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Himalayan meltdown not so fast after all: study

Himalayan glaciers and ice caps that supply water to more than a billion people in Asia are losing mass up to 10 times less quickly than once feared, reports a study published Thursday. Based on an improved analysis of satellite data from 2003 to 2010, the findings offer a reprieve…

New advance in gene therapy for blindness

WASHINGTON — US scientists on Wednesday reported a new advance in using gene therapy to restore eyesight in people with a rare, inherited form of blindness. The therapy, which had been previously tried in just one eye of 12 people, worked well when injected into the other eye of three…

Study on mice shows fasting weakens cancer

WASHINGTON — Early research on mice with cancer shows that fasting may weaken tumors and help chemotherapy work better, scientists said on Wednesday. While it remains unknown if the same approach could work in humans, or if it would even be safe, researchers said the findings suggest a promising new…

90 percent of Americans eat too much salt: study

Ninety percent of Americans eat too much salt every day, and the top food offenders include cheeseburgers, pizza, bread, deli meat and potato chips, US health officials said on Tuesday. The average American eats about 3,300 milligrams of sodium per day, and that does not include salt added from the shaker on…

Sheep genes reveal room for improvement: study

Sheep are among the most genetically diverse domesticated animals, and further breeding could yield more meat and wool, according to a new US study. The study, published Tuesday in the online journal PLoS Biology, maps out the ancestry of sheep going back 11,000 years, to the origins of animal husbandry, and shows that…

Funding boosted for Alzheimer’s research

The administration of US President Barack Obama announced on Tuesday it will boost funding for research into Alzheimer’s disease by $130 million, a 25 percent increase over the next two years. Leading health officials said an extra $50 million would be made available immediately for cutting-edge Alzheimer’s research and that…

Dem state senator adds ‘Every sperm is sacred’ clause to ‘personhood’ bill

A pro-choice Democratic legislator has taken a novel approach to fighting an Oklahoma “personhood” bill. According to the blog Jezebel, State Senator Constance Johnson of Oklahoma City has introduced a measure that calls to mind the famous Monty Python “Every Sperm is Sacred” sketch from the 1983 film “The Meaning…

Ship noise boosts stress in whales, 9/11 reveals: study

The steady drone of motors along busy commercial shipping lanes not only alters whale behaviour but can affect the giant sea mammals physically by causing chronic stress, a study published Wednesday has reported for the first time. The findings were made possible, researchers said, by an event that at first…

Tiny primate ‘talks’ in ultrasound

One of the world’s smallest primates, the Philippine tarsier, communicates in a range of ultrasound inaudible to predator and prey alike, according to a study published Wednesday. No bigger than a man’s hand, Tarsius syrichta can hear and emit sounds at a frequency that effectively gives it a private channel…

Lead poisoning ‘epidemic’ around Nigerian gold mines sickens thousands

LAGOS — A lead poisoning epidemic in Nigeria’s north that has killed 400 children and affected thousands is the worst in modern history, but cleanup has not even begun in many areas, Human Rights Watch said Tuesday. “Thousands of children in northern Nigeria need immediate medical treatment and dozens of…

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