Siew Ann

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India's farmers beating climate change with technology

<b>It's the end of the monsoon season in India. But it's not been a good year.</b><p>Special Report: The Technology of BusinessBuild your Martian dream homeSqueezing out water to save the future3D print your racing carInnovate or face business extinctionWindows XP: Your upgrade experiences<p>During the sowing …

Farming

Pupils begin 'tough' new national curriculum

<b>Millions of children in England will begin a "tough" new national curriculum when they return to school this week.</b><p>Five-year-olds will learn fractions and computer coding, while those in early secondary school will have to study at least two Shakespeare plays.<p>The curriculum is being implemented for …

Education

How tech could spell the end of animals in drugs testing

We are in a pharmaceutical ice age where fewer drugs are being developed. But new computer modelling and bioengineering techniques could revitalise the industry – and make animal testing obsolete<p>Think of a world where more new medicines are available more quickly, more safely and with few, if any, …

Whole organ 'grown' in world first

<b>A whole functional organ has been grown from scratch inside an animal for the first time, say researchers in Scotland.</b><p>A group of cells developed into a thymus - a critical part of the immune system - when transplanted into mice.<p>The findings, published in Nature Cell Biology, could pave the way to …

Great Ormond Street Hospital

Silicon to spinach: Japan tech helps farmers cope with climate shifts

SHIZUOKA/OSAKA Japan (Reuters) - Japanese technology firms are applying their expertise in energy-saving and cloud technology to help farmers cope with shifting weather patterns, an onslaught of cheaper imports and a shrinking workforce.<p>Panasonic Corp, Fujitsu Ltd and others, seeking niche business …

Scientists made a laser that can detect explosives from half a mile away

The system could map out whole areas of land according to their fertilizer and drug content<p>Imagine a plane that can fly over large areas of land while identifying hidden stockpiles of drugs or explosives — that's the idea driving the development of remote laser sensing technologies. But until …

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The Ebola Outbreak: 'A Dress Rehearsal For The Next Big One'

Until this year, the world had recorded 1,640 deaths from Ebola since the virus was discovered in 1976.<p>Then Ebola appeared in West Africa.<p>So far this year, 887 people have died of Ebola in West Africa, the World Health Organization said Monday.<p>To put that into perspective, more than a third of all …

IVF technique that tests embryos for genetic disorders has first success

UK doctors report first pregnancy from new procedure in couple who had high risk of passing on lethal disease to their child<p>Doctors in London have reported the first pregnancy in Europe from a new IVF procedure that checks embryos for genetic disorders before they are implanted.<p>The technique allows …

U.K. Supermarket To Run On Electricity Made From Its Own Rotting Food

The joys of anaerobic digestion<p>One U.K. grocery store plans to power itself using biogas harvested from its own unsold, rotting produce. Yum.<p>A Sainsbury's store in Cannock in central England is getting access to anaerobic digesters. The store plans to use electricity solely from the digesters, …

Drone finds missing man in 20 minutes

Guillermo DeVenecia, who has Alzheimer’s, went missing for three days but thanks to David Lesh's drone, he was found in 20 minutes<p>A model drone has helped to locate an 82-year-old man who was missing for three days.<p>Despite the efforts of dogs, helicopters and volunteers searching the Fitchburg …

Genetically-Modified Organisms (GMOs) Have NOT Been Proven Safe

The resounding claim of GMO proponents is that GMOs have been proven safe. Some scientists are quite emphatic about this, such as Dr. Pamela Ronald from UC Davis, who says:<p>"Genetically engineered crops currently on the market are as safe to eat and safe for the environment as organic or …

Experimental stem cell treatment causes woman to grow parts of a nose on her spine

Stem cells are seen as one of modern medicine's most promising magic bullets, but that doesn't mean that we understand them. A paralyzed woman from the US has learned this the hard way, after an experimental treatment caused her to grow a nose-like tumor on her back. The unnamed person took part in …

The Sound From Ships May Attract Unwanted Critters

Hangers-on that cost the U.S. Navy $250 million a year<p>A ship at anchor isn't necessarily quiet. Many crews leave their generators on while at anchor, to power refrigerators or air conditioners. But maybe they should consider shutting down, if they can. The thrum of a ship's generator can attract …

What you need to know about 3D-printed organs

Sure, 3D printers that can spit out chocolates, create shoes, handcraft cars and help astronauts sound fun and magical, but a lot of scientists are working to make models that aren't just fun. They're developing 3D printers that can also save and change lives by printing out functional human …

How 3-D Printing Body Parts Will Revolutionize Medicine

Welcome to the age of bioprinting, where the machines we've built are building bits and pieces of us.<p>A device the size of an espresso machine quietly whirs to life. The contraption isn't filled with fresh, pungent grounds but, instead, spoonfuls of opaque, sterile goo. Its robotic arm moves …

Rising CO2 levels may cut nutrient levels in crops, study finds

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Rising levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere may cut the nutritional quality of some of the world’s most important food crops, researchers reported on Wednesday after conducting experiments simulating conditions expected by mid-century.<p>The amounts of two important …

Report urges one-drug lethal injection to avoid botched US executions

• Bipartisan thinktank notes risks of 'three drug cocktail' • Report cites pre-existing state law banning method's use on animals<p>An injection of chemicals used to execute death row inmates can cause such excruciating pain that veterinarians are banned from using them to put down animals, according …

Indians feast on top-quality mangoes after EU ban

MUMBAI, India (AP) — Indians are feasting on some of the world's most succulent mangoes after the European Union banned imports of the fruit from India this month, producing a glut and rock-bottom prices for local consumers.<p>Starting May 1, the EU banned imports of Indian mangoes including the …

German research agencies condemn animal-rights attack on neuroscientist

A timid silence often follows public attacks on scientists who use animals in their research. But today a group of ten heavyweight academic …

Extremism

Off the menu: China moves to protect endangered species

Curbing China's appetite for wild game is just the beginning of the war against illegal poaching, say conservationists.<p>Last week, the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (NPC) clarified the country's laws on the illegal wildlife trade. Anyone who eats endangered species, or buys …

Fertility treatments 'threaten our humanity', warns Robert Winston

Pioneer says 'we have got carried away' with advancements in IVF and that rich may be able to pay for designer babies<p>IVF pioneer Lord Winston has warned that a growing market for fertility treatments could "threaten our humanity", including if the rich were able to pay for so-called "designer …

Tomato Plants' Chemical Signal Turned Into Pest-Killing Weapon

"I may be under attack, but take some of this to protect yourself," is an anthropomorphized way of looking at the interaction.<p>When cutworms attack tomato plants, the plants huff and puff various substances, which serve as a chemical warning to neighboring plants that the pesky grubs are afoot. What …

Fatal Superbugs: Antibiotics Losing Effectiveness, WHO Says

"Genetics is working against us, almost like a science-fiction story."<p>The spread of superbugs—bacteria that have changed in ways that render antibiotics ineffective against them—is a serious and growing threat around the world, according to the World Health Organization's first global report on …

Medicine

The Day When Our Antibiotics Stop Working Is Coming Very Soon

We are close to entering a “post-antibiotic era.” It’s not a place we want to go.<p>It’s hard to overestimate the importance of antibiotics. These drugs have literally been one of the cornerstones of modern civilization, minimizing deaths from all kinds of common infections, and saving society …

Switch from gasoline to ethanol linked to higher smog levels

Scientists have made a surprising discovery about ethanol: The more it was used by drivers in Sao Paulo, Brazil, the more ozone they measured in the local environment.<p>The finding, reported this week in Nature Geoscience, is contrary to other studies predicting that increased use of ethanol would …

Pollution

Cost of free personal care up by 162% in a decade

<b>The cost of providing free personal care to elderly people in their homes has increased by 162% in the last decade.</b><p>Figures show that services such as washing and dressing cost £349m in 2012-13, up from £133m in 2003-04.<p>The Scottish government said the rise was due to more people being cared for at …

United Kingdom

The melting polar icecap is creating waves the size of houses

Compared with the monster seas of the Pacific, Arctic waters are a picture of calm—whipping up, at their most violent, into lake-like chop. Or, at least, they were. New research shows that something is whipping up waves that reach five meters (16.4 feet).<p>“That’s a big wave—that’s a house-sized …

Global Warming

Mental health provision for children under spotlight

The charity Young Minds says freedom of information requests show local authorities are cutting budgets that aim to deliver the government’s strategy …