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Wednesday
Dec072011

News: Study Challenges Aging & Oxidative Stress Theory | Men Commit Up to 94% of Child Sex Abuse | Editorials 12/6

DFR Daily French Roast

Anne is reading …

Writing Newt Gingrich Is in Love With Himself, The Daily Beast’s Kirsten Powers takes a look at some of the Republican presidential contender’s more self-aggrandizing statements. We share an appetizer:

“I told somebody at one point [of my presidential campaign], ‘This is like watching Walton or Kroc develop Walmart and McDonald’s.’” So said Newt Gingrich, whose presidential campaign boasts roughly 40 staff members.

“I don’t want my country to collapse. I don’t want my daughter and wife raped and killed,” Speaker Gingrich told a stunned Atlanta Journal-Constitution reporter in 1994 in explaining why America, nay, the world, needed him. After all, he told her, “People like me are what stand between us and Auschwitz.”

What Do 5% of Known Pedophiles Tell Us?

Not much, writes Casey Schwartz, again for The Beast. Most studies of pedophiles are conducted on known sex offenders, probably a very unrepresentative group. Researchers generally agree that as many as 94 percent of all sexual abuse cases against children are conducted by men.

Another nugget in this article is the research of Judith Becker, University of Arizona, whose over 1000 interviews with pedophiles suggest that very often the men regard themselves as being kids themselves, when with their victims. “During these encounters, Becker said, it’s as if they slipped back to a much earlier phase in their own development—or perhaps never graduated beyond it in the first place.”

James Cantor, an associate professor in the department of psychiatry at the University of Toronto, has studied the brains of pedophiles, finding that on average they have an IQ 10 points lower than the average population. Scanning the brains of pedophiles, compared to other prison inmates, Cantor found significantly less white matter -- the substance that connects one region of the brain to another — in the pedophile group.

JUST IN | Jerry Sandusky Arrested

Reuters reports that former Penn State football coach Jerry Sandusky was arrested a second time at this home today, with 12 new counts of sexual abuse added to the previously existing 40 counts. Two more men, identified as Victim 9 and Victim 10, who did testify before a grand jury when they were children, are now part of the case.

More DFR

Image: FastFoodHealth.orgLearning from New England

Mississippi is the unhealthiest state in America, based on the United Health Foundation’s annual report. Writes Susan Brady for Health News: “The most startling fact in the report was that in the last decade the annual improvement in America’s health has declined 69% compared to the 1990s.

In a mere two decades, obesity has risen 15+ points (from 11.6% to 27.5%) in the adult population and could approach 40+ percent by the end of the decade if trends prevail.”

New England leads the nation in good health, with six states in the top spot.

Don’t Bag the Blueberries Yet

In the never a dull moment world of scientific research, German cancer researchers have observed for the first time oxidative changes in a living organism.

Major Research Challenge to Theory of Oxidative Stress

Researching fruit flies — a primary source of health research implications in humans — findings by ssociate Professor (PD) Dr. Tobias Dick’s team cast doubt on the widely-accepted hypothesis that life span is limited by the production of harmful oxiddants in our bodies.

Jointly with Dr. Aurelio Teleman (also of DKFZ), they introduced genes for biosensors into the genetic material of fruit flies. These biosensors are specific for various oxidants and indicate the oxidative status of each cell by emitting a light signal — in realtime, in the whole organism and across the entire life span.

The only part of the body in which the researchers found absolute evidence of oxidative stress was in the intestines of the fruit flies. Equally important, Dick’s team fed a group of fruit flies with NAC, a substance attributed with anti-oxidant effects.

 … no evidence of a decrease in oxidants was found in the NAC-fed flies. On the contrary, the researchers were surprised to find that NAC prompted the energy plants of various tissues to significantly increase oxidant production.

The research team will now turn their use of biosensors to humans, in an effect to directly observe oxidative processes. via Science Daily

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