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Fecal transplant more effective than antibiotics for bacterial infection: study

While many people might be more comfortable taking pills to fight off a dangerous infection, it turns out that there may be a more effective treatment: excrement. A new study found that fecal transplants can be a dramatically more effective course of treatment than antibiotics in the case of at…

Gene study hopes to settle debate over origin of European Jews

Jews of European origin are a mix of ancestries, with many hailing from tribes in the Caucasus who converted to Judaism and created an empire that lasted half a millennium, according to a gene study. The investigation, its author says, should settle a debate that has been roiling for more…

BP estimates that U.S. will be energy self-sufficient by 2030

LONDON — The United States will become almost self-sufficient for its energy needs by 2030, boosted by shale oil and gas output and slowing demand, British energy giant BP forecast on Wednesday. “By 2030, increasing production and moderating demand will result in the United States being 99-percent self-sufficient in net…

Scientists: ‘Supergene’ explains complex fire ant social structure

The complex social structure of the red fire ant, a fast-spreading invasive insect with a painful bite, is made possible by a DNA fusion known as a supergene, biologists said Wednesday. It is the first study to link supergenes to animal behaviour, the scientists reported in the journal Nature, and…

EU hints at banning insecticides over threat to bees

The European Commission hinted on Wednesday that it could ban several insecticides, some made by German chemicals giant Bayer, after scientists found disturbing evidence of harm to bees. The EU’s food safety agency had reported “disturbing conclusions on three types of insecticides,” a spokesman for EU Health Commissioner Tonio Borg…

WHO: Dengue fever shows potential for global epidemic

The World Health Organisation said on Wednesday that it had charted progress in the fight against tropical diseases but warned that dengue fever was spreading at an alarming rate. “In 2012, dengue ranked as the fastest spreading vector-borne viral disease, with an epidemic potential in the world, registering a 30-fold…

Renewable energy at 15 percent but 2030 targets unlikely

The share of renewables in the global energy mix has increased over the past decade to more than 15 percent but doubts remain over whether a 2030 target of 30 percent is achievable, delegates to an international conference said on Wednesday. Fossil fuels still account for 80 percent of world…

Soot is number two cause of global warming

Soot is the second-biggest human contributor to global warming behind carbon dioxide, and its impact on climate change has until now been sharply underestimated, a new study has revealed. In the study published Tuesday in the Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres, researchers admit that the uncertainties on the impact of…

Social capital explains why conservatives are happier than liberals: study

Those with a more conservative political orientation are happier because they have greater access to social capital, according to research published last month in Social Psychological and Personality Science. In a study of 925 undergraduate students, University of Queensland psychologist Jolanda Jetten and her colleagues found that conservatives tended to…

Former USGS scientist: Coastal cities are ‘sitting ducks’ for next big storm

Marcia McNutt, who resigned as director of the US Geological Survey, says Hurricane Sandy has left communities exposed Cities on the United States east coast are “sitting ducks” for the next big storm because of the destruction wrought by Hurricane Sandy, one of Barack Obama’s top scientists warned on Tuesday.…

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