NEWS 23.March.2016

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Chocolate lovers, brace yourselves. Your favorite sweet treat is at war with a fungus that reproduces by cloning, according to a new study. The fungal disease, which poses a serious threat to cocoa plants, was previously thought to multiply sexually.

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The lifestyle of more than 97 percent of Americans cannot be considered “healthy” according to a new study that examined people’s diets, exercise, body fat, as well as whether they smoked. Researchers also found trends based on age, gender, and ethnicity.

A study conducted by Oregon State University in partnership with the University of Mississippi and the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga looked at 4,745 people included in National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey data from 2003 to 2006, and found that only 2.7 percent met a four-part criteria for having a healthy lifestyle.

“This is pretty low, to have so few people maintaining what we would consider a healthy lifestyle,” Ellen Smit, an Oregon State associate professor of public health and human sciences and co-author, said in a statement. “This is sort of mind boggling. There’s clearly a lot of room for improvement.”

The study, published in Mayo Clinical Proceedings, verified the extent of people’s exercise habits and physical characteristics using technology rather than survey questionnaires.

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Properties near a battery recycling plant in Vernon, California – just south of downtown Los Angeles – are receiving city resources to clean up lead contamination, which tests showed affects nearly every home in the area surrounding the facility.

Of the 1,008 properties tested for lead by either the California Department of Toxic Substances or Los Angeles County, only five do not require cleanup – meaning over 99 percent of them have been contaminated with the toxic metal.

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British military boffins have created a gravity scanner that may be able to see through walls and under the ground, a top Ministry of Defence (MoD) scientist says.

Researchers made the breakthrough at the MoD’s military science park at Britain’s Porton Down laboratory.

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Neil Stansfield, from the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (DSTL), which is responsible for the research, told the Telegraph on Wednesday that the scanner freezes atoms with lasers and then gauges how they are affected by the gravitational pull of objects close to them. This can apparently help create a 3D map of an area.

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