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New therapy motivates paralyzed rats to walk

WASHINGTON — European researchers said Thursday they have found a way to motivate paralyzed rats to learn to walk again through a combination of spinal cord stimulation and robotic-aided therapy. The key to the method’s success was how it engaged the rats to participate in their own rehabilitation, said Gregoire…

UN: Green economy could create tens of millions of jobs worldwide

Tens of millions of new jobs can be created around the world in the next two decades if green policies are put in place to switch the high-carbon economy to low-carbon, the UN has said. Between 15m and 60m additional jobs are likely, according to a new report from the…

WATCH LIVE: SpaceX returns to the Earth

SpaceX’s Dragon cargo ship has now completed its mission of successfully traveling to the International Space Station, and is scheduled to land Thursday back on the Earth. NASA told the AFP that SpaceX’s return will look “like a burning comet” as it enters the Earth’s atmosphere. The ship’s mission is…

Former UK adviser: Cannabis and ecstasy bans prevent scientific research

The classification system that makes drugs such as cannabis and MDMA (ecstasy) illegal has prevented scientists from properly researching their possible therapeutic uses for conditions such as schizophrenia and depression, according to the government’s former chief adviser on drugs. Professor David Nutt said the UK’s laws on misuse of drugs…

Venus pass may boost hunt for other worlds

Astronomers around the world will be using advanced telescopes to watch Venus cross in front of the Sun on June 5 and 6 in the hopes of finding clues in the hunt for other planets where life may exist. By studying the atmosphere of a well-known planet in this once-in-a-lifetime…

SpaceX Dragon capsule released by ISS

The US company SpaceX’s Dragon cargo vessel was released by the robotic arm of the International Space Station early Thursday at the start of its return to Earth, NASA said. “Dragon is free from the International Space Station,” a NASA TV spokesman announced at 0949 GMT, as a live video…

Scientists: Chagas disease is the ‘new HIV/AIDS’

Chagas disease, or American trypanosomiasis, is set to be “the new HIV/AIDS of the Americas” according to a paper in the Public Library of Science (PLoS) journal “Neglected Tropical Diseases.” The New York Times cited the article Tuesday, saying that the social and economic impact of Chagas disease, which is…

Ghostbusters: is Hollywood a spiritual ‘vortex’?

Mystic healers. UFO hunters. Spirit mediums. People claiming psychic powers turn up everywhere. But in Hollywood, where dreams are made, the spiritual realm meets showbusiness. Watch out. Drive down a typical boulevard in Los Angeles, and within minutes you will spot a “psychic” sign offering to sort out your problems. Cults and…

Astronaut-inspired bone test could speed diagnoses

WASHINGTON — A simple urine test could soon reveal more about a person’s bones than X-rays, US researchers said Tuesday after publishing results of an early phase study funded by NASA. The technique could help astronauts cope with the bone loss that can occur in weightless environments like space, but…

Study: Breast cancer risk for night shift workers increased by 40 percent

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has commissioned research into reported links between working night shifts and breast cancer in women in an attempt to establish whether working at night increases the risk of chronic disease. A number of studies have suggested that women working night shifts may be more…

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