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Meditation may lower heart attack risk: study

WASHINGTON — Obese African American heart patients who regularly practice transcendental meditation are 48 percent less likely to suffer a heart attack, stroke or die, a new study found Tuesday. Regular meditation also lowered blood pressure and reduced stress levels, while greater time spent meditating was associated with longer survival,…

Sky-gazers in Australia in awe of total eclipse

PALM COVE, Australia — Sky-gazers in northern Australia donned protective glasses as the clouds parted Wednesday to allow them to witness one of nature’s greatest phenomena — a total eclipse of the sun. All eyes and cameras turned to the heavens over tropical north Queensland as the moon began moving…

Drug-resistant UTIs are rising red state problem

Antibiotic overuse is producing new drug-resistant strains of the second most common infection in the U.S., urinary tract infections. According to Extending the Cure (ETC), a division of the Center for Disease Dynamics, Economics and Policy, the problem is particularly acute in the southeastern U.S., where doctors routinely over-prescribe antibiotics,…

Energy group: Global carbon dioxide emissions hit new record

Global carbon dioxide emissions hit a new record last year at 34 billion tonnes, with China still topping the list of greenhouse gas producers, a German-based private institute said Tuesday. The Renewable Energy Industry Institute (IWR) said that the total amounted to 800 million tonnes more than in 2010, with…

Just 8 weeks of meditation can cause enduring changes in the brain

Neuroscientists have discovered that an 8-week meditation training program can leave a lasting impression on the human brain. Researchers from the Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston University, and several other research centers found that the meditation training produced enduring changes in how the brain processed emotional information. The results of their…

Human intelligence slowly declining, says leading geneticist

Humans are slowly losing their cognitive capabilities as adverse genetic mutations fail to be weeded out by evolutionary pressures, according to a bold hypothesis put forward by Dr. Gerald Crabtree of Stanford University. “I would wager that if an average citizen from Athens of 1000 BC were to appear suddenly…

Swedish study: Male sex workers twice as prevalent as female ones

More than twice as many young men in Sweden sell sex as do women, a study published Monday by the Swedish National Board for Youth Affairs said. According to the study, 2.1 percent of Swedish males aged 16 to 25 said they had prostituted themselves in 2012, compared to 0.8…

Nobel laureate: Stem cell research will still draw debate despite embryo workaround

Newly-crowned Nobel laureate Shinya Yamanaka on Monday cautioned that stem cells could still spur sharp debate, despite his achievement in creating cells that are not derived from embryos. The Japanese scientist was interviewed on a trip to Paris after co-winning the 2012 Nobel Prize for Medicine last month alongside Britain’s…

Study suggests link between pregnancy flu and autism

A study of Danish children released Monday points to a slight increase in the chances that women who catch the flu while pregnant may have autistic children. According to NBC News, the study, conducted by researchers from the University of Aarhus in Denmark and the Centers for Disease Control and…

‘Invisibility cloak’ effort reaches new landmark

A so-called ‘invisibility cloak’ succeeded in making a centimeter-scale cylinder perfectly invisible to microwaves — from one direction, reported the BBC. “It’s like the card people in Alice in Wonderland,” said Professor David Smith of Duke University, who co-authored the study published in Nature Materials. “If they turn on their…

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