- - Monday, September 12, 2011

CONNECTICUT

Yale brings back Air Force ROTC

HARTFORD — The Air Force Reserve Officers’ Training Corps is coming back to Yale University under an agreement signed Monday, joining the Naval ROTC in returning to the Ivy League campus after a decades-long absence.

Yale had been among other prominent universities without ROTC programs until May, when it agreed to bring back the Naval ROTC after Congress voted to allow gays to serve openly in the military.

The Air Force and Navy detachments are both expected to open at the New Haven campus in the fall of 2012.

Secretary of the Air Force Michael Donley and Yale President Richard Levin signed the agreement establishing the Air Force ROTC detachment. It will enroll cadets from Yale as well as other Connecticut universities that participate in cross-town arrangements.

ILLINOIS

Study: Older pills often safer; many think new is better

CHICAGO — Many consumers mistakenly think new prescription drugs are always safer than those with long track records, and that only extremely effective drugs without major side effects win government approval, according to a new study.

A national survey of nearly 3,000 adults finds that about 4 in 10 wrongly believe the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approves only “extremely effective” drugs. One in 4 mistakenly believes the FDA allows only drugs that don’t have serious side effects.

That means consumers “may not get the benefit from drugs they think they’re getting, or they may expose themselves to more harm than they think” said study co-author Dr. Steven Woloshin of the Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice and the VA Outcomes Group.

The new survey, appearing in Monday’s Archives of Internal Medicine, revealed a partial solution to consumer confusion: Simply worded cautions can make a difference in which drugs people choose.

NEW YORK

IBM puts Watson to work in health insurance

WHITE PLAINS — IBM’s supercomputer system, best known for trouncing the world’s best “Jeopardy!” players on TV, is being tapped by one of the nation’s largest health insurers to help diagnose medical problems and authorize treatments.

WellPoint Inc., which has 34.2 million members, will integrate Watson’s lightning speed and deep health care database into its existing patient information, helping it choose among treatment options and medicines.

The WellPoint application will combine data from three sources: a patient’s chart and electronic records that a doctor or hospital has, the insurance company’s history of medicines and treatments, and Watson’s huge library of textbooks and medical journals.

IBM said the computer can then sift through it all and answer a question in moments, providing several possible diagnoses or treatments, ranked in order of the computer’s confidence, along with the basis for its answer.

PENNSYLVANIA

Funeral finally honors remains from Flight 93

SHANKSVILLE — Three caskets of unidentified remains from the crash of United Airlines Flight 93 were buried Monday in a private ceremony that filled the air with bagpipes, taps and a three-gun salute.

Some relatives of the 40 passengers and crew who died on Sept. 11, 2001, faced difficult memories, but also said they felt a sense of closure.

The remains had been maintained in a crypt for the past 10 years before the interment ceremony at the newly rechristened Flight 93 National Memorial.

A rabbi, a Buddhist sensei, a Catholic priest and a Lutheran minister officiated at the private burial. After the religious leaders spoke, the Somerset County Honor Guard played taps, and the American flags on each of the three caskets were folded and given to those in attendance.

Nearly 500 people attended the ceremony including the relatives, and police, fire and emergency workers who had responded to the crash. The park was closed to the public to give them privacy.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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