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Rare genetic mutation offers Alzheimer’s clues

Scientists have found a rare genetic mutation that appears to triple the risk for developing Alzheimer’s disease and provides important clues into how the so-far incurable disease operates. Scientists from two independent teams stumbled on the same result, published in two studies Wednesday in the New England Journal of Medicine:…

Early humans used stone-tipped spears 500,000 years ago

Early humans were already using stone tips to enhance the killing power of spears at least 500,000 years ago, some 200,000 years earlier than previously thought, anthropologists said Thursday. Attaching stone points to spears — a technique known as “hafting” — requires more planning and effort than simply sharpening a…

BP agrees to pay $4.5 billion in settlement over Deepwater Horizon oil spill

Oil giant will pay $4.5bn to US authorities and agrees to plead guilty to 11 felony counts of misconduct over fatal rig explosion BP has agreed to pay the largest criminal fine in US history – $4.5bn – to resolve all criminal charges arising from the fatal oil rig explosion…

EU warns eight countries to stop ‘criminal’ fishing

The European Commission warned eight developing countries Thursday of sanctions if they did not do more to stop “criminal” illegal fishing, saying it was taking the first step of its kind. The Commission said it did not plan to impose penalties as yet on Belize, Cambodia, Fiji, Guinea, Panama, Sri…

Scientists: Multimillion dollar seal-killing plan won’t bring back Atlantic cod

By Stephen Leahy, The Guardian Open letter from marine scientists at Dalhousie University challenges claim that cull is needed to help fish stocks Canada‘s multimillion dollar proposal to cull grey seals will not bring back the ravaged stocks of Atlantic cod it is intended to help, scientists have said. In October, the Canadian…

UK survey finds one new ‘legal high’ goes on sale every week in Britain

EU report reveals 57 new psychoactive drugs have been detected so far this year A record 57 new legal highs have been detected so far this year, with the EU’s early warning system reporting the appearance of more than one new psychoactive drug on the market every week. The rise…

Two dead in new outbreak of Ebola in Uganda: minister

A fresh outbreak of the deadly Ebola virus in central Uganda has killed at least two people, the health minister said on Thursday. The virus has killed two members of the same family since Saturday about 50 kilometres (30 miles) from the capital Kampala, said Health Minister Christine Ondoa. “The…

IQ research prompts warning over drinking alcohol during pregnancy

Research showing that children of women who drank as little as two glasses of wine a week during pregnancy had lower IQs has prompted calls for mothers-to-be to avoid alcohol. The study, by academics at Bristol and Oxford universities, found that offspring of women who consumed between one and six…

Exposure to light at night lowers cognitive function: study

Researchers at Johns Hopkins University have found that regular exposure to bright lights at night can result in depression and learning impairments. “Basically, what we found is that chronic exposure to bright light — even the kind of light you experience in your own living room at home or in…

Grunt work: Scientists decode pig genome

PARIS — Scientists said Wednesday they had laid bare the genetic code of the pig, revealing that besides providing ham, bacon and sausages, the domestic swine may also be useful in fighting human diseases. Pigs and humans share 112 DNA mutations which in Man have been linked to obesity, diabetes,…

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