This is Sarah Long.
And this is Bob Doughty with Science in the News, a VOA Special
English program about recent developments in science. Today,
we tell about a way to make important research information free
to people around the world. We tell about a study that says
eating fish may prevent strokes. And we tell about new research
A group of leading scientists wants to permit people all over
the world to use important research information without having
to pay for it. Harold Varmus is leading the effort to create
the Public Library of Science. Doctor Varmus is a former Nobel
Prize winner in medicine. He is the president of the Memorial-Sloan
Kettering Cancer Center in New York City. He is also the former
director of America¡¯s National Institutes of Health
near Washington, D-C.
The Public Library of Science will offer the latest scientific
information on the Internet. The results of scientific research
will be useful to scientists, doctors, students and the general
This information is usually published in major scientific journals
like Science and Nature. Some experts believe that scientific
publications are entering a new period. Today, information can
be published on the Internet¡¯s World Wide Web. This
greatly reduces the cost of publishing a journal. Many scientists
believe that it is now time to use electronic publishing to
permit everyone to use the latest knowledge and research. Currently,
researchers present their work to major scientific publications.
Institutions and individuals pay for the right to read that
information. The Public Library of Science will ask researchers
to pay about one-thousand-five-hundred dollars to present their
research. Other scientists would investigate and confirm the
research. Then, the information would be put on the World Wide
Web for free.
The policy of the Public Library of Science will permit all
kinds of scientific knowledge to be used as long as the name
of the researcher is provided. The policy is based on that of
the GenBank library of genetic research. GenBank is operated
by the National Institutes of Health. Scientific organizations
around the world add to the GenBank information every day. Researchers
can use it freely and immediately. This has been an important
aid in the fast progress of gene research.
Many people think that researchers will want to send their
work to the Public Library of Science. They believe that one
of the reasons is because it is such a good cause. Such a free
scientific resource will permit scientists in poor countries
and students all over the world to learn about the newest scientific
Supporters of the project also point out that the people who
pay taxes will no longer have to pay two times to read research.
Taxpayers pay nearly forty-thousand-million dollars for scientific
research each year.
The Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation in San Francisco, California,
has given nine-million dollars for the project. The Howard Hughes
Medical Institute in Chevy Chase, Maryland also supports the
Public Library of Science. The organization says it will pay
the extra costs involved in developing the project.
However, the success of the project depends on how many scientists
seek to publish their research in the Public Library of Science.
Many younger researchers may not want to risk publishing in
such a resource. These scientists may believe they need the
recognition that famous scientific journals provide. Yet, established
scientists may see the Public Library of Science as a way to
help the cause of science. Many scientists agree that sharing
and cooperation are important values in science.
You are listening to the Special English program SCIENCE IN
THE NEWS on VOA. This is Bob Doughty with Sarah Long in Washington.
An American study has shown that eating a small amount of fish
every month can reduce the risk of stroke. The study showed
that men who ate seafood even once a month cut their risk of
the most common kind of stroke.
Just what the doctor ordered?
Over the years, many studies have shown that eating fish is
important for good health. Those studies showed that people
who eat fish reduce their risk of stroke and heart attack. People
in Iceland and Japan, for example, eat more fish on average
than other people. People in those countries also have the world¡¯s
lowest death rates from stroke and heart disease.
The new study is surprising because it shows that eating even
small amounts of fish appears to produce the health effect.
The National Institutes of Health provided money for the study.
The Journal of the American Medical Association published the
Doctors at the Harvard University School of Public Health in
Cambridge, Massachusetts carried out the study. They studied
the diets of more than forty-thousand men during a twelve-year
period. The men were asked how often they ate fish. They also
were asked about the kinds of seafood they ate.
The Harvard team found that eating fish had a protective effect
against ischemic (eh-SKEE-mic) strokes. An ischemic stroke is
caused by a blockage in the flow of blood to the brain. This
is the most common kind of stroke. Eighty percent of all strokes
are caused by a blockage. Ischemic strokes often result in death.
They also are a leading cause of severe disability in many western
Albert Ascherio (as-CARE-ee-yo) was a member of the Harvard
team. He says the study found that men who ate fish a few times
a month had almost half the risk of stroke compared with men
who never ate fish. However, there was no evidence that eating
fish more than a few times a month reduced a man¡¯s
risk of stroke even more. Eating fish a few times a month was
just as good as eating fish almost every day.
The doctors say fish helps because its fatty acids make the
blood flow more freely. They say this helps to prevent blockages
in the blood flow. The doctors say eating different kinds of
seafood is the best plan of action. They say men should include
fish in their diet to reduce the risk of stroke.
A new report says a huge piece of Antarctic ice has been melting
and releasing water into the world¡¯s oceans for
the past ten-thousand years. The West Antarctic Ice Sheet covers
five-hundred-eighty-thousand square kilometers. The report warns
that the ice sheet could disappear in seven-thousand years if
the melting continues at its current rate. It says this might
raise sea levels around the world by about five meters.
(Photo - University of Washington/John Stone)
John Stone from the University of Washington wrote the report.
He warns that a quick or sudden melting of the ice sheet could
cause serious problems for some islands and coastal areas.
Mister Stone¡¯s team measured chemicals found in
rocks on seven mountains in Antarctica. The tops of these mountains
were completely covered by ice ten-thousand years ago. As the
ice began to melt away, radiation from deep space started hitting
the rocks. This changed the chemical formation in the mountains.
The scientists could estimate how old the rocks were by studying
Ten-thousand years ago, large areas of ice had nearly all melted
across Europe and in North America. The new study shows that
the huge area of ice in West Antarctica was just starting to
melt by then.The new report was published in Science magazine.
Earlier this month, another group of scientists completed a
rare, over-land trip to Antarctica¡¯s southern most
point. The scientists traveled almost one-thousand-three-hundred
kilometers to the South Pole. Along the way, they removed pieces
of ice from the ground and collected other information. The
scientists plan to compare this evidence with other ice cores
gathered from other parts of Antarctica. From this, they hope
to get a better understanding of the continent¡¯s
climate and the effect of rising temperatures.
This SCIENCE IN THE NEWS program was written by Mario Ritter
and George Grow. It was produced by George Grow. This is Bob
And this is Sarah Long. Join us again next week for more news
about science in Special English on the Voice of America.
This Science Report is published courtesy