World Topics

Jul 10, 2014

Europe tightens curbs on organ trafficking

The Council of Europe adopted a new international convention on Wednesday making organ trafficking a criminal offense, giving the police greater scope to hunt mafia groups involved in cross-border trade. The new convention calls on governments to make it illegal for donors to be ...

Old vials of smallpox found in U.S. storage room

Jul 9, 2014

Old vials of smallpox found in U.S. storage room

U.S. government workers cleaning out an old storage room at a research center near Washington made a startling discovery last week — decades-old vials of smallpox packed away and forgotten in a cardboard box. The six glass vials of freeze-dried virus were intact and ...

Study paves way for Alzheimer's early detection

Jul 8, 2014

Study paves way for Alzheimer's early detection

British scientists have identified a set of 10 proteins in the blood that can predict the onset of Alzheimer’s and call this an important step toward developing a test for the incurable brain-wasting disease. Such a test could initially be used to select patients ...

Jul 8, 2014

U.S. regulators fast-track novel leukemia therapy

U.S. regulators on Monday put an experimental immunotherapy agent on the fast track to market approval, after 89 percent of leukemia patients in early trials saw their cancers disappear. The personalized immunotherapy known as CTL019 was developed by the University of Pennsylvania and was ...

U.S. fossil find shows biggest-known flying seabird

Jul 8, 2014

U.S. fossil find shows biggest-known flying seabird

Fossilized bird bones uncovered in South Carolina represent the largest flying bird in history, with a wingspan of 6.4 meters (21 feet), according to a study out Monday. The Pelagornis sandersi’s wings were twice as long as the biggest modern-day seabird, the royal albatross, ...

The doctor will see you now ... via webcam

Jul 5, 2014

The doctor will see you now ... via webcam

Mark Matulaitis holds out his arms so the Parkinson’s specialist can check his tremors. But this is no doctor’s office: Matulaitis sits in his rural home as a neurologist a few hundred kilometers away examines him via the camera in his laptop. Welcome to ...

Soccer-playing robots eye their own world cup

Jul 5, 2014

Soccer-playing robots eye their own world cup

by Rob Lever

When robots play soccer, it looks like a game played by 5-year-olds: they swarm around the ball, kick haphazardly and fall down a lot. However, robot teams have made strides in recent years, and some researchers believe the humanoids could challenge the world’s best ...

Chimpanzee sign language translated

Jul 5, 2014

Chimpanzee sign language translated

Chimpanzees use their hands to say “follow me,” “stop that” or “take this,” according to new research seeking to translate the sophisticated messages flowing back and forth. Previous research had revealed that our nearest genetic relatives use gestures to communicate, prompting questions over whether ...

Study shows how fracking causes some earthquakes

Jul 4, 2014

Study shows how fracking causes some earthquakes

A new study explains how four wells forcing massive amounts of drilling wastewater into the ground are probably shaking up Oklahoma. Those wells seem to have triggered more than 100 small and medium earthquakes in the past five years, according to a study published ...