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Edible packaging is the ‘next big thing, but faces ‘psychological’ barriers

Pouring your milk then eating the bottle sounds less than tempting, but edible packaging is being touted as food technology’s next Big Thing. It’s not entirely new, of course. Heston Blumenthal’s been at it for years, wrapping palatable paper around packets of soup and urging us to eat salted caramels…

Researchers develop stem cells that attack and destroy HIV

Scientists from the University of California Los Angeles have found that genetically engineered human stem cells can suppress HIV in living mice, raising the hope for a breakthrough cure for HIV patients. In a recent study from the journal PLoS Pathogens, researchers wanted to go further than previous studies that…

No ice loss seen in major Himalayan glaciers

One of the world’s biggest glacier regions has so far resisted global warming that has ravaged mountain ice elsewhere, scientists reported on Sunday. For years, experts have debated the state of glaciers that smother nearly 20,000 square kilometres (7,700 sq. miles) of theKarakoram range in the western Himalayas. Straddling parts of China, Pakistan and India, the…

Tiny gene change affects brain size, IQ: scientists

PARIS — An international team of scientists said Sunday the largest brain study of its kind had found a gene linked to intelligence, a small piece in the puzzle as to why some people are smarter than others. A variant of this gene “can tilt the scales in favour of…

USDA warns two drugs for men may have sexual side effects

Two Merck drugs for treating male baldness and enlarged prostate will now carry extended labels to add more possible sexual side effects, US regulators said. The changes involve Propecia and Proscar, both of which contain the active ingredient finasteride, after patients reported additional adverse effects that were not apparent at…

Gay ‘conversion’ therapies give moral authority to bullies, says ex-missionary

Former Pentecostal Christian Peterson Toscano says his life was ruined by his church authorities’ attempts to alter his sexuality. Peterson Toscano, a 47-year-old American, underwent gay ‘conversion’ therapies for 20 years as he struggled to reconcile his Pentecostal Christianity with homosexual attraction. It devastated his life, cost him tens of…

Study: Meat eaters must cut consumption by half to forestall climate change

Meat eaters in developed countries will have to eat a lot less meat, cutting consumption by 50%, to avoid the worst consequences of future climate change, new research warns. The fertilisers used in farming are responsible for a significant share of the warming that causes climate change. A study published…

Chivalry at sea a ‘myth’, Swedish study shows

Imagine a giant ship slowly sinking into the sea, with the men of course standing back allowing women and children to board the life boats and themselves to stoically be engulfed by the frothy waves. That idea of male chivalry at sea is however a complete myth, according to two Swedish researchers.…

Manipulating memory to treat addiction

A study published today in the journal Science describes a simple behavioural procedure that reduces heroin addicts’ cravings and could also prevent them from relapsing after they’ve kicked the habit. As I explain in this news story for Nature, the procedure involves manipulating addicts’ memories of past drug use, and…

Global warming scientists foresee Sun-reflecting cities

PARIS — Scientists sketched a vision on Friday of converting the world’s cities into giant sunlight reflectors to help fight global warming but met with scepticism from fellow academics. Gradually replacing traditional urban roofs and roads with white or lighter-coloured materials would yield a cooling benefit that, over 50 years,…

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