The Night Note: 11/20/09 - NBC4 Washington

The Night Note: 11/20/09

News you need to know.



    How Telehealth Technology is Revolutionizing Healthcare

    The following stories are brought to you by the fine folks on the News4 assignment desk.

    The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) experiment has been re-started after a hiatus of 14 months.

    Engineers have now made two stable proton beams circulate in opposite directions around the machine.

    If all continues to go well, the team might even try to increase the collider's energy to record-breaking levels this weekend. (BBC News)

    Epidemic experts say they are investigating the apparent spread of Tamiflu-resistant swine flu virus among four patients at Duke University Medical Center in Durham, N.C., and five in a hospital in Wales.

    These clusters appear to be the first in which a virus resistant to the antiviral Tamiflu, a mainstay of flu treat, has spread from person to person, researchers said Friday.

    If Tamiflu-resistant virus spreads widely, swine flu will become tougher to treat and may cost more lives, says Duke's Daniel Sexton, who is leading the hospital's investigation. (USA Today)

    The latest Gallup Daily tracking results show 49% of Americans approving of the job Barack Obama is doing as president, putting him below the majority approval level for the first time in his presidency.

    Although the current decline below 50% has symbolic significance, most of the recent decline in support for Obama occurred in July and August. He began July at 60% approval. The ongoing, contentious debate over national healthcare reform has likely served as a drag on his public support, as have continuing economic problems. Americans are also concerned about the Obama administration's reliance on government spending to solve the nation's problems and the growing federal budget deficit. Since September, Obama's approval rating had been holding in the low 50s and, although it has reached 50% numerous times, it had never dropped below 50% until now. (Gallup)

    Winston Churchill once predicted that it would be possible to grow chicken breasts and wings more efficiently without having to keep an actual chicken. And in fact scientists have since figured out how to grow tiny nuggets of lab meat and say it will one day be possible to produce steaks in vats, sans any livestock.

    Pork chops or burgers cultivated in labs could eliminate contamination problems that regularly generate headlines these days, as well as address environmental concerns that come with industrial livestock farms. (MSNBC)