Money Matters - Simplified


Nitroglycerin ointment improves women's bone health--study

Nitroglycerin, popularly used to treat cardiovascular problems such as angina and chronic heart failure, shows promise in treating osteoporosis, claims a new study.

Another crack found in shuttle Discovery

Cape Canaveral, Fla. -- Engineers repairing the shuttle Discovery found another crack in the spacecraft's external fuel tank Monday, jeopardizing its launch date, U.S. officials said.

There are now four known cracks in two vertical beams called stringers that give the tank strength and rigidity, WESH-TV, Orlando, reported.

Engineers say they're not sure how they'll be able to repair Discovery in time for its upcoming seven-day launch window that begins Nov. 30.

There are a total of 180 stringers, and more may be found to be cracked as workers cut into the tank's foam insulation.

NASA officials said they hope to cut out and replace the cracked metal, after which new foam insulation could be applied that would take four days to cure.

Japanese Cabinet approves stimulus plan

Tokyo -- Japan's Cabinet approved a $61.3 billion stimulus spending package Friday and Finance Minister Yoshihiko Noda pledged to support currency intervention.

Noda said "decisive action, including intervention, if necessary," would be used to keep the yen from gaining strength.

For the first time in six years, the Bank of Japan began selling yen in September to reduce its value. In spite of the intervention, the yen hit a 15-year high against the U.S. dollar Thursday at 82.11 yen. The yen's strength undermines the value of Japanese exports, a critical component of the country's economy.

'Robosuit' increases wearer's strength

Tokyo -- A power-assisted suit can reduce physical effort by 62 percent and reduce backaches and cramps, Japanese scientists say.

The metal-and-plastic "robosuit" developed at Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology has eight electric motors that amplify the strength of a wearer's arms and legs, robotics Professor Shigeki Toyama said.

The outfit has sensors that can detect movements and respond to commands through a voice-recognition system, he said.

The muscular activity needed to bend one's knees can be cut in half and the strain of crouching can be removed almost entirely, the developers said.