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Third baby dies after Belfast hospital outbreak

A third baby has died after an outbreak of a deadly infection in a Belfast hospital, it was confirmed on Friday. The deaths at the city’s Royal Maternity Hospital occurred in the last week to 10 days, but a possible link to the pseudomonas bacteria was only discovered recently. The…

Data shows 2011 a record-breaking year for extreme weather

WASHINGTON — Last year broke records for extreme weather in the United States, with 14 events each causing at least a billion dollars in damage, US authorities said on Thursday. Also, 2011 marked 35 years in a row that global temperatures have been warmer than average, according to data released…

Economists pan idea of new U.S. gold standard

WASHINGTON — As Republican presidential hopefuls entertain calls to fix the value of the dollar to the price of gold, a panel of leading economists on Wednesday roundly panned the idea of a return to the gold standard. A poll of nearly 40 bipartisan economists showed no support for the…

Meteorite from Mars fell in Morocco: scientists

Rare and expensive fragments of a Mars meteorite fell from the sky in July over Morocco, a team of international scientists confirmed on Wednesday. A fireball in the sky was observed in a remote region of southern Morocco by nomads who tracked down fragments of the seven kilogram (15 pound) meteorite, marking only the fifth…

One in three U.S. adults is obese: study

WASHINGTON — One in three American adults is obese, a national level that has stayed the same in recent years, said US data released on Tuesday. About one in six children and teenagers are also obese, according to the Journal of the American Medical Association report which showed that obesity…

U.S. joins effort to draw up space ‘code of conduct’

WASHINGTON — The United States pledged Tuesday to join an EU-led effort to develop a space “code of conduct” that would set out rules for orbiting spacecraft and for mitigating the growing problem of debris. “The long-term sustainability of our space environment is at serious risk from space debris and…

German researchers pave way to cheaper malaria drug

German researchers announced Tuesday they had discovered a process to make the most effective anti-malaria drug cheaper and easier to produce in large life-saving quantities. The breakthrough offers hope to the more than 200 million malaria sufferers worldwide, especially in poor countries, by makingartemisinin more affordable, the Max Planck Society said. “There is an…

Canada urged to conceal fetal sex over abortion fears

An editorial in a major Canadian medical journal urges doctors to conceal the gender of a fetus from all pregnant women until 30 weeks to prevent sex-selective abortion by Asian immigrants. A separate article in the same issue of the Canadian Medical Association Journal warns that Canada has become “a haven for parents who would terminate female fetuses…

Study faults research linking hormone therapy to cancer

A landmark investigation which found that hormone treatment for the menopause boosts the risk of breast cancer is riddled with flaws, a new study published on Monday alleges. The so-called Million Women Study (MWS) unleashed headlines when it was first published in 2003. Based on questionnaires returned by more than a million…

Europe’s ‘Big Bang’ observatory completes cosmic survey

PARIS — A 900-million-dollar orbital observatory has completed the biggest-ever search for remnants of the “Big Bang” that created the Universe, the European Space Agency said on Monday. The main instrument on the Planck observatory failed on Saturday when — as expected — it ran out of coolant, ending a…

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