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Los Angeles School Gardens Take Root, Get Funding
October 2, 2007 09:46 PM -
LOS ANGELES - Some California schoolkids are going to have the opportunity to grow their lunch, and many more plants.
California Secretary of Agriculture, A.G. Kawamura, is scheduled to address the teachers and principals this week on the important role school gardens play on campus as "learning laboratories." LA schools will be receiving more than $1.7 million in CISGP grant funds to be used for supplies, professional development and technical assistance for school gardens at more than 500 sites this school year. More than 30,000 seedlings will be available for teachers who are interested in launching or enhancing their own school garden.
Movie Smoking Linked To Teen Smoking
October 2, 2007 09:19 PM - UC San Francisco, News
San Francisco, California - New study findings show that exposure to on-screen smoking in movies has a strong correlation with beginning to smoke or becoming established smokers among young adults 18-25, a critical age group for lifelong smoking behavior.
The research was conducted by a team from the University of California, San Francisco. Previous studies from around the world found that viewing on-screen smoking was linked to recruitment of adolescent smokers, but this is the first time that smoking among young adults has been associated with their exposure to smoking scenes on screen, said senior author Stanton Glantz, PhD, professor of medicine and director of the UCSF Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education.
"Ages 18 to 25 are critical years, when one-third of smokers start and others who began smoking as adolescents either stop smoking or become regular smokers," he said.
Lizzard Mating Game Offers Insight Into Humans
October 2, 2007 09:05 PM - UC Santa Cruz News
Santa Cruz, California - An intricate three-way mating struggle first observed in a species of North American lizard has been discovered in a distant relative, the European common lizard. The two species are separated by 5,000 miles and 175 million years of evolution, yet they share behavioral and reproductive details right down to the gaudy colors of the males, according to new research published in the November issue of American Naturalist and now available online.
The triangle of competing strategies, which biologists liken to the children's game rock-paper-scissors, may be far more common than previously recognized--and may even shape the way humans behave, according to lead author Barry Sinervo, professor of ecology and evolutionary biology at the University of California, Santa Cruz.
Obama would seek nuclear ban if elected
October 2, 2007 08:28 PM - Andrew Stern
CHICAGO (Reuters) - Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama said on Tuesday if elected president he would pursue a global ban on nuclear weapons as he sought to pick up ground on his front-running rival, Hillary Clinton.
"Here's what I'll say as president: America seeks a world in which there are no nuclear weapons," Obama said.
Obama marked the five-year anniversary of a speech he gave as a U.S. Senate candidate outlining his opposition to the Iraq war, noting it came just 10 days before his top rival for the party nomination, New York Sen. Clinton, voted to back the invasion of Iraq.
"Let's be clear: without that vote, there would be no war," Obama told DePaul University students. "This is not just a matter of debating the past. It's about who has the best judgment to make the critical decisions of the future."
Obesity may push U.S. health costs above Europe: study
October 2, 2007 12:31 PM - Reuters
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Nearly twice as many U.S. adults are obese compared to European, a key factor leading Americans to suffer more often from cancer, diabetes and other chronic ailments, a study released on Tuesday found.
Treatment of these and other chronic diseases adds between $100 billion and $150 billion to the annual health care tab in the United States, according to the report comparing U.S. and European health published online in the journal Health Affairs.
The United States spends significantly more per capita than any European country on health care, about $2 trillion annually, or 16 percent of the gross domestic product. While the big discrepancy has been linked to higher U.S. prices for medical treatment, the report said a sicker population may also be a factor.
Not all types of fat are harmful
October 2, 2007 08:22 AM - Tan Ee Lyn -Reuters
While it has long been held that too much fat in the liver may result in diabetes, researchers appear to have discovered that not all types of fat are harmful.
Writing in the latest issue of Nature Medicine, a group of Japanese scientists described how they changed the fat composition in the livers of mutant mice and fed them exactly the same rich, fatty diet as other mice.
Researchers surprised so few kids take vitamins
October 1, 2007 06:23 PM - Will Dunham, Reuters
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Less than a third of U.S. children are taking vitamin and mineral dietary supplements, according to a study published on Monday by researchers who were surprised the number was so low.
All told, 32 percent of U.S. children used a dietary supplement in the past month, based on a nationally representative survey from 1999 to 2002 that included 10,136 children age 18 or younger, the researchers said.
The most commonly used supplements were multivitamins and multiminerals, taken by 18 percent of the children. Another 4 percent used single-vitamin supplements and 2 percent used single-mineral supplements, and just under 1 percent used botanical supplements, the researchers said.
Beverly Hills bans smoking at outdoor restaurants
October 1, 2007 05:56 PM -
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Outdoor smoking at Beverly Hills restaurants was officially banned on Monday under a city law aimed at promoting a healthier environment for diners in the home to the stars.
Smokers who light up on outdoor restaurant and bar patios face fines ranging from $100 for a first offense to $500 for persistent offenders as the ordinance took effect in the city famous for its Rodeo Drive designer shopping street.
It applies to virtually all outdoor restaurants and hotels, including celebrity haunts like the Caffe Roma and Spago patios frequented by cigar-loving California governor and former action star Arnold Schwarzenegger.
USDA seeks help from consumers after beef recall
October 1, 2007 05:44 PM - Reuters
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Agriculture Department on Monday said consumers play a major role in avoiding any of the 21.7 million pounds of ground beef, at risk for the E. coli bacteria, flagged in the fifth-largest meat recall in U.S. history.
The recall by Topps Meat Company LLC has generated reports of 27 illnesses suspected to be linked to the recalled meat, USDA said, but just three have been confirmed.
The department suspended the raw processed meat operations of Topps on September 26 after an initial recall of 331,582 pounds of frozen ground beef products.
"This is frozen product" and could still be in home freezers, said Richard Raymond, the Agriculture Department's undersecretary for food safety. He added that "consumers have a big role" in getting the meat out of circulation.
Killer Amoeba Blamed for Six Deaths
October 1, 2007 03:50 PM - Chris Kahn, AP, Lisa Vorderbruggen, Contra Costa Times / MCT
"This is definitely something we need to track," said Michael Beach, a specialist in recreational waterborne illnesses for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
"This is a heat-loving amoeba. As water temperatures go up, it does better," Beach said. "In future decades, as temperatures rise, we'd expect to see more cases."