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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.…

Breast cancer drugs proposed for ‘high-risk’ women

Women with a family history of breast cancer who are thought to be at greater risk of developing the disease could be offered drugs aimed at preventing it under draft guidelines published Tuesday. The National Institute of Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) has launched a consultation on proposals to recommend…

New York VA hospital exposes hundreds of veterans to HIV risk

More than 700 veterans may have been exposed to HIV, hepatitis B and hepatitis C due to improper use of insulin pens at a New York hospital. According to CNN, personnel at a Veterans’ Administration hospital in Buffalo, New York used the single-use injection pens on multiple patients, exposing them…

Japanese scientists breed salmon with surrogates from another species

Japanese scientists have successfully bred a type of salmon using surrogate parents of a different species, in a breakthrough that could help preserve endangered creatures, the chief researcher said Tuesday. Researchers froze the testes of the yamame salmon, a fish indigenous to Japan that lives its entire life in rivers,…

New species of flying frog discovered in Vietnam

An Australian researcher who discovered a new species of flying frog near Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam and named it after her mother said it was a rare find so close to such a big city. Helen’s Flying Frog was first discovered by Jodi Rowley, an amphibian expert from…

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