Pentagon Says It Accidentally Shipped Nine Live Anthrax Spores

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Pentagon says it inadvertently shipped live anthrax spores to as many as nine laboratories and is investigating how that happened.

The labs were supposed to receive dead — or inactivated — anthrax samples for research use.

Spokesman Col. Steve Warren says the Pentagon is working with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to retrieve the samples.

He says the government has confirmed one shipment contained live spores and suspects eight others did, too. Warren says the government believes there are no risks to the public.

The live spores were shipped from Dugway Proving Ground in Utah — a Defense Department facility — to government and commercial labs in Texas, Maryland, Wisconsin, Delaware, New Jersey, Tennessee, New York, California and Virginia.

Contact with anthrax spores can cause severe illness.

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Millennials Are The Least Religious Generation Yet, And Here’s The Surprising Reason Why

A large body of research shows that Millennials are significantly less religious than previous generations of young Americans. But as to whether the lack of religion seen in today’s Gen Y’ers (born between 1980 and the mid-1990’s) is transient or lasting, scientists aren’t sure.

But now a new review of surveys of more than 11 million adolescents, conducted over the course of almost 50 years, suggests that the religion divide between Millennials and their predecessors is a true generational one. According to the data, Millenials are much less interested in organized religion — and also less interested in spirituality in general.

“Unlike previous studies, ours is able to show that Millennials’ lower religious involvement is due to cultural change, not to Millennials being young and unsettled,” Dr. Jean Twenge, a psychologist at San Diego State University and of the researchers, said in a written statement.

Twenge is referring to studies like a 2010 Pew survey — which suggested that people may consider religion to be more important as they get older — and a 2014 survey that suggested Millennials do have a strong sense of faith in God, despite identifying less with organized religion.

Religion’s decline. For the new study, the researchers reviewed four surveys conducted between 1966 to 2014 and involving 11.2 million American adolescents between the ages of 13 to 18. They found that Millennials were less likely to attend services, less likely to say religion was important in their lives, and less approving of religious organizations than Boomers and Gen X’ers were at the same age.

Millennials “were also less likely to describe themselves as spiritual, suggesting that religion has not been replaced by spirituality,” Twenge told The Huffington Post in an email.

The decline in religiosity was found to be greater among young women —> Read More

The West Coast Sardine Fishery is Closed: Not Because You Eat Sardines, but Because You Don’t

Purse Seiners Off Monterey Bay. (Photo by Geoff Shester)

By Maria Finn

As a food and lifestyle writer and someone who works in the seafood industry, I’ve long encouraged people to eat the little fish, particularly sardines, herring, anchovies and other small “forage” fish that are plentiful and local to California.

This summer, the Pacific Fishery Management Council closed West Coast sardine fishing due to very low sardine numbers. In fact, since 2007 there has been a 91 percent decline documented by federal scientists.

Purse Seiners Off Monterey Bay. (Photo by Geoff Shester)

Forage fish have natural boom and bust cycles, but the sardines off the coast of California have been steadily decreasing in number. They are a critical part of the ocean food web, and their absence is speculated to be the reason for the hundreds of sea lion pups that have been washing up on California shores dead or dehydrated. Brown pelican populations in California are also suffering from their absence.

It can’t be said with certainty that sardines are being overfished. Sardines, like other forage fish have a natural boom-and-bust cycle and are very sensitive to climate changes and weather patterns. But of course, fishing during a steep population decline, like the US West Coast has done since 2007, certainly doesn’t help. These schools also pass along the coasts of Mexico and Canada, and there is not an international agreement on their management, so even if we don’t overfish them, another country may.

Right now, the West Coast sardine population is in peril, but not because people eat them, but because they don’t. West Coast sardines have not been landing on our plates, but rather they are primarily being fed to larger fish as bait through the commercial fishing industry and on fish farms. Tuna farms in Baja and Australia and have proliferated over the last 10 years and it takes —> Read More

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