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Obama says new U.S. sanctions on Iran toughest ever

Reuters - Thu, 2010-07-01 23:55
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Barack Obama signed into law on Thursday far-reaching new sanctions on Iran that aim to squeeze the Islamic Republic's fuel imports and deepen its international isolation.

Categories: Science News

Utility-first climate bill warms up in Congress

Scientific American Online - Thu, 2010-07-01 23:15

By Timothy Gardner

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Environmentalists and power companies are lobbying U.S. senators to put forward climate and energy legislation that would initially cap greenhouse emissions only from electric utilities, saying it's the last best chance for passing a bill this year.

Categories: Science News

Hillary Clinton's Ukraine trip to balance tilt to Moscow

Reuters - Thu, 2010-07-01 22:34
KIEV (Reuters) - Secretary of State Hillary Clinton may initiate renewed U.S. interest in Ukraine after a flurry of pro-Russian moves by its new leadership when she visits the ex-Soviet republic on Friday, analysts said.

Categories: Science News

Climategate Scientist Cleared in Inquiry, Again

Scientific American Online - Thu, 2010-07-01 22:00

A Pennsylvania State University investigation has found no substance behind allegations of academic misconduct by climate researcher Michael Mann, one of the central figures in the so-called 'Climategate' e-mail scandal.

It is the third formal inquiry to clear scientists involved in the scandal, which publicized more than 1,000 private e-mails from scientists expressing doubts about their data, refusing to share information and questioning the work of others.

Categories: Science News

Virginia, government square off over healthcare

Reuters - Thu, 2010-07-01 21:53
RICHMOND, Virginia (Reuters) - The state of Virginia and the government were pitched in a legal battle in a federal courtroom on Thursday that could lead to the undoing of the massive healthcare reform law passed three months ago.

Categories: Science News

Live Long and Proper: Genetic Factors Associated with Increased Longevity Identified

Scientific American Online - Thu, 2010-07-01 21:20

Have you ever wondered how long you might live? New research suggests that an important indicator of your probable life span may be your genes . Scientists have identified unique genetic signatures strongly associated with a long and healthy life, findings that could help to further the understanding of how certain genes may offer protection from common age-related diseases like cancer, dementia and cardiovascular disease. And one day the data might lead to the development of genetic tests to predict whether a person can expect to live into old age as well as guide intervention efforts to prevent age-related illness.

The study, led by Paola Sebastiani, professor of biostatistics at Boston University (B.U.) School of Pubic Health, and Thomas Perls, professor of medicine and geriatrics at the B.U. School of Medicine, was published online July 1 in Science .

Categories: Science News

Getting the Lead out: New Look at Apollo 17 Moon Sample Reveals Graphite Delivered by a Lunar Impactor

Scientific American Online - Thu, 2010-07-01 21:15

Humans have not set foot on the moon since December 14, 1972, when astronauts Eugene Cernan and Harrison Schmitt of the Apollo 17 mission departed the lunar surface to return home. Thankfully, Cernan and Schmitt, a trained geologist , collected 110 kilograms of lunar material--the largest-ever haul of moon rocks and soil--before heading for Earth. [More]

Categories: Science News

U.S., U.K. military leaders address climate change's role as a global threat multiplier

Scientific American Online - Thu, 2010-07-01 21:14

Conflict brought on by droughts, famine and unwelcome migration are as old as history itself. Yet a growing number of military analysts think that climate change will exacerbate these problems worldwide and are encouraging countries to prepare to maintain order even as shrinking resources make their citizens more desperate. [More]

Categories: Science News

Investigating adaptive camouflage at sea

Scientific American Online - Thu, 2010-07-01 19:01

Editor's Note: Julie Huang is an undergraduate geophysics major at the University of Chicago. She is working as a summer intern with the Stramski lab at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in La Jolla, Calif., and is currently on board the University-National Oceanographic Laboratory System research vessel New Horizon . This is her first experience at sea on a research vessel. She interviewed the scientists on board for this entry, which is a follow-on to the blog posts of marine biologist William Gilly , who wrote several entries about his recent expedition to study Humboldt squid on the New Horizon in the Gulf of California. [More]

Categories: Science News

Obama pushes immigration reform amid weak support

Reuters - Thu, 2010-07-01 18:44
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama renewed his push for U.S. immigration reform on Thursday, reaching out to Hispanic voters despite minimal chances that Congress will pass such legislation this year.

Categories: Science News

German policy changes possible after Merkel debacle

Reuters - Thu, 2010-07-01 17:31
BERLIN (Reuters) - German Chancellor Angela Merkel's government called for unity on Thursday after rebels forced a humiliating vote over the presidency that could lead to a watering down of her austerity package.

Categories: Science News

Toyota mulling another recall

Reuters - Thu, 2010-07-01 17:30
DETROIT (Reuters) - Toyota Motor Corp officials in the United States said on Thursday that an internal investigation will be completed next week into possible stalling of Lexus engines, but they did not say whether the cars will be recalled.

Categories: Science News

Could Boxes of Water Help Reforest the World?

Scientific American Online - Thu, 2010-07-01 17:30

From the land of dams and canals comes a new device billed as the savior of agriculture and reforestation in drought-plagued areas.

The " Waterboxx " is the brainchild of Dutch businessman Pieter Hoff, who sold his lily-growing operation in 2003 to focus on water. Then he started tinkering with a polypropylene box, about the size of a laundry basket. It has a fluted lid and a wick extending from the bottom. The plant sits in a cylindrical opening in the center that goes all the way through the box.

Categories: Science News

Israel ready to deal for Shalit release: Netanyahu

Reuters - Thu, 2010-07-01 15:54
JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Israel would free 1,000 Palestinian prisoners if the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas releases Gilad Shalit, the soldier its militants captured four years ago, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Thursday.

Categories: Science News

Fact or Fiction: Artificial Reproductive Technologies Make Sick Kids

Scientific American Online - Thu, 2010-07-01 15:30

Most children conceived via assisted reproductive technology (ART), such as superovulation are fine, although some recent studies are raising doubts about whether these fertility fixes are as safe as promised. The extensive handling of these crucial cells is a concern, and there are mixed reports on the long-term health of these hard-won children, with several studies suggesting increased risks of low birth weight, rare disorders down the line, and even death. [More]

Categories: Science News

Ode to the lowly tussock

Scientific American Online - Thu, 2010-07-01 15:00

Editor's Note: Vienna, Austria-based science writer Chelsea Wald is taking part in a two-week Marine Biological Laboratory journalism fellowship at Toolik Field Station , an environmental research post inside the Arctic Circle. To see the current conditions in Toolik, check out the Webcam .

Walking over Eriophorum, Watch your step of you'll fall off 'em. [More]

Categories: Science News

EPA dispersant tests show limited toxicity but questions remain

Scientific American Online - Thu, 2010-07-01 14:21

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency released preliminary data Wednesday from its own toxicity testing for eight dispersants in a bid to corroborate potentially suspect industry-provided results. But questions remain about the safety of these chemicals that can be used to break up oil spills, including COREXIT 9500 , which is being employed on a massive scale by BP in the Gulf of Mexico. The agency's results showed broadly similar impacts on silverside fish ( Menidia beryllina ) and mysid shrimp ( Americamysis bahia ) across a range of concentrations. And none of the dispersants showed significant capacity to disrupt the hormonal systems of animals, at least at the cellular level. [More]

Categories: Science News

When Passion Is the Enemy (preview)

Scientific American Online - Thu, 2010-07-01 14:00

Four years ago Amanda Wang, then 27 years old, was at a rehearsal dinner for a close friend. At the start of the evening, she felt content, eager to enjoy the wedding ­festivities. But shortly after she sat down to dinner, she was struck by “a tidal wave” of negative emotions. Her mind began to race with disturbing thoughts about her own marriage, which was unstable, and feelings of self-loathing. Suddenly, Wang says, it was as if someone had draped a heavy cloth over her, suffocating her and cutting her off from the conversation. Overcome by anxiety and dread, she excused herself from the dinner table and escaped to the bathroom. Desperate to dull her feelings, she removed her belt, tied it around her neck and pulled it tight to stop herself from breathing. She performed this act several times, until the pain offered her some relief from her emotions. After about 10 minutes, she returned to the table, feeling much better.

At the time, Wang felt she was the only person in the world who battled such extreme mood swings--being content one moment and nearly suicidal the next--and who harmed herself to cope with them. “Self-harm was one of the things that I did to myself to stop feeling crazy, to stop all the arguments in my head, the edginess and anxiety,” she says.

Categories: Science News

Turkey and Israel hold talks on mending fences

Reuters - Thu, 2010-07-01 13:01
ISTANBUL (Reuters) - Turkey told Israel at face-to-face talks in Brussels this week what it must do to mend ties damaged after Israeli commandos stormed a Gaza aid ship nearly a month ago, Turkey's Foreign Minister said on Thursday.

Categories: Science News

Putting Addiction to Bed: Sleep Drugs Could Subdue Cravings, Too

Scientific American Online - Thu, 2010-07-01 13:00

A restful night’s sleep might make a cup of coffee less of a desperate need first thing in the morning. But pharmaceutical companies are looking into whether the latest pills to promise sound, natural sleep could also play an active role in overcoming even the most powerful addictions.

The new sleep aids block the activity of brain peptides called orexins. These tiny proteins keep us wide awake and attentive during the day, and they also govern some stimulating effects of addictive drugs. Orexins do not cause addiction or relapse directly, but neither happens without the peptides’ participation.

Categories: Science News
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