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Closing gender gap in physics ‘will take generations’

Closing gender gap in physics ‘will take generations’

Image copyright Getty Images Closing the gender gap in physics will take hundreds of years, given the current rate of progress. That’s the finding of research analysing the names of authors listed on millions of scientific papers. Physics, computer science, maths and chemistry had the fewest women, while nursing and midwifery had the most. Without […]

Planet-hunter launches from Florida

Planet-hunter launches from Florida

Image copyright NASA Image caption A clean getaway for Tess and its Falcon 9 launch rocket It’s lift-off for a new era in planet-hunting. The US space agency’s Tess satellite has launched from Cape Canaveral in Florida on a mission to find thousands of new worlds beyond our Solar System. The mission will survey a […]

100 Women: ‘Record number’ of Nepalese women climbing Everest this season

100 Women: ‘Record number’ of Nepalese women climbing Everest this season

Image copyright Purnima Shrestha A record number of Nepalese women are climbing Mount Everest this spring season, officials have told the BBC. Fifteen Nepalese women are planning to climb from the Nepali side, with just five male Nepali climbers so far. The last time a large number of Nepalese women climbed Everest was in 2008, […]

Last of the wild asses back from the brink

Last of the wild asses back from the brink

Image copyright ACBK Image caption Kulans live in pairs or small herds Wild asses are returning to the grasslands of Kazakhstan where they once roamed in large numbers. The equine animals, known as kulans, are native to the area but have been pushed to the brink of extinction by illegal hunting and loss of habitat. […]

Heatwaves ‘cook’ Great Barrier Reef corals

Heatwaves ‘cook’ Great Barrier Reef corals

Image copyright Coral CoE/Gergely Torda Image caption Bleaching causes coral to lose the algae which give it its colour Prolonged ocean warming events, known as marine heatwaves, take a significant toll on the complex ecosystem of the Great Barrier Reef. This is according to a new study on the impacts of the 2016 marine heatwave, […]

Space diamonds ‘came from lost planet’

Space diamonds ‘came from lost planet’

Image copyright SPL Image caption Artwork: The diamond-bearing meteorites may have come from a proto-planet in the early Solar System A diamond-bearing space rock that exploded in Earth’s atmosphere in 2008 was part of a lost planet from the early Solar System, a study suggests. The parent “proto-planet” existed billions of years ago before breaking […]

Costa Coffee vows to boost cup recycling

Costa Coffee vows to boost cup recycling

Image copyright WHITBREAD The UK’s biggest coffee chain Costa Coffee has said it will recycle as many disposable cups as it sells by 2020 in a bid to reduce landfill waste. Under the scheme 500m coffee cups a year would be recycled, including some sold by rivals, it said. It will encourage waste collection firms […]

The first person on Mars ‘should be a woman’

The first person on Mars ‘should be a woman’

Image caption Allison McIntyre manages a huge astronaut training centre at Johnson Space Center A senior Nasa engineer has said the first person to set foot on Mars should be a woman. Allison McIntyre, who puts prospective space travellers through their paces at Johnson Space Center in Houston, noted that all 12 people who have […]

Recycling hope for plastic-hungry enzyme

Recycling hope for plastic-hungry enzyme

Image copyright David Jones Scientists have improved a naturally occurring enzyme which can digest some of our most commonly polluting plastics. PET, the strong plastic commonly used in bottles, takes hundreds of years to break down in the environment. The modified enzyme, known as PETase, can start breaking down the same material in just a […]

Delay for Nasa’s Tess planet-hunter

Delay for Nasa’s Tess planet-hunter

Image copyright Artwork: Tess Image caption Tess’s four-camera system will search about 85% of the sky during its primary mission The launch of Nasa’s Tess planet-hunter has been postponed and it will not now lift off until Wednesday at the earliest. The telescope was due to go up from Cape Canaveral in Florida at 18:32 […]