Compiling a ‘dentist’s handbook’ for penis worms

It sounds like something out of a horror movie: a penis-shaped worm which was able to turn its mouth inside out and drag itself around by its tooth-lined throat, which resembled a cheese grater. But a new study of the rather unfortunately-named penis worm has found that their bizarre dental structure may help in the identification of previously unrecognised fossil specimens from the time on Earth when animals were first coming into their own. —> Read More

Plant-derived compound targets cancer stem cells

A compound and an enzyme that occur naturally in cruciferous vegetables–cauliflower, cabbage, broccoli and Brussels sprouts–may help prevent recurrence and spread of some cancers, according to researchers. When they treated human cervical cancer stem cells with phenethyl isothiocyanate (PEITC) in a Petri dish, about 75 percent died within 24 hours using a 20-micromolar concentration of the compound. —> Read More

Ethanol refining may release more of some pollutants than previously thought

Ethanol fuel refineries could be releasing much larger amounts of some ozone-forming compounds into the atmosphere than current assessments suggest, a new study finds. Airborne measurements downwind from an ethanol fuel refinery in Decatur, Illinois, show that ethanol emissions are 30 times higher than government estimates. The measurements also show emissions of all volatile organic compounds, which include ethanol, were five times higher than government numbers, which estimate emissions based on manufacturing information. —> Read More

Kilauea Lava Lake Explodes After Halemaumau Crater Wall Collapses

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A lava lake that sits within Halemaumau Crater on Hawaii’s Big Island exploded Sunday after a portion of the crater wall collapsed into the lava below.

The footage above, captured by U.S. Geological Survey cameras at the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory, shows the debris falling into the lake, triggering the fiery blast.

According to volcanologist Frank Trusdell, explosions like this one are unpredictable events. “The walls of the crater become destabilized by heating, weathering, earthquakes and loss of support. They fall into the lava causing degassing of the lava. The exsolution of gases happens rapidly, leading to the explosion,” he told The Huffington Post.

Typically, the lava within the lake is 100 feet to 200 feet below the rim, but recently the magma chamber that flows into the lava lake has shown increased inflation, suggesting that lava is being driven into the lake from an underground chamber below.

Visitors to Volcanoes National Park have been privy to a rare and impressive show, since the lava is now visible from the crater overlook and has overflowed several times onto the floor of Halemaumau crater.

Recent overflows are visible in this USGS photograph taken on April 30.

The lava lake stems from the Kilauea volcano, which makes up the southeastern tip of Hawaii island. The current summit eruption began in 2008.

While this explosion is considered small by USGS researchers, most people are thoroughly impressed.

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DHS and NASA Technology Helps Save Four in Nepal

Four men trapped under as much as 10 feet of bricks, mud and other debris have been rescued in Nepal thanks to a new search-and-rescue technology developed in partnership by the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (NASA) Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL).

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Hispanics’ health in the United States: Report

The first national study on Hispanic health risks and leading causes of death in the United States by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention showed that similar to non-Hispanic whites (whites), the two leading causes of death in Hispanics are heart disease and cancer. Fewer Hispanics than whites die from the 10 leading causes of death, but Hispanics had higher death rates than whites from diabetes and chronic liver disease and cirrhosis. —> Read More

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