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Alcoholics are more likely to die of smoking-related diseases than from the consequences of drinking. Even 'casual' smokers are more likely to be alcoholics, but it's the smoking that more often does them in.

A new study published in the December issue of Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research looks at casual smoking and drinking behavior and has found that non-daily smoking confers an increased risk of hazardous drinking and alcohol-use disorders (AUDs).

Non-daily or "casual" smokers tend to slip through the cracks of prevention efforts but casual smoking and heavy drinking are prevalent behaviors among young adults and, furthermore, casual smoking occurs primarily in the context of alcohol use.

Scientists at the Science and Technology Facilities Council have developed a system that measures the individual layers of cloud above us which will make answering weather questions possible in the future. This Cloud Radar will not only allow forecasters to predict the weather more precisely, the information gathered will also enable aircraft pilots to judge more accurately whether it is safe to take off and land in diverse weather conditions, offering a powerful safety capability for civil airports and military air bases.

Developed over 10 years by researchers and engineers at the STFC Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, in collaboration with the Met Office, the Cloud Radar can take a complete and accurate profile of cloud or fog up to 5 miles overhead. Operating at 94 GHz, 50 times higher in frequency than most mobile phones, the radar measures the cloud base height, its thickness, density and internal structure as well as providing similar information on cloud layers at higher altitudes.

The fatter the world gets, the more extreme thinness is popular on the internet, according to an analysis of nearly three million random URLs. The study revealed that websites promoting anorexia and bulimia have jumped in number since 2007.

If you've been reading all those studies on the benefits of chocolate and salivating at the thought of milk-chocolating your way to health and longevity, you're going to be disappointed. But if you aren't a choco-holic and just want to know if it can help you stay heart healthy, there is good news.

6.7 grams of chocolate per day (that's 1/15th of a chocolate bar) represents the ideal amount for a protective effect against inflammation and subsequent cardiovascular disease, say the results of a population study being conducted by the Research Laboratories of the Catholic University in Campobasso in collaboration with the National Cancer Institute of Milan.

The findings, published the Journal of Nutrition, come from one of the largest epidemiological studies ever conducted in Europe, the Moli-sani Project, which has enrolled 20,000 inhabitants of the Molise region(1).

The effect of global climate change on the planet's ecosystems is one of the key issues scientists are currently focusing on and, while there isn't a lot of good news, there is some; the main source of food for many fish, including cod, in the North Atlantic appears to adapt in order to survive climate change.

Billions of Calanus finmarchicus, a plankton species, which are just a few millimeters in size, live in the waters of the North Atlantic where the research was carried out. It showed they responded to global warming after the last Ice Age, around 18,000 years ago, by moving north and maintaining large population sizes and also suggests that these animals might be able to track the current change in habitat.

Calanus finmarchicus, a zooplankton species, is considered one of the most important components of the regional marine food web.

Investigations at CERN(1) following a large helium leak into sector 3-4 of the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) tunnel have indicated that the most likely cause of the incident was a faulty electrical connection between two of the accelerator’s magnets.

Before a full understanding of the incident can be established, the sector has to be brought to room temperature and the magnets involved opened up for inspection.  This will take  three to four weeks, they said, and full details of the investigation will be made available once it is complete.