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Contraception use on the rise as more teens delay sex: Study

More US teenagers are postponing sex than in 1995, and hormonal contraceptive use is up among those who are sexually active, said US health authorities on Thursday. However, disparities in safe sex practices remain, with white teenagers more likely to regularly use contraception than African-Americans or Hispanics, said the report…

Australia had tree-climbing sheep-sized marsupials

Sheep-sized relatives of modern-day wombats lived in Australian treetops 15 million years ago, a palaeontologist said Thursday as she was honoured for her discovery. Karen Black, from the University of New South Wales, said her team discovered the world’s largest tree-climbing marsupial among fossils found at the Riversleigh World Heritage Site in Queensland state. The…

Aspirin works as well as blood thinner in heart patients

WASHINGTON — Aspirin works as well as the blood thinner warfarin, or Coumadin, in most patients with heart failure when it comes to preventing death, stroke or brain hemorrhage, said a major international study on Wednesday. The findings published in the New England Journal of Medicine came from a landmark…

SpaceX delays ISS launch again

WASHINGTON — The first attempt by a private company to send a cargo-loaded spacecraft to the International Space Station was delayed again on Wednesday and a new launch date remains uncertain, SpaceX said. The planned May 7 launch has been postponed while engineers work out software issues, said SpaceX spokeswoman…

Controversial ‘mutant virus’ study published

Scientists who created a mutant virus to explore a key aspect of influenza published their research Wednesday after a four-month storm that brewed fears of bioterrorism and accusations of censorship. The controversy began in December when teams in the United States and the Netherlands separately said they had engineered a…

Scientists watch black hole devour unlucky star

Scientists have witnessed the rare spectacle of a supermassive black hole devouring a star that had ventured too close — an event that occurs about once in 10,000 years, they reported on Wednesday. Matter-sucking black holes normally lurk dormant and undetected at the centre of galaxies, but can occasionally be…

WWF calls for investigation into Indonesian elephant death

Environmental organisation WWF called on the government Wednesday to investigate the death of a critically endangered Sumatran elephant allegedly poisoned at an Indonesian oil palm plantation. A ranger at the plantation in Aceh Jaya on Sumatra island said he found the 18-year-old female elephant dying on Monday and that locals…

Scientists have underestimated climate change impact on plants: Study

Experiments that try to simulate global warming’s impact on plants badly underestimate what happens in the real world, according to a study published on Wednesday in the journal Nature. The investigation backs anecdotal evidence from farmers and gardeners, especially in the northern hemisphere, who say seasonal plants are stirring into…

Can cargo bikes replace diesel-guzzling delivery vehicles?

It is a familiar, unpleasant but seemingly inescapable part of modern city life: streets full of diesel-belching vans or lorries on delivery runs, either stuck in jams or else creating them as the driver double-parks to dash into a building. The solution? Roll forward the humble bicycle, or at least…

Study: Space rock caught some dinosaurs already in decline

Large, plant-eating dinosaurs were already in decline by the time a space rock smashed into Earth 65 million years ago and ended the reptiles’ long reign, a study published on Tuesday says. The findings by scientists in the United States and Germany do not dispute the mass extinction that so dramatically ended…

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