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Earth-sized planet found orbiting nearest star

European astronomers on Wednesday reported they had detected a planet with about the mass of Earth which orbits the closest star to the Sun. The observation breaks new ground in the hunt for exoplanets — worlds that exist in other solar systems — although the planet itself is not “another…

Survival reflex sparks male perception bias: study

PARIS — You glimpse a stranger standing in the street. The light is hazy and the person’s face and clothing are indistinct. Who is it? Chances are you will think it is a man — and the reason for this is a survival reflex, according to an unusual study published…

Menopause increases belly fat but no overall weight gain

Contrary to popular perception, menopause does not cause weight gain, although it does increase fat around the waist, a specialist journal reported Tuesday. Scientists working for the International Menopause Society carried out a review of the evidence, looking at published studies into the impact of menopause on body weight. Where…

Court rejects German woman’s claims Higgs boson experiment posed danger

A German woman who feared the Earth would be sucked into oblivion in a black hole has failed in her court bid to stop the work of the world’s most powerful atom smasher. The higher administrative court in Muenster, western Germany, rejected her claims, ruling there was no evidence the…

Smoking in cars higher than UN pollution threshold

Smoking in cars raises levels of dangerous fine-particle pollutants to many times the limit recommended by the world’s health agency, a study published on Monday said. Doctors in Britain measured concentrations of fine particles in cars driven by 17 people, 14 of them smokers, using an electronic monitor on the…

Planet with four suns discovered 5,000 light years from Earth

WASHINGTON — An international team of amateur and professional astronomers announced the discovery of a planet with four suns — the first reported case of such a phenomenon. The planet, located about 5,000 light years from Earth, has been dubbed PH1 in honor of Planet Hunters, a program led by…

Researchers solve giant eyeball mystery

A mysterious giant eyeball found on a Florida beach last week had scientists scratching their heads. Now researchers believe that the softball-sized eye most likely came from a swordfish. The large fish is common in south Florida so the guess would make sense. A fisherman probably caught the fish at sea, cut…

‘Smart e-Pants’ underwear deliver electric shocks to comatose patients to prevent bed sores

Scientists have developed underwear with built-in electrodes that deliver small electric shocks to combat bed sores in patients who are in a coma or who have injuries that have immobilised them. At the annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience in New Orleans on Monday, they reported results from a trial of the “Smart-e-Pants” system, a…

Controversial U.S. businessman’s geoengineering scheme violates two UN conventions: investigation

A controversial American businessman dumped around 100 tonnes of iron sulphate into the Pacific Ocean as part of a geoengineering scheme off the west coast of Canada in July, a Guardian investigation can reveal. Lawyers, environmentalists and civil society groups are calling it a “blatant violation” of two international moratoria…

Madagascar lemurs top endangered primates list

In the hit cartoon film “Madagascar”, the island’s lemurs are a lovable bunch of extroverts, but they are also among the world’s most threatened primates, conservationists warned on Monday. A report released at the UN’s Convention on Biological Diversity meeting in the Indian city of Hyderabad said lemurs in Madagascar,…

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