• Hope rises as new malaria vaccine shows promise

    Last week U.S. scientists with the biotech company, Sanaria, announced a possible breakthrough on an experimental malaria vaccine: an early trial led to a success rate of 80 percent for the two highest doses. >> Read the Full Article
  • Age isn't just a number: New research shows song sparrows are affected by climate change differently depending on age

    New research at the University of California, Davis, and Point Blue Conservation Science shows that song sparrows experience climate change differently at various ages. Two studies show the importance of considering the various stages and ages of individuals in a species to best predict not only how climate change could affect a species as a whole, but also why. >> Read the Full Article
  • Crowd-sourced maps may help when disasters hit

    A free online map of the world that is created by its users is helping developing nations become more resilient to disasters, the Open Source Convention in Portland, United States, heard last month (22-26 July). >> Read the Full Article
  • Does size matter (for lemur smarts, that is)?

    Does size matter? When referring to primate brain size and its relation to social intelligence, scientists at Duke University do not think the answer is a simple yes or no. In the past, scientists have correlated large brain size to large group size. However, in a new study published in PLoS ONE, scientists at Duke University provide evidence that large social networks, rather than large brains, contribute to social cognition, favoring the evolution of social intelligence. >> Read the Full Article
  • Common Table Salt, Extraordinary Abilities

    When thinking of common table salt, the term "extraordinary" doesn’t often come to mind. But recent discoveries show that the potential for table salt far exceed simply adding flavor to food. Chemists at Oregon State University found that simple sodium chloride, or table salt, has the ability to enable the commercial mass production of silicon nanostructures at significantly reduced costs. >> Read the Full Article
  • GM rice delivers antibodies against deadly rotavirus

    A strain of rice genetically engineered to protect against diarrhoeal disease could offer a cost-effective way to protect children in developing countries, according a study published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation. >> Read the Full Article
  • The Controversy Surrounding Fracking

    The father of fracking, George Mitchell, passed away July 26, leaving many to think about the legacy he leaves behind. Though he didn't exactly invent fracking, the Houston native revolutionized the process by introducing horizontal drilling in the 1990s. Even more than two decades later, Mitchell's process of fracking is still a touchy subject. Though many are thrilled by the natural gas goldmine his drilling taps into, a lot of controversy surrounds the process, especially where the environment is concerned. What is fracking? For millions of years, organisms found in rock formations buried deep under the ground have decomposed, creating natural gases. However, because the formations are so deep under Earth's surface, the gas deposits were trapped in pockets and not easily accessible. It didn't take long to discover that drilling into rock formations could break them, making it easy to extract the resources inside... >> Read the Full Article
  • Saudi Arabia to Launch Online Atlas of Renewable Resources

    Saudi Arabia is launching an online atlas of renewable resources as part of a wider project to identify the potential renewable energy sources and where best to deploy technology to tap into those resources. The atlas data will be available in late 2013, published online through the Renewable Resource Monitoring and Mapping programme. >> Read the Full Article
  • Sleep Like a Baby Barn Owl

    Researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Ornithology and the University of Lausanne have discovered that the sleeping patterns of baby owls appears to change in the same way as it does in humans. Sleep consists of two phases, REM (Rapid Eye Movement) and non-REM sleep. REM is considered the lightest stage of sleep as this is the point where we experience our most vivid dreams. In addition, a variety of mammals spend more time in REM during the early stages of their lives. For example, newborns spend approximately half of their time asleep in REM whereas an average adult would spend approximately 20-25% in REM. >> Read the Full Article
  • Foodies eat lab-grown burger that could change the world

    This week at a press event in London, two food writers took a bite into the world's most unusual hamburger. Grown meticulously from cow stem cells, the hamburger patty represents the dream (or pipedream) of many animal rights activists and environmentalists. The burger was developed by Physiologist Mark Post of Maastricht University and funded by Google co-founder Sergey Brin in an effort to create real meat without the corresponding environmental toll. >> Read the Full Article