Chlamydia, syphilis rates at all time high
A new report issued by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicates that the Chlamydia and syphilis infection rates in the United States have all-time highs.
According to Dr. John M. Douglas Jr., the director of the STD Prevention Division at the CDC, the two diseases were responsible for approximately 1.5 million reported STD cases in 2007.
The number of Chlamydia cases reported accounts for 1.1 of the 1.5 million, indicating a seven percent increase since 2006. The disease was most often found in women, who reported 543.6 cases per 100,000 females as compared to 190 cases per 100,000 males.
Chlamydia can cause pelvic inflammatory disease as well as affecting reproductive functions. It can be treated by antibiotics in most cases.
Syphilis can manifest symptoms in a variety of ways, but the early stages of the disease can be treated with antibiotics such as penicillin. If the disease is not caught in the early stages, it can go on to cause damage to the heart, aorta, brain, eyes and bones.
Americans not sufficiently protected from tobacco
The American Lung Association recently released a report card for the federal government regarding its ability to protect Americans from the effects of tobacco.
It failed categorically.
The government received an “F” for regulation of tobacco products, an “F” for cigarette taxes not meeting the lung association’s standards and “D” for failing to ratify the World Health Organization’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control.
Reasoning behind the grades included the U.S. Senate’s failure to consider a bill authorizing FDA regulation of tobacco products.
The report also included state-by-state grades.
California received an “F” in Tobacco Prevention and Control Spending, a “D” each in the Cigarette Tax and Cessation Coverage categories, but received an “A” in the Smoke-free Air category.
Forty-one states received an “F” in Program Spending and no state received an “A” in Cessation Coverage.
(source: usnews.com, stateoftobaccocontrol.org)
Supercomputers to reveal new culture trends
A group of UC San Diego researchers has been awarded a grant that will give them 330,000 hours of computing time on a bank of Department of Energy supercomputers.
To analyze culture.
The data that will undergo analysis includes millions of images, paintings, photographs, videos, feature films and video game recordings among other media.
The researchers will use algorithms to extract image features and structure from the different sources. This data will then be examined in terms of several different kinds of statistical analysis, including multivariate statistics methods like factor and cluster analysis.
The resulting analysis, combined with the original data sets, should reveal new data patterns.
Science Scene is compiled by RICHARD PROCTER who can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.