Kiss of death
Two 19th century rhino horns, stolen from a museum in South Africa in a carefully planned raid, could prove deadly if they are ground up and sold on the lucrative aphrodisiac market. Taxidermists would have soaked the horns in arsenic, and then regularly treated then with the pesticide DDT, in order to preserve them.
Reuters, 15 April 2008
Botox may move to brain
Rodent studies have shown that Botulinum neurotoxin type A - sold as wrinkle remedy Botox - can travel from its facial injection site into the brain. The US Food and Drug Administration is currently investigating whether Botox can cause patients to contract botulism.
Bloomberg, 1 April 2008
The Italian government has withdrawn from sale buffalo mozzarella contaminated with carcinogenic dioxins. Tainted cheeses have been found in the Campania area near Naples, where the country’s top quality buffalo mozzarella is produced. The source of the dioxins is believed to be toxic waste, dumped or burnt during the recent Naples rubbish crisis.
New York Times, 26 March 2008
High on hydrogen
The world’s first manned, hydrogen-powered flight has taken place over Spain. Boeing’s two-seater, propeller-driven plane is powered by hydrogen fuel cells, but Boeing says it doesn’t think fuel cells could ever power large commercial flights.
The Times, 3 April 2008
Chewy sweets cut tooth decay
Scientists have developed a mint that can help stop children developing tooth cavities. The mints incorporate a mimic of the saliva component that neutralises the acids that cause tooth decay. In a Venezuelan trial, children who ate the mints after brushing their teeth had 62 per cent fewer cavities than children who only brushed.
Reuters, 9 April 2008