• Genes and Flu

    The flu is just a disease. A disease may strike one species and not another species. Well it seems certain genetic markers are all it takes. A genetic variant which explains why Chinese populations may be more vulnerable to H1N1 swine flu has been found by researchers at the University of Oxford and Beijing Capital Medical University. This finding could help identify those at high risk of severe infection and help prioritize those in highest need of treatment. The study led by Dr Tao Dong of the University of Oxford showed that people with a specific genetic variant are six times more likely to suffer from severe influenza infection than those without >> Read the Full Article
  • Timing of Meals May Influence Weight-loss

    For anyone trying to lose weight, one common suggestion is never eat after 7:00 pm. But why? Apparently if you eat food close to your bedtime, it will not have enough time to burn off and is more likely to be stored as fat. This recommendation can now be backed by new research that suggests weight-loss plans should not only focus on what we eat, but when we eat. Researchers from Brigham and Women's Hospital, along with the University of Murcia and Tufts University explain that the timing of our meals can influence our ability to shed pounds. >> Read the Full Article
  • Livestock falling ill in fracking regions, raising concerns about food

    While scientists have yet to isolate cause and effect, many suspect chemicals used in drilling and hydrofracking (or "fracking") operations are poisoning animals through the air, water, or soil. Last year, Michelle Bamberger, an Ithaca, New York, veterinarian, and Robert Oswald, a professor of molecular medicine at Cornell's College of Veterinary Medicine, published the first and only peer-reviewed report to suggest a link between fracking and illness in food animals. >> Read the Full Article
  • Breakthrough Treaty on Limiting Mercury Emissions

    A legally binding global treaty to curb mercury in the environment, agreed after a week of gruelling negotiations in Geneva, will also include a funding facility to assist developing countries in phasing out the toxic heavy metal in industrial processes and in artisanal gold mining in Africa, Asia and Latin America. The Minamata Convention on Mercury, named after the Japanese port where people suffered serious health effects from mercury pollution in the 1950s, was agreed by more than 140 countries after week-long talks in Geneva leading up to all-night negotiations on Saturday (19 January). >> Read the Full Article
  • One More Hurdle for Asian Elephants: Climate Change

    Wild elephants populations in Myanmar are considered endangered and are facing decline due to a number of factors. From being captured, to being poached for ivory and meat, to losing habitat as a result of deforestation, elephants are constantly fighting for survival. And now according to new research, elephants have one more thing to be concerned about: climate change. >> Read the Full Article
  • EPA Finalizes Vapor Intrusion Regulations

    The United States Environmental Protection Agency ("EPA") recently finalized the first of several pending guidance documents and regulations governing the evaluation and mitigation of vapor intrusion at contaminated sites, a growing area of focus that has thus far been regulated primarily on the state level. EPA’s new guidance requires regional EPA offices to address vapor intrusion risks during the five-year reviews for most completed Superfund cleanups. >> Read the Full Article
  • Treating Lymphoma With Nanoparticles Rather Than Chemotherapy

    The traditional method for treating lymphoma, a cancer of the blood in which the white blood cells behave abnormally, is through chemotherapy. This method attempts to beat the cancer cells through a standardized regimen of chemotherapeutic agents. Chemotherapy sometimes cures the disease, and other times, its aim is to simply prolong an individual's life. Other types of treatment may include radiotherapy and/or bone marrow transplantation, both of which have their own sets of complications. New research has unveiled a new method for treating lymphoma which may be both more effective and without any significant drawbacks. The method involves injecting synthetic nanoparticles which can deprive the cancer cells of an essential nutrient, resulting in the death of the cancer. >> Read the Full Article
  • NASA Images Reveal 'Kuwait on the Prairie'

    Last month, we published a story about newly released NASA satellite images and we were amazed at the quality and detail of the pictures. Looking at the United States at night, we expect to see patches of light around major cities and brightness from dense populations along the coasts. But after studying the photos, Rovert Krulwich a correspondent for NPR, reports on a mysterious patch of light that shows up in North Dakota. With a population of under 700,000 for the whole state, and a state who’s largest industry is agriculture, what can these lights possibly be from? >> Read the Full Article
  • How Personality Can Help Us Understand Our Decisions, Improve Our Health, and Evaluate Mental Health Care

    Are you an extrovert or an introvert? Extraverts tend to be outgoing, talkative and have energetic behavior whereas introverts are more reserved, quiet and are more shy. However, according to a new study, extraversion does not just explain our personalities and how we interact with others, but it can also influence how the brain makes choices. >> Read the Full Article
  • Why are British Fish Eating Plastics?

    Scientists have found tiny fragments of plastic in the digestive systems of fish pulled from the English Channel. The discovery, by a team from Plymouth University and the UK Marine Biological Association, highlights the growing problem of plastic contamination of marine environments. Of 504 fish examined, more than a third was found to contain small pieces of plastic less than one millimetre in size, referred to by scientists as microplastics. >> Read the Full Article