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Obesity becoming a global problem
October 22, 2007 05:34 PM - Maggie Fox, Health and Science Editor
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - People are getting fatter in all parts of the world, with the possible exception of east Asia, doctors found in a one-day global snapshot of obesity.
Overall, 24 percent of men and 27 percent of women seeing their doctors that day were obese, and another 30 percent of men and 40 percent of women were overweight, the researchers found.
That puts the rest of the world close to par with the United States, long considered the country with the worst weight problem. An estimated two-thirds of Americans are overweight and a third of these are obese.
Adult Weight Gain Raises Breast Cancer Risk
October 22, 2007 04:33 PM -
CHICAGO (Reuters) - Women who put on a lot of weight at any stage of adulthood increase their risk of breast cancer, likely because the hormone estrogen accumulates in the acquired fat and promotes tumors, researchers said on Monday.
Women who became overweight or obese had 1.4 times the risk of breast cancer compared to women whose weight remained stable or declined, their study found.
"The present findings indicate that the relations of adult weight gain to breast cancer is evident throughout the entire adulthood life span rather than being limited to a specific time in life," Jiyoung Ahn of the U.S. National Cancer Institute wrote in the Archives of Internal Medicine.
Brazil Will Burn Sugarcane Fields Until 2017
October 22, 2007 02:41 PM -
SAO PAULO (Reuters) - Almost 100 sugar and ethanol mills in Brazil's main sugar cane state Sao Paulo have agreed to stop the practice of burning cane fields by 2017, the Sugar Cane Industry Union (Unica) said on Monday.
These mills crush more than 50 percent of the cane output in Sao Paulo, Brazil's No. 1 cane producing state that accounts for around 63 percent of the national crop.
In June, Unica had signed an agreement with the state government in which mills were to ban cane burning in the state by 2017, well before 2031 target mandated by a state law.
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.