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Study: Northern hemisphere summers now warmest of last 600 years

Summers in the northern hemisphere are now warmer than at any period in six centuries, according to climate research published on Wednesday in the science journal Nature. Harvard University researchers analysing evidence from Arctic tree rings, ice cores, lake sediments and thermometer records said recent warm temperature extremes in high…

Scientists find new key ingredient for anti-malaria drug

US scientists on Wednesday said they had used baker’s yeast to make a key ingredient of malaria drugs, a feat that could iron out fluctuations in supply caused by sourcing the chemical from a Chinese herb. One of the revolutions in malaria treatment in recent decades has been the advent…

Father of in vitro fertilization Robert Edwards dies at 87

Robert Edwards, the British scientist awarded a Nobel prize for his pioneering work in developing in vitro fertilisation (IVF), died on Monday aged 87, his university announced. “It is with deep sadness that the family announces that Professor Sir Robert Edwards, Nobel prizewinner, scientist and co-pioneer of IVF, passed away…

Scheming baby chicks blackmail doting parents for food: study

Fledglings of a southern African bird species threaten suicide to blackmail their parents into bringing them more food, scientists said Wednesday. When hungry, pied babbler fledglings flutter from the nest to the ground, where predators roam, and start screeching to highlight their plight, said a study published in the British…

Canadian high school student improves experimental cancer treatment

A Canadian high school student has improved an ineffective experimental cancer therapy with a simple tweak — pairing it with antibiotics — earning accolades from a panel of eminent scientists on Tuesday. Cancer “photothermal therapy” — or PTT — involves injecting a patient with gold nanoparticles. These then accumulate in…

Climate change predicted to cause more in-flight turbulence for passengers

Flights will become bumpier as global warming destabilises air currents at altitudes used by commercial airliners, climate scientists warned Monday. Already, atmospheric turbulence injures hundreds of airline passengers each year, sometimes fatally, damaging aircraft and costing the industry an estimated $150 million (115 million euros), scientists said. “Climate change is…

Research shows women find men with larger penises more attractive

The eternal question of whether penis size matters to women has been probed by a team of international scientists who reported on Monday that yes, ladies do find larger men more attractive. What’s more, prehistoric women who could see the sex organs of their scantily clad male counterparts may have…

New one-pill, $10-per-month anti-retroviral AIDS treatment debuts in South Africa

South Africa’s health minister on Monday launched a new single dose anti-AIDs drug which will simplify the world’s biggest HIV treatment regime to just one life-saving pill a day. The three-in-one combination anti-retroviral (ARV) was secured at a record-low price and will cost the state 89 rand a month ($10,…

Climate change pits pandas against pinot

Which is more important, pandas or pinot? Researchers say that is a question conservationists and wine-growers will have to answer in the coming years as climate change sparks a hunt for cooler places to grow wine grapes, even if those places are home to sensitive animal populations. Already, big players…

No proof China bird flu H7N9 spreading between humans: World Health Organization

The World Health Organisation said Monday there is no evidence China’s bird flu is spreading between humans, but jitters over the outbreak that has killed six people saw airline and tourism shares slump. China announced just over a week ago that H7N9 avian influenza had been found in humans for…

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