Studying Asian glaciers provides glimpse into future of extremes

The region of High Mountain Asia, which includes the Karakoram mountain range, is known as the third pole of the Earth because of the scale of its ice fields. Image credit - Tahakhan021, licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0

Scientists may have solved a 25-year-old puzzle about the mysterious behaviour of certain glaciers in High Mountain Asia. In most of this region, they are shrinking; but in the northwest, they are growing. High Mountain Asia includes ranges that span the borders of Afghanistan, Bhutan, Nepal, India, China and Pakistan. The rate of glacier melting … Read more

Prosperity is about more than money. But what else should count?

The idea that wellbeing encompasses more than economic growth is widespread, but the problem is deciding what to measure. Image credit - Cherylholt/ Pixabay

More than two decades ago, Professor Andrew Oswald worked at the London School of Economics, UK, when he organised what he says was the world’s first conference on the economics of happiness. He put up posters, invited speakers, and waited for the crowds to come. But only eight people turned up. ‘It just didn’t compute … Read more

Island cores unravel mysteries of ancient Maltese civilisation

The Ġgantija temples of Malta are among the earliest free-standing buildings known. Image credit - Bs0u10e01, licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0

The mysteries of an ancient civilisation that survived for more than a millennium on the island of Malta – and then collapsed within two generations – have been unravelled by archaeologists who analysed pollen buried deep within the earth and ancient DNA from skulls and bones. It’s part of a field of work that is … Read more

Transplant recipients may soon have a test to protect against organ rejection

In 2017, 34,000 transplants were carried out in the EU, while 60,000 people were on a waiting list for a transplant by the end of the year. Image credit - Flickr/Lars Plougmann, licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

To help prevent organ rejection, transplant recipients could receive drug cocktails personalised to their own immune systems if a new test, which has passed early trials, is successful. And new methods for scrubbing animal tissue could enable humans to benefit from other species’ organs in the future. In the EU alone, there were 60,000 people on … Read more