2009年 09月 20日 ( 4 )

The University of Chicago Medical Center says the infection that killed a scientist may be connected to bacteria he researched that causes the plague.

The university said Saturday that its researcher studied the genetics of harmful bacteria including Yersinia pestis (ペスト菌), which causes the illness. He died Sept. 13. His name and age haven't been released.

The medical center says the bacteria he worked with was a weakened strain (型) that isn't known to cause illness in healthy adults. The strain was approved by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for laboratory studies.

An autopsy found no obvious cause of death but did find the presence of the bacteria. More tests are planned. No other illnesses have been reported.
by yu-fen-sun | 2009-09-20 23:23 | 英語関連
The Sept. 8 killing of Yale graduate student Annie Le, just days before she was to be married, was another harrowing (悲惨な) instance of what authorities called "workplace violence."

Police in New Haven, Conn., described Le's strangulation (絞殺) death in a campus lab as part of an increasing national trend in jobsite brutality. "This is not about urban crime (都市犯罪), university crime, domestic crime," said New Haven police chief James Lewis on Sept. 17, after authorities arrested Le's co-worker, "but an issue of workplace violence, a growing concern around the country."

Workplace violence is, of course, a broad term that covers a range of behavior, including, in its most extreme form, homicide. According to Larry Barton, a professor of management and president of the American College in Bryn Mawr, Penn., nonfatal (致命的でない) workplace assaults and threats of assaults, have indeed seen a recent uptick (上昇)— due in part to stress and depression caused by the weak economy. These are the same reasons that researchers think led to the troubling rise in workplace suicides in 2008, which jumped 28% from the year before to 251.

But as far as homicide goes, federal figures show that rates are down: matching the country's general crime trends, workplace killings have fallen by more than half since the 1990s, tumbling (下落する) from 1,080 in 1994 to 517 in 2008, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The figure fell 18% from the year before. "I think there is undue anxiety (過度の不安) over homicide at work. There's no question," says Barton, who helps train the FBI to prevent workplace violence.

Police have charged Raymond Clark III, 24, a technician who worked in the same medical laboratory as Le. Authorities said Le had not previously reported any threats or harassment on the part of Clark, and the two did not have a relationship outside their professional one. No motive has been given. The vast majority of homicide victims in the U.S. are killed by people they know; among workplace homicides, however, what authorities allege happened to Le — being killed by a co-worker — is unusual. Experts say most workplace homicides involve retail and service workers killed by strangers during robberies — and even in those incidents, customers are more likely to be harmed than workers.

"These are what they call low-frequency, high-intensity (高強度の) incidents," says Daniel B. Kennedy, a forensic (法廷の) consultant and criminal justice professor at the University of Detroit Mercy, referring to Le's murder. "It does not bespeak (示す) any sudden wave of violence and homicide at the workplace. It just had a number of unique twists (ねじれ) to it."

Although the total number of killings in American workplaces remain relatively low, they still average more than one a day, and the data show that they disproportionately (偏って) affect women. In recent years homicide has been the leading cause of death of women on the job, says Corinne Peek-Asa, a professor of occupational and environmental health at the University of Iowa. Homicide accounted for 26% of female deaths on the workplace last year, federal figures show, compared with just 9% for men. Experts say better safety measures must be implemented to reduce workplace risk. "It's an area where we should be more successful at identifying and preventing violence," Peek-Asa says. "Homicides are the tip of the iceberg (氷山の一角)."

by yu-fen-sun | 2009-09-20 23:18 | 英語関連
The other day I walked along the road to the far side of the island. Kio-chan, who I hardly recognized without his trademark red Hawaiian shirt and red cap on, could be seen in the distance being walked by his dog. When I approached him, he was huffing and puffing (ハーハーと息を切らして). "Kio-chan," I said, "I didn't know you had a dog."

"I don't," he gasped (あえぐ). "This is Man-chan's dog," he said referring to his best friend, who in a bit of role reversal (役割交代で), did not happen to be the dog. "I took the dog for him when he went into the hospital last year. I've still got it," he said referring to the fact that Man-chan has been out of the hospital (退院して) for over a year now.

Kio-chan was wiping sweat from his brow (額) with a white handkerchief. Man-chan's dog, more like a small vehicle, was tugging on (ぐいっと引っ張る) Kio-chan's arm stretching it until it was longer than time.

Suddenly, in one split second, Kio-chan was yanked out of my line of sight (視線の外へ) and was now standing 10 meters away in my peripheral vision (周辺視野). "Kio-chan, come back!" I yelled, but by the time I could yell out (大声で叫ぶ), the dog was in four-paw (四足の) drive and Kio-chan was being towed along in a slow jog. He waved his handkerchief in the air as if to say goodbye in what looked more like a gesture of surrender.

Man-chan's dog is a shiba-ken, a type of Japanese dog, but it doesn't look very Japanese to me. This got me thinking about what it is that makes something Japanese. The other day, for example, I learned that cleaning in the morning is "distinctly Japanese." Ehhhh?

Yep. I found this out when my neighbor Kazu-chan had some family visiting over O-bon. Early one morning, I was sweeping the path out in front of my house when one of the visiting family members poked her head (頭を突き出す) outside the door and remarked, "Oh Amy, you are just like the Japanese. You clean in the morning."

I would think that cleaning, at any time of the day, would have to be a natural human trait as opposed to a Japanese trait. And the morning? It's just one of four times of the day you can clean. But who knows, perhaps the land of the rising sun has a patent on everything that happens in the morning.

I tried to repress bursting into the full karaoke version of the old children's song we sang in kindergarten: "This is the way we wash our clothes, wash our clothes, wash our clothes, this is the way we wash our clothes, so early in the morning." Then again, there was no refrain that said "this is the way we sweep the path so early in the morning." So maybe sweeping the path in the morning is Japanese.

I would have thought that for it to be a distinctly Japanese act, you'd have to at least use one of those short Japanese brooms (ほうき) that requires you to bend over far enough to get a good look at the dirt before you sweep it away. I've never quite understood those short brooms. Makes you feel sorry for Japanese witches.

Kazu-chan, however, vacuums only in the mornings. I can hear the vacuum cleaner going for about 20 minutes at exactly 8 a.m. as if it is on a self-timer.

I never vacuum in the morning. It just doesn't seem right. The morning is for listening to the birds singing, and watching the quacking (ガーガー鳴く) ducks from the window as they patrol the port. Why try to compete with peace? The morning is the calmest part of the day before the boats start coming in and out of the port and people start their daily buzz.

I think since Kazu-chan never sees me vacuum in the mornings, she secretly harbors suspicions (疑念を抱く) that I don't vacuum at all. On the rare occasion that she is actually home when I vacuum in the afternoon, she invariably (いつも、常に) comes next door and says, "Expecting company (来客が来る事になっている)?"

And although we often eat dinner together, if one of those nights we are barbecuing outside, she'll say, "Expecting company?" And I'll invariably smile and say, "Just you Kazu-chan." Because while to us barbecuing is just another type of cooking, in Japan it is an event.

In English we have a saying: Good fences make good neighbors. But personally, I'd rather not be fenced in one way or the other.

by yu-fen-sun | 2009-09-20 17:52 | 英語関連

Japan to host Afghan confab

Japan to host Afghan confab (懇談)

Japan plans to host a high-level meeting in November for countries eager to establish peace in Afghanistan, government and ruling bloc (与党連合) sources said Saturday.

The plan, which is in the final phase of planning, could lay the groundwork (土台を築く) for the Democratic Party of Japan-led government to end the Maritime Self-Defense Force's refueling mission in the Indian Ocean in January.

Participants, likely including Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran, the United States and the European Union, are expected to discuss security measures, economic support and humanitarian reconstruction support aimed at stabilizing the country, the sources said.

The chairman is likely to be former Finnish President Martti Ahtisaari, the 2008 Nobel Peace Prize laureate (受賞者), "for his important efforts, on several continents and over more than three decades, to resolve international conflicts," they said.

The pillar of the DPJ's Afghan peace proposal is to urge both the Taliban and a group of countries including the United States to halt fighting, withdraw their forces and deploy a noncombat international ceasefire (休戦) monitoring mission made up of personnel from Japan and other countries.
by yu-fen-sun | 2009-09-20 17:09 | 英語関連