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Gang deaths often involve youth and guns, not drugs

ATLANTA (Reuters) – Gang-related deaths typically aren’t the product of fights over drugs — as many assume — but rather result from grudges between rival gangs that erupt into violence, according to a new study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Gang homicides nearly always involve guns, usually…

NASA’s Kepler confirms 26 new planets

WASHINGTON — The US space agency said Thursday its Kepler space telescope mission has confirmed 26 new planets outside our solar system, all of them orbiting too close to their host stars to sustain life. Scattered across 11 planetary systems, their temperatures would be too hot for survival, as they…

Men’s hopes for robot prostate surgery unrealistic

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) – Robot-assisted surgery for prostate cancer has been heavily hyped, and a new study suggests that men’s expectations of the surgery may be too high. Researchers found that of 171 men facing prostate cancer surgery, those having robotic surgery expected a shorter hospital stay, and a…

Bill Gates pledges $750 million to troubled AIDS fund

DAVOS, Switzerland (Reuters) – Microsoft chairman and philanthropist Bill Gates pledged a further $750 million to the troubled global AIDS fund on Thursday and urged governments to continue their support to save lives. “These are tough economic times, but that is no excuse for cutting aid to the world’s poorest,”…

French police arrest boss of breast implant company

French police arrested Jean-Claude Mas, the founder of the breast implant company PIP at the centre of an international health scare, police said Thursday. “Jean-Claude Mas was arrested at the home of his companion … and taken into custody,” said a police source, adding that officers had picked him up…

Novel material takes 3D ‘invisibility cloak’ a step closer

PARIS — Scientists in the United States reported a further step towards a celebrated “invisibility cloak” by masking a large, free-standing object in three dimensions. The lab work is the latest advance in a scientific frontier that uses novel materials to manipulate light, a trick that is of huge interest…

Lifetime heart risks are higher than thought: study

WASHINGTON — A person’s lifetime risk of getting heart disease may be much higher than previously thought, according to a major US study published on Wednesday. A single risk factor — such as smoking, having diabetes, high blood pressure or elevated cholesterol — can significantly boost one’s likelihood of having…

Flights rerouted as massive solar storm slams Earth

WASHINGTON — Solar radiation from a massive sun storm — the largest in nearly a decade — collided with the Earth’s atmosphere, prompting an airline to reroute flights and skywatchers to seek out spectacular light displays. US carrier Delta Air Lines said it had adjusted flight routes for transpolar journeys…

First patients shown to improve with embryonic stem cells

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Before treatment, the 51-year-old graphic artist was legally blind, unable to read a single letter on a standard eye chart. She has suffered from Stargardt’s disease, the most common form of macular degeneration in young patients, since she was a teenager, and it was getting progressively worse. A…

Sumatra elephant ‘faces extinction in 30 years’: WWF

Sumatran elephants in the wild face extinction in less than 30 years unless there is an “immediate moratorium” on destruction of the animals’ habitat, environmental group WWF warned on Tuesday. There are now between 2,400 and 2,800 of the elephants left in the wild on the Indonesian island of Sumatra, which means the…

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