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Can We Prevent Food Allergies?

When the topic of peanut allergies comes up, I feel that there's always two specific crowds of people. There's the "don't give anything with peanuts to your child until they're at least three years old" crowd, and then there's the "just give it to them, their bodies need to learn to hand it" crowd. But which one is right? I for one have absolutely no idea, but there are some doctor's that think they do. Basically, a study came out that exposed some kids to peanuts at a very young age and kept it from others. They did some statistical analysis on both to see if there was any significance to the results, and found pretty conclusive evidence that exposing children to peanuts at a young age seemed to lower their chances of developing a peanut allergy as they grow up. Many doctors in the Seattle area (along with some advocacy groups) are now encouraging parents to give their children peanuts younger to begin breaking the unproven fear of infant death due to severe allergy. Of course, the first time should be monitored carefully and large amounts should not be given. Some doctors believe that if parents start doing this, less children will develop a full blown peanut allergy, and peanut allergy rates (which have increased 4x in the last decade or so) will go down.
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Sperm Donation: Who Pays Child Support?

I just saw a news story that reminded me of a card I saw last week about some people in Australia having issues due to changing sperm donation laws. The TL;DR here is that a man went through Craigslist to make some extra money donating his sperm to a couple that wanted to have a baby. The woman who carried that child was inseminated, but they did not follow the usual sperm bank donation procedures. The state decided that he should be paying child support (because the recognized mother is on welfare, and the state doesn't want to pay more) and they recognize him as the father. Still, the women have said that they do not want child support from him. Yet the state is pursuing it. Why is this an issue? First off, let me say that they all should have followed proper procedure for artificial insemination. There would be a record of it then, and there would be less room for the state to try to pursue this case. Other than that, though, the big issue is this: why is the state trying so hard to get him on this? The women don't want it. But the state wants to make an example of his case for a few reasons:

'Devil's Breath' Drug Creates Zombies

Yes, this title is a bit sensationalized, but I'm taking it right from the news source where I found the story: "Paris police have seized two Chinese women and a man on suspicion of using a powerful Colombian drug known as 'the devil's breath' to turn people into 'zombies' devoid of free will and rob them." What? What does that even mean? It sounds absolutely ridiculous, but actually, the substance is a real thing. It was used as a truth serum in the past, and is also known as scopolamine. It's a well studied drug administered for motion sickness, but all drugs can do dangerous things in high dosages. The documentary above by VICE goes into a bit more backstory on this drug, though its a bit sensationalist, too. But really, this article is all sensationalism: Zombies? "Trip"? Scopolamine induces delirium at high dosages. It's not something that turns you into a zombie. News coverage of anything related to drugs tends to take on this wonderland approach to things, when really, the scheme was targeted at elderly people who were being convinced to inhale drugs they thought had medicinal properties. Ambien or Xanas could have been used to similar effect. But hey, if zombies is what's going to sell the news story (and get you to open this card), so be it.

Another Factory Explosion in China

I've already posted about the explosions in Tianjin (and the weird circumstances around their cleanup) multiple times, but I didn't post about the explosions that happened in Shandong because it just seemed like a weird coincidence. Now, however, there's been a third explosion in Dongying (another area of Shandong) and that's just too suspicious. Why are these explosions happening? I'm not saying there has to be something linking these three explosions. Truthfully, it could just be an awful lot of coincidence that resulted in all of these events. But for some reason I'm incredibly suspicious, so I'm here to offer a few different theories on what may be behind these explosions. 1. Economic Downturn Leads to Excess Material - Regular Edition Basically, there's a lot of extra stuff in China right now due to poor market conditions, and they don't have the infrastructure to safely store it all. This leads to unsafe conditions. Additionally, layoffs are happenings, and that means that safety procedures might not be being as closely enforced, which might lead to these explosions.

How Does a Doctor Murder Their Patients?

I've written before about a doctor who was accused of misdiagnosing over 500 patients with cancer in order to "treat them" and make more money, and I thought that was pretty awful. But I just read something even more awful, so allow me to share it. Maybe one of you can explain to me how anyone is capable of this. This is Christopher Duntsch. I hadn't heard about him until tonight, but he was first accused of malpractice years ago. He thankfully hadn't bee practicing for some time (according to this, he lost it in 2013 and wasn't able to reapply) but he did things that seem unthinkable: cutting into someone's esophagus thinking it was a tumor, purposefully leaving a sponge in the same man's throat, operating while (possibly) under the influence of cocaine. At least 15 patients say they have been maimed by him. Others have died on the operating table in procedures where deaths are so rare it is considered suspicious. A few weeks ago, he was indicted last week on charges that include five counts of aggravated assault causing serious bodily injury. Initially, I was thinking "maybe he's just really bad at his job," until I read excerpts from emails he sent in 2011: