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High-ranking baboons are healthiest: study

WASHINGTON — Just as wealth and social status are often linked to good health in humans, the animal kingdom too has its benefits for those at the top of the hierarchy, according to a US study out Monday. After studying 27 years worth of data on baboons in Kenya, researchers…

SpaceX reschedules first private space launch for Tuesday

SpaceX on Monday readied a fresh bid to become the first private company to launch its own craft to the International Space Station after fixing an engine problem that grounded its earlier attempt. The launch of the Dragon space capsule atop the Falcon 9 rocket is scheduled for 3:44 am…

Scientist Peter Gleick cleared of forging Heartland documents in expose: investigation

A review has cleared the scientist Peter Gleick of forging any documents in his expose of the rightwing Heartland Institute’s strategy and finances, the Guardian has learned. Gleick’s sting on Heartland brought unwelcome scrutiny to the organisation’s efforts to block action on climate change, and prompted a walk-out of corporate…

Eclipse sends Japan lemurs into frenzy

The solar eclipse that inspired awe on Monday also sent ring-tailed lemurs at a Japanese zoo into a frenzy, as they were fooled into thinking it was nighttime, an official said. A group of about 20 lemurs at the Japan Monkey Centre in central Aichi prefecture jumped up and down…

Trans-Pacific ‘ring of fire’ eclipse wows sky-gazers

Millions of sky-gazers got the spectacle of a lifetime as a “ring of fire” solar eclipse crossed the Pacific from Asia to the United States, where it triggered whoops at festive viewing parties. The annular eclipse was visible in western US states from California to Texas late Sunday and in…

Heartland Institute losing key staff, funders after Unabomber fiasco

The first Heartland Institute conference on climate change in 2008 had all the trappings of a major scientific conclave – minus large numbers of real scientists. Hundreds of climate change contrarians, with a few academics among them, descended into the banquet rooms of a lavish Times Square hotel for what…

Climate scientists say they have solved riddle of rising sea

PARIS — Massive extraction of groundwater can resolve a puzzle over a rise in sea levels in past decades, scientists in Japan said on Sunday. Global sea levels rose by an average of 1.8 millimetres (0.07 inches) per year from 1961-2003, according to data from tide gauges. But the big…

New methods of pet ‘pampering’ include fake testicles and facials

People and their pets often end up resembling each other, but image-obsessed Americans are taking that age-old relationship a step further, treating their four-legged friends to everything from spa facials to testicle implants. In a nation of surgically enhanced human breasts, teeth and skin, perhaps it was just a matter…

Project to use facial recognition software to identify subjects of world’s famous artworks

A Californian university has won funding to use advanced facial recognition technology to try to solve the mysteries of some of the world’s most famous works of art. Professor Conrad Rudolph said the idea for the experiment came from watching news and detective shows such as CSI which had a…

Water supply cut near Tokyo due to toxin contamination

The water supply to tens of thousands of households near Tokyowas cut off Saturday after local checks found it was contaminated with a cancer-causing chemical. The city of Noda, some 30 kilometres (20 miles) from central Tokyo, said it had stopped supplies to a major part of the city. Most of the neighbouring city of Kashiwa also has…

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