In Brief

In Brief

July 28, 2006


Pharoah statue to be relocated

A giant statue of Pharaoh Ramses II will be moved next month from a congested square in downtown Cairo to a more serene home near the Great Pyramids in a bid to save it from corrosive pollution, Egypt's antiquities chief said this week.

Exhaust fumes from trains, cars and buses, as well as subway vibrations, are damaging the more than 3,200-year-old granite statue at Ramses Square, its home since the early 1950s, when it was taken from a temple at the site of the ancient Egyptian capital of Memphis.

The 125-ton statue - a popular feature on postcards and guide books - will become part of a new museum about a mile from the pyramids. Contractors plan to transport a replica next week as a test. If all goes well, the real thing will make its way through the sprawling city Aug. 25.

A steel cage will be constructed around the statue and connected to steel beams. Two flatbed trucks will carry it through the city overnight to avoid traffic, an eight-mile trip that will take several hours, officials said.

Ramses II was a warrior king who is credited with bringing Egypt unprecedented power and splendor during his 67-year reign. He died in 1225 B.C.


Skin protection

Sunscreen to block UVA to be available

A sunscreen that blocks the type of ultraviolet radiation linked to some cancers - long available only outside the United States - won federal approval this week.

Called Anthelios SX, the sunscreen contains ecamsule, an ingredient better at blocking ultraviolet A, or UVA, radiation than other sunscreen ingredients sold in the United States. Those ingredients mainly screen out UVB rays.

UVB has long been associated with sunburn, while UVA is recognized as a deeper penetrating radiation, according to the Food and Drug Administration. Doctors suspect there is a link between UVA exposure and longer-term effects, including wrinkles, basal and squamous cell cancers, and melanoma.

Anthelios is made by the French cosmetics company L'Oreal SA. It has a sun protection factor, or SPF, of 15. The sunscreen contains three active ingredients, including ecamsule or Mexoryl SX. Mexoryl has been included in the company's sunscreens sold in Canada and Europe since 1993. LaRoche-Posay will distribute the product, the FDA said.


Breast cancer

Use of 2 hormones may increase risk

A therapy that combines estrogen and testosterone, two hormones that wane as women age, may increase the risk of breast cancer, a new study shows.

Women taking the combination medicine after going through menopause were almost 2.5 times more likely to develop breast cancer than women who didn't use any hormones, according to an analysis of the U.S.-funded Nurses' Health Study. The risk was greater than with estrogen alone or other hormones previously linked to breast cancer, the researchers said.

Solvay Pharmaceuticals Inc.'s Estratest is the only mix of estrogen and testosterone sold in the United States. The study is the first to look at the link between breast cancer and the combination hormone therapy, taken to ease menopause symptoms. Most women are prescribed therapies based on estrogen alone.

"The possible increased risk of breast cancer should be considered" when women are weighing the use of the hormones, said lead researcher Rulla M. Tamimi, associate epidemiologist at Brigham & Women's Hospital in Boston. "We need to understand better the long-term risks of estrogen plus testosterone before advocating its use for short-term benefits."

The study appears in the July 24 Archives of Internal Medicine. The data result from analyzing survey responses from 121,700 women in the Nurses' Health Study. There were 4,610 diagnosed cases of breast cancer among the women followed from 1978 through 2002.



Hydrocarbon lakes found on Titan

Scientists say they have found the first widespread evidence of giant hydrocarbon lakes on the surface of Saturn's planet-size moon Titan. The cluster of lakes was spotted near Titan's frigid north pole during a close-up photo shoot last weekend by the international Cassini spacecraft, which flew within 590 miles of the moon.

Researchers counted about a dozen lakes 6 miles to 62 miles wide. Some, which appeared as dark patches in radar images, were connected by channels, while others had tributaries flowing into them. Several were dried up, but the ones that contained liquid were most likely a mix of methane and ethane.

Titan is one of two moons in the solar system known to possess a significant atmosphere similar to that of primordial Earth. But astronomers have long puzzled over the source of its hazy atmosphere, rich in nitrogen and methane.

Scientists believe methane gas breaks up in Titan's atmosphere and forms smog clouds that rain methane down to the surface. But the source of methane inside the moon, which releases the gas into the atmosphere, is unknown.


Children's health

Posting dietary data affects lunch choices

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