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Open any history book on pathology and smallpox is likely to be described as a very ancient disease, responsible for killing the odd Egyptian pharaoh or two. New tests, however, suggest the virus may not be as old as previously thought.

Feathered dinosaur tail found preserved in amber

Paleontologists have discovered a "beautiful" specimen of a dinosaur tail encased in amber. It is one of the best preserved specimens ever discovered and offers new clues about dinosaurs.

New evidence of a genetic reason for autism

The causes of autism are varied. However one reason for some people with an autism spectrum disorder is likely to be genetic. New research has identified a new genetic cause.

Parts of the brain fall asleep and wake up again

When people are awake the brain’s activity moves through states described as waves. This new observation seems to relate to how much attention is paid at a given point in time and may explain attention lapses.

Medics use sonic waves for deep brain surgery

British medial researchers have successfully used sonic waves to operate deep inside the brain of a patient. The novel treatment was used with a person who suffered from uncontrollable tremors in their hands.

Astronaut John Glenn dies aged 95

Former astronaut John Glenn, who was the first American to orbit Earth, has died aged 95. Glenn also served as a marine and U.S. senator.

Traumatic brain injury promised pharmaceutical treatment

Brain cell swelling follows and worsens traumatic brain injury. Scientists at the University of Arkansas found the drug Acetazolamide inhibits production of the protein triggering brain cell swelling, suggesting a treatment for brain injury.

Dark matter 'smoother' than we thought: study

Dark matter, the mysterious substance believed to comprise a quarter of our Universe, is spread out more smoothly than previously thought, said a study Wednesday that may challenge some tenets of physics.

Biotech is advancing the fragrance industry

Biotech has altered the way that perfumes are manufactured, making them more consistent and removing many animal products. New research promises to extend these innovations further.

Toddler robots designed to understand how children to learn

Interactive learning of machine could help researchers to understand how children learn new words, according to a new study. Evidence suggests children effectively learn new words in same way as robots.

Russian authorities inspecting crashed spacecraft debris

Authorities in Russia's Siberian region of Tuva on Monday were examining several pieces of the Progress cargo spaceship found after it crashed last week having failed to reach orbit.

Essential Science: Zeroing in on a gene that stops you drinking

A large study has pinpointed a gene variant that suppresses the desire of a person to drink alcohol. The next question is whether the discovery can be used for medicinal purposes.

Researchers — Humans have been polluting rivers for 7,000 years

Human-caused environmental pollution is usually associated with the start of the modern industrial era, but researchers looking for evidence of when humans first began using metal tools may have found the world's first polluted river.

The answer to why the surface of ice is wet

A mystery of why ice is wet has been solved. Physicists have long been puzzled why, and the answer has come via an advanced optical microscope.

Magic mushrooms help those with cancer face death

A science group are proposing that a psychedelic trip is the optimal way to end life. Here a single dose of psilocybin has been shown to increase the feeling of well-being with those with terminal cancer.

Most astronauts need to wear glasses after return to Earth

A curious fact: most astronauts returning to Earth need to wear glasses shortly after setting foot back on the planet. The reason has confounded scientists until now.

Regenerating body parts might be possible

Regenerating body parts sounds like the stuff of science fiction. However, researchers studying worms that are capable of regeneration, think that a closer understanding could lead to a human being able to regenerate a limb one day.

Study: Probiotics reduce stress and anxiety

A study on animals suggests that increased knowledge about gut health could lead to the use of probiotics to alter the microorganisms of the gut and modulate behavioral responses to stress.

British doctors request three-person baby study

British doctors have made a formal request to the national fertility regulator to undertake mitochondrial replacement therapy. This involves creating a baby with DNA from three people.

Element 113 has an official name

A new element — element 113 — officially recognized this year now has an internationally agreed name. The element has been named nihonium and given the symbol Nh.

Strange radio waves emanating from space

Astrophysicists have detected gamma rays that are associated with one of mysterious intergalactic fast radio bursts. Such mysterious flashes of radio waves from deep space continue to be detected.

'Thank the aliens': Thousands displaced for China's huge telescope

Humanity’s best bet at detecting aliens is a giant silver Chinese dish the size of 30 football fields -- one that simultaneously showcases Beijing's abilities to deploy cutting-edge technologies and ignore objectors' rights as it seeks global promine...

Remains of 5,000-year-old city discovered in Abydos, Egypt

Archaeologists in Egypt have discovered the remains of an ancient city said to be close to 5,000-years-old, including a cemetery and a number of houses, near the site of Abydos.

Relationship between jet lag and obesity for liver cancer

Cases of liver cancer linked to obesity have risen in recent decades. This has prompted a research inquiry into the causes for this. The research has centered on obesity and jet lag.

New insights on how depression and anxiety change the body

A new study suggests that depression and anxiety change the body in different ways, with depression affecting the stomach and anxiety affecting the skin. This highlights how mental problems and physical disorders are often interlinked.

Putting stress at bay through memory tests

When people are stressed they tend, sometimes, to become confused and forget things. New research suggests learning by taking practice tests helps to protect the memory against the negative effects of stress.

Essential Science: Why nitrogen is a key driver for gut health

Researchers have moved closer to connecting diets and dieting strategies and a healthy gut. This fits together with the need for having the right balance of microorganisms, and here nitrogen plays a key role.

Trouble with contact lenses? Might be your microbiome

Some people cope well with contact lenses, other suffer with itchy eyes or run into problems. The reason may be due to the microbial composition of the eye, according to a new study.

Saliva test predicts Alzheimer’s disease

A straightforward test to detect Alzheimer’s disease based on the analysis of a sample of saliva has been developed. The test can also provide clues about the development of the disease where the result is positive.

Power of the coconut crab's claw tested

Researchers from Japan have assessed the strength of the coconut crab’s “mighty claw”, and found it to be greater than most predators’ jaws, including the jaw of the black bear.

Genetics reveals my some people have 'wild hair'

Struggling with unmanageable hair? Struggling with hair that won't style or comb? The various states of uncomfortable hair have been attributed, in new scientific research, to genetics.

A step towards eliminating river blindness parasite

River blindness remains a major concern for parts of the world, especially in Africa and Latin America where up to 37 million people are infected. The disease causes eye and skin diseases. A new study offers a clue for eradication of the disease.

Did a solar storm damage Earth’s magnetic field?

A review of data, relating to the summer of 2015, suggests a solar storm struck the Earth’s magnetic field. This unprecedented event lasted a couple of hours, and it could have shrunk the Earth’s magnetosphere.

Logbooks reveal Antarctic sea ice barely changed in 100 years

Century-old logbooks from the ships of Captain Robert Scott and Sir Ernest Shackleton, key figures from the "Heroic Age of Antarctic Exploration," have revealed that sea ice levels in the Antarctic have changed very little in the last 100 years.

Nucleation: From champagne bubbles to Alzheimer’s research

A process called nucleation describes everything from the formation of champagne bubbles to the onset of Alzheimer’s disease. This physical and chemical process is being studied by researchers interested in disease development.

Computer glitch blamed for European Mars lander crash

A tiny lander that crashed on Mars last month flew into the Red Planet at 540 kilometres (335 miles) per hour instead of gently gliding to a stop, after a computer misjudged its altitude, scientists said.

Dino-killing crater shows clues about Ice Age sea level

The massive underwater crater left by the asteroid that exterminated the dinosaurs has provided new evidence that sea levels were much lower during the last Ice Age, researchers said.

Nanotechnology boosts solar power heating

Solar power, along with tidal power and wind power, represents the leading alternative energy technology. Scientists are seeking to improve efficiency and nanotechnology offers an answer.

Weird blue mass detected in front of the Sun

NASA has reported an unusual phenomenon: a strange blue mass in front of the Sun. The object was detected by the Stereo satellites, and it appeared to pass across the face of the star.

Native Americans raised wild turkeys way before our Thanksgiving

As we sit down to a Thanksgiving turkey this Thursday, give thanks to the Native Americans who first cultivated wild turkeys in the American southeast hundreds of years before the first Thanksgiving on our shores in 1621.

Does studying yellow fever offer Zika clues?

As cases of Zika virus increase there is considerable investigation and research into the virus. One area being looked at for clues is yellow fever virus. A second area involves the use of mouse models.
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