Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Chinese face transplant Li Guoxing dies

A CHINESE man who received a face transplant in 2006 has died, highlighting the risks of a recent groundbreaking US operation.

Li Guoxing, 32, died at his rural home in rugged southwestern China after forsaking immune-system drugs in favour of herbal medicine, his surgeon Guo Shuzhong said.

"His death was not caused by the surgery. Our operation was a success. But we cannot rule out a connection with the immune system drugs,'' said Dr Guo, a surgeon with Xijing Hospital in the northern city of Xian who operated on Li in April 2006.

Dr Qiao Guangliang, chief of Li's village in mountainous Yunnan province, also confirmed the death.

Both men said the exact cause of death was unknown as no autopsy was performed.

Li's death had been rumoured on Chinese blogs but has received scant attention in the mainstream press.

While the news of his death was confirmed today, Li reportedly died in July.

US doctors in Cleveland last week they conducted the world's first near-total facial transplant on a disfigured woman.

It was the fourth known facial transplant in the world.

Doctors in France had performed the first partial transplant in 2005 on a 38-year-old woman disfigured in a dog attack.

The next year, Li, a farmer, underwent an apparently successful operation to replace about half his face after it was ripped off by a wild bear.

Source : news.com

Monday, December 29, 2008

Boffins keep transplant lungs alive in glass dome

Fig. Illustration

Canadian medi-boffins have successfully trialled a method of keeping human lungs alive outside the body. They say that this will enable them to offer "reconditioned" lungs for transplant operations.

The idea is that often transplant docs have some lungs on hand, and people needing their present ones replaced, but the available lungs aren't in good enough nick to be used.

But now, with the Toronto XVIVO Lung Perfusion System, a set of lungs can be whipped out of the donor and put into a "protective, transparent bubble-like chamber". Here they are hooked up to a "pump, ventilator and filters through which flow oxygen, nutrients and a special solution" and kept at human body temperature.

According to Dr Shaf Keshavjee of Toronto General Hospital, "lungs can be safely kept on this circuit for 12 hours in order to assess, maintain and treat them before successfully transplanting them".

Full Article and Source : theregister

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Robot endures Antarctic cold to prepare for space mission

Managed by a team from Chicago and Texas, the robot has hit its marks while patrolling Lake Bonney, a body of water locked under 15 feet of ice. The Antarctic lake is the nearest thing on Earth to outer space, and scientists hope lessons learned there will inform a future hunt for life in the ice-covered oceans of Jupiter's frozen moon Europa.

The robot overcame some technical surprises to gather information on the lake's internal structure - data many Antarctica experts once despaired of knowing - and spot a colony of microbes unlike any seen before.

Scientists named the robot ENDURANCE (for Environmentally Non-Disturbing Under-ice Robotic ANtarctiC Explorer) in a nod to the ship Sir Ernest Shackleton was forced to abandon on his failed Antarctic expedition a century ago.

The device patrols under the ice like a $5 million Roomba robotic vacuum cleaner while a pair of scientists with tracking antennas follow it across the ice above like overprotective parents.

Its only way out of the lake is a single, cubicle-sized hole in the ice that is guarded by researchers from the University of Illinois at Chicago. A fiber-optic cable is the sole lifeline that connects the robot to scientists waiting by the hole in wood-floored tents.

ENDURANCE was built by Stone Aerospace in Austin, Texas, from a design used for Mexican waters. When it first explored cold water in February at Lake Mendota in Madison, Wis., the sonar was iffy, thrusters balked, and it barely found its way back to the starting point.

Full Article and Source : physorg

Trail of the black panther leads to Kenthurst

MYSTERIOUS panther-like creatures, long reported to be stalking the outskirts of Sydney, could be moving towards homes.

With at least 19 sightings reported this year, big cat hunters believe they're becoming bolder as they search for food and mates.

Cryptozoologist Rex Gilroy said the elusive creatures - usually reported as fleeting sightings at night, often on lonely country roads - have been reported as far afield as Kenthurst, Lithgow, Penrith and Appin as they find migratory routes around Warragamba dam, linking breeding populations from the northwest to southwest via the Blue Mountains.

For Full Article and Source : The Daily Telegraph

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Who has the longest ear hair in the world?

This is one record we would never want to break and gladly leave it to Radhakant Bajpai of India. One of Radhakant Bajpai's hair measures an amazing 13.2 cm. or 5.19 inches.
Source: thelongestlistofthelongeststuffatthelongestdomainnameatlonglast

Japanese who say they are the descendants of Jesus

For someone who claims to be the direct descendant of Jesus Christ, Junichiro Sawaguchi is planning a distinctly unfestive Christmas.

On Dec 25, the round-faced Mr Sawaguchi will get up in the icy predawn of northern Japan, put on his uniform of suit and tie and head off for another day as a civil servant in the construction division of Aomori Prefectural Government.

But on his way out the door of his home, in the hamlet of Shingo, he will probably give a nod in the direction of the mound of earth topped by a wooden cross that is the last resting place of the man that Christianity reveres as the Messiah.

"I'm not really planning anything at all for the 25th as it doesn't really matter to us," said 52-year-old Mr Sawaguchi. "I know I am descended from Jesus but as a Buddhist it's just not all that important."

Married with a son and daughter, Mr Sawaguchi may display the same degree of religious flexibility that is common in Japan, but his beliefs are firm. Jesus is buried in the neighbouring field, along with his brother Isukiri, and nearby are the scattered remains of pyramid that was larger than those in Egypt but toppled in an earthquake in 1857.

Seven hours north of Tokyo by train and bus, Shingo only had garlic farming to to put it on the map until a scroll was found in 1935 by a Shinto priest in nearby Ibaraki Prefecture that was identified as Christ's will and, bizzarely, identified Shingo as his last resting place.

The scroll is on display in the "Village of Christ Legend Museum," which closes in the tourist off-season between October and April, and is the basis of a very different take on the incredible tale.

According to the document, Jesus arrived in Aomori at the age of 21, where he took the name Daitenku Taro Jurai, studied the Japanese language and developed a deep affinity for the country and people. Eleven years later – conveniently the same period in the Bible that his whereabouts cannot be accounted for – he returned to Judea but fell foul of the Romans.

Instead of being crucified, however, the Romans got the wrong man and nailed his brother, Isukiri, to the cross. Carrying his brother's ear and a lock of hair from the Virgin Mary, Jesus fled across Siberia to Shingo, where he grew rice, married a local woman called Miyuko and had three daughters, it claims.

At the ripe old age of 106, Jesus died peacefully and was interred in the mound that sits on Mr Sawaguchi's land.

"My family has always owned this land, but I'm not even sure how many generations there are between us," says Mr Sawaguchi, with his self-depreciating chuckle.

But it is not just the physical evidence that local people hold up as evidence of their village being the site of Christ's eternal repose; the hamlet's former name, Herai, sounds slightly similar to "Hebrew," the chants in the summer festival at the site of the tomb sound somewhat Judaic and Mr Sawaguchi's grandfather stood out in the neighbourhood for being tall and thin, completely the opposite of these sturdy mountain folk.

But most tellingly, he had blue eyes, they say. Shingo has built up a respectable income from a tourism trade that has visitors buying Tomb of Christ biscuits, sweets, chopsticks and postcards, but Mr Sawaguchi leaves that side of his fame to his neighbours. He is content to talk to some of the visitors to his ancestor's grave, tend his garlic plant smallholding and go to work.

Source : telegraph.co.uk

Friday, December 26, 2008

Coral springs back from tsunami

Scientists have reported a rapid recovery in some of the coral reefs that were damaged by the Indian Ocean tsunami four years ago.

It had been feared that some of the reefs off the coast of Indonesia could take a decade to recover.

The New York-based Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) found evidence of rapid growth of young corals in badly-hit areas.

A spokesman said reefs damaged before the tsunami were also recovering.

Some communities were abandoning destructive fishing techniques and even transplanting corals into damaged areas, the WCS said.

"This is a great story of ecosystem resilience and recovery," said Stuart Campbell, co-ordinator of the WCS's Indonesia Marine Program.

"These findings provide new insights into coral recovery processes that can help us manage coral reefs in the face of climate change."

Ove Hoegh-Guldberg, a reef expert from the University of Queensland in Australia who did not take part in the study, said the findings were not surprising since corals typically recovered if not affected by fishing and coastal development.

"We are seeing similar things around the southern Great Barrier Reef where reefs that experience major catastrophe can bounce back quite quickly," the scientist told the Associated Press.

Countries across the Indian Ocean have been remembering the 2004 disaster, which claimed some 230,000 lives.

Prayers were said in Indonesia, Thailand and India on Friday, while Sri Lanka declared a two-minute silence in memory of the dead.
Source : news.bbc

Crocodile found in bath in London

A crocodile was discovered by pest control managers in a bath in a flat in Peckham

Steve North made the discovery while carrying out door-to-door inquiries to advertise Southwark Council's pest control service.

A resident in Peckham invited him in and showed him the 2ft long crocodile.

The man said he had a 'problem' in his bathroom and asked Mr North to take a look at it.

Mr North said: "I followed him in. What I didn't expect was to be eyeballed by a 2ft long crocodile, happily lounging in the bath."

The man, a tenant who was renting the flat, said he was looking after the crocodile for a friend.

A team of animal control experts had to be brought in to remove the crocodile and take it away.

Meanwhile, another pest control officer, Leslie Leonard, was asked to go to a home in Walworth, south London, to collect an unwanted guinea pig and a rabbit - and instead found more than one million cockroaches.

He said: "They were everywhere - on the walls, the ceilings, in the chest of drawers, everywhere.

"The resident living in and among them was too frightened to call someone to get some help."

The guinea pig and rabbit were taken away and then officers had to spray the property twice a day for six weeks to get rid of the cockroaches.

The men revealed their most bizarre job experiences while promoting the relaunch of its free pest control service in the borough of Southwark.

Source : telegraph.co.uk

Face similar provision from Obama

Because of similar United States elected president, Barrack Obama Hussain, Ilham Anas, get a windfall. Youth from Bandung is contracted by a drug company for the origin of the Philippines provides products for television ads the period of one year.

'Hobbit' Fossils Represent A New Species, Concludes Anthropologist

University of Minnesota anthropology professor Kieran McNulty (along with colleague Karen Baab of Stony Brook University in New York) has made an important contribution toward solving one of the greatest paleoanthropological mysteries in recent history -- that fossilized skeletons resembling a mythical "hobbit" creature represent an entirely new species in humanity's evolutionary chain.

Discovered on the Indonesian island of Flores in 2003, controversy has surrounded the fossilized hominid skeletons of the so-called "hobbit people," or Homo floresiensis ever since. Experts are still debating whether the 18,000-year-old remains merely belong to a diminutive population of modern-day humans (with one individual exhibiting "microcephaly," an abnormally small head) or represent a previously unrecognized branch in humanity's family tree.

Using 3D modeling methods, McNulty and his fellow researchers compared the cranial features of this real-life "hobbit" to those of a simulated fossil human (of similar stature) to determine whether or not such a species was distinct from modern humans.

Source and picture : sciencedaily

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Angel Pantoja Medina Stood Upright At His Wake. What Did You Do Today, Lazy Ass?

While many young men dream of cars and ladies or Michael Phelps standing over their beds wearing nothing but his gold medals, twenty-four-year-old Angel Pantoja Medina of Puerto Rico had a different dream: To stand upright at his wake when he died. Dream a lil’ dream, Angelito! And, thanks to a special embalming treatment and an untimely death, his wack-ass dream came true! Aw, happy endings:
Dressed in a Yankees baseball cap an
d sunglasses, Pantoja was mourned by relatives while propped upright in his mother’s living room.
His brother Carlos told the El Nuevo Dia newspaper the victim had long said he wanted to be upright for his own wake: “He wanted to be happy, standing.”

Angel was found dead last Friday, buried underneath a bridge. They’re still investigating the cause of death. Not being investigated? How this is going to effect that one caterer who didn’t get the memo and kept wondering why impeccably coordinated dude in the corner kept side-eyeing him all day.

Source : guanabee.com

Plane goes missing in Bermuda Triangle

The pilot of a plane that disappeared in the Bermuda Triangle with 11 passengers aboard had only a U.S. student pilot license and should have never been allowed to fly, Dominican authorities said Wednesday.

Adriano Jimenez had been stripped of his Dominican license in 2006 because he was caught flying multiengine planes when he was only authorized to fly helicopters, said Pedro Dominguez, president of the Dominican Pilots Association. Two weeks ago, he had a minor accident while landing a small plane at a Dominican airport.

"An in-depth investigation was never opened to prevent what today we are lamenting," Dominguez said.

Jimenez loaded 11 passengers onto a twin-engine plane in Santiago, Dominican Republic, on Monday and filed a flight plan for a landing in Mayaguana Island in the Bahamas, but he never arrived, according to the Dominican Civil Aviation Institute.

Jimenez sent an emergency signal about 35 minutes after takeoff and then disappeared from the radar. He was flying in low visibility over rough seas, according to U.S. Coast Guard Petty Officer Barry Bena.

Rescue crews have searched about 4,000 square miles (10,300 square kilometers) but have not turned up any sign of the plane or its passengers, said Lt. Matt Moorlag of the Coast Guard.

The plane went missing in the Bermuda Triangle, a zone of the Atlantic Ocean noted for a supposedly high number of unexplained losses of small boats and aircraft.

The U.S. Coast Guard says the mysteries can usually be attributed to storms that flare up quickly and to swift, Gulf Stream currents that wash away evidence of wreckage.

"Overall, the U.S. Coast Guard is not impressed with supernatural explanations of disasters at sea," Moorlag said.

The missing aircraft's owner, Luis Perez of Puerto Rico, said he hired a pilot to fly the BN2A MK III Trislander to the Dominican Republic so that Jimenez, a potential buyer, could inspect it.

The pilot who was supposed to fly the plane with Jimenez at his side refused to do so when Jimenez arrived at the airport with 11 passengers, according to Luis Irizarry, an attorney for Perez' company. He said Jimenez then took the plane himself without authorization.

Jimenez, 43, received a U.S. student pilot license in March, according to U.S. Federal Aviation Administration records.

Dominguez recently raised concerns with the Dominican Civil Aviation Institute about other pilots who allegedly provide illegal charter flights using private planes.

Santiago Rosa, aerial navigation director for the Dominican Civil Aviation Institute, did not respond to requests for comment.

Source : news yahoo

Picture : Model

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