четверг, 25 ноября 2010 г.

NJ Health Insurance for Pre-Existing Conditions Goes Into Effect

August marks the month that federally funded health insurance plans make their debut in New Jersey. Individuals living in this state can now take advantage of National Health Insurance Act that was signed into law on March 23, 2010. Also know as Patient Protection and Affordability Act or Obamacare.

NJ Health Insurance Requirements

There are several requirements you must me to qualify and use of the $141 million dollar healthcare benefit. Main requirement is you must be a New Jersey residents with plan defined pre-existing conditions who has not had health insurance for the last six (6) months.
New Jersey Protect plan is a high-risk pool plan. Many states have high risk pool plans, that allow individuals who do not qualify for fully underwriter insurance to apply for and become insured based on the pre-existing conditions, coverage’s and plans the insurance was on in the past. Typically these plans are very expensive, because the carriers who underwrite them know the expenses are going to be much greater when you do not have any low-risk individuals to spread the losses across.
Basically what we have is the old system, called something new, but portions of the expenses being picked up by Obamacare, ant that portion is $141 million dollars.
New Jersey is one of the few states that bans heath insurance providers from refusing coverage for pre-existing conditions such as cancer, high cholesterol HIV-AIDS or hypertension making it a state many carriers will not do business in, and also making the base rates for all plans more than the national average. So even if you are health, you will pay more than your health counterpart in other states, thus making you pay even more than your fair share.
Many people wonder when the FREE HEALTH CARE is going to kick in, and by the looks of the early adopters it seems it will not be FREE to most. It may cost less each month, because the government is paying to subsidized the premium but they will get the money from somewhere to pay for it.
We also here that individuals without health insurance will be fined if they done have it, but the fine is less than a few months premium in most cases so will it really have any impact at all?
Somehow the insurance is going to get paid for on any health care plan, and with the cost of medical expenses rising and the lack of expense control it seems we are just putting a $141 million dollar band aide over a much larger problem. How do we fix the problem, Americans need to take some control of their own health care by understanding all the expenses, sharing in a portion of those expenses and in-charge of controlling the costs like every other consumer product on the market.

четверг, 18 ноября 2010 г.

Using plants against soils contaminated with arsenic

Two essential genes that control the accumulation and detoxification of arsenic in plant cells have been identified. This discovery is the fruit of an international collaboration involving laboratories in Switzerland, South Korea and the United States, with the participation of members of the National Centre of Competence in Research (NCCR) Plant Survival. The results presented are a promising basis for reducing the accumulation of arsenic in crops from regions in Asia that are polluted by this toxic metalloid, as well as for the cleanup of soils contaminated by heavy metals. The findings are published this week in the prestigious journal PNAS. The sinking of tubewells in Southeast Asia as well as mining in regions such as China, Thailand, and the United States, are the cause that arsenic concentrations in water often exceed the World Health Organization (WHO) limit of 10 μg/L, the value above which health problems start to occur. Tens of millions of people are exposed to this risk by drinking contaminated water or by ingesting cereal crops cultivated in polluted soils. A long lasting exposure to this highly toxic metalloid could affect the gastrointestinal transit, the kidneys, the liver, the lungs, the skin and increases the risk of cancer. In Bangladesh, it is estimated that 25 million people drink water that contains more than 50 μg/L of arsenic and that two million of them risk of dying from cancer caused by this toxic substance.
Plants offer a way for toxic metals to enter the food chain. We know, for example, that arsenic is stored within rice grains, which, in regions polluted with this toxic metalloid, constitutes a danger for the population whose diet depends to a great extent on this cereal.
Arsenic or cadmium in soils is transported to plant cells and stored in compartments called vacuoles. Within the cell, the translocation of arsenic and its storage in vacuoles is ensured by a category of peptides – the phytochelatins – that bind to the toxic metalloid, and are transported into the vacuole for detoxification, similar to hooking up a trailer to a truck. In terms of the process, it is the "truck and trailer" complex that is stored in the vacuole.
"By identifying the genes responsible for the vacuolar phytochelatin transport and storage, we have found the missing link that the scientific community searched for the past 25 years", explains Enrico Martinoia, a professor in plant physiology at the University of Zurich. The experiments carried out on the model plant Arabidopsis can easily be adapted to other plants such as rice.
Enrico Martinoia is one of the directors of this research that includes the Korean professor Youngsook Lee from the Pohang University of Science and Technology (POSTECH) and Julian Schroeder, biology professor at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD). Along with Stefan Hörtensteiner, also from the University of Zurich, and Doris Rentsch from the University of Bern, he is one of the three members of the NCCR Plant Survival who participated in this study which was published in PNAS.
Controlling these genes will make it possible to develop plants capable of preventing the transfer of toxic metals and metalloids from the roots to the leaves and grains thereby limiting the entry of arsenic into the food chain. "By focusing on these genes, states Youngsook Lee, we could avoid the accumulation of these heavy metals in edible portions of the plant such as grains or fruits."
At the same time, researchers have discovered a way to produce plants capable of accumulating a greater amount of toxic metals which consequently can be used to clean up contaminated soils. These plants would then be burned in blast furnaces in order to eliminate the toxic elements.