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目前分類:生態科技 (32)

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INTRO: Cow born with two noses. 

STORY: While feeding his newborn calf, lucy, Mark Krombholz noticed that she had two noses. The second nose is a tad smaller and sits on top of the first nose.

An area breeder examined lucy and said both of her noses appear to be working fine. Lucy's deformity(
畸形) is rare and is usually not the result of genetics. 

Krombholz says he will keep lucy as a pet and use her for breeding if she is able to. "I thought maybe she got kicked in the nose cause it was really red on top but then I turned her nose to give her the bottle and all of a sudden you got two noses," he said. 

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INTRO: Moon disappears in magical lunar eclipse over
Greece's ancient city. 

STORY: Ancient
Greece boasts some of the greatest astronomers in history. It was believed the ancients could predict eclipses. But despite their scientific minds eclipses were believed to be controlled by the mythological(神話的) gods and taken as omens(預兆), putting an end to armed conflicts, and sacrifices were often made to appease(平息) the anger of the gods.

Modern Greek amateur(
業餘的) astronomers in Athens however were thrilled by the first lunar eclipse since 2004, toting(搬運) massive telescopes into parks and on hills to view the magical site.

The silver moon disappeared from sight just after midnight on Saturday over the city's ancient monuments(
遺跡) as the earth cast its shadow across its surface, many stopping on the streets to watch the final phases of the eclipse.

Another lunar eclipse will take place in August of this year but is not expected to be visible from
Greece. Lunar eclipses are more common than solar eclipses, as the earth is a large planet and casts a bigger shadow.

A reddish(
淡紅色的) hue is formed on the planet from the restraction of sunlight in the earth's atmosphere, but it was not visible to the naked eye. The last total lunar eclipse was on October 28, 2004, and the next will occur on August 28 2007.

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INTRO: Over 100 villagers in
China's remote Guizhou Province say they've found their paradise in a cave.

STORY: It takes some four hours to drive there from provincial capital Guiyang(貴陽), the last hour on a dirt road which clings precariously(危險地) to the side of a mountain valley, high above a river. But the final way up to Zhongdong(龍洞) is to walk for more than a hour up a steep(陡峭的), rough stone path hewn(開闢) out of the rocks.

1800 metres above sea level and two hours hiking each way didn't matter one bit. For them, a man's cave is their castle. The village of Zhongdong -- which literally means "middle cave" -- is built in a huge, aircraft(
飛機,) hanger-sized natural cave, carved out of a mountain over thousands of years by wind, water and seismic(地震的) shifts(轉移).

In other parts of China people live in houses tunneled(挖鑿) out of hillsides(山坡), but Zhongdong is where people live year-round(一整年的) in a naturally occurring cave. The villagers are all ethnic(種族的) Miao(
) people, supposedly related to Southeast Asia's Hmong(苗族), and one of several minority groups who live in Guizhou.

Wang Fengguan逢冠 lives here -- and he has no intention of leaving. Neither do any of the other 20 families in his village. "This is a good thing that the village heads are trying to do. They care about our living conditions. But we are so used to living here. It's warm in the winter and cool in the summer. We don't want to move out. " Wang said. Wang Fengguan 

Wang's family has lived for more than half a century, deep in the poor, remote southwestern Chinese
province of Guizhou. Four houses now have televisions, some with DVD players. The nearest hospital is a five-hour walk away. Access to nearby villages is difficult, but they are used to it, they just walk where they need to go.

Life in the cave is tough. Villagers say they are lucky to make even 1,000 yuan (129 USD) per family a year. "It's impossible to move out. Not easy to survive else where. When there is no land, there is no food." Luo Yaomei said. Luo Yaomei has three children and all of them are migrant(隨季節遷移的) workers elsewhere but she can't move out.

When and why the villager's ancestors(祖先) moved into the cave is still debatable. Some villagers say they have been into for generations, others say they only moved in following the chaos that followed the 1949 Communist revolution, to escape bandits(土匪).

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INTRO: Britain battles H5N1 bird flu outbreak in poultry(

STORY: Britain(
英國) scrambled(緊急應戰) to contain(遏制) its first outbreak of the highly pathogenic(引起疾病的) H5N1 strain() of bird flu in domestic poultry on Saturday (February 3) after the virus was found at a farm run by Europe's biggest turkey producer(供應商).

"The European Commission has confirmed(
證實) today, at lunch time today, confirmed an outbreak of H5N1 strain of avian flu in an outholding in Suffolk(英國沙福克郡) in the U.K. The U.K. authorities have acted very swiftly(迅速地) and have put in place(適當地) all, are putting in place all the measures to effectively contain and eliminate the disease. " said European Commission(歐盟執委會) spokesperson, Helen Kearns.

Some 2,500 turkeys have died since Thursday (February 1) at the Bernard Matthews farm near
Lowestoft in eastern England. The Department for the Environment, Food and Rural(鄉村的) Affairs (Defra) said all 159,000 birds there would be culled(剔除) over the next few days.

It has killed at least 164 people worldwide since 2003, most of them in Asia, and more than 200 million birds have died from it, or been killed to prevent its spread. But it has not yet fulfilled scientists' worst fears by mutating(
產生突變) into a form that could be easily transmitted between humans and possibly cause a global pandemic.

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INTRO: Norovirus has sickened 276 people on board the Queen Elizabeth 2.

The dreaded (可怕的) norovirus (諾羅病毒) has struck the Queen Elizabeth 2 cruise ship. The ship docked(靠近碼頭) on Wednesday (January 24) in San Francisco, California with dozens of sick passengers on board.

So far, some 276 passengers and 28 crew members had shown signs of norovirus. That is about 16 percent of all the people on the ship.

Norovirus is a common ailment(疾病) that causes vomiting(嘔吐) and diarrhea(腹瀉) for 48 to 72 hours. A team from the United States Center for Disease Control boarded the ship late last week in Acapulco(阿卡普爾科), Mexico to investigate the outbreak.

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INTRO: Space Shuttle Discovery lifts off(起飛).

STORY: The space shuttle Discovery soared(飛翔) into space on Saturday (December 9, 2006) on a column(圓柱狀物) of fire that briefly(短暫地) dispelled(驅散) the darkness over the Kennedy Space Center in NASA's first night launch since the Columbia disaster.

Strong winds had put lift off in doubt(不能肯定的) but the gusts(強風) subsided(平息) about an hour before Discovery took off at 8:47:35 p.m. (0147:35 GMT on Sunday) with a seven-member crew bound for the International Space Station.

Bad weather postponed an initial launch attempt on Thursday. During the 12-day mission, the astronauts will rewire the space station's electrical system, a crucial step in NASA's plan to finish building the outpost(前哨基地) before the shuttles stop flying in four years. The launch was the third space shuttle mission in six months.

In addition to Polansky, the crew includes Sweden's first astronaut, Christer Fuglesang, pilot William Oefelein, flight engineer Robert Curbeam, and mission specialists Nicholas Patrick, Joan Higginbotham and Sunita Williams.

Managers recently lifted the ban on night launches, imposed after the 2003 Columbia disaster to ensure cameras had good lighting to spot any debris(碎片) falling off the shuttle's fuel tank.

Debris damaged Columbia, triggering the breakup of the ship and the death of its seven astronauts as it re-entered Earth's atmosphere. The fuel tank has since been redesigned.

Discovery is scheduled to land on Dec. 21 at the Kennedy Space Center.

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INTRO: Hologram technology revolutionises luminotherapy and promises to bannish winter blues. Belgium launches first happy glasses.

STORY: Belgium(比利時) has launched(研發) a new light therapy(光療法) product designed to combat(抗拒) seasonal blues and which could revolutionise our way of life. Its called the Luminette(蘿美雅) and can be worn by all in any and every circumstances they find themselves.

As autumn begins many people in the northern hemisphere complain of listlessness(無精打采) and fatigue(疲倦) increasingly identified with the gradual seasonal loss of light.

Light therapy is based on the idea that waking up in the dark provokes(導致) the body into producing melatonin(退黑激素;腦白金), a sleep hormone(荷爾蒙), which keeps our energy levels low throughout the day.

The revolutionary Luminette promise to end that. Worn for half an hour in the morning the light sends messages to the brain fooling it into believing the sun is out. This in turn suppresses(抑制) the body's secretion(分泌物) of melatonin thus kick starting the body clocks in the same way as a summer morning.

Of course light therapy is nothing new and is being used extensively in Nordic countries and Canada where light is scarce in winter. But the old technology is uncomfortable and difficult to use. The light box immobilizes patients for a long time in front of the static light source. The helmet, which is linked to a substantial battery box is heavy on the neck and back and impossible to walk around with as it blocks people's view completely.

The Luminette however are light, sit comfortably above the eyes, can be worn with prescription glasses and do not hinder every day tasks. In other words people can put them on and ride the bus to work, read a newspaper, make breakfast. do the ironing or sit at their work terminals.

Francoise Collignon of Forum Media Production introduced the light therapy glasses at a health forum(討論會) in Brussels'(布魯塞爾) EuroControl(歐洲空航管制中心), the European air traffic control centre, which doesn't normally see much light.

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INTRO: Grapefruit-sized stone removed from a woman's bladder in Israel,challenging world record.


STORY: Israeli doctors have removed a grapefruit-sized stone from the bladder of an Israeli woman after she left it untreated for years, possibly breaking world records.

The stone, removed in its entirety, had a diameter of 13 centimetres (5.1 inches) and weighed almost 1 kilogram (2.2 lbs).

Doctor Haim Farhadian, who carried out operation at the Western Galilee hospital in northern Israel on Tuesday (October 24) said : " In the urology examination there was a suspect of stone in the blood(生來就有的), but we couldn't recognise the real size of the stone. So in the operation room, first we tried to break the stone by endoscopic (內視鏡的) means, but when we looked at it we saw it was a tremendous huge stone, so we have no choice other than open the bladder to operate through the abdomen and to take the stone out through the incision(切口) in the bladder."

48-year-old patient Moneera Khalil was surprised when the doctors explained what was in her body. "I could not believe such a thing was inside my body. I am happy everything ended well and that the pain is gone," Khalil said.

The Guinness Book of World Records lists a bladder stone weighing 260 grams (0.6 lb) with a diameter of 7 cm (2.75 inches), taken from a man in Yemen in 1998, as the largest ever removed.

Haim Farhadian said the woman had been hospitalised three years ago after suffering similar pains but had refused treatment.

Dehydration(脫水) can often cause dissolved(溶解) minerals in a person's urine to form masses inside their kidneys(腎臟), uterus(子宮) or bladder(膀胱). Such "stones" causes abdominal(腹部的) pain by obstructing(阻礙) urine flow.

The stones usually do not grow beyond two inches and are often passed naturally.


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INTRO: Bushfires continue to rage across southeastern Australia; Tasmanian residents warned of possible need for evacuation if burning embers threaten homes.

STORY: Fire crews in Tasmania, and southeast Australia on Friday (October 13) continued to fight a number of large bushfires, sparked by record October temperatures.

Three firefighters working on blazes in Tasmania's capital city of Hobart have been taken to hospital suffering from smoke inhalation. The fire is still burning freely in a few places but is mostly under control, fire authorities say.

The big concern now is whether the wind picks up to fan the fires once more. Authorities are warning Tasmania residents they still need to be prepared to defend their homes from burning embers.

In Victoria, a much needed cool change from Thursday's 36.5 Celcius is helping firefighters as they continue to battle blazes in the state's east, but the predicted hotter temperatures are of concern. County Fire Authority spokesman, Ross Anderson said, "The on-coming weather is a bit daunting with 30 plus degrees, strong south-westerly winds."

The state of New South Wales is facing the same fears about upcoming high temperatures in the coming days. Emergency services are gearing up to battle yet more bushfires as temperatures are set to soar into the mid-30s Celcius. END

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INTRO: Visibility plunges in
Indonesia as forest fires continue to rage across the country.

STORY: Visibility plunged to as low as 30 metres in parts of Indonesia on Sunday (October 8) as fires in Indonesia sent acrid smoke across the nation and neighbouring countries.

The thick haze(
霾害) has thrown air travel into chaos and disrupted river traffic as authorities tried to prevent accidents. 

Timber and oil plantation companies are accused of lighting fires to clear land for planting. But the fires sometimes get out of control and spread into forests or set large areas of peat on fire.

Farmers, too, use slash-and-burn methods, a traditional practice magnified by a growing population, demand for land and vast areas of forest that have been cleared in recent decades.

The smoky haze occurs every year during the dry season on the Indonesian island of Sumatra
(蘇門達臘島) as well across large parts of Indonesia's portion(部份) of Borneo(婆羅洲), prompting protests from neighbouring Malaysia and Singapore. 

This year's worsening haze has rekindled(喚起) memories of a choking(令人窒息的) cloud (雲狀物)of smoke(煙霧) that covered large areas of Southeast Asia(東南亞) in 1997-98, sickening large numbers of people and costing local economies billions of dollars.

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INTRO: Fossil of 3.3 million-year-old fossil girl unveiled in Ethiopa. 

STORY: Ethiopian scientists unveiled on Wednesday (September 20) a 3.3 million-year-old fossil of a girl, which they believe is the most complete skeleton ever found.

The fossil including an entire skull, torso, shoulder blade and various limbs was discovered at Dikaka, some 400 kilometers northeast of the capital Addis Ababa near the Awash river in the Rift Valley.

The fossil has been named "Selam," which means peace in
Ethiopia's official Amharic language."Selam was older than the 3.2 million year old remains of "Lucy" discovered in 1974, and described by scientists as one of the world's greatest archaeological finds. 

"Selam" lived 3.3 million years ago, 150,000 years before Lucy.

Chris Sloan, a Senior Editor at National Geographic who took part in the expedition told Reuters "It's just so rare that you find a fossil that's so well preserved"...adding "Things like this are very very rare in the fossil record."

Zeresenay Alemseged of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in
Leipzig, Germany led the team that discovered the fossil. 

Carefully carving away sandstone with a dentist's drill, Zeresenay navigated between tiny vertebrae and ribs so that anatomical details could be seen. The task has taken five years so far.

Over the last 50 years,
Ethiopia has been a hotbed for archaeological discoveries. 

About 40 individuals, including seven researchers, have worked to uncover the remains of the baby and interpret the many aspects of the find, including geology and environment.

On the shores of what was formerly a lake in 1967, two Homo sapiens skulls dating back 195,000 years were unearthed. The find pushed back the known date of mankind, suggesting that modern man and his older precursor existed side by side.

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INTRO: In a controversial ruling, a German court is allowing a Dutch Internet
pharmacy to operate a branch in Germany.

The ruling came on Wednesday (August 9) after a pharmacist in the
southwestern city of Saarbruecken filed a complaint against a local branch of
the Dutch Doc Morris Internet pharmacy. The pharmacist had argued that German
law only allowed pharmacists and not corporations to open pharmacies, but Doc
Morris said the German chemists were only worried about their own monopoly on
"We expected the court's decision, and are allowed to continue
trading, it shows that German law has to adhere to EU law and this means the
consumer benefits," said Pascal Strauss, the manager of the Doc Morris
pharmacy in Saarbruecken..
And consumers certainly seemed to appreciate the lower prices, the
store was packed with customers after the decision came out.

But critics say that the decision will hurt the country's high standard
for pharmacies, a view backed by the German Pharmasists Association.

The Minister for Health, Social and Justice in Saarland, who allowed
the decision denies this.
"The quality of the service being provided to the consumer is not
effected at all by the legal status of the company providing the
chemist," he said.
At the moment the decision on the quality of the products is being
decided by the consumer though, and they are deciding out of their

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