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Analysis casts doubt on marijuana’s link to IQ decline

A longitudinal study that found teens who smoked marijuana had lower IQ scores in adulthood has been challenged by a researcher at the Frisch Centre for Economic Research in Norway. In an analysis published online by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Ole Røgeberg said the original study…

Volcano lava flows worry Italian island

Spectacular lava flows and smoke from an active volcano on the Italian island of Stromboli on Monday sparked fear among inhabitants but geophysicists said the situation was under control. Stromboli is part of the seven-island Eolian Archipelago just off Sicily in southern Italy. The volcano is active but on Monday…

Scientists calculate ‘Star Wars’ hyperspace jump is impossible

Remember that dazzling moment in the “Star Wars” movies when the Millennium Falcon goes into hyperspace and a kaleidoscope of stars streaks past the ship? Sadly — like a lot of things in sci-fi movies — that really wouldn’t happen, a team of British science students have calculated. Han Solo,…

EU releases all data used to clear genetically modified corn’s link to cancer

The EU’s food safety agency challenged its doubters on Monday, making available all the scientific information used to clear a genetically modified corn which a French researcher had linked to cancer. The European Food Safety Authority said that “given the level of public interest … (it would) make all data…

Study: Children who eat lots of fast food more likely to develop asthma

Children who frequently eat fast food are far likelier to have severe asthma compared to counterparts who tuck into fruit, a large international study published on Monday said. Researchers asked nearly half a million teenagers aged 13-14 and children aged six and seven about their eating habits and whether in…

DNA test reveals hair and eye color of unnamed Nazi prison victims

A new DNA test can restore at least part of the identity of long-dead people who left no trace of their image, scientists reported on Monday. The technique has revealed the hair and eye colours of unknown individuals slaughtered as sub-humans by the Nazis and of a mystery woman buried…

Tens of millions could face droughts and floods due to carbon emissions: report

Tens of millions of people may be spared droughts and floods by 2050 if Earth-warming carbon emissions peak in 2016 rather than 2030, scientists said on Sunday. Climate researchers in Britain and Germany said emission cuts now would delay some crippling impacts by decades and prevent some altogether. By 2050,…

Fire threatens top Australian telescope site Siding Spring Observatory

Australia’s top research observatory home to several telescopes used by scientists from around the world was under threat from wildfires on Sunday as hot weather and lightning storms stoked scores of new blazes. The Rural Fire Service (RFS) of New South Wales, Australia’s most populous state, issued an emergency warning…

Is there life on moons?

In “Avatar,” James Cameron envisaged an alien moon supporting life. Now, scientists believe such a scenario is as likely as life on another planet, writes Robin McKie. The inhabitants of Pandora, in James Cameron’s science-fiction epic Avatar, were a remarkable lot. Blue-skinned giants living in harmony with nature, they give…

Why IBM’s ‘Watson’ supercomputer can’t speak slang

A supposedly sophisticated computer failed to correctly use the risque terms in Urban Dictionary. So is slang the last frontier for artificial intelligence? “OMG, that’s a bullshit question. Eat one, you doofus.” One as-yet-to-be-determined day in the future, computers will talk back to us in this manner. But, thankfully, it…

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