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Farmers must boost sustainable crops to feed world: UN agency

MILAN (Reuters) – The ravages from half a century of intensive farming must give way to a more sustainable approach if farmers are to feed the world in 2050, the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) said on Monday. Global farm output must increase 70 percent, including a nearly…

Dinosaur auction features fighting pair of skeletons

DALLAS (Reuters) – Natural history buffs with Tyrannosaurus-sized bank accounts got a chance to ante up on Sunday when an unusually large collection of fully assembled, museum-quality dinosaur skeletons was put up for auction. The featured stars of the Heritage Auctions bidding were a “fighting pair” of dinosaur skeletons that…

Turtles pose problem for Arkansas rice farmers

LITTLE ROCK, Arkansas (Reuters) – After facing a spring of harsh weather, rice farmers in Arkansas, the nation’s top rice-producing state, have a new worry — turtles. Recent flooding in southern and eastern Arkansas has displaced turtles from their normal habitat in the canals, swamps and low-lying areas near the…

Bean sprouts blamed for fatal E. coli outbreak

BERLIN (AFP) – Germany blamed vegetable sprouts on Friday for a bacteria outbreak that has killed at least 33, left some 3,000 ill and cost farmers across Europe hundreds of millions in lost sales. After a weeks-long hunt for the elusive source of the contamination, German officials said they were…

Argentine lab clones cow to produce human-like breast milk

BUENOS AIRES (AFP) – An Argentine laboratory announced that it had created the world’s first transgenic cow, using human genes that will allow the animal to produce the equivalent of mothers’ milk. “The cloned cow, named Rosita ISA, is the first bovine born in the world that incorporates human genes…

Nicotine discovery may lead to new weight loss drugs

WASHINGTON — US scientists have figured out exactly how nicotine acts as an appetite suppressant in the brain, a finding that could one day help in the fight against obesity, researchers said Thursday. Smokers tend to be thinner than people who don’t smoke, and the study led by Yale University…

First therapeutic study of LSD in 35 years finishes treatment of last subject

Psychiatrists in Switzerland have nearly completed their study of LSD-assisted psychotherapy in the treatment of anxiety associated with life threatening illnesses. The study is the first of its kind to be undertaken in 35 years. Although most people associate the psychedelic drug LSD with the hippie counterculture of the 1960′s,…

Republicans slammed for ‘assault’ on environment

WASHINGTON — A leading voice in America’s environmental movement slammed Republicans for their “assault” on the country’s public lands and water. Bruce Babbitt, who served as interior secretary from 1993 to 2001 under then president Bill Clinton, on Wednesday also chastised President Barack Obama for failing to “take up the…

Greenpeace accuses Barbie of being a forest vandal

JAKARTA (AFP) – Greenpeace on Wednesday accused Mattel, the US maker of Barbie dolls, of contributing to the wanton destruction of carbon-rich Indonesian forests and habitats of endangered species like Sumatran tigers. The environmental group said packaging used in Barbie and Ken boxes contained timber products from Asia Pulp and…

Iran to triple capacity to enrich 20% uranium

TEHRAN (AFP) – Iran plans to triple its capacity to purify uranium later this year when it transfers the work from the central city of Natanz to the Fordo site, the country’s nuclear chief said on Wednesday. The announcement brought immediate condemnation from France which termed Iran’s plans a “provocation”,…

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