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Study: Space rock caught some dinosaurs already in decline

Large, plant-eating dinosaurs were already in decline by the time a space rock smashed into Earth 65 million years ago and ended the reptiles’ long reign, a study published on Tuesday says. The findings by scientists in the United States and Germany do not dispute the mass extinction that so dramatically ended…

Greenpeace activist flies into French nuclear plant

A Greenpeace activist on Wednesday flew inside the grounds of a French nuclear power plant using a motorised paraglider, police and the organisation said. “A Greenpeace activist arrived with a motorised paraglider around 7:40 am (0540 GMT). He flew over the plant, threw a smoke bomb and landed inside, where he was detained,” police near…

Clinical trials often fall short: U.S. study

WASHINGTON — Most clinical trials for cancer, heart disease and mental health are too small to offer adequate medical evidence, said a review of the US database of such studies released on Tuesday. The analysis in the Journal of the American Medical Association was led by experts at Duke University…

Japanese tsunami debris heading to Hawaii

Wreckage from Japan’s tsunami – fishing gear and furniture, footballs and ships – has swept across the Pacific far faster than expected, with thousands of tonnes projected to land on North American shores this year. Scientists believe lighter objects such as buoys and oil drums began reaching land last November…

Scientists have pinpointed nighttime urination protein in elderly

Scientists have pinpointed a protein that helps explain why the elderly frequently have to get up in the night to urinate, a problem that can badly interfere with sleep. Deficient levels of protein called connexin43 trick the bladder into believing that it is full, which sends a “must urinate” warning…

SpaceX test fires rocket ahead of ISS cargo launch

WASHINGTON — SpaceX on Monday successfully test-fired its Falcon 9 rocket in a dress rehearsal for the May 7 launch of its Dragon spacecraft on a cargo-bearing mission to the International Space Station. The test, known as a static fire of the rocket’s nine main engines, lasted just two seconds,…

China shuts Coke plant after chlorine reports

Coca-Cola has been ordered to temporarily halt production at a bottling plant in northern China, after media reports of chlorine in its products, according to a government statement. Shanxi province ordered an investigation after reports that a batch of drinks contained water with chlorine, the province’s quality bureau said in a statement at the weekend.…

Scientists find gene that inhibits pancreas cancer spread

PARIS — Scientists have identified a gene that slows the spread of pancreatic cancer tumours, paving the way for targeted treatment of one of the deadliest forms of the disease, said a paper published Sunday. After discovering the gene dubbed USP9X at work in a study of pancreatic cancer in…

A brief guide to neuroscience

It is the boom area in science. Vaughan Bell explains why What is neuroscience? It is the study of the nervous system and, most notably, the brain. There are several areas of interest: neurobiology looks at the chemistry of cells and their interactions; cognitive neuroscience looks at how the brain…

Study finds that analytical thinking reduces religious belief

A study carried out by psychologists at the University of British Columbia has concluded that tests which promote analytical thinking simultaneously reduce the level of religious belief in skeptics and devout believers alike. The subjects of the study were given problem-solving tasks, shown a picture of Rodin’s sculpture “The Thinker,”…

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