New Jersey legislature votes to end death penalty
December 13, 2007 07:21 PM - By Jon Hurdle, Reuters
TRENTON, New Jersey (Reuters) - New Jersey on Thursday became the first U.S. state to legislatively abolish the death penalty since the U.S. Supreme Court reinstated capital punishment in 1976.
Panel rejects Merck over-the-counter statin bid
December 13, 2007 07:20 PM - By Lisa Richwine, Reuters
SILVER SPRING, Maryland (Reuters) - A U.S. advisory panel urged the government on Thursday to reject Merck & Co Inc's latest bid to sell a cholesterol-lowering drug without a prescription.
Nation's Largest Retailers Accused of Organic Fraud
December 13, 2007 06:28 PM - Paul Schaefer, ENN
Seattle - In a scandal now ensnaring some of the nations leading retailers, a series of lawsuits have been filed accusing Wal-Mart, Costco, Target, Safeway, and Wild Oats of consumer fraud for marketing suspect organic milk.
The legal filings in federal courts in Seattle, Denver, and in Minneapolis, against the retailers, come on the heels of class action lawsuits against Aurora Dairy Corporation, based in Boulder, Colorado. The suits against Aurora and the grocery chains allege consumer fraud, negligence, and unjust enrichment concerning the sale of organic milk. This past April, Aurora officials received a notice from the USDA detailing multiple and "willful" violations of federal organic law that were found by federal investigators.
Psychiatrists: least religious but most interested in patients’ religion
December 13, 2007 06:13 PM - University of Chicago Newswire
Chicago - Although psychiatrists are among the least religious physicians, they seem to be the most interested in the religious and spiritual dimensions of their patients, according to survey data published in the December issue of the American Journal of Psychiatry.
Ever since Freud described religious faith as an illusion and a neurosis there has been tension and at times hostility between religion and psychiatry. Psychiatrists are less religious on average than other physicians, according to previously published data from the same survey, and non-psychiatrist physicians who are religious are less willing to refer their patients to psychiatrists.
Ingredient in human semen may enhance HIV infection
December 13, 2007 06:12 PM - Reuters
They said naturally occurring prostatic acidic phosphatase or PAP, an enzyme produced by the prostate, can form tiny fibers called amyloid fibrils that can capture bits of the human immunodeficiency virus and usher it into cells.
Study: caring for foster youth past 18 improves transition to adulthood
December 13, 2007 05:54 PM - University of Chicago Newswire
Chicago - Foster youth allowed to remain in care past age 18 are more likely to go to college than those who exit at 18, according to a study released by Chapin Hall Center for Children at the University of Chicago at a Congressional briefing. The study, which is the most comprehensive examination of youth leaving foster care since the passage of the 1999 Foster Care Independence Act, found that extending care might also increase earnings and delay pregnancy. However, when compared to adolescents not in foster care, youth aging out of the child welfare system are faring poorly as a group.
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.