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Japan floods claim first victim

Floods claimed their first victim in Japan and nearly 300,000 people were urged to flee their homes Saturday as a weather system that killed dozens on the Korean peninsula swept the country. Local governments in the central province of Niigata and tsunami-hit Fukushima issued the guidance after the national weather…

Scientists create DNA ‘brain’ in a test tube

A research team at the California Institute of Technology has created an artificial neural network which is capable of solving a puzzle that involves identifying which of four pioneering IT scientists — Rosalind Franklin, Alan Turing, Claude Shannon, and Santiago Ramon y Cajal — is described by a series of…

Chronic fatigue scientists get ‘death threats’

British researchers looking at the causes of chronic fatigue syndrome have received death threats from protesters angry at their focus on possible mental triggers, a report said Friday. Several scientists researching the condition, which is also known as myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME), say they are being subjected to a campaign of…

World’s largest radio telescope gears up in Chile

SANTIAGO — The world’s largest network of radio telescopes is ready to begin the first phase of operations in northern Chile’s Atacama Desert, an observatory announced Thursday. The ALMA complex, under construction for over a decade, received on Wednesday the 16th of 66 total antennas, enough to “begin its first…

Japanese ban on radioactive beef widens

Japan widened a ban on beef to cattle from a second tsunami-hit region Thursday, citing elevated radiation levels in the meat of animals because of the ongoing Fukushima nuclear crisis. Almost 3,000 cattle feared tainted with radioactive caesium have been shipped nationwide, slaughtered and sold after the animals were fed rice straw exposed…

Rural Americans face greater lack of healthcare access: report

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Rural Americans are more likely to suffer from chronic health conditions such as diabetes, heart problems and cancer, and face greater difficulty accessing quality healthcare than urban counterparts, according to a report released on Wednesday. The challenges facing healthcare providers for rural areas could be compounded by…

Taiwan city offers to turn dog poo into gold

TAIPEI (Reuters) – A city in northern Taiwan is trying the Midas touch to persuade reluctant residents to clean up after their canines: offering a chance to win gold bars to anyone handing in bags of doggy deposits. Starting from August 1, dog owners and other residents of New Taipei…

Landslides kill 22 after downpours in S. Korea

Torrential rain pounding South Korea on Wednesday triggered landslides which killed 22 people, flooded hundreds of homes and turned main roads into rivers of churning, muddy water. Thirteen people died when a mudslide hit an inn and three homes in the mountainous Chuncheon area 100 kilometres (60 miles) east of…

Dozens of boars found dead on French beach

Dozens of wild boars have turned up dead this month around a beach in western France, officials say, as they suspect poisonous blue-green algae for the deaths. Three dead boars were found on Wednesday at the mouth of the Gouessant estuary in Brittany, an AFP journalist witnessed, bringing to 31…

Michelle Obama happy with new McDonald’s Happy Meal changes

Fast food giant McDonald’s announced an effort to lighten up their kid-focused Happy Meals, and First Lady Michelle Obama ordered up a super-sized blessing for the chain’s nod toward health Tuesday. By April, all 14,000 U.S. locations of McDonalds will serve a fruit or vegetable with each Happy Meal and…

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