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Genetically-modified crops have benefits – Princess Anne

Genetically-modified crops have benefits – Princess Anne

Image copyright PA Image caption The Princess Royal has farms in Gloucestershire and is a patron of many rural charities Princess Anne has said genetically-modified crops have important benefits for providing food and she would be open to growing them on her own land. She told BBC Radio 4’s Farming Today “we have to accept” […]

Fossil named after Sir David Attenborough

Fossil named after Sir David Attenborough

Image copyright Siveter et al Image caption Cascolus ravitis has been reconstructed as a virtual fossil, revealing every detail of the animal A 430-million-year-old fossil discovered “frozen in time” in ancient volcanic rock has been named after Sir David Attenborough. The tiny crustacean, measuring less than 1cm long, was found by researchers in Herefordshire. It […]

Nasa ‘smallsats’ open up new planetary frontier

Nasa ‘smallsats’ open up new planetary frontier

Image copyright NASA Image caption The IceCube smallsat was designed to study Earth, but upcoming missions would be despatched to other planetary bodies Nasa is planning a series of small satellite missions that could open up new ways of exploring the Solar System. James Green, head of planetary science at Nasa, told BBC News that […]

Sea otters ahead of dolphins in using tools

Sea otters ahead of dolphins in using tools

Image copyright Jessica Fujii Image caption Sea otters use rocks to crack open shellfish Sea otters may have been using stone tools for thousands or even millions of years, according to scientists. It appears otters learned how to use tools long before other marine mammals. Sea otters are often seen floating on their backs, using […]

Tiny genetic change lets bird flu leap to humans

Tiny genetic change lets bird flu leap to humans

Image copyright Getty Images Image caption At least six provinces have reported human cases of H7N9 influenza this year, according to Chinese state media A change in just a single genetic “letter” of the flu virus allows bird flu to pass to humans, according to scientists. Monitoring birds for viruses that carry the change could […]

LHC: Five new particles hold clues to sub-atomic glue

LHC: Five new particles hold clues to sub-atomic glue

Image copyright EQUINOX GRAPHICS/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY The Large Hadron Collider has discovered new sub-atomic particles that could help to explain how the centres of atoms are held together. The particles are all different forms of the so-called Omega-c baryon, whose existence was confirmed in 1994. Physicists had always believed the various types existed but had […]

Sperm swimming technique ‘all down to simple maths’

Sperm swimming technique ‘all down to simple maths’

Image copyright Science Photo Library Image caption Millions of sperm set off but only a few will complete the journey How an individual sperm swims, against all the odds, through fluid to reach the fallopian tubes has been revealed – and it’s all about rhythm. Researchers from the UK and Japan found that the head […]

Etna escape: ‘Pelted with hot debris’

Etna escape: ‘Pelted with hot debris’

Image copyright Sam Robinson Image caption Etna is usually doing something. That makes it a draw for scientists and tourists When we arrived in Sicily, we discovered that we were in luck: Mount Etna had just started to erupt again. I was part of a BBC team who had come to film a report on […]

Scientists play ‘geological genealogy’

Scientists play ‘geological genealogy’

Image copyright Rick Carlson Image caption The rocks on the eastern shores of the Hudson Bay are among the oldest on Earth Scientists have tracked the “family history” of a rock back to some of the earliest times on Earth. Researchers analysed the concentration and distribution of particular types of atoms in the granite to […]

Climate change: Biofuels ‘could limit jet contrails’

Climate change: Biofuels ‘could limit jet contrails’

Image copyright NASA Image caption The aim was to sample emissions under real-world conditions Some close-quarter flying has provided new insights into aircraft pollution. US space agency-led scientists flew small, instrumented, chase planes directly in the exhaust plume of a big jet to measure the sorts of gases and particles being thrown out. The data […]