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Your Christmas tree may harbor up to 25,000 ‘freeloading’ insects: scientist

“Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house, not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.” Er, not quite. Get a magnifying glass and take a close look at your Christmas tree, says a scientist. In all likelihood, it is harbouring thousands of bugs. Bark lice, mites,…

Nearby star found to be a ‘good candidate for Earth-like planets’

Tau Ceti, one of our closest stars, is a good candidate for hosting an Earth-like planet, according to astronomers. Located a relatively close 12 light years away, the Sun-like star has five planets that orbit it in a balmy zone which gives the best chance for nurturing life, they said.…

Skulls, bones draw crowds to Europe’s second ossuary

Dim lighting and quiet music accompany a faint smell of decomposing skeletons to complete a ghoulish ambiance that is proving to be a hit with visitors to a giant bone repository in the Czech Republic. The long-forgotten ossuary in the southern city of Brno opened its doors to the public…

Study questions link between cancer and 9/11 debris

A study due to be released Wednesday casts doubt on links between cancer and toxic dust in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks in New York — only six months after dozens of cancers were declared eligible for compensation. The New York Health Department study, which will appear in the…

King Richard III’s medieval inn recreated by archaeologists

Blue Boar inn rises again in model and digital form, recreated from detailed drawings found in Leicester family’s archives The medieval inn in Leicester where King Richard III slept before riding out to meet his fate at the battle of Bosworth has been recreated by the team of archaeologists and…

126 new species discovered in Greater Mekong, Vietnam

From a devilish-looking bat to a frog that sings like a bird, scientists have identified 126 new species in the Greater Mekong area, the WWF said in a new report detailing discoveries in 2011. But from forest loss to the construction of major hydropower projects on the Mekong River, existing…

Two NASA probes crash into the moon

Two NASA probes crashed into the moon on Monday after spending months gathering data by orbiting miles above the lunar surface, the US space agency said. The site where the tiny probes, dubbed Ebb and Flow, crashed will be named after astronaut Sally Ride, the first American woman in space.…

Remains of sixth-century man in armor found at ‘Pompeii of Japan’

The remains of a high-caste man wearing armour who was buried by hot ash — possibly as he tried to calm the wrath of an erupting volcano — have been found in an area known as the “Pompeii of Japan”. Archaeologists say they have unearthed the well-preserved body of a…

Ancient assassin slit throat of Ramses III: scientists

An assassin slit the throat of Egypt’s last great pharaoh at the climax of a bitter succession battle, scientists said in a report on a 3,000-year-old royal murder. Forensic technology suggests Ramses III, a king revered as a god, met his death at the hand of a killer, or killers,…

Sweden’s small Arctic town of Kiruna plans to offer commercial space flights

Sweden’s small Arctic town of Kiruna has a surprisingly international airport with regular flights to London and Tokyo, but it has even bigger plans: to offer commercial space flights. Spaceport Sweden, a company founded in 2007, hopes to be able to provide the first flights within a decade from Kiruna’s…

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