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The New York-based Center for Jewish History is launching a project offering DNA testing kits for free to Holocaust survivors and their children. It's an effort to help possibly find family connections torn apart in World War II. Genealogists say the advent of DNA technology has opened up a new world of possibilities in addition to the paper trails and archives that exist. The center had allocated an initial $15,000 for the DNA kits in this initial pilot effort, which would cover about 500 of them. It says efforts could be  ramped up further if there is enough interest.

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The world’s largest volcano is oozing rivers of glowing lava and drawing thousands of awestruck viewers who jammed a Hawaiian highway that could soon be covered by the flow. Mauna Loa awoke from its 38-year slumber Sunday, causing volcanic ash and debris to drift down from the sky. On Wednesday, a main highway linking towns on the east and west coasts of the Big Island became an impromptu viewing point. Thousands of cars jammed the highway near Volcanoes National Park. Anne Andersen left her overnight shift as a nurse to see the spectacle. She was afraid that the road would soon be closed.

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The eruption of Hawaii’s Mauna Loa volcano has temporarily knocked off power to the world’s premier station that measures heat-trapping carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. But officials say Wednesday it won’t be a problem. There are hundreds of other carbon dioxide monitoring sites across the globe. The federal government is looking for a temporary alternate site on the Hawaiian island. And officials are contemplating flying a generator to the Mauna Loa observatory to get its power back so it can take measurements again. The Hawaiian station goes back to 1958 making the famous Keeling Curve that shows rising carbon dioxide levels from burning of coal, oil and natural gas.

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Philadelphia and Oakland County, Michigan, are joining the small list of U.S. localities that are looking for signs of polio infections in sewage. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Wednesday announced the expansion. The two communities will collect and test local sewage for polio for at least four months. Some places in New York state began testing earlier this year after a man was diagnosed with paralytic polio outside New York City. CDC officials say they have been talking with other communities about also starting polio wastewater testing.

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Waves of orange, glowing lava and ash blasted and billowed from the world’s largest active volcano and people on Hawaii’s Big Island have been warned to be ready if their communities are threatened. The ongoing eruption of Mauna Loa wasn’t immediately endangering nearby towns on Monday. But officials told residents to be ready in the event of a worst-case scenario. The U.S. Geological Survey says the eruption began late Sunday night in the volcano on the Big Island. Scientists had been on alert because of a recent spike in earthquakes at the summit of the volcano, which last erupted in 1984.

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New data shows an experimental Alzheimer's drug modestly slowed the brain disease's inevitable worsening. The next question is how much difference that might make in people's lives. Japanese drugmaker Eisai and its U.S. partner Biogen announced earlier this fall that lecanemab appears to work, a badly needed bright spot after disappointments in the quest for better Alzheimer's treatments. Tuesday, the companies released full study results. Eisai says the drug's benefit translates to about a five-month delay in progression over the 18-month study. The Food and Drug Administration is expected to decide whether to approve the drug by early January.

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Despite assurances that lava from Hawaii's Mauna Loa isn't threatening communities, some residents are remaining vigilant. For Nicole Skilling, the first eruption in 38 years of the world’s largest active volcano is bringing back bad memories. She fled from another Hawaii volcano in 2018. Back then she lived near the community where lava destroyed more than 700 homes. She relocated to the South Kona area, only to find herself packing her car with food and supplies after Mauna Loa erupted late Sunday. Officials say the areas where lava is emerging are far from homes and communities. The eruption has also drawn onlookers to a national park for views of the event that are said to be “spectacular.”

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French President Emmanuel Macron will be the guest for the first state visit of Joe Biden’s presidency. The event this week is a revival of diplomatic pageantry that had been put on hold because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Biden-Macron relationship has turned around from its choppy start. Macron briefly recalled France’s ambassador to the United States last year after the White House announced a deal to sell nuclear submarines to Australia that undermined a contract that France had to sell diesel-powered submarines. Today, Macron has become one of Biden’s most forward-facing European allies in the Western response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

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NASA is canceling a planned satellite that was going to intensely monitor greenhouse gases over the Americas because it got too costly and complicated. But the space agency says it will still be watching human-caused carbon pollution but in different ways. Tuesday's NASA announcement says that its GeoCarb mission, which was designed to monitor carbon dioxide, methane and how plant life changes over North and South America is now looking to cost more than $600 million. It was budgeted at $166 million.

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The bodies of more than 80 Native American children are buried at the former Genoa Indian Industrial School in central Nebraska. But for decades, the location of the student cemetery has been a mystery, lost over time after the school closed in 1931 and memories faded of the once-busy campus that sprawled over 640 acres in the tiny community of Genoa. That mystery may soon be solved thanks to efforts by researchers who pored over century-old documents and maps, examined land with specially trained dogs and made use of ground-penetrating radar in search of the lost graves.

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A new study says the U.S. gun death rate last year hit its highest mark in nearly three decades. And the rate among women has been growing faster than that of men. The paper was published Tuesday by JAMA Network Open. The researchers examined trends in firearm deaths since 1990. They say gun deaths began to steadily increase in 2005. But the rise accelerated recently, with a 20% jump from 2019 to 2021. American men continue to die in firearm fatalities at far higher rates than women. But the researchers said the increase in gun deaths of women is playing a tragic and under-recognized role.

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Mexico and the United States appear to be headed for another commercial dispute, this time over a Mexican ban on imports of genetically modified yellow corn. In a strongly worded message, U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack wrote that “time is running short” to resolve the issue. President Andrés Manuel López Obrador said Tuesday that Mexico won't back down on a ban on imports of GM corn for human consumption. López Obrador says Mexico will also study whether to ban it for animal feed. Vilsack wrote that the U.S. will consider “taking formal steps to enforce our legal rights under the USMCA” trade treaty.

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