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Quantum super-computing sees microwave breakthrough

Physicists in the United States on Wednesday notched up a lab success in the quest for quantum computers, whose stellar capacities have already earned them the nickname of “super-computers on steroids.” Atoms can be excited to a quantum condition using microwaves, an advance over larger and bulkier lasers, until now…

Modified killer T-cells wipe out leukemia: U.S. study

A breakthrough therapy to modify patients’ T-cells into potent tumor-killing agents has helped three leukemia sufferers stay cancer-free for a year, US researchers said Wednesday. The findings are the first to show how gene transfer therapy can create specialized T-cells, which guard the body from infection, that attack cancerous tumors…

Asian ‘phoenix’ lived with the dinosaurs

Palaeontologists said on Wednesday they had found the fossilised remains of a giant bird that lived in Central Asia more than 65 million years ago, a finding which challenges theories about the diversity of early birds. The creature may have been taller than an ostrich if it had been flightless and, if it…

Obama to set fuel efficiency standards for commercial trucks

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Obama administration on Tuesday will finalize the first ever fuel efficiency and emissions standards for commercial trucks, vans and buses, which is expected to save owners $50 billion in fuel costs over four years. The standards are expected to save the United States some 530 million…

Mystery fracking memo deepens Ohio drilling debate

A mysterious, unsigned five-page memo that appears to coach oil lease buyers to dupe landowners into allowing fracking in their back yards deepened the debate over the controversial practice when it was discovered in a crushed binder in a Greene County, Ohio driveway. The shale-rich land of Greene County is…

Few replicas as first cloned cat nears 10

Nearly 10 years after scientists cloned the first cat, predictions of a vast commercial market for the “resurrection” of beloved pets through cloning have fallen flat. The leading US pet cloning company halted operations in 2009 and the livestock cloning business remains relatively small with only a few hundred pigs…

Storm threatens China chemical plant

China battled Monday to avert a disaster at a chemical plant on its northeast coast as a severe tropical storm that has killed three people in South Korea approached. Workers were rushing to repair a dyke protecting a chemical plant after it was breached by high waves in the province…

UN chief visits Japan nuclear disaster zone

UN chief Ban Ki-moon on Monday pledged the world body’s solidarity with Japan after its quake, tsunami and nuclear disasters and encouraged radiation evacuees to “hang in there”. Travelling in the disaster-struck northeast, Ban became one of the most senior foreign leaders to visit the region close to the crippled…

Oil prices slump as U.S. downgrade stokes demand worries

World oil prices slumped Monday over fears of slowing energy demand in the United States after a shock credit rating downgrade for the world’s biggest economy, analysts said. New York’s main contract, West Texas Intermediate light, sweet crude for delivery in September, plunged $3.40 to $83.48 a barrel. Brent North…

Watch is on for Northern Lights as major geomagnetic storm hits Earth

A massive solar storm hit Earth on August 5, raising the possibility of auroras being visible even at relatively low latitudes, as well as potential disruptions to communications satellites and GPS devices. “My estimate is we will probably get aurorae in the northern tier of the U.S.,” physicist Brian J.…

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