Scientists create genetic firewall

2015-01-21 22:24

A firewall means any GMOs that escapes a lab, manufacturing facility, or agricultural field will die.

Riddle of bulging Moon solved at last

2014-07-31 05:00

Far from being perfectly round, the Moon has a weird shape, with a highland bulge on the side facing the Earth and another bulge on its far side.

Turkeys enlisted in terror fight

2014-01-21 22:07

The flappy skin on the turkey's face and throat could help save human lives in a terror attack or a chemical spill - or maybe even from cancer.

Bats beat lifespan rule

2013-08-20 22:26

From the elephant to the mayfly, biologists say there is a general rule about longevity: the bigger the animal, the longer it lives.

Elephant tooth evolution rooted in grass

2013-06-26 20:29

Once they developed a taste for grass, the ancestors of today's elephants swiftly broadened their leaf-only diet and placed their progeny on a new evolutionary track.

Science sinks teeth into Neanderthals

2013-05-22 20:53

Neanderthals may have started weaning their young from seven months of age and transferred them to solid food by just over a year.

Life-giving elements in ancient water

2013-05-15 22:11

Scientists have found life-giving chemicals in water at least 1.5 billion years old, which they are now combing for signs of microscopic organisms surviving from a prehistoric age.

Reef predator uses sign language to hunt

2013-04-24 08:00

The roving coralgrouper, a predator fish of tropical reefs, uses sign language to advise fellow hunters of hiding prey.

Mum, dad equal at recognising baby's cry

2013-04-16 23:05

French researchers have dealt a blow to folklore that says mothers are better than fathers in recognising their baby's cry.

Transparent brain: What's on your mind

2013-04-10 22:20

Scientists have developed a method to make a disembodied brain transparent, allowing them to study the organ's intricate wiring without having to slice it up.

Ancient critter granddaddy of shellfish

2013-01-17 20:36

A weird marine creature that lived 500 million years ago at a time of explosive growth in Earth's biodiversity could be a forerunner of worms and molluscs.

Wheat genetic code breakthrough

2012-11-28 22:34

Scientists from Britain, Germany and the United States have unlocked key components of the genetic code for wheat, helping to create varieties that are more productive and better able to cope with disease.

Mamba venom may help for pain relief

2012-10-03 22:24

Scientists have used the venom of Africa's lethal black mamba to produce a surprising outcome in mice which they hope to replicate in humans.

Humble bug plugs gap in fossil record

2012-08-01 22:14

One day 370 million years ago, a tiny larva came to a sticky end when it plunged into a shrimp-infested swamp and drowned.

Small, fast gigapixel camera launched

2012-06-20 22:37

Engineers in the United States have built a prototype gigapixel camera the size of a bedside cabinet that can capture an image in a single snapshot with 1 000 times more detail than today's devices.

Migraines may be in your genes

2012-06-10 22:26

Four newly discovered genes may be responsible for causing migraines by restricting blood flow.

DNA strands create tiniest Smileys

2012-05-30 22:50

Harvard University scientists say they have created Smileys, Chinese characters and card-game symbols at scales of billionths of a metre using strands of DNA.

Dinosaurs had fleas too, giant ones

2012-02-29 22:44

Fossil fleas which feasted on dinosaurs and are the oldest known fleas have been found in China.

Experts underestimate permafrost danger

2011-11-30 22:40

The threat to climate change posed by thawing permafrost, which could release stocks of stored carbon, is greater than estimated.

Living liver cells grown from stem cells

2011-10-13 21:32

British scientists have developed a new stem cell technique for growing working liver cells which could eventually avoid the need for costly and risky liver transplants.

Scientists identify thin genes

2011-08-31 21:32

Scientists have discovered a genetic cause of extreme thinness that can lead to a syndrome in children called failure to thrive, according to a new study.

Bird fossil may not be of a bird

2011-07-27 22:21

One of the world's most famous fossil creatures, widely considered the earliest known bird, is getting a rude present on the 150th birthday of its discovery.

Ancient body clock keeps life on time

2011-01-27 07:09

Scientists have identified the mechanism that controls the internal 24-hour clock of all forms of life which should shed light on some shift work-related problems.

Bubble theory explained

2010-06-09 20:03

Bubbles don't just disappear when they pop but deflate in a rapid cascade of ever-smaller "daughter" bubbles.

Stem cells: 'Huge leap forward'

2010-01-27 22:20

Bioscientists have claimed they have turned the skin cells of mice into brain cells in less than a week.


Honeybee genome throws up survival clues

2014-08-25 19:40

Honeybees probably originated in Asia, say scientists who have teased interesting tidbits from the busy little pollinators' genome that they hope can be used to protect it.

Anaesthesia may harm memory

2014-06-10 05:00

General anaesthesia before the age of one may impair memory later in childhood, possibly life-long.

Super spider nano silk opens way

2013-09-10 23:31

Scientists in the United States have coated spider silk with carbon nanotubes, creating a fibre that is not only super-strong but also conducts electricity.

Alga most sucessful life form

2013-06-13 07:30

It's just a tiny thing - a single-celled organism visible only under a microscope - yet it is one of the most successful life forms on the planet.

Snake's ultra-black spots aids high-tech

2013-05-16 22:05

Scientists have identified nanostructures in the ultra-black skin markings of an African viper which could inspire the quest to create the ultimate light-absorbing material.

DNA double trouble for Nobels

2013-04-24 22:19

The discovery of the DNA double helix 60 years ago proved to be a headache for the Nobel organisation as the feat became nominated for prizes in different categories.

Dagga pill better than zol

2013-04-22 21:51

Marijuana provides greater pain relief when taken in pill form than when it is smoked, according to a study that touches on a controversial medical issue.

Spiny worm solves thorny problem

2013-04-16 20:09

A parasitic worm that latches onto the intestines of fish by inflating its head has led to a remarkable invention for keeping skin grafts in place, even when the surface of the wound is wet.

Fasten seatbelts for bumpier flights

2013-04-08 19:03

Flights will become bumpier as global warming destabilises air currents at altitudes used by commercial airliners.

Fossil find challenges tree of life

2012-12-12 22:59

Organisms long thought to have been the ancestors of early marine creatures may in fact have lived on land.

Spineless bug - oldest complex brain

2012-10-10 22:24

A 520-million-year-old, 7.6cm fossil has yielded evidence that complex brains evolved much earlier than previously thought.

Meat eaters had a jump start

2012-08-08 23:01

A more varied diet, including the consumption of meat, may have led to the development of brain capacity in human ancestors in South Africa.

Science puts snakes on a plain

2012-07-25 21:35

Snakes evolved their curious body shape on land, not in water, and are probably the descendants of small burrowing lizards, scientists have deducted from 70-million-year-old fossil remains.

Woolly mammoth attacked from all sides

2012-06-12 20:49

Rising temperatures, changing vegetation and the spread of humans all contributed to the extinction of the woolly mammoth, according to a new study.

Consumption threat to vulnerable species

2012-06-09 11:45

The developed world's insatiable appetite for products like coffee and timber is threatening the survival of one in three vulnerable animal species in poor countries.

Antarctic ice melting from below

2012-04-25 22:30

Antarctica's massive ice shelves are shrinking because they are being eaten away from below by warm water.

Biggest black holes discovered

2011-12-05 22:26

Scientists have discovered the two biggest black holes ever observed, each with a mass billions of times greater than the Sun's.

Supercooled water riddle is solved

2011-11-24 08:09

Scientists have had a chilling dilemma - at what temperature does water have to freeze?

Black Death hasn't changed, but we have

2011-10-12 22:43

Decoding the DNA of Black Death shows how the bacteria has not evolved much, but that's OK, we have.

Antibody trawl helps HIV vaccine search

2011-08-17 22:46

Researchers into HIV say they had identified 17 potent antibodies whose discovery opens up valuable pathways in the search for an AIDS vaccine.

Proto-eyes grown in lab

2011-04-06 21:12

Proto-eyes have been grown in a Japanese laboratory possibly leading to future therapy.

Diabetes gene search finds 12 links

2010-06-27 22:49

Scientists working on a study of DNA and type 2 diabetes have found 12 new gene links that offer important clues to how the chronic disease works.

DNA 'spiderbot' is on the prowl

2010-05-12 22:41

Scientists have created a molecular robot made out of DNA that walks like a spider along a track made out of the chemical code for life.

Mars, Venus could hit Earth

2009-06-11 14:23

A force known as orbital chaos may cause our Solar System to go haywire, leading to a possible collision between Earth and Venus or Mars, a new study says.

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