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Amino acids could treat rare form of autism: study

CHICAGO — A common dietary supplement could treat a rare form of autism which has been found to be linked to an amino acid deficiency, a study published Thursday in the journal Science has found. US researchers were able to isolate a genetic mutation in some autism patients which speeds…

Hurricane Michael becomes season’s first category three storm

Hurricane Michael swelled to the first category three storm of 2012 early Thursday as it churned far from land in the middle of the Atlantic, the Miami-based National Hurricane Center (NHC) said. As of 0900 GMT the hurricane was packing winds of up to 115 miles (185 kilometers) per hour…

DNA database unlocks map to genetic disease

CHICAGO — A massive DNA database has generated a map of the genetic switches which impact everything from hair loss to cancer and opened the door to revolutionary treatments for a host of deadly diseases, researchers said Wednesday. “This is a major step toward understanding the wiring diagram of a…

NASA’s Voyager 1 set to leave our solar system and cross into interstellar space

It looks like a dustbin lid strapped to a cluster of fishing rods. Its computer is so puny it could not even start up your iPhone. And if E.T. wants to listen to the message it brings, he’ll need a gramophone to play it on. But in the history of…

NASA releases stunningly trippy multi-angle video of solar eruption

The solar eruption witnessed August 31, what’s known as a “solar prominence,” was captured in stunningly psychedelic detail by NASA scientists, who were kind enough to publish a video on Wednesday showing the gorgeous natural phenomenon from several breathtaking angles, all in glorious high definition. The video was created using footage compiled…

Rainfall in the Amazon may drop by 20 percent because of deforestation

Deforestation may cause rainfall in the Amazonian basin to decline disastrously, British scientists said in a study published on Wednesday by the journal Nature. Rainfall across the vast basin could lessen by 12 percent during wet seasons and 21 percent during dry seasons, potentially inflicting astronomical costs on farmers and…

Unusual weather means champagne harvest will be smallest in two decades

First the bad news: there is going to be a lot less champagne to go round this year. The good news: what there is could be outstanding. After one of the worst spring growing seasons on record, producers of the world’s most celebrated bubbly are bracing themselves for one of…

Geologists report a 7.9 quake off Pacific coast of Costa Rica

A 7.9-magnitude earthquake struck off the Pacific coast of Costa Rica Wednesday, the US Geological Survey reported. A tsunami warning was issued for parts of the Pacidic sides of Central and South America after the major quake, it added. The agency said the center of the quake, which hit at…

Oxfam warns food prices to soar due to climate change

PARIS — Staple food prices may double within the next two decades due to climate change and an increase in extreme weather including droughts and hurricanes, the anti-poverty group Oxfam said Wednesday. Oxfam warned current climate change research isn’t taking into account extreme weather events, which it warned could also…

Study dismisses link between vitamin D, cholesterol

WASHINGTON — Taking vitamin D supplements does nothing to lower cholesterol levels, at least in the short term, according to a study published on Tuesday in an American Heart Association journal. Medical researchers led by Manish Ponda of the Rockefeller University in New York studied 151 people with vitamin D…

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