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A stone tool unearthed at excavation site. (Photo Credit: MPK-WTAP)

Oldest-known stone tools pre-date Homo habilis

Stone tools dated to 3.3 million years ago, discovered in Kenya, indicate that early humans were making tools much earlier than previously thought. The stone-tool culture associated with the genus Homo has commonly been dated back to around 2.6 million years ago, 700,000 years after this recent discovery. Researchers found markings on stone-made anvils, hammers […]

A screen capture of the video showing cytotoxic T cells (shown as green and orange in the video) attacking a cancer cell (blue). The video also shows cytotoxic T cells attacking virally infected cells, shown in red. (Video credit: University of Cambridge).

Cancer killing cells captured on film

Researchers have captured video of immune cells hunting and destroying cancer and virally-infected cells. The footage was captured using high-resolution 3D time-lapse multi-colour imaging. T cells, a type of white-blood cell, can recognize antigens on the surface of certain cancerous and infected cells. The video shows these T cells (seen in orange or green) moving […]

Rejuvenating old bones

A molecule secreted from young  blood cells can speed up fracture healing in elderly mice, reports a new Canadian study. Researchers showed that a specific molecule, either a chemical or a small protein,which is only secreted from young blood cells increased the regenerative capacity of bone cells. The study could help explain why fractures take […]

Female kangaroo with an adopted young in her pouch. The light blue eartag in the ear of the young kangaroo  was applied when captured in the pouch of another female. (Photo courtesy of C. Le Gall-Payne)

Adoption in Eastern Grey Kangaroos: A Consequence of Misdirected Care?

For the first time, researchers have observed wild kangaroos adopting young kangaroos. In a six-year study of eastern grey kangaroos in Australia, 11 of 326 juveniles were adopted and four of them involved ‘switches’ between mothers. In these switches a mother adopted a juvenile while simultaneously abandoning her own, or a previously adopted, offspring. The […]

A cross-section of a salmon otolith, also known as a fish ear stone or fish ear bone. (Image Credit: Sean Brennan, University of Washington).

Life history of Pacific Salmon revealed through the ears

Studying small bones in the ears of Pacific Salmon may be able to tell researchers where the salmon were born and lived during critical developmental years according to new research. Studying them might allow researchers to determine which habitats produce the largest salmon populations, and where the fish live during critical periods of their life. […]


Beer Home Brewing kits which might also produce morphine leads to calls for early-regulation

Researchers have taken the final steps to turn sugar-fed yeast, already used by homemade beer brewers to convert sugar into alcohol, into a microbial factory for producing morphine and other drugs. The authors demonstrate how they synthesized a compound of the poppy plant from sugar using a bio-engineered strain of yeast. This research could be […]

Hearing: How loud noises trigger a protective reflex

A study of mice has lead scientists to believe they are closer to understanding what triggers the brain to reduce sound amplification in response to a loud environment. Researchers report that this protective reflex  is controlled by Type II fibres in the ear. These fibres were previously shown to be necessary for speech discrimination in […]

Global sea-level rise has actually accelerated

Global sea level rise has actually accelerated, says a new study. This study contradicts previous research showing global sea-level rise has slowed over the last decade. The new study takes into account vertical land movement (VLM) when calculating sea levels. The paper’s authors correct inaccuracies in sea-level rise estimate from 1993 to mid-2014 using GPS […]

The Pine Siskin is a small finch, weighing less than 20 grams, that can be found across North America. (Photo Credit: Darren Swim, Wikimedia Commons)

Using the climate to predict the movement of birds

Future irregular large-scale movements, technically known as irruptions, of boreal seed-eating birds in North America may be predictable using previous climate conditions according to a 24 year study of the Pine Siskin finches travel patterns. Researchers have found that the birds’ irruptions typically occur in either a north-south or west-east pattern which can be linked […]

Refugees more likely to suffer from psychotic disorders

Refugees from East Africa and South Asia coming to Ontario have a significantly higher incidence of psychotic disorders than both other immigrants and the general population according to a new study. Researchers analyzed Ontario health records over a 10 year period and cross-referenced their findings with information from Citizenship and Immigration Canada. The researchers believe […]

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