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Investigate killing of Pakistani rights lawyer: rights body

Investigate killing of Pakistani rights lawyer: rights bodyNew York, May 14 : Pakistani authorities should conduct a prompt and impartial investigation into the May 7 killing of human rights activist and lawyer Rashid Rehman, Human Rights Watch said Wedneday.

Those responsible should be fully and promptly prosecuted, it said.

Rehman's killing, an apparent reprisal for his willingness to represent people charged under Pakistan's blasphemy law, underscores the urgent need for the government to repeal that law, Human Rights Watch said.

Two unidentified gunmen killed Rehman in his office in Multan in Punjab province.

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Memory boosting pills harmful for your kid's brain

Memory boosting pills harmful for your kid's brainNew York, May 14 - Do you often give memory boosting 'smart' pills to your children to increase attention span and memory to stay awake and score high in exams? Stop this as such drugs pose special risks to the developing brain of young adults, researchers warn.

Such “smart” drugs are getting more and more popular owing to peer pressure, stricter academic requirements and the tough job market.

“But young people who misuse them risk long-term impairments to brain function,” said Kimberly Urban at University of Delaware and Wen-Jun Gao at Drexel University College of Medicine in the US.

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Nitrogen pollution can be cut by half: Experts

Nitrogen pollution can be cut by half: ExpertsNew York, May 14 : With combined efforts by farmers and consumers, the risk of nitrogen pollution could be cut down by half, researchers said.

"Nitrogen is an irreplaceable nutrient and a true life-saver as it helps agriculture to feed a growing world population - but it is unfortunately also a dangerous pollutant," said Benjamin Bodirsky of the International Center for Tropical Agriculture, Colombia (CIAT).

In the different forms it can take through chemical reactions, it massively contributes to respirable dust, leads to the formation of aggressive ground-level ozone, and destabilises water ecosystems.

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Teenagers prefer smart phones over sex: Study

Teenagers prefer smart phones over sex: StudyNew York, May 14 : Teenagers are so touchy about their screens that they are willing to give up almost everything - even the pleasures of a sexual encounter - in exchange for their smart phones, a fascinating research has revealed.

While 26 percent of teenager students in the US can not live without their mobile phones, only 20 percent said they could not survive without sex, a recent survey showed.

Students spend more than five hours online daily, and often use more than five apps at any one time.

The increasing penetration of technologies have also changed the ways students prefer to learn.

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HRW asks Bangladesh to widen inquiry against RAB extra-judicial killings

HRW asks Bangladesh to widen inquiry against RAB extra-judicial killingsNew York, May 14 - The Bangladesh authorities should establish an independent body to investigate evidence that the paramilitary Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) has been responsible for extrajudicial executions, disappearances, torture, and other serious abuses over many years, Human Rights Watch said today in an open letter to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.

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'Small talk' can help parents cultivate language skills in their kids

'Small talk' can help parents cultivate language skills in their kidsNew York, May 13 - A new study suggests that " small talk" helps parents cultivate linguistic skills of their little ones.

For many parents, the idea of talking to their newborn seems foreign, and even a waste of time. But Nicola Lathey, a children's speech and language therapist, said that mindset couldn't be further from the truth.

Lathey, a mother of one, told the New York Daily News that one can predict the level of intelligence by how good their language skills are at 18 months.

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Dogs share 'albino' gene found in humans

Dogs share 'albino' gene found in humansNew York, May 13 - Have a doberman at home? This news may interest you. Researchers have identified a genetic mutation in Doberman that causes albinism in the breed - a discovery that has eluded veterinarians until now.

“What we found was a gene mutation that results in a missing protein necessary for cells to be pigmented. Some defects in this same gene cause a condition called oculocutaneous albinism in humans,” explained Paige Winkler, a doctoral student at University of Michigan's college of veterinary medicine.

This type of albinism has certain characteristics that are evident in both humans and dogs.

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Bolivian man makes drone out of recycled materials from flea market

Bolivian man makes drone out of recycled materials from flea marketNew York, May 13 - A Bolivian man has made his own drone by using mostly recycled materials which he picked up from flea markets.

Alex Chipana's small drone with four propellers can fly for as long as 20 minutes, as high as 1.2 miles and as fast at 43 mph, the New York Daily News reported.

Chipana bought his own motor, camera and GPS but found the rest of the parts at flea markets and other places and fit the pieces into his own design.

Some of these "valuable" items include wood, pieces of a pen, and a cap from a deodorant or perfume bottle.

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Indian-origin scientist makes leadless pacemaker

Indian-origin scientist makes leadless pacemakerNew York, May 10 - The world's first leadless pacemaker, developed by an Indian-origin scientist Vivek Reddy, has shown promising results after one year of human trials on 32 patients who received the pacemaker.

"This is the first time we have seen one-year follow-up data for this innovative, wireless cardiac pacing technology. Our results show the leadless pacemaker is comparable to traditional pacemakers," said Reddy, director of arrhythmia services at the Mount Sinai Hospital here.

The findings further support the promising performance and safety of this minimally-invasive, non-surgical pacing device.

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Make your kids emotionally strong

Make your kids emotionally strongNew York, May 10 - An easy way to better prepare kids to handle anxiety and keep anxiety-related disorders at bay may lie in the school-based test anxiety interventions, a research said.

Anxiety problems are among the most common emotional difficulties youths experience, and are often linked to exposure to disasters.

"Test anxiety interventions may be a practical strategy for conducting emotion-focused prevention and intervention efforts because of a natural fit within the ecology of the school setting," said Carl Weems of University of New Orleans, US.

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Clothes that track your heart rate

Clothes that track your heart rateNew York, May 9 : Forget bands and other gadgets. If you want to track your body’s vitals while working out, just slip into one of these shirts.

These workout shirts, with some specially woven threads, are able to measure health stats like your heart rate, breathing rate and calories burned, reported wired. com.

The shirts have been developed by a start-up company called OMsignal.

“We need something that complements life, without getting in the way of life,” OMsignal CEO Stephane Marceau was quoted as saying. “Clothing was, naturally, the most friction-less fit.”

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Ancient kitten-sized predator found!

Ancient kitten-sized predator found!New York, May 9 : A kitten-sized but formidable hunter preyed on animals of its size in Bolivia about 13 million years ago, researchers have found.

"The animal would have been about the size of a marten, a catlike weasel found in the northeastern United States and Canada, and probably filled the same ecological niche," said Russell Engelman of Case Western Reserve University in the US.

Analysis of a partial skull that had been in a University of Florida collection more than three decades showed that the predator is one of the smallest species reported in the extinct order Sparassodonta.

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Key to healthy heart hidden in obese polar bears!

Key to healthy heart hidden in obese polar bears!New York, May 9 - Polar bears are the most fat-obsessed beasts but have healthy hearts and this may hold the genetic key for humans to avoid heart disease, a promising research has found.

Up to half of the body weight of polar bears consists of fat and their blood cholesterol levels are high enough to cause cardiovascular disease in humans.

“The life of a polar bear revolves around fat. Nursing cubs rely on milk that can be up to 30 percent fat and adults eat primarily blubber of marine mammal prey,” explained Eline Lorenzen of University of California Berkeley.

Polar bears have large fat deposits under their skin.

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App that detects mood swings via voice analysis

App that detects mood swings via voice analysisNew York, May 9 - What if a smart phone app can gauge mood swings via voice analysis and alert you to handle the person accordingly?

Researchers at University of Michigan have developed an app that monitors subtle qualities of a person's voice during everyday phone conversations.

It shows promise for detecting early signs of mood changes in people with bipolar disorder.

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Victims of bullies more likely to be armed at school

Victims of bullies more likely to be armed at schoolNew York, May 6 : More than the bullies it is their victims who are more likely to carry weapons to schools, a study indicated.

In view of growing shootouts by peers in schools, the study has important implications for implementing more effective preventive and intervention strategies.

“The greatest focus should not just be on bullies, but on the victims of bullies (who are) most likely to carry a weapon and potentially use deadly force if threatened,” researcher Andrew Adesman was quoted as saying.

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