Chinese Authorities Seize 40-Year-Old Smuggled Meat

Jun 30, 15 Chinese Authorities Seize 40-Year-Old Smuggled Meat

Posted by in Featured, Legal

China’s shipping industry is massive. About 40 years ago, Asia was the poorest country on the face of the Earth — twice as poor as Africa is today — and it now has the fastest growing economy, and is twice as rich as Africa. According to the latest data available from the World Shipping Council, China itself is the number one exporter in the world, and the second largest importer. However, as is the case with many industries that rapidly grow, horrible things can happen. According to reports, Chinese authorities seized more than 100,000 tons of meat from smugglers, some of which was more than 40 years old, dating back to the Carter administration. Worse, the $483 million worth of produce, including beef, chicken feet, and duck necks, had been transported periodically in regular trucks — as opposed to freezer trucks — so it was frozen, thawed, and then refrozen at different points in its journey. “It was smelly and I nearly threw up when I opened the door,” said a Hunan province official. Chinese anti-smuggling authorities are investigating 21 gangs, and have already arrested 20 people in the Hunan province alone. They believe the meat was smuggled into China via Hong Kong and Vietnam from countries such as Brazil and India to sidestep import restrictions. Authorities seized the smuggled meat in 14 different provinces. According to the Changsha Administration of Customs, one-third of the meat sold at the largest wholesale market in the Hunan Province was found to have been smuggled illegally. This latest scandal comes just months after Beijing hardened food safety regulations in order to shake off a growing reputation for safety scandals. Some of the scandals that prompted the toughening of regulations ranged from donkey meat that’d been tainted with DNA from foxes, to milk that’d been contaminated with the industrial chemical melamine, which led to the death of six infants back in 2008. Less than one year ago, authorities detained five individuals for selling expired meat, which they’d repackaged...

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New Research Reveals Individualized Treatment Possible for Diseases

Jun 27, 15 New Research Reveals Individualized Treatment Possible for Diseases

Posted by in Featured, Health

It seems that new research is coming out every day, further enhancing our knowledge of the human body and its various weaknesses. A recently discovered approach may mean that we can use precision medicine to tailor treatments to each patient. In 2013, a woman named Holly Boehle went to the Mayo Clinic. She had breast cancer that was rapidly getting worse, and she was prepared to fight. Her doctors decided to use a new method of treatment, where they injected avatar mice with cells from her tumor. From there, her doctors were able to test different medications in order to see which ones were able to shrink the tumor. This method would not only help Holly’s case, but countless future cases as well. Thanks to this methodology, Holly has been in remission for over a year, and expresses her gratitude for everyone on the team that made it possible. Holly’s surgery and subsequent remission is an example of an ongoing study which opens a window for precision medicine. Around the United States, many researchers work in spaces called biobanks, which are essentially facilities with catalogues upon catalogues of DNA samples from different demographics. Of these biobanks, about 53% are doing research on a specific disease, while another 29% are doing general research. Researchers use DNA samples and testing in order to further individualize treatments for patients. As technology continues to advance and we develop further knowledge of the the human body, we can change how we treat disease. Just a decade ago, doctors treated patients who had the same disease the same way. But this new research has helped to give patients the individual attention they need. We can now look at specific gene mutations and bring them closer to their ideal state, in order to prolong the life of someone suffering. This new research paints a picture of hope and new knowledge in the coming years, and many are waiting on the edge of their seats to see what comes...

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Freakishly Large Saw Blade Slices Through Hood of Truck, Miraculously Misses Driver

Jun 27, 15 Freakishly Large Saw Blade Slices Through Hood of Truck, Miraculously Misses Driver

Posted by in Featured, Lifestyle

Each year, 1.24 million people die in car accidents across the globe, according to the World Health Organization. Only 28 countries, which account for just 7% of the world’s population, have comprehensive road safety laws covering drinking and driving, speeding, and failing to use motorcycle helmets, seat-belts, and child restraints. In the United States, three million people are hurt in car accidents each year, two million of whom experience permanent injuries. Auto accidents are also the most common cause of personal injury lawsuits in the United States. According to legal advice service Avvo, the most common causes of car accidents include speeding, drunk driving, reckless driving, and weather concerns. But what about gigantic, runaway saw blades? A motorist on the Chongqing expressway in central China recently avoided near certain death when a five-foot circular saw blade lodged itself a foot and a half deep into the hood of his truck. He was shaken, but unhurt. Apparently, an equipment truck carrying the massive blades had swerved onto the median while traveling in the opposite direction, causing three or four of the blades to tumble out. Only one — the very same that found its way into the victim’s vehicle — made it through the bushes and back to the road. “I heard a ‘bang’ and then I saw all the white smoke in front of me,” the driver, identified as Mr. Xiang, told local reporters. “I almost lost control of my car.” Although it’s unfortunate that a cartoonishly large saw blade happened to come loose and at the exact time and angle necessary to cut through a vehicle, Mr. Xiang was quite lucky, in a sense. According to local police, had he been driving just a bit faster, or had he or the saw been going at another angle, it would have most certainly cut through into the truck’s cabin and hit Mr. Xiang. Although the incident was a completely freak accident, there is a lesson there. Be careful driving, and don’t speed. It may...

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Venezuela, No Longer an Oil Industry Leader, Agreed To Sell Its 50% Share in the Chalmette Refinery

Jun 25, 15 Venezuela, No Longer an Oil Industry Leader, Agreed To Sell Its 50% Share in the Chalmette Refinery

Posted by in Featured, Technology

The state of Venezuela’s oil industry — like the rest of the country, really — continued to decay after a recent announcement that ExxonMobil Corp. would be ending its partnership with Venezuela’s national oil company, Petróleos de Venezuela SA (PdVSA). The two corporations currently have a joint ownership on one particular refinery in Louisiana, but after it is sold to PBF Energy Inc. for $322 million, the two companies will be parting ways. PBF Energy is a New Jersey-based oil corporation, which owns and run three refineries on the East Coast and in Ohio. The Louisiana Chalmette refinery isn’t exactly a big refinery by American standards, although it’s in an ideal location — just a few miles from New Orleans — to take advantage of crude oil resources. The largest refineries in the U.S. can produce about 300,000 barrels of crude oil per day, and Chalmette produces about 189,000 barrels per day; nevertheless, the acquisition will allow PBF to increase its oil production by about 35%, according to the Wall Street Journal, bringing the company’s total daily oil production to around 725,000 barrels per day. For ExxonMobil, losing its 50% in Chalmette isn’t necessarily a big loss. The company still owns and operates six major oil refineries in the U.S., reports the WSJ, producing over 1.8 million barrels daily. But for PdVSA, losing a 50% in the refinery will certainly have negative impacts on the Venezuelan economy. Venezuela is the fourth-largest supplier of crude oil to the U.S., writes the Latin American Herald Tribune, and the Venezuelan oil industry has been one of the few industries, in the past few years especially, keeping the country away from a complete economic breakdown. Most recently, however, Venezuela’s oil industry hasn’t been helping its economy at all. As the Times-Picayune explains, oil prices have been decreasing — in the past few months especially — making this industry less profitable for the country as it struggles to repay its debts amid its own crippling...

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The FBI Is Investigating Medical Power Tools Linked to the Spreading of Cancer

Jun 25, 15 The FBI Is Investigating Medical Power Tools Linked to the Spreading of Cancer

Posted by in Featured, Health

The Federal Bureau of Investigation is now leading an investigation into a device which may be responsible for spreading a deadly cancer. Morcellators are medical power tools used to perform hysterectomies, procedures that remove the uterus to treat uterine fibroids. Basically, morcellators break the tumors up into smaller pieces, so they can be more easily excised. However, in as many as one in 350 cases, cancer is sometimes hidden in fibroids. When the morcellators cut the fibroids up to remove them, surgeons may inadvertently leave some pieces behind. If these remnants contain cancerous cells, they become free to spread the deadly disease throughout the rest of the patient’s body. “The FDA has no idea how many women had cancer spread by being treated with this device,” said ABC News Chief Medical Editor Dr. Richard Besser. “But the idea that anyone was harmed is very concerning.” Johnson and Johnson, which was the top manufacturer of power morcellators, was alerted to the potential risk back in 2006, but did nothing until July of last year, after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued warnings back in November. Now, the FBI is investigating Johnson and Johnson, to find out what they knew and when. The company told ABC News that the FBI has not yet contacted them, but the FBI has been in touch with some victims of botched morcellations. According to the Wall Street Journal, the FBI has contacted three people over the past several months about the surgical device, including Dr. Amy Reed. The anesthesiologist underwent a hysterectomy via morcellation to have her fibroids removed in 2013 — only to find out that the device had worsened her cancer. Now, she and her husband campaign to ban morcellators in an effort to save the lives of women everywhere. The FBI has also spoken with Sarah Robinsin, according to the WSJ. The physician assistant has already testified at an FDA hearing on the device, and has also created a list of women and families affected by...

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