Saturday, May 27, 2017

Is the tobacco filter rather harmful?

Researchers in Australia made a warning that a tobacco filter is no more useful to reduce the risk of cancer.

According to the paper recently published by the researchers at Curtin University, filter ventilation does not reduce tar yield. Instead, it slows the speed of consuming. Therefore, smokers are to absorb more tar with filter ventilation.

The Sydney Morning Herald: Modern cigarette filters increase the risk of lung cancer, study finds

They also examined the relationship between the prevalence rate of lung adenocarcinoma and smoking; the former is still rising. As I understand, smoking is not responsible for the onset of adenocarcinoma. Thus, this relationship is not necessary to be investigated for proving the harm of filter.

On the other hand, a large cohort study is needed to clarify the benefit or harm of using a filter. It is not adequate to say the filter raises the risk of cancer with examining past literature because there are no studies to have suspected this possibility.

Anyway, it is no doubt that tobacco is harmful to the human body. We should know there are no ways to attenuate the health risk of smoking as far as you smoke.

Friday, May 26, 2017

Firstborn theory still alive?

Do you believe the first born child is likely to succeed in business?

Firstborn children tend to be CEOs or politicians than other siblings by 30 percent, according to a new study by researchers at the University of Texas-Austin, and Sweden's Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.

The Atlantic: Why First-Born Children Are Better Leaders

They consider that parents invest lots to their fist born child and that it may contribute to the success of them. Instead, later children are likely to live a freer life.

This hypothesis is at a glance persuasive. Many people feel that first born children are more independent and aggressive. However, there is a possibility of cognitive bias on the image of sibling order. When you notice I am the first child, you begin to identify me as so.

In addition, the so-called generational gap should be taken account. In a later era, it may be difficult to raise a company in some developed countries. Such environmental change is hardly adjustable with technical modification.

I believe family psychology is useful for better understanding of the client at the individual level. However, we should be cautious to generalize some principles to other families we do not know much.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Women in a deprived region become anxious than men

A recent large study showed that women were more likely to be anxious than men in a deprived region.

This study, published in British Medical Journal, targeted 21,000 UK people to investigate their anxiety level. As a result, 2.5% of the women were diagnosed with general anxiety disorder. And the wealth level of where they live was influential in women, not in men.

Independent: Poorer women far more affected by anxiety than men, study finds

The author suggested the fact that women were highly likely to be a single parent was related to this result. Also, lower wage in women seems to be associative.

On the other hand, genetic factors seem not to be mentioned in this article.  Women are likely to become anxious, generally speaking. Thus, they may be vulnerable to environmental factors to cause general anxiety disorder. I think this pathway is also not ignorable to discuss the high prevalence of anxiety in women in the deprived region.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Explosion attack at Ariana Grande concert in Manchester

Again, a terror attack occurred in England.

On May 22, 2017, an explosion emerged at the Ariana Grande concert in Manchester. It took at least 22 lives and injured more than 50 people.

Fox News: Ariana Grande concert explosion: 22 dead, 59 injured in 'terrorist incident'

It was 10:30 pm, immediately after the last number was finished. Ariana Grande herself was safe, according to her manager. The police are investigating this incident deeming as committed by suicidal bombers.

Nobody has claimed responsibility at the time I am writing this entry. But it is highly likely that some terrorists deliberately conducted this evil act.

In recent years, the number of terror reports is increasing in the UK. There are two possibilities behind this situation. First, border control is no more effective to prevent terrorists from entering the UK, albeit Heathrow airport was said to be the most strictly protected border. Second, some people in the UK are influenced by destructive ideology. In this case, it is also no use to excluding immigrants for protecting the cities.

There are many ideologies in the world. Each of them should be respected. However, I cannot accept the idea taking other's life by power, regardless of the reasons. I pray for the victims.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Edaravone is approved as a drug for ALS

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is one of the deadly and painful diseases in the world. Patients with ALS experience gradual weakening of the muscles, leading to the failure of the respiratory system. As the intelligence and consciousness of the patients are not impaired, they have serious time for several years.

Recently, Food and Drug Administration of the US approved the second drug for ALS. Its name is edaravone.

Edaravone was developed by MT Pharma America, a subsidiary of Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma Corporation, a famous Japanese pharmaceutical company.

The New York Times: A Second Drug Is Approved to Treat A.L.S.

In the human body, edaravone is bound to free radicals. Free radicals are considered to harm the human tissue seriously. Thus, edaravone has an effect of attenuating free radicals. Edaravone is also used for patients with an acute cerebral infarction, because it is believed that free radicals have a certain role in destroying brain cells.

In a placebo-controlled clinical trial conducted in Japan, participants with ALS who took edaravone were less likely to deteriorate their physical condition for six months. As ALS is a progressive disease, stopping the progress of shrinking muscle is a desirable outcome of this new drug.

Although this result is very promising, there is still barriers to overcome the suffering from ALS. It is impossible to reverse the progressed status of the muscle in the patient with the modern medicines.

On the other hand, free radical is one of the hot topics in the region of medical science. If edaravone has really a great effect of neutralizing free radicals, it will be utilized for several other diseases.

Monday, May 22, 2017

100% electric cars in India by 2030

The Indian government is planning to ban vehicles powered by petrol or diesel by 2030.

The energy minister intends to lower the cost of importing fuel, as well as alleviate the fatality caused by air pollution. Now, there are 2.3 million deaths due to air pollution estimated to occur every year in India.

Independent: India to make every single car electric by 2030 in bid to tackle pollution that kills millions

The introduction of electric cars is a trend in recent years. In some regions in Swiss, petrol cars are completely prohibited. Olso plans to make some areas even car-free.

My past entry: Oslo will partially be free from cars

However, these attempts are heard only in developed countries. Petrol vehicle is now a traditional way of transportation. It has rooted in our daily life. And they have become far less expensive than the past. Many people are willing to buy a car. Even in developed countries, an electric car is still a costly and inconvenient option.

Therefore, India's challenge seems unrealistic. Some comments on the article above suggest issues which need to be prioritized than electric cars.

On the other hand, if India accomplishes the withdrawal from petrol vehicles, it can have a strong impact. Many nations will follow it. And the behaviors of consumers will be altered. Car companies will have to change their strategy dramatically.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

WannaCry storm

Recently, many reports of the damage caused by ransom ware, named WannaCry, attracted public attention.

Ransom ware is a kind of malware. It automatically encrypts the main data in the infected hard drive. Then, the attacker demands the ransom for recovering the data to the victim.

Some ransom ware were developed several years ago for the first time. Recently, hospitals were targeted to the cyber attack.

My past entry: Ransom-ware and Bitcoin in hospital

WannaCry utilizes a security hole in Microsoft Windows. In real, Microsoft released a patch to address this problem in this March. But some people had not adopted this update. It expanded the damage all around the world. Microsoft had to care Windows Vista, which had not been subject to the service by the provider, to prevent further damage.

And now, the number of victims are estimated as 200,000 in over 150 countries. National Health Service (NHS) in England was also victimized.

Independent: NHS cyber attack: Ransomware hits 200,000 victims in at least 150 countries, says Europol director

One of the reasons for expanded damage is the dominance of Microsoft software. The Recent development of the internet enabled us to transfer astronomical amount of information immediately. Although its advantage is amazing, the magnitude of the risk by whom with malice is also gigantic.

On the other hand, utilization of ransom ware has a weak point as well as a real kidnapping. It is how to get the ransom. Modern cyber criminals tend to use Bitcoin to transfer money. Since Bitcoin is crypt currency, it seems anonymous. In real, however, all transaction of Bitcoin can be traced. And finally, the user has to exchange Bitcoin into real money. Stock exchanges, such as bankrupted Mt. Gox, are responsible for this transaction. At this stage, exchange always requests an identification of the user. Therefore, money laundering using Bitcoin is not so easy as imagined.

Indeed, British experts identified three Bitcoin addresses for the destination of the ransom. The total amount of Bitcoin was equivalent to only 20,000 USD.

The Guardian: Criminals behind cyber-attack have raised just $20,000, experts say

On the other hand, the price of Bitcoin is rapidly increasing. If the culprit does not exchange the Bitcoin he got as ransom into money, its value will be raised unintentionally.

Convenience and risk always coincide. We should be aware of the optimal balance of them. And when he draw the Bitcoin, he will be arrested.