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     Volume 5 Issue 100 | June 23, 2006 |

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Overcoming the loss of a loved one
Netherlands scientists have offered the first conceptualisation of what's known as the Complicated Grief Syndrome. CG is a debilitating clinical syndrome that can develop when a person is unable to cope with the death of a loved one. The study, led by Paul Boelen, a psychotherapist and an assistant professor at Utrecht University, is the first that can be used as a framework for cognitive-behavioral treatment strategies. CG is defined as a combination of separation distress and traumatic distress that causes persistent and significant problems in a person's functioning for at least six months following a death. The authors explain that, at the core of CG, the loss is poorly integrated into memory. Patients often experience the separation as very distinct, significant, and emotional as if it was new. Many have the sense that the loved one is still alive and will soon return. They continue to engage in automatic responses aimed at restoring closeness to the deceased and withdraw from social and recreational activities.

Flash drive provides emergency information
An Oklahoma computer expert has devised a portable flash drive that can store a person's medical information for use in an emergency. Dirk VanBuskirk was initially influenced by his wife's allergic reaction to a metal medical bracelet she wore alerting emergency workers to her diabetic condition. VanBuskirk used his experience as a computer programmer to create a flash drive that people can carry on key rings or wear as necklaces -- with no allergic reactions - to provide emergency medical information. The invention, called Med-Flash, is about the size of a small package of bubble gum, the newspaper said, capable of storing about four pages -- 64 megabytes -- of information, including a person's name, address, allergies, religious preference and medical history, along with an identification photo. In an emergency, ambulance technicians or emergency room physicians can plug Med-Flash into any computer USB port, using Notepad or Wordpad to display a patient's medical history.

Dino remains in Argentina
Scientific illustration of a "Cathersaura" 20m long dinosaur which was discovered by Argentinian paleontologists on the Patagonic site of La Buitrera, 1300 km from Buenos Aires, Argentina, this June.

The "Cathersaura" who lived 90 millions years ago belongs to the same family than its African cousin the Nigersaur.

Men good at anger, women with joy
A Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) study shows men are good at noticing angry faces, with women good at noticing surprised, sad or joyful expressions. The really interesting effect is the difference between males and females, says Mark Williams, the study's lead author. Williams, a MIT postdoctoral fellow -- along with study co-author Jason Mattingley, a psychology professor at Australia's University of Melbourne -- wanted to determine how people identified emotions reflected in facial expressions. The researchers showed pictures of human faces to 78 men and 78 women, with the photographs displaying varying expressions of anger, fear, happiness, surprise, disgust or neutrality. Participants were then asked in separate procedures to identify the emotions from among neutral ones. Williams and Mattingley said both men and women consistently detected angry faces more quickly than terrified ones but the ease of detecting those angry faces depended on the participant's sex. Men, the scientists found, were significantly faster than women when asked to find an angry face. On the other hand, women were quicker in identifying happy, sad, surprised or disgusted faces than were males.

Electronic systems cut rollover crashes
Equipping U.S. cars with electronic stability control systems could save 10,000 lives annually by preventing rollover crashes. The report by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety said that the number of rollover fatalities would be cut 80 percent if all sports utility vehicles had the systems, the Boston Globe reported. Electronic systems reduce rollovers by automatically adjusting brakes and throttle in turns. The report said they are standard on about 40 percent of the cars sold in the United States, optional on 15 percent and not available on the others. Car companies sometimes make the systems prohibitively expensive by bundling them with other options and charging as much as $2,000 for the package. But analysts told the Globe that regulators may step in as evidence mounts on reducing rollover crashes. I think it's the biggest thing since the seat belt, said Erich Merkle, director of marketing for IRN Inc., a Michigan consultant.

Jaguar Likes Fun, Ford Amors Mexico
Jaguar announced an entertainment upgrade that enables two rear passengers to independently entertain themselves. The Rear Screen Connectivity System includes two 7 inch LCD panels, wireless headphones, and input jacks for DVD and MP3 players. The kit also includes a memory card slot for viewing digital photos and videos. Would you pay $600 for this convenience? Maybe, but you'll have to pay closer to $2K as Jaguar is asking for $1,500 plus an installation fee. I don't see an outlet for plugging in these devices or iPod jack, and the screen isn't any bigger than what you can get on a portable DVD player, so I'm not sure what the attraction is. Also, parent company Ford is reportedly helping to stem the immigration from south of the border by creating 150,000 jobs in Mexico. According to a leaked company memo, Ford will spend up to $9 billion during the next six years in Mexico.


Compiled by IMRAN H. KHAN

Source: AFP, Wired and Webindia123


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