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Orchid gives up the secrets of its success

Orchid gives up the secrets of its success

Image copyright Zhong-Jian Liu and Li-Jun Chen Image caption The orchid was found at Wutongshan Mountain in Shenzhen, China The orchid is known for its beauty and once changed hands for vast sums. Now, scientists are gaining an insight into how the plant prized for its beauty colonised almost every habitat on Earth. A team […]

Why are there so many berries this year?

Why are there so many berries this year?

Image copyright RHS/Mike Sleigh Image caption Bright blue berries on the shrub, harlequin glorybower Berries are appearing on plants and hedgerows early this year because of the unusual weather patterns. The combination of a warm, dry spring, followed by July and August rains, has led to a plethora of berries, according to horticulturalists. “Berries are […]

Belfast scientists design flexible organic battery

Belfast scientists design flexible organic battery

Image copyright Queen’s University Belfast Image caption The flexible organic supercapacitor could last three times longer than conventional batteries Queen’s University Belfast scientists have designed a new flexible organic battery that could revolutionise how medical implants are powered. Devices such as pacemakers are currently fitted with rigid metal based batteries, which can cause discomfort. The […]

Badger culling gets go-ahead in 11 new areas of England

Badger culling gets go-ahead in 11 new areas of England

Image copyright Thinkstock Image caption Culling will be carried out in 21 areas of England this year Licences have been issued for badger culling in 11 new areas in Devon, Wiltshire, Somerset, Dorset and Cheshire. Culling is part of the government’s 25-year strategy to eradicate bovine TB, but opponents say there is no evidence it […]

Tackling the canine obesity crisis

Tackling the canine obesity crisis

Image caption Could a genetic mutation explain some dogs’ insatiable appetite? When it comes to man’s best friend, science may finally have solved the mystery of their gluttony – some Labradors, it seems, are genetically predisposed to being hungry. That’s according to scientists who were discussing their ongoing mission to improve our favourite pets’ health […]

Cassini: Saturn probe to set up death plunge

Cassini: Saturn probe to set up death plunge

Image copyright NASA/JPL Image caption Artwork: When Cassini enters the atmosphere, it will break up and melt The international Cassini probe at Saturn will execute the course correction on Monday that will put it on a path to destruction. The spacecraft is set to fly close to the giant moon Titan – an encounter that […]

Offshore wind power cheaper than new nuclear

Offshore wind power cheaper than new nuclear

Image copyright Getty Images Energy from offshore wind in the UK will be cheaper than electricity from new nuclear power for the first time. The cost of subsidies for new offshore wind farms has halved since the last 2015 auction for clean energy projects Two firms said they were willing to build offshore wind farms […]

Cycling: Groups call for action on ‘car-dooring’

Cycling: Groups call for action on ‘car-dooring’

Media captionA driving instructor explains how the ‘Dutch reach’ works A campaign to raise awareness of “car-dooring” is needed to save lives on Britain’s roads, Cycling UK has said. The campaign group says cyclists, motorcyclists and pedestrians are being injured and killed by drivers and their passengers carelessly opening doors. It wants the Dutch reach […]

Bats ‘tricked’ into flying into buildings

Bats ‘tricked’ into flying into buildings

Image copyright Stefan Greif Image caption Greater mouse-eared bats (Myotis myotis) were studied in experiments Modern buildings with large expanses of glass or mirrored surfaces are “potentially dangerous” for bats, research suggests. Scientists are calling for monitoring of the risks, particularly in areas where bats congregate in large numbers. Bats have a remarkable ability to […]

Unknown species may thrive in Antarctic caves

Unknown species may thrive in Antarctic caves

Image copyright Michael S Becker Image caption Some of the DNA resembled known species, other sequences didn’t Animals and plants may be living in warm caves under Antarctica’s ice, according to a study. Australian researchers said that Mount Erebus, an active volcano on Antarctica’s Ross Island, is surrounded by caves hollowed out in the ice […]