may appear on the genital area, such as the vulva or scrotum.[11] Symptoms of this type of dermatitis may be very intense and may come and go. Irritant contact dermatitis is usually more painful than itchy.

Although the symptoms of atopic dermatitis vary from person to person, the most common symptoms are dry, itchy, red skin. Typical affected skin areas include the folds of the arms, the back of the knees, wrists, face and hands.

Dermatitis herpetiformis symptoms include itching, stinging and a burning sensation. Papules and vesicles are commonly present. The small red bumps experienced in this type of dermatitis are usually about 1cm in size, red in color and may be found symmetrically grouped or distributed on the upper or lower back, buttocks, elbows, knees, neck, shoulders, and scalp.[12] Less frequently, the rash may appear inside the mouth or near the hairline.

The symptoms of seborrheic dermatitis on the other hand, tend to appear gradually, from dry or greasy scaling of the scalp (dandruff) to hair loss. In severe cases, pimples may appear along the hairline, behind the ears, on the eyebrows, on the bridge of the nose, around the nose, on the chest, and on the upper back.[13] In newborns, the condition causes a thick and yellowish scalp rash, often accompanied by a diaper rash.

Perioral dermatitis refers to a red bumpy rash around the mouth.[14]

A patch of dermatitis that has been scratched

The cause of dermatitis is unknown but is presumed to be a combination of genetic and environmental factors.[2]

The hygiene hypothesis postulates that the cause of asthma, eczema, and other allergic diseases is an unusually clean environment. It is supported by epidemiologic studies for asthma.[15] The hypothesis states that exposure to bacteria and other immune system modulators is important during development, and missing out on this exposure increases risk for asthma and allergy.

While it has been suggested that eczema may sometimes be an allergic reaction to the excrement from house dust mites,[16] with up to 5% of people showing antibodies to the mites,[17] the overall role this plays awaits further corroboration.[18]

A number of genes have been associated with eczema, one of which is filaggrin.[3] Genome-wide studies found three new genetic variants associated with eczema: OVOL1, ACTL9 and IL4-KIF3A.[19]

Eczema occurs about three times more frequently in individuals with celiac disease and about two times more frequently in relatives of those with celiac disease, potentially indicating a genetic link between the two conditions.[20][21]

Diagnosis of eczema is based mostly on the history and physical examination.[3] However, in uncertain cases, skin biopsy may be useful.[22] Those with eczema may be especially prone to misdiagnosis of food allergies.[23]

Patch tests are used in the diagnosis of allergic contact dermatitis.[24][25]

The term “eczema” refers to a set of clinical characteristics. Classification of the underlying diseases has been haphazard and unsystematic, with many synonyms being used to describe the same condition.

A type of dermatitis may be described by location (e.g. hand eczema), by specific appearance (eczema craquele or discoid), or by possible cause (varicose eczema). Further adding to the confusion, many sources use the term eczema interchangeably for the most common type of eczema (atopic dermatitis) .

The European Academy of Allergology and Clinical Immunology (EAACI) published a position paper in 2001, which simplifies the nomenclature of allergy-related diseases, including atopic and allergic contact eczemas.[26] Non-allergic eczemas are not affected by this proposal.

There are several different types of dermatitis including atopic dermatitis, contact dermatitis, stasis dermatitis, and seborrheic eczema.[2] Many use the term dermatitis and eczema synonymously.[1]

Others use the term eczema to specifically mean atopic dermatitis.[27][28][29] Atopic dermatitis is also known as atopic eczema.[3] In some languages, dermatitis and eczema mean the same thing, while in other languages dermatitis implies an acute condition and eczema a chronic one.[30]

There is no good evidence that a mother’s diet during pregnancy, the formula used, or breastfeeding changes the risk.[32] There is tentative evidence that probiotics in infancy may reduce rates but it is insufficient to recommend its use.[33]

People with eczema should not get the smallpox vaccination due to risk of developing eczema vaccinatum, a potentially severe and sometimes fatal complication.[34]

There is no known cure for some types of dermatitis, with treatment aiming to control symptoms by reducing inflammation and relieving itching. Contact dermatitis is treated by avoiding what is causing it.

Bathing once or more a day is recommended.[3] It is a misconception that bathing dries the skin in people with eczema.[35]Soaps should be avoided as they tend to strip the skin of natural oils and lead to excessive dryness.[36] It is not clear whether dust mite reduction helps with eczema.

There has not been adequate evaluation of changing the diet to reduce eczema.[37][38] There is some evidence that infants with an established egg allergy may have a reduction in symptoms if eggs are eliminated from their diets.[37] Benefits have not been shown for other elimination diets, though the studies are small and poorly executed.[37][38] Establishing that there is a food allergy before dietary change could avoid unnecessary lifestyle changes.[37]

People can also wear clothing designed to manage the itching, scratching and peeling.[39]

Moisturizing agents (also known as emollients) are recommended at least once or twice a day.[3] Oilier formulations appear to be better and water-based formulations are not recommended.[3] It is unclear if moisturizers that contain ceramides are more or less effective than others.[40] Products that contain dyes, perfumes, or peanuts should not be used.[3]Occlusive dressings at night may be useful.[3]

There is little evidence for antihistamine and they are thus not generally recommended.[3] Sedative antihistamines, such as diphenhydramine, may be tried in those who are unable to sleep due to eczema.[3]

If symptoms are well controlled with moisturizers, steroids may only be required when flares occur.[3]Corticosteroids are effective in controlling and suppressing symptoms in most cases.[41] Once daily use is generally enough.[3] For mild-moderate eczema a weak steroid may be used (e.g. hydrocortisone), while in more severe cases a higher-potency steroid (e.g. clobetasol propionate) may be used. In severe cases, oral or injectable corticosteroids may be used. While these usually bring about rapid improvements, they have greater side effects.

Long term use of topical steroids may result in skin atrophy, stria, telangiectasia.[3] Their use on delicate skin (face or groin) is therefore typically with caution.[3] They are, however, generally well tolerated.[42]Red burning skin, where the skin turns red upon stopping steroid use, has been reported among adults who use topical steroids at least daily for more than a year.[43]

Topical immunosuppressants like pimecrolimus and tacrolimus may be better in the short term and appear equal to steroids after a year of use.[44] Their use is reasonable in those who do not respond to or are not tolerant of steroids.[45] Treatments are typically recommended for short or fixed periods of time rather than indefinitely.[3] Tacrolimus 0.1% has generally proved more effective than picrolimus, and equal in effect to mid-potency topical steroids.[32]

The United States Food and Drug Administration has issued a health advisory a possible risk of lymph node or skin cancer from these products,[46] however subsequent research has not supported these concerns.[45] A major debate, in the UK, has been about the cost of these medications and, given only finite NHS resources, when they are most appropriate to use.[47]

When eczema is severe and does not respond to other forms of treatment, systemic immunosuppressants are sometimes used. Immunosuppressants can cause significant side effects and some require regular blood tests. The most commonly used are ciclosporin, azathioprine, and methotrexate.

Light therapy using ultraviolet light has tentative support but the quality of the evidence is not very good.[48] A number of different types of light may be used including UVA and UVB;[49] in some forms of treatment, light sensitive chemicals such as psoralen are also used. Overexposure to ultraviolet light carries its own risks, particularly that of skin cancer.[50]

There is currently no scientific evidence for the claim that sulfur treatment relieves eczema.[51] It is unclear whether Chinese herbs help or harm.[52] Dietary supplements are commonly used by people with eczema.[53] Neither evening primrose oil nor borage seed oil taken orally have been shown to be effective.[54] Both are associated with gastrointestinal upset.[54]Probiotics do not appear to be effective.[55] There is insufficient evidence to support the use of zinc, selenium, vitamin D, vitamin E, pyridoxine (vitamin B6), sea buckthorn oil, hempseed oil, sunflower oil, or fish oil as dietary supplements.[53]

Other remedies lacking evidence to support them include chiropractic spinal manipulation and acupuncture.[56] There is little evidence supporting the use of psychological treatments.[57][needs update] While dilute bleach baths have been used for infected dermatitis there is little evidence for this practice.[58]

Most cases are well managed with topical treatments and ultraviolet light.[3] About 2% of cases however are not.[3] In more than 60% the condition goes away by adolescence.[3]

Globally dermatitis affected approximately 230million people as of 2010 (3.5% of the population).[59] Dermatitis is most commonly seen in infancy, with female predominance of eczema presentations occurring during the reproductive period of 1549 years.[60] In the UK about 20% of children have the condition, while in the United States about 10% are affected.[3]

Although little data on the rates of eczema over time exists prior to the 1940s, the rate of eczema has been found to have increased substantially in the latter half of the 20th Century, with eczema in school-aged children being found to increase between the late 1940s and 2000.[61] In the developed world there has been rise in the rate of eczema over time. The incidence and lifetime prevalence of eczema in England has been seen to increase in recent times.[3][62]

Dermatitis affected about 10% of U.S. workers in 2010, representing over 15 million workers with dermatitis. Prevalence rates were higher among females than among males, and among those with some college education or a college degree compared to those with a high school diploma or less. Workers employed in healthcare and social assistance industries and life, physical, and social science occupations had the highest rates of reported dermatitis. About 6% of dermatitis cases among U.S. workers were attributed to work by a healthcare professional, indicating that the prevalence rate of work-related dermatitis among workers was at least 0.6%.[63]

from Ancient Greek kzema,[64] from – ekz-ein, from ek “out” + – z-ein “to boil”

The term “atopic dermatitis” was coined in 1933 by Wise and Sulzberger.[65]Sulfur as a topical treatment for eczema was fashionable in the Victorian and Edwardian eras.[51]

The word dermatitis is from the Greek derma “skin” and – -itis “inflammation” and eczema is from Greek: ekzema “eruption”.[66]

The terms “hypoallergenic” and “doctor tested” are not regulated,[67] and no research has been done showing that products labeled “hypoallergenic” are in fact less problematic than any others.

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Gambling | Wex Legal Dictionary / Encyclopedia | LII / Legal …

Posted: October 13, 2016 at 5:36 am

Gambling, though widespread in the United States, is subject to legislation at both the state and federal level that bans it from certain areas, limits the means and types of gambling, and otherwise regulates the activity.

Congress has used its power under the Commerce Clause to regulate interstate gambling, international gambling, and relations between the United States and Native American territories. For example, it has passed laws prohibiting the unauthorized transportation of lottery tickets between states, outlawing sports betting with certain exceptions, and regulating the extent to which gambling may exist on Native American land.

Each state determines what kind of gambling it allows within its borders, where the gambling can be located, and who may gamble. Each state has enacted different laws pertaining to these topics. The states also have differing legal gambling ages, with some states requiring the same minimum age for all types of gambling, while for others, it depends on the activity. For example, in New Jersey, an 18-year-old can buy a lottery ticket or bet on a horse race, but cannot enter a casino until age 21. Presumably, the age 21 restriction is due to the sale of alcohol in that location.

A standard strategy for avoiding laws that prohibit, constrain, or aggressively tax gambling is to locate the activity just outside the jurisdiction that enforces them, in a more “gambling friendly” legal environment. Gambling establishments often exist near state borders and on ships that cruise outside territorial waters. Gambling activity has also exploded in recent years in Native American territory. Internet-based gambling takes this strategy and extends it to a new level of penetration, for it threatens to bring gambling directly into homes and businesses in localities where a physical gambling establishment could not conduct the same activity.

In the 1990s, when the World Wide Web was growing rapidly in popularity, online gambling appeared to represent an end-run around government control and prohibition. A site operator needed only to establish the business in a friendly offshore jurisdiction such as the Bahamas and begin taking bets. Anyone with access to a web browser could find the site and place wagers by credit card. Confronted with this blatant challenge to American policies, the Department of Justice and Congress explored the applicability of current law and the desirability of new regulation for online gambling.

In exploring whether an offshore Internet gambling business taking bets from Americans violated federal law, attention was focused on the Wire Act, 18 U.S.C. 1084 (2000). The operator of a wagering business is at risk of being fined and imprisoned under the Wire Act if the operator knowingly uses a “wire communication facility” to transmit information related to wagering on “any sporting event or contest.” 18 U.S.C. 1084(a). An exception exists if that act is legal in both the source and destination locations of the transmission. 1084(b). The Wire Acts definition of wire communication facility appears to embrace the nation’s entire telecommunications infrastructure, and therefore probably applies to online gambling. See 1081.

The Department of Justice maintains that, under the Wire Act, all Internet gambling by bettors in the United States is illegal. U.S. House of Representatives Committee on the Judiciary Hearing on Establishing Consistent Enforcement Policies in the Context of Online Wagers, 110th Cong., Nov. 14, 2007 (testimony of Catherine Hanaway, U.S. Attorney (E.D. Mo.), Dept. of Justice). The Fifth Circuit disagreed, ruling that the Wire Act applies only to sports betting, not other types of gambling. In re MasterCard Intl Inc., 313 F.3d 257 (5th Cir. 2002).

In 2006, Congress passed the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act, which made it illegal for wagering businesses to knowingly accept payment in connection with unlawful Internet gambling (though it does not itself make Internet gambling illegal). 109 Pub. L. 109-347, Title VIII (Oct. 13, 2006) (codified at 31 U.S.C. 5301, 536167). It also authorizes the Federal Reserve System to create regulations that prohibit financial transaction providers (banks, credit card companies, etc.) from accepting those payments. See 31 U.S.C. 5363(4). This Act, along with threats of prosecution under the Wire Act from the Department of Justice, has caused several Internet gambling businesses to withdraw from the U.S. market.

In response, House Representatives introduced multiple bills in 2007 to soften federal Internet gambling law. If passed, the Internet Gambling Regulation and Enforcement Act and the Internet Gambling Regulation and Tax Enforcement Act would license, regulate, and tax Internet gambling businesses rather than prohibit them from taking bets from the United States. Alternatively, the Skill Game Protection Act would clarify the Wire Act to exempt certain games such as poker and chess.

In addition to federal measures, some states have enacted legislation to prohibit some types of Internet gambling. In 2006, Washington State amended its Code to make knowingly transmitting or receiving gambling information over the Internet a felony. See Wash. Rev. Code 9.46.240 (2006). Other states with similar prohibitions have made it a misdemeanor instead. See e.g., 720 ILCS 5/28-1 (2007).

States have not been particularly active in enforcing these laws, possibly due to a conflict with the dormant Commerce Clause doctrine. That doctrine theorizes that state law applying to commerce outside the states borders is unconstitutional because that power lies with federal, not state, government. In particular, federal preemption has obstructed states attempts to regulate gambling activity on Indian reservations within state borders. See Missouri ex rel. Nixon v. Coeur DAlene Tribe, 164 F.3d 1102 (8th Cir. 1999). The federal Indian Gaming Regulatory Act, 25 U.S.C. 29 (2000), governs gambling activity on Indian reservations, but the extent to which it and other federal gambling laws preempt state action in the Internet arena is uncertain.

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Why Choose UnitedHealthcare? – uhone.com

Posted: at 5:35 am

No individual applying for health coverage through the individual Marketplace will be discouraged from applying for benefits, turned down for coverage, or charged more premium because of health status, medical condition, mental illness claims experience, medical history, genetic information or health disability. In addition, no individual will be denied coverage based on race, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, personal appearance, political affiliation or source of income.

References to UnitedHealthcare pertain to each individual company or other UnitedHealthcare affiliated companies. Dental and Vision products are administrated by related companies. Each company is a separate entity and is not responsible for another’s financial or contractual obligations. Administrative services are provided by United HealthCare Services, Inc.

Products and services offered are underwritten by Golden Rule Insurance Company, Oxford Health Insurance, Inc., UnitedHealthcare Life Insurance Company. In New Mexico, products and services offered are only underwritten by Golden Rule Insurance Company.

All products require separate applications. Separate policies or certificates are issued. Golden Rule Short Term Medical plans are medically underwritten. Related insurance products offered by either company may be medically underwritten see the product brochures and applications. Healthiest You is not an insurance product and is provided by HY Holdings, Inc., d/b/a Healthiest You. Travel Health Insurance and Pet Insurance are underwritten by different companies that are not related to the UnitedHealthcare family of companies. Product availability varies by state.

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NSA Contractor Who Allegedly Stole Top Secret Info ‘More …

Posted: October 8, 2016 at 10:22 pm

The National Security Agency contractor who federal authorities say took top secret information from the NSA is being described as “more weirdo than whistleblower,” senior officials told ABC News.

Harold Martin, 51, was arrested in late August in what neighbors described as a dramatic FBI raid, but it was not until Wednesday that his curious case was revealed in a criminal complaint. In court documents, the FBI says Martin took home physical documents and information stored on digital devices, some of which was sensitive compartmented information (SCI), the highest level of classification.

It was information that the FBI said, if made public, would “reasonably be expected to to cause exceptionally grave damage to the national security of the United States.” In all, the Department of Justice said investigators seized “thousands of pages of documents and dozens of computer or other digital storage devices and media” that held “many terabytes of information.”

Although Martin worked at Booz Allen Hamilton, the same contractor for whom Edward Snowden worked, and was apparently able to slip through the NSA’s security with highly sensitive information, as Snowden did in 2013, officials said overnight that that appears to be where the similarities between the two end.

It is unclear why Martin, a Navy veteran, allegedly removed so much sensitive information from his workplace and allegedly stored it in his home, nearby woodsheds or his vehicle, but he has not been charged with espionage indicating to some former officials that this case may not be as serious as Snowden’s. The Department of Justice said Tuesday that if convicted, Martin could face up to 11 years in prison one year for unauthorized removal of classified material and 10 years for theft of government property. Snowden, however, could face a far harsher prison sentence, should he return to the U.S. from Moscow; the U.S. government has said the death penalty will not be sought.

“It’s not a repeat of Snowden, but it is another insider,” Chris Inglis, a former NSA deputy director, told ABC News Wednesday. “It could be quite harmful, but [so far] it’s not as malicious or nefarious.”

Jim Wyda, a public defender assigned to Martin, said there is “no evidence Hal Martin intended to betray his country.”

“What we do know is that Hal Martin loves his family and his country. He served our nation honorably in the United States Navy, and he has devoted his entire career to serving and protecting America. We look forward to defending Hal Martin in court,” Wyda said.

Regardless of Martin’s intentions, the incident is another embarrassment for the NSA, coming three years after Snowden made off with a cache of data that exposed dozens of NSA surveillance programs. It is unclear whether Martin purportedly absconded with his data before or after post-Snowden security reforms were put in place.

“When you download this kind of top secret information off the NSA network into your own computer or into a thumb drive, alarms should go off. Apparently they didn’t,” said former White House cybersecurity adviser and current ABC News consultant Richard Clarke.

Martin’s former employer, Booz Allen, released a statement Wednesday saying the company fired one of its employees, without identifying Martin, after learning of his arrest and that the firm continues to work with law enforcement.

The federal complaint complaint says Martin was interviewed by federal agents in late August and, when “confronted with specific documents, admitted he took documents and digital files from his work assignment to his residence and vehicle that he knew were classified.” He allegedly said he knew what he had done was wrong.

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Twenty-fourth Amendment | United States Constitution …

Posted: at 10:22 pm

United States Constitution

Twenty-fourth Amendment, amendment (1964) to the Constitution of the United States that prohibited the federal and state governments from imposing poll taxes before a citizen can participate in a federal election. It was proposed by the U.S. Congress on August 27, 1962, and was ratified by the states on January 23, 1964.

In 1870, following the American Civil War, the Fifteenth Amendment, guaranteeing the right to vote to former slaves, was adopted. The Twenty-fourth Amendment was adopted as a response to policies adopted in various Southern states after the ending of post-Civil War Reconstruction (186577) to limit the political participation of African Americans. Such policies were bolstered by the 1937 U.S. Supreme Court decision in Breedlove v. Suttles, which upheld a Georgia poll tax. The Supreme Court reasoned that voting rights are conferred by the states and that the states may determine voter eligibility as they see fit, save for conflicts with the Fifteenth Amendment (respecting race) and the Nineteenth Amendment (respecting sex). It further ruled that a tax on voting did not amount to a violation of privileges or immunities protected by the Fourteenth Amendment. In short, because the tax applied to all votersrather than just certain classes of votersit did not violate the Fourteenth or Fifteenth Amendment.

During the civil rights era of the 1950s, particularly following the Brown v. Board of Education decision in 1954, such policies increasingly were seen as barriers to voting rights, particularly for African Americans and the poor. Thus, the Twenty-fourth Amendment was proposed (by Sen. Spessard Lindsey Holland of Florida) and ratified to eliminate an economic instrument that was used to limit voter participation. Two years after its ratification in 1964, the U.S. Supreme Court, invoking the Fourteenth Amendments equal protection clause, in Harper v. Virginia Board of Electors, extended the prohibition of poll taxes to state elections.

The full text of the amendment is:

Section 1The right of citizens of the United States to vote in any primary or other election for President or Vice President, for electors for President or Vice President, or for Senator or Representative in Congress, shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or any State by reason of failure to pay any poll tax or other tax.

Section 2The Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

amendment (1920) to the Constitution of the United States that officially extended the right to vote to women.

…the United States to deny federal funds to local agencies that practiced discrimination. Efforts to increase African American voter participation were also helped by the ratification in 1964 of the Twenty-fourth Amendment to the Constitution, which banned the poll tax.

…in Southern states into the 20th century. Some states abolished the tax in the years after World War I, while others retained it. Its use was declared unconstitutional in federal elections by the Twenty-fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, effective in 1964. In 1966 the Supreme Court, going beyond the Twenty-fourth Amendment, ruled that under the equal protection clause of…

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Caribbean Information Office

Posted: October 6, 2016 at 2:58 pm

The Top Site for Caribbean Resort Reservations and Villas Caribbean Information Office is a travel wholesaler. We are authorized by the hotels and resorts, villas and cruise lines to act as their reservations agent. There are no service charges nor any booking fees for our reservations services. We are one of the few agencies in the United States that can book these tropical destinations at a lower prices than advertised. We’ll save your vacation dollars by finding the lowest airfare and reserving the nicest cruise cabin, hotel room or villa as a package deal. We can also include meal options for you or your family to take advantage of as well. We are proud to promote Caribbean vacations for the past 44 years. Clicks on the links on the side or the top of this page for information about the Caribbean islands and places to stay. Contact us to plan your customized Caribbean vacation and enjoy personalized, professional reservation services. We can take you anywhere in the Caribbean that you’d like to go!

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Libertarian Gary Johnson: ‘We should embrace immigration …

Posted: August 25, 2016 at 4:36 pm

“Look, we should embrace immigration,” Johnson said Wednesday during an appearance on CNN’s “New Day.” “These are really hard-working people that are taking jobs that U.S. citizens don’t want.”

The former governor of New Mexico was dismissive of recent signals that the Republican nominee could moderate some of his immigration proposals, including his previous call to round up and deport all 11 million undocumented immigrants currently in the United States.

“He still says he wants to build a wall across the border,” Johnson said of Trump. “And, really, he’s not going to deport all 11 million. He’s going to keep some.”

Trump’s hard-line position on the issue of immigration has animated his campaign more than any other, but that once-resolute stance has turned fuzzy this week.

Kellyanne Conway, Trump’s newly appointed campaign manager, said Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union” that the candidate might back off from his support of a deportation force.

But appearing on Fox News on Monday, Trump stood by his support of mass deportation, saying there are “a lot of bad people that have to get of this country.”

“They’re going to be out of here so fast, your head will spin,” Trump said.

The following day, in a different interview on Fox News, Trump said “there could certainly be a softening (on immigration) because we’re not looking to hurt people.”

Trump wasn’t the only candidate who drew scrutiny from Johnson on Wednesday. Addressing the report that Hillary Clinton met with donors to the Clinton Foundation during her time as secretary of state, Johnson said there is an “implication” of a “pay-to-play” arrangement.

But he said that no legal lines were crossed.

“Nobody’s going to get prosecuted for this because that’s also the nature of this,” Johnson said.

Johnson is jockeying to get on the debate stage with Trump and Clinton this fall. In order to qualify, he must eclipse 15% in an average of five different polls. Johnson has yet to hit that threshold in any major national poll, but he said Monday he’s “kind of optimistic” about his chances of qualifying.

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