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Publication: Health Tips Weekly
Peppers linked to salmonella

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       HEALTH TIPS WEEKLY - Thursday, July 10, 2008 
             "News That Keeps You Healthy"   
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        Theorist says humor is pattern recognition
LONDON, -- A British science writer says he has determined 
humor is just the recognition of a pattern that a person 
finds surprising. "Humor occurs when the brain recognizes a 
pattern that surprises it and that recognition of this sort 
is rewarded with the experience of the humorous response, an
element of which is broadcast as laughter," said researcher 
and theorist Alastair Clarke. "It is not the content of the 
stimulus but the patterns underlying it, that provide the 
potential for sources of humor. For patterns to exist it is 
necessary to have some form of content but once that content
exists, it is the level of the pattern at which humor oper-
ates and for which it delivers its rewards." Clarke also 
predicts the use of his hypothesis will facilitate the cre-
ation of a less robotic form of artificial intelligence. 
Clarke's theory is detailed in his book "The Pattern Recog-
nition Theory of Humor" published by Pyrrhic House and 
presented for those who work in or comment on related fields.
The book, which includes analysis of examples of humor from 
Chaucer to Monty Python, will be published in October.
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          Japanese encephalitis finding announced

HARYANA, India, -- India's National Brain Research Center 
says the Japanese encephalitis virus causes major brain 
damage by both killing cells and stopping new cell format-
ion. Japanese encephalitis, or JE, -- commonly known as 
brain fever -- is one of the prevalent mosquito-borne ence-
phalitides across Southeast Asia. Besides killing thousands 
of people each year, scientists said even patients who rec-
over commonly encounter psychiatric problems. NBRC research-
ers led by Anirban Basu and graduate student Sulagna Das 
said children are more vulnerable targets of the virus. 
"Children are at a dynamic stage of brain development, hence
infection at this stage can have devastating effects on men-
tal functions later in life," said Basu. "The breakthrough 
here is that the JE virus prevents neural stem and progen-
itor cells in the brain from dividing; it hangs them up.
"It's the first time that a mosquito-borne virus has ever 
been shown to affect neural stem cells," he said. The res-
earch is presented online in the Journal of Neurochemistry 
and will appear in a future print issue.identify 200 healthy
tooth donors and 100 tooth donors who later developed 
cancer. The baby teeth will be tested for the radioactive 
chemical strontium 90, which is found in bomb fallout and 
nuclear reactors, the Post-Dispatch said.

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         Peppers linked to salmonella outbreak

WASHINGTON, -- People should be wary of eating raw jalapeno 
and serrano peppers, as well as certain tomatoes, to avoid 
illness, U.S. food safety officials warned Wednesday. The 
U.S. Food and Drug Administration, in a nationwide update 
of its warning about the ongoing outbreak of the food-borne 
illness Salmonella serotype Saintpaul, said the Centers for 
Disease Control has determined "cluster information" indi-
cates that not only certain raw tomatoes but also raw jala-
peno and serrano peppers may be linked to the health prob-
lem. However, health officials still have not determined the
source of the outbreak, which has sickened about 1,000 peo-
ple in 40 states. The FDA is advising people in high-risk 
populations, such as the elderly, infants and people with 
weakened immune systems, to avoid eating raw jalapeno and 
raw serrano peppers. The federal agency also says consumers 
should continue to avoid eating raw red plum, red Roma or 
red round tomatoes except for those grown in the areas that 
have not been associated with the outbreak. If unsure of the
origin of the tomatoes in their home, people should contact 
the place of purchase or not eat them, the FDA said. Cherry 
tomatoes, grape tomatoes, tomatoes sold with the vine still 
attached and tomatoes grown at home are all right to eat, 
the FDA said.
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