Teenage girl escapes crucifixion in exorcisms in France

A quartet of former Seventh Day Adventist Church members went on trial in France this week for nearly killing a 19-year-old girl they tied up during a crucifixion-like exorcism. Three men — including the teen’s boyfriend, Eric Deron — and a woman allegedly bound the girl to a mattress and hung her in the positionContinue reading “Teenage girl escapes crucifixion in exorcisms in France”

MERS-CoV: Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus – poorly understood and on the rise

Saudi Arabia reported today that five more people have been infected with the Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV), as if to underline yesterday’s warning from the head of the World Health Organization (WHO) that the novel virus is a global threat. In a brief statement, the Saudi Ministry of Health (MOH) said, “Within theContinue reading “MERS-CoV: Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus – poorly understood and on the rise”

Ancient urine provides clues to Africa’s past

When it comes to peering into Africa’s climate past, the ancient homes of hyraxes are number one. Paleoclimatologists typically dig up muddy core samples and analyze their pollen content for clues to long-ago weather, but parts of southern and central Africa are too dry to preserve such evidence. Enter the rock hyrax (Procavia capensis) (inset),Continue reading “Ancient urine provides clues to Africa’s past”

More HIV ‘cured’: first a baby, now 14 adults

A drug-free life beckons for some people with HIV Two weeks after the revelation that a baby has been “cured” of HIV, reports suggest that a similar treatment can cure some adults too. Early treatment seems crucial, but does not guarantee success. Asier Sáez-Cirión of the Pasteur Institute’s unit for regulation of retroviral infections inContinue reading “More HIV ‘cured’: first a baby, now 14 adults”

France pig noise contest

France’s annual agricultural fair has been in full swing in Paris this week: a chance for farmers from across the country to show off their wares, and for city-dwellers to come and gawk. One of the big crowd-pullers every year is the national pig-noise contest, where people compete to produce the most convincing grunts andContinue reading “France pig noise contest”

Ancient Lost Continent Discovered in Indian Ocean

Evidence of a drowned “microcontinent” has been found in sand grains from the beaches of a small Indian Ocean island, scientists say. A well-known tourist destination, Mauritius (map) is located about 1,200 miles (2,000 kilometers) off the coast of Africa, east of Madagascar. Scientists think the tiny island formed some nine million years ago fromContinue reading “Ancient Lost Continent Discovered in Indian Ocean”

Did Neanderthals go extinct because they couldn’t learn to catch rabbits?

Neanderthals became extinct as they were unable to adapt their hunting skills to catch small animals like rabbits, a new study has claimed. For the study, John Fa of Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust in Trinity, Jersey, and his colleagues counted skeletons of animals that were found in three excavation sites in Spain and southern France.Continue reading “Did Neanderthals go extinct because they couldn’t learn to catch rabbits?”

Car stuck at 125mph for an hour

It started with a trip to a supermarket. It ended with a high-speed chase, a frantic call to police, a highway-bound ballet, a border crossing, a ditch, and a guy who is very, very lucky to be alive. Frank Lecerf, from his home in Pont-de-Metz, near the French city of Amiens, was making his weeklyContinue reading “Car stuck at 125mph for an hour”

Are Bacteria Making You Hungry?

Over the last half decade, it has become increasingly clear that the normal gastrointestinal (GI) bacteria play a variety of very important roles in the biology of human and animals. Now Vic Norris of the University of Rouen, France, and coauthors propose yet another role for GI bacteria: that they exert some control over theirContinue reading “Are Bacteria Making You Hungry?”