A Texas legislator is waging a war of biblical proportions against the science and education communities in the Lone Star State as he fights for a bill that would allow a private school that teaches creationism to grant a Master of Science degree in the subject.
US President Barack Obama has lifted restrictions on federal funding for research on new stem cell lines. Mr Obama signed an executive order in a major reversal of US policy, pledging to "vigorously support" new research.
Ex-President George W Bush blocked the use of any government money to fund research on human embryonic stem cell lines created after 9 August 2001.
The first Earth-like planet orbiting a distant star could be discovered within four years, astronomers believe. None of the 300 "extra-solar" planets so far identified beyond our own system is thought to be suitable for life, so the discovery of an Earth-like planet made of rock rather than hot gas or frozen ice would significantly increase the chances of finding the second habitable world, scientists said.
TVNL COMMENT: This is an ALARMING development!
Scientists have discovered a drug that could erase fearful memories in humans.
The method, using existing blood pressure pills, could be useful for weakening or erasing bad memories in people with post-traumatic stress disorder, the researchers say.
Some ethicists see problems, question whether such treatments begin to alter what it means to be human.
"An interesting complexity is the possibility that victims, say of violence, might wish to erase the painful memory and with it their ability to give evidence against assailants," said professor John Harris, an expert in biological ethics at the University of Manchester, in an article in the Daily Mail. "Similarly criminals and witnesses to crime may, under the guise of erasing a painful memory, render themselves unable to give evidence."
TVNL Comment: This kind of thing can get out of hand fast. There are too many ways this kind of drug can be misused. It can be put in to the water supply to virtually create a society of people who would have no fear of walking themselves into a mass killing chamber, or giving up their freedom, or anything. Fear is a wonderful thing. It keeps us from danger. Having a drug eliminate that fear essentially removes our survival instincts. This is an ALARMING development!
On the eve of the 200th anniversary of Charles Darwin's birth, a new Gallup Poll shows that only 39% of Americans say they "believe in the theory of evolution," while a quarter say they do not believe in the theory, and another 36% don't have an opinion either way. These attitudes are strongly related to education and, to an even greater degree, religiosity.
The oceans have long buffered the effects of climate change by absorbing a substantial portion of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide. But this benefit has a catch: as the gas dissolves, it makes seawater more acidic. Now an international panel of marine scientists says this acidity is accelerating so fast it threatens the survival of coral reefs, shellfish and the marine food web generally.
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