World Topics

Sahara dust brings smog to Britain

Apr 3, 2014

Sahara dust brings smog to Britain

European pollution and dust swirling in from the Sahara created a “perfect storm” of smog in Britain on Wednesday, prompting authorities to warn people with heart or lung conditions to cut down on tough physical exercise outdoors. Air pollution in some areas reached the ...

Worst mass die-off pinned on microbe

Apr 1, 2014

Worst mass die-off pinned on microbe

Sometimes bad things come in small packages. A microbe that spewed humongous amounts of methane into Earth’s atmosphere triggered a global catastrophe 252 million years ago that wiped out upward of 90 percent of marine species and 70 percent of land vertebrates. That’s the ...

Health overhaul signup ends, survives for now

Mar 31, 2014

Health overhaul signup ends, survives for now

Monday marked the end of the six-month sign-up period for insurance under President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul, a highly controversial attempt to reduce the number of Americans without medical coverage, estimated at about 50 million. So far the complicated new system has enticed ...

Black Death wasn't spread by fleas

Mar 30, 2014

Black Death wasn't spread by fleas

Archaeologists and forensic scientists who have examined 25 skeletons unearthed in the Clerkenwell area of central London a year ago believe they have uncovered the truth about the nature of the Black Death that ravaged Britain and Europe in the mid-14th century. Analysis of ...

Mar 30, 2014

Hunting bats warn each other off

The sound made by a male big brown bat as it zeroes in on a bug to eat is a sequence of chirps beyond the range of human ears. To another bat, the meaning is unmistakable: “Back off.” Scientists have identified a previously unknown ...

Senegal shuts border as Ebola spreads in Guinea

Mar 30, 2014

Senegal shuts border as Ebola spreads in Guinea

Guinea on Saturday raced to contain a deadly Ebola epidemic spreading from its southern forests to the capital, Conakry, as neighboring Senegal closed its border. The European Union pledged €500,000 ($690,000) to fight the contagion, while Senegal’s Interior Ministry said border crossings to Guinea ...

Fixing bad heart valve without surgery pushed

Mar 30, 2014

Fixing bad heart valve without surgery pushed

A new study gives a big boost to fixing a bad aortic valve, the heart’s main gate, without open-heart surgery. Survival rates were better one year later for people who had a new valve placed through a tube into an artery instead. The results ...

Twin rings found around asteroid

Mar 30, 2014

Twin rings found around asteroid

Astonished astronomers have found rings around an asteroid, the smallest object known to have this feature and only the fifth after Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune. The twin rings around a rock called Chariklo were spotted in last June as it passed in front ...

Mar 30, 2014

First full atlas made of a fly brain

New research has identified the brain neurons responsible for every behavior that fruit fly larvae exhibit, raising the possibility that neuroscientists may one day construct a similar “atlas” for people. The accomplishment is an advance toward linking the neurons that fire when people make ...