Hong Kong bans ivory trade in ‘historic’ vote

Hong Kong’s lawmakers have voted overwhelmingly to ban the trade in ivory, in a move campaigners described as “a lifeline for elephants”. A similar ban was brought in across mainland China earlier this year. Ivory sales will be phased out gradually in Hong Kong, stopping completely in 2021. Prior to the vote, demonstrators gathered outside […]

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Sound waves ‘can help’ early tsunami detection

People in high-risk tsunami areas could soon be helped by an early-warning alarm system using sound waves that is being developed by scientists. Mathematicians think they have devised a way of calculating the size and force of a tsunami in advance of it hitting land, which can help early detection. Experts say naturally occurring high-speed […]

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Modern humans left Africa much earlier

Researchers have identified the remains of the earliest known modern humans to have left Africa. New dating of fossils from Israel indicates that our species (Homo sapiens) lived outside Africa around 185,000 years ago, some 80,000 years earlier than the previous evidence. Details appear in the journal Science. The co-lead researcher, Prof Israel Hershkovitz, told […]

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Flying telescope yields insights into birth of stars

A Nasa telescope housed on a converted jumbo jet has yielded important insights into how stars are born from collapsing gas and dust. Measurements by the Sofia observatory underline the importance of magnetic fields for star formation. Astronomers used an instrument on Sofia to study one of the closest stellar nurseries to Earth – Rho […]

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Ancient DNA gives glimpse of ancestors of Native Americans

DNA from an infant who died in Alaska some 11,500 years ago is giving scientists the best look yet at the genetics of the ancestors of today’s native peoples of the Americas. Decoding the infant’s complete set of DNA let researchers estimate the timing of key events in the ancestral history of today’s Native Americans […]

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New DNA vaccine could lead to a one-dose universal vaccine for the flu

One of the reasons it’s so difficult to create a cure for the flu is because the virus continually shape-shifts from year to year. That means getting annual flu shots, instead of a more permanent solution to the problem. Researchers from the University of Washington School of Medicine may have just changed the game, however. […]

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Super blue blood-Moon 2018: When, where and how to see it this month

January skywatchers are in for a rare treat: a Blue Moon, a total lunar eclipse and a supermoon all in the same month. A Blue Moon is when two full moons happen in the same calendar month; lunar eclipses occur when the moon passes into Earth’s shadow; and supermoons happen when the moon’s perigee — its closest approach to Earth in […]

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Sleeping outdoors, officers call attention to animals left out in the Michigan winter

Some animal control officers in Michigan said they’ll be spending a cold night outdoors next week to raise awareness of the dangers animals face when they’re left outside for too long, a report said. Three officers with the Saginaw County Animal Control are planning to spend more than 12 hours on Jan. 12 outside at […]

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1,000-year-old stone structure in Mexico may depict creation of Earth

A 1,000-year-old stone structure in Mexico may represent how some people in ancient Mesoamerica believed the Earth was created, an archaeologist suggests. Located on the foothills of a volcano in the middle of a pond, the “Tetzacualco” (a name that can mean “stone enclosure”) has been known to explorers since the 16th century. Since that time, both […]

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