Risks of boomerangs a reality in world of cyberwar

By RICHARD LARDNER , Los Angeles Times June 03, 2012, 08:11 PM

The Obama administration is warning American businesses about an unusually potent computer virus that infected Iran's oil industry even as suspicions persist that the United States is responsible for secretly creating and unleashing cyberweapons against foreign countries.

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Women engineers trace tech gender gap to childhood

By MARCUS WOHLSEN , Los Angeles Times June 03, 2012, 08:10 PM

Silicon Valley companies portray themselves as inventors of the future, but they're afflicted by a longstanding problem.

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Old people do smell (better than young people)

By Los Angeles Times June 02, 2012, 03:56 PM

Old people have a reputation for producing a distinct stink that follows them around like, well, a bad odor. Now, chemo-sensory experts have found that people can indeed pick out the aged aroma -- and it's actually more pleasant and less intense than body odors from twentysomethings and middle-age folk.

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Venus takes center stage in upcoming rare sky show

By ALICIA CHANG , Los Angeles Times June 01, 2012, 01:13 PM

It's a spectacle that won't repeat for another century — the sight of Venus slowly inching across the face of the sun.

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Tomato is bursting (with genes)

By NICHOLAS WADE, Los Angeles Times May 31, 2012, 06:20 AM

The tomato, whose genome has just now been decoded, turns out to be one well-endowed vegetable, possessing 31,760 genes.

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Scientists watch as black hole rips apart a star

By Los Angeles Times May 26, 2012, 09:59 PM

Back when single-celled organisms ruled Earth, a gigantic black hole lurking at the center of a distant galaxy dismantled and devoured a star. Astronomers reported that they watched it all unfold over 15 months starting in 2010, the first time such an event had been witnessed in great detail from start to finish. "The star got so close that it was ripped apart by the gravitational force of the black hole," said Johns Hopkins astronomer Suvi Gezari, lead author of a paper published online by the journal Nature.

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Science notes: Some fats may harm the brain more

By Los Angeles Times May 26, 2012, 05:19 PM

Some studies have linked dietary fat to the development of dementia later in life. A new study suggests that the risk may depend on the type of fat consumed.

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Is being top banana worth the stress?

By MICHAEL BALTER, Los Angeles Times May 26, 2012, 05:17 PM

Baboons, with their strong social hierarchy, offer lessons on the relationship between health and social rank. A 27-year study concludes that life on the top has its aggravations, but the perks are beneficial.

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Global warming winner: Once rare butterfly thrives

By SETH BORENSTEIN , Los Angeles Times May 24, 2012, 05:39 PM

Global warming is rescuing the once-rare brown Argus butterfly, scientists say.

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Oldest evidence found of Bethlehem

By DIAA HADID, Los Angeles Times May 23, 2012, 08:09 PM

Ancient seal is believed to be the oldest reference ever found of city outside the Bible.

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SpaceX rocket launch aborted in last half-second

By MARCIA DUNN , Los Angeles Times May 20, 2012, 07:41 PM

A new private supply ship for the International Space Station remained stuck on the ground Saturday after rocket engine trouble led to a last-second abort of the historic flight.

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Health roundup: Antibiotic may raise risk of sudden death

By Los Angeles Times May 19, 2012, 05:38 PM

A new study finds that a widely used antibiotic, azithromycin, may increase the likelihood of sudden death in adults, especially those who have heart disease or are at high risk for it.

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The year of the Dragon rocket

By Los Angeles Times May 19, 2012, 04:46 PM

For the first time, a private company this week will launch a rocket to the International Space Station, sending it on a grocery run that could be the shape of things to come for the U.S. space program. If this unmanned flight and others like it succeed, commercial spacecraft could be ferrying astronauts to the orbiting outpost within five years. SpaceX will have only a split second -- at the earliest, at 3:44 a.m. Tuesday, after a planned Saturday launch was delayed -- to shoot its Falcon rocket and Dragon capsule skyward. But getting to the space station is twice as hard, said Space Exploration CEO and chief designer Elon Musk. Once it nears the space station after a two-day flight, the Dragon will spend a day of practice maneuvers before NASA signals it to move in for a linkup. A Dragon capsule, which is 19 feet tall and 12 feet across, has never before attempted a rendezvous and docking in orbit -- an exquisitely delicate operation, with the risk of a collision that could prove ruinous for the space station, which has six men on board. But if all goes well with the docking, the capsule will bring a half-ton of food and other pantry items. What sets it apart from other capsules is that it can bring back space station experiments and old equipment, as the shuttles did. None of the Russian, European and Japanese supply ships do that -- they burn up when they return to Earth. And the Russian Soyuz vehicles that ferry astronauts have little room to spare. The Dragon will be cut loose from the space station after about two weeks and aim for a Pacific splashdown off California. Two more SpaceX delivery trips are planned for this year.

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Can you have your cake and be thin too?

By MELISSA HEALY, Los Angeles Times May 19, 2012, 04:44 PM

A study suggests that a nighttime fast may help cut the risk of weight gain and the diseases that come with it.

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At a glance: Hepatitis C

By Los Angeles Times May 18, 2012, 10:38 PM

The risk: Hepatitis C, which is often asymptomatic, can scar the liver and lead to cirrhosis or liver cancer, and is the leading cause of liver transplant.

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Lake Erie algae a top focus for US-Canadian panel

By Los Angeles Times May 15, 2012, 08:32 PM

A panel that advises the U.S. and Canadian governments about the Great Lakes will make Lake Erie's excessive phosphorus levels and algae blooms a priority for study over the next three years.

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Three-man Soyuz crew departs for space station

By PETER LEONARD , Los Angeles Times May 15, 2012, 05:47 PM

A three-man crew blasted off from a space center in southern Kazakhstan Tuesday morning on board a Russian-made Soyuz craft for a four-and-half-month stay at the International Space Station.

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Rewrite means millions more likely to be called addicts

By IAN URBINA, Los Angeles Times May 12, 2012, 05:29 PM

The revision of the Manual of Mental Disorders is sparking debate about an increase in diagnoses.

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More omega-3 may help ward off suspicious protein

By Los Angeles Times May 12, 2012, 04:21 PM

A Columbia University study found that consumption of omega-3 fatty acids, plentiful in fish and nuts, is associated with lower blood levels of beta-amyloid protein, a possible indication of increased risk for Alzheimer's disease. Amyloid plaques and tangles in the brain are known to increase the risk for mental decline, and blood levels of the protein may reflect levels of its deposits in the brain. Researchers studied 1,219 mentally healthy people older than 65, recording their diet over 1 1/2 years and testing their blood for beta-amyloid and for vitamins and other nutrients. The study appeared online in Neurology. None of the nutrients was associated with reduced beta-amyloid levels except for omega-3 fatty acid, which were associated with significantly lower beta-amyloid blood levels.

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Digest this about dinosaurs

By AMINA KHAN, Los Angeles Times May 08, 2012, 08:04 PM

Study of sauropods indicated that their burps and flatulence were a major source of greenhouse gas.

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