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Building blocks of life found on meteorites

Building blocks of life found on meteorites

Technology
The search for aliens has taken another mysterious turn after scientists said they have discovered the essential ingredients for life on ancient meteorites.The space-faring rocks, which at approximately 4.5 billion years old are the same age as the Earth, were found to contain both liquid water and organic compounds.Although the presence of these compounds does not mean the meteorites ever contained life, it does hint at how it may be present elsewhere in the universe.The meteorites, named Zag and Monahans, are believed to have originated from the asteroid belt, between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter.They were examined when they first fell to Earth in Morocco and Texas in 1998, and were found to contain liquid water.Image:Most meteorites burn up in the atmosphere as they crash to Earth. Fi...
Judge temporarily blocks new Trump rules on birth control

Judge temporarily blocks new Trump rules on birth control

Health
A federal judge in Philadelphia on Friday ordered the Trump administration not to enforce new rules that could significantly reduce women's access to free birth control. Judge Wendy Beetlestone issued the injunction, temporarily stopping the government from enforcing the policy change to former President Barack Obama's health care law. The law required most companies to cover birth control at no additional cost, though it included exemptions for religious organizations. The new policy would allow more categories of employers, including publicly traded companies, to opt out of providing free contraception to women by claiming religious objections. It would allow any company that is not publicly traded to deny coverage on moral grounds. Beetlestone, appointed to the bench by Obama, called t...
Market Chatter: Exxon Mobile, Shell Reportedly Win Oil Blocks in Brazil at Auction

Market Chatter: Exxon Mobile, Shell Reportedly Win Oil Blocks in Brazil at Auction

Finance
Shutterstock photoRoyal Dutch Shell (RDS.A, RDS.B) and Exxon Mobil (XOM.N) won blocks in Brazil's pre-salt oil region at an auction on Friday, Reuters reported.Shell won two of the initial four blocks under the hammer as part of consortia and Exxon, in a consortium with Norway's Statoil ( STO ) and Portugal's Petrogal, a unit of Galp Energia (GALP.LS), won another, according to the report.There were no bids for the fourth block, and another four blocks will be auctioned later on Friday, it said.The eight blocks on offer contain a total of more than 12 billion barrels of estimated oil reserves, according to the report.The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.Copyright (C) 2016 MTNewswires.com. All r...
'Incredible' editing of life's building blocks

'Incredible' editing of life's building blocks

Science
Scientists have demonstrated an "incredibly powerful" ability to manipulate the building blocks of life in two separate studies.One altered the atoms in DNA to rewrite the human genetic code and the instructions for life. The other edited RNA, which is a chemical cousin of DNA and unlocks the information in the genetic code.The studies - which could eventually treat diseases - have been described as clever, important and exciting. Cystic fibrosis, inherited blindness and other diseases caused by a single typo in the genetic code could ultimately be prevented or treated with such approaches. Both studies were performed at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard. Base editingThe first, published in the journal Nature, developed tools called base editors. DNA is built out of the four bases: ad...
Snapchat blocks Al Jazeera in Saudi Arabia

Snapchat blocks Al Jazeera in Saudi Arabia

Technology
Social media platform Snapchat has blocked access to Al Jazeera content in Saudi Arabia. Snapchat said it was asked by the Saudi authorities to remove the Qatari-backed broadcaster's Discover Publisher Channel because it violated local laws.Qatar is in an ongoing dispute with Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Egypt and the UAE. The four countries cut ties with Qatar earlier this year, accusing the country of supporting terrorism. Saudi Arabia has one of the world's most restrictive media environments, according to human rights groups and media freedom advocates. But the Saudi authorities have a particular dislike for Al Jazeera. At one point they had demanded Qatar's government shut it down altogether as one of 13 conditions to remove sanctions against the country.Those conditions were later withdra...