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Scientists have suggested that a new cause of autism could be found in 'junk' DNA. This relates the neurodevelopmental condition to mutations in the non-coding regions of the human genome, according to the new study.

'Moon Rock Hunter' on quest to track down Apollo gifts

After Neil Armstrong took a "giant leap for mankind" on the Moon nearly 50 years ago and collected rocks and soil along the way, Richard Nixon presented lunar souvenirs to every nation -- 135, at the time.

Head of 32,000-year-old wolf found in Russian Arctic

A first intact head of a gigantic adult wolf which died about 32,000 years ago and was preserved in permafrost has been found in the Russian Arctic, scientists have said.

NIH Director: It's time to end 'manels' at scientific conventions

One of the most influential public health officials in the world said Wednesday that he will no longer speak on scientific panels if they don't include women.

First US murder trial using DNA, family tree evidence

A truck driver implicated by his DNA and family tree in a double murder more than 30 years after the crime will face trial this week in the first case using a revolutionary investigative technique.

Is GPS ruining our brains?

Do our brains work differently when we are using GPS? The answer is yes, according to a new study. The research was conducted in virtual reality, where some visitors navigated using a GPS device and others who navigated using a map.

NASA renames street for 'hidden' black women mathematicians

NASA has renamed the street outside its Washington headquarters to honor three black female mathematicians whose pioneering work on the agency's early space program was chronicled in the film "Hidden Figures".

New microorganism helps produce alternative fuels

Researchers have used genetically engineered algae that can grow three times faster than starch crops and used this to produce biofuel and biochemicals.

China tightens rules on genetic research after designer-baby scandal

China has announced regulations to curb the smuggling of human organs and tighten oversight on the use of human genetic materials in research months after a Chinese scientist caused a global outcry by claiming that he gene-edited babies.

Video gamers help to design new proteins

Video gamers have helped to design brand new proteins by playing an interactive on-line application called Foldit. Through this, citizen scientists are aiding protein researchers create novel vaccines and cancer therapies.

Asteroid impact crater found off the coast of Scotland

The location of an ancient impact crater made by the biggest asteroid ever to hit Britain has been traced to a spot under the sea between mainland Scotland and the Outer Hebrides.

Essential Science: Algorithm provides caffeine in-take strategy

For many people caffeine is an effective stimulant, providing much needed alertness. But when is the best time drink coffee? And how can you avoid drinking too much? An algorithm has the answers.

Op-Ed: NASA’s official 3D printed Martian homes ready to go

In 2015, NASA held a competition to design homes for people arriving on Mars. The buildings look like beehives or elongated barrels and have everything the new arrivals will need to be built in.

Scientists: Canada's wildfires are linked to the climate crisis

As another extreme fire season starts in Canada with more people on the run, scientists say they are already seeing signs that climate change is playing a role.

Review: Skepticism for the digital age? Exhibition explores perception Special

What can magic and conjuring tell us about the human mind? Have we moved on from Victorian times and now sit in a more rationale world, or can technology still alter our perceptions and memories? A new exhibition explores these themes.

NASA to open International Space Station to tourists from 2020

NASA said Friday it will open up the International Space Station to business ventures including space tourism as it seeks to financially disengage from the orbiting research lab.Price tag?

Q&A: Hand-held alternative to the blood test in development Special

Emerging and sophisticated technology now enables people to use their smartphone and a single tiny drop of body fluids (i.e. blood, saliva, urine, and/or sweat) to deliver clinical lab-quality. Steven Chou from Essenlix explains more.

Is it possible William Shakespeare smoked weed? — Well, maybe

Back in 2001, a South African anthropologist named Francis Thackeray used tech from a narcotics crime lab to see what sorts of substances might have been smoked in 400-year-old pipe fragments unearthed in Stratford-upon-Avon.

Human influence on global droughts goes back 100 years

Human-generated greenhouse gases and atmospheric particles were affecting global drought risk as far back as the early 20th century, according to a study from NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) in New York City.

Space telescope captures 1800 exploding stars

The advanced Subaru Telescope has peered into the depths of the cosmos and captured images of over 1,800 exploding stars. Some of these gaseous bodies are eight billion light years from Earth.

China gene babies' mutation linked to higher mortality: study

The genetic mutation given to Chinese twins last year rendering them immune to the HIV virus may significantly reduce life expectancy, scientists said Monday in a fresh warning against human gene-editing.

Essential Science: Transgenic fungus kills malaria mosquitoes

A genetically modified fungus rapidly kills 99 percent of malaria mosquitoes, a new study reveals. The introduction of the transgenic fungus could significantly reduce malaria mosquito populations.

How forests play a vital role in the carbon cycle

Carbon is an abundant element that is necessary for life on Earth. Carbon atoms can be found in not only plants and animals but in rocks, soil, water, and even the air we breathe. But an overabundance of carbon, in the form of carbon dioxide, is deadly.

Atomic mystery: Geometry of the electron revealed

What does an electron look like? While physicists have long speculated, the geometry of the electron has been revealed for the first time. This insight may help with the development of quantum computers.

Dog breeds with the highest risk of biting children identified

A new study has identified the dog breeds, together with the the physical traits of the animals, that pose highest risk of biting children. The results, pulled from U.S. data, are not always so clear cut.

Smart way to collect and purify water, inspired by a rose

The shape and structure of a rose has inspired scientists to develop a smart way to collect and purify water. This low-cost invention provides a practical means to purify water in areas with scarce clean water supplies.

1 in 5 in U.S. cannot name a single element on the periodic table

It might be elementary for many, but a new poll finds that one in five (around 20 percent) of the U.S. adult population cannot name a single element on the periodic table. The survey indicates the troubling status of science in the country.

Time to start studying females too, urges scientist

US neurobiologist Rebecca Shansky recalled her first experiences studying mice in the lab two decades ago: the "default" was to study males.

DNA has been edited with CRISPR in space for the first time

Astronauts aboard the International Space Station continue to work on pioneering studies. Recently they have used the pioneering CRISPR-Cas9 technology to carefully edit the DNA of brewer's yeast.

Op-Ed: Are Humans Evolving? The question is back, with new answers

The "Are humans evolving" question is one of those academic flower arrangements. Everybody takes a position, and not much real thinking happens. The relatively new science of genetics is throwing a lot of very large spanners into those positions.

Colliding lasers lead to cheaper proton therapy

A new method capable of doubling of a proton beam produced via laser-based particle accelerators has been developed in Sweden. This could pave the way for lower-cost medical applications, like proton therapy.

Essential Science: Is anxiety linked to our gut microbiome?

Microbiome research has advanced considerably since the first results from the U.S. National Institutes of Health led Human Microbiome Project were released. One area of interest is the connection between our microorganisms and anxiety symptoms.

Unprecedented amount of water found under Martian north pole

Using advanced radar technology, astrophysicists have discovered a large reservoir of frozen water lying between sand layers under the north pole of Mars. This shows there are further mysteries to be revealed about the 'red planet'.

Scientists pinpoint source of ozone-destroying chemical

Scientists are zeroing in on the source of a powerful climate pollutant that was banned years ago but has mysteriously been increasing, with potentially damaging consequences for climate change.

Breakthrough military study results for concussion announced

New research on the first highly-scalable intervention for mild Traumatic Brain Injuries (mTBI) -- commonly from concussions and blast exposures -- has been presented at the 9th Annual Traumatic Brain Injury Conference in Washington, D.C

Mass movement: scientists adopt new kilogram definition

How we measure the world underwent a quantum leap on Monday as scientists adopted new hyper-accurate definitions for units of weight, electricity and temperature derived from the universal laws of Nature.

Essential Science: Nature will now define the kilogram

The original kilogram is no more, or at least it will remain locked in a Paris vault never to be used for official purposes, such as calibrating national weight standard again. Instead there’s a new approach for assessing global mass.

Teaching AI to see like a human by filling in the blanks

A new type of artificial intelligence has been developed, which is said by its inventors to see like a human. This has been a achieved by building on existing forms of AI and filling in the blanks that have previously limited full visual perception.

Lasers developed for non-invasive cancer diagnosis and treatment

Scientists have developed a new way to assess a human for signs of diseases, using lasers for a novel non-invasive approach. This is based on a new laser microscope that has been initially tested out to assess for signs of skin cancer.

Northwestern-UIUC researchers launch Illinois’ new twins registry

Northwestern-UIUC scientists have created the Illinois Twins Project (ITP). This is designed to be the first- database to function as scientific resource for scientists exploring how genes and environment influence twins and multiples.

Advancing the design of pharma water systems for medicinal safety Special

Water may seem like a routine part of the production of medicines but water contaminated with microorganisms is a cause of drug product recalls and can lead to patient harm. The importance of water quality was the theme of a recent conference.
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