California Fire Codes Put Focus on Plastic Decking Concerns
November 5, 2007 11:15 AM - Stan Korthals Altes , BuildingGreen
A highly publicized series of wildfires has struck California in the last decade, putting a focus on homes in wildfire-prone areas and the flammable materials they are constructed from—including roofing, siding, and decking. Taking effect on January 1, 2008, the Wildland-Urban Interface Building Codes, developed by the California Office of the State Fire Marshal (SFM), aim to protect homes and the safety of occupants and firefighters. Among other provisions, the codes restrict relatively flammable decking, including wood-plastic composites.
The new codes affect “Fire Hazard Severity Zones,” identified by topography (fire spreads faster on slopes), vegetation that fuels fires, weather patterns, history of past wildfires, and likelihood of fire spreading from neighboring areas. Those zones affect a significant portion of the state, mostly in rural areas, but they also frequently intersect with populated areas. According to Kevin Reinertson at SFM, the standards have been projected to affect 8%–11% of new construction in California.
Sweep of lung cancer genome reveals new gene
November 4, 2007 06:53 PM - By Julie Steenhuysen
CHICAGO (Reuters) - An effort to map the genetic landscape of lung cancer has turned up a host of new genes, including one that controls the growth of cells essential for lung function, an international team of researchers said on Sunday.
This study of aberrations in the genetic code of lung adenocarcinoma -- the most common form of lung cancer -- found 57 changes frequently associated with the tumors.
Only about a third of the changes are linked with the 15 genes already known to play a role in lung cancer.
Artery disease rises among U.S. women: study
November 4, 2007 03:57 PM - Will Dunham
ORLANDO, Florida (Reuters) - More U.S. women are developing a type of artery disease that raises the risk of death from heart disease and stroke, researchers said on Sunday.
Researchers used U.S. government health surveys to track rates of peripheral artery disease, known as PAD, in people age 40 and up with no outward symptoms of cardiovascular illness. PAD is a circulatory condition in which narrowed arteries cut blood flow to the limbs.
Cargill Recalls 1 Million Lbs Of Ground Beef
November 3, 2007 11:39 PM - Reuters
CHICAGO (Reuters) - Agricultural giant Cargill Inc said on Saturday it was recalling more than 1 million pounds of ground beef distributed in the United States because of possible E. coli contamination.
Cargill Meat Solutions said the 1.084 million pounds (491,700 kg) of ground beef was produced at the Wyalusing, Pennsylvania, facility between October 8 and October 11, and distributed to retailers across the country.
The retail chains that sold the beef include Giant, Shop Rite, Stop & Shop, Wegmans and Weis.
Monsanto’s rBGH Profits Down; More Dairies Go rBGH-Free
November 3, 2007 11:23 PM - Ken Roseboro, The Organic and Non-GMO Report
Monsanto Company recently announced that profits from its genetically modified bovine growth hormone, Posilac, also known as rBGH, will fall 16% in 2007 due to “pressure in the dairy business,” according to chief financial officer, Terry Crews.
Protecting Organic From GMO's - New Standards Proposed
November 3, 2007 11:15 PM - Ken Roseboro, The Organic and Non-GMO Report
Baltimore, MD - A draft standard for verifying the non-GMO status of natural and organic foods was introduced at a meeting held at Natural Products Expo East in Baltimore in September. The Board members of the Non-GMO Project, an industry initiative to verify the non-GMO status of natural and organic foods, discussed the draft non-GMO standard.
Remains of Hurricane Noel batter New England coast
November 3, 2007 06:21 PM - Scott Malone, reuters
BOSTON (Reuters) - The remnants of Hurricane Noel, the deadliest storm of the 2007 Atlantic hurricane season, battered the New England coast on Saturday with winds gusting up to 71 miles per hour and heavy rain. About 25,000 homes and businesses had lost power by late afternoon, with forecasters expecting the "Nor'easter" storm to reach its peak strength around 8 p.m.
Researchers can predict lung cancer survival
November 2, 2007 12:10 PM - UCLA News Service
Los Angeles - Researchers at UCLA's Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center have discovered a novel mechanism to predict survival in older women with early stage lung cancer. The finding may have significant implications for new treatment approaches.
For the first time, UCLA researchers linked higher levels of aromatase, an enzyme that naturally makes estrogen from another hormone called androgen, to more aggressive disease and lower survival rates in women over 65 with Stage 1 or 2 lung cancer. The discovery not only gives physicians a possible new tool to predict survival but may also provide a target for therapy using aromatase inhibitors, already approved for the treatment of breast cancer.
Tens of thousands trapped in Mexico floods
November 2, 2007 11:37 AM - Luis Manuel Lopez, Reuters
VILLAHERMOSA, Mexico (Reuters) - Tens of thousands of Mexicans were trapped on rooftops and others clung to lampposts on Thursday after heavy rains flooded nearly the entire southern state of Tabasco.
At least 500,000 people were made homeless and one person was killed in the worst flooding the swampy state has seen in more than 50 years.
President Felipe Calderon said it was one of the worst natural disasters in Mexico's history.
Television images showed rescue workers hauling people out turbulent, brown waters that rose as high as the roofs of houses. Children floated down a street in a plastic tub.
Noel becomes hurricane, moves toward Bermuda
November 1, 2007 09:47 PM - Michael Christie, Reuters
MIAMI (Reuters) - Tropical Storm Noel, whose rains have killed at least 108 people in the Caribbean, strengthened into a hurricane in the Atlantic on Thursday as it moved away from the Bahamas toward Bermuda, U.S. forecasters said.
The center of Noel was about 810 miles west-southwest of Bermuda by 8 p.m. EDT and its maximum sustained winds had reached near 75 miles per hour, the U.S. National Hurricane Center said.
Noel is now a Category 1 hurricane, the lowest level on the Saffir/Simpson scale.
A hurricane watch was in effect for the northwestern Bahamas as Noel moved farther away on a long-anticipated shift to the north-northeast that would eventually bring it as a possibly fierce but nontropical storm to Nova Scotia, Canada.