Nearly a decade after its discovery in Liang Bua cave on the Indonesian island of Flores, scientists are still debating just what Homo floresiensis, aka the Hobbit, really is. There’s still no clear answer, but new research presented at a conference in Germany hints at what H. floresiensis may not be. Debbie Argue, a palaeoanthropologist at Australian National University in Canberra who led the study, says theories about the Hobbits’ origins fall into two categories. Some scientists say that H. floresiensis represents a dwarfed or diseased descendant of anatomically modern Homo sapiens. A second camp, to which Argue belongs, contends … Read more
In the days and weeks after the nuclear accident at Fukushima, many journalists, policy-makers and members of the public turned to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) for an independent look at the crisis as it unfolded.
Amy Bishop, the biology professor who allegedly gunned down three colleagues at the University of Alabama in Huntsville in 2010, entered a not-guilty plea, “by reason of mental disease or defect”, in an Alabama courtroom yesterday. Read more
Should an African dictator whose regime is widely viewed as corrupt and repressive be allowed to sponsor a UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) science award? The Paris-based organization thought it had dismissed this question last year, but the dictator in question — who just happens also to be chair of the African Union — is refusing to take ‘no’ for an answer.
An embryonic field seems to be developing rapidly. Just two months after Advanced Cell Technology (ACT) launched the second and third trials involving products derived from human embryonic stem cells (ESCs) in an operating room at the University of California–Los Angeles, the Santa Monica-based biotech announced today that it had gained approval from the UK Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency to conduct the first ESC cell trial outside the US.