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The Guardian (U.K.) 

Skull discovery suggests location where humans first had sex with Neanderthals

Skull found in northern Israeli cave in western Galilee, thought to be female and 55,000 years old, connects interbreeding and move from Africa to EuropeAn ancient skull found in a cave in northern Israel has cast light on the migration of modern humans out of Africa and the dawn of humanity’s colonisation of the world.For most palaeontologists that might be enough for a single fossil, but t

Ancient planetary system with its own sun-like star found in the galaxy

Discovery of five planets orbiting around Kepler 444 suggests ancient worlds might lurk around other stars in more habitable reaches of the Milky WayThe discovery of five archaic planets around one of the oldest stars in the galaxy has raised the possibility that the Milky Way might be home to extremely ancient forms of life.Astronomers spotted the planets as they circled a star called Kep

Peanut allergy researchers say they may have found key to a cure

Melbourne-based study of children given nut protein with probiotic has transformed the lives of 80% of those who took part in clinical trialAustralian researchers have found a possible key to a cure for people with potentially fatal peanut allergies.A Melbourne-based study has already transformed the lives of many of the children who took part in the clinical trial. Continue reading...

Artificial intelligence 'will not end human race'

Microsoft research chief admits that AI will pose legal, ethical and psychological issues as it becomes more sophisticatedThe head of Microsoft’s research division has dismissed fears that artificial intelligence could pose a threat to the survival of the human race.Eric Horvitz believed that humans would not “lose control of certain kinds of intelligences”, adding: “In the end we’ll be ab

Gene linked to long life also protects against mental decline in old age

Discovery gives scientists hope of developing a therapy that could slowdown the progression of Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementiaPeople who carry a mutated gene linked to longer lifespan have extra tissue in part of the brain that seems to protect them against mental decline in old age.The finding has shed light on a biological pathway that researchers now hope to turn into a

What lightning looks like from space - timelapse video

The European Space Agency (ESA) has released timelapse footage of lightning striking earth, as seen from the International Space Station. The footage, filmed in 2012, is made up of 49 images taken from 200km above Earth. The ESA's Nightpod camera aid helps the astronaut take remarkably clear photos despite circling the Earth at 28,800 km/h Continue reading...

Sugary drinks may cause menstruation to start earlier, study suggests

Scientists say impact of bringing forward girl’s first period by 2.7 months is likely to be modestSugary drinks may be causing girls to start menstruating earlier, research suggests. A study of girls aged nine to 14 found that those averaging more than 1.5 sugar-sweetened beverages a day had their first period 2.7 months earlier than those consuming two a week or fewer.The difference of a fe

Global warming spells disaster for tropical Andes glaciers

Glacier monitoring technology shows the most rapid glacier depletion for at least three centuries. Big glaciers are shrinking, with small ones disappearing altogether, writes Bernard FrancouAs components of the global cryosphere, mountain glaciers are known for their high sensitivity to climate change. Glaciers are the result of solid precipitation and reflect its variability from one year to

Scientists have found a way to ‘unboil’ eggs – and it could be a life-saver

It may not sound like the most useful of scientific endeavours, but the methods used to turn a hard-boiled egg back into its liquid state could bring major benefits to areas as diverse as cheese-making and cancer researchIt sounds like the breakthrough that no one was asking for: scientists have announced they have managed to “unboil” an egg. In a disgusting-sounding experiment that you probabl

Autism cases in same family more often carry different genetic risks – study

Research on 85 families finds less than a third of siblings with autism carry the same genetic risk, and in nearly 70% of cases known contributory mutations do not overlapA major study of autism in families has found that brothers and sisters who have the condition often carry different genetic risk factors that make them prone to the disorder.Research on 85 families found that siblings with

Study suggests sleeping drugs can increase risk of Alzheimer’s

Nytol, Benadryl, Ditropan and Piriton among the medications identified by scientists as raising likelihood of dementiaOver-the-counter sleeping aids and hayfever treatments can increase the risk of Alzheimer’s disease, a study has found. The sleeping medication Nytol and anti-allergy pills Benadryl and Piriton all belong to a class of drug highlighted in a warning from researchers.Each of th

Huge asteroid set to fly past Earth – get that telescope ready

*Nasa says asteroids pass Earth often, but size of 2004 BL86 is unusual*Another object of comparable scale isn’t scheduled to pass for another 12 yearsThe closest pass to Earth by a large asteroid until 2027 is due to happen on Monday, according to Nasa, which said the half-kilometre wide object posed no danger to the planet.The asteroid, which is called 2004 BL86, will pass within 745,

Rosetta spacecraft makes first close analysis of comet 67P dust coating

Spacecraft observations of tiny grains collected by Cosima instrument find them to be fragile, rich in sodium and contain smaller inter-planetary particlesThe Rosetta spacecraft has made the first detailed observations of the dusty coating that formed on comet 67P on its journey through the distant reaches of the solar system.Tiny grains collected by the European probe’s Cosima instrument fo

Prince Charles: global pact on climate change could be Magna Carta for Earth

Prince of Wales said this year marked potentially the last chance to save the world from the perils of global warmingA new global pact on climate change, due to be signed this year in Paris, should be a “Magna Carta for the Earth”, Prince Charles has urged.He said this year marked potentially the “last chance” to save the world from the perils of global warming, with the Paris conference a

How viable is nuclear fusion as an energy source? - podcast

Are scientific and industrial ideas about commercial nuclear fusion reactors in the near future just wishful thinking? Continue reading...

Where I went right - interactive

Anyone can change everything, but to be successful you need to make the most of the time you have. Celebrated innovators Tim Berners-Lee, Maggie Aderin-Pocock, Ranulph Fiennes and Alice Roberts provide unique insights into the formative moments that have shaped their remarkable careers. Viewing on a mobile or tablet? Click here to launch the interactiveThese films are designed to inspire a

New Rosetta pictures reveal crack in the neck of comet 67P

Large open crack runs for hundreds of metres and in places is a metre wide and filled with dustImages taken from the Rosetta spacecraft have revealed a long, deep crack in the fragile neck of comet 67P where the celestial body might one day break in half.The European Space Agency probe, which dropped its Philae lander onto the comet’s surface in November, has been circling the 4km-wide lump

Let GM mosquitoes loose to bite and help cure tropical diseases - researchers

*British biotech firm awaiting FDA approval to release bugs in the Florida Keys* petition gets more than 130,000 signatures to stop experiment Millions of genetically modified mosquitoes could be released in the Florida Keys if British researchers win approval to use the bugs against two extremely painful viral diseases. Never before have insects with modified DNA come so close t

The official and unofficial stories of Google in space

Google have invested in SpaceX, a company founded on the idea of private space flights to Mars. But there are alternative narratives for the tech giant’s race into spaceA week ago, Elon Musk launched his new SpaceX satellite lab in Seattle. He plans to provide satellite internet access via a constellation of 4,000 satellites flying at 750km above the earth, each weighing hundreds of kgs. The

Experimental Ebola vaccine shipped to Liberia

GSK hopes to enrol 30,000 people in first large-scale trials of the vaccine, which uses a type of chimpanzee cold virusDrop in Ebola cases ‘signals turning point’Healthcare workers and others at high risk from Ebola in Liberia could be given an experimental vaccine as early as next week following the shipment of the first doses to Monrovia, according to the manufacturer GlaxoSmithKline.T

Scientists create GM organisms reliant on artificial compounds for survival

Genetically recoded organisms could be safe enough to use outside, for example to clean up oil spillsIn a drive to improve the environmental safety of genetically modified organisms, scientists have created the first GM microbes that can only survive in the presence of designer compounds not found in nature.The work represents a major step towards the creation of GM lifeforms that are comple

'Three suns' appear over Mongolia in rare celestial phenomenon – video

Three suns appear in the horizon over Mongolia, in an a rare celestial illusion. The middle sun is the actual star which appears daily in the sky, while the other two are smaller reflections. The phenomenon occurs in extremely cold temperatures when the sun's light reflects off snow crystals in the air Continue reading...

Why can’t the world’s greatest minds solve the mystery of consciousness?

Philosophers and scientists have been at war for decades over the question of what makes human beings more than complex robotsOne spring morning in Tucson, Arizona, in 1994, an unknown philosopher named David Chalmers got up to give a talk on consciousness, by which he meant the feeling of being inside your head, looking out – or, to use the kind of language that might give a neuroscientist an

Two planets as big as Earth ‘could be on edge of solar system’

Scientists say belt of space rocks known as ‘extreme trans-Neptunian objects’ appear to be influenced by gravitational pullAt least two as-yet undiscovered planets as big as Earth or larger may be hiding in the outer fringes of the solar system, scientists believe.The secret worlds are thought to exist beyond the orbits of Neptune, the furthest true planet from the Sun, and the even more d

Natural History Museum main hall displays - in pictures

With news that a blue whale skeleton will replaced the diplodicus as part of a completely new display at of the main Hintze Hall (formerly the central hall), we look at some other displays from a year after it was opened in 1881 Continue reading...

Laser inventor Charles Townes dies

Scientist was sitting on a park bench in 1951 when he came up with Nobel prizewinning and world-changing idea for a pure beam of light Continue reading...

A way forward to solve the hard problem of consciousness

Continue reading...

Fed up of your double chin? There could soon be an injection for it

It’s one of the curses of growing older, but now a US company hopes its new compound could be just the thing for those sick of sagging fat Continue reading...

On the trail of the first dogs to put their paws in the Americas

DNA research into early canine remains also raises clues about migration patterns of ancient humans Continue reading...

Rationing ravens and merciful monkeys: can animals be altruistic?

Is there a conscious generosity in how ravens or bats share food, or monkeys or elephants save others, or is it simply the selfish instinct of group survival? Continue reading...

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