News Clips for March 15, 2019

Keep your distance, bro: tropical plants avoid close relatives

Tropical forests are some of the most biodiverse places in the world, but, strangely, plants of the same species are often found separated from each other. The phenomenon is known as negative density dependence and has long attracted the interest of researchers.

Fires in Venezuela’s El Guri Complex Could Have Sparked Blackout

Fires within Venezuela’s heavily-fortified El Guri hydroelectric complex could have triggered the massive blackout that plunged the nation into darkness last week, according to an analysis of thermal conditions along hundreds of miles of transmission lines by Venezuelan industry experts and U.S.-based researchers.

Does Losing Your Faith Affect the Health of Your Brain?

A loss of faith in higher powers may have tangible effects on our brains, the way they work, and our physical health.

Half-Dose of Mountain Sickness Med Works as Well as Full Dose

A lower dose of a medication to prevent acute mountain sickness is as effective as the standard, higher dose, a new study finds.

Surgical smoke generated in Utah operating rooms contains same hazards as cigarette smoke, report says

We’ve come a long way in limiting cigarette smoke in public places, but half a million health care workers in the U.S. are still exposed to cancer-causing smoke every year, according the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, or OSHA.

Alzheimer's disease risk linked to health of extended family members

Having a great-grandparent or even a cousin—referred to as “third-degree relatives”—with Alzheimer's disease may raise your own risk of developing the disease, according to new research.

Legislature falls far short of governor’s goal of investing $100M to improve air quality. Advocates say it’s a good first step.

Though air-quality advocates won’t see anywhere near the $100 million Gov. Gary Herbert had advised the Utah Legislature to spend on initiatives to clear the skies, they said the more than $28 million appropriated to the cause is a step in the right direction.

Lawmakers nix money for Hatch Center in budget bill

Legislators stripped a proposed $1.5 million expenditure to fund a center honoring former Sen. Orrin Hatch from Utah’s $19 billion budget on Thursday afternoon.

Utah lawmakers racked up results – but not on tax reform

Lawmakers took on tough tasks during a legislative session that ended an hour earlier than expected Thursday night, and racked up results on big issues, including limiting Medicaid expansion and enshrining hate crime penalties.

Utah to shut down its innovation incubator

As many states build new mechanisms to support technological innovation in their economies, Utah is dismantling an old one. A bill to eliminate a program called the Utah Science, Technology and Research Initiative—or USTAR—was approved by lawmakers on Tuesday and now heads to the desk of Republican Gov. Gary Herbert.

36 Beagles to Be Killed After Undergoing Scientific Testing

Dozens of beagles are set to be killed after undergoing chemical testing at a Michigan lab. The dogs will be killed so that their organs can be examined in July, as part of a test of a fungicide that the dogs were fed for a year, according to an investigation by the Humane Society of the United States.