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For The First Time, Scientists Create Completely Renewable Propane

A team of British and Finnish scientists have figured out how to make small amounts of propane using Escherichia coli (E. coli), the …

WHO Endorses Blood Transfusions to Combat Ebola

Is it really the least bad option they have?<p>In the fight against the Ebola epidemic in West Africa, the World Health Organization has declared that treating patients with the blood of Ebola survivors should be a top priority.<p>The latest count suggests that more than 3,700 people across five West …

Hawking: God particle could destroy universe

“This could mean that the universe could undergo catastrophic vacuum decay, with a bubble of the true vacuum expanding at the speed of light. This …

Body upgrades may be nearing reality, but only for the rich

Homo sapiens were not always so special. In the ancient past, other human forms lived beside us. The Neanderthals in Eurasia. Small, hobbit-like humans in Indonesia. The mysterious Denisovans in the Ural mountains.<p>But our time alone may be nearing its end. Through the power of technology, humans …

Genome reveals why coffee is so awesome

Scientists have sequenced the genome of the coffee plant and uncovered some secrets about the evolution of our favorite chemical: caffeine.<p>The …

Chemists Expand Nature's Genetic Alphabet

For the first time, scientists have expanded life's genetic alphabet, by inserting two unnatural, man-made "letters" into a bacterium's DNA, and by showing that the cell's machinery can copy them.<p>The advance means that scientists have a new tool for exploring how life encodes information, which …

The amateur geneticist who surprised science

Kim Goodsell is unlucky enough to have two very rare diseases. Her doctors blamed coincidence, but was it? She taught herself genetics to find out, and as she tells Ed Yong, no-one expected what she would discover.<p>Kim Goodsell was running along a mountain trail when her left ankle began turning …

Why reprogramming tiny life could reap rich rewards

Could we rebuild bacteria to create new kinds of food – or even the fuel we need for our cars? One scientist is working to make it reality – by tweaking bacterial DNA to fast-track evolution.<p>Humans have been tweaking nature’s genetic codes for thousands of years – just take the domestic dog, whose …

Cryopreservation: ‘I freeze people to cheat death’

Max More will have his brain frozen after he dies, and he’s not alone. Rose Eveleth asks him why he signed up – and how the strange procedure of cryopreserving bodies actually works.<p>In 1972 Max More saw a children’s science fiction television show called Time Slip that featured characters being …

Artificial blood that’s better than the real thing

Each week on the BBC World Service programme The Forum, a global thinker from the worlds of philosophy, science, psychology or the arts is given a minute to put forward a radical, inspiring or controversial idea ��� no matter how improbable – that they believe would change the world.<p>This week, …

Canadian Literature

Why your toilet needs reinvention

Will the toilet as we know it ever be replaced? To find out, Lesley Evans Ogden explores the intriguing history and psychology of the modern loo.<p>If the Scandinavian proverb, “a loved child has many names,” holds true for objects, the toilet holds a special place in our affections. Nicknames for the …

Dining Rooms

"Da Gou", China's Own Big Dog Robot

Two years ago, Boston Dynamic's four legged Big Dog robot was recruited as the U.S. Army's Legged Squad Support System (LS3) tech demonstrator. But in the meantime, China has not been standing still in the field of bionic robots. At a late August expo on unmanned technologies, NORINCO provided the …

Robotics