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Flies more germ-laden than suspected

Flies more germ-laden than suspected

Image copyright Ana Junqueira and Stephan Schuster Image caption Bristles on a fly’s body attract bacteria Scientists have discovered that flies carry more diseases than suspected. The house fly and the blowfly together harbour more than 600 different bacteria, according to a DNA analysis. Many are linked with human infections, including stomach bugs, blood poisoning […]

Galapagos finches caught in act of becoming new species

Galapagos finches caught in act of becoming new species

Image caption This is an image of the Big Bird lineage, which arose through the breeding of two distinct parent species: G. fortis and G. conirostris A population of finches on the Galapagos has been discovered in the process of becoming a new species. This is the first example of speciation that scientists have been […]

Deep fat fryers may help form cooling clouds

Deep fat fryers may help form cooling clouds

Media captionThe University of Reading say molecules from burning fat could counteract global warming. Fatty acids released into the air from cooking may contribute to the formation of clouds that cool the climate, say scientists. Fatty acid molecules comprise about 10% of fine particulates over London, and such particles help seed clouds. But researchers dismiss […]

Dolly the sheep health fears ‘unfounded’

Dolly the sheep health fears ‘unfounded’

Image copyright SPL Image caption Dolly the Sheep on display in Edinburgh’s Royal Museum Concerns that Dolly the cloned sheep suffered from early-onset arthritis were unfounded, a study suggests. In fact, wear-and-tear in her joints was similar to that of other sheep of her age, regardless of how they were conceived, say researchers. Dolly, the […]

Plague reached Europe by Stone Age

Plague reached Europe by Stone Age

Image copyright Stadtarch√§ologie Ausgburg Image caption Plague may already have been capable of causing epidemics in the Stone Age Plague was present in Europe during the late Stone Age, according to a study of ancient remains. Writing in Current Biology journal, researchers suggest the deadly bacterium entered Europe with a mass migration of people from […]

UN review says carbon plans fall well short of climate goals

UN review says carbon plans fall well short of climate goals

Image copyright Getty Images Image caption The report warns that extreme weather events like droughts will become more common unless stronger action is taken to cut emissions A UN review of national plans to cut carbon says they are well short of the levels needed to keep the rise in global temperatures under 2C. The […]

James Webb: Two years to Hubble successor’s launch

James Webb: Two years to Hubble successor’s launch

Image copyright NASA/Chris Gunn Image caption The curvature of the mirrors has just been checked ahead of the shake and acoustic tests Engineers have finished assembling the telescope that will succeed Hubble. The huge new observatory known as James Webb is on track to be launched in exactly two years from now. It will go […]

Rock shelter used by speedy early Australians

Rock shelter used by speedy early Australians

Image copyright Giles Hamm Image caption The scientists think the shelter, 550km north of Adelaide, was used episodically over thousands of years The speed at which the first Aboriginal settlers spread across Australia has been underlined by the discovery of an ancient rock shelter north of Adelaide. The rock fissure in the Flinders Ranges contains […]

DNA clues to how chipmunk earned its stripes

DNA clues to how chipmunk earned its stripes

Image copyright Linda Freshwaters Arndt/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY Image caption The eastern chipmunk (Tamias striatus) drinking water in bird bath Its stripy back makes it one of the most recognisable of rodents – but until now it has been unclear exactly how the chipmunk earned its stripes. Now, scientists have found the evolutionary gene change responsible […]

Tim Peake schools seed experiment results released

Media captionEarlier this year Tim Peake explained how schoolchildren can grow rocket seeds that have flown with him in space The results of a schools experiment led by Tim Peake have been released. Six hundred thousand school children have discovered that seeds that have been in space grow almost as well as those that have […]