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Nanoscale robotic ‘hand’ made of DNA could be used to detect viruses

A tiny hand crafted out of DNA has jointed fingers that can be used to grab small objects like gold nanoparticles or viruses


How a UK river serves as a natural lab for flood defence research

A river near Edinburgh, UK, has served for more than a decade as a natural laboratory for studying flood defences, providing benefits such as improved water quality worth millions of pounds


We may finally know why psychological stress worsens gut inflammation

A pathway between the brain and the immune system discovered in mice could explain why prolonged stress can exacerbate inflammatory bowel disease


Elon Musk's brain implant firm Neuralink gets approval for human trial

The brain implant company Neuralink, founded by Elon Musk among others, previously tested implants in pigs and monkeys. Now it has approval for human trials


Ocean-fertilising bacteria work together to adapt to light levels

Trichodesmium, a kind of cyanobacterium that is vital to ocean ecosystems, forms colonies that work together and change shape to get the light and nutrients the microbe needs to grow


5000 species not known elsewhere live in area set for deep-sea mining

Thousands more species are probably waiting to be discovered in the Clarion-Clipperton Zone, a region of the Pacific Ocean where companies are planning to extract valuable metals


We now know how Botox enters neurons and paralyses muscles

Molecular imaging shows that botulinum neurotoxin uses three receptors to enter neurons. The finding could help develop drugs to stop the toxin from infecting cells


Chemicals used to make decaf coffee are contributing to ozone damage

A group of unregulated polluting gases known as very short-lived substances are partly responsible for depleting the ozone layer in the tropics


Ultrasound can trigger a hibernation-like state in mice and rats

Focused ultrasound waves targeting a certain area of the brain can lower body temperature in rodents, showing a possible way to put people in suspended animation


Sudden infant death syndrome may have a biological cause

The condition may at least partly be caused by insufficient binding of a neurotransmitter to receptors in the brainstem


Common compostable plastic fails to break down after a year at sea

A leading "bioplastic" used in single-use cups and containers degrades in the ocean just as slowly as the oil-based stuff, and must be broken down in commercial facilities to be composted


See the Hunterian Museum's weird and wonderful anatomical curiosities

Open again after a five-year hiatus, the London museum, named after the 18th-century surgeon John Hunter, contains everything from a baby crocodile emerging from its egg, to a human femur


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