September 2012 Current Events: Disasters & Science News
Here are the key events in Science and Disasters news for the month of September 2012.
New DNA Discovery Provides Crucial Data on Complex Diseases (Sept. 5): Scientists discovered that gene switches, once thought of as junk in DNA, actually play vital roles in how cells, organs, and tissues behave. The discovery is considered a major scientific breakthrough. Many diseases such as diabetes and high blood pressure appear to be caused by tiny changes within these gene switches. The discovery will also provide clues to how the environment affects disease risk and how one identical twin gets a disease like cancer while the other remains healthy.
West Nile Death Toll Continues to Rise (Sept. 5): Texas state health officials report that the death toll from the West Nile virus continues to rise. In Texas, there have been 1,113 cases so far, including 40 deaths, the most of any state. Nationally, there have been 1,993 cases reported, including 87 deaths, a 25 percent increase from the previous week. However, there is evidence to suggest that the virus is on the decline in and around the Dallas area. Officials report that insects were reduced by 93 percent in Dallas areas that were sprayed two nights in a row.