SETI bioastro: EXN News Bulletin for April 20, 2000

From: Larry Klaes (lklaes@bbn.com)
Date: Thu Apr 20 2000 - 10:02:40 PDT


From: sciencebulletin@exn.ca
Subject: EXN News Bulletin for April 20, 2000
Date: Thu, 20 Apr 2000 06:03:45 -0400
X-Mailer: Allaire ColdFusion Application Server

 
        
The EXN News Bulletin for April 20, 2000
        
Your weekly roundup of stories making news in the world of science,
technology, nature and adventure.

Canadians offer insights into cancer treatments

Canadian cancer researchers gathered in Toronto on Wednesday to talk about
some of their more interesting findings, and how they might apply to cancer
treatment therapies. There were three main sessions that addressed new
information about cancer treatment.

Cancer treatments have evolved substantially over the last few decades.
Despite these scientific advancements, various forms of therapy still have
severe side-effects in patients. In the hopes of 'sharpening the tools' for
treating cancer, scientists acknowledge they need to develop forms of
therapy that target the tumours, while not adversely affecting healthy
cells. Oxygen and its impacts on radiation, radioactive seeds for prostate
cancer, and the how circadian rhythms affect the effectiveness of therapy
all appear in some way to be changing the approach to radiation therapy.

        - - > http://exn.ca/html/templates/mastertop.cfm?ID=20000419-52

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L.A. looks to its toilets for drinking water - well, sort of

Conserving water is nothing new to Californian water resource managers. A
state that relies heavily on importing water, California is feeling the
pinch that has been long anticipated at the tap. The demand for water is
increasing and if they can't find places to get water from, what better
place than to start siphoning off their own wastewater but not from the
source, rather from the sink.
But residents shouldn't be alarmed - this concept is not much different
than what happens already in many parts of North America. If the treatment
process is there, and well monitored, there is little to be concerned
about, say project managers.

"This happens all over the place and you just usually don't know about it,"
says Bill van Wagoner, project manager for the East Valley Water
Reclamation Project (EVWRP). "It is the 'yuck' factor. It has been
characterized as toilet-to-tap which has really misrepresented this process."

Van Wagoner points out that there has been a very similar operation in
existence in the Los Angeles County since 1962 and there has been no
evidence of adverse health impacts. "In essence, all water has been
recycled over and over again - even our best water's coming from the
eastern Sierras, and also coming through our groundwater. That water has
been recycling over the last millions of years within the bigger system."

        - - > http://exn.ca/html/templates/mastertop.cfm?ID=20000418-54

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"Spy photos" of Area 51 now online

It covers 1.2 million hectares of isolated desert in southwestern Nevada --
but it has been a fertile breeding ground for rumours about
extra-terrestrials. The United States Air Force calls it the Nellis Range
Complex -- but you may know it by its cold-war name: Area 51, test-site of
top-secret military technology since the 1950s. And now a North Carolina
company has produced the first high-resolution satellite images of the
region -- which reveal some interesting features.

        - - > http://exn.ca/html/templates/mastertop.cfm?ID=20000418-53

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The peopling of the Americas took place earlier than thought

 The discovery of spear tips and blade tools in layers of a sand dune known
as Cactus Hill near Richmond, Virginia is providing strong evidence that
the peopling of the Americas took place earlier than generally thought.
"We have a verifiable, unequivocal level of human occupation below the
level of Clovis occupation," says Joseph McAvoy, project manager of the
excavation. The Clovis, a nomadic people who hunted mammoths and bison,
were the first to populate the Americas about 13,500 years ago - or so goes
the current theory. They came by foot over the Bering land bridge, which
joined Asia to what is now Alaska during the Ice Age, and travelled south
in pursuit of their food source. However, finds like this one are punching
holes in this theory and supporting the idea that the Americas were
populated as a result of multiple migrations - not only across the Bering
land bridge, but also by boat along the ice-packed coast, from both Asia
and Europe.

        - - > http://exn.ca/html/templates/mastertop.cfm?ID=20000417-54

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Save endangered species with DNA banks, urge scientists

An international team of scientists has put forward a proposal to set up a
web-based worldwide network of DNA banks to preserve the genetic material
of endangered species. "We urge that a coordinated worldwide attempt be
made to store, for every endangered animal species, samples of DNA, DNA
libraries, or frozen cells or tissues that could readily yield DNA," wrote
the group in this week's issue of the journal Science. "Our proposal is
first to establish a means of collecting information on DNA banking efforts
for endangered species of animals and, second, to encourage efforts to bank
documented DNA specimens for the future." The group, led by Oliver Ryder
from the Zoological Society of San Diego, points out that other species
have already benefited from genetic information. As part of the effort to
assess the problem of declining numbers of black rhinos in Africa, for
instance, scientists used extensive analyses of mitochondrial DNA diversity
to distinguish the Southern black rhino populations from the Eastern black
rhinos.

        - - > http://exn.ca/html/templates/mastertop.cfm?ID=20000414-67

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*Mummies*

Cloth-covered gouls that prey on the defenseless? Not quite! exn.ca
presents a this scientific look at the Mummy!

        - - > http://exn.ca/Mummies

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*Dinosaurs*

Uncover the secrets of our strange and beautiful ancient Earth dwellers.

        - - > http://exn.ca/dinosaur

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