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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 […]

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 […]

‘World’s oldest fungus’ raises evolution questions

‘World’s oldest fungus’ raises evolution questions

Image copyright Stefan Bengtson Image caption The fossil life forms were inside a bubble of lava 0.8mm in diameter Fungus-like life forms have been found in rocks dating back 2.4 billion years. The fossils, drilled from rocks that were once beneath the seafloor, resemble living fungi. Scientists say the discovery could push back the date […]

Plastic-eating caterpillar could munch waste, scientists say

Plastic-eating caterpillar could munch waste, scientists say

Image copyright CÉSAR HERNÁNDEZ/CSIC Image caption Wax worm caterpillars in a petri dish A caterpillar that munches on plastic bags could hold the key to tackling plastic pollution, scientists say. Researchers at Cambridge University have discovered that the larvae of the moth, which eats wax in bee hives, can also degrade plastic. Experiments show the […]

Munch inspired by ‘screaming clouds’

Munch inspired by ‘screaming clouds’

Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Edvard Munch’s The Scream: One of the world’s most famous works of art Norwegian scientists have put forward a new theory to explain the inspiration behind one of the most famous works of art ever produced. The Scream (1892), by Edvard Munch, depicts a figure holding its face, which […]

Road verges ‘last refuge’ for plants – conservation charity

Road verges ‘last refuge’ for plants – conservation charity

Image copyright Tim Pankhurst Image caption Fen ragwort: It grows naturally only by a roadside in Cambridgeshire Roadside verges are becoming the last refuge for some of the rarest wild flowers and plants in the UK, according to a conservation charity. Plantlife is calling for better management of grassy verges to preserve a wealth of […]

Road verges ‘last refuge’ for plants – conservation charity

Road verges ‘last refuge’ for plants – conservation charity

Image copyright Tim Pankhurst Image caption Fen ragwort: It grows naturally only by a roadside in Cambridgeshire Roadside verges are becoming the last refuge for some of the the rarest wild flowers and plants in the UK, according to a conservation charity. Plantlife is calling for better management of grassy verges to preserve a wealth […]

Ex-child soldier wins environment prize

Image copyright Goldman Environmental Prize Image caption Ranger Rodrigue Katembo has been kidnapped and attacked and has suffered mock executions while protecting the Virunga National Park in the DRC An ex-child soldier who has spent years risking his life to fight illegal mining and wildlife poaching has been given a prestigious award. The Goldman prize […]

Cassini probe heads towards Saturn ‘grand finale’

Cassini probe heads towards Saturn ‘grand finale’

Media captionEarl Maize: “We can’t leave Cassini in an uncontrolled orbit near Saturn” Cassini has used a gravitational slingshot around Saturn’s moon Titan to put it on a path towards destruction. Saturday’s flyby swept the probe into an orbit that takes it in between the planet’s rings and its atmosphere. This gap-run gives the satellite […]

Cassini probe sets up Saturn ‘grand finale’

Cassini probe sets up Saturn ‘grand finale’

Media captionEarl Maize: “We can’t leave Cassini in an uncontrolled orbit near Saturn” Cassini is about to use a slingshot around Saturn’s moon Titan to put it on a path towards destruction. Saturday’s flyby will sweep the probe into an orbit that takes it in between the planet’s rings and its atmosphere. This gap-run gives […]