Monday, February 18, 2008

OFFLINE GAMBLING...For richer or poorer

Gambling is very popular, from way back when, and more so today. It is a scam itself. In fact the oldest form known. Not only a scam, but very deceptive. Statistics show that about six percent of adults that are involved in gambling are severely addicted to such a "past time" as they call it.

People who are hooked on gambling have the urge to bet on almost anything. From horses, cards, and the casino. The number doesn't end there. It continues to expand.

Casino scams are everywhere. High payouts and promising winnings are put up in huge slogans thereby attracting people who want to earn money the fast, easy and enjoyable way. A fact is gamblers waste a lot of their time, in the hope of winning. So they don't give up easily.

Studies show that gambling problems can easily occur in individuals with no self control. It is necessary for one to identify if he has problems, so it can be identified and acted upon promptly.
Here are some questions one should ask to detect if there is a problem:

* After gambling, when you lose money, be it a small or a large amount, do regret it, or feel resentment?

* When you win, do you have a strong desire to win more, therefore you want to go back?

* When you lose, do you feel a need to go back very soon?

* Do you spend a lot of time gambling, usually longer than what you planned?

*If you have problems, do you gamble to forget them?

* Are you spending more time gambling than with work?

*Do you not stop until your very last dollar is taken up?

*Do arguments take place between you and your family as a result of your need to gamble?

*To finance your gambling, do you borrow money from friends or associates?

Gambling addiction can be destructive. Family, friends and your reputation are at risk. It is a condition often times ignored. There are escape gamblers that affect seventy five percent of women from their thirties and up. Usually the reasons for gambling is to escape from the emotional pain that they are in, being bored, lonely, depressed or that they make gambling their hobby or past time. These types of addiction can be cured in three to six months.

The action gambler is much more difficult to deal. Most are men, where gambling for them creates ecstasy like a drug addition. This is much harder to cure, since the individual will deny the fact, when confronted. They will typically not stop until left with nothing, financially.

As gambling creates a lot of scams, it is a fact that still more and more are drawn to it. The primary reason is to win a huge amount of money. But then comes in the most lethal of reasons -- that of feeling a certain euphoria. Scams or no scams, an individual still continues to gamble and is a reason why offline gambling still thrives today.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Will Genetic Screening Help Your Baby?

For every parent who has suffered the anxiety of wondering if their unborn child would be healthy, there are comparatively few who come face to face with the agonizing discovery that their unborn or newborn child will struggle or die because of a genetic disorder.

What is a genetic disorder and what part does genetic screening play in helping families to deal with the risk or reality in their children?

Recessive genetic disorders are when both parents carry a diseased gene but do not suffer from the disease themselves. They are called 'carriers'. Their children must inherit the diseased gene from BOTH parents to develop the disorder.

If the child inherits only one gene they will also become carriers, but not suffer from the disease. It is also possible that they will not inherit the gene at all. In each case, the likelihood of having a child develop the disorder goes up with each pregnancy. It is simply a matter of chance.

Genetic Screening of Parents

Screening a couple BEFORE pregnancy can identify the risks for potential recessive disease where both parents carry the same recessive gene. Once a gene (such as Tay-Sachs) is found in both individuals, the couple can be informed on the risks of passing the gene on and the likelihood of their children developing the disorder.

Having this knowledge not only prepares couples for the possible outcome in a pregnancy but also permits them to decide whether getting pregnant is worth the risk.

Genetic Screening During Pregnancy

Genetic screening during pregnancy is subject to the most controversy. While the testing is not done entirely for genetic disorders (spina bifida and Downs syndrome being two that are NOT inherited gene disorders) the facts still remain that screening during pregnancy has its pros and cons.

While genetic screening may prepare a family for the risk of disease and provide time for genetic counseling for the parents, usually there is nothing that can be done for the baby during the pregnancy.

The fact that most tests cannot guarantee the health of the child and that false positive tests may lead to undue anxiety and possibly to the termination of a healthy pregnancy are also dangers that must be acknowledged. Some tests, such as the amniocentesis, also carry a risk themselves (although a small one). Parents should discuss this with their health care provider.

More recently it is the possibility that genetic testing may lead to more advanced measures of choosing the 'right' baby that has caused a stir. Each parent must weigh the risks and benefits of these tests.

Genetic Screening of Newborns

Genetic screening of newborns has become standard practice in countries like the US and Canada.

By taking a small sample of blood from a pin prick in the newborn's heel, the sample is then analyzed for genetic disorders. Some of these disorders, when caught early on can be treated (such as sickle cell anemia) and some even eliminated. This precaution has saved many children a lifetime of suffering from a debilitating disease.

The advancement of science continues to amaze and alarm us with what is possible. While many individuals will benefit from the assistance of screening the controversy regarding how far science should intrude is sure to continue.