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Malaria genetics: study shows how disease became deadly

Malaria genetics: study shows how disease became deadly

Image copyright Science Photo Library The secrets of how malaria became a deadly human-killer have been revealed by a genetic study. The work, led by researchers from Wellcome Sanger Institute in Cambridge, compared seven types of malaria – tracing the parasite’s family tree. This revealed that, about 50,000 years ago, the parasites diverged, with one […]

Clean air plan ‘ambitious but vague’

Clean air plan ‘ambitious but vague’

Image copyright Reuters The number of people exposed to high particle pollution will be halved by 2025 if government plans are realised. There will be an attempt to curb smoke from solid fuel fires and wood-burners; pollution from diesel machinery will be reduced. Farmers, who have largely evaded pollution controls so far, will be told […]

‘Living fossil’ heading for extinction

‘Living fossil’ heading for extinction

Image copyright Robert Murphy Image caption Jing Che of the Chinese Academy of Sciences lifts a giant salamander The world’s largest amphibian is in “catastrophic” decline, with possibly only a handful left in the wild. Field surveys carried out over four years suggest the Chinese giant salamander has all but disappeared from its natural habitat. […]

PM will pay to have ‘full association’ with EU research

PM will pay to have ‘full association’ with EU research

Image copyright PETER POWELL Image caption The Prime Minister sets out her proposal for a special research relationship with the EU post-Brexit at Jodrell Bank The Prime Minister made the strongest commitment yet to “fully associate” the UK with the EU’s £24bn research programme post-Brexit. Theresa May said the UK would be willing to make […]

‘Permanent’ interstellar visitor found

‘Permanent’ interstellar visitor found

Image copyright Science Photo Library Image caption An illustration of a grey/white asteroid on a starfield An asteroid in Jupiter’s orbit may have come from outside our Solar System, according to a new study. Unlike ‘Oumuamua, the interstellar object which briefly visited the Solar System earlier this year, 2015 BZ509 (affectionately known as BZ) seems […]

Seeds of hope: The gardens springing up in refugee camps

Seeds of hope: The gardens springing up in refugee camps

Image copyright Marvin J Willis Viola Vale Ltd Image caption Aveen Ismail in her garden “Syria is green,” says Aveen Ismail. “But here it was like a desert until we started growing plants and trees.” The 35-year-old fled Damascus with her family in 2012. She now lives in the Domiz Camp in Northern Iraq, where […]

‘Shocking’ human impact reported on world’s protected areas

‘Shocking’ human impact reported on world’s protected areas

Image copyright PAUL MULONDO/WCS Image caption Despite more and more land being “protected”, biodiversity is still in decline One third of the world’s protected lands are being degraded by human activities and are not fit for purpose, according to a new study. Six million sq km of forests, parks and conservation areas are under “intense […]

Madagascar emerges as whale shark hotspot

Madagascar emerges as whale shark hotspot

Image copyright Simon J Pierce Image caption Whale sharks are the largest living fish Large numbers of endangered whale sharks have been sighted in waters off Madagascar. The first major scientific survey in the area shows there are far more of the huge fish than previously thought. Eighty-five individuals were identified in a single season […]

Mysterious rise in emissions of ozone-damaging chemical

Mysterious rise in emissions of ozone-damaging chemical

Image copyright NASA/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY Image caption Ozone depletion over the Arctic has been much less pronounced than over the Antarctic Scientists have detected an unexpected rise in atmospheric levels of CFC-11, a chlorofluorocarbon (CFC) highly damaging to the ozone layer. Banned by the Montreal Protocol in 1987, CFC-11 was seen to be declining as […]

1,600 IT workers and engineers denied UK visas

1,600 IT workers and engineers denied UK visas

Image copyright Getty Images More than 1,600 IT specialists and engineers offered jobs in the UK were denied visas between December and March, BBC News has learned. They were denied because the number applying exceeded the monthly limit allowed to enter the UK. Critics argue that the immigration policy will hamper the government’s efforts to […]

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