The year is 1970 and it’s an unusually warm June day. Sid Altman is worried. He has no job prospects and he has little to show for a year of work in Francis Crick and Sydney Brenner’s laboratory in Cambridge, England. Crick was the co-discoverer of DNA (DeoxyriboNucleic Acid), the molecule that encodes the genetic information that tells cells how to function and grow. It’s an...

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featured question

Q: If nothing can escape from a black hole, how come we are here? The big bang must have been the mother of all black holes.

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In the news

Unlocking the secrets of amber’s toughness

July 12, 2014

Amber is fossilized tree sap, an organic polymer that lasts millions of years, far longer than any plastic. A new analysis technique delveloped by scientists at the Canadian Conservation Institute in Ottawa explains how amber achieves its strength and durability, and could help humans mimic it in their own materials.  Scientists have been able to isolate the building blocks – including communol, ozol and succinic acid. Now we are beginning to understand how exactly how they fit together. More at the Science Media Centre of Canada.

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