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Startling discovery debunked: bacteria can’t survive on arsenic

Startling discovery debunked: bacteria can't survive on arsenic Nearly two years ago, a team of biologists claimed to have discovered new bacteria that not only could survive in an environment rich in arsenic, it could fold the toxic element into the very heart of its biochemistry – substituting to small…

Humans added plenty greenhouse gases before industrialization: study

PARIS — Humans were big emitters of greenhouse gases long before the Industrial Revolution, a finding that raises worrying questions about the benchmark for measuring global warming, a study published on Wednesday said. For 1,800 years before industrialisation took off in the 19th century, emissions of methane rose in line…

NASA rover checks in online from Mars

SAN FRANCISCO — NASA’s Mars rover took the post-PC revolution into space on Wednesday by using location-sharing mobile application Foursquare to “check-in” on the Red Planet. “NASA is using Foursquare as a tool to share the rover’s new locations while exploring Mars,” said NASA spokesman David Weaver. “This will help…

Scientists discover two black holes inside a star cluster

Astronomers said Wednesday they had found evidence of something they never expected to see — two black holes lurking inside a 12-billion-year-old cluster of tightly-packed stars in our Milky Way galaxy. The international team was taken by surprise when noting what appeared to be two black holes, each about 10…

Japan unveils machine that detects bombs as passengers swipe boarding passes

Plane passengers could soon be scanned for bombs as they swipe their boarding pass, a Japanese company said Wednesday, unveiling the world’s first explosive-detecting departure gate. Engineers from hi-tech firm Hitachi showcased a machine that blows a short puff of air at a passenger’s hand as he scans his pass.…

Retraction due to scientific fraud at all-time high

Fraud in scientific research: It happens, and cases are on the rise (via The Christian Science Monitor) More published research papers – the currency of a career in science – have been retracted during the past 35 years because of fraud and plagiarism than for any other combination of reasons,…

Scientists: Japanese snail sheds tail to escape faster-moving predators

Snails that can shed their tails to escape much faster-moving predators and then regrow the amputated body section have been discovered living in sub-tropical Japan, a study said Wednesday. The ability to shed body parts, similar to that found in lizards, crabs and earthworms, has never before been seen in…

Robots learn to mimic master painters’ brush strokes

Robots that can mimic the exact brush strokes of master painters or calligraphers could recreate their work, a Japanese researcher said Tuesday. “We have been able to teach this robot to successfully copy the brush strokes of a master of calligraphy,” said Seiichiro Katsura, an associate professor of system design…

Scientists: Allergy-free milk closer than ever

A team of New Zealand scientists claimed to be a step closer to producing allergy-free milk Tuesday, using a genetically-modified cow for their medical breakthrough. The team at the AgResearch Institute said they had bred the first cow in the world to produce high-protein milk with significantly reduced amounts of…

Great Barrier Reef coral halved in 27 years: study

Australia’s Great Barrier Reef has lost more than half its coral cover in the past 27 years due to storms, poisonous starfish and bleaching linked to climate change, a study found on Tuesday. The research by scientists from the Australian Institute of Marine Sciences (AIMS) and the University of Wollongong…

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