9-13 September Weekly News


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World's most electrifying eel found in Amazon

Scientists have discovered a new species of electric eel that is truly shocking. In fact, it is the most shocking creature in the world. The new eel was discovered in the Amazon. It is capable of giving someone an electric shock that is nearly eight times stronger than the electricity found in the wall socket of an American home. The eel is 2.4 meters long, weighs 45kgs, and can discharge a shock of 860 volts. Appliances in American homes need just 110 volts of electricity. The eel has enough power to give a human a severe electric shock. It is possible the shock could kill a human. The scientists wrote in the journal Nature Communications that the eel is "the strongest living bio-electricity generator".

Scientists have named the new eel Electrophorus voltai. The team of researchers actually found two new species of electric eel, but Electrophorus voltai is grabbing the headlines because of its electrical power. Up until the two recent discoveries, scientists believed there was only one electric eel in existence. Lead researcher Dr David de Santana said he would not be surprised to find more new species. He wrote: "If you can discover a new 2.4m-long fish after 250 years of exploration, can you imagine what remains to be discovered in that region?" He added: "The discovery...in Amazonia, one of the planet's biodiversity hot spots, is suggestive of the vast amount of species that remain to be discovered in nature."


73-year-old woman gives birth to twins

Is there an age at which it is too old to have a baby? A 73-year-old woman in India has given birth to twins. The woman said that becoming a mother for the first time was "the happiest time" of her life. The mother needed a caesarean section operation to deliver the twins. The mother and her two twin girls are all in good health and the mother is recovering well after the surgery. The woman thought she would never be able to have children. She and her husband first tried to have a child fifty years ago. All their attempts were unsuccessful. The woman thought she would be childless forever after her menopause started 25 years ago. She said not having children caused her pain as people called her "the childless lady".

The woman was able to give birth because of the method of IVF. A healthy egg was taken from a younger woman and was fertilized with her husband's sperm. The woman then carried the fertilized egg and she became pregnant. She said that when she found out she was having twins, she could not describe her happiness. She said: "This is the happiest time of my life." The new mother's doctors are also happy with their patient. One doctor said: "During the IVF treatment, we had three groups of doctors. One took care of her general health, one took care of her nutritional status and one took care of her pregnancy." The doctor said she was always in very good hands.


Asteroid rock layers reveal how the dinosaurs died

Scientists have more details of how the dinosaurs died out 65 million years ago. The scientists analyzed rocks in a crater under the seabed off Mexico. The rocks were created from the disastrous impact of a huge asteroid hitting Earth. The rocks' layers show a step-by-step account of what happened after the impact. A scientist said: "It tells us what went on inside the crater on that day of doom that killed the dinosaurs. All of this...is recorded in the rock."

The asteroid was up to four kilometers wide. It created a crater 160kms wide and 20kms deep. This started a chain reaction of earthquakes, tsunami, landslides and fires that changed Earth's geology forever. It also killed off the dinosaurs. Molten rock fell into the crater, which was then filled with ocean water. This water was full of soil, vegetation and other debris. It took a few hours to settle in the layers scientists are now analyzing millions of years later.


355 meters of snakeskin seized from passenger's luggage at Istanbul Airport

Turkish customs and anti-smuggling officers seized 93 pieces of snakeskin, which when combined reached a lengthy 355 meters, from a passenger who tried to smuggle it in checked baggage at Istanbul Airport (IST) Wednesday.

Following an initial investigation, customs enforcement and anti-smuggling units made a risk assessment for incoming passengers and their baggage. An Indonesian passenger who was set to arrive Istanbul on a Saudi Arabia Airlines flight was determined to be risky and was taken under surveillance. After x-ray scans of the suspicious passenger's baggage showed that the bags were heavier and denser than they should have been, security forces intercepted and searched the bags of the suspect who had walked through the green channel, which is for passengers not carrying any prohibited / restricted items and have nothing to declare.

The market value of the snakeskin seized was estimated to be around 320,000 ($55.447) Turkish liras. A forensic investigation related to the incident is still ongoing. Snakeskin leather is commercially illegal under the convention on international trade in endangered species of wild fauna and flora (CITES).



20% of children suffer eczema or skin disease, expert says

Every one child out of five suffers from eczema, and skin disease, which is highly related to genetic factors, according to an expert. Speaking on the occasion of the European Atopic Eczema Awareness Day on Sept. 14, Dr. Emel Bülbül Başkan, a board member of Psoriasis Association, told Anadolu Agency that eczema is one of the most common non-infectious skin problems globally.

"One in every five children in the world is struggling with eczema. The presence of atopic dermatitis eczema raises twice or thrice if either mother or father has the disease, and it raises 3 to 5 times if both parents have it," Başkan said. Başkan stressed that there is no unique test to identify the disease and a detailed examination must be carried out on the patient's skin. "Eczema can cause depression, anxiety, attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder in children," she said. "Itching is an important feature, especially at night and sweating increases severely," she added.

"Color change around the eye, extra lines under the eye, increase in palm lines, dry skin, pale parts in the middle of the face, rough appearance on the shoulders and arms, and white spots on the cheeks are other symptoms of the disease," Başkan said. Başkan said eczema is not a contagious disease and its ability to be seen among the same family members is explained by genetic transition. Food allergies -- including milk, eggs, peanuts, wheat, nuts, soy, fish and shellfish -- can trigger eczema in children, Başkan said adding that it should be examined by an allergy specialist. "Otherwise, different health problems may arise with unnecessary and excessive diets in developmental children," she added. Başkan said house dust mites along with pet hair can also trigger the disease.


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