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Big quakes no more likely than in past: study

WASHINGTON — Massive earthquakes are no more likely today than they were a century ago, despite an apparent rise of the devastating temblors in recent years, US researchers said on Monday. The deadly 9.0 earthquake this year in Japan, an 8.8 quake in Chile last year and the 2004 Sumatra-Andaman…

Study shows calorie-restricted diet can stop brains from aging

Eating less may keep the mind young, according to Italian scientists who reported Monday they have discovered the molecular process by which a strict diet may save the brain from the ravages of age. The research, published in the US journal the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, is…

New hearing ordered in case of parents who say a dingo ate their baby

A new inquest will be opened into the death of baby Azaria Chamberlain, according to reports, 31 years after she was apparently taken by a dingo at Ayers Rock in a case that caused a worldwide sensation. Northern Territory coroner Elizabeth Morris has cited new information from the Chamberlains’ counsel…

Carlyle Group founder gives $4.5 million to Smithsonian panda breeding progarm

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The National Zoo was given $4.5 million by a philanthropist on Monday to fund its giant panda program, which faces a lack of cubs produced by its two adults, the zoo said. The donation by David M. Rubenstein, founder and managing director of The Carlyle Group, a…

Hong Kong school closed in bird flu scare

A Hong Kong school was closed on Friday after a dead bird found in the southern Chinese city was tested positive for the deadly H5 strain of the bird flu virus, health officials said. The closure came after the school clerk, a 48-year-old woman, picked up the sick black-headed gull…

New oil leak found in Brazil: officials

Brazil’s environmental authorities said they have discovered a 10,000 liter leak at an oil platform in the pristine Bay of Ilha Grande, the second such mishap to threaten this country’s shorelines in recent weeks. Carlos Minc, Environment Secretary in Rio de Janeiro state, said the accident threatens an area considered…

Scientific community abuzz regarding potential cancer breakthrough

US researchers said Monday they have discovered how to keep tumor cells alive in a lab, generating buzz in the scientific community about a potential breakthrough that could transform cancer treatment. Until now, scientists have been unable to make cancer cells thrive for very long, or in a condition that…

US approves first heart pump for children

The US Food and Drug Administration has approved a first mechanical cardiac assist device for children that can help keep patients alive as they await a transplant. The EXCOR Pediatric System, made by German company Berlin Heart, can be sized to fit young people from newborns to teenagers. “This is…

South Carolina has first human rabies case in 50 years

CHARLESTON, South Carolina (Reuters) – A middle-aged woman in South Carolina has contracted the state’s first case of human rabies in more than 50 years, health officials said on Friday. “There are only about one to three cases of human rabies each year in this country,” said Dr. Eric Brenner,…

Study: Cocaine, marijuana can be detected in atmosphere

A study released this week by the Institute of Atmospheric Pollution Research claims that marijuana and cocaine, much like cigarettes, have second-hand effects that can be detected in the atmosphere around communities where usage is high. Researchers also found that the amount of the drug detected in the atmosphere was…

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