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Research confirms source of mysterious cosmic rays

Cosmic rays — fast-moving particles that constantly pummel our planet — come from the explosion of supernovae, new research confirmed Thursday, resolving an astronomical mystery. Protons make up 90 percent of these rays that pelt Earth’s atmosphere and were discovered a century ago by the Austrian-born physicist Victor Franz Hess.…

One in five reptile species in danger of extinction

Almost one in five of the world’s reptile species are in danger of extinction as their habitats are cleared away for farming and logging, a report said Friday. An assessment by more than 200 experts of 1,500 randomly-selected species of snakes, lizards, crocodiles, tortoises and other reptiles, found that 19…

Anti-anxiety drug pollution makes fish fearless and antisocial

Anti-anxiety drugs find their way into wastewater where they make fish more fearless and antisocial, with potentially serious ecological consequences, researchers said Thursday. Scientists examining perch exposed to the sedative Oxazepam — which, like many medications, passes through the human body — found that it made them more likely to…

CDC: Increased emergency contraception use highlights importance of access

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC)’s National Center for Health Statistics has issued two new reports about contraceptive use among U.S. women. Not only did the organization find that use of emergency contraception has increased, but that 99 percent of sexually active American women have used birth control of some…

Secret funding network pushed climate change denialism, opposed environmental regulations

Anonymous billionaires donated $120m to more than 100 anti-climate groups working to discredit climate change science Conservative billionaires used a secretive funding route to channel nearly $120m (£77m) to more than 100 groups casting doubt about the science behind climate change, the Guardian has learned. The funds, doled out between…

UK doctors ‘chill out’ newborn to save his life

Physicians at University College Hospital of London used an unusual treatment to save a newborn baby boy whose heart was galloping out of control at nearly double the normal heart rate for newborns. On Tuesday, the New York Daily News reported that Edward Ives, now six months old, was “frozen”…

Fewer men leads to more babies in poor areas: Study

Women who outnumber men in poor communities are likelier to have babies at a younger age as competition drives them to lower their expectations of the opposite sex, a British study said on Wednesday. The findings are a useful tool for understanding unwanted teen pregnancies, its authors believe. Researchers at…

British resident is 11th case of SARS-like virus: health agency

A British resident has been diagnosed with a potentially fatal SARS-like virus which they are believed to have caught from a family member, in the 11th confirmed case worldwide, officials said Wednesday. Britain’s Health Protection Agency said the person had no recent travel history, but was a relative of a…

Sea animal has grow-again penis

Scientists reported Wednesday on the bizarre sex life of a sea slug that discards its penis after copulation. Then grows a new one. “No other animal is known to repeatedly copulate using such ‘disposable penes’,” Japanese biologists wrote in the Royal Society journal Biology Letters, describing the behaviour as “extremely…

Lung cancer worsening threat for European women: study

Cancer rates in Europe are generally falling, but lung cancer is poised to overtake breast cancer as the disease’s biggest killer of women, a study published on Wednesday said. In 2013, about 1.31 million people — some 737,000 men and 576,000 women — will die of cancer in the 27-nation…

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