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Mars explorers will include women, experts say

Men walked on the Moon, but women will be among the pioneering explorers who someday step foot on Mars, said a gathering of top female space experts this week. Plenty has changed since Neil Armstrong and 11 male successors left their footprints on the Moon from 1969 to 1972, but…

Petri dish to dinner plate, in-vitro meat coming soon

LONDON (Reuters) – Scientists are cooking up new ways of satisfying the world’s ever-growing hunger for meat. “Cultured meat” — burgers or sausages grown in laboratory Petri dishes rather than made from slaughtered livestock — could be the answer that feeds the world, saves the environment and spares the lives…

Two rhino species bite the dust: Red List

Several species of rhino have been poached into extinction or to the point of no return, according to an update of the Red List of Threatened Species, the gold standard for animal and plant conservation. All told, a quarter of all mammal species assessed are at risk of extinction, the…

NASA readies launch of ‘dream machine’ to Mars

The US space agency is getting ready to launch later this month the biggest, most expensive robotic vehicle ever built to explore Mars for signs of previous life there, NASA said Thursday. The Curiosity rover, known formally as the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL), is a $2.5 billion state-of-the-art vehicle equipped…

‘Storm of epic proportions’ hits Alaska coast

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (Reuters) – A storm experts compared to a Category 3 hurricane lashed the western coast of Alaska on Wednesday, ripping roofs from buildings and pushing water and debris into communities, authorities said. The storm, which began hitting Alaska late on Tuesday after building over the northern Pacific Ocean,…

Living, and coughing, downwind of Texas smoke stacks

When the black smoke pours out of the Texan oil refinery across the road in yet another unplanned discharge, Erma Lee Ellas has just one way to try to keep the cloud of chemicals from reaching her asthmatic lungs: “I close the door.” Port Arthur, Texas has some of the…

EEG scan helped contact patients in vegetative state

PARIS — Electro-encephalography (EEG) helped doctors realise that several patients diagnosed as being in a permanently vegetative state were in fact aware, according to a study published on Thursday in The Lancet. The technique could be developed as a portable, cheaper way of helping doctors make more accurate diagnoses and…

Supreme Court voting patterns surprisingly predictable: study

The ideal judge is completely rational and free of consistent bias, making their judicial decisions completely unpredictable. But the decisions of Supreme Court justices in real life may actually be quite predictable, according to a new study published in the Nov. 9 issue of the online journal PLoS ONE. For…

U.S. climate study group gets big oil funds

A reputable US think-tank that sought solutions for climate changehas lost most of its charitable donations and will now take funding from big oil and energy interests, it said Wednesday. Formerly known as the Pew Center on Global Climate Change, theCenter for Climate and Energy Solutions will be funded by Shell,General Electric, Bank of…

Climate to widen sleeping sickness risk to southern Africa

Sleeping sickness could threaten tens of millions more people as the tsetse fly which transmits the disease spreads to southern Africa as a result of global warming, a study published on Wednesday says. By 2090, an additional 40 to 77 million people could be at risk of exposure to the disease, the study concludes.…

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