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Europe’s Herschel telescope bows out after successful mission

Europe’s deep-space Herschel telescope has given up the ghost — running out of coolant after a successful mission to observe the birth of stars and galaxies, the European Space Agency said Monday. “Herschel has made over 35,000 scientific observations, amassing more than 25,000 hours’ worth of science data from about…

Mediterranean diet found to reduce risk of dementia

A Mediterranean-style diet packed with fish, chicken and olive oil and low on fatty dairy products and meat may lower the risk of memory problems later in life, a large US study said on Monday. But the beneficial effects of eating a diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids do not…

Sharp bee population decline forces EU to consider ban on pesticides

A key committee of EU experts was meeting on Monday to mull a two-year ban on pesticides blamed for a sharp and worrying decline in bee populations. European Union sources have told AFP that a decision to suspend the use of certain pesticides is likely following the closed-door talks between…

China rapidly becoming global climate change leader

China is rapidly assuming a global leadership role on climate change alongside the United States, a new study said Monday, but it warned greenhouse gas emissions worldwide continue to rise strongly. The report by the independent Australian-based Climate Commission, “The Critical Decade: International Action on Climate Change” presents an overview…

Canadian biochemist probing health benefits of eating mucus

A Canadian scientist is looking to pick students willing to pick their noses — for research purposes, that is. Nature World News reported on Thursday that biochemist Scott Napper’s goal is to determine whether eating one’s own mucus can provide health benefits. Specifically, Napper wants to test the theory that…

Big brains, no fur, sinuses … are these clues to our ancestors’ lives as ‘aquatic apes’?

David Attenborough joins growing body of scientific support for theory that could explain one of the great leaps of human evolution It is one of the most unusual evolutionary ideas ever proposed: humans are amphibious apes who lost their fur, started to walk upright and developed big brains because they…

Ideomotor effect: The driving force behind Ouija boards and fake bomb detectors

The bomb detectors sold by James McCormick exploit a well known psychological phenomenon that can fool the unwary This week businessman James McCormick was convicted of fraud after making £50m selling fake bomb detectors to security forces in Iraq and many other countries around the world. The detectors were said…

The hidden dangers of legal highs

In the last five years, the market for legal highs has exploded. It’s never been easier, or cheaper, to buy drugs online – but no one knows what’s in them, or how dangerous they are. Mike Power investigates For most of the last decade, an average of four or five…

Cargo vessel docks at space station despite antennae mishap

An unmanned cargo vehicle on Friday successfully docked with the International Space Station, in a delicate manoeuvre after its navigation antenna failed to properly deploy following launch, Russian mission control and NASA said. Russian cosmonauts Roman Romanenko and Pavel Vinogradov first oversaw a so-called partial “soft docking” of the Progress…

Christian man insists terminally-ill atheist ‘sinner’ will ‘go to hell’ for assisted suicide

An atheist woman with an incurable brain disease took her own life on Thursday in spite of Christians who insisted that she was a “sinner” and would “go to hell” if she went through with the assisted suicide. The Winnipeg Free Press‘ Lindor Reynolds reported that 72-year-old Susan Griffiths made…

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