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Sunday, Dec 21st

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N.R.A. Stymies Firearms Research, Scientists Say

National Rifle AssociationIn the wake of the shootings in Tucson, the familiar questions inevitably resurfaced: Are communities where more people carry guns safer or less safe? Does the availability of high-capacity magazines increase deaths? Do more rigorous background checks make a difference?

The reality is that even these and other basic questions cannot be fully answered, because not enough research has been done. And there is a reason for that. Scientists in the field and former officials with the government agency that used to finance the great bulk of this research agree in saying that the influence of the National Rife Association has all but choked off money for such work.

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Scientists fear kilograms don't weigh as much as they used to

Kilogram may be losing weightWhen is a kilogram not a kilogram? When it starts to weigh less. It came into existence more than two centuries ago and has become the standard unit of weight around the world, from the shopping malls of Europe to the souks of the Middle East, but scientists believe that the reign of the kilo as we know it is about to come to an end.

A group of experts meeting in London today want to redefine the kilogram so that it is no longer based on the mass of a solid cylinder of platinum-iridium alloy that sits beneath three layers of protective glass sealed in a locked vault in Sèvres, France.

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The downfall of science and the rise of intellectual tyranny

The very reputation of so-called "science" has been irreparably damaged by the invocation of the term "science" by GMO lackeys, pesticide pushers, mercury advocates and fluoride poisoners who all claim to have science on their side. It seems that every toxin, contamination and chemical disaster that now infects our planet has been evangelized in the name of "science."

Where "science" used to be highly regarded in the 1950's, today the term is largely exploited by pharmaceutical companies, biotech giants and chemical companies to push their own for-profit agendas. Actual science has little to do with the schemes now being pushed under the veil of science.

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Two Suns? Twin Stars Could Be Visible From Earth By 2012

Twin suns may be comingIt's the ultimate experience for Star Wars fans - staring forlornly off into the distance as twin suns sink into the horizon. Yet it's not just a figment of George Lucas's imagination - twin suns are real. And here's the big news - they could be coming to Earth.

Yes, any day now we see a second sun light up the sky, if only for a matter of weeks. The infamous red super-giant star in Orion’s nebula - Betelgeuse - is predicted to go gangbusters and the impending super-nova may reach Earth before 2012, and when it does, all of our wildest Star Wars dreams will come true.

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Scientists make chickens that don't spread bird flu

Scientists make chickens that don't spread bird fluBritish scientists have developed genetically modified (GM) chickens that cannot transmit bird flu infections -- a step that in future could reduce the risk of avian flu spreading and causing deadly epidemics in humans.

Scientists from Cambridge and Edinburgh universities said that while the transgenic chickens still got sick and died when they were exposed to H5N1 bird flu, they didn't transmit the virus to other chickens they came into contact with.

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Rocky exoplanet milestone in hunt for Earth-like worlds

Rocky exoplanet milestone in hunt for Earth-like worldsAstronomers have discovered the smallest planet outside our solar system, and the first that is undoubtedly rocky like Earth. Measurements of unprecedented precision have shown that the planet, Kepler 10b,has a diameter 1.4 times that of Earth, and a mass 4.6 times higher.

However, because it orbits its host star so closely, the planet could not harbour life. The discovery has been hailed as "among the most profound in human history".

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Journal’s Paper on ESP Expected to Prompt Outrage

ESP article expecting outrageOne of psychology’s most respected journals has agreed to publish a paper presenting what its author describes as strong evidence for extrasensory perception, the ability to sense future events. The decision may delight believers in so-called paranormal events, but it is already mortifying scientists.

Advance copies of the paper, to be published this year in The Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, have circulated widely among psychological researchers in recent weeks and have generated a mixture of amusement and scorn.

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