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Iowa Issues Warning to Cocktail Drinkers

That trendy Moscow Mule might pose a risk in copper mug

(Newser) - One of the most talked-about cocktails this week is the trendy Moscow Mule, but for all the wrong reasons. You can thank Iowa. The spate of headlines was kicked off by an official state health advisory warning that the drink, usually served in a copper mug, poses a health risk... More »

This Might Be World's First Polluted River

Researchers find riverbed with copper pollution from 7,000 years ago

(Newser) - It's no surprise that humans pollute their waterways, but now it appears we've been doing it a lot longer than thought. In a study published this month in Science of the Total Environment , researchers say they've found evidence of a polluted river from 7,000 years ago.... More »

How Copper Could Save Hospital Patients' Lives

Surfaces made from the metal can kill dangerous germs

(Newser) - One in 25 patients in US hospitals gets a new infection at the facility, according to the federal health department, and the numbers are three times that in non-industrialized countries, a Chilean researcher tells NPR . Healthcare-acquired infections, as they're known, can lead to longer hospital stays, increased treatment costs,... More »

Scientists Produce 'Coldest Cubic Meter in the Universe'

Project in Italy linked to study of matter and antimatter

(Newser) - If you're dreading the winter cold, know that things could be a lot worse. Scientists in Italy have cooled 880 pounds of copper to a temperature approaching absolute zero; that's 0 Kelvin, or -459.67 degrees Fahrenheit, Science Daily reports. The copper reached a temperature of -459.66... More »

This Tiny Copper Awl Is Rewriting History

Awl is oldest metal object ever found in Middle East

(Newser) - A small copper awl found in a woman's ancient grave in Israel is rewriting history. It's the oldest metal object ever found in the Middle East, and was probably owned by the apparently important 40-year-old woman buried with it in an extravagant Tel Tsaf grave, LiveScience reports. The... More »

Too Much Copper in Diet May Boost Alzheimer's Risk

Trick is finding the right balance, new study suggests

(Newser) - New research suggests that too much copper in our diets is harmful when it comes to Alzheimer's, reports the BBC . That's especially worrying because copper is so tough to avoid: It's found in fruits, vegetables, red meats, shellfish, vitamin supplements—and of course, water, thanks to copper... More »

Bad Hair Day? Blame Your Pipes

Copper may be the culprit

(Newser) - When you shake your fist in anger on a bad hair day, shake in the direction of your home's pipes. Scientists say copper might be the culprit, per research published in the International Journal of Cosmetic Science picked up by the Telegraph . The dastardly process: Copper found in pipes... More »

New Problem for Sandy Homeowners: Copper Bandits

At least 32 pipe thefts in one community: police

(Newser) - Homeowners in one Jersey shore community have already seen their houses ravaged by superstorm Sandy—and now copper bandits are adding insult to injury, NBC New York reports. Police say at least 32 copper pipe thefts have been reported in the area, many of them from still-vacant homes. And the... More »

Good News for Haiti: Gold!

Troubled nation starts digging for $20B fortune

(Newser) - What news for a nation blighted by poverty , disease , and a devastating earthquake : Haiti is home to lucrative gold mines. And copper and silver ones too. Potentially worth $20 billion, the precious metal finds are already creating hundreds of jobs and new roads, the AP reports. What's more, mining... More »

Copper Thieves Raid Lincoln's Tomb

Police suspect statue's sword ended up as scrap metal

(Newser) - Police in Illinois are looking for a thief who emancipated a 3-foot copper sword from a statue of a Civil War artilleryman at Abraham Lincoln's final resting place. Investigators believe the sword—which replaced a bronze one stolen from the same statue at Lincoln's tomb in the 1890s—... More »

Copper Thieves Ransack Light Poles in Florida

Drivers on I-95 taking dark rides

(Newser) - Drivers on stretches of I-95 in Florida may have been wondering whether their headlights were fading, but it turns out that copper thieves are to blame for some dark rides of late. Somebody's been stealing the wiring from highway light poles, presumably to sell for scrap, reports CBS Miami.... More »

McCain Leans Right Ahead of Primary

Conservative foe expected to attack on spending, immigration

(Newser) - John McCain is shimmying to the right and focusing on local Arizona issues ahead of what could be a tough primary challenge from former congressman JD Hayworth. A recent poll has McCain’s favorable rating at just 40%, the lowest since 1994 when he was embroiled in the Keating Five... More »

In Afghanistan, We Fight and Die, China Wins

In fact, Beijing comes out ahead whether we stay or go

(Newser) - American and Chinese interests seem to be conveniently aligned in Afghanistan, writes Robert D. Kaplan. By securing the country, NATO forces have allowed China access to vast mineral deposits and trade routes to the Indian Ocean. In turn, Chinese companies employ Afghan workers, stabilizing the economy and hence the nation.... More »

Chile's Thrift Pays Off as Downturn Bites Elsewhere

Finance minister hailed for dodging commodity bubble

(Newser) - Chile's thrifty finance minister is starting to look like a prophet as spendthrift, "grasshopper" economies founder around him, the Wall Street Journal reports. Andres Velasco's tight grip on the country's copper revenue during the commodities boom made him and his party deeply unpopular at the time, but the country... More »

Meet the Men Who Make Oscars

Spotlight misses Chicago workers behind Hollywood's most coveted trophy

(Newser) - Come Feb. 22, Hollywood will be fêting the stars who take home the Oscars—but there’s little chance any of the acceptance speeches will thank the guys who made the statues. From Martin Vega, who melts pewter alloy for the hardware, to Eladio Gonzalez, who gives Oscar his... More »

Oil Prices Plunge to 5-Year Low

OPEC expected to slash production to push up prices

(Newser) - Oil prices continue to plunge as demand slackens amid the global economic downturn. Oil has dropped 19% drop this week, the biggest weekly decline in five years, reports Bloomberg. Prices have tumbled 70% since reaching a record $147.27 in July, and  some predict prices may dip as low as... More »

Construction Theft Is Building Concern

$5B in annual losses drive home prices up by as much as 10%

(Newser) - Increasing theft of building materials from construction sites, especially residential projects, is driving up the cost of homes to consumers as much as 10%, the New York Times reports. Experts say as much as $5 billion a year is being lost to thieves looking to profit from skyrocketing prices for... More »

Sculpture Thieves Seek Scrap Metal

Commodity prices driving thefts; more artists steering clear

(Newser) - A wave of sculpture thefts has little to do with the pieces’ artistic merit: Police believe they’ve been stolen for their valuable copper content, the Wall Street Journal reports. In the past 18 months, three public artworks displayed in Brea, Calif., have disappeared—and the trend is appearing across... More »

Broken Tech Becomes Gold Mine, Literally

Commodity prices have 'urban miners' panning discarded electronics

(Newser) - No matter how broken it is, your old cell phone is still valuable to some people. That’s because it, like most electronics, is loaded with copper, iridium, gold, and other commodities that are becoming more expensive by the day. “To some it's just a mountain of garbage, but... More »

Steal the Pipes, Ditch the House

As metal prices soar and housing prices dives, thieves find value in copper

(Newser) - Rising metal prices have rendered some foreclosed homes worth less than their plumbing, and thieves are stripping the vacant abodes of copper, aluminum, and brass to fuel a lucrative overseas trade. Several states have hardened penalties for metal theft, but skyrocketing nonferrous metals prices have thieves risking steel cages for... More »

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