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Environmental collapse now a serious threat: scientists

PARIS — Climate change, population growth and environmental destruction could cause a collapse of the ecosystem just a few generations from now, scientists warned on Wednesday in the journal Nature. The paper by 22 top researchers said a “tipping point” by which the biosphere goes into swift and irreversible change,…

Drug-resistant gonorrhoea on the rise, warns WHO

GENEVA — The World Health Organization warned on Wednesday of a spreading resistance to drugs used to treat the sexually transmitted disease gonorrhoea. Millions of people with the condition may be at risk of running out of treatment options unless urgent action is taken, the United Nations agency said. Several…

The 2,000-year-old computer you’ve never heard of

Right, that’s enough of the Queen for now. Have you ever heard of the Antikythera mechanism? You have? Well done. If not, I suspect you’re in good company and the fact that I learned about it from a fascinating BBC4 programme – the high point of my jubilee weekend –…

Solar plane lands in Morocco on historic flight

A solar plane made history Tuesday by landing in the Moroccan capital after flying across the Strait of Gibraltar from Spain on the world’s first intercontinental flight in a plane powered by the sun. Bertrand Piccard, a 54-year-old Swiss psychiatrist and balloonist, landed Solar Impulse at 11:30 pm (2230 GMT)…

Blood test ‘can save breast cancer patients’ lives’

A simple blood test can save lives by helping doctors swiftly diagnose whether a patient with early breast cancer faces high risk of death or relapse after treatment, specialists said Wednesday. Tumour cells in a blood sample, when taken at an early stage of the disease, are an accurate predictor of a patient’s survival chances, the team…

Bath salts: Gruesome Miami attack adds to drug’s bizarre history

Bath salts: Gruesome Miami attack adds to drug's bizarre history (via The Christian Science Monitor) Months before the lurid case of a Miami man who allegedly cannibalized a homeless man’s face, police and emergency officials as far flung as Maine and Louisiana were coping with their own surreal 911 calls…

Climate change to cost Latin America $100 billion by 2050

Global warming could exact a devastating toll on the economies of Latin America and the Caribbean, with costs possibly exceeding $100 billion by 2050, the Inter-American Development Bank warned Tuesday. In a new report, the Washington-based organization also called for “forceful” reductions in greenhouse gases to forestall some of the…

Rare transit of Venus draws sky-gazers worldwide

Sky-gazers around the world held up their telescopes and viewing glasses Wednesday to watch Venus slide across the sun — a rare celestial phenomenon that will not happen again for more than 100 years. The spectacle began shortly after 2200 GMT Tuesday in parts of North America, Central America and…

New findings suggest misconceptions about ‘abortion pills’

A story in today’s New York Times suggests Republican anger over morning-after pills is misplaced, because of misconceptions about what they do. Pills like Plan B, Pam Belluck says, don’t stop fertilized eggs from attaching themselves to a woman’s uterus; instead, they delay ovulation, thus preventing eggs from interacting with…

WATCH LIVE: The transit of Venus

Australia and other countries in the Pacific have the opportunity to see the transit of Venus, when the planet passes between the Earth and the Sun. NASA is offering coverage of this rare event, which won’t occur again until 2117. Watch the live coverage from NASA, broadcast by UStream on…

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