1. People on a high-dose regimen of the widely-used cholesterol-reducing drug, Lipitor (generically-known as atorvastatin), may have a slightly increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes, particularly if they have several of the classic diabetes risk factors, a study published in The Journal of the American College of Cardiology. The other risk factors for type 2 diabetes including excess weight, high blood sugar, elevated triglycerides (a type of blood fat) and high blood pressure. Those four factors appear "very good at distinguishing people at high or low risk for developing new-onset diabetes with atorvastatin," said lead researcher Dr. David D. Waters of the University of California at San Francisco. "An important point," Waters contined, "is that the risk of developing new-onset diabetes and its complications (is) greatly outweighed by the benefit of statins in reducing cardiac death, heart attack and stroke." He also stressed that the diabetes risk tied to statin drugs such as Lipitor exists but is small. The trial included 3,800 adults who were diabetes-free at the outset of the trial. All the participants had a history of stroke or "mini" strokes known as transient ischemic attacks. The findings are based on data from three clinical trials comparing high-dose atorvastatin (80 milligrams) with either a lower dose statin or placebo pills in people with cardiovascular disease. In the trial with the placebo group, the study found, atorvastatin users had a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes over 5 years. Just under 9 percent did, versus 6 percent of the placebo group.
2. According to the newspaper, The Hollywood Reporter, television networks in Germany, Austria and Switzerland are screening episodes of the series and either pulling them altogether or replacing jokes that are "unsuitable" to air considering the situation in Japan. "The Simpsons" creator Al Jean told the magazine, Entertainment Weekly, that he understands if certain episodes are pulled. "We have 480 episodes, and if there are a few that they don't want to air for a while in light of the terrible thing going on, I completely understand that," he said. "We would never make light of what's happening in Japan." In normal times, Homer's hilariously inept antics at the Springfield nuclear plant are just another source of humor on The Simpsons. But, in light of the current nuclear crisis in Japan, the jokes may be seen as highly inappropriate and offensive to many viewers. Installments of the sometimes-controversial show have been pulled before. A 1997 episode, 'Homer Versus the City of New York' which took place at the World Trade Center, was pulled in 2001 after the 9/11 attacks. So far, Austria's ORF network has pulled the 1992 episode 'Marge Gets a Job' because it includes a scene where scientists Marie and Pierre Curie die of radiation poisoning, and the 2005 episode 'On a Clear Day I Can't See My Sister,' which includes nuclear meltdown jokes.
3. In The United Kingdom, nearly two-thirds of people do not regard themselves as "religious", a new survey reported. The survey commissioned by the British Humanist Association was carried out to coincide with the 2011 U. K. Census. The poll asked 1,900 adults in England and Wales the question "Are you religious?" While 61% of the poll's respondents said they did belong to a religion, 65% of those surveyed answered "no" to the further question: "Are you religious?" Among respondents who identified themselves as Christian, fewer than half said they believed Jesus Christ was a real person who died, came back to life and was the son of God. Another 27% said they did not believe that at all, while 25% were unsure. In a separate poll in Scotland, 42% of respondents said they did not belong to a religion, yet in a further question "Are you religious?" 56% answered "no". In The U.K. Anglican bishops are automatically members of the House of Lords.
4. For the first time, sales of U.S. wine surpassed France making the U.S. the largest consumer of wine in the world, according to recent figures released by the San Francisco-based Wine Institute. In 2010, an estimated 330 million cases were shipped to the U.S. from within the country as well as from foreign producers, which was an increase of 2 percent from the previous year and a record high for the industry. According to U. S. wine industry figures, that accounted for approximately $30 billion in retail sales of wine, up 4 percent from 2009. By comparison, France consumed 320.6 million cases in 2010. Wine from California accounted for 61 percent of the total volume share of the U.S. wine market, with sales at 199.6 million cases and revenues of $18.5 billion. However, there are wineries in all 50 U. S. states, even in frigid Alaska and semi-tropical Hawaii.
5. When it comes to the salaries of men and women in the workplace, an employee's body weight often determines the size of his or her paycheck, according to a study by the Journal of Applied Psychology. An article entitled "When It Comes to Pay, Do the Thin Win? The Effect of Weight on Pay for Men and Women" reported on a study which reinforced stereotypical notions about thin women who weigh significantly less than the group norm earning about $16,000 more a year (on average) than women who are overweight. However, the study found the opposite to be true for men, with thin men not reaping the benefits that their female counterparts do when it comes to their earning potential. Average-weight men, and even those who were overweight side earned about $8,000 more than their skinny male co-workers. Over the course of a 25-year career, these figures account for thin women earning $389,300 more than average-weight women, while thin men earn $210,925 less than the average male. The researchers for the study accounted for their findings to subconscious decisions based on social stereotypes.
6. A Texas construction worker badly disfigured in a power line accident two years ago has received t first full face transplant in The U. S. at a Boston hospital. More than 30 doctors, nurses and other staff at Brigham and Women's Hospital led by plastic surgeon Dr. Bohdan Pomahac performed the 15-hour operation last week on 25-year-old Dallas Wiens of Fort Worth, Texas. He was listed in good condition at the hospital today. The electrical accident in November 2008 left Wiens blind and without lips, a nose or eyebrows. In Boston, doctors transplanted an entire new face, including a nose, lips, skin and muscles and nerves that animate the skin and give sensation.. Wiens will not resemble "either what he used to be or the donor," but something in between, said Pomahac. "The tissues are really molded on a new person." The transplant was not able to restore Wiens' sight, and some nerves were so badly damaged from his injury that he likely will have only partial sensation on his left cheek and left forehead, the surgeon said. The surgery was paid for by The United States Defense Department; the hospital has a $3.4 million grant from the military for transplant research. The new federal health care law helped make the operation possible, by allowing Wiens to get insurance coverage for the expensive drugs he will need lifelong to prevent rejection of his new face. Wiens had no insurance when he was injured. The new law allowed him to qualify for coverage under his father's plan for the drugs until he turns 26 in May. Then he'll be eligible to receive Medicare, which covers the disabled as well as those over 65. The world's first face transplant, also a partial, was done in France in 2005 on a woman mauled by her dog.
7. The most recent statistics from the U. S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention say that the average number of annual visits to physician offices and hospitals regarding digestive system conditions total 42.2 million. And according to the American College of Gastroenterology, more than 95 million (or about 1 in 3)Americans suffer from poor digestion. The most common causes for digestive issues are cooked food, since heat destroys the natural enzymes found in raw foods that aid in digestion, and a person's aging because of a decline in enzyme production of about 13 percent with each passing decade. Experts agree that the following 10 items are likely to irritate one of more of these tummy-related conditions. They are mint /peppermint, sodas, fruit juices, beans, coffee, broccoli, tomatoes, fatty foods (particularly fried foods), chocolate, and milk-based products (including ice cream and cheeses). According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, an estimated 30 to 50 million American adults are lactose intolerant. Humans are the only species that continues to drink milk after weaning.