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China achieves nation’s first manual space docking

A Chinese spacecraft on Sunday successfully completed the country’s first manual docking in orbit, a milestone in an ambitious programme to build a space station by the end of the decade. The Shenzhou-9 spacecraft linked with the Tiangong-1 module just over a week into a manned space mission which includes…

Richard Dawkins in furious spat with EO Wilson over theory of evolution

Book review sparks war of words between grand old man of biology and Oxford’s most high-profile Darwinist A disagreement between the twin giants of genetic theory, Richard Dawkins and EO Wilson, is now being fought out by rival academic camps in an effort to understand how species evolve. The learned…

CERN to give update on search for ‘God-particle’

The European Organisation for Nuclear Research said Friday it may announce next month whether tests with its atom-smasher have found the elusive “God particle”. Known formally as the Higgs boson, the particle is the theoretical missing link in the standard model of physics and is believed to be what gives…

Study: Sea-level rise two or three times higher than expected

Global sea levels could rise two to three times higher over the next century than previously estimated, according to a study released Friday by the US National Research Council. A committee of experts evaluated that latest UN estimates and updated them with new data on polar ice-cap melting that is…

Male Zimbabwe officials undergo circumcision for anti-HIV campaign

Male lawmakers in Zimbabwe on Friday underwent voluntary circumcision in a new public drive to curb the spread of HIV, which affects about one in 10 people in the southern African country. A handful of lawmakers stepped into a mobile clinic set up inside the parliament building to undergo the…

Scientists perform world’s first in-utero tumor surgery on fetus

When Tammy Gonzalez saw what appeared to be a giant bubble blowing from her unborn baby’s mouth during an ultrasound scan, the joy of pregnancy turned to despair as doctors diagnosed a rare and potentially fatal tumour. Now, two years later, she has revealed for the first time how her…

Dinosaur that entered U.S. illegally faces deportation

The 70-million-year-old skeleton of a Tyrannosaurus bataar, a smaller Asian cousin of Tyrannosaurus rex, has been found to be in the U.S. illegally and is being sent home, according to Time magazine’s News Feed blog. The T. bataar was purchased at auction by Dallas-based Heritage Auctions in May for $1.05…

Solar plane makes flight over Moroccan desert

A solar-powered plane early Friday completed a flight over the Moroccan desert to showcase renewable energy, as a key summit in Rio discussed “greening” the world economy. The Swiss-made Solar Impulse landed in Ouarzazate at 26 minutes after midnight (2326 GMT) after having taken off from Rabat at dawn on…

Smarter lighting would save $110 billion, summit told

RIO DE JANEIRO — Efficient lighting would save $110 billion a year worldwide, according to a UN-led study published at the Rio+20 summit on Thursday. Yearly savings in phasing out incandescent bulbs and making other simple changes would amount to around five percent of global electricity consumption, it said. It…

European campaign bills science as a ‘girl thing’

With few women in Europe taking up research jobs, a campaign launched Thursday by the EU executive seeks to convince teenagers that science is a “girl thing.” “Science does not just mean old men in white coats,” said Research and Science Commissioner Maire Geoghegan-Quinn. “The under-representation of women in a…

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