Lifestyle

California Wildfires Destroy Animal Habitats : USFWS
October 29, 2007 10:00 AM - Reuters

Los Angeles - Wildfires that began last week and continue to burn in southern California have destroyed thousands of acres of vegetation and habitat on Hopper Mountain and San Diego National Wildlife Refuges, forced the temporary closure of the Carlsbad Fish and Wildlife Office, and spurred deployment of more than 40 Service firefighters to the region.

As of Wednesday, more than 1,500 homes have been destroyed by wildfires in five southern California counties. Property damage is estimated at $1 Billion in San Diego County alone. All Service employees in the affected areas are accounted for and no employees' homes have been damaged by fire.

What's the brain got to do with education?
October 29, 2007 09:17 AM - University of Bristol

Quite a lot - according to teachers in a recent survey commissioned by The Innovation Unit and carried out by researchers at the University of Bristol. Although current teacher training programmes generally omit the science of how we learn, an overwhelming number of the teachers surveyed felt neuroscience could make an important contribution in key educational areas. The research was undertaken to inform a series of seminars between educationalists and neuroscientists organised by the Teaching and Learning Research Programme (TLRP) and the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC).

Croc hunter Irwin believed he'd die young: wife
October 29, 2007 07:45 AM - Reuters

Quirky crocodile hunter Steve Irwin had a sixth sense that he would die young, his American-born wife Terri said on Monday.

More than a year after the Khaki-clad naturalist died from a stingray's barb that pierced his heart, Terri Irwin told Australian television she had always tried to deflect her 44-year old husband's darker moments.

California fire victims find long path to recovery
October 29, 2007 07:38 AM - Daisuke Wakabayashi -Reuters

Sifting through the ash-covered rubble where her family's home stood one week ago, Nicole Booth combs the scorched remains of a life left behind in the wildfires that blanketed this Southern California town.

The blaze consumed the family home leaving only the concrete foundation to support the half-chewed appliances and melted metal frames. The trees and grass that once surrounded the home are now gone, replaced by barren brown fields.

 

 

 

Study Claims Smoking not linked to more advanced breast cancer
October 28, 2007 11:54 PM - Reuters

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - In a study that is sure to be questioned and criticized, one research group claims that women who develop breast cancer are no more likely to have aggressive or advanced tumors if they are cigarette smokers than if they do not smoke. The study's author, Dr MatthewAbramowitz said the study did not evaluate whether smokers were more likely than nonsmokers to have complications in treatment for breast cancer or die from the disease. However, the National Cancer Institute said cigarette smoking causes 87 percent of lung cancer deaths and is responsible for most cancers of the larynx, mouth, esophagus and bladder. The group emphasizes that tobacco use, particularly cigarette smoking, is the most preventable cause of death in the United States.

Discovery may help treat drug addicts
October 28, 2007 11:43 PM - Reuters

SANTIAGO (Reuters) - Chilean scientists have made a discovery in the brains of rats that they say may help treat drug addiction and ease the side effects of some medications.

Researchers at the Pontifical Catholic University in Santiago say they identified a region of the brain, the insular cortex, that plays an important role in drug craving.

Tests on amphetamine-addicted laboratory rats showed that when the insular cortex was deactivated by injecting a drug that halted brain cell activity, the rats showed no signs of addiction.

Asians seek out the sun despite cancer threats
October 28, 2007 11:33 PM - Tan Ee Lyn, Reuters

HONG KONG (Reuters) - It's autumn in Hong Kong but the island's beaches are still crowded with sun worshippers desperate to catch the last rays of sunshine before winter.

"I love the bronze color," says sunbather Richard Tong.

A growing trend in East Asia to soak up the sun either on beaches or in tanning salons is worrying dermatologists in the region who say they are seeing a rise in skin cancer, which is caused by cumulative over-exposure to the sun.

Edwards unveils plan to control drug advertising
October 28, 2007 11:27 PM -

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards on Sunday unveiled a plan to put controls on drug advertising, which he said were misleading patients and driving up health care costs.

The former North Carolina senator, who has attacked lobbyists and championed the concerns of the poor in his campaign, proposes delays on consumer advertising of new drugs and tougher Food and Drug Administration oversight over drug marketing.

"The excessive costs of prescription drugs are straining family budgets and contributing to runaway health care costs," Edwards said at the start of a seven-day campaign tour of the early-voting states of New Hampshire and Iowa.

Mortgage woes propel Calif. foreclosures to record
October 27, 2007 12:18 PM - Jim Christie, Reuters

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Mortgage lenders launched more than 70,000 foreclosure proceedings in California in the third quarter, marking a record for the state, where many housing markets are slumping amid mortgage market turmoil, according to a report released on Friday.

Mortgage lenders filed 72,571 notices of default against delinquent borrowers from July through September, up 34.5 percent from the prior quarter and 166.6 percent from a year earlier, according to the report by DataQuick Information Systems, a La Jolla, California-based real estate information service.

California's third-quarter default level topped the state's previous peak of 61,541 in the first quarter of 1996, reflecting a surge in mortgage borrowers failing to keep up with loan payments.

Californians return to fire-scarred homes
October 27, 2007 12:15 PM - Dan Whitcomb, Reuters

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Thousands of Californians forced from their neighborhoods by this week's wind-whipped wildfires returned home on Friday, some of them finding their property unscathed amid the destruction and others discovering nothing but blackened rubble.

In San Diego County, where an estimated 500,000 people fled the smoke and flames in the largest mass evacuation in modern California history, lines of cars streamed back into fire-scarred mountain communities that had been left ghost towns.

Traffic was jammed for miles as weary residents made their way one at a time past police checkpoints. In some neighborhoods the hop-scotching fires left a single home standing while burning everything else to the ground.

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