Sci/tech

Diesel fumes may increase heart attack, stroke threat
November 6, 2007 01:58 PM - By Will Dunham

ORLANDO, Florida (Reuters) - Inhaling diesel exhaust fumes causes changes in the body that may make people more prone to heart attack or stroke, researchers said on Tuesday.

European scientists found that blood clots are more likely to form in otherwise healthy people exposed to relatively high amounts of diesel engine exhaust for a short time. This could cause a blocked vessel, heart attack or stroke.

Saving (Energy) for the Holidays.
November 6, 2007 08:31 AM - , Private Landowner Network

No, LED (light emitting diode) decorative and festive seasonal holiday lights, by themselves, won’t save the world from global warming, cut air pollution noticeably or reduce the world’s dependance on fossil fuels.

But they are on the to-do list of technologies we should switch to.

Study Shows Energy Drink “Cocktails” Lead to Increased Injury Risk
November 6, 2007 08:28 AM - Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center

College students who drink alcohol mixed with so-called “energy” drinks are at dramatically higher risk for injury and other alcohol-related consequences, compared to students who drink alcohol without energy drinks, according to new research from Wake Forest University School of Medicine. The findings were reported today at the annual meeting of the American Public Health Association in Washington, D.C.

Australian researchers find hunger switch
November 6, 2007 08:23 AM - Reuters

Australian scientists have found how to switch hunger on and off using a molecule that targets the brain -- a discovery which could stop weight loss in terminally ill patients or produce weight loss in the morbidly obese.

The molecule, known as MIC-1, is produced by common cancers and targets receptors in the brain that switch off appetite. But Australian researchers found that by using antibodies against MIC-1 they were able to switch appetite back on.

Rapid communication networks less likely to shape individual's behavior
November 5, 2007 03:39 PM - Harvard University

Our increasingly interconnected world has made it easier for information and disease to spread. However a new study from Harvard University and Cornell University shows that fewer “degrees of separation” can make social networks too weak to disseminate behavioral change. The finding that “small world” networks are limited in their power to shape individual behavior could have implications for health care policy and the treatment of epidemics.

China's lunar probe enters moon's orbit
November 5, 2007 03:08 PM - Reuters

A Chinese lunar obiter entered the moon's orbit on Monday, 12 days after takeoff, a feat hailed as a new milestone in China's exploration of space.

Chang'e One was given instructions to slow down by mission control when the probe was 200 km (124 miles) from the moon, so it could be captured by the moon's gravity, Xinhua news agency said.

France casts doubts on timing of GMO evaluation
November 5, 2007 12:48 PM -

PARIS (Reuters) - It may take longer than expected to assess pest-resistant genetically modified (GMO) crops for use in France, the agriculture minister said in remarks published on Monday.

"I cannot be absolutely sure how long it will take to carry out the scientific evaluation," Michel Barnier told the farming publication Agra Press.

"I cannot say today that everything will have been completed in February," he added.

California Fire Codes Put Focus on Plastic Decking Concerns
November 5, 2007 11:15 AM - Stan Korthals Altes , BuildingGreen

A highly publicized series of wildfires has struck California in the last decade, putting a focus on homes in wildfire-prone areas and the flammable materials they are constructed from—including roofing, siding, and decking. Taking effect on January 1, 2008, the Wildland-Urban Interface Building Codes, developed by the California Office of the State Fire Marshal (SFM), aim to protect homes and the safety of occupants and firefighters. Among other provisions, the codes restrict relatively flammable decking, including wood-plastic composites.

The new codes affect “Fire Hazard Severity Zones,” identified by topography (fire spreads faster on slopes), vegetation that fuels fires, weather patterns, history of past wildfires, and likelihood of fire spreading from neighboring areas. Those zones affect a significant portion of the state, mostly in rural areas, but they also frequently intersect with populated areas. According to Kevin Reinertson at SFM, the standards have been projected to affect 8%–11% of new construction in California.

 

Wisconsin Leopold Center Earns LEED Platinum
November 5, 2007 11:04 AM - , BuildingGreen

Baraboo, Wisconsin -  Built in honor of one of the world’s most famed conservationists, the Aldo Leopold Legacy Center, located on Leopold’s farm near Baraboo, Wisconsin, has earned 61 out of a possible 69 LEED points, the most earned by any LEED-certified building to date and enough to qualify for a Platinum rating.

The net-zero-energy building produces as much energy as it consumes with a grid-tied photovoltaic system and a ground-source heat pump serving a radiant-floor heating system; wood stoves add additional heat.

Sweep of lung cancer genome reveals new gene
November 4, 2007 06:53 PM - By Julie Steenhuysen

CHICAGO (Reuters) - An effort to map the genetic landscape of lung cancer has turned up a host of new genes, including one that controls the growth of cells essential for lung function, an international team of researchers said on Sunday.

This study of aberrations in the genetic code of lung adenocarcinoma -- the most common form of lung cancer -- found 57 changes frequently associated with the tumors.

Only about a third of the changes are linked with the 15 genes already known to play a role in lung cancer.

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