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Study casts doubt on human-Neanderthal interbreeding theory

When scientists discovered a few years ago that modern humans shared swaths of DNA with long-extinct Neanderthals, their best explanation was that at some point the two species must have interbred. Now a study by scientists at the University of Cambridge has questioned this conclusion, hypothesising instead that the DNA…

Obama to NASA experts: ‘Let me know if you find Martians’

ABOARD AIR FORCE ONE — US President Barack Obama on Monday ribbed scientists behind NASA’s roving robot Curiosity, instructing them to let him know right away if they found life on Mars. “If in fact, you do make contact with Martians, please let me know right away,” Obama joked, as…

Europe braces as mosquitos venture north due to climate change

Behind air-tight doors in a lab in a southern French city, scientists in protective coveralls wage war against a fingernail-sized danger. Lurking in net cages is their foe: the Asian tiger mosquito, capable of spreading dengue fever and other tropical diseases in temperate Europe. First spotted in Albania in 1979,…

Obama tells NASA: ‘I thought about getting a mohawk myself’

During a Monday call to congratulate NASA for successfully landing the Curiosity rover on Mars, President Barack Obama acknowledged the “special mohawk guy” in the control room who had taken the Internet by storm. As the world watched the rover landing last week, NASA flight engineer Bobak Ferdowsi became an…

U.S. wind industry has capacity to power 13 million homes

The US wind energy industry is now providing enough capacity to power 13 million homes, equivalent to all of Nevada, Colorado, Wisconsin, Virginia, Alabama, and Connecticut combined. The American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) used the annual National Clean Energy Summit in Las Vegas last week to confirm that the sector…

Report: El Niño exacerbates Southeast Asia fire deaths

Forest and land fires in Southeast Asia kill an additional 15,000 people annually when the El Niño weather phenomenon grips the region, scientists have estimated. The deaths are caused by higher particle pollution and higher local levels of ozone, both of which are stressors for the lungs and heart, they…

Arctic ocean losing 50% more summer ice than predicted

Sea ice in the Arctic is disappearing at a far greater rate than previously expected, according to data from the first purpose-built satellite launched to study the thickness of the Earth’s polar caps. Preliminary results from the European Space Agency’s CryoSat-2 probe indicate that 900 cubic kilometers of summer sea…

Whale uninjured in crash that broke man’s arm

A South African man fractured his arm after a catamaran crashed into a whale off the eastern port city of Durban but the Leviathan was unhurt, an official said Saturday. Derrick Pienaar, 50, suffered a fracture in his right arm, National Sea Rescue Institute official Craig Lambinon said. “Mr Pienaar’s…

Scientists create most disgusting robot yet

Scientists create most disgusting robot yet (+video) (via The Christian Science Monitor) An international team of researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Harvard University, and Seoul National University have succeeded in creating the world’s most disgusting robot. Known as Meshworm, the soft, repugnant automaton moves via peristalsis, a method…

Daily aspirin reduces cancer risk and slows its spread, study confirms

Overall risk of dying from cancer was reduced by 16% among people who took daily dose of aspirin when healthy Taking a low dose of aspirin every day may reduce the risk of cancer and slow the spread of the disease, according to a study that followed the health of…

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