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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,…

DNA tests uncover hazards in Chinese therapies

WASHINGTON — A host of potential toxins, allergens and traces of endangered animals showed up in DNA sequencing tests on 15 Chinese traditional medicines, researchers said on Thursday. Such therapies have been used in China for more than 3,000 years, but have risen in popularity outside Asia in recent decades…

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…

Windfarms do not cause long-term damage to bird populations: study

A major new study has quashed fears that onshore windfarms are causing long-term damage to bird populations, but found new evidence that some species are harmed when windfarms are built. The study by conservationists into the impacts on 10 of the key species of British upland bird, including several suffering…

Asian tsunami warnings test post-2004 systems

Giant quakes off Indonesia in which five people died caused panic but little damage, with warning systems introduced after the catastrophic 2004 Asian tsunami proving successful, experts said Thursday. In the tense hours that an Indian Ocean-wide tsunami watch remained in effect Wednesday, Indonesian meteorologists were monitoring offshore buoys that measured the…

Arctic oil rush will ruin ecosystem, warns Lloyd’s of London

Insurance market joins environmentalists in highlighting risks of drilling in fragile region as $100bn investment is predicted Lloyd’s of London, the world’s biggest insurance market, has become the first major business organisation to raise its voice about huge potential environmental damage from oil drilling in the Arctic. The City institution…

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