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Australia plans drill of ancient Antarctic ice core to search for scientific ‘holy grail’

Australia announced plans to drill a 2,000 year-old ice core in the heart of Antarctica in a bid to retrieve a frozen record of how the planet has evolved and what might be in store. The Aurora Basin North project involves scientists from Australia, France, Denmark and the United States…

U.N. warns radioactive waste in unsecured sites in Tajikistan

The United Nations warned Friday that nearly 55 million tonnes of radioactive waste from old Soviet-era uranian mines remain in unsecured sites in northern Tajikistan. The former Soviet republic, where Stalin’s empire once mined uranium to create its first nuclear bomb, is still stuck with about 54.8 million tonnes of…

U.S. tightens restrictions on soot emissions by 20 percent

The United States on Friday tightened standards on emissions of soot from industry and vehicles by 20 percent, predicting that the regulations would avert thousands of deaths. The Environmental Protection Agency, in its first major announcement since President Barack Obama’s re-election, ordered stricter rules on so-called fine particle pollution that…

Study: Bellybuttons house thousands of bacterial species

A new study has revealed a vast array of bacteria residing in people’s navels — almost 3,000 in all, NBC News reported Friday. The study, published this week in the journal PLOS One, showed 2,368 types of bacteria collected from the bellybuttons of just 66 participants, including the researchers, based…

Climate Change denier leaks intergovernmental report online

Draft of IPCC’s fifth assessment, due to be published in September 2013, leaked online by climate sceptic Alex Rawls The draft of a major global warming report by the UN’s climate science panel has been leaked online. The fifth assessment report (AR5) by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which is…

Scientists urge pardon of gay code-cracker Alan Turing

Leading scientists including Stephen Hawking urged Britain on Friday to pardon World War II code-breaker Alan Turing, who committed suicide after he was convicted of the then crime of homosexuality. Often hailed as a father of modern computing whose code-cracking is credited with shortening World War II, Turing took his…

Newly discovered slow loris already at risk of extinction

The ‘teddy bear’ face of the nocturnal Nycticebus kayan, discovered in Borneo, makes it attractive for illegal poaching A new species of primate, a “big-eyed” and venomous slow loris, has been identified in Borneo by researchers. But the new loris is already under threat from the Asian pet trade in…

Tourette’s-inspired Twitter bot account takes the Turing test

By Jess Thom, The Guardian An attempt to construct a Tourette’s inspired Twitter account appears to have taken on a life of it’s own I should say from the outset that my scientific knowledge is very limited. In most areas it stretches little beyond the rudimentary fragments that sank in…

France bans controversial chemical BPA in food packaging

The French parliament voted Thursday to ban the use of bisphenol A, a chemical thought to have a toxic effect on the brain and nervous system, in baby food packaging next year and all food containers in 2015. The chemical, commonly known as BPA, is used in “polycarbonate” types of…

NASA probes set to smash into Moon

NASA will smash two tiny probes into the Moon on Monday after they spent months gathering data from orbit miles above the lunar surface, the US space agency said Thursday. “We’re not expecting a big smash, a big explosion,” said project manager David Lehman of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. “Their…

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