science

No Hurricanes Yet, But Season Is Far From Over

Sep 6, 2013

Tropical Storm Gabrielle is hitting Puerto Rico today with 40-mile-per-hour winds and heavy rains.

Gabrielle is the seventh named storm of the season, but so far there hasn’t been a single hurricane — even though we’re about to enter what’s usually considered the peak of the Atlantic hurricane season.

So how rare is this?

Dennis Feltgen, meteorologist and spokesman for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Hurricane Center, says it’s rare but not unheard of.

If you've had problems sleeping and have taken a pill to help, you're not alone.

About 9 million American adults had taken sleeping pills in the past month, according to findings from a detailed nationwide survey conducted between 2005 and 2010.

Overall, about 4 percent of people 20 and older had taken sleeping pills in the last 30 days, says the report from the National Center for Health Statistics.

Five states and leaders of several federal agencies have unanimously approved a blueprint to repair the Gulf of Mexico with BP fines pending over the 2010 oil spill. Governor Bobby Jindal’s comments in New Orleans about BP and his support for Mississippi River diversions drew immediate criticism.

Leaked NSA Audit Shows It Violated Privacy Rules

Aug 17, 2013

The Washington Post  has released more of the information it received from the fugitive National Security Agency (NSA) leaker Edward Snowden.

The Post reports that an internal audit, the NSA found it had violated privacy rules thousands of times.

Dr. Robert Emmons of the Ochsner Blood Cancers and Stem Cell Transplant Program says it's an exciting time for blood cancer treatment, with many new drugs and sources for stem cells.


Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium

The low-oxygen dead zone this summer in the Gulf of Mexico is smaller than scientists had predicted. But the area where marine life can’t live is still about the size of Connecticut.

Nancy Rabalais of the Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium — called LUMCON — expected the gulf dead zone to be bigger, based on the level of nutrients measured in the Mississippi River.

Those nutrients come from fertilizer, used on crops upriver, that is carried downstream.

But choppy weather churned up the water, so the dead zone wasn’t as big as feared.

The American Cancer Society aims to recruit 500 people from the Ark-La-Tex to participate in the third generation of a cancer prevention study that first began in the 1960s. The organization has partnered with the YMCA in Shreveport and two other organizations to host sign-up events for the study. It involves taking an initial waist measurement and drawing a small blood sample. 

Environmental remediation scientists at LSU’s School of the Coast and Environment have found remnants of crude oil in the hearts of pogy that live off Grand Isle.

Pogy, a baitfish more officially called menhaden, make up the second largest commercial catch in the United States. They’re not only resold as baitfish, but they’re also processed into fish oil and fish meal, making their way into vitamins, cosmetics and livestock feeds.

Technical Sergeant Adrian Cadiz / US Air Force

Researchers at Tulane University are working on designing a less toxic oil dispersant than the Corexit used on the BP spill in 2010. The goal is using ingredients now approved for human consumption.

Organizers have canceled Wednesday's display in New Orleans of the submarine that director James Cameron took to the deepest part of the ocean.

The Deepsea Challenger was set for public viewing outside the Audubon Aquarium, but a spokesman for the group transporting the submersible says traffic and space limitations made the one-day visit impossible.

The vehicle was driven by Cameron last year to the bottom of the Mariana trench in the western Pacific.

It’s on its way to the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute.

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