Archive for July, 2005

Heart Drug May Block Stress of Traumatic Memories

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: July 29, 2005   View Article

Memories of wailing sirens, mangled bodies, and smoldering debris in the wake of this month’s terrorist attacks in London and Egypt will produce widespread distress in thousands of people.

Can a common drug snuff out the debilitating emotions these memories trigger?

Researchers say the beta-blocker propranolol, commonly prescribed to treat high blood pressure and heart problems, disrupts the way the brain stores memories.

New Pluto-Sized Object Discovered in Solar System

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: July 29, 2005   View Article

Astronomers in Spain and the U.S. have discovered a large object skirting the fringes of the solar system. Research teams from both countries announced the discovery separately.

The object, designated 2003 EL61, is about 930 miles (1,500 kilometers) across, according to Mike Brown, an astronomer at the California Institute of Technology, who led the U.S-based team. The team announced its discovery today.

Document “Fingerprints” Could Fight ID Fraud

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: July 27, 2005   View Article

Office supplies have fingerprints, too, it seems.

A laser-based technology can read and record the unique “fingerprint” found in every piece of paper, cardboard, and plastic.

Scientists say the new tech offers an array of applications, from thwarting forged IDs and prescription drug packages to preventing identity theft and combating terrorism.

Beat Bugs Without DEET: U.S. Boosts 2 Alternatives

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: July 26, 2005   View Article

Summertime … swat … and the living is … swat … swat … swat—nothing ruins a summer day like a swarm of bloodthirsty mosquitoes.

For years the only scientifically proven way to ward off the buggers was to use an insect repellent containing the chemical compound DEET (diethyl toluamide).

Beach Bacteria Warning: That Sand May Be Contaminated

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: July 26, 2005   View Article

Building sand castles and playing beach volleyball may be grittier vacation pastimes than you think, according to a new report.

Sand at many U.S. beaches contains bacteria that indicate potentially unhealthy levels of fecal material, the report states. The Clean Beaches Council, a Washington, D.C.-based advocacy group, issued the report earlier this month.

Watch Your Step: Study Shows Life in Tidal Areas at Risk

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: July 25, 2005   View Article

A clamber along a rocky tidepool may seem like a harmless way to while away the hours during these dog days of summer. But some marine scientists urge caution on behalf of the organisms that live there.

The organisms that live in the intertidal region—the zone where the ocean meets the land—appear a hardy lot at first glance: They’re pounded by the surf, live in and out of water, endure extreme temperature changes, and are blasted by sunlight.

Chickadees Use Complex Calls for Predator 911

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: June 23, 2005   View Article

Black-capped chickadees employ some surprisingly sophisticated warning calls to alert birds of the same feather to the danger of predators, new research reveals.

For human soldiers, the words “enemy tank!” may cause an entire troop to take aim, whereas “enemy sniper!” may rally only a few soldiers for the capture.

© 2008-2010 Collected Writings By John Roach