UPI NewsTrack Health and Science News

Stream and river temperatures increasing

COLLEGE PARK, Md., April 8 (UPI) — A study suggests water temperatures are increasing in many U.S. rivers and streams, including the Colorado, Potomac, Delaware and Hudson rivers.


The study — led by a team of University of Maryland ecologists and hydrologists — documents 20 major U.S. streams and rivers show statistically significant long-term warming that was typically correlated with increases in air temperatures. The researchers said rates of warming were most rapid in urbanized areas.

“Warming waters can impact the basic ecological processes taking place in our nation’s rivers and streams,” said Assistant Professor Sujay Kaushal of the university’s Center for Environmental Science, the study’s lead author. “Long-term temperature increases can impact aquatic biodiversity, biological productivity and the cycling of contaminants through the ecosystem.”

The researchers said they found 20 of the 40 streams studied showed statistically significant long-term warming trends, while an additional 13 showed temperature increases that were not statistically significant. The longest record of increase was observed for the Hudson River at Poughkeepsie, N.Y., and the most rapid rate of increase was recorded for the Delaware River near Chester, Pa.

“We are seeing the largest increases in the most highly urbanized areas, which lead us to believe that the one-two punch of development and global warming could have a tremendous impact on stream and river ecosystem health,” Kaushal said.

The study is reported in the journal Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment.

Expert: Bullying a mental health problem

LINCOLN, Neb., April 8 (UPI) — The public needs to be aware of the link between mental health issues and bullying, a U.S. expert says.

Susan Swearer, a licensed psychologist in the Child and Adolescent Therapy Clinic at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln, reports she and colleagues have seen an increase in referrals for bullying-related behaviors.

Swearer says depression and anxiety often go hand-in-hand whether students are bullies, victims, bystanders or bully-victims — those who are bullied and also bully others.

“I always assess for depression and anxiety when I’m working with youth who are involved in bullying,” Swearer says in a statement released by the American Psychological Association. “Bullying is a mental health problem.”

Swearer says parents and teachers must intervene when they see bullying take place. They need to tell those doing the bullying to stop, Swearer says.

“Parents and teachers need to document what they saw and keep records of the bullying behaviors. Victims need to feel that they have a support network of kids and adults,” Swearer says.

ESA’s CyroSat-2 is successfully launched

BAIKONUR, Kazakhstan, April 8 (UPI) — The European Space Agency’s CyroSat-2 satellite was launched at 9:57 a.m. EDT Thursday from an underground silo at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

The launch from the silo, originally designed for use during the Cold War, followed a nine-hour, full launch simulation earlier this week. The original ESA CyroSat was destroyed on launch in October 2005 when the second stage engine of its rocket malfunctioned. Officials said they quickly decided to build an improved replacement.

ESA scientists said the satellite — which is fully redundant, with two of all of its instruments — is designed to measure tiny variations in the thickness of ice floating in the polar oceans and changes in the vast ice sheets on land. That will provide evidence of the speed at which Earth’s ice is diminishing. ESA scientists said the information will lead to a better understanding of the role ice plays in the Earth system and climate change.

“After the loss of the original CryoSat in 2005, we are extremely happy to have reached this point after four years rebuilding the satellite, including a number of improvements on the original,” said Richard Francis, the ESA’s project manager. “We are now very much looking forward to … delivering the data the scientific community so badly needs to build a true picture of what is happening in the fragile polar regions.”

The satellite, during its three-year mission, will orbit the Earth at approximately 435 miles

FDA OKs two generic hypertension drugs

WASHINGTON, April 8 (UPI) — The U.S. Food and Drug Administration says it has approved the first generic versions of two drugs used for the treatment of hypertension.

FDA officials said they have approved losartan potassium tablets and losartan potassium and hydrochlorothiazide tablets — a combination drug — that are the generic equivalents of Cozaar and Hyzaar tablets, in that order.

Cozaar and Hyzaar are widely-used anti-hypertensive drugs. The FDA said the generic losartan products will carry the same safety warnings as their brand counterparts, including a boxed warning against the use of these products during the second and third trimesters of pregnancy.

The generic drugs are manufactured in differing strengths by various companies, including TEVA Pharmaceuticals USA, Mylan Pharmaceuticals Inc., Roxane Laboratories Inc. and Torrent Pharmaceuticals Ltd.

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Categorized | Biodiversity, Other
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