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Medusa, the world’s largest snake weighs more than 300 lbs (135 kg), is 25ft (7.5 meters) long and it takes 15 people to hold her

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Venomous reptiles may provide a good source for new drugs for human diseases

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Venomous reptiles may provide a good source for new drugs for human diseases, British researchers in Liverpool say. Venom has already been used to create drugs, but the chemicals in it are often too deadly for human consumption. However, a study, published in the journal Nature Communications, has shown snakes and lizards have “reclaimed” some toxins and used them, safely, elsewhere i...

Scientists claim they found that clues to the origins of the Queen of Sheba legend are written in the DNA of some Africans

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...wo neighboring African populations were analyzed in the largest genetic investigation of its kind on Ethiopian populations. About a million genetic letters in each genome were studied. Previous Ethiopian genetic studies have focused on smaller sections of the human genome and mitochondrial DNA, which passes along the maternal line. Dr. Sarah Tishcoff of the Department of Genetics and Biology at th...

Mohammed Salmodin, a Nepali farmer who was bitten by a cobra in his rice paddy field, has killed the snake by repeatedly biting it in return

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...ite can vary, partly because different snakes have different types of venom. How to react in case of snake bite: • Remain calm • Try to remember the snake’s shape, size and colour • Keep the bitten part of your body as still as possible to prevent the venom spreading • Remove any jewellery or watches from the bitten limb as it may swell • Do not attempt to remove any clothing, such as trouse...

The UN human rights council has set up an inquiry into human rights abuses in North Korea for the first time

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...orea, adding that his country had “one of the best systems in the world for the protections of human rights”. The inquiry has been welcomed by activists. In a statement, Human Rights Watch described the move as a “landmark step”, that would “help expose decades of abuse by the North Korean government”. The probe comes at a time of heightened tensions in the Kore...

Researchers have discovered that fossils from Northern Kenya show that a new species of human lived two million years ago

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Researchers have discovered that fossils from Northern Kenya show that a new species of human lived two million years ago. The discovery suggests that at least three distinct species of humans co-existed in Africa. The research adds to a growing body of evidence that runs counter to the popular perception that there was a linear evolution from monkey to ape to modern human. The research has been...

According to researchers, dogs are more capable of understanding situations from a human's point of view than has previously been recognized

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According to researchers, dogs are more capable of understanding situations from a human’s point of view than has previously been recognized. They found dogs were four times more likely to steal food they had been forbidden, when lights were turned off so humans in the room could not see. This suggested the dogs were able to alter their behavior when they knew their owners’ perspectiv...

Using MRI scanner on dogs, researchers from Hungary found that the canine brain reacts to voices in the same way that the human brain does

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...most anterior part of the temporal lobe – was activated when both the animals and people heard human voices. “We do know there are voice areas in humans, areas that respond more strongly to human sounds that any other types of sounds,” Dr. Attila Andics explained. “The location [of the activity] in the dog brain is very similar to where we found it in the human brain. The f...

Researchers have found that chimpanzees and orangutans really do have personalities "like people"

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...221; says team member Mark Adams, a researcher who conducted the research while studying for his PhD at the University of Edinburgh, UK. Dr. Alexander Weiss, senior lecturer at the University of Edinburgh, who also worked on the study, agrees that chimpanzee personality is “highly similar” to that of humans. Researchers categorize human personality into five “dimensions”, s...

The Red Deer Cave people have a mix of archaic and modern characteristics, say scientists

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...rnal that far more detailed analysis of the fossils is required before they can be ascribed to a new human lineage. “We’re trying to be very careful at this stage about definitely classifying them,” said study co-leader Darren Curnoe from the University of New South Wales, Australia. “One of the reasons for that is that in the science of human evolution or palaeoanthropolog...

The technique used for human cloning, somatic cell nuclear transfer, has been well-known since Dolly the sheep became the first mammal to be cloned

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...ell stage. A South Korean scientist, Hwang Woo-suk, did claim to have created stem cells from cloned human embryos, but was found to have faked the evidence. Now a team at the Oregon Health and Science University have developed the embryo to the blastocyst stage – around 150 cells – which is enough to provide a source of embryonic stem cells. Dr. Shoukhrat Mitalipov said: “A thor...

The US Supreme Court has ruled unanimously that human genes may not be patented

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The US Supreme Court has ruled unanimously that human genes may not be patented, but artificially copied DNA can be claimed as intellectual property. The court quashed patents held by Utah-based company Myriad on two genes linked to breast and ovarian cancer. The opinion said DNA came from nature and was not eligible for patenting. The US biotechnology industry had warned any blanket ban on such...

Australopithecus sediba, an early relative of humans, chewed on bark and leaves

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Australopithecus sediba, an early relative of humans, chewed on bark and leaves, according to fossil evidence. Analysis of food trapped in the teeth of the two-million-year-old “southern ape” suggests it existed on a unique diet of forest fruits and other woodland plants. The study, in Nature, gives an insight into the evolution of what could have been a direct human ancestor. Other e...

Human brain cells that are an exact replica of genetically caused Parkinson's disease have been successfully created in the lab by US scientists

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Human brain cells that are an exact replica of genetically caused Parkinson’s disease have been successfully created in the lab by US scientists. The breakthrough means the scientists can now see exactly how mutations in the parkin gene cause the disease in an estimated one in 10 patients with Parkinson’s. And it offers a realistic model to test new treatments on – a hurdle that...

The snake has defeated the crocodile in an epic five-hour battle at Lake Moondarra in Queensland

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A snake has defeated a crocodile in an epic five-hour battle at Lake Moondarra, in Queensland, Australia, which left onlookers shocked as the python slowly devoured its prey. The incident near Mount Isa was captured on camera by local residents on Sunday. The 10-ft snake, thought to be a python, coiled itself around the crocodile and the two struggled in the water. The snake later brought the dea...

Edward Snowden has been holding a meeting with leading human rights groups and lawyers at Sheremetyevo airport in Moscow

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...Russia because he cannot fly out of Moscow. Edward Snowden has been holding a meeting with leading human rights groups and lawyers at Sheremetyevo airport in Moscow “He wants to stay here until he can fly to Latin America,” Tatyana Lokshina of Human Rights Watch is quoted as saying. Edward Snowden, 30, is unable to leave the transit zone without asylum documents, a valid passport or...

Contrary to popular belief, Neanderthals were in fact a highly intelligent race and Professor George Church believes they could be recreated through modern medicine

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...rn medicine. Prof. George Church, 58,  told German magazine, Der Spiegel: “I have already managed to attract enough DNA from fossil bones to reconstruct the DNA of the human species largely extinct. Now I need an adventurous female human. “It depends on a lot of things, but I think it can be done. The reason I would consider it a possibility is that a bunch of technologies are developing faster th...

Human nose can detect one trillion different odors, far more than we previously thought

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US scientists have discovered that the human nose can detect one trillion different odors, far more than we previously thought. Until now, the long-held belief was that we can sniff out about 10,000 smells. New estimates published in Science suggest the human nose outperforms the eye and the ear in terms of the number of stimuli it can distinguish between. Researchers at the Rockefeller Universit...

Michael Kirby, chairman of the independent Commission of Inquiry, said the UN report on North Korea calls for attention from the international community

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A long-awaited UN report urges the international community to act on evidence that crimes against humanity are being committed in North Korea. A panel of experts mandated by the UN’s Human Rights Council said North Koreans had suffered “unspeakable atrocities”, and that those responsible, including leader Kim Jong-un, must face justice. The panel heard evidence of torture, polit...

Hundreds of millions of people are celebrating Lunar New Year, also known as Chinese New Year, the most important annual holiday in much of Asia

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...at midnight, with firework displays and family gatherings. It marked the opening of the year of the snake, taking over from the dragon. In China, an estimated 200 million people have travelled to be with their families in what is considered the biggest mass human migration on Earth. The holiday will continue throughout the week, with government offices and businesses shut down. The snake has a mi...

The powdered flesh, which officials said came from dead babies and foetuses, is reportedly thought by some to cure disease and boost stamina

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Customs officials in South Korea have discovered thousands of pills filled with powdered human flesh coming from China, it was revealed today. South Korea says it will increase customs inspections targeting capsules containing powdered human flesh. The Korea Customs Service said it had found almost 17,500 of the capsules being smuggled into the country from China since August 2011. The powdered f...

Chen Guangcheng has arrived in Taiwan for an 18-day trip that is likely to anger Beijing

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...e”. Chen Guangcheng is scheduled to speak in parliament and meet members of the opposition and human rights groups. His visit is being hosted by the Association for China Human Rights, which has described it as “a trip for freedom and human rights”. The group is linked to Taiwan’s political opposition. Chaperoning Chen Guangcheng will be many Taiwan democracy activists and...

Michael Kirby said the UN inquiry had copious evidence of rights abuses in North Korea

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Michael Kirby, the chief of a UN inquiry into human rights abuses in North Korea, says he was “moved to tears” by testimonies of “gross human rights violations”. Michael Kirby, a retired judge, said the inquiry had “copious evidence” of rights abuses in North Korea. During the inquiry’s hearings, eyewitnesses described systematic torture, starvation and e...

Mark Knopfler pulled out of Moscow and St Petersburg concerts in June after Russian authorities searched the offices of organizations including Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International

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...two concerts in Russia in protest over what he called the country’s “crackdown” on human rights groups. Mark Knopfler pulled out of Moscow and St Petersburg concerts in June after Russian authorities searched the offices of organizations including Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International. Critics say the raids are an attempt to crush government dissent. “I hope the curr...

Researchers have discovered that beluga whale vocalizations were remarkably close to human speech

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...e sea” for their high-pitched chirps, and while a number of anecdotal reports of whales making human-like speech, none had ever been recorded. When a diver at the National Marine Mammal Foundation in California surfaced saying: “Who told me to get out?” the researchers there knew they had another example on their hands. Once they identified NOC as the culprit, they made the first...