Girl who stayed a tot dies
A girl who was born with an extremely rare condition that kept her a toddler for life has died at the age of 20, her father said on Wednesday. Brooke Greenberg, whose rare condition was sometimes called syndrome X, raised scientists’ hope of unlocking the secret to aging. She died last week of a lung illness, Howard Greenberg said. “We are going to remember her every day. She was a very, very, very special child,” he said. Brooke, who lived in Maryland with her parents and three sisters, stayed about the size of a two-year-old for life. Only her hair and nails grew, according to an ABC news report. She had the mental capacity of a one-year-old and weighed about 7kg. Brooke was unable to speak, but communicated her wants and needs through vocalization and mannerisms. One of her physicians, Richard Walker, told ABC that he had seen minimal changes in Brooke’s brain over time. If scientists could decipher a genetic mutation that made Brooke the way she was, perhaps it could be tested in lab animals to help unlock the secrets of aging and mortality, Walker said. Greenberg said his family was never aware of other children who had the same condition as their daughter. “We have been told that she was one of 6.7 billion people,” he said.
Man wins millions again
A man who won a multimillion-dollar jackpot playing the Florida Lotto has done it again. The Florida Lottery says 67-year-old James Bozeman Jr has claimed a US$3 million jackpot from the drawing held on Aug. 31. Last year, Bozeman claimed a US$10 million jackpot. He purchased both winning tickets from the same convenience store. Bozeman says he started using a different set of numbers since the last time he won and is looking forward to picking a third lucky set for the next drawing.
Chavez ‘appears’ in tunnel
Former Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez may have died in March, but his successor says the comandante is still around — most recently in an image of his face that appeared on a subway tunnel. Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro said on Wednesday workers in the tunnel saw the image come and go, and he showed a photo of the alleged visage in a rally in Caracas. “Look at the figure, a face. This picture was taken by the workers,” he said, smiling. “Chavez is everywhere.” Maduro said during the election campaign in April that he had seen Chavez incarnated as “a little bird.” Since then in several speeches he has imitated the tweeting of a bird to allude to Chavez. In June, Maduro said Chavez tends to appear to him in the mountains that overlook Caracas.
Coldest place revealed
The coldest place in the universe — just one degree above absolute zero, the temperature at which all atoms freeze — is the Boomerang Nebula, astronomers in Chile said on Wednesday. It is about 5,000 light years away in the Centaurus constellation, the scientists at the Atacama Large Millimeter-submillimeter Array (ALMA) observatory said. The nebula is “colder, in fact, than the faint afterglow of the Big Bang, which is the natural background temperature of space,” the statement explained. It runs a temperature of one Kelvin (minus-272°C), making it “the coldest known object in the universe,” the astronomers said. The image was captured by the ALMA — a telescope installed on a plateau 5,000m high in the Atacama desert.