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Japan says it’s time to allow sustainable whaling

Japan says it’s time to allow sustainable whaling

Image copyright Barcroft Media Image caption Whales are known to be intelligent and sociable animals Few conservation issues generate as emotional a response as whaling. Are we now about to see countries killing whales for profit again? Commercial whaling has been effectively banned for more than 30 years, after some whales were driven almost to […]

Aeolus: Space laser starts chasing the wind

Aeolus: Space laser starts chasing the wind

Image copyright ESA Image caption Artwork: Developing the laser system took longer than anyone expected The British-built Aeolus satellite has begun firing its laser down on Earth to map the planet’s winds. It is a big moment for the European Space Agency mission, the technology for which took 16 years to develop. Launched two weeks […]

Bell Burnell: Physics star gives away £2.3m prize

Bell Burnell: Physics star gives away £2.3m prize

Image copyright Getty Images One of the UK’s leading female astronomers is to donate her £2.3m winnings from a major science prize she was awarded. The sum will go to fund women, under-represented ethnic minority and refugee students to become physics researchers. Prof Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell has been awarded a Breakthrough Prize for the […]

‘Twitter mining’ for ants, spiders and birds

‘Twitter mining’ for ants, spiders and birds

Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Scientists want to understand the influence of the environment on insect activity Twitter is set to become a very useful resource in the study of certain animal behaviours, scientists say. A new study trawled the public’s postings on the micro-blogging site to see if they accurately reflected some popular […]

Scholarship to counter ‘unconscious bias’ in physics

Scholarship to counter ‘unconscious bias’ in physics

Image copyright Getty Images One of the UK’s leading female astronomers is to donate her £2.3m winnings from a major science prize she was awarded. The sum will go to fund women, under-represented ethnic minority and refugee students to become physics researchers. Prof Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell has been awarded a Breakthrough Prize for the […]

Monster iceberg’s pivot and turn

Monster iceberg’s pivot and turn

Media captionStrong wind has blown the southern end of the berg out to sea The monster Antarctic iceberg A-68 looks finally to be on the move. For 13 months after breaking away from the White Continent’s long peninsula, the trillion-tonne block did little more than shuffle back and forth on the spot. But now its […]

The tree that bleeds… metal?

The tree that bleeds… metal?

Image copyright Antony Van der Ent Image caption Nickel gives the latex of Pycnandra acuminata a peculiar blue-green colour Heavy metals like nickel and zinc are usually the last thing that plants want to grow next to in high concentrations. But a specialised group, known as hyperaccumulators, have evolved to take up the normally toxic […]

UN treaty would protect high seas from over exploitation

UN treaty would protect high seas from over exploitation

Image copyright Jeremy Bishop The first significant steps towards legally protecting the high seas are to take place at the UN in New York. These waters, defined as the open ocean far from coastlines, are threatened by deep-sea mining, over-fishing and the patenting of marine genetic resources. Over the next two years, government representatives aim […]

Tropical sunfish spotted in Highland waters

Tropical sunfish spotted in Highland waters

Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Sunfish were spotted last week off the north coast of Skye and off Ardnamurchan A fish normally found in tropical waters has twice been spotted off the west coast of Scotland last week. It is the fourth time this year that the sunfish has been recorded by the Hebridean […]

Golden eagle genome study ‘a conservation game changer’

Golden eagle genome study ‘a conservation game changer’

Media captionSaving the ‘king of the birds’ with DNA British scientists have made a breakthrough that could help safeguard the future of one of the world’s most admired birds – the golden eagle. The majestic king of birds is under threat in some areas, but a study led by the Wellcome Sanger Institute could help […]