• Garlic is Good for You

    Garlic is known in legend as great against vampires and it is quite nice in many delicious recipes. Researchers have now designed a urine test that can simultaneously measure the extent of a potential carcinogenic process and a marker of garlic consumption in humans. In a small pilot study, the test suggested that the more garlic people consumed, the lower the levels of the potential carcinogenic process were. >> Read the Full Article
  • All Fish Tested from U.S. Streams Found Contaminated with Mercury

    In a new study conducted by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), every single fish tested from 291 freshwater streams across the United States was found to be contaminated with mercury. "This study shows just how widespread mercury pollution has become in our air, watersheds and many of our fish in freshwater streams," said Interior Secretary Ken Salazar. >> Read the Full Article
  • Plague in the Wild

    When one thinks of plague one thinks of the Black Plague in Europe in the Dark Ages that was spread by rodents. However, plague also affects wildlife. Plague, a flea borne bacterial disease introduced to North America in the late 1800s, spreads rapidly across a landscape, causing devastating effects to wildlife and posing risks to people. Conservation and recovery efforts for imperiled species such as the black footed ferret and Utah prairie dog are greatly hampered by the effects of plague. Eruptions of the fatal disease have wiped out prairie dog colonies, as well as dependent ferret populations, in many locations over the years. >> Read the Full Article
  • New Lead-Based Paint Requirements from EPA

    In April 2008, EPA promulgated regulations governing renovations in target housing (i.e., any housing constructed prior to 1978) and child-occupied facilities. The rule was designed to ensure that owners and occupants of target housing and child-occupied facilities receive information on lead-based paint hazards prior to the commencement of renovations and to ensure that firms performing such work are certified and safe work practices followed. Pre-renovation notice requirements had been in effect since 1999; the April 2008 simply specified a new pamphlet to be distributed to owners and occupants as of December 22, 2008. >> Read the Full Article
  • Saliva and the Pancreas

    The pancreas is a gland organ in the digestive and endocrine system of vertebrates. It is both an endocrine gland producing several important hormones, including insulin, and somatostatin, as well as an exocrine gland, secreting pancreatic juice containing digestive enzymes that pass to the small intestine. There may soon be a new weapon in the battle against the so-called "worst" cancer - cancer of the pancreas. A multidisciplinary group of investigators from the UCLA School of Dentistry, the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, the UCLA School of Public Health and UCLA's Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center has demonstrated the usefulness of salivary diagnostics in the effort to find and fight the disease. >> Read the Full Article
  • New Standards Developed for "Natural" Cleaning Products

    The personal care industry has long demanded stricter standards for products labeled "natural," and in February, the Natural Products Association (NPA), the group representing retailers and manufacturers including Whole Foods and Clorox Co., has released new standards for home-care products. These include household cleaners for bathrooms and kitchen countertops and laundry detergents. Up until now, there has been no definition of the term "natural" within the home-care products industry. >> Read the Full Article
  • Could toxins from plantation trees be causing cancer?

    A local medical doctor, a marine ecologist, and oyster farmers are raising an alarm that a nearby monoculture plantation of Eucalyptus nitens may be poisoning local water reserves, leading to rare cancers and high oyster mortality in Tasmania. However, the toxin is not from pesticides, as originally expected, but appears to originate from the trees themselves. "The toxin is actually coming from the monoculture trees," Scammell said on Australian news show, Today. >> Read the Full Article
  • Insecticide beats DDT in early trials

    Malaria researchers in Benin say they may have found a replacement for DDT in areas where mosquitoes are resistant to common insecticides. Indoor residual spraying (IRS) of insecticides is a major part of malaria control. But worries over toxicity and environmental persistence have led to calls for DDT to be phased out, and mosquitoes are growing resistant to widely used pyrethroid insecticides. Alternatives are expensive and short-lived. >> Read the Full Article
  • Does Fair Trade Coffee Lift Growers Out of Poverty

    Does Fair Trade Coffee Lift Growers Out of Poverty or Simply Ease Our Guilty Conscience? Is the Fair Trade movement just a marketing scheme or does it truly provide a living wage for coffee growers? How many times a day do you consume a food produced by a subsistence farmer on the other side of the world? Whether it's chocolate, coffee, tea, sugar or bananas, most Americans regularly enjoy inexpensive tropical foods, but far fewer actually think about the effects on the people or the environment where those products are grown. The Fair Trade movement represents one attempt to change this by reminding consumers that their lifestyles rely on faraway farmers and laborers and offering them an opportunity to ensure their purchases come from farmers paid a fair price. >> Read the Full Article
  • Lobsters are dying in Bay of Fundy

    Fishermen are furious a pesticide normally used for agriculture ended up in the Bay of Fundy and may have contributed to the death of hundreds of lobsters. Dead lobsters first appeared last November in Grand Manan's Seal Cove, and five days later a fisherman 50 kilometres away in Pocologan found more dead lobsters in his traps. Soon after that discovery, another 816 kilograms of weak or dead lobster were discovered in Deer Island's Fairhaven Harbour. >> Read the Full Article