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Two asteroids and two comets to buzz Earth

Astronomers are gearing up for thrills this year when Earth gets buzzed by two rogue asteroids and two comets, including a wanderer last seen by the forerunners of mankind. The guardians who scour the heavens for dangerous space rocks are currently closely tracking an asteroid called 99942 Apophis. Named after…

Robots find Barrier Reef coral at extreme depths, amazing ocean scientists

Living coral found at 125 metres, four times deeper than scuba limit Robots have found living coral on the Great Barrier Reef at a depth four times greater than most scuba divers can reach and far beyond the depth at which scientists expected to find them. A team from the…

What’s going on around Andromeda? Curious structure puzzles scientists.

Thirteen dwarf galaxies are playing a cosmic-scale game of Ring Around Andromeda, forming an enormous structure astronomers have never seen before and are hard-pressed to explain with current theories of how galaxies form and evolve. According to current theories, the small galaxies, which contain…  …

France to use algae to create green buildings

France will soon move forward with an effort to use algae to make buildings more energy efficient and help the country meet quickly-approaching environmental goals, reported Al Jazeera English. “Jean-Louie Kindler wants to breed algae in tubes on roofs and sides of apartment and office blocks, starting with his own.…

Can science explain the ‘empathy deficit’ ?

The US president claims the ‘empathy deficit’ is a more pressing problem than the federal deficit, but, says Mark Honigsbaum, empathy may be merely a product of changing scientific fashions In 2011, researchers at the University of Chicago conducted a simple experiment to ascertain whether a rat would release another…

France issues first-ever regulations for nano-particles

France has become the first country in Europe to require manufacturers to identify use of nano-particles, the extremely fine grains that are increasingly found in drugs and consumer products. Manufacturers must make a declaration if they used at least 100 grammes (3.52 ounces) of nano-particles in products that were imported,…

Study says El Nino, climate change link fuzzy

The frequency and volatility of El Nino, a weather pattern that hammers the tropical Pacific Ocean every five years or so, does not seem linked to climate change, said US research released Thursday. The study involved scientists measuring the monthly growth of ancient coral fossils found on two tropical Pacific…

‘Black Beauty’ meteorite could yield Martian secrets

A fist-sized meteorite nicknamed “Black Beauty” could unlock vital clues to the evolution of Mars from the warm and wet place it once was to its current cold and dry state, NASA said Thursday. Discovered in Morocco’s Sahara Desert in 2011, the 11-ounce (320-gram) space rock contains 10 times more…

Researchers cast doubt on long-held theory of how bacteria become drug-resistant

Researchers have disproved a long-held theory about how some bacteria survive antibiotics and opened the door to new treatments to fight drug-resistant bugs, a study released Thursday said. Using a technique called microfluidics, scientists revealed that — contrary to the explanation that has held for more than 50 years —…

French watchdog criticizes new birth control pills over blood clot risk

A French watchdog has sharpened its attack on newer-generation contraceptive pills, demanding curbs on their use to help reduce the risk of dangerous blood clots. The National Drugs Safety Agency (ANSM) says doctors are over-prescribing so-called 3rd and 4th generation birth-control pills, some of which are now the target of…

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