Top stories Filthy kitchen sponges Cold War espionage and Greeks nearmythical origins

first_img(Left to right): © Leonard Freed/Magnum Photos; BlankeZr/iStockphoto; siraanamwong/iStockphoto Your kitchen sponge harbors zillions of microbes. Cleaning it could make things worseThat sponge in your kitchen sink harbors zillions of microbes, including close relatives of the bacteria that cause pneumonia and meningitis, according to a new study. Surprisingly, boiling or microwaving the sponges doesn’t kill off these microbes. Indeed, the researchers have found that sponges that had been regularly sanitized teemed with a higher percentage of bacteria related to pathogens than sponges that had never been cleaned.The Greeks really do have near-mythical origins, ancient DNA reveals By Giorgia GuglielmiAug. 4, 2017 , 3:30 PM Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country Ever since the days of Homer, Greeks have long idealized their Mycenaean “ancestors” in epic poems and classic tragedies that glorify the heroes who went in and out of favor with the Greek gods. Although these ancestors were fictitious, scholars have long debated whether today’s Greeks descend from the actual Mycenaeans, who dominated mainland Greece and the Aegean Sea from about 1600 B.C.E. to 1200 B.C.E. Now, ancient DNA suggests they did, and that only a small proportion of their DNA comes from later migrations to Greece.Could diabetes spread like mad cow disease?Prions are insidious proteins that spread like infectious agents and trigger fatal conditions such as mad cow disease. A protein implicated in diabetes, a new study suggests, shares some similarities with these villains. Researchers transmitted diabetes from one mouse to another just by injecting the animals with this protein. The results don’t indicate that diabetes is contagious like a cold, but blood transfusions, or even food, may spread the disease.After French drug trial tragedy, European Union issues new rules to protect study volunteersThe European Medicines Agency has issued new, stricter rules for studies that test drugs in people for the first time. They aim to better protect participants in such first-in-human studies—often healthy volunteers who receive a financial reward. The guideline will take effect in February 2018 and comes in the wake of a tragedy in a French drug study last year that led to the death of one man and serious neurological damage in four others. But some say the revision isn’t going far enough.Elderly chimps may get Alzheimer’s, renewing interest in studying these animalsResearchers have discovered tell-tale signs of Alzheimer’s disease in 20 elderly chimpanzee brains, rekindling a decades-old debate over whether humans are the only species that develop the debilitating condition. Whether chimps actually succumb to Alzheimer’s or are immune from symptoms despite having the key brain abnormalities is not clear. But either way, the work suggests that chimps could help scientists better understand the disease and how to fight it—if they could get permission to do such studies on these now-endangered animals.Cold War espionage paid off—until it backfired, East German spy records revealFrom 1957 to 1985, former Nazi party member and physicist Hans Rehder stole thousands of invaluable files from his employers, West German electronics firms Telefunken and AEG, and delivered them to East German agents for a monthly fee. Although spying paid off for Rehder, economists and historians have long wondered whether industrial espionage is worth it for the country doing the spying. Now, researchers have analyzed more than 150,000 previously classified documents from the former East German Ministry for State Security (also known as the Stasi) to reach a surprising conclusion: Stealing can boost economic productivity in the short term, but it cannibalizes long-term investment in research and development. Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) Email Top stories: Filthy kitchen sponges, Cold War espionage, and Greeks’ near-mythical originslast_img

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