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Blood scandal teens made pact to discover their killer

Blood scandal teens made pact to discover their killer

Health
A group of teenagers with haemophilia who were infected by contaminated blood made a pact that whoever survived would find out what was killing them, a public inquiry has heard. Stephen Nicholls, now 52, said he is the only one of his friends left alive and he thinks about that "every day".Thousands of people were infected with hepatitis C and HIV from contaminated blood in the 1970s and '80s. Victims are telling a public inquiry how their lives have been ruined.Prime Minister Theresa May said the public inquiry into the contaminated blood scandal "should have taken place earlier". Mr Nicholls was diagnosed with haemophilia when he was one. At the age of eight, in 1976, he started attending Treloar's school for children with dis...
UK scientists discover world’s tallest tropical tree

UK scientists discover world’s tallest tropical tree

Science
Scientists in the UK and Malaysia say they have discovered the world's tallest tropical tree measuring more than 100m (328ft) high. The lofty yellow meranti was spotted in a Borneo rainforest by a team from the University of Nottingham last year. Researchers from the University of Oxford then carried out 3D scans and drone flights to confirm the record. The tree, found in the Danum Valley Conservation Area in Sabah, has been named Menara, which is Malay for tower.Local climber Unding Jami, who scaled the tree with a measuring tape, said it was a "scary and windy" ascent."But honestly the view from the top was incredible. I don't know what to say other than it was very, very, very amazing," he added. ...
Scientists discover new species of exploding ant

Scientists discover new species of exploding ant

Technology
A new species of ant which can detonate its body when threatened has been discovered by scientists. A research team from Austria, Thailand and Malaysia found the insects, Colobopsis explodens, in the rain forest in Borneo.The ants fend off attackers by latching on to enemies and flexing their bodies so violently that they explode, releasing a toxic yellow liquid and killing themselves instantly.The yellow goo is sticky, can be fatal for predators, and is said to smell similar to curry.This tactic is used by minor worker ants to kill or hold off intruders, often to defend the whole colony.Researchers described the species as "particularly prone to self-sacrifice".Image:The 'doorkeeper' ant has a plug-shaped face to barricade nest entrancesIt is rare in nature for individuals to volunta...
Second-hand toys could harm children, scientists discover

Second-hand toys could harm children, scientists discover

Health
Plastic used in some second-hand toys could pose a health risk for children as they don't meet the most up-to-date safety guidelines, a study has found. Scientists tested 200 used plastic toys they found in nurseries, thrift shops and homes across England's south-west for nine hazardous elements.Twenty toys had traces of all nine elements, with some concentrations high enough to fail European standards. But experts said it would be difficult to quantify the risk. "Lego bricks from the 70s and 80s are the big fail," said Dr Andrew Turner, of the University of Plymouth, who conducted the study. "Toys in those days weren't tested and now we're using them and handing them down." Chronically toxicFor the study, published in Environmental Science and Technology, Dr Turner and his team used X-ray...
Scientists discover Earth-size planet that could sustain life

Scientists discover Earth-size planet that could sustain life

Technology
A newly discovered Earth-size planet that could sustain life is poised to become Earth's closest stellar neighbor in a cosmic "blink of the eye," scientists at the European Southern Observatory announced in a press release today. Ross 128 b is an exoplanet 11 light-years from our solar system, but it is moving closer and is predicted to become Earth's closest stellar neighbor in 79,000 years, scientists said. It is currently the second-closest temperate planet to Earth, after Proxima b. Every 9.9 days, Ross 128 b orbits a red dwarf star known as Ross 128. Ross 128 is relatively quiet and cool and has just over half the surface temperature of the sun, scientists said, which could make Ross 128 b conducive to life. The star Ross 128 is part of the constellation of Virgo. "Many red dwarf ...