China's single children

As part of population control measures China has implemented a One Child Policy since 1979. Limiting each family to just one child is strictly enforced in urban areas. But what are the effects of having no brothers or sisters on China's population of single children?

A study on personality types, psychology and social skills shows that this group may be at a disadvantage.

Genetic susceptibility to Leishmaniasis
The neglected tropical disease leishmaniasis is caused by a single-celled parasite spread by the bites of sand flies. It affects 12 million people with an estimated 1.5 million new cases each year.

A third of these are cases of potentially fatal, visceral leishmaniasis, occuring mainly in regions of India, East Africa, and Brazil. But an international group of scientists have been looking at the genomes of people exposed to the disease, to see if there is a genetic basis for susceptibility to it. And they have found a key genetic difference that could eventually lead to an effective vaccine.

Robotic ribosome
Chemists are turning to biology to learn how molecules make molecules. Chemists at the University of Manchester, UK, have built a 'nanorobot' that copies a particular part of the protein making process – when a molecule called a ribosome constructs proteins - from amino acids. Being in control of the molecular order could mean a breakthrough in designer inorganic molecules and help us to produce new proteins.

(Photo: Chinese woman on a bike with a child in a basket. Photo credit: AFP/Getty Images)

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18 minutes

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Sat 12 Jan 2013 22:32 GMT

Gravitational Waves

'Ripples' from black holes detected

Gravity and ripples in the fabric of space time - what do these mean for us?