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Science: Venter Announces First Synthetic Lifeform

Life: but not as we know it...

The J. Craig Venter Institute this week announced the creation of the first synthetically created lifeform – a self-replicating bacteria cell. Mycoplasma mycoides JCVI-syn1.0 was created by synthesizing the 1.08 million base pair chromosome of a modified Mycoplasma mycoides genome. Daniel G. Gibson et al published the results in Science Express. Dr. Gibson stated, “To produce a synthetic cell, our …

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Japan: Venus Climate Orbiter Launched into Space

Venus Climate Orbiter: "Akatsuki / Planet-C"

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) launched the Venus Climate Orbiter “AKATSUKI” aboard H-IIA Launch Vehicle No. 17 (H-IIA F17) at 6:58:22 a.m. on 21st May 2010 (Japan Standard Time, JST) from the Tanegashima Space Center. The launch vehicle flew smoothly, and, at about 27 minutes and 29 seconds after lift-off, the separation of the …

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Sri Lanka & India: Cyclone Laila Displaces over 100,000

Image courtesy of India Meteorological Department

Eighty lakhs of rupees have been released by the Sri Lankan President for the provision of flood relief in Gampaha, Kalutara, Colombo, Ratnapura, Kegalle, Galle and Matara districts as Cyclone Laila passes through the Bay of Bengal. Pre-monsoon rain has affected more than 100,000 people in Sri Lanka and India. Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa was attending the G-15 summit …

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Mongolia: UN Calls for Help in Dzud Disaster


Mongolia is suffering from the effects of a natural phenomenon, termed locally as a “Dzud”. This describes harsh conditions which make it impossible for cattle to graze such as; drought, thick snow cover or ice covering grass. 17% of the country’s livestock has died as a result and the UN is calling for $18 million to help 800,000 rural people …

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Science: Herschel Reveals What Happens When a Star is Born

The Galactic bubble RCW 120

The European Space Agency (ESA) have this week unveiled the first results from their infrared space observatory, known as Herschel, providing the above collection of images which go some way to explaining what happens during star formation. The new images, some of which are shown above, challenge several ideas about star birth and suggest new avenues for scientific research, which …

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BP Oil Spill: Deepwater Horizon Could Spill 9.5 Million Litres of Oil per Day

Discoverer Enterprise Deployed to Fix Dome

The BP oil spill at Deepwater Horizon is already five times bigger than first thought and BP bosses have been forced to admit that the worst case scenario for the spill could see 60,000 barrels per day pour into the ocean around the Gulf of Mexico. Briefing House Energy and Environment committee on Tuesday 3rd May 2010, Representative Edward Markey …

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US: BP’s Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill “Could Take Months” to Stem

The US Coast Guard is currently considering whether or not to begin burning off the oil which is currently collecting in the Gulf of Mexico following the breakdown of the BP controlled Oil Rig “Deepwater Horizon”. Coast Guard Rear Adm Mary Landry, who is responsible for the American cleanup operation, told reporters today that the robotic submarines – widely reported …

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Volcano in Iceland Sees Flights Cancelled Across Europe

A volcano in Iceland, which has been erupting for a number of days, is now causing disruption to air travel across Europe as a cloud of ash makes flying impossible in and out of many airports. Flights have been cancelled in and out of many airports in North West Europe, including Britain and France, which has seen disruption to passenger …

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