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Antarctic summer ice melting 10 times faster: study

Summer ice in the Antarctic is melting 10 times quicker than it was 600 years ago, with the most rapid melt occurring in the last 50 years, a joint Australian-British study showed Monday. A research team from the Australian National University and the British Antarctic Survey drilled a 364-metre (1,194…

Greenpeace activists plant North Pole flag to fight Arctic oil drilling

Activists have planted a flag at the North Pole along with millions of signatures calling for the Arctic to be declared a global sanctuary protected from oil drilling, lobby group Greenpeace said on Monday. Expedition members cut a hole in the ice and lowered the “flag for the future” onto…

Bio-engineered kidney offers new hope to patients suffering renal failure

Researchers in the United States on Sunday said they had bio-engineered a kidney and transplanted it into rats, marking a step forward in a quest to help patients suffering from kidney failure. The prototype proves that a “bio-kidney” can work, emulating breakthroughs elsewhere to build replacement structures for livers, hearts…

Why do humans cry? A new reading of the old sob story

We all cry, but what biological function does it serve, asks Mark Honigsbaum. And why are humans the only species to shed tears of sorrow and joy? When it came to solving the riddle of the peacock’s tail, Charles Darwin’s powers of evolutionary deduction were second to none – the…

‘Shadow Biosphere’ theory gaining scientific support

Never mind aliens in outer space. Some scientists believe we may be sharing the planet with ‘weird’ lifeforms that are so different from our own they’re invisible to us. Across the world’s great deserts, a mysterious sheen has been found on boulders and rock faces. These layers of manganese, arsenic…

World’s first successful uterus transplant recipient is pregnant via in vitro fertilization

The first woman ever to receive a uterus from a deceased donor, is two-weeks pregnant following a successful embryo transplant, her doctors said on Friday. The 22-year-old Derya Sert was revealed to be almost two-weeks pregnant in preliminary results after in vitro fertilisation at Akdeniz University Hospital in Turkey’s southern…

Scientists suggest ‘sustainable fish’ label actually misleads consumers

The world’s biggest scheme to certify that seafish come from sustainable sources has come under fire in a scientific journal, where researchers say the label is too generous and may “mislead” consumers. Writing in the journal Biological Conservation, a team of scientists say that objections made to the Marine Stewardship…

New H7N9 bird flu strain vaccine may take ‘many months’

Developing a vaccine for the H7N9 strain of bird flu that has killed 10 people in eastern China could take “many months”, US public health experts have said. Chinese authorities had confirmed 38 human cases of H7N9 avian influenza as of Thursday evening after announcing nearly two weeks ago that…

‘Artificial leaf’ makes clean energy from dirty water

What’s all this fuss about silly federal research projects? If one day in the not too distant future you can go to the dollar store, buy a thin, flat device the size of a playing card, dunk it in a quart of dirty bath water and use it to generate…

Music activates brain region associated with reward

Scientists know that music can give intense pleasure by delivering chemical rewards in the brain that are equal to the joy of good food or even sex, but now they think they may have identified the part of the brain where this pleasure starts. Researchers scanned the brains of subjects…

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