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Time to tax sugar to combat health crisis: experts

PARIS — Sugar should be identified alongside alcohol and tobacco as a health danger, and governments should tax sweetened drinks and food as part of their efforts to combat it. So says a commentary, published on Thursday in the journal Nature as part of a widening debate among doctors and…

Study finds Alzheimer’s spreads like infection

A new US study has found that Alzheimer’s disease spreads from one part of the brain to another like an infection, a discovery that could aid the development of treatments to slow its progress. The Columbia University Medical Center (CUMC) study on transgenic mice found that the abnormal tau protein…

Brains of addicts are inherently abnormal: study

WASHINGTON — Drug addicts have inherited abnormalities in some parts of the brain which interfere with impulse control, said a British study published in the United States on Thursday. Previous research has pointed to these differences, but it was unclear if they resulted from the ravages of addiction or if…

Fourth potentially habitable planet is discovered

WASHINGTON — International astronomers said on Thursday they have found the fourth potentially habitable planet outside our solar system with temperatures that could support water and life about 22 light-years from Earth. The team analyzed data from the European Southern Observatory about a star known as GJ 667C, which is…

Filmmaker sounds alarm over ocean of plastic

On Midway atoll in the North Pacific, dozens of young albatross lie dead on the sand, their stomachs filled with cigarette lighters, toy soldiers and other small plastic objects their parents have mistaken for food. That sad and surreal sight, says Hong Kong-based Australian film director Craig Leeson, is one…

Pfizer recalls 1 million ineffective birth control pill packs

Pfizer announced a recall of approximately 1 million birth control pill packs in the United States and warned users of the recalled pills to start using back-up methods immediately to prevent pregnancy. The pills recalled are marketed under the name Lo/Ovral-28 and as generic Norgestrel/Ethinyl Estradiol as sold by Akrimax…

Endangered turtle baby boom in Philippines

Globally endangered green turtles are enjoying a baby boom on remote Philippine islands as a three-decade protection programme starts to pay off, environment group Conservation International said Wednesday. The project is a key part of worldwide efforts to rebuild green turtle populations, and could help see the species’ status upgraded…

24,000 ducks destroyed in Australia after bird flu

Some 24,000 Australian ducks were being destroyed Wednesday after testing positive for a low pathogenic strain of the bird flu virus, an outbreak which has prompted poultry export bans in parts of Asia. The Australian Chicken Meat Foundation said the outbreak of the strain of avian influenza appeared to be confined to two…

Testosterone can skew one’s judgement: study

Testosterone can skew one’s judgement, creating the impression that decisions are best taken alone even in situations that call for collaboration, according to a study released Wednesday. In a clever set of experiments, scientists led by Nicholas Wright at the University of London showed that women given a dose of…

Oldest known croc had a shield-like head: study

The oldest known species of crocodile had an armor-plated head and a body half the length of a subway car, according to research released Tuesday by US scientists who identified the now-extinct creature. Nicknamed “Shieldcroc” for its impressive head plate, the aquatic reptile swam in the waters of Africa some…

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