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Humanity imperiled by abuse of life-giving Nature: reports

MEDELLÍN, Colombia: Humanity is risking its own well-being by over-harvesting and harming nature's bounty, said a comprehensive survey Friday that warned animal and plant species were in decline in every world region. Four mammoth reports that took more than 550 scientists three years to compile, warned that Asia-Pacific fish stocks could run out by 2048 and more than half of African bird and mammal species could be lost by 2100. Up to 90 per cent of Asia-Pacific corals will suffer "severe degradation" by 2050, said…

Nature and nurture contribute equally to depression risk

For the first time, researchers have found that the environment you’re raised in is as important as your genes in determining risk for major depression. In a large retrospective study, researchers looked at depression diagnoses among more than 2.2 million people in Sweden and their parents and found that genetic factors and household environment contributed equally to odds that the illness would be “transmitted” from parents to offspring. The results - based on comparing adopted and biological offspring from both…

Artificial leaf copies nature to manufacture medicine

AMSTERDAM: Dutch scientists have developed an artificial leaf that can act as a mini-factory for producing drugs, an advance that could allow medicines to be produced anywhere there is sunlight. The work taps into the ability of plants to use sunlight to feed themselves through photosynthesis, something industrial chemists have struggled to replicate because sunshine usually generates too little energy to fuel chemical reactions. The leaf-inspired micro factory mimics nature's efficiency at harvesting solar radiation…

The Moon gets a facelift every 81,000 years

PARIS: The Moon is bombarded by so much space rock that its surface gets a complete facelift every 81,000 years, according to a study released Wednesday based on NASA data. This churn -- affecting the top two centimetres (nearly an inch) of mostly loose moon dust -- happens 100 times more frequently than previously thought, scientists reported. The study also estimates that asteroids and comets crashing into Earth's only natural satellite create, on average, 180 new craters at least 10 metres (33 feet) in diameter every…