Politics can be peculiar. What else would explain Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez’s recent statement that the ‘United States government is inducing cancer in South American leaders’? We decided to take up the issue seriously. Can cancer really be infused?
Is it possible to increase anybody’s chances of developing the disease?
Radiation is the most effective option. And here is an interesting corollary. According to a recent report, oncologists can now implant radiation-emitting devices, the size of a seed, into patients to combat existing cancers. These devices can help control cancer-causing biological agents such as helicobacter pylori which contributes to the development of gastric cancer, and human papillomaviruses, which causes cervical, anal, and a few other forms of cancer.
A rare species of “faceless and brainless” fish is the last unusual find made by a group of marine scientists from the United Kingdom (UK). According to a report in The Scotsman newspaper, this elusive fish is a modern representative of animals that evolved a backbone. With a nerve cord down its back, it has no ‘specific’ brain, face or skeleton. Interestingly, the species is harvested commercially in Asia to use as food for pets.
‘Green’ efforts by multi national corporations got a whole lot better. Automobile giant Ford recently announced its efforts to reduce water consumption by its global manufacturing operation by 30 per cent per vehicle by 2015. Now, do not be dismissive. You think it is bizarre for a car giant to make such claims?
Why not reduce the amount of steel or plastic, other raw materials posing potential environment hazards? Sue Cischke, Ford’s group Vice President for sustainability, environment and safety engineering has the answers. “We recorded a 10.5 billion gallon reduction in water consumption in our plants between 2000 and 2010. This is equivalent to the amount of water consumed by 105,000 American homes every year.”
Anyone listening back home?
Now who could have imagined using spider genes to toughen up ordinary silkworms? Well, Dr Don Jarvis of Wyoming University in the United States and his team did. The result? Creation of a new type of Genetically Modified (GM) silkworm capable of spinning silk as strong as steel. Spiders' genes were injected into the worm embryos allowing them to spin ‘hybrid’ silk that is made of 95 per cent silkworm protein and 5 per cent spider protein.
Poor Rotem Singer. He could have never imagined his save-the-environment-effort could ravage more than 56,000 acres of forests across Chile. Here is what happened. 23-year-old Israeli tourist Rotem inadvertently started the Torres del Paine fire in an attempt to reduce the environmental impact of a trip to the bathroom. He lit some toilet paper that led to the mammoth fire. Rotem has now been arrested.