Tag Archive: Discovery Channel


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We all know that recycling is a good thing. But recycling sewage water?

According to Discovery News, the drought in Texas has gotten so desperate that the town of Big Spring is considering recycling toilet water for its 27,000 residents.While it sounds unusual (and more than a little gross) it’s not that uncommon. NASA for example, has a system where they filter urine directly to salvage water. 

(PHOTOS: Drought in China)

However, the process in Texas would work a little differently than NASA’s system. “We’re taking treated effluent (wastewater), normally discharged into a creek, and blending it with (traditionally supplied potable) water,” Big Spring’s district manager, John Gran, told Discovery.

Which might not be enough to reassure the squeamish, but with less than 0.1 inches of rain in the region for months, you do what you have to do.

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Tuthankamen

According to a group of geneticists in Switzerland from iGENEA, the DNA genealogy center, as many as half of all European men and 70 percent of British men share the same DNA as the Egyptian Pharaoh Tutankhamun, or King Tut.

For a film created for the Discovery Channel, scientists worked to reconstruct the DNA of the young male King, his father Akhenaten and his grandfather Amenhotep III. They discovered that King Tut had a  that belongs to a group called haplogroup R1b1a2. This group can be found in over 50 percent of European men and shows the researchers that there is a .

This  group is also found in 70 percent of Spanish males and 60 percent of French males however, it is only present in less than one percent of men in modern-day Egyptian men.

The R1b1a2 DNA haplogroup is believed to have originated in the region some 9500 years ago and spread to Europe with the spread of agriculture in 7000BC. Researchers are unsure as to how and when the group first came to Egypt. They believe the reasoning the R1b1a2 haplogroup is rarely found in modern-day Egypt is due partially to European immigration throughout the last 2000 years.

iGENEA plans to continue to search for more DNA lineage and are looking to discover King Tut’s closest living relatives. They announced this week that they are selling a DNA service for between 139 and 399 euros and they will test the DNA of those people who are interested in seeing how related to King Tut they may be. This offer, according to Roman Scholz who is the director of iGENEA, has already gained a lot of interest.

Jose Mestre and sister Guida

Above: Jose Mestre and his sister Guida in London. Pictures below show Jose aged 14 when the tumor was still small, and as he is now.
A victim of horrific facial disfigurement – known as “the man with no face” – has been given new hope by the advancement of medical science.

Jose Mestre, from Lisbon, Portugal, has been losing his face to a huge growth for the past 35 years, distorting it out of all recognition – and it’s still growing.

The tumor on 51-year-old Jose’s face is a collection of blood vessels that have expanded, producing a raised red area on the skin.

Jose was born with a strawberry-coloured birthmark on his upper lip. At puberty it began growing, eventually smothering his lips, nose and one of his eyes. Now it is 33cm long and weighs 3kg.

But Jose’s religious faith – as a Jehovah’s Witness he refuses to accept a blood transfusion – has prevented him from having surgery to remove the growth.

Jose’s rare condition was the subject of a Discovery Channel TV documentary ‘The Man With No Face’, part of the ‘My Shocking Story‘ series.

It reveals how top medical experts in London have now held out hope of helping Jose, a well-known figure around the streets of Lisbon.

A leading British surgeon has offered to treat Jose using ultrasound waves to coagulate the blood before the operation.

This should remove the risk of heavy bleeding – satisfying his religious beliefs about blood transfusions in the process.

Dr Iain Hutchison, of St Bartholomew‘s in London, is confident an operation with a harmonic scalpel could make him look a lot more normal.

Discovery Channel said: “Surrounded by a loving family, it seems incredible that he has not been treated and his face was allowed to grow so big. However, through years of medical misinformation, some misdiagnosis, lack of finances, and reluctance to undergo treatment due to religious beliefs, the growth has continued to obliterate his face.”

My Shocking Story follows Jose on a journey through Europe to seek medical advice for one last chance to stop his face from suffocating him.

In this journey of a lifetime he travels by train, via Paris, to Britain, to meet the top experts in London. He goes through a series of tests, consultations, and meets other patients with a similar affliction. In London he also spends time with his sister Guida and the rest of his family, enjoys being a tourist in London, while making the biggest decision of his life.

Jose’s dream is to live a long and normal life. Following the showing of the Discovery documentary he continues to adhere to his ‘no blood transfusion’ religious principles. But he has agreed to go back to the London hospital in 2008, when doctors hope to carry out specialist surgery to begin removing parts of his tumor, without the need for blood transfusions.

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