News, discoveries, and investigations from the worlds of science and health
In a paper published in Cell recently, scientists from the US and Thailand have, for the first time, successfully produced embryonic stem cells from human skin cells. That sounds interesting, but what are stem cells and where do they come from?
Ten years ago the world was gripped by the threat of SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome), which was caused by a coronavirus. The outbreak infected more than 8,000 people and around 800 died.
For decades, biology textbooks have stated this as fact: “Women are born with all the eggs, or oocytes they will ever have.”1 The assumption — which shapes research on infertility and developmental biology, as well as women’s mindsets about their biological clocks — is that as women age, they use up those reserves they are born with. With each menstrual cycle, egg by egg, the stockpile wears down.
The sun emitted a third significant solar flare in under 24 hours, peaking at 9:11 p.m. EDT on May 13, 2013. This flare is classified as an X3.2 flare. This is the strongest X-class flare of 2013 so far, surpassing in strength the two X-class flares that occurred earlier in the 24-hour period.
Actress Angelina Jolie has today written an op-ed in the New York Times explaining that she has opted to have a double mastectomy because she carries the hereditary BRCA1 gene, which she says increases her risk of breast cancer by 87%. Her mother died from breast cancer after a ten-year struggle at the age of 56. We asked an expert in breast cancer and genetics to explain more about the breast cancer genetic mutation and what it means for women.
On May 9, 2013, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in the US recorded CO2 levels in the atmosphere at of 400 parts per million. This signifies a return to the atmospheric conditions similar to those of the Pliocene, which ended about 2.6 million years ago. The Tropical Pliocene Global Pliocene temperatures were on average [...]
The world of parasites is full of incredible tales of manipulation and mind-control as these creatures twist their hosts to their needs. Ever since I first heard of parasitoid wasps, I’ve been drawn to them by a delicious mixture of schadenfreude and intellectual fascination.
The rhino is an iconic animal. With their tough demeanor and unforgettable horn, what’s not to love?
The microbiome — the kilogram of microbes that each of us carries around — has been shown to be involved in everything from obesity and type 2 diabetes to behaviour and sexual preferences. The composition and effects of the microbiome are very active areas of research, producing results which have challenged the way we think about the evolution and interactions of organisms, including ourselves.