Earth

With the first wave of clean-up efforts behind them, residents of communities affected by this year's Midwest floods may find hope in a University of Illinois study on the economic impact of the 1993 flood that devastated much of the same region.

An infection due to a virus called cytomegalovirus (CMV), which most commonly affects people with compromised immune systems, can also affect hospital intensive-care patients who have no immune-system problems, University of Washington researchers have found. CMV infection is also associated with longer hospital and intensive-care unit (ICU) stays independent of other causes, according to the study, published July 23 in JAMA, the Journal of the American Medical Association.

July 24, 2008 – A new study by researchers from Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health addresses one of the most challenging issues in infant health and preventing mother-to-child HIV transmission in poor countries. In these settings, HIV-infected mothers had been advised that for the best outcome for their infants, they should exclusively breast-feed, followed by a rapid weaning four to six months after birth.

Researchers at The Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine, Hershey, Pennsylvania have discovered that the efficacy of imiquimod, a clinically important immune response modifier with potent antiviral and antitumor activity, is dependent on the Opioid Growth Factor (OGF)-OGF receptor (OGFr) axis for its action. This discovery, reported in the August 08 issue of Experimental Biology and Medicine, provides new insights into a widely used drug that may lead to development of new agents that will enhance effectiveness and attenuate side-effects.

1. Fire suppression may have reduced carbon storage in western U.S. forests

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- A single typhoon in Taiwan buries as much carbon in the ocean -- in the form of sediment -- as all the other rains in that country all year long combined.

That's the finding of an Ohio State University study published in a recent issue of the journal Geology.

The study -- the first ever to examine the chemistry of stream water and sediments that were being washed out to sea while a typhoon was happening at full force -- will help scientists develop better models of global climate change.

Converting livestock manure into a domestic renewable fuel source could generate enough electricity to meet up to three per cent of North America's entire consumption needs and lead to a significant reduction in greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs), according to US research published today, Thursday, 24 July, in the Institute of Physics' Environmental Research Letters.

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Wealthy nations willing to collectively spend about $1 billion annually could prevent the emission of roughly half a billion metric tons of carbon dioxide per year for the next 25 years, new research suggests.

It would take about that much money to put an end to a tenth of the tropical deforestation in the world, one of the top contributors to greenhouse gas emissions, researchers estimate.

If adopted, this type of program could have potential to reduce global carbon emissions by between 2 and 10 percent.

Nutrients washed out of the Amazon River are powering huge amounts of previously unexpected plant life far out to sea, thus trapping atmospheric carbon dioxide, according to a new study. Until now, the areas around the Amazon and other great rivers had been thought to be emitting CO2, so the study may affect climate scientists' calculations of how the greenhouse gas acts. The study appears in this week's Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. http://www.pnas.org/

People living near vulnerable creeks and rivers along Colorado's Front Range may soon get advance notice of potentially deadly floods, thanks to a new forecasting system being tested this summer by the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) in Boulder, Colo.

Known as the NCAR Front Range Flash Flood Prediction System, it combines detailed atmospheric conditions with information about stream flows to predict floods along specific streams and catchments.