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NASA sends rubber chicken into radiation storm in stratosphere

In a knitted spacesuit and tight-fitting helmet, Camilla the rubber chicken floated to the edge of space in a modified lunchbox as the sun unleashed the most intense radiation storm since 2003. The mascot for Nasa’s Solar Dynamics Observatory was lofted to the stratosphere on a helium balloon that carried…

Five southern African countries join forces on a climate change research center

Five countries in southern Africa have joined forces to launch a research centre that will work on combating climate change in the region. South Africa, Angola, Botswana, Zambia and Namibia signed a declaration on Wednesday to base the initiative in the Namibian capital Windhoek. The Southern African Science Service Centre…

Light bulb with 20-year life unveiled in U.S. on Earth Day

A prize-winning, super-energy-saving LED bulb from Dutch electronics giant Philips said to last over 20 years went on sale Sunday to coincide with Earth Day. The bulb that won the US Department of Energy’s “Bright Tomorrow Lighting Prize” was available from retailers for $50, down from an initial $60 price tag. The…

Meteor shower causes loud boom over California

A loud boom similar to the sound of an explosion has been heard over much of northern California apparently as a result of an ongoing meteor shower, The Los Angeles Times reported. The newspaper, citing Stefanie Henry, a National Weather Servicemeteorologist in Sacramento, said the sound had been produced by a meteor apparently breaking up…

Moby Dick revisited? Russian scientists seek world’s only all-white killer whale

PARIS — A team of Russian scientists say they will embark on a quest next week to observe the only all-white, adult killer whale ever spotted — a majestic and elusive bull they have named Iceberg. The researchers from the universities of Moscow and Saint Petersburg first spotted the orca’s…

Scientists call for moratorium on Arctic fishing

OTTAWA — Scientists on Monday urged Arctic rim nations to set fishing regulations for the Arctic Ocean, and order a moratorium on fishing until stocks are assessed, before trawlers soon start dropping nets in the pristine waters. “A commercial fishery in the central Arctic Ocean is now possible and feasible,”…

Severe abuse in childhood may triple risk of schizophrenia

Research links sexual, physical and emotional abuse, school bullying and parental neglect to schizophrenia in adulthood Children who experience severe forms of abuse are around three times as likely to develop schizophrenia and related psychoses in later life compared with children who do not experience such abuse, according to a…

Space mining startup set for launch in U.S.

A startup evidently devoted to mining asteroids for metals is to make its public debut on Tuesday in the US northwest city of Seattle, seeking to redefine the term “natural resources.” X Prize founder Peter Diamandis and a former NASA astronaut are slated to unveil Planetary Resources, which boasts an…

Two years after BP oil spill, disaster is far from over

Two years after the worst maritime oil spill in history, fishermen, scientists, and environmentalists up and down the US Gulf Coast warn that the disaster may be far from over. Dead dolphins keep washing up on shore in unprecedented numbers. Oil-coated coral reefs are dying in the deepwater. Eyeless shrimp…

Mexico’s Senate passes climate change bill

Mexico’s Senate has unanimously passed a climate change bill aimed at reducing carbon emissions by 50 percent by 2050, following Britain in creating legally binding emissions goals. The law — approved late Thursday and which still needs to be signed by President Felipe Calderon — seeks to promote policies and…

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