Wednesday, December 30, 2009


Red blood cells
Sperms on egg

Human egg

Six day human embryo

Tuesday, December 29, 2009


Biggest child-killers: pneumonia and diarrhea

Although treatable, these illnesses claim more lives than HIV and malaria

Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi / AP

Children collect stagnant water for use at home Dec. 7, 2008, in Glen View, Harare, Zimbabwe.
Diarrheal diseases, such as cholera and rotavirus, kill 1.5 million kids each year, most under 2 years old.
Often they get sick from drinking dirty water.

HANOI, Vietnam -
Diarrhea doesn't make headlines. Nor does pneumonia.
AIDS and malaria tend to get most of the attention.
Yet even though cheap tools could prevent and cure both diseases, they kill an estimated 3.5 million kids under 5 each year globally — more than HIV and malaria combined.
"They have been neglected, because donor or partnership mechanisms shifted their emphasis to HIV and AIDS and other issues," said Dr. Tesfaye Shiferaw, a UNICEF official in Africa.
"These age-old traditional killers remain with us.
The ones dying are the children of the poor."

Global spending on maternal, newborn and child health was about $3.5 billion in 2006, according to a report by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
That same year, nearly $9 billion was devoted to HIV and AIDS, according to UNAIDS.
Pneumonia is the biggest killer of children under 5, claiming more then 2 million lives annually or about 20 percent of all child deaths.
AIDS, in contrast, accounts for about 2 percent.
If identified early, pneumonia can be treated with inexpensive antibiotics. Yet UNICEF and the World Health Organization estimate less than 20 percent of those sickened receive the drugs.
A vaccine has been available since 2000 but has not yet reached many children in developing countries.
The GAVI Alliance, a global partnership, hopes to introduce it to 42 countries by 2015.
Diarrheal diseases, such as cholera and rotavirus, kill 1.5 million kids each year, most under 2 years old.
The children die from dehydration, weakened immune systems and malnutrition. Often they get sick from drinking dirty water.
The worst cholera outbreak to hit Africa in 15 years killed more than 4,000 people in Zimbabwe last year.
The country recently reported new cases of the waterborne disease, and more are expected as the rainy season peaks and sewers overflow.
Rotavirus, a highly contagious disease spread through contaminated hands and surfaces, is the top cause of severe diarrhea, accounting for more than a half million child deaths a year.
A vaccine routinely given to children in the U.S. and Europe is expected to reach 44 poorer countries by 2015 through the GAVI Alliance.
"Every child in the United States gets it, even though they have access to clean water and hygiene," said John Wecker, of the Program for Appropriate Technology in Health, a Seattle-based nonprofit that is part of the vaccine alliance.
"The only effective way to prevent these deaths is through vaccination."
Diarrheal diseases received more attention in the 1980s and 1990s, he said, but interest has waned or been diverted elsewhere, allowing them to creep back.

"How did the leading killers end up at the bottom of the global health agenda?
I don't know," Wecker said at a recent GAVI meeting in Hanoi.
"We've got the tools. We're not looking for the next technological breakthrough. It's here now and it's not being used."
Death can often be prevented by giving children fluid replacement, a simple recipe of salt and sugar mixed with clean water to help ward off dehydration.
Yet 60 percent of children with diarrhea never receive the concoction, according to a WHO and UNICEF report released last month.
"It is so preventable," said Dr. Richard Cash, a Harvard University expert who helped develop the oral rehydration therapy 40 years ago.
"Preventing the deaths is at the very least what we should be striving for."

Monday, December 28, 2009

Extrañas luces en el cielo de Noruega

Doce minutos de misteriosas espirales
El Instituto de Meteorología de Noruega ha recibido miles de llamadas de personas anónimas alertando del fenómeno.
Hace unos días apareció una luz con extrañas formas espirales que iluminó el cielo durante unos doce minutos, para luego expandirse y desaparecer. Meteorólogos, astrónimos y hasta las Fuerzas Armadas buscan una solución. Los científicos del país nórdico son incapaces de explicar su origen. Algunos expertos han especulado con la posibilidad de que haya sido causada por un cohete o misil ruso fuera de control. La embajada rusa en Noruega ya ha desmentido el rumor. Otras hipótesis apuntan al choque entre un cohete y un asteroide. También hay quienes culpan al cambio climático, quienes las atribuyen a los extraterrestres o quienes dicen que se trata de rastros químicos... pero lo cierto es que aún no hay una explicación lógica para este misterio. FOTO: Fayerwayer.


Nobody knows why whales beach themselves.

Humans try to save them, but some of the whales return to the beach to die.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Saturday, December 19, 2009


This coal-fired power plant in Macedonia, seen on Dec. 10 as pigs feed on a nearby trash dump, is one of thousands around the world that emit large quantities of carbon dioxide.
Thick smoke from a coal-fired oven fills the air in this neighborhood of Calcutta, India, on Dec. 9. Coal burning is a key source of manmade carbon dioxide emissions.

Iceberg B17B, top left, floats in the Ross Sea near Antarctica after it broke off from the Ross Ice Shelf nearly 10 years ago. The monster iceberg, at 12 miles long and 5 miles wide nearly twice the size of Hong Kong, has been slowly drifting toward Australia in what scientists call a once-in-a-century event. It is now about 1,100 miles southwest of Australia. Accelerated glacial and ice shelf melt and collapses have been tied to global warming.

A man walks through heaps of ash outside a thermal power plant in the village of Doburjian in the northern Indian state of Punjab on Dec. 9. A 20 percent cut in greenhouse gases by rich nations would be a "pretty good" result for a U.N. climate summit, even though it falls short of developing nations' hopes, the head of the U.N. climate panel said during the meeting’s opening days.

Garbage is scattered across a ship repair yard in Mumbai, India, on Dec. 3. Rising seas is one issue before the climate conference in Copenhagen.


A cyclist stops to look at one of the "Cool Globes" in Copenhagen on Dec. 7.
Sculptures are illuminated as they stand in water outside the climate conference in Copenhagen on Dec. 7.

People watch an illuminated "CO2" cube in the water of St. Jorgens Lake in Copenhagen on Dec. 7. The cube represents the amount of carbon dioxide produced by an average person in one month.

This globe is part of the "Cool Globes" art installation on display in Copenhagen during the climate talks.

A large globe featuring an interactive display sits in a central square in Copenhagen on Dec. 10.

World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) activists plant hand-shaped signs with the words "Tackle climate change!" outside the foreign ministry in Berlin, Germany, on Dec. 16.

Snow and ice are cleaned off a globe on Dec. 17 in Copenhagen, Denmark. The globe is part of an art exhibit set up as nations here seek an agreement to curb greenhouse gas emissions.


Lava cascades down the slopes of the Mayon volcano on Dec. 15. Experts raised the alert level to two steps below a major eruption after lava began trickling down its side.
Lava flows from the crater of the cone-shaped, 8,070-foot Mayon volcano on Dec. 17. The county's most active volcano began oozing lava two days earlier.

Catholics attend a dawn Mass in Legazpi, Philippines, as lava cascades down the slopes of the Mayon volcano on Dec. 17. Authorities in Albay province have declared a round-the-clock ban on anyone entering with a five-mile danger zone around the peak, which is spewing lava and ash. Security forces have ordered the forcible evacuation of thousands of residents who refused to leave their farms near the volcano, officials said.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009


Caring for kitty
A female cat, covered head to toe in duct tape, was found by the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals after being dumped in a yard in Philadelphia. Medical staff at the Pennsylvania SPCA were able to successfully remove the tape. The organization is offering a $1,000 reward for information regarding the animal's abuse.

Sept. 25: Philadelphia authorities have arrested a man for wrapping a stray cat in duct tape. WCUA's Stacey Weaver reports.

Monday, December 14, 2009


Bombing aftermath
An Iraqi security person helps a man who was wounded in a bomb attack in Baghdad on Dec. 8. Car bombs killed more than 125 people in the heart of the Iraqi capital. Al-Qaida's umbrella group in Iraq claims responsibility.

Wall of protest
Demonstrators throw stones at Israeli troops positioned on the other side of the controversial Israeli barrier during a protest in the West Bank village of Nilin on Dec. 4.

Fighting with fire
A riot policeman's clothing catches fire after demonstrators threw petrol bombs at police during a Dec. 6 march in Athens to mark the first anniversary of the police shooting of a teenager.

Living in poverty
Rag pickers walk past a garbage dump on the outskirts of Ahmedabad, India, on Dec. 8.

Weight on his shoulders
A Chinese migrant worker carries a heavy load on a pole on his shoulders at a construction site in Shenzhen, Guangdong, China, on Dec. 5.

Dawn of a new day
Steam rises from nearby oil refineries just before dawn in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, on Dec. 8.

In memoriam
Flags are draped over the caskets of four slain Lakewood Police Department officers at a memorial service in Tacoma, Wash., on Dec. 8. The four were shot as they sat in a coffee shop in the Tacoma suburb of Parkland on Nov. 29. The alleged killer, Maurice Clemmons, was later shot and killed by police in Seattle.


Ice sculptures
Bicycles are transformed into fluffy white sculptures as a freak snowstorm hits Beijing, China, on Nov. 1, 2009.

Heavy snow is rare in China's capital and almost unheard of this early in the winter. Many branches and even entire trees collapsed as the weight of snow built up.

Seasonal disaster
Chinese pedestrians struggle as they make their way along a street during a snowstorm in Hefei, in east China's Anhui province on Nov. 16, 2009.
At least 38 people have died in some of the worst snows to hit northern China in decades, state media reports, leaving up to one million people in need of some form of disaster assistance.


The entrance to the West Wing of the White House is framed by Christmas trees and holiday lights in Washington. Jacqueline Kennedy in 1961 began the tradition of establishing a decorating theme for White House Christmases, selecting "The Nutcracker Suite."

Christmas trees are seen on the White House's State Floor.

White House pastry chef Bill Yosses poses next to a marzipan and chocolate sculpture of the executive mansion in the White House's State Dining Room. This year's 56-inch-by-29-inch recreation of the White House weighed in with 140 pounds of gingerbread coated with 250 pounds of white chocolate.

The Blue Room is adorned with a Fraser fir from Dan and Bryan Christmas Trees in nearby Shepherdstown, W. Va. The first known Christmas tree at the White House was during the tenure of Benjamin Harrison, who helped trim one in the upstairs library with friends, family and staff. "We shall have an old-fashioned Christmas tree for the grandchildren upstairs and I shall be their Santa Claus myself," Harrison exclaimed.

The Red Room of the White House is seen during a Christimas tour of the famous residence. Overall, there appear to be fewer trees and decorations than in years past -- and the same is true of the Christmas card list. Several hundred thousand have been mailed out, paid for by the Democratic National Committee.

Lights shine on the National Christmas Tree in front of the White House on Dec. 1 in Washington. President Barack Obama, first lady Michelle, and daughters Malia and Sasha, helped press the button to light the illuminate the Colorado blue spruce.


Oasis on the sea
The Finnish-built 225,282-ton ship owned by Royal Caribbean International is the world's largest cruise ship -- five times larger than the Titanic. It has a capacity of 5,400 passengers (double occupancy) and is set for its debut first official voyage in the Caribbean on December 1 5.
The ship's maximum cruising speed is 22 knots.