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Prof. Stephen Hawking tells students the universe does not need a God to exist

Former Cambridge Professor Stephen Hawking told students at Caltech this week that, contrary to the feelings of many God enthusiasts, the universe did not require a deity to create, nor does it require one to continue existing. Though his speech was supposed to be free of recording devices, some sly…

UN investigating possible human-to-human transmission of new deadly bird flu in Shanghai

Chinese health officials are reporting that the new H7N9 strain of influenza could be making the leap from animal-to-human infections to human-to-human cases. According to Reuters, the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention is analyzing “family clusters” of people who have fallen ill in hopes of understanding more about…

Using social pressure to drive voter turnout often backfires, study finds

Research published in the May issue of American Politics Research has confirmed what many have already suspected. Attempting to increase voter turnout through the use of social pressure can be a harmful campaign strategy, resulting in backlash against the candidate. “Efforts to motivate positive social behavior by using social pressure…

Infant Universe had massive ‘star factory’ galaxy churning out 3,000 stars per year

Light captured from when the Universe was still in its childhood has shown a massive galaxy that churned out nearly 3,000 stars per year, a rate 2,000 greater than our own Milky Way today, astronomers said on Wednesday. The galaxy, called HFLS3, has a mass of stars nearly 40 billion…

DNA blueprint of ‘living fossil’ coelacanth helps scientists track evolution of creatures from sea to land

Biologists on Wednesday said they had unravelled the DNA of the coelacanth, a “living fossil” fish whose ancient lineage can shed light on how life in the sea crept onto land hundreds of millions of years ago. Analysis of the coelacanth genome shows three billion “letters” of DNA code, making…

International Energy Agency warns: Lack of progress in clean energy could be catastrophic

Progress towards the use of cleaner fuel technology has stalled, with production of the world’s energy as “dirty” now as it was two decades ago, the International Energy Agency said Wednesday. Two-thirds of greenhouse gas emissions come from the energy sector and the lack of change should “serve as a…

Study: Belief in an angry God associated with variety of mental illnesses

People who believe in an angry, punishing God are much more likely to suffer from a variety of mental illnesses, a scientific study published in the April edition of Journal of Religion & Health finds. The study, conducted by Marymount Manhattan College Assistant Psychology Professor Nava Silton, used data from…

Were ‘hobbit’ hominids island dwarfs?

Japanese scientists on Tuesday waded into a row over so-called “hobbit” hominids whose remains, found on a remote Indonesian island a decade ago, have unleashed one of the fiercest disputes in anthropology. The most detailed computerised scan of a skull of Homo floresiensis — “Man of Flores” — backs theories…

Private firm Orbital Sciences ready for first launch of Antares rocket

Orbital Sciences, one of two private US firms chosen by NASA to shuttle cargo to the International Space Station, is preparing for the first launch of its Antares rocket Wednesday. The launch over the Atlantic ocean is scheduled for 5 pm (2100 GMT) from the Wallops flight facility from an…

Those who sing in a choir report less anxiety, study finds

Research published online this month in the scientific journal Psychology of Music has found those singing in a choir report a positive impact on their psychological health. “Singing in a choir is a leisure occupation performed by millions of people in different cultures which requires a collaborative action,” Ahmet Muhip…

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