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Cutting-edge cocktails light up New York

You’re not allowed to light a cigarette in New York bars, but there’s nothing to stop a bartender from setting your cocktail on fire with a 815 degrees Celsius (1,500 degrees Fahrenheit) poker. In fact, the red hot rod is just the tip of the mad scientist treatment meted out…

Environment agency becomes crunch issue in Rio talks

The UN Environment Programme (UNEP) is emerging as a hot issue in preparations for June’s Rio conference, styled as a once-in-a-generation chance to restore a sick planet to good health. The US is fighting a proposal, backed according to France by least 100 countries, for transforming UNEP from a poorly…

Malaria toll far higher than thought: study

Malaria kills more than 1.2 million people a year, nearly 50 percent more than previously thought, and inflicts a high toll among adults and older children and not just toddlers, a new investigation says. But there is also good news: deaths from the mosquito-borne disease have in fact been falling…

Lifestyle changes can help prevent 30% of cancers: WHO

More than 30 percent of cancers can be prevented by lifestyle changes, the World Health Organization said Friday, on the eve of World Cancer Day. Among key risk factors for cancer are tobacco and alcohol consumption, a diet low in fruit and vegetable intake and lack of physical activity. “Tobacco…

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…

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