Multiple sclerosis more often transmitted by fathers

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Yesterday, a group of scientists from the U.S. and Canada, headed by O.H. Kantarci from the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, published an article in the professional journal Neurology on the transmission of multiple sclerosis (MS). The result of their studies is that the disease is transmitted to children more often when the father is the one having the disease.

In their studies, 441 children were examined whose fathers or mothers had MS, 45 of which were ill themselves. While only in 27 out of 323 cases, mothers transmitted the disease to their children – which makes 8,36 percent of the cases -, children of fathers with MS inherited it in 18 out of 117 cases – i.e. in 15,38 percent of the cases.

Dr. William Worrall Mayo, founder of the Mayo Clinic

MS is an illness caused by the immune system destroying nerves between the brain and the spinal cord. Later disorders consist of paralysis, speech disorders, impaired visions and problems in motion. Researchers found that MS is not a classical hereditary disease, but is caused by a number of genetic and outer impacts. Also, it is likely that several genes (with complex interactions) have an influence on the development of the disease.

The actual reasons for people to suffer from MS are still unknown. But what is known is that it occurs approximately twice as much in women than in men. And this could be the reason for fathers transmitting the disease to their children more often than mothers. The group thinks that men who are actually ill are carrying more genetic material causing the illness than women with MS which leads to a higher probability for their children to also have MS. This is known as the “Carter effect” in … Read More


Olympic highlights: August 11, 2008

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August 11, 2008 is the third main day of the 2008 Olympic games, the below article lists some of the highlights. As a lot of the new records were in swimming events, this article has several sections on swimming races.


  • 1 Events
    • 1.1 Women’s 100m Backstroke
    • 1.2 Men’s 100 m breaststroke
    • 1.3 Men’s 100m backstroke
    • 1.4 Men’s 10m air rifle
    • 1.5 Women’s 400m freestyle
    • 1.6 Men’s 4x100m freestyle relay
    • 1.7 Women’s 58kg weightlifting
    • 1.8 Women’s 200m Freestyle
  • 2 Medal Table
  • 3 Read More

Millions worldwide still in slavery

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The International Labour Organization (ILO) released a major report Wednesday, finding that currently more than 12.3 million people are enslaved worldwide. An estimated 2.4 million of them are victims of slave trafficking, and their combined labor generates profits of over 32 billion dollars annually.

Forced labor is “a social evil which has no place in the modern world,” said ILO Director-General Juan Somavia. “Forced labor represents the underside of globalization and denies people their basic rights and dignity… to achieve a fair globalization and decent work for all, it is imperative to eradicate forced labour,” added Somavia.

The new study confirms that slavery remains a major global problem to this day. The report breaks down slaves by continent:

  • 9.5 million forced laborers are in Asia, which is the region with the highest number
  • 1.3 million in Latin America and the Caribbean
  • 660,000 in sub-Saharan Africa
  • 260,000 in the Middle East and North Africa
  • 360,000 in industrialized countries
  • 210,000 in transition countries.

The study also reveals that slavery is present in all regions and in all types of economies.

Forced economic exploitation is more or less evenly divided between men and women, however forced commercial sexual exploitation involves almost entirely women and girls. In addition, children bear a heavy burden, comprising between 40 to 50 percent of all slaves.

There are at least two victims of forced labor for every 1,000 people worl … Read More

Russia to resume bomber patrols

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Russia is planning to resume a Soviet-era practice of sending its bomber aircraft on long-range flights, the Russian president Vladimir Putin has said. Mr Putin said the move to resume the flights after a 15 year suspension was in response to security threats posed by other military powers.

“I made a decision to restore flights of Russian strategic bombers on a permanent basis, and at 00:00 today, August 17, 14 strategic bombers, support aircraft and aerial tankers were deployed. Combat duty has begun, involving 20 aircraft.”

Mr. Putin said, speaking on the final day of military exercises involving Russia, China, and four Central Asian countries in the south Urals, said that on the first day of patrol flight, bomber planes would spend about 20 hours in the air, with midair refueling, and would interact with naval forces.

The Russian president added that although the country stopped strategic flights to remote regions in 1992, “Unfortunately, not everyone followed our example.” Other states’ long-distance strategic patrol flights have created certain problems for national security … Read More

Former Wikileaks employee destroys unpublished leaked documents

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A former Wikileaks employee has destroyed 3,500 unpublished leaks to Julian Assange’s site, and taken the site’s encrypted system to create a spinoff project.

Daniel Domscheit-Berg, Assange’s former right-hand man, left Wikileaks last year after a disagreement between the pair; and, has now demolished files sent to the Wikileaks site such as the US no-fly list, Bank of America documents and “detailed information about 20 neo-Nazi groups”.

Domscheit-Berg took the whistle-blower site’s submission system to create a rival-site, OpenLeaks, consequently Wikileaks will not be able to receive online leaked files, and will have to use “snail mail” from an Australian PO box.

In an interview with Der Spiegel, Domscheit-Berg said the unpublished documents had been shredded to protect their sources. In his book published this year, ‘Inside Wikileaks’, he revealed his motives for destroying the files and taking the encrypted system, writing, “children shouldn’t play with guns”. He stated the material would be returned to Assange “if and when he can prove that he can store the material securely and handle it carefully”.

Wikileaks retaliated, claiming the destroying of documents hindered the “leaking of many issues of public importance”, accusing Domsheit-Berg of theft and sabotage. Via twitter, Wikileaks gave several responses over the weekend, writing, “DDB spits on every courageous whistleblower who leaked data if they destroy the keys and refuse to return it”.

In a statement made by Wikileaks, Assange claims Domscheit-Berg was in contact with the FBI, and is assisting the US investigation into the site. Another statement from Wikileaks claims Domscheit-Berg has “repeatedly attempted to blackmail Wikileaks by threatening to make available, to forces that oppose Wikileaks, these private communications”.

On August 14, Wikileaks accused OpenLeaks of stealing its ideas. Domscheit-Berg aims to make the rival site a more transparent and democratic site than … Read More

Kent Hovind faces a 58-count federal indictment

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Creationist Kent Hovind was arrested and plead not guilty in a Florida federal court to 58 charges of filing a frivolous lawsuits, false complaints, making threats against investigators and those cooperating with the investigation, and includes failing to pay $473,818 in employee-related taxes.

Last Thursday, U.S. Magistrate Judge Miles Davis heard the charges in which Kent Hovind professed not to understand why he is being prosecuted asserting “I still don’t understand what I’m being charged for and who is charging me.”

Legal and taxes issues are nothing new for Kent Hovind, who often calls himself “Dr. Dino.” He has been in legal trouble with the IRS for at least 17 years on his claims that he is employed by God, receives no income, has no expenses and owns no property.

Hovind’s attorney, Assistant Public Defender Kafahni Nkrumah, told U.S. Magistrate Judge Miles Davis that the Hovinds “did not want to enter a plea because he does not believe the United States, the Internal Revenue Service and the U.S. Attorney’s Office “have jurisdiction in this matter.”

When Davis said he would enter a plea for Hovind if he continued to refuse, Hovind said he was entering a not guilty plea “under duress.” In the exchange Davis asked Hovind “if he wrote and spoke English, this man who claims a doctorate said, ‘To some degree’.”

Jo Hovind, who is facing 44 charges stood with her husband’s hand on her shoulder and “reiterated the gist of his statements.”

U.S. District Judge Casey Rodgers will preside over the September 5th trial.

Davis made Hovind surrender his passport, guns, and will not allow him to leave the court’s juristition since they consider him a flight risk. On July 21, 2006 a missionary group in South Africa filed a petition to lift the travel restrictions. In part, Hovind claims the travel restrictions “violate the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.”

Hovind’s public defender Kafahni Nkrumah, states “Mr. Hovind contends that the conditions imposed upon him by Magistrate Davis impose a burden on the free exercise of defendant’s religion, in violation of the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.”

No date to hear the appeal against the travel restrictions is … Read More

Italian Air Force transport wreck kills five

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A transport aircraft belonging to the Italian Air Force has crashed near Pisa. All five on board the C-130 Hercules were killed.

The aircraft was on a training mission when it went down onto a railway line close to a military airport. It had been approaching for landing when it swerved to one side and crashed, according to Pisa’s fire brigade. An electrical fire was triggered at the railway line, but no trains were endangered.

The plane left the airport at 2:10 p.m. and was returning shortly after at the time of the accident. As well as the fire service, police, ambulances and airport rescue workers attended the scene. The crash was away from the main city and no-one on the ground was injured. An investigation has been … Read More