Chimps exempted from almost all medical research

The US has significantly tightened its rules on the use of chimpanzees in medical research, ruling it out except for cases in which there's no other valid testing method.

Degrees of separation? Under five, and falling

When it comes to Facebook, it seems we're not all linked by six degrees of separation - the true figure is actually 4.74.

Public keen on geoengineering research

Most people believe that it's worth investing in geoengineering research, a new study has found.

Gamers solve AIDS puzzle where scientists fail

Online gamers have succeeded where scientists have failed for a decade, successfully deciphering the structure of an AIDS-like retrovirus enzyme.

Fetuses can't tell touch from pain until shortly before birth

In a study that could have important implications for the abortion debate, neuroscientists say they've established that fetuses can't distinguish pain from touch until 35-37 weeks gestation – just before they'd normally be born.

Mississippi runoff expands Gulf 'dead zone'

The so-called Gulf Dead Zone is looking set to be the biggest ever this year.

Lizards may be smarter than you think

If you thought reptiles were some of the least intelligent creatures in the animal kingdom, well, you might want to reconsider.

Color TV helps you dream in color

Young people are much more likely to dream in color, Japanese researchers report - and one reason could be the spread of color television.

Soil microbes amplify global warming

As carbon dioxide in the atmosphere increases, the soil releases ever more of two other potent greenhouse gases, new research has found.

Finger length gives away penis size

You may want to get your ruler out at this point. South Korean researchers have discovered that there's a link between finger length and the length of a man's penis.

'Garbage patch' fish found full of plastic

North Pacific fish are eating tens of thousands of tons of plastic debris, say researchers from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego.

Biodegradeable products may be more harmful to the environment

Think you're doing the right thing by using biodegradeable products? Think again.

Nice guys finish last - and now we know why

Smile and the world smiles with you - but you might not get your girl. Yup, a team of Canadian scientists has confirmed what everybody knew - that we all tend to fall for the bad boys.

Stem cell research cleared for federal funding

Scientists have applauded a decision by the US Federal Court of Appeals to overturn an August 2010 ban on federal funding of embryonic stem cell research.

Authorities 'were right to close airspace' after Icelandic volcano

Despite all the grumbling at the time, European aviation authorities were justified in grounding planes following the eruption of Iceland's Eyjafjallajökull volcano last year, new research shows.

As radiation reaches the US, scientists say not to worry

Radiation from Japan’s damaged Fukushima nuclear power plant is already reaching the US, and is more difficult to predict than the weather, say University of Maryland atmospheric scientists.

Bumpers don't help iPhone death grip

The 'death grip' that interferes with a smartphone's signal is real and widespread, according to scientists at the University of Bristol.

Illegal file sharers do it 'cos it's cool

Most illegal file sharers see themselves as the 'Robin Hoods of the digital age', new research shows.

No room left for fisheries to expand, survey shows

There's no  room on the planet to expand fisheries any further, according to a new study that tracks their growth since 1950.

Higher-income Americans more tech-savvy

People with higher incomes use the internet far more than those earning less, according to a study from the Pew Internet & American Life Project.