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NewsBites – June 2004

By: Christina Marino

Computer Virus Had “Good Intentions”
18-year-old Sven Jaschan, of Germany, created the Sasser Virus to boost business for his mother’s computer store. Oops! The Sasser Virus caused computers to crash worldwide. To limit the damage, he then created a “Sasser e” virus.

Morning-After Pill Requires Prescription
Last month the FDA rejected the application to sell the emergency contraceptive Plan B over-the-counter. The FDA’s decision comes as a surprise because, in a panel last December, there was a 23 to 4 vote that recommended that the drug be sold over-the-counter. In order to get approval, the drug manufacturer must find a way to prevent girls under the age of 16 from obtaining the pill or prove in a study that these girls understand the use of the pill without a doctor’s consultation.

Gas Prices Head For The Sky…and Your Grounded!
Gas hits an all-time high of $2.017/gal. The Energy Department has forecasted that gas prices will max out at $2.03 a gallon in May, but indications are that the price may go higher! Families are cutting back on summer travel plans because of rising gas costs. Bush is being criticized and Democrats are asking the White House to release up to 60 million barrels of oil from the nation’s emergency stockpile to help lower gasoline prices.

Stem Cell Bank Opens in London
The world’s first embryonic stem cell bank opened last month in Britain. However, there is fierce disapproval from Pro-life advocates around the world. The bank will supply the cells for research and potential treatments for cancer, diabetes and Parkinson’s. Embryonic cells are controversial because they have the potential to become a human as well as any cell or tissue in the human body.

Florida Teen Wins Part of $3 million
Sarah Rose Langberg from Fort Myers, Florida won a $50,000 college scholarship and a trip to the Nobel Prize ceremony in Sweden along with two other first-place winners from Germany and China. Over 1,300 students from over 44 countries competed in the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair. Experts say these fields will experience a critical shortage of scientists in the near future. Interested? Visit

Sun Can Chase the Blues
Research shows some sun is needed for good health. The body needs the sun to create Vitamin D, which is essential for strong bones and a healthy immune system. Sunlight also helps fight the ‘blues.’ Ten minutes of unprotected sun exposure will not kill you, but doctors still advise to keep the SPF 15 handy.

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