Bird Flu Virus Mutating into Human-Unfriendly Form
October 4, 2007 08:37 PM - Maggie Fox, Health and Science Editor
NEW YORK (Reuters) - The H5N1 bird flu virus has mutated to infect people more easily, although it still has not transformed into a pandemic strain, researchers said on Thursday.
The changes are worrying, said Dr. Yoshihiro Kawaoka of the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
"We have identified a specific change that could make bird flu grow in the upper respiratory tract of humans," said Kawaoka, who led the study.
"The viruses that are circulating in Africa and Europe are the ones closest to becoming a human virus," Kawaoka said.
CDC suspects 29 E.coli cases linked to Topps beef
October 4, 2007 08:27 PM -
CHICAGO (Reuters) - The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said 29 cases of E.coli illness are suspected to be linked to the 21.7 million lbs of recalled ground beef products from Topps Meat Company LLC.
No deaths have been linked to the meat. The 29 cases were in eight states: Connecticut (two cases), Florida (one), Indiana (one), Maine (one), New Jersey (six), New York (nine) Ohio (one) and Pennsylvania (eight), according to a posting on the CDC's Web site.
India's Tsunami Warning Center Up And Running
October 4, 2007 07:49 PM - T. V. Padma, SciDevNet
HYDERABAD - India's tsunami warning center in Hyderabad became operational this week, less than three years since the country's southern coast was devastated by the Asian tsunami.
The $314 million dollar center, located at the Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services, is now operating 24 hours a day, seven days a week. It receives data via satellite from six ocean buoys — four in the Bay of Bengal and two in the Arabian Sea — equipped with water pressure sensors to detect any rise in water levels. Six more back-up buoys will be ready in the next two months.
Everyone to pay for climate change
October 4, 2007 03:42 PM - Gerard Wynn, Reuters
LONDON (Reuters) - Climate change will likely cost every global citizen something in the years ahead, although the payback will be much greater, policymakers, scientists and officials told a Reuters summit this week.
"I think it will be every citizen, (but) that bill may not in the end be as high for the individual as it's often made out to be," said Achim Steiner, head of the U.N. Environment Program.
Not overtly spending now on the fight against climate change would still cost something, effectively borrowing from the future at the cost of future damage of widely expected extreme weather including floods, drought and sea level rise.
"The slightly depressing answer is that the highest part of the bill unfortunately will be paid by my children and their children, because they will have to pay the costs of living with climate change," said Steiner.
U.S. Recalls over 1/2 Million Toys for Lead Levels
October 4, 2007 03:35 PM - Reuters
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - More than half a million toys ranging from key chains to Winnie the Pooh bookmarks and Baby Einstein color blocks are being recalled because of excessive lead levels, the Consumer Product Safety Commission said on Thursday.
Among the recalled toys, all made in China, were key chains with words like "truth" or "believe" engraved on them that have "high levels" of lead, the commission said in a statement.
Dollar General Merchandising Inc sold 192,000 of the key chains for $1, the CPSC said.
Lead is toxic in large amounts. A 4-year-old Minneapolis boy died of lead poisoning in 2006 when he swallowed a small charm. In smaller amounts, lead can cause developmental delays and behavioral problems.
Another warm winter seen for much of U.S.
October 4, 2007 01:31 PM - Reuters
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Long-range weather forecasts are predicting a warmer than average winter with less precipitation for much of the United States except the Pacific Northwest.
"It will be a lot like last year but the climate models are even more in agreement now than they were last fall," said Mike Halpert, head of forecast operations at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Climate Prediction Center.
"Temperatures will be warmer than average in most places except the northwest of the country, which could see some cold."
Forecasters believe the emergence of a La Nina condition -- unusually cold ocean temperatures in the equatorial Pacific Ocean -- will be the main factor behind the anticipated warmth for much of North America.
World's Most Boring TV Show to Measure Energy Use
October 4, 2007 01:02 PM - Reuters
New Roofing Technology: Strong, Light, Green, Beautiful, Sustainable
October 4, 2007 10:19 AM - Paul Schaefer, ENN
Santa Ana, Calif. – A Santa Ana California company has developed a new green roofing product that is both light and strong and environmentally-sustainable, using advanced engineering polymer materials. The top layer of the roofing product is made from a highly weatherable material called GE Geloy for superior weatherability. This type of material has been used for more than 40 years for outdoor weatherable applications, yet it has never been used in roofing technology until now. The company, ArmorLite Roofing, developed the new material in cooperation with GE.
Could Drinking Puffer Fish "Pop" KO Karoshi or Can Jellyfish Juice Take the Sting Out of Alzheimer's
October 4, 2007 08:29 AM - Nurition Horizon PR
Japan - Beverage companies are working on a safe fugu (puffer fish) extract to be used in Japanese energy drinks, the fish is highly toxic, but despite this or perhaps because of this deadly side effect, it is considered a delicacy among the Japanese. Puffer fish (Sphoeroides testudineus) poisoning results from the ingestion of fish containing the deadly nerve toxin called tetrodotoxin and it is the most common and lethal form of marine poisoning in Japan.
ECO Metroguide Sets a Standard for Green Publishing
October 4, 2007 08:00 AM - , Triple Pundit
It's that time of year when we all start seeing the 2008 calendars, and other dated material so, of course, our eyes caught a green glimpse of the 2008 EcoMetro Guide. The East Bay guide follows the recent trend of not only supporting local community shops, restaurants and vendors but doing the very American thing of saving money by clipping coupons.