Science/Nature

Satellites to monitor whale strandings from space

[ad_1] Media playback is unsupported on your device Media captionDr Jennifer Jackson: "Satellites get us to whales in those places that are hard to reach" Scientists developing techniques to count great whales from space say the largest ever recorded mass stranding event was probably underestimated.The carcasses of 343 sei whales were spotted on remote beaches in Patagonia, Chile, in 2015 - but this survey work was conducted from planes and
Science/Nature

Why a brainless yellow ‘blob’ that can learn is mystifying scientists

[ad_1] A yellow organism which looks like fungus but acts like an animal has gone on display at the Paris Zoological Park. The slim mould - Physarum polycephalum - has almost 720 sexes and has been described as one of "nature's mysteries" by scientists. It can heal itself in two minutes if cut in half, and detect and digest food despite not having eyes, a mouth or a stomach. [ad_2]
Science/Nature

Plastic pollution: how plastic bags could help save the planet

[ad_1] The plastic carrier bag has become something of a symbol for the problems caused by plastic pollution.But according to the family of the man who created it, Sten Gustaf Thulin, his design was supposed to help the planet and he'd be shocked and upset to see what it's become.The Thulin family make no money from the sale of the bags.BBC Environment Reporter Laura Foster explains how these bags were
Science/Nature

Human ‘mini-brain’ develops slowest among primates

[ad_1] Image copyright Sabina Kanton Image caption Four lab-grown chimpanzee "mini-brains". Each one is about the size of a small pea New research shows that human "mini-brains" develop more slowly than those of other primates."Mini-brains" are miniature collections of cells that allow scientists to study how the brain develops.A Swiss team has grown artificial human, chimp and macaque versions in their lab from stem cells.In a study published in Nature
Science/Nature

Bloodhound diary: South African trials get under way

[ad_1] Image copyright BLOODHOUND LSR A British team is developing a car that will be capable of reaching 1,000mph (1,610km/h). Powered by a rocket bolted to a Eurofighter-Typhoon jet engine, the vehicle aims to show its potential by going progressively faster, year after year. By the end of 2019, Bloodhound wants to have demonstrated speeds above 500mph. The next step would be to break the existing world land speed record
Science/Nature

Nasa unveils new spacesuit for next Moon landing

[ad_1] Image copyright NASA/Joel Kowsky Image caption Nasa administrator Jim Bridenstine presented the new xEMU suit The US space agency has unveiled the prototype for a new spacesuit that could be worn by the next astronauts on the Moon.Nasa chief Jim Bridenstine shared a close-up look at the next-generation suits for the agency's Artemis programme.The xEMU prototype suit looks similar to ones used at the International Space Station.But Nasa said
Science/Nature

Brexit hits UK science funding and workforce

[ad_1] Image copyright Getty Images The first figures have emerged demonstrating that Brexit uncertainty has adversely affected UK research.They show Britain's annual share of EU research funding has fallen by nearly a third since 2015.The analysis by the Royal Society suggests scientists are choosing not to work in Britain, with a 35% drop in those coming to the UK via EU schemes. Its president, Venki Ramakrishnan, said scientists did not
Science/Nature

Southwest Atlantic humpback whales on recovery path

[ad_1] Media playback is unsupported on your device Media captionDr Jennifer Jackson: "We have a really nice story of success in the southwest Atlantic" One of the whale populations taken to the edge of extinction by commercial hunting in the early 20th Century has essentially recovered its numbers.It's estimated the humpbacks that frequent the southwest Atlantic once totalled perhaps 27,000 animals.This group was reduced to only a few hundred by
Science/Nature

Yikes! Fox and rodent battle is top wildlife photo

[ad_1] Image copyright Yongqing Bao It looks like it ought to be the subject of a funny caption competition but this picture taken in China's Qilian Mountains is deadly serious. The fox has surprised the marmot and a fight is about to begin that will result in the rodent being killed.Not even the intervention of the marmot's mother can change the outcome."That's nature," says Yongqing Bao, who's striking image has
Science/Nature

Plant ‘takes’ world’s first selfie in London Zoo experiment

[ad_1] Image copyright xnor.ai/ZSL Image caption Pete could pave the way for the remote monitoring of rainforests A plant has taken the botanical world's first selfie, according to the Zoological Society of London (ZSL). Trials involving a maidenhair fern called Pete saw it "take" photographs of itself every 20 seconds, using the waste energy it had generated.Scientists said the ability of shade-loving plants to produce low-levels of energy to supply