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South Korea sets sights on becoming stem cell powerhouse, again

SEOUL (Reuters) – South Korea’s president vowed on Monday a series of regulatory reforms to help regain its place as a stem cell research powerhouse, trying to reclaim momentum five years after a cloning scandal. President Lee Myung-bak said that by breathing new life into the industry, it could become…

Online gamers crack AIDS enzyme puzzle

PARIS — Online gamers have achieved a feat beyond the realm of Second Life or Dungeons and Dragons: they have deciphered the structure of an enzyme of an AIDS-like virus that had thwarted scientists for a decade. The exploit is published on Sunday in the journal Nature Structural & Molecular…

Drug-resistant bacteria top agenda of medical convention

CHICAGO — The emergence of bacteria resistant to antibiotics and efforts by scientists trying to cope with the problem top the agenda at a medical convention under way here this weekend. “The emergence of antibiotic-resistant bacteria worldwide is clearly the hot topic because one can observe bacteria becoming more resistant…

New lab trains global scientists in food safety

Global food trade is a big and risky business. About one trillion dollars worth of food is traded every year around the world, but only a tiny portion gets tested for contaminants — ranging from about one percent of imports in the United States to about 10 percent in Japan.…

Study concludes Gulf War syndrome involves real brain damage

For the last twenty years, veterans of the Persian Gulf War of 1991 have been complaining of a range of ailments, including pain, fatigue, and problems with memory and concentration. And for just as long, the causes have remained uncertain and there has been a tendency by the military to…

Jeb Bush to lead for-profit disaster response company

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (R) managed several hurricanes and natural disasters during his two terms as the state’s executive, but now he is preparing to respond to storms from the helm of a for-profit company instead of from within the governor’s mansion. Bush’s newly created firm, Old Rhodes Holding…

Astronauts leave space station after Russian crash

MOSCOW — Three astronauts began their return to Earth from the International Space Station on Friday aboard a Soviet-era capsule whose mission follows an unprecedented spate of Russian space accidents. The Moscow-based Roskosmos space agency said the Soyuz TMA-21 craft undocked from the orbiter with two Russians and a US…

Dino feathers trapped in Canadian amber: study

WASHINGTON — A small collection of amber-trapped feathers that may have belonged to dinosaurs or birds 80 million years ago have been found in a Canadian museum collection, said a study on Thursday. Ryan McKellar, a graduate student at Canada’s University of Alberta, pored over more than 4,000 specimens held…

Fewest ever New Yorkers light up: officials

NEW YORK — The number of smokers in New York has hit an all time low, city health officials said Thursday. Only 14 out of 100 adults still light up, a 35 percent decrease from 2002 figures, the Health Department said. The decrease amounts to 450,000 fewer adult smokers, with…

U.S. astronomers find planet with two Suns

WASHINGTON — US astronomers said Thursday they have discovered the first planet that is orbiting two Suns, much like the fictional home of Luke Skywalker featured in Star Wars. Skywalker’s native planet of Tatooine was hot and desert-like, but this planet, called Kepler-16b, is a freezing cold world about the…

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