Tight underwear really is linked to lower sperm counts in men

Tight underwear really is linked to lower sperm counts in men

Not great for keeping coolMike Morden / Alamy By Sam Wong A man’s choice of underwear really can have an impact on his sperm, according to the largest study yet on the subject. Jorge Chavarro and colleagues at Harvard University asked 656 men to provide a semen sample and blood sample, and answer a questionnaire about what type of […]

Ecstasy-like drugs might relieve social difficulties in autism

Ecstasy-like drugs might relieve social difficulties in autism

Mouse studies hint that social difficulties in autism might be caused by faulty serotonin signalling in the brain and can be helped with serotonin-boosting drugs An ecstasy-like drug has been tested on mice that display autism-like behaviourEdd Westmacott/Alamy By Alice Klein Mimicking the effects of the drug ecstasy seems to restore normal social behaviour in […]

Police can now track killers using relatives’ DNA – but should they?

Police can now track killers using relatives’ DNA – but should they?

Genetic genealogy services are rapidly becoming a key source of forensic evidence, but do we really want the police to have access to everyone’s DNA? Joseph DeAngelo is awaiting trial on murder chargesPaul Kitagaki Jr./Sacramento Bee/TNS via Getty Images By Chelsea Whyte THE Golden State Killer terrorised California with a spree of murders, rapes and […]

Extreme heat: Why its origins could lie deep in the Atlantic

Extreme heat: Why its origins could lie deep in the Atlantic

Swathes of the northern hemisphere are smashing temperature records. Could it be because we’ve broken the ocean currents that stabilise our weather? Photomontage: Andrey Polivanov/Chantawute Chimwan/Shutterstock By Michael Marshall THE northern hemisphere is roasting. Greece is battling lethal wildfires, and even the UK’s weather has been so hot and dry that record-breaking fires have broken […]

A weird Pacific cycle could make the Arctic warm up even faster

A weird Pacific cycle could make the Arctic warm up even faster

The Arctic ice is melting – and it could get worseRowan Romeyn/Alamy Stock Photo By Andy Coghlan The Arctic is already warming up at twice the rate of the rest of the planet. Now researchers have warned that a little-known natural cycle in the Pacific is entering a phase that could make it heat up […]

Did ancient Mayan civilisation collapse because of a sudden drought?

Did ancient Mayan civilisation collapse because of a sudden drought?

The Mayans built spectacular monuments for centuries – and then suddenly stopped. Why?Getty By Michael Le Page Up to around 750 AD, the Mayan civilisation was thriving. Dozens of new monuments were being built every year in what is now Mexico and central America. But by 900 monument building ceased altogether and some cities in […]

Earth Overshoot Day – what to make of this moment of reckoning?

Earth Overshoot Day – what to make of this moment of reckoning?

Earth Overshoot Day is a hugely popular way to highlight our global environmental impact. Here are two views on it… Andrzej Krauze By Mathis Wackernagel and Fred Pearce CHARLES PONZI is unfairly blamed for the Ponzi scheme, a scam in which you rob Peter to pay Paul. It’s yet another gender bias in history, because […]

How Atlantic upheaval will make future weather even more chaotic

How Atlantic upheaval will make future weather even more chaotic

The current that ferries water around the Atlantic stabilises the climate for millions. Now it is getting weaker, which could bring more extreme heatwaves and floods Photomontage: Andrey Polivanov/Chantawute Chimwan/Shutterstock By Michael Marshall THE northern hemisphere is roasting. Greece is battling lethal wildfires, and even the UK’s weather has been so hot and dry that […]

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