State, nation and world news 10-13-10


Around the State

Human skull found at yard sale

A Florida couple mistakenly bought a real human skull at a yard sale in Tampa. Their intention, Judith and Mitchell Fletcher said, was to buy Halloween decoration. When they brought the skull home, they realized they purchased a real skull for $8. A medical examiner confirmed the skeleton to be real. State law prohibits individuals from owning human bones, so the Fletchers won’t get the skull back.

Around the Nation

Drills in the Gulf rise again

The government plans to lift its six-month moratorium on deepwater oil drilling in the Gulf of Mexico “very soon” – probably this week, according to White House spokesman Robert Gibbs. New ordinances are said to be issued when the ban is lifted, including requirements for companies to demonstrate worst-case scenario disaster resolution strategies. “Operators who play by the rules and clear the higher bar can be allowed to resume,” Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said. Even though the ban is being lifted, immediately drilling is unlikely to resume for at least a month.

Around the World

Stem-cell therapy becomes reality

Stem-cell therapy has become a reality as of Oct. 8. Doctors injected embryonic human stem cells into a human patient who had been partially paralyzed by a spinal-cord injury. The patient was treated at Shepherd Center in Atlanta, one of seven sites studying stem-cell research to determine its safety. Scientists marked this as being the first time a human has been treated with stem cells. Some countries claim they can perform the procedure, but it is only known to be done on animals. However, moral objections to stem cells being taken from human embryos have already come out against the trial, and some have accused of Geron Corp., which funded the study, of only trying to inflate its share price. Even if the study is successful, the future of embryonic stem-cell research remains indefinite after a federal judge in August banned funding for any more studies.

Compiled by Spinnaker and wire services