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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…

Testosterone can skew one’s judgement: study

Testosterone can skew one’s judgement, creating the impression that decisions are best taken alone even in situations that call for collaboration, according to a study released Wednesday. In a clever set of experiments, scientists led by Nicholas Wright at the University of London showed that women given a dose of…

Oldest known croc had a shield-like head: study

The oldest known species of crocodile had an armor-plated head and a body half the length of a subway car, according to research released Tuesday by US scientists who identified the now-extinct creature. Nicknamed “Shieldcroc” for its impressive head plate, the aquatic reptile swam in the waters of Africa some…

U.S. approves new drug for rare cystic fibrosis

WASHINGTON — US regulators on Tuesday approved Kalydeco, a new, gene-targeted drug treatment for people who have a rare kind of the incurable lung disease cystic fibrosis. Made by the Massachusetts-based Vertex Pharmaceuticals, Kalydeco (ivacaftor) was approved by the US Food and Drug Administration on a fast-track for drugs that…

Calories count, but not where they come from: study

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) – Sticking to diets with strict proportions of fat, carbs and protein may not be more effective for people who want to lose weight and fat mass than simply cutting back on calories, according to a new comparison of four diets. The results suggest that it…

FDA doctors, scientists claim illegal surveillance

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Food and Drug Administration secretly monitored the private emails of staff doctors and scientists who alleged the agency was approving medical devices that posed a danger to patients, according to federal court documents. In a lawsuit filed last week in U.S. District Court in Washington, six…

Snakes blamed for ‘severe declines’ in Florida wildlife

WASHINGTON — Across southern Florida, rabbits, raccoons, bobcats and foxes have been disappearing at dramatic rates over the past decade, and invasive Burmese pythons are to blame, a US study said Monday. The big snakes which are native to southeast Asia have been devouring all kinds of wildlife leading to…

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