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Brazil to breed GM mosquitoes to combat dengue

Brazil said it will breed huge numbers of genetically modified mosquitoes to help stop the spread of dengue fever, an illness that has already struck nearly 500,000 people this year nationwide. Dengue affects between 50 and 100 million people in the tropics and subtropics each year, causing fever, muscle and…

Sitting less may extend American lives: study

PARIS — American adults may boost their life expectancy by two years by sitting for fewer than three hours a day, researchers said Tuesday, while admitting this was a tough task. Reducing television viewing to under two hours a day could similarly add 1.4 years, the US team said in…

Marijuana-based drug could help treat obesity: report

British drugmaker GW Pharmaceuticals is testing a marijuana-based drug it believes may be useful in treating obesity by suppressing the appetite, according to a published report. While marijuana is typically known for its appetite-boosting effects, Dr. Stephen Wright, director of GW Pharma’s research and development department, told The Telegraph recently that two specific…

Physicists: Batman would need a parachute

Batman would need a parachute to land safely in real life, say physicists who recommend a cape redesign if the masked superhero is to pursue his exploits outside the pages of comic books or celluloid. On the big screen, the crime-fighter is able to glide from tall buildings using a…

New technology produces spectacular 3-D images of ancient artifacts

Scientists have used a new x-ray technique to produce spectacular 3D images of Roman coins that were corroded inside pots or blocks of soil. The rotating images built up from thousands of two-dimensional scans are so clear that individual coins can be identified and dated, without a single battered denarius…

‘Age Man Suit’ allows medical students to experience what it’s like to be elderly

It’s nothing if not depressing. I drop a coin on the floor and bend down to pick it up. The bending is laborious and with it comes the risk of toppling over. My head is heavy and moving it causes dizziness. And there’s still that coin to pick up –…

NASA Mars images ‘next best thing to being there’

The US space agency NASA has recently pieced together a panoramic view from the camera on NASA’s Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity, calling it the “next best thing to being” on the Red Planet. The full-circle scene fuses together 817 images taken by the mast-mounted panoramic camera (Pancam) on the Opportunity…

Top marine scientists warn reefs in rapid decline

More than 2,600 of the world’s top marine scientists Monday warned coral reefs around the world were in rapid decline and urged immediate global action on climate change to save what remains. The consensus statement at the International Coral Reef Symposium, being held in the northeastern Australian city of Cairns,…

Dogs may protect babies from some infections: study

Babies who spend time around pet dogs have fewer ear infections and respiratory ailments than those whose homes are animal-free, said a study released on Monday. The study, published in the US journal Pediatrics, did not say why but suggested that being around a dog that spends at least part…

Scientists say NASA’s 2010 ‘new form of life’ claim was untrue

Two scientific papers appear to have disproved a controversial claim made by NASA-funded scientists in 2010 that a new form of bacterial life had been discovered that could thrive on arsenic. “Contrary to an original report, the new research clearly shows that the bacterium, GFAJ-1, cannot substitute arsenic for phosphorus…

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