All aboard the nanotrain network

Tiny self-assembling transport networks, powered by nano-scale motors and controlled by DNA, have been developed by scientists at Oxford University and Warwick University. The system can construct its own network of tracks spanning tens of micrometres in length, transport cargo across the network and even dismantle the tracks.

Big eyes gave Neanderthals less room to think

Big eyes may be beautiful, but they could be what did for the Neanderthals, say University of Oxford scientists.

Melting Siberian permafrost threatens major methane release

It could take as little as a 1.5 degree rise in global temperature to thaw Siberia permanently, potentially releasing catastrophic levels of cartbon dioxide and methane from the soil.

New stem cell technique restores sight to blind mice

Oxford University researchers have transplanted developing cells into the eyes of completely blind mice to re-form the entire light-sensitive layer of the retina.

Eating grass helped early hominins abandon the forests

Our early ancestors in Central Africa, between three million and 3.5 million years ago, munched mainly on tropical grasses and sedges - a much earlier change in diet than previously believed.

How your wallpaper could power your PC

University of Oxford researchers say it should soon be possible to do away with the tangle of cables most of us are afflicted with, thanks to a new class of metamaterials.

Lake mud offers secret of more precise carbon dating

A muddy Japanese lake has yielded data that could be used to make radiocarbon dating more accurate, especially for older objects.

Huge magma reservoir growing under Santorini

A giant 'balloon' of magma has been welling up under the Greek island of Santorini, raising it an extra five and a half inches above the sea.

Tests confirm 'John the Baptist's bones' could be the real thing

New dating evidence supports claims that bones found under a church floor in Bulgaria could be those of John the Baptist - although of course they could equally well belong to his contemporary Fred the Goatherd.

World's oldest musical instruments identified

People have been making music for thousands of years longer than thought, new dating evidence shows.

Bionic eye gives sight to the blind

For the first time ever, real-life trials have shown that sight can be restored to the totally blind, thanks to an electronic retina.

Ice sheet collapse led to dramatic sea level rise

Scientists studying coral off the coast of Tahiti have linked a collapse of the world's ice sheets 14,600 years ago to a sudden 14-meter rise in global sea-levels.

Arrival of plants triggered ice ages

The arrival of the first plants 470 million years ago triggered a series of ice ages.

World's oldest fossils discovered

Scientists say they've found the world's oldest fossils, the remains of tiny creatures that lived 3.4 billion years ago in a pre-oxygen world.