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PetroChina buys stake in Canada shale gas project

State-owned PetroChina said it has agreed to take a 20 percent stake in a Canadian shale gas project owned by Royal Dutch Shell, China’s latest acquisition of North American natural resources. PetroChina, the listed unit of China’s largest oil producer, has signed a deal to buy a share of land…

Scientists snare ‘superprawn’ off New Zealand

Scientists have captured a “supergiant” crustacean in waters seven kilometres (4.5 miles) deep off New Zealand, measuring 10 times the normal size of related species. The “supergiant amphipod”, which resembles a monster prawn, was found during an expedition to the Kermadec Trench north of New Zealand by scientists from the…

Time to tax sugar to combat health crisis: experts

PARIS — Sugar should be identified alongside alcohol and tobacco as a health danger, and governments should tax sweetened drinks and food as part of their efforts to combat it. So says a commentary, published on Thursday in the journal Nature as part of a widening debate among doctors and…

Study finds Alzheimer’s spreads like infection

A new US study has found that Alzheimer’s disease spreads from one part of the brain to another like an infection, a discovery that could aid the development of treatments to slow its progress. The Columbia University Medical Center (CUMC) study on transgenic mice found that the abnormal tau protein…

Brains of addicts are inherently abnormal: study

WASHINGTON — Drug addicts have inherited abnormalities in some parts of the brain which interfere with impulse control, said a British study published in the United States on Thursday. Previous research has pointed to these differences, but it was unclear if they resulted from the ravages of addiction or if…

Fourth potentially habitable planet is discovered

WASHINGTON — International astronomers said on Thursday they have found the fourth potentially habitable planet outside our solar system with temperatures that could support water and life about 22 light-years from Earth. The team analyzed data from the European Southern Observatory about a star known as GJ 667C, which is…

Filmmaker sounds alarm over ocean of plastic

On Midway atoll in the North Pacific, dozens of young albatross lie dead on the sand, their stomachs filled with cigarette lighters, toy soldiers and other small plastic objects their parents have mistaken for food. That sad and surreal sight, says Hong Kong-based Australian film director Craig Leeson, is one…

Pfizer recalls 1 million ineffective birth control pill packs

Pfizer announced a recall of approximately 1 million birth control pill packs in the United States and warned users of the recalled pills to start using back-up methods immediately to prevent pregnancy. The pills recalled are marketed under the name Lo/Ovral-28 and as generic Norgestrel/Ethinyl Estradiol as sold by Akrimax…

Endangered turtle baby boom in Philippines

Globally endangered green turtles are enjoying a baby boom on remote Philippine islands as a three-decade protection programme starts to pay off, environment group Conservation International said Wednesday. The project is a key part of worldwide efforts to rebuild green turtle populations, and could help see the species’ status upgraded…

24,000 ducks destroyed in Australia after bird flu

Some 24,000 Australian ducks were being destroyed Wednesday after testing positive for a low pathogenic strain of the bird flu virus, an outbreak which has prompted poultry export bans in parts of Asia. The Australian Chicken Meat Foundation said the outbreak of the strain of avian influenza appeared to be confined to two…

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