Category archives: Science & Technology

Study backs 'hobbit' island dwarfism theory

How an ancient human species may have shrunk as a result of island dwarfism A diminutive species of human whose remains were found on the Indonesian island of Flores could have shrunk as a result of island dwarfism as it adapted to its environment. A study of the remains of the creature, nicknamed the “hobbit”, shows that it is possible for it to have been a dwarf version of an […]

Unstoppable Crawl of Giant Land Snail

One of the world’s largest species of snail has descended on Florida.   The giant African land snail is considered one of the most destructive invasive species, feeding on more than 500 types of plant.   They can also eat through plaster walls, providing the calcium content needed for their shells.   Jon Ablett, curator of Mollusca at the Natural History Museum, says there is “no clear answer” on how […]

Social Media to Impact the Election in India?

As India enters election mode, social media has become one of many platforms where possible prime ministerial candidates are being scrutinized. On top of the list are Rahul Gandhi and Narendra Modi, who recently acquired the Twitter monikers #Pappu (“naïve”) and #Feku (“boastful”), respectively, following a string of public appearances observers saw as evidence they will be leading their respective parties in the upcoming national election. A recent study found […]

Precocious puberty

Mehak Agarwal, now 13, was banned from having milk when she was 8. Her friends found it strange, their parents found it bewildering. “When other parents were purging soft drinks from their homes, I was getting rid of milk and plastics,” says her mum, dermatologist Shehla Agarwal.   What made milk taboo in the Agarwal home were the hormones lacing it, among them oxytocin given to cows and buffaloes to make […]

If Apple shaped higher risk of kidney disease

Carrying excess weight around the abdomen is linked to an increased risk of kidney disease, a study suggests. It was already known that being “apple-shaped”, as opposed to “pear-shaped”, added to the risk of developing cardiovascular problems. This research, in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology, found signs of kidney problems in even otherwise healthy apple-shaped people. UK experts said people needed to take more care of their […]

Puzzling Hominid Had Human Traits

Deepening the mystery of human origins, researchers Thursday offered the most complete view yet of fossils from a puzzling forerunner of humankind, revealing that these creatures were, from head to heel, a collage of primitive and modern anatomy.   In six research papers published in Science, an international team described how the hominids had almost-human hands attached to apelike arms, a rib cage that was narrow like an ape’s at […]

Russian billionaire plans to make humans immortal by 2045

A Russian billionaire has unveiled plans to make humans immortal by converting them into ‘Terminator-style’ cyborgs – a creature that’s part human and part machine – within the next three decades. Thirty two-year-old mogul, Dmitry Itskov has been pushing the project forward since 2011 when he founded the 2045 Initiative. His ultimate goal is to transfer a person’s mind or consciousness from a living brain into a machine with that […]

Mobile phones turn 40, pioneer Martin Cooper honoured with 2013 Marconi Prize

April 3 is a special day in the world of telecommunications, as this is the day the first known mobile phone conversation took place. On Wednesday, the 40th anniversary of the event, Martin Cooper, the engineer who made the first call on 3 April, 1973, was honoured with the 2013 Marconi Prize, recognising his contributions to the world of telecommunications. “Motorola was one of the luckiest things that ever happened […]

Macular degeneration: Cholesterol drugs 'may save sight

Eye drops designed to lower cholesterol may be able to prevent one of the most common forms of blindness, according to US researchers. They showed how high cholesterol levels could affect the immune system and lead to macular degeneration. Tests on mice and humans, published in the journal Cell Metabolism, showed that immune cells became destructive when they were clogged with fats. Others cautioned that the research was still at […]


Obama proposes brain mapping project

US President Barack Obama has unveiled a new initiative to map the brain. Speaking at the White House, he announced an initial $100m investment to shed light on how the brain works and provide insight into diseases such as Alzheimer’s and epilepsy. President Obama said initiatives like the Human Genome Project had transformed genetics; now he wants to do the same with the brain. The project will be carried out […]