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Much of the European continent has been affected by a severe drought so far this summer, one of the worst since the drought and heat wave of summer of 2003, according to the latest report by the European Drought Observatory (EDO). The drought, which particularly affects France, Benelux, Germany, Hungary, the Czech Republic, northern Italy and northern Spain, is caused by a combination of prolonged rain shortages and exceptionally high temperatures.

 The current seasonal weather forecast envisages more abundant rains for the Mediterranean region in September, but no effective improvement is yet foreseen for parts of western, central and eastern Europe. 
Though it is the common metric, hospice use is not really an indicator of quality of end-of-life care.

Instead, when researchers in the U.S. studied variations in patterns of hospice use between states, they found troubling trends.  Shi-Yi Wang, MD, PhD, Yale University School of Public Health and coauthors discuss the variations in the timing and duration of hospice enrollment and their implications in an article published in Journal of Palliative Medicine (doi:full/10.1089/jpm.2014.0425). They performed a retrospective analysis of Medicare patients who used hospice services during the last 6 months of their lives.

You are gazing over the clear stream, thinking of fishing the crystal waters in the Rockies. The next morning, you are stunned to see an orange-yellow sludge covering the stream as far as you can see. Is this the Colorado Gold King Mine spill into Cement Creek of August 5, 2015?

No, this describes the Clear Creek, CO spill of April, 2009 from a private mine or it could be the 1975 or 1978 Cement Creek spills from abandoned mines.

New species evolve whenever a lineage splits off into several branches and so a common metaphor for evolution has been to describe evolution as a 'tree of life', where every branch constitutes a species.

But since about 99.999% of all species that have ever existed are already extinct, and we have never even known about them, the tree is more like a bush with things constantly growing and falling off. Last year, a consortium of some hundred researchers reported that the relationship between all major bird clades had been mapped out by analyzing the complete genome of around 50 bird species. This included the exact order in which the various lineages had diverged.

Both donors and recipients want more information about each others' health before participating in transplant surgeries, according to a study which challenges current practices and policies on information disclosure for prospective living kidney donors and their intended recipients..

For students, the start of the school year means new classes, new friends, homework and sports. It also brings the threat of head lice. The itch-inducing pests lead to missed school days and frustrated parents, who could have even more reason to be wary of the bug this year. Scientists report that lice populations in at least 25 states have developed resistance to over-the-counter treatments still widely recommended by doctors and schools.

The researchers are presenting their work today at the 250th National Meeting&Exposition of the American Chemical Society (ACS), the world's largest scientific society. The meeting features more than 9,000 presentations on a wide range of science topics and is being held here through Thursday.