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Microsoft Must Share Code with Rivals

Microsoft lost its appeal of a European antitrust order Monday that obliges the technology giant to share communications code with rivals, sell a copy of Windows without Media Player and pay a $613 million fine -- the largest ever by EU regulators. The EU Court of First Instance ruled against Microsoft on both parts of the case, saying the European Commission was correct in concluding that...

NASA Revamps Shuttle Repair Plans

NASA hopes to test a thermal tile patch on the next space shuttle mission that could have been used to fix the gouge that was carved into the bottom of Endeavour during last month's launch. The repair -- a squirt of goo -- was one of three methods NASA considered using before deciding the damaged tiles didn't need to be fixed in flight. Shuttle program manager Wayne Hale said Friday he...

China Recalls Tainted Leukemia Drugs

Chinese authorities ordered the recall of tainted leukemia drugs blamed for leg pains and other problems, state media reported Sunday, the latest crisis to strike the country's embattled food and drug industries. Most of the drugs involved -- methotrexate and cytarabin hydrochloride -- have been recovered and authorities have traced the remainder, the Xinhua News Agency said. The report did...

California Stem Cell Agency Gets New Chief

A renowned Australian scientist was named to run California's $3 billion stem cell agency, the nation's biggest financial backer of human embryonic research. The committee that oversees the California Institute of Regenerative Medicine voted Friday at a meeting in Los Angeles to appoint Alan Trounsoun the institute's new president. "Alan is a world-class scientist," said Dr. George...

Doctor Details 9/11 Workers' Illnesses

Doctors treating sickened ground zero workers offered Congress a detailed diagnosis Wednesday of the ailments still affecting thousands after the Sept. 11 attacks, but warned that there's no way to determine how many more may become afflicted with life-threatening illnesses. Dr. Philip Landrigan of the Mount Sinai School of Medicine described three months of recent medical treatment to a...

Arctic Ice Retreating to Record Lows

Arctic ice has shrunk to the lowest level on record, new satellite images show, raising the possibility that the Northwest Passage that eluded famous explorers will become an open shipping lane. The European Space Agency said nearly 200 satellite photos taken this month showed an ice-free passage along northern Canada, Alaska and Greenland, and ice retreating to its lowest level since such...


SUNDAY 16. SEPTEMBER 2007


Gene determines whether male body odor smells pleasant

To many, urine smells like urine and vanilla smells like vanilla. But androstenone, a derivative of testosterone that is a potent ingredient in male body odor, can smell like either - depending on your genes. While many people perceive a foul odor from androstenone, usually that of stale urine or strong sweat, others find the scent sweet and pleasant. Still others cannot smell it at all.

Good earth: Chemists show origin of soil-scented geosmin

Brown University chemists have found the origins of an odor - the sweet smell of fresh dirt. In Nature Chemical Biology, the Brown team shows that the protein that makes geosmin - source of the good earth scent - has two similar but distinct halves, each playing a critical role in making this organic compound.