• Australia evacuates coastal cities in path of cyclone

    Australia evacuated thousands of people from its northeast coast on Tuesday as a cyclone rivaling Hurricane Katrina bore down on tourism towns and rural communities, with officials saying it could even threaten areas deep inland that were ruined by floods last month. Mines, rail lines and coal ports were closed in Queensland state as Cyclone Yasi headed toward the coast. Up to a third of Australia's sugar crop was also under threat, officials said. "This storm is huge and life threatening," Queensland Premier Anna Bligh said, warning the system was intensifying and picking up speed on its path from the Coral Sea, with destructive winds expected on Wednesday morning. >> Read the Full Article
  • Antibiotic Resistant Disease

    Researchers at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) have discovered a new way to combat antibiotic resistant bacteria by using the bacteria's own genes. For more than 50 years, antibiotics have been used to treat a variety of deadly infections and saved countless lives. Its broad introduction and application has changed the face of medicine and world populations worldwide. Yet, despite the advances made to antibiotics over the years, the list of antibiotic resistant bacteria, such as MRSA (Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus), E.coli, Salmonella and Campylobacter, is growing and becoming one of the world's most serious health concerns. Infections once routinely treatable have now become more difficult to control as well as lethal in some cases. >> Read the Full Article
  • Caffeinated Gene Therapy

    Many people in society simply cannot function without a daily dose of caffeine. It is so prevalent in many diets. From coffee, to tea, to soft drinks, it has become a staple on par with corn or wheat, or even water. Of course caffeine is not necessary to survive, but it is sure good at keeping our eyes open. However, according to a new study from researchers at the University of Texas, caffeine does more than just keep us awake. It also energizes cells into producing more viruses used for gene therapy. >> Read the Full Article
  • Amoebas in drinking water: a double threat

    Amoebas — blob-shaped microbes linked to several deadly diseases — contaminate drinking-water systems around the world, according to a new analysis. The study finds that amoebas are appearing often enough in water supplies and even in treated tap water to be considered a potential health risk. >> Read the Full Article
  • Dish Sanitizer

    Most institutions (such as restaurants) have a dish washing machine which sanitizes dishes by a final rinse in either very hot water or a chemical sanitizing solution (e.g. bleach solution). Dishes are placed on large trays and fed onto rollers through the machine. The bleach solution is quite dilute (50-100 parts per million chlorine which is approximately one cap full of bleach per gallon water). Ohio State University researchers recently tested the merits of two new dishware sanitizers, and found them more effective at removing bacteria from restaurant dishes than traditional sanitizers. The two sanitizers – one carrying the name brand PROSAN® and the other called neutral electrolyzed oxidizing water – not only proved more effective, but they also contained fewer toxic chemicals. >> Read the Full Article
  • Permian Extinction

    The Permian–Triassic extinction event, informally known as the Great Dying,was an extinction event that occurred 250 million years ago, forming the boundary between the Permian and Triassic geologic periods. It was the Earth's most severe extinction event, with up to 96% of all marine species and 70% of terrestrial vertebrate species becoming extinct. Researchers at the University of Calgary believe they have discovered evidence to support massive volcanic eruptions that burnt significant volumes of coal, producing ash clouds that had broad impact on global oceans. Interesting enough there is a "coal gap" from this era. Coal deposits dating from this time are few. >> Read the Full Article
  • Berlin protests over dioxin scandal

    Thousands of German protesters marched in Berlin on Saturday to demand a change in farming methods and vent their anger at a food scandal in which cancer-causing dioxin was found in some eggs, poultry and pork. The scandal, caused by contaminated animal feed, has outraged consumers, triggered international health alerts and hit sales of German eggs and meat. Organizers said 22,000 people took part in the demonstration, entitled "We are sick of it. No to genetic engineering, animal factories and dumping exports." Onlookers put the turnout at close to 10,000. >> Read the Full Article
  • Thatcher Chemical fined for violations of Clean Air Act Risk Management regulations

    The federal Clean Air Act requires facilities that have on site more than specified quantities of chemicals which could be hazardous to offsite communities to develop Risk Management Plans (RMP) to address ways to safely acquire, store, and use these substances in ways that assure that they are safely used, that employees are appropriately trained, and that first responders and nearby residents are informed of the presence of potentially hazardous chemicals which, if released to the environment, could require evacuation or sheltering in place for offsite residents. As part of its compliance enforcement activities, the EPA has an audit program to visit facilities to assess their level of compliance with the RMP program. EPA reported this week that it conducted compliance inspections of Thatcher Chemical's Salt Lake City facility in February and April of 2010 to assess compliance with the RMP regulations. >> Read the Full Article
  • Organic Milk More Nutritious?

    Organic milk has more beneficial fats than conventional milk, at least in the United Kingdom, says a new study. Whether these differences are nutritionally significant is less clear. Surveys of U.S. milk have yielded different results, though they also show differences between organic and conventional milk. >> Read the Full Article
  • Many wells in Vietnam's Red River delta contaminated

    More than a quarter of drinking wells in Vietnam's densely-populated Red River delta contain unsafe levels of arsenic that can cause cancer, neurological problems and hypertension, researchers warned on Tuesday. In a paper published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, they also said 44 percent of the wells in the delta carried levels of manganese that exceed World Health Organization guidelines. "About 7 million people are at a considerable risk of chronic arsenic poisoning. This is particularly worrying because groundwater is the main source of drinking water throughout the delta," lead author Michael Berg wrote in an email to Reuters. Arsenic contamination of groundwater occurs in many countries, like Argentina, Australia, Bangladesh, Chile, China, Hungary, India, Mexico, Peru, Thailand and the United States. >> Read the Full Article