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Study: Milky Way may harbor ‘billions’ of potentially habitable planets

A study published this week suggests that there may be “tens of billions” of planets in the Milky Way galaxy that fall within what scientists call “the Goldilocks zone,” where the conditions for spawning life are thought to exist. Working with a relatively new technology called the HARPS spectrograph, located…

UK Parliament says breast implants response ‘inadequate’

The response of the government and regulators to a massive breast implant scandal which affected thousands of British women was slow and inadequate, a group of MPs said Wednesday. The House of Commons Health Committee noted that “urgent action” to gather evidence and warn women of the possible risks only came 21 months after surgeons were…

Man gets ‘most extensive’ face transplant ever

A US man who lost his lips, nose and teeth in a 1997 gun accident has received the most extensive face transplant to date, according to doctors at the University of Maryland Medical Center. Richard Lee Norris, 37, had undergone several life-saving and reconstructive surgeries after the accident but had…

Population adds to planet’s pressure cooker, but few options

LONDON — The world’s surging population is a big driver of environmental woes but the issue is complex and solutions are few, experts at a major conference here say. Answers lie with educating women in poorer countries and widening access to contraception but also with reforming consumption patterns in rich…

Survival odds better with bypass than angioplasty: study

Patients who undergo bypass surgery for heart disease have better long-term survival rates than those who opt for less invasive procedures like angioplasty, a major US study showed on Tuesday. The study looked at data from 190,000 US patients and found that those who had bypass surgery had a lower…

Scientist anticipates human trials for tumor-killing drug

After more than a decade of research, Stanford University biologist Irving Weissman believes his tumor-killing drug is ready for human trials. Speaking to reporter Sarah C. P. Williams for Science Magazine, a publication of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, Weissman said numerous tests have showed that his…

Energy-starved Pakistan eyes solar power

From mosques, to homes and streets, Pakistanis are increasingly seeing the light and realising that year-round sun may be a cheap if partial answer to an enormous energy crisis. “It’s the best thing I bought this winter,” says Sardar Azam, a former civil servant retired to a river-side home in Pakistani-administered Kashmir,…

Surgery better for diabetes in the obese: studies

CHICAGO — Two clinical studies suggest that gastric surgery is better than traditional methods of care when it comes to controlling diabetes in overweight and obese patients. The first study, coined STAMPEDE, and presented at the American College of Cardiology conference, showed that patients who had operations fared three to…

Too much or too little sleep linked to heart problems: study

People who sleep less than six hours per night or more than eight are more likely to suffer heart problems than people who sleep between six and eight hours, according to a US study. The findings confirm those in previous, smaller studies, but are based on what researchers described as…

‘Titanic’ director Cameron reaches bottom of Mariana Trench

WASHINGTON — “Titanic” director James Cameron reached the deepest part of the Pacific Ocean in his solo submarine, mission partner the National Geographic said Sunday. The explorer and filmmaker reached a depth of 35,756 feet (10,898 meters) at 7:52 am Monday local time (2152 GMT Sunday) in the Mariana Trench…

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