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ACLU asks Supreme Court to invalidate patents for human genes

The American Civil Liberties Union and the Public Patent Foundation urged the U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday to invalidate patents for human genes associated with hereditary breast and ovarian cancer. “We are asking the Court to rule that patent law cannot impede the rights of scientists and doctors to conduct…

Japan using quake disaster budget for whaling aid

Japan on Wednesday confirmed it planned to use some of the public funds earmarked for quake and tsunami reconstruction to boost security for its controversial annual whaling hunt. Greenpeace charged that Tokyo was siphoning money from disaster victims by spending an extra 2.28 billion yen ($30 million) on beefed up security amid…

Ocean cacophony a torment for sea mammals

With the constant churn of freighter propellers, the percussive thump of oil and gas exploration and the underwater din of military testing, ocean noise levels have become unbearable for some sea mammals. Contrary to the image of a distant and silent world under the sea, underwater sound intensity has on average…

NASA vows $8.8 billion space telescope on track for 2018

WASHINGTON — After a series of delays and billions spent over budget, the potent James Webb Space Telescope is on track to launch in 2018 at a total project cost of $8.8 billion, NASA vowed on Tuesday. The project, which aims to build the world’s most powerful telescope, 100 times…

U.S. presidents live longer than average men: study

WASHINGTON — Gray hair and a wrinkled brow beset most US presidents soon after they take office, but a study Tuesday said most live longer than average men due to their wealth and access to medical care. Some research has suggested that US presidents age twice as fast as regular…

Japan scientists study oyster ‘language’

Scientists in Japan have begun studying the “language” of oysters in an effort to find out what they are saying about their environment. Researchers are monitoring the opening and closing of the molluscs in response to changes in seawater, such as reduced oxygen or red tide, a suffocating algal bloom, that can…

S.Korea, U.S. resume talks on nuclear energy

South Korea is reportedly pushing for US permission to recycle spent nuclear fuel for power generation as the two countries resumed talks to revise a 1974 pact on the use of atomic energy. The focus of the three-day talks until Thursday will be the peaceful use of nuclear energy, including Seoul’s right…

Eating fish boosts heart health in young women

WASHINGTON — Women of childbearing age can reduce their risk of heart problems by regularly eating fish rich in omega 3 fatty acids, said a Danish study out Monday. The study is the first to examine younger women, age 15-49, and determine whether fish in their diet has a real…

Global emissions grew faster than ever in 2010: study

Global carbon emissions, seen as the driver for climate change, grew at the fastest rate in recorded history in 2010, according to a study published Monday. Scientists from the U.S., Europe and India teamed up with the Global Carbon Project to measure emissions around the world, publishing the study in…

Astronomers discover biggest black holes ever

Scientists have discovered the two biggest black holes ever observed, each with a mass billions of times greater than the Sun’s, according to a study published Monday. The two giants are located in the heart of a pair of galaxies several hundred million light years from Earth, said the study…

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