Wed, 08/12/2010 - 11:01 by Rakhi
Wyoming, Mich. -- Marijuana advocates say they want to kick the entire city council of a Michigan city out of office for banning the drug state law permits for medicinal use.
The city council of Wyoming, Mich., reaffirmed a November vote Monday giving the ban a second and final reading that makes medical marijuana illegal within city limits, the Grand Rapids (Mich.) Press reported
The vote goes against a 2008 statewide vote approving medical marijuana.
Voters in 27 of Wyoming's precincts supported that marijuana proposal.
John Ter Beek, a lawyer who has sued the city, plans a campaign to recall all seven elected officials and says he is recruiting volunteers to circulate recall petitions.
Wed, 08/12/2010 - 10:36 by Rakhi
Washington -- Two groups researching BPA, a hormone-disrupting chemical linked to serious health problems, say it's been found on dollar bills and cash register receipts.
The study -- released Wednesday by the Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families Coalition and the Washington Toxics Coalition -- says bisphenol A, implicated in cancer, infertility and early puberty, can rub off of receipts onto bills and be absorbed by the skin, a release said.
Thermal paper commonly used in receipts contains BPA that isn't chemically bound in any way, the report says. Free BPA in a powdery film on receipts easily transfers to skin and other items that it rubs against.
Wed, 08/12/2010 - 10:27 by Prince damin
Washington -- The numbers of African gorillas have increased thanks to conservationists collaborating in three countries where they are found, wildlife advocates say.
A census in the Virunga Massif, where most of the world's mountain gorillas live, revealed 480 individuals living in 36 groups, the BBC reported Tuesday.
Thirty years ago only 250 gorillas survived in this same area, conservationists say.
Three contiguous national parks are found within the Virunga Massif: Parc National des Virunga in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park in Uganda.
Conservationists credit the increase in gorilla numbers to collaborative "transboundary" efforts by organizations in the three countries.
Wed, 08/12/2010 - 10:27 by Rakhi
Heidelberg, Germany -- The Crab Nebula, the steadiest source of energetic radiation in the universe, astonished European and U.S. astronomers with giant gamma-ray "hiccups," they say.
The astonishment comes because radiation from the supernova remnant at the center of the nebula was long held to be so constant astronomers used it as a standard "candle" with which to measure the energetic radiation of other astronomical sources, ScienceNews.org reported Tuesday.
That was before two spacecraft recently recorded giant gamma-ray bursts from the nebula, the remnants of a stellar explosion 6,500 light-years from Earth that was observed by humans in 1054.
Wed, 08/12/2010 - 10:25 by Rakhi
East Lansing, Mich. -- Invasive species like Asian carp, gypsy moths and zebra mussels get headlines but invisible raiders are devastating world ecosystems, a U.S. researcher says.
A Michigan State University associate professor of ecology says invasive microbial invaders shouldn't be overlooked by scientists or underestimated by the public, a university release reported Tuesday.
"Invasive microbes have many of the same traits as their larger, 'macro' counterparts and have the potential to significantly impact terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems," Elena Litchman says. "Global change can exacerbate microbial invasions, so they will likely increase in the future."
Wed, 08/12/2010 - 10:11 by Rakhi
West Lafayette, Ind. -- U.S. researchers say a nanoparticle can hold and release an antimicrobial agent, extending the shelf life of foods susceptible to Listeria contamination.
Scientists at Purdue University say they've developed several forms of a nanoparticle that could contain and stabilize nisin, a food-based antimicrobial peptide, keeping it effective for up to three weeks against Listeria monocytogenes, a university release said Tuesday.
The potentially lethal food-borne pathogen found in meats, dairy and vegetables is especially troublesome for pregnant women, infants, older people and others with weakened immune systems.
Tue, 07/12/2010 - 23:20 by Prince damin
Atlanta -- U.S. natural gas distribution giant AGL Resources said Tuesday it has agreed to merge with Nicor Inc. to create a company valued at $8.6 billion.
The deal, which would tuck Illinois' Nicor under AGL's wing, is valued at $3.1 billion. Combining the companies would vault AGL Resources of Atlanta into the Fortune 500, the companies said in a joint statement.
The companies said they have agreed to a stock and cash trade, giving Nicor shareholders $21.20 per share in cash and 0.8382 shares of the merged company, "which together represent a value of $53, based on the volume-weighted average price for AGL Resources common stock" over a 20-day trading average ending Dec. 1.
Tue, 07/12/2010 - 10:01 by Prince damin
Washington -- Molybdenum-99, essential for medical imaging, is being made for the first time from low-enriched uranium rather than weapons-grade material, U.S. officials say.
The United States has received its first shipment of molybdenum-99 produced in this manner in South Africa, promising a more reliable supply while allaying fears of nuclear proliferation, a release by the National Nuclear Security Administration said Monday.
Molybdenum-99 is used to make the radioactive tracer technitium-99m, used in thousands of noninvasive diagnostic scans every day, the release said.
Tue, 07/12/2010 - 09:48 by Prince damin
Oakland, Calif. -- Heavier, thicker crude oils increasingly favored as the source for America's liquid fuels will increase greenhouse gas emissions, a study says.
As the biggest and most accessible reservoirs of light crude oil supplies are depleted, the oil industry has increasingly been turning to so-called "unconventional" stocks -- heavy, viscous feedstock and tar sands, ScienceNews.org reported last week.
More and more oil being processed by U.S. refineries is of this "heavy" variety, requiring more work -- and more energy -- to produce the gasoline, diesel and other high-value fuels that power engines the world over, says Greg Karras of Communities for a Better Environment in Oakland, Calif.
Tue, 07/12/2010 - 09:23 by Prince damin
Pittsburgh -- As computer technologies increasingly drive world economies, America is lagging behind in offering computer science classes to its students, a study shows.
A report by researchers at Carnegie Mellon University's School of Computer Science found computer science education missing in most American elementary and secondary school classrooms, and the number of introductory and Advanced Placement courses in computer science has declined in the last five years, a university release said Monday.
"Some states and some schools are offering some really excellent courses," Mark Stehlik, co-author of the report, said.
"But overall, the picture is pretty bleak."
Sat, 04/12/2010 - 07:28 by Prince damin
San Jose, Calif. -- California researchers say they are struggling to unravel the mystery of the "ghosts of the forest," rare albino saplings in the state's coastal redwood groves.
The world's only white evergreens, the rare genetic mutants appear and disappear seasonally, the San Jose (Calif.) Mercury News reported.
Researchers at Stanford University and the University of California, Santa Cruz, are hoping to learn how such helpless trees can survive.
"It is a great puzzle," said Ghia Euskirchen, director of the DNA Sequencing Program at Stanford University School of Medicine.
Sat, 04/12/2010 - 07:22 by Prince damin
Miami -- Florida researchers say high mercury levels among wading birds in the Everglades may be hampering breeding efforts by turning some of the birds gay.
University of Florida researchers studied the mating behaviors and reproductive success of four captive groups of ibises fed varying levels of mercury during a three-year period, The Miami Herald reported Thursday.
In the first year, the researchers said, 55 percent of the males given the highest doses of mercury in their feed hooked up with other males during breeding season.
"They pretty much did everything except lay eggs," Peter Frederick, a UF wildlife ecologist said. "They built nests, they copulated, they sat in the nests together."