Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

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Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Notebook

Article excerpt

Chronic Fatigue Virus?

A cure for a disorder that has baffled researchers for years - chronic fatigue syndrome - may arise from the discovery of a new virus, a University of Southern California researcher said earlier this month. Testing of a potential cure could begin within months.

Dubbed "stealth" by molecular pathologist W. John Martin because it avoids detection in the body, the virus was found to cause the disease in laboratory animals.

"People have always suspected that there might be a virus causing (the syndrome)," said Martin, whose study is published in the American Journal of Pathology.

Sometimes called the yuppie flu, the mysterious constellation of symptoms is marked by profound dog-tiredness.

The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that chronic fatigue strikes two to seven people of every 100,000 adults. The majority are women ages 20-40.

In the past four months, Martin has used a drug, Epione, to suppress the virus in test tubes. Testing on humans could begin in the next two to three months, if the Food and Drug Administration approves, Martin said. Orange County Register

***** Reef Madness

Florida's unquenchable thirst for fresh water apparently is killing its necklace of coral reefs so fast that some parts could disappear within 10 years, a new study says.

The coral appears to be dying because of excessive saltiness in Florida Bay, at the tip of Florida. The salt condition is a consequence of the diversion of fresh water from the Everglades, said James Porter, an ecologist at the University of Georgia who has been studying the reefs for 10 years.

Instead of flowing into the bay, the water is being used for agriculture and for the burgeoning population along the Florida coast. Porter made his report Monday in Knoxville at the annual meeting of the Ecological Society of America.

Coral reefs consist of the calcium skeletons of millions of tiny animals. …

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