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Mummy DNA unravels ancient Egyptians’ ancestry

0SHARESShare Petr Bonek/Alamy Excavations in the ancient city of Abusir el-Meleq. The tombs of ancient Egypt have yielded golden collars and ivory bracelets, but another treasure — human DNA — has proved elusive. Now, scientists have captured sweeping genomic information from Egyptian mummies. It reveals that mummies were closely related to ancient Middle Easterners, hinting that northern Africans might have ...

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Crowd-based peer review can be good and fast

0SHARESShare When it works — and that’s much of the time — peer review is a wondrous thing. But all too often, it can be an exercise in frustration for all concerned. Authors are on tenterhooks to learn of potentially career-changing decisions. Generous peer-reviewers are overwhelmed. And editors are condemned to doggedly sending reminders weeks after deadlines pass. When the ...

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Keep shouting to save science

Dan Kitwood/Reuters The Conservative Party, led by Prime Minister Theresa May, is among the three major parties in the UK election promising more money for science. It is the best and worst of political times for science. As the United Kingdom approaches its 8 June general election, all three major national political parties have pledged a huge increase in research investment. ...

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Why function is catching on in conservation

0SHARESShare Westend61/Getty Simply counting the number of species may not be the best measure of biodiversity. The high-street coffee shop has long been used as a measure of urban gentrification. But are all coffee shops the same? Not so, claimed the London edition of Time Out in 2014. In fact, it said, there are eight types in London just in ...

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LHC fires up, Google bot retires and Jupiter up close

0SHARESShare Events | Space | People | Facilities | Politics | Pharmaceuticals | Energy | Trend watch | Coming up | Announcement EVENTS AlphaGo bows out The first artificial-intelligence system to master the strategy game Go retired from competition on 27 May after beating the world’s top-ranked human player, Ke Jie, in a best-of-three tournament in Wuzhen, China. AlphaGo beat the ...

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Announcement: Towards greater reproducibility for life-sciences research in Nature

0SHARESShare Quentin Martinez/Getty Nature will publish more details on experiments described in life-sciences papers. Since 2013, Nature and the Nature research journals have asked authors of papers in the life sciences to complete a checklist when they submit a paper. This extra step — prompting authors to disclose important elements of experimental design and analysis — was part of a broader effort to improve ...

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Neutron stars set to open their heavy hearts

0SHARESShare For half a century, astronomers and physicists have looked at pulsars and asked ‘how’? How can something the size of a city pack in more mass than the Sun? How does matter arrange itself to achieve such mind-boggling densities? Answering these questions in the laboratory is impossible. But a space mission due to launch on 1 June could answer some ...

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UK election: science spending pledges overshadowed by Brexit

0SHARESShare Anthony Devlin/Reuters Conservative party leader Theresa May, seen visiting an industrial facility, has promised more money for research. Ahead of a UK election that will decide who leads the country’s exit negotiations with the European Union, a remarkable consensus has emerged among the main national parties. All three have pledged in their manifestos to spend more money on science. ...

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Trials of embryonic stem cells to launch in China

0SHARESShare Jason Lee/Reuters Former Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping had Parkinson’s disease, one of the first targets of embryonic-stem-cell therapies being tested in China. In the next few months, surgeons in the Chinese city of Zhengzhou will carefully drill through the skulls of people with Parkinson’s disease and inject 4 million immature neurons derived from human embryonic stem cells into their ...

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Exxon shareholders back 'historic' vote on climate

0SHARESShare Shareholders in Exxon Mobil have backed a motion requiring the company to assess the risks from climate change. The plan, proposed by investors including the Church of England, was supported by over 62% of those eligible to vote. The vote comes as US media reports that President Trump is poised to pull out of the Paris climate agreement. Exxon ...

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