The good news or the bad news, first?
Though I guess even the good news could sound unsettling. I liked it, though!
1. The bad news. In the nineteenth century,when easy-striking matches were made with white phosphorus, the factory workers, mostly women, developed the terrible (and fatal) disease known as "phossy jaw', from standing over the vats in which the matches were dipped,and breathing in the poisonous fumes. That led to the Matchgirls Strike of 1888
and involvement of Annie Besant and George Bernard Shaw,and William Booth (sounds like a quiz question, doesn't it? "what do these three people have in common?")... and within twenty years white phosophorus matches were replaced by red phosphorus "safety matches", and phossy jaw was seen no more.
The bad news is, it's back
. Medicines relating to osteoporosis and similar (oh, and some breast cancer medicines, too) turn out to be... well, implicated in the return. Weird... "phossy jaw". It's like hearing of the return of some old chimney-sweepers' disease. Something completely gone, and never to be seen again - but now it's back.
2. The good news. Good if you're an Immortal Jellyfish
. The Immortal Jellyfish has the ability, after reaching sexual maturity, to return to its more infantine state, and do it again and again
. Theoretically: immortal!!
a) they can be eaten by predators, or... general accidental death,
b) no precisely identified individual has been observed for longer than four years.
Still and all... looks like immortality!
And not only is it immortal, it is taking over the world... (cue spooky music.
) It originated in the Caribbean, but as sea-water has been taken up, for use as ship's ballast,and then discharged in various places across the world, the species is spreading. "We are looking at a worldwide silent invasion"
- quote from Dr. Maria Pia Miglietta, of the Smithsonian Tropical Marine Institute. Still, it's got to count as good news,if only for the name. The Immortal Jellyfish. :) Who could resist a creature with such a name?