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Fake Conferences Alert!! Beware of E-mail Invitations

By |November 25, 2009|Fraud, Legal Issues, News|

The newest type of internet scam is looking like ID theft attempts. The imagination of these jokers is getting rather sophisticated. The authors of The Scientist Blog have reported two of them just in the last 4 months!! The first was on Aug, 19th 2009. It had reported;

A month or two ago, David Iovannisci, a geneticist studying heart disease at Children’s Hospital Oakland Research Institute in California, received an email invitation to speak at the “1st International Cardiology Conngress” in Shanghai, to be held on 5-7 December of this year. The email, signed by Alex Li, provided a (now defunct) link to the conference program at www.internationalcardiologycongress.com, which listed several speakers from well-known institutions, both in the US and abroad.

The second, posted just yesterday, Nov 24th 2009, asks the question, “Are phony academic conferences the new Nigerian princes of the internet?” Well they just might be, only time will tell. The post goes on to say;

Last week, I received an email from someone going by the name of Alyssa Logan, who claimed to be “Youth Leader” at a group called the Action World International Organization (AWIO) and a member of the International Committee of the Red Cross. In the message, Logan invited me to the “Seventh Annual International Global combine Conference on Global Economy and Human Welfare” that AWIO was hosting.

To read more on these scam reports you will need to register for a free account on The Scientist Blog’s website. They will not end up sending you out a bunch of spam email, only email alerts that you decide you wish to see. So don’t let the fear of that prevent you from using this excellent resource. The two posts can be accessed directly below.

Another fake conference?
[24th November 2009]

Conference kerfuffle hits scientists
[19th August 2009]

The NEW, “The New Oxford Book of Food Plants”

By |September 20, 2009|Books, Education, Health, Nutrition|

The following is taken from TheScientist.com’s Blog entry from Friday (09/18/2009) Posted by Margaret Guthrie:

“The book presents detailed nutritional information on food plants, including insight into hybridization and genetic modification, such as genetic engineering to reduce cell-wall softening in tomatoes, one of the world’s most popular “vegetables.” …… Details of vegetative components are given, along with analysis of “other biologically active substances” like antioxidants, flavonoids and tannins.

Not given over entirely to facts, charts and tables, The New Oxford Book of Food Plants also contains quirky passages that entertain as they illuminate. For example, nestled into the entry for spinach: “[Spinach] was reputed to have very high content of iron but this is a myth due to the incorrect placing of a decimal point in the calculations of Dr. von Wolf at the end of the nineteenth century, although recalculated in the 1930s.”

All in all, The New Oxford Book of Food Plants is an essential and engaging reference for everyone from casual readers and curious cooks to nutritionists and food writers. The book is due in bookstores on September 25.

The New Oxford Book of Food Plants, 2nd Edition, by J.G. Vaughan and C.A. Geissler, Oxford University Press USA, 2009. 288 pp. ISBN: 978-0-199-54946-7. $39.95.”

Class Action Suit Filed in NJ US District Court

By |August 1, 2009|Legal Action, Legal Issues, Media|

A class action suit was filed July 29, 2009 in U.S. District Court, District of New Jersey by Buttaci & Leardi, LLC and the renowned class action law firm of Pomerantz Haudek Grossman & Gross LLP. These firms have been retained by the Association of New Jersey Chiropractors (ANJC) on behalf of it’s membership, chiropractors and other health care providers. The suit alleges that Aetna’s post-payment audit process is violative of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (‘ERISA’). It further alleges that Aetna’s post-payment audit process and its pre-payment claim review process violate the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (‘RICO’) and calls into question the retroactive application of Aetna’s clinical policy bulletins in order to deny provided services previously paid under their claims. These clinical policy bulletins are being used as the basis for demanding refunds of payments for services rendered, and previously determined as payable, as experimental and/or unproven to be clinically effective.

Further information about the suit (case # 3:09-CV-03761-JAP-TJB) can be found through the following links;

Modafinil May Be Addictive

By |June 25, 2009|Ethics, Health, News, Research|

Modafinil is a popular drug used by people who want or need to stay alert. It has become a popular stimulant, used by soldiers to stay awake and by citizens looking for a safe brain boost, including one in 10 researchers. The FDA issued their “Approved” stamp for it to be used for treating narcolepsy and sleep disorders in 1998. At that time, scientists claimed that it did not change levels of dopamine in those who took the drug. Increases in dopamine levels are considered a chemical signature of possible addictiveness to a drug. Since its FDA approval, modafinil is now being used “off-label” to treat depression, Parkinson’s disease and fatigue.

However, the March 2009 issue of JAMA published this study;

Volkow N, et. al., Effects of Modafinil on Dopamine and Dopamine Transporters in the Male Human Brain., JAMA, Vol. 301, No. 11, March 18, 2009.

You can read more on this report at the Wired Science Blog.