Health

Higher Gasoline Price Seen Trimming Down Americans
September 11, 2007 06:28 PM - Reuters

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Higher U.S. gasoline prices may slim more than just wallets, according to a new study from Washington University in St. Louis. Entitled "A Silver Lining? The Connection between Gas Prices and Obesity," the study found that an additional $1 per gallon in real gasoline prices would reduce U.S. obesity by 15 percent after five years. The report, written by Charles Courtemanche for his doctoral dissertation in health economics, found that the 13 percent rise in obesity between 1979 and 2004 can be attributed to falling pump prices.

China: Terrorism "Big Threat" To Olympics
September 11, 2007 05:24 PM - China Daily News

Beijing, China - Top Chinese leaders said today that terrorism poses the biggest threat to a successful Beijing Olympic Games. That from the Minister of Public Security, Zhou Yongkang. He called for closer international collaboration on information sharing and risk analysis. "Although the general security situation for the Beijing Olympics remains stable, we still face the challenges of terrorism, separatism and extremism," the minister said. "Terrorism, in particular, poses the biggest threat."

Brain Network Related To Intelligence Identified
September 11, 2007 04:35 PM - UC Irvine News

Irvine, California - A primary mystery puzzling neuroscientists -- where in the brain lies intelligence? -- just may have a unified answer. In a review of 37 imaging studies related to intelligence, including their own, Richard Haier of the University of California, Irvine and Rex Jung of the University of New Mexico have uncovered evidence of a distinct neurobiology of human intelligence. Their Parieto-Frontal Integration Theory (P-FIT) identifies a brain network related to intelligence, one that primarily involves areas in the frontal and the parietal lobes.

Ontario’s Political Leaders, Polluted?
September 11, 2007 03:42 PM - Environmental Defense

Toronto, Ontario — Tests reveal that three Ontario political leaders - who willingly submitted to the testing - are contaminated with pollutants found in the environment and in everyday products, according to a report released today by Environmental Defence. For the first time in Canada, Environmental Defense tested for bisphenol A (found in hard plastic bottles and tin can linings), a hormone disruptor that is under review by the federal government.

Report: Atrazine Contaminates Midwest Drinking Water
September 11, 2007 03:34 PM - NRDC

WASHINGTON — New water quality data obtained by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) confirms high levels of Atrazine — a cancer-causing pesticide — in Midwest drinking water supplies. Environmental Protection Agency data reveals raised Atrazine levels in 94 of 136 water systems tested at the source. Tests were conducted in Indiana, Ohio, Iowa, Kentucky, Minnesota and Nebraska.

Panel Urges "Smarter" Tracking Of Risky Imports
September 11, 2007 02:50 PM - Paul Eckert, Asia Correspondent

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A Bush administration import safety panel urged government agencies on Monday to work together to focus on the riskiest products in a "fundamental change" in import monitoring, following a spate of tainted or unsafe goods from China. The panel headed by Health and Human Services Secretary Michael Leavitt told President George W. Bush in a report that inspecting all of the $2 trillion of imports that enter the United States each year would slow international trade and divert attention away from the riskiest products. "Instead, we have to be smarter about what we do," said the report of the Interagency Working Group on Import Safety.

Prenatal Testosterone May Play Autism Role
September 11, 2007 12:52 PM - Michael Kahn, reuters

YORK (Reuters) - Children exposed to high levels of testosterone in the womb showed more autism-related traits later in life, according to findings that suggest the male hormone may play a key role in the complex brain disorder. The results support a hypothesis that higher levels of testosterone may contribute to autism and reinforce findings from tests on animals, said Simon Baron-Cohen, director of the Autism Research Centre at Britain's Cambridge University, who worked on the study. He called the findings of the ongoing research promising but cautioned that they did not show a direct link between autism and testosterone and said other factors could be involved. None of the 235 children in the study had autism.

House of Representatives Plans To Go Carbon Neutral
September 11, 2007 12:29 PM - Courtesy of, BuildingGreen

WASHINGTON - A new report details plans to move the U.S. House of Representatives to carbon-neutral operation by the end of 2008, to reduce energy consumption in House facilities by 50% from 2006 levels by 2017, and to “make House operations a model of sustainability.” The initiative, headed by Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D—CA) and Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D—MD), calls for the House to achieve carbon neutrality by purchasing electricity from renewable sources, purchasing carbon offsets on the Chicago Climate Exchange, and switching the fuel for the Capitol power plant from coal to natural gas.

Chemicals Pollute Ontario’s Political Leaders
September 11, 2007 12:09 PM - Environmental Defense

Toronto, Ontario — Test results reveal that three Ontario political leaders are contaminated with pollutants found in the environment and in everyday products, according to a report released today by Environmental Defence. For the first time in Canada, Environmental Defence tested for bisphenol A (found in hard plastic bottles and tin can linings), a hormone disruptor that is under review by the federal government.

Can't Quit Chocolate? Don't Fret, It's No Addiction
September 11, 2007 11:48 AM - Michael Kahn, Reuters

YORK (Reuters) - Resistance is futile. The more we try to fight off a craving for chocolate, the more our desire for it grows, a British researcher said on Tuesday. But chocoholics can take heart that such sweets are not addictive despite the fact many people consider themselves as having no control over their urges to eat the sweets, said Peter Rogers, a psychologist at the University of Bristol. "Food behavior can look like addictive behavior in extreme situations but chocolate does not fit these criteria," Rogers told a meeting sponsored by the British Association for the Advancement of Science.

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