Health

Green Cleaning Supplies
March 12, 2010 09:04 AM - Sierra Club Green Home

When we get out the rags and the wash buckets, we have the best of intentions. Cleanliness is a virtue, right? And healthy too! Well, if you use conventional cleaning products, perhaps not. Have you ever cleaned your shower or oven and then had teary eyes, burning nasal tissues, an itchy throat, a headache, or dizziness? Guess what? All of these symptoms and more could have been caused by chemicals commonly found in household cleaners.

Staying Young by Learning
March 10, 2010 07:18 PM - Andy Soos, ENN

An old proverb states that to stay young is to keep alert and active or: "An idle mind is the devil's workshop." University of California neurobiologists are providing the first visual evidence that learning promotes brain health — and, therefore, that mental stimulation could limit the debilitating effects of aging on memory and the mind. Using a novel visualization technique they devised to study memory, a research team found that everyday forms of learning animate neuron receptors that help keep brain cells functioning at optimum levels. These receptors are activated by a protein called brain-derived neurotrophic factor, which facilitates the growth and differentiation of the connections, or synapses, responsible for communication among neurons. BDNF is key in the formation of memories.

Attention Bikers - Google Maps is for you!
March 10, 2010 10:36 AM - Mary Catherine O'Connor, Wired

At long last, Google Maps has routes specifically for bikes. With the click of a mouse, the new feature allows you to plot the best (and flattest!) ride from Point A to Point B. Several cities, including New York, Minneapolis, San Francisco and Portland, Oregon, have bike-specific mapping sites. But Google is rolling it out in 150 cities nationwide and announcing it Wednesday at the 10th Annual Bike Summit in Washington, D.C. "This has been a top-requested feature from Google Maps users for the last couple years," says Shannon Guymon, product manager for Google Maps. "There are over 50,000 signatures on a petition."

Improved Wood Stoves could improve air quality and health
March 10, 2010 06:45 AM - Yale Environment 360 , Clean Techies

Two billion people worldwide do their cooking on open fires, producing sooty pollution that shortens millions of lives and exacerbates global warming. If widely adopted, a new generation of inexpensive, durable cook stoves could go a long way toward alleviating this problem. With a single, concerted initiative, says Lakshman Guruswami, the world could save millions of people in poor nations from respiratory ailments and early death, while dealing a big blow to global warming — and all at a surprisingly small cost.

Neglected tropical diseases NEED to be studied
March 8, 2010 07:12 AM - PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases , SciDevNet

The 'innovation gap' for neglected tropical diseases is rapidly growing, say Sandeep P. Kishore and colleagues, but research universities in the United States could help close the gap. Total research funding for diabetes is more than 15 times greater than that for malaria, and more than 100 times that of other diseases such as schistosomiasis. The authors suggest three key steps to making a meaningful impact on neglected disease research.

Garlic is Good for You
March 5, 2010 04:03 PM - Andy Soos, ENN

Garlic is known in legend as great against vampires and it is quite nice in many delicious recipes. Researchers have now designed a urine test that can simultaneously measure the extent of a potential carcinogenic process and a marker of garlic consumption in humans. In a small pilot study, the test suggested that the more garlic people consumed, the lower the levels of the potential carcinogenic process were.

All Fish Tested from U.S. Streams Found Contaminated with Mercury
March 5, 2010 06:51 AM - David Gutierrez, Natural News, Organic Consumers Association

In a new study conducted by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), every single fish tested from 291 freshwater streams across the United States was found to be contaminated with mercury. "This study shows just how widespread mercury pollution has become in our air, watersheds and many of our fish in freshwater streams," said Interior Secretary Ken Salazar.

Plague in the Wild
March 1, 2010 04:02 PM - Andy Soos, ENN

When one thinks of plague one thinks of the Black Plague in Europe in the Dark Ages that was spread by rodents. However, plague also affects wildlife. Plague, a flea borne bacterial disease introduced to North America in the late 1800s, spreads rapidly across a landscape, causing devastating effects to wildlife and posing risks to people. Conservation and recovery efforts for imperiled species such as the black footed ferret and Utah prairie dog are greatly hampered by the effects of plague. Eruptions of the fatal disease have wiped out prairie dog colonies, as well as dependent ferret populations, in many locations over the years.

New Lead-Based Paint Requirements from EPA
February 26, 2010 03:33 PM - Steven C. Russo, Sive Paget & Riesel, P.C.

In April 2008, EPA promulgated regulations governing renovations in target housing (i.e., any housing constructed prior to 1978) and child-occupied facilities. The rule was designed to ensure that owners and occupants of target housing and child-occupied facilities receive information on lead-based paint hazards prior to the commencement of renovations and to ensure that firms performing such work are certified and safe work practices followed. Pre-renovation notice requirements had been in effect since 1999; the April 2008 simply specified a new pamphlet to be distributed to owners and occupants as of December 22, 2008.

Saliva and the Pancreas
February 24, 2010 09:09 PM - Andy Soos, ENN

The pancreas is a gland organ in the digestive and endocrine system of vertebrates. It is both an endocrine gland producing several important hormones, including insulin, and somatostatin, as well as an exocrine gland, secreting pancreatic juice containing digestive enzymes that pass to the small intestine. There may soon be a new weapon in the battle against the so-called "worst" cancer - cancer of the pancreas. A multidisciplinary group of investigators from the UCLA School of Dentistry, the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, the UCLA School of Public Health and UCLA's Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center has demonstrated the usefulness of salivary diagnostics in the effort to find and fight the disease.

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