Jun 16, 2009 | 9
Venom has now joined violence on Iraq’s danger list.
As the country’s waterways run dry, snakes are moving into human territory, The Independent reported yesterday. Poisonous reptiles—including the saw-scaled viper, desert horned viper and desert cobra—are attacking humans and livestock in southern Iraq at an unprecedented rate.
Snakes that thrived in moist marshes in the country are now fleeing their parched habitats for nearby towns. Six people have been killed and 13 poisoned, along with the losses of countless cows. "I will leave the region if this continues," Jabbar Salleh, a farmer in the southern province of Nasiriyah, told the AFP earlier this month.
May 22, 2009 | 5
PORTLAND, OREGON (May 20, 2009) -- It is easy to understand how explosions involving shrapnel – such as those caused by improvised explosive devices in Iraq – could cause brain damage. But what about such injuries that seem to be caused by blasts themselves, rather than from being thrown or hit by shrapnel?
Researchers have a few ideas, but one scientist has used some of the world’s most powerful computers at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California to get a better answer. Willy Moss and colleague Michael King used available data on blast waves from explosions and the physical properties of the human skull, brain and cerebrospinal fluid to craft a three-dimensional simulation of a soldier standing less than 15 feet from an explosion of 5 lbs. of C4. (See image to the right.)
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