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NOAA: 2012 saw second largest rise in climate emissions on record

Heat-trapping carbon emissions in the atmosphere grew so much in 2012 that the year will go down as the second-highest growth in recorded history, placing the globe dangerously near a climatic tipping point, scientists with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said Tuesday. Climate-causing emissions measured 48 times last year…

Close comet flyby will allow for spectacular naked-eye viewing in northern hemisphere

A rare bright comet shows up in the northern hemisphere this week, cruising past Earth with promise of spectacular naked-eye viewings of the giant ball of ice and dust streaking the twilight sky with a blazing tail. Dubbed Pan-STARRS after the Hawaii-based telescope that first spotted it nearing our corner…

Researchers find sex cures migraines as well as medication

MUNSTER (Germany), March 6 — Pounding headache? Sex could cure what ails you just as well as medication, a new study from the University of Munster finds. Researchers recruited 800 migraine sufferers and 200 cluster headache sufferers. While findings are preliminary, results showed that more than half of the migraine…

New U.S. study probing personality traits via brain scans

U.S. researchers published incredibly detailed images of the human brain as part of an international project aimed at uncovering how brain architecture influences personality. The five-year “Human Connectome Project” or HCP — being conducted at 10 research centers in the US and Europe — will use advanced brain imaging technology…

Shipwreck may contain near-mythical Viking navigation aid

An oblong crystal found in the wreck of a 16th-century English warship is a sunstone, a near-mythical navigational aid said to have been used by Viking mariners, researchers said on Wednesday. The stone is made of Iceland spar, a transparent, naturally-occurring calcite crystal that polarises light and can get a…

Scientists solve Darwin’s Falkland Islands wolf mystery

PARIS — It was an animal that puzzled Charles Darwin, who wondered how on Earth a large mammal that looked a bit like a wolf and a bit like a fox had arrived on barren islands nearly 500 kilometres (300 miles) from the mainland. Now, say biologists, the mystery of…

Doctors develop protocol to detect patient consciousness during surgery

Waking up during surgery and yet still being too anesthetized to signal doctors that you’re awake sounds like a nightmare, and for some people is a genuine phobia. According to New Scientist, a team at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) has identified a “consciousness signature” in brain activity that…

European deep-space telescope will soon go out of service

The deep-space Herschel telescope, launched four years ago to observe the creation of stars, will soon be going out of service as its supply of instrument coolant runs out, the European Space Agency said on Tuesday. When it was launched in May 2009, Herschel became the largest and most powerful…

Report: ‘Designer drug’ use, abuse and production surging

Designer drugs are multiplying at a worrying rate and increasingly sending users to hospital, a UN-affiliated report said Tuesday, calling for international efforts to stem the spread of these substances. “In recent years, there has been an unprecedented surge in the abuse of new psychoactive substances,” often called “legal highs”…

Ice-strengthened ships will sail directly over the north pole by 2050: scientists

Ships should be able to sail directly over the north pole by the middle of this century, considerably reducing the costs of trade between Europe and China but posing new economic, strategic and environmental challenges for governments, according to scientists. The dramatic reduction in the thickness and extent of late…

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