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Plague first came to Europe during the Stone Age

Plague first came to Europe during the Stone Age

Science
Nov. 22 (UPI) -- The earliest evidence of the plague-causing bacterium Yersinia pestis suggests the disease first arrived in Europe during the Stone Age, several millennia before the first documented epidemics.According to analysis by researchers at the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History, the bacteria was carried to Central Europe by wave migrations of steppe nomads arriving between 4,800 to 3,700 years ago.Scientists detailed their discovery this week in the journal Current Biology.Researchers surveyed more than 500 tooth and bone samples collected from Germany, Russia, Hungary, Croatia, Lithuania, Estonia and Latvia. Their analysis yielded six instances of the Yersinia pestis genome.These bacteria strains that caused these early infections were closely related."This su...
Ashes: England's James Vince makes 83 before Australia rally in first Test

Ashes: England's James Vince makes 83 before Australia rally in first Test

Sports
First Ashes Test, Gabba, BrisbaneEngland 196-4: Vince 83, Stoneman 53Australia: Yet to batScorecardEngland's James Vince made 83 before Australia fought back on day one of the first Ashes Test in Brisbane.Vince added 125 for the second wicket with Mark Stoneman either side of a 95-minute delay for rain at the Gabba.But Vince was run out by Nathan Lyon's superb direct hit, in between Pat Cummins bowling Stoneman for 53 and trapping captain Joe Root lbw for 15.England, the Ashes holders, closed on 196-4, with Dawid Malan 28 not out and Moeen Ali unbeaten on 13.Live Ashes reaction - text & Test Match Special commentaryThe tourists battled hard after winning the toss and losing Alastair Cook in the third over, perhaps determined not to be blown away in the manner that saw them defeated 5-0...
First gene-editing in human body attempt

First gene-editing in human body attempt

Health
Gene-editing has been attempted on cells inside a patient, in a world first by doctors in California.Brian Madeux, 44 from Arizona, was given the experimental treatment to try to correct a defect in his DNA that causes Hunter's syndrome. Mr Madeux says he was prepared to take part in the trial as he is "in pain every second of the day".It is too soon to know whether or not the gene-editing has worked in Mr Madeux's case. Hunter's syndrome is rare. Patients are born without the genetic instructions for an enzyme that breaks down long sugary molecules called mucopolysaccharides.Instead, they build up in the body and damage the brain and other organs. Severe cases are often fatal. "I actually thought I wouldn't live past my early 20s," said Mr Madeux.Patients need regular enzyme replacement t...
First CO2 rise in four years puts pressure on Paris targets

First CO2 rise in four years puts pressure on Paris targets

Science
Global emissions of CO2 in 2017 are projected to rise for the first time in four years, dashing hopes that a peak might soon be reached. The main cause of the expected growth has been greater use of coal in China as its economy expanded. Researchers are uncertain if the rise in emissions is a one-off or the start of a new period of CO2 build-up.Scientists say that a global peak in CO2 before 2020 is needed to limit dangerous global warming this century.The Global Carbon Project has been analysing and reporting on the scale of emissions of CO2 since 2006. Carbon output has grown by about 3% per year in that period, but growth essentially declined or remained flat between 2014 and 2016.The latest figures indicate that in 2017, emissions of CO2 from all human activities grew by about 2% globa...
Astronomers may have found solar system's first observed interstellar object

Astronomers may have found solar system's first observed interstellar object

Science
Oct. 28 (UPI) -- Astronomers are tracking what they believe may be the first observed interstellar asteroid or comet to travel through Earth's solar system, NASA said.The space agency said the object is less than a quarter mile in diameter and is traveling "remarkably fast." They're not sure what exactly it is.Paul Chodas, manager of NASA's Center for Near-Earth Object Studies, said the agency has been "waiting for this day for decades.""It's long been theorized that such objects exist -- asteroids or comets moving around between the stars and occasionally passing through our solar system -- but this is the first such detection. So far, everything indicates this is likely an interstellar object, but more data would help to confirm it," he added.The University of Hawaii's Pan-STARRS 1 teles...