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N.I.H. to Investigate Outreach to Alcohol Companies
The announcement comes three days after The New York Times reported that scientists and officials with the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, part of the NIH, met with industry groups on several occasions in 2013 and 2014. Scientists suggested the proposed study might reflect favorably on moderate drinking, while institute officials pressed for funding, according to documents obtained by The Times.
Arizona death brings calls for more autonomous vehicle rules
The deadly collision between an Uber autonomous vehicle and a pedestrian near Phoenix is bringing calls for tougher self-driving regulations. Police in Tempe, Arizona, say the female pedestrian walked in front of the Uber SUV Sunday night. Current federal regulations have few requirements specifically for self-driving vehicles, leaving it for states to handle. Many federal and state officials say their regulations are sufficient to keep people safe while allowing the potentially life-saving technology to grow. Explore further: Crash marks first death involving fully autonomous vehicle.
Agriculture must make water use go further: experts
In a world where water risks running short for many, the especially thirsty agricultural industry must learn how to manage the vital resource better, experts said Tuesday. A day after the United Nations warned that 5.7 billion people could be short of drinking water by 2050, experts said agriculture faces its own threat. Technology is helping to transform irrigation, with drones, computerized irrigation systems, data and satellites playing their part, speakers said at the 8th World Water Forum, an international gathering of water experts.
The Croaky Sounds of Spring
In early March, the first calls of the wood frog are like the creaking sounds of an enormous, primitive machine awakening. These ancient voices make my skin crawl and my heart quicken, but these same sounds may have inspired relief in our ancestors; despite the bleak nights, winter was finally at its end. They provide a counterpoint to the bell-like clarity of the chorus of spring peepers, which inevitably accompany them. There are few occasions when the elemental vitality of spring is as nakedly exposed.
Test reveals why female lion in Oklahoma zoo sprouted a mane
Lab results have revealed the answer to a mystery at an Oklahoma zoo: Just what caused a female lion to sprout a mane. Veterinarians compared Bridget's blood to samples from her sister, who has no mane. Bridget's blood also contained a higher level of cortisol, which regulates metabolism and the immune system. The zoo says the results likely mean the 18-year-old lioness has a benign tumor that's producing the hormones, but that her health is excellent.
EU lawmakers, UK regulator press Facebook on data breach
Committee chairman Damian Collins said Facebook officials had consistently understated the risk of data being taken from users without consent. EU Justice Commissioner Vera Jourova, who has called the breach horrifying, will meanwhile seek clarification from Facebook during a visit to the United States this week. US lawmakers have already called on Zuckerberg to appear before Congress, along with the chief executives of Twitter and Google.
'These Eagles Are More Than Just a Symbol'
These eagles are more than just a symbol, she added. At this time of year, bald eagles are settling in at lakes like this one across the region. A half dozen birders looked on as a pair of nesting eagles traded places before stretching their wings over the misty waters, snagging a fish. Fifteen years ago, most bald eagles were winter residents, arriving inland during the January through August mating seasons, eagles follow the paths of migratory waterfowl.
China's Tencent to take stake in Ubisoft games maker
Chinese internet giant Tencent has entered into a strategic partnership with Ubisoft that includes it taking a five percent stake, the French videogame publisher said Tuesday. Tencent will become a long-term shareholder in Ubisoft's capital as part of media company Vivendi selling its 27.3 percent stake in a 2-billion-euro ($2.5 billion) deal, Ubisoft said. Tencent operates China's ubiquitous WeChat messaging platform and is the country's leader in social media and gaming.
Ministers suffer nuclear defeats in Lords
The government has been defeated twice in the House of Lords over its plans for nuclear co-operation after Brexit. Peers voted by 265 to 194 to insist the UK should not withdraw from the European nuclear agreement, Euratom, until a replacement deal is in place. MPs are likely to try and overturn the changes to the Nuclear Safeguards Bill when it returns to the Commons.
Germany returns 3,000-year-old wooden Olmec busts to Mexico
Mexico says German authorities have returned two rare, wooden Olmec sculptures over 3,000 years old. Mexico's National Institute of Anthropology and History said Tuesday the sculptures had been held at the Bavarian State Archaeological Collection. The objects were the source of a nearly decade-long legal case involving Costa Rican artifact dealer Leonardo Patterson. Mexico claimed the two busts had been illegally taken from the Olmec ruin site of El Manati, in the Gulf coast state of Veracruz, and wound up in Patterson's hands.
Marine researchers say recent sea star wasting disease epidemic defies prediction
Beginning in 2013, a mysterious disease crippled sea star populations up and down the US west coast. Over a matter of months, many sea star species died in record-breaking numbers, though Pisaster ochraceus-a keystone species known as the ochre sea star-was among the hardest hit. Scientists aren't sure what causes this disease, known as sea star wasting syndrome (SSWS). Another factor that researchers consider when trying to predict the spread of a disease is the density of the affected populations in different areas.
What plants can teach us about oil spill clean-up and microfluidics
For years, scientists have been inspired by nature to innovate solutions to tricky problems, even oil spills-manmade disasters with devastating environmental and economic consequences. A new USC study takes a cue from leaf structure to fabricate material that can separate oil and water, which could lead to safer and more efficient oil spill clean-up methods. Droplet-based microfluidics is a tool used in various applications like cell cultures, chemical synthesis and DNA sequencing.
First population-scale sequencing project explores platypus history
They were able to establish a platypus family history and kinship in a level of detail not previously sampled. We have described the first population-scale, whole-genome sequencing study of the platypus, said Dr Peter Donnelly from Oxford. The research team was also able to estimate vital evolutionary forces at work including platypus mutation rates, divergence times, and population sizes throughout its history. With the new genome data in hand, future studies will continue to explore the population history and unique biology of the platypus.
In the Cockroach Genome, 'Little Mighty' Secrets
The American cockroach is the largest common house cockroach, about the length of a AA battery. It is the second largest insect genome ever sequenced, and larger even than the human genome. Their study comes on the heels of the sequencing of the German cockroach genome, which was published in Nature Ecology & Evolution last month. While the German cockroach only inhabits human environments, the American cockroach flourishes in a wide range of habitats.
A method for predicting the impact of global warming on disease
Scientists have devised a method for predicting how rising global temperatures are likely to affect the severity of diseases mediated by parasites. Their method can be applied widely to different host-pathogen combinations and warming scenarios, and should help to identify which infectious diseases will have worsened or diminished effects with rising temperatures. Professor Luijckx said: Rising temperatures due to global warming can alter the proliferation and severity of infectious diseases, and this has broad implications for conservation and food security.
Foxconn selects general contractor, engineering consultants
Foxconn Technology Group has selected some key companies to begin building its massive flat screen manufacturing complex in Racine County, the Taiwanese company announced Tuesday. Foxconn has selected general contractor and engineering consultants with ties to Wisconsin to begin construction of the $10 billion manufacturing center that could eventually employ as many as 13,000 people. Jacobs is a global leader in design and construction services for electronics projects in the flat panel display and microelectronic sectors.
Stephen Hawking to join Newton, Darwin in final resting place
British physicist Stephen Hawking is to take his place among some of the greatest scientists in history when his ashes are interred inside Westminster Abbey, close to the graves of Isaac Newton and Charles Darwin. Ravaged by the wasting motor neurone disease he developed at 21, Hawking was confined to a wheelchair for most of his life. As his condition worsened, he had to speak through a voice synthesizer and communicate by moving his eyebrows.
Hawking's ashes to be interred at abbey
The ashes of Professor Stephen Hawking will be interred next to the grave of Sir Isaac Newton at Westminster Abbey, it has been revealed. The renowned theoretical physicist's final resting place will also be near that of Charles Darwin, who was buried there in 1882. A private funeral service will take place at Great St Mary's, the University Church on 31 March - Easter Saturday, Prof Hawking's family said. The thanksgiving service at Westminster Abbey will take place later in the year.

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