Lifestyle

The Hobbit: Not Human?
September 21, 2007 07:43 AM - Randolph E. Schmid, Associated Press

Scientists, wringing their hands over the identity of the famed "hobbit" fossil, have found a new clue in the wrist. Since the discovery of the bones in Indonesia in 2003, researchers have wrangled over whether the find was an ancient human ancestor or simply a modern human suffering from a genetic disorder.

Report: 89.6 Million Americans Uninsured During 2006-2007
September 20, 2007 03:08 PM -

WASHINGTON - Approximately 89.6 million Americans -- more than one out of three people (34.7 percent) under 65 years of age -- were uninsured at some point of time during 2006-2007, according to a report released today by the health consumer organization Families USA.

The report, based mainly on Census Bureau data, showed that most of these uninsured individuals lacked coverage for lengthy periods of time: nearly two- thirds (63.9 percent) were uninsured for six months or more; and over half (50.2 percent) were uninsured for nine months or more.

 

Natural Cosmetic Sales Approaching US $7 Billion Worldwide
September 20, 2007 02:52 PM - , Organic Consumers Association

London – Global sales of natural & organic cosmetics are soaring with revenues projected to approach US $7 billion this year. New research finds that North America and Europe are the two engines of growth, comprising the bulk of the US $1 billion sales increase this year. 

The major drivers of market growth are the mainstreaming of natural & organic cosmetics, inward investment and growing consumer demand for green products. Distribution of natural and organic cosmetics is increasing in supermarkets, drugstores, and pharmacies across North America and Western Europe. Investment is coming in from large cosmetic manufacturers, retailers, private and financial investors.

 

Exercise As Good As Drugs For Relieving Depression
September 20, 2007 12:13 PM - Amy Norton, reuters

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Regular exercise may work as well as medication in improving symptoms of major depression, researchers have found.

In a study of 202 depressed adults, investigators found that those who went through group-based exercise therapy did as well as those treated with an antidepressant drug. A third group that performed home-based exercise also improved, though to a lesser degree.

Importantly, the researchers found, all three groups did better than a fourth group given a placebo -- an inactive pill identical to the antidepressant.

Drinking linked to endometrial cancer risk
September 20, 2007 12:11 PM - Amy Norton, reuters

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Older women who drink two or more alcoholic beverages a day may have an elevated risk of endometrial cancer, a new study suggests.

Endometrial cancer begins in the lining of the uterus, and certain factors that raise a woman's lifetime exposure to estrogen are thought to contribute to the disease. Obesity, late menopause and early menarche (the beginning of menstruation) have been linked to a heightened risk of endometrial cancer.

Study: Cells that make sperm make stem cells, too
September 20, 2007 12:09 PM - Maggie Fox, Health and Science Editor, Reuters

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Stem cells that normally make sperm can be taught to make other tissues as well, perhaps offering men a medical repair kit, U.S. researchers said on Wednesday.

They found a way to easily pick the cells out from other tissue in the testicles and to grow them into batches big enough to use medically.

This provides a new source of stem cells, the body's master cells, which experts hope can be used to treat injuries, replace diseased tissue and perhaps even regenerate organs.

'Biopiracy' requires reasoned treatment
September 20, 2007 07:47 AM - , SciDevNet

Scientists have long been implicated, whether actively or tacitly, in developed countries' campaigns to seek out and secure natural resources to fuel industrialisation and maintain their own living standards.This was the motive behind many 'scientific' expeditions to explore and map out the centre of Africa in the nineteenth century. More recently, studying indigenous medicine has become a cost-effective way of identifying active chemical ingredients from plants that might be valuable in modern medicine.

Must Watch TV: Ultimate Green Machines
September 19, 2007 02:35 PM - Paul Schaefer, ENN

LOS ANGELES - From a Maseriati Quattroporte to a '57 Chevy pick-up, all the way to a Cigarette style speedboat, the new TV show "Ultimate Green Machines" will show that any vehicle can still run as fast if not faster than their stock counterparts while being green inside and out. For the series, the producers have assembled a dream team of "off-the-grid", defiant-minded mechanics and fabricators. This team not only thinks outside the box, they are ready to tear it up on the open road and do it green. The production team will also be producing a second show called "Finding Green", an equally intense, following a man with a burning passion and a need to meet a deadline imposed by his multi-million dollar investor. Cameras follow his every move along this often rocky road, as the clock ticks away on his dream.

Hydrogen Shuttle Busses At The University of Missouri
September 19, 2007 02:06 PM - Paul Schaefer, ENN

LEHIGH VALLEY, Pa., - University of Missouri-Rolla students returning to fall classes treated to hydrogen powered shuttle busses - the state's first-ever demonstration program featuring hydrogen as an alternative fuel to power campus shuttle bus services. You can thank a company called Air Products for the development of hydrogen fueling technology and hydrogen infrastructure. The university and the company installed mobile hydrogen fueler technology at a nearby industrial park to provide fuel daily for the state's first hydrogen-powered shuttle bus service.

"It is always exciting to be part of a team leading the introduction of a new technology, and a college campus is a great place to showcase technological innovations," said Bob Kelly, business development manager for Hydrogen Energy Systems at Air Products. "The shuttle buses fueled by Air Products will travel campus streets daily to demonstrate the viability of hydrogen as an alternative fuel. We are pleased to be part of the team and commend the University of Missouri-Rolla for being a leader and promoting the use of alternative fuels and transportation."

Green Cupons For A Greener World?
September 19, 2007 12:08 PM -

LOS ANGELES - Today, everyone knows it's cool to be green. It's in the papers everyday. So why hasn't the idea of "Green Consumerism" taken hold among middle class Americans?

It's simple: convenience and price.

An environmentally friendly home improvement store isn't going to just appear before our eyes. And try finding any selection of "fair trade" clothing or "cruelty free" cosmetics in a department store. Retailers are slow to move towards products that traditionally have lower profit margins.

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