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Report: China produces as much CO2 per person as Europe

China’s carbon dioxide (CO2) levels soared in 2011, putting its per capita emissions on a par for the first time with those of Europe, while global levels of the greenhouse gas hit another all-time high, a report released Wednesday said. Last year, China’s CO2 emissions rose by 9.0 percent, meaning…

Hubble finds rare spiral galaxy

Astronomers said Wednesday they had stumbled upon an astonishing spiral galaxy that was born nearly 11 billion years ago, a finding that could spur a rethink of how galaxies formed after the Big Bang. Dubbed BX442, the ancient star cluster was discovered in a survey of 300 distant galaxies carried…

Researchers: Lacing ocean with iron particles could stall climate change

German researchers on Wednesday said they had evidence that sowing the ocean with iron particles sucks up and stores carbon dioxide (CO2), preventing the gas from stoking dangerous climate change. But their work, touching on a fiercely controversial issue called geo-engineering, came under attack from other scientists and environmentalists. These…

Woman with thalidomide-related birth defects wins multi-million dollar settlement from drug companies

An Australian woman born without arms and legs after her mother took thalidomide during pregnancy, on Wednesday won a landmark multi-million dollar settlement in her class action against drug firms. Lynette Rowe, 50, is leading a mass lawsuit on behalf of people born with congenital defects in Australia and New…

U.S. FDA approves weight-loss drug Qsymia for use by obese people

US regulators approved the second new anti-obesity drug in 13 years, Qsymia, for use with exercise and a good diet in people who are obese or overweight with certain medical problems. Some analysts have touted Qsymia as the next “blockbuster”, akin to the best-selling cholesterol drug Lipitor, with the US…

Expert: Even without a cure the end of AIDS epidemic is in sight

Three decades into the AIDS pandemic an end to new infections is in sight, according to Anthony Fauci, director of the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. “We don’t even know if a cure is possible. What we know is it is possible that we can end this…

Physical inactivity kills 5 million a year: report

PARIS — A third of the world’s adults are physically inactive, and the couch potato lifestyle kills about five million people every year, experts said in the medical journal The Lancet on Wednesday. “Roughly three of every 10 individuals aged 15 years or older — about 1.5 billion people —…

Geoengineers to release planet-cooling gas into New Mexico atmosphere

Two Harvard engineers are planning to spray thousands of tonnes of sun-reflecting chemical particles into the atmosphere to artificially cool the planet, using a balloon flying 80,000 feet over Fort Sumner, New Mexico. The field experiment in solar geoengineering aims to ultimately create a technology to replicate the observed effects…

Indonesian whale sharks tagged using technology for pets

The “unique habit” of whale sharks that converge to feed from fishing nets in Indonesia has allowed them to be tagged with low-cost technology usually used on pets, conservationists said Tuesday. Experts in June injected tiny pill-sized radio transmitters beneath the skin of 30 whale sharks in Cenderawasih Bay in…

U.S. ‘suffering worst drought in 56 years’

The United States is experiencing its widest-spread drought in 56 years, according to a release by the nation’s meteorological agency Monday. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) reported that some 55 percent of the contiguous United States, particularly in the Midwest, suffered from drought last month, according to the…

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