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Bill seeks to block mandatory GMO food labeling by states

By Carey Gillam (Reuters) - A Republican congressman from Kansas introduced legislation on Wednesday that would nullify efforts in multiple states to require labeling of genetically modified foods. The bill, dubbed the "Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act," was drafted by U.S. Rep. Mike Pompeo and is aimed at overriding bills in about two dozen states that would require foods made with genetically engineered crops to be labeled as such.

Amoeba study puts bite on dysentery

An amoeba parasite that causes potentially fatal dysentery in poor countries wreaks its havoc by eating intestinal cells alive, scientists reported on Wednesday. Called Entamoeba histolytica, the parasite destroys cells lining the colon, causing ulcers and abscesses and sometimes spreading in the blood to the liver and other organs. But how it does this has been unclear, until now. A common presumption was that the amoeba injects a toxic cocktail into the cells to kill them and then gobbles them down.

Belgium destroys 1.5 tonnes ivory stockpile

Belgium crushed 1.5 tonnes of ivory, its entire stockpile of seized ivory tusks and statuettes, as a global campaign to save the world's elephants gathered pace. "Not only are we losing an elephant every 15 minutes but the ivory trade is undercutting law and order... and enriching organised crime syndicates," said Azzedine Downes, who heads the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW). As the ivory seized by customs was heaped into a crusher to be turned into dust, Health Minister Laurette Onkelinx said the idea was to send "a strong signal" to elephant poachers.

Japanese researcher stands by her disputed stem cell discovery

By Elaine Lies TOKYO (Reuters) - Fighting back tears, a Japanese researcher under fire for fabricating parts of scientific papers hailed as breakthroughs in stem cell research said on Wednesday she stood by her discovery and hoped it could still help the world.

Saudi records 11 cases of MERS virus in Jeddah

ABU DHABI (Reuters) - Saudi Arabia said on Wednesday it had recorded 11 cases infected with the potentially deadly Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) virus in Jeddah, including hospital staff. Two of the patients died, six have recovered, while three are undergoing treatment, the official Saudi Press Agency reported quoting the Jeddah health authority.

Japan stem cell scientist stands by 'phoney' research

A young female scientist accused of fabricating data made a tearful apology live on Japanese television Wednesday for "mistakes" in her research, but insisted her ground-breaking conclusions on stem cells were accurate. Haruko Obokata, 30, blamed her youth and inexperience for errors in her methodology, but said she had managed to create the building-block cells capable of growing into the specialised cells of the brain, liver, heart or kidneys.

Scientist at centre of stem cell research controversy says results valid despite missteps

TOKYO - The scientist accused of falsifying data in a widely heralded stem-cell research paper says that despite mistakes in her work the results are valid. Haruko Obokata struggled at times to maintain her composure during a news conference Wednesday in the western city of Osaka. She insisted she did not tamper with the data to fabricate her results, and said she does not intend to retract a report that appeared in the scientific journal Nature.

Japan kills 251 minke whales in final Antarctic hunt

Japan killed 251 minke whales during the 2014 Antarctic hunt, in what is expected to be the last "research whaling" mission in the Southern Ocean after an international court ruling. According to data released by Japan's Fisheries Agency on Tuesday, the catch was more than double last year's tally of 103 minke whales, but much smaller than the target of 935. The whalers caught no fin whales during the hunt, which ran between January 3 and March 13, the agency said.

Japan kills 251 minke whales in final Antarctic hunt

Japan killed 251 minke whales during the 2014 Antarctic hunt, in what is expected to be the last "research whaling" mission in the Southern Ocean after an international court ruling. According to data released by Japan's Fisheries Agency on Tuesday, the catch was more than double last year's tally of 103 minke whales, but much smaller than the target of 935. The whalers caught no fin whales during the hunt, which ran between January 3 and March 13, the agency said.

Baby giraffe in Oklahoma zoo dies during risky last-chance surgery

By Heide Brandes OKLAHOMA CITY, OK (Reuters) - Kyah, a 6-month-old giraffe at the Oklahoma City Zoo, died on Tuesday during a risky surgical procedure being performed for the first time on a giraffe in hopes that it would save her life, a zoo spokeswoman said. A team of 12 experts assisting in the four-hour surgery was unable to repair a life-threatening condition known as persistent right aortic arch, and ultimately Kyah was euthanized in the operating room, said Tara Henson, spokesperson for the Oklahoma City Zoo.
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