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Scientists monitoring restless Alaska volcano after ash plume

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (Reuters) – Scientists were watching a remote Alaska volcano on Friday, a day after it belched out an ash cloud that quickly dissipated, and officials said airline flights over the region had not been disrupted. Ash from the 5,676-foot volcano is considered potentially dangerous to aircraft because Cleveland’s…

WHO ‘deeply concerned’ by mutant bird flu

The World Health Organization (WHO) said it was “deeply concerned” about research into whether the H5N1 flu virus could be made more transmissible between humans after mutant strains were produced in labs. Two separate research teams — one in the Netherlands and the other in the United States — have…

Zoo to use pop music to keep giraffes calm on New Year’s Eve

THE HAGUE — Keepers at a Dutch zoo have found an unorthodox solution to calm down skittish giraffes spooked by the sound of thousands of end-of-year fireworks going off: playing them pop music. “We have tried a few things to calm the giraffes down over the years,” Amersfoort Animal Park…

Hidden cameras show 35 rare endangered rhinos in Indonesia

Hidden cameras in the jungles of Indonesia’s Java island have captured images of 35 critically endangered Javan rhinos, including five calves, an official said Friday. The forestry ministry set up 44 infrared cameras from January to October this year in the rugged Ujung Kulon National Park on the western-most tip…

Hundreds of ‘Spice’ variants surface after DEA ban

The Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) has a problem on its hands: How do you ban something when prohibition just creates hundreds of derivative products? That’s precisely the situation the agency is confronting with synthetic marijuana blends most commonly known as “Spice,” which they issued an emergency ban on in late…

Butterball turkey facility raided for abuse of birds

WINSTON-SALEM, North Carolina (Reuters) – Authorities searched a Butterball turkey farm in North Carolina on Thursday after an animal protection group alleged that birds there were being neglected and abused, police said. The search came after the nonprofit Mercy For Animals provided law enforcement with secretly recorded video footage that…

Stem cell research on donor eggs often not disclosed

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) – Many U.S. fertility clinics don’t tell egg donors that embryos made from their eggs may end up being used in stem cell research, according to a new government survey. That’s despite widespread opposition to such research, which is considered morally offensive by a third of…

2011 a ‘horrible year for elephants’

The past 12 months have seen a record number of large ivory seizures across the world, a leading wildlife watchdog said Thursday, saying it had been a “horrible year for elephants”. TRAFFIC, which runs the ETIS database of illegal ivory trades, said there had been at least 13 large-scale seizures…

Twin NASA probes approach lunar orbit

Twin NASA spacecraft are set to blast into lunar orbit at the weekend on a mission to study the subterranean structure of the Moon in order to better understand the origins of planets. The first Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory (GRAIL-A) will begin orbiting the Moon at 2121 GMT on…

Red meat lovers have more kidney cancer

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) – People who eat lots of red meat may have a higher risk of some types of kidney cancer, suggests a large U.S. study. Researchers found that middle-aged adults who ate the most red meat were 19 percent more likely to be diagnosed with kidney cancer…

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