Top Stories World 

EPA eases path for new chemicals, raising health fears

WASHINGTON — The Environmental Protection Agency is shifting course under the Trump administration on how it assesses new chemicals for health and environmental hazards, streamlining a safety review process that industry leaders say is too slow and cumbersome. But some former EPA officials, as well as experts and advocates, say the agency is skipping vital steps that protect the public from hazardous chemicals that consumers have never used before, undermining new laws and regulations that Congress passed with overwhelming bipartisan support in 2016. According to these critics, that could mean…

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Science 

Water pollution: Tiny piece of paper can make water safer to drink

Researchers from the University of Bath, who developed the device, say it is cheap, sustainable and recyclable.  The technology was inspired by the simplicity of litmus paper – commonly used for the rapid assessment of acidity in water.  It consists of a microbial fuel cell (MFC) obtained by screen printing biodegradable carbon electrodes on to a single piece of paper.  An MFC is a device that uses the natural biological processes of so-called electric bacteria, which are attached to the carbon electrodes to generate an electric signal.  When these bacteria…

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Top Stories World 

SCHOOL HORROR: Masked knifemen stab brave pupils trying to protect their teacher

Maxim Kimerling Perm school attack: Pupils were wounded in the knife attack The authorities believe the attack in a Russian school was criminal rather than terrorist, possibly staged by a 16-year-old former pupil, according to one version.  A source in the FSB security service said: “Two criminals in masks attacked a teacher and students.  “As a result of armed attack, nine people received knife wounds, one teacher and eight students.” The source said: “There is blood everywhere in the school.” There were claims victims had been knifed in their necks. …

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Science 

REVEALED: Scientists find ‘KEY CLUE to Alien life’ in meteorites that SMASHED into earth

GETTY Chance of alien life after scientists find water in meteorites In 1998, two meteorites smashed into the earth, with one landing near a basketball court in Texas and the second crashing into Morocco. Now 20 years later, it is believed that they contained chemical components. The meteorites are filled with both liquid water and a mix of complex organic compounds, including hydrocarbons and amino acids it is believed. A study released on January 10 by the journal Science Advances, showed the first chemical study of organic matter and water…

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Top Stories World 

The good news about the ozone hole is even better than you think

Get the Mach newsletter. SUBSCRIBE From shrinking sea ice to deadly air pollution, it seems there’s never a shortage of bad news about the environment. But now comes some very good news — in the form of satellite data showing that the worrisome ozone hole in the atmosphere over Antarctica is slowly healing. The data, from NASA’s Earth-orbiting Aura satellite, indicate that depletion of the protective ozone layer over Antarctica was about 20 percent lower during the 2016 Antarctic winter (early July to mid-September) than during the same period in…

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Science 

Star Wars: Navy developing super hi-tech ‘science fiction weaponry to arm military robots’

Franchises such as Star Trek and Star Wars were thought of as fantastical when they were first released, but now things such as lasers and robots will be a staple of militaries. The Office of Naval Research (ONR) began sponsoring research in the 1950s that helped develop the first lasers. “Lasers” are an acronym for “light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation”. The ONR is working on high-energy solid-state laser weapons and a prototype system was fitted on a Navy ship in 2014 which shot down unmanned aerial vehicles. Also,…

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Top Stories World 

California authorities end search for missing UPenn student

Authorities have ended their search for a missing 19-year-old college student in a large wilderness area in Southern California after a search and rescue team found no clues there, an Orange County Sheriff’s Department spokeswoman said Monday. The spokeswoman, Carrie Braun, said the search for University of Pennsylvania student Blaze Bernstein, who vanished on the night of Jan. 2, included two-dozen reserve deputies and lasted three days in Whiting Ranch Wilderness, a 2,500 acre park roughly an hour south of Los Angeles. “They felt like they did an extensive search,”…

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Top Stories World 

Search in California wilderness ends for missing UPenn student

Authorities have ended their search for a missing 19-year-old college student in a large wilderness area in Southern California after a search and rescue team found no clues there, an Orange County Sheriff’s Department spokeswoman said Monday. The spokeswoman, Carrie Braun, said the search for University of Pennsylvania student Blaze Bernstein, who vanished on the night of Jan. 2, included two-dozen reserve deputies and lasted three days in Whiting Ranch Wilderness, a 2,500 acre park roughly an hour south of Los Angeles. “They felt like they did an extensive search,”…

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Entertainment 

Golden Globes 2018 Call Me By Your Name: WHO is Timothee Chalamet? Oscars hot favourite

He is only 22 but about to become a huge star when the Goden Globes shines a light on his extraordinary talent tonight. As well as the lead in two of this season’s most nominated movies, he has another heavyweight role lined up for 2018 which is already looking set to bring in another round of awards attention. Chalamet has also been hand-picked by Woody Allen to headline his next all-star romantic comedy later this year. Not bad for an American-French kid who wanted to be a footballer. WHO IS…

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Science 

How Far Should Life’s Genetic Alphabet Be Stretched?

With recent innovations in gene editing, it may seem as if the field of synthetic biology is just starting to make strides into science-fiction territory. But for several decades, scientists have been cultivating ways to create novel forms of life with basic biochemical components and properties far removed from anything found in nature. In particular, they’re working to expand the number of amino acids—the building blocks of the proteins that perform the cell’s functions—in life’s stockpile. In November, a group of researchers announced some of their greatest progress yet. But…

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