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From inside the chrysalis to epic migration: ‘Flight of the Butterflies’ revealed in 3D

Documentary that captures butterfly’s extraordinary 2,000-mile trek across North America to Mexico is tipped to be next smash hit nature film The extraordinary 2,000-mile journey made by millions of butterflies each autumn from Canada, through the USA to Mexico is revealed in minute detail for the first time in a…

Swine flu vaccine linked to child narcolepsy

A swine flu vaccine used in 2009-10 is linked to a higher risk of the sleeping disorder narcolepsy in children and teens in Sweden and Finland, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control said Friday. The EU agency studied the effects of the Pandemrix vaccine on children in eight…

Africa’s Khoe-San were first to split from other humans

Southern Africa’s bushmen, and their relatives the Khoe, veered off on their own path of genetic development 100,000 years ago, according to a new study this week. The split, gleaned from an analysis of genetic data, is the earliest divergence scientists have discovered in the evolution of modern humans. The…

‘Astronomical Unit’ officially adopted by astronomers

The world’s top astronomical body has endorsed the definition of the “Astronomical Unit” (AU), a measurement used to calculate the distance between stars and planets. The AU — based on the distance between Earth and the Sun — has long been in use by astronomers, and the decision by the…

This year’s Ig Nobel awards: Researchers monitor a dead salmon’s ‘brain activity’

When a team of scientists decided to work out the complex mathematics that control the shape and movement of a human ponytail, they had not set their sights on fame or glory. On Thursday, however, the British-American team behind the work were celebrated as this year’s laureates for the Ig…

Scientists: Psychopaths have a poor sense of smell

Psychopaths have a remarkably poor sense of smell, according to a study published on Thursday. Researchers in Australia tested a theory that psychopathy — a severe personality disorder characterised by lack of empathy, antisocial behaviour and callousness — may be linked to impaired smell ability. Both phenomena have been independently…

Australian research team reaches breakthrough in quantum supercomputing

SYDNEY – An Australian-led research team said Thursday they had made a technological breakthrough in the race for a quantum supercomputer that could revolutionise data encryption and medicine. Engineers from Sydney’s University of New South Wales said they had created the first working quantum bit or qubit — the fundamental…

Space shuttle Endeavour makes its final flight to retire in California

US space shuttle Endeavour took off Thursday morning for the second leg of its voyage into retirement in California, riding piggyback on a specially fitted Boeing 747. The shuttle left Houston early in the morning, after spending the previous day on display at Ellington Air Field. Endeavour left Cape Canaveral,…

Scientists create atlas of human brain to shed light on psychiatric conditions

A comprehensive atlas of the adult human brain that reveals the activity of genes across the entire organ has been created by scientists. The map was created from genetic analyses of about 900 specific parts of two “clinically unremarkable” brains donated by a 24-year-old and 39-year-old man, and half a…

Mini-Great Pyramid of Giza on Mars intrigues Curiosity rover team

Mini-Great Pyramid of Giza on Mars intrigues Curiosity rover team NASA’s Mars rover Curiosity is eying a target for the first tandem test of two instruments crucial to the rover’s mission of determining whether its new home, Gale Crater, as well as the crater’s central Mt. Sharp, could have hosted…

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