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Stoned mice lead to breakthrough in understanding memory

Scientists hoping to allow users of medical marijuana to avoid the impairment of short-term memory that typically goes along with the drug have made a dramatic breakthrough in the understanding of how memory functions. According to Scientific American, Giovanni Marsicano and his colleagues at the University of Bordeaux in France…

Brazilian species set for extinction even if Amazon deforestation halts

The destruction of great swaths of the Brazilian Amazon has turned scores of rare species into the walking dead, doomed to disappear even if deforestation were halted in the region overnight, according to a new study. Forest clearing in Brazil has already claimed casualties, but the animals lost to date…

Somali insurgent bastion facing cholera crisis

Cholera is rising in the last major town held by Somalia’s Al-Qaeda linked Shehab, with most of those stricken by the disease children, the World Health Organization (WHO) warned Friday. The UN agency “is very much concerned about the increased number of cholera cases, particularly in Kismayo town,” it said…

South African scientists discover complete skeleton of human relative

South African scientists said Thursday they had uncovered the most complete skeleton yet of an ancient relative of man, hidden in a rock excavated from an archaeological site three years ago. The remains of a juvenile hominid skeleton, of the Australopithecus (southern ape) sediba species, constitute the “most complete early…

Report: UK most energy efficient of world’s largest economies

It lacks the glitz or glamour of the Olympics but the UK won a race that really does matter on Thursday, taking the gold in energy efficiency. A report launched in Washington by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy on Thursday ranked the UK first among the world’s 12…

Australia’s mining boom may doom Barrier Reef

Asia-bound ships queue for weeks outside the Australian port of Newcastle as an endless stream of coal trains wind their way from mine to port. Environmentalists say the nation’s unprecedented resources boom, which will see some US$500 billion pumped into gas, oil and mining projects in coming years, has come…

Breast-fed children have increased risk of nut allergies: study

SYDNEY — Children who are solely breast-fed in the first six months of life are at increased risk of developing a nut allergy, new research showed. A study by The Australian National University, published in the International Journal of Pediatrics on Thursday, investigated the link in primary school children in…

Astronomers spot first evidence of dark galaxies

SANTIAGO — Astronomers in Chile using a powerful telescope have observed what appears to be evidence of the existence of dark galaxies, the European Southern Observatory (ESO) announced Wednesday. Dark galaxies are small, gas-rich galaxies from the early universe that are believed to be the building blocks of today’s bright,…

Study finds no long-term negative cognitive effects from marijuana

While cognitive performance is negatively affected by cannabis use, the negative effects appear to completely wear off within a month, according to research published in the Experimental and Clinical Psychopharmacology in late June. “With the number of cannabis users both illicitly and licitly increasing, the question of any potential lasting…

Hubble telescope spots fifth moon near Pluto

WASHINGTON — US astronomers have found a fifth moon orbiting far-away Pluto, NASA said on Wednesday. The irregular-shaped moon, nicknamed S/2012 for now, is about six to 15 miles (10 to 24 kilometers) across, the US space agency said. Last year, astronomers reported finding the fourth moon around the icy…

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