Why We're Slightly Torn Over Arrow's Felicity-Centric Episode: Our Rants and Raves

Felicity Smoak is just like us! Ok, so we’re not super talented computer hackers with a super cute apartment and an unexpected (but also super cute) goth-y past, but we do struggle with sit-ups sometimes, and that has to count for something. But Arrow wasn’t the only thing on tonight! Join us as we rant and rave about it all!

RAVE: Arrow: Any episode mostly about Felicity is a good episode, and that was a great episode. We met Felicity’s rather unexpected mother, saw her apartment, and discovered that she apparently brushes her teeth and then immediately drinks coffee, which makes no sense to us, but whatever. Felicity’s quirky, we guess. We also met Goth Felicity, who had dyed black hair and wrote some crazy code that could do crazy hacker things and ended up getting her boyfriend arrested when he took the fall for writing the code.

RANT: Arrow: Like we said, great episode, but we were somewhat definitely disappointed when our initial suspicions turned out to be true: Felicity’s college boyfriend had not died in jail, and instead had been employed by the NSA. Now, he was back with Felicity’s code to be all villainous and steal money from banks. It was super predictable, but Felicity kicking his ass did a lot to make up for it.

RANT?: Arrow: Roy waking up from a dream in which he killed Sara totally reminded us of that time on Teen Wolf when Jackson (also played by Colton Haynes) woke up in the middle of the night to turn into a murderous lizard man. Please don’t have Roy start growing scales

NEWS: Find out the fall finale dates for all of your favorite shows!

RAVE: Red Band Society: Oh hey, Mandy Moore! We’ve missed you in our lives, and now we’re super jealous of you that you once got to hang out in the arms of Dr. McPrettyface. Also we’d like to apologize for the fact that we still get “Stupid Cupid” from The Princess Diaries stuck in our heads whenever we see you.

RANT: Red Band Society: Noooooooo Dr. McHotBeard figured out that Nurse Jackson falsified a blood sample to keep Charlie from being transferred, so not only is he reporting her, he’s also suspending her!

RAVE: Red Band Society: Love triangle over? We feel like it’s not that easy, but for now, Emma picked Leo. They seem super happy, but Jordi definitely isn’t.

RAVE: Law & Order: SVU: Here’s to a truly classic creepy Law & Order: SVU! The show took on the Slender Man Internet myth and really gave new guy Carisi (Peter Scanavino) time to shine while investigating the park attack of three girls. Also, how cute is Benson’s little baby Noah? We just hope no cats were harmed in the making of this episode…

RANT: The 100: So much happened in the first two episodes of this season, so why did this episode feel sort of boring? It was mostly a lot of people running from other people (and things), and that can only keep our attention for so long.

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Why We're Slightly Torn Over Arrow's Felicity-Centric Episode: Our Rants and Raves

Cruise ship bearing quarantined health care worker returns to port

Galveston, Texas A Texas-based cruise ship carrying a Dallas health care worker who is being monitored for signs of Ebola returned to port early Sunday, company officials said.

The unidentified woman who is being monitored disembarked the Carnival Magic with her husband shortly after the ship returned to Galveston, Texas, about 6 a.m. EDT, said Vicky Rey, vice president of guest care for Carnival Cruise Lines. Rey said the couple drove themselves home, but offered no further details.

Company and federal officials have said the woman being monitored for Ebola poses no risk because she has shown no symptoms and has voluntarily self-quarantined.

Petty Officer Andy Kendrick told The Associated Press that a Coast Guard crew flew in a helicopter Saturday to meet the Carnival Magic and retrieved a blood sample from the woman. He said the blood sample was taken to a state lab in Austin for processing.

Kendrick had no further details about how the sample was taken. He said the decision to take the sample was made in coordination with the federal, state and local health authorities.

Obama administration officials said the passenger handled a lab specimen from Thomas Eric Duncan, a Liberian man diagnosed with Ebola who died at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital earlier this month. Officials said the woman poses no risk because she has shown no signs of illness for 19 days and has voluntarily self-quarantined on the cruise ship.

US officials had been seeking ways to return the woman and her husband to the US before the ship completes its cruise on Sunday.

State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said that when the woman left the US on the cruise ship from Galveston, Texas, on Oct. 12 health officials were requiring only self-monitoring.

Carnival Cruise Lines said in a statement that the woman, a lab supervisor, remained in isolation “and is not deemed to be a risk to any guests or crew.”

“We are in close contact with the CDC, and at this time it has been determined that the appropriate course of action is to simply keep the guest in isolation on board,” the statement said, referring to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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Cruise ship bearing quarantined health care worker returns to port

Health Care Worker Quarantined on Ship Gives Blood Samples

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A Coast Guard helicopter met a cruise ship in the Caribbean today to collect a blood sample today from the Dallas health care worker who handled clinical specimens from an Ebola-infected patient and is on board the boat, which is scheduled to dock Sunday morning.

The lab worker remained on the boat, the Carnival Magic, according to a statement from Carnival.

“Today we were advised by Texas health officials that they felt it was necessary for the health care worker currently on Carnival Magic to submit a blood sample for testing prior to the ship’s arrival in Galveston tomorrow [Sunday] morning,” Carnival said in a statement.

“As a result, a helicopter rendezvoused with the ship late this afternoon to facilitate the transfer of the sample,” the cruise line said. “At this time Carnival Magic is expected to arrive tomorrow [Sunday] morning as scheduled.”

The Dallas health care worker has been self-quarantined on the ship and was being monitored for signs of infection, the State Department said in a statement Friday.

The unidentified female worker departed on a cruise ship from Galveston, Texas, Oct. 12 and was out of the country before being notified of active monitoring required by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, according to the government statement.

The monitoring was established as two nurses at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital, Nina Pham and Amber Vinson, tested positive for Ebola.

The hospital worker on the Carnival Magic cruise ship did not have direct contact with patient Thomas Eric Duncan, but may have had contact with his clinical specimens, authorities said. The employee, who has not been publicly identified, has not had a fever or demonstrated any symptoms of illness, authorities said.

Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

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Health Care Worker Quarantined on Ship Gives Blood Samples

Whole-Genome Scans Not Quite Ready for Widespread Use: Study

By Amy Norton HealthDay Reporter Latest Prevention & Wellness News

TUESDAY, March 11, 2014 (HealthDay News) — Commercially available tests can analyze your genetic profile and try to predict your risk of a host of diseases. But a new study suggests they aren’t ready for prime time.

The technology, known as whole-genome sequencing, allows scientists to “map” the information encoded in most of the billions of building blocks that make up a person’s DNA.

So far, whole-genome sequencing has been used mainly in research. But the hope is that the technology will help fuel a new era of “personalized medicine” — where doctors will be able to identify patients with gene variants that raise their risk of certain diseases.

In the past few years, the cost of whole-genome sequencing has fallen to the point where it could soon be feasible to use it in everyday health care, said Dr. Frederick Dewey, of Stanford University, the lead researcher on the new study.

But based on his team’s findings, Dewey said, a lot more work is needed before that idea becomes reality.

The study, reported in the March 12 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association, found that sequencing a whole genome remains a fairly daunting task.

And although the commercially available tests are good, they aren’t yet reliable enough for routine patient care, Dewey said.

For the study, Dewey’s team recruited 12 healthy adults who volunteered a blood sample for whole-genome sequencing.

Overall, testing showed that each patient had between 2 million and 3 million unique variations in their DNA. The researchers then used a software program they had developed to whittle down that sea of information to around 100 genetic variations per person that were deemed worthy of more investigation.

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Whole-Genome Scans Not Quite Ready for Widespread Use: Study

Welcome to Gattaca: Genetic Discrimination Becomes Reality – Video


09-06-2012 16:05 06/07-08/2012 Mom gave a blood sample. Dad spit. The entire genome of their fetus was born. Researchers at the University of Washington have, for the first time, done a near-total genome sequence of a fetus in this way. Scientists published the results of this study in the journal Science Translational Medicine, suggesting that thousands of genetic diseases could be detected in children while they are still in the fetal stage. More:

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Welcome to Gattaca: Genetic Discrimination Becomes Reality – Video

Researchers assemble genetic map of an unborn child

SEATTLE — Researchers at the University of Washington have assembled the first comprehensive genetic map of an unborn child — a development that could help usher in a new era of prenatal testing.

By analyzing fetal DNA circulating in the mother’s blood, the scientists were able to sequence the baby’s genome 18 weeks into the pregnancy. The technique also worked at eight weeks, with slightly lower sensitivity.

Because the approach requires only a blood sample from the mother and saliva from the father, it poses none of the miscarriage risk associated with invasive tests such as amniocentesis. And while most existing prenatal tests are designed to check for single disorders, including Down syndrome, a full-gene scan has the power to reveal a wide range of potential problems before birth, said lead author Jacob Kitzman, a doctoral student in genetics.

“It’s much more comprehensive.”

The procedure is still several years away from commercialization, project leader Jay Shendure said.

But the UW study, published in the June 6 issue of Science Translational Medicine, marks a significant step forward in technology that’s been developing over the past several years — and which worries some people, said Marcy Darnovsky of the Center for Genetics and Society in Berkeley, Calif.

“I think it’s a game-changer,” she said. Cheap, safe genome sequencing could give parents the power to practice a kind of eugenics, preselecting children based on desirable traits.

“It could become a routine part of prenatal testing … which raises questions about what people will do with the information,” Darnovsky said.

Shendure cautioned against expecting too much — at least in the near future. Scientists may be able to sequence the 3 billion DNA units that make up each person’s genetic heritage, but they still don’t understand the genetic basis of most common diseases.

“The capacity of genomics to generate data is outstripping our ability to interpret it in useful ways,” he said.

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Researchers assemble genetic map of an unborn child

Study: Testing Unborn Babies for Genetic Disorders

Prospective parents might soon be able to screen their unborn babies for thousands of genetic disorders, according to a study published by Science Translations Medicine.

This is potentially a two-edged sword. Although it might pick up more curable conditions, some experts worry that it may lead to more abortions

American scientists were able to map the babys genetic code form tiny traces of free-floating DNA in blood from the babys mother, who was 18 weeks pregnant. They were also able to pinpoint if the mutations came from the mother or fathers side.

If the technique is refined and the technology becomes inexpensive, as many experts predict, this type of prenatal testing could allow doctors to screen unborn babies for 3,500 genetic disorders by taking a blood sample from the mother and a swab of saliva from the father.

Now, the only genetic disorder routinely testing is Down Syndrome.

On the positive side, picking up genetic problems early may lead to better treatments, sometimes while the baby is still a fetus, sometimes right after birth and that might prevent complications, said NBC4 health expert Dr. Bruce Hensel.

Some experts believe the finding is a double-edged sword, and could potentially raise ethical concerns.

It might give peace of mind if (parents) dont find problems. On the other hand, it could lead to dilemmas what do you do about them can you treat them, might it lead to more abortions? Hensel said.

The genetic predictions in the study were confirmed by analyzing umbilical cord blood collected at the babys birth.

The test is not being used yet, and experts said the methods will have to refined before the screenings are widely used.

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Study: Testing Unborn Babies for Genetic Disorders

Nanotechnology for Cleaning Blood

Category: Science & Technology Posted: May 11, 2012 09:40AM Author: Guest_Jim_*

Whoever first had the idea for the lithography system used to produce modern integrated circuits, probably did not think their invention would be used to clean a person’s blood. As reported by the American Institute of Physics, researchers at MIT and the National University of Singapore have created a device that cleans infections from the blood. The key was using margination, a natural phenomenon that separates parts of the blood.

As your blood flows through your blood vessels, white blood cells and bacteria move towards the wall of the vessel, while the red blood cells flow through the middle. The researchers decided to try making a device that replicates this effect. By etching microfluidic channels just 20 micrometers (millionths of a meter: m) by 20 m into a polymer chip, the researchers successfully removed at least 80% of the E. coli bacteria, yeast, and other inflammatory components from a blood sample.

Potentially this technology could be used to treat sepsis, a dangerous and systemic inflammatory response to blood infections. First small-scale in vivo animal tests have to be successful, but this is definitely a promising and interesting way to clean ones blood.

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Nanotechnology for Cleaning Blood