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Higgs boson discovery makes 2012 a landmark year for physics

2012 will go down in history as a landmark year, when physicists discovered a fundamental particle that may answer one of the greatest riddles of all. Investigators believe their discovery to be the long-coveted Higgs Boson, an invisible particle that explains the mystery of mass. Without the Higgs, say theorists,…

Doctors eradicate girl’s cancer by reprogramming HIV

A reprogrammed version of the virus that causes AIDS was used by doctors at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia to wipe out a little girl’s terminal leukemia. According to The New York Times, 6-year-old Emma Whitehead didn’t have much longer to live when the radical and untested therapy was pitched to…

Self-proclaimed ‘oil addiction therapist’ says gas should be cheaper

Barack Obama is in the market for creative ways of combating climate change, and Eyal Aronoff thinks he has one – involving the US’s beloved motor car Eyal Aronoff identifies himself on his business card as an “oil addiction therapist”. He’s got an unconventional detox method, claiming he can get…

GM food a ‘good thing’: UK Environment Secretary

Environment Secretary Owen Paterson on Monday called for genetically modified food to be grown more widely and said opposition to it was “complete nonsense”, in an interview printed in the Daily Telegraph. The coalition government has allowed small-scale cultivation trials for GM food, raising speculation that it could end the…

Fire, flood or giant squash… pick your ‘End Times’ apocalypse

Devoured by a giant squash, engulfed by flood or flames, frozen in a nuclear winter or new ice age, mankind has looked to The End with fear and fascination since the dawn of civilisation. Nature’s cycles — day succeeding night, the four seasons — long fed fears of being plunged…

Turning urine into brain cells could help fight Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s

Chinese researchers have devised a new technique for reprogramming cells from human urine into immature brain cells that can form multiple types of functioning neurons and glial cells. The technique, published today in the journal Nature Methods, could prove useful for studying the cellular mechanisms of neurodegenerative conditions such as…

British astronomer Patrick Moore dead aged 89

Astronomer Patrick Moore, renowned for his work mapping the Moon’s surface and for having popularised his subject with the British public, died Sunday at the age of 89, friends and colleagues announced. The eccentric astronomer, whose research was used by the United States and the Soviets in their space programmes,…

DNA pioneer James Watson reveals helix story was almost never told

The Double Helix’s tale of DNA breakthrough became a big hit but had to overcome hostility from the Nobel winner’s colleagues Consistently rated as one of the greatest books written about science in the past century, it has been hailed as a work that combines the plot line of a…

Floridians asked to help state hunt invasive pythons for cash

Floridians keen to protect the fragile ecosystem of the Everglades will have their mettle tested next month as the wildlife service seeks help in eradicating the giant Burmese python. The public has been asked to join in a month-long hunt for the invasive species, which, lacking natural predators, snacks on…

Scientists create solar cell fiber that could potentially be woven into cloth

An international team of scientists led by a University of Pennsylvania professor said Thursday that they’ve created a unique new fiber thinner than a human hair that can capture energy from the sun and convert it into electricity. Their research on this new solar cell breakthrough was published this week…

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