MERS sickens 3 in Saudi Arabia as Korean patient relapses | CIDRAP

The latest developments lift Saudi Arabia’s total from the disease to 1,254, including 539 deaths. So far 703 people have recovered from their infections.In its latest breakdown on the source of infections, the MOH said 33% of patients were exposed to the virus in healthcare settings and 12% are healthcare workers who were infected at their workplace.  Source: MERS sickens 3 in Saudi Arabia as Korean patient relapses | CIDRAP

[M]ERS virus infection probably isn’t at the top of your news watch, but I try to look in on it daily. There has been moderate rise in the infections in Saudi Arabia, and recently about two dozen African pilgrims to Mecca returned to their home countries only to be placed in isolation (all have been cleared now). Both the Korean outbreak and the recent spate of infections in SA appear to center around hospitals and healthcare workers, which leads public health experts to deduce that MERS spreads very easily in a healthcare setting. But it also may mean that people with compromised health to begin with are more apt to become ill. What is sobering are the number of deaths which indicate a death rate of about 42%.

Russian Embassy Hit by Rocket-Fire

[T]his morning’s report from the Times of India implies that Al Qaeda in Syria in responsible, but more may emerge as the Russians investigate.

Two rockets struck the Russian embassy in Damascus on Tuesday sparking panic as several hundred people gathered to express their support for Moscow’s air war in Syria. (Source: Panic as rockets hit Russian embassy in Damascus – The Times of India)

As we watch the proxy war begin between Russia and the Western powers (you can read that as NATO for now), I can’t help thinking about the ‘Burden of Damascus’ in Isaiah 17 which begins:

The burden of Damascus. Behold, Damascus is taken away from being a city, and it shall be a ruinous heap. The cities of Aroer are forsaken: they shall be for flocks, which shall lie down, and none shall make them afraid. The fortress also shall cease from Ephraim, and the kingdom from Damascus, and the remnant of Syria: they shall be as the glory of the children of Israel, saith the LORD of hosts. (Isa. 17:1-3)

Than if you skip down a verse or two, you find that Israel, at that time, will be in distress as well. But in that time of famine and distress, we’re told:

At that day shall a man look to his Maker, and his eyes shall have respect to the Holy One of Israel.

Israel is coming to a time when they will be surrounded by enemies, but there is hope, for this final shaking in the land will draw their eyes to the true Maker and to the true Messiah–the Holy One of Israel.

The Future of Medicine: Deciphering a Major Clue in the SOTU

Wikimedia Commons illustration of 'tissue on a chip' concept.
Wikimedia Commons illustration of ’tissue on a chip’ concept.

[L]ast night’s ‘State of the Union’ speech contained loads of platitudes, congratulatory back-pats, and perhaps a few misleading statements (jobs numbers, for one—and the implication that Americans are better off now for another), but that’s not what I intend to write about this morning. Instead, I’d like to take a long at a little bomb our President dropped that may indicate the direction healthcare is heading in the near future.

Here’s the quote:

21st century businesses will rely on American science, technology, research and development. I want the country that eliminated polio and mapped the human genome to lead a new era of medicine — one that delivers the right treatment at the right time. In some patients with cystic fibrosis, this approach has reversed a disease once thought unstoppable. Tonight, I’m launching a new Precision Medicine Initiative to bring us closer to curing diseases like cancer and diabetes — and to give all of us access to the personalized information we need to keep ourselves and our families healthier.

The President loves doing as much as he can to circumvent Congress, so he’s signed memoranda, letters, and executive orders on an almost daily basis. Now, the ‘Precision Medicine Initiative’ has not yet been signed (or at least, it is not showing up as such on the Internet—the only references are to last night’s speech), but if it is signed, then we can probably see how it might be structured by looking at the current budget requests from the National Institutes of Health. Continue reading “The Future of Medicine: Deciphering a Major Clue in the SOTU”

Mind Control, Spiritual Wickedness, or Insanity?

Racist slaughtered partner and daughter; spared youngest child because she was ‘pure Aryan’

And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. – Gen. 6:5

Racist slaughtered partner and daughter but spared youngest child because she was  pure Aryan    Mail Online
Screen cap of Daily Mail article. Click to see full image.

[I]n the Old Testament, we’re told that the Lord God saw the continual evil in the world and declared that the Earth must be cleansed, so He sent a flood to wipe out all that drew breath. The only survivors of that deluge were Noah, his wife, his sons and their wives; eight in all. Now, as we approach the final age of life as we know it, evil appears to be running rampant through the streets and behind the closed doors of the houses on those streets. In fact, not a day goes by without major headlines relating chilling accounts of mutilations, mayhem, and murder.

Take for instance, today’s story about the court proceedings centering on a husband and father who suddenly murdered his live-in girlfriend and one of two daughters–leaving his other daughter alive because she has ‘pure Aryan blood’. According to the court record, John Miller of Garforth, West Yorkshire watched the British nighttime soap Coronation Street with his family before butchering them. Why? Miller’s defense is that he received signals from his microwave and computer: Continue reading “Mind Control, Spiritual Wickedness, or Insanity?”