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Scientists unlock secret of emerging chikungunya virus's spread
December 13, 2007 03:54 PM - T. V. Padma, SciDevNet
University of Texas - A simple protein change in the chikungunya virus enables it to adapt to new mosquito hosts and spread to more regions, new research shows. Studies at the US-based University of Texas Medical Branch have found that a single amino acid change in the protein of the virus's outer shell helps it adapt to a new mosquito host, Aedes albopictus. The findings were published last in PLoS Pathogens.
Indonesian man dies from bird flu
December 13, 2007 03:44 PM - Reuters
Runizar Roesin, head of the bird flu centre in Jakarta, told Reuters the 47-year-old man from Tangerang died on Thursday evening.
Mitchell steroid report fingers top baseball stars
December 13, 2007 03:13 PM - By Larry Fine, Reuters
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Dozens of top baseball stars including Roger Clemens were named on Thursday in the long-awaited Mitchell Report on steroids use, which Major League Baseball hopes will help clean its tarnished image.
Acid seas huge threat to coral reefs: study
December 13, 2007 02:15 PM - By Jim Loney, Reuters
MIAMI (Reuters) - In less than 50 years, oceans may be too acidic for coral reefs to grow because of carbon emissions from the burning of fossil fuels by humans, according to research released on Thursday.
Biocapture surfaces produced for study of brain chemistry
December 13, 2007 12:24 PM - Penn State
A research team at Penn State has developed a novel method for attaching small molecules, such as neurotransmitters, to surfaces, which then are used to capture large biomolecules. By varying the identity and spacing of the tethered molecules, researchers can make the technique applicable to a wide range of bait molecules including drugs, chemical warfare agents, and environmental pollutants. Ultimately, the researchers also hope to identify synthetic biomolecules that recognize neurotransmitters so that they can fabricate extremely small biosensors to study neurotransmission in the living brain.
Chinese group says to name-and-shame air polluters
December 13, 2007 06:35 AM - Reuters
HONG KONG (Reuters) - China has suffered more than 4,000 violations of air emission standards in the past four years, some involving major foreign companies, a prominent Chinese non-governmental group said on Thursday.
Ma Jun, director of the Institute of Public and Environmental Affairs NGO, made the assertion at the launch of a Web-based monitoring service in Hong Kong which names-and-shames polluters and is compiled from government data.
EU threatens boycott of U.S. climate talks
December 13, 2007 05:42 AM - Reuters
"It's true that if we would have a failure in Bali it would be meaningless to have a major economies' meeting" in the United States, Humberto Rosa, Portugal's Secretary of State for Environment, told a news conference on the penultimate day of the two-week talks.
China to clear "1,000-year-old" trash from mega-dam
December 13, 2007 12:16 AM - Reuters
BEIJING (Reuters) - Officials running China's huge Three Gorges Dam have vowed to clear the last of the "1,000-year old" trash mountains fouling the reservoir, state media reported on Thursday.
The 300,000-tonne slope of garbage teetering on the shores of the Yangtze River dates back to the Song Dynasty (960-1279) and has been rising rapidly in recent years, an official at Luoqi Town in southwest China told the Xinhua news agency.
Canada halts use of mumps vaccine, launches probe
December 12, 2007 06:18 PM - Carla Tonelli, Reuters
TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada suspended use of three batches of a mumps vaccine on Wednesday after five people fell ill in the midst of a vaccination campaign in the western province of Alberta.
Chemicals used as fire retardants could be harmful
December 12, 2007 05:02 PM - UC Riverside, Newswire
Riverside, California - Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), chemicals used as fire retardants, can be found in numerous items in the home, such as the television, computer, toaster and the sofa. Now, as reported in a news story days ago, they are being found in alarming concentrations, in human blood and breast milk – a potentially major concern for human health.