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New therapy motivates paralyzed rats to walk

WASHINGTON — European researchers said Thursday they have found a way to motivate paralyzed rats to learn to walk again through a combination of spinal cord stimulation and robotic-aided therapy. The key to the method’s success was how it engaged the rats to participate in their own rehabilitation, said Gregoire…

Mayor Bloomberg plans to outlaw super-sized sodas

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg has said he plans to outlaw super-sized sugary drinks, in a ban cementing his reputation as one of America’s hardest-driving policy makers on public health. Bloomberg, who already has gone to war on smokers and transfat, will allow the sale of cups up to 16…

UN: Green economy could create tens of millions of jobs worldwide

Tens of millions of new jobs can be created around the world in the next two decades if green policies are put in place to switch the high-carbon economy to low-carbon, the UN has said. Between 15m and 60m additional jobs are likely, according to a new report from the…

Former UK adviser: Cannabis and ecstasy bans prevent scientific research

The classification system that makes drugs such as cannabis and MDMA (ecstasy) illegal has prevented scientists from properly researching their possible therapeutic uses for conditions such as schizophrenia and depression, according to the government’s former chief adviser on drugs. Professor David Nutt said the UK’s laws on misuse of drugs…

Venus pass may boost hunt for other worlds

Astronomers around the world will be using advanced telescopes to watch Venus cross in front of the Sun on June 5 and 6 in the hopes of finding clues in the hunt for other planets where life may exist. By studying the atmosphere of a well-known planet in this once-in-a-lifetime…

China detains hundreds in Tibet capital

Hundreds of people have been detained in Lhasa after two men set themselves on fire in the Tibetan regional capital, a US-based broadcaster said, as a young mother became the latest Tibetan to self-immolate. Radio Free Asia said Chinese security forces had rounded up hundreds of residents and pilgrims in…

Brazil art scene booms, reflecting strong economy

Brazil’s art scene is booming, with international aficionados snapping up the latest creations and fresh talent rising, a reflection of the South American giant’s growing economy. “We have seen an incredible increase in the number of sales, buyers and collectors,” Eliana Finkelstein, president of ABACT, the country’s contemporary art association,…

Confession in notorious NY murder leaves doubts

Case solved? For the family of Etan Patz and their neighbors, last week’s highly publicized announcement of a confession in the three-decade old murder of the boy has so far failed to lay ghosts to rest. To Stan and Julie Patz, whose son Etan vanished on May 25, 1979 when…

Mozambique customs arrest rhino horn smuggler

Mozambican police have arrested a Vietnamese man at the main airport in Maputo as he tried to smuggle rhino horns out of the country, a spokesman said Thursday. The man was arrested on Wednesday as he was about to board a Kenya Airways flight to Hanoi via Bangkok. “Inside the…

One baby, two moms equals controversy in Ecuador

Ecuador’s constitution extols “families of diverse types,” but this conservative, Catholic society is struggling to figure out how children raised by parents of the same sex fit that lofty ideal. A British lesbian couple have sparked controversy at a time when attitudes about same-sex couples are changing in other countries,…

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