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Scientists survey seabed fractured by Japan quake

Scientists on Thursday launched a mission to the seabed off Japan where a massive quake triggered last year’s devastating tsunami, to get their first proper look at the buckled ocean floor. Researchers from Germany and Japan are sending high-tech vehicles to probe the seabed up to 7,000 metres (23,000 feet)…

Marriage lifts survival chances for heart patients: study

WASHINGTON — Married adults are more than three times more likely to survive the critical first three months after heart surgery than their single counterparts, according to a US study released Wednesday. “That’s a dramatic difference in survival rates for single people, during the most critical post-operative recovery period,” said…

Earth braces for biggest space storm in five years

A pair of steamy explosions on the Sun’s surface in recent days is sparking the biggest radiation and geomagnetic storm the Earth has experienced in five years, space weather experts said Wednesday. The full brunt of the storm is expected to hit Earth early Thursday US time and last through…

Zoo tries to drum up alligators’ interest in sex

A Japanese zoo has turned to rhythmical banging on traditional drums in a bid to encourage some enthusiasm for sex among lust-lacking alligators. Zookeepers said Wednesday they hoped the low booming sound produced by large Japanese “taiko” drums would spur lethargic Chinese alligators to begin mating because of its similarity to the animals’…

U.S. physicists close to historic particle finding

US-based physicists said Wednesday that their experiments confirm those from a major European atom-smasher’s that have narrowed the range where the elusive Higgs boson particle could be hiding. The results come from the now-defunct Tevatron collider, which closed down in September after nearly a quarter century, though physicists continue to analyze its data in the…

Olympics doping lab to hold tests for eight years

The gold medal may be safely packed away in their luggage, and the drug tests may have come back clean. But any cheat clever enough to outwit the unprecedented anti-doping regime put in place for the 2012 London Olympics will be spooked by the knowledge that for the next eight years they…

Vomit bird throws up a defense against predators

Babies of a bird species called the Eurasian roller vomit a foul-smelling orange liquid as a defence mechanism against predators, biologists have discovered. Offspring of the bright-blue jackdaw-sized bird — Latin name Coracias garrulus — throw up the repugnant fluid when they are frightened in their nests, according to a…

U.S. health authorities warn against ‘inhalable caffeine’

US health authorities on Tuesday issued a warning to the maker of a new inhalable caffeine product sold in the United States and France, citing mislabeling and safety concerns. “The Food and Drug Administration reviewed your website at www.aeroshots.com in February 2012 and has determined that the product AeroShot is…

DARPA’s ‘robot cheetah’ breaks speed record

The U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) on Monday announced that they had set a new speed record for legged robots. A press advisory from DARPA’s Maximum Mobility and Manipulation (M3) project said that their so-called “Cheetah” had reached speeds of up to 18 miles per hour on a…

Sleepiness affects pilots, train operators on job: poll

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Many people have fought the urge to fall asleep during a boring meeting or the mid-afternoon slump but the problem seems to be more prevalent among airline pilots and train operators. About a quarter of pilots and 23 percent of train operators questioned in a National…

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