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High chance of major Oregon quake: study

WASHINGTON — The western US state of Oregon has a 40 percent chance in the next half-century of suffering a massive earthquake on the scale of Japan’s 2011 disaster, a study said Wednesday. The Pacific Northwest — from the Oregon-California border to Vancouver Island in Canada — has endured 19…

Study: Child abuse causes depression and substance abuse

Children who suffer or witness physical abuse undergo changes to their brain structure that may predispose them to depression and substance abuse later in life, a study said Wednesday. The finding holds promise for early detection and pre-emptive counselling already in adolescence — a crucial phase of physical and emotional…

Researchers find cancer stem cells that cause tumor regrowth

Researchers presented evidence Wednesday for the existence of cancer stem cells, with three different studies seeking to end a decades-old scientific dispute about how tumours grow. The discovery should lead to new drugs targeting stem cells that cause tumours to reappear after cancer therapy, the teams argued in three scientific…

Climate change may force French ski resort to shut down

A modest ski area in the French Alps is ready to unbolt its chairlifts and rope off slopes as the local mayor concludes that climate change means the trails ahead will be rocky. Henri-Victor Tournier, the mayor of Biot, wants to clear cable towers from the 1,230-metre-high (4,000-foot) resort of Drouzin-le-Mont before the next elections in 2014 and convert the…

Researchers use role-playing fantasy video game to treat teen depression

Long viewed as a contributing factor in teenage isolation, computer games are now being used to treat adolescent depression in an innovative New Zealand programme. Rather than simply encouraging players to engage in mindless destruction, the SPARX video game attempts to teach teenagers how to deal with depression using a…

Study: Dolphins form cliques around mutual interests

Bottlenose dolphins that have learnt to use sea sponges as hunting tools form cliques with others that do the same — the first evidence of animal grouping based on mutual interest, a study said Tuesday. The finding may represent the first known proof of cultural behaviour in the animal kingdom,…

Traveling medical technician could have exposed thousands to hepatitis C

A 33-year-old medical technician who criss-crossed the country for years may have exposed thousands of patients to hepatitis C, according to a report from NPR. David Kwiatkowsky is accused of diverting syringes full of the powerful opiate drug Fentanyl, injecting the drugs and refilling the needles with saline solution to…

Rare earth metals under Greenland’s melting ice sheet could trigger mining rush

Inside every wind turbine, inside computers, phones and other high-tech equipment from medical scanners to electric cars, are materials known as “rare earths”. This small group of 17 elements are in extraordinary demand – but their supply is limited, and most of the existing sources have already been snapped up…

NASA: Apollo 11 flag from man’s first moon landing ‘missing’

A series of American flags that were planted on the moon during visits by Apollo astronauts some four decades ago are still standing, except for one, a NASA scientist has said. The missing flag was the one planted by the pioneering astronauts on the Apollo 11 mission in 1969 when…

Canadian intelligence report sees threat from ‘radicalized environmentalist faction’

An intelligence assessment from the Royal Canadian Mounted Police that describes environmental activsts as posing a significant threat of violence has drawn an immediate rebuttal from Greenpeace Canada, which is cited by name in the assessment. A heavily-censored copy of the classified report — which also covers ordinary criminal activities…

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