Monday, October 16, 2006

News of the Day 10-16-06

Whether reality, aberration, or hype, the recently reported increase in violent crime has set off a flurry of fed-dom. As I've said before, it doesn't matter if it's real or if the main victims are guys being removed from future crime capability themselves. The perception is what counts in policy reaction, and we know what's happened in the past. As a wise man once said, those who don't know hysteria are doomed to repeat it. . . . A U of Miami study has found that juvenile brains react differently to varying Prozac levels than adults'. The drug calmed adult hamsters in both high and low doses, but, at low doses, juvenile hamsters became aggressive and even suicidal (how exactly do you tell? do they start trying to stick their heads in the wheel as it's turning? wouldn't that be really hard, if you think about it? I'll stop now.). Now hamsters, teenagers, you decide. I'm willing to give it the benefit, given the teens I saw at the mall yesterday. The major point is that still developing brains may respond differently to drugs than we expect and turn cute little things into Tysons. Or not. You decide. . . . Speaking of drugs, here's a thorough overview of the current state of treating addictions with them, the victories, the qualifiers. Also note the end of the story where it talks about genetics, receptors, and tailoring treatments to particular types based on genes. Say it now . . . TECHNOCORRECTIONS!!! . . . The Dallas Morning News has a good piece on the politics of sex offender policy, the constitutionality of popular laws, and the counterproductive outcomes they cause. Nothing new, but good to have at hand if your jurisdiction has yet to catch that bug.

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