Published: Sunday 30 September 2007

marburg hemorrhagic fever: Following two cases of Marburg hemorrhagic fever in Uganda, scientists are collecting bats from the country's lead and gold mines where the victims had worked. Around five million bats live in and around these mines. Scientists are testing these bats for Marburg virus antibodies. Samples have been sent to labs of Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta, Georgia, and to the National Institute of Communicable Diseases in South Africa for further analysis. Marburg virus shares the same family line with a virus that causes ebola hemorrhagic fever. The illness begins abruptly, with severe headache and malaise. Patients show symptoms only towards the fifth or seventh day of the infection. Fatal cases usually have some form of bleeding, often from multiple sites.

mira's lively tail: The star Mira, which streaked through space recently, shed a comet-like tail that scientists say "had never been seen before". The tail was rich in carbon, nitrogen, oxygen, and other important "seed elements" needed for new stars, planets, and potential life to form. The star's tail was 13 light-year-long, which is three times the distance from the sun to its nearest star system.

organic diet for mothers: A new study links organic dairy and meat products in a mother's diet to improved nutritional quality of her breast milk. A diet in which 90 per cent of dairy and meat products are organic, helps increase beneficial fatty acid (conjugated linoleic acid) in the body. The fatty acid has anti-carcinogenic, anti-atherosclerotic, anti-diabetic and immune-enhancing effects on body, while acting favourably on the body's fat composition. The study shows that breastfeeding mothers can influence the supply and quality of fatty acids for their infants, by eating a diet with organic dairy. Conjugated linoleic acid is also believed to help develop immune system in newborns.

Subscribe to Daily Newsletter :

Comments are moderated and will be published only after the site moderator’s approval. Please use a genuine email ID and provide your name. Selected comments may also be used in the ‘Letters’ section of the Down To Earth print edition.