World's first atomic X-ray laser created

Department of Energy scientists have built the world's hottest laser, delivering temperatures hotter than the corona of the sun.

Team builds first artificial cell membrane

Chemists have made a big step towards the creation of a completely artificial life form.

Genes shown to influence criminal behavior

Genes could be a strong predictor of whether a person becomes a career criminal, according to US scientists.

Babies born knowing physics

"We believe that infants are born with expectations about the objects around them, even though that knowledge is a skill that’s never been taught."

New clue to life's chemical origins

British chemists at the University of York have moved closer towards establishing the origin of the carbohydrates that form the building blocks of life.

Team models Jupiter's Trojan asteroids inside a single atom

Rice University physicists have built an accurate model of part of the solar system inside a single atom of potassium.

Magic mushrooms could treat depression

Brain scans of people under the influence of psilocybin - the active ingredient in magic mushrooms - show that brain activity is suppressed by the drug.

Death Valley volcano could come back to life

Geologists have discovered that Death Valley's Ubehebe Crater, formed by a volcanic explosion, was created much more recently than thought — and that it could go off again any time.

These semiconductors are cooled with laser light

Researchers at the Niels Bohr Institute have managed to successfully combine two worlds: quantum physics and nano physics.

Alcohol doubles lifespan

In news that will have dipsomaniacs laughing all the way to the liquor store, scientists have discovered that alcohol can double lifespan.

Parents stumped by children's science questions

More than half of parents are filled with fear when asked scientific questions by their kids, a British survey has found.

MIT calculates UAV 'speed limit'

Many birds can zip at high speed through a forest without crashing into trees. But, say MIT researchers, there's a top speed at which this is possible, and it's an important factor in designing drones.

Leap second to remain for another three years

The ITU Radiocommunication Assembly has decided to hang on to the leap second for three more years, keeping the world's atomic clocks in synch with the Earth's rotation.

Ancient Peruvians snacked on popcorn

People living along the coast of Peru were eating popcorn before they had pots to put it in, and 1,000 years earlier than thought.

Team creates multicellular life in the lab

Biologists have persuaded a single-celled organism, brewer's yeast, to evolve into a multicellular cluster, mimicking one of the first stages of evolution on Earth.

Scientists to drill buried Antarctic lake

A team of four British engineers has completed the first stage of an ambitious project to explore an Antarcic lake.

Darwin's fossil collection discovered by chance

Fossils unearthed by Charles Darwin have been discovered in a dusty old cabinet in London after being lost for 165 years.

Discovery of tooth challenges 'out of Africa' theory

Great apes survived in Europe for two million years longer than previously thought, study of a tooth has revealed.

Doomsday Clock ticks a minute closer to midnight

The Doomsday Clock - which represents how close the human race is to destruction - has been moved a minute closer to midnight, thanks to concerns over climate change and international tension.

Not extinct, just hiding: search for giant tortoise begins

A species of giant tortoise long thought to be extinct now appears to be alive and well.