Archive for the ‘The Netherlands’ Category

freezer

A Dutch woman has kept her dead 83-year-old mother in the freezer for a week because she couldn’t bring herself to say goodbye.

“The woman froze her mother’s body and kept it for a week,” police spokeswoman Esther Boot said.

“She couldn’t say goodbye.”

A family friend contacted police on Monday, saying they could “no longer live” with the secret of the body in the freezer.

Police went to the house in Kamperland, a small town in the southwestern Netherlands, and the 46-year-old daughter immediately confessed.

“There was no indication that the mother didn’t die of natural causes, but the body has nevertheless been taken for an autopsy,” Ms Boot said.

The daughter was taken to the police station, interviewed and examined by a psychiatrist and allowed to return home.

Police said the daughter was “too sad” to let her mother go.

“She wanted to keep her nearby,” Ms Boot said.

The two women had lived together for 17 years, during which time the daughter took care of her mother day and night “with lots of love”, police said.

“We don’t yet know if there will be criminal proceedings, that’s up to the prosecutor,” Ms Boot said.

“Technically it’s a crime to keep a body in the freezer.”

http://www.foxnews.com/world/2013/06/26/dutch-woman-keeps-dead-mother-body-in-freezer-for-week/

MERS-CoV

Saudi Arabia reported today that five more people have been infected with the Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV), as if to underline yesterday’s warning from the head of the World Health Organization (WHO) that the novel virus is a global threat.

In a brief statement, the Saudi Ministry of Health (MOH) said, “Within the framework of the epidemiological surveillance of the novel Coronavirus (MERS-CoV), the Ministry of Health (MOH) has announced that five novel Coronavirus cases have been recorded among citizens in the Eastern Region, ranging in age from 73 to 85 years, but they have all chronic diseases.”

Also, two more deaths from MERS have been reported in the past few days. Yesterday Agence France Presse (AFP) reported the death of France’s first MERS-CoV patient, a 65-year-old man whose illness was first reported on May 8. And on May 26 the Saudi MOH announced the death of an 81-year-old woman.

With today’s Saudi announcement, the unofficial global case count has reached 49; the death toll stands at 24, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Unofficially, Saudi Arabia has had 37 cases, with 18 deaths.

WHO concern
Deep concern about MERS-CoV was expressed yesterday by WHO Director-General Margaret Chan, MD, MPH, as she closed the annual World Health Assembly (WHA), the WHO’s policy-making body.

“Looking at the overall global situation, my greatest concern right now is the novel coronavirus,” she said as quoted in a WHO press release. “We understand too little about this virus when viewed against the magnitude of its potential threat. Any new disease that is emerging faster than our understanding is never under control.

“These are alarm bells and we must respond. The novel coronavirus is not a problem that any single affected country can keep to itself or manage all by itself. The novel coronavirus is a threat to the entire world.”

The WHO plans to send a second team to Saudi Arabia in coming weeks to help investigate the mysterious virus, according to a May 25 Arab News story that quoted Chan. The source of the pathogen remains unknown, but several case clusters have shown that it can spread between people in close contact.

“Without that proper risk assessment, we cannot have clarity on the incubation period, on the signs and symptoms of the disease, on the proper clinical management and then, last but not least, on travel advice,” Chan told Arab News.

The WHO, which sent a group of experts to Saudi Arabia earlier this month, will provide a fresh risk assessment ahead of this year’s Haj pilgrimage, which will take place in October, the story said.

Details on deaths
Concerning the five new cases, the Saudi MOH left many questions unanswered, including whether the patients are part of a hospital-centered outbreak of MERS-CoV that began in April in the Al-Ahsa region of Eastern province. The cluster has been reported to include 22 cases with 10 deaths. The statement gave no information on the patients’ conditions, gender, where they live, or how long they have been sick.

The French patient who died became ill on Apr 23, six days after he returned home from a vacation in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Another person contracted the virus after sharing a hospital room with him from Apr 27 to 29.

The 81-year-old Saudi woman who died was among the previously announced cases in Al-Ahsa governorate, the Saudi MOH said in a May 26 statement. It said she was suffering from chronic kidney failure and other chronic diseases.

Her case appears to be the one announced by the WHO on May 18. That announcement said the 81-year-old’s illness was the 22nd case in the hospital-centered cluster in Al-Ahsa.

The May 26 MOH statement also said that nine other case-patients have recovered and been discharged from hospitals since the first MERS-CoV in Saudi Arabia, which occurred in June 2012.

MERS-CoV designation

In other developments, the WHO announced today that it is accepting the name MERS-CoV for the novel virus, despite a general aversion to geographic references in the names of newly discovered viruses.

“Given the experience in previous international public health events, WHO generally prefers that virus names do not refer to the region or place of the initial detection of the virus,” the agency said in a statement. “This approach aims at minimizing unnecessary geographical discrimination that could be based on coincidental detection rather than on the true area of emergence of a virus.”

The name was proposed by the Coronavirus Study Group of the International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses, the WHO noted. The statement said the term emerged from consultations with a large group of scientists and represents an acceptable consensus

Patent issues
Also today, a story in BMJ offered more details on intellectual property issues related to MERS-CoV. Albert Osterhaus, DVM, PhD, head of viriology at Erasmus Medical Center in the Netherlands, told the journal that Erasmus has applied for patents on MERS-CoV genetic sequences and on possible related products such as diagnostics and vaccines.

Erasmus scientists were the first to analyze the virus and identify it as novel last year, after an Egyptian physician working in Saudi Arabia sent them a sample. Last week Chan and Saudi officials complained that restrictions imposed by Erasmus on use of MERS-CoV samples that it has supplied to other labs were impeding the investigation of the outbreak.

Erasmus officials have rejected the criticism and said they have supplied samples to all labs that want to use it for public health research and are equipped to handle if safely. But Osterhaus told BMJ, “We have patent applications submitted and that is on the sequences and the possibilities to eventually make diagnostics, vaccines, antivirals, and the like. It’s quite a normal thing if you find something new to patent it.”

He added that Erasmus has not made a deal with any company yet, because it’s too early. “At the end of the day, if you want something to happen for the benefit of public health—including making a vaccine, antivirals, whatever—you need to have at least some intellectual property. Otherwise the companies will not be interested,” he said.

http://www.cidrap.umn.edu/cidrap/content/other/sars/news/may2813corona.html

mg21729034_900-2_300

As the world warms, ice melts and water expands, sea level will rise – but faster in some places than others. These simulations, which assume warming in the middle of the range indicated by climate models, provide the best view yet of probable regional variation in sea level rise over the coming decades. Use the play button or slider to control the animations.

Click the link below to view projections for high or low emissions scenarios.

http://sealevel.newscientistapps.com/

SYDNEY, Tokyo and Buenos Aires watch out. These cities will experience some of the greatest sea level rises by 2100, according to one of the most comprehensive predictions to date.

Sea levels have been rising for over 100 years – not evenly, though. Several processes are at work, says Mahé Perrette of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research in Germany. Some land is sinking, some is rising. Stronger currents create slopes in sea surface, and since all things with mass exert a gravitation pull, disappearing ice sheets lead to a fall in sea levels in their surrounding areas.

Perrette has modelled all of these effects and calculated local sea level rises in 2100 for the entire planet. While the global average rise is predicted to be between 30 and 106 centimetres, he says tropical seas will rise 10 or 20 per cent more, while polar seas will see a below-average rise. Coasts around the Indian Ocean will be hard hit, as will Japan, south-east Australia and Argentina (Earth System Dynamics, doi.org/kbf).

New York’s position may be less perilous than previously thought. A weakening of the Atlantic Gulf Stream will cause water to slop westwards, triggering a rapid rise on the eastern seaboard, but this will be counteracted by Greenland’s weaker gravitational pull. The city is not out of the woods, though, warns Aimée Slangen of Utrecht University in the Netherlands, whose own model suggests that Antarctica could lose a lot of ice, which would produce an above-average rise throughout the northern hemisphere.

For now, Perrette offers a warning to tropical countries. “You may have 120 centimetres of sea level rise on your coastline,” he says. “Build defences.”

This article appeared in print under the headline “Where not to be when seas rise up to meet us”

http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg21729034.900-new-map-pinpoints-cities-to-avoid-as-sea-levels-rise.html

Dress1

Dress2

A Netherlands-based fashion designer has created a high-tech dress line that turns clear when you get excited. How’s that for being transparent on a date?

Called Intimacy — from designer Daan Roosegaarde, founder of Studio Roosegaarde — the project aims to explore the relationship between technology and the body’s interactions. The dresses, which are called ‘Intimacy White’ and ‘Intimacy Black,’ are made out of opaque smart e-foils. When the body gets excited and the heart races, the coils turn clear.

The smart foils have a blend of wireless technology, LED lights, cooper and other materials. “Social interactions determine the garmentsʼ level of transparency, creating a sensual play of disclosure,” the company says on its site.

Although the concept isn’t entirely new — the company has been working on prototypes since 2010 — its new 2.0 line has been making its rounds online in advance of Valentine’s Day. The dresses are currently on display privately in Hong Kong and Paris and will be shown at Kent State University in Ohio in September.

Studio Roosegaarde also has other high-tech garments in mind: “We’re currently working on a suit for men which becomes transparent when they lie.”

http://mashable.com/2013/02/06/transparent-dress/

pee-in-shower

A council official in the Drenthe municipality of Aa en Hunze is recommending people pee while having a shower in order to save water and cash.

The council has launched a project in 2013 to increase sustainability and saving water is an integral part of the mission, the AD reports on Wednesday.

Urinating while under the show ‘saves lots of clean water and is good for the environment,’ Bert Wassink is quoted as saying. ‘If you combine showers and peeing, you save a lot of water and money, so why not?’

According to the AD, the average Dutch person uses 39 litres a day on showers and 36 litres flushing the toilet.

Wassink, who represents the left-wing green party GroenLinks, told the paper he already practises what he preaches.

http://www.dutchnews.nl/news/archives/2013/01/pee_under_the_shower_to_save_w.php