Lice from fish farms threaten Canadian wild salmon
December 13, 2007 05:13 PM - Julie Steenhuysen, Reuters

CHICAGO (Reuters) - Infestations of sea lice at salmon farms on Canada's west coast are threatening local wild pink salmon populations and could result in their extinction in another four years, Canadian researchers said on Thursday.

Quake early warning system predicts shaking, averts casulties
December 13, 2007 04:54 PM - UC Berkeley Newswire

BERKELEY -- A California earthquake early warning system now being tested accurately predicted the ground shaking in San Francisco a few seconds before the city felt the Oct. 30, 2007, magnitude 5.4 quake near San Jose, according to a statewide team of seismologists.

Active early warning systems already created in places like Japan, Taiwan, Mexico and Turkey automatically stop elevators at the nearest floor, halt trains, isolate hazardous chemical systems and machinery and move people to a safer location or position.

Scientists discover genetic switch for circadian rhythms
December 13, 2007 04:48 PM - University of California, Irvine Newswire

Irvine, California — University of California, Irvine researchers have identified the chemical switch that triggers the genetic mechanism regulating our internal body clock. The finding, which uncovers the most specific information about the body’s circadian rhythms to date, identifies a precise target for new pharmaceuticals that can treat sleep disorders and a host of related ailments. The study appears in the Dec. 13 issue of Nature.  Paolo Sassone-Corsi, Distinguished Professor and Chair of Pharmacology, found that a single amino acid activates the genes that regulate circadian rhythms. Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins, and Sassone-Corsi was surprised to find that only a single amino acid activates the body-clock mechanism because of the complex genes involved.

California scientists create new standard for cleaner transportation fuels
December 13, 2007 04:32 PM - University of California Newswire

Davis, California - University of California experts today released their much-anticipated blueprint for fighting global warming by reducing the amount of carbon emitted when transportation fuels are used in California.  This "Low Carbon Fuel Standard," designed to stimulate improvements in transportation-fuel technologies, is expected to become the foundation for similar initiatives in other states, as well as nationally and internationally.

Poisonings, suicides fuel rise in U.S. injuries, deaths
December 13, 2007 03:44 PM - By Will Dunham, Reuters

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The death rate from injury in the United States is rising this decade after declining since the late 1970s, spurred by increases in accidental poisonings and suicides, health officials said on Thursday.

Indonesian man dies from bird flu
December 13, 2007 03:44 PM - Reuters

Runizar Roesin, head of the bird flu centre in Jakarta, told Reuters the 47-year-old man from Tangerang died on Thursday evening.

Mitchell steroid report fingers top baseball stars
December 13, 2007 03:13 PM - By Larry Fine, Reuters

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Dozens of top baseball stars including Roger Clemens were named on Thursday in the long-awaited Mitchell Report on steroids use, which Major League Baseball hopes will help clean its tarnished image.

Growing chronic disease will hit poor nations
December 13, 2007 12:58 PM - Naomi Antony, SciDevNet

Developing countries will be severely hit by a growing epidemic of chronic noncommunicable diseases (CNCDs), say the authors of a new series launched by The Lancet this week (4 December). CNCDs include heart disease, respiratory disease, diabetes and cancer — diseases that are often seen as secondary to the threat of infectious disease in the developing world. But experts say CNCDs are becoming an increasing danger, and low- and middle-income countries must take action now.

Countries 'ill prepared' as bird flu risk continues
December 13, 2007 12:54 PM - T. V. Padma, SciDevNet

NEW DELHI - Many countries continue to be plagued by poor bird flu surveillance and diagnosis capacity, and weak national preparedness plans, experts have warned.

The third global progress report of the United Nations System Influenza Coordination (UNSIC) and the World Bank is released this month (December). It warns that the risk of global influenza pandemic is as great in late 2007 as it was in mid-2005, when the first cases began to emerge.

Biocapture surfaces produced for study of brain chemistry
December 13, 2007 12:24 PM - Penn State

A research team at Penn State has developed a novel method for attaching small molecules, such as neurotransmitters, to surfaces, which then are used to capture large biomolecules. By varying the identity and spacing of the tethered molecules, researchers can make the technique applicable to a wide range of bait molecules including drugs, chemical warfare agents, and environmental pollutants. Ultimately, the researchers also hope to identify synthetic biomolecules that recognize neurotransmitters so that they can fabricate extremely small biosensors to study neurotransmission in the living brain.

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