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Oceans could rise 1.6 metres by 2100: study

PARIS (AFP) – Warming in the Arctic occurring at twice the global average is on track to lift sea levels by up to 1.6 metres (5.3 feet) by 2100, a far steeper jump than predicted a few years ago, a consortium of scientists reported Tuesday. Melting ice and snow has…

NASA’s Dawn probe closes in on giant asteroid

WASHINGTON (AFP) – The Dawn space probe is closing in on its first target, the massive asteroid Vesta, almost four years after its journey began in September 2007, NASA said Tuesday. Dawn is on a long-haul mission to unlock the secrets of the solar system by studying the two largest…

Chimps self-aware like humans: study

PARIS (AFP) – Chimpanzees are self-aware and can anticipate the impact of their actions on the environment around them, an ability once thought to be uniquely human, according to a study released Wednesday. The findings, reported in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B, challenge assumptions about the boundary between…

Man goes without pulse for 96 minutes — and lives

A 54-year-old man who collapsed and was without a pulse for 96 minutes was successfully resuscitated and shows no neurological symptoms or other consequences of the hour and a half he spent as a dead man, the Mayo Clinic reported. Emergency workers used defibrillators and CPR on the man, who…

Researchers: Chemical in crude oil may cause babies to develop heart defects

WASHINGTON (AFP) – Babies who are exposed before birth to ethyl benzene, a toxic component in crude oil, may have a higher risk of developing congenital heart disease, US researchers said Saturday. Another chemical used as an industrial metal degreasing agent, trichloroethylene (TCE), also boosted heart risks, said the research…

Ancient ‘nutcracker’ man preferred salad: study

WASHINGTON (AFP) – He had the powerful jaws and big chompers to crack the toughest of shells, but a new study has shown that the ancient human relative known as “Nutcracker Man” actually preferred to munch on grass. “It most likely was eating grass, and most definitely was not cracking…

Endeavour shuttle to launch no earlier than May 8

CAPE CANAVERAL, Florida (AFP) – NASA on Sunday delayed the final launch of the space shuttle Endeavour until May 8 at the earliest, after technical problems uncovered last week proved more complex than originally thought. Electrical failures in the power supply to a fuel-line heating unit caused engineers to scrub…

NASA postpones Endeavour launch again

CAPE CANAVERAL, Florida — NASA on Sunday delayed the final launch of the space shuttle Endeavour until the end of the week at the earliest, after technical problems uncovered last week proved more complex than originally thought. In a new delay for the US space program’s penultimate shuttle launch after…

Death toll from US tornadoes rises to 350

TUSCALOOSA, Alabama (AFP) – The death toll from killer tornadoes in the southern United States rose to at least 350 early Saturday, making the storm the second-deadliest tornado-related tragedy in US history. The worst tornado outbreak in the United States in March 1925 left 747 people dead. The third-deadliest tornado…

Stem cell research ban overturned by appeals court

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Obama administration can continue using federal tax dollars to fund human embryonic stem cell research, a U.S. appeals court ruled on Friday, overturning a lower court decision and handing a victory to the White House. A federal judge ruled last year that the U.S. National Institutes…

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