Frozen Pleistocene Bacteria Revived By NASA

February 26th, 2005 | researchmaterial

A bacterium that sat dormant in a frozen pond in Alaska for 32,000 years has been revived by NASA scientists.

Once scientists thawed the ice, the previously undiscovered bacteria started swimming around on the microscope slide. The researchers say it is the first new species of microbe found alive in ancient ice. Now named Carnobacterium pleistocenium, it is thought to have lived in the Pleistocene epoch, a time when woolly mammoths still roamed the Earth.

NASA astrobiologist Richard Hoover, who led the team, said the find bolsters the case for finding life elsewhere in the universe, particularly given this week’s news, broken by New Scientist, of frozen lakes just beneath the surface of equatorial Mars…

More Celebrity Terrorism

February 26th, 2005 | researchmaterial

The list of things in my life that I did not need to see include but are not limited to Fred Durst making his Sex Face at me.

I am, however, getting interested in the Why of all this…

Death By Salt

February 26th, 2005 | researchmaterial

A mother has been jailed for five years for killing her nine-year-old son by putting salt in his hospital drip.

David Stocker died in Great Ormond Street Hospital in August 2001 from an overdose of 13 teaspoons of salt which his mother put into his drip feed.

…the court heard David was ill for months but doctors were unable to make him better because his mother was misleading them. Nicholas Hilliard, prosecuting, said the 13 teaspoons of salt poured into a milk drip feed was the last in a series of acts by mother Petrina Stocker.

Stocker had spiked two feed containers with around 18 teaspoons and the boy collapsed after the first one was given to him.

Stocker had put blood into urine samples and manufactured vomit samples, in addition to interfering with his intravenous drip. Mr Hilliard said: “The episode of salt poisoning was the last in a series of acts done in an attempt to fabricate aspects of David’s illness and to produce manufactured or misleading symptoms…”

Old Comics Zen

February 26th, 2005 | comics talk

Someone sent me this: “Organex”, I think?

It is Genius.

Faith Crimes

February 25th, 2005 | researchmaterial

Black church and community leaders are calling for action to protect children from the effects of exorcisms.

A spokeswoman for Africans Against Child Abuse (Afruca) said church leaders who believe in possession needed education on child protection.

A BBC investigation suggests only a third of London’s local authorities are addressing the issue seriously. The Newsnight probe suggests some children are being beaten by parents trying to drive out evil spirits.

Afruca spokeswoman Debbie Ariyo said she was not surprised by the findings because the driving out of demons was known to be a widespread practice within the African churches.

“It’s part and parcel of what churches do in terms of freeing people from what they see as the stranglehold of the devil. But it does worry me that local authorities are not making the effort to link up with the churches in terms of their practices regarding child protection.”

The Newsnight investigation comes on the fifth anniversary of the death of eight-year-old Victoria Climbie, killed by carers who claimed she was possessed by the devil.

The Metropolitan Police is currently investigating a number of cases of so-called “faith crimes”…