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China ‘river pig’ deaths raise extinction fears

China says 16 endangered finless porpoises have been found dead since the beginning of the year and experts blame water pollutionand climate change for pushing the species toward extinction. The freshwater porpoise — popularly known in Chinese as the “river pig” — mainly lives in China’s Yangtze River and two lakes linked to the waterway. Authorities…

U.S. oil boom fuels earthquake rise – but fracking not to blame, scientists say

America’s oil and natural gas boom has led to a “remarkable” rise in earthquakes in the middle of the country, the US Geological Survey said on Wednesday. But scientists said the man-made quakes were not directly caused by hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, which involves pumping chemicals and water deep into…

Scientists can’t seem to find mysterious dark matter

Astronomers scanning the Milky Way said on Wednesday they were baffled when they failed to spot something invisible. To explain: the team were looking for evidence of dark matter, the substance that is believed to comprise 83 percent of matter in the Universe. But it cannot be detected by the…

Study: Brain scans indicate if women will have sex

A study of 48 college-aged women at Dartmouth University has revealed for the first time that brain scans can predict some future behaviors, like excessive eating or sexual activity, as far out as six months in advance. Bill Kelley, a Dartmouth psychologist, revealed the study’s findings to LiveScience this week.…

Activist: New climate poll shows ‘reality will trump big dollar denial efforts’

Following the publication of a George Mason University poll on Wednesday that shows 69 percent of Americans believe the weather is getting worse due to climate change, author and environmental activist Bill McKibbon hailed the findings as proof that “reality will trump big dollar denial efforts” by the pollution-causing industries.…

Scientists: Dinosaurs put eggs in wrong evolutionary basket

PARIS — The fact that land-bound dinosaurs laid eggs is what sealed their fate of mass extinction millions of years ago while live birthing mammals went on to thrive, scientists said Wednesday. In a new explanation for mammals’ evolutionary victory over dinosaurs, researchers said a mathematical model has shown that…

New U.S. anti-drug policy stresses treatment and prevention

The White House unveiled a new drug policy strategy that veers away from imposing heavy prison sentences for illicit drug use and focuses instead on prevention and treatment. Officials said the new approach looks at drug addiction as a treatable disease rather than a crime. “For US drug policy, this is nothing short of a revolution…

Study raises hopes of cure for baldness

Japanese researchers have successfully grown hair on hairless miceby implanting follicles created from stem cells, they announced Wednesday, sparking new hopes of a cure for baldness. Led by professor Takashi Tsuji from Tokyo University of Science, the team bioengineered hair follicles and transplanted them into the skin of hairless mice. The creatures eventually grew hair, which continued regenerating…

‘No-till farming’ revolution grows in Indiana

Indiana farmer Mike Starkey does not plow his fields and uses fertilizer only sparingly, but he is on the cutting edge of a growing trend in American agriculture. Advocates of his “no-till farming” technique say it could provide the low-cost, environmentally-friendly crops the agricultural industry has sought for many years. Starkey’s cropland…

Researchers create nanosponges to suck up oil spills

Nanosponges created by researchers at Penn State and Rice University have the potential to revolutionize the way environmentally-devastating oil spills are cleaned up. The nanosponges are hydrophobic — they repeal water — and highly porous, being comprised of more than 99 percent air. Their composition makes them able to adsorb…

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