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Moderate malnutrition killing millions of children annually

About 90 percent of child deaths worldwide occur in just 42 countries -- and about one-fourth of these deaths occur before age 5 in the poorest countries, such as Angola and Niger. Yet, 8 million of the 11 million childhood deaths worldwide each year could easily be prevented, says a Cornell University expert, writing in the authoritative medical journal The Lancet . That's because almost 60 percent of deaths of children under 5 in the developing world are due to malnutrition and its interactive effects on preventable diseases.

'Selfish routing' slows the Internet

The Tragedy of the Commons , as explained by Garrett Harding in his classic 1968 book, is that self-interest can deplete a common resource. It seems this also applies to the Internet and other computer networks, which are slowed by those who hurry the most. Fortunately, say computer scientists at Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y. , there is a limit to how bad the slowdown can get. And after developing tools to measure how much the performance of a particular network suffers, they say, the way to get improved performance on the Internet is the same as the way to maintain air and water quality: altruism helps.

Too much grape juice could cause iron deficiency

The same antioxidant compounds in dark grape juice that are noted for their health benefits in fighting heart disease may have a downside, according to new research in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. In cell studies, scientists with the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Cornell University found that polyphenols in purple (also called red) grape juice can inhibit the uptake of iron, which could increase the risk of iron-deficiency anemia.

Mole rats look old, are old

Virtually hairless, venerably wrinkled and very nearly blind, naked mole-rats -- those homely rodents from underground Africa -- remind some zoo-goers of little old men. The resemblance is more than coincidence. They really are really old males -- and females, too -- biologists report in an article scheduled for November publication in the Journal of Zoology (Vol. 258, Part 3). Many naked mole-rats (Heterocephalus glaber) in laboratory colonies in the United States and South Africa have lived more than 20 years, and some are at least 26 years old, making them by far the oldest small rodents in captivity.

‘Love those bee-stung lips’: Facial markings help wasps identify each other

Looking good, ladyPaper wasps all look the same, right? An animal behaviorist at Cornell University reports that the wasp's black-and-yellow uniform is not uniform at all. One wasp, she has discovered, can recognize another through facial and abdominal markings, all but displacing the scientific dogma that insects carry out identification and communication only by employing chemicals called pheromones. "Their faces are far more beautiful and different than you'd expect," says Elizabeth Tibbetts.

Orange drink eases Third World ‘hidden hunger’

A dietary supplement in the form of a cheap, fortified, orange-flavored drink can reduce Third World deficiencies in micronutrients such as iron, iodine and vitamin A, a Cornell University physician and international nutritionist reports. The supplement, he says, eases the so-called "hidden hunger" that plagues more than 2 billion people worldwide and particularly affects pregnant and nursing mothers and young children.

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