Arsal Tharwani

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Who owns the moon?

As states are not allowed to claim sovereign rights in outer space, land ownership on the moon and planets will in all likelihood be outlawed<p>Whether you're into mining, energy or tourism, there are lots of reasons to explore space. Some "pioneers" even believe humanity's survival depends on …

Too big to hop? Extinct giant kangaroos swaggered

More than 30,000 years ago, giant kangaroos walked the Earth. Three times the size of today's largest species, these colossal beasts were over 10 feet tall and weighed 240 kg — or 529 lbs. Because of their size, it was hard to tell if they would have moved around like kangaroos do today: by hopping …

Lab-made blood cells hunt cancer, leading to remissions

19 of 30 patients treated with genetically-modified T cells remain in remission from otherwise-fatal leukemia<p>The blood cells of cancer patients, reprogrammed by doctors to attack their leukemia and re-infused back into the patients’ veins, led to complete remissions in 27 of 30 people. That’s …

Embryonic Stem Cells Restore Vision In Preliminary Human Test

Scientists are reporting the first strong evidence that human embryonic stem cells may be helping patients.<p>The cells appear to have improved the vision in more than half of the 18 patients who had become legally blind because of two progressive, currently incurable eye diseases.<p>The researchers …

Sugary soft drinks may be linked to accelerated DNA ageing

Research finds that people who reported drinking 350ml of fizzy drink per day had DNA changes typical of cells 4.6 years older<p>Consumption of sugary soda drinks such as cola and lemonade may be linked to accelerated DNA ageing, say researchers who have studied the impact of the drinks in more than …

Video: Paralyzed Rats Walk Again, Now Farther Than Ever

Scientists found that fluctuating the electrical signal to the rodents' paralyzed legs can make them step higher and walk for longer.<p>Like a severed telephone line (from back in the days when phones had wires), a spinal cord injury can cut off communication between the brain and the rest of the body …

Engineering

Predicting A Future Free Of Dollar Bills

<b>Editor’s note:</b> <i>Simon Black is CEO at London-based</i> <i>Sage Pay.</i><p>Picture the scene. It’s 2020. You’re at the checkout in a convenience store with a carton of milk. But you’ve got no cash and you’ve left your cards at home. No problem. You scan your right index finger; the green light flashes. Purchase …

A Stinky Compound May Protect Against Cell Damage, Study Finds

<b>Correction appended, July 14.</b><p>Scientists from the University of Exeter say that a compound found in the smell of rotten eggs and human flatulence …

Your Body Can Kill Cancer. It Just Needs Better Instructions.

Researchers have been programming peoples' immune systems to recognize and destory cancer.<p>Part of what makes cancers so insidious is that they’re not invaders: They’re our own cells turned against us. That means the body usually doesn’t see them as a threat. But over the last few years, teams at …

Cancer

How It Works: A System That Reverses Paralysis

The tech behind a device that might be able to reawaken connections between the brain and the body<p>On December 5, 2011, Andrew Meas wiggled his toes for the first time since a motorcycle accident four years earlier paralyzed him from the chest down. Within a week, he was beginning to stand. Meas’s …

Spinal Cords

Brain's Consciousness 'Sleep Switch' Found By Accident?

Scientists believe they may have accidentally found the key in the human brain that, when turned or tweaked the right way, seems to switch our consciousness on and off.<p>A team led by Mohamad Koubeissi at the George Washington University was working with a patient with epilepsy, placing electrodes …

Scientists are turning against Europe's brain-mapping intiative

Last year, the European commission launched a 10-year, $1.6 billion project to create a supercomputer simulation of the human brain, dubbed the Human Brain Project. Now, nearly 200 prominent scientists are threatening to boycott the project, saying it has gone badly off track and may be doing real …

Practice Not As Important As Believed For Success

But don't use this as an excuse when you mess up at your piano recital.<p>You may have heard of the "10,000 hour rule," popularized in Malcolm Gladwell's book <i>Outliers</i>, which suggests that many people who have reached the top of their fields got there, in large part, due to practicing for 10,000 hours. …

Remote-controlled chip could be the future of contraceptives

A tiny chip implanted under a woman's skin can deliver hormonal birth control for up to 16 years and is entering pre-clinical trials next year.<p>If you could have safe, effective, long-term birth control that you didn't have to think about, would you jump at the chance? That's what's being proposed …

Remote Controls

Multiple sclerosis discovery may explain gender gap

<b>A key difference in the brains of male and female MS patients may explain why more women than men get the disease, a study suggests.</b><p>Scientists at Washington University School of Medicine in the US found higher levels of protein S1PR2 in tests on the brains of female mice and dead women with MS than …

Medical Research

How Einstein’s Brain Was Probably Different Than Yours, And Why He Was So Creative

When it came to the connection between the left and right brain, Einstein was one remarkable specimen.<p>In 1905, at the astoundingly young age of 26, Albert Einstein came up with the quantum theory of light, proved the existence of atoms, and created the theory of special relativity. If you’re …

Study turns skin tissue from infertile men into early-stage sperm cells

Researchers at Stanford convert skin cells into stem cells, which became human sperm cells when transplanted into mice's testes<p>Scientists have turned skin tissue from infertile men into early-stage sperm cells in a groundbreaking study that raises hopes for new therapies for the condition.<p>The …

The Brain Waves For Knowing What You Know

A certain type of brain activity shows up in mice who are about to make the right choice in a little maze they're trained in.<p>Researchers found the brain activity that happens when mice that are learning make the right choice—and know it.<p>A new study links this specific type of brain activity with …

Neuroscience

Measles vaccines: Late is better than never

Last week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that the first quarter of 2014 has been the worst for measles outbreaks since 1996. According to the report, the virus has infected at least 129 people in 13 states. Most weren’t vaccinated or had no record or memory of being …

Mosquitoes bred with suicide genes to combat disease

With the World Cup just six weeks away, Brazilian authorities have approved the widespread, commercial release of a strain of mosquito that has been genetically reprogrammed to wipe out its own species. These <i>Aedes aegypti</i> mosquitoes are a major carrier of dengue fever, and bed nets are useless …

Scientists report another embryonic cloning success

Scientists have taken skin cells from a woman suffering from type 1<p>diabetes, reprogrammed them into embryonic stem cells, and then converted those cells into insulin-producing cells in mice, according to a new study.<p>The announcement, which comes soon after another stem cell success involving …

Biotechnology

White matter might matter much more than we thought

Changes in the brain's myelin distribution might be an unrecognised form of neuronal plasticity.<p>Look up ‘myelin’ in any neuroscience textbook and you’ll find something along these lines: It is a fatty substance that forms a sheath around axons, and gives the fibre bundles their white appearance …

Nanorobots that hide in your blood like viruses could someday fight cancer

When it comes to fighting disease, your body’s defense system doesn’t like enlisting outside help. Overcoming this “locals only” attitude has been a huge handicap for scientists trying to make medical nanorobots, but now a team from Harvard thinks they’ve developed a disguise that will help the …

Immune System

Human skin grown in lab 'can replace animal testing'

<b>Skin grown in the laboratory can replace animals in drug and cosmetics testing, UK scientists say.</b><p>A team led by King's College London has grown a layer of human skin from stem cells - the master cells of the body.<p>Stem cells have been turned into skin before, but the researchers say this is more …

Skin Care

FYI: Can Humans Hibernate?

Involuntarily? Yes. On purpose? Maybe. In February, for instance, Swedish snowmobilers found a man who had been trapped under snow in his car for two months with barely any food. After he was rescued, local doctors suggested that he had survived by adjusting his core body temperature downward to …

High-performance, low-cost ultracapacitors built with graphene and carbon nanotubes

By combining the powers of two single-atom-thick carbon structures, researchers at the George Washington University's Micro-propulsion and …

'Don’t worry, I’m not contagious' – and other microbiological delusions

It’s that strange time of year when, despite springtime breaking out all over town – tulips, apple blossom, sunshine, the works – everyone in the known universe appears to be ill.<p>I myself have been bouncing back and forth between gastroenteritis and colds for the past month. Despite being a …