Good News and Bad News From the World of Science

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

The Good News
-Oxford University psychiatrists have found that playing the computer game Tetris shortly after a traumatic event interferes with the brain’s ability to form visuospatial memories of the trauma and reduces unpleasant flashbacks.
-Chemical engineers have built the world’s smallest integrated fuel cell—just 9 millimeters square and a single millimeter thick—boosting prospects for hydrogen-powered personal gadgets.
-A survey of 20 studies finds that responsible, conscientious people live two to four years longer than average. Better yet, researchers say we can develop these life-extending traits over time.

The Bad News
-Inorganic phosphates, which are common in processed foods, promote the growth of lung cancer tumors in mice, according to a study by a team at Seoul National University in Korea.
-The journal Harmful Algae blames nutrient pollution, largely from agricultural sources such as fertilizer and livestock, for an uptick in toxic algal blooms worldwide. Such blooms now happen more often, grow larger, and last longer.
-The Ebola virus has reemerged in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, according to the World Health Organization. As of early January, there were at least 36 suspected cases and 12 deaths in the outbreak.

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