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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.…

NASA launches spacecraft Juno toward Jupiter

NASA on Friday launched the billion-dollar solar-powered spacecraft Juno on a five-year journey to Jupiter in search of what makes up the solar system’s biggest planet. The unmanned satellite observatory propelled into space aboard a 197-foot (60-meter) tall Atlas V rocket, blasting off from the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station…

Tropical Storm Emily may still return to hurricane strength

MIAMI (Reuters) – Thunderstorms from dissipated Tropical Storm Emily moved over eastern Cuba and southeastern Bahamas on Friday and had a 60 percent chance of regenerating into a tropical cyclone in the next 48 hours, the U.S. National Hurricane Center said. Authorities in Florida were watching the weather system as…

Scientists warn of heat risk to high school football players

AUSTIN (Reuters) – Most high school football players who die from heat-related illness are overweight, in the first weeks of practice, and on the field in the morning, when the humidity is high and coaches take cooler temperatures for granted, researchers said on Thursday. In a summer that has seen…

Shell gets greenlight to begin drilling exploration in the Arctic

US officials have granted Anglo-Dutch energy giant Shell conditional approval to begin drilling exploration wells in the Arctic Ocean from next year, in a move swiftly slammed by conservationists as “inexcusable.” The US Interior Department has opened the doors to Shell’s proposal for four shallow water exploration wells in Alaska?s…

China braces for worst typhoon in years

China Friday warned millions of people living along its east coast to stay indoors and cancelled more than 100 flights in preparation for the most powerful typhoon in years. Typhoon Muifa, which was packing winds of up to 162 kilometres per hour (100 miles per hour), is expected to make…

NASA poised to launch spacecraft to Jupiter

NASA is poised to launch on Friday a one billion dollar solar-powered spacecraft called Juno on a five-year journey to Jupiter in search of what makes up the solar system’s biggest planet. The unmanned satellite observatory is set to propel into space aboard an Atlas 4 rocket, blasting off from…

Experts grow mouse sperm to help with human infertility

HONG KONG (Reuters) – Researchers in Japan used embryonic stem cells to grow healthy mouse sperm on laboratory dishes, a development which could help treat human infertility, they said Friday. The finding, published in the journal Cell, marks a step forward for using stem cells for regenerative medicine. Stem cells…

Flowing water on Mars sparks hunt for ancient life

Scientists have found evidence of flowing salt water on steep Martian slopes, which if confirmed would be the first discovery of active liquid water on the red planet, NASA has said. The data gathered by the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter has given new focus to the hunt for life forms and…

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