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.