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Last Updated: Saturday 04 July 2015

healthy milk: Consuming non-fat (skimmed) milk products can halve the risk of hypertension, claims a study by scientists at the University of Navarra, Spain, and Alvaro Alonso, a researcher in the School of Public Health at Harvard University in the US.

The study evaluated the relationship between the consumption of milk products and the risk of developing arterial hypertension in 6,000 people over two years.

flea sighting: For the first time, scientists had a glimpse of the elusive male water flea in a laboratory of the University of Buffalo in the US.

Water fleas are nearly microscopic organisms with transparent bodies. Found in lakes, ponds and other bodies of fresh water, they are crustaceans like lobsters and not insects, as their name suggests. They are good indicators of environmental change, according to Derek J Taylor, one of the researchers studying the fleas.

Female water fleas generally reproduce asexually, resulting in populations in which males are rare.

tree takeover: Trees and shrubs could take over some of Africa's savannahs if, as many predict, rainfall in the Sahel increases in the next 50 years, say researchers led by Mahesh Sankaran at the Colorado State University in the US. They found that annual rainfall plays a key role in determining the tree-grass balance. Changes in the tree-grass balance would significantly affect livestock production, biodiversity, and the water and carbon cycles.

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