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Volume 57, Number 27    March 22, 2010          

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April 2006 Newsmakers

What's in the water?
A March 16 San Francisco Chronicle article featured the research of William Cochlan, a senior research scientist at SF State's Romberg Tiburon Center for Environmental Studies. Cochlan was part of a team examining the effects of adding minute amounts of iron to the oceans to help trap carbon dioxide. The research team found that the iron can cause the growth of a group of phytoplankton species that produce a potent neurotoxin that causes the human illness Amnesic Shellfish Poisoning. "This possibility of producing a widespread toxin into the plankton of the open ocean needs to be looked at very carefully before any large-scale iron enrichment starts," Cochlan said.

Talking Capra
In a March 12 Public Radio International interview, Associate Professor of Cinema Joseph McBride discussed the work of director Frank Capra. In the interview, McBride discussed Capra's 1958 film, "The Unchained Goddess," which dealt with themes of climate change. "(Capra) was a lifelong conservative and that doesn't stop him from being a good scientist and believing in climate change," McBride said. "Today, I think there's this dichotomy between – if you're conservative you're supposed to be antithetical to understanding climate change, which doesn't make any sense. So you could say, it's strange bedfellows, Frank Capra and Al Gore, but they're more alike than Capra would probably like to admit."

 

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