domenica 30 settembre 2012
BILL GATES, L'INFERTILITA' MASCHILE E GLI ULTRASUONI... Bill Gates ha un'ossessione sul controllo della fertilità umana (oltre che quella sulla bioingegneria e sulle vaccinazioni compulsive di massa!)
Controllo Maschile delle nascite: arresto degli spermatozoi con gli ultrasuoni? Dr. David Phillips/Visuals Unlimited/Corbis
Tra i 78 progetti di ricerca che hanno ricevuto 100 mila dollari di sovvenzioni da parte del Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation all'inizio di questa settimana come parte delle grandi sfide in questa iniziativa sulla Salute Globale, c’è né una di alcuni ricercatori della University of North Carolina, di sviluppare unatecnica non invasiva e reversibile di controllo delle nascite (per gli uomini) con ultrasuoni. Sulla base di prove preliminari sui ratti, i ricercatori James Tsuruta e Paolo Dayton hanno la speranza di sviluppare una tecnica che renda gli uomini infertili temporaneamente per un massimo di sei mesi dopo uno o due esposizioni ad ultrasuoni.
Il progetto è uno dei 10 beneficiari di sovvenzioni con l'obiettivo di creare nuove tecnologie per la contraccezione (Una vera fissazione per Bill Gates! Ndt). Altri progetti orientati verso gli uomini comprendono una pillola anticoncezionale maschile che i ricercatori dicono possa limitare la maturazione degli spermatozoi e la ricerca su composti chimici specifici nella vagina, che guidano lo sperma verso l’uovo - che i ricercatori sperano di ricreare in laboratorio - che ha, potenzialmente, la funzione di "disturbare" la navigazione degli spermatozoi in viaggio verso l'ovulo. (All'inizio di questo anno, i ricercatori dell'Università della California a San Francisco hanno scoperto che i livelli di PH hanno un impatto sulle modalità di movimento dello sperma, ed hanno espresso la speranza che ulteriori ricerche in questo campo possano creare una possibilità di contraccezione maschile).
Questi studi, di Tsuruta e di Dayton a U.N.C., sono stati in grado di arrestare la produzione di sperma nei ratti per sei mesi dopo aver somministrato agli animali due esplosioni di ultrasuoni distanziate di due giorni, come relaziona il New Scientist. I ricercatori ritengono che l'ecografia interrompe la produzione di spermatozoi con una combinazione di calore e di agitazione, esiste il piano di esplorare ulteriormente il meccanismo al lavoro con questo nuovo finanziamento. In ultima analisi, i ricercatori sperano di sviluppare una tecnica anticoncezionale che potrebbe fornire l'infertilità di lunga durata reversibile per gli uomini. Come Tsuruta ha detto alla BBC: "Pensiamo che questo potrebbe fornire agli uomini con sei mesi di dati affidabili ed a basso costo, la contraccezione non ormonale da un singolo ciclo di trattamento ... Il nostro obiettivo a lungo termine è quello di utilizzare ultrasuoni da strumenti terapeutici che si trovano comunemente nella medicina sportiva o nella terapia fisica clinica come un poco costoso, a lungo termine ma reversibile contraccettivo maschile adatto per l'impiego in paesi in via di sviluppo ma anche in quelli del primo mondo".
Le domande del blog: Perchè non sperimenta queste tecniche su se stesso? Perchè deve interessarsi a noi? Chi l'ha delegato a farlo? I suoi soldi? Quale futuro ha in mente Gates? Un futuro totalmente gestito dai multimilionari come lui? (Fonte: http://freeskies.over-blog.com/article-infertilita-maschile-bill-gates-e-gli-ultrasuoni-50782132.html)
Chavez rattled by heart-throb rival . Venezuela goes to the polls a week today, and a charismatic young leader is poised to end the President's 14-year rule
The crowds are bigger, his speeches slicker, and Venezuela's young opposition leader, Henrique Capriles, is on a roll in a final, frenzied push to end President Hugo Chavez's socialist rule. With just one week left before the Opec nation's presidential election, the 40-year-old state governor is whipping up crowds like never before, creeping up in the polls and becoming increasingly aggressive in his attacks on Chavez's policies.
"We've never had a candidate like him," gushes shopkeeper Andrea Gomez, 42, screaming at Capriles like a teenage fan at a pop concert, as the passing politician blows kisses from an open-top cavalcade on the Caribbean coast north of Caracas.
Capriles has made big inroads among the working class where Chavez has his power-base, but still faces suspicions that he is too much of a rich kid and will end Chavez's popular welfare programmes.
The 58-year-old incumbent remains a formidable campaigner and has a strong connection with many Venezuelans, especially the poor. Yet while a majority of big pollsters still put Chavez in front, two – Consultores 21 and Varianzas – have Capriles just ahead.
Opposition activists insist the poll numbers are distorted by a "fear factor" – government employees wary of reprisals if they show support for Capriles, for instance – and therefore underestimate their man's real popularity. Either way, Capriles seems certain to have the best tilt at Chavez that anyone has managed during his 14-year rule.
Criss-crossing the country for most of 2012, the business-friendly law graduate first won an opposition primary with ease and has been gathering steam, and honing his style, ever since. A devout Catholic, he has based his strategy on a "house-by-house" tour, from remote Amazon villages and Andean highlands to cattle ranches and city slums. Dashing around by bus and plane, he typically visits three or four places a day, often joining in basketball games, highlighting his youth and energy. He bears scratches from female admirers grabbing at him in the crowds, downs Red Bulls to keep his energy up, and has earned the affectionate nickname El Flaquito (Skinny).
Lately, he has been going for Chavez's jugular. When the President begins one of his hours-long speeches, his rival sometimes tweets mocking ripostes. In the past week, he has been waving Chavez's manifesto while scoffing at its pledges to "save mankind" and strive for a "new international geopolitic" dynamic. "But who takes care of the electricity cuts?" he asked last week, homing in on one of the subjects dear to voters, who also worry about high crime rates, rising prices and lack of jobs.
Though Capriles's campaign has momentum, Chavez retains his charismatic, folksy rhetoric, and state media ensure he gets blanket coverage.
And then there's the money. A ramping up of spending on social welfare is guaranteed to win votes, while state institutions have barely concealed their use of official resources to support Chavez. Capriles's own, cheaper, campaign relies on donations and fundraising by supporters. Some wealthy Venezuelan businessmen and exiles are also thought to be helping.
Capriles says he trusts the president to step down if he loses. Yet more radical opposition activists claim, without offering evidence, that Chavez would do anything to stay in power, from vote-rigging to sending armed supporters into the streets. While there are no official international monitors for the 7 October poll, the Unasur group of South American nations is sending observers. Capriles's Democratic Unity coalition will place witnesses at almost all the voting booths, as will the government. But many analysts say government spending during the campaign is likely to be a bigger factor than any potential fraud. (Reuters)
A new buy-in-bulk deal to provide cheaper contraception for developing countries is set to be finalised by a coalition of governments and private donors headed by Bill Clinton and a leading drug company, potentially helping up to 27 million women.
The former US president, announcing the project at the United Nations, said the contract would bring down the costs of 'Jadelle', a reversible progestogen implant inserted into the arm which can provide contraception for five years.
It will be distributed to women in 42 countries including Bangladesh, Kenya and Senegal with the hope that families without access to other forms of contraception can gain more control over their family planning.
Strategists hope this will cut the number of maternal deaths in childbirth and large families suffering from child starvation. "This would actually save about 280,000 children's lives. They might be born a year or so late. They may be born in greater spacing but they will live and be healthy," Mr Clinton said.
The United Kingdom and Norway are among countries paying into the deal and his Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) was attracting support from donors at a high-end fund-raiser in New York last week.
Mr Clinton told The Independent on Sunday: "Smart billionaires are very worried about growing inequality in the world. You get them together and prove that it makes good sense that everybody wins. Bill Gates is giving his money away. He is a very smart man and he knows that it is a severe constraint on the future growth of the world if there is too much income inequality if life chances are not fairly distributed." He added: "Let me tell you why this is a watershed moment. The difference today from what we have done in the past is a that we have a whole coalition of donors and counties working together to pull their resources."
A spokeswoman for the German manufacturers of the implant, Bayer Health Care, said: "The current price of the contraception implant Jadelle will be cut from $18 (£11) to $9." (Irene Hell per "The Independent")
Ann Romney: 'I'd be worried for his mental well-being' . In TV interview, candidate's wife admits her fears if he should win White House race
Ann Romney has told a television station that if her husband, the Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, wins the presidential election, her biggest concern would be his "mental well-being".
In an interview with Nevada's KTVN, Mrs Romney was asked what her biggest worry was should Mitt Romney be elected to serve in the White House. "I think my biggest concern obviously would just be for his mental well-being," she said. "I have all the confidence in the world in his ability, in his decisiveness, in his leadership skills, in his understanding of the economy.
So for me, I think it would just be the emotional part of it."
Her remarks are the latest example of the disarming candour – or gaffes, as opponents call them – that has characterised the Romney campaign. In Iowa last week, Mrs Romney told those inside her husband's party who have been critical of his campaign: "Stop it. This is hard. You want to try it?"; and the candidate himself has supplied a rich crop, ranging from his now-notorious "47 per cent of the people will vote for the President no matter what", to his clumsy raising of the "birther" issue, and undiplomatic doubting of London's ability to run a good Olympics. And on Friday, in Pennsylvania, Mr Romney admitted that this former swing state would be difficult for him to win.
The major opportunity to turn things around – Mr Obama currently holds a 5 per cent lead nationally, with wider advantages in swing states – comes this Wednesday with the first of the presidential debates in Denver. The subject is domestic policy and the tepid US economy, Mr Romney's main campaign theme. He is now undergoing intense rehearsals with Ohio Republican Senator Rob Portman playing the role of Mr Obama. The preparation includes how to make sure Mr Romney does not come across as scolding, and avoids complaining about the debate rules – something he did several times during the presidential primary battle.
Alan Schroeder of Northeastern University in Boston, who has written a history of presidential debates, said: "They are pretty evenly matched as debaters. They both tend to be more intellectual than emotional, and they are both articulate and comfortable on camera. But they would both prefer to be in a more controlled setting."
Debates rarely make a big difference to the final results, but a strong performance can give a candidate a bump of a few percentage points, said Mitchell McKinney, a political communications specialist at the University of Missouri. "This is Romney's chance. Can he take advantage?" Recent presidential debates suggest the first debate could be Mr Obama's toughest. He will have to walk a fine line in acknowledging the nation's economic difficulties, while offering a more hopeful vision for the future. (David Randall per "The Independent")
Trial begins in the Vatican of Pope's butler . Benedict's former servant leaked documents in 'an effort to clean up corruption'
Pope Benedict's former butler went on trial yesterday for using his intimate access to the Pope's desk to steal and leak explosive documents in what he said was an attempt to clean up corruption in the Vatican.
By day, Paolo Gabriele was a deferential member of the Vatican's innermost circle, helping Pope Benedict to dress, serving him his meals, and possessing a key held by fewer than 10 people to a lift leading from a small courtyard directly into the Pope's apartments. But by night, the court heard, he was obsessed with helping to root out what he saw as corruption in the Catholic Church.
On the first day of the hearing, the 46-year-old suffered a blow when judges refused to admit evidence from the church's own investigation into the case. His lawyer Cristiana Arru had wanted the transcripts of that inquiry, in which cardinals questioned Vatican employees, to be included to try to show her client's motives. The chief judge, Giuseppe Dalla Torre, said it had "no relevance" to the Vatican City's penal code.
Police seized 82 boxes of documents from Mr Gabriele's apartments inside the Vatican and in the papal summer residence over the summer, the court was told during what was a largely procedural opening session.
This is the most high-profile case to come before the three-judge panel since the creation of the Vatican City state in 1929. Mr Gabriele is accused of taking the Pope's correspondences, photocopying the documents and handing them to Italian journalist Gianluigi Nuzzi, whose book His Holiness: The Secret Papers of Pope Benedict XVI, was published in May.
The most notorious of the letters were written to the Pope by Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, currently the Vatican's ambassador to Washington, who was deputy governor of the Vatican at the time. In one, the archbishop complains that when he took office in 2009, he discovered corruption, nepotism and cronyism linked to the awarding of contracts at inflated prices. He later wrote to the Pope about a smear campaign against him by other Vatican officials who were upset that he had taken drastic steps to clean up the purchasing procedures. Mr Nuzzi has said his source, codenamed "Maria" in the book, wanted to shed light on the secrets of the church.
Taken as a whole, the documents seem aimed primarily at discrediting Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, the Vatican secretary of state and Benedict's long-time deputy. Cardinal Bertone, 77, a canon lawyer and football enthusiast, has been criticised for perceived shortcomings in running the Vatican.
Only eight journalists were allowed into the court, a small, wood-panelled room with a papal emblem on its ceiling. No oaths are taken at the start of the trial, as the Vatican legal system, like the Italian one on which it is based, assumes that a suspect may lie for self-protection.
Mr Gabriele, who said he saw himself as an "agent of the Holy Spirit", is widely expected to be found guilty because he has confessed. To fathom the apparent gulf between Mr Gabriele's acts and his appearance as a reserved and obedient servant of the Pope, the Vatican summoned psychologists to determine if he could be held responsible for his actions. The results were conflicting. One report cited in the indictment concluded that Mr Gabriele showed no signs of major psychological disorder or of being dangerous. Another concluded that he was socially dangerous, easily influenced and could "commit acts that could endanger himself or others".
The arrest of Mr Gabriele, a father of three who began his Vatican career as a cleaner and who has since lived a simple but comfortable life in the city-state, capped nearly five months of intrigue and suspense after a string of documents and private letters found their way into the Italian media. Since the papal state has no prison, Mr Gabriele would serve time in an Italian jail, though the Pope is widely expected to pardon him.
Yesterday, the court separated the trial of Mr Gabriele and his co-defendant, a Vatican IT expert. The hearing resumes on Tuesday, when Mr Gabriele will be questioned. (Reuters)
On a bright autumn day, Renato Grbic was out fishing on the Danube with his brother when he heard a big splash. At first, he thought somebody had thrown something off Pancevo bridge. Then he saw a man flailing in the water. "We hurried and pulled the man out," Mr Grbic recalled. "I remember telling him: 'Such a glorious day and you want to kill yourself!'."
It was the first time Mr Grbic saved a life. From that day 15 years ago, his own life would never be the same. The bright-eyed, tattooed restaurant owner from a shabby industrial zone on the outskirts of Belgrade has so far rescued 25 people who tried to kill themselves by jumping off the tall bridge over the Danube.
Always on alert in his little wooden motor boat, the burly 51-year-old has been dubbed the "Superman of the Danube" by his admirers and awarded a hero's plaque by Belgrade city authorities. But even "Superman" can't save everybody who jumps off the 60ft-high bridge: At least as many as he had saved have killed themselves at the spot since Mr Grbic's first rescue. "When I hear that someone has jumped and I wasn't there I really feel bad," he said. "My eyes are always on the bridge."
Mr Grbic has found that some of the people he rescued suffered from cancer or other terminal illnesses, while others cited poverty or unrequited love. All, he said, felt lonely. He added: "They often do it in daytime so they would be seen. They want attention, love."
One day, in mid-January about seven years ago, Mr Grbic was just preparing to turn his boat to the shore and go home when he heard a scream. An 18-year-old woman, going through a mental crisis, had burst out of her parents' car at the bridge, taken off her jacket and jumped, shouting: "Goodbye mum!" Mr Grbic said something had made him stick around. "It was a very windy day, a few minutes later and I would have gone."
The girl, Mr Grbic said, is the only one who has stayed in touch. Every January she comes to his fish restaurant to celebrate her "second birthday". She is married now and has a child. Mr Grbic was invited to the wedding reception. (AP)
Berlin's gas lamps to be snuffed out . Heritage fans and greenies battle over plan to cull historic street lights
The pools of soft yellow light cast on the pavements of night-time Berlin by the city's thousands of historic gas street lamps can give visitors a thrilling sensation of having either walked back in time or straight on to the set of Cabaret, the award-winning film set in the German capital of the early 1930s.
Berlin has a record 43,900 gas street lights – more than any other city in the world. They range from ornate wrought-iron five-lantern candelabra dating from the 1890s to graceful curved arc lights lining the city's thoroughfares and installed in the still bomb-damaged capital of the 1950s.
But the city's Social Democrat-led administration has plans to bring its 180-year-old tradition of gas street lighting to an abrupt end. It argues that they are too costly and environmentally harmful, and it has begun replacing them with an electric equivalent. The city's heritage movement is, of course, not happy.
Under current plans, nearly all of the gas lamps will have been replaced by a more economical type of electric lamp called "Jessica" by 2020. The city's Department for Urban Development claims that, by eliminating gas lighting, Berlin will live up to its environmental obligations, cutting 9,200 tons of CO2 emissions. The city's Green Party agrees.
"The city doesn't have to become a museum," insisted Petra Rohland, a spokeswoman for the department. "Environmental protection has attained a dimension that would have been unthinkable half a century ago."
She commented that the mantles for the gas lights now have to be ordered from India because no one in Germany makes them any more. "It's madness," she said.
Berlin's administrators also say that getting rid of gas will substantially reduce the €23m bill taxpayers pay annually for street lighting because it will end what they claim is the inordinately high cost of maintaining the gas lamps. They claim that the cost of a single gas street light is 11 times higher than its electric equivalent. "You have to ask yourself as an informed citizen whether these costs are justified," said Stephan Völker, a street lighting expert from the Technical University of Berlin who is advising the city government.
However, Berlin's authorities face furious opposition from pro-gas light campaigners who are fighting to stop the "conversion" project. Their "Gaslight Culture" protest is being backed by the veteran German television presenter Ilja Richter, who, at the age of 59, has resorted to appearing naked on stage with a gas light to rally support for the cause.
Richter claims the Berlin government is being inconsistent, citing its backing for a multimillion plan to rebuild the city's former Royal Palace, which was destroyed by the communist regime of East Germany. "They are rebuilding the palace à la Disney, saying it has to happen for reasons of history and authenticity, but at the same time they want to get rid of the gas lamps. It doesn't make sense," he said.
Bertold Kujath, 52, the civil engineer behind the "Gaslight Culture" campaign, says that if the city government does not give way in the dispute, he will take the issue to Unesco and request that the city's gas lights be protected under World Heritage status. He accuses officialdom of barbarism. "Berlin's gas street lighting is a glowing testimonial to an outstanding era of style and industry," he said. "We cannot allow globally unique cultural heritage to be thrown on the scrapheap."
Mr Kujath claims that the city's authorities have manipulated the figures to justify an expensive gas-to-electricity conversion which will benefit private industry and help to create jobs. He says the city government's data cannot be properly scrutinised. "The city does not make its calculations transparent. It's almost impossible to verify their figures," he said.
He also rejects the claim that gas lighting seriously harms the environment. By contrast, he argues that gas is environmentally friendly because it emits hardly any ultraviolet light and does not attract the millions of insects that are routinely fried to death on electric street lights.
Mr Kujath campaigned successfully against Berlin city government plans to axe gas street lamps back in the 1980s. But the proposal was revived in 2007 and contracts for the completion of the project are due to be signed this year. The authorities are confident that even if campaigners force a city-wide referendum on the issue, they will be defeated on grounds of cost.
Meanwhile, the plans have incurred emotional criticism from some of Germany's most respected newspapers. "When snowflakes dance in gas light they become golden stardust and raindrops develop a comet's tail. Does one have to be a Berliner to feel that their disappearance is brutal modernisation?" asked the liberal weekly Die Zeit. (Tony Paterson per "The Independent")