Archive for November, 2007

African Slaves Brought First Rice Riches to U.S.?

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: November 28, 2007   View Article

A rice variety that made many a colonial plantation owner rich was brought to the United States from West Africa, according to preliminary genetic research.

The finding suggests that African slaves are responsible for nearly every facet of one of the first rice varieties grown in the U.S., as well as one of the most lucrative crops in early American history.

Antarctica Cruise Disaster Raises Tourism Concerns

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: November 27, 2007   View Article

Cruise ship accidents in Antarctica may be “inevitable,” at least one expert says.

The current surge in polar tourism and a reported increase in icebergs are raising safety and environmental concerns—which were brought boiling to the surface by this past weekend’s sinking of the M.S. Explorer.

Mysterious Tremors’ Strength Ebbs With Tides

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: November 22, 2007   View Article

The intensities of strange, long-lasting tremors in North America’s Pacific Northwest ramp up and quiet down with the rise and fall of the ocean’s tides, according to a new study.

These so-called nonvolcanic tremors are very faint seismic signals that were not discovered until 2002. Their exact cause remains a mystery.

New Gadget? Sell or Recycle Your Old One

Publication: MSN Tech & Gadgets   Date: November 10, 2007   View Article

Got a new gadget? Congratulations! Now, what to do with that old one? You might be able to sell it for a few bucks. At the very least, recycle it.

Most of us do neither, of course. Instead, our old gadgets sit in a box or drawer just in case they … well, just because they might … well, that’s just where old and outdated gadgets go. Don’t they?

Colliding Dead Stars Set Off Massive Supernova

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: November 5, 2007   View Article

Two small but dense burned-out stars appear to have spiraled into each other and exploded, according to a new study.

The blast offers some of the strongest evidence yet for a theoretical model for supernovas created by white dwarfs—the hot cores left behind when stars similar to our sun die.

Eye Ointment Can Cure Frog Fungus

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: November 2, 2007   View Article

An antibiotic primarily used to treat pinkeye in humans rids frogs of the fungal disease that is wiping out amphibian populations around the world, a team of New Zealand scientists reports.

Infected frogs treated with the drug for two weeks were cured of the deadly disease, called chytridiomycosis or frog chytrid disease.

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