Archive for April, 2017:

Can plastic roads help save the planet?

Engineer Toby McCartney explains how his Scottish start-up MacRebur is persuading councils to use local waste plastic to build roads. Two English councils have already started building roads this way. A smartphone film for BBC World Hacks by Dougal Shaw. Like, Engage, Share. Article source:

Brexit university ‘brain drain’ warning

Image caption MPs say that universities need to have certainty about the future of EU staff and students University staff from EU countries should be guaranteed a right to stay and work in the UK after Brexit to avoid a “damaging brain drain”, says a report from MPs. The education select committee wants urgent steps

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Household food waste level ‘unacceptable’

Image copyright Reuters The level of household food waste in England is “unacceptable” and householders have a key role to play in reducing it, MPs have said. The Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee said 7.3m tonnes of food was wasted in UK households in 2015. The committee said shops should relax standards that prevent

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Premature lambs kept alive in ‘plastic bag’ womb

Image copyright Partridge, E. A. et al. / Nature Communications Image caption The premature lambs matured and grew a wool Scientists have been able to keep premature lambs alive for weeks using an artificial womb that looks like a plastic bag. It provides everything the foetus needs to continue growing and maturing, including a nutrient-rich

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Primitive human ‘lived much more recently’

Image copyright John Hawks Image caption Homo naledi has much in common with early forms of the genus Homo A primitive type of human, once thought to be up to three million years old, actually lived much more recently, a study suggests. The remains of 15 partial skeletons belonging to the species Homo naledi were

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Trump executive order aims to allow Arctic drilling

Image copyright EPA Donald Trump has signed an executive order aimed at reducing restrictions on oil drilling in the Arctic and Atlantic in order to “unleash American energy”. The US president said it would create “thousands and thousands” of jobs, despite a downturn in the oil market. It could undo a ban put in place

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Physics of throwing analysed by scientists

Image copyright SPL Image caption The act of throwing is more complex than you would expect Scientists have calculated the optimal strategy for throwing something accurately – whether it’s a dart or a crumpled-up piece of paper. US researchers say the slow-is-more-accurate rule generally applies. In a series of calculations, they looked at the physics

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‘Fossil’ groundwater’s modern secret

Media captionJim Kirchner: “Fossil groundwater fell as rain when mastodons still roamed the Earth” The world’s oldest and deepest waters are not immune from contamination, warn scientists. It had been assumed that “fossil” reserves found hundreds of metres underground would be largely untouched by modern water sources. But sampling from some 10,000 wells shows this

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DNA of extinct humans found in caves

Image copyright MPI For Evo Anthro / J. Krause Image caption The remains of Neanderthals had previously been found at Vindija Cave in Croatia The DNA of extinct humans can be retrieved from sediments in caves – even in the absence of skeletal remains. Researchers found the genetic material in sediment samples collected from seven

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First Americans claim sparks controversy

Image copyright San Diego Natural History Museum Image caption Purported stone tools can be seen alongside broken mastodon bones at the excavation site near San Diego A study that claims humans reached the Americas 130,000 years ago – much earlier than previously suggested – has run into controversy. Humans are thought to have arrived in

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© Warren Fyfe