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Friday, Apr 18th

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Artificial brain '10 years away'

A detailed, functional artificial human brain can be built within the next 10 years, a leading scientist has claimed. Henry Markram, director of the Blue Brain Project, has already simulated elements of a rat brain.

He told the TED Global conference in Oxford that a synthetic human brain would be of particular use finding treatments for mental illnesses.

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Scientists Create Human Sperm from Stem Cells

Researchers at Newcastle University in England report they have coaxed the first human sperm cells from embryonic stem cells, in a remarkable demonstration of how quickly the field of stem cell science is moving.

The achievement, described in the journal Stem Cells and Development, comes just 11 years after the first human embryonic stem cell line was created.

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Many sharks 'facing extinction'

Many species of open ocean shark are under serious threat, according to an assessment by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

The Red list gives the status of 64 types of shark and ray, over 30% of which are threatened with extinction. The authors, IUCN's Shark Specialist Group, say a main cause is overfishing.

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Microsoft chief: In 10 years, computers will know your intent

Expect to see as much development in computing through the next 10 years as there was in the past 10, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer told a group of technology workers in Charlotte on Friday.

He described computer systems that can figure out what you meant to do and devices as flexible as a sheet of paper as the technologies that would change the way we live in the next few years.

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Herschel telescope 'opens eyes'

Europe's new billion-euro Herschel space observatory, launched in May, has achieved a critical milestone.

The telescope has opened the hatch that has been protecting its sensitive instruments from contamination.

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Periodic table gets a new element

The ubiquitous periodic table will soon have a new addition - the "super-heavy" element 112.

More than a decade after experiments first produced a single atom of the element, a team of German scientists has been credited with its discovery.

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New Rules on Stem Cells Threaten Current Research

The concern focuses on strict new ethics criteria that the National Institutes of Health has proposed. Advocates of stem cell research say that most of the work currently underway passed close ethical scrutiny but that the procedures varied and usually did not match the details specified in the proposed new guidelines.

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