Science and Technology  July 22, 2014
World marks hottest June since 1880: US scientists
The sun setting over the Gaza strip on July 19, 2014Last month was the hottest June since record-keeping began in 1880, according to a monthly report by US government climate scientists.The combined average temperature over land and ocean surfaces was a "record high for the month at 61.20 Fahrenheit (16.22 Celsius)," said the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.That meant June was a tota...  Full Story
Florida widow wins $23.6 bn in RJ Reynolds tobacco payout
A Florida state jury has ordered the RJ Reynolds Tobacco Company to pay $23.6 billion in punitive damages to the wife of a longtime smoker who died of lung cancer, her attorneys saidA Florida jury has ordered RJ Reynolds tobacco to pay $23.6 billion to the wife of a longtime smoker who died of lung cancer in a verdict seen as one of the largest for a single plaintiff in state history. In addition to the punitive damages, Friday's verdict also awarded more than $16 million in compensatory damages to the estate of Michael Johnso...  Full Story
In US, HIV diagnoses drop -- except among some gay men
A health educator massages a drop of blood from a manThe rate of HIV diagnoses in the United States has dropped more than 30 percent over the past decade, but is on the rise among certain gay men, researchers said Saturday.Men who have sex with men and who are aged between 13 and 24 saw the biggest rise -- a 132.5 percent increase in the rate of HIV diagnoses -- said the report in the Journal of the ...  Full Story
US gets first local case of mosquito-borne chikungunya
A shopkeeper hands a customer a pamphlet about the chikungunya virus, next to mosquito repellent for sale at a drugstore in Lamentin, Martinique, on July 10, 2014A Florida man who has not recently traveled outside the country is the first person in the United States to get the mosquito-borne chikungunya virus locally, officials said Thursday.The viral infection causes fever and joint pain, which can be severe, as well as headache, muscle pain, joint swelling and a rash, experts say.Until now, the United Sta...  Full Story
'Forgotten freezer' held much more than smallpox
This photo obtained from the Center for Disease Control on December 13, 2002 shows a transmission electron micrograph of smallpox virusesAn investigation into the discovery of six vials of forgotten smallpox at a US government lab has turned up many more boxes containing infectious biological agents, US regulators said Wednesday."The investigation found 12 boxes containing a total of 327 carefully packaged vials labeled with names of various biological agents such as dengue, influen...  Full Story
DNA test results 'not favorable' to US death row inmate
Henry "Hank" Skinner, convicted of a triple murder and on death row for 20 years, is pictured at the Polunsky Unit, where death row inmates are held, May 21, 2013 in Livingston, TexasDNA testing has confirmed the guilty verdict against death row inmate Hank Skinner, a Texas judge ruled in court records released Wednesday, clearing the way for the condemned man's execution.After languishing for a decade and a half on death row, Skinner in 2010 escaped execution by minutes, when the US Supreme Court issued a stay.He was convicted...  Full Story
AIDS could be wiped out by 2030: UN
A nurse takes care of a terminally ill AIDS patient at a clinic in Kiev. The United Nations says global AIDS-related deaths and new HIV infections have fallen by more than a third in a decadeGlobal AIDS-related deaths and new HIV infections have fallen by over a third in a decade, raising hopes of beating the killer disease by 2030, the United Nations said Wednesday. With more than half of the 35 million people living with HIV unaware they are infected, the battle is far from over however, said Michel Sidibe, head of UNAIDS."If we are ...  Full Story
US health chief faces Congress over flu, anthrax mixups
The chief of the US governmentThe chief of the US government's top public health agency is to testify in Congress Wednesday over a series of dangerous mixups in the handling of influenza and anthrax.Tom Frieden, who leads the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, is expected to face tough questions from the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Oversight and Investiga...  Full Story