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BBC News - Science & Environment

  • Female cave insects have 'penises'
    Female insects with 'penises' have been discovered in Brazil - the first example of an animal with sex-reversed genitalia.
  • Ancient life 'frozen' by impacts
    Ancient grasses from the Pampas of Argentina were preserved when asteroids struck the area, scientists report.
  • SpaceX launches station cargo flight
    US company SpaceX launches its latest re-supply mission to the International Space Station, sending up a Dragon freighter to rendezvous with the orbiting platform on Sunday.
Latest Science News -- ScienceDaily

  • Impact of childhood bullying still evident after 40 years
    The negative social, physical and mental health effects of childhood bullying are still evident nearly 40 years later, according to new research. The study is the first to look at the effects of bullying beyond early adulthood. Just over a quarter of children in the study (28%) had been bullied occasionally, and 15% bullied frequently -- similar to rates in the UK today. Individuals who were bullied in childhood were more likely to have poorer physical and psychological health and cognitive functioning at age 50. Individuals who were frequently bullied in childhood were at an increased risk of depression, anxiety disorders, and suicidal thoughts.
  • Recalculating costs of combination vaccines
    One of the most popular vaccine brands for children may not be the most cost-effective choice. And doctors may be overlooking some cost factors when choosing vaccines, driving the market toward what is actually a more expensive option, according to a new study. The researchers encourage physicians and advisory boards to take all factors into account when determining how to administer the best combination of vaccines for the lowest cost.
  • Multitarget TB drug could treat other diseases, evade resistance
    A drug under clinical trials to treat tuberculosis could be the basis for a class of broad-spectrum drugs that act against various bacteria, fungal infections and parasites, yet evade resistance, according to a study. The team determined the different ways the drug SQ109 attacks the tuberculosis bacterium, how the drug can be tweaked to target other pathogens from yeast to malaria -- and how targeting multiple pathways reduces the probability of pathogens becoming resistant.
  • Better thermal-imaging lens from waste sulfur
    A new chemical process can transform waste sulfur into lightweight plastic lenses that have a high refractive index and are transparent to mid-range infrared light. The lenses may have applications in thermal imaging devices. Other potential applications for the new plastic include sulfur-lithium batteries.
  • Bright points in sun's atmosphere mark patterns deep in its interior
    Like a balloon bobbing along in the air while tied to a child's hand, a tracer has been found in the sun's atmosphere to help track the flow of material coursing underneath the sun's surface.
  • Vitamin B3 might have been made in space, delivered to Earth by meteorites
    Ancient Earth might have had an extraterrestrial supply of vitamin B3 delivered by carbon-rich meteorites, according to a new analysis. The result supports a theory that the origin of life may have been assisted by a supply of key molecules created in space and brought to Earth by comet and meteor impacts.
  • Target for treating dengue fever discovered
    New research may help scientists develop treatments or vaccines for dengue fever, West Nile virus, yellow fever, Japanese encephalitis and other disease-causing flaviviruses. More than 40 percent of people around the world are at risk of being bitten by mosquitoes infected with the virus that causes Dengue fever and more than 100 million people are infected. This new work explains how flaviviruses produce a unique RNA molecule that leads to disease.
  • Five anthropogenic factors that will radically alter northern forests in 50 y...
    Five anthropogenic factors that will radically alter forest conditions and management needs in the Northern United States have been outlined in a new report. "The northern quadrant of the United States includes 172 million acres of forest land and 124 million people," said one researcher. This report "is helping identify the individual and collective steps needed to ensure healthy and resilient futures for trees and people alike."
  • How the immune system protects children from malaria
    Children who live in regions of the world where malaria is common can mount an immune response to infection with malaria parasites that may enable them to avoid repeated bouts of high fever and illness and partially control the growth of malaria parasites in their bloodstream. The findings may help researchers develop future interventions that prevent or mitigate the disease caused by the malaria parasite.
  • Malaria pathogen's cellular skeleton under super-microscope
    The tropical disease malaria is caused by the Plasmodium parasite. For its survival and propagation, Plasmodium requires a protein called actin. Scientists used high-resolution structural biology methods to investigate the different versions of this protein in the parasite. Their results may in the future contribute to the development of tailor-made drugs against malaria -- a disease that causes more than half a million deaths per year.
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