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Greek forest fires: An update from WWF-Greece
September 5, 2007 07:19 AM - WWF
The forest fires ravaging Greece in recent weeks have been unprecedented. More than 60 people have lost their lives, thousands left homeless, and over 250,000 hectares of forests and agricultural land (mainly olive groves and vineyards) have burned. The fires are still burning and many have yet to be put under control. The burned area represents almost 2% of the surface area of the country.
Euro Car Makers Lag Behind Japanese Hybrids; Try To Close Gap
September 4, 2007 08:43 PM - Gilles Castonguay, Reuters
MILAN (Reuters) - Car makers will show off their latest efforts to fight pollution at Frankfurt's autoshow next week by unveiling models with improvements rather than substitutes to the standard internal combustion engine. Under pressure to reduce harmful emissions produced by their vehicles amid fears of global warming, they are keen to show the greenest of intentions with the latest line of engines that consume fuel more efficiently. For anything more advanced, like a hybrid engine, PSA Peugeot Citroen, Mercedes Benz and others will need another two years before they can show anything worthy of the road, far behind their Japanese rivals.
Mattel Plans Third Chinese Toy Recall: Report
September 4, 2007 07:16 PM - Reuters
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Toymaker Mattel Inc is to announce a third recall of Chinese-made toys because they may contain too much lead paint, the Associated Press reported on Tuesday. The latest recall involves a Fisher-Price toy and accessories to a Barbie playset and covers several hundred thousand units, the AP reported, citing two anonymous persons it said had been briefed by Mattel executives. Mattel, which has recently announced two recalls of millions of Chinese toys because of lead paint, did not immediately return a call seeking comment.
Avocados May Help Prevent Oral Cancer
September 4, 2007 07:03 PM - Ohio State University
COLUMBUS, Ohio — Nutrients taken from avocados are able to thwart oral cancer cells, killing some and preventing pre-cancerous cells from developing into actual cancers, according to researchers at Ohio State University. Researchers found that extracts from Hass avocados kill or stop the growth of pre-cancerous cells that lead to oral cancer. Hass avocados are year-round fruits known for their distinctive bumpy skin that turns from green to purplish-black as they ripen.
Grandparents Spend $27.5 Billion Per Year On Grandkids
September 4, 2007 05:35 PM - Paul Schaefer, ENN
SACRAMENTO, Calif. - A new survey shows that 56 million US grandparents spend, on average $27.5 billion nationwide on their grandchildren each year. The study also says they'd spend more if they could according to a study conducted by two California State University, Sacramento professors on behalf of a financial services company.
NY Lifeguard Rescues Shark From Swimmers
September 4, 2007 08:03 AM - Associated Press
When a Coney Island lifeguard spied a shark near an upset group of swimmers, he did what he thought was right: He rescued the fish. Marisu Mironescu, 39, said he was prompted to action Monday after seeing about 75 to 100 people circling the 2-foot sand shark off the beach and "bugging out."
Viruses in Water: The Imaginative In Pursuit of the Fugitive
September 4, 2007 07:55 AM - Society for General Microbiology
Water-borne enteric viruses are probably not the first microorganisms which spring to mind when thinking of polluted water. Cholera, typhoid and cryptosporidiosis are more prominent in the public mind, though viruses are likely to have been the cause of many outbreaks of water-borne disease. The difficulty has, until comparatively recently, been proving the link between the water and the sick person.
Mo. Wineries Expect Tiny Harvest
September 4, 2007 07:46 AM - The Associated Press
A combination of the Easter freeze and hungry birds has left Missouri's wineries predicting a tiny harvest this year and big economic losses. Vineyards across the state are reporting 85 to 100 percent losses of certain types of grapes, while the overall loss is estimated to be around 60 percent. Agricultural officials are still assessing the damage, but they say losses could total $2 million to $3 million. Wine enthusiasts likely won't see much difference because wineries said they'll buy grapes from other states to make up the difference. But that does little to assuage the economic bite.
One man's genes show DNA is still a mystery
September 4, 2007 07:38 AM - Reuters
The first detailed map of a man's genes shows the genetic code is even more complex than anyone thought. For instance, science still cannot pinpoint what makes a person's eyes blue. Initial study of genome entrepreneur Craig Venter's own DNA map shows 4.1 million places where his genetic code is different from the basic "reference" human genome. This is many more than had been expected, including big differences that extend far beyond the single-letter changes that account for much of the variation seen so far.
Study: Men Go For Looks, Women For Money, Security
September 4, 2007 06:57 AM - Randolph E. Schmid - Associated Press
NEW YORK - People may claim looks or money aren't everything when picking a mate but when it comes to the crunch, men go for beauty and women choose wealth and security, according to an international study. Indiana University cognitive scientist Peter Todd and colleagues from Germany, England and Scotland used a speed-dating session in Germany to look at what people said they wanted in a mate with whom they actually chose. "While humans may pride themselves on being highly evolved, most still behave like the stereotypical Neanderthals when it comes to choosing a mate," Todd said in a statement.