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Plant ‘thugs’ crowd roadside flowers

Plant ‘thugs’ crowd roadside flowers

Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Bee orchids are very sensitive to mowing practices Wild flowers are being driven off Britain’s roadside verges by air pollution and poor management​, the charity Plantlife claims. It says emissions from vehicle exhausts are acting as a fertiliser for a group of nitrogen-loving plants like nettles, which outcompete traditional […]

Cuckoo bee species ‘hiding in plain sight’

Cuckoo bee species ‘hiding in plain sight’

Image copyright Thomas Onuferko Image caption A female from one of the newly discovered Attenborough species of cuckoo bee Scientists have discovered 15 new species of cuckoo bees hidden in North American museum collections and in an ancient thesis. Like their avian counterparts, cuckoo bees lay their eggs in the nests of other bees, usually […]

SpaceX flies ‘lessons learned’ rocket

SpaceX flies ‘lessons learned’ rocket

Image copyright SPACEX The California rocket company SpaceX has conducted what is arguably its most important launch to date. Flying out of Florida, the firm’s Falcon-9 vehicle lifted a standard telecommunications satellite for Bangladesh into orbit. But the booster incorporated everything SpaceX has so far learnt about reusability. This “Block 5” version of the Falcon […]

Origins of amphibian-killing fungus uncovered

Origins of amphibian-killing fungus uncovered

Image copyright Frank Pasmans Image caption The frog Bombina orientalis was imported to Europe from South Korea A deadly fungus that has ravaged amphibian populations worldwide probably originated in East Asia, new research suggests. A study in Science journal supports an idea that the pet trade helped spread killer strains of the chytrid fungus around […]

UN puts brave face as climate talks get stuck

UN puts brave face as climate talks get stuck

Image copyright IISD/ENB – Kiara Worth UN talks have been officially suspended as countries failed to resolve differences about implementing the Paris climate agreement. The negotiations will resume in Bangkok in September where an extra week’s meeting has now been scheduled . Delegates struggled with the complexity of agreeing a rulebook for the Paris climate […]

Temperature-controlled turtle sex gene found

Temperature-controlled turtle sex gene found

Image copyright Getty Images Scientists have isolated the gene responsible for temperature-controlled sex determination in turtles. Red eared slider turtles, a common household pet, develop into male or female embryos according to their egg incubation temperature. This little understood process is also at work in the eggs of crocodiles, alligators and some lizards. Researchers are […]

Device could make underwater objects appear invisible to sonar

Device could make underwater objects appear invisible to sonar

Image copyright Peter Kerrian Image caption This 90cm (3ft) -tall steel pyramid is designed to act as underwater sonar cloak It sounds like the type of tech a Bond villain would have, but scientists have developed an acoustic underwater “invisibility cloak”. The device makes sound waves scatter around an object making it invisible to sonar […]

UN climate stalemate sees extra week of talks added

UN climate stalemate sees extra week of talks added

Image copyright IISD/ENB – Kiara Worth Image caption The UN talks have become increasingly bogged down in process UN negotiations in Bonn are set to end in stalemate today as delegates have become bogged down in technical arguments about the Paris climate pact. Poorer nations say they are fed up with foot dragging by richer […]

Brexit to ‘force work on Galileo sat-nav system out of UK’

Brexit to ‘force work on Galileo sat-nav system out of UK’

Image copyright ESA Image caption The Galileo system was conceived to give Europe an independent sat-nav capability An executive at Airbus says that work on the Galileo sat-nav system will have to be moved out of the UK if the company wins a key contract. Galileo has become something of a political football in Brexit […]

Lonely asteroid tells Solar System story

Lonely asteroid tells Solar System story

Image copyright ESO/M. Kornmesser Image caption Illustraion: 2004 EW95 orbits four billion kilometres from Earth Researchers have observed the first object of its kind – a carbon-rich asteroid in the Kuiper Belt. Orbiting in the collection of icy rubble beyond Neptune, the asteroid’s composition strongly suggests it did not form there. Instead, the 300km-wide object […]