Research

Indigenous people had intense impact on Amazon rainforests: Study

Indigenous people had intense impact on Amazon rainforests: Study

Amazon’s ancient indigenous people had a far more intense impact on the composition of the vast local rainforests than formerly known, a new study has suggested.

The new research suggested that several tree species in the Amazon region are abundant because they were cultivated by indigenous people who populated the region before Europeans’ arrival more than 500 years ago.

These tree species include the Brazil nut, acai palm, cacao, caimito and tucuma palm, rubber and cashew.

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Healthy heart in midlife lowers dementia risk later: Research

Healthy heart in midlife lowers dementia risk later: researchers say

Those who keep their heart healthy in midlife may have lower risk of dementia later in life, a study involving more than 15,000 American adults suggested.

Researchers analyzed information from thousands of adults in the age group of 45 to 64 years, and followed them for a period of 25 years. During the study period, nearly 1,500 participants developed the devastating disease of dementia.

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Poachers killed 25,000 elephants in Africa’s Minkebe National Park: survey

Poachers killed 25,000 elephants in Africa’s Minkébé National Park: survey

Poachers have killed as many as 25,000 forest elephants in Africa’s Minkebe National Park within a decade, according to a fresh survey by Duke University researchers.

Lead researcher John Poulson, an assistant professor of tropical ecology at Duke University, wrote in the newly published study that population of elephants in the national park, which has been a key sanctuary for the species, slipped 78 per cent from 2004 to 2014.

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Vitamin D supplements protect against respiratory infections: study

Vitamin D supplements protect against respiratory infections: study

Vitamin D supplements help in reducing the risk of developing acute respiratory infections, particularly among vitamin D-deficient people, according to a new study.

A team of researchers led by Dr. Adrian R. Martineau of the Queen Mary University of London, UK, found in the study that vitamin D supplementation resulted in a notable reduction in the proportion of participating patients who were suffering at least 1 acute respiratory tract infection.

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Scientists should be able to edit humans’ DNA: panel says

Scientists should be able to edit humans’ DNA: panel says

U.S. government should allow scientists to alter people’s DNA to prevent serious and strongly heritable disorder and diseases, the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Medicine recommended.

However, the panel stressed that tinkering with Humans’ genes to alter or enhance traits like intelligence, strength and beauty must remain off-limits.

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Scientists discover pollutants 10,000 meters deep in the Pacific Ocean

Scientists discover pollutants 10,000 meters deep in the Pacific Ocean

A new research has revealed the presence of chemical pollutants PCBs and PBDEs in some of the Pacific Ocean’s deepest trenches that were previously thought to be unharmed by human influence.

Scientists were surprised to find PCBs, PBDEs and other chemical pollutants in high concentrations in deep sea ecosystems because these pollutants have been banned since the 1970s.

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Brazilian Peppertree can help fight deadly superbug: Research

Brazilian Peppertree can help fight deadly superbug: Research

A team of American researchers have discovered that the red berries of the Brazilian peppertree (Schinus terebinthifolia), a noxious weed, contain a compound that can effectively disarm a potentially deadly superbug.

Researchers from University of Iowa and Emory University discovered that extracts from the Brazilian peppertree have the power to stop methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). The extracts have proved their efficiency in treating infections in mice.

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Fish-scale gecko escapes predators’ grip by shedding scales and skin

Fish-scale gecko escapes predators’ grip by shedding scales and skin

Researchers have discovered a new type of gecko, an evasive little lizard that can escape predators’ grip by shedding its scales as well as skin.

The new species, dubbed Geckolepis megalepis, has the biggest scales of any fish-scale gecko, some of which measure nearly 8 per cent of its total body length. A team of researchers, led by Mark D. Scherz of Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich, discovered it northern Madagascar’s limestone karst.

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Male contraceptive gel found effective at preventing pregnancy

Male contraceptive gel found effective at preventing pregnancy

An experimental gel injected into the sperm ducts of primates has been found effective at preventing pregnancy, a development that has brought the prospect of an alternative form of birth control for male humans closer.

A number of birth control options already exist for women, but men have to go under the knife for family planning. Thus, scientists around the globe are trying hard to find a way to provide men with an effective non-surgical, reversible contraceptive.

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Hiking & camping can reset your body clock: researchers say

Hiking & camping can reset your body clock: researchers say

A new study conducted by a team of UC Boulder researchers has suggested that hiking and camping for a couple of days can reset a person’s circadian clock and help him/her get more sleep.

The circadian clock is the body’s internal clock that tells a person when it is time to go to bed and when to wake up. This clock is measured by the amount of melatonin that circulates in the blood of a person at any given time.

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