Health

Irish funding fertilises Malawian tree project
October 22, 2007 02:29 PM - Charles Mkoka

Malawi has begun its four-year 'fertiliser trees' project to reduce the reliance of subsistence farmers on expensive fertilisers.

The Agro-forestry Food Security Programme has received €1 million (US$1.4 million) in funds from the government of Ireland and commenced last month (September) to coincide with the rainy season.

Under the programme, farmers are being encouraged to plant particular shrubs with their crops to improve the soil through nitrogen fixation (see Malawi to roll out 'fertiliser trees' project).

France Gondwe, of the World Agroforestry Centre in Lilongwe, Malawi, said the project is scaling up a farming practice that over 100,000 Malawian farmers had been using for the last ten years.

 

 

 

 

Bee Expert: Insecticides, Climate, Malnutrition, Paracites And Microbes Collapsing Bee Colonies
October 22, 2007 11:15 AM - Paul Schaefer, ENN

Davis, California - Noted University of California, Davis honey bee specialist Eric Mussen fingered a line-up of prime suspects in the case of  Disappearing Bees. Mussen identified malnutrition, parasitic mites, infectious microbes and insecticide contamination as among the possible culprits. It's a complex issue, he said, but one thing is certain: "It seems unlikely that we will find a specific, new and different reason for why bees are dying."

"One third of our U.S. diet depends on honey bees," Mussen said. "If bees produce fruits and vegetables somewhere else, do we (Americans) want to be as dependent on food as we are on oil?"

Jolie, Pitt Spotlight Aid Workers In Documentary Series
October 22, 2007 10:49 AM - Nellie Andreeva

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt are making their first joint producing effort with an HBO series about aid workers.

The untitled drama will explore the behind-the scenes politics of an international aid organization, and chronicle the lives of humanitarian workers assigned to dangerous zones and the needy people they assist.

Jolie and Pitt will serve as executive producers, along with Scott Burns, who will write the pilot. Burns co-wrote "The Bourne Ultimatum" and was a producer of "An Inconvenient Truth."

Cancer survival is not influenced by a patient's emotional status
October 22, 2007 07:55 AM - University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine

A patient’s positive or negative emotional state has no direct or indirect effect on cancer survival or disease progression, according to a large scale new study. Published in the December 1, 2007 issue of CANCER, a peer-reviewed journal of the American Cancer Society, the study found that emotional well-being was not an independent factor affecting the prognosis of head and neck cancers.

Don't go near the baobab at Nigerian heritage site
October 22, 2007 12:43 AM - Estelle Shirbon

SUKUR, Nigeria (Reuters) - Visitors to Sukur are warned not to approach a certain ancient baobab tree because, villagers say, it turns people into hermaphrodites.

It is an atmospheric introduction to this Nigerian World Heritage Site for the trickle of outsiders who come, but villagers who trek up and down from the remote hillside community are ready for an injection of modernity.

A road would be a start.

Oceans seen soaking up less CO2
October 20, 2007 04:22 PM -

LONDON (Reuters) - The world's oceans appear to be soaking up less carbon dioxide, new environmental research has shown, a development that could speed up global warming.

A 10-year study by researchers from the University of East Anglia has shown that the uptake of CO2 by the North Atlantic ocean halved between the mid-1990s and 2002-2005.

California To Sue EPA next week on Carmaker Emissions Waiver
October 20, 2007 04:16 PM -

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - California will sue the Environmental Protection Agency next week in the state's bid to crack down on greenhouse gas emissions from vehicles, a spokesman for Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger said on Saturday.

California will file a lawsuit against the EPA demanding the right to set its own limits on vehicle emissions that are stricter than national standards, spokesman Aaron McLear said.

California, which has become a leader on environmental issues in the United States, passed a state law in 2005 that would require new vehicles to meet progressively tighter standards for greenhouse gas emissions starting with 2009 models.

USDA Approves Chip Implants that Cause Cancer Tumors
October 19, 2007 06:47 PM -

Over the past couple of years, the OCA has reported on the National Animal Identification System (NAIS), a set of controversial, mandatory regulations the U.S. federal government claims to have abandoned to the states, but in fact is still pushing, specifically, in the 2007 Farm Bill. NAIS would require that all farmers and farm animal owners implant their animals with a computer chip, even those who just own a single cow, horse, chicken or other farm animal.

New strain of strep emerges as major U.S. infection
October 19, 2007 10:11 AM - Maggie Fox -Reuters

A new strain of bacteria is emerging as a major cause of childhood infections but even drug-resistant versions of the bug can be killed off with the right antibiotics, doctors said on Thursday. Doctors and parents should be aware of it, however, and switch antibiotics for children with severe infections who do not respond quickly to standard therapy.

Doctors warn of harm from kids' cough, cold drugs
October 18, 2007 12:25 PM - Lisa Richwine, Reuters

SILVER SPRING, Maryland (Reuters) - Over-the-counter cough and cold medicines can be dangerous for young children and there is no evidence they work, doctors told a U.S. advisory panel on Thursday.

A week ago, major makers voluntarily pulled cough and cold drugs for children up to age 2. But physicians are pushing the government to restrict marketing for use up to age 6.

"Cough and cold products pose genuine risks when given to children under the age of 6 with no associated benefit," Dr. Michael Shannon, professor of pediatrics at Harvard Medical School, told a Food and Drug Administration advisory panel.

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