Cave Rescue: The Dangerous Diseases Lurking Underground

Doctors have placed the Thai cave boys in quarantine due to the infectious organisms they may have faced underground. So, which diseases could they have been exposed to, and how serious are they? It’s over. Against all odds, 12 boys and their football coach have dived, waded, climbed, and walked their way out of Tham Luang cave, a sprawling labyrinth of underground tunnels that has kept them prisoner for the last 17 days. They’ve been taken to the nearby Chiang Rai hospital to recover – but the reunion with their parents […]

Read More →

Asian markets close sharply lower after US issues new list of Chinese products for potential tariffs

Markets in Asia closed steeply lower on Wednesday, with most major indexes tumbling following the release of a list of an additional $200 billion in Chinese goods on which the U.S. is considering imposing tariffs. The goods on the U.S. government’s list would be subject to 10 percent tariffs, according to a statement from U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, who said his office will proceed with a public notice and comment period before the levies are officially imposed. China markets were the worst hit, with the Shanghai composite sinking 1.78 […]

Read More →

How whale corpses feed ocean floors

Whales that end up on the beach make headlines. But those that sink to the bottom of the ocean make new homes for sea life. The brawn, blubber, and bone of these unlucky cetaceans—some 70,000 of which perish during harrowing seasonal migrations each year—nourish a vibrant, ­constantly evolving community of creatures. Opportunistic eaters can flourish on a decaying corpse for anywhere from a decade to a century. Marine ­biologists have discovered dozens of new critters in these deep-sea ecosystems since they first encountered one in 1987. For animals at the […]

Read More →

Facebook faces £500,000 fine from UK data watchdog

https://www.bbc.com/news/technology-44785151 The UK’s data protection watchdog intends to fine Facebook £500,000 for data breaches – the maximum allowed. The Information Commissioner’s Office said Facebook had failed to ensure another company – Cambridge Analytica – had deleted users’ data. The ICO will also bring a criminal action against Cambridge Analytica’s defunct parent company SCL Elections. And it has raised concerns about political parties buying personal information from “data brokers”. Specifically it named one company used by the Labor Party, Emma’s Diary, which gives medical advice and free baby-themed products to parents. […]

Read More →

Why was Elon Musk at the Thai cave rescue?

Elon Musk has tweeted that he visited the Thai rescue operation but did not share images of himself at the site. Tech entrepreneur Elon Musk’s attempt to help the Thai cave rescue mission has attracted both praise and criticism. The SpaceX and Tesla chief posted on social media that he had visited the operation’s command center, where he said he had left a mini-submarine that had been designed to carry a trapped football team to safety. The head of the rescue mission thanked Mr. Musk for his offer. But he […]

Read More →

Thai cave rescue: Soccer team all out of cave — live updates

A daring rescue mission in the treacherous confines of a flooded Thai cave saved all 12 boys and their soccer coach who were trapped deep within the labyrinth — ending a grueling, 18-day ordeal that claimed the life of an experienced volunteer diver and riveted people around the world. Thailand’s Navy SEALs, who were central to the rescue effort, said on their Facebook page that the remaining four boys and their 25-year-old coach were all brought out safely Tuesday. Eight of the boys were rescued by a team of Thai […]

Read More →

How to deal with cell phone dead zones in your house

Keep calling and texting. You’ve just moved into a lovely new house complete with everything you ever wanted—except the ability to call anyone. If you don’t seem to get a cell signal inside your home or office, here’s how to keep making calls and texts. Enable Wi-Fi calling and texting All four of the major U.S. service providers (Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, and Sprint), as well as a few other prepaid carriers, support a feature called Wi-Fi calling, which allows you to make and receive calls over your home’s wireless internet […]

Read More →

You throw out 44 pounds of electronic waste a year. Here’s how to keep it out of the dump.

Electronic waste: Don’t just throw your gadgets away. Technology is advancing faster than it breaks, which means we’re upgrading our devices—and getting rid of our old gadgets—more often than ever. In 2016 alone, the United States trashed about 44 pounds of electronic waste per person. And today’s devices, from iPhones to simple alarm clocks, often contain toxic chemicals like lead, cadmium, and mercury. If you just throw them away, those poisons will end up in the environment. “The whole idea is to avoid putting electronics in the landfill,” says Danny […]

Read More →

Health and Fitness News and Notes

By Nicholas Bakalar, New York Times Stress Disorders Tied to Autoimmune Disease Having a stress-related psychiatric condition may increase the risk for autoimmune disease, a new study concludes. Stress is known to cause physiological changes, including changes in immune function, but evidence that links it to specific diseases is limited. This study, in JAMA, used a Swedish database of 106,464 patients who had a severe stress condition, such as post-traumatic stress disorder, acute stress reaction or adjustment disorder. They compared them with 1,064,640 people free of stress-related disorders and with 126,652 of their stress-free siblings. During an average 10 years of follow-up, there were 8,284 cases of autoimmune disease among those diagnosed with a stress disorder, 57,711 among those without one, and 8,151 among the unstressed siblings. After controlling for other risk factors, they found that compared with those who had not had severe stress, those with any stress-related disorder were 36 percent more likely to have an autoimmune disease, and 29 percent more likely than their unstressed siblings. People with a PTSD diagnosis were at especially high risk — they were 46 percent more likely to develop an autoimmune illness. “Stress really affects long-term health,” said the lead author, Dr. Huan Song, a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Iceland. “It affects not only psychiatric health, but leaves people vulnerable to other diseases. There are many treatments now available for stress-related disorders, and it’s important for people to get […]

Read More →

A heat wave made this bridge too swole to function

Firefighters had to hose down the DuSable Bridge in Chicago after the steel surface spiked to more than 100 degrees Fahrenheit. It was so hot last week, even steel bridges were sweating. The DuSable Bridge in Chicago overheated enough to stop working. While it wasn’t dangerous for drivers, the bridge couldn’t open for boats, and had to be closed for a half hour while firefighters hosed it down with cold water. The 98-year-old double-decker bridge shuttles two levels of traffic back and forth over the Chicago River, and opens its decks to the heavens to let sailboats pass through. Baking under the sun for days on end, the joints of the steel bridge swelled, and were stuck in place. Luis Benitez, chief bridge engineer for the Chicago Department of Transportation, says the surface temperature of the bridge had climbed above 100°F that week. The steel finger joints—long, finger-like parts that accommodate expansion as cars travel over the bridge—interlock leaving a bit of space between each part, but the heat caused them to expand enough to rub together. You can think of it like a bridge with arthritis; the joints had become too inflamed to move properly. “The temperature was getting too hot, and the bridge isn’t just expanding longitudinally, it was expanding sideways,” says Benitez. “Those two pieces of metal started rubbing together causing friction. Everything is so finely tuned, if you tried to force them apart, those joints can […]

Read More →