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'Quitting' in the face of insurmountable obstacles is the antithesis of American culture. John Henry died rather than give up against a machine trying to lay railroad track faster than him. Few successful businessmen have denied they worked their way through doubt and financial peril to succeed.

It would seem that persistence would be mentally beneficial over the long haul; hanging in there should increase the odds of personal success and personal success is closely linked to well-being. But what if the goal is extremely unlikely?

Melting icecaps and ‘climate chaos’ have put climate change at the top of the agenda for the UN General Assembly’s meeting this week. The meeting is a precursor to the November meeting in Bali where leaders will try to agree on a successor to the Kyoto Protocol.

A new Institute of Physics’ (IOP) report, Climate change prediction: A robust or flawed process?, published today reveals that while there is general consensus on the underlying causes of the changes in our atmosphere, there is not unanimity.

World leaders have been influenced by one very important document that drew its conclusions after wide consultation in the international science community, the IPCC Summary for Policymakers of the Scientific Assessment.

Engineers at Ohio State University have found a way to turn discarded chicken eggshells into an alternative energy resource.

The patented process uses eggshells to soak up carbon dioxide from a reaction that produces hydrogen fuel. It also includes a unique method for peeling the collagen-containing membrane from the inside of the shells, so that the collagen can be used commercially.

L.S. Fan, Distinguished University Professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering at Ohio State, said that he and former Ohio State doctoral student, Mahesh Iyer, hit upon the idea when they were trying to improve a method of hydrogen production called the water-gas-shift reaction.

Several times over the past century, scientists and environmental engineers have proposed spreading slurries of dissolved iron into the oceans in order to “fertilize” the waters and promote vast blooms of marine plants (phytoplankton). Phytoplankton consume carbon dioxide as they grow, and this growth can be stimulated in certain ocean basins by the addition of iron, a necessary micronutrient.

Though common on land, dissolved iron is often rare in the ocean. Some researchers and commercial interests have recently proposed to provide that missing nutrient on a large scale in order to create artificial blooms.

Consuming large amounts of caffeine while taking acetaminophen, one of the most widely used painkillers in the United States, could potentially cause liver damage, according to a preliminary laboratory study reported in the Oct. 15 print issue of ACS’ Chemical Research in Toxicology.

The toxic interaction could occur not only from drinking caffeinated beverages while taking the painkiller but also from using large amounts of medications that intentionally combine caffeine and acetaminophen for the treatment of migraine headaches, menstrual discomfort and other conditions, the researchers say.

Health experts have warned for years that consuming excess alcohol while taking acetaminophen can trigger toxic interactions and cause liver damage and even death.

Researchers in Portugal have discovered that a specific mutation of the COX2 gene seems to play a role in the onset of ovarian cancer, increasing women’s susceptibility to developing the disease.

The discovery raises the possibility that, if the findings are confirmed by further studies, it might be possible to use non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as aspirin and ibuprofen, which are used already for other conditions, to prevent ovarian cancer developing in women with the COX2 mutation.