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Study: Chimps, like humans, are natural-born killers

Scientists have overturned the widely-held view of chimpanzees and revealed that they are, like humans, natural-born killers.

A chimpanzee in the Royev Ruchey zoo in Krasnoyarsk, Siberia Credit: REUTERS/Ilya Naymushin

A team of 30 researchers studied 152 killings by chimpanzees observed over five decades and concluded that the apes have an almost psychopathic tendency towards violence and slaughter.

A widely-held theory is that chimps only turn on each other when humans disrupt their forest habitats or food supplies.

Instead, the scientists found that human variables had no impact on the rates of killings and that the chimps fight and kill to get what they want and "eliminate rivals". The study is published in the journal Nature.


Nasa to focus on sending humans to Mars

Nasa is to focus on sending humans to Mars after announcing that contracts for transporting Americans to the International Space Station have been awarded to Boeing and SpaceX.

Nasa is to focus on sending humans to Mars. Credit: NASA

In a statement Nasa Administrator Charles Bolden said: "Turning over low-Earth orbit transportation to private industry also will allow Nasa to focus on an even more ambitious mission – sending humans to Mars."

Nasa confirms billion-dollar contracts for Boeing and SpaceX

Nasa has announced that manned spacecraft will again launch from the United States after deals with Boeing and SpaceX.

The total potential contract value is $4.2 billion for Boeing and $2.6 billion for SpaceX, with the spacecraft launching from Kennedy Space Center.

It is hoped the new deal will see crews fly to the International Space Station "in just a few years...ending the nation’s sole reliance on Russia by 2017," Nasa Administrator Charles Bolden said.

NASA to announce 'return of manned spaceflights'

NASA is due to make a major announcement regarding the return of human spaceflight launches to the United States.

NASA has been unable to send people to space since the retirement of the space shuttle programme in 2011 and has relied on Russia to ferry astronauts to the International Space Station.

You can watch the announcement live here:

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NBC has reported that Boeing and SpaceX are expected to win a contract to start transporting astronauts.


World 'must show same urgency' over climate change

Global leaders must show "the same level of urgency" to tackle climate change as was shown to protect the ozone layer, the head of the World Meteorological Organization says.

"International action on the ozone layer is a major environmental success story ... This should encourage us to display the same level of urgency and unity to tackle the even greater challenge of tackling climate change," WMO Secretary-General Michel Jarraud said after the first signs were reported that the layer was thickening.

The ozone hole that appears annually over Antarctica has also stopped growing bigger every year, though it will be about a decade before it starts shrinking, the report found.

UN: Ozone layer 'thickening' after years of depletion

The ozone layer that shields life from the sun's cancer-causing ultraviolet rays is showing its first sign of thickening after years of dangerous depletion, according to a United Nations study.

A crackdown on man-made gases has been credited with prompting the turnaround. Credit: Dorothy Burrows/Eye Ubiquitous/Press Association Images

Experts said it showed the success of a 1987 ban on man-made gases that damage the fragile high-altitude screen, an achievement that would help prevent millions of cases of skin cancer and other conditions.

The ozone hole that appears annually over Antarctica has also stopped growing bigger every year, though it will be about a decade before it starts shrinking, said the report co-produced by the World Meteorological Organization and the UN Environment Programme.

Past studies have suggested the ozone layer has stopped getting worse.

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