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Study finds link between childhood obesity and soda can’s BPA chemical

US scientists say they have established for the first time a link between overweight and obese children and a common chemical found in everyday consumer products such as soda cans. The substance is Bisphenol A (BPA), a manufactured chemical, and the study found that in a sample of nearly 3,000…

‘Bends’ study shows how mammals make mega-deep dives

Scientists in California have shed light on a marine mystery: how diving mammals can hunt for food at great depths without getting the “bends,” according to a new study. Formally known as decompression sickness, the bends occur when nitrogen gas, compressed in the bloodstream at depth, expands during ascent, causing…

Scientists ponder interstellar travel at NASA-backed space summit

In one room, scientists debated whether the White-Juday Warp Field Interferometer will help find a way to bend the space-time continuum and make interstellar travel feasible within a lifetime. In another, they estimated how many pairs of underpants an astronaut would need to pack for the trip. Later, a paper…

Sequestration will have ‘catastrophic consequences’ on medical research

The automatic budget cuts set to go into effect at the end of the year will have a devastating effect on medical research in the United States, according to the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB). If sequestration goes into effect, as it is scheduled to do in…

Merk suffers setback on lung cancer treatment

German pharmaceuticals maker Merck KGaA said Tuesday it is withdrawing its application for its drug Erbitux to be used to treat patients with lung cancer. Merck said in a statement it had decided to “voluntarily withdraw the marketing authorisation application to the European Medicines Agency” for Erbitux to be used…

Amazon’s flying water vapor rivers bring rain to Brazil

As devastating drought spreads across much of the globe, British-born pilot Gerard Moss flies above the Amazon rainforest to show how its “flying rivers” — humid air currents — bring rain to Brazil and South America. Aboard his single-engine Embraer 721 aircraft, Moss, a naturalized Brazilian, was on a 45-minute…

Researchers make live-saving medical enzyme out of genetically engineered corn

Biologists in Canada have made a medical enzyme using genetically-engineered corn, a feat that could one day slash the cost of treating a life-threatening inherited disease, a journal reported on Tuesday. Inserting a section of DNA code into maize seed caused them to make alpha-L-iduronidase in the endosperm, a nutritive…

Found explosive WWI relics underscore Alps’ rapidly dwindling glaciers

Appearance of explosive WWI relics underscore Alps glaciers' retreat They lay undetected for more than a century, a hidden legacy of the highest, most forbidding battlefield of World War I. But last month, as Italy sweltered through one of the hottest summers on record, a cache of more than 200…

Ebola outbreak ‘kills 32′ in Congo since May

An outbreak of Ebola fever in the Democratic Republic of Congo may have claimed up to 32 lives since May, including that of a woman who had just given birth, the World Health Organisation said Tuesday. By September 15, “a cumulative total of 72 cases was recorded, including 14 cases…

Doctors perform first mother-to-daughter uterus transplants

Two Swedish women received new uteruses at the weekend in the world’s first mother-to-daughter uterine transplants aimed at helping them have babies, Gothenburg University announced on Tuesday. Uterine transplants are new, with the first successful one conducted in Turkey in 2011. “One of the women had previously had her own…

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