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Europe braces as mosquitos venture north due to climate change

Behind air-tight doors in a lab in a southern French city, scientists in protective coveralls wage war against a fingernail-sized danger. Lurking in net cages is their foe: the Asian tiger mosquito, capable of spreading dengue fever and other tropical diseases in temperate Europe. First spotted in Albania in 1979,…

Obama tells NASA: ‘I thought about getting a mohawk myself’

During a Monday call to congratulate NASA for successfully landing the Curiosity rover on Mars, President Barack Obama acknowledged the “special mohawk guy” in the control room who had taken the Internet by storm. As the world watched the rover landing last week, NASA flight engineer Bobak Ferdowsi became an…

U.S. wind industry has capacity to power 13 million homes

The US wind energy industry is now providing enough capacity to power 13 million homes, equivalent to all of Nevada, Colorado, Wisconsin, Virginia, Alabama, and Connecticut combined. The American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) used the annual National Clean Energy Summit in Las Vegas last week to confirm that the sector…

Report: El Niño exacerbates Southeast Asia fire deaths

Forest and land fires in Southeast Asia kill an additional 15,000 people annually when the El Niño weather phenomenon grips the region, scientists have estimated. The deaths are caused by higher particle pollution and higher local levels of ozone, both of which are stressors for the lungs and heart, they…

Arctic ocean losing 50% more summer ice than predicted

Sea ice in the Arctic is disappearing at a far greater rate than previously expected, according to data from the first purpose-built satellite launched to study the thickness of the Earth’s polar caps. Preliminary results from the European Space Agency’s CryoSat-2 probe indicate that 900 cubic kilometers of summer sea…

Whale uninjured in crash that broke man’s arm

A South African man fractured his arm after a catamaran crashed into a whale off the eastern port city of Durban but the Leviathan was unhurt, an official said Saturday. Derrick Pienaar, 50, suffered a fracture in his right arm, National Sea Rescue Institute official Craig Lambinon said. “Mr Pienaar’s…

Scientists create most disgusting robot yet

Scientists create most disgusting robot yet (+video) (via The Christian Science Monitor) An international team of researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Harvard University, and Seoul National University have succeeded in creating the world’s most disgusting robot. Known as Meshworm, the soft, repugnant automaton moves via peristalsis, a method…

Daily aspirin reduces cancer risk and slows its spread, study confirms

Overall risk of dying from cancer was reduced by 16% among people who took daily dose of aspirin when healthy Taking a low dose of aspirin every day may reduce the risk of cancer and slow the spread of the disease, according to a study that followed the health of…

Chinese farmer fights to save Hong Kong’s last incense plantation from poachers

He may not be able to resuscitate Hong Kong’s long-dead incense trade but entrepreneur Chan Koon-wing is at least hoping to save the tree that gave the city its name centuries ago. Chan returned to the southern Chinese city from his adopted home in Northern Ireland four years ago to…

Archeologists plan to use small U.S. drone to map Mawchu Llacta ruins in Peru

Archeologists in Peru plan to use a US-made drone to survey ancient Andean ruins, in the latest civilian application of the unmanned aerial vehicles used to hunt militants in the world’s war zones. The device, which can fit in a backpack, is due to be tested later this month at…

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