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Beagles bred with muscular dystrophy offer 'hope of a human cure'

Vets studying the muscle-wasting disease in dogs say new drugs being tested could halt its progress in humans

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Neanderthals were not 'grunting, ignorant cavemen' and they kept our early ancestors out of Europe

The discovery of a hoard of ancient human teeth in a Chinese cave has forced scientists to reconsider our species’ relations with our closest evolutionary cousins, the Neanderthals. The find, revealed in the science journal Nature, shows modern humans must have left their African homeland and reached southern China more than 80,000 years ago.

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Clockmaker John Harrison vindicated 250 years after ‘absurd’ claims

The pendulum clock of Longitude hero John Harrison is tested and declared a masterpiece

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Why fresh water shortages will cause the next great global crisis

Last week drought in São Paulo was so bad, residents tried drilling through basement floors for groundwater. As reservoirs dry up across the world, a billion people have no access to safe drinking water. Rationing and a battle to control supplies will follow

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Hunting with wolves: How humans outlasted the Neanderthals

Dogs are humanity’s oldest friends, renowned for their loyalty and abilities to guard, hunt and chase. But modern humans may owe even more to them than we previously realised. We may have to thank them for helping us eradicate our caveman rivals, the Neanderthals.

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Groundbreaking synchronized-satellite project would create virtual telescope in space

It is a groundbreaking mission that will sweep robotic spacecraft around the Earth in displays of global formation flying. High-precision guidance systems and delicate rocket thrusters will enable the project’s two satellites to move in synchrony. And if all goes to plan, European engineers will have created an extraordinary device in orbit.

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Large Hadron Collider refit to solve more questions about the beginnings of the universe

There is no shortage of superlatives that can be applied to the Large Hadron Collider near Geneva, though many are strange and unusual. For a start, the huge underground device, which batters beams of protons into each other at colossal energies, can fairly claim to be the coolest place on Earth. Bending protons as they hurtle round the LHC’s circular 27km tunnel turns out to be a chilly business.

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Anti-inflammatory drugs may be used for treatment of depression: researchers

Scientists at seven UK universities are to set up a research consortium aimed at exploiting a newly discovered link between immune disorders and mental illness.

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From the Moon to mongooses, $4.7 billion in crowdfunding rescues science research

You can take a role in testing the effect of warming skin on memory. Or you can involve yourself in Britain’s first bid to land a spaceship on the Moon. Or you can help researchers understand the social behaviour of the dwarf mongoose.

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41% of amphibians may disappear as Earth faces sixth 'great extinction': study

A stark depiction of the threat hanging over the world’s mammals, reptiles, amphibians and other life forms has been published by the prestigious scientific journal, Nature. A special analysis carried out by the journal indicates that a staggering 41% of all amphibians on the planet now face extinction while 26% of mammal species and 13% of birds are similarly threatened.

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Galápagos wildlife threatened by battle between locals and scientists over tourist souvenirs

Researchers’ souvenir outlet has to close after pressure from local traders and the Ecuador government, denying Darwin group a precious $8,000 a week in sales to tourists

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Hip-hop therapy is new route to mental wellbeing, say psychiatrists

From its roots in rap, graffiti, DJing and breakdancing in the Bronx borough of New York in the 1970s, hip-hop has grown to become a global cultural and commercial powerhouse. But now UK researchers believe they have found a new use for it: as a treatment for mental illnesses such as schizophrenia and depression.

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Floods, forest fires, expanding deserts: The future has arrived

Climate change is no longer viewed by mainstream scientists as a future threat to our planet and our species. It is a palpable phenomenon that already affects the world, they insist. And a brief look round the globe certainly provides no lack of evidence to support this gloomy assertion.

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Desmond Tutu calls for tactics that beat apartheid to be used in climate change fight

Desmond Tutu, the Nobel peace prize winner and activist, has called for an international campaign to boycott mining companies, oil corporations and other businesses involved in the trade of fossil fuels. Writing exclusively in the Observer [article appears below] prior to this week's UN climate summit in New York, Tutu says the same approach that was taken by the 1980s anti-apartheid campaign, of which he was a leader, should now be adopted in the battle to halt global warming.

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Scientists hope to root out disease in your dog via genetic sequencing

Molly is a 16-month-old black labrador retriever and like so many dogs of her breed, she is exuberant, biddable and anxious to please. She also has a distinct personality, insists her owner Sussi Wiles, from Harefield, Middlesex. "Molly is just a bit cheeky and will do unexpected things. She will jump up at you when you are not expecting it. But she is also good-natured and cheerful and really likes being around people."

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