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Ancient embalming not to be sniffed at.
Archaeologists thought they had mummification wrapped up. But a new analysis of ancient Egyptian embalming suggests that they have underestimated this sophisticated funerary practice.
Pharaonic undertakers used a wealth of oils, waxes and fats, say Stephen Buckley and Richard Evershed at the University of Bristol, UK. They are the first to study several mummies from different periods using modern analytical chemistry 1
Bugs behind typhoid and food poisoning give up genetic secrets.
Two teams have sequenced the genomes of two Salmonella bacteria. One is responsible for typhoid; the other causes food poisoning.
The genomes should lead to new ways to diagnose, treat and vaccinate against both diseases. Comparing the sequences should also clarify why the closely related bugs behave quite differently.
The two strains are called Typhi and Typhimurium. Typhi, the typhoid bug, infects onl
Recent events have confirmed that bioterrorism is no longer a threat but a reality. To provide wide-ranging access to the latest scientific information about anthrax and other potential bioweapons, Nature has put together a special online focus on this issue. This focus includes the pre-publication* of two research papers on anthrax toxin, as well as a collection of research, news and feature articles from our electronic archive. Because of the heightened interest in this area, among both the scient
Genetic engineering gives us the fluorescent daisy.
It’s produced in Italy and guaranteed to make the face of that special someone light up. It’s the luminous bouquet. Under ultraviolet light the apparently normal blooms glow an unearthly green.
“The fluorescent flowers show that genetic engineering can be developed just for beauty,” says their developer, Tito Schiva of the Experimental Institute of Floriculture, San Remo. The technique should work for any white flower, Sch
The gold-loving king’s rich diet may have hastened his decay.
Legend says that lust for gold was the cause of King Midas’ downfall. But his appetite for meat may have destroyed the final monument to his greatness 1 .
A mound excavated 44 years ago in Turkey is thought to be the resting place of the eighth-century BC ruler of Phrygia. The large tomb, although built of durable cedar wood, is in surprisingly bad shape, says geophysicist Timothy Filley of the Car
Researchers discover two molecules that help fruitflies sleep.
Mutant flies that lack the chemicals sleep more. In mammals the same molecules are also involved in learning and memory, supporting the idea that one function of sleep is to consolidate our record of the days experiences 1 .
The molecules are cyclic AMP and CREB, chemical messengers that work within cells. Cyclic AMP activates CREB, which then switches on genes.
Joan Hendricks, of th