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The Meg: the myth, the legend (the science)

The Meg: the myth, the legend (the science)

Image copyright Courtesy of Warner Bros. The Meg, Hollywood’s latest shark tale, is opening wide this week in anticipation of summer audiences in the mood for a scare. Proposing that the extinct Megalodon, a large prehistoric relative of the great white shark, has survived to the present day, the film follows its subsequent encounter with […]

Parker Solar Probe: Nasa’s daring mission to unlock Sun’s mysteries

Parker Solar Probe: Nasa’s daring mission to unlock Sun’s mysteries

Media captionParker Solar Probe: How Nasa is trying to ‘touch’ the Sun The American space agency (Nasa) is all set to launch one of the most daring ventures in its history. It’s going to send a satellite closer to the Sun than any mission has done before. The Parker Solar Probe will dip directly into […]

Coral reefs ‘weathered dinosaur extinction’

Coral reefs ‘weathered dinosaur extinction’

Image copyright Robin T. Smith Corals may have teamed up with the microscopic algae which live inside them as much as 160 million years ago, according to new research. The two organisms have a symbiotic relationship, meaning they need each other to survive. But this partnership was previously thought to have developed about 60 million […]

Primate speech: How some species are ‘wired’ for talk

Primate speech: How some species are ‘wired’ for talk

Image copyright Zanna Clay/Lui Kotala Bonobo Project Image caption Bonobos are the non-human primates with the most extensive vocal repertoire Our primate cousins have surprised and impressed scientists in recent years, with revelations about monkeys’ tool-using abilities and chimps’ development of complex sign language. But researchers are still probing the question: why are we humans […]

Organic solar cells set ‘remarkable’ energy record

Organic solar cells set ‘remarkable’ energy record

Image copyright Getty Images Chinese researchers have taken what they say is a major step forward for the development of a new generation of solar cells. Manufacturers have long used silicon to make solar panels because the material was the most efficient at converting sunlight into electricity. But organic photovoltaics, made from carbon and plastic, […]

Online dating: Aim high, keep it brief, and be patient

Online dating: Aim high, keep it brief, and be patient

Image copyright Press Eye Scientists say the secrets to success in online dating are to aim high, keep your message brief, and be patient. Playing “out of your league” or dating people considered more attractive than you, is a winning strategy, according to a new analysis of internet daters in the US. Men had greater […]

Climate change: ‘Hothouse Earth’ risks even if CO2 emissions slashed

Climate change: ‘Hothouse Earth’ risks even if CO2 emissions slashed

Image copyright Getty Images It may sound like the title of a low budget sci-fi movie, but for planetary scientists, “Hothouse Earth” is a deadly serious concept. Researchers believe we could soon cross a threshold leading to boiling hot temperatures and towering seas in the centuries to come. Even if countries succeed in meeting their […]

Stonehenge: First residents from west Wales

Stonehenge: First residents from west Wales

Image copyright Getty Images Researchers have shown that cremated humans at Stonehenge were from the same region of Wales as the stones used in construction. The key question was to understand the geographic origin of the people buried at Stonehenge. The key innovation was finding that high temperatures of cremation can crystallise a skull, locking […]

Small height evolved twice on ‘Hobbit’ island of Flores

Small height evolved twice on ‘Hobbit’ island of Flores

Image copyright Rosino / Creative commons Image caption Liang Bua cave, where the Hobbit remains were found A new study has shown that small height evolved twice in humans on the Indonesian island of Flores. Scientists decoded the DNA of modern-day “pygmy” people to find out if they might be partly descended from the extinct […]

A bird’s eye view: Songbirds perceive colour like humans

A bird’s eye view: Songbirds perceive colour like humans

Image copyright Ryan Huang, TerraCommunications, LLC Faced with a glorious spectrum of colour, songbirds, just like humans, look for the big picture. They can lump nearby hues in the colour spectrum into categories, such as shades that are generally red, or generally orange. A study now shows that this affects their ability to distinguish between […]