Single mutation brought many East Asian traits

A single mutation around 30,000 years ago appears to be responsible for several traits common in East Asian peoples, from thicker hair to denser sweat glands.

Karate black belts have different brains

Karate changes the brain - and not just through ill-judged kicks to the head.

First Americans arrived in three waves from Siberia

A detailed genetic analysis has settled the question of how and when the first Americans arrived in the continent.

New memristor offers super-fast memory

A new type of super-fast memory is on the cards, thanks to the creation of the first purely silicon oxide-based Resistive RAM memory chip that can operate in ambient conditions.

'Cap and trade' system proposed for commercial whaling

A group of academics has suggested a pragmatic, if radical, solution to the problem of continuing commercial whaling - putting a price on the animals.

Mysterious magnetic moon rocks explained

Scientists believe they finally have an explanation for why magnetized rocks are found on the moon, even though it now has no magnetic field.

Popular Facebookers have different brains

There's a direct link between the number of Facebook friends a person has and the size of particular brain regions, say researchers at University College London (UCL).

'Longevity gene' is nothing of the sort

British scientists have poured cold water on US research that claimed to have identified a gene responsible for ageing.

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.

Team looks for evidence of multiple universes

British scientists are looking for signs that we live in a multiverse - with multiple alternative universes existing in their own individual bubbles.

Open source safest for healthcare IT, study claims

Open source software is actually more secure than its often more expensive alternatives, say researchers at the University of Warwick and UCL Medical School.

TV and PCs highly harmful to heart health

Four hours' screen time a day more than doubles the risk of a heart attack, according to scientists at University College London.