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New limits on chimpanzee research in the U.S.

The leading US medical research agency has said it would review all government-funded experiments on chimpanzees after an independent panel of experts urged strict limits on their use in biomedical research. The head of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Francis Collins, said he agreed with the findings of the…

Marriage equality has health benefits for gay men: study

Same sex marriage legalization reduces doctor visits and health care costs for gay men, according to a new study published in the American Journal of Public Health. Laws prohibiting same sex marriage deprive gay couples of many benefits and privileges that heterosexual married couples have under federal and state laws.…

NASA at work on ‘spearfishing’ for comets

WASHINGTON — The US space agency is developing a high-tech harpoon that could one day pierce a comet and grab samples for scientists on Earth to study for hints about how the universe formed. The idea borrows on a concept developed by the European Space Agency but adds a sample…

US, Australia, NZ ‘disappointed’ on Japan whale hunt

The United States, Australia, New Zealand and the Netherlands said they were “disappointed” over the start of Japan’s annual whale hunt off Antarctica and warned against violent clashes. Japanese ships operating in the icy waters of the Southern Oceanhave in recent years faced interference from the US-based militant environmentalist group Sea Shepherd, with repeated…

Microsoft co-founder unveils space travel plans

A giant airplane that can in mid-flight launch a rocket carrying cargo and humans into orbit is the future of space travel, billionaire philanthropist and Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen said. The first test flight of the ambitious venture by Allen’s new company Stratolaunch Systems is not scheduled until 2015, but partners in the project vowed…

Nuclear industry seeks end to regulatory spat

(Reuters) – The nuclear industry asked the White House and Congress on Monday to resolve a nasty power struggle at theNuclear Regulatory Commission, an internal fight that will be scrutinized at two Congressional hearings this week. The Nuclear Energy Institute, the main lobby group for the utilities and power companies that run the…

Canada’s Kyoto withdrawal under fire from China

Canada’s historic decision to withdraw from the Kyoto protocolprovoked heavy criticism from China on Tuesday, with Beijing saying the move went against international efforts to combatclimate change. Canada on Monday became the first country to declare it was formally exiting the pact, a reversal that will save it billions of dollars…

Life possible on ‘large parts’ of Mars: study

Australian scientists who modelled conditions on Mars to examine how much of the red planet was habitable said that “large regions” could sustain life. Charley Lineweaver’s team, from the Australian National University, compared models of temperature and pressure conditions on Earth with those on Mars to estimate how much of…

Some depressed people do worse on drugs: study

(Reuters) – Up to a fifth of patients being treated for depression with some medications may do worse than those given a placebo, according to a U.S. study. The findings, published in Archives of General Psychiatry, highlight the importance of quickly identifying how patients respond to certain drugs, said lead…

Memory issues after cancer may not be due to chemo

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) – Women treated for breast cancer with radiation with or without chemotherapy had more thinking and memory problems a few years after their treatment ended than women who’d never had cancer, in a new study. Research has suggested some women experience mental haziness, dubbed “chemo brain,”…

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