World Topics

Bum parachute mars U.S. 'saucer' test

A helium balloon carrying an experimental saucer-shaped NASA spacecraft floated off a launch tower at the U.S. Navy’s Pacific Missile Range Facility in Kauai, Hawaii, on Saturday to test landing systems for future missions to Mars. A novel inflatable shield to burn off speed worked but the test fell apart ...

California preps for soda tax showdown

Jul 11, 2014

California preps for soda tax showdown

If two of the most progressive U.S. cities don’t pass a tax on sugary drinks, will the idea finally fizzle out? Sugary drinks have been under fire for years, with many blaming them for rising rates of obesity and chronic diseases. Yet efforts to ...

The long march of 'biofortified' GM foods

Jul 11, 2014

The long march of 'biofortified' GM foods

In 1992, a pair of scientists had a brain wave: How about inserting genes into rice that would boost its vitamin A content? By doing so, tens of millions of poor people who depend on rice as a staple could get a vital nutrient, ...

Jul 11, 2014

Utah man admits stealing rare dinosaur footprint fossil

A Utah man has admitted to stealing, and then throwing away, a very rare fossilized dinosaur footprint, but will not spend any time in prison, according to court documents. Jared Ehlers, a 35-year-old construction worker, pleaded guilty on Wednesday in U.S. District Court in ...

Jul 10, 2014

Europe tightens curbs on organ trafficking

The Council of Europe adopted a new international convention on Wednesday making organ trafficking a criminal offense, giving the police greater scope to hunt mafia groups involved in cross-border trade. The new convention calls on governments to make it illegal for donors to be ...

Old vials of smallpox found in U.S. storage room

Jul 9, 2014

Old vials of smallpox found in U.S. storage room

U.S. government workers cleaning out an old storage room at a research center near Washington made a startling discovery last week — decades-old vials of smallpox packed away and forgotten in a cardboard box. The six glass vials of freeze-dried virus were intact and ...

Study paves way for Alzheimer's early detection

Jul 8, 2014

Study paves way for Alzheimer's early detection

British scientists have identified a set of 10 proteins in the blood that can predict the onset of Alzheimer’s and call this an important step toward developing a test for the incurable brain-wasting disease. Such a test could initially be used to select patients ...

Jul 8, 2014

U.S. regulators fast-track novel leukemia therapy

U.S. regulators on Monday put an experimental immunotherapy agent on the fast track to market approval, after 89 percent of leukemia patients in early trials saw their cancers disappear. The personalized immunotherapy known as CTL019 was developed by the University of Pennsylvania and was ...

U.S. fossil find shows biggest-known flying seabird

Jul 8, 2014

U.S. fossil find shows biggest-known flying seabird

Fossilized bird bones uncovered in South Carolina represent the largest flying bird in history, with a wingspan of 6.4 meters (21 feet), according to a study out Monday. The Pelagornis sandersi’s wings were twice as long as the biggest modern-day seabird, the royal albatross, ...