The modern human brain may be younger than previously thought

The earliest-known specimen of a Homo sapiens dates back to roughly 300,000 years ago, according to Daily Mail. 

Though much has changed since then, scientists long believed that our species still retained one common feature - our brains.

It turns out that our brains actually look much different from our ancestors that lived hundreds of thousands of years ago.

Researchers create first stem cells using CRISPR genome activation

In a scientific first, researchers turned skin cells from mice into stem cells by activating a specific gene in the cells using CRISPR technology. The innovative approach offers a potentially simpler technique to produce the valuable cell type and provides important insights into the cellular reprogramming process, according to Science Daily.

"This is a new way to make induced pluripotent stem cells that is fundamentally different from how they've been created before," said author Sheng Ding, PhD, a senior investigator. "At the beginning of the study, we didn't think this would work, but we wanted to at least try to answer the question: can you reprogram a cell just by unlocking a specific location of the genome? And the answer is yes."

Pluripotent stem cells can be turned into virtually any cell type in the body. As a result, they are a key therapeutic resource for currently incurable conditions, such as heart failure, Parkinson's disease, and blindness. They also provide excellent models to study diseases and important tools to test new drugs in human cells.

How flowering plants conquered the world

Scientists think they have the answer to a puzzle that baffled even Charles Darwin: How flowers evolved and spread to become the dominant plants on Earth.

Flowering plants, or angiosperms, make up about 90% of all living plant species, including most food crops, according to BBC.

In the distant past, they outpaced plants such as conifers and ferns, which predate them, but how they did this has has been a mystery.

New research suggests it is down to genome size - and small is better.

Special star is a Rosetta Stone for understanding the sun's variability and climate effect

The spots on the surface on the Sun come and go with an 11-year periodicity known as the solar cycle. The solar cycle is driven by the solar dynamo, which is an interplay between magnetic fields, convection and rotation. However, our understanding of the physics underlying the solar dynamo is far from complete. One example is the so-called Maunder Minimum, a period in the 17th century, where spots almost disappeared from the surface of the Sun for a period of over 50 years, according to Science Daily.

How did Mars lose its oceans? Scientist may have cracked the mystery

Mars might not be as dry as previously thought. New research from the University of Oxford suggests the water which once flowed on the Red Planet’s surfaces is actually locked in its rocks.

It has been accepted for some time that streams of water used to flow along the surface of Earth’s barren neighbor. But the reason for the water’s disappearance has never been fully understood, according to RT.