2012 YEAR IN REVIEW

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  • Mice given human brain gene learned tasks faster : study

    By Sharon Begley NEW YORK (Reuters) - Although it's far from the sort of brain transplant beloved by science fiction enthusiasts, scientists have taken one step in that direction: they have spliced a key human brain gene into mice. In the first study designed to assess how partially 'humanizing' brains of a different species affects key cognitive functions, scientists reported on Monday that mice carrying a human gene associated with language learned new ways to find food in mazes faster than normal mice. ...

  • Al Qaeda groups urge warring militants in Iraq, Syria to unite
    Al Qaeda groups urge warring militants in Iraq, Syria to unite

    By Amena Bakr DOHA (Reuters) - Two al Qaeda branches urged warring militant factions in Iraq and Syria to stop fighting each other and unite against a U.S.-led alliance preparing to attack the ultra hardline Islamic State armed group, according to a joint statement posted online. "Stop the infighting between you and stand as one rank against America's campaign and that of its satanic alliance that lies in wait for all of us, to break us stick by stick," al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) and Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) said in a rare joint statement. ...

  • 3rd Room of Ancient Greek Tomb Revealed
    3rd Room of Ancient Greek Tomb Revealed

    Archaeologists say they've had a peek inside another room in a monumental ancient tomb in Greek Macedonia that is believed to date back to the era of Alexander the Great. The ongoing excavations at the Kasta Hill burial mound in Amphipolis — about 65 miles (104 kilometers) east of Thessaloniki — have generated excitement and speculation over what (and whom) archaeologists might find inside. In August, archaeologists revealed two broken sphinxes at the entrance to the burial complex. The archaeologists, led by Katerina Peristeri, have said they believe the tomb dates back to the late fourth century B.C. and has the characteristics of a work by Dinocrates, Alexander the Great's chief architect.

  • What's Up, Dog? Dachshund Takes Part in Skydive From 13,000 Feet

    While most dogs are content to cover, at most, a couple thousand feet on a walk, Riley the dachshund is gaining international fame for traversing 13,000 — vertically. Riley's owner, Nathan Batiste, is a photographer from San Francisco, Calif., who has some experience with skydiving. He has more than 400 jumps under his belt, but he had always wanted to bring the dachshund he and his girlfriend adopted in 2009 along for one of them.

  • Kerry: US open to talks with Iran on Islamic State
    Kerry: US open to talks with Iran on Islamic State

    PARIS (AP) — As more than two dozen nations pledged Monday to help Iraq fight the Islamic State militants, the United States said it was open to talking to Iran about a role in resolving the crisis, despite Washington's earlier opposition to Tehran even attending the conference.

  • Envelopes in Marriott hotels invite tips for maids
    Envelopes in Marriott hotels invite tips for maids

    NEW YORK (AP) — Do you leave a tip in your hotel room for the maid? Marriott is launching a program with Maria Shriver to put envelopes in hotel rooms to encourage tipping.

  • Judge in Pistorius trial faces criticism
    Judge in Pistorius trial faces criticism

    JOHANNESBURG (AP) — Several legal groups in South Africa have expressed concern about threats and harsh criticism of the judge who found Oscar Pistorius guilty of culpable homicide, but not guilty of the more serious charge of murder.

  • Russia to send troops to Crimea as NATO holds exercises in Ukraine

    By Thomas Grove MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia threatened to send more troops to its newly-annexed territory of Crimea on Tuesday, after NATO began exercises in western Ukraine while Kiev's forces are fighting pro-Russian separatists in the east. Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said the escalation of tensions in Ukraine and the presence of foreign military near Russia's borders made the deployment of troops a top priority in Crimea, which Russia annexed from Ukraine in March. ...

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