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Human-Sheep Hybrids Could Grow Human Organs for Transplant and Even Cure Diabetes

Scientists have created human-sheep hybrids in a step towards human organ production in animals. The approach could one day supply organs for transplantation in humans, and even offer a cure for type 1 diabetes.


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Our discovery of how humans experience the smell of death may one day help save lives

Genetic research could help us produce new ways of diagnosing and treating depression and suicidal ideation – including a 'death smell test'.


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Google Lunar XPrize Is a Bust -- But This Company Could Still Go to the Moon

Could Jeff Bezos and Blue Origin succeed where so many others have just failed?


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In Kenya, anti-poaching dogs are wildlife's best friends

Five-month-old bloodhound Shakaria gambols through the long savannah grasses of Kenya's Maasai Mara reserve, her playful mood swiftly turning to keen determination as she is ordered to track a human scent. Shakaria is top of her class of five puppies being trained by American experts to join a tracker dog unit, which has become pivotal in the fight against poaching in the Mara Triangle, part of the vast Maasai Mara ecosystem in southern Kenya that merges into Tanzania's Serengeti. It is here that over one million wildebeest, and tens of thousands of other animals cross from Tanzania into Kenya on their annual migration, attracting hordes of tourists, but also poachers seeking an easy target.


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Singapore to impose carbon tax from 2019

Singapore said Monday it would impose a carbon tax from next year to cut its greenhouse gas emissions and make companies more competitive as global agreements on climate change take effect. Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat said the tax would be levied on all facilities producing 25,000 tonnes or more of greenhouse gas emissions a year. The tax, to be applied to all sectors, will be Sg$5.0 ($3.8) per tonne of greenhouse gas emissions from 2019 to 2023, after which the levy will be reviewed and possibly raised to between Sg$10 and Sg$15 per tonne by 2030.


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Indonesia's Sinabung volcano unleashes towering ash column

JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — Rumbling Mount Sinabung on the Indonesian island of Sumatra shot billowing columns of ash more than 5,000 meters (16,400 feet) into the atmosphere and hot clouds down its slopes on Monday.


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Israeli scientists complete mock Mars mission in Negev desert

A team of six Israeli researchers on Sunday ended a four-day Mars habitat experiment in Israel's Negev desert where they simulated living conditions on the Red Planet, Israel's Science and Technology Ministry said. The participants were investigating various fields relevant to a future Mars mission, including satellite communications, the psychological affects of isolation, radiation measurements and searching for life signs in soil. Participant Guy Ron, a nuclear physics professor from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, said the project was not only intended to look for new approaches in designing a future mission to the Red Planet but to increase public interest.


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Autism: Scientists take 'first steps' towards biological test

Differences were found in blood proteins between children with and without autism, a study says.


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Israeli scientists complete mock Mars mission in Negev desert

Yahoo Science News feed latest items - Sun, 02/18/2018 - 22:29

A team of six Israeli researchers on Sunday ended a four-day Mars habitat experiment in Israel's Negev desert where they simulated living conditions on the Red Planet, Israel's Science and Technology Ministry said. The participants were investigating various fields relevant to a future Mars mission, including satellite communications, the psychological affects of isolation, radiation measurements and searching for life signs in soil. Participant Guy Ron, a nuclear physics professor from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, said the project was not only intended to look for new approaches in designing a future mission to the Red Planet but to increase public interest.


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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Warns Iran to 'Not Test Israel’s Resolve'

Yahoo Science News feed latest items - Sun, 02/18/2018 - 18:52

Netanyahu said the nuclear deal with Iran has emboldened Tehran


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Three Billboards Wins Big at the BAFTA Awards

Yahoo Science News feed latest items - Sun, 02/18/2018 - 18:32

The film's win coincided with ceremony's call for female empowerment


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Autism blood discovery promises earlier tests and treatment

Yahoo Science News feed latest items - Sun, 02/18/2018 - 18:05

Scientists have discovered evidence of autism in the blood of affected children in a breakthrough that promises earlier testing and treatment for the condition. A team at Warwick University found that those suffering from the developmental disorder were more likely to have damaged blood proteins. Affecting around one in every 100 people in the UK, autism spectrum disorder (ASD) can be difficult to diagnose, particularly in the early stages of development, because the symptoms vary widely depending on the patient. The researchers recruited 38 children who were diagnosed with ASD along with a control group of 31 other children between the ages of five and 12. Blood and urine samples were taken from the children for analysis, with chemical differences observed between the two groups. The next research steps will be to repeat the study with further groups of children to confirm the good diagnostic performance and to assess if the test can identify ASD at very early stages. Our discovery could lead to earlier diagnosis and interventionDr Naila Rabbani, University of Warwick = ASDs mainly affect a person's social interaction and communication, with symptoms that can include speech disturbances, repetitive and compulsive behaviour, hyperactivity, anxiety, and difficulty adapting to new environments. Genetic causes are thought to be responsible for around a third of cases of ASD, while the rest are believed to be caused by a combination of environmental factors, mutations, and rare genetic variants. Dr Naila Rabbani, who led the research, said: “Our discovery could lead to earlier diagnosis and intervention. "With further testing we may reveal specific plasma and urinary profiles or fingerprints of compounds with damaging modifications. "This may help us improve the diagnosis of ASD and point the way to new causes of ASD." Other scientists have cautioned that because the average age of the children in the study was seven, the test may not work on much younger children as they may not share the same metabolic patern. The research has been published in the journal Molecular Autism.


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Maia and Alex Shibutani Are Everyone's Favorite Skating Siblings. Here's How They Got to the Olympics

Yahoo Science News feed latest items - Sun, 02/18/2018 - 17:44

They’re brother and sister, and spend almost every hour of every day with each other — training, traveling or competing. And yes, they do get along


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Why Do We Behave the Way We Do? New Research Reveals Biology Guiding Different Life Stages

Yahoo Science News feed latest items - Sun, 02/18/2018 - 14:06

The simple worm sometimes behaves differently from others with the exact same genes—an evolutionary advantage that confounds basic genetics, according to a new study. Researchers studying why the tiny creatures behave a certain way at different life stages found that worms with identical genes and living in the same environment will nonetheless engage in atypical behavior. Using a newly developed system, scientists were able to record the worms’ behavior for their entire life cycle, which lasts about 50 hours.


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The First Brit: Secrets of the 10,000 Year Old Man, review – a smartly told, fact-filled and inventive documentary

Yahoo Science News feed latest items - Sun, 02/18/2018 - 14:00

The First Brit: Secrets of the 10,000 Year Old Man (Channel 4) started with a Union Jack flag billowing against a cloudy sky and Speaker Bercow’s idiosyncratic "Order! Order!". “There’s been a lot of talk lately about Britain,” boomed narrator Jim Carter (Downton Abbey’s Mr Carson). “About who belongs and who doesn’t.” “Now science is about to reveal the truth about where we come from,” he continued. “And. Who. We. Really. Are.” It was a sensationalist beginning. The edit flashed forward to what would be the climactic scene: the exposing of Cheddar Man’s face. Dun, dun, dun! Up went the curtain to reveal the first Brit who, as you’ll know if you’ve read the news recently, was not the light-skinned Viking once assumed. Thankfully, the hyperbole ended there. The story was told by the impressive group of ancient DNA experts at the Natural History Museum, genetics professors at UCL and archaeologists who worked together to analyse the entire DNA of Britain’s oldest skeleton for the first time. Beforehand, the facts about Cheddar Man were sparse. His skeleton was unearthed in Gough’s Cave, Cheddar Gorge, Somerset in 1903. He was 5 ft 5, 10 stone, and died in his early twenties about 10,000 years ago. Using the latest sequencing technology, the scientists conducting the full DNA analysis promised to tell us what he looked like, where his ancestors were from, and how he related to us today. The documentary artfully brought the story of Cheddar Man to life. Animated maps of Mesolithic Europe showed bands of hunter gatherers hopping across Doggerland to set up home in Britain. A flint turned into a knife to slice through raw flesh and harpoons were whittled from antlers. Adrie (left) and Alfons Kennis sit beside their full facial reconstruction model of a head based on the skull of Britain's oldest complete skeleton We learned that Stone Age people kept dogs and made shelters out of wood and animals skins, which could be quickly moved if needed. You may have known all this already, but there was a twist in the tale. Around 5,000 years before Cheddar Man, temporary visitors appeared in Britain during an ice age thaw. It appeared, from cut and chew marks on bones, that they were cannibals. Dr Silvia Bello examined the finger and toe bones of a toddler and two teenagers, which were probably crushed “between the teeth to suck the grease.” It was enough to put anyone off their supper, especially if chicken wings were on the menu. Intriguingly, the cannibalism wasn’t driven by hunger. Instead, the team thought that the act of drinking out of your dead nan’s skull, for example, was a sign of respect. So was Cheddar Man descended from cannibals? In which – case dun, dun, dun – were we? Oo-er. Britain's oldest complete skeleton  But back to the main question. What did he look like? Charismatic Dutch identical twins and prehistoric model-makers Alfons and Adrie Kennis were tasked with the reconstruction. Details started to flood in as DNA was crunched in London. Eyes? Blue. Hair? Dark and curly. The real surprise was skin colour. It turned out he had much darker skin than expected, suggesting that paler skin in Britain and Europe may be a far more recent phenomena than previously thought. We learnt that Cheddar’s ancestors came from the Middle East, which had been suspected but never proven – and that we share his genetic legacy. Even if you’d seen photos already, the reveal was quite something. The model of Cheddar Man looked like a real man, with intelligence, humour and sensibility. And, no, there wasn’t a direct link with the cannibals. But, as one of the scientists said, it may be we have to rethink some of our notions of what it means to be British.


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Researchers discover hidden details lurking beneath a Picasso masterpiece

Yahoo Science News feed latest items - Sun, 02/18/2018 - 13:56

There are many layers to great art — sometimes literally.  We are reminded of this fact by researchers at the Art Institute of Chicago's Center for Scientific Studies in the Arts, who have revealed hidden details lurking beneath the Pablo Picasso masterpiece "La miséreuse accroupie."   SEE ALSO: This app tells you which museum art you look like and it's way too real While the presence of another artwork — specifically, a painting of the Catalan countryside by a different artist — below Picasso's "Crouching Beggar" has been known about since the 1990s, Science reports that we now are able to see previously hidden elements of Picasso's work.  Using a technique known as macro x-ray fluorescence imaging, scientists determined that Picasso painted a woman's hand holding a piece of bread before later covering it up with a cloak.  Picasso's "Crouching Woman."Image: US Public DomainIn other words, the canvas on which "Crouching Beggar" rests doesn't just contain the two paintings, but it also has various iterations of Picasso's work. This shows that, for whatever reason, the artist had a change of heart and did away with a specific element of his own painting. “Picasso had no qualms about changing things during the painting process,” explained Marc Walton, a research professor at Northwestern’s McCormick School of Engineering, in a press release.  “Our international team — consisting of scientists, a curator and a conservator — has begun to tease apart the complexity of ‘La Miséreuse accroupie,’ uncovering subtle changes made by Picasso as he worked toward his final vision.” Pretty cool.  That discovery helps art historians better understand the working style of one of the world's most respected artists.  “We now are able to develop a chronology within the painting structure to tell a story about the artist’s developing style and possible influences,” Sandra Webster-Cook, the Art Gallery of Ontario's senior conservator of paintings, observed in the same press release.  That the story is being told roughly 45 years after the artist's death reminds us that nothing is static about great art, even when it comes to something as seemingly frozen in time as a painting.  WATCH: Meet the artist who programmed a robot to create his artwork for him


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What's Next for Figure Skating at the 2018 Winter Olympics

Yahoo Science News feed latest items - Sun, 02/18/2018 - 13:34

Team USA still has a chance to medal in these two events


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2 bears burned in California wildfire spotted in the wild

Yahoo Science News feed latest items - Sun, 02/18/2018 - 13:19

GOLETA, Calif. (AP) — Officials tracking two bears that were badly burned in the largest wildfire in California history say the animals are settling back into their home in the wild after receiving unusual treatment for their injured paws.


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Israeli scientists complete mock Mars mission in Negev desert

Yahoo Science News feed latest items - Sun, 02/18/2018 - 12:40

A team of six Israeli researchers on Sunday ended a four-day Mars habitat experiment in Israel's Negev desert where they simulated living conditions on the Red Planet, Israel's Science and Technology Ministry said.     The experiment was held near the isolated Israeli township of Mitzpe Ramon, whose surroundings resemble the Martian environment in its geology, aridity, appearance and desolation, the ministry said. The participants were investigating various fields relevant to a future Mars mission, including satellite communications, the psychological affects of isolation, radiation measurements and searching for life signs in soil. Participant Guy Ron, a nuclear physics professor from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, said the project was not only intended to look for new approaches in designing a future mission to the Red Planet but to increase public interest.


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