‘New research is pointing to a different possibility: There may be no adaptive advantage provided by schizophrenia in and of itself, but rather from some genes that contribute to the disease. According to a study published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society, there is evidence that some of the gene variants associated with schizophrenia—especially a mutation in a gene called disrupted-in-schizophrenia 1 (DISC1)—have been selected for by evolution. This supports the idea that the disease may be a maladaptive combination of mutations that individually have the potential to enhance fitness. It could be a more complicated version of the familiar case of sickle cell anemia: having two mutant copies of a certain gene causes the disease, whereas having only one mutant copy provides protection against malaria.’
A cop asks the important questions whilst frisking a man on the street.
(1.4meg Flash video)
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‘Aliens were responsible for a series of unexplained fires in fridges, TV’s and mobile phones in an Italian village, according to an Italian government report.
Canneto di Caronia, in northern Sicily, drew attention three years ago after residents reported everyday household objects bursting into flames. [..]
Locals were quick to blame supernatural forces and at the time the Vatican’s chief exorcist Father Gabriele Amorth backed up their fears and said: “I’ve seen things like this before. Demons occupy a house and appear in electrical goods. Let’s not forget that Satan and his followers have immense powers.”
Now in an interim leaked report published by several Italian newspapers it has emerged that the Civil Protection Department has concluded the most likely cause was “aliens”.’
‘On 22 September 1979, sometime around 3:00am local time, a US Atomic Energy Detection System satellite recorded a pattern of intense flashes in a remote portion of the Indian Ocean. Moments later an unusual, fast-moving ionospheric disturbance was detected by the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico, and at about the same time a distant, muffled thud was overheard by the US Navy’s undersea Sound Surveillance System (SOSUS). Evidently something violent and explosive had transpired in the ocean off the southern tip of Africa.
Examination of the data gathered by satellite Vela 6911 strongly suggested that the cause of these disturbances was a nuclear device. The pattern of flashes exactly matched that of prior nuclear detections, and no other phenomenon was known to produce the same millisecond-scale signature. Unfortunately, US intelligence agencies were uncertain who was responsible for the detonation, and the US government was conspicuously reluctant to acknowledge it at all.’
‘Detectives are baffled by a brazen daylight attack at Newmarket, in Brisbane’s inner north on Monday, in which a woman had her underpants ripped off and bag stolen.
“It’s pretty strange. I haven’t heard anything like it before,” Det-Sen-Sgt Brad Rix said.
He said the 23-year-old was grabbed from behind as she walked home from Newmarket train station about 4.30pm (AEST).
The offender then lifted her dress up, and pulled off her underpants before grabbing her bag and taking off.
“It was absolute daylight, not far from a train station. This person must have felt sure he was going to get away with it,” Det-Sen-Sgt Rix said. He said there was no attempt to sexually assault the woman, who did not realise her bag had been stolen until some time later.
“It’s possible he may have stolen her underpants as a trophy, or perhaps he intended taking the attack further. We don’t know,” he said. ‘
‘The amoeba typically live in lake bottoms, grazing off algae and bacteria in the sediment. Beach said people become infected when they wade through shallow water and stir up the bottom. If someone allows water to shoot up the nose — say, by doing a cannonball off a cliff — the amoeba can latch onto the person’s olfactory nerve.
The amoeba destroys tissue as it makes its way up to the brain.
People who are infected tend to complain of a stiff neck, headaches and fevers, Beach said. In the later stages, they’ll show signs of brain damage such as hallucinations and behavioral changes.
Once infected, most people have little chance of survival. Some drugs have been effective stopping the amoeba in lab experiments, but people who have been attacked rarely survive, Beach said.
“Usually, from initial exposure it’s fatal within two weeks,” Beach said.’
Followup to Brain-Swelling Amoeba Blamed For 2nd Child’s Death.
‘It sounds like the plot for a scary B-movie: Germs go into space on a rocket and come back stronger and deadlier than ever. Except, it really happened.
The germ: Salmonella, best known as a culprit of food poisoning. The trip: Space Shuttle STS-115, September 2006. The reason: Scientists wanted to see how space travel affects germs, so they took some along — carefully wrapped — for the ride. The result: Mice fed the space germs were three times more likely to get sick and died quicker than others fed identical germs that had remained behind on Earth. [..]
After 25 days, 40 percent of the mice given the Earth-bound salmonella were still alive, compared with just 10 percent of those dosed with the germs from space. And the researchers found it took about one-third as much of the space germs to kill half the mice, compared with the germs that had been on Earth.
The researchers found 167 genes had changed in the salmonella that went to space.’
‘Nalini Ghuman, an up-and-coming musicologist and expert on the British composer Edward Elgar, was stopped at the San Francisco airport in August last year and, without explanation, told that she was no longer allowed to enter the United States.
Her case has become a cause célèbre among musicologists and the subject of a protest campaign by the American Musicological Society and by academic leaders like Leon Botstein, the president of Bard College at Annandale-on-Hudson, N.Y., where Ms. Ghuman was to have participated last month in the Bard Music Festival, showcasing Elgar’s music.
But the door has remained closed to Ms. Ghuman, an assistant professor at Mills College in Oakland, Calif., who is British and who had lived, studied and worked in this country for 10 years before her abrupt exclusion.
The mystery of her case shows how difficult, if not impossible, it is to defend against such a decision once the secretive government process has been set in motion.’
‘Hundreds of people in Peru have needed treatment after an object from space – said to be a meteorite – plummeted to Earth in a remote area, officials say.
They say the object left a deep crater after crashing down over the weekend near the town of Carancas in the Andes.
People who visited the scene have been complaining of headaches, vomiting and nausea after inhaling gases.
But some experts have questioned whether it was a meteorite or some other object that landed in Carancas.’
‘At first there was a wall of secrecy about a supposed Israeli attack on Syria 10 days ago. Now, the leaks have started and there are suggestions the air assault by Israel was in response to Syria’s nuclear ambitions.
In Israel itself there is an official blackout on any information related to the attack, with the Israeli military censor banning any reporting from Israeli sources.
However the British and American press, quoting unnamed US sources, have been putting together an alarming picture.
What happened in Syria 10 days ago has been at the centre of one the biggest guessing games in Israel. Whatever it was, it was very serious.’
‘A Czech speedway driver knocked unconscious in a crash stunned ambulance drivers when he woke up speaking perfect English.
18-year-old Matej Kus was out cold for 45 minutes after the crash, but when he woke up he conversed fluidly in English with paramedics, even speaking in an English accent.
The teenager had just begun to study the language and his skills were described by friends and team-mates as “basic at best”.
Peter Waite, the promoter for Kus’s team, the Berwick Bandits, told the Daily Mail: “I couldn’t believe what I was hearing.
“It was in a really clear English accent, no dialect or anything. Whatever happened in the crash must have rearranged things in his head. [..]’
‘It sounds too good to be true – not to mention the fact that it violates almost every known law of physics.
But British scientists claim they have invented a revolutionary device that seems to ‘create’ energy from virtually nothing.
Their so-called thermal energy cell could soon be fitted into ordinary homes, halving domestic heating bills and making a major contribution towards cutting carbon emissions. [..]
Even the makers of the device are at a loss to explain exactly how it works – but sceptical independent scientists carried out their own tests and discovered that the 12in x 2in tube really does produce far more heat energy than the electrical energy put in.’
‘Meet the world’s first sheep-hog — a pig with its own fleece.
Scientists are baffled by the strange swine — which they say is a pig “at heart” but with a woolly hide.
The one-year-old is being raised on a ranch near the town of Esquina, 400 miles north of Buenos Aires, Argentina.
It was a gift to owner Felipe Olivetti from a neighbouring farm.
He admitted: “Experts have told us it is unique.
“It is a pig but has a thick fleece which needs shearing in summer with the other sheep because it suffers in the heat. Other pigs do not trust it.”‘
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‘It was a frightening scene Friday night as hundreds of people at a high school football game ran for their lives when a man crashed his van through the fence and into the field goal post. [..]
The tire tracks show the exact path and Stanley Police are trying to figure out why 82-year-old Palmer Kroeplin of Stanley crashed into the goal post. [..]
Weiland says Kroeplin claims to have blacked out and does not remember the incident, but one witness was thinking otherwise. [..]
Witness accounts given to police and home video show the Dodge minivan hit the fence the first time, went in reverse, hit the ambulance, quickly went into drive, squealed the tires and smashed through the chain linked fence before hitting the goal post.’
‘A kilogram just isn’t what it used to be.
A 118-year-old cylinder that has been the international prototype for the metric mass, and kept tightly under lock and key outside Paris, is mysteriously losing its weight – if ever so slightly.
Physicist Richard Davis of the International Bureau of Weights and Measures in Sevres, southwest of Paris, says the reference kilo appears to have lost 50 micrograms compared with the average of dozens of copies.
“The mystery is that they were all made of the same material, and many were made at the same time and kept under the same conditions, and yet the masses among them are slowly drifting apart,” he said.
“We don’t really have a good hypothesis for it,” Davis said in a phone interview Wednesday.’
‘An unidentified naked white man wearing a gas mask and standing outside was reported by two witnesses Thursday around 9:40 p.m. According to police, officers were called to 505 Centre St. for a report of a naked white man wearing a gas mask attempting to get into an apartment building.
A witness said that while driving on Centre Street, they saw a naked white man, approximately 30-years-old, around 6-feet-tall, weighing about 200 lbs., wearing a gas mask and standing in the common entrance of a building. The witness pulled his truck up and the man fled down an alleyway.
Another witness stated her doorbell rang and when she looked through the viewing hole of her front door, she also saw a white man with no clothes on wearing a gas mask. She told police she had no idea who the man was and did not open the door to her apartment.’
‘A mysterious gooey material burst into flames after being hauled into a trash boat on the Charles River on Thursday, injuring three crew members.
The crew had picked up what they described as a taffy-like substance about eight inches long along with other trash and placed it in a container on their boat. It caught fire as the boat returned to the center of the river near the Massachusetts Avenue bridge connecting Boston and Cambridge, said Jake Wark, a spokesman for the Suffolk District Attorney’s office.
Wark said two crew members had first- and second-degree burns that were not life-threatening. A third crew member had minor burns, as did two emergency medical technicians who came into contact with the substance, he said.’
‘Livingston County police are looking for the person who dumped an estimated “couple hundred pounds” of human waste on Highlander Way near Highland Road (M-59) Tuesday morning. The smelly discovery was found at about 9:45 a.m. and closed the road for some time. It took Howell Area Fire Authority firefighters about 15 minutes to clean the mess.
Anyone with information on who dumped the sewage or septage is asked to call the Livingston County Sheriff’s Department at (517) 546-2440.’
‘Authorities don’t know who crushed a police cruiser, but they say whoever did it was pretty good with a backhoe.
Miami Township Police Detective Nick Colliver says the person had to have experience operating heavy equipment to drive the backhoe about 200 yards to where the cruiser was parked, then drop the bucket squarely on the roof.
Officials in the township east of Cincinnati had planned to sell the 1998 Ford Crown Victoria that was worth $3,000. It was parked near the Miami Township Civic Center when it got crushed one night last week.’
‘When George W. Bush flies into Sydney tonight, one very awkward question will be in the minds of Australian security staff: where are the rocket launchers?
The failure to be able to answer that question comes at the end of one of the most extraordinary searches seen in this country – involving, at different times, up to 30 officers from ASIO, the Australian Federal Police and NSW Police.
APEC has always been a deadline to find the weapons – people don’t take rocket launchers to hold up the corner store so whoever knows where they are is almost certainly prepared to use them to cause major damage. [..]
But the fact that there are nine rocket launchers believed to be in the vicinity of Sydney as a meeting of world leaders begins has meant in recent months this operation has become one of the highest priorities of ASIO.’
‘University of Minnesota astronomers have found an enormous hole in the Universe, nearly a billion light-years across, empty of both normal matter such as stars, galaxies and gas, as well as the mysterious, unseen “dark matter.” While earlier studies have shown holes, or voids, in the large-scale structure of the Universe, this new discovery dwarfs them all. [..]
Astronomers have known for years that, on large scales, the Universe has voids largely empty of matter. However, most of these voids are much smaller than the one found by Rudnick and his colleagues. In addition, the number of discovered voids decreases as the size increases.
“What we’ve found is not normal, based on either observational studies or on computer simulations of the large-scale evolution of the Universe,” Williams said.’
‘A handcuffed woman being transported for treatment after she was taken into custody by sheriff’s deputies jumped out of a moving ambulance, ran into some woods and vanished, according to Orange County sheriff’s deputies.
Investigators said Lisa McCoy, 34, was picked up Wednesday on an outstanding warrant. She was wanted for failure to appear on a petty theft charge.
When McCoy was taken into custody, she complained she was having a panic attack, police told Local 6 News.
Deputies handcuffed the woman and an ambulance was called to take her for treatment.
Officers said a paramedic was supposed to be watching her during a trip to the hospital.
“He moved to the front to call in the transport and when he did that, that is when she jumped out,” Orange County sheriff’s Sgt. Roland Rivera said.’
‘The 50-foot California pepper tree was in Kelley Fornatoro’s backyard when she went on vacation Aug. 2.
It was gone when she got back a week later. [..]
It took two days and a sizable crew from Oxnard-based Julian’s Tree Care to remove the nearly 30-year-old tree from her Rustic Court home in Thousand Oaks, neighbors told Fornatoro.
The question both Fornatoro and the police are asking is who hired the company to remove the tree?
The tree removal cost $3,500 and the company hasn’t been paid. A police report lists the company as the second victim in the case along with Fornatoro. [..]
Replacing the tree that was cut down with one similar in age and stature would cost $52,000 to $60,000, according to other tree service companies Fornatoro consulted with. The price includes labor and special equipment.’
‘The legend was almost too good to be true.
For decades, a mysterious figure dressed in black, his features cloaked by a wide-brimmed hat and scarf, crept into a churchyard to lay three roses and a bottle of cognac at the grave of Edgar Allan Poe.
Now, a 92-year-old man who led the fight to preserve the historic site says the visitor was his creation.
“We did it, myself and my tour guides,” said Sam Porpora. “It was a promotional idea. We made it up, never dreaming it would go worldwide.”‘
‘All across America, a mysterious disease is wiping out bee colonies. This malady causes all the bees in a hive to seemingly vanish overnight, abandoning their brood in the nursery, as well as their stores of honey and pollen. Other bees and pests, which normally plunder deserted honey, shun these hives. This baffling die-off dealt a financial blow to commercial beekeepers this season and raised fears of environmental and economic disaster. For farmers, no bees means no pollination.
But pollination is happening like mad in Leah Fortin’s tiny yard in North Oakland, Calif. Busy little bee bodies cover the clumps of lavender, salvia and roses that line her driveway. More bees work the malaleucas on the parking strip, those trees with shaggy bark that look like giant Q-tips when they’re in bloom.’
‘A 42-year-old man who died after a head-on collision near New Plymouth last night was travelling on the bonnet of a car before the fatal crash, police said today.
Darin Paul Maxwell, 42, of New Plymouth, died when the black Mazda Lantis he was travelling on collided with another vehicle on State Highway 3, several kilometres southeast of the city, about 10pm.
The drivers of both vehicles remain in hospital in critical and serious condition, police said.
Witness accounts put Mr Maxwell on the bonnet of the Mazda at the time of the accident.
Detective Sergeant Greg Gray said police would not comment further on why he was on the bonnet of the car at this stage, but confirmed Mr Maxwell and the driver of the Mazda knew each other.’
‘In the early 1990s, a Russian drilling rig encountered something peculiar two miles beneath the coldest and most desolate place on Earth. For decades, the workers at Vostok Research Station in Antarctica had been extracting core samples from deep scientific boreholes, and analyzing the lasagna-like layers of ice to study Earth’s bygone climate. But after tunneling through 414,000 layers or so– about two miles into the icecap– the layers abruptly ended. The ice below that depth was relatively clear and featureless, a deviation the scientists were at a loss to explain. In search of answers, the men drilled on.
Unbeknownst to the Russians, their drill had mingled with the uppermost reaches of one of the largest freshwater lakes in the world; a pristine pocket of liquid whose ecosystem was separated from the rest of the Earth millions of years ago. As for what sort of organisms might lurk in that exotic environment today, no one can really be certain.’
‘The mystery owner of a fingertip found by a woman in Greater Manchester has come forward.
The 57-year-old man, from Wigan, was delivering charity bags to a house in Farnworth, Bolton, when it is thought that a dog bit him.
His fingertip was found by a woman on Balmoral Road on Friday evening, prompting a police appeal.
The man, who received treatment at Hope Hospital in Salford, contacted officers after hearing the appeal.’
‘High up on the Mesa, in the Grand Valley town of Collbran, a tiny four legged wonder sticks close to its mothers side. It is the latest addition to the ranch owned by Larry and Laura Amos. But this is a once-in-a-million, genetically impossible occurrence of a mule giving birth.
The mother of this beauty, is named Kate. She is a mule. Mules are a hybrid of two species, a female horse and a male donkey. Breeding the two results in a species with 63 chromosomes. A horse has 64, a donkey has 62. A mule can’t reproduce because you need an even number of chromosomes to divide into pairs.
This little wonder came into the world in late April to the shock of the Amos family. Doting mother Kate has no idea what she has accomplished.’
‘Daisy Valdivia is annoyed that someone stole her backyard pool — and baffled at how they did it without leaving behind a splash, drip or trace of the 1,000 gallons of water it contained.
Valdivia awoke to find her family’s hip-high, inflatable, 10-foot diameter swimming pool gone from her back yard Wednesday.
Valdivia told The Record of Bergen County the theft must have occurred between 1 a.m., when her husband went to bed, and 5 a.m., when she awoke.
She’s amazed someone could steal the pool that quickly and just wanted to know “what the heck they did with the water,” she said.’