News That Matters

Tag: Humans

New 'zombie' gene found in elephants could help humans fight cancer

New 'zombie' gene found in elephants could help humans fight cancer

Health
They may not be the fastest or the smartest or even the scariest, but when it comes to beating cancer, elephants are the superheroes of the living world. It's a phenomenon that has baffled scientists since the 1970s. After all, at their size, they should have a much higher rate of the disease. The larger a living thing, the more the cells, and the more the cells, the more chance one of them turns out to be cancerous -- which is why tall people are more vulnerable to the disease than short people and why Marmaduke is much more likely to get cancer than the Taco Bell Chihuahua. And yet, cancer rates among elephants is less than 5 percent, comparable to the rates in much smaller animals. The lifetime cancer mortality rate for humans is about 20 percent. So what gives? With all those cells...
Climate change driven by humans made heatwave 'twice as likely'

Climate change driven by humans made heatwave 'twice as likely'

Science
Climate change resulting from human activities made the current Europe-wide heatwave more than twice as likely to occur, say scientistsResearchers compared the current high temperatures with historical records from seven weather stations, in different parts of Europe.Their preliminary report found that the "signal of climate change is unambiguous," in this summer's heat.They also say the scale of the heatwave in the Arctic is unprecedented.The scale and breadth of the current heat being experienced across Europe has prompted many questions about the influence of global warming on extreme events. To try and see if there is a connection, researchers looked at data from seven weather stations, in Finland, Denmark, Ireland, the Nethe...
Humans may have left Africa earlier than thought

Humans may have left Africa earlier than thought

Technology
Primitive humans may have ventured out of Africa earlier than previously thought, new evidence suggests.  Stone tools found during an excavation in China are thought to be about 270,000 years older than the previous earliest evidence of a human presence outside Africa.Chinese and British researchers believe the tools were made by another member of the homo evolutionary group, rather than homo sapiens, as much as 2.1 million years ago.Until now, the oldest evidence of human-like creatures outside the continent came from 1.8 million-year-old artefacts and skulls found in Dmanisi in Georgia.The newly discovered artefacts were found on a plateau north of the Qinling mountains and include several chipped rocks, fragments and hammer stones.The research, published in the jour...
Earliest evidence of humans outside Africa

Earliest evidence of humans outside Africa

Science
Scientists say they've found the earliest evidence of a human presence outside Africa.Ancient tools discovered in China suggest primitive humans were in the region as early as 2.12 million years ago.They are about 270,000 years older than the previous earliest evidence, which consists of bones and stone tools from Dmanisi in Georgia.The research, by a Chinese-British team, appears in the journal Nature.The stone artefacts were discovered at Shangchen on a plateau in northern China.They comprise different types of stone tools constructed for a variety of purposes. All show signs of having been used.Most were made of quartzite and quartz rock that probably came from the foothills of the Qinling Mountains, five to 10 km to the south of the dig site.But we do...
Exoskeleton that allows humans to work and play for longer

Exoskeleton that allows humans to work and play for longer

Technology
Would you put on an exoskeleton that meant you could run for an entire day without getting tired?What about one that would allow you to stay on your feet longer at work?The technology to give people superhuman strength is currently being developed but the ethical questions about whether we should be developing it and in what circumstances it should be used, are only just beginning to be asked.An exoskeleton, as the name suggests, is an external frame that can be worn to support the body, either to help a person overcome an injury or to enhance their biological capacities. Powered by a system of electric motors, the frame gives limbs extra movement, strength and endurance.At the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Biomechatron...