NASA’s ‘Nuclear Option’ May Be Crucial for Getting Humans to Mars

The pathway to humans on Mars lies through the atom, split. Far from Earth, whether in the void or on another world, power is life. A steady, strong flow of electricity is as crucial for operating computers and engines as it is for assuring access to corporeal necessities such as light and heat, breathable air … Read more

Did a taste for blood help humans grow big brains? Story isn’t so simple, study argues | Science

When it comes to killing and eating other creatures, chimpanzees—our closest relatives—have nothing on us. Animal flesh makes up much more of the average human’s diet than a chimp’s. Many scientists have long suggested our blood lust ramped up about 2 million years ago, based on the number of butchery marks found at ancient archaeological … Read more

Chemistry robots: Labs can benefit by letting humans and machines collaborate

A new system helps labs determine the most efficient way to produce target molecules by utilising the strengths of humans and robots Technology 24 January 2022 By Matthew Sparkes Scientists working with a robot in a lab Shutterstock/Party people studio Chemists have devised a new system to help robots and humans collaborate more efficiently in … Read more

Gene Variant May Have Helped Ancient Humans Survive Starvation

About a million years ago a small mutation might have unlocked a big advantage for ancient humans. A recent study in Science Advances suggests that a variant of a critical stretch of DNA called the growth hormone receptor gene protected against starvation—in part by limiting individuals’ body size during periods of resource scarcity. The variant … Read more

Scientists Identify Specific Gene Variant That Protects Against Severe COVID-19

Researchers have discovered a protective gene variant that seems to shield people from severe cases of COVID-19, and the finding could lead to new breakthroughs in fighting the coronavirus.   Since much earlier in the pandemic, scientists have been busily investigating how patient genetics influence the severity of a SARS-CoV-2 infection, exposing the inherited factors … Read more

Pavlovian Experiments on Locusts Provide New Clues on How Smell Works in The Brain

From the fragrance of brewing coffee to the smell of rain soaking the soil, distinguishing scents is one of the reasons that having a sense of smell is wonderful. But how smells such as coffee can be understood by our brain, no matter the season, location, or time is a complex question to answer. There’s … Read more

Archeology: Hybrid animal in 4500-year-old tomb is earliest known bred by humans

Early Bronze Age people in Syria crossed donkeys with wild asses to make prized horse-like hybrids, demonstrating advanced understanding of animal breeding Life 14 January 2022 By Alice Klein Equid skeletons from Tell Umm el-Marra, Syria Glenn Schwartz/John Hopkins University The bones of horse-like creatures unearthed in a 4500-year-old royal tomb in Syria are the … Read more

Donkeylike creatures may be first known hybrid animal made by humans | Science

In the third millennium B.C.E., a strange group of donkeylike creatures was buried alongside royals in an ancient city east of what is now Aleppo, Syria. Archaeologists reckoned the animals were “kungas,” a rare type of ass highly prized by Bronze Age Mesopotamian elites. Yet their true biological identity has remained a mystery. Now, a … Read more

The Dolphin Clitoris Is Full of Surprises, Scientists Discover

The bottlenose dolphin (Tersiops truncatus) appears to have a very large and well-developed clitoris, potentially better placed for coital pleasure than the clitoris of humans, according to new research.   The visible tip of the human clitoris is but the size of a pea and located slightly north of the vagina and urethra (although much … Read more

Swab Your Throat First? Rapid Tests May Need Saliva to Detect Omicron, Early Data Find

Rapid COVID-19 tests that use nose swabs alone might not pick up Omicron in the early days of infection, a new study suggests – but experts don’t agree on whether you should also swab your throat.   A small study from a group of US researchers, published Tuesday, found that rapid tests with nasal swabs didn’t detect Omicron … Read more