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Stem cells: Blood from healthy babies’ umbilical cords is already saving lives

Stem cell science is still in its infancy, but blood donated from healthy babies’ umbilical cords is already saving lives, hears Joanna Moorhead It is mid-morning in the delivery suite at King’s College hospital in London, and midwife Terie Duffy is cooing over the contents of a stainless-steel bowl. “Isn’t…

Poachers may wipe out rhinos in South Africa

MOKOPANE, South Africa — Rhinos will be wiped out from South Africa’s wildlife parks by 2015 if poaching continues at its current rate, a campaigner fighting to save the beasts has warned. And corruption among officials is contributing to the ongoing slaughter, said veterinary nurse Karen Trendler. In a career…

There’s a new frog in town: #68 –Ameerega berohoka

This poison frog has hopped to the attention of scientists in Brazil One late afternoon during the wet season on Brazil’s great Cerrado savannah, a new frog song was recorded. Males were calling from seemingly all around – on bare soil, under rocks, hiding in vegetation. Active also in the…

‘The person who lives to be 1,000 years-old has already been born.’

Loneliness is the worst enemy of health and longevity This week, to a large and gripped audience, Professor Sarah Harper from the Oxford Institute of Ageing had just explained what societies of the future would look like. Then someone in the audience stood up and quoted gerontologist Aubrey de Grey:…

Study blames obesity epidemic on rising CO2 levels

The question of whether carbon dioxide should be considered a pollutant under the Clean Air Act and regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency has been a political football for the past decade. In 1998, the Clinton administration decided that it was, but in 2003, the Bush administration reversed this policy.…

Air pollution could become China’s biggest health threat, expert warns

Jonathan Watts, guardian.co.uk Air pollution will become the biggest health threat in China unless the government takes greater steps to monitor and publicise the dangers of smog, the country’s leading respiratory disease specialist warned this week. Lung cancer and cardiovascular illnesses are already rising and could get worse in the…

Male fruit flies rejected by females turn to alcohol

Much like males of our own species, male fruit flies, when spurned by females, drink to numb the pain of rejection. According to a study outlined in the New York Times, fruit flies who are unable to mate prefer food laced with alcohol to regular food. Humans may like to…

White rice linked to Type 2 diabetes, says study

PARIS — Health researchers said on Thursday they had found a troubling link between higher consumption of rice and Type 2 diabetes, a disease that in some countries is becoming an epidemic. Further work is need to probe the apparent association and diets that are notoriously high in sugar and…

Urban air pollution could kill 3.6 million people a year by 2050

Fiona Harvey, guardian.co.uk Urban air pollution is set to become the biggest environmental cause of premature death in the coming decades, overtaking even such mass killers as poor sanitation and a lack of clean drinking water, according to a new report. Both developed and developing countries will be hit, and…

Environmental crunch ‘worse than thought’: OECD

Pressures on Earth’s ecosystem are now so great that future generations could be doomed to falling living standards, the OECD said on Thursday in a report looking to the mid-century. “Providing for a further two billion people by 2050 and improving the living standards for all will challenge our ability…

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