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Swiss solar powered airplane launches first international flight

PAYERNE, Switzerland (AFP) – Pioneering Swiss solar-powered aircraft Solar Impulse, which holds a 26-hour record for flight duration, took off from Switzerland on Friday on its first international flight to Belgium. The experimental emissions-free aircraft is expected to take about 12 hours to complete the journey to Brussels Airport, the…

Breakthrough study finds drug therapy curbs HIV transmission

WASHINGTON — People with HIV who take antiretroviral drugs before their health declines have a 96 percent lower risk of transmitting the virus to their partners, a breakthrough global study released Thursday said. The large study that covered mainly heterosexual couples in Africa, India and the Americas was hailed by…

Scientists find startling new method for measuring male fertility

Scientists are suggesting that a man’s fertility may correlate to his “anogenital distance”, i.e., the span between his scrotum and his anus. A study from Baylor College of Medicine found that in animals, genital size and development are closely linked to anogenital distance and is shorter in males whose testicular…

Mystery of hot planets’ ‘backwards’ orbit unravelled

PARIS (AFP) – Scientists on Wednesday said they could explain why heat-seared giant planets in other solar systems can mysteriously orbit their star the “wrong” way. These space oddities belong to a class of planets known as hot Jupiters — gassy giants that are the size of our own Jupiter…

Japan to abandon nuclear power expansions, focus on green technology

Japan’s prime minister announced yesterday that further expansions of nuclear energy in the nation is now officially off the table, namely due to the ongoing disaster at the Fukushima nuclear power plant, which was crippled in March by a massive tsunami wave. The announcement means that an additional 14 nuclear…

Mississippi River crests near record at Memphis

MEMPHIS, Tennessee (Reuters) – The Mississippi River was cresting at Memphis on Tuesday just inches below the all-time record as the swollen wall of water moved south toward the Gulf of Mexico. The level of the largest river in North America may have reached its peak at 47.87 feet on…

Study finds methane in water near hydro-fracking

WASHINGTON — Methane leaks are contaminating drinking water near shale gas drilling sites in the northeastern United States, scientists said Tuesday, placing a further question mark over this fast-growing energy source. Scientists tested water samples taken from 68 private wells in five counties in Pennsylvania and New York to explore…

Raw Photos: Citizen journalists document Mississippi River floods

The waters of the Mississippi River continue to rise and spread across the southern United States in the river’s worst flood in 70 years. In some parts, the river has spread to six times wider than usual, and much deeper. In Memphis, the usually half-mile-wide river is about three miles…

Japanese nuclear firm asks for gov’t bailout to pay disaster victims

TOKYO (AFP) – The president of TEPCO on Tuesday submitted a request for Japanese government aid in compensating those affected by its stricken nuclear power plant, as the utility said it faced funding problems. Presenting the request to trade and industry minister Banri Kaieda, Masataka Shimizu told reporters that TEPCO…

Breast-feeding linked to better behavior

LONDON — Babies who are breast-fed for several months develop fewer behavioural problems in early childhood than those who are bottle-fed, researchers have said. The British study which involved around 10,000 mothers and their babies found that breastfeeding for at least four months lowered the risk of behavioural problems in…

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