New Fingerprinting Method Tracks Mercury in Environment
September 16, 2007 12:10 PM - Paul Schaefer, ENN
ANN ARBOR, Mich.—With mercury polluting our air, soil and water and becoming concentrated in fish and wildlife as it is passed up the food chain, understanding how the potent nerve toxin travels through the environment is crucial. A new method developed at the University of Michigan uses natural "fingerprints" to track mercury and the chemical transformations it undergoes. A report on the work is published today in Science Express.
Revealing the workings of 'Mother Nature's blowtorch'
September 16, 2007 12:08 PM - University of Michigan, News
ANN ARBOR, Mich.—Using atom-level imaging techniques, University of Michigan researchers have revealed important structural details of an enzyme system known as "Mother Nature's blowtorch" for its role in helping the body efficiently break down many drugs and toxins. The research has been detailed in a series of papers, the most recent published online this month in the journal BBA Biomembranes.
Knee arthritis may be sign of early lung cancer
September 16, 2007 11:34 AM - Anthony J. Brown, MD, Reuters
NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Having isolated arthritis in one knee could be an early warning sign for lung cancer, Italian researchers suggest. "Knee monoarthritis as an early manifestation of lung cancer has never been described previously," Dr. Fabrizio Cantini, from the Hospital of Prato, told Reuters Health. He noted that the knee trouble in such cases appears very early, "with the consequent possibility of surgical removal of the cancer." The researchers reviewed the medical records of everyone with isolated knee arthritis seen at their center over a 6-year period, and report their findings in the Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases.
High U.S. cocaine cost shows drug war working: Mexico
September 15, 2007 09:56 AM - Reuters
MONTERREY, Mexico (Reuters) - Mexico's attorney general said on Friday fewer drug-related killings at home and rising narcotics prices in the United States showed his government is winning the war against cartels. President Felipe Calderon has sent thousands of troops and federal police to combat drug gangs since the start of the year but hitmen continue to carry out daylight revenge attacks across Mexico. A police chief of the central state of San Luis Potosi was killed by gunmen on Thursday.
Sick? Lonely? Genes tell the tale
September 15, 2007 09:47 AM - Maggie Fox, Health and Science Editor
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Lonely people are more likely to get sick and die young, and researchers said on Thursday they may have found out why -- their immune systems are haywire. They used a "gene chip" to look at the DNA of isolated people and found that people who described themselves as chronically lonely have distinct patterns of genetic activity, almost all of it involving the immune system. The study does not show which came first -- the loneliness or the physical traits. But it does suggest there may be a way to help prevent the deadly effects of loneliness, said Steve Cole, a molecular biologist at the University of California Los Angeles who worked on the study.
Foot and mouth found in second culled herd
September 14, 2007 10:44 AM - Reuters
LONDON (Reuters) - Cattle culled at a second farm in southern England have tested positive for foot and mouth disease, the agriculture ministry said on Friday. The herd was at a farm in Egham, in Surrey, close to one at which the disease was first found on Tuesday.
Frightened Indonesians suffer new Sumatra quakes
September 14, 2007 10:42 AM - Ahmad Pathoni, Reuters
BENGKULU, Indonesia (Reuters) - Frightened residents on Indonesia's Sumatra island huddled in tents outside their damaged homes on Friday, traumatized by the latest of more than 40 aftershocks since a huge earthquake struck two days ago. Indonesia's meteorology agency issued on Friday the latest in a series of tsunami warnings after another strong quake in Sumatra, although it was lifted about an hour later. Officials said food and other aid had reached some of the areas hit by the quake, but added many more tents were needed as people were still sleeping in the open, either because their houses had been destroyed or because they were too scared to return home in case of further quakes.
NASA Keeps Eye on Ozone Layer Amid Montreal Protocol's Success
September 14, 2007 07:21 AM - NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center
NASA scientists will join researchers from around the world to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Montreal Protocol, an international treaty designed to reduce the hole in Earth's protective ozone layer. The United Nations Environment Program will host the meeting from Sept. 23-26 in Athens, Greece. NASA scientists study climate change and research the timing of the recovery of the ozone layer.
Prolonged respiratory problems for oil spill clean-up volunteers
September 14, 2007 07:19 AM - American Thoracic Society
Workers and volunteers who helped in the clean-up effort after the 2002 Prestige oil spill off the Galician coast of Spain exhibit prolonged respiratory symptoms resulting from their exposure, say researchers from Spain in the first study to examine the long-term effects of such exposures on workers’ respiratory health.
Dirty energy threatens health of 2 billion: study
September 13, 2007 08:22 AM - Ben Hirschler -Reuters
The health of about 2 billion of the world's poor is being damaged because they lack access to clean energy, like electricity, and face exposure to smoke from open fires, scientists said on Thursday. Dangerous levels of indoor air pollutants from badly ventilated cooking fires are a common hazard, while lack of electricity deprives many of the benefits of refrigeration.