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Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Science Scene

Eyjafjallajokull volcano ash causes more airline uncertainty

A new cloud of ash from the Eyjafjallajokull volcano in Iceland is continuing to add air traffic issues to parts of Europe, particularly to the United Kingdom.

The British National Air Traffic (NATS) and European officials have opened European airspace above 20,000 feet. Eruptions from the volcano have pushed ash over 10,000 feet, pushing some toward Britain.

The lack of visibility has caused flights to be canceled, most recently those to England, Wales and Scotland although they may be lifted later this week. Hundreds of thousands of passengers are stranded throughout the world due to the weeklong halt in flights.

(Source: nytimes.com)

Diet linked to lower Alzheimer’s risk later in life

    Maybe the age old adage about eating your vegetables has some truth after all.

    A diet rich in fish, poultry, fruits, nuts, dark leafy greens and certain vegetables has been shown to lower the risk for Alzheimer’s disease in older adults, a new study says.

     Older people who ate a diet with these foods showed a one-third lower risk over four years than people who ate diets rich in high-fat dairy products, butter, red meat and organ meat.

    The foods associated with the lower risk showed a lower amount of saturated fat and high amounts of folate, vitamin E and fatty acids.

     Published in Archives of Neurology, the study does not demonstrate a cause and effect relationship between diet and the chance of developing this disease, said Dr. Nikolaos Scarmeas, the paper’s senior author and assistant professor of neurology at Columbia University.

(Source: nytimes.com)

Better tests needed for cancer treatment drugs

    Certain cancer drugs may be only as good as the tests to find the cancer.

    Tumors developed from cancer tend to have extra copies of a certain protein, HER2. If the tumor does, a drug called Herceptin can block the protein in order to halt the tumor’s growth.

However, most tests to determine if this certain protein exists or not are surprisingly unreliable.

        To deal with this problem, cancer specialists on Monday announced new testing guidelines for certain protein targets, in order to help resolve this problem.

(Source: nytimes.com)

-Complied by NICK MARKWITH and ANGELA RUGGIERO

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