Peter Dockrill
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Controversial 'Chimera' Embryos Made by Scientists Are Part Human, Part Monkey

Controversial 'Chimera' Embryos Made by Scientists Are Part Human, Part Monkey

If you could cross a monkey with a human, what might that creature tell us? We are beginning to find out.In a pioneering and controversial experiment, scientists successfully created just such a hybrid: a chimeric combination of monkey and human cells, existing together in a living embryo that otherwise would never have been conceived by nature alone.Ethically fraught science? Yes. Mad science? No.While research into human-animal hybrids has a , in recent years researchers have pursued chimeric organisms to probe questions of biology that stand to offer significant gains in fields such as...

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Peter Dockrill
Apr 15
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Controversial 'Chimera' Embryos Made by Scientists Are Part Human, Part Monkey

Controversial 'Chimera' Embryos Made by Scientists Are Part Human, Part Monkey

If you could cross a monkey with a human, what might that creature tell us? We are beginning to find out.In a pioneering and controversial experiment, scientists successfully created just such a hybrid: a chimeric combination of monkey and human cells, existing together in a living embryo that otherwise would never have been conceived by nature alone. Ethically fraught science? Yes. Mad science? No.While research into human-animal hybrids has a , in recent years researchers have pursued chimeric organisms to probe questions of biology that stand to offer significant gains in fields such as...

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Peter Dockrill
Apr 16
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This New AI Exists For The Sole Purpose of Arguing With Humans

This New AI Exists For The Sole Purpose of Arguing With Humans

It can't beat us. Yet. But an (AI) program developed by scientists at IBM is so good at debating against humans that it may just be a matter of time before we can't compete. , an autonomous debating system that's been in development for several years, is capable of arguing against humans in a meaningful way, taking a side in a debate on a chosen topic, and making a strong case for why its viewpoint is the right one.The AI, described in a , isn't yet at the point where it can trump human argumentative logic, but a showed just how far its artificial way of reasoning has come.In a showcase...

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Peter Dockrill
Mar 30
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Scientists Built an Artificial Cell That Grows And Divides Like a Natural One

Scientists Built an Artificial Cell That Grows And Divides Like a Natural One

In a new first for genetic engineering, scientists have developed a single-celled synthetic organism that grows and divides much like a normal cell, mimicking aspects of the cell division cycle that underlies and generates healthy living cellular life. The achievement, demonstrated in an engineered unicellular bacteria-like life form called JCVI-syn3A, is the result of decades of genomic sequencing and analysis by scientists, exploring the roles individual genes play inside living creatures."Our goal is to know the function of every gene so we can develop a complete model of how a cell...

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Peter Dockrill
Mar 30
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Benefits of LSD Microdosing Might Just Be a Manifestation of The Placebo Effect

Benefits of LSD Microdosing Might Just Be a Manifestation of The Placebo Effect

For years now, experiments with have suggested that can offer a range of psychological benefits to people, with the potential to help treat and other mental health conditions. The notion that these long-controversial drugs might actually improve people's mental wellbeing, cognition, and creativity was hailed as an – but according to a new study, the supposed benefits of these substances may not be what they seem.In what's being described as the largest placebo-controlled trial on psychedelics to date, researchers found that the positive psychological effects linked with psychedelic...

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Peter Dockrill
Mar 5
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Scientists Discover 'Ingredients For Life' in 3.5 Billion-Year-Old Rocks in Australia

Scientists Discover 'Ingredients For Life' in 3.5 Billion-Year-Old Rocks in Australia

Researchers have discovered organic molecules trapped in incredibly ancient rock formations in Australia, revealing what they say is the first detailed evidence of early chemical ingredients that could have underpinned Earth's primeval microbial life-forms. The discovery, made in the 3.5-billion-year-old of Western Australia's , adds to a significant body of research pointing to ancient life in this part of the world – which represents one of only two pristine, exposed deposits of land on Earth dating back to the .In recent years, the hydrothermal rock of the Dresser Formation has turned up...

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Peter Dockrill
Feb 22
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'Game-Changer' Drug Promotes Weight Loss Like No Medicine Ever Seen, Scientists Say

'Game-Changer' Drug Promotes Weight Loss Like No Medicine Ever Seen, Scientists Say

In the simplest terms, obesity is the product of a body's energy output being less than its energy input. But in reality, there's nothing simple about this . Obesity, which has – now defining the body mass of of adult Americans – isn't just difficult for and . It's also incredibly hard to treat.Beyond commitment to sustained lifestyle changes – healthy eating and exercise, effectively – there are really only two potential options that may help: and weight-loss medications.The former is invasive and carries various risks and complications. As for the drugs, they don't always work, and can...

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Peter Dockrill
Feb 12
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Physicists Discover a Strange New Form of Magnetism Within 'Magnetic Graphene'

Physicists Discover a Strange New Form of Magnetism Within 'Magnetic Graphene'

From childhood, we are taught that the world exists in three physical dimensions. That's true, for the most part, but it skips over something quite fascinating: the strange two-dimensional world of nanoscale materials, like the 'wonder material' . Graphene and its engineered, do in fact exist in three dimensions, albeit just barely – sitting right on the fringe, atomically speaking. That's because these so-called 2D materials are only one atom thick, embodying an incredible structural thinness that lends them all sorts of weird powers.We see this in , and in the way it .Things get even...

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Peter Dockrill
Feb 11
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Scientists Achieve 'Transformational' Breakthrough in Scaling Quantum Computers

Scientists Achieve 'Transformational' Breakthrough in Scaling Quantum Computers

Scientists have developed a new kind of cryogenic computer chip capable of functioning at temperatures so cold, it approaches the theoretical limit of absolute zero.This cryogenic system, called Gooseberry, lays the groundwork for what could be a revolution in – enabling a new generation of machines to perform calculations with thousands of qubits or more, whereas today's most advanced devices comprise only dozens. "The world's biggest currently operate with just 50 or so qubits," quantum physicist David Reilly from the University of Sydney and Microsoft's Quantum Laboratory."This small...

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Peter Dockrill
Feb 3
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American Honey Still Contains Radioactive Fallout From Nuclear Tests Decades Ago

American Honey Still Contains Radioactive Fallout From Nuclear Tests Decades Ago

Traces of radioactive fallout from nuclear tests in the 1950s and 1960s can still be found in American honey, new research reveals.The radioactive isotope identified, cesium-137, falls below levels considered to be harmful – but the amounts measured nonetheless emphasize the lingering persistence of environmental contaminants in the nuclear age, even a half-century after international bomb tests ended. "There was a period in which we tested hundreds of nuclear weapons in the atmosphere," lead researcher Jim Kaste, an environmental geochemist at William & Mary university in Williamsburg,...

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Peter Dockrill
Apr 23
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