Wednesday, May 12, 2010

News flashes

Stigma of mental illness is fading

from Yahoo News and HealthDay

May is Mental Health Month and there is positive news about public perception of mental illness.

A new survey finds that more than a third of Americans polled believe that the stigma of mental illness has declined and they attribute the change largely to openness by friends, family members and public figures about their own conditions.

Almost 80 percent of those polled said that such openness on the part of family and friends had had at least a moderate impact on the stigma of mental illness, reports the American Psychiatric Association, which commissioned the April online survey among 2,285 adults aged 18 and older.

Participants pointed to other factors that were influential in the reduction of stigma: an increase in the amount of online information about mental illness (75 percent), accurate portrayals of people with mental illness on TV and in movies (72 percent), public figures and celebrities talking about their mental illness (71 percent), and social networking sites about mental illness (61 percent).

Two thirds of those surveyed said they thought mentally ill people could get better.

Of genetics and breast cancer

from Yahoo News and Reuters

British scientists have found five common genetic factors linked to the risk of developing breast cancer, giving researchers a better understanding of its causes and clues for developing more treatments.

Douglas Easton from Britain's University of Cambridge led the largest genome-wide analysis of breast cancer patients to date, scanning the gene maps of 16,536 patients, and found five new common gene variations.

The findings add to 13 other common genetic variants for breast cancer and will help explain around 8 percent of the risk of getting the disease, Easton and colleagues wrote in a study published in the journal Nature Genetics on Sunday.

A few, high-risk gene variants that occur much more rarely account for another 20 percent of breast cancer risk.

Breast cancer is the most common type of cancer in women in rich nations. It kills around half a million people worldwide each year.

Family history is a well-established risk factor. Having a close relative with breast cancer approximately doubles a woman's risk for the disease.

Mary Glasspool approved as first openly gay Episcopal bishop

from National Public Radio

The Episcopal Church has given final approval to the ordination of an openly gay bishop in Los Angeles.

Mary Glasspool is the first openly gay bishop approved since 2003, when the election of a gay man as bishop of New Hampshire caused such an uproar in the global Anglican Communion that the U.S. church imposed a moratorium on such elevations. The ban was lifted last year.

Glasspool is also one of the first two women to be elected as bishops in the 114-year history of the Los Angeles diocese, according to the Los Angeles Times. The other, Diane M. Jardine Bruce, won final approval March 8.

"I'm overjoyed," Glasspool told The Times in a phone interview from Baltimore, where she is canon, or senior assistant, to the bishop of Maryland. "I know there are people who might not be overjoyed by this, and I am committed to reaching out with my own hand and my own heart to people who might not feel the same as I do."

Los Angeles Bishop J. Jon Bruno told The Times he, too, is overjoyed, and called the election of the two women "historic."

He said the consenting votes by U.S. bishops and diocesan standing committees demonstrated "that the Episcopal Church, by canon, creates no barrier for ministry on the basis of gender and sexual orientation, among other factors."

New NPR series: "The Hidden World of Girls -- and the Women They Become"

Over the next year, National Public Radio will air a regular series by the Davia Nelson and Nikki Silva -- known as the Kitchen Sisters. The series explores coming of age, secret identities, and rituals of passage from girls and women around the world. The series looks to draw material from listeners.

The "sisters" are using a phone answering system to record submissions in order to capture real voices. To submit a story, call the NPR listener line at 202-408-9576 or send dispatches through Twitter @kitchensisters using the hashtag #hiddenworldofgirls.

The Kitchen Sisters introduce the series here:

Listen to the May 6, 2010 episode here:

Chaz Bono makes sex change official


Following sex reassignment surgery last year, Chaz Bono is legally a man. A Santa Monica judge has granted Bono's request to change his name from Chastity to Chaz and to switch his gender identification to male.

Chaz is the only child of entertainers Sonny and Cher. He was born Chastity Sun Bono and has been a gay and lesbian rights activist for years.

"It's hard for me to articulate how this feels -- when you've lived your whole life in a body and having everybody relate to you as something you don't feel," Bono said. "When that finally gets righted, it's just amazing. I finally get to live my life the way I've always wanted to," said Chaz.

Additional links: Sex reassignment surgery explained, Chaz Bono's website

No comments:

Post a Comment