Health

Helium Supplies Endangered, Threatening Science And Technology
January 2, 2008 10:50 AM - Washington University in St. Louis.

The element that lifts things like balloons, spirits and voice ranges is being depleted so rapidly in the world's largest reserve, outside of Amarillo, Texas, that supplies are expected to be depleted there within the next eight years. This deflates more than the Goodyear blimp and party favors. Its larger impact is on science and technology, according to Lee Sobotka, Ph.D., professor of chemistry and physics in Arts & Sciences at Washington University in St. Louis.

Colon cancer risk traced to common ancestor
January 2, 2008 08:50 AM - Reuters

LONDON (Reuters) - A married couple who sailed to America from England around 1630 are the reason why thousands of people in the United States are at higher risk of a hereditary form of colon cancer, researchers said on Wednesday. Using a genetic fingerprint, a U.S. team traced back a so-called founder genetic mutation to the couple found among two large families currently living in Utah and New York.

Silence may lead to phantom noises misinterpreted as tinnitus
January 1, 2008 10:10 PM -

Brazil - Phantom noises, that mimic ringing in the ears associated with tinnitus, can be experienced by people with normal hearing in quiet situations, according to new research published in the January 2008 edition of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery.

New plant study reveals a 'deeply hidden' layer of the transcriptome
January 1, 2008 09:55 PM - Salk Institute for Biological Studies

La Jolla, CA – Cells keep a close watch over the transcriptome – the totality of all parts of the genome that are expressed in any given cell at any given time. Researchers at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies and the University of Missouri-Kansas City have now teamed up to peel back another layer of transcriptional regulation and gain new insight into how genomes work.

Lack of deep sleep may increase risk of type 2 diabetes
January 1, 2008 09:37 PM - University of Chicago Newswire

Chicago - Suppression of slow-wave sleep in healthy young adults significantly decreases their ability to regulate blood-sugar levels and increases the risk of type 2 diabetes, report researchers at the University of Chicago Medical Center in the “Early Edition” of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science.

Beijing introduces cleaner fuel standards
January 1, 2008 08:36 PM - Reuters

BEIJING (Reuters) - China has introduced cleaner fuel standards in its capital Beijing, its latest effort to curb the city's notorious pollution ahead of the Olympic Games in August. Under the new standards, retailers will be required to supply gasoline and diesel equivalent to the Euro IV standard, a move that will cut emissions of acid rain-causing sulphur dioxide by 1,840 tonnes, the China Daily said on Wednesday, citing Beijing's Environmental Protection Bureau.

Politics and graft undermine African health care
January 1, 2008 08:03 PM - Reuters

LIBREVILLE (Reuters) - The crowd of African women are tired and angry after hours waiting in the hot sun, but the officials will not vaccinate their children until the president inaugurates the campaign on state television. When he finally does so, half a day has been lost from the five-day vaccination scheme. It is a small reminder that, for health care in Africa, politics can be as decisive as poverty.

Chile's Llaima volcano erupts, no injuries reported
January 1, 2008 07:27 PM - Reuters

SANTIAGO (Reuters) - The Llaima volcano in southern Chile erupted on Tuesday, sending a huge plume of smoke into the air, but there were no reports of damages or injuries, emergency officials said. Local television images showed a column of smoke visible from many miles away.

Men don't bother with testosterone pills: study
January 1, 2008 04:36 PM - Reuters

CHICAGO (Reuters) - Testosterone supplements don't do older men much good, Dutch researchers said on Tuesday. The amount of the hormone in the blood drops naturally as men age and is associated with a decline in physical strength and mental functioning as well as a fatter midsection.

Last year one of the safest to fly in decades
January 1, 2008 02:02 PM - Reuters

GENEVA (Reuters) - Last year was one of the safest in more than four decades to fly, with just 136 serious accidents occurring around the world, the Aircraft Crashes Record Office (ACRO) said on Tuesday. The private group, which documents air disasters worldwide, said that 965 people died in 2007 in accidents involving planes big enough to carry at least six passengers plus crew. That was 25 percent less than in 2006, and the lowest rate since 2004. The total number of accidents causing severe damage to an aircraft -- 136 -- was the smallest since 1963, making 2007 "one of the safest years since the last half century" for civil aviation, the Geneva-based ACRO said in a statement. The biggest accident last year was the July 17 crash of a TAM Brasil flight in Sao Paolo, followed by a Kenya Airways crash on May 5 and the crash off Ujung Pandang on January 1 of an Adam Air Indonesia flight, the group said.

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