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A Nor`easter Strikes the U.S.; A Huge Colony of Penguins is Found in Antarctica; A Young Biologist Works on a New Method of Identifying Certain Cancers

Aired March 5, 2018 - 04:00   ET


CARL AZUZ, CNN 10 ANCHOR: Hi, I`m Carl Azuz with CNN 10. Welcome to the show.

As we begin a new week of news coverage, the Northeastern U.S. has taken one punch from a powerful storm and it`s bracing for another could strike

midway through the week. Americans from Virginia to Massachusetts and every state in between are taking stock of the damage from a Nor`easter.

On the coast, streets are flooded and homes are underwater. At least six people have been killed.

Over the weekend, shingles of roofs were peeled by winds gusting higher than 90 miles per hour. That`s the strength of a category one hurricane.

And one resident of Massachusetts says the beach is all over his front yard.

But for all the problems it`s causing, it`s not unusual for a storm like this to strike at a time like this.


JENNIFER GRAY, AMS METEOROLOGIST: A nor`easter occurs within the most crowded coast line of the United States, the Northeast, and they can occur

any time of year but are most common between the months of September and April. That`s when weather conditions are primed for a nor`easter.

SUBTITLE: What is a Nor`easter?

GRAY: You start with a low. It`s going to travel from the Southeast to the Northeast and intensify. Nor`easters are strongest around New England

as well as the Canadian Maritime Provinces.

Now, we have very warm water in the Gulf of Mexico and all around the coast of Florida, it`s going to warm the air above it and that warm air is going

to clash with very cold air coming in from the north. Now, nor`easters carry winds out of the Northeast at about 58 miles per hour or more. And

keep in mind, the wind direction out of the Northeast is what defines a nor`easter.

It`s also going to cause beach erosion, as well as coastal flooding and very, very rough ocean conditions.

Now, not all nor`easter have snow, but some of the most memorable ones have dumped lots of it.


AZUZ: The National Weather Service says the next nor`easter could hit on Wednesday or Thursday. It addition to high winds and waves, heavy snow

could also be a part of it. That`s especially concerning for the places that were already damaged over the weekend. Last night, power companies

said more than 400,000 people had no electricity.

And to give you a sense of how unstable the first storm made the atmosphere, have a look at this jet trying to land in a crosswind in

Washington, D.C., and how much the pilot tried to adjust before he or she decided to postpone the landing.

More than 3,000 flights in and out of the Northeast had to be cancelled. And the effects of this system were felt as far west as Ohio, which like

New England saw large amounts of snowfall.


RYAN YOUNG, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Coastal communities in Massachusetts pounded by monster waves. High tide sent water rolling down

streets and into homes. In Quincy, dozens of residents had to be rescued by trucks and scooped up by front loaders. Christine Way-Cotter was one of

those getting a ride out of danger.

CHRISTINE WAY-COTTER, RESCUED IN FLOOD: It was kind of scary because we were the ones standing up on it and having to hold on. So, but, you know,

we`re lucky. It`s just things that will get lost.

YOUNG: Storm conditions are expected to improve on Saturday, but the wind is still a factor, so is coastal flooding. Near Portland, Maine, storm

surge left this home teetering on the edge of the Atlantic Ocean.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The plan is to lift it and move it back a little bit, I believe. But it`s a lot of things that have to happen before that happens.

So we`re just trying to keep it from going anyway.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You feel bad for the people, but that comes with having a house on the water. Ocean wins, you lose.

YOUNG: Another issue is power outages. In Watertown, Massachusetts, high winds made power lines fall like dominos.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We had traffic lights all over town that were out and affected by this grid. But the first responding (INAUDIBLE) trouble man,

he isolated the area and have them shut the circuit off because as you can see, the wires were overcast. It was pretty dangerous, dangerous


YOUNG: One woman in Brockton, Massachusetts, says her son is lucky to be alive. He was sitting in the backseat of a car when a tree came crashing


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The house shook and then we heard a noise. We didn`t know what it was. We ran out, and my son was still in the car with the

tree on top of it.



AZUZ (voice-over): Ten-second trivia:

In groups, what kind of animal is known as a "raft" on water and a "waddle" on land?

Penguin, goose, seal, or turkey?

Of these options, the only animal that`s a raft on water and a waddle on land is the penguin.


AZUZ: So, this would be a huge waddle of penguins. Groups of them are also called colonies and scientists say this is a super colony of more than

1.5 million penguins. Specifically, they`re Adelie Penguins, relatively small penguins that live in Antarctica. Though their populations have been

decreasing in other parts of the Antarctic Peninsula, satellite images indicated a lot of them were here, and scientists got to the islands in

late 2015 to see and count for themselves.

Their findings were just published this month. They say the colony was previously undiscovered because the island is so remote that the birds just

kind of flew under the radar, get it? And the fact that the penguins are so isolated might have helped their numbers grow. Scientists are hoping

the site will be designated as a marine protected area as they continue to study the birds here.

Will the work of an American teenager helped doctors identify the early stages of pancreatic cancer? The disease is highly dangerous, and highly

mysterious. The pancreas, a pear-shaped organ located behind the stomach helps the body digest food and regulate blood sugar.

But when it develops cancer, it`s hard to identify, hard to threat and hard to stop. More than seven out of 10 people with pancreatic cancer die

within a year of being diagnosed.

That motivated Jack Andraka to search for a better way to identify it.


JACK ANDRAKA, SCIENTIST AND RESEARCHER: Pancreatic cancer detection is really difficult. All the methods that we`re currently using can only

detect the cancer where it`s in the latest stages, when you have less than two percent chance of survival.

My name is Jack Andraka. I`m 21. I`m a global health researcher at Stanford University in California. And at age 15, I created a new way to

detect pancreatic, ovarian, and lung cancer that costs three cents and takes five minutes to run.

A close family friend who was like an uncle to me passed away from the disease. It was a really devastating tragedy and it really inspired me to

try and find new ways of detecting pancreatic cancer.

My breakthrough moment really came in my eighth grade biology class. I was reading this article and all these really impressive properties of these

narrow (ph) materials and at the same time we are learning about these certain classes of biological molecules. And all of a sudden, I was just

like, what if I combine these two ideas?

I contacted 200 different professors. I got 199 rejections. It was about like eight months since my lab work. Nothing had been working.

But then I did my tenth test of like this test strip and finally plotting the results. It worked out into this beautiful curve. It was just one of

the happiest moments of my life.

It`s based of these amazing properties of nanoparticles that only react to one specific molecule. In this case, a protein that circulates in your

blood when you have these cancers. So what you do when you combine them, you end up with a carbon substance that will only react to that one protein

that indicates that you have a cancer.

It can actually detect pancreatic, ovarian, and lung cancer all simultaneously. Also simply switch off one component of it, it can detect

entire different diseases, Alzheimer`s, other forms of cancer, even HIV/AIDS and heart disease.

So, so far, we`ve run a couple of preliminary experiments with this test strip and it has over 90 percent accuracy in the sample size. Things

change in clinical trials but it`s going to be a lot more accurate. There are existing tests and test around 60 to 70 percent accurate.

It`s really been a life-changing experience. At age 15, one typically doesn`t get to skip school to go to the White House.



ANDRAKA: It`s been a really amazing experience and it really changed how I live my life. I didn`t even know what pancreas was when I started this.

So if I could create a new way to detect pancreatic cancer at age 13, just imagine what you can do.


AZUZ: In Northern Michigan, it`s so cold, even the ice has turned blue. Here`s what that looks like in the Straits of Mackinac, which operate the

Great Lakes of Michigan and Huron.

A windstorm caused large chunks of ice to pile up, and it appears blue because it`s so dense, it doesn`t have the tiny air bubbles in it that the

ice and your freezer has. Without the air bubbles to make it look white, the ice reflects the blue part of light more easily.

So, it`s like the blue light is locked up in prism. As far as we can see, it`s only a big deal in the visible spectrum of things and we`re glad we

can shed light on something that might have been mysterice. It makes for a colorful conclusion ROYGBI-fore we go for the day.

I`m Carl Azuz for CNN 10.