Mercury rising: Astronomers gear for planetary alignment

PARIS, France (AFP) Monday 5/9/2016 by Pascale MOLLARD Mariëtte Le Roux– Astronomers on Monday were preparing for one of the highlights of the skywatchers’ year, when the Sun, Mercury and Earth all line up — a phenomenon that happens just a dozen or so times per century. Mercury will be seen through telescopes as a black dot inching over the face of our star, providing a celestial spectacle — weather permitting — that will last seven and a half […]

Statue of Hitler goes for $17.2 mln at NY auction

NEW YORK , United States (AFP) — A statue of Hitler on his knees was auctioned Sunday for $17.2 million, a record for a work by the Italian artist Maurizio Cattelan. The wax and resin statue entitled simply “Him” had been expected to fetch between $10 million and $15 million at the auction by Christie’s. The previous record for a work by Cattelan, who is 55, was $7.9 million. In the statue, Hitler is depicted […]

Scientists using smartphone app warn of ‘global sleep crisis’

WASHINGTON, United States (AFP) — Social pressures are forcing people to cut back on their sleep, contributing to a “global sleep crisis,” according to a new study based on research collected through a smartphone app. It enabled scientists from the University of Michigan to track sleep patterns around the world — gathering data about how age, gender and the amount of natural light to which people are exposed affect sleep patterns in 100 countries — […]

Nasal spray may cure autism

QUEZON City, Philippines – In Norway, experts were able to develop a nasal spray that delivers hormones into the brain, possibly curing psychiatric disorders like autism. (Eagle News Service Described by Jay Paul Carlos, Video Editing by Aimee Mendoza and Uploaded by Vince Alvin Villarin)

Spain reports first case of Zika-related microcephaly

BARCELONA, Spain (AFP) – Spanish health authorities say they have detected the country’s first known case of the microcephaly birth defect in the foetus of a pregnant woman infected with the Zika virus. “A pregnant woman was infected by Zika and dengue and the foetus has shown various defects,” the health authority of the Catalonia region said in a statement late Thursday. This was Spain’s first case of Zika-related microcephaly, a severe form of brain […]

Mt. Hamiguitan World Heritage Park inaugurated in Davao Oriental

SAN ISIDRO, Davao Oriental, May 6 — President Benigno S. Aquino III led the inauguration of the Mount Hamiguitan World Heritage Park in Davao Oriental, which has been declared by UNESCO as the country’s first natural science park. The President unveiled the marker at the foot of the mountain, symbolizing the official opening of the heritage park as a tourist destination in the Davao region. The 27,714-hectare park is the natural habitat of the Philippine […]

Nasal spray device could help those with schizophrenia

A nasal spray device that seems to improve delivery of the hormone oxytocin to the brain may help those with psychiatric disorders such as autism, schizophrenia and bipolar disorder have improved social functioning, according to Norwegian researchers. Scientists at the University of Oslo (UiO) collaborated with OptiNose on a test of the Norwegian firm’s eponymous device on a group of 16 males. Each member at some point received two different doses of oxytocin and also […]

Google and Honeywell turn down Nest thermostat heat

SAN FRANCISCO , United States (AFP) — Alphabet-owned Google and Honeywell International on Thursday announced a deal to end a patent dispute over technology used in Nest smart thermostats. The companies said in a joint release that a new patent cross-licensing agreement resolves a pending lawsuit. But they did not disclose terms or financial details. “Google and Honeywell believe that this patent accord promotes product innovation and consumer choice in the market for smart home […]

YouTube plans Internet television service: report

SAN FRANCISCO, United States (AFP) — YouTube plans to launch a service that streams cable television channels to viewers over the Internet for the price of a subscription, Bloomberg reported on Wednesday. YouTube has made a priority of creating the service, called Unplugged, which could debut as early as next year, according to the report, which cited unnamed people close to the project. YouTube executives have talked about the plan with major media companies such […]

Massive diamond worth $70 mn to go under hammer

NEW YORK , United States (AFP) — A massive diamond valued at more than $70 million will go under the hammer in London next month, the Sotheby’s auction house said Wednesday. Known as “Lesedi la Rona,” it was found nine months ago in Botswana by the Lucara Diamond Corp. “It’s a 1,109-carat diamond,” said David Bennett, worldwide chairman of Sotheby’s International Jewellery Division said in unveiling it. “This is the largest discovered in over a […]

Drought takes toll at Palau’s famed Jellyfish Lake

A severe drought in Palau is killing marine life at the island nation’s popular Jellyfish Lake, researchers say, forcing tourism operators to cancel trips to the unique Pacific destination. The lake near the capital Koror normally provides a tranquil, otherworldly experience for tourists, mostly from China, who snorkel and float among throngs of non-stinging, golden jellyfish. But with the tiny nation of 18,000 in the grip of its worst drought on record, scientists last month […]

Facebook CEO urges Brazilians to decry WhatsApp block

(REUTERS) Facebook Inc’s Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg called on Brazilians to demand his company’s WhatsApp messaging service never be blocked again after an appeals court on Tuesday overturned the application’s second suspension in five months. In a post in English on his Facebook page, the U.S. billionaire and Facebook founder urged Brazilians to gather outside Congress in the capital Brasilia at 6 p.m. (1700 EDT) on Wednesday to rally in favor of legislation that would […]