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Humans produce new brain cells throughout their lives: research

NEW YORK: People as old as 79 may still generate new brain cells, US researchers said Thursday, stoking fresh debate among scientists over whether or when our mental capacity ever stops growing.  The report by scientists at Columbia University in New York, published in the journal Cell Stem Cell, runs directly counter to a different study published in Nature last month which found no evidence of new neurons are being created past the age of 13. While neither study is seen as providing the definitive last word, the…

More shoppers want customer service from gadgets over humans: study

NEW YORK: Most buyers prefer to be left alone as they shop in store for items like apparel and prefer to use in-store technology for customer service over personalized attention from store employees, according to a new study. The findings are based on a shopper survey conducted by HRC Retail Advisory and highlights the challenges retail chains increasingly face as they try to find the right balance between staffing and technology in stores. For example, about 85 percent of those surveyed want to be able to check prices…

German carmakers under fire for diesel tests on humans, monkeys

BERLIN: German carmakers came under fire Monday following revelations they helped finance experiments that saw humans and monkeys exposed to toxic diesel fumes that have been linked to asthma, lung diseases and heart attacks. The disclosures sparked widespread outrage, led by Chancellor Angela Merkel who strongly condemned the latest controversy to engulf the nation's powerful but scandal-tainted auto industry "These tests on monkeys or even humans are in no way ethically justified," said Merkel's spokesman Steffen…

Martian ice deposits could sustain human outposts in the future

WASHINGTON: Scientists using images from an orbiting NASA spacecraft have detected eight sites where huge ice deposits near the Martian surface are exposed on steep slopes, a potential source of water that could help sustain future human outposts. While scientists already knew that about a third of the surface of Mars contains shallow ground ice and that its poles harbour major ice deposits, the research published on Thursday described thick underground ice sheets exposed along slopes up to 100 yards (meters) tall at the…

Are Earthlings alone? Half of humans believe in alien life

AMSTERDAM: Nearly half of humans believe in alien life and want to make contact, a survey in 24 countries has found, in what researchers said helps to explain the lasting popularity of the “Star Wars” franchise 40 years after the first movie was screened. On the eve of the release of “The Last Jedi”, researchers published findings that 47 percent of more than 26,000 respondents believe “in the existence of intelligent alien civilizations in the universe”. An even greater 61 percent said “yes” when asked if they…

Scientists find blood molecule that attracts wolves, repels humans

PARIS: The faintest whiff of a molecule from mammal blood known as E2D sends some animals into a predatory frenzy but frightens others -- including people -- into retreat, scientists have discovered. Never before has the same molecule been known to provoke diametrically opposite behaviours in creatures ranging from horse flies to humans, hinting at deep evolutionary roots, they reported in the journal Scientific Reports. Animals, and especially mammals, use their sense of smell to find food, hook up with partners, and…

A fifth of global deaths linked to diet: study

PARIS: Fewer children are dying before their fifth birthday and although humans are living longer than ever before, one in five deaths last year were linked to poor diet, researchers said on Friday. More than 1.6 million people in poor countries died in 2016 from diarrhoea caused by contaminated water and food, while another 2.4 million succumbed to lung infections that mostly could have been prevented or treated. Another two million mothers and newborns perished due to complications at birth that rudimentary health care…

Early humans co-existed in Africa with human-like species 300,000 years ago

KROMDRAAI, SOUTH AFRICA: Scientists unveiled the first evidence on Tuesday that early humans co-existed in Africa 300,000 years ago with a small-brained human-like species thought to already be extinct on the continent at that time. The findings, published in three papers in the journal "eLife", raise fresh questions about human evolution, including the prospect that behaviors previously attributed to humans may have been developed by hominin precursors of Homo sapiens. Hominins are an extinct group of the same genus as…