Afghan city takes action to save ancient minarets
October 19, 2007 10:50 AM - Sayed Salahuddin -Reuters

A group of mediaeval minarets in the Afghan city of Herat could be saved thanks to the closure of a busy road threatening their foundations.

The minarets, standing at more than 100 feet, are all that remain of what was once a brilliantly decorated complex for Islamic learning and devotion on the Silk Road on the outskirts of the western Afghan city.

Five Ways to Green the Season
October 18, 2007 12:39 PM - ,

Now that fall is here, there's no denying it – winter's just around the corner. Sure, you'll want to stock up on scarves, beanies, and a few packets of Sudafed for that inevitable yearly flu – but have you thought about all the ways to prepare for a more eco-friendly winter? From, here are a few ways to make this year's holiday season a little more green.

Don't run for President, Mr Gore
October 18, 2007 12:36 PM - , SciDevNet

Last week's award of the Nobel peace prize signals the coming of age of the public communication of science.

There have been few more significant endorsements of the importance of science communication in bridging the gap between research and policy than the announcement last week that the 2007 Nobel Prize for peace is to be shared by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and former US vice-president Al Gore.

Why I care about pregnancy and fish
October 18, 2007 12:22 PM - Brian Halweil, Worldwatch Institute

I took particular interest in the recent U.S. scandal involving a seafood industry front group recommending that pregnant women eat more fish, despite existing concerns about high mercury levels in some species. Why? First, because I’ve been writing about seafood for Worldwatch for many years. Second, because my wife is just a few short weeks from giving birth to our first child.

La Nina onset expected in November
October 18, 2007 10:59 AM - Reuters

The National Weather Service on Thursday predicted the arrival of the weather anomaly La Nina in November, after conditions strengthened in recent months.

British report calls for national marine agency
October 17, 2007 07:30 PM - Jeremy Lovell, Reuters

LONDON (Reuters) - A British parliamentary committee called on Thursday for creation of a national marine science agency to take responsibility for all aspects of the use and conservation of the seas in the light of global warming.

The report, Investigating the Oceans, from the all-party Science and Technology Committee said the new overarching agency should supersede the current inter-agency coordinating committee and greatly broaden its scope.

"The UK has the capacity to be a world leader in key aspects of marine science, such as coastal work which is vitally important because of climate change," said committee chairman Phil Willis.

Experimental malaria vaccine works in babies
October 17, 2007 01:14 PM - Ben Hirschler

HONG KONG (Reuters) - A study involving nearly 3,500 women in several countries suggests that Chinese herbs might be more effective in relieving menstrual cramps than drugs, acupuncture or heat compression.

Australia-based researchers said herbs not only relieved pain, but reduced the recurrence of the condition over three months, according to the Cochrane Library journal.

"All available measures of effectiveness confirmed the overall superiority of Chinese herbal medicine to placebo, no treatment, NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs), OCPs (oral contraceptive pill), acupuncture and heat compression," said lead author Xiaoshu Zhu from the Centre for Complementary Medicine Research at the University of Western Sydney.

Few Americans see quick housing market rebound
October 17, 2007 12:54 PM - Emily Kaiser, Reuters

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Two out of three Americans expect home prices to stay the same or drop in the next year, according to a Reuters/Zogby poll released on Wednesday that suggests the battered housing market has further to fall.

However, the economic mood was somewhat more upbeat than it had been a month earlier, possibly reflecting recent record highs on Wall Street and the Federal Reserve's decision on September 18 to lower its benchmark interest rate.

Thirty-one percent of those polled in the monthly survey expect a U.S. recession in the next year, a tad less pessimistic than the prior month's reading of 33 percent.

Do food miles make a difference to global warming?
October 17, 2007 09:41 AM - Deborah Zabarenko -Reuters

The U.S. local food movement -- which used to be elite, expensive and mostly coastal -- has gone mainstream, with a boost from environmentalists who reckon that eating what grows nearby cuts down on global warming.

But do food miles -- the distance edibles travel from farm to plate -- give an accurate gauge of environmental impact, especially where greenhouse gas emissions are concerned?

No evidence that insoles prevent general back pain
October 17, 2007 09:36 AM - John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

There is strong evidence that using insoles does not prevent people from getting non-specific back pain, and there is insufficient evidence to say whether or not they help solve existing low-back pain, a Cochrane Systematic Review has found.

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