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OH YES THEY DID: Scientists Name A Parasitic Worm After President Obama

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Nobel Peace Prize, Move Over: Meet baracktrema obamai, the two-inch-long, hair-thin flatworm. it’s a type of blood fluke that infects the lungs of black marsh turtle and southeast Asian box turtles in Malaysia.

President Obama, Commander in Chief and a Nobel Peace Prize winner, can add another honor to his resume: namesake of a new species.

Granted, the species is a parasitic flatworm. But in the scientific community, the act is considered *coughBaracktrema obamai, a new genus and species of parasitic flatworm, was named in honor of President Obama. Image by Roberts et al., 2016, The Journal of Parasitology.cough* an honor all the same.

“I have named a number of species after people I admire,” Thomas Platt, the parasitologist who discovered and collected the new species, said, with a straight face.

[Baracktrema obamai, a new genus and species of parasitic flatworm, was named in honor of President Obama. Image by Roberts et al., 2016, The Journal of Parasitology.]

The move is meant to be a permanent tribute, he said. “Baracktrema obamai will endure as long as there are systematists studying these remarkable organisms.”

Platt and three other American researchers proposed Baracktrema obamai as both a new genus and species in The Journal of Parasitology. The two-inch-long, hair-thin flatworm — a type of blood fluke — infects the lungs of black marsh turtle and southeast Asian box turtles in Malaysia. The team used genetic testing and morphological analysis of the worm’s body and genitalia to determine the new species. Their proposal marks the first new genus of turtle blood fluke in 21 years.

The find was the last that Platt — a turtle parasite expert — named before retiring from Saint Mary’s College. Platt named 32 species during his tenure and was inspired to name Baracktrema obamaiafter discovering that he and the president share a common ancestor, he said. Read the rest of this entry »

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Japanese Hospital Intern Challenge: The Teeny Tiny Sushi Surgical Dexterity Test

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Want to intern at a leading hospital in Japan? 20 students have taken a speical test, in which they are expected to prove their dexteiry by making teeny tiny sushi with a surgical knife and a pair of tweezers.

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[VIDEO] 2 Injured in Shooting at Little Rock Air Force Base in Arkansas

Two people were hospitalized after shots were fired when a civilian tried to gain unauthorized access to the Little Rock Air Force Base Monday morning.


[VIDEO] THIS WEEK: Taliban Butchers 130 Schoolchildren; Sets Teacher on Fire In Front of Class | LAST WEEK: Hillary Clinton Claims We Need to ‘Empathize With’ Our Enemies

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Really?

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A plainclothes security officer escorts students rescued from nearby school during a Taliban attack in Peshawar, Pakistan, Tuesday, Dec. 16, 2014. Taliban gunmen stormed a military-run school in the northwestern Pakistani city, killing and wounding scores, officials said, in the worst attack to hit the country in over a year.(AP Photo/Mohammad Sajjad)

A plainclothes security officer escorts students rescued from nearby school during a Taliban attack in Peshawar, Pakistan, Tuesday, Dec. 16, 2014. Taliban gunmen stormed a military-run school in the northwestern Pakistani city, killing and wounding scores, officials said, in the worst attack to hit the country in over a year.(AP Photo/Mohammad Sajjad)

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AceofSpades


Post-Election News Dump: U.S. CDC Boosts National Stockpile of Ebola Protective Gear

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The CDC has ordered $2.7 million in personal protective equipment that is being configured into 50 kits for rapid deployment to hospitals, it said in a statement.

“We are making certain to not disrupt the orders submitted by states and hospitals, but we are building our stocks so that we can assist when needed.”

— Greg Burel, director of CDC’s Division of Strategic National Stockpile

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Some U.S. orders of protective equipment have been backlogged amid growing domestic demand, as manufacturers prioritize a flood of requests from aid agencies trying to curb the outbreak in West Africa. Read the rest of this entry »


As Hospital Prices Soar, a Stitch Tops $500

Two-year-old Ben Bellar of East Lansing, Mich., getting stitches after a fall at home. The bill for his treatment came to more than $2,000.Fabrizio Costantini for the New York Times

Two-year-old Ben Bellar of East Lansing, Mich., getting stitches after a fall at home. The bill for his treatment came to more than $2,000.Fabrizio Costantini for the New York Times

By  writes:  On a quiet Saturday in May, nurses in blue scrubs quickly ushered the two patients into treatment rooms. The wounds were cleaned, numbed and mended in under an hour. “It was great — they had good DVDs, the staff couldn’t have been nicer,” said Emer Duffy, Orla’s mother.

Then the bills arrived. Ms. Singh’s three stitches cost $2,229.11. Orla’s forehead was sealed with a dab of skin glue for $1,696. “When I first saw the charge, I said, ‘What could possibly have cost that much?’ ” recalled Ms. Singh. “They billed for everything, every pill.”

In a medical system notorious for opaque finances and inflated bills, nothing is more convoluted than hospital pricing, economists say. Hospital charges represent about a third of the $2.7 trillion annual United States health care bill, the biggest single segment, according to government statistics, and are the largest driver of medical inflation, a new study in The Journal of the American Medical Associationfound.

A day spent as an inpatient at an American hospital costs on average more than $4,000, five times the charge in many other developed countries, according to theInternational Federation of Health Plans, a global network of health insuranceindustries. The most expensive hospitals charge more than $12,500 a day. And at many of them, including California Pacific Medical Center, emergency rooms are profit centers. That is why one of the simplest and oldest medical procedures — closing a wound with a needle and thread — typically leads to bills of at least $1,500 and often much more. Read the rest of this entry »