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Earth faces a century of disasters, report warns

World population needs to be stabilised quickly and high consumption in rich countries rapidly reduced to avoid “a downward spiral of economic and environmental ills”, warns a major report from the Royal Society. Contraception must be offered to all women who want it and consumption cut to reduce inequality, says…

Space ‘boat’ could explore the oceans of Saturn’s moon Titan

It is arguably the most audacious maritime adventure ever undertaken – a mission worthy of James Cook or Christopher Columbus to unlock the secrets of unknown seas and faraway lands. But what sets this mission apart from the great age of maritime exploration is that the hi-tech vessel must first…

Astronomers find most distant galaxy cluster

Japanese astronomers said Wednesday they had found a cluster of galaxies 12.72 billion light-years away from Earth, which they claim is the most distant cluster ever discovered. Using a powerful telescope based in Hawaii, the team peered back through time to a point just one billion years after the Big…

Fox News contributor Dr. Ablow advocates medical use of psychedelics

Dr. Keith Ablow, a psychiatrist and frequent Fox News contributor, on Tuesday decried that fact that “miraculous substances” like hallucinogenic mushrooms or the club drug ecstasy were stigmatized. Ablow has received considerable criticism from liberals and progressives for his outspoken and critical views on LGBT individuals, but he appears to…

Scientist unveils mind-controlled robot for paraplegics

GENEVA — A professor at a Swiss university on Tuesday unveiled a robot that can be controlled by the brainwaves of a paraplegic person wearing an electrode-fitted cap, news agency ATS reported. A paralysed man at a hospital in the town of Sion demonstrated the device, sending a mental command…

Private firm plans to initiate ‘multibillion dollar’ asteroid mining industry

SAN FRANCISCO — A startup backed by top Google executives and film director James Cameron on Tuesday unveiled a plan to mine asteroids for precious minerals and water. Planetary Resources used a space museum in the Pacific Northwest city of Seattle as a launching pad for a bold plan to…

Scientists find measles virus relative in bats, warn of possible human transmission

Scientists studying bats have found dozens of new members of a virus family linked to human disease, and warned of possible exposure as the winged mammals are driven out of forests into the cities. Sixty-six new species of paramyxoviruses, the viral group that causes measles and mumps and is behind…

Despite risks, sea-floor mine opens for business in Papua New Guinea

Canada-based mining firm Nautilus Minerals said Tuesday it had signed China’s Tongling Nonferrous Metals Group as the first customer of its pioneering Papua New Guinean sea-floor mine. Nautilus, which is listed on the Canadian and London stock exchanges and has offices in Australia, said Tongling had agreed to buy 1.1…

Britain looks to bring ‘scientific authenticity’ to science fiction

A group of six major British science fiction authors including Alastair Reynolds, Ken MacLeod and Geoff Ryman are calling urgently for closer collaboration between the arts and the sciences. In a letter today to the Manchester Review, also signed by the authors Justina Robson, Simon Ings and Paul McAuley, they…

Energy guzzler Singapore boosts ‘green’ buildings

From the bone-chilling air conditioning that pumps throughSingapore’s malls and offices to lights that burn all night, the city state is one of Asia’s most intensive energy users. Nearly all electricity used by the industrialised island is produced by burning fossil fuels, which in 2010 contributed to the largest carbon footprint…

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