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Alcoholism not uncommon among surgeons

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) – About 15 percent of surgeons have alcohol abuse or dependency problems, a rate that is somewhat higher than the rest of the population, according to a new survey. The researchers also found that surgeons who showed signs of alcoholism were 45 percent more likely to…

Rare Shepherd’s beaked whale caught on film for first time

Australian researchers Thursday revealed they had filmed a pod of extremely rare Shepherd’s beaked whales for the first time ever. The Australian Antarctic Division team was tracking blue whales off the coast of Victoria state last month when they spotted the reclusive mammals, which are so rarely seen that no…

Faulty wire error blamed for ‘faster-than-light’ particles

WASHINGTON — A European experiment that in September showed particles moving faster than the speed of light has been exposed as a mistake due to a faulty wire connection, the US journal Science said Wednesday. “A bad connection between a GPS unit and a computer may be to blame,” said…

Genes and gender: new shots fired on the Y front

PARIS — Theories that men will eventually become extinct because the Y chromosome which determines maleness is shrinking are quite wrong, according to a gene study published on Wednesday. The men-are-doomed scenario leapt to prominence nearly a decade ago when scientists found that the male chromosome had dramatically shrivelled. It…

Fresh scandal embroils U.S. climate science debate

WASHINGTON — A fresh scandal over climate change has erupted in the United States after leaked documents appeared to show a right-wing funded campaign to influence how climate science is taught in schools. The internal budget and strategy documents from a Chicago-based non-profit group called the Heartland Institute were made…

New amateur video of Challenger disaster released

After over 25 years, newly discovered footage of the Challenger shuttle disaster is thought to be only the second piece of amateur footage in existence. Bob Karman provided New Scientist with the VHS video he took while vacationing with his family at Disney World in 1986. The video was digitized…

Engineer invents floating solar panels

Rays of the winter sun bounce off gleaming mirrors on the tiny lake of Colignola in Italy, where engineers have built a cost-effective prototype for floating, rotating solar panels. “You are standing on a photovoltaic floating plant which tracks the sun, it’s the first platform of its kind in the world!” said Marco…

Stem cell implants boost monkeys with Parkinson’s

Monkeys suffering from Parkinson’s disease show a marked improvement when human embryonic stem cells are implanted in their brains, in what a Japanese researcher said Wednesday was a world first. A team of scientists transplanted the stem cells into four primates that were suffering from the debilitating disease. The monkeys all had violent shaking…

Heart attack with no chest pain more likely in women

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) – Women, especially younger women, are more likely than men to show up at the hospital with no chest pain or discomfort after having a heart attack, a new study suggests. Those symptoms, or lack of symptoms, can result in delayed medical care and differences in…

BASF buys electrolytes business from top rival

BASF, the world’s biggest chemicals maker, said Tuesday it has agreed to buy the electrolytes business for high-performance batteries from rival Merck KGaA for an undisclosed sum. The acquisition ”enhances the expertise we offer to automotive andbattery manufacturers around the world,” said board memberAndreas Kreimeyer. Electrolytes ensure the transport of electric charges inside a battery. “The electrolyte portfolio…

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