Latest research news

September 17, 2003

First human clone embryo ready for implantation
The first human cloned embryo could be implanted into a surrogate mother's womb before the end of the year, US fertility expert Panayiotis Zavos claimed on Monday. The attempt follows months of "practising" in the lab on hundreds of hybrid embryos made by fusing human cells with empty cow eggs, Zavos told a press conference in London. If the human pregnancy proceeds and goes to term, the baby will be a girl, he adds.
(New Scientist)

Jupiter probe nears fiery end
Nasa is about to destroy its long-serving Galileo spacecraft in Jupiter's atmosphere. On 21 September, the probe will plunge into the giant planet's stormy clouds to be consumed by heat and pressure. It has to be destroyed so that any stowaway microbes on the probe do not contaminate Europa, one of Jupiter's moons, on which there may be life.

Grand Canyon born on East Coast
Like many of their tourist visitors, some of the rocks that make up the Grand Canyon came across North America from the East Coast, a new study reveals. Geologists at the University of Arizona have discovered that around half of the sand, prior to solidifying into sandstone, was once part of the Appalachian Mountains, thousands of kilometres away.

Early villages hold the key to war
The advent of affluent village life with communities splitting into clans may have heralded the first wars, suggests archeological analysis of ancient Mexico. Raiding between early Mexican villages began about the same time that villagers began splitting into subgroups, says anthropologist Joyce Marcus of the University of Michigan. Her findings, from the Valley of Oaxaca in Mexico, support a theory that raiding - a prelude to war - began in segmented societies with rich resources.
(New Scientist)

UK mosses find safe haven
A refuge for some of the rarest UK examples of "living archaeology" is being provided by Kew Gardens. The reserve - for mosses, liverworts, lichens and filmy ferns - is at Wakehurst Place, Kew's country branch south of London. It will be opened by the naturalist Dr Francis Rose, after whom it is named. Some of the species it shelters may be millions of years old.

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