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Martin Laine

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

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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.

Op-Ed: WWF report — To live like Americans would take 3.9 planets

Humans are consuming more resources than the planet can provide, a trend that has steadily worsened over the past 50 years. A report issued last week ranks nations by their “ecological footprint,” showing just how far out of balance things have become

What’s killing the seals of western Sweden?

A surge in deaths among harbors seals in the waters of western Sweden has mystified scientists who have thus far been unable to identify a single cause. Officials in neighboring Denmark are also reporting an increase in seal deaths.

Monarch butterfly genome sequencing yields surprising results

Scientists studying the genes of the familiar Monarch butterfly have come up with new information about how it accomplishes its famous annual migration across North America, and how the species evolved.

Fugitive Afghans seeking asylum from death threats at home

Three Afghan military officers who fled an international training program on Cape Cod last month say they face death threats if they return to Afghanistan, and are seeking asylum in either Canada or the U.S.

First US Ebola case confirmed in Texas

A patient in a Dallas hospital who became ill a few days after returning from a trip to West Africa has been diagnosed as having contracted the Ebola virus. He is the first known infected person to arrive in this country on a regular commercial flight.

WWF report: global wildlife populations drop 52% since 1970

The numbers of mammals, fish, birds, reptiles and amphibians experienced a 52 percent decline in the 40-year period between 1970 and 2010, mainly as a result of over-hunting and habitat destruction.

Origin of Earth’s water may be key to life on other planets

A new study suggests the origins of water on Earth may lie far outside our solar system, in interstellar space, and took place long before the formation of the sun. If so, the same chain of events that led to life on Earth could happen elsewhere.
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