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Rice products may be source of high arsenic levels: study

(Reuters) – Significant levels of arsenic may be found in some prepared food products listing organic brown rice syrup as a sweetener and main ingredient, including some cereal bars and infant formulas, according to findings from a study published on Thursday. Higher concentrations of inorganic arsenic found in certain infant…

Scientists debate mutant bird flu risk at WHO

Scientists met behind closed doors in Geneva Thursday to discuss whether controversial research on a mutant form of bird flu capable of being spread among humans can be made public. The two-day gathering at the World Health Organization (WHO) was called to discuss the studies on the H5N1 virus which…

Featherweight songbird is a long-distance champ

A tiny songbird weighing just two tablespoons of sugar migrates from the Arctic to Africa and back, a distance of up to 29,000 kilometres (18,000 miles), scientists reported on Wednesday. The size of an undernourished sparrow, the northern wheatear (Oenanthe oenanthe) tips the scales at just 25 grammes (0.9 of an ounces).…

Antibiotics don’t help sinusitis: U.S. researchers

WASHINGTON — Antibiotics provide little help to people with sinus infections, according to a study released Tuesday which suggested doctors are prescribing the drugs too often. The study appearing in Wednesday’s Journal of the American Medical Association found that using the common antibiotic amoxicillin for patients with acute uncomplicated rhinosinusitis…

Alaska releases shocking video of sea lions strangled by debris

Alaska Department of Fish and Game has released a heartbreaking video that shows the deadly effects of fishing gear and marine debris on seals and endangered sea lions. The horrifying images show sea lions being strangled by plastic bands caught around their necks and seals with large fishing hooks protruding…

Aspirin could beat cancer spread: study

Aspirin and other household drugs may inhibit the spread of cancerbecause they help shut down the chemical “highways” which feedtumours, Australian researchers announced on Tuesday. Scientists at Melbourne’s Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre said they have made a biological breakthrough helping explain how lymphatic vessels – key to the transmission of tumours throughout the body —…

NASA kills Mars deal with Europe

WASHINGTON — The United States will scale back Mars exploration under a proposed budget by President Barack Obama released Monday that has some scientists fuming over the risk of a NASA brain-drain. The plan kills a deal between the US and European space agencies to cooperate on Mars robotic rover…

‘Big Bang’ probe reveals strange microwave haze in the center of the galaxy

PARIS — A probe designed to delve into the “Big Bang” that created the cosmos has uncovered an enigmatic fog of microwave radiation in the centre of our galaxy, European astronomers reported on Monday. Planck, a billion-dollar European space telescope launched in May 2009, found “a mysterious haze of microwaves…

Climate change cited as shark attacks ‘double’

Sharks killed twice as many swimmers and surfers last year than in 2010, with the increase due largely to a growth in tourism and changing shark patterns due to global warming. There were 12 deaths in 46 shark attacks in 2011, a mortality rate of more than 25 percent compared to an average…

Botox developer rues missing out on billions

Botox developer Alan Scott says he rues the day he handed over rights to the best-selling wrinkle-smoothing drug to a US company for just $4.5 million, saying he might have become a billionaire. Botox has become a front-line weapon in cosmetic medicine for erasing wrinkles — while therapeutic applications of…

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