This is SCIENCE IN THE NEWS in VOA Special
English. I'm Barbara Klein.
I'm Bob Doughty. On our show this week,
we will tell about what is being called the world's largest tornado experiment. We also will tell how a job loss can affect
your health. And, we tell about a simple
way to save lives.
are one of the most violent weather events on Earth. Each year, the severe winds of tornadoes kill
many people. The storms have been known
to carry homes, cars and trees from one place to another. And they can also destroy anything in their
tornado is a violently turning tube of air suspended from a thick cloud. It extends from a thunderstorm in the sky
down to the ground. The shape is like a
funnel: wide at the top, narrower at the bottom.
form when winds blowing in different directions meet in the cloud and begin to
turn in circles. Warm air rising from
below causes the wind tube to reach toward the ground. Because of their circular movement, these
severe windstorms are also known as twisters.
Tornadoes have been observed on every continent except
Antarctica. But weather experts say they are most common is the United States.
Each year, the United States
has more than one thousand tornadoes.
These storms can happen any time of the year. But most happen from late winter to the
middle of summer. There is a second high
season in November.
spring, warm air moves north and mixes with cold air remaining from
winter. In November, the opposite
happens. Cold weather moves south and
combines with the last of the warm air from summer.
can strike with little or no warning. Weather
experts operate warning systems to tell people about possible tornadoes. But the storms often move too fast for people
to flee. Last year, tornadoes killed
more than one hundred people in the United States.
injuries happen when flying objects hit people. Experts say the best place to be is in a small room, without windows, in
the middle of the lowest part of a building.
Last month, American scientists began work on a project
aimed at improving the ability to predict tornadoes. The project is said to be the largest tornado
study in history. It is called
Verification of the Origins of Rotation in Tornadoes Experiment Two. The shorter name is VORTEX2.
project covers an area of nearly one thousand five hundred kilometers in the
central United States. This area, from
west Texas to southwest Minnesota, is where the most violent tornadoes usually
happen. It is known as "Tornado Alley."
VORTEX2 involves a team of nearly one hundred
people, many of them scientists. They
are using radars and other equipment to learn more about how, why and where
tornadoes form. The team is using forty
cars and trucks to chase tornadoes, dropping measuring instruments in their
paths. In addition, unmanned aircraft
are collecting information from inside storms.
project costs more than eleven million dollars. Most of the money is coming from America's National Science Foundation.
first Vortex project took place in nineteen ninety-four and nineteen
ninety-five. The results helped
scientists better understand supercells. They are the severe thunderstorms that produce the most deadly and
destructive tornadoes. This time,
scientists hope to learn more about the formation, wind speed and shape of
study is to continue through June thirteenth. A second part of the study is planned for early next year. You can follow reports from scientists on the
project at tornadoscientists.blogspot.com.
You are listening to the VOA Special English program
SCIENCE IN THE NEWS. With Barbara Klein,
I'm Bob Doughty in Washington.
Millions of Americans have lost their jobs as a result
of the current recession. A new study
shows that losing your job can increase your risk of developing health
problems. These include heart disease,
heart attack, stroke, diabetes and high blood pressure.
have shown a link between job loss and worsened health. However it was unclear to researchers whether
unemployment caused poor health, or whether poor health led to job loss. The new study sought to discover the answer to
Kate Strully carried out the
study while she was at the Harvard School of Public Health. Currently, Miz Strully is a sociologist at
State University of New York. She examined
information from the United States Panel of Study of Income Dynamics. This study asks people across the country each
year about their health and employment.
examined information about more than eight thousand people. They were questioned in nineteen ninety-nine,
two thousand one and two thousand three. Miz Strully noted whether the subjects were
employed and then looked at their health eighteen months later.
The sociologist says she was looking for individuals
who reported becoming jobless for reasons out of their control, such as a
factory closing. She found that such
individuals who did not have health problems were eighty percent more likely to
report a new health problem after losing their job.
most common problems were high blood pressure or other conditions linked to
heart disease. Among all workers, the
possibility of someone reporting fair or poor health rose forty-four percent
after job loss and workplace closure.
The study's findings were reported in the publication
If a person's heart stops, would you know how to
perform CPR? CPR, or cardiopulmonary
resuscitation, can save a life and reduce the risk of brain damage from loss of
oxygen. With traditional CPR, you give
two breathes to force air into the lungs. Then you push hard on the chest thirty times. You repeat these two steps until the victim
wakes up or medical help arrives.
But people may worry about getting sick
from blowing into a stranger's mouth. Also,
the training is easy to forget, especially during an emergency. And those without training may not do anything
for fear that they will do something wrong.
Last year, the American Heart Association reformed its
guidelines for CPR. The group now calls
for hands-only CPR for adults who suddenly collapse. Here is how it works.
A person has collapsed unconscious on
the ground. The victim has lost color in
the face and does not appear to be breathing. These are signs of cardiac arrest. This is the time to begin CPR.
your hands, one on top of the other, on the center of the chest. Push hard and fast. Aim for a rate of about one hundred
compressions each minute. Chest
compressions keep the blood flowing to the brain, heart and other organs.
from two thousand five said only untrained people should use hands-only CPR. Those with training were told to use
traditional CPR. But now the heart
association says everyone should use hands-only CPR unless they feel strong
about their ability to do rescue breathing.
The rules were reformed after
three studies showed that the hands-only method was just as effective as
traditional CPR. Scientists say enough
oxygen remains in a person's system for several minutes after breathing stops.
the experts say you should still use traditional CPR with a combination of
breaths and compressions on babies and children. Traditional CPR should also be
used for adults found already unconscious and not breathing normally. And
traditional CPR should be used for any victims of drowning or collapse from
are all examples where CPR with mouth-to-mouth breathing may be more helpful
that hands-only CPR. Because there are many of these cases, people should still
learn CPR with mouth-to-mouth.
SCIENCE IN THE NEWS was written by Caty Weaver and Brianna Blake, who was also
our producer. I'm Barbara Klein.
I'm Bob Doughty. Read and listen to our programs at
again next week for more news about science in Special English on the Voice of