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Scientists create DNA alternative

Artificial genetic material – XNAs – expected to reveal how molecules first replicated and drive biotechnology research Scientists have created artificial genetic material that can store information and evolve over generations in a similar way to DNA – a feat expected to drive research in medicine and biotechnology, and shed…

Nearly 60 archeological sites unearthed near Rio

RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil — Nearly 60 archeological sites dating back 6,000 years have been unearthed during construction of a road near Rio, an archaeologist said Thursday. “Last week, we found a small stone well dating back to the (Portuguese) colonial period with clear water and we stopped work,” said…

‘Holy grail’ gene mapping gives hope to breast cancer victims

By David Batty, guardian.co.uk The treatment of breast cancer could be revolutionised with patients offered more accurate diagnoses and better-targeted treatments after a study in which scientists genetically mapped the disease. The research found that rather than being a single disease, breast cancer can be classified into 10 distinct types.…

Phone calls back evolutionary theories of gender

PARIS — Women speak to their male partners less often as they grow older and turn their attention to a younger generation, according to an unusual study Thursday that tracked nearly two billion phone calls and text messages. The findings back evolutionary theory about the role of women in the…

China ‘river pig’ deaths raise extinction fears

China says 16 endangered finless porpoises have been found dead since the beginning of the year and experts blame water pollutionand climate change for pushing the species toward extinction. The freshwater porpoise — popularly known in Chinese as the “river pig” — mainly lives in China’s Yangtze River and two lakes linked to the waterway. Authorities…

U.S. oil boom fuels earthquake rise – but fracking not to blame, scientists say

America’s oil and natural gas boom has led to a “remarkable” rise in earthquakes in the middle of the country, the US Geological Survey said on Wednesday. But scientists said the man-made quakes were not directly caused by hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, which involves pumping chemicals and water deep into…

Scientists can’t seem to find mysterious dark matter

Astronomers scanning the Milky Way said on Wednesday they were baffled when they failed to spot something invisible. To explain: the team were looking for evidence of dark matter, the substance that is believed to comprise 83 percent of matter in the Universe. But it cannot be detected by the…

Study: Brain scans indicate if women will have sex

A study of 48 college-aged women at Dartmouth University has revealed for the first time that brain scans can predict some future behaviors, like excessive eating or sexual activity, as far out as six months in advance. Bill Kelley, a Dartmouth psychologist, revealed the study’s findings to LiveScience this week.…

Activist: New climate poll shows ‘reality will trump big dollar denial efforts’

Following the publication of a George Mason University poll on Wednesday that shows 69 percent of Americans believe the weather is getting worse due to climate change, author and environmental activist Bill McKibbon hailed the findings as proof that “reality will trump big dollar denial efforts” by the pollution-causing industries.…

Scientists: Dinosaurs put eggs in wrong evolutionary basket

PARIS — The fact that land-bound dinosaurs laid eggs is what sealed their fate of mass extinction millions of years ago while live birthing mammals went on to thrive, scientists said Wednesday. In a new explanation for mammals’ evolutionary victory over dinosaurs, researchers said a mathematical model has shown that…

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