New window on solar energy

Engineers at Massachusetts Institute of Technology have devised a better way to get energy from the sun.


Thumbs-up to Einstein

Extreme star system supports general theory of relativity.


Bird tree of life redrawn

The biggest ever study of bird genes has redrawn their tree of life - and thrown up a whole lot of surprises.


Lizards pull a wheelie

Lizards get up on two legs in the same way that bikers do a wheelie. And they do it deliberately, say Australian scientists


Behind the mask

Scientists have been probing the living brain to find out what is happening when we are aware of some sounds and mask out others - "the cocktail party effect".


Mountain ranges rise rapidly

The Andes Mountains went through a spurt in growth that doubled their height in a far shorter time than was thought possible, according to new research.


Cool bacteria

Scientists have discovered a new species of bacteria that has been buried in a Greenland glacier for 120,000 years. It is still alive.


Giant flying reptiles liked to walk

The largest flying flesh-eaters ever seen on Earth walked on their hind legs and grabbed their prey by bending down and snatching it up in their enormous bills.


First dinosaur tracks ever seen in Arabia

Scientists have found the first dinosaur tracks on the Arabian Peninsula. They belong to a large ornithopod dinosaur, and there are also signs of sauropods walking together along a Mesozoic mudflat.


Scientists solve bird beak mystery

A team of mathematicians and engineers have shown how shorebirds use their long, thin beaks to defy gravity and get food into their mouths.


The distant universe and the English spy

Astronomers on a mountain-top in Chile, where scenes for the next James Bond movie are being filmed, have been spying on the distant universe.


New light on earliest Americans

The remains of a dozen huts in a peat bog 500 miles south of Santiago have provided new evidence of the earliest human settlement in the Americas.


Biggest explosion ever seen

Early on Wednesday morning NASA’s Swift satellite detected an explosion from deep space that was so powerful its afterglow could be seen by the naked eye. But the explosion happened halfway across the visible universe.


Coral reefs in acid oceans

Carbon emissions from human activities are not just heating up the world. They are changing the ocean’s chemistry. This could soon be fatal to coral reefs.


Modern humans evolving fast

New research shows that humans have been evolving rapidly for the past 40,000 years. This challenges the widespread belief that human evolution has slowed to a crawl or even stopped.


Big bang for flowers

The Tree of Life for flowering plants has been drawn using the largest ever set of data.


Foreman in the brain

Scientists have found a master molecule in the brain that runs the show when we learn new information and skills.


Fresh water from the nucleus

Fresh, clean drinking water wherever it is needed would save lives, promote good health and even prevent war. Nuclear power may be the answer.


Giant supernova mystery

SN 2006gy was the brightest supernova astronomers had ever seen. Scientists at the University of California, Santa Cruz think they know what happened.


Don't forget the fats

Fish, omega-3 oils, fruit and vegetables may lower your risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. But omega-6 oils could increase it.


Cinnamon genes

The cat genome has been sequenced for the first time, using samples from an Abyssinian cat called Cinnamon.


Adult stem cells are different

Embryonic and adult stem cells control their "stemness" in very different ways.


Sabre cat bit like a pussy cat

Fearsome Ice-Age predator had wimpy bite, say Australian scientists.


Magnetic attraction

Magnets are used by many people to relieve pain. But do they?


Was it warm or was it cold?

Scientists shed new light on how stars were born in the early universe, 13 billion years ago.


Artist's impression of the trio of super-Earths discovered by an European team using the HARPS spectrograph on ESO's 3.6 m telescope at La Silla, Chile, after five years of monitoring. The three planets, having 4.2, 6.7, and 9.4 times the mass of the Earth, orbit the star HD 40307 with periods of 4.3, 9.6, and 20.4 days, respectively.

Artist's conception of the newly discovered planet MOA-2007-BLG-192Lb orbiting a brown dwarf star. Credit: NASA's Exoplanet Exploration Program

(C) Wiley-VCH 2008

Extinct tiger genes still work

Gordon Brown: Why we should support stem cells

Spider named after Neil Young

Great apes talk

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