Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Paper microscope coming to a pocket near you!

Imagine if clinics in developing countries were equipped with an inexpensive yet durable tool that could help medical personnel identify and diagnose a variety of deadly diseases like Malaria, Chagas disease, or Leishmaniosis? For millions of people around the world waiting to be diagnosed and treated, such a tool could be a life-saver. [Read Full Article]

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Secrets of flying snakes revealed (BBC News)

The mystery of how flying snakes stay aloft may have been solved by scientists.

These unusual reptiles, which are found in rainforests in Southeast Asia, are able to fling themselves from trees and elegantly glide through the air.

Scientists say that the serpents radically alter their body shape to generate the aerodynamic forces needed to perform this feat. [Read Full Article]

Monday, February 10, 2014

Alaska's Arctic icy lakes lose thickness (BBC News)

The ubiquitous shallow icy lakes that dominate Alaska's Arctic coastal plain have undergone a significant change in recent decades.

These lakes, many of which are no more than 3m deep, melt earlier in the season and retain open water conditions for much longer.

And 20 years of satellite radar also now show that far fewer will freeze right through to the bottom in winter. [Read Full Article]

Friday, February 7, 2014

Humanity's forgotten return to Africa revealed in DNA (NewScientist)

Call it humanity's unexpected U-turn. One of the biggest events in the history of our species is the exodus out of Africa some 65,000 years ago, the start of Homo sapiens' long march across the world. Now a study of southern African genes shows that, unexpectedly, another migration took western Eurasian DNA back to the very southern tip of the continent 3000 years ago.

According to conventional thinking, the Khoisan tribes of southern Africa, have lived in near-isolation from the rest of humanity for thousands of years. In fact, the study shows that some of their DNA matches most closely people from modern-day southern Europe, including Spain and Italy. [Read Full Article]

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Cancer 'tidal wave' on horizon, warns WHO (BBC News)

The globe is facing a "tidal wave" of cancer, and restrictions on alcohol and sugar need to be considered, say World Health Organization scientists.

It predicts the number of cancer cases will reach 24 million a year by 2035, but half could be prevented.

The WHO said there was now a "real need" to focus on cancer prevention by tackling smoking, obesity and drinking.

The World Cancer Research Fund said there was an "alarming" level of naivety about diet's role in cancer.[Read Full Article]