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Pluto ‘has slushy ocean’ below surface

Pluto ‘has slushy ocean’ below surface

Image copyright NASA/JHUAPL/SWRI Image caption A subsurface ocean could explain some Pluto’s puzzling alignment with its moon Charon Pluto may harbour a slushy water ocean beneath its most prominent surface feature, known as the “heart”. This could explain why part of the heart-shaped region – called Sputnik Planitia – is locked in alignment with Pluto’s […]

Kerry: ‘Overwhelming majority’ back US climate action

Kerry: ‘Overwhelming majority’ back US climate action

Image copyright AFP Image caption Mr Kerry believes US commitments will not be reversed The US secretary of state John Kerry says that the overwhelming majority of US citizens support the US taking action on climate change. Speaking at a meeting in Marrakech, Mr Kerry said he believed that US commitments would not be reversed. […]

Seawater’s DNA secrets to life in the deep

Seawater’s DNA secrets to life in the deep

Image copyright Philip Francis Thomsen Image caption Halibut was among the 26 different types of fish detected by their DNA Sampling DNA from seawater may be one way to check up on fish and other marine life, according to research. Sequencing fragments of DNA from water 1km (0.6 miles) below the surface can determine the […]

Infants’ brains attuned to baby talk and nursery rhymes

Infants’ brains attuned to baby talk and nursery rhymes

Image caption The cap on Poppy’s head is picking up her brain waves in a research project to learn more about how babies learn Researchers in Cambridge believe that babies learn best when their brain waves are in sync with their parents’. The study has also shown that infants are attuned to baby talk and […]

BP Deepwater Horizon oil in land-animal food chain

BP Deepwater Horizon oil in land-animal food chain

Image copyright Andrea Bonisoli Alquati/www.andreabonisolialquati. Image caption The scientists studied birds living in marshland that was contaminated by the 2010 spill Researchers in Louisiana have discovered traces of oil from the Deepwater Horizon spill in the feathers of birds eaten by land animals. A team examined the feathers and digestive tract contents of seaside sparrows […]

Hollande: US ‘must respect climate commitments’

Hollande: US ‘must respect climate commitments’

Image copyright UNFCCC Image caption The French president said the Paris Climate Agreement was irreversible French president Francois Hollande says that the US must respect their commitments made under the Paris Climate Agreement. Speaking at climate talks in Marrakech, Mr Hollande said that the pact was irreversible “in law and in fact”. President-elect Donald Trump […]

Maths zeroes in on perfect cup of coffee

Maths zeroes in on perfect cup of coffee

Image copyright Thinkstock Mathematicians are a step closer to understanding what makes a perfect cup of coffee. Through some complex calculations, they have shone a light on the processes governing how coffee is extracted for grains in a filter machine. This could help drinkers optimise their cuppa by applying a more precise – and scientific […]

Database helps plant ‘right tree for the right place’

Database helps plant ‘right tree for the right place’

Image caption City planners tend to stick to tree species they know and love, say researchers German researchers have compiled a 400-species database to encourage people to plant the “right tree in the right place” in urban areas. The team of scientists hope the information will help shift the focus away from the way trees […]

Dino-bird fossil had sparkly feathers ‘to attract mate ‘

Dino-bird fossil had sparkly feathers ‘to attract mate ‘

Image copyright Jennifer Peteya Image caption The fossil, Bohaiornithidae, is exceptionally well preserved An extinct bird that lived about 120 million years ago had iridescent feathers that it may have used to attract a mate, fossil evidence shows. The prehistoric bird, which was found recently in China, may have puffed up its feathers like a […]

Dippy dinosaur’s national tour stops announced

Dippy dinosaur’s national tour stops announced

Image copyright NHM Image caption Dippy is actually a copy of an American dinosaur specimen and was unveiled in London in 1905 The UK’s most famous dinosaur is going to start its national tour on southern England’s Jurassic Coast. Dorset County Museum will be the first place to host Dippy the Diplodocus when it temporarily […]