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Martin Laine

Digital Journalist based in Lunenburg, MA, United States. Joined on Nov 11, 2009
Expertise in Government, Board games, Environment & green living, Politics, Science & space,   see all» Education, Books

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Giant tortoise species brought back from brink of extinction

A species of Galapagos giant tortoises that numbered just 15 individuals 50 years ago, now has a healthy breeding population numbering over a thousand. The news is a rare bright spot at a time when the outlook for many species is increasingly bleak.

Stockholm’s backseat therapists to help battle ‘winter blues’

As the months of extended darkness loom in the northern latitudes, so does the lethargy and depression known as “winter blues.” One Stockholm taxicab company is offering to have a therapist talk with their passengers during their ride.

New home colon cancer test goes on the market today

Beginning today, a new home test for colorectal cancer will be available by prescription. The hope is that the millions of Americans who have been avoiding the unpleasant alternative testing methods will take advantage of it.

Heart transplant breakthrough could make more hearts available

Surgeons in Australia have successfully transplanted hearts that had stopped beating, a major breakthrough in the process that had usually used only beating hearts. This could significantly increase the number of hearts available for transplantation.

Denmark rolls out the welcome mat for returning Jihadists

While officials in many western countries are wringing their hands over what to do about those citizens who want to return after fighting with one of the extremist groups in Syria and Iraq, Denmark welcomes its returning Jihadists with open arms.

'Let me survive this' says fugitive cop-killer lookalike

Pity James Tully who has the misfortune of resembling Eric Frein, the object of a massive manhunt following the ambush shooting of two police officers six weeks ago, and who lives in Canadensis, Pa., the epicenter of the search.

Nine in Conn. ordered quarantined, monitored for Ebola

Nine people, including a family of six, have been ordered to stay in their homes for the next three weeks while public health officials check for signs that they have contracted the Ebola virus. None of them have shown any signs of the illness so far.

Mass. stool bank offers donors $40 a poop

Ever since the discovery that healthy human stool bacteria could be used to cure such debilitating diseases as colitis, the medical profession has struggled with two problems — collecting a sufficient supply and finding a way to get it into a patient.

Chinese officials scramble to find Putin’s tiger before poachers

Kuzya, a 23-month-old orphaned Siberian tiger that Russian President Vladimir Putin helped release back into the wild in May, has crossed into China. The last thing Chinese officials want is for Kuzya to fall victim to poachers.

Trial raises questions over Navy's order for silencers

What started out as an investigation into an alleged contract fraud scheme by a U.S. Navy directorate involving untraceable rifle silencers has raised questions about whether they were part of a secret mission or rogue operation.

‘Alzheimer’s in a Dish’ a breakthrough in search for cure

Scientists have succeeded in replicating human brain cells with typical Alzheimer’s Disease structures. Up to now, researchers searching for a treatment have had to work with mouse brains, an imperfect and unsatisfactory substitute.

This year’s list of America’s great places announced

The Uptown neighborhood of Oakland, Calif., Central Avenue in Hot Springs, Arkansas, and Lake Mirror Park in Lakeland, Florida, all ranked among the top of their categories in the 2014 Great Places in America list released earlier this month.

NASA now says vast methane cloud over U.S. southwest is for real

A cloud of methane gas about the size of Delaware was detected over the Four Corners area of the American southwest years ago. The readings were so unusually high that NASA scientists dismissed them. A new study confirms the methane hotspot is real.

Researchers say stem cells could provide Type I diabetes cure

A team of Havard University researchers believe they have found a cure for Type I diabetes using stem cells to create the kind of insulin-producing cells that victims of Type I diabetes lack.

The case of the missing gargoyles

Worcester - It’s a case befitting the Hardy Boys or Nancy Drew. Eight 1.5-ton gargoyles have gone missing from a historic Worcester, Mass., church. They were last seen at an auction two years ago, but never went up for bid, and haven’t been seen since.

Study: Blind have more nightmares than sighted people

A team of researchers in Denmark has compared the dreams of sighted and blind individuals. Their findings show that the blind have four times as many nightmares as sighted individuals, and they are more sensory than visual.

Norway’s Ebola victim to get world’s last dose of possible cure

A Norwegian health worker from Sierra Leone, who was diagnosed with Ebola Monday and flown to Oslo Tuesday, will be given the world’s last remaining dose of ZMAPP, a drug being tested as a possible cure for the deadly virus.

Report: Rich getting richer, giving less, poor giving more

On average, the wealthiest Americans are giving less than ever to charities, while those who have been hit hardest by the recent recession are giving more.

Research finds curiosity triggers changes in the brain

A new study shows how curiosity stimulates brain activity that helps us learn and retain new information. The research has implications for both improving learning in the classroom and in treating memory disorders.

Scientists record radioactivity spike in Norway’s reindeer

Radioactive dust released during the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear power plant disaster is the unwanted gift that just keeps on giving. Unsafe levels were recorded in Norwegian sheep and reindeer.
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