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Elizabeth Cooney is a health reporter for the Worcester Telegram & Gazette.
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Monday, August 20, 2007

In case you missed it: US castoffs' dirty career, war on polio, your brain on gambling, paying for errors

From 4-ton trucks to 40-ton boilers, US vehicles and equipment are finding a second life in developing countries -- postponing meaningful reductions in greenhouse gas emissions by inefficiently using energy or directly emitting carbon dioxide, Beth Daley reports in Sunday's Globe, the sixth in a series of occasional articles examining climate change, its effects, and possible solutions.

The nearly two-decade, $5 billion campaign to eradicate polio has made significant gains in reducing the virus's strongest strain, but the global battle is in a difficult end game: Fighting in Afghanistan has kept vaccinators from reaching about 100,000 children for nearly a year, allowing the disease to flourish in the remote region, John Donnelly writes Sunday.

From the perspective of the brain, gambling has much in common with addictive drugs, like cocaine. Both work by hijacking the brain's pleasure centers -- a lure that some people are literally incapable of resisting, Jonah Lehrer, an editor at large at Seed magazine, writes in the Sunday Ideas section.

Also in Sunday's Globe, in a significant policy change, Bush administration officials say that Medicare will no longer pay the extra costs of treating preventable errors, injuries, and infections that occur in hospitals, a move that could save thousands of lives and millions of dollars.

Posted by Elizabeth Cooney at 06:44 AM
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