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"eppur si muove"
Teleworking may be good for the soul. But we can't take for granted that it's good for the environment ... [more]
Gut reaction: A bacterium that causes ulcers and stomach cancer is on the decline, but not everyone is celebrating its impending extinction ... [more]
Sensors of the world, unite! Networks of tiny, wireless sensors may be on their way, keeping a watchful eye on the structural health of buildings and the tangled web of traffic, managing energy and inventory, and monitoring manufacturing ... [more]
A new type of high-tech truck stop gives resting truck drivers air-conditioning, phone service and cable television in their cabs -- and could save up to 2 billion gallons of fuel per year ... [more]
You can patent that? A look at anti-impotence chewing gum and other intellectual-property gems ... [more]
Staring at the sun: To explain the sunspot cycle, you've got to go with the (meridional) flow ... [more]
Untangling the roots of cancer: New evidence challenges long-held theories of how cells turn malignant -- and suggests novel ways to stop tumors before they spread ... [more]
DNA theft is to become a criminal offence in the UK, as part of a plan to embrace the medical potential of genetic technology, while protecting individual rights ... [more]
Allan Snyder claims that he can turn on a person's inner savant with the flick of a switch. All it takes is a strange set of electrodes -- and a radical new theory of autism, genius and the human brain (registration required) ... [more]
Wearable tech: Coming soon to your closet ... clothing that changes color to match your mood ... [more]
Do mammals sleep around to stick around? Monogamous species are more likely to go extinct than those that play the field ... [more]
Methuselah, the world's oldest known tree, could soon be the proud elder sibling of a new generation of bristleclone pines ... [more]
Sorry Nemo: sea anemones, not parents, are the true protectors of clownfish ... [more]
Gold dust and the James Bond: The James ossuary and the Jehoash inscription are transparent fakes, says the The Israel Antiquities Authority ... [more]
Contrary to what you might think, some of your worst habits may be prolonging your life ... [more]
A small, battery-powered device may tame the bane of the intimate gig: acoustic-guitar feedback ... [more]
The Y chromosome is seriously weird: The chromosome that makes a human male is turning out to be a lot stranger than anyone expected -- and a lot more useful ... [more]
What's in a name? Nothing, according to a study showing that blind fate can boost some monikers to popularity and consign others to history. ... [more]
How does a bioethicist who believes in the importance of one's genetic heritage react to some unpalatable home truths about his birth parents? ... [more]
The United States offers any likely adversary much better targets for nuclear weapons than these adversaries offer to the US. The scientists said so in 1966, and they say it is even more true today ... [more]
Neuroeconomics could be the answer to finally getting some science into economic decision-making (registration required) ... [more]
Snottites are slimy, dripping stalactites of goo that contain vast numbers of bacteria, and could point us at how life developed ... [more]
Move over, Spider-Man, soon the rest of us may be able to scale walls and cling to ceilings too, with a super-sticky gecko-inspired adhesive ... [more]
A new vaccine approach that delivers a 'double punch' could give the immune system an edge against malaria, AIDS and other infectious diseases ... [more]
A cell's dying gasp could warn people of imminent poisons, say scientists who have created a single-cell 'canary on a chip' ... [more]
We're all naked apes, but why? Girls plucking their eyebrows on Japan's trains demonstrate not just the whims of fashion, but a legacy of evolution -- and ectoparasites ... [more]
Just as we're learning to really love seafood, we may be cutting off the supply. (And US marine policy's 'frontier mentality' isn't helping, says a recent report.) But it's not too late to rescue the oceans ... [more]
The discovery of Earth v.2 in our own starry neighborhood could happen within a decade, astronomers say ... [more]
Possibly the largest mass poisoning in history is underway in India and Bangladesh, by way of arsenic-laced well water. Now Bangladeshis are digging 1,000-foot-deep bore wells -- without machinery -- in search of safe water ... [more]
The exploits of delinquent adolescent condors in the Grand Canyon testify to the difficulty of reintroducing an almost vanished species to the wild (registration required) ... [more]
Subtly and without fanfare, the prohibition on patenting products of nature has fallen into legal disuse. But a new test could distinguish products of nature from patentable inventions ... [more]
A group of British scientists has suggested that the reason it's so hard to discover the origin of SARS is that the coronavirus came from outer space ... [more]
Drug trials without the drugs? Jon Cohen explores the practical effects of obliging those who carry out clinical trials in the developing world to continue providing drugs after research has ended ... [more]
Scientists in Scotland have been developing bacteriophage-based vaccines, which could be a better and cheaper healthcare option for developing countries ... [more]
Voice recognition that finally speaks your languagecould make natural language the way to find any type of information, anywhere ... [more]
The treasure of Nimrud survived 2,800 years buried near a dusty town in northern Iraq. But could it survive a US missile strike, looters, a flood and a grenade attack -- not to mention Saddam Hussein's son? It could, and did ... [more] ... [more]
Mars attracts! Interest in the red planet is about to peak, as three missions prepare to join the hunt for water and life on one of our closest neighbours ... [more]
The straight dope: Advanced cannabis-based pharmaceuticals could hit the European market as soon as next year ... [more]
Cheap computer power and high-tech observation systems can produce precise weather forecasts, offering personalized weather reports and saving businesses millions ... [more]
The UN's nuclear watchdog agency is helping countries use atomic physics to squeeze every last drop of hidden water from the earth's crust to avert a crisis of the world's most precious commodity ... [more]
The leaders of the G8 nations have endorsed an 'action plan' on the use of science and technology to promote sustainable development ... [more]
As North America’s captive elephants face a population crash, scientists struggle to save the prized pachyderms -- one calf at a time ... [more]
The simplex solution: Mathematicians have uncovered the secrets of a 55-year-old algorithm that allows efficient and inexpensive operation of everything from telecommunications networks to delivery fleet scheduling ... [more]
Hand-held satellite phones have become indispensable to war correspondents trying to file stories, catch the latest scuttlebutt -- or get tips on avoiding danger ... [more]
Researchers in the Netherlands say micro-bubbles can be used to deliver therapeutic DNA or drugs into cells, reducing geneticists' reliance on viruses as a delivery method ... [more]
Rethinking Neanderthals: Research suggests the so-called brutes were far more advanced than earlier thought. But if Neanderthals were so smart, why did they disappear? ... [more]
Will the miniature fuel cells now being developed for cars soon power laptop computers too? ... [more]
Artificial Black Hole Escapes Lab, Eats Chicago! No chance of that, really -- but tiny, laboratory-created black holes could take us to the threshold of a new era in physics ... [more]
Surfing the net using only your brain isn't easy, but a special browser lightens the load ... [more]
Ethernet's 30-year reign can teach today's information technologists a thing or two about designing for longevity ... [more]
The first complete skulls of a bizarre 'horned' kangaroo are the star finds in the latest cache of fossils from caves in Australia's Nullarbor Plain ... [more]
A US survey shows that a surprising percentage of men are unaware that the spermicide nonoxynol-9 offers no protection against HIV infection and might even enhance transmission, despite warnings issued since 2000 ... [more]
She sees sea shells on the sea floor: Southeast Asian water babies have supreme aquatic vision ... [more]
An aircar in every garage? The fantasy of a personal flying machine is lurching toward reality ... [more]
Mesoamerica burning: The rich diversity of wildlife in southern Mexico and Central America is in peril. Local governments are using satellites to get a grip on a vast "corridor" system of protected lands ... [more]
The World Health Organization has unanimously adopted a key anti-smoking treaty, aimed at reducing an estimated five million smoking-related deaths each year ... [more]
"The third chimp" revisited: The latest twist in the DNA debate suggests that chimpanzees should not only be part of the same taxonomic family as homo sapiens, but also the same genus ... [more]
A controversial new study claims that the link between passive smoking and lung cancer and coronary heart disease may be "considerably weaker" than generally believed ... [more]
Shoot this deer: Chronic wasting disease, a cousin of mad cow disease, is spreading among wild deer in parts of the US ... [more]
An eccentric new company called Sea Launch is sending large rockets into space from a floating launch pad that sails to the Equator for blast-off. Has the era of private space travel begun? ... [more]
Systems inevitably fail. The key to reliable computing is building systems that crash gracefully and recover quickly ... [more]
The sticky white sap of the African milkbush is used for glue, toys and even medicine -- but it may also be the cause of the most common childhood cancer in sub-Saharan Africa ... [more]
The US should ditch the dime, says mathematician Jeffrey Shallit, and replace it with an 18-cent coin ... [more]
Planetary scientist David Stevenson has a cracking idea: he says the time is ripe for an unmanned journey to the centre of the Earth ... [more] ... [more]
Dropping by: Sometimes a naturalist can get ahead by assessing what's been left behind ... [more]
Researchers have revealed SARS' Achilles' heel: Drugs to treat common cold may be effective against the virus ... [more]
Synthetic gecko hairs could have us walking up walls and across the ceiling ... [more]
The detergents, perfumes and glues that fill our homes and workplaces may be to blame for some of the developed world's current allergy epidemic ... [more]
The evolutionary path from simple microbe to complex forms is long, gradual and very Darwinian, according to a new experiment conducted with an "alien form of life" in a virtual petri dish ... [more]
Time runs slower for ex-smokers -- and it's probably due to stress hormones ... [more]
If we are not alone in the Universe, why have we never picked up signals from an extraterrestrial civilisation? Maybe the aliens are hiding their signals, say two US physicists ... [more]
In deep-sea hydrothermal vents, life has become adept at scrounging for photons ... [more]
A dedicated ISS plasma physics lab could follow the results of a promising experiment to unlock a new world of crystals ... [more]
In response to concerns raised by US election officials and security-minded techies, one of the largest makers of touch-screen voting machines has introduced a prototype capable of producing paper ballots ... [more]
The nearby Andromeda galaxy has been acting like a cosmic blender, stirring other galaxies into its stellar mix ... [more]
Drink when you get thirsty: that's the new guideline for long-distance runners, as the dangers of over-hydration become increasingly apparent ... (registration required) [more] ... [more]
Operation Paperclip, redux: What is to be done with the Iraqi weapons scientists? Put them to work for the US, of course ... [more] But many of the scientists are in hiding, fearing US military interrogation and Iraqi reprisals ... [more]
A genetically altered common cold virus worked so well in destroying brain tumours in experiments with mice that researchers want to take the treatment to people next year ... [more]
With all due respect to Kermit the Frog, it's easy being green. And one of the simplest and best ways involves thinking about how you shop ... [more]
A DNA re-write might overcome safety objections to reproductive cloning ... [more]
Hearing colours, tasting shapes: In the extraordinary world of synaesthesia, where the senses mingle together, some of the brain's mysteries are being revealed ... [more]
Having high self-esteem won't improve your job or school performance, decrease your aggression level, or discourage risky behaviours. But it will make you happier, whether you deserve it or not ... [more]
What you really need right now is a nice cuppa tea. It could help prime your immune system and keep your skin young ... [more] not to mention combatting diabetes and high blood pressure ... [more] and even heart disease ... [more]
It's not just the colour of butterflies' shimmering wings that attracts mates -- it's the flash of polarized light ... [more]
The long-sought technological convergence has already happened -- inside the minds of kids who've grown up with both crayons and computer mice in their hands ... [more]
One of the world's wettest places, which once recorded more than 1,000 inches of rain in just one year, is suffering from a serious water shortage -- and increased pollution and deforestation may be to blame ... [more]
Embryonic stem cells from mice have been turned into eggs -- and the remarkable feat has enormous implications for human infertility and cloning research ... [more]
Archaeologists in Iraq believe they have found the tomb of King Gilgamesh, the subject of the world's oldest book ... [more]
It's not vitamin deficiencies you need to worry about, these days -- it's the dangers of vitamin excess ... [more]
Imagine robots that can read your mood and ink-jet printers that can crank out transplantable hearts. These visionaries have not only imagined these things -- they're hard at work building them ... [more]
Desert metropolis: Namibia's arid expanses are home to a menagerie of creatures that live nowhere else ... [more]
What do we currently know about SARS? And just how scared should we be? (The good news is that young children seem to be hit less hard by the virus) ... [more]
For years anglers have claimed that fish feel no pain when they are hooked. But now a new British study appears to provide evidence that fish do suffer ... [more]
Looking for the first stars: An orbiting observatory designed to survey 10 billion years of cosmic history has been launched ... [more]
What the double helix can't tell you: How can clones look completely different? A look at the biology beyond DNA ... [more]
A glut of the world's second most valuable commodity is causing problems for coffee growers and drinkers -- and even greater problems for ecosystems in and around the plantations ... [more]
New alloys bend the rules: A new class of metal alloys are unusually supple, stretchy, strong and heat stable ... [more]
With Hong Kong schools closed due to the SARS crisis, virtual classrooms are serving as a vital link between teachers from 60 schools and 6,500 of their homebound students ... [more]
Sometimes the Sun's magnetic field goes haywire, with effects felt throughout the solar system. Three years ago, our star suddenly sprouted two north poles ... [more]
HAL on the horizon? Look out, humankind. Machine-to-machine integration could be the next big thing, and may bring new meaning to "disintermediation" ... [more]
Technological savvy could turn anything into oil, converting 600 million tons of turkey guts, computer parts and human excrement into 4 billion barrels of light Texas crude each year ... [more]
Not only is that science-fiction staple, the parallel universe, probably real -- they could exist in four different ways. Somewhere out there our universe has a twin ... [more]
They might spring from an ancient lineage and produce babies that look like peanuts, but superior marsupial eyes can see more colours than our own ... [more]
Wine is fine, but motes can make it better, say scientists who have installed a wireless sensor network throughout a 50-acre Canadian vineyard ... [more]
There could be an unexpected beneficiary of the war in Iraq: the late, great Mesopotamian marshes ... [more]
From cockroaches to air vents, the quest by researchers to understand how SARS spreads is leaving no stone unturned ... [more]
Unlocking Alzheimer's mysteries: A cerebrospinal fluid shunt might be the first treatment that actually prevents brain damage in Alzheimer's sufferers ... [more]
The sex life of Ukrainian worms has provided one of the first pieces of direct evidence on how wildlife is affected by radioactive pollution ... [more]
Natural solutions to pollution: Researchers are considering trees, microbes, and the oceans as mega cleaning tools (registration required) ... [more]
How do you take high tea in space? It's easy -- just grab your chopsticks ... [more]
The discovery of human genes protecting against brain-wasting prion disease suggests that cannibalism has been practised around the world for thousands of years ... [more]
The US military has seen the future, and it is hybrid-powered and fuel-efficient -- and it might help make more efficient vehicles available to consumers ... [more]
Food for thought: Researchers have identified the specific region of the brain that responds to pleasant tastes. What does this tell us about evolution, dieting ... and beet jelly? ... [more]
Astronauts onboard the International Space Station are studying strange magnetic fluids that might one day flow in the veins of robots and help buildings resist earthquakes ... [more]
Graduates of a new university programme in Afghanistan hope to usher in the digital age and boost opportunities for women in the heavily male-dominated society ... [more]
The bush meat trade and the Ebola virus are devastating great ape populations in their last major refuge ... [more]
Robots are practising for Mars exploration with a series of roadtests, beginning by travelling unsupervised more than 100 miles across the driest place on Earth ... [more]
A gadget that's on the leading edge of virus detection technology can screen for virtually every virus family known to biologists -- and it produced the first real break in the quest to find the source of SARS ... [more]
It's a long struggle through hostile conditions for sperm -- but their ultimate goal, the fertile egg, may be just a sniff away ... [more]
Changing gears: When Asian elephants feel the need for speed, they don't just walk fast. They do something that defies easy description ... [more]
The "super-pneumonia" SARS has spread rapidly around the globe, killing scores of people. Here's the latest on efforts to combat the disease ... [more] And the CDC's SARS resource page ... [more]
US researchers say global warming may be taking us back to the climate of the balmy Middle Ages ... [more]
Fallen trees?: Northern pine forests may exude nitrogen oxides -- a contributor to smog and acid rain -- in quantities that rival those produced by industry and traffic worldwide ... [more]
An Australian neuroscientist claims he can conjure up the mysterious Australian outback phenomenon of the Min Min lights -- when conditions are right ... [more]
Maths gets into shape Is it a starfish? Is it an orchid? No, it's Superformula! ... [more]
Fast tracking: Sophisticated software and hardware are offering wildlife researchers a more profound understanding of how nature interacts ... [more]
A colossal squid has been caught in Antarctic waters, the first to be retrieved virtually intact from the surface of the ocean ... [more]
Move over, man the toolmaker: The idea of men as stone tool producers may need some rechiseling, say US scientists who found women sometimes are the masters ... [more]
Watch out for Barefoot scams: Claims about the powers of coral calcium don't hold water ... [more]
Caviar wars: An unstable local economy portends a bleak future for Caspian Sea sturgeon ... [more]
Each spit of toothpaste down the plughole can be a shot of poison for streams -- as can chemicals from soaps, deodorants and contraceptives ... [more]
A mysterious stellar outburst has astronomers puzzled -- and fascinated ... [more]
The lowdown on ginkgo biloba: This herbal supplement may slightly improve your memory -- but so can eating a candy bar ... [more]
Evil-doers beware! New video enhancement technology can help track down criminals, benefit medical research and even let home filmmakers invite a digital dinosaur to their kids' next birthday party ... [more]
Patients taking anti-inflammatory steroid drugs for conditions such as asthma may be at much greater risk of heart disease ... [more]
There's a change in the air pressure -- and it's affecting Earth's climate ... [more]
Exposure to insecticides such as Permethrin may cause a cascade of chemical events in the brain that could lead to Parkinson's Disease, researchers have found ... [more]
A portable device that dynamically translates speech from one language to another could help save lives on the battlefield -- and help tourists haggle at the market ... [more]
A new bio-battery can run on shots of vodka, thanks to a special polymer ... [more]
Bear trouble: Only a few hundred of miles from the North Pole, industrial chemicals pose a threat to the Arctic's greatest predator ... [more]
How to save a soldier: Trained on high-tech dummies that breathe and bleed, medics are learning to make the most of "the golden hour," the life-or-death moments after a wound is sustained (registration required) ... [more]
On the rebound: Reversed echoes could fight disease, detect submarines and foster secure communication ... [more]
It appears that prime numbers may not be quite as random as they seem ... [more]
Drug researchers have cracked a tough nut with the development of the first preventive treatment against peanut allergy ... [more]
US Air Force research could produce small space probes that could be launched by spaceships and satellites to inspect and repair failures or damage ... [more]
High-tech weaponry, sophisticated satellite communications, advanced psychological operations, rapid-delivery news and opinion via the Web -- the Iraq conflict is the world's first total information war ... [more]
Taking hormone replacement therapy does not improve a healthy postmenopausal woman's quality of life, US researchers suggest ... [more]
If you want to make ultra-thin, hollow fibres for nanoscale optical circuits, what you really need is a little help from a spider ... [more]
We are all in search of it, and while some have it, many don't. The pursuit of it was even written into the US Declaration of Independence. But what is happiness? And how do we get more of it? ... [more]
The 'superbug' MRSA has begun appearing outside of hospitals and can be spread by simple skin contact -- but slime-filled Scottish rockpools may hold an effective cure ... [more]
After four years of sifting data on millions of home PCs, ET hunters now have a shortlist of "promising" places in space to look for aliens ... [more]
The term "window shopping" could take on a whole new meaning, with the advent of the Holoscreen ... [more]
The US government is gambling that a 'smart war' in Iraq will be over quickly, and help prevent politically damning civilian casualties [more] -- but a growing group of military thinkers is questioning the military's reliance on gadgetry ... [more]
The Mars Odyssey spacecraft is providing a new understanding of the Red Planet ... [more]
Bio-Watch is the latest US plan to detect bioterrorist attacks by random air monitoring -- but independent scientists are sceptical, to say the least ... [more]
A tiny genetic mutation may have been the switch that lit up art, culture and social behaviour in Homo sapiens 50,000 years ago ... [more]
A major conference in Japan has heard that worldwide water shortages pose a greater long-term danger than current events in the Middle East ... [more]
The dancing plant: Darwin was obsessed by it, although even he never trained his weedy Asian shrub to twitch its leaves to the sound of music. But in a small town in northern Thailand ... [more]
A lethal "mystery illness" has prompted the World Health Organisation to issue a global medical alert. Here's what is known so far ... [more]
By corralling a dynamic trio of electrons on a semiconductor, a scientist named Merlin and his team of research wizards may have solved a quantum computational quandary ... [more]
National Genes, Inc. Going once, going twice, gone! Estonia's gene pool has been sold to the bidder in the front row ... [more]
Dinosaur anatomy was weird. And as palaeontologists figure out why, they're gaining insight into the big questions of evolution ... [more]
A biodegradable bandage made from wound-healing proteins helps the body do what it does so well ... [more]
As the worms turn: Security experts say it's time to face up to the inevitability of self-replicating software virus attacks -- and focus on limiting the damage ... [more]
Microbes rule: With nearly 100 genomes completed, some foresee a better world with bacteria (registration required) ... [more]
An individually tailored high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet can dramatically reduce or end seizures in many children with severe epilepsy ... [more]
Ignore the alarm, kids. Depriving children of as little as 30 minutes sleep can significantly reduce their alertness, brain activity and concentration the next day ... [more]
A digital vaccine could allow software engineers to make computer networks tolerant to a fault ... [more]
A sense of wonder: Neuroscientist Upinder Bhalla believes smell may provide the easiest route to understanding the human brain ... [more]
Save the mice: Researchers are exploring whole-body imaging as an alternative to sacrificing lab mice (registration required) ... [more]
The big smoke: Tobacco, alcohol and illicit drugs are prematurely killing around seven million people worldwide each year -- and 71 percent of those deaths are caused by tobacco ... [more]
Better, stronger, faster, etc. Once reserved for $6 million megababes and hunks, bionics for the rest of us are finally here ... [more]
I'll have a burger with tomato and peppers, please -- and hold the microbes ... [more]
The list of modern, leisure-linked afflictions that includes "tennis elbow," "turf toe," "skier's thumb" and "biker's bum" has a new (and more serious) entry: hot-tub lung ... [more]
Foods grown without herbicides or pesticides are higher in cancer-fighting chemicals than conventionally grown foods, suggests a new study ... [more]
Vectors, buckyballs, nanotubes, and microchips are just some possibilities for new drug-delivery devices. And every bodily surface is fair game (registration required) ... [more]
The leap from low-tech to modest-tech gear can make a big difference to the study of ecosystems -- but a well-trained mind is still the scientist's most important tool ... [more]
Black cats may be traditionally considered an unlucky sign, but their genes could help researchers fight disease ... [more]
There is, alas, no scientific claim so preposterous that a scientist cannot be found to vouch for it. So here's a handy list of warning signs of bogus science ... [more]
What ever happened to the "high-temp" hype? New research is unlocking the amazing potential of high-temperature superconductors ... [more]
The net speed record has been smashed, with data equivalent to the size of a DVD-quality movie being sent across the Atlantic in less than 30 seconds ... [more]
Raw meat, urine, strawberries, and sunshine: a brief round up of food fanaticisms you may have yet to try ... [more]
Un-blinded by the light: Infrared light could rescue retinas from methanol poisoning -- and help heal burns, bruises and diabetic skin ulcers ... [more]
The physics of the minuscule: Physicists have worked out how to look at the smallest sizes and shortest time that some of them believe can exist ... [more]
Neutron stars are weird. And you really wouldn't want one on your desktop -- unless you're an experimental physicist ... [more]
The whole concept of physical therapy has gone into rehab, as researchers employ a new arsenal of technology to gain insight into how the brain and body interact (registration required) ... [more]
Kids are suckers for tart sweets -- but adults lose their taste for super-sours ... [more]
A spoonful of optimism: Can the healing power of the mind help overcome cancer? The largest-ever study into the effects of positive thinking aims to find out ... [more]
This is not your father's birds and bees: Recent research is challenging the myth of female monogamy ... [more]
The beetle battle: How early, aggressive action against the citrus longhorned beetle, cousin of the destructive Asian longhorned beetle, may have thwarted an ecological disaster ... [more]
A recently released report by the US EPA warns that children's exposure to environmental contaminants is implicated in asthma, acute bronchitis and upper-respiratory infections, cancer, mental retardation and ADHD ... [more]
Soap bubbles in space have some curious properties. For one thing, you don't even need the soap ... [more]
Don't eat yellow worms: Jaundiced soil-dwellers expose arsenic pollution ... [more]
If your child won't eat her vegetables, maybe she's a supertaster, dazzled by a neon-bright culinary world. Evolutionarily, that could be a good thing ... [more]
Lethal confusion: Confusing medical monikers can mean fatal errors. Banning brand names would fix the problem, but it's not likely ... [more]
So long, Pioneer 10: After more than 30 years in space heading away from Earth, the deep space probe has sent its last signal home ... [more]
A new biodegradable bandage mimics the natural tissue that forms as a wound heals ... [more]
The hunt for hot stuff: In the former Soviet Union, "rad rangers" are racing to find lost radiation devices before terrorists can turn them into dirty bombs ... [more]
Better killing through brain chemistry: Green Berets are less likely than other soldiers to suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder -- and it's all in the neurology ... [more]
Dating ancient mortar: Although radiocarbon dating is usually applied to organic remains, recent work shows that it can also reveal the age of some inorganic building materials ... [more]
One battle may have been lost, but the Aids war goes on. The most advanced HIV vaccine trial so far has failed, but left useful medical leads to pursue ... [more]
Scientists simulating meteorite impacts on the frozen oceans of Europa have made an electrifying discovery, which raises the chances of finding life on Jupiter's moon ... [more]
The rumble of destruction: Infrasonic sound, too low to be heard by the human ear, may provide clues for predicting volcanoes, tornadoes and earthquakes ... [more]
Every schoolkid knows that oil and water don't mix. Except, of course, when they do ... [more]
Biologist Joyce Poole and her team are engaged in a mammoth task: compiling an audio-visual Elephant-Human dictionary ... [more]
The big and the bizarre: The more they look, the more astronomers are amazed at what they are finding out about the heart of our galaxy ... [more]
Everybody's high: It turns out we're all a little bit high all the time, whether or not we ever smoke cannabis ... [more]
By spinning people in a giant centrifuge for 22 hours at a time, a NASA researcher is learning more about the strange effects of artificial gravity on humans ... [more]
The over-the-counter painkiller ibuprofen may counteract the beneficial effects of aspirin on the heart, warns a new report ... [more]
The secret of the Mona Lisa's smile has been revealed: you can only see it if you don't look tooo closely ... [more]
A washing-up study has revealed a dirty secret: many people who wash their dishes by hand are sending the environment down the drain ... [more]
Drinking green tea could help keep osteoarthritis at bay, UK scientists say. And at the worst, it's not going to do any harm ... [more]
Despite their reputation, brown recluse spiders get blamed for crimes they did not commit, says an arachnologist who is doing his best to set the record straight ... [more]
New Zealand scientists have found a compound that may provide a cure for drug-resistant tuberculosis ... [more]
Astronauts onboard the International Space Station have been observing strange electric-blue clouds hovering near the edge of space ... [more]
A poor US economy and high electricity costs have produced an unusual environmental bonus: In 2001, emissions of heat-trapping greenhouse gases declined for the first time in a decade ... [more]
Legendary Mongolian conqueror Genghis Khan may have left more than terror and destruction in his wake -- geneticists suggest he may have as many as 16 million descendants ... [more]
After two and a half years of research, neuroscientist Onur Güntürkün has concluded that most people kiss the right way. But one in three turns left to snog ... [more]
A colourful cocktail kills cancer cells, British researchers say, and they're hoping to have the new therapy in use soon ... [more]
The first mammal to be cloned from an adult cell, Dolly the sheep, is dead at the young age of six and a half ... [more] ... [more]
It's good news for biologists, but a bit dismal for aspiring terraformers: A 30-year-old error in atmospheric models of Mars suggests that the planet's polar caps are made mostly of water ice, rather than frozen carbon dioxide ... [more]
Physicists at the University of Vienna have managed to teleport photons without destroying them. The method could be the next step towards long-distance quantum communication ... [more]
From red light cameras to TIVO, the US government plans to use a web of data-gathering technologies to collect information for their two new ultra-databases. But they're probably not allowed to monitor your email -- if you're a US citizen ... [more]
A Dutch firm has floated a solution to the country's housing crisis: build homes, roads, and even greenhouses on water ... [more]
A glint in Detroit's eyes: A new plastic could one day replace paint on cars -- and it's tougher, prettier and all set for special effects, too ... [more]
Teething trouble: It's not just sick and injured lions that become maneaters ... [more]
Conspiracy to commit murder, firearms charges, looting and corpse abuse. Just another day in the archaeological trenches ... [more]
NASA astronomers have unveiled the best-ever "baby picture" of the universe, which holds answers to questions that have taunted cosmologists, including the age and ultimate fate of the universe ... [more]
Ecologists don't always want to stop the harvesting of delicacies: the WWF is calling for a fishing free-for all to halt the advance of a spiny "Red Army" of monster crabs ... [more]
Beyond the double helix: There's more to DNA than its iconic structure ... [more]
Is genetically engineered cotton finally starting to demonstrate its utility? A huge boost in yield and a significant drop in pests suggest there is more to it than the Dark Side ... [more]
Dads' coochy-coos are prone to leave babies guessing, suggests a computerised analysis ... [more]
A new medical treatment that can prevent preterm births could halt the spiraling increase in early deliveries ... [more]
Here come the hybrids, making Seattle bus-tunnel air safe for humanity ... [more]
Bar-coding babies, retinal-scanning schoolchildren and fingerprint-registering frequent travellers: biometrics is becoming prevalent in security-conscious settings around the world ... [more]
A rapidly evolving set of computing tools allow mathematicians, engineers and insurance executives to understand the odds of catastrophe (registration required) ... [more]
A new blacker than black coating could revolutionise optical instruments -- and fine art ... [more]
Importing old enemies can be vital to controlling invasive species ... [more]
Facing the future: Surgical advances are changing the lives of children born with severely malformed features ... [more]
From musical jackets to GPS hats, and from life-sign monitoring t-shirts to self-heating vests, electrotextiles are poised to invade closets everywhere (registration required) ... [more]
US officials will soon be testing whether thicker insulation on steel structures could have prevented the collapse of the World Trade Center towers ... [more]
Chicken soup and a good night's sleep is becoming a common prescription among increasingly drug-averse doctors and patients ... [more]
Ever wondered why we get hiccups? Blame the tadpoles ... [more]
A new Japanese supercomputer has the power to humble all rivals and forecast Earth's future ... [more]
Famed for the rocket-assisted cars that career across its vast terrain in bids for land-speed records, Utah's salt flats now face a new environmental threat: bowling balls from outer space ... [more]
Psyching up the green consumer: Psychologists are helping the United Nations to pioneer ways to persuade us to adopt greener lifestyles ... [more]
A centuries-old blue dye can be used to protect humans from the effects of radiation contamination like that released by dirty bombs ... [more]
The loss of Columbia and its seven crew members signaled the end of an "amazing mission" for the 80 experiments aboard, and the demise of a scientific workhorse. Now all eyes turn to the shuttle program's troubled past and the US's future in space ... [more]
The United Nations says the global risk from mercury emissions is much greater than governments realise, and calls for drastic reductions ... [more]
It is some comfort to know that during their 16-day science mission, the Columbia's astronauts managed to find time to enjoy the "small miracles" in their onboard lives ... [more]
A technique normally used in astronomy could help opticians with the early diagnosis of retinal diseases ... [more]
Starvation could relieve the symptoms of multiple sclerosis and other autoimmune diseases, suggests a recent mouse study ... [more]
New research suggests that dietary levels of the potential carcinogen acrylamide (found in foods such as potato chips, french fries and bread) do not seem to be sufficient to raise the risk of cancer ... [more]
Desk potatoes arise! Here's one good reason to get yourself moving: the risk of deep vein thrombosis ... [more]
A study involving 72,000 nurses points to the importance of healthy sleep for a healthy heart ... [more]
Since 1988, aid workers in the developing world have been going from village to village vaccinating children to rid the world of polio. But is it an impossible mission? ... [more]
Garden-variety computer chips are not very green: their production is a massively wasteful process that is dumping an unknown level of toxic chemicals into the environment ... [more]
The shrinking Arctic icecap may turn out to be good for shipping, by opening a fabled sea passage between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans ... [more]
Hybrid cars are not just a curiosity anymore -- and they appear to be catching on with automakers and consumers alike (registration required) ... [more]
In India, water harvesting is transforming lives, recharging the water table and renewing the forests -- even in the midst of persistent drought ... [more]
Homer knew his geography, say US geologists studying the site of ancient Troy ... [more]
A New Zealand scientist thinks aquatic plants might provide an answer to the global problem of arsenic contamination in drinking water ... [more]
Space shuttle astronauts have captured images of a never-before-seen red glowing arc of light, paralleling the curve of the Earth. ... [more]
Recently discovered fossils of four-winged, feathered dinosaurs are raising new questions about the origins of flight ... [more]
What's that smell? Fragrance ingredients are well-guarded trade secrets -- but they're triggering increasing numbers of allergic and respiratory reactions, including asthma ... [more]
A large planet orbiting a distant star has given astronomers a hot, hot preview of our own planet's eventual fate ... [more]
University students in the US unearthed the world's largest cephalapod fossil at a city intersection, as cars and trucks sped past ... [more]
Tiny dots hold big promise: Reasearchers say a new molecular device could store up to 100 gigabits of data per square inch ... [more]
A pair of researchers have hatched a few odd birds -- and the experiment could yield important clues about human birth defects like cleft palate ... [more]
Stem cells from donor bone marrow may be able to be used to repair brain damage, say scientists ... [more]
An endangered moss species has finally broken a century of celibacy -- and British scientists are hoping to play matchmaker ... [more]
Glacial melt has uncovered a surprising treasure-trove in the Yukon: an 8 foot high pile of ancient caribou dung, an arsenal of Stone Age weaponry, and a veritable zoo of perfectly mummified animals ... [more]
The electric brush-off: Most electric toothbrushes are no better for your teeth and gums than the traditional type powered only by elbow grease ... [more]
New research into the neurobiology of sucide addresses the wrenching questions left when someone ends his or her own life ... [more]
A US scientist is raising a flap over dinosaur flight with the claim that it may have evolved in dinosaurs which flapped their feathered fore-limbs to climb slopes ... [more]
Guglielmo Marconi's daughter Elettra celebrated a century of radio by speaking to astronauts from the site where her father sent the first wireless transAtlantic message ... [more]
What size fitness? There are plenty of people who are fat and healthy, say some exercise and health experts -- and plenty of skinny couch potatoes, too ... [more]
The inconstant sun: If you thought the sun was an unwavering beacon, you're wrong -- and variations in its brightness may affect the climate here on Earth ... [more]
An eight-year investigation into the cause of a shocking increase in deformed amphibians has sorted out the roles of three prime suspects ... [more]
Contrary to Chicken Little's warning, the sky is rising -- not falling, after all ... [more]
Australia's historic Mount Stromlo Observatory and its irreplaceable equipment have been lost to Canberra's raging bushfires ... [more]
Adventurers looking for the white-water wilderness experience might benefit from a dry run on a computer, as mathematicians use a simulation of the Grand Canyon to find the path less travelled ... [more]
Ancient Olympian long jumpers knew a thing or two about physics -- for instance, that a little extra weight goes a long way ... [more]
A newly discovered chemical could help to treat cholera and other deadly diarrhoeas -- and aid in the search for drugs to treat cystic fibrosis ... [more]
NASA has successfully tested an alternative rocket fuel that is non-toxic, easily handled and made from a substance similar to that used in common candles ... [more]
A defect of the immune system may be to blame for some cases of the eating disorders anorexia and bulimia ... [more]
A group of scientists has created the world's first artificial organism, which can produce a 21st amino acid and incorporate it into proteins ... [more]
Venus envy: A small group of scientists have their heads in the hot clouds of the second planet ... [more]
Russia has shut down a notorious, aging nuclear plant in the Ural Mountains, in an apparent change of position regarding the dangers posed by nuclear waste ... [more]
The Brazil-nut effect got a shakedown lately, in lab tests on the physics of muesli (and sand, gravel, powdered drugs and pigments) ... [more]
Herbicide-resistant crops could be good for biodiversity, according to a UK study ... [more]
To predict reliably what increased greenhouse gases will do to global climate, we have to understand the crucial role of clouds. That's where the Atmospheric Radiation Measurement Program comes in ... [more]
Robots that suck: Have they finally come out with a robot for the rest of us? ... [more]
The rising demand for fresh water, a dwindling supply, and new technology are changing the economics of desalination ... [more]
Requiem for the pay phone: As cell phone use increases, a cultural icon gradually dies ... [more]
Using old saris to filter drinking water collected from rivers and ponds has halved the number of cholera cases in remote Bangladeshi villages ... [more]
Astronomers have used a hot new technique to discover the hottest known planet ... [more]
The drug tamoxifen may not only help to treat women with breast cancer, but also boost their chances of bearing children after their treatment is over ... [more]
Been watching a lot of TV lately? Maybe you haven't been feeling too good about yourself ... [more]
Many US cities are still plagued by lead poisoning caused by old paint in old buildings ... [more]
A genetically modified, protein-enriched potato will play a key part in an ambitious plan to feed India's poor ... [more]
The supermassive black hole that sits at the centre of our galaxy seems to be a little famished ... [more]
Dr Feelgood: New pain relievers are moving through research labs. Nicolas Bazan hopes his drug may ease future aches ... [more]
In the complex battle to halt the growing epidemic of childhood obesity, breast-feeding is emerging as a simple but apparently effective weapon ... [more]
Ice-encrusted power lines can come crashing down, leaving millions in the dark, but one physicist has found a way to get the ice to melt itself ... [more]
What is the secret of happiness? It may come down to a simple equation, UK scientists say ... [more]
Recent observations show that Einstein was right: the speed of gravity matches the speed of light ... [more]
The US journalist appointed to verify claims of the birth of the first cloned human has suspended his inquiry, talking of a "possible hoax" ... [more]
Orangutans' swinging culture revealed: Behaviours such as surfing falling trees imply that the basis of human culture originated much earlier than thought ... [more]
Chaitan Khosla is leading a back-to-earth movement -- using soil bacteria to manufacture lifesaving drugs ... [more]
Driver fatigue is an accident waiting to happen. And it can happen to anyone ... [more]
Look on the bright side -- it just might improve your luck ... [more]
The Universe is not as bouncy as some think, say two physicists. If a Big Crunch follows the Big Bang, space might end up dark, thick and boring ... [more]
The respiratory effects of air pollution are well documented. Now researchers report that industrial pollution could cause genetic defects, too ... [more]
Space research could help doctors improve intensive care treatment by showing how the human body behaves under extreme conditions ... [more]
The perils of a growing medicine cabinet: What your doctor doesn't know can be hazardous to your health (registration required) ... [more]
NASA's extraordinary Deep Space 1 probe has been deactivated, but a thousand years from now it could make a space archaeologist very happy ... [more]
The horseshoe crab is as old as the dinosaurs, and its blood is an essential ingredient in everyday medicine -- yet we know disturbingly little about it ... [more]
Astronauts may not be the only diners to chow down on lab-grown steaks, if the experiments of tissue engineers flesh out ... [more]
Looking back at 2002: The year brought us innovation and controversy in technology; a handful of impressive gizmos; a new batch of sneaky computer viruses; high hopes and vitriolic debates in biology and medicine; and that's not all ... [more]
The infamous mummy's curse of Tutankhamen's tomb has little basis in hard science. But it still makes for a good story ... [more]
Puzzle of the century: Is it the fresh air, the seafood, or genes? Why does Nova Scotia boast so many hardy 100-year-olds? ... [more]
German chemists are offering moviemakers a green white Christmas, with a new type of fake snow made from potato starch ... [more]
Baby massage is good for Mum too -- it can help her get a good night's sleep ... [more]
A rose by any other name would smell as sweet -- but a rose in space would smell very different, indeed ... [more]
A high-tech medical briefcase is improving in-flight care for airline passengers who fall ill ... [more]
When Mistletoe Attacks: Mistletoe may prompt lovers and serendipitous strangers to share a kiss, but the parasitic plant is a nuisance to the timber industry ... [more]
Biologists have recently identified the mysterious North Pacific "boing" which has puzzled observers for 50 years ... [more]
A mummy with buck teeth and a right royal hairstyle may have settled one of the enduring mysteries of the Valley of the Kings in Egypt ... [more]
A UK archaeologist has uncovered the world's unluckiest church -- it survived four natural disasters, plus a stint as a medieval opium den, before finally being washed into the sea ... [more]
Convincing young people to get STDs treated could significantly cut the rate of HIV transmission, according to an African study ... [more]
Scientists mapping the bottom of the Hudson River have found 400 years' worth of shipwrecks -- and a submerged set of 3000-year-old walls (registration required) ... [more]
Researchers believe they may have explained why babies born to smokers are at increased risk of cot death ... [more]
Rebuilding the Food Pyramid: The dietary guide introduced a decade ago has led people astray. Some fats are healthy for the heart, and many carbohydrates clearly are not ... [more]
The deadly nerve agent VX degrades on concrete in a matter of hours -- a finding that could help military clean-up crews and chemical-weapons inspectors ... [more]
ACEs wild: Clinical trials, lab evidence, and a new theory are probing untapped potential for ACE inhibitors (registration required) ... [more]
Beware the full moon. People will party. Dogs will bite. Robbers will steal. Murderers will kill. But no more than at any other time of the month ... [more]
An ultrasound scan for the fetal nose bone might significantly lower the number of women who undergo amniocentesis to test for Down's syndrome ... [more]
Astronomers have discovered the Moon's youngest crater -- the only permanent change ever observed on our satellite ... [more]
Shining a new light on medicine: Pigments that turn caustic on exposure to light can fight cancer, blindness and heart disease. Their light-induced toxicity may also help explain the origin of vampire tales ... [more]
An out-of-body operation has allowed doctors to kill multiple tumours in a patient's cancerous liver without damaging surrounding tissue ... [more]
The black hole hunter -- a powerful new telescope designed to track the Universe's most violent events -- has sent back its first pictures ... [more]
Mysterious ruins in Zimbabwe once served as an astronomical observatory to track eclipses, solstices and an elusive exploding star, says a South African scientist ... [more]
NASA is taking a sci-fi approach to distant worlds: creating hundreds of "synthetic planets" that might orbit faraway stars ... [more]
Good vibrations aid the amphibian mating game ... [more]
Mister Natural: Masatsugu Taniguchi is creating the world's first pollution-free environment in Japan. And he may make money on it, too ... [more]
Imaging technologies are bringing empirical rigour to the study of a mysterious medical phenomenon: the placebo effect (registration required) ... [more]
Gadgets could soon come as clothes and carpets, as electrotextiles are fashioned into chameleon curtains, singing shirts and smuggler-spotting carpets ... [more]
No wonder Teen Talk Barbie thought math was hard. All that primping and parading around the Dream Yacht in her bikini drained her brainpower ... [more]
Ancient glass that has spent thousands of years buried in the earth might help scientists to evaluate the risks of storing nuclear waste ... [more]
A fresh look at a tiny and distant patch of sky reveals what might be some of the first galaxies ever created ... [more]
Raw muscle power might achieve what the Indian government so far hasn't been able to: spreading the telecom revolution to the country's 700 million rural people ... [more]
Scientists studying the flight mechanics of butterflies say we are getting closer to the dream of tiny air vehicles ... [more]
From frozen, lifeless deserts to transient hot springs, the study of Mars is never boring ... [more]
With massive plots of monoculture dominating the agricultural landscape, it is up to a few dedicated gastronomic sleuths to introduce unusual foods to scientists and the public (registration required) ... [more]
Residents of a high-altitude village in Ethiopia have a unique way of adapting to the oxygen-poor air ... [more]
Ice packs the red planet: Staggering quantities of water are hidden below the surface of Mars, the latest results from the Odyssey spacecraft suggest ... [more]
Still haven't found presents for the science fans on your list? Before you brave the cold and the holiday crowds again, take a look at some great geek gifts ... [more]
The failure of the Ariane 5 heavy-lift rocket is a setback the depressed satellite launch market could have done without ... [more]
Venomous and sublime: As scientists learn more about the biology, evolution and behavior of these earthiest and most Freudianized of creatures, snakes just keep getting cooler (registration required) ... [more]
An intriguing discovery about how the Hong Kong avian flu of 1997 killed its victims may help scientists prevent a deadly flu pandemic ... [more]
Cool running: A novel fridge chills food using just sound waves ... [more]
Unfriendly fire: From missile defence to psychotronic weapons, military scientists are looking closely at possible applications for ball lightning ... [more]
NASA-supported researchers are studying the complex physics of city-swallowing sand dunes ... [more]
What the dino saw: According to new gene research, the ancestor of dinosaurs could see at night -- a theory at odds with accepted wisdom ... [more]
The public is hungry for ticket counter takeoffs to space. But the track record on building tourist-toting rockets is anything but stellar ... [more]
Tying the knot: An Australian mathematician has solved the puzzle of the best way to tie shoelaces ... [more]
Bioengineered mosquitoes may be scientists' best weapon in the battle against malaria (registration required) ... [more]
Scrub the floor, toss out the rag. Use up your minutes, toss out the phone. Watch a movie, throw away the DVD. It's the hidden waste behind disposable products that really has environmentalists worried ... [more]
Clothes make the network: Wireless wearables could link like-minded strangers in a new kind of free-form social organization ... [more]
There's diamonds in them thar oil wells ... [more]
East meets West in space: British space experts are collaborating with China on its first purely scientific space mission ... [more]
Woman jump starts car with cyber-infant! (No, really!) ... [more]
From coffee enemas to sick bag collections, take a dip into the murky waters of the world weird web ... [more]
Confounded by coffee: Here's something to ponder over your next cup of joe -- the physics of a humble bag of coffee grounds still holds surprises for scientists ... [more]
A new mathematical model suggests that Jupiter-like planets take as little as a few hundred years to form -- not a million years or more ... [more]
These may be the ultimate personalised gifts: necklaces and rugs bearing patterns based on the recipient's own genetic fingerprint ... [more]
An experimental procedure for repairing badly damaged hearts by injecting them with cells grown from patients' own muscles or bone marrow could provide a promising new treatment for congestive heart failure ... [more]
The first commercial Moon flight will land business cards, cremated remains and other mementos on the Moon in October 2003 -- for a price ... [more]
Forging terror: Rapid advances in scanning, printing, and other technologies have made counterfeiting a potent new weapon of holy war ... [more]
On Wednesday, 4 December, residents of Southern Africa will have their second chance inside 18 months to observe (very carefully) a total eclipse of the Sun ... [more]
From photocopiers to space probes, machines injected with robotic self-awareness are taking control and solving their own problems ... [more]
Researchers have produced the first element of a device held to be the best hope for quantum information processing, and completed the first truly quantum calculation ... [more]
Meat lovers fond of a good sirloin may soon have cause to rejoice -- and throw away their heavy-duty steak knives ... [more]
How mushrooms will save the world: Cleaning up toxic spills, stopping poison-gas attacks and curing deadly diseases -- fungus king Paul Stamets says there's no limit to what his spores can do ... [more]
What happened after the Big Bang? Maybe it was the Big Snowstorm ... [more]
Eco-roofs reduce runoff and contaminants from rainstorms, and lower temperatures on scorching city rooftops. They have a long history in Europe, and now North American cities are catching on ... [more]
Full face transplants are now technically possible, says a leading surgeon -- but the ethical questions will prove harder to resolve ... [more]
Eight years ago, conservationists feared the worst for the world's wild tiger populations. But intensive efforts to save the last wild tigers appears to be paying off ... [more]
People who use the facial treatment Botox have been warned that they could lose more than their wrinkles, because its long-term effects on the brain, nervous system and muscles are unknown ... [more] ... [more]
Hand tools: In pursuit of today's most noteworthy pencils, styluses, and pen scanners ... [more]
Using science to rescue art: Technology is bringing new powers, and new problems, to art research and conservation ... [more]
The diversion of arsenic-laden water for use in irrigation is producing toxic rice, deepening the crisis in Bangladesh ... [more]
Waste not, waste not ... A biological reactor that converts food waste into a biodegradable plastic could provide a use for the obscene quantities of food rich countries throw away every year ... [more]
Immunity's pregnant pause: If we can understand why a woman's body does not reject her fetus, it could help us to treat infertility and prevent problems in pregnancy ... [more]
Some Apple devotees take their love for all things Mac farther than others. 'Sex toy' doesn't begin to describe it ... [more]
The synaptic self: Without synaptic plasticity, learning -- and the self -- would be impossible ... [more]
In the same week that an oil tanker split in two and sank off the coast of Spain, a group of US researchers provided disturbing evidence that oil spill damage can persist indefinitely, even though the site appears otherwise pristine ... [more]
Like a rowing stone: An unusual canoe competition in Madison, Wisconsin, floats the notion that concrete waives the rules ... [more]
Balancing brains: NASA researchers are learning new things about the human brain by studying how astronauts regain their balance ... [more]
Astronomers have spotted two supermassive black holes in the crowded center of a distant galaxy. And it's only a matter of time before the pair collide ... [more]
Researchers seeking scientific support for honey's legendary medicinal properties have found that it stops bacteria from growing -- even strains that are resistant to some antibiotics ... [more]
The "genome man", Dr Craig Venter, is pressing ahead with plans to create synthetic microbes that could address society's need for new energy sources ... [more]
About 15,000 years of interspecies friendship have helped man's best friend to develop unique ways of understanding humans: abilities that neither scientists nor dog lovers fully understand ... [more]
Finding missing children may soon be made a little easier by a technology that will allow law enforcement officials to quickly alert entire communities via telephone ... [more]
Scientists have for the first time managed to retrieve an intact protein from a fossil bone more than 55,000 years old. The technique could provide a new tool to investigate evolution ... [more]
BIRGing and CORFing are the province of the true sports fan. But BIRGing is a lot more fun ... [more]
The perils of going solo: Social rejection has a host of behavioral consequences, none of them good ... [more]
Flashy banner ads are no longer limited to the web -- personalised ads could soon be appearing in a shopping trolley near you ... [more]
Tinfoil hats are going mainstream, with the release of a novel baseball-style cap designed to shield mobile phone users from radio emissions ... [more]
A US company has developed the world's first lightweight radiation-proof fabric, which provides as much protection as a lead vest ... [more]
Tummy time is taking hold as the latest infant-stimulation craze, as anxious parents race to find ways to develop their babies' head control and teach them how to crawl ... [more]
More and more spouses are blaming the internet for the break up of their marriages, according to US divorce lawyers ... [more]
Are you ready for the Leonids? This year's Leonid meteor storm peaks in the early morning of November 19th -- and for skywatchers in North America and Europe (not to mention the ISS) it's likely to be the best in years. You can even consult a city-by-city forecast ... [more]
It is better to give than to receive -- Helpful older people tend to live longer than their less-involved peers, says a US study ... [more]
The hunt for alien pond scum is hotting up, with growing support from the US government ... [more]
A new Swedish telescope has shown sunspots as they have never been seen before, and made an unexpected discovery as well ... [more]
Seeking smart drugs: Researchers are seeking a new generation of drug therapy to improve memory and concentration without side effects (registration required) ... [more]
Dried rice makes less gas: Draining paddy fields benefits the environment as well as farmers' pocketbooks ... [more]
Each of the shattering cosmic catastrophes called gamma-ray bursts heralds the birth of a black hole ... [more]
Buildings that breathe: The best of the new architecture uses nature instead of fighting it ... [more]
Linux for the rest of us: With the long-awaited emergence of dirt-cheap new applications, the desktop alternative to Microsoft has finally emerged ... [more]
People who load up on fish for their health may also end up loaded with toxic mercury ... [more]
The number of plants on the standard Red List of threatened plant species is a massive underestimate, botanists say, because it lacks data on tropical forests ... [more]
Brain researchers are looking beyond the physical to consider the social aspects of chronic pain. But what are we to make of the conclusion that a considerate spouse can be a pain in the back? ... [more]
Biometrics: more sci than fi. A spy-movie staple for years, biometric technology is stepping off the screen and into real-world security deployments ... [more]
As doctors learn more about our throbbing heads, they are uncovering amazingly effective ways to kill the pain of a headache before it starts ... [more]
A study of more than half a million children has found no evidence of a link between the MMR vaccine and the onset of autism ... [more]
The spin on rotary culture: A NASA project launches researchers into the realm of three-dimensional cell structures (registration required) ... [more]
A US study suggests that motherhood makes women smarter and could help prevent dementia in old age ... [more]
Noise, chilies and smoke have all been tried as elephant deterrants -- but beehives may be farmers' best bet for protecting their crops ... [more]
Space officials in China are reportedly stepping-up training of astronauts for human space travel. Two or three individuals are "expected to dart out from the Earth" and become the first batch of spacemen from China ... [more]
HAL on Earth: Evolution Robotics' ER1 will open the pod bay door -- and pour you a beer ... [more]
A stomach bacterium best known and reviled for causing ulcers and cancer has been with humanity for at least 11,000 years ... [more]
Fear of genetic disease is forcing traditional south Indian couples to abandon astrologers and knock at doctors' doors to sift through family history and match their genes ... [more]
Even people who have recovered from severe depression have signs of the disease which show up on brain scans, say US scientists ... [more]
Sensors gone wild: An experiment in the California desert and an executive suite in Tokyo provide tantalizing hints of how a networked world could make everyday life a lot more precise and profound ... [more]
On the alert: A narcolepsy drug could soon be perking up sleepy shift workers -- and stirring a debate about lifestyle pills ... [more]
Why does so much tech gear suddenly glow blue? Call it a harmonic convergence of marketing and technology ... [more]
Canadian dirigible enthusiasts and visionary business leaders are floating the idea that Arctic airships could be the cargo-carriers of the future ... [more]
Using space technology, researchers are developing artificial bones for pain-free hip implants ... [more]
Huge hydrogen clouds that measure 100 light-years across have been spotted hovering in the void between the Milky Way galaxy and intergalactic space ... [more]
Access to key pharmaceuticals would be improved under a new EC draft regulation which would enable exporters to deliver cheaper medicines for poorer countries ... [more]
Saving Cajun Country: Archaeologists and engineers will soon be using satellite data to restore endangered wetlands without accidentally destroying Native American cultural sites ... [more]
Nanoparticles save paper: A sprinkling of slaked lime is helping to preserve historical documents ... [more]
Requiem for a heavyweight: Science met shamanism at a gathering to ponder the fate of the pacific ocean leatherback turtle ... [more]
Over the years, backyard astronomy columnist Joe Rao has learned which questions truly befuddle people. Here are his top ten confounding cosmic questions. ... [more]
Selling the free lunch: Fancy names disguise good old perpetual motion ... [more]
Researchers are testing a treatment for multiple sclerosis that involves transplanting cells from the ankle into the brain. The procedure has been called "extreme," but doctors say the potential payoff is worth it ... [more]
No swan song for the trumpeter: Once hunted almost to extinction, the trumpeter swan has made an impressive comeback ... [more]
As researchers struggle to understand chronic sinusitis, a painful, debilitating and elusive infection that is quickly rising in incidence, whole new theories are emerging about how our bodies interact with the world ... [more]
Lines like 'spicy, buttery and hints of coriander' may be a pile of plonk. The man on the street is just as good at naming a smell as a wine expert, say New Zealand researchers ... [more]
Designing a bra can pose engineering challenges as formidable as those encountered in building a bridge or a skyscraper. So what's the latest in bra technology? (registration required) ... [more]
Cores extracted from the ice fields of Africa's Mount Kilimanjaro are yielding clues about past climate in the region and, together with recent data, helping to forecast a grim future for the mountain's glaciers ... [more]
The dog Laika, the first living creature to orbit Earth on a one-way trip onboard Sputnik 2 in November 1957, did not live nearly as long as Soviet officials led the world to believe ... [more]
Whenever both sun and clouds are in the sky, be sure to look up -- you may behold rings, arcs, and other marvels! ... [more]
People who have a natural immunity to AIDS may hold the key to finding an HIV vaccine -- and even a cure ... [more]
US political candidate Stan Jones is used to being asked if he's dead: his skin has turned blue from drinking colloidal silver, which he believed would protect him from disease ... [more]
A piece of charred cheese from ancient Pompeii could be the final evidence that this food was a continuous source of infectious disease in the ancient Roman world ... [more]
Research into the remarkable (and often enviable) neurological phenomenon of synaesthesia is teaching scientists important lessons about creativity and the workings of the normal brain ... [more]
Maths can be beautiful, as is proven by Helaman Ferguson's glorious Fibonacci Fountain ... [more]
Adolescent angst may be inevitable. Researchers have found that teenage tantrums are linked to busy brains ... [more]
A new home fertility kit will put sperm through a biological obstacle course to tell men how strong their little swimmers are ... [more]
Nervous when your kid heads off to school? Tuck a GPS tracker into her backpack -- it can even phone you if she strays out of bounds ... [more]
The wiring of Nigeria is being propelled by the 419 scam. And when the dupes catch on at last, and the scammers finally give up, Nigerians will inherit a thriving internet culture ... [more]
Call it a security blanket for soldiers: GIs may someday march into battle armed with a swatch of fabric rather than bulky electronics ... [more]
Aye (caramba) on the News: A brief tour of the highlights, or possibly lowlights, or maybe just lights, of recent science and medical news ... [more]
Rules for a complex quantum world: Teleportation and unbreakable cryptography only hint at what the emerging field of quantum information science could offer ... [more]
A limestone box with the inscription "James, son of Joseph, brother of Jesus," could be the first strong physical evidence that Jesus actually lived ... [more]
Doctors running souped-up MRI machines may now be able to predict outcomes for chemotherapy -- before they prescribe the caustic treatment to their patients with cancer ... [more]
Astronomers say Europa's icy crust may be just a few kilometres thick -- perhaps thin enough to crack open under tidal stresses and allow life in the oceans below to flourish ... [more]
Out of place prions trash cells: Faulty rubbish disposal may be behind mad cow disease and CJD ... [more]
From ballistics to DNA, forensic scientists are revolutionizing police work -- in reality, as well as on TV ... [more]
Cheap flights keep getting cheaper. But cut-price air travel is costing the Earth dearly ... [more]
A new genetic analysis technique means that infections can now be traced back to the people who passed them on, a feat that could also be used to pinpoint food poisoning or the source of biological warfare agents ... [more]
Meet the gladiators: A new order of insect discovered in Africa has stunned entomologists and solved a mystery in amber ... [more]
A terahertz camera that can see through clothes, skin and even walls without X-rays could revolutionise Earth-monitoring satellites, airport security and visits to the doctor's office ... [more]
With a little do-it-yourself ingenuity and an eye on the future, saving energy can be fun ... [more]
A burger with cheese, relish and algae could become a standard fast food combo, hope inventors working on biodegradable cartons built from self-regenerating seaweed ... [more]
Beer in space: Soft drinks and beer could promise a welcome taste of home to faraway space travellers, if those pesky bubbles would just behave themselves in zero-g ... [more]
While psychologists debate whether human IQ is increasing and astronomers search the skies for evidence of new intelligent life, inanimate objects around us are slowly evolving. Maybe it's time to make friends with some smart technology ... [more]
With the era of personalized medicine approaching, individual responses to drugs are set to capture ever more attention from scientists. Now the world's first public database of gene-drug interactions is open for business (registration required) ... [more]
The genetic quirk that makes red hair red may also make carrot-tops harder to knock out -- in the operating room, that is ... [more]
Survival rates for cancer have been seriously underestimated, discouraging doctors and depressing patients, says a study based on figures from the US cancer registry ... [more]
Astronomers have used a cosmic magnifying glass to peer at some of the first-born stars in our Universe ... [more]
Duct tape, the all-purpose household fix-it that is reputed to hold the universe together, has one more use: it can also remove warts ... [more]
Urban sprawl: the big picture. Earth-orbiting satellites are collecting valuable data that reveal the environmental impact of fast-growing cities ... [more]
Cuddle a critter and call me in the morning: Spending time with a pet may be the best therapy of all ... [more]
Some otherwise monogamous birds may cheat on their partners to avoid the negative effects of inbreeding ... [more]
A nice cup of tea does wonders. Not only does it soothe the nerves, it can be an effective weapon in the fight against diabetes, heart disease and high blood pressure ... [more]
The Little Plankton that Could … Maybe: No one knows whether fertilizing single-celled marine organisms is a sound way to pull more heat-trapping carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere. But that hasn't stopped companies from developing plans to do so ... [more]
UK scientists have developed a small, cheap organic fuel cell that could one day turn the leftovers from Sunday lunch into electricity to run your household ... [more]
Leonardo, a mummified, 77-million-year-old duck-billed dinosaur, is proving to be a bonanza for palaeontologists -- with 90 percent of his fossilized skeleton still covered in soft tissue, and even his last meal preserved ... [more]
Could a disorder first identified nearly 70 years ago that affects as many as 10 percent of women still go unrecognized? Such is the case with polycystic ovary syndrome (registration required) ... [more]
Archaeologists say a shipwreck found near Australia's Fraser Island could pre-date Captain Cook's arrival on the eastern coast ... [more]
Genetically engineered plants could make toxic clean-ups safer and speedier ... [more]
Subterranean surprises: Microbes living in acidic caves are shedding light on the origins of life ... [more]
A high speed condom has been developed in South Africa to help the fight against AIDS ... [more]
A biometric mouse that offers hands-on security is the latest tool being developed to increase IT security ... [more]
A new therapy that aims to "reeducate" cancer sufferers' immune systems shows promise, but only for the most desperate of cases ... [more]
Green tan alley: Scientists in India are using enzymes like those in saliva to turn animal hide into leather, in a process that is only half as polluting as chemical tanning techniques ... [more]
Reducing child abuse can be as simple as teaching at-risk parents basic problem-solving skills ... [more]
A cold new world: The Hubble Space Telescope has measured the diameter of a distant world, which is the biggest object found in our solar system since the discovery of Pluto 72 years ago ... [more]
Soap and water is not the best way to clean your hands, according to studies in European hospitals ... [more]
The Maillard reaction -- which turns baked and fried food golden brown and tasty -- is also responsible for the formation of the potential carcinogen acrylamide ... [more]
What does the Internet look like? Recent models suggest it's surprisingly orderly ... [more]
People may someday command wheelchairs and prosthetics by "thinking them through" the motions ... [more]
Cows, dogs and a single-celled predator are next up in the coveted genetic sequencing line-up when the mouse, rat and human projects wrap up within the next year ... [more]
Supergerm warfare: As bacteria become more and more resistant to drugs, scientists look to komodo dragons for natural ways to keep people healthy ... [more]
Liquid magic: An unpreposessing grey goop can activate robots' hands, cushion artificial joints and stabilize tall buildings ... [more]
Geneticists are homing in on the musk that lured Tennyson's Maud into the garden, the same smell that set Shakespeare's Juliet musing on names: the scent of a rose ... [more]
Random movements induced by the nervous system may keep humans balanced ... [more]
Scientists have opened a new front in the sluggish war against malaria by mapping the genome of both the malaria parasite and the mosquito that carries it ... [more]
If you go down to the woods today beware of thieving flowers -- as vegetal vampires stalk South American forests ... [more]
In a rare expression of unity from an otherwise cutthroat industry, the world's automakers have pledged to work together on global safety and environmental standards for cars. But it may be a bit early to begin the celebrations (registration required) ... [more]
Nonoxynol-9 offers no HIV protection: A widely used spermicidal gel which was thought to protect against the HIV virus, has been shown to actually increase the risk of infection ... [more]
A tiny glucose-powered fuel cell could be the key to next-generation heart pacemakers and tiny implantable pumps to deliver pain drugs for cancer patients or insulin for diabetics ... [more]
A missing Californian earthquake is shaking confidence in one of researchers' favourite prediction models ... [more]
Black holes used to come in two sizes -- small and extra large. Now medium-sized black holes have been found lurking in quiet corners of the Universe ... [more]
Taking the contraceptive pill for many years could increase women’s fertility rather than lessen it, says a new study ... [more]
Looking for variety in your next vacation? How about two weeks in the pit as Indiana Jones, excavating ancient mammoths? (registration required) ... [more]
After a rigorous 10-year investigation, the controversial do-it-yourself medicine Lorenzo’s oil has been proven effective against the genetic condition adrenoleukodystrophy, demolishing the claims of experts who repeatedly dismissed it as a worthless quack remedy ... [more]
A geek before geeks were cool, high-tech musician Trent Reznor explains why he had to reclaim his programming roots for his next album ... [more]
No charges will be filed against Buzz Aldrin for allegedly punching a man who called him a liar and demanded that the former astronaut swear on the Bible that he'd been to the moon ... [more]
The simputer may not look like much -- but this nondescript little handheld computer may hold the key to bringing information technology to Third World countries ... [more]
The 500-year-old Ryoanji Temple garden in Kyoto contains five outcroppings of rocks and moss on a rectangle of raked gravel. Now neuroscientists believe they have unlocked the secret of the Zen garden ... [more]
A double espresso may be able to improve women's pain tolerance, claim researchers at a London college ... [more]
Gory hieroglyphs found on a Guatemalan pyramid support the idea of a superpower struggle at the peak of the Mayan civilisation ... [more]
A puzzling object that recently entered Earth orbit appears set to leave again soon. What is it? Researchers believe it's an Apollo rocket on a fantastic journey through the solar system ... [more]
Activity in one region of the brain could explain out-of-body experiences, say researchers in Switzerland who have triggered the phenomenon using electrodes ... [more]
Sometimes a study comes along that confirms what anyone with an ounce of sense already knows -- in this case, that poor parental behaviours can increase the chances of childhood depression ... [more]
Talking, touch-screen bus shelters are scheduled to arrive on Paris and Brussels streets next year. Singing restaurant tables could be next ... [more]
Mozilla rising: Netscape won't dislodge Internet Explorer from its hegemony over browser space. But its open-source sibling is aiming at even bigger game: Windows ... [more]
Milk from cloned livestock and meat from their offspring could show up in US grocery stores as early as next year ... [more]
Building the underground computer railroad: Anti-globalization activists in Oakland, California are recycling old machines, loading them with free software and shipping them off to Ecuador ... [more]
If a promising gene therapy works in humans, biological pacemakers might offer a cheaper, safer alternative to electronic implants ... [more]
128 million years ago, China was home to the Incisivosaurus, a bucktoothed, rabbit-like relative of T Rex ... [more]
Designing AUTOnomy: The tale of how General Motors reinvented the automobile -- literally ... [more]
Astronomers have captured extraordinary footage of a Manhattan-sized star rotating and spewing antimatter jets into space ... [more]
Genes, not religious conviction, may explain why Jewish people typically have fewer drinking problems than non-Jews ... [more]
An ancient piece of Greek clockwork shows the deep roots of modern technology ... [more]
The latest measurement of the faint afterglow of the Big Bang has revealed for the first time that the relic microwaves are polarised. The discovery should help probe the birth of the Universe ... [more]
Gene therapy that converts a patient's lungs into a living, breathing medicine factory could one day eliminate regular drug doses for diabetics and haemophiliacs ... [more]
China has agreed to make its latest research on mapping the rice genome freely available, in a move expected to enhance the food security and livelihoods of millions of rice farmers around the world ... [more]
Off-the-shelf equipment found in any college science department can be used to transmit electric signals at least four times the speed of light ... [more]
Imagine a "holistic spaceship" that tells you when it feels bad, travels faster and weighs less than ordinary spacecraft, and has been engineered down to the last molecule. This is the challenge facing designers of the next generation spacecraft ... [more]
Malicious hackers are no longer limited to looking at private data -- now they can also see their victims, by transforming some video-conferencing systems into video-surveillance units ... [more]
A robotic probe sent to explore beyond a mysterious stone seal inside the Great Pyramid of Giza in Egypt, has unlocked one mystery only to reveal another ... [more]
Sheep remember faces. Pigs could have a theory of mind. And when it comes to bird brains, chickens aren't necessarily at the bottom of the class either, according to animal researchers ... [more]
Long-term partner or quick fling? The shape of a man's face may decide the question ... [more]
What primates think: The primate brain is a marvel of evolution, and one we find particularly interesting as we try to understand our own intelligence and that of other animals ... [more]
Silicon sidekicks: Exploring our solar system will require a new breed of intelligent robots ... [more]
How many fed-up fans does it take to start a Mexican wave? The answer is part of a mathematical model of crowd behaviour that could help control rowdy hooligans ... [more]
Look Ma -- no wires! An innovative, pedal powered, wireless network is being set up to provide Internet access to off-grid villages in Laos ... [more]
It's springtime DownUnder, and scientists and glider pilots are gathering to ride the Morning Glory ... [more]
Can one pill make you smaller? Say, the one called Exercise in a Bottle? Or maybe Fat Trapper? Sorry, Alice -- only in Wonderland ... [more]
After the fall: New thinking should make future skyscrapers stronger and safer ... [more]
A handful of moons orbiting space rocks on the fringes of the solar system have been discovered over the past year or so -- and they have astronomers puzzling over their presence and size ... [more]
Psychologists have come up with an explanation for why most mothers instinctively cradle babies on the left ... [more]
A planned Moon landing is one small step for the commercialization of the Moon ... [more]
Trepanning is the unsubtle art of boring a hole in the skull for medical, mystical, or even (perish the thought) recreational purposes. Could this be the next goth fad? ... [more]
Our middle-aged solar system is a lot less active than it used to be -- but even though volcanoes no longer rule, they still rage ... [more]
Fingerprinting healthy sperm could help diagnose and treat male infertility ... [more]
A new US study could be another nail in the coffin of would-be human cloners, with its finding that cloning to create new animals will almost always create an abnormal creature ... [more]
Seismic data shows that a 1700 metre bubble of carbon dioxide has been successfully trapped beneath the floor of the North Sea ... [more]
The life cycle of comets may be more complex than thought, with large comets routinely splitting up far from the sun and forming into families of smaller comets, such as the tiny sungrazers ... [more]
Warning: Meditation may be hazardous to your health ... [more]
Houston, are we there yet? NASA is developing a variety of new safe and fast technologies to propel explorers across the solar system ... [more]
It's reality check time for stem-cell therapies, after a spate of papers throwing doubt on their regenerative abilities ... [more]
If you're planning to visit Greece, you'd better dump all the games from your laptop and cellphone, and don't even think about bringing a Game Boy, on pain of heavy fines and long prison terms. It seems the Greek government can't tell the difference between computer chess and online casinos ... [more]
The sweet smell of success: Strange as it may seem, Australian researchers have found that familiar smells can improve an athlete's performance ... [more]
Women who eat a diet high in white bread, white rice and potatoes appear to be at increased risk of pancreatic cancer ... [more]
The launch of the next Martian rover is nine months away and counting. Astrobiologists, atmospheric scientists and geologists are already rehearsing their parts ... [more]
They may not be quite on a par with Rumpelstiltskin -- the fairy-tale rogue who spun straw into gold -- but two US researchers have developed a way to draw gold from wheat, alfalfa or oats. No spinning wheel required ... [more]
A process which renders insulin as fine as smoke could help develop patches and inhalers for diabetics ... [more]
New cashless washer technology may stop college students from bringing their laundry home to mum and dad for the weekend ... [more]
Biologists are calling them the perfect diet pill for mosquitoes -- only this diet starves the larvae to death before they grow big enough to bite ... [more]
How much astronomy do you know? Really know, that is. Completely, self-assuredly, bet-your-bottom-dollar, 100 percent absolutely certain you know? Well, check out the top five cosmic myths ... [more]
A molecular "eraser" has been found in the brain, without which our memory tracks would probably function about as well as a computer without a delete key ... [more]
Here's everything you always wanted to know about public-key encryption but didn't know anyone cryptic enough to ask ... [more]
Choosing activities and family time over sack time seems natural for many parents, but the resulting lack of sleep is having disastrous consequences on children's health ... [more]
Creating viral workhorses: Emptied of their infectious nucleic acids, viruses make surprisingly adaptable tools for nanoengineers ... [more]
Taiwanese researchers have come up with a new (and eco-friendly) twist on the proverbial sh*t brickhouse ... [more]
Puzzling observations of Pluto have revealed drastic changes in the planet's thin atmosphere ... [more]
A cure for those aching seniors? As baby boomers reach the end of middle age, researchers still don't know for sure why the elderly feel pain differently than younger people ... [more]
Eyes write: Typing without a keyboard just got faster and easier ... [more]
DNA profiling promises to get to root of arboreal disputes ... [more]
Nanoantennas made up of tiny wires and spheres could yield super sensors ... [more]
Better living through french fries -- is biodiesel the fuel of the future? ... [more]
It's good news for Tarzan, but bad news for our forests. Lianas are on the rise, and could be stifling forests' ability to cool the climate ... [more]
Soaring city slickers: Birds of prey are being reintroduced to US cities. Will they stay? ... [more]
In marginal farming areas, sustainable agriculture practices let tiny farms grow more with less ... [more]
What grizzlies want: The survival of North America’s most fearsome predator depends on a fragile mix of seeds, berries, trout, moths, elk -- and being left alone ... [more]
Immunity conferred by the smallpox vaccine appears to be remarkably durable ... [more]
The air-traffic moratorium following 9/11 opened the window on the effects of contrails on climate ... [more]
A substance that has been clogging nuclear waste filters could turn out to be an effective treatment for AIDS ... [more]
Other thrill-seekers have river rapids and mountain precipices. Robert Winkler is well content with his encounter with beautiful and fearsome copperheads ... [more]
Stepford child: She speaks when spoken to, she's a teacher's pet ... heck, she's even got a photographic memory. But this plastic pal is just a little bit creepy ... [more]
The world's space programs are vertically challenged. What's needed is a revolutionary low-cost way to move payloads and people into Earth orbit and then outward to the asteroids, Mars and beyond ... [more]
Flying blind: The war in Afghanistan revealed a surprising new US expertise: planes that fly without pilots. Yet more startling is that these aircraft are built from off-the-shelf technology ... [more]
Astronauts are preparing to study strange magnetic fluids that might one day flow in the veins of robots and help buildings resist earthquakes ... [more]
Yours faithfully ... up to a point. Monogamy is one of the rarest behaviours in nature ... [more]
Anyone can sparkle in the afterlife: Now you can be brilliant and flawless forever. Of course, you do have to be cremated first (registration required) ... [more]
Learning how to fly took nature millions of years of trial and error -- but a winged robot has cracked it in only a few hours, using the same evolutionary principles ... [more]
The Summit on Sustainable Development may not make much political progress, but it could mark the start of a transformation in the way scientists deal with sustainability issues ... [more]
Flames do something odd in space: they form tiny almost-invisible balls that might reveal the secrets of combustion here on Earth ... [more]
How (not) to build a dirty bomb: Building your own atomic weapon is easy, they say. Is it really? ... [more]
The developers of a camera-wielding robot called Lewis think it could put wedding photographers out of a job ... [more]
Endangered chocolate: As the global craving for the food of the gods grows increasingly insatiable, cacao faces dwindling habitats and the threat of debilitating blights ... [more]
M is for Messier. Charles Messier only wanted to find more comets than his rivals -- but his catalogue of the star clusters and nebulae that plagued his research has proven invaluable to astronomers ... [more]
Fevers help the body fight infection -- but keeping cool may be the key to combating malaria ... [more]
Twenty five years after they were launched the twin Voyager spacecraft are trying to escape the Solar System ... [more]
A new approach to computer encryption could help protect the files of stolen laptops ... [more]
Hormone pills that tell the brain you're full might help to fight obesity ... [more]
More than 50 studies are underway in the USA and Canada to determine the effects of global warming on trees and, by extension, on world food production ... [more]
Welcome to the age of assisted cognition. Researchers hope to support the elderly's failing cognitive abilities with AI. But current models fall short when making specific recommendations for individual patients ... [more]
Transplant tissue from the testicles of newborn pigs and goats onto the backs of laboratory mice and you get mature, fully functional sperm. Not a horror movie plot, but a possible way of helping infertile folk and endangered animals ... [more]
Shots of naked DNA are injecting new life into the promise of gene therapy ... [more]
The mummy returns: After 141 years in North America, the 3,000-year-old mummy of Ramses I is being returned to Egypt (registration required) ... [more]
Overfishing and global warming could be a Good Thing, if you're a squid ... [more]
What happens if you put a nuclear waste repository on top of a bunch of volcanoes? If you live near Yucca Mountain, you may get the chance to find out ... [more]
How do you study a nomadic people when they leave little behind them? A set of slender granite monoliths may hold clues to the lives of the medieval Mongols ... [more]
Colombia's unique forests and endangered birds are falling victim to the ongoing conflict over the country's thriving drugs trade ... [more]
The cyborg known as you: Chips under the skin. Wireless sensors in the brain. It's not science fiction: it's your destiny ... [more]
The search for Genghis Khan's tomb is sputtering amidst accusations of desecration ... [more]
The killer algae Pfiesteria may kill fish by nibbling them to death. (Oh good, say the fish. That's so much nicer than being poisoned.) ... [more]
Scattered around our planet are hundreds of creatures that have been to the Moon and back again -- and one man is searching high and low for these lost Moon Trees ... [more]
Japanese citizens are opting out in droves from their new national computerized ID system ... [more]
Researchers are planning to mix mountains of sawdust with lakes of gooey coal sludge to create fuel for generating electricity ... [more]
Laser light and thermal heat could cast a new light on the diagnosis of breast cancer ... [more]
Restoring a blind man's vision is now a real possibility through stem-cell surgery. But even perfect eyes cannot see unless the brain has been taught to use them ... [more]
Taking on Armageddon: A space mission to knock a potential rogue asteroid off its orbit is being examined by European scientists ... [more]
A method for improving spy photos can be put to more aesthetic use: repairing artworks ... [more]
Three Indian computer scientists have solved a longstanding mathematics problem by devising a way for a computer to tell quickly and definitively whether a number is prime (registration required) ... [more]
Thanks to a bit of chemical trickery, drug resistant superbugs could find themselves facing newly potent antibiotics ... [more]
An archaeological team has discovered Egypt's oldest bakery -- complete with baking trays and storage closets ... [more]
A treatment involving bone marrow could help prevent amputations in patients with damaged blood vessels in their legs ... [more]
Something strange is happening right beneath our feet: Earth's gravity field is suddenly changing shape ... [more]
Go east, young pup! Coyotes, long symbolic of the American West, have been steadily expanding across their own last frontier: the sprawling suburbs of the east ... [more]
Some memories are best forgotten. Natural chemicals in our brains that are similar to the active ingredient in marijuana may help wipe out traumatic memories ... [more]
Some people reuse old yogurt containers. Electric vehicle enthusiasts reuse old cars ... [more]
Mothers who have asthma can not pass it to their babies through breast milk, says an Australian study ... [more]
The riddle of the foaming Rhine has been solved: plants, not pollution, are the cause ... [more]
Mathematicians are trying to figure out how to factor irrational human behaviour into the rational field of game theory ... [more]
A 27-year-old space shuttle inspector with an eye for detail may have saved the shuttle programme ... [more]
An innovative project in Venezuela to establish an indigenous plant database could lead to the development of new drugs, and also benefit the communities that supplied the original (registration required) ... [more]
Want fries with that?: The Hubble Space Telescope has snapped a photograph of a strange object nicknamed "Gomez's Hamburger" ... [more]
Way back in 1910, Florence Lawrence was the first-ever movie star. She was also the automotive pioneer who introduced turn signals and brake lights ... [more]
Research suggests the chance of catching vCJD from blood transfusions may be higher than previously thought ... [more]
A black box for your car: Event data recorders could make cars safer -- and tell accident investigators what really happened ... [more]
Thar they blow!: Gentle giants? A new revival of an old theory suggests that male sperm whales may butt heads over females ... [more]
The humble potato could protect women from a common sexually transmitted virus that causes almost all cases of cervical cancer ... [more]
The world's first flight test of a scramjet engine, conducted over the Australian outback, appears to have gone well, University of Queensland officials report ... [more]
Wind-up wonder: Old-fashioned low-tech gadgets are saving lives in the developing world ... [more]
Self-help books hammer home a consistent theme for successful romantic relationships: first, you must love yourself. But narcissists make miserable mates ... [more]
Dining, not wining, is the key to the health benefits of moderate alcohol consumption ... [more]
Whether or not you believe in the paranormal may depend largely on your brain chemistry ... [more]
Remember your vitamins! Then again, it seems that with a few exceptions you might as well forget them (registration required) ... [more]
The fossilised remains of prehistoric giant marsupial lions, the world's biggest kangaroo and a wombat the size of a small car have been discovered in caves in Western Australia ... [more]
Australian research has shown that a small patch of disorder can momentarily lurch into order, akin to Humpty Dumpty's magically putting himself back together again (registration required) ... [more]
Scientists have revealed the secret of cuddles: our skin has a special network of nerves that stimulate a pleasurable emotional response to stroking. ... [more]
A firefly glow can help scientists track the spread of prostate cancer, and could provide the basis for improved treatment of the disease ... [more]
Rain called on account of Games: Chinese authorities are looking to weather manipulation to ensure optimum conditions for the 2008 Olympics ... [more]
The universe is precisely as lopsided as physicists have thought, according to experimental measurements by an international group of scientists known as the BaBar team ... [more]
They're not cures for cancer, but new drugs spike tumors without spoiling bodies ... [more]
Prawn but not forgotten: on the Mexican coast, little shrimp are causing big trouble ... [more]
Claims that bench-top fusion could take place inside tiny imploding bubbles of acetone have been dealt a deflating blow ... [more]
Diet, exercise and other environmental influences appear to be linked to the likelihood of developing Alzheimer's disease ... [more]
The mystery of Delhi's iron pillar has finally been solved. How has the six tonne iron monument resisted the elements for the last 1,600 years? ... [more]
The South Korean government has started an investigation into a company which claims to have made a woman pregnant with a cloned human embryo ... [more]
Scientists have discovered a new kind of New Yorker: one with 82 legs, and its very own genus (registration required) ... [more]
Dozens of babies and infants around the world have been given the drug Viagra to try to save them from life-threatening lung conditions, though clinical trials for this use have not yet taken place ... [more]
Forget sacrifical goats. Mayans and their ancestors had the right idea 2,600 years ago when they began chocolate libations ... [more]
The US government is set to release standards and a software program to help computer users configure their systems for maximum security against hackers and thieves (registration required) ... [more]
A gene that plays a key role in the first stage of embryonic life could hold the key to new male contraceptives -- and help some couples who have been unable to have children ... [more]
Apollo 11's one small step was a long time ago, but we may be walking on the Moon again in the not-too-distant future ... [more]
A rash of kisses: In some people with food allergies, a smooch can trigger hives and more ... [more]
Corsican chicks grow up in bug-repellant nests scented with lavender, yarrow and mint -- and adult birds can even smell when it's time for a change of greenery ... [more]
It's not just a tin tunnel amongst the weeds -- it's a hiding place for megatheriums. You can get a surprising amount of science in a school playground if it's designed right ... [more]
Tiny devices could hitch a ride inside white blood cells to keep an eye on astronauts ... [more]
For the first time, it has been proved that bacteria in the human gut can take up DNA from genetically modified food ... [more]
Want to know on what date van Gogh composed White House at Night? Or how Paul Revere managed to slip past a British warship on a moonlit night? Multidisciplinary astronomer Donald Olson tells all (registration required) ... [more]
China is reported to have cloned more than 30 human embryos, a feat that has made it the first country in the world to have an abundant supply of embryonic stem cells ... [more]
A global array of microphones that detect low frequency rumbles could help avert nuclear war ... [more]
Scientists believe they may have uncovered one reason why women live longer than men -- they are better sleepers ... [more]
The Bush administration is allowing the US Navy to use a powerful low-frequency sonar that can detect enemy submarines but which environmentalists fear will harm whales, dolphins and other marine mammals ... [more]
Samples of fire moss that travel onboard the space shuttle do something odd: they spiral. Scientists say it's a clue to the fundamental inner workings of plant cells ... [more]
It slices! It dices!: In the last decade, the cylindrical molecule of carbon known as a nanotube has become a do-all, wonder substance (registration required) ... [more]
A hundred years of hummmm: Air conditioning helped shape the 20th century. For that, we have Willis Haviland Carrier to thank ... [more]
The first direct evidence that "gender bender" chemicals affect the fertilising ability of sperm has been revealed -- but it is unclear whether this would boost or harm fertility ... [more]
About 60,000 mice in Tennessee are about to get a brand new house. But before they can move in, they have to be reborn ... [more]
The largest ever clinical trial of hormone replacement therapy for healthy post-menopausal women has been halted early because the risks clearly outweigh the benefits ... [more]
People who like to spend their sunny summer days in the great outdoors will soon be able to stock their picnic hampers with compostable potato plates ... [more]
We're wired for sound: Tiny babies recognise melodies -- and music can aid the rehabilitation of stroke patients ... [more]
Using nothing more than genetic sequence information from public databases and readily available technology, researchers have recreated the polio virus ... [more]
Scientists in China are preparing a drastic rescue plan for one of the planet's rarest animals: a dolphin with the misfortune of living in one of China's busiest and most polluted rivers ... [more]
A Bangladeshi scientist is due to launch a cheap low-tech filter which could prove a major breakthrough in the battle against arsenic poisoning ... [more]
Scientists in northern Chad have unearthed the skull of a previously unknown hominid that lived six to seven million years ago -- making it the oldest known ancestor of humans ... [more] But rival palaeontologists have dismissed the find as being something quite different ... [more]
Caesarean deliveries can affect women's future fertility, though doctors are not sure why ... [more]
When white rhinos go off to explore new territory, they like to take along a buddy ... [more]
The physics of sandcastles: An upcoming shuttle mission will carry small columns of sand into space -- and will return with valuable lessons for earthquake engineers, farmers and physicists ... [more]
Doctors in Australia are to use a revolutionary technique to try to treat spinal paralysis -- using cells from inside the patient's nose ... [more]
Going against the flow: Heat can flow without temperature differences -- but thermodynamics remains intact ... [more]
Scientists debating whether high rates of deformities in frogs are the result of parasites or pollution may both be right ... [more]
Persuasion is replacing coercion in some animal experiments. Proponents say gaining the animals' cooperation makes tests easier to do and produces more reliable results ... [more]
Bacteria can now prevent tooth decay, as well as cause it. But GM yogurt isn't likely to be on supermarket shelves any time soon ... [more]
Elephants may stomp, scream, and make the ground rumble to communicate with each other over long distances, warning other elephants of predators, directing them toward food and water, or even helping a lonely elephant find a mate ... [more]
Auroras underfoot: A group of astronauts will never forget the day they flew right through a cloud of auroras while onboard the space shuttle Atlantis ... [more]
A man with leukaemia has become the first adult in the UK to have a bone marrow transplant using blood from babies' umbilical cords ... [more]
Stressed and sore-footed Americans everywhere are clamoring for the exciting new MagnaSoles shoe inserts, which stimulate and soothe the wearer's feet using no fewer than five forms of pseudoscience (satire) ... [more]
Push here to save energy. Bruce Nordman is heading an unlikely crusade: to overthrow the on/off button ... [more]
Amorphous alloys such as the super-strong LiquidMetals could be metallic superheroes. But like any superhero, they have a weakness: don’t heat them too much, or they lose their strength ... [more]
Bigger isn't always better, say Canadian researchers who are building the smallest space telescope ever ... [more]
Palaeontologists have pieced together the first walker: the most primitive walking foot yet discovered ... [more]
Girls who have a view of nature through the windows of their homes may have a better chance for success than girls whose views are not as green ... [more]
Big city, bright lightning: Hot, dirty conurbations are thunderstorm magnets ... [more]
Odd and eccentric behaviour increases with age -- but flamboyant behaviour becomes less pronounced, according to a new UK study ... [more]
Once and for all (if anyone still doubts it), sleep is our friend. We don't really learn what we've been learning until we sleep on it ... [more]
Archaeologists in Jordan have excavated a large Bronze Age copper factory. The discovery is providing insight into mass production of metal as the first urban cultures emerged ... [more]
The mad hatters are long gone, but the mercury from hat factories lingers on ... [more]
Cell phones distract drivers, but not for the obvious reasons. For one thing, hands-free doesn't mean risk-free ... [more]
Therapies that aim to rehabilitate stroke patients may be backfiring by overstimulating the wrong areas of the brain ... [more]
Scientists are using a new breed of rodent to probe genetic influences on disease, bringing industrial-style efficiency to the process of finding cures ... [more]
A virtual reality environment that conjures up the terrifying sounds and sights of a patient's own hallucinations could help treat people with schizophrenia ... [more]
Discoveries of extrasolar planets are coming so fast and furious that it has become difficult to keep track of the exact total. So what's the planetary tally? ... [more]
Trading on the future: Tea leaves and crystal balls aside, some researchers believe the future isn’t as murky as it used to be -- and that may soon be bad news for terrorists ... [more]
Water roaring out of an overfilled lake may have carved an instant Grand Canyon on the surface of Mars some 3.5 billion years ago ... [more]
A farmer whose pigs were said to be the origin of Britain's worst foot-and-mouth outbreak has been banned from keeping farm animals for 15 years ... [more]
Aqua makes a splash: The first images from a satellite designed to study the world's water give a stunning view of Earth ... [more]
Peering over Einstein's shoulders: Seeking still more complete descriptions of the workings of spacetime, scientists are testing the boundaries of the special theory of relativity ... [more]
The world's first photograph, dating from 1826, is being analysed by scientists for the first time since its rediscovery in 1952 ... [more]
An extensive study shows no link between vasectomy and prostate cancer, even 25 years after the fact. So that's one less thing to worry about ... [more]
How would you like to swap your mobile phone for a molar phone? ... [more]
Firefighters battling wildfires are increasingly reliant on satellite data. But satellites can't always tell a hot parking lot from a blaze -- and that's where human analysts come in handy ... [more]
Haven't you always wanted to write your name on an asteroid? Japanese space scientists plan to make your wish come true ... [more]
There's one thing experts know for certain about treating repetitive motion injuries: there's nothing that works for everyone. And sometimes, nothing seems to work at all ... [more]
US space agency NASA has grounded its shuttle fleet indefinitely, after finding small cracks in two shuttles' fuel lines ... [more]
Got a headache? Maybe it's time to reach for the sweet smell of pain relief ... [more]
Astronomers think they have solved the case of the missing comets: the huge frozen dirtballs simply disintegrate ... [more]
A stellar water fountain could provide astronomers the clues they need to explain the formation of planetary nebulae ... [more]
A quantum computer could be built using today's technologies, according to US researchers ... [more]
A simple blood test may soon make it easier for doctors to predict which women are likely to suffer from severe post-natal depression ... [more]
Maths proves that we're doomed to dither. The more the wrong choice will hurt, the harder it is to decide ... [more]
Like the marauding Martians in The War of the Worlds, the aggressively invasive weed tropical soda apple can be felled by a common (and otherwise largely harmless) virus ... [more]
Millions of years ago, leafcutter ants learned to grow fungi. But how? And why? And what do they have to teach us? ... [more]
Deep within the cells we're made of, squishy skeletons feel the effects of gravity ... and respond in unexpected ways ... [more]
On the 220th anniversary of its adoption the US national emblem, Robert Winkler considers the decline and resurgence of the bald eagle ... [more]
After four months of entertaining humans, Gaak the predator robot did what all the best robots do in science fiction: he copied his masters' most basic instinct and made a dash for freedom ... [more]
Scientists fear the romantic serenades of whales are doomed to disappear from the deep, drowned out by manmade noises ... [more]
Ever wonder if a new acquaintance is lying to you? It's pretty likely -- but don't take it personally. You're probably telling a few fibs yourself ... [more]
Criminal gangs that smuggle drugs and arms are also the key to the illegal animal trade, says a new report ... [more]
While scientists research new and more effective drugs to treat arthritis, Russian researchers are touting a cheap, natural, and ancient treatment -- leeches ... [more]
Australian scientists report that they have successfully ''teleported'' a laser beam encoded with data, breaking it up and reconstructing an exact replica a yard away ... [more]
Ships from South Africa and Argentina are rushing to Antarctica to rescue 107 scientists and sailors trapped aboard a research ship sealed behind a wall of pack ice ... [more]
Some trees manage to get enough essential calcium from poor soil with the help of rock-eating fungi ... [more]
A device which could supplement or even replace failing lungs in humans has been tested successfully in animals ... [more]
Here's a radical solution for dealing with the glut of old computers, cell phones, DVDs and other electronic waste: throw it into a really, really big hole and mine it ... [more]
With the help of an Australian entomologist, a humble beetle from Madagascar has overcome the might of a Jurassic dinosaur in the battle for naming rights ... [more]
After 15 years of looking, a top planet-hunting team has finally found a distant planetary system that reminds them of home ... [more]
For years, instrument makers and scientists have tried to uncover the secrets of the extraordinary Stradivarius violins. Now reproduction of that legendary sound may be within reach ... [more]
Starstruck celebrities could help make space tourism a profitable proposition ... [more]
Western factory pollution may have been responsible for Africa's severe droughts in the 1970s and 1980s, research suggests ... [more]
Some fluids have a mysterious property: one moment they're thick, the next they're thin. Physicists aim to find out why with the aid of an experiment in space ... [more]
Not only is DNA the code of life -- it makes a great paint set, too! ... [more]
New dads have all the fun: A UK study shows that fathers find their new babies very satisfying, don't lose as much sleep as mums -- and still get more nights out ... [more]
A device just delivered to the ISS will add something important to space station research: the human touch ... [more]
Mobile-phone owners can sign up for SMS messages on everything from football scores to the weather. Now they also have the option of always knowing where their goose is ... [more]
The doctor is in: The house call may be a thing of the past, but with the right technology even the most out-of-the-way patient can receive quality medical care. ... [more]
A computers system that is teaching sniffer rats to stand up to smuggling could potentially be used to train and monitor squads of animal detectives ... [more]
Tired of having your kids sick at home when they ought to be at school? Make sure they understand how to wash their hands properly ... [more]
Looking patients in the eye could be the key to spotting an invisible, insidious killer: internal bleeding ... [more]
A cheap and simple treatment using Epsom salts can halve the chances of pregnant women developing pre-eclampsia, which worldwide kills more than 50,000 mothers and their unborn babies each year ... [more]
An army of monster Wimpzillas is hiding out in our Galaxy, and Earth is under attack ... [more]
Rich nations have high rates of cancer, but that's largely a result of aging populations and good medical care, says a recent survey ... [more]
Hope in a vial: Potential AIDS vaccines are in late-stage clinical trials, but their ability to fight the disease remains to be seen ... [more]
If one of NASA's newest rocket concepts works, it won't just get humans farther out into the universe, it will redefine the place. They're taking a flyer on hydrinos ... [more]
Forensic seismology -- using the faint rumblings of unseen dreadful deeds to investigate what happened -- is coming of age, monitoring not only the natural environment but also terrorists, accidents and smuggling ... [more]
A new drug appears to stop diabetes in its tracks, allowing some diabetics to live shot-free without any serious side effects (updated URL) ... [more]
Regions devastated by natural disasters still have one thing in abundance: dirt. And dirt domes could provide emergency housing for millions of people worldwide ... [more]
A key hypothetical benefit of therapeutic cloning has been shown in practice for the first time: the technology can prevent immune rejection of transplanted tissue ... [more]
Oil pollutants from airplanes, recreational boating and runoff from the land are doing just as much damage to North American oceans as massive oil spills, says a new study ... [more]
Soy-based infant formulas may impair the developing immune system, due to the presence of high levels of an immune-suppressing, hormone-like compound ... [more]
A new approach to punditry combining human intuition, statistical analysis and brute force computer simulation may provide the best tournament guide to the World Cup ... [more]
Birdbrain breakthrough: Evidence that the human brain can grow new nerves began with unlikely studies of birdsong ... [more]
For 14 years, Firoz Rasul led a seemingly laughable quest to power cars with hydrogen. Now, his dream is a lot closer than you might think ... [more]
An age gap is driving the AIDS epidemic in Africa -- but education could help put the brakes on ... [more]
Muddy footprints on a coastal plain show that dinosaurs sometimes travelled in mixed company ... [more]
GM mosquitoes could help combat the spread of the malarial parasite from infected mosquitoes to vulnerable humans ... [more]
Analysis of fossilized tooth enamel indicates that killer cats and spotted hyenas probably preyed on our ancestors 2.5 million years ago ... [more]
Unsuspecting victims are the worst kind. But a breakthough in cellphone systems could let you know what's coming before it hits you ... [more]
The mathematical study of genealogy indicates that everyone in the world is descended from Nefertiti and Confucius. But the fun is in proving it ... [more]
Dogs could be able to sniff out cancer, potentially providing a better early warning system for some cancers than modern science ... [more]
It's just not possible to make a perfect clone: classical physics forbids it ... [more]
Some people's blood contains cells from a sibling. Others are two individuals rolled into one. Yet more carry a distinct mutation in only parts of their bodies. Scientists are beginning to uncover the twin within ... [more]
What happens when today's tech trends begin to intersect and feed off one another? They'll spawn new fields of knowledge that will transform everything ... [more]
Iceland be dammed: In the island nation, a dispute over harnessing rivers for hydroelectric power is generating floods of controversy ... [more]
Next time you scowl at an ATM, it could respond by being nicer to you, say the makers of software that lets computers discern emotion ... [more]
Um ... there're these psychologists, right? And they've, uh, come up with, like, the idea that 'um' and 'uh' are really words, which speakers, um ... use to highlight their conversational problems. Okay? ... [more]
As you trudge up and down the beaten path, just think -- satellites might track your footsteps a thousand years from now ... [more]
A face-recognition system meant to spot terrorists in airports seems more likely to tie up security with false positives, while letting known criminals slip past ... [more]
Heat up a bucketful of dirt from some parts of Mars and what do you get? A half-bucket of liquid Martian water! ... [more]
From fighting drugs to fighting terror, drug war technology is being put to good use on a new front ... [more]
Welcome to Microsoft's vision of the home of the future. It's connected, it's remote, it's everything the Jetsons adored -- but it doesn't have a bathroom yet ... [more]
Jupiter's moon Europa seems like a perfect place to look for life. There's just one catch: its watery ocean lies hidden beneath several miles of ice ... [more]
An electric bra could be set to replace mammograms in the fight against breast cancer ... [more]
Changes in tuna fishing to safeguard dolphins are threatening to deplete tuna stocks, according to US researchers ... [more]
Wave-power pioneer Stephen Salter has turned his talents to making rain with floating wind turbines ... [more]
Hark unto the supercat! Moggies have evolved ways to exploit humans using their miaow, say psychologists ... [more]
Does too much testosterone make bad fathers? And could happy families be the key to world peace? ... [more]
The rush toward invisible, ubiquitous computing is gaining momentum ... [more]
A planet-frying supernova is poised to go off in our backyard. But don't reach for your sunscreen just yet ... [more]
The remains of the oldest settled agricultural community in Africa have been discovered on the outskirts of the Eritrean capital, Asmara -- a find that could change anthropologists' view of the history of the Horn of Africa ... [more]
Australian plant scientists have produced the world's first instant wheat, that does not need to be milled before being cooked ... [more]
Stephen Jay Gould, a world-renowned scientist who brought evolutionary theory and paleontology to a broad public audience in dozens of wide-ranging books and essays, has died of cancer, aged 60. Obituaries: NY Times ... Washington Post ... London Times ... Boston Globe ... Nando Times ... Reuters ... UPI ... AP ... New Scientist ... The Independent ... USA TODAY ... BBC ... Nature
Tributes: Darwin Day... Washington Post ... San Jose Mercury News ... San Francisco Chronicle
Opinions and reviews: NYTimes Editorial ... Darwin, rewritten ... Bad for evolution?
Gould on: evolution ... the pattern of life's history ... Genesis vs geology ... statistics and cancer ... baseball, fame and Darwin ... [more]
Scientists exploring the wilds of Guatemala say they may have found the source of Olmec and Maya jade: a mountainous region strewn with huge jade boulders and signs of ancient mining (registration required) ... [more]
Elderly people could one day be relying on an inflatable muscle suit, rather than a walking frame, for support ... [more]
Could we really travel to distant galaxies through quantum wormholes? Ghost radiation might make it possible ... [more]
You may not have noticed its absence, but astronomers say they have found the missing stellar sulphur ... [more]
For all the talk of genetically modified monstrosities, let's not forget that conventionally bred creatures can be just as disturbing. Take bald chickens, for example ... [more]
Hunting secret of crocs exposed! Crocodiles and alligators don't just rely on sight and hearing to find their prey -- those blue freckles help, too ... [more]
It's not every day someone finds 11 Jovian moons that had gone unnoticed in the four centuries since the telescope was invented. But surprisingly, it has now happened twice in two years ... [more]
Spintronics: Microelectronic devices that function by using the spin of the electron are a nascent multibillion-dollar industry -- and may lead to quantum microchips ... [more]
Confess: You've played more than one hand of solitaire on company time. Maybe it's time to look for work with the Dutch Ministry of the Environment, where playing a computer game could be part of your job description ... [more]
I'm sure I've asked this before, but ... What exactly is déjà vu? ... [more]
Remember how proud you felt when you showed everyone you could ride a two-wheeler? That's how proud Krystyn Van Vliet acts as she opens the door to a large stainless-steel instrument at the NanoMechanical Technology Laboratory at MIT ... [more]
Purple is the new orange as carrots return to their roots -- with the prospect of greater protection against cancer and heart disease ... [more]
Antarctica is proving to be a climate conundrum for scientists -- but the answer may be blowin' in the westerly winds ... [more]
Forget cleaning the bathroom. Or the bedroom. Or the living room. Your best bet for healthy physical activity is to walk away from your chores, and the faster the better ... [more]
High-energy bubbles produced by ultrasound could provide a greener way to make tap water taste better ... [more]
3D ultrasound lets expectant parents see their unborn child's chubby cheeks and button nose -- but new software could soon let them preview their baby's touch (registration required) ... [more]
Until recently, scientists and conservationists have lacked the vision (ultraviolet vision, to be precise) to understand what makes some fish sexy ... [more]
Researchers have used one of the world's most powerful computers to test the strength of materials by measuring their atomic resistance ... [more]
For heart attack survivors, a nice, relaxing cup of tea may be exactly their hearts' desire ... [more]
NASA is looking for the right (old) stuff to keep the shuttles flying, trawling the Internet for sources of electronic gear that would strike a home computer user as primitive ... [more]
Exposure to even low levels of secondhand smoke may shave points off kids' IQ ... [more]
New experiments suggest that a warm little pond is more likely than the ocean to have been the cradle of life ... [more]
A high-tech foam nicknamed "frozen smoke" could revolutionize just about everything from refrigerator design to spacecraft ... [more]
It's been a problem since the earliest days of human space exploration: astronauts returning to Earth sometimes feel light-headed. But there may be a solution ... [more]
A widely-publicised study says that a woman's fertility begins to decline in her late 20s -- which really just means that it might take a bit longer to become pregnant ... [more]
The opposable thumb has acquired a new significance: endless hours of text messaging, e-mailing and zapping electronic enemies have developed it into the hand's most muscled and dextrous digit ... [more]
A low-fat diet helps prevent heart attacks and promotes weight loss, right? Well, maybe not ... [more]
A trio of bio-artists are creating a new artistic palette using tissue engineering and stem cell technologies as the medium for their sculptures. The project? Pig Wings ... [more]
An email (or two) a day keeps the doctor away. Writing about your feelings is good for your health -- even if it is only pixels on a screen ... [more]
Teens who sport tattoos or body piercings may be more likely to take part in risky behaviors than their undecorated and unskewered counterparts ... [more]
Scents produced by breast feeding mothers and newborn babies may send out mating signals to other women ... [more]
Think you'd like to wear your e-mail on your sleeve? Or change the colour of your wallpaper at will? LCD paint could make it happen ... [more]
Patients with brain diseases may soon have the option of sniffing their medicine rather than swallowing pills ... [more]
If one of your hominoid ancestors hadn't gotten a viral infection millions of years ago, you might look really, really different today ... [more]
Of mattresses and spilled milk: A new study has revealed the chain of events that might lead to some cot deaths ... [more]
If you look at Venus this month and something doesn't seem quite right, you may have spotted a rare Venus pillar ... or better yet, a Venusdog! ... [more]
Rain gardeners cultivate not only flowers and shrubs but sand and gravel -- and a healthy water table ... [more]
Goodness gracious! Two British chemists believe they have solved the 26-year-old mystery of how cannonballs from a shipwreck spontaneously erupted into great balls of fire ... [more]
Black Americans' lower cancer survival rates compared to whites seems to have little to do with differences in biology, and much to do with quality of care ... [more]
The robots are coming! They can climb stairs, crawl over ditches, survive three-story falls -- and pester people who ignore your e-mails ... [more]
Pigs at heart: Sedentary porkers may help scientists understand couch potatoes' diseases ... [more]
Astronomers and schoolchildren could soon be stargazing on the Web via a network of Internet-controlled telescopes ... [more]
When young children interact with the physical world and the people around them, they are creating an enriched environment to stimulate their own cognitive development ... [more]
Thousands of Inca mummies -- many with hair, skin, and eyes intact -- have been rescued from beneath the streets of a sprawling shantytown on the outskirts of Lima, Peru ... [more] But hard questions are being asked about the funding of the original excavation ... [more]
Astronomers have uncovered a scandalous degree of promiscuity in the cosmos, with dense clusters of stars being veritable hotbeds of partner-swapping ... [more]
Surgeons performing keyhole operations have a new tool -- biodegradable "shrink-wrap" sutures ... [more]
Gossip-mongers may be ultimately responsible for the development of better computer networks ... [more]
Think sick, be sick. The placebo effect has an evil twin: the nocebo effect, which affects patients' reactions to everything from surgery to the colours of their pills ... [more]
Remote-controlled ratbots could soon be detecting earthquake survivors or buried explosives -- and they'll do it all for pleasure ... [more]
Just like ancient observers, scientists will soon be looking to the sky to tell the time ... [more]
Archaeological chemistry is unlocking the secrets of ancient sites -- including the details of King Midas's funerary feast ... [more]
UK birdlovers are turning to a high-tech dye to thwart egg thieves who threaten the rare peregrine falcon ... [more]
A new low-temperature, low-pressure process to remove sulphur from liquid fuels could make for cleaner gas and diesel ... [more]
Some US researchers are seeking insight into the genetic roots of human aggression at the fruit fly fight club ... [more]
Satelite data indicate that Earth's magnetic field may be in the early stages of reversing its polarity ... [more]
Astronomers believe they have uncovered the source of the highest energy cosmic rays: retired quasars. (But do they receive a pension?) ... [more]
South African millionaire Mark Shuttleworth has become the world's second space tourist. Will the trip mark a new era of paid space travel? ... [more]
Angry young men have three times the risk of premature heart disease as their calmer fellows ... [more]
The first primates may have scampered among the trees while dinosaurs still ruled the planet -- more than 15 million years earlier than previously thought ... [more]
Loose connections: Stanley Milgram's famous 'six degrees of separation' appears to be the academic equivalent of an urban myth ... [more]
Pass the ketchup, please! Cooked tomatoes are more heart-healthy and better at fighting cancer ... [more]
The police state: Maintaining the harmonious social order within beehives and ant nests sometimes calls for brutal tactics ... [more]
Space harvest: Where to plant 200 billion drought-resistant seeds headed for Afghanistan? Ask the satellites ... [more]
The first of a new generation of hydrogen cars from Japan will soon be on the road -- but you won't be able to buy one just yet ... [more]
Fruit bats could be the missing piece in the puzzle of a mysterious disease affecting inhabitants of the South Pacific Island of Guam ... [more]
Astronomers speculate that two weird stars may be made up of free-floating sub-sub-atomic particles called strange quarks ... [more]
There are more creatures in Heaven and Earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your taxonomy ... [more]
A major hurdle to spinal cord recovery has been cleared, with the development of an enzyme that clears a path for growing nerves ... [more]
Parasitic worms may hold the secret to preventing allergies and other autoimmune disorders ... [more]
The US Senate has quashed a controversial proposal to let oil companies drill in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge ... [more]
As vexing as they are beautiful, clouds play an important role in Earth's planetary greenhouse -- and new space-based instruments are allowing scientists to learn much more about them ... [more]
The largest ever clinical trial into the impact of St John's wort has found that it is ineffective against major depression ... [more]
Scientists are learning that the key to predicting certain epidemics -- like Rift Valley fever in Africa or Hanta virus in the US -- lies in an unexpected place: the ocean ... [more]
Managing Editor: Vicki Hyde
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