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‘Unwell’ Stephen Hawking misses 70th birthday event

British scientist Stephen Hawking was forced to miss a scientific debate to mark his 70th birthday Sunday due to ill health but sent an upbeat message saying he was living at a “glorious time”. As scientists and media gathered at Cambridge University for a symposium to mark Hawking’s birthday, vice-chancellor Professor Sir…

Global warming: European species lag in habitat shift

PARIS — Fast-track warming in Europe is making butterflies and birds fall behind in the move to cooler habitats and prompting a worrying turnover in alpine plant species, studies published Sunday said. The papers, both published by the journal Nature Climate Change, are the biggest endeavour yet to pinpoint impacts…

‘Couch potato pill’ may also prevent heatstroke

PARIS — A drug discovered nearly four years ago that builds muscles in lazy mice may also prevent heatstroke, according to lab research reported on Sunday. If further tests work out, the compound could help athletes or soldiers who are so sensitive to heat that they could die from exertion…

2011 was the driest year on record in Texas

FORT WORTH, Texas (Reuters) – It’s official: 2011 was the driest year on record in Texas, according to the National Weather Service. It was also the second-hottest ever. That won’t surprise Texans who lived through a year in which wildfires roared through the Lone Star State, cattle went thirsty and…

Stephen Hawking celebrates 70th birthday

British scientist Stephen Hawking celebrated his 70th birthday Sunday, an age many experts never expected the motor neurone disease sufferer to reach. When Hawking was diagnosed with the debilitating condition aged 21, he was given only a few years to live. But despite spending most of his life in a…

Five women in Belgium have had PIP implants removed

Five women in Belgium have had potentially faulty breast implantsmade by French firm PIP removed since the beginning of December, the country’s health watchdog said Saturday. The Federal Agency for Medicines and Health Products (AFMPS) had received the information because a royal decree obliged health professionals to keep it informed of such matters, spokeswomanAnn Eeckhout told AFP. To…

Poor first names could lead to feeling dumber, lonelier

Future parents may want to be careful naming their children after a new study revealed a poor first name could have major consequences. According to research published in the journal Social Psychological and Personality Science, data from 12,000 adults revealed that an unfortunate name could make a person feel lonelier…

Fish imitates an octopus that imitates a fish

The so-called Mimic Octopus has become well known for its ability to imitate any number of other sea creatures, ranging from flatfish to crabs to sea snakes. But now it turns out that at least one black-marble jawfish has found a way to ensure its own safety by swimming close…

Brain power can decline from age 45: study

Cognitive skills can start to fall from the age of 45, not from around the age of 60 as is commonly thought, according to research published on Friday by the British Medical Journal (BMJ). Researchers led by Archana Singh-Manoux from the Centre for Research in Epidemiology and Population Health in…

First mixed-embryo monkeys are born in U.S.

WASHINGTON — US researchers said Thursday they have created the world’s first mixed-embryo monkeys by merging cells from up to six different embryos, in what could be a big advance for medical research. Until now, rodents have been the primary creatures used to make chimeras, a lab animal produced by…

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