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Genomes project publishes inventory of human genetic variation

Scientists have published the full genetic sequences of more than 1,000 people from 14 countries, creating the most complete inventory of the millions of variations between people’s DNA sequences ever assembled. The resource built by the 1,000 Genomes Project will shed light on the genetic roots of complex diseases and…

Scientists uncover oldest known prehistoric ‘town’ near ancient salt mines

Archaeologists in eastern Bulgaria say they have unearthed the oldest prehistoric town ever found in Europe, along with an ancient salt production site that gives a strong clue about why massive riches were discovered in the region. Excavations at the site near the modern-day town of Provadia have so far…

Pacific sharks see mass decline despite fishing, finning limits over soup demand

Pacific stocks of the oceanic whitetip shark, a favourite of fin soup enthusiasts, sank by as much as 17 percent a year between 1995 and 2010 despite catch and finning limits, a study said Wednesday. And the north Pacific blue shark, also sought after by Asian chefs, showed a worrying…

Switzerland and Canada lift ban on Novartis flu vaccine

Swiss and Canadian health authorities on Wednesday lifted a ban on sales of flu vaccines made by Swiss pharmaceutical giant Novartis after determining they were safe and efficient. “The partially visible white particles are in no way external impurities, but are agglutinations of ordinary protein components of the vaccine,” Switzerland’s…

Redheads more susceptible to cancer even without sun exposure

People with pale skin and red hair may be more prone to developing a deadly form of skin cancer regardless of whether they spend time in the sun or not, a study said Wednesday. Not only is this group more vulnerable to the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays, but a study…

Father of flying fish found in China: palaeontologists

PARIS — Palaeontologists in China say they have found the world’s oldest flying fish, a strange, snub-nosed creature that glided over water in a bid to evade predators some 240 million years ago. Fossils in Chinese museum collections have been dusted off, dated and categorised to reveal that the flying…

Link between cyclones and climate change unclear: scientists

PARIS — Was Hurricane Sandy caused by climate change? This was the contention Tuesday of Andrew Cuomo, governor of New York state, which bore the brunt of the superstorm. “Anyone who thinks there isn’t a change in weather patterns is denying reality,” he said. Many climate scientists would agree with…

New enzyme ‘produces more fuel from less corn’

Danish industrial enzymes maker Novozymes on Tuesday launched an enzyme that it said produces more ethanol from corn, addressing concern that growth in biofuels has come at the expense of food production. The new enzyme, called Novozymes Avantec, can “squeeze an extra 2.5 percent of ethanol out of the corn,”…

Department of Energy switches on world’s fastest supercomputer

As seemingly all of America’s media focused on the threat posed by Hurricane Sandy, the U.S. Department of Energy quietly flipped the switch on “Titan,” the world’s fastest supercomputer, giving giving engineers, medical and energy researchers and climate scientists unparalleled new processing power to tackle the globe’s toughest challenges. Titan…

Renewable energy will overtake nuclear power in UK, study says

Renewables will provide enough power for one in 10 British homes by 2015 if current growth rates continue Renewable energy will overtake nuclear power in the UK by 2018, if current rates of growth continue, and will provide enough power for one in 10 British homes by 2015, according to…

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