Science/Nature

Cane toad DNA breakthrough ‘may help stop’ toxic pest

[ad_1] Image copyright UNSW Image caption Cane toads are highly adaptive and release a destructive toxin Scientists say they have unlocked the DNA blueprint of the cane toad, raising fresh hopes of slowing the animal's destruction of habitats.The amphibian, native to South America, has become a prolific pest since it was introduced in other parts of the world last century.In Australia, it has spread rapidly and had a deadly impact
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RemoveDebris: UK satellite nets ‘space junk’

[ad_1] Media playback is unsupported on your device Media captionThe satellite RemoveDebris will use a net and a harpoon to clean up space junkA British satellite has successfully deployed a net in orbit to demonstrate how to capture space debris. The event took place more than 300km above the Earth.It was part of a series of trials that will showcase different technologies to remove the redundant hardware now circling the
Science/Nature

Are wasps the bees knees? Scientists think they should be

[ad_1] Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Wasps, often encountered on picnics, have a poor reputation with the public A new study reveals that wasps are largely disliked by the public, whereas bees are highly appreciated. The researchers involved say that this view is unfair because wasps are just as ecologically useful as bees. The scientists suggest a public relations campaign to restore the wasps' battered image.They'd like to see
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Elon Musk unveils first tourist for SpaceX ‘Moon loop’

[ad_1] Image copyright SpaceX Image caption Artwork: The BFR spaceship will be able to carry humans on a trip around the Moon Elon Musk's company SpaceX has unveiled the first private passenger it plans to fly around the Moon.Japanese billionaire, entrepreneur and online fashion tycoon Yusaku Maezawa, 42, announced: "I choose to go to the Moon".He is expected to lift-off on the Big Falcon Rocket (BFR), a launch system unveiled
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NovaSAR: UK radar satellite to track illegal shipping activity

[ad_1] Image copyright SSTL/AIRBUS/ISRO Image caption S1-4 and NovaSAR pictured just before being enclosed at the top of their Indian rocket The first all-British radar satellite is set to go into orbit on an Indian rocket. Called NovaSAR, it has the ability to take pictures of the surface of the Earth in every kind of weather, day or night. The spacecraft will assume a number of roles but its designers
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Nightingales ‘could become extinct in Hampshire’

[ad_1] The nightingale has undergone a dramatic decline in recent years across the UK.Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust said in Hampshire just 18 male nightingales had been recorded this year, a significant decline from the 355 birds in 1980. It says there is a real possibility of the species becoming extinct in the county.The number of nightingales in the UK has declined by 90% in the past 50
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Prickly cactus species ‘under threat’

[ad_1] Image copyright Richard Duebel Image caption Anton Brugger stands in his cactus nursery in Almeria, southern Spain The iconic cactus plant is veering into trouble say researchers. The most serious problem is illegal smuggling. Despite the international ban on uncontrolled trade in cacti, policing the smuggling faces many problems and semi-professional hunters continue to uproot plants to order, stealing from National Parks, Indian Reservations, but more significantly from the
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ICESat: Space laser to get unprecedented view of Earth’s ice

[ad_1] Image copyright NASA Image caption ICESat-2 fires 10,000 shots a second as it moves around the Earth The American space agency is about to put a laser in orbit to measure the condition of Earth's ice cover. The satellite mission, called ICESat-2, should provide more precise information on how these frozen surfaces are being affected by global warming. Antarctica, Greenland and the ice floating on the Arctic Ocean have
Science/Nature

Intensive farming ‘least bad option’ for food and environment

[ad_1] Image copyright Getty Images Intensive, high-yielding agriculture may be the best way to meet growing demand for food while conserving biodiversity, say researchers. But their study says the approach makes sense only if it is linked to more wilderness being spared the plough.Intensive farming is said to create high levels of pollution and damage the environment more than organic farming.However, this report suggests that contrary to perceptions, this is