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Study: ‘Urban mining’ for precious metals in e-waste more fruitful than traditional mining

“Deposits” of gold in electronic waste are around 50 times richer than ore mined from the ground, according to figures put forward by recycling experts on Friday. The amount of precious metal junked in cellphones, laptop computers, PCs and other electronic goods is rising hugely but very little of it…

Higgs: It’s ‘nice to be right sometimes’

The British scientist who gave his name to the Higgs boson particle spoke Friday of his delight after researchers affirmed its existence, saying it was “nice to be right sometimes”. Professor Peter Higgs was making his first detailed public comments since researchers at the European Organisation for Nuclear Research (CERN)…

Afghanistan working toward a hydroelectric future

Say the word ‘Afghanistan’, and you’ll conjure up a number of associations in your listener’s mind. It’s a safe bet that none of them will include ‘promising haven of renewable energy’. But that’s a pretty fair description of what’s underway in the mountainous north eastern province of Badakhshan – “the…

Biomechanical legs are a giant step for robot-kind

Scientists in the United States say they have made the world’s most advanced pair of biomechanical legs, bringing the goal of human-friendly household robots a bit closer. About half the size of their human counterparts, the legs are the first to mimic walking in a biologically accurate, energy-efficient manner, say…

Indian police are still using ‘truth serum’

It is the sort of scene that belongs in a film noir, not a 21st-century democracy: an uncooperative suspect being injected with a dose of “truth serum” in an attempt to elicit a confession. But some detectives in India still swear by so-called narcoanalysis despite India’s highest court ruling that…

Study: The ‘gateway drug’ is alcohol, not marijuana

A study in the August edition of The Journal of School Health finds that the generations old theory of a “gateway drug” effect is in fact accurate for some drug users, but shifts the blame for those addicts’ escalating substance abuse away from marijuana and onto the most pervasive and socially…

Hong Kong closes popular tourist attraction after deadly bird flu virus found in cages

Hong Kong on Thursday closed a popular tourist spot where hundreds of caged birds are on display after the deadly H5N1 avian flu virus was detected at one of the stalls. The agriculture, fisheries and conservation department said it was closing the Yuen Po Street bird market in the city’s…

Scientists finally measure cosmic ‘dark matter’

While the rest of the world was celebrating the discovery of the Higgs Boson particle, researchers at the University Observatory Munich and the University of Michigan were fastidiously working on yet another major discovery that will likely also lead to fundamental changes in humanity’s understanding of the universe. Specifically, scientists…

‘God particle’ a gateway to new vision of universe

Physicists said Thursday the potential discovery of the “God particle” was a gateway to a new era that could see humanity unlock some of the universe’s great mysteries including dark matter. The European Organisation for Nuclear Research (CERN) unveiled data from the Large Hadron Collider on Wednesday “consistent with the…

Particle physics: A timeline

Following is a timeline of particle physics: 5th century BC: Greek philosopher Democritus suggests the Universe consists of empty space and of invisible and indivisible particles called atoms. 1802: John Dalton, a Quaker-educated English physicist and chemist, lays groundwork of modern theory of the elements and the atom. 1897: Electron…

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