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The US adolescents who signed up for the Study of Mathematically Precocious Youth (SMPY) in the 1970s were the smartest of the smart, with mathematical and verbal-reasoning skills within the top 1% of the population. Now, researchers at BGI (formerly the Beijing Genomics Institute) in Shenzhen, China, the largest gene-sequencing facility in the world, are searching for the quirks of DNA that may contribute to such gifts. Plunging into an area that is littered with failures and riven with controversy, the researchers are scouring the genomes of 1,600 of these high-fliers in an ambitious project to find the first common genetic variants associated with human intelligence.
Bacteria that live in the gut have been used to reverse obesity and Type-2 diabetes in animal studies.
Like small children, scientists are always asking the question 'why?'. One question they've yet to answer is why nature picked quantum physics, in all its weird glory, as a sensible way to behave. Researchers Corsin Pfister and Stephanie Wehner at the Centre for Quantum Technologies at the National University of Singapore tackle this perennial question in a paper published today in Nature Communications.
New research in the journal Intelligence suggests the Victorians were naturally cleverer than we are, and draws the startling conclusion that "the Victorian era was marked by an explosion of innovation and genius, per capita rates of which appear to have declined subsequently". Psychologists have studied reaction times – apparently an indicator of intelligence – from the 1880s to the present, and discovered that they are slowing. Other factors such as health and diet mean overall intelligence is increasing, but the researchers insist our genetic IQ is in decline, a trend they attribute to clever people having fewer children than – how can this be put diplomatically? – less clever people.
Deforestation in the Amazon region could significantly reduce the amount of electricity produced from hydropower, says a new study.
There are real benefits to rituals, religious or otherwise
Bees are back in the news this spring, if not back in fields pollinating this summer's crops. The European Union (EU) has announced that it will ban, for two years, the use of neonicotinoids, the much-maligned pesticide group often fingered in honeybee declines. The U.S. hasn't followed suit, though this year a group of beekeepers and environmental and consumer groups sued the EPA for not doing enough to protect bees from the pesticide onslaught.
Vietnamese rubber firms bankrolled by an arm of the World Bank and Germany's Deutsche Bank are driving a land-grabbing crisis in Southeast Asia, activists said Monday.
Indigenous ethnic minorities are bearing the brunt of the seizures, which have affected tens of thousands of villagers and led to the clearance of swathes of protected forests, according to campaign group Global Witness.
From atmospheric changes, to timelapse imagery from Google Earth…our planetary presence is hard to miss.
A global-scale case of indigestion eats away at the organisms of the Earth’s oceans, but delicious Chesapeake Bay oysters may be just the marine medicine people need to fight the devastating effects of ocean acidification.
Nearly two pounds of still-green plant material found in a 2,700-year-old grave in the Gobi Desert has just been identified as the world's oldest marijuana stash, according to a paper in the latest issue of the Journal of Experimental Botany.
He’s crowded into a sleek sailing ship with 65 other men. Scarcely room to move. It’s been days since anybody has seen land - longer since anyone bathed. The old-timers’ repeated tales of bygone raids and voyages are beginning to wear thin.
His place is behind an oar, but there is no need to row continuously on the North Sea. With wind in the sail, the boat surges towards England, where riches await.
But what is there to do while waiting to reach a foreign coast?
People with severe depression have a disrupted “biological clock” that makes it seem as if they are living in a different time zone to the rest of the healthy population living alongside them, a study has found.
A study of two ancient hominins from South Africa suggests that changes in the shape and size of the middle ear occurred early in our evolution. Such alterations could have profoundly changed what our ancestors could hear — and perhaps how they could communicate.
Today we learned that a major Mayan Monument had been bulldozed for roadfill aggregate. 7news went to Orange Walk District, near the northern district boundary to find out that Noh Mul – or at least a large part of it – is no more. It’s a stunning development – and Jules Vasquez reports.
We all know that the Earth rotates beneath our feet, but new research from ANU has revealed that the center of the Earth is out of sync with the rest of the planet, frequently speeding up and slowing down.
Associate Professor Hrvoje Tkalcic from the ANU College of Physical and Mathematical Sciences and his team used earthquake doublets to measure the rotation speed of Earth's inner core over the last 50 years.
An anti-cocaine vaccine has been used successfully on non-human primates, bringing it one step closer to approval for use in human addiction therapy.
The vaccine (dAd5GNE) combines elements of the common cold virus with the particle GNE, which mimics cocaine. The vaccine works by preventing the dopamine high associated with taking cocaine.
Invisibility cloaks have been around in various forms since 2006, when the first cloak based on optical metamaterials was demonstrated. The design of cloaking devices has come a long way in the past seven years, as illustrated by a simple, yet highly effective, radar cloak developed by Duke University Professor Yaroslav Urzhumov, that can be made using a hobby-level 3D printer.
A test case between Cody Wilson and the US government could have implications for regulation of the internet
By now, everyone’s heard about the 3D printed gun that Defense Distributed demonstrated last week. The Texas-based group has been steadily working its way up the 3D printed firearms evolutionary ladder, making parts for guns, then guns themselves, then firing a gun, then making the plans for running up your own pistols on a nearby 3D printer. If Defense Distributed had set out to create a moral panic over 3D printing, they could have picked no better project.
A Jetstream aircraft became the first to fly "unmanned" across UK shared airspace last month.
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