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Syria’s extraordinary archaeological heritage falls prey to war

Syria’s extraordinary archaeological heritage has fallen prey to the fighting ravaging the country for more than 18 months, with destruction, theft and systematic looting on the rise. In a country where corruption and trafficking of archaeological artefacts and treasures was already a chronic problem, widespread clashes and a power vacuum…

Study finds similarities between ovary, breast cancers

WASHINGTON — A new study found marked molecular similarities between breast and ovarian cancer which scientists said could help lead to new treatments for hard-to-treat forms of breast cancer. The study, which was published online Sunday in the British journal Nature, uncovered pronounced genomic similarities between the basal-like subtype breast…

Historical study of castrated men offers evidence that testosterone to blame for men’s shortened lives

Scientists said Monday they have new evidence about why women live longer than men, from a study of historical data showing castrated Koreans far outlived their non-eunuch contemporaries. The study, published in the scientific journal “Current Biology,” used detailed genealogical records of the Imperial nobility during Korea’s Joseon dynasty, which…

Zombie honeybees discovered in Washington state

A novice beekeeper in Washington state said this week that he’s found evidence that a parasite which takes control of honeybees much like an imagined “zombie” virus is spreading into new areas, according to The Seattle Times. The so called zombie bees, or “zombees” for short, are created by a…

A third of Europe’s urban population exposed to air pollution

Nearly a third of Europe’s urban population is exposed to air particles that breach European Union limits, an official report said Monday. The figure more than triples if a UN health benchmark is used. In 2010, 21 percent of residents of European towns and cities breathed air with concentrations of…

Health experts identify Sars-like virus in London

Health experts are trying to identify a new Sars-like virus that is so far known to have infected two people, one of whom is receiving intensive care in a London hospital. A 49-year-old Qatari man was transported by air ambulance from Doha almost two weeks ago. The other person, a 60-year-old man,…

Congo conflict puts endangered mountain gorillas in peril

Home to the famed mountain gorillas, Africa’s oldest national park in the Democratic Republic of Congo has been overrun by armed groups who have slaughtered wildlife and scared off much-needed tourists. For Belgian park director Emmanuel de Merode and his staff it is a time of great uncertainty and anxiety.…

In half century, Brazil lost 80% of coral reef: study

In just five decades, Brazil has lost 80 percent of the coral reef once found along 3,000 kilometers (1,864 miles) of its northeastern coast, according to a study cited by local media Sunday. Brazil’s reef ecosystems — with 18 species of coral, algae and at least three types of fish…

New studies confirm that consuming sugary drinks is one cause of childhood obesity

Three new studies published in the United States this weekend reaffirm a link between sweet soda and fruit drinks to an epidemic of obesity that is sweeping the US. Consumption of these drinks has more than doubled since the 1970s, and the rate of obesity among Americans during the same…

Scientists say carbon taxes favor wealthy countries’ consumers over poor countries’ producers

Calls for carbon taxes to tackle global warming often dodge the complexity of this issue, with the risk that hasty action could damage the world economy and fuel the greenhouse-gas problem, experts warned on Sunday. Carbon taxes — levies that would be imposed on goods according to the carbon dioxide…

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