Science and Technology  October 20, 2014
Comet Siding Spring whizzes past Mars
An illustration by NASA depicts the comet Siding Spring (2013 A1) traveling toward MarsA comet the size of a small mountain whizzed past Mars, dazzling space enthusiasts with the once-in-a-million-years encounter.The comet, known as Siding Spring (C/2013 A1), made its closest encounter with Mars on Sunday at 2:27 pm (1827 GMT), racing past the Red Planet at a breakneck 126,000 miles (203,000 kilometers) per hour.At its closest, Sidin...  Full Story
Anti-tobacco conference struggles to stub out lobbyists
While delegates at the World Health Organization gathering were discussing ways to stop people lighting up, those representing the interests of the tobacco industry were doing their best to influence the outcomeA major conference in Moscow aimed at cutting global smoking rates this week found itself grappling with another issue: how to stop the powerful tobacco lobby from butting in on the debate.While delegates at the World Health Organization gathering were discussing ways to stop people lighting up, those representing the interests of the tobacco indus...  Full Story
US company sells out of Ebola toys
Colorized transmission electron micrograph (TEM) obtained March 24, 2014 from the Centers for Disease Control(CDC) in Atlanta, Georgia, shows the ultrastructural morphology of an Ebola virus virionThey might look tasteless, but satisfied customers dub them cute and adorable. Ebola-themed toys have proved such a hit that one US-based company has sold out.The website of Giant Microbes advertises three Ebola toys as a "uniquely contagious gag gift" that can help you "learn all about this fearsome frontpage disease."A "great teaching tool for st...  Full Story
Natural disasters killed over 22,000 in 2013, Red Cross says
A relative of a victim of Typhoon Haiyan visits a mass graveyard in Leyte, Philippines, October 15, 2014. The storm was last yearNatural disasters claimed over 22,000 lives last year, with Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines the deadliest of all, the Red Cross said Thursday.In its annual report on disasters, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) warned that the outlook was bleak."Climate change is leading to damaged livelihoods and increas...  Full Story
Rare comet fly-by of Mars on Sunday
An artistA fast-moving comet is about to fly by Mars for a one-in-a-million-year encounter with the Red Planet, photographed and documented by a flurry of spacecraft, NASA said.The comet, known as Siding Spring (C/2013 A1), has a core about a mile (1.6 kilometers) wide in diameter, but is only as solid as a pile of talcum powder. Siding Spring is set to hur...  Full Story
New York ratty about rats, complaints up 10 percent
An exterminator inspects a basement for rats on February 21, 2013 in New York CityThe rat race is making New Yorkers ratty.Complaints about rodents shot up by 2,000 or more than 10 percent last year and health officials are failing to implement pest control measures, a watchdog warns.In an audit unveiled over the weekend, New York comptroller Scott Stringer says the city received 24,586 online and telephone complaints about rats...  Full Story
Pfizer breast cancer drug to get FDA priority review
The US Food and Drug Administration has granted priority review for palbociclib, which would treat certain postmenopausal women with advanced breast cancer, Pfizer saidPfizer said Monday an experimental breast cancer treatment will be given an accelerated review by US regulators, speeding up the process for potential approval.The US Food and Drug Administration has granted priority review for palbociclib, which would treat certain postmenopausal women with advanced breast cancer, the US pharmaceutical giant said....  Full Story
First US Ebola infection result of 'protocol breach'
A hazmat worker sprays the front porch of an apartment where a second person diagnosed with the Ebola virus lives, on October 12, 2014 in Dallas, TexasA Texas health care worker has become the first person to contract Ebola on American soil, authorities confirmed, blaming a safety breach for the spread of the deadly disease.The new Ebola patient, the second person infected outside Africa and the second diagnosed in the United States, had treated a man at a Dallas hospital who died of Ebola last w...  Full Story
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