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China’s quantum satellite in big leap

China’s quantum satellite in big leap

Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Micius went up from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Centre in China’s north west The term “spy satellite” has taken on a new meaning with the successful test of a novel Chinese spacecraft. The mission can provide unbreakable secret communications channels, in principle, using the laws of quantum science. Called […]

Air pollution plan ‘unfair’ on local authorities

Air pollution plan ‘unfair’ on local authorities

Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Air pollution levels in London could stay above legal limits for the next decade if action isn’t taken The UK government is abdicating its responsibilities and “unfairly shifting the burden” of dealing with dirty air on to local authorities. That’s the view of the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health, […]

Dams could ‘permanently damage Amazon’

Dams could ‘permanently damage Amazon’

Image copyright Edgargo Latrubesse Image caption The Amazon basin is the largest and most complex river system in the world The Amazon basin could suffer significant and irreversible damage if an extensive dam building programme goes ahead, scientists say. Currently, 428 hydroelectric dams are planned, with 140 already built or under construction. Researchers warn that […]

Juncker rejects US climate deal re-negotiation

Juncker rejects US climate deal re-negotiation

Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Green groups across Europe protested the US pullout from Paris Speaking to the European Parliament, Jean-Claude Juncker categorically ruled out any re-negotiation of the Paris climate agreement. The European Commission President said: “We have spent 20 years negotiating”, and now was the time for implementation. US President Trump has […]

Ancient bird like ‘a kangaroo-sized flying turkey’

Ancient bird like ‘a kangaroo-sized flying turkey’

Image copyright E.Shute/FU/Kim.Benson/T.Rodd/A.Camens Image caption Artwork: Modern megapode bird (L), grey kangaroo (C) and a visualisation of Progura gallinacea It has been described as a “giant flying turkey” the size of a grey kangaroo by Australian scientists. It is actually an extinct species of megapode bird – an ancient cousin of the modern Malleefowl, which […]

‘Bottled nature’ helps ease dental pain

‘Bottled nature’ helps ease dental pain

Media captionCan going to the dentist really become a walk on the beach? Could sitting in the dentist’s chair really be as enjoyable as a walk on the beach? UK scientists found that putting patients in a virtual reality (VR) environment while being treated can reduce anxiety levels. The researchers said this “bottled nature” approach […]

The battle for nesting sites among the birds and the bees

The battle for nesting sites among the birds and the bees

Image copyright Getty Images Image caption The White-tailed bumblebee emerges early in the spring Competition for nesting sites could explain why some birds and bumblebees are declining faster than others. Research suggest animals that build their nests in early spring may win the fight for available habitat at the expense of late breeders. Conservation efforts […]

Bloodhound supersonic car set for October trials

Bloodhound supersonic car set for October trials

Image copyright BLOODHOUND SSC Image caption The Bloodhound project was first announced in 2008 The Bloodhound supersonic car will run for the first time on 26 October. It is going to conduct a series of “slow speed” trials on the runway at Newquay airport in Cornwall. Engineers want to shake down the vehicle’s systems before […]

Global hotspots for alien invasions revealed

Global hotspots for alien invasions revealed

Image copyright Tim Blackburn Image caption The grey squirrel – originally from North America – is pushing out red squirrels Great Britain is in the top 10% of areas for harbouring alien species, according to a study. Animals that have moved in from afar include the grey squirrel, rose-ringed parakeet and the noble false widow […]

The oldest living thing on Earth

Image copyright Getty Images Image caption The Great Basin bristlecone pine is found in the western United States Mayflies live a day, humans live a century, if we’re lucky, but what is the oldest living organism on the planet? For scientists, accurately proving the age of any long-lived species is a hard task. Under the […]