World Topics

Pre-humans' hands suggest tool use 3.2 million years ago

The hand structure of early human ancestors who lived 3.2 million years ago suggests they had the ability to grasp and use tools, even if they hadn’t invented them yet, anthropologists said Thursday. One key attribute that separates humans from other animals is the opposable thumb, giving us a strong ...

U.N. moves toward ocean biodiversity treaty

Jan 25, 2015

U.N. moves toward ocean biodiversity treaty

U.N. member states Saturday agreed to begin negotiations on a treaty to protect marine biodiversity in ocean areas extending beyond territorial waters, a move heralded by environmental organizations. By calling to preserve vast areas threatened by pollution, overfishing and global warming, the eventual U.N. ...

King Tut mask can be fixed: expert

Jan 25, 2015

King Tut mask can be fixed: expert

Epoxy that was used to glue a blue-and-gold braided beard back on the burial mask of Egypt’s ancient King Tutankhamun can be removed and the mask can be properly restored, a German expert summoned to Cairo to examine it said Saturday. Speaking at a ...

New painkiller found in coffee

Jan 25, 2015

New painkiller found in coffee

Brazilian scientists have discovered a protein in coffee that has effects similar to the pain reliever morphine, researchers at the state University of Brasilia (UnB) and the state-owned Brazilian Agricultural Research Corp. Embrapa said Saturday. Embrapa said its genetics and biotech division, teaming up ...

Genes may contribute to criminal behavior

Jan 24, 2015

Genes may contribute to criminal behavior

by Mariette Le Roux

Is a violent criminal born that way, or shaped by childhood experiences and circumstances? Delving into one of the oldest questions in psychology, some scientists have suggested genes may contribute to roughly half of the influence — by affecting complex brain chemistry, for instance. ...

Sierra Leone lifts Ebola quarantine measures

Jan 24, 2015

Sierra Leone lifts Ebola quarantine measures

Sierra Leone lifted quarantine measures imposed at the height of the Ebola epidemic Friday, as the World Health Organization warned the crisis was still “extremely alarming” despite a drop in new cases. The West African nation of 6 million had restricted travel for around ...

NASA spacecraft almost to Pluto, set for photo ops

Jan 24, 2015

NASA spacecraft almost to Pluto, set for photo ops

NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft has traveled 3 billion miles (5 billion km) and is nearing the end of its nine-year journey to Pluto. Sunday, it begins photographing the mysterious, unexplored, icy world once deemed a planet. The first pictures will reveal little more than ...

Just five Ebola cases left in Liberia, government claims

Jan 24, 2015

Just five Ebola cases left in Liberia, government claims

Liberia, once the epicenter of West Africa’s deadly Ebola epidemic, has just five remaining confirmed cases of the disease, a senior health official said on Friday, highlighting the country’s success in halting new infections. The worst Ebola outbreak on record has killed more than ...

Jan 23, 2015

NTSB: Planes should have technologies so they can be found

After incidents in which airliners vanished, U.S. accident investigators recommended Thursday that all passenger planes making long flights over water carry improved technology that will allow them to be found more readily in the event of a crash. Responding in part to the disappearance ...