These are synopses of scientific press releases. They are not yet established as scientific fact, and may turn out to be wrong.

From http://eurekalert.org:

Public Release: 24-Nov-2008
Chinese forest project could reduce number of environmental disasters
A study published in Journal of the American Water Resources Association states that the “Green Great Wall,” a forest shelterbelt project in northern China running nearly parallel to the Great Wall, is likely to improve climatic and hydrological conditions in the area when completed.
http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2008-11/w-cfp112408.php

Public Release: 24-Nov-2008
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
Mammals can be stimulated to regrow damaged inner retina nerve cells
For the first time the mammalian retina has now shown the capacity to regenerate new neurons after damage. This research in mice shows that at least some types of retinal damage can be repaired. The loss of neurons in the retina in people in conditions like glaucoma or macular degeneration leads to visual loss and blindness. This new research shows there might someday be a way to restore vision in people with these conditions.
NIH/National Eye Institute, National Institutes of Health, National Research Service Award, German Research Foundation, ProRetina Travel Grant
http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2008-11/uow-mcb112408.php

Public Release: 24-Nov-2008
76 percent of American middle-class households not financially secure
As the economy continues to reel, a new report finds that 4 million American households lost economic security between 2000 and 2006 and that a majority of America’s middle class households are either borderline or at high risk of falling out of the middle class altogether. The new report, “From Middle to Shaky Ground: The Economic Decline of America’s Middle Class, 2000-2006” was published by the policy center Demos and the Institute for Assets and Social Policy at Brandeis University.
http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2008-11/bu-7oa112408.php

Public Release: 24-Nov-2008
British Journal of Sociology
Race bigotry falling in Britain
Racial prejudice in Britain has been declining sharply in Britain since the 1980s thanks to the greater tolerance of younger generations, according to a new study. Dr. Rob Ford from the University of Manchester says that social contact with black or Asian Britons is becoming increasingly unremarkable to white people in their 20s and 30s.
http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2008-11/uom-rbf112408.php

Public Release: 23-Nov-2008
Nature Chemical Biology
Scripps research team defines new painkilling chemical pathway
Marijuana can be an effective painkiller, but social issues and unhealthy smoke inhalation complicate its use. As a result, researchers have focused great attention on understanding the biochemical system involved so they might manipulate it by other means. Toward that end, a Scripps Research Institute group has definitively identified a chemical pathway that, in mice, imitates marijuana’s painkilling effect. The work could enable the development of new pain treatments.
National Institutes of Health, Helen L. Dorris Child and Adolescent Neuro-Psychiatric Disorder Institute, Skaggs Institute for Chemical Biology
http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2008-11/sri-srt111908.php

Public Release: 23-Nov-2008
Nature Neuroscience
‘Wiring’ in the brain influences personality
Some people are constantly seeking a new kick; some prefer to stick to tried and tested things. Which group you belong to seems to be connected, inter alia, with the ‘wiring’ of specific centers of the brain. This was discovered by scientists at the University of Bonn using a new method. Even how much acceptance people seek is apparently also determined by nerve fibers in the brain. The study will appear in the next issue of the journal Nature Neuroscience.
http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2008-11/uob-it111908.php

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