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Countryside faces Brexit anxiety

Countryside faces Brexit anxiety

Farmers and environmentalists alike are facing anxiety as the shadow of Brexit looms over Britain’s countryside. Some farmers fear their subsidies will be axed, making farming unviable on poor quality land. Campaigners worry that the new Environment Secretary Andrea Leadsom may cut rules protecting wildlife. A government spokesman said policy changes were impossible to predict, […]

First farmers had diverse origins, DNA shows

First farmers had diverse origins, DNA shows

Image copyright Thinkstock Image caption The new study analysed the genomes of early farmers from Iran’s Zagros mountains Analysis of DNA from some of the world’s first farmers shows that they had surprisingly diverse origins. Researchers sequenced genomes from ancient Neolithic skeletons uncovered in Iran. The results shed light on a debate over whether farming […]

Damien Hirst formaldehyde artworks ‘posed no risk to public’

Damien Hirst formaldehyde artworks ‘posed no risk to public’

Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Tate Modern’s Damien Hirst retrospective was one of its most-visited exhibitions A scientific paper that claimed a 2012 exhibition of Damien Hirst works led to the release of formaldehyde fumes has been retracted by one of its authors. The report said gas levels at the Tate Modern exhibition – […]

Scientists warn of ‘unsafe’ decline in biodiversity

Image copyright Science Photo Library Image caption Scientists warn that, if left unchecked, biodiversity loss could have devastating consequences An international team of scientists has issued a warning that biodiversity is dropping below safe levels for the support and wellbeing of human societies. As a species we are inextricably connected with the processes of our […]

Outdoor learning ‘boosts children’s development’

Outdoor learning ‘boosts children’s development’

Image caption Pressures on teaching time and resources often means the benefits of outdoor learning are overlooked, a report says Outdoor learning can have a positive impact on children’s development but it needs to be formally adopted, a report suggests. Childhoods were dramatically changing, with fewer opportunities to spend time outdoors, researchers observed. The loss […]

Eve the Jurassic sea monster

Eve the Jurassic sea monster

It’s the biggest jigsaw puzzle you’ve ever seen but in this case, there are no instructions on the box. Hundreds of bones are laid out on the floor and Dr Hilary Ketchum, of the Oxford Museum of Natural History, has kindly offered to piece them all together. It takes more than an hour to slot […]

DNA ‘tape recorder’ to trace cell history

DNA ‘tape recorder’ to trace cell history

Image copyright Science Photo Library Image caption The scientists proved the technique using a classic laboratory organism – the zebrafish Researchers have invented a DNA “tape recorder” that can trace the family history of every cell in an organism. The technique is being hailed as a breakthrough in understanding how the trillions of complex cells […]

Dreaming brain rhythms lock in memories

Dreaming brain rhythms lock in memories

Image copyright Thinkstock Image caption Humans dream throughout most of the rapid eye movement (REM) sleep phase Disrupting brain activity in sleeping mice, specifically during the rapid eye movement (REM) phase, can stop the animals remembering things they learned that day, a study suggests. It is the clearest evidence to date that REM sleep is […]

Solar Impulse plane reaches Oklahoma

Solar Impulse plane reaches Oklahoma

Image copyright SOLAR IMPULSE Image caption The plane left Goodyear, Phoenix, before dawn on what was to be an 18-hour flight Solar Impulse has landed in Tulsa, Oklahoma, ending stage 11 in its round-the-world journey. Pilot Bertrand Piccard brought the plane in from Phoenix, Arizona, in a flight that lasted just over 18 hours. The […]

Shrinking bird pays the bill for warming

Shrinking bird pays the bill for warming

Image copyright © Jan van de Kam – Netherlands Image caption Red knots (Calidris canutus) are wading birds that use their long bills to probe the mud for invertebrate food A migratory bird has shrunk in stature as temperatures warm at its Arctic breeding ground, according to research. As a consequence of climate change, the […]