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How to Make a Mummy: Ancient Egyptian Workshop Has New Clues

For thousands of years, ancient Egyptians mummified their dead in the search for eternal life. Now, researchers have used chemistry and an unusual collection of jars to figure out how they did it. Their study, published Wednesday in the journal Nature, is based on a rare archaeological find: An embalming workshop with a trove of pottery around 2,500 years old. Many jars from the site were still inscribed with instructions like “to wash” or “to put on his head.” By matching the writing on the outside of the vessels with …


Zimbabwe Plans to Build $60 Billion ‘Cyber City’ to Ease Harare Congestion

Zimbabwe plans to build “Zim Cyber City,” a modern capital expected to cost up to $60 billion in raised funds and include new government buildings and a presidential palace. Critics are blasting the plan as wasteful when more than half the population lives in poverty and the government has let the current capital, Harare, fall apart. Columbus Mavhunga reports from Mount Hampden, Zimbabwe. Camera: Blessing Chigwenhembe …


Needle in a Haystack Found: Australia Recovers Missing Radioactive Capsule

Australian authorities on Wednesday found a radioactive capsule smaller than a coin that was lost in the vast Outback after nearly a week-long search along a 1,400 kilometers (870 miles) stretch of highway, officials said.  The Caesium-137 capsule was discovered when a vehicle travelling at 70 kms per hour equipped with specialist detection equipment picked up the radiation, according to officials from the state of Western Australia.  The search team then used portable detection equipment to find the capsule, which was located about 2 meters from the side of the …


Boeing Bids Farewell to an Icon, Delivers Last 747 Jumbo Jet

Boeing bid farewell to an icon on Tuesday, delivering its final 747 jumbo jet as thousands of workers who helped build the planes over the past 55 years looked on.  Since its first flight in 1969, the giant yet graceful 747 has served as a cargo plane, a commercial aircraft capable of carrying nearly 500 passengers, a transport for NASA’s space shuttles, and the Air Force One presidential aircraft. It revolutionized travel, connecting international cities that had never before had direct routes and helping democratize passenger flight.  But over about …


Bring Back Extinct Species? Ambitious Plan Draws Investors, Critics

The dodo bird isn’t coming back anytime soon. Nor is the woolly mammoth. But a company working on technologies to bring back extinct species has attracted more investors, while other scientists are skeptical such feats are possible or a good idea.  Colossal Biosciences first announced its ambitious plan to revive the woolly mammoth two years ago, and on Tuesday said it wanted to bring back the dodo bird, too.  “The dodo is a symbol of man-made extinction,” said Ben Lamm, a serial entrepreneur and co-founder and CEO of Colossal. The …


Cheaters Beware: ChatGPT Maker Releases AI Detection Tool 

The maker of ChatGPT is trying to curb its reputation as a freewheeling cheating machine with a new tool that can help teachers detect if a student or artificial intelligence wrote that homework. The new AI Text Classifier launched Tuesday by OpenAI follows a weeks-long discussion at schools and colleges over fears that ChatGPT’s ability to write just about anything on command could fuel academic dishonesty and hinder learning. OpenAI cautions that its new tool – like others already available – is not foolproof. The method for detecting AI-written text …


Huawei Latest Target of US Crackdown on China Tech

China says it is “deeply concerned” over reports that the United States is moving to further restrict sales of American technology to Huawei, a tech company that U.S. officials have long singled out as a threat to national security for its alleged support of Beijing’s espionage efforts. As first reported by the Financial Times, the U.S. Department of Commerce has informed American firms that it will no longer issue licenses for technology exports to Huawei, thereby isolating the Shenzen-based company from supplies it needs to make its products. The White …


AI: World Likely to Hit Key Warming Threshold in 10-12 Years

The world will likely breach the internationally agreed-upon climate change threshold in about a decade and keep heating to break through a next warming limit around mid-century, even with big pollution cuts, artificial intelligence predicts in a new study that’s more pessimistic than previous modeling. The study in Monday’s journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences reignites a debate on whether it’s still possible to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius, as called for in the 2015 Paris climate agreement, to minimize the most damaging effects of climate …


Global Guinea Worm Infections Continue Downward Trend

In the 1980s, more than 3 million people worldwide were infected with Guinea worm. At the end of 2022, the number of reported cases globally was down to 13. There were 15 cases reported a year earlier, “which does not sound like a big reduction, but when you are dealing with very small numbers in very remote areas we take it as a huge step forward,” said Adam Weiss, director of the Carter Center’s Guinea Worm Eradication Program. Guinea worm, a parasite usually ingested through contaminated water, grows inside the …


WHO: Scope, Scale of Health Emergencies Growing

World Health Organization Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus warns global health challenges are growing and threatening the well-being of millions of people worldwide. He spoke at the opening of WHO’s week-long executive board meeting.  The WHO chief began his presentation on a somber note. He told meeting participants that an emergency committee convened to assess the status of the pandemic has concluded that COVID-19 remains a global health emergency.  He said the situation is much better now than a year ago when the omicron variant of the coronavirus was at …


Red Cross: World is Dangerously Unprepared for Next Pandemic

The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies warns the world is dangerously unprepared for the next pandemic and this will have severe health, economic and social consequences for countries around the world.  The IFRC has just released this year’s World Disaster Report. In a marked departure from previous reports, the IFRC does not delve into the numerous natural disasters that caused untold devastation last year.  It does not rank the severity of disasters such as earthquakes, floods, and drought in terms of deaths and the destruction of …


WHO: Over 1.6B People Infected with Neglected Tropical Diseases 

Ahead of World Neglected Tropical Diseases Day Monday, the World Health Organization is calling for action to tackle these debilitating illnesses, which affect an estimated 1.65 billion people globally.  A diverse group of 20 parasitic and bacterial tropical diseases is categorized as neglected. This is because they disproportionally affect people who live in poor, remote communities and are not on the list of global health priorities. Ibrahima Soce Fall is director of WHO’s Department of Neglected Tropical Diseases. He says these vector-borne diseases are transmitted by insects in areas that …