Wednesday, February 20, 2008 - Killer fungus crosses strait - Killer fungus crosses strait

Map shows cryptococcal disease infections since 1999 in humans (red dots), animals (blue squares) and marine mammals (blue whales).
B.C. Centre for Disease Control

A deadly tropical fungus that first colonized eastern Vancouver Island is now believed to have spread to the Lower Mainland.

Researchers say the number of cases of infected people and animals in Greater Vancouver and the lower Fraser Valley suggests cryptococcus gattii has crossed Georgia Strait.

Since 1999 a total of 217 B.C. residents have been infected with cryptococcal disease, a lung infection that can result when people or animals breathe in airborne spores released by the fungus.

Eight people have died.

"There are an increasing number of people who live on the mainland who are getting sick," said Dr. Eleni Galanis, an epidemiologist with the B.C. Centre for Disease Control.

Until recently, researchers thought those people encountered the fungus while travelling on Vancouver Island or in the tropics, not close to home.

But six people who hadn't travelled anywhere the fungus is found were infected between 2004 and 2006 – one from the Sunshine Coast, two from Greater Vancouver and three from the Fraser Valley.

Engineering Warfare: A Close Look at Biological and Chemical Warfare

Engineering Warfare: A Close Look at Biological and Chemical Warfare

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization handbook dealing with biological warfare defense lists 39 agents, including bacteria, viruses, rickettsiae, and toxins, that could be used as biological weapons. Examining the relationship between aerosol infectivity and toxicity versus quantity of agent illustrates the requirements for producing equivalent effects and narrows the spectrum of possible agents that could be used to cause large numbers of causalities. For example, the amount of agent needed to cover a 100-km2 area and cause 50% lethality is 8 metric tons for even a "highly toxic" toxin such as ricin versus only kilogram quantities of anthrax needed to achieve the same coverage. Thus, deploying an agent such as ricin over a wide area, although possible, becomes impractical from a logistics standpoint, even for a well-funded organization.

The potential impact on a city can be estimated by looking at the effectiveness of an aerosol in producing downwind casualties. The World Health Organization in 1970 modeled the results of a hypothetical dissemination of 50 kg of agent along a 2-km line upwind of a large population center. Anthrax and tularemia are predicted to cause the highest number of dead and incapacitated, as well as the greatest downwind spread. A government study estimated that about 200 pounds of anthrax released upwind of Washington, D.C., could kill up to 3 million people.

Some say that the AIDS virus was engineered. There is a close connection between the rise of genetic engineering and mixing of viruses in the early 1970s and the outbreak of HIV in the late 1970s. This connection persists in the form of the many unprecedented "emerging diseases" caused by "new viruses" that continue up to the present time.

Symptoms of avian influenza in humans have ranged from typical human influenza-like symptoms (e.g., fever, cough, sore throat, and muscle aches) to eye infections, pneumonia, severe respiratory diseases (such as acute respiratory distress), and other severe and life-threatening complications. The symptoms of avian influenza may depend on which virus caused the infection. Studies done in laboratories suggest that some of the prescription medicines approved in the United States for human influenza viruses should work in treating avian influenza infection in humans. However, influenza viruses can become resistant to these drugs, so these medications may not always work. Additional studies are needed to demonstrate the effectiveness of these medicines.

these were just clips of a very large article please visit the link for all the information.

Inflation Is Back As An Issue - Trader Talk with Bob Pisani -

Pre Market Trader Talk with Bob Pisani -

Inflation Is Back As An Issue

Futures were already down on the poor mortgage news (both purchases and refinancings were below expectations, and 30-year mortgage rates are now over 6 percent). They dropped again at 8:30 AM when core CPI came in at 0.3 percent in January, the biggest increase since June 2006.

This is not welcome news, as Tony Crescenzi points out, since what the market needs now is low rates to help the housing market and inflation worries will work against that.

Then we have the commodity problem. Good news for commodity stocks, bad news for consumers. Natural gas, for example, sitting right at two-year highs, up again today.

Add to this the news from last week that the price of imported goods from China was actually rising, and you have inflation back as an issue. All this will show up in February inflation numbers, which won't be pretty on headline basis.

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NYSE Arca Morning Update pre market

NYSE Arca Morning Update pre market

NYSE Arca Morning Update for Wednesday, Feb 20, 2008 :

Stocks trading on NYSE Arca at a price more than 15% away from the previous trade day's consolidated close price. (As of 08:30:00 ET)

Tuesday's Close Current Price Pct Chng Current NYSE Arca Vol



( 25%)





( 20%)





( 17%)


10 Most Active stocks on NYSE Arca as of 08:30:00 ET

Based on Dollar Volume: Based on Share Volume:
Dollar Volume
Share Volume

Pre-Market Gappers

Gapping up:

GRMN +9.4%, HPQ +5.0%, IRBT +4.6%, TMS +4.1%, AXYS +3.9%, ADSK +2.5%, WINN +2.3%, SIRF +1.4%, SHPGY +1.2%, MBI +1.2%, UBS +1.1%, UAM +1.0%...

Gapping down:

SHRP -30.6%, NTRI -25.1%, STP -17.6%, RMIX -16.9%, TRAK -16.1%, TXRH -15.2%, LLNW -14.9%, CROX -12.7%, NED -11.6%, VRAZ -8.0%, ARTC -6.5%, JASO -5.4%, SPWR -5.2%, YGE -5.0%, LDK -4.9%, VOD -4.0%, BHP -3.1%, SOLF -2.9%, FSLR -2.5%, T -2.5%, GSK -2.5%, ESLR -2.2%, WTW -2.0%.

Pre-Market Most Active Stocks - NASDAQ Premarket

Pre-Market Most Active Stocks - NASDAQ Premarket

NASDAQ - Pre-Market Ten Most Advanced

Active Share Volume Declined


Company Name

Last Sale (Pre-Market) % Change


Cell Genesys, Inc.
$2.83 $3.05 7.77% 150,639

Garmin Ltd.
$69.50 $74.19 6.75% 252,249

3Com Corporation
$3.73 $3.95 5.90% 8,000

IDM Pharma, Inc.
$3.14 $3.20 1.91% 24,040

SiRF Technology Holdings, Inc.
$7.11 $7.19 1.13% 30,121

Sigma Designs, Inc.
$40.39 $40.82 1.06% 5,400

Shire plc
$55.33 $55.89 1.01% 80,100

Randgold Resources Limited
$49.82 $50.15 0.66% 6,600

E*TRADE Financial Corporation
$5.01 $5.03 0.40% 19,396

NVIDIA Corporation
$21.94 $22 0.27% 85,485

As of 2/20/2008 8:18:48 AM

NASDAQ - Pre-Market Ten Most Declined

Active Share Volume Advanced


Company Name

Last Sale (Pre-Market) % Change


NutriSystem Inc
$23.89 $18.25 23.61% 14,470

Crocs, Inc.
$32.08 $28.40 11.47% 191,277

JA Solar Holdings, Co., Ltd.
$17.76 $16.63 6.36% 40,085

Canadian Solar Inc.
$22.31 $21 5.87% 14,576

SunPower Corporation
$75.97 $71.59 5.77% 28,429

China Sunergy Co., Ltd.
$8.56 $8.10 5.37% 10,500

Solarfun Power Holdings Co., Ltd.
$16.27 $15.56 4.36% 59,059

Evergreen Solar, Inc.
$10.30 $9.91 3.79% 21,952

DryShips Inc.
$83.85 $81.30 3.04% 12,375

First Solar, Inc.
$211.94 $206.30 2.66% 23,420

As of 2/20/2008 8:18:05 AM

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