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Study finds arctic ice decline set new record in June

A study released Friday by the National Snow & Ice Data Center found that arctic ice levels underwent their most rapid loss ever for the month of June this year. According to the study, the arctic lost 2.86 million square miles of ice in June, the largest such drop since…

Researchers identify protein that may keep flu away

SDSU researchers identify protein that may keep flu away (via The Bay Citizen) It works by boosting immune system instead of just targeting virus By Susanne Rust on July 6, 2012 – 2:01 p.m. PDT Researchers have identified a protein that may prevent the flu from making people ill. The…

Guyana suspends gold, diamond mining permits over pollution fears

GEORGETOWN — The South American country of Guyana said it had suspended the granting of new permits to mine for gold and diamonds in rivers because of concerns over widespread pollution. The move comes as prices for the yellow metal have soared on global markets. The ministry for natural resources…

Japan, Norway block attempt to give UN more power over whaling

By Shaun Tandon (AFP) PANAMA CITY — Japan, Norway and their allies blocked a bid Friday to give the United Nations a greater role in protecting whales, as sought by conservationists frustrated by deep polarization over whaling. The International Whaling Commission was closing its latest annual meeting marred by intense…

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…

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