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Cassini: Probe incinerates on entry to Saturn

Cassini: Probe incinerates on entry to Saturn

Media caption“Long live Cassini” – the project’s scientists say farewell The American-led Cassini space mission to Saturn has just come to a spectacular end. Controllers had commanded the probe to destroy itself by plunging into the planet’s atmosphere. It survived for just over a minute before being broken apart. Cassini had run out of fuel […]

Cassini conducts last picture show

Cassini conducts last picture show

Media captionJim Green: The Cassini discoveries ‘blew our minds’ Engineers now have a precise expectation of when they will lose contact with the Cassini probe. The spacecraft is being ditched in the atmosphere of Saturn on Friday, bringing to an end 13 amazing years of discovery at the ringed planet. The team hopes to receive […]

Snow leopard no longer ‘endangered’

Snow leopard no longer ‘endangered’

Image copyright AFP Image caption Scientists are emphasising that the big cats’ new status does not mean they are safe from extinction Has the chilling threat of extinction worn off at last for the long-endangered snow leopard? Not exactly – but the iconic big cats’ conservation status has been improved from “endangered” to “vulnerable”. The […]

Orchid gives up the secrets of its success

Orchid gives up the secrets of its success

Image copyright Zhong-Jian Liu and Li-Jun Chen Image caption The orchid was found at Wutongshan Mountain in Shenzhen, China The orchid is known for its beauty and once changed hands for vast sums. Now, scientists are gaining an insight into how the plant prized for its beauty colonised almost every habitat on Earth. A team […]

Why are there so many berries this year?

Why are there so many berries this year?

Image copyright RHS/Vicky Turner Image caption Bright blue berries on the shrub, harlequin glorybower Berries are appearing on plants and hedgerows early this year because of the unusual weather patterns. The combination of a warm, dry spring, followed by July and August rains, has led to a plethora of berries, according to horticulturalists. “Berries are […]

Cassini: Saturn probe to set up death plunge

Cassini: Saturn probe to set up death plunge

Image copyright NASA/JPL Image caption Artwork: When Cassini enters the atmosphere, it will break up and melt The international Cassini probe at Saturn will execute the course correction on Monday that will put it on a path to destruction. The spacecraft is set to fly close to the giant moon Titan – an encounter that […]

Badger culling gets go ahead in 11 new areas of England

Badger culling gets go ahead in 11 new areas of England

Image copyright Thinkstock Image caption Culling will be carried out in 21 areas of England this year Licences have been issued for badger culling in 11 new areas in Devon, Wiltshire, Somerset, Dorset and Cheshire. Culling is part of the government’s 25-year strategy to eradicate bovine TB, but opponents say there is no evidence it […]

Tackling the canine obesity crisis

Tackling the canine obesity crisis

Image caption Could a genetic mutation explain some dogs’ insatiable appetite? When it comes to man’s best friend, science may finally have solved the mystery of their gluttony – some Labradors, it seems, are genetically predisposed to being hungry. That’s according to scientists who were discussing their ongoing mission to improve our favourite pets’ health […]

Row over AI that ‘identifies gay faces’

Row over AI that ‘identifies gay faces’

Image copyright Stanford University Image caption The study created composite faces judged most and least likely to belong to homosexuals A facial recognition experiment that claims to be able to distinguish between gay and heterosexual people has sparked a row between its creators and two leading LGBT rights groups. The Stanford University study claims its […]

Bats ‘tricked’ into flying into buildings

Bats ‘tricked’ into flying into buildings

Image copyright Stefan Greif Image caption Greater mouse-eared bats (Myotis myotis) were studied in experiments Modern buildings with large expanses of glass or mirrored surfaces are “potentially dangerous” for bats, research suggests. Scientists are calling for monitoring of the risks, particularly in areas where bats congregate in large numbers. Bats have a remarkable ability to […]

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