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Bird flu researchers suspend study of deadlier mutations

(Reuters) – Researchers studying a potentially deadlier, airborne version of the bird flu virus have voluntarily suspended their studies for 60 days because of concerns it could be used as a devastating form of bioterrorism, according to a letter published in the journals Nature and Science on Friday. Ron Fouchier…

U.S., Russia to conduct joint Antarctica inspection

The United States and Russia will jointly inspect foreign facilities in Antarctica to make sure environmental and other responsibilities under the 1959 Antarctica Treaty are being met, the State Department said Saturday. A US-Russian team will travel to Antarctica January 23-28 to check foreign stations, installations and equipment, it said.…

U.S. appeals ruling against dolphin-safe tuna labels

WASHINGTON — The United States on Friday appealed a World Trade Organization decision that accuses Washington of imposing overly stringent rules on dolphin-safe tuna from Mexico. “Our dolphin-safe labeling measures for tuna products provide information for American consumers as they make food purchasing decisions for their families,” Andrea Mead, a…

Scientists claim major breakthrough in seaweed biofuel

Energy experts believe that seaweed holds enormous potential as a biofuel alternative to coal and oil, and US-based scientists say they have unlocked the secret of turning its sugar into energy. A newly engineered microbe can do the work by metabolizing all of the major sugars in brown seaweed, potentially making…

Rare monkey is rediscovered in Borneo

An endangered monkey known as the Miller’s Grizzled Langur has been discovered on the island of Borneo in an area it was not previously known to inhabit, international researchers said on Friday. Little is known about the monkey, known formally as Presbytis hosei canicrus, but it is listed as endangered…

Third baby dies after Belfast hospital outbreak

A third baby has died after an outbreak of a deadly infection in a Belfast hospital, it was confirmed on Friday. The deaths at the city’s Royal Maternity Hospital occurred in the last week to 10 days, but a possible link to the pseudomonas bacteria was only discovered recently. The…

Data shows 2011 a record-breaking year for extreme weather

WASHINGTON — Last year broke records for extreme weather in the United States, with 14 events each causing at least a billion dollars in damage, US authorities said on Thursday. Also, 2011 marked 35 years in a row that global temperatures have been warmer than average, according to data released…

Economists pan idea of new U.S. gold standard

WASHINGTON — As Republican presidential hopefuls entertain calls to fix the value of the dollar to the price of gold, a panel of leading economists on Wednesday roundly panned the idea of a return to the gold standard. A poll of nearly 40 bipartisan economists showed no support for the…

Meteorite from Mars fell in Morocco: scientists

Rare and expensive fragments of a Mars meteorite fell from the sky in July over Morocco, a team of international scientists confirmed on Wednesday. A fireball in the sky was observed in a remote region of southern Morocco by nomads who tracked down fragments of the seven kilogram (15 pound) meteorite, marking only the fifth…

One in three U.S. adults is obese: study

WASHINGTON — One in three American adults is obese, a national level that has stayed the same in recent years, said US data released on Tuesday. About one in six children and teenagers are also obese, according to the Journal of the American Medical Association report which showed that obesity…

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