Blurbs that are just too good to throw away ...

Dark Streaks May Signal Active Water On Mars
 12-20-02  Salty water driven by hot magma from Mars' deep interior may be 
forming some of the mysterious dark slope streaks visible near the Red 
Planet's equator, according to University of Arizona scientists. 
They have determined the dark slope streaks generally occur in areas of 
long-lived hydrothermal activity, magma-ground-ice interactions, and 
volcanic activity.  Some of the dark slope streaks are brand new--they 
have formed after the Mars Global Surveyor spacecraft began detailed mapping
of the planet in April 1999.  Others have been observed to fade away on 
decadal time scales.  Their findings support the hypothesis that Mars 
remains hydrologically active and that water could be shaping the planet's
landscape today. 


Fierce Storm Winds Lash Europe
 10/27/02  LONDON (Reuters) - At least 10 people were killed on Sunday as 
winds gusting up to 100 mph swept across northern Europe, wreaking 
havoc on roads and railways and disrupting flights and shipping.	
The gales caused the cancellation of 39 British Airways flights from 
London's Heathrow and Gatwick airports.  Another 30 flights from Stansted 
in eastern England were canceled. 
Train services across Britain were brought to a standstill by high winds 
and debris on the track.  The Snowdonia marathon in Wales was canceled for
the first time in its 21-year history. 


Global Warming on Pluto
 In what is largely a reversal of an August announcement, 
astronomers today said Pluto is undergoing global warming in its
thin atmosphere even as it moves farther from the Sun.  
Pluto's atmospheric pressure has tripled over the past 14 years, 
indicating a stark temperature rise, the researchers said.  
They suspect the average surface temperature increased about 
3.5 degrees Fahrenheit, or slightly less than 2 degrees Celsius.

Ice reservoirs found on Mars
 BBC 5-27-02  Water-ice has been found in vast quantities just below
the surface across great swathes of the planet Mars.  The US space 
agency will make the dramatic announcement about the water-ice next 
Thursday. And full disclosure of the findings will come in the journal 
Science later that day.  The discovery was made by the Mars Odyssey 
spacecraft, which has been gathering data since late last year.  
The presence of such a vast amount of ice - if it were to melt it could
cover the planet in an ocean at least 500 metres deep (1,640 feet)
- will change profoundly the direction of future exploration. 

U.S. beach closings double in a year
 WASHINGTON, Aug. 8 — Pollution closed beaches nearly twice as often 
last year as the prior year, according to a survey released Wednesday
by the Natural Resources Defense Council. The nationwide survey cites
11,270 beach closings and advisories in 2000, with 85 percent due 
to elevated bacteria counts that exceeded federal swimmer safety 
standards.  The report also points to a 40 percent jump in 
the number of beaches reporting pollution problems from an unknown 
source.  Two-fifths of U.S. waters are still too polluted for 
swimming, fishing and supporting aquatic life, the group says!

US May Ban Feeding Chicken Manure To Cattle !!
 WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. regulators are considering whether 
feeding chicken litter to cattle poses any risk of 
transmitting the deadly mad cow disease, a top U.S. health official 
said Monday, litter containing waste from chickens legally can be 
processed and fed to cattle under some circumstances.  Some have 
questioned whether chickens that ate material prohibited for 
cattle could recycle the banned byproducts back to cows that
ate their litter. The abnormal proteins believed to cause mad 
cow disease have proven resilient, and it is unknown whether a 
chicken's digestive tract could kill them. 

US REJECTS GLOBAL WARMING PACT
March 29, 2001  The London Daily Telegraph reports: “The United $tates 
has abandoned the 1997 Kyoto Treaty on global warming because it is 
against its economic interests, the White Hou$e said last night.
Under the agreement, Wa$hington was required to cut greenhouse gas 
emissions by a third by 2012.  But Ari Fleischer, $pokesman for Pre$ident
George Bu$h, said: ‘the pre$ident has been unequivocal.  He does not 
support the treaty.’  Asked whether America would pull out of the pact,
designed to combat global warming, Mr. Fleischer said it had not taken 
effect so ‘there was nothing to withdraw from’. 
He emphasized that of the 55 nations who agreed on the treaty, only 
Romania had formally ratified the accord.  President Clinton did sign 
the agreement in 1998, but it has never undergone the process of Senate
ratification, which completes a Treaty in US law. Mr. Bu$h's principal 
objections focused on the controls lacking for developing nations, such
as China and India, whose emissions could one day rival the U$ ” 

Earthquake moves southern slope of Kilauea volcano
 Using data from the Stanford/USGS global positioning system (GPS) 
network on the Big Island of Hawaii researchers were able to measure 
a slow-moving 5.7 magnitude earthquake which caused the southern flank
of a volcano to slide 3.5 inches. Steven N. Ward, a geophysicist with 
the University of California-Santa Cruz reported that Kilauea’s southern
flank is estimated to be nearly equal in size to a half-mile-thick slice
of Rhode Island. If the huge chunk of land suddenly collapsed into the 
ocean instead of sliding just a few inches, it could have generated an 
enormous tsunami large enough to threaten coastal cities as far away as 
the U.S., Chile and Australia.

U.S. Volcano Getting Ready to Blow?
 14-May-2002  South Sister volcano in Oregon’s Cascade Range is 
beginning to show signs of erupting after lying dormant for thousands
of years.  Although indications are that an eruption is not likely to 
occur anytime soon, scientists are increasing their vigilance, which is 
located approximately 22 from miles from Bend, Oregon.  About a year ago,
scientists at the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) detected a bulge in the 
Earth's crust near the base of South Sister volcano. 
About a year ago, scientists at the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) 
detected a bulge in the Earth's crust near the base of South Sister 
volcano.  Using high-precision radar data from satellites, found that 
the ground west of South Sister had swelled about 4 inches since 1996.
This swelling has continued at a rate of about 1 inch every year. 

SEISMOLOGISTS UNABLE TO EXPLAIN QUAKE IN NORTH-EAST
 April 22, 2002  "Experts in the United States say they have no 
clear explanation for today's earthquake on the north-east coast, 
which registered five-point-one on the Richter Scale. 
The US Geological Survey says the quake struck near the Canadian 
and US border and was strong enough to cause major damage, had the
area been heavily populated. 
New York State seismologist Frank Revetta says it's 20 years since
the last reasonably strong earthquake in the north-east of the US, 
the cause of them is a mystery. 
'There aren't any major fault lines here like you have with 
California, that the earthquakes occur along. Up here, the 
earthquakes are diffuse in the area and they don't line up along 
any particular fault.'…" 

Mystery on Jupiter
 18-Mar-2002  Researchers have noticed a mysterious dark spot
near Jupiter’s north pole and watched it develop for 
more than two months.  It was photographed by the Cassini 
spacecraft, which is a NASA-operated robot, but was only spotted
recently, when researchers were catching up with some of the 
Cassini imagery that had not been fully studied.  The images 
were made between October 1 and December 15, 2000, as Cassini 
approached Jupiter. 
Scientists haven’t figured out what the larger spot is or how
it formed. Further examination of the images returned by 
Cassini may eventually shed light on the mysterious spot.
 ... and this from March 10th ...
Scientists made a puzzling discovery of an X-ray source on the 
planet Jupiter.  The pulses are coming from the north pole 
of Jupiter.  The source, located near the magnetic pole of 
the planet, pulsed 15 times during a 10 hour observation period 
or about every 45 minutes. 
 ...  now, whats up with that ?? 

BIZARRE CREATURE RAISES PROSPECTS FOR LIFE ON MARS
 1-18-02 They eat hydrogen, breathe carbon dioxide, and belch methane.
And they form the root of an ecosystem unlike any previously known on 
Earth.  Meet the methanogen, a tiny organism living in complete darkness
660 feet (200 meters) underneath the surface of Idaho. 
Researchers report in the Jan. 17 issue of the journal Nature the
discovery of a community of various organisms dominated and supported by
these methanogens, creatures they say could represent just the sort of 
life to look for when turning over rocks on Mars. 
The work, along with another report this week of life found in extreme 
conditions in Antarctica, adds to mounting evidence for life's tenacity
and creativity, fueling increased speculation about the prospects for 
life on other worlds.

Disappearing salmon
 (6-2-01)Stocks of wild Atlantic salmon are at their lowest ever 
levels - and unless countries agree stringent measures to protect
stocks, wild salmon will disappear from many rivers in the US and
Europe, says the Worldwide Fund for Nature (CHECK). 
Global wild Atlantic salmon catches have fallen by more than 80 
per cent between 1970 and 2000. Salmon farming, habitat 
degradation and a mysterious rapid decline in sea stocks 
are primarily to blame.
 ...  no Mystery to me ... Dan.

Arctic thunderstorms latest signal of climate change 
 OTTAWA (CP) 11-16-00 - Canada's Inuit are seeing something 
unknown in their oral history - thunder and lightning. 
Researchers spent a year visiting the community of Sachs 
Harbour, accompanying people on their hunting and fishing 
trips and recording their observations on videotape. 
The result is a powerful portrait of environmental upheaval
- melting permafrost, thinning ice, mudslides, even the 
disappearance of an entire lake as its once-frozen shores gave 
way.  The freshwater fish that lived in the lake were 
killed as it drained into the ocean. 

Dioxin from U.S. smokestacks to remote Arctic villages
 NEW YORK (AP) -- For the first time, scientists say they have 
pinpointed many of the industrial polluters responsible for the 
dioxin that is ending up in the Arctic.  They found that 35 
municipal waste incinerators, cement kilns and steel plants 
in the eastern and central United States account for one-third
of the dioxin reaching Nunavut Territory in the Canadian Arctic. 
Dioxin has been shown to cause cancer, brain damage and 
reproductive abnormalities in animals, but the degree of 
its threat to humans remains unclear. 
   ...  oh I'm sure its threat to humans is unclear...

Nader Blasts Bush's War 
 SAN FRANCISCO - Former Green Party Presidential candidate Ralph Nader 
roundly criticized the Administration's war on terrorism in a 
speech before an enthusiastic paying audience of approximately 2,500 
at the San Francisco Masonic Center last night. 
Nader called for a democratic debate over the Administration's policies
saying, "the mindless bombing of Afghanistan's infrastructure will not 
end well for Afghanistan and, I fear, it will not end well for us." 
"We are entitled to ask what this war will cost: what it will cost 
Afghans, what it will cost our rights and democracy here, and what the 
huge shift of money into the military and corporate bailouts will cost 
our domestic programs?" 
Nader also called for a renewed defense of civil liberties, opposition 
to unwarranted curtailment of them, and reform of intelligence agencies,
including making them "leaner and more efficient" by reducing their 
bloated budgets and bureaucracies. 

Jupiter Moon May Have a Salt-Water Ocean
 SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Scientists studying data sent back 
to Earth from NASAs Galileo spacecraft have concluded that 
Jupiter's largest moon, Ganymede, may possess a huge salt-water 
ocean beneath its crusty surface. 
Galileo probe data on two other Jovian moons -- Europa and 
Callisto -- has already indicated that they probably have 
subsurface Water, a key building block for life. 
Now, Ganymede -- which is larger than Mercury or Pluto --
also looks likely to be concealing a thick layer of melted, salty 
water beneath its icy crust, researchers told a meeting of the 
American Geophysical Union here on Saturday.
Magnetic readings taken by the Galileo craft during close 
approaches in May 2000 and earlier were ``highly suggestive''
that a salty, liquid ocean existed there.

Increase in Natural Disasters 
 LONDON (Reuters) - Climate change is already increasing the 
frequency and intensity of natural disasters, and the trend is 
likely to continue according to a report released Friday by the 
World Wide Fund for Nature.  The report, 'Climate Change and 
Extreme Weather Events', said global temperatures would increase,
sea levels would rise, and few places in the world would be 
spared an increase in violent rainstorms, droughts, tropical 
cyclones and other climatic disruptions.  Southern Europe was 
expected to become drier while northern Europe would become 
wetter.  In Britain, summer droughts in the southeast would 
become more frequent and there would be more winter rainfall 
across the country, with more frequent flooding.

Receding Water Reveals A God 
 1-10-01(Reuters)  Receding ground water has uncovered a startling
archeological treasure, the tomb of Osiris, perhaps the most
important god in Egyptian mythology. 
A granite sarcophagus believed to contain the remains of Osiris was
found inside a 98-ft.-deep tomb in Giza, site of the famous pyramids.
According to ancient Egyptian legend, Osiris was murdered by his 
brother Seth.  After being buried by Isis, who was both his sister 
and his wife, he returned to life as the ruler of the underworld. 
More startling revelations are on the horizon.  Bones and artifacts
near the sarcophagus date back as far as 3000 BCE. 

Humans 'Face Extinction'
 Humans, like other large mammals, are showing signs of 
imminent extinction, claims a UK palaeontologist. Large 
animals are dying out at a much higher rate than models 
predict, said Professor Michael Boulter. He told the 
British Association's Festival of Science in London that 
he believed the human race would "soon" follow. "My 
theory is that the Earth and life on it needs, from 
time to time, culls," he told the BBC. "The last and 
best known cull was of the dinosaurs 65 million years 
ago. I reckon from the evidence that we have that there
is reason to believe that we humans are interfering with
the environment so much that we are making ourselves 
extinct." "The good news is that life on Earth will 
continue peacefully and happily without large mammals,"
added Professor Boulter. "Of course, it's poor news for us." 

Solar Flare Goes Off the Charts
 BOULDER, Colo. (AP) - Forecasters said a solar flare 
Monday was the most intense they have seen in the 
current 11-year-solar cycle.  Space weather forecasters
had to estimate its intensity, X-22 on a scale that only 
goes to 20, after sensors on a National Oceanic and 
Atmospheric Administration satellite could no longer 
measure it. 

OZONE HOLE NOW 3 TIMES THE SIZE OF AMERICA 
 Sept. 9, 2000 The BBC reported: “The hole in the ozone
layer over Antarctica has grown to its greatest size yet,
the US space agency says. Nasa says this year's hole in 
the ozone layer - an annual event around September and 
October - measures 28.3 million square kilometers 
(11 million square miles). That is three times the 
size of the United States.  The previous record was 
27.2 million square kilometers (10.5 million square 
miles), two years ago. Scientists who have been 
studying the ozone layer since the early 1970s were 
shocked by the hole's size...” 

Completely New Animal Found in Greenland
 COPENHAGEN, Denmark (Reuters) - Danish scientists have found a 
completely new kind of animal down a cold well in Greenland and 
are keeping a colony of them in a fridge, the Arctic magazine 
Polarfronten reported on the Internet Thursday.  The 0.1-millimeter
long freshwater organism does not fit into any one of the previously
known animal families -- making it only the fourth such creature to 
be discovered on the planet in the past 100 years.
Limnognathia maerski, which reproduces through parthenogenesis,
uses its jaws to scrape the bacteria and algae it feeds on from 
underwater moss growing in icy wells which freeze over during the
long Arctic winter.

MYSTERIOUS LIGHT FROM THE COSMOS
April 13, 2000   CBS News reported: “Astronomers using an automated telescope 
that scans 10 million stars and galaxies a night have discovered a mysterious 
pulsing light in the Big Dipper.  It flashes like a slowly rotating 
searchlight, scientists say.  'It's a mystery,' said Los Alamos 
researcher Jim Wren. 'It's definitely a strange object.'  It was spotted 
March 29 by the Robotic Optical Transient Search Experiment at Los Alamos.  It 
brightens, then dims and brightens again in a cycle, Wren said. Ron Remillard 
of Massachusetts Institute of Technology was the first to see it.  He sent out 
a request for corroborating observations and received a response from Japan 
within an hour that scientists there saw it, too.  Remillard theorizes the  
ulsing may come from a black hole, a dying star with a force of gravity so 
intense that not even light readily escapes its pull.  He said the black hole, 
perhaps on the fringes of our galaxy, may be sucking dust and gas which heats 
as it spirals to its death, giving off the pulsing light and X-rays.  He has 
seen similar phenomena, he said, but with different pulse patterns.  'There's a 
big mystery out there that's not solved,' Remillard said..." 

ATTEMPT TO CLONE EXTINCT TIGER 
May 6, 2000  Wired News reported: “After extracting high-quality DNA 
from an extinct Tasmanian Tiger, government scientists say they are 
now a giant leap closer to bringing the species back to life. 
Australian Museum researchers announced Thursday that they had pulled 
pieces of kidney, liver, and heart from the specimen, kept in 
preservative alcohol since 1866. Pieces of DNA in stretches as long 
as 2,000 base pairs were recovered, up to five times longer than 
researchers had dared hope, said Mike Archer, the museum's 
director...” 

Freak Storm Hits England, Northern Europe
12/04/99  COPENHAGEN (Reuters) - At least seven people died on Friday 
when gale-force winds swept across England, over the North Sea and 
smashed into Denmark in what the Meteorological Institute in 
Copenhagen called its worst storm of the century.  The British 
Meteorological Office said winds gusted to around 100 miles per 
hour.  The Danish Meteorological Institute said winds reached 180 kph 
in the North Sea before sweeping inland west-to-east. Germany's North 
Sea coast was put on a flood alert, including the major port of 
Hamburg. 
Power blackouts were reported in many parts of the country. 
Airports, including the international airport at Copenhagen, were 
closed. 
In Britain, the Meteorological Office had earlier issued a general 
storm warning for England and Wales as the gale moved across the 
country. Rain, snow and heavy winds caused serious travel problems in 
Scotland. 

Yukon Meteor Blast
01/25/00  NASA -- Last week, one of the most dramatic meteors in 
years streaked across the skies of the Yukon Territory in Canada. 
Witnesses reported two sonic booms, a foul odor, and sizzling sounds 
heard all the way from Alaska through northwestern Canada. Based on 
readings from defense satellites and seismic monitoring stations, 
scientists estimate that the meteor detonated with the energy of two 
to three kilotons of TNT. 
"I have never seen anything quite like this before," said Joe Clarke 
of Marshlake, Yukon, who saw the meteor at 0845 PST (1645 UT) on 
January 18. "When it started, the flash lit up the mountains 15 km 
away as bright as daylight, then it just drifted across the sky. The 
contrail looked to me like the ones left by shuttle launches. It just 
hung there for at least 1/2 hour. [It's the] wildest thing I could 
ever imagine seeing." 

Spanish scientists analyze falling ice 
MADRID, Spain (AP) - A team of scientists hope chemical analysis will 
reveal this week why at least 15 blocks of ice, some as big as 
basketballs, have plummeted from Spanish skies in the past 10 days. 
"The most surprised person of all by this phenomenon is me," said the 
head geologist of a team of Spanish scientists that has traveled over 
the country collecting and analyzing the blocks of ice which weigh as 
much as 8 pounds. The chunks of ice, which landed in the countryside, 
on city plazas and in streets, have so far caused damage or injuries. 
Spanish meteorologists say no weather phenomenon could explain the 
ice. 

An Unusual Quake Begins the Century
ROCHESTER, N.Y. (AP) - A moderate earthquake shook parts of western 
New York and southern Ontario early today, rattling dishes but 
causing no damage. 
The 4.5-magnitude earthquake at 6:23 a.m. was felt in 
Rochester, Buffalo, Niagara Falls and in a large area of Ontario, 
according to the U.S. Geological Survey and the Geological Survey of 
Environment Canada. 
The earthquake's epicenter was about 15 miles northeast of North Bay, 
Ontario, Harlow said. Police in New York and Ontario got several 
calls from worried residents.  It was the largest tremor to hit the 
region since 1935.

Thousands of plant species nearing extinction
WASHINGTON (September 19, 1999) - With thousands of plant species 
nearing extinction, the world's farmers are losing valuable crop 
alternatives. In the United States, more than 80 percent of seed 
varieties sold a century ago no longer are available, according to a 
report released Saturday.  Worldwide, more than 30,000 plant species 
are threatened.  

UN ENVIRONMENTAL CRISIS WARNING
September 16, 1999  The BBC reported: "The United Nations is warning 
that time is running out to stop worldwide environmental damage and 
says it is already too late to prevent irreversible harm to 
ecosystems like tropical forests.The findings come in the end-of-
century review of the UN Environmental Programme (UNEP), called 
Global Environment Outlook 2000, which sees a number of ‘full-scale 
emergencies’ on the horizon. 
 ...  more on the 'spotlite' page.  Dan

CLONING EXTINCT SPECIES
September 14, 1999 Wired News reported yesterday: "A 133-year-old 
pickled Tasmanian Tiger has found itself at the center of a cat fight 
involving cloners and conservationists. Earlier this week, the state 
government of New South Wales announced the formation of a special 
government/private trust aimed at spurring research on how the 
extinct species might be resurrected using DNA from the pup, bottled 
in alcohol since 1866..." 

Pennsylvania tornado leaves thousands in the dark
HONEY BROOK, Pa. (November 27, 1999) - An unusual November tornado 
ripped apart homes, toppled trees and injured at least 10 people in 
eastern Pennsylvania.  Some 1,800 customers still had no electricity 
Saturday, Chester County emergency officials said. 

Virus Found in Arctic Ice
BBC News  9-1-99  The discovery of the first virus preserved in the 
Arctic ice has prompted a warning that there may be more, and that 
warm weather may release them to start epidemics.  The virus, a 
tomato mosaic tobamovirus (ToMV) was found by a team of American 
researchers.  The discovery, reported in the magazine New Scientist, 
suggests that other viruses, possibly including 'flu, smallpox and 
polio, may also have survived in the ice.  The team says a brief 
rise in temperature could let loose any viruses and cause disease.  
  ...  more on the 'Spotlite' page.  Dan

Ocean cooling blamed for sea turtle deaths
QUITO, Ecuador (September 4, 1999) - Hundreds of dead sea turtles 
have been washing up on Ecuador's central coast in past weeks, and 
scientists on Friday were attributing the deaths on colder-than-usual 
waters in the Pacific Ocean.  Ocean temperatures that should be 
around 72 degrees Fahrenheit have dipped 6 to 8 degrees lower 
than normal, said Franklin Ormaza, director of Ecuador's National 
Institute of Fisheries.  "There's a direct relation between the water 
temperature and the death toll," he said. "It weakens the turtles' 
immune systems, making them vulnerable to viruses."  Scientists said 
they do not know if diseases carried by the turtles could be passed 
to humans, and have urged coastal residents not to eat the creatures. 

CHILE'S FREAK WEATHER DEADLY 
Unseasonal snow and rain claimed at least three lives and left four 
people missing in Chile on Tuesday as it ended the country's worst 
drought in a century.  Temperatures dropped on Tuesday, turning 
rain into snow, and causing large drifts across the Andes Mountains. 
Los Libertadores Pass, the main border crossing between Chile and 
Argentina, was closed due to the heavy snow.  Rains continued to 
pummel central and southern Chile for the fifth straight day on 
Wednesday, bringing the annual rainfall for the capital city of 
Santiago above the annual average. Snow also fell in the city.  
Earlier this year, water was so scarce in reservoirs behind 
hydroelectric stations that power rationing and failures occurred 
frequently across much of the country. 

Report: Russia seabirds die in mass
MOSCOW (AP) - More than 2,500 dead seabirds have been found in 
Russia's Far East and scientists are not sure why, a news 
agency reported Monday. About 2,500 birds have been found on Kunashir 
Island in the southern Kurils, and another 100 on Sakhalin Island, 
the Interfax news agency said. People started reporting unusually 
large numbers of dead birds this month, and some experts say it could 
be caused by unusually hot weather. Zoya Revyakina, the chief of the 
state environmental protection authority on Sakhalin, said the 
same phenomenon had been reported in Japan, the Interfax said. 

Meteorite contains water
WASHINGTON (August 27, 1999 ) - Scientists who cracked open a 
meteorite that fell to earth last year found tiny pockets of briny 
water, providing the first close look at water not originating on 
earth, an article in the journal Science reports. 
When the NASA team cracked open part of the meteorite at their lab, 
they found purple crystals of halite - or rock salt - that contained 
minuscule pockets of water with bubbles, which indicated that water 
flowed on whatever parent body spawned the meteorite.  Chondrite 
meteorites are thought to comprise some of the most primitive 
ingredients from the early period of the solar system, and the water 
in the crystals could date as far back as 4.5 billion years. 

Britain to study dropping sperm counts
August 23, 1999  EDINBURGH (Reuters) -- British scientists are set to 
carry out their biggest-ever study into male reproductive health -- 
including why sperm counts across the globe appear to be falling 
dramatically, researchers said Monday.  Some evidence has shown 
counts have dropped as much as 50 percent in the past 50 years 
-- and twice as fast in Europe as in the United States. 

ANITBIOTICS CREATED ‘SUPERBUGS’
August 22, 1999 The London Telegraph reported: "The growth of drug-
resistant ‘superbugs’, such as E-coli and salmonella can be blamed 
directly on the use of antibiotics on farm animals, Government 
advisers said yesterday. They said it could undermine the medical 
advances of the past 50 years...In the first official report on the 
transfer of antibiotic resistance for 30 years, the advisers 
cautioned consumers against panic, as some drugs were still effective 
against resistant strains...” 

Astronomers Baffled By Space Light
08/18/99  LOS ANGELES (AP) - A mysterious celestial object detected 
three years ago in the northern sky is baffling scientists who have 
been unable to figure out its makeup or how far it is from Earth. 
It's rare for astronomers to find an unexplainable object, but it's 
even more unusual for it to remain undefined for more than a week, 
said S. George Djorgovski, a California Institute of Technology 
astronomer who helped discover the object. Usually, astronomers are 
able to determine an object's composition and distance by breaking 
down its light into a spectrum and analyzing it. But the mystery 
object's spectrum does not fit any of the known patterns. Scientists 
are unsure whether the object is inside our Milky Way galaxy or at 
the edge of the universe. 

Part of Alpine Glacier Crumbles
GRINDELWALD, Switzerland (AP) -- An Alpine glacier that began 
shifting a month ago crumbled early Saturday, sending an estimated 
30,000 cubic yards of ice hurtling into the valley below. 
Authorities had sealed off roads and pastures several weeks ago in 
anticipation of the ice avalanche, and there were no injuries. 
Many of Switzerland's ice caps are gradually melting as a result of 
warming temperatures.

Mediterranean seeing new species
ROME (AP) - The Mediterranean is on its way to becoming a tropical 
aquarium, with 110 newcomer species from the tropics threatening to 
crowd out native species less suited to the ever-warmer and more 
polluted water, experts warned Friday. Biologists spotted the 
Mediterranean's first species of tropical fish in the 1930s, three 
decades after the opening of the Suez Canal. Since then, 55 Red Sea 
species have made their way in via the canal, said experts from 
Italy's Central Institute for Scientific Research and Applied 
Technology for the Sea. While the 530 indigenous species have been 
weakened by increasing pollution and overfishing, the brightly 
colored newcomers are thriving. Global warming has raised the 
temperature of the sea by about 1 degree since 1989, a boon for 
migrant species. 

Drug-resistant pneumonia bacteria
ATLANTA (August 6, 1999) - The bacteria that cause pneumonia, 
meningitis and other serious illnesses are becoming increasingly 
resistant to penicillin, federal health officials said. 
The data came from a CDC study of hospitals in seven states. The 
prevalence of drug-resistant pneumonia varied from 15.3 percent in 
Maryland to 38.3 percent in Tennessee. Other states included in the 
study were California, Oregon, Connecticut, Minnesota and Georgia. 

Tick-borne illness now spreading to humans
(July 15, 1999) - Researchers have detected a tick-borne bacterial 
infection in humans that was previously thought to sicken only dogs, 
according to a study in Thursday's New England Journal of Medicine. 
The doctors found four human cases of the infection, all in Missouri, 
between 1996 and 1998, and four more cases during this tick season in 
Missouri, Tennessee and Oklahoma. 

Coral bleaching threatens to destroy reefs
SYDNEY, Australia (July 6, 1999) - Global warming is causing a 
condition known as coral bleaching to strike the world's reefs more 
often and with greater intensity than ever before, scientists and 
environmentalists said Tuesday. 
Scientists say coral bleaching struck reefs across the globe in 1998. 
The term describes a condition occurring when coral becomes stressed 
and expels the microscopic plants that give them their vibrant color. 
If the current rate of climate change continues, "coral reefs 
could be eliminated from most areas of the world by 2100," said 
Professor Ove Hoegh-Guldberg, author of a report released by 
Greenpeace Australia. 

Noctilucent clouds head south
LOGAN, Utah (June 28, 1999) - High-altitude clouds of ice crystals 
were spotted last week by scientists in Logan, Utah, and near 
Boulder, Colo. - farther south than such clouds have ever been 
seen in the Northern Hemisphere.
"Sightings this far south are unprecedented" and suggest the 
greenhouse gases thought to be warming Earth's lower atmosphere may 
be chilling and adding water to the planet's upper atmosphere to form 
the icy clouds at mid-latitudes, said Mike Taylor, a physicist at 
Utah State University's Space Dynamics Laboratory. 
"I'm pretty excited (by the cloud sightings) because a number of us 
have been saying the upper atmosphere is the miner's canary of global 
change," Thomas said. "It is a sign we are doing things to our 
atmosphere that is causing some unexpected consequences." 

Alaska glacier moving faster 
Alaska's Columbia Glacier has increased its speed from 82 feet per 
day to 115 feet per day in recent months and within the next few 
years it could fill Prince William Sound with icebergs, according to 
a University of Colorado glaciologist. Already the world's fastest 
moving glacier, the glacier is suddenly flowing even faster down its 
channel. 

Deformed mice astound researchers
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (Nandotimes.com - June 17, 1999) - An astounding 
discovery of rodents with dual sex organs at the former Kesterson 
National Wildlife Refuge has researchers nationwide excited and 
worried about the possible implications for humans. Reproduction 
problems and strange sexual traits have been noticed in Florida 
alligators, Great Lake gulls and fish, but the recently published 
discovery that up to 29 of 87 Kesterson mice and voles had both male 
and female sex organs is even more dramatic, said Earl Gray, a 
reproductive toxicologist with the U.S. Environmental Protection 
Agency in North Carolina. 

Butterflies react to global warming
(AP) - Butterfly populations in Europe have shifted north during the 
past century, a possible sign that many other animal species are 
moving in response to global warming, scientists say. "It confirms 
that things are beginning to happen. If we can see it in butterflies, 
then it's likely to be happening in other groups," said Ian Woiwod, 
an entomologist who was not involved in the research. In a study 
published in Thursday's issue of the journal Nature, researchers 
looked at 35 species of butterflies and found that 22 had either died 
out at the southern end of their ranges, or spread beyond their 
former northern boundary, or both. 

Deformed dragonflies discovered in northern Minnesota 
MINNEAPOLIS (June 9, 1999 http://www.nandotimes.com) - Researchers 
said Wednesday they have found dozens of dragonflies in northern 
Minnesota with misshapen mouths, abdomens and antennae, but do not 
know the cause of the deformities. The percentage of malformed 
dragonflies ranged from 4 to 38 percent, depending upon the species 
and the site, the researchers said. 

DEAD SEALS WASH UP ON SIBERIA LAKE
Seventy-eight dead bodies of the world's only freshwater seal have 
washed up on the shores of Lake Baikal. Thirty-six of the unique 
seals, called nerpa, were found near the village of Utulik, in the 
Irkutsk region of eastern Siberia, the Interfax news agency reported 
today... (ENS) Lake Baikal holds the world's largest volume of 
fresh water - some 20 percent of the world's supply.