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Prehistoric frogs in amber surface after 99 million years

Prehistoric frogs in amber surface after 99 million years

Science
Frogs trapped in amber for 99 million years are giving a glimpse of a lost world.The tiny creatures have been preserved in sticky tree resin since the end of the Age of the Dinosaurs.The four fossils give a window into a world when frogs and toads were evolving in the rainforests.Amber from Myanmar, containing skin, scales, fur, feathers or even whole creatures, is regarded as a treasure trove by palaeontologists.Dr Lida Xing of China University of Geosciences in Beijing said it was a "miracle" find."In China, frogs, lizards and scorpions are called three treasures of amber," he told BBC News. "These amber fossils provide direct evidence that frogs inhabited wet tropical forests before the mass extinction event at the end of the ...
Antarctica loses three trillion tonnes of ice in 25 years

Antarctica loses three trillion tonnes of ice in 25 years

Science
Antarctica is shedding ice at an accelerating rate. Satellites monitoring the state of the White Continent indicate some 200 billion tonnes a year are now being lost to the ocean as a result of melting. This is pushing up global sea levels by 0.6mm annually - a three-fold increase since 2012 when the last such assessment was undertaken. Scientists report the new numbers in the journal Nature.Governments will need to take account of the information and its accelerating trend as they plan future defences to protect low-lying coastal communities. The researchers say the losses are occurring predominantly in the West of the continent, where warm waters are getting under and melting the fronts of glaciers that terminate in the ocean. ...
CDC: E-cigs most common youth tobacco product for 4 straight years

CDC: E-cigs most common youth tobacco product for 4 straight years

Health
June 7 (UPI) -- E-cigarettes were the most common way for U.S. young people to use tobacco for the fourth year in a row in 2017, a new survey from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows. "For the fourth straight year, the National Youth Tobacco Survey (NYTS) found e-cigarettes remain the most commonly used tobacco product among youth," American Lung Association National President and CEO Harold Wimmer said in a statement released Thursday in response to the new survey. The CDC based its data on seven years of voluntary pencil-and-paper surveys self-administered by U.S. middle and high school students. The 2017 survey had a sample size of 17,872 and a response rate of 68.1 percent. Though e-cigarette use, also known as vaping, was also the most common way for youth to consum...
Rat remains reveal 2,000 years of human impact on Pacific island ecosystems

Rat remains reveal 2,000 years of human impact on Pacific island ecosystems

Science
June 5 (UPI) -- New analysis of ancient rat remains have helped scientists trace the impacts of humans on Pacific island ecosystems as far back as 2,000 years ago. Many scientists argue the Earth has entered a new geological epoch called the Anthropocene, an era defined by humans' growing impact on the planet's ecosystems. While some believe the era began between 50 and 300 years ago, a growing body of research suggests humans began altering the planet's geology, biodiversity and climate several thousands of years ago. Several studies, for example, have shown early human populations in South America left a definite ecological signature on the parts of the Amazon. But measuring the ecological impacts of early humans isn't easy. As part of the latest study, scientists looked to rat remains...
Blood test detects cancer years before symptoms

Blood test detects cancer years before symptoms

Technology
Ten types of cancer could be detected years before a person falls ill thanks to a new blood test, according to scientists. The test is being hailed as the "holy grail of cancer research" after a trial of about 1,600 people found it could identify DNA markers with up to 90% accuracy.It detected genetic traces of multiple cancers, including breast, pancreatic and ovarian, according to the study led by Cleveland Clinic in Ohio, US.The findings will be presented at the annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ACSO) in Chicago this weekend.Simon Stevens, NHS England chief executive, said the test could "dramatically transform" cancer care.Dr Eric Klein, lead author of the study, told The Daily Telegraph: "This is potentially the holy grail of cancer research,...