Posts Tagged ‘study’

Coronavirus was released from Chinese lab by ‘accident’, former MI6 chief claims, cites new study as proof

Posted by RT on June 4, 2020  |   Comments Off on Coronavirus was released from Chinese lab by ‘accident’, former MI6 chief claims, cites new study as proof

A new peer-reviewed study shows that the Covid-19 outbreak started as a faulty experiment in China, the ex-head of MI6 says. The paper he cited was reportedly “watered down” to remove accusations against Beijing.

“I do think that this started as an accident,” Sir Richard Dearlove, who led Britain’s top spy agency, MI6, from 1999 until 2004, told the Telegraph’s Planet Normal podcast.

It raises the issue, if China ever were to admit responsibility, does it pay reparations? I think it will make every country in the world rethink how it treats its relationship with China and how the international community behaves towards the Chinese leadership.

Dearlove suggested that the virus was not released deliberately, but rather accidentally leaked when Chinese scientists were experimenting on bat coronaviruses. To back up his claims, he cited a recently-published peer-reviewed study by a British-Norwegian team which claimed to have found “inserted sections placed on the SARS-CoV-2 Spike surface” that allow the virus to come into contact with human cells.

The ex-MI6 chief told the Telegraph that the study was rewritten several times. The research paper originally said that the novel coronavirus should be called the “Wuhan virus” – the name of the Chinese city where it was first recorded – and claimed to have proven that the virus was “engineered,” the newspaper reported, citing an earlier draft of the study.

The Telegraph also said that researchers from the Francis Crick Institute and Imperial College London rejected the study’s conclusions, while “leading academic journals” such as Nature and the Journal of Virology found the study unsuitable for publication. 

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The report says that one of the study’s original authors had withdrawn his name from the research before the paper was “watered down” to remove any explicit allegations against Beijing. However, intelligence officials reportedly looked through its findings before publication.

Since the first weeks of the Covid-19 outbreak, media reports and some Western politicians have alleged that the SARS-CoV-2 virus may have originated from a high-profile virology lab in Wuhan. US officials have been particularly keen on blaming China, with President Donald Trump saying that the country must compensate for the damages caused by the outbreak.

Beijing has repeatedly denied these claims.

In late April, the US Office of the Director of National Intelligence stated that the virus “was not manmade or genetically modified.” Likewise, intelligence sources told the Guardian last month that there is no evidence that the coronavirus was released from a Chinese lab, or that a possible leak could have caused the pandemic.

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France BANS hydroxychloroquine as study says medicine Trump took makes death from Covid-19 more likely

Posted by RT on May 27, 2020  |   Comments Off on France BANS hydroxychloroquine as study says medicine Trump took makes death from Covid-19 more likely

France has clamped down on the much-talked about drug that many have taken against Covid-19, including US President Donald Trump. A new study showed that the treatment increases the risk of death from the virus.

The French government has revoked its decree authorizing the prescription of anti-malarial drug hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) for treating Covid-19 patients, with the exception of clinical trials. The decision came after the government’s advisory body, the High Council of Public Health (HCPS), and the National Agency for Medicines and Health Products Safety (ANSM) both gave unfavorable opinions on the drug.

The HCPS recommended against using hydroxychloroquine outside of clinical trials, regardless of whether the patients took the drug alone or in combination with antibiotics. The ANSM, in turn, initiated a procedure to suspend clinical trials involving the use of HCQ “as a precaution.”

The drug has become a buzzword in the media as many place high hopes on finding a cure for the novel coronavirus. HCQ became increasingly popular in France to fight Covid-19 symptoms, as its prescription rate jumped by 7,000 percent in some parts of the country, according to local media.

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However, a recent study published in the Lancet journal was “unable to confirm a benefit” of taking hydroxychloroquine to battle the virus after researchers analyzed 96,032 hospitalized Covid-19 patients, 3,016 of whom took HCQ, and 6,221 took HCQ with a macrolide antibiotic. Furthermore, hydroxychloroquine was “associated” with increased risks of “significant occurrence” of ventricular arrhythmias and in-hospital death with Covid-19, the study noted.

The study in the Lancet prompted French Health Minister Olivier Veran to launch a review of the use of HCQ, and the World Health Organization to halt the use of the drug in its global trials of the experiential Covid-19 treatment.

Hydroxychloroquine has been repeatedly touted by Trump as a prospective remedy against Covid-19. The US president said he had been taking HCQ “every day” as a prophylactic for about two weeks.

Trump’s promotion of the drug drew criticism from experts and political opponents, who said it was irresponsible and dangerous for a high-ranking official to disseminate information about unproven treatments.

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Chemicals in tap water are causing thousands of cancer deaths across Europe – but the EU probably won’t do anything about it

Posted by RT on January 17, 2020  |   Comments Off on Chemicals in tap water are causing thousands of cancer deaths across Europe – but the EU probably won’t do anything about it

Each year, more than 6,500 cases of bladder cancer, roughly five percent of all cases in Europe, are found to be attributable to exposure to trihalomethanes (THMs) in drinking water – and it’s all perfectly legal.

For a study of countries’ water quality, the EU28 became the EU26, as adequate data for Bulgaria and Romania could not be obtained. Nevertheless, the project covered 75% of the total EU population, and a reading of its findings is ominous.

What the hell are THMs?

THMs are a class of molecule that appear as a by-product of the disinfectants used to clean drinking water. When chlorine, the main chemical used to clean drinking water, comes into contact with organic matter, it breaks down into THMs. And despite being legal up to certain levels, long-term exposure to them has been consistently associated with an increased risk of bladder cancer. The EU has set that legal limit at 100 lg=L, but anything over 50 lg=L causes a 51 percent increase in the probability of bladder cancer, in men at least. This study was undertaken at the Barcelona Institute for Global Health, in a city which has THM levels above the present regulatory maximum limit of 100 lg=L. Astonishingly, there is no provision for the lowering of this maximum in the latest European Council directive.

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How common is bladder cancer?

Bladder cancer is only the tenth most common form of cancer in the UK; 135,000 people in the EU were diagnosed with it in 2016. It is usually quite treatable with a simple surgical procedure as long as it is caught before spreading to other body parts. Some evidence suggests it affects men more than women (although this could be down to lifestyle differences, such as higher rates of smoking).

The countries with the highest percentages of bladder cancer cases attributable to THM exposure were Cyprus (23 percent), Malta (18 percent) and Ireland (17 percent). In other words, 23 out of 100 Cypriot people who are diagnosed with cancer in a given year are likely to have contracted it from their drinking water. Meanwhile, the greatest number of attributable cases actually occurred in Spain (1,482 attributable cases) and the United Kingdom (1,356) although this is a function of population as well as THM contamination.

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So, who is to blame?

It is impossible to attribute any given individual’s condition to drinking water, as the extent to which various factors contribute to a complicated disease are, for now, unquantifiable. But the statistical methods used by the researchers to estimate attributable cases at least puts a rough figure on the lives affected by this pollutant–and they should be enough to grab the attention of those who control public water systems.

The authors point out that if the thirteen worst-offending countries could reduce their THM levels to the current EU average, then 2,868 cases of drinking-water-induced bladder cancer per year could potentially be avoided (a 44 percent reduction). For now, this seems unlikely. Until the precise biological pathways between THMs and bladder cancer are revealed, the European Council Drinking Water Directive will not feel under pressure to rethink. The EU could, at the very least, lower its limits, though.

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Women are rated as ‘less human’ when they wear a lot of make-up. But do females want to look ‘normal’ or SEXY?

Posted by RT on January 16, 2020  |   Comments Off on Women are rated as ‘less human’ when they wear a lot of make-up. But do females want to look ‘normal’ or SEXY?

Those who like their foundation heavy may be a little disturbed by a new study that shows that they are perceived as less human and not taken seriously under the layers of make-up. But what if that’s the desired effect?

In the study, 1,000 participants, mostly from America and the United Kingdom, were asked to evaluate women’s faces with or without heavy makeup. Most participants reported as heterosexual and the sample included women as well as men. Both men and women perceived heavily made up women’s faces as possessing less humanness, less agency, less experience, less competence, less warmth, and less morality than faces without makeup. Tell us what you really think!

The results were the same whether they looked at photographs of models or ordinary women. Furthermore, eye shadow had a stronger dehumanising effect than lipstick. Scientific proof then, that the au naturel look is best?

via GIPHY

Make-up is all about signs of fertility — whatever feminists say 

The research comes from the Université libre de Bruxelle in Belgium and the Subtle Prejudice Lab at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Previous research from the same team has declared that women posed suggestively in lingerie are also dehumanised, that is, they are attributed less agency, competence and morality. 

This is less surprising—striking a sexy pose in lingerie is not the way to go if you want men to think of you more as a strong and independent woman, and less an inanimate object to be admired.

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But makeup is not so different—it is just another, perhaps more commonplace tool women use to enhance their appearance.

And, of course, women wear makeup, dye their hair, and bare their skin to appear more attractive to potential partners, not for the sake of some vague self-empowerment, which in any case would depend on social norms of beauty. 

But fuller red lips, bigger eyes with larger pupils (an effect created by eye shadow) longer eyelashes, flushed cheeks—these are no social norms, but rather ancient signifiers of fertility. Men are hyper-attuned to reading these subtle signals of face and body.

This, of course, does not mean that women are constantly seeking male attention, much less seeking to attract a new male partner. If you ask women why they do these things, they will simply, and truthfully, tell you ‘’to look nice’’. It just so happens that the parameters for ‘’nice’’ have been forged by eons of sexual selection.

via GIPHY

Drawing the line 

So the question becomes, do women deliberately make themselves less “human” if that makes them an exaggerated symbol of attraction? Essentially, “dolling up,” to use a phrase that is commonly uttered, without thinking about the implications.

Or are they slathering too much make-up, until even the targets of their interest no longer recognize them as belonging to the same species?

Whichever it is, it is best to stay on the conservative side when going for a job interview, or other official function, counsel the study authors, who recommend minimal make-up, or none at all. You don’t want to be perceived as a floozy or an exotic bird. 

That’s, of course, assuming that you don’t want the hiring manager to be subconsciously attracted to you.

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G7 countries ‘fuel global inequality’ more than they fight to reduce it – Oxfam to RT

Posted by RT on August 22, 2019  |   Comments Off on G7 countries ‘fuel global inequality’ more than they fight to reduce it – Oxfam to RT

The Group of Seven, comprising some of the world’s richest nations, has pledged to fight global inequality but, often times does the opposite, only exacerbating the problem, international charity Oxfam told RT.

The leaders of the so-called G7 states – the US, Canada, Britain, France, Germany, Italy and Japan – are set to meet over the weekend in the French city of Biarritz on the Atlantic coast. The gathering’s host, President Emmanuel Macron, warned about the “crisis of inequality” plaguing the world.

However, the Group of Seven has in some cases made the problem worse, Jon Date, the head of government relations at Oxfam, a global poverty-fighting charity, told RT.

We found that actually, in a number of areas, the [G7] countries are fueling rather than reducing inequality.

The governments in these countries are “promoting a ‘shareholder first’ business model that does not suit the needs of workers and many people in developing countries on a low income,” Date said. The G7 leaders also exacerbate the situation by failing to adopt a wealth tax and tackle climate change, he noted.

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Oxfam’s recent study shows that, despite the G7 states promising in 2017 to alleviate global inequality, “no real actions, commitments or plans to deliver true change” have followed. Date added that some of the world’s richest economies have even made certain steps back from the agenda.

We’re seeing regressive tax systems in countries like the US. Also, in the UK we can see the headline rate of corporate tax fall further, which exacerbates inequality.

In 2017, Macron scrapped the wealth tax introduced by his predecessor. The move then became one of the drivers behind the massive Yellow Vest anti-government protests that have been sweeping the country for the last 10 months.

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