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Diesel- and Hybrid-Powered Vehicles Can Provide More Societal Benefits than Gas-Powered Autos

Cars and light trucks powered by advanced diesel technology or hybrid technology can provide larger societal benefits than traditional gasoline-powered automobiles, according to a RAND Corporation working paper presented today.

The research by RAND, a non-profit research organization, also found that light trucks and cars continuously fueled by a mixture of 85 percent ethanol and 15 percent gasoline – known as E85 – compare unfavorably with the other two alternatives.

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U.S. Oil Slides Below $96

LONDON  - U.S. oil slid below $96 on Monday after top exporter Saudi Arabia said OPEC would look at raising output to brake oil's ascent towards $100 and safeguard world economic growth.

But North Sea Brent crude oil recouped some losses on news of a militant attack on Nigeria's Qua Iboe oil terminal and the temporary closure of Russia's main Black Sea port of Novorossiisk as a storm approached. Europe is first to feel the impact of export interruptions from Russia and Africa.

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Inflation Fuels Global Hunger

Most economists will tell you inflation is like red wine: a little is good for you, but too much can lead to confusion and paralysis. And both can put a dent in your wallet.

Despite the best efforts of central bankers everywhere, inflation is making a comeback. 1,500 retirees recently took to the streets of St. Petersburg, Russia to protest the effect that rising prices have had on the purchasing power of their pensions. Earlier this year, thousands of Mexicans demonstrated after a 400 percent rise in the price of corn flour in just three months. Even markets for luxury goods such as fine red wines have seen prices double and triple.

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Prehistoric women had passion for fashion

If the figurines found in an ancient European settlement are any guide, women have been dressing to impress for at least 7,500 years.

Recent excavations at the site -- part of the Vinca culture which was Europe's biggest prehistoric civilization -- point to a metropolis with a great degree of sophistication and a taste for art and fashion, archaeologists say.

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Russia tackles oil spill after storm wreaks havoc

Russian rescue helicopters searched for five missing seamen on Monday after a storm in the northern mouth of the Black Sea, while a slick of oil from a sunken tanker began washing onto beaches.

Rescue officials said three people died in the storm that struck the narrow straits between the Black Sea and the Azov Sea on Sunday, sinking a small oil tanker and at least four freighters and leaving other ships stranded on the shoreline.

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Six of 8 bear species at risk of extinction: group

Six of the world's eight bear species are under threat of extinction after the addition on Monday of the sun bear, the world's smallest type of bear, to a "Red List" which says China's panda is most at risk.

The sun bear is threatened partly by poachers who sell its gall bladder bile in China as a traditional medicine, said the World Conservation Union which runs the list of threatened wildlife.

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J-PAL course in Nigeria promotes science-based approach in poverty fight

MIT's Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL) is technically located in Building E60 on the edge of east campus. But J-PAL's real laboratory is a primary school in a sub-Saharan African town, a household kitchen in a home in rural India, an unemployment line in a suburb of Paris-anywhere antipoverty programs are necessary to improve a population's health and well-being.

J-PAL is dedicated to fighting poverty by ensuring that policy decisions are based on scientific evidence. As part of that effort, J-PAL undertakes, promotes the use of and disseminates the results of randomized evaluations of poverty-alleviating programs.

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A Giant Step toward Infinitesimal Machinery

Pasadena, Calif.--What are the ultimate limits to miniaturization? How small can machinery--with internal workings that move, turn, and vibrate--be produced? What is the smallest scale on which computers can be built? With uncanny and characteristic insight, these are questions that the legendary Caltech physicist Richard Feynman asked himself in the period leading up to a famous 1959 lecture, the first on a topic now called nanotechnology.

In a newly announced global Alliance for Nanosystems VLSI (very-large-scale integration), researchers at Caltech's Kavli Nanoscience Institute (KNI) in Pasadena, California, and at the Laboratoire d'Electronique et de Technologie de l'Information-Micro- and Nano-Technologies (CEA/LETI-MINATEC) in Grenoble, France, are working together to take the pursuit of this vision to an entirely new level.

 

 

 

 

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World faces choice on human cloning: U.N. study

OSLO (Reuters) - The world faces a stark choice between banning cloning of humans or preparing ways to protect them from potential abuse or discrimination, a U.N. study said on Sunday.

Experts at the U.N. University's Institute of Advanced Studies said it would only be a matter of time before scientists manage to clone a human if governments do not impose a ban.

"Whichever path the international community chooses it will have to act soon -- either to prevent reproductive cloning or to defend the human rights of cloned individuals," said A.H. Zakri, head of the Institute, which is based in Yokohama, Japan.

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Drug-resistant bacteria found to trick immune system

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Drug-resistant bacteria called methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, or MRSA, may be able to first lure and then destroy immune system cells when they are the most vulnerable, researchers said on Sunday.

The study may help explain why MRSA spread outside of hospitals are harder to fight and seem to be spreading more easily.

But the findings may also lead to new and better antibiotics to fight the bacteria, the researchers reported in the journal Nature Medicine.

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