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Sunday, 20 November 2011

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UN nuclear watchdog board rebukes defiant Iran

The U.N. nuclear watchdog board censured Iran on Friday over mounting suspicions it is trying to develop nuclear weapons, but Tehran said the move would only strengthen its determination to press on with sensitive work. Almost unanimously, the agency’s 35-nation board passed a resolution expressing “increasing concern” about Iran’s nuclear program, after a U.N. report last week said the Islamic state appeared to have worked on designing an atom bomb.

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UK air pollution ‘puts lives at risk’

The government’s failure to meet EU standards on air pollution is “putting the health of UK residents at risk”, says the Environmental Audit Committee. Bad air quality costs the nation £8.5-20bn per year via poor health, it says, and can cut life expectancy by years. Continued failure to meet EU standards could result in swingeing fines. The committee says ministers’ “apparent tactic” to avoid fines is to ask the European Commission for repeated extensions rather than curb pollution.

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Cardiac cells ‘heal heart damage’

Stem cells taken from a patient’s own heart have, for the first time, been used to repair damaged heart tissue, researchers claim. The study, published in the Lancet, was designed to test the procedure’s safety, but also reported improvements in the heart’s ability to pump blood. The authors said the findings were “very encouraging” Other experts said techniques with bone marrow stem cells were more advanced and that bigger trials were needed.

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