• Higher Gasoline Price Seen Trimming Down Americans

    NEW YORK (Reuters) - Higher U.S. gasoline prices may slim more than just wallets, according to a new study from Washington University in St. Louis. Entitled "A Silver Lining? The Connection between Gas Prices and Obesity," the study found that an additional $1 per gallon in real gasoline prices would reduce U.S. obesity by 15 percent after five years. The report, written by Charles Courtemanche for his doctoral dissertation in health economics, found that the 13 percent rise in obesity between 1979 and 2004 can be attributed to falling pump prices. >> Read the Full Article
  • China: Terrorism "Big Threat" To Olympics

    Beijing, China - Top Chinese leaders said today that terrorism poses the biggest threat to a successful Beijing Olympic Games. That from the Minister of Public Security, Zhou Yongkang. He called for closer international collaboration on information sharing and risk analysis. "Although the general security situation for the Beijing Olympics remains stable, we still face the challenges of terrorism, separatism and extremism," the minister said. "Terrorism, in particular, poses the biggest threat." >> Read the Full Article
  • Brain Network Related To Intelligence Identified

    Irvine, California - A primary mystery puzzling neuroscientists -- where in the brain lies intelligence? -- just may have a unified answer. In a review of 37 imaging studies related to intelligence, including their own, Richard Haier of the University of California, Irvine and Rex Jung of the University of New Mexico have uncovered evidence of a distinct neurobiology of human intelligence. Their Parieto-Frontal Integration Theory (P-FIT) identifies a brain network related to intelligence, one that primarily involves areas in the frontal and the parietal lobes. >> Read the Full Article
  • Ontario’s Political Leaders, Polluted?

    Toronto, Ontario – Tests reveal that three Ontario political leaders - who willingly submitted to the testing - are contaminated with pollutants found in the environment and in everyday products, according to a report released today by Environmental Defence. For the first time in Canada, Environmental Defense tested for bisphenol A (found in hard plastic bottles and tin can linings), a hormone disruptor that is under review by the federal government. >> Read the Full Article
  • Report: Atrazine Contaminates Midwest Drinking Water

    WASHINGTON – New water quality data obtained by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) confirms high levels of Atrazine – a cancer-causing pesticide – in Midwest drinking water supplies. Environmental Protection Agency data reveals raised Atrazine levels in 94 of 136 water systems tested at the source. Tests were conducted in Indiana, Ohio, Iowa, Kentucky, Minnesota and Nebraska. >> Read the Full Article
  • Blood Pressure Rising Among U.S. Children

    DALLAS (Reuters) - Blood pressure levels among American children are on the rise, an alarming trend linked to climbing obesity rates that reverses decades of decline, researchers reported on Monday. The study, published this week in the American Heart Association journal Circulation, adds to a growing body of evidence linking swelling juvenile waistlines with rising blood pressure and other cardiovascular problems. The researchers looked at data from seven U.S. government surveys conducted from 1963 to 2002 on youngsters aged 8 to 17. >> Read the Full Article
  • Panel Urges "Smarter" Tracking Of Risky Imports

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A Bush administration import safety panel urged government agencies on Monday to work together to focus on the riskiest products in a "fundamental change" in import monitoring, following a spate of tainted or unsafe goods from China. The panel headed by Health and Human Services Secretary Michael Leavitt told President George W. Bush in a report that inspecting all of the $2 trillion of imports that enter the United States each year would slow international trade and divert attention away from the riskiest products. "Instead, we have to be smarter about what we do," said the report of the Interagency Working Group on Import Safety. >> Read the Full Article
  • Prenatal Testosterone May Play Autism Role

    YORK (Reuters) - Children exposed to high levels of testosterone in the womb showed more autism-related traits later in life, according to findings that suggest the male hormone may play a key role in the complex brain disorder. The results support a hypothesis that higher levels of testosterone may contribute to autism and reinforce findings from tests on animals, said Simon Baron-Cohen, director of the Autism Research Centre at Britain's Cambridge University, who worked on the study. He called the findings of the ongoing research promising but cautioned that they did not show a direct link between autism and testosterone and said other factors could be involved. None of the 235 children in the study had autism. >> Read the Full Article
  • House of Representatives Plans To Go Carbon Neutral

    WASHINGTON - A new report details plans to move the U.S. House of Representatives to carbon-neutral operation by the end of 2008, to reduce energy consumption in House facilities by 50% from 2006 levels by 2017, and to “make House operations a model of sustainability.” The initiative, headed by Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D–CA) and Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D–MD), calls for the House to achieve carbon neutrality by purchasing electricity from renewable sources, purchasing carbon offsets on the Chicago Climate Exchange, and switching the fuel for the Capitol power plant from coal to natural gas. >> Read the Full Article
  • Chemicals Pollute Ontario’s Political Leaders

    Toronto, Ontario – Test results reveal that three Ontario political leaders are contaminated with pollutants found in the environment and in everyday products, according to a report released today by Environmental Defence. For the first time in Canada, Environmental Defence tested for bisphenol A (found in hard plastic bottles and tin can linings), a hormone disruptor that is under review by the federal government. >> Read the Full Article