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Physicists look for changes in Earth’s gravity through gnome

Physicists looking at anomalies in Earth’s gravity have turned to agarden gnome named Kern, which has been shipped around the globe to have himself weighed at locations ranging from Lima, Mumbai and Mexico to Sydney, New Caledonia and the South Pole. The experiment is a twist on the “travelling gnome” prank, in…

Cigarette firms’ interference slowing anti-tobacco fight

Alleged “interference” by cigarette firms in public health policies is slowing down a UN-backed global campaign against tobacco use and its related health risks, a report said Tuesday. The report by the civil society group Framework Convention Alliance said major cigarette firms continue to run circles around key provisions of…

Energy companies pledge to measure impacts of large dam projects

Critics say new scorecard to evaluate social and environmental impacts of hydropower projects serves dam builders not local communities. Two of the world’s largest energy companies committed last week to assess the impacts of their hydropower projects using new voluntary guidelines to evaluate the economic, social, and environmental consequences of…

Women charged $1 billion more than men for health care: report

The National Women’s Law Center released a report Monday morning that found health insurance companies have charged women $1 billion more than men for the same premium coverage, leading to the organization launching a campaign for women to fight against discriminatory practices. The report, Turning to Fairness: Insurance discrimination against…

Stem cells: Blood from healthy babies’ umbilical cords is already saving lives

Stem cell science is still in its infancy, but blood donated from healthy babies’ umbilical cords is already saving lives, hears Joanna Moorhead It is mid-morning in the delivery suite at King’s College hospital in London, and midwife Terie Duffy is cooing over the contents of a stainless-steel bowl. “Isn’t…

Poachers may wipe out rhinos in South Africa

MOKOPANE, South Africa — Rhinos will be wiped out from South Africa’s wildlife parks by 2015 if poaching continues at its current rate, a campaigner fighting to save the beasts has warned. And corruption among officials is contributing to the ongoing slaughter, said veterinary nurse Karen Trendler. In a career…

There’s a new frog in town: #68 –Ameerega berohoka

This poison frog has hopped to the attention of scientists in Brazil One late afternoon during the wet season on Brazil’s great Cerrado savannah, a new frog song was recorded. Males were calling from seemingly all around – on bare soil, under rocks, hiding in vegetation. Active also in the…

‘The person who lives to be 1,000 years-old has already been born.’

Loneliness is the worst enemy of health and longevity This week, to a large and gripped audience, Professor Sarah Harper from the Oxford Institute of Ageing had just explained what societies of the future would look like. Then someone in the audience stood up and quoted gerontologist Aubrey de Grey:…

Study blames obesity epidemic on rising CO2 levels

The question of whether carbon dioxide should be considered a pollutant under the Clean Air Act and regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency has been a political football for the past decade. In 1998, the Clinton administration decided that it was, but in 2003, the Bush administration reversed this policy.…

Air pollution could become China’s biggest health threat, expert warns

Jonathan Watts, guardian.co.uk Air pollution will become the biggest health threat in China unless the government takes greater steps to monitor and publicise the dangers of smog, the country’s leading respiratory disease specialist warned this week. Lung cancer and cardiovascular illnesses are already rising and could get worse in the…

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