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Rats recruited to sniff out TB in Mozambique

A group of trained rats is on its way to Mozambique to help the country’s over-stretched health system detect tuberculosis in patients, officials said Friday. The authorities have enlisted the much-maligned rodents to help sniff out the disease, after Mozambique’s first lady learned of their success in neighbouring Tanzania. “We…

Mars meteorite may contain bubbles of 700,000-year-old Martian air

Gas trapped in meteorite could help scientists reconstruct conditions on Mars when the rock was blasted into space A lump of space rock that shattered the predawn calm of the Moroccan desert with a fireball and double sonic boom last year was knocked off Mars in a cosmic collision roughly…

NASA rover Curiosity finds a rock not seen before on Mars

NASA rover Curiosity finds a rock not seen before on Mars (+video) NASA’s Mars rover Curiosity has indentified a type of rock scientists have never seen on Mars before, but it’s one familiar to geologists on Earth. The Martian rock, a form of basalt, has a composition very similar to…

‘Voodoo lily’ stinks up New Zealand botanic garden

AFP - A “grotesque” plant that mimics the smell of rotting flesh to attract flies has gone on display in Wellington’s Botanic Gardens. The dracunculus vulgaris, commonly known as the voodoo lily, began flowering on Thursday and will emit a strong stench of putrid meat for about a week, botanic gardens…

U.S. warns meningitis cases could rise

AFP - US authorities have managed to contact most of the thousands of people exposed to the tainted drug blamed for a meningitis outbreak that has killed 14, but warned the number of infections could rise. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said it had contacted 12,000 of the nearly…

HPV vaccination does not lead to increased sex in girls: study

Adolescent girls are not more likely to engage in sexual activity after receiving a human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination, according to a new study. Last year, a Catholic school in Canada made headlines when it banned free HPV vaccinations for girls on orders from Bishop Frederick Henry. The bishop said giving…

Astronomers discover planet covered in graphite and diamond

WASHINGTON — Twinkling stars are not the only diamonds in the sky. Scientists Thursday reported the existence of a “diamond planet” twice the size of Earth, and eight times its mass, zooming around a nearby star. In fact, this is not the first diamond planet ever discovered, but it is…

U.S. panel calls for greater privacy controls on genetic information

Laws to keep genetic information private are not strong enough — a situation that could hinder progress in important research, according to a new high-level study Thursday on medical ethics. As human genome sequencing becomes more and more affordable, researchers are finding new and important ways to use the data…

Researcher: More chocolate consumption linked with more Nobel prizes

The more chocolate people in a country eat, the more Nobel prize winners the country produces per capita, according to a note published Thursday in the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine. Flavonoids, antioxidants found in cocoa, green tea, red wine and some fruits, appear “to be effective in slowing…

Astronomers find rare spiral shell of cosmic dust with powerful Chile telescope

Astronomers using a powerful Chile-based telescope on Wednesday released a rare image of a spiral shell of cosmic dust and gas surrounding a red giant star. The discovery marks the first time that scientists have found such a structure and obtained full three-dimensional information about the spiral. Researchers said a…

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