Cocaine addiction leads to build-up of iron in brain

21 Feb 2017

Cocaine addiction may affect how the body processes iron, leading to a build-up of the mineral in the brain, according to new research from the University of Cambridge. The study, published today in Translational Psychiatry, raises hopes that there may be a biomarker – a biological measure of addiction – that could be used as a target for future treatments.

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Image showing a family trees of stars in our solar system, including the Sun

Mapping the family tree of stars

20 Feb 2017

Astronomers are borrowing principles applied in biology and archaeology to build a family tree of the stars in the galaxy. By studying chemical signatures found in the stars, they are piecing together these evolutionary trees looking at how the stars formed and how they are connected to each other. The signatures act as a proxy for DNA sequences. It’s akin to chemical tagging of stars and forms the basis of a discipline astronomers refer to as Galactic archaeology.

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“Denial”: how to deal with a conspiracy theory in the era of ‘post-truth’

16 Feb 2017

The new film Denial dramatises the landmark libel trial when David Irving sued the academic Deborah Lipstadt for calling him a Holocaust denier – a case Irving lost. Sir Richard Evans, Regius Professor of History and an authority on the Third Reich, was called as an expert witness in the trial. Here, Evans discusses the case and the film, the emergence of 'soft' Holocaust denial, and the statement put out by Trump's White House on this year's Holocaust Memorial Day.      

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A bridge of stars connects two dwarf galaxies

08 Feb 2017

The Magellanic Clouds, the two largest satellite galaxies of the Milky Way, appear to be connected by a bridge stretching across 43,000 light years, according to an international team of astronomers led by researchers from the University of Cambridge. The discovery is reported in the journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society (MNRAS) and is based on the Galactic stellar census being conducted by the European Space Observatory, Gaia.

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