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FDA on the verge of approving first bionic eye for the blind

After years of research, the first bionic eye has seen the light of day in the United States, giving hope to the blind around the world. Developed by Second Sight Medical Products, the Argus II Retinal Prosthesis System has helped more than sixty people recover partial sight, with some experiencing…

Study: More than half of users have taken a break from Facebook

More than half of US Facebook members have taken breaks from the leading social network, with the top reason being they are just too busy, according to a study released Tuesday. About 61 percent of US users said they had taken time off from Facebook at some point, with 27…

‘Bionic man’ goes on display in British science museum

A “bionic man” costing one million dollars went on display on Tuesday at Britain’s Science Museum, complete with artificial organs, synthetic blood and robot limbs. Named Rex, which is short for “Robotic Exoskeleton”, the six foot six inch (two metre) humanoid with its uncannily life-like face was assembled by leading…

Study suggests Neanderthals and modern humans never crossed paths

A new study has thrown a wrench into the theory that modern humans interacted and mated with Neanderthals after placing the extinction of the latter species much earlier than earlier findings. According to the Associated Press, the study by a team of Australian and European researchers, published Monday in the…

Study: Moles sniff in stereo to locate food underground

Moles need both nostrils to locate food underground, in the way that humans see and hear in stereo, according to research reported on Tuesday. The common mole (Scalopus aquaticus) has tiny eyes tucked between fur and skin and is nearly blind, with small ears attuned only to low frequency sounds.…

Chinese clinic infected dozens with hepatitis C

A clinic in China’s Liaoning province is suspected of infecting dozens of patients with the liver disease hepatitis C. According to the BBC, some 120 patients have been screened for exposure, 95 of whom are now hospitalized and believed to be infected. The Chinese news agency Xinhua reported that police…

King Richard III’s face revealed for first time in 500 years

The face of England’s king Richard III was revealed for the first time in more than 500 years on Tuesday following a reconstruction of his skeleton found underneath a carpark. A three-dimensional plastic model has been made from the skull of the king, who was killed in 1485 after just…

Django Unchained and the racist science of phrenology

Phrenology really was used to justify slavery, as portrayed in Django Unchained. But it was also used to justify abolition “Why don’t they kill us?” asks Calvin Candie, the southern slave owner in Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained. He wants to know why the African slaves he brutalises do not rise…

Furry crabs may be healing Great Barrier Reef

Furry crabs once thought to be damaging the Great Barrier Reef may in fact be helping save the coral by stopping the spread of disease, a researcher said Tuesday. Scientists at James Cook University studied the impact of furry coral crabs on fragments suffering from white syndrome, a deadly disease…

Fake tuberculosis drugs manufactured by both legitimate companies and fraudsters are rampant: survey

Africa, India and other developing countries are awash in fake or sub-standard drugs for tuberculosis, fuelling the rise of treatment-resistant strains of TB, according to a survey published on Tuesday. Investigators in the United States asked local people in 19 cities in 17 countries to purchase isoniazid and rifampicin, the…

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