Tornadoes Devastate Alabama
By Christy Box, Grade 10

In the end of April, several massive tornadoes swept through Alabama, leaving the cities of Tuscaloosa, Birmingham, and Cullman in wreckage. President Obama declared a state of emergency. The death toll is rising, and almost half a million were without power for days. The National Guard was sent in to search for survivors. It is reported to be the deadliest strain of tornadoes since 1932. The path of a single tornado in this storm was 175 miles long. Power, water, and phones were lost for days after the storm, affecting nearly one million people.

Tuscaloosa, home to the University of Alabama, was hit worst by a tornado that was estimated to be a mile wide. Entire streets are not just in rubble, but the buildings are gone completely. Classes have been canceled at finals time. Windows have been blown out across the entire city, even in the hospital. Hundreds of buildings and homes have been leveled. On top of that, gas leaks have been reported, as well as a shortage of water and gas. President Obama visited Tuscaloosa Friday, April 29 to show support for the devastated town.

Birmingham, Alabama’s largest city, was also hit with an EF-5 tornado. The damages are valued at about 10 million dollars. The tornado’s path through the area was a mile wide. Areas near Birmingham, such as Fultondale, were also hit.

Cullman, a small town in north Alabama, was a hotspot in the storm, as well. More than one tornado hit the downtown area of Cullman, leaving much of the town in rubble. Several churches, the historic district, and the courthouse were among the damaged buildings. Trees and power lines were downed all over the city.

Volunteers and companies have flooded these cities, as well as others damaged, with aid of all kinds. Efforts to rebuild have already begun.


Scientists Find Cure for Cancer
By Emily Smith, Grade 11

A new drug called EBC-46 could bring hope to all cancer patients around the world. The drug has proven to dramatically decrease the size of tumors in cats and dogs, and within only a week of injection.

"It is absolutely amazing to see this drug in action. The tumors almost shrink before your eyes…” says Dr Victoria Gordon, QBiotics’ chief executive.

In comparison to chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery the treatment has produced a low rate of trauma, and has resulted in relative ease for animal patients.

Unlike chemotherapy, EBC-46 pushes the body to destroy the tumor itself; therefore, negative side effects are minimal.  In addition, the drug is completely natural; it is derived from a rainforest plant found in the Atherton Tablelands in Queensland, Australia.

EBC-46 is now available to veterinary clinics; trials on human cancer patients began in early 2011.  The drug will be available to the public within six years.


5/13/2011 05:18:11 pm

WOAH! That cancer drug sounds amazing!

And this is yet another reason why we can't destroy the rainforest, folks. :D


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