Posts Tagged ‘Minnesota’
Water discharged into lakes and rivers from municipal sewage treatment plants may contain significant concentrations of the genes that make bacteria antibiotic-resistant. That’s the conclusion of a new study on a sewage treatment plant on Lake Superior in the Duluth, Minn., harbor…
Timothy M. LaPara and colleagues explain that antibiotic-resistant bacteria — a major problem in medicine today — are abundant in the sewage that enters municipal wastewater treatment plants. Treatment is intended to kill the bacteria, and it removes many of the bacterial genes that cause antibiotic resistance. However, genes or bacteria may be released in effluent from the plant. In an effort to determine the importance of municipal sewage treatment plants as sources of antibiotic resistance genes, the scientists studied releases of those genes at the Duluth facility.
Although the Duluth facility uses some of the most advanced technology for cleaning wastewater — so-called tertiary treatment — the study identified it as an important source of antibiotic resistance genes. Sampling of water at 13 locations detected three genes, for instance, that make bacteria resistant to the tetracycline group of antibiotics, which are used to treat conditions ranging from acne to sexually transmitted diseases to anthrax and bubonic plague.
LaPara’s team says their research demonstrates that even the most high-tech sewage treatment plants may be significant sources of antibiotic resistance genes in waterways.
Crap! What will we do as an alternative? Do we add more chemicals to the process – possibly increasing dangerous materials in the effluent? Our population everywhere in the West adds pharmaceuticals that slide through sewage like grease through a goose. How much of that is involved in the processes which lead to these genes surviving, mutating?
The sludge being treated becomes more dangerous every year – as it is.
Here in pig country, the pigs are vanishing.
This month, 150 pigs — each one weighing more than an average grown man — disappeared from a farm building in Lafayette despite deadbolts on its doors. Farther north near Lake Lillian, 594 snorting, squealing hogs disappeared last month, whisked away in the dark.
And in Iowa, with added cover from the vast stretches of tall cornfields, pigs have been snatched, 20 or 30 at a time, from as many as eight facilities in the last few weeks, said the sheriff of Mitchell County, adding that among other challenges, the missing are difficult to single out.
“They all look alike,” said Curt Younker, the sheriff, who said he had only rarely heard of pig thefts in his decades on the job. “Suddenly we’re plagued with them.”
Some livestock economists pointed to the thefts in this hog-rich region as…a reflection of record-high prices for hogs this year and the ease of stealing pigs from the large barns that are often far from the farmer’s house.
“This is the hot commodity of the moment, like copper…and gold,” said Ryan Bode, whose family company, Rebco Pork, discovered that 150 of its pigs were missing on Sept. 16, shortly before they were to be taken to market…
Mr. Bode seemed doubtful about seeing his pigs again. “My guess is that they’re bacon and pork chops already…”
Investigators suspect that the pigs may have been taken to meat-processing plants or affiliated “drop-off” facilities or that they were sold at auction barns, which are less common these days as more large pig producers have direct arrangements with food-packing companies.
But that has raised an uncomfortable suggestion in an industry where many of the biggest farmers and pork buyers know one another personally and where a stranger pulling up to sell 100 hogs should give pause.
“Someone in the business somewhere has the answer as to who’s doing this,” said Sheriff Marc Chadderdon.
RTFA. Crime stories are a magnet for me. Not only catching the thieves; but, how the thieves pulled off the job.
Some of the article is hogwash. It’s absurd for an informed journalist to blame the lousy economy for the thefts – though she tries to. It’s the skyrocketing value of the pigs that motivates these crooks. Easy access to something worth stealing – and someone ready to buy.
The website advertising legal services from Thomas J. Lyon & Associates boasts about Lyon’s victories for clients. “We win cases all the time,” the site says. “It’s what we do…”
But Lyon is not an attorney. He’s been using another person’s Wisconsin Bar license number, that of attorney Thomas J. Lyons who has a practice in St. Paul, Minn., according to a criminal complaint. Lyon also has used the notary stamp of a dead notary public and forged the signature of court officials, the complaint says.
Prosecutors on Friday charged Lyon with practicing law without a license, theft, forgery and related charges tied to Lyon’s legal practice…
The receptionist also said she was one of several prostitutes working for the escort service “Lacuna Limited” that Lyon had set up in Milwaukee. She told an investigator that she helped to recruit new prostitutes for the escort service…
A probation agent told a detective with the Milwaukee County Sheriff’s Office that Lyon is on probation after convictions of grand larceny, stalking and false imprisonment in New York. Lyon’s probation was transferred to Wisconsin, the probation officer told the detective…
The system is better now that it has some checks, he said. But the Minnesota Lyons, the real Lyons said he was amused that the coincidence of the similar names allowed someone to trick court officials.
I don’t think it’s especially amusing that the court officials and everyone from local business folks to the police department never noticed [a] this clown wasn’t a real lawyer and [b] he was fronting a string of hookers.
Doesn’t sound like a surplus of integrity in Milwaukee.
The incidence of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) in women has risen during the period of 1995 to 2007, according to a newly published study by researchers from the Mayo Clinic. This rise in RA follows a 4-decade period of decline and study authors speculate environmental factors such as cigarette smoking, vitamin D deficiency, and lower dose synthetic estrogens in oral contraceptives may be the source of the increase…
Between 1 and 2 million Americans suffer the effects of RA, a chronic inflammatory disease that targets joints and which contributes to work-related disability, increased morbidity, and shortened survival. Up to one-half of all RA patients become unable to work within 10-20 years of follow-up and those with the disease have a 60% to 70% higher mortality risk than those in the general population. Furthermore, studies show that RA treatments alone account for $9 billion in excess health care costs with direct and indirect costs expected to exceed $39 billion annually…
“We observed a modest increase of RA incidence in women during the study period, which followed a sharp decline in incidence during the previous 4 decades,” said Dr. Sherine Gabriel. Results show that RA incidence in women increased by 2.5% per year from 1995 to 2007, while a decrease of 0.5% was noted for men. Researchers did not find a disproportionate increase in RA incidence in any particular age group over the study period.
Prior studies have clearly demonstrated that cigarette smoking is associated with a greater risk for RA development in both sexes. While smoking rates in the U.S. are declining, the rate is significantly slower in women than men, which researchers believe may, in part, explain the modest increase of RA incidence in women. Researchers also note that lower doses of estrogens found in modern oral contraceptives offer less protection against RA development then at the previously higher doses found in older medications, which they suspect may contribute to the increased RA incidence among women. Furthermore, several studies have shown vitamin D deficiency to be associated with RA development and coupled with evidence that this deficiency, particularly in women, has risen over the past decades the Mayo team considered it a possible contributor to the upward trend in RA.
Dr. Gabriel concluded, “Reasons for the increase in incidence we found are unknown, but environmental factors likely play a role and should be further explored.”
There is ever-increasing evidence that we’re killing ourselves slowly with all the crap we accept as part of an urban industrial environment. It has to cease. We have to win back a healthier lifestyle.
An international team of researchers are embarking on what has been described as the most ambitious tornado study in history.
An array of instruments will be deployed across the US Great Plains, where violent twisters are more common than anywhere else on the planet. It is hoped that the data gathered will improve tornado warnings and forecasts.
More than 100 scientists will be involved in the study, which will continue until the middle of June…
The study, Vortex2, will use a range of enhanced mobile radars and other weather-sensing equipment in order to build up a comprehensive picture of the zones where tornadoes develop.
Researchers say that rapidly changing contrasts in wind and temperatures in an area just a few miles across can spawn a tornado in a matter of minutes.
But, they added, only a small percentage of “supercell storms” generate twisters, and standard observing networks and radars struggle to pick up the atmospheric conditions that lead to the formation of a tornado…
The study area stretches from West Texas to south-west Minnesota, covering more than 900 miles.
The researchers will not have a fixed base, spending the entire six weeks on the road following outbreaks of severe weather.
Surrounded by pilots in this family, you know I had to get this post up for the weekend.
Though, frankly, as someone who used to live on the road – in later years in regions including part of Tornado Alley – I’m as interested as any of the usual weather geeks in the family.
It’s arriving this week in mailboxes in Minnesota, New York and Washington state. At first glance, it might appear to be related to the upcoming once-a-decade count of every man, woman and child in the United States.
It’s not. It’s a Republican fundraiser and opinion poll…
“This is as egregious as it gets,” said Luz Maria Frias, director of St. Paul’s Department of Human Rights and Equal Economic Opportunity and the city’s point person for raising awareness of the federal 2010 U.S. census.
“Between now and April 1, there will be an inundation of census information, and the timing of this is really suspect. It smells.”
Inside the envelope, which is labeled “DO NOT DESTROY — OFFICIAL DOCUMENT,” beneath “2010 Congressional District Census” and above the relevant congressional district and alphanumeric “Census Tracking Code” (which appears to be meaningless), appears the smaller-type phrase: “Commissioned by the Republican Party.”
Understand that Republican tactics are formulated by the same slimeballs who send phony mailers to our homes – trying to look like they’re from the Social Security Administration – to sell us supplemental medicare insurance from Bill Frist.
For 80 years, it has eluded the finest minds in science. But tonight it appeared that the hunt may be over for dark matter, the mysterious and invisible substance that accounts for three-quarters of the mass of the universe.
In a series of coordinated announcements at several US laboratories, researchers said they believed they had captured dark matter in a defunct iron ore mine half a mile underground. The claim, if confirmed next year, will rank as one the most spectacular discoveries in physics in the past century.
Tantalising glimpses of dark matter particles were picked up by highly sensitive detectors at the bottom of the Soudan mine in Minnesota, the scientists said.
Dan Bauer, head of the Cryogenic Dark Matter Search (CDMS), said the group had spotted two particles with all the expected characteristics of dark matter. There is a one in four chance that the result is due to some other effect in the underground detectors, Bauer told a seminar at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, near Chicago…
“If they have a real signal, it’s a seriously big deal. The scale on which people are looking for dark matter is vast,” said Gerry Gilmore at Cambridge University’s institute of astronomy. “Dark matter is what created the structure of the universe and is essentially what holds it together. When ordinary matter falls into lumps of dark matter it turns into galaxies, stars, planets and people. Without it, we wouldn’t be here,” Gilmore said…
RTFA. If you read anything today – RTFA.
Fascinating and qualitative step forward in science – though it may take a while to prove and publish.
Dennis LeRoy Anderson, 62, attempted to travel home from a bar in Proctor, Minnesota, in the comfort of his motorised reclining seat after drinking several beers.
On the way he crashed the chair, which was powered by a lawnmower engine and had its own steering system, into a parked car….
The luxury chair, which could reach top speeds of between 15 and 20mph, was even customised with a stereo and cup holders.
Related Link: This coveted item is going up for auction.
Prosecutors in Minnesota said a couple allegedly helped their teenage son and his friends make pipe bombs as an “educational” activity.
Scott County attorney Pat Ciliberto said Robert and Roberta Masters of Prior Lake, Minn., helped the group create the pipe bombs they used to blow up six mailboxes in the area, the Minneapolis Star-Tribune reported Friday.
“I don’t think you … can have a rational discussion about why folks would knowingly allow juveniles access to Pyrodex and PVC pipe for the purpose of making explosive devices,” Ciliberto said.
The mother of one of the teens told authorities Robert Masters said it would be “a good educational tool for the kids to build pipe bombs.” She quoted Roberta Masters as saying she “did not want to stifle her son’s curiosity.”
Investigators said the couple told the teens to “be careful” with the bombs and one of the boys told police the adults may not have known what the group intended to do with the bombs.
The couple are due to make their first court appearance Nov. 2.
A family that preys together, stays together.
Three pigs on exhibit at the Minnesota State Fair’s swine barn this year may have had H1N1…potentially marking the first time that the pandemic flu has been found in U.S. hogs.
It’s not clear what became of the pigs — they may have been slaughtered after the fair and sent into the food chain — but health officials downplayed any dangers from the sick pigs.
“This is a people virus,” said Jeff Bender, co-director of the University of Minnesota Center for Animal Health and Food Safety. “A person cannot get flu from eating pork, or pork products.”
Still, the timing couldn’t be worse for the pork industry, which has struggled this year to make a profit. As news broke Friday that the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) were conducting tests, the National Pork Producers issued an e-mail reiterating that pork is safe to eat…
The suspect pigs were discovered by researchers carrying out a CDC project studying the spread of flu viruses at places where people and pigs come into close contact — such as state fairs. The pigs, from three separate farms, appeared healthy at the time samples were taken, but preliminary tests at the U of M this week found evidence that they might have had H1N1.
I’ll let my wife know that pork prices should be coming down before we go grocery shopping next weekend.