Cloned cattle’s milk and meat seem safe, according to new study

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

A National Academy of Sciences report (.pdf) last year said that while the milk and meat from cloned animals would not likely make anyone sick, more research should be performed. Now, a new US-Japan study published in the April 11 online issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences says that milk and meat from cloned cattle does indeed appear to meet industry standards and appears to be safe for human consumption.

As BBC News reports, the scientists, led by Professor Jerry Yang from the University of Connecticut, compared the produce from two beef and four dairy clones, all derived from a single Holstein dairy cow and a single Japanese black bull, with the produce from normal animals of similar age and breed.

The meat was analysed against more than 100 physiological, tissue and cellular components, while the milk was analysed for protein, fat and other variables. No significant differences between the produce of cloned and normal cattle were found. Higher levels of fat and fatty acids were found in the cloned cow meat, but they still fell within beef industry standards.

While the study showed the cloned produce to be within the range approved for human consumption, the scientists stressed that the research was still in its early stages. Their findings, they said, provide “guidelines” for further research with larger numbers of clones from different genetic backgrounds.

Cloning livestock may one day increase yields by copying those animals that are especially productive and especially resistant to disease.

“The milking production levels in the US are three to four times higher than levels in China; maybe even five times or more compared to cows in India and some other countries,” Professor Jerry Yang told BBC News. “Therefore cloning could offer technology for duplicating superior farm animals. However, all the products from these cloned animals must be safe for human consumption. …and it is a major issue for scientists to provide a scientific basis for the data and information to address this question.”

As USA Today reports, there is currently no law governing the sale of meat or milk from the estimated 1,000 to 2,000 cloned farm animals in the USA. But since 2003, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has asked producers to voluntarily keep the meat and milk of these animals, and that of their offspring, out of the food supply.

Wired News reports that companies like ViaGen and Cyagra, which offer livestock-cloning services, have also been waiting for several years for a final say from the FDA.

“For the United States agricultural industry, (cloning) can reduce the number of cows necessary for milking,” said Jerry Yang “They can have a pleasant environment and produce even more milk.” He also said that cloning cattle from the United States, where genetic breeding is more advanced, could save developing countries 50 years of breeding.

The idea of cloning animals for human consumption is not without its critics. First, there are the welfare concerns, as most cloned animals do not make it to term before being born, and many of those that do are born deformed or prone to illness. The Humane Society of the United States has asked for a ban on milk and meat from clones for just this reason. Second, there is still the concern that healthy clones may have subtle defects that could make their food products unsafe to eat.

As the Washington Post reports, some critics are asking why it is necessary to clone cows that produce huge amounts of milk when surpluses, rather than shortages, are the main problem facing the U.S. dairy industry today.

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New ‘Star Wars’ film to be released in August

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

George Lucas has announced that there will be one last Star Wars movie to end the saga, but it won’t have any actors visible.

Star Wars: The Clone Wars, an animated film is scheduled to be released into theaters on August 15 of this year.

“I felt there were a lot more ‘Star Wars’ stories left to tell. I was eager to start telling some of them through animation and, at the same time, push the art of animation forward,” said Lucas in a statement to the media.

Lucas says that although the film is animated, people can expect the same kind of galactic space battles and action that all the other Star Wars films have. The approximate running time of the film is 100 minutes.

The film is produced by Warner Brothers and Lucasfilm LTD. The new movie is also set to continue as an animated, 30 minute “mini-movie” series this autumn. The show can be seen on the Cartoon Network.

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FTC begins antitrust inquiry of Google

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Google has confirmed that it has “received formal notification,” that the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is investigating its business practices. The acknowledgment was posted on the internet search engine company’s blog Friday. Google said it was unclear about the nature of the probe.

A broad FTC investigation would cause the company be tied up in defending itself for years, and according to Bloomberg, might well be the government’s biggest antitrust case since the Microsoft probe.

The FTC will likely launch an anti-trust investigation, as the company has been the target of many past smaller ones, according to CNN.

Mercury News reported Friday morning that the FTC review will probably focus on whether Google is using its dominance in the internet search business to promote its own products and services. Google’s rivals say Google unfairly profits from its monopoly in the search engine business by using its search services to point users of its internet search engine to its own sites and services while hiding links to its competitors.

It’s still unclear exactly what the FTC’s concerns are, but we’re clear about where we stand. Since the beginning, we have been guided by the idea that, if we focus on the user, all else will follow.

The FCC probe is expected to determine if Google abuses it market dominance to promote moneymaking online marketing, such as its mapping, comparison shopping and travel services. According to CNN, “Google dominates search in the United States, controlling about two-thirds of the market, according to comScore. It also licenses the world’s largest smartphone operating system, and its share of U.S. display advertising revenue recently eclipsed long-time leader Yahoo.”

Google’s response is that most complaints of anticompetitive behavior come from companies who are displeased with their ranking in Google’s search engine. However, Joshua Wright, law professor at George Mason University said the FTC will be looking at possible harm to users and not complaints by Google’s competitors.

Melissa Maxman, co-chair of a Washington-based, antitrust practice group, said the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection unit will almost certainly be involved to see if Google deceives search engine users by screening search results to profit its own services. She said she would be “shocked” if the consumer protection unit was not involved.

Google Fellow Amit Singhal said in the post, “We respect the FTC’s process and will be working with them (as we have with other agencies) over the coming months to answer questions about Google and our services.” But Singhal acknowledged, “It’s still unclear exactly what the FTC’s concerns are, but we’re clear about where we stand. Since the beginning, we have been guided by the idea that, if we focus on the user, all else will follow.”

Bloomberg reported Friday: “Google has set aside $500 million for a U.S. government investigation into online pharmacy ads the company accepted that may have violated the law.”

Google’s efforts to improve privacy policies after last years’ determination that its social-networking service Google Buzz used deceptive tactics, are currently being overseen by the FTC.

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Condo Living Is An Investment For Great Returns

By Adriana J. Noton

With today’s tough economy real estate has really gone down tremendously. This would be a great time to invest in rental properties if one can afford it. For the family that currently has a home of their own that may or may not have been paid off, this could be a great opportunity to think about purchasing another piece of property. Condo living is an investment and could bring in great rental income if one were interested in this kind of arrangement.

The prices of condo’s have dropped so drastically and is really much more reachable for most folks now. This is an excellent opportunity for individuals who have been saving and waiting for just the right time. Some say like the stock market timing is everything and one should buy low and sell high. This is true with real estate as well and can be a great way to invest in something more solid.

One of the benefits of home ownership is the tax benefits one will receive. This could be a tremendous benefit for the individual who works out of their home and itemizes on a regular basis on their tax returns. Most home owners who do their taxes this way get back very healthy returns.

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One of the first steps to make would be to get pre-approved for a mortgage loan. This is a step that lets the seller know that he is dealing with a serious potential buyer. This can make all the difference in the world especially when one is really interested in a particular piece of real estate and the other competitors might not have been pre-approved.

The next steps would be to find a resourceful and hardworking Realtor. This licensed professional will have to get an idea of what one is looking to buy as each client has a different set of preferences. For instance how many bedrooms and bathrooms would be necessary might be one of the must have’s.

The location of a property is very important as well. One might want to consider what supermarkets, dry cleaners, gas stations, schools and banks are close by. These things might not seem as important on the surface but when one is tired from commuting or not feeling well, most will not want to travel great distances to get the basics for everyday living.

The length of commuting from home to work should also be of concern. If one takes public transportation to work currently does this city have bus stops that are close to the new residence of interest. How often will it run and is it a twenty four hour type service or does it have a cut off time.

Condo living is an investment and can become a great resource for additional funds if one found a great opportunity. This can also be a great residence for an individual who is not interested in maintaining a larger back yard. This is especially true if the yard where furnished with flowers and plants that needed plenty of attention.

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U.S. retailers sue world’s largest credit card issuer

Saturday, July 16, 2005

U.S. retail chain stores Kroger’s, Walgreens and five other food and drugstore chains have filed a lawsuit against the world’s largest credit card company, Visa International Inc. The federal lawsuit claims the company practices fee fixing on transactions, and with restricting competition among member banks.

The retail merchants claim that Visa acts in collusion with its member banks to fix transaction fees taken as a percentage of each retail sale. The suit was filed Thursday in the U.S. District Court in Manhattan, and seeks unspecified damages.

Member banks, those banks that issue and process merchants’ Visa transactions, are unable to negotiate transaction fees directly with the merchant, and merchants are forced to accept Visa purchases regardless of the issuing bank. The complaint says, “The merchant restraints have resulted in exorbitant interchange fees that bear no relationship to the cost of the services being provided.”

Merchants see the rising use of card transactions and the effect it has on their bottom line. The interchange fees are currently 1.75% from most banks, but on some cards it rose this year to 2.9%. The National Retail Federation said for 2004 that between Visa and MasterCard, they pulled in $17.4 billion, a surcharge borne by the consumer regardless of whether they pay by cash or plastic.

Retailers do not oppose transaction fees, but believe they should be based on market forces. They claim that technology has lowered the cost of processing the transactions, but the savings is not being passed along to them. There are currently four major credit card providers in the U.S.

Webpronews writer John Smith cites this merchant quote: “The collective setting of interchange fees by Visa and its member banks constitutes horizontal price-fixing that leads to higher retail prices for our customers,” said Paul Heldman, Kroger senior vice president and general counsel. “This hidden cost must be borne by all Kroger customers, whether they pay for their groceries with cash, by check or by debit or credit card. At a time when technology has made card authorization and processing faster, cheaper, safer and more efficient than ever, we believe that our customers should be receiving the benefit of declining interchange fees. Instead, Visa is using its extraordinary market power to profit at our customers’ expense.”

A small group of Connecticut retailers filed a similar lawsuit last month naming along with Visa, MasterCard and several other large banks. The suit was filed in Connecticut’s federal court. That suit also calls the fees “exorbitant”.

The Vice-President of Visa, Paul Cohen, said “It appears this is another in a series of attempts by some merchants to receive all the value of electronic payments, while shifting their normal costs of doing business onto consumers.”

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Canadian university students would prefer MP3 players over car radios

Friday, March 30, 2007

At Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada, students are finding that popular MP3 players, such as Apple’s iPod, are very convenient devices for listening to music at the gym, while traveling on foot, and in the car.

In a recent ad-hoc survey conducted by Wikinews contributor Darren Mar, 150 students were randomly pulled aside in the hallways of the university, and asked if they own an MP3 player. 94 of the 150 students (62.66%) did in fact own MP3 devices, most of who were found to be carrying it on them when questioned. There was one simple follow up question for those who had a player: “If it were possible to have complete and safe control of the device on the steering wheel of a car, would you rather listen to your device, or the radio?” There were three answers possible, yes, no or both. Of the 94, 78 (82.98%) said yes, eleven (11.70%) said no, and five (5.32%) said both. The reporting took place primarily on March 16, 2007. The reasons for those who would listen to their device were commercial free music, personalized choice of music, and complete control of what you are listening to.

This study was motivated by the new design of 2006+ model cars. Many are being built with auxiliary jacks for the stock radio, allowing the driver to easily connect any audio playing device to the car’s sound system with a simple 3.5mm plug. What’s more, cars in the upper price echelon are being built with (1) a custom made area in the dash for MP3 players (iPod’s being the most popular), and (2) implementing audio device control right onto the steering wheel. A good example of this is the Ford Fusion or the 2007 Lexus IS250: “The centre console input port allows an iPod, MP3 or Windows Media Audio player to be plugged into the IS audio system.”

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Report urges Kenya to ban plastic bags

Wednesday, March 9, 2005File:Plastic bag stock sized.jpg

They are cheap, useful, and very plentiful, and that is exactly the problem, according to researchers. A report issued on Feb. 23 by a cadre of environment and economics researchers suggested that Kenya should ban the common plastic bag that one gets at the checkout counter of grocery stores, and place a levy on other plastic bags, all to combat the country’s environmental problems stemming from the bags’ popularity.

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The Tips And Tricks To Save Money While Getting Inward Remittance

Nowadays, everyone is eager to earn money from the comfort of the home. There are many ways and means to earn money easily if you are well-versed in one of the technologies. The writing, video marketing and digital marketing has been proved to be a boon for the people. The people have been receiving handsome amount money with far-less effort and time from the comfort of their home and computer. For many 9 to 5 jobs have been completely obsolete.

If you know some of the technology like website development, design and development then earning some bucks at home can be extremely easy. Writing has a plethora of opportunities in the overseas market. You can search on the Google as to the new technology by which the freelancer gets money. Some of the new comers in the field of freelancing face some problem in the beginning to receive money and even they don’t know as to how to save money from inward remittance.

We will guide you as to how to save money if someonesend money to India from Australia or from any other countries of the world.

Understanding the exchange rate

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If you are a new comer, you may not know as to the exchange rate. Before receiving money you should check the exchange rate on the internet. There are various portals that offers free checking of currency exchange rate. The portal xe.com is highly popular for the checking exchange rate of any countries in the world. If you know the exchange rate, then there is a possibility that no one can cheat you while getting money.

Finding the difference

You should not believe always on the xe.com as it offers only mid-market rate. Sometimes the bank may offer you the best rate than xe.com

Getting money by PayPal

Though PayPal is one of the best ways to remit money and receive money from across the world, it is expensive once it reaches your account. You will be surprised that even you lost almost 7% of the money after receiving money in your account.

Getting money by Western Union

The western union is one of the traditional companies in the world that helps getting money from the international market. Your client maytransfer money to Sri Lanka or my remit it to Singapore Western Union does it very well. If you have demanded 100 USD, then you don’t need to pay extra charges. Your client is likely to bear all.

Receiving money by Wire transfer

Wire transfer is synonymous to bank transfer. It is a kind of electronic money transfer that remits money from one country to another country between 24 hours to 72 hours.

There are many other ways to receive money from the international market as a freelancer. However, you need to check which country is giving you more money. You may get more money for clients in the USA than Singapore since US dollar is more valuable than Singapore. Basically, you can get more money if you work for the clients in Europe, North America and Australia as well. Getting clients from USA, UK, Canada and Australia is easier than other countries.

Inventor Ronald Howes dies at age 83

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Ronald Howes died at the age of 83 on Tuesday. Howes was best known for his invention of the Easy-Bake Oven. As director of research and new product development for Cincinnati-based Kenner Products, Howes made his famous invention in the early 1960s. The inspiration came from hearing the sentiment of a Kenner salesman returning from a trip to New York City. Kenner engineers concluded that the safest and most practical method of heating the Easy-Bake would be to use a light bulb. The bulb was later replaced by a heating element.

Howes was raised by his German grandmother and her American husband, as his mother died soon after his birth. He attended Walnut Hills High School but left during World War II to enlist in the United States Navy. Nancy Howes remarked that his grandmother assisted him in, “fib[bing] about his age”. Howes later attended the University of Cincinnati. According to Christopher Howes, his son, one of his first jobs at Kenner was to remove potentially poisonous chemicals from the toy Play-Doh. Howes also contributed to what would later become a modern version of the Spirograph.

Christopher Howes said, “He had a fondness for the innocent, simple things in life.” Howes continued to consider possible product designs even outside of work. His wife remarked, “We no longer have a garage in our house – it’s a physics lab”. Howes was also a spiritual man and often taught Catechism classes for the Catholic Church. He had six children and fourteen grandchildren during his lifetime.

A memorial will be held in his honor next Monday, at the Immaculate Heart of Mary Church.

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