blog #14

Science Week in Review: May 20, 2011

My goal with this weekly news roundup is to offer a serving of global science stories that piqued my interest. Some stories received a lot of attention, others not so much.

Looming Quake Risk in Japan: A series of studies in Science, as reported by Nature, suggests another big quake could be in the offing south of where the Great Tohoku Earthquake struck.

Congress Restricts Sino-American Science Collaboration: Here’s one I missed a couple of weeks ago. A little-known clause in the latest federal budget bans certain forms of scientific collaboration between the U.S. and the People’s Republic of China. Here’s one take on the issue from the Council on Foreign Relations.

Skin Disease in the Mind: A Mayo Clinic study suggests that Morgellons disease — which sufferers say is caused by parasites crawling under the skin — is actually caused by delusions, says a story in the L.A. Times. (The disease sounds reminiscent of Guinea worm disease, which is all too real. Check out my story on a former U.S. president’s battle against Guinea worm.)

Mummies with Heart Disease: We’ve heard this before: scientists put mummies in CT scanners to diagnose diseases of ancient Egypt. But this latest study is especially large and finds a surprisingly high rate of atherosclerosis. Report by Discovery News.

DDT vs. Malaria: The New York Times provides an update on a controversy in Northern Uganda. Are the benefits of combating malaria with DDT worth the risks? It’s a subject we investigated in 2009 with a lengthy news report and a World Science Forum discussion.

David Baron is the health & science editor at The World.

(Photo: flickr image by Ian Turton.)

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