Scientists Want To Try Electrical Stimulation In More Paralyzed Patients

PopSci

More than 30 people who have been paralyzed by spinal-cord injuries could soon get an experimental treatment that involves sending electric currents to their spines. The Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation is raising funds to add volunteers to an ongoing study of the treatment.

The treatment took a strong step forward recently, when the study’s scientists published a paper showing that electrically stimulating the spinal cord, alongside intense physical therapy, helped four completely paralyzed young men to move again. Whenever the men visited the lab and had their electrode implants turned on, they were able to move their legs, knees, ankles, and toes on their own. The men also reported they had improved bladder and sexual function after starting the electrical stimulation therapy — important components to their quality of life.

Researchers are now seeking to expand the study to 36 additional volunteers, whom they’ll follow for five years. The scientists “need to test more patients that will be a little more diverse to get a better idea of who will be responsive,” lead researcher Reggie Edgerton of UCLA wrote to Popular Science in an email. The current participants are active men in their early 30s or younger. Edgerton and his team want to test study participants who are older, as well as women. The team remains focused on people who have a complete paralysis diagnosis and have been paralyzed for a year or more.

The study has no trouble recruiting participants. “There are more volunteers than we can accommodate,” Edgerton says.

What’s happening now is that the Reeve Foundation is seeking donations for the research at its website, ReeveBigIdea.org. Matthew Reeve, actor Christopher Reeve’s son, visited New York City Comic Con last week to talk about his famous father and about the foundation’s work. Christopher Reeve became paralyzed after a horse riding accident in 1995 and died 10 years ago on October 10.

“My father used to say that nothing of consequence happens unless people get behind an idea and they share that idea with others and eventually it becomes a movement,” Matthew Reeve told Popular Science in a phone call before Comic Con. “We want to rally everyone in the community and beyond.”

Where has the family values agenda gone?

DeseretNews

Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) said, “The health of the family is indivisible from our destiny as a nation.” His speech framed the challenges facing America within the context of their impact on individual families. He insisted that “America’s moms and dads” are “exactly the people whose equal opportunity and pursuit of happiness we should protect the most.” He rightly lauded the family as the essential economic engine of the country, citing statistics that indicate the family is “an incubator for human flourish, for personal and economic success and, ultimately, societal success.”

Ironically, when Dan Quayle was lambasted for referencing the importance of fathers, the culture at-large wasn’t as hostile to traditional values as it is today. In 1992, overwhelming majorities opposed the concept of same-sex marriage, and 30.1 percent of all children were born out-of-wedlock. Twenty years later, dozens of laws against same-sex marriage have been overturned, and the rate of out-of-wedlock births in America had risen to 40.7 percent.

Quayle’s speech has proven prophetic, as the erosion of the traditional family has had undeniably negative consequences for both the nation and the world.

Yet for the most part, this reality is largely absent from the speeches and campaigns of those seeking federal office in the upcoming midterm elections. As candidates talk about the economy and the other pressing issues of the day, they largely steer clear of any language that would stigmatize anyone who has chosen to forego conventional family structures. Political correctness is far more strident now than it was during Quayle’s time in office, and certainly many officials fear the kind of derision that the former vice president faced two decades ago.

Thankfully, Lee has no such fear. He said “remembering America’s values and especially America’s forgotten families is the path to restoring the greatness of our great nation.”

Obama admin. to allow thousands of Haitians into U.S. without visas

WashingtonTimes

The ranking Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee took the Obama administration to task Friday for its “irresponsible” plan to allow as many as 100,000 Haitians to immigrate to the U.S. without a visa.

Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa said the administration’s Haitian Family Reunification Parole Program — which will allow thousands of Haitians awaiting a U.S. visa to enter the country and legally apply for work permits — is “an irresponsible overreach of the executive branch’s authority.”

“Which countries are next on President Obama’s list?” Mr. Grassley said. “Will there by medical screenings before entry? Will work permits be granted automatically? How will this affect American workers?”

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, the branch of the Department of Homeland Security that handles immigration benefits cases, announced Friday the program to unite Haitians already living in the U.S. with family members abroad will ramp up in 2015.

At that time the State Department’s National Visa Center will begin notifying families who may be eligible to take part in the program. Those immigrants will allowed to apply for work permits while waiting for issuance of their permanent visas.

The agency said the program will expedite “safe, legal and orderly migration.”

Catholic bishops scrap welcome to gays in sign of split

WashingtonTimes

Catholic bishops scrapped their landmark welcome to gays Saturday, showing deep divisions at the end of a two-week meeting sought by Pope Francis to chart a more merciful approach to ministering to Catholic families.

The bishops failed to approve even a watered-down section on ministering to homosexuals that stripped away the welcoming tone of acceptance contained in a draft document earlier in the week.

The revised paragraph had said “people with homosexual tendencies must be welcomed with respect and delicacy.” But the paragraph failed to reach the two-thirds majority needed to pass.

Two other paragraphs concerning the other hot-button issue at the synod — whether divorced and civilly remarried Catholics can receive Communion — also failed to pass.

It wasn’t clear, though, if the 118-62 vote on the gay section was more a protest by progressive bishops who refused to back the watered-down wording. The revised paragraph had deleted the words of acceptance of gays’ sexual orientation and acknowledgement that gay unions can provide “precious support” to partners that had been contained in the draft.

Francis insisted in the name of transparency that the full document — including the paragraphs that failed to pass — be published along with the voting tally. The document will serve as the basis for future debate leading up to another meeting of bishops next October.

5 Year Old Who Drew A Gun In Crayon Forced To Sign No-Suicide Contract With School

TechDirt

When I was in middle-school, Mortal Kombat was released on home video game consoles. Because my friends and I loved the game so much, we used to draw pictures of the characters doing seriously horrible things to one another. As in, rectal-based spine-retrieval type of stuff. It was fun and it was funny…and if we did that today, I have to assume we all would have ended up arrested and in some kind of psychiatric facility.

It’s the only conclusion I can draw as America begins to build a tradition of penalizing, and in some cases further traumatizing, children for playing make believe in any way that includes a gun or a bomb. But to really get into a situation where stupid adults take some innocuous creativity by a child and use it as a springboard to absolutely mess with that child’s state of mind, we must go to Alabama.

A Mobile, Ala., mom says school officials forced her daughter to sign a contract promising not to commit suicide or harm others after the kindergartner “drew something that resembled a gun,” then pointed a crayon at another kid and said “pew, pew!” 5-year-old Elizabeth was sent home after school officials made her take a questionnaire to evaluating [sic] her for suicidal thoughts, then had her sign the safety contract promising to contact an adult if she was thinking of suicide or homicide. This all happened while her mom waited in the lobby to pick her up, the upset parent told WPMI.

Okay, everyone stop what you’re doing right now and seriously think about this for a moment. A public elementary school in the United States, an agent for the public good, coerced a five year old into signing a contract promising not to goddamn off herself because she “pew-pewed” with a crayon. You know, that same thing most of us did as children? The thing where you take some object and point it like a gun and make a cartoon noise? Yeah, a five year old was confronted with the concept of suicide by the school over that.

According to her mom, Elizabeth didn’t know most of the words on the contract she signed. “Suicide,” in particular, was a new one for her.

“Mommy, daddy, what is suicide?” Elizabeth’s mother says she asked.

Holy hell, to foist that upon a child so young is insane.

Adding another layer of bureaucracy to a volatile situation…

‘Zero Confidence’ in Ebola Czar

The selection of Democratic political operative Ron Klain as Ebola czar is the latest example of President Obama “surround[ing] himself with loyalists” rather than qualified officials to deal with the nation’s crises, says Senator Jeff Sessions (R., Ala.).

“One would think, faced with the prospect of an epidemic, the president would task an expert in epidemiology not an expert in political spin,” Sessions said in a statement on Friday. “The American people can have zero confidence in Ron Klain’s competence to carry out this critical role.”

Klain’s Democratic ties run deep: He previously served as chief of staff to vice presidents Joe Biden and Al Gore, Gore’s general counsel on his recount committee in the 2000 election, and chief counsel during the Senate Judiciary Committee’s contentious confirmation hearings for conservative Supreme Court Justice nominee Clarence Thomas.

Sessions said the “danger” of Ebola spreading is “profound,” and called for a ban on travel from Ebola-stricken countries, as well as increased security on the Mexico–U.S. border if the disease breaks out in Latin American.

US has capacity for just NINE Ebola patients at specialized hospitals

DailyMail

The US has space for just nine Ebola patients at specialized hospitals, according to officials.

Once these spots run out, patients who contract the deadly virus will be treated where they are.

Officials from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will be sent to help care for them and ensure precautions are taken to prevent the spread of the disease.

The US has four hospitals that have specially-designed bio-containment units, with a total of about a dozen places for highly-infectious or dangerous cases, USA Today reported.

Once those spaces are filled, any new Ebola patients would have to be treated in regular hospitals, which help from CDC specialists.

The virus has killed more than 4,000 people, almost all of them in West Africa, but infections are increasing in the West.

DHS Official Caught Selling US Citizenship to Illegals

MinutemanNews

It’s no secret that liberal Democrats want to turn 11 to 15 million illegal aliens into US citizens and registered Democrats. Barack Obama has been on the verge of using his executive powers to override Congress and grant amnesty and open the road to citizenship for the millions of illegals. I believe his whole purpose is to undermine traditional American patriotism and to secure millions of votes for his fellow Democrats throughout the country.

Evidently, one Department of Homeland Security official in the extremely liberal land of nuts, fruits and flakes, otherwise known as California, has taken Obama’s agenda to a new level. Mai Nhu Nguyen, who immigrated to the US from Vietnam and became a naturalized citizen the legal way works for the DHS’s Citizenship and Immigration Services division.

Nguyen was, as one person put it, holding a fire sale on US citizenship. She was caught selling citizenship and legal residency status papers to illegals for thousands of dollars. In one instance, she sold a coveted ‘green card’ or paperwork indicating that a person had legal immigrant status to a Vietnamese person for $1,000.

The FBI worked with the DHS Inspector General’s office on the case and found that Nguyen, 48 years old solicited bribes from Vietnamese immigrants resulting in her abusing her power to approve or deny applications for immigration status and benefits.

To avoid a lot of publicity, which would be very bad for Obama and California Democrats, the case against Nguyen was kept quiet and she agreed to a plea deal that could land her up to three years in prison.

Eric Holder’s Top Deputy Resigns Amid Revelation Fast and Furious Guns Used in Phoenix Crime

Breitbart

The top deputy to Attorney General Eric Holder announced his resignation on Thursday amid revelations that Operation Fast and Furious scandal guns were used to harm Americans in Phoenix in 2013, a development top congressional Republicans say President Obama’s administration sought to cover up.

Documents released by conservative government watchdog group Judicial Watch—and put forward by Senate Judiciary Committee ranking member Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform chairman Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA)—show that an assault rifle purchased as part of Fast and Furious was used in a Phoenix-area crime in July 2013 that left two people wounded.

Part of a police report shows the rifle’s serial number, 1977DX1654. Judicial Watch obtained the documents from a lawsuit it filed against the city of Phoenix, Judicial Watch v. City of Phoenix, to get officials to release the documents. Judicial Watch had filed an Aug. 5, 2014, public records request with the city, which it ignored, forcing Judicial Watch to file the lawsuit on Oct. 2.

“Thanks to our lawsuit, Congress has been able to confirm what Judicial Watch already reported—that a Fast and Furious weapon was used in yet another violent crime that terrorized and injured residents of Phoenix,” Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said in a Thursday statement:

Our lawsuit against Phoenix exposed how the Obama cover-up of Fast and Furious is ongoing. Eric Holder’s Department of Justice is a mess. It has endangered the public and is engaged in an ongoing cover-up of its insanely reckless Fast and Furious gun-running operation. Judicial Watch appreciates the refreshing diligence of Senator Grassley and Congressman Issa in pursuing the truth about Fast and Furious.

High levels of vitamin D reduce the need for pain medication

DailyMail

Low vitamin D levels could make childbirth more painful, scientists have warned in a new study.

A team in the US discovered women were more likely to opt for an epidural to ease their pain if they were Vitamin D deficient.

The scientists measured the vitamin D levels of 93 pregnant women prior to them delivering their babies.

All of the women had requested an epidural for the pain during labour.

The team then measured how much pain medication each woman required during labour.

They compared the quantity of pain medication used by women with higher vitamin D levels to those of the women with lower vitamin D levels.

The findings, presented at the annual meeting of the American Society of Anesthesiologists in New Orleans, showed women with lower vitamin D levels required more pain medication than those with higher levels.

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