World Topics

Feb 14, 2015

Aliens: good or bad? Movies offer little guidance

Astronomers are debating whether it would be a good idea to send signals into the universe, looking for extraterrestrial life. Since we don’t know who might respond, some argue that we would be asking for cosmic trouble. Such is the dilemma often wrestled with ...

First tree-climbing, burrowing mammals found

Feb 13, 2015

First tree-climbing, burrowing mammals found

Scientists on Thursday described Chinese fossils of two shrew-size creatures that were the oldest-known tree-climbing and burrowing mammals, showing that early mammals in the Jurassic Period had already claimed a variety of ecological niches. Agilodocodon scansorius, an omnivore that lived about 165 million years ...

Feb 12, 2015

Scientists unravel mystery of how snake venom causes seizures

Scientists have unraveled the mystery of how venom from the Costa Rican coral snake causes seizures in its victims, a finding that could boost research into schizophrenia, epilepsy and chronic pain, researchers said Monday. The recipe involves a pair of proteins called micrurotoxins (MmTX) ...

Feb 12, 2015

Widest gene study shows complex scale of obesity

The largest-ever DNA probe into obesity has thrown up scores of clues for the inherited factors behind a worsening health problem, researchers said on Wednesday. Investigators said they netted more than 100 previously-undiscovered gene variants that play a part in obesity’s complex processes. Some ...

Stents show promise for stroke patients

Feb 12, 2015

Stents show promise for stroke patients

Stroke experts are reporting a major advance: Stents similar to the ones used to open clogged heart arteries also can be used to clear blood clots in the brain, greatly lowering the risk that a patient will end up disabled. Patients treated with these ...

Europe launches prototype space plane

Feb 12, 2015

Europe launches prototype space plane

Europe launched a prototype space plane Wednesday in a strategy to join an elite club able to launch a spacecraft and return it safely to Earth. A Vega rocket lifted off from the European Space Agency’s base in Kourou, French Guiana, bearing the novel ...