Science & Health

Science & Health
2:49 pm
Mon November 12, 2012

Malaria-Like Disease Follows Lyme's Path In New England

As white-tailed deer have returned to New England in the past century, they've brought with them tick-borne parasites that cause human diseases.
marcinplaza iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue November 13, 2012 12:07 pm

There's more than deer lurking in the New England woods these days.

Diseases carried by ticks that hitch rides on deer are rising in the Northeast, researchers said Monday at a meeting about tropical diseases.

In particular, babesiosis — a disease that mimics malaria — is catching up with Lyme disease in some communities.

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Science & Health
6:36 pm
Sat November 10, 2012

Alabama groups share oil spill funds

Credit Associated Press

Nearly two dozen groups in Alabama will share more than $8 million in oil spill funds to promote Gulf Coast tourism and seafood. The administrator of the claims process for the 2010 oil spill, Patrick Juneau, announced the first round of grants this week.

   BP is spending $57 million to bolster the tourism and seafood industries as part of a proposed settlement for the 2010 oil spill that sullied local beaches and put a dent in the regional economy.      

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Science & Health
3:41 pm
Thu November 8, 2012

You Can Thank A Whey Refinery For That Protein Smoothie

Tim Opper, of Cabot Cheese, inspects equipment that separates whey protein from sugar in the company's whey processing plant.
Dan Charles NPR

Originally published on Fri November 9, 2012 8:52 am

If you've ever checked the ingredient list on a PowerBar or a high-protein smoothie, you probably have stumbled across these words: "Whey protein concentrate." You'll find it in a growing number of prepared foods.

This mysterious ingredient is derived from one of the oldest of human foods — milk. But capturing it requires huge factories that look more like oil refineries than farms.

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Science & Health
1:34 pm
Thu November 8, 2012

Polio Hides Out In A Few 'Sanctuaries' In Nigeria

Ado Ibrahim carries his son Aminu through a village in northern Nigeria. Aminu, 4, was paralyzed by polio in August.
David Gilkey NPR

Originally published on Fri November 9, 2012 3:05 pm

Nigeria is the world's epicenter for polio. It's the only place where cases are ticking up, and it's been the source of outbreaks in other countries since 2003.

There was a disappointing update from public health officials Thursday about the polio situation in Nigeria. Despite beefed-up efforts to vaccinate kids and a flood of new resources, Nigeria still hasn't turned the corner on polio.

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Science & Health
7:41 am
Thu November 8, 2012

Meteor Expert to Discuss Ala Event in Huntsville

Credit blog.al.com

An expert on meteors is visiting Huntsville to discuss the recent meteorite shower in north Alabama.


Marc Fries will speak at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center on Thursday morning.


Fries is a specialist in finding and recovering meteorites. He still focus on an Oct. 30 shower across the state's northern counties as he talks about using Doppler weather radar to find meteorites on the ground.


Two meteorite fragments have been recovered in Winston County, near Addison.

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Oil Spill Grants
4:51 pm
Wed November 7, 2012

Recipients Picked For BP Tourism, Seafood Grants

More than 100 nonprofits have been picked to receive grants to promote the Gulf Coast's tourism and seafood industries after BP's 2010 oil spill.
Credit http://www.alabama.travel/ / Alabama Tourism Department

More than 100 nonprofit groups and government entities have been picked to get shares of $43.7 million in BP funds to promote the Gulf Coast's tourism and seafood industries following the company's 2010 oil spill.


The first round of grants announced Wednesday by court-supervised claims administrator Patrick Juneau is part of a proposed settlement between BP and a team of private plaintiffs' attorneys.


The deal calls for BP to fund a total of $57 million in tourism and seafood promotion grants.

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Science & Health
2:20 pm
Tue November 6, 2012

Restaurant Meals Mean More Calories And Soda For Kids And Teens

When they eat out at a restaurant, kids consume more calories than they do at home. Here, members of the Long Island Gulls hockey team enjoy a lunch at TGI Friday's back in 2007 in Marlborough, Mass.
Bruce Bennett Getty Images

Walk into a fast food restaurant and it's probably safe to assume that whatever deep-fried deliciousness you eat, you'll consume more calories than you would if you ate a well-rounded home cooked meal. That's common sense.

But, public health officials are sounding the alarm about the effect that eating out often – whether at fast food or full service restaurants – is having on our diets, especially in children.

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Science & Health
2:44 pm
Thu November 1, 2012

Researchers Say Drug Subsidies Led To Overtreatment Of Malaria In Africa

Blood samples dry during malaria screening. Public health workers call for more malaria testing in Africa to stop costly drugs from being handed out to kids with pneumonia.
Paula Bronstein Getty Images

Originally published on Fri November 2, 2012 12:23 pm

There's a hot debate in global health right now. And the stakes are high.

This month the Global Fund will vote to continue or scrap a $225 million project that subsidizes the cost of the most effective malaria drugs in seven African countries.

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Science & Health
10:55 am
Thu November 1, 2012

How An Antibody Found In Monkeys Could Help Make An Ebola Vaccine

A microbiologist runs an experiment to count hemorrhagic fever viruses at the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention.
Scott Smith CDC

Originally published on Thu November 1, 2012 1:34 pm

Just the word Ebola can send shivers down the spine.

And no wonder.

Ebola is one of the deadliest viruses around, and there aren't any approved treatments or vaccines for it.

Scientists have been experimenting with an Ebola vaccine in animals for the past few years, but they've been stymied. There's no easy way to test its effectiveness in people.

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Science & Health
7:47 am
Wed October 31, 2012

AU Prof to Study Wild Pig Problem in Morocco

Auburn University will study a growing pig problem in Morocco.
Credit en.wikipedia.org

Auburn University is going to help out with a pig problem in the north African nation of Morocco.


Auburn professor Steve Ditchkoff has received an $80,000 grant from the Moroccan government to help study and curb its growing population of wild pigs.

The swine can cause environmental damage and make life tougher for domestic livestock and wildlife.


Ditchkoff will conduct a pilot study of a pig trapping method developed by a graduate student. The goal is to see whether it can be adapted to help round up pigs in Morocco.

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Science & Health
7:58 am
Tue October 30, 2012

UAB Gets $3.1M Grant for Nursing

The University of Alabama at Birmingham will receive $3.1 million in federal grants that officials say will help put hundreds more nurses and teachers into Alabama's workforce.


A statement from the school says the grants from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services will have an impact over the next four years and beyond.


The money will fund four programs designed for students pursuing a master's degree or higher in nursing. Graduate students comprise 70 percent of the nursing school's student body.

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Science & Health
7:55 am
Tue October 30, 2012

Health Officials Close Doors of Clanton Hospital

Alabama's Department of Health is suspending the license of the Chilton Medical Center.
Credit chiltonmedicalcenter.net

The Alabama Department of Health has issued an emergency order suspending the license of Clanton Hospital and closing its doors.


The hospital operates as the Chilton Medical Center. It was given notice earlier this month that its license could be revoked.


An attorney for the health department, Brian Hale, said Monday the hospital didn't have enough money for payroll checks for employees. Hale said there were two patients in the 60-bed hospital Monday and they were being transferred to hospitals in Alabaster and Birmingham.

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Science & Health
8:03 am
Mon October 29, 2012

Ala to Get Gusts up to 40 mph Linked to Sandy

Credit www.srh.noaa.gov

Forecasters say eastern Alabama is in for a windy day because of Hurricane Sandy.

The National Weather Service says northwest winds of at least 20 mph with gusts up to 40 mph are possible through sunset Monday.


Forecasters say the breezy northwest winds are due to the interaction of high pressure to the northwest and low pressure from Sandy to the northeast.


The strongest winds are expected east of Interstate 65, particularly in the higher elevations in the state's northeastern corner.

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Science & Health
6:27 pm
Sun October 28, 2012

Dry Weather, Gusty Winds Raise Fire Threat in Ala

Forecasters say the dry, windy weather is increasing the risk of wildfires in southeast Alabama.

The National Weather Service has issued a fire weather watch for the area south and east of a line extending from Autaugaville to Alexander City.

Winds blowing 15 mph will gust up to 30 mph, and the relative humidity is expected to drop as low as 27 percent.

Forecasters say the combination will make it easier for fires to start and spread, so they're recommending against any outdoor burning.

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Science & Health
5:24 pm
Thu October 25, 2012

Fewer Americans Need Vitamin D Supplements Under New Guidelines

For vitamin D supplements, more isn't necessarily better.
Jimmy Anderson iStockPhoto

Researchers largely agree that about half of Americans are probably not getting enough vitamin D from the places we've traditionally gotten it: food and sunlight. And that's a problem because vitamin D keeps calcium from leaking out of our bones; too little vitamin D can also be a factor in kidney disease and skeletal problems.

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