Plastics spoil mouse eggs
A chemical commonly found in plastic food containers harms growing mouse eggs, according to a new study - fuelling the debate over the additive's safety. The compound is called bisphenol A. It is widely used in see-through bottles and for lining tin cans. Its chemical activity mimics that of the female hormone oestrogen, so some fear that it might damage an unborn baby's growing sex organs.
Food combination boosts cancer fight
Two food ingredients already recognised separately as having some cancer prevention properties might be as much as 13 times more powerful when put together, researchers said yesterday. They found that the impact of the plant-derived chemical sulforaphane and the mineral selenium on genes that influence the growth of cancerous tumours was far stronger when they were used as a combined treatment.
Dope-smoking teens 'addicted by early 20s'
About one fifth of teenagers who smoke cannabis become dependent on the drug by early adulthood, but the addiction appears to be mental rather than physical, according to new research. The study by Australian researchers found that the strongest factor in whether someone became dependent was frequency of use: one in three adolescents who smoked cannabis every week were hooked by their early 20s.
Ancient civilization goes online
Archaeologists could soon be making discoveries about the Maya from their computers. The first stage of a new online database is set to go live later this year, housing hundreds of thousands of documents on the excavation of Tikal, one of the most important settlements in 9th-century Mesoamerica.
Wooden coffin yields ancient mummy
Archaeologists have discovered some of the oldest evidence yet of mummification. Human remains covered in resin and cloth were found inside a 5,000-year-old cedar wood coffin at Sakkara near Cairo, Egypt. The coffin had been placed in a tomb thought to date from 3100 to 2890 BC under Egypt's 1st Dynasty.