According to a note from Terry Pratchett posted on BoingBoing, he has been diagnosed with a rare, early-onset form of Alzheimer’s disease. I hope it goes well for him and that some biochemist fans answer his call!
As y’all know my aunt and uncle have been heavily involved with the fight against asbestos in this country. Their latest endeavor has been assisting with consumer product testing. The results were released to the press this week. Seattle PI ran an exclusive article last Tuesday. Some highlights are below:
Asbestos has been found in a variety of consumer products, including one of this season’s biggest-selling Christmas toys, according to the nation’s largest asbestos victims organizations.
The CSI Fingerprint Examination Kit, two brands of children’s play clay, powdered cleanser, roof sealers, duct tapes, window glazing, spackling paste and small appliances were among the products in which asbestos was found by at least two of three labs hired by the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization . . .
. . . The kit, made in China, is one of several items licensed by CBS after its popular “CSI” science-crime shows. This model has an extensive array of plastic tools, inks and three types of very fine powders — white, black and glow-in-the-dark. The analysis done for the victim’s organization found high levels of two types of asbestos in the white and the glow powder
Physicians are especially concerned because of the significant likelihood of children breathing in asbestos fibers as they hunt for fingerprints and use a soft-bristled brush to move the powder around.
David Kirby’s blog over at the Huffington Post poses an interesting question: Why is the AAP quietly opposing increased funding for autism research? His proposed answer is that the AAP doesn’t want to rock the boat about vaccines, and current lines of research into thimerosal (or environmental contaminants, etc) as an autism factor might do just that.