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NASA kills Mars deal with Europe

WASHINGTON — The United States will scale back Mars exploration under a proposed budget by President Barack Obama released Monday that has some scientists fuming over the risk of a NASA brain-drain. The plan kills a deal between the US and European space agencies to cooperate on Mars robotic rover…

‘Big Bang’ probe reveals strange microwave haze in the center of the galaxy

PARIS — A probe designed to delve into the “Big Bang” that created the cosmos has uncovered an enigmatic fog of microwave radiation in the centre of our galaxy, European astronomers reported on Monday. Planck, a billion-dollar European space telescope launched in May 2009, found “a mysterious haze of microwaves…

Climate change cited as shark attacks ‘double’

Sharks killed twice as many swimmers and surfers last year than in 2010, with the increase due largely to a growth in tourism and changing shark patterns due to global warming. There were 12 deaths in 46 shark attacks in 2011, a mortality rate of more than 25 percent compared to an average…

Botox developer rues missing out on billions

Botox developer Alan Scott says he rues the day he handed over rights to the best-selling wrinkle-smoothing drug to a US company for just $4.5 million, saying he might have become a billionaire. Botox has become a front-line weapon in cosmetic medicine for erasing wrinkles — while therapeutic applications of…

Europe’s new space rocket Vega makes first flight

A lightweight rocket aimed at securing Europe a stake in the market to launch small satellites lifted off from Kourou space base on itsmaiden flight on Monday. Vega, whose development has cost more than a billion dollars, raced into the sky from the launch site in French Guiana in a streak of light, carrying a…

New study casts doubt on lung cancer treatment

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) – A controversial radiation treatment for patients who’ve had lung cancer surgery may not help elderly people live longer, U.S. researchers have found. Postoperative radiotherapy, or PORT, is thought to cut the chances that a tumor will return. But it can damage the heart and lungs,…

With no firm science, sleep standards are slipping

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) – Kids never got enough shuteye, even back in grandpa’s day. That’s according to a century’s worth of expert advice and sleep studies, which a team of researchers has now distilled into a brief report in the journal Pediatrics. “There is a common belief that children…

Lab study raises questions over nano-particle impact

PARIS — Tests involving chickens have raised questions about the impact on health from engineered nano-particles, the ultra-fine grains commonly used in drugs and processed foods, scientists said on Sunday. Chickens exposed to high oral doses of polystyrene particles 50 nanometres (50 billionths of a metre) across absorbed less iron…

Erectile drugs might help premature ejaculation: studies

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) – Most studies looking at whether erectile dysfunction drugs can help men overcome premature ejaculation problems agree that the pills make a difference, but much of the research is flawed, according to a new review of the evidence. Of the 14 studies included in the review,…

Experts build crab-like robot to remove stomach cancer

SINGAPORE (Reuters) – Inspired by Singapore’s famous chilli crab dish, researchers have created a miniature robot with a pincer and a hook that can remove early-stage stomach cancers without leaving any scars. Mounted on an endoscope, it enters the patient’s gut through the mouth. It has a pincer to hold…

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