Patt Morrison for June 1, 2010

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When you think of a Freshman entering college you probably think of trips to IKEA and learning where the mess hall is, but do you think of DNA? You will now. UC Berkeley is asking 5,500 new and transfer students to volunteer some of their DNA to be tested for reactions to lactose, folic acid and alcohol and they think that about 1,000 will respond. There is no penalty for students that choose not to “return-swab-to-sender,” but privacy advocates remain troubled that students will feel pressured to hand over their cells, because, well, everybody else is doing it.
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Dr. Sanjay Gupta’s Toxic America

It seems that everyday we hear about some new product or chemical that is slowly poisoning us to death. Next week, CNN's chief medical correspondent and neurosurgeon, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, presents a two-part special investigation into toxic chemicals and public health, focusing on a small town in Louisiana where residents experience clusters of cancers, kidney and respiratory problems that they claim are caused by nearby plastics factories. And yet, two “granny Erin Brockovich” women at the center of this issue are fighting back against industry and government. Dr. Gupta is here with the story. *Toxic Towns, the documentary, will air on CNN Wednesday, June 2nd. On Thursday, June 3rd, Dr. Gupta will anchor a live discussion called Toxic Childhood, with experts in the science of toxic risk in foods, plastics and other common household items. Both programs air at 8pm Eastern time.
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You have the right to remain silent…

…but only if you explicitly tell the police that you plan to invoke the Miranda right afforded to you by the US Constitution. The U.S. Supreme Court, in a 5-4 decision, has decided that simply remaining silent is not sufficient. A suspect must declare it in the same way he must declare his desire for a lawyer. Justice Sonia Sotomayor says the decision “turns Miranda upside down.” because police officers and interrogators will now presume that a suspect has waived his Miranda right unless they hear those magic words.
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After global warming became mainstream fodder for political debate and the Prius became the celebrity vehicle of choice, scientists joined the anti-global warming campaign, and published a handful of scientific reports about human’s effect on the Earth’s climate. But along came the spider of a well-established group of scientists, who planted the seed of doubt in the public mind about climate change. Is global warming just a liberal ploy or a made-up Hollywood phenomenon à la The Day After Tomorrow? Science historians Naomi Oreskes and Erik M. Conway expose the politically-rooted discord amongst scientists about global warming in their new book, Merchants of Doubt: How a Handful of Scientists Obscured the Truth on Issues from Tobacco Smoke to Global Warming. Patt talks with Oreskes and Conway about this dirty, inconvenient truth and how these same scientific advisers continually distort the link between human actions and adverse environmental changes.
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