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Preview: Seattle Post-Intelligencer: Science Health & Science News From the Associated Press


Texas neurosurgeon sentenced to life for maiming patients

Mon, 20 Feb 2017 23:18:01 UT

DALLAS (AP) — Jurors sentenced a former Dallas neurosurgeon to life in prison on Monday for maiming patients who had turned to him for surgery to resolve debilitating injuries. The decision came almost a week after the Dallas County jury convicted 44-year-old Christopher Duntsch of first-degree felony injury to an elderly person. Prosecutors alleged numerous cases of malpractice against the former Plano physician, including that he improperly placed screws and plates along patients' spines, left a sponge in another patient and cut a major vein in another.

Uber to investigate sexual harassment claim by engineer

Mon, 20 Feb 2017 22:24:58 UT

LONDON (AP) — Uber's chief executive ordered an investigation Monday into a sexual-harassment claim made by a female engineer who said her prospects at the company evaporated after she complained about advances from her boss. "Upper management told me that he 'was a high performer' (i.e. had stellar performance reviews from his superiors) and they wouldn't feel comfortable punishing him for what was probably just an innocent mistake on his part," she wrote. Rigetti's remarks will strike a nerve among those trying to bolster the number of women in science and engineering, who have long argued that the male-dominated atmosphere discourages talented women from seeking careers in the sector. "The answer to that is for companies to take proactive steps to increase the number of women who want to enter these fields and to make sure that they encounter a level playing field once they get there," Rhode said.

Big hit for Bulls, 'Benny's Day Off' connects online

Mon, 20 Feb 2017 22:12:35 UT

CHICAGO (AP) — Dancing on the roof, microphone in hand as he lip-synched to "Twist and Shout," Benny the Bull was putting on quite a performance as his tricked-out black van rolled through downtown Chicago. The story starring the Chicago Bulls' mascot played out almost in real time on social media on a recent Monday, with scenes posted on Snapchat right after they were recorded throughout the day. The NBA, including team and player accounts, has about 1.3 billion likes and followers over various social media platforms. The Bulls, by their own count, rank second to the Los Angeles Lakers among major North American sports franchises, with nearly 25 million followers across Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, YouTube and Instagram. NBA associate vice president of social media Sam Farber said a "vast majority" who follow the league's account are younger than 24. The NBA's relationship with Snapchat started in 2014 and expanded this season with more in-game content and behind-the-scenes coverage. The shoot starts in a storage room just off the United Center floor that's stuffed with costumes and uniforms. The Second City crew had to be available, and the shoots at the shop in Chinatown and the movie theater had to be arranged. [...] City's Jeffrey Murdoch is channeling Ben Stein as the economics teacher as he takes attendance. Instead of a classic 1961 Ferrari 250 GT California, they're using a vintage 1998 Lexus ES 300 that Bulls manager of corporate communications Ross Lipschultz purchased from his grandparents. The bull in the China shop drops a large glass egg — which actually lands on a team employee lying on the floor off camera — before getting kicked out of the store. There's Benny, to the tune of "Danke Schoen," standing outside a North Side movie theater and two "fans" freaking out as he passes them on an escalator. Not long after, he's shown leaning against the side of his van with a large image of h

APNewsBreak: Utah's anesthesia abortion law unenforced

Mon, 20 Feb 2017 20:46:02 UT

Dr. Leah Torres, one of five or six licensed physicians who perform these elective abortions at the clinic, said she went to legislators, the governor's office and the attorney general's office seeking an explanation on what treatment she's supposed to give. Dr. M. Sean Esplin, a Utah physician who performs these abortions in emergency situations, such as if the mother's life is at risk, which is not covered by the law, said a strict interpretation could force doctors to choose between two risky procedures: The law, he said, "is, in my opinion, a waste of our money and our time by someone who is trying to make a political statement and really not worried about what's best medically or what's best for people's health." The Utah law has no definition of legal fetal anesthetics or whether doctors have complied if women receive anesthesia or painkillers during abortions with those drugs passing to the fetus. Dr. David Turok, another physician who provides the abortions at the Planned Parenthood clinic, said he tells his patients that research shows fetuses likely cannot feel pain prior to 24 weeks but believes he is probably following the law by giving women moderate sedation.

Teen suicide attempts fell as same-sex marriage became legal

Mon, 20 Feb 2017 19:42:57 UT

CHICAGO (AP) — Teen suicide attempts in the U.S. declined after same-sex marriage became legal and the biggest impact was among gay, lesbian and bisexual kids, a study found. Laws that have the greatest impact on gay adults may make gay kids feel "more hopeful for the future," said lead author Julia Raifman, a researcher at Johns Hopkins' Bloomberg School of Public Health. The researchers analyzed data on more than 700,000 public high school students who participated in government surveys on risky youth behavior from 1999 through 2015, the year the Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage. The new work makes an important contribution to identifying how laws limiting gay rights may affect psychological and physical health, said Columbia University public health researcher Mark Hatzenbuehler.

AP, other media ask judge to order release of iPhone records

Mon, 20 Feb 2017 18:57:33 UT

"While it is undisputed that the vendor developed the iPhone access tool, the government has identified no rational reason why knowing the vendor's identity is linked in any way to the substance of the tool, much less how such knowledge would reveal any information about the tool's application," lawyers for the news organizations wrote in the filing to the U.S. District Court in Washington. The news organizations sought to learn more about the mysterious transaction that cut short a legal dispute in which the government won a court order to force Apple Inc. to unlock the work phone of Syed Rizwan Farook, who along with his wife killed 14 people in the December 2015 San Bernardino attack. "Release of this information goes to the very heart of FOIA's purpose, allowing the public to assess government activity — here, the decision to pay public funds to an outside entity in possession of a tool that can compromise the digital security of millions of Americans," the lawyers wrote.