Archive for January, 2017:

Australia’s ‘fairy possum’ faces uncertain future

Image copyright Empics Image caption Logging, fire and climate change all pose threats to Leadbeater’s Possum A tiny possum, the faunal emblem of the state of Victoria in Australia, is rapidly heading towards extinction, say scientists. Researchers say the creature, nicknamed the fairy possum, is suffering under a combination of logging, fires and climate change.

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Claim made for hydrogen ‘wonder material’

Image copyright HARVARD UNIVERSIT/R.DIAS/I.SILVERA Image caption Smaller than the cross-section of a hair on your head: The tiny sample went from transparent, to black, to highly reflective as the pressure was increased. Becoming shiny and reflective is a sign the material has become a solid metal, the Harvard team claims Scientists in the US say

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Tim Peake’s capsule goes on display at Science Museum

Image copyright Reuters Image caption Reunited: It was the first time Tim Peake had seen the capsule since stepping out of it in June The spacecraft that carried Tim Peake to and from the International Space Station last year has gone on display at London’s Science Museum. The museum says the Russian capsule is an

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World Bank loan scheme ‘failing clean energy’

Image copyright Reuters Image caption Nations have committed themselves to decarbonising their economies as part of the Paris Climate Agreement A multi-billion dollar global fund is encouraging the construction of fossil fuel projects, at the expense of cleaner options, a study reports. An NGO said that some World Bank policy loans had the effect of

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Skeleton offers clues to medieval spread of leprosy

Image copyright Simon Roffey Image caption Extensive tests were carried out on the skeleton A medieval skeleton found at a UK burial site has revealed clues to the history of leprosy, say researchers. The remains were excavated from the site of one of UK’s earliest known hospitals, near Winchester, Hampshire. Scientific detective work suggests the

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Northumbria University ‘life-threatening’ caffeine test fine

Image copyright Google Image caption Northumbria University has more than 30,000 students and a budget of nearly £250m A university has been fined after two students suffered “life-threatening” effects when they were given 100 times too much caffeine in an experiment. Northumbria University told Newcastle Crown Court it was “deeply, genuinely sorry” as it was

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Extra letters added to life’s genetic code

Image copyright Science Photo Library Image caption The researchers worked with E. coli bacteria like these Scientists have created bacteria that thrive using an expanded “genetic alphabet”. The blueprint for all life forms on Earth is written in a code consisting of four “letters”: A, T, C and G, which pair up in the DNA

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Trump’s ‘control-alt-delete’ on climate change policy

Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Amid concerns over his attitude to climate change, the new President has signed orders to push forward with two major oil pipelines Are the recent actions taken by the Trump team on the issues of climate and energy the opening shots in a war on knowledge? Or are they

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Cats may be as intelligent as dogs, say scientists

Image copyright Thinkstock Image caption Cats match dogs in various mental tests The idea that dogs are more intelligent than cats has been called into question. Japanese scientists say cats are as good as dogs at certain memory tests, suggesting they may be just as smart. A study – involving 49 domestic cats – shows

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Trump backs Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines

Image copyright Reuters US President Donald Trump has infuriated environmentalists by signing executive orders that support two controversial oil pipelines. The new Republican president backed the Keystone XL and Dakota Access projects, provided American steel is used. The Obama administration in late 2015 halted Keystone, which would carry crude from Canada to Texas. The Army

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© Warren Fyfe
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