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Bumblebees: Pesticide ‘reduces queen egg development’

Bumblebees: Pesticide ‘reduces queen egg development’

Image copyright Royal Holloway University of London Image caption Bumblebees may come into contact with pesticides when foraging or nesting Use of a common pesticide in spring could have an impact on wild bumblebees by interfering with their life cycle, a UK study suggests. The team, who looked at wild bumblebees caught in the English […]

Busy shipping lanes could cause ‘seal hearing loss’

Busy shipping lanes could cause ‘seal hearing loss’

Image copyright Science Photo Library Image caption Seals could suffer temporary hearing loss according to the research study Seals may experience hearing loss from underwater vessel noise, researchers at the University of St Andrews have said. The study compares seals inhabiting the UK’s busy shipping lanes to humans living in noisy cities. Lead author Esther […]

Antarctic iceberg crack develops fork

Antarctic iceberg crack develops fork

The crack in the Larsen C Ice Shelf that looks set to spawn a giant berg has suddenly forked. Satellite imagery of the 180km-long fissure acquired in recent days shows a clear branching behaviour at its tip. Quite what this means for the future evolution of the crack and the putative 5,000-sq-km berg remains to […]

Ministers will not appeal pollution ruling

Ministers will not appeal pollution ruling

Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Air pollution has been described as a “public health emergency” The UK Government will publish its draft plan to tackle illegal levels of air pollution after it decided not to appeal against a High Court ruling. Last week, the High Court’s rejected a bid by ministers to delay publication […]

Secrets of tea plant revealed by science

Secrets of tea plant revealed by science

Image copyright Lizhi Gao Image caption All tea is made from the leaves of the tea plant, Camellia sinensis Botanists have unlocked the genetic secrets of the plant prized for producing tea. A team in China has decoded the genetic building blocks of the tea plant, Camellia sinensis, whose leaves are used for all types […]

Household food waste level ‘unacceptable’

Household food waste level ‘unacceptable’

Image copyright Reuters The level of household food waste in England is “unacceptable” and householders have a key role to play in reducing it, MPs have said. The Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee said 7.3m tonnes of food was wasted in UK households in 2015. The committee said shops should relax standards that prevent […]

DNA of extinct humans found in caves

DNA of extinct humans found in caves

Image copyright MPI For Evo Anthro / J. Krause Image caption The remains of Neanderthals had previously been found at Vindija Cave in Croatia The DNA of extinct humans can be retrieved from sediments in caves – even in the absence of skeletal remains. Researchers found the genetic material in sediment samples collected from seven […]

Primitive human ‘lived much more recently’

Primitive human ‘lived much more recently’

Image copyright John Hawks Image caption Homo naledi has much in common with early forms of the genus Homo A primitive type of human, once thought to be up to three million years old, actually lived much more recently, a study suggests. The remains of 15 partial skeletons belonging to the species Homo naledi were […]

Family tree of dogs reveals secret history of canines

Family tree of dogs reveals secret history of canines

Image copyright SPL Image caption Dog breeds evolved to fill certain roles The largest family tree of dogs ever assembled shows how canines evolved into more than 150 modern breeds. Dogs were first selected and bred for their ability to perform tasks such as herding goats or cattle, say scientists. Later, they were selected for […]

Cassini set for first Saturn gap plunge

Cassini set for first Saturn gap plunge

Image copyright NASA/JPL-CALTECH Image caption Artwork: Cassini will run the gap between the planet and the rings on 22 occasions The Cassini probe is about to make the first of 22 dives in between the rings of Saturn and the planet’s atmosphere. The orbits represent the last science-gathering phase of this remarkable mission before it […]