Archive for February, 2017:

UK ‘must insulate 25 million homes’

Media captionSpraybot goes under floorboards to insulate homes More than one home every minute will need to be refurbished in the UK between now and 2050, experts say. A report to Parliament says 25 million existing homes will not meet the insulation standards required by mid-century. The UK needs to cut carbon emissions by 80%

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Fears for environment as automatic legal ‘cost cap’ scrapped

Image copyright PA New rules have come into force which could dramatically reduce the ability of individuals and non-governmental organisations to bring legal challenges to protect the environment. The government is scrapping automatic “cost caps” which limit the costs of losing such a challenge. Opponents claim the changes will make it “impossible” to “hold the

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SpaceX to fly two tourists around Moon in 2018

Image copyright AFP Image caption The Moon mission is planned for 2018, SpaceX says US private rocket company SpaceX has announced that two private citizens have paid to be sent around the Moon. The mission is planned for late 2018, SpaceX CEO Elon Musk said, adding that the tourists “have already paid a significant deposit”.

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Scientists ‘solve’ the ketchup problem

Scientists in the US may have found a solution to one of the classic dinner table problems – getting every drop of ketchup out of a bottle. As the BBC’s Pallab Ghosh reports, they say it is down to a non-toxic coating that makes the inside of bottles super-slippery. Article source:

Seven Earth-sized planets found orbiting single star

Seven planets have been discovered in a solar system 40 light-years from Earth. The researchers say that all seven could potentially support liquid water on the surface, depending on the other properties of those planets. Article source:

Taliban leader urges Afghans to plant more trees

Image copyright AP Image caption Taliban fighters are encouraged to take part in the tree-planting drive The leader of the Taliban in Afghanistan, Hibatullah Akhundzada, has urged Afghans to plant more trees. In a statement, he called on civilians and fighters to “plant one or several fruit or non-fruit trees for the beautification of Earth

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Island that inspired National Trust finally given to group

The island that inspired the foundation of the National Trust has been gifted to the conservation charity after more than a century in private hands. Sitting in the middle of the Lake District, Grasmere Island was left to the Trust by its former owner in her will. Dave Guest has been for a visit. Article

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US children’s hospital helps save life of baby hippo

22 February 2017 Last updated at 08:20 GMT Doctors from a children’s hospital have stepped in to help save the life of a baby hippo which was born prematurely at Cincinnati Zoo. Article source:

UK robotics research gets £17.3m pledge

Image copyright AFP Image caption Robothespian was built by a British company to interact with the public Funding of £17.3m ($22m) for artificial intelligence and robotics research to be carried out by British universities is to be announced by the government. It is part of the government’s digital strategy, to be published by Culture Secretary

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Minister to enshrine protection for research independence

Image copyright PA Ministers will enshrine into law the idea that there should be no political interference in research funding. The concept, known as the Haldane Principle, has been a guiding precept for science spending but never a requirement until now. The move follows concerns that a proposed shake-up would lead to the centralised funding

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© Warren Fyfe