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Study: Ancient megavolcanoes killed half the world’s species

New rock dating techniques have helped narrow the timeframe of a chain of massive volcanic eruptions that wiped out half the world’s species 200 million years ago, a study said Thursday. The result is the most precise date yet — 201,564,000 years ago — for the event known as the…

Astronomers map how light of the big bang scattered across the universe

Most detailed ever chart of cosmic microwave background confirms remarkable accuracy of current cosmological models The most detailed map ever made of the oldest light to shine through the universe has been released by scientists at the European Space Agency (ESA). The view of the heavens in red and blue speckles confirms…

Pediatricians’ group: Marriage equality is good for kids

The American Academy of Pediatrics announced Thursday that it supports marriage equality for same sex couples. According to the New York Times, the AAP released a policy statement Thursday morning saying that marriage is in the best interests of children living in households headed by same sex parents. “All children…

Study warns that skiing under the influence of alcohol is dangerous

One in five people ski having consumed alcohol, and 29 percent of these hurtle down the piste over the legal limit for driving, an Austrian survey showed Thursday. “People skiing under the influence of alcohol pose an increased risk to themselves and to other people on the slopes,” said Alexandra…

Experts sound worldwide alert over deadly bat virus

Experts on infectious diseases Thursday warned people to stay away from bats worldwide after the recent death of an eight-year-old boy bitten in Australia. The boy last month became the third person in the country to die of Australian bat lyssavirus (ABLV), for which there is no effective treatment. Doctors…

Warming Arctic: Receding ice leaves Hudson Bay polar bears less time to eat

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Great white sharks feed three to four times as often as originally estimated

Great white sharks, the world’s largest predatory fish, eat three to four times more food than previously thought, an Australian study shows. US research from the 1980s estimated a 30 kilogram (66 lbs) meal of mammal blubber could sustain a one-tonne shark for more than six weeks. That perpetuated assumptions…

Giant pterosaur fossil unveiled in Brazil

The fossilized remains of a huge prehistoric flying reptile was unveiled Wednesday at the Rio de Janeiro National Museum where an international congress on the extinct species is to be held in May. “What makes it particularly special is that it is the most complete fossil ever found, with virtually…

Long term trials reveal promising malaria vaccine stops working after 4 years

A new vaccine that has raised hopes of becoming a potent new tool in the battle against malaria seems to stop working in children after four years, according to research published Wednesday. The vaccine candidate — known as RTS,S — is not yet on the market, but ongoing trials in…

Children of abused women, older grandfather said to have highter autism rates

Having an older grandfather or being a mother who was abused in her youth are linked to higher odds of having a child with autism, according to two studies published Wednesday in a leading US psychiatry journal. The analysis by two separate teams appears in the Journal of the American…

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