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Gene therapy in mice gives hope to the deaf

Scientists using gene therapy have partially restored hearing and balance in profoundly deaf mice, according to a study published on Monday in the journal Nature Medicine. The research, still in its early stages and restricted to lab animals, may open up new avenues for tackling Usher syndrome, an inherited form…

Kashmir cleric calls all-girl rock group ‘un-Islamic’

Indian Kashmir’s most senior Muslim cleric has called for the plug to be pulled on an all-girl rock group, calling the band “un-Islamic” and accusing them of “indecent” behaviour. Pragaash (First Light) sprang to prominence last December when the high school trio, all of whom are Muslim, won an annual…

Most promising vaccine to replace TB jab doesn’t protect against the disease

PARIS — The most promising vaccine to replace the world’s 91-year-old tuberculosis jab does not protect against the disease, according to results released Monday of large-scale trials conducted among infants in South Africa. Doctors have had high hopes for the formula, known as MVA85A, as the existing Bacille-Calmette-Guerin (BCG) vaccine…

Study: Israeli and Palestinian textbooks offer one-sided view of conflict

Israelis and Palestinians rarely demonise each other in their schoolbooks but each side’s texts offer children a one-sided view of their conflict, says a joint study released on Monday. “Dehumanising and demonising characterisations of the other are rare in both Israeli and Palestinian books,” according to the study funded by…

Romanian cancer patients demand better access to treatment

Cancer patients in Romania on Monday called on the government to make the latest treatments for the disease affordable to end what they called an “inhumane situation”. The call by Romania’s federation of cancer patient associations came on World Cancer Day. “There is a huge discrepancy between the treatments available…

‘Lamb of God’ singer pleaded not guilty to manslaughter of fan in Prague court

Randy Blythe, frontman of US heavy metal group Lamb of God, pleaded not guilty in court in Prague on Monday on the first day his trial on involuntary manslaughter charges for the 2010 death of a fan. The singer also told a municipal court in the Czech capital he wanted…

Notorious Belgian child serial killer seeks release

Notorious Belgian child serial killer Marc Dutroux appeared Monday before a special court seeking to be released and placed under house arrest with an electronic tag. His appeal for early release comes just three months before he completes 16 years of his life sentence for the kidnap and rape of…

Ahmadinejad ready to be ‘first man in space’ with Iran’s space program

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said on Monday he is ready “to be the first man in space” under Iran’s ambitious programme which aims to send a human being into orbit by 2020. “Our youth are determined to send a man into space within the next four, five years and I’m sure…

Wikipedia hopes mobile phones will help them reach 1 billion users by 2015

Wikipedia is aiming to use mobile phones to reach a billion people by 2015, a senior executive has said, doubling the present number. The rapid spread of cellular networks in the developing world is providing fertile ground for this expansion, even as it robs the site of potential editors, Jay…

Pakistan plans $30 million amusement park for town where bin Laden was killed

Pakistan is planning to build a $30 million amusement park with a zoo and adventure sports facilities in the town where Osama bin Laden was killed by US special forces, officials said Monday. The 50-acre (20-hectare) riverside development on the edge of Abbottabad, where US Navy SEALs shot the Al-Qaeda…

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