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Giant bat: Remains of extinct burrowing bat found in New Zealand

Giant bat: Remains of extinct burrowing bat found in New Zealand

Image copyright Illustration by Gavin Mouldey Image caption Scientists say the newly found bat resembled this other kind of extinct burrowing bat The fossilised remains of a giant burrowing bat that lived in New Zealand millions of years ago have been found on the country’s South Island. The teeth and bones of the extinct bat […]

Sam Gyimah is new science minister

Sam Gyimah is new science minister

Image copyright UK Parliament Sam Gyimah has been made Universities and Science Minister for England in Theresa May’s government reshuffle. Mr Gyimah’s role straddles the Department for Education and the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. He replaces Jo Johnson, who has been made Transport Minister. Mr Gyimah, 41, will work alongside the newly […]

Most expensive year on record for US natural disasters

Most expensive year on record for US natural disasters

Image copyright Karl Spencer Image caption Hurricane Harvey caused damage estimated at around $125bn in Texas last year The US experienced a record year of losses from fires, hurricanes and other weather related disasters in 2017, according to the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (Noaa). Total losses amounted to $306bn the agency said, over […]

El Nino’s long reach to Antarctic ice

El Nino’s long reach to Antarctic ice

Image copyright NASA Image caption The Getz Ice Shelf in West Antarctica feels the linkage strongly Antarctica may be thousands of kilometres from the central Pacific but events there can have a significant effect on the White Continent’s ice. Scientists have shown how ice shelves – the floating fronts of marine-terminating glaciers – respond to […]

John Young, US astronaut and pioneer, dies aged 87

John Young, US astronaut and pioneer, dies aged 87

Image copyright AFP Image caption John Young made his first space flight with Gemini 3 in 1965 US astronaut John Young, who flew to the moon twice and commanded the first ever space shuttle mission, has died aged 87, Nasa said. “Today, Nasa and the world have lost a pioneer,” agency chief Robert Lightfoot said […]

Cardiff University scientists’ drugs test breakthrough

Cardiff University scientists’ drugs test breakthrough

Media captionDr Niek Buurma explains what the research has achieved Scientists in Wales have helped develop a technique to streamline production of new drugs to detect if they could become ineffective or even harmful. Researchers can now spot if molecules could be unable to bind to proteins or enzymes in the body as intended. Compounds […]

Coral reefs head for ‘knock-out punch’

Coral reefs head for ‘knock-out punch’

Image copyright Andreas Dietzel Image caption A diver surveys bleached/dead corals on Zenith Reef, part of the Great Barrier Reef Repeat bouts of warmer seawater are posing a significant challenge to the world’s tropical corals. A study of 100 reefs, published in Science Magazine, shows the interval between bleaching events in recent decades has shortened […]

Alaskan infant’s DNA tells story of ‘first Americans’

Alaskan infant’s DNA tells story of ‘first Americans’

Image copyright Ben Potter Image caption Excavations at the Upward Sun River archaeological site in Alaska The 11,500-year-old remains of an infant girl from Alaska have shed new light on the peopling of the Americas. Genetic analysis of the child, allied to other data, indicates she belonged to a previously unknown, ancient group. Scientists say […]

Fire reductions ‘make methane numbers add up’

Fire reductions ‘make methane numbers add up’

Image copyright EPA Image caption Fires globally are in sharp decline Scientists think they can now better explain the recent surge in methane levels seen in the Earth’s atmosphere. Although only a trace component in the air, CH4 is a greenhouse gas and has been rising rapidly since about 2006. Tropical wetlands and fossil fuels […]

UK faces build-up of plastic waste

UK faces build-up of plastic waste

Media captionA new ban on most foreign waste in China could impact recycling in the UK. The UK’s recycling industry says it doesn’t know how to cope with a Chinese ban on imports of plastic waste. Britain has been shipping up to 500,000 tonnes of plastic for recycling in China every year, but now the […]