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Scientists record most powerful quasar blast ever

US astronomers have detected the most powerful blast from a quasar ever recorded, offering the first proof of important theories about why the universe is shaped the way it is. The beam of energy, detected by the European Southern Observatory’s Very Large Telescope, based in Chile, was at least five…

Texas telescope spots biggest black hole ever observed

PARIS — Astronomers on Wednesday said they had found possibly the biggest black hole ever observed, a leviathan with a mass 17 billion times that of the Sun, brooding at the heart of a distant galaxy. The black hole is as unexpected as it is vast, for it accounts for…

Scientists make major progress in decoding wheat genome

A consortium of scientists said Wednesday they had made major progress in deciphering the genome of bread wheat, a vital crop whose DNA is notoriously complex. Publishing in the journal Nature, they said they had analysed between 94,000 and 96,000 genes in bread wheat (Triticum aestivum). The plant’s genome is…

EU rejects study linking genetically modified corn to cancer

The EU’s food safety agency definitively rejected Wednesday a bombshell French report linking genetically modified corn to cancer, saying it failed to meet “acceptable scientific standards.” “Serious defects in the design and methodology of a paper by Seralini et al. mean it does not meet acceptable scientific standards,” the European…

Meteorologists: 2012 set to be ninth warmest year on record

World Meteorological Organisation data shows average global temperature to date is 14.45C, higher than long-term average This year is likely to be the ninth warmest on record, with global temperatures in 2012 cooler than the average for the past decade owing to the effects of La Niña weather patterns early…

Coastal cities in danger as sea levels rise faster than expected

Sea-level rise is occurring much faster than scientists expected – exposing millions more Americans to the destructive floods produced by future Sandy-like storms, new research suggests. Satellite measurements over the last two decades found global sea levels rising 60% faster than the computer projections issued only a few years ago…

Facebook predicts college freshmen’s intention to have sex, study finds

Researchers can predict if college freshman intend to become sexually active based solely on content they post to Facebook. In a study to be published January in the Journal of Sex Research, the team led by assistant professor Megan Moreno from the University of Wisconsin–Madison found that sexual references and…

Robertson tells Christians: Radiocarbon dating proves no dinosaurs on Noah’s Ark

Televangelist Pat Robertson says that radiocarbon dating proves that the Earth is older than 6,000 years — and he’s telling Christians not to “cover it up.” On Tuesday’s 700 Club, a viewer wrote Robertson that her “biggest fear is to not have my children and husband next to me in…

Researchers warn mixing grapefruit with drugs can kill you

The number of drugs when mixed with grapefruit that can lead to serious health problems, including sudden death, has skyrocketed, warns a Canadian researcher who first discovered the toxic link. In an article in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, David Bailey, a scientist at the Lawson Health Research Institute in…

Scientists: Climate change threatens black truffle

Scientists said on Tuesday they had proof that climate change was hitting the Perigord black truffle, a delight of gourmets around the world. Trufflers have long suspected that global warming is affecting Tuber melanosporum — dubbed “the black diamond” on account of its colour and extraordinary price — in its…

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