• Economists: extreme cold weather costly, deadly

    BERKELEY -- Fatalities in the continental United States tend to climb for several weeks after severe cold spells, ultimately numbering 360 per chilly day and 14,380 per year, according to a new study co-authored by a University of California, Berkeley, economist. Deaths linked to extreme cold account for 0.8 percent of the nation's annual death rate and outnumber those attributed to leukemia, murder and chronic liver disease combined, the study reports. Cold-related deaths also reduce the average life expectancy of Americans by at least a decade, it says. >> Read the Full Article
  • Some temper tantrums can be red flags: study

    CHICAGO (Reuters) - Children who have long, frequent or aggressive temper tantrums may be at risk of depression or disruptive disorders, U.S. researchers said on Thursday. They said tantrums were often the sign of a sick, hungry or overstimulated child. For most parents, they were a normal part of development and should be viewed as a teaching opportunity. But parents of children who hurt themselves or others and those who cannot calm themselves without help should seek medical help, they found. Healthy children tended to have less aggressive, and generally shorter tantrums. >> Read the Full Article
  • California to sue U.S. for denying emissions waiver

    SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger said on Thursday that he would sue the U.S. government for not granting a waiver that would allow his state to enforce new standards on motor vehicle emissions. California needs the waiver from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to implement a state law requiring automakers to cut tailpipe carbon dioxide emissions by 25 percent on 2009 model cars. Sixteen other states either have adopted or are considering rules similar to California's standard. "I am extremely disappointed by EPA's decision to block the will of millions of people in California and 16 other states who want us to take tough action against global warming," Schwarzenegger said in a statement. >> Read the Full Article
  • Tobacco and poverty drive cancer in developing world

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Rising tobacco use and poverty will fuel cancer across the developing world, more than doubling the number of new cases to 27 million by 2050, experts predicted on Thursday. Cancer is already the No. 2 cause of death globally, after heart disease and ahead of AIDS, malaria, tuberculosis and other causes. And as people live longer and adopt bad habits such as smoking, cancer cases will rise, said Dr. Nancy Davidson of Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. >> Read the Full Article
  • EU ministers stall new soil protection rules

    BRUSSELS (Reuters) - European Union environment ministers put new rules to protect soil in the bloc on a backburner on Thursday after a coalition led by Britain and Germany blocked the adoption of a draft law. The bill had sought to prevent the soil's deterioration from industrial use and the effects of climate change. It would have obliged the EU's 27 nations to set up public inventories of sites where soil may be contaminated with dangerous substances and lay out ways to clean them up. "There was a blocking minority against the soil directive. Maybe we will return to it in the future, but it is unclear when," an EU diplomat said. The diplomat said advocates of the planned law had failed to muster a qualified majority to adopt it when Britain, Germany France, Austria and the Netherlands voted against. >> Read the Full Article
  • City of Pasadena Greenlights The Pasadena EcoHouse

    PASADENA, Calif. - The Pasadena EcoHouse is a step closer to reality today, after the City of Pasadena approved the homeowners' hillside building permit at last night's meeting. When completed, The Pasadena EcoHouse will be the first single-family, structural concrete insulated panel (SCIP) home in the nation to earn the coveted Platinum certification by the U.S. Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) for Homes Green Building Rating System(TM), as well as the first LEED Platinum home in Pasadena. To earn the Platinum rating, The Pasadena EcoHouse will score points in several categories, including design, location, site impact, water and energy efficiency, indoor air quality, and green building awareness and education. >> Read the Full Article
  • Researchers update their food guide pyramid for older adults

    Tufts University researchers have updated their Food Guide Pyramid for Older Adults to correspond with the USDA food pyramid, now known as MyPyramid. The Tufts version is specifically designed for older adults and has changed in appearance and content. The Modified MyPyramid for Older Adults continues to emphasize nutrient-dense food choices and the importance of fluid balance, but has added additional guidance about forms of foods that could best meet the unique needs of older adults and about the importance of regular physical activity. >> Read the Full Article
  • "Virgin" birth stem cells may offer tissue bank

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Human egg cells can be tweaked to give rise to valued stem cells that match the tissue types of many different groups of people, U.S. and Russian researchers reported on Wednesday. They said the stem cells they have created from unfertilized human eggs look and act like embryonic stem cells. And they have been carefully tissue-matched in the same way as bone marrow donations to prevent the risk of rejection if they are transplanted into people. >> Read the Full Article
  • House unanimously endorses toy safety crackdown

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Congress moved closer on Wednesday to slashing lead content in toys and devoting more government resources to product safety regulation, but final action was not expected until next year. After a surge of recalls of lead-tainted toys, many of them made in China, the House of Representatives voted 407-0 for a bill that would nearly eliminate lead in toys and boost funding for the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). "This legislation represents a quantum leap forward in strengthening the Consumer Product Safety Commission's watchdog role on behalf of American consumers," said Illinois Democratic Rep. Bobby Rush, a key backer of the House legislation. >> Read the Full Article
  • Researchers newest tool in fight against spread of HIV

    MINNEAPOLIS / ST. PAUL - A new Web-based software program is the latest tool University of Minnesota researchers are using to help fight the spread of HIV. A multidisciplinary team of researchers, are embarking on a clinical trial this month to test a software program that aims to reduce risk-taking behavior associated with the spread of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections. >> Read the Full Article