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Voyager 1 at 40: Scientists ‘amazed’ 1970s space probe still works

The Voyager 1 and 2 space probes were launched 40 years ago and continue to send back data from the outer solar system and interstellar space, despite relying on technology developed in the 1970s. Video produced by Trystan Young Listen to The Newsroom on the World Service. Voyager 1 at 40: Scientists ‘amazed’ 1970s space […]

XFEL: Brilliant X-ray laser comes online

XFEL: Brilliant X-ray laser comes online

Image copyright XFEL Image caption The XFEL was considered a must-have machine for European science One of the most powerful X-ray machines ever built has officially opened in the German city of Hamburg. The facility, which has cost more than a billion euros to build, will be used to study the detailed structure of matter, […]

Clues to why leaves come in many sizes

Clues to why leaves come in many sizes

Image copyright Ian Wright Image caption Rainforest canopy, Panama The huge variety of leaves in the plant kingdom has long been a source of wonder and fascination. The leaves of a banana plant, for instance, are about a million times bigger than the leaves of heather. The conventional wisdom is that leaf size is limited […]

Science funding: Will ‘picking winners’ work?

Science funding: Will ‘picking winners’ work?

Image copyright STFC Image caption In the 1980s, a Conservative government planned to make Britain’s computer industry the best in the world by subsidising its research An ambitious Conservative minister has set out a strategy to turn the UK’s scientific expertise into new products and services that will generate jobs and wealth for the economy. […]

Amazon study discovers 381 new species in two-year period

Amazon study discovers 381 new species in two-year period

Image copyright EPA Image caption Zogue Zogue Rabo de Fogo monkeys were named “Fire tail” for their distinctive red tails Researchers have discovered 381 new species during a two-year study in the Amazon region. The report by the WWF conservation body and Brazil’s Mamiraua Institute for Sustainable Development said that on average a new species […]

Hyperloop pod breaks own high-speed record

Hyperloop pod breaks own high-speed record

Image copyright Reuters Image caption Tests this week saw prototype hyperloop pods being put through their paces on a one mile track Tests of the futuristic hyperloop transport system have managed to propel one of its pods at 355km/h (220mph). The tests establish a new record for the technology only days after a separate prototype […]

Cassini hints at young age for Saturn’s rings

Cassini hints at young age for Saturn’s rings

Image copyright NASA/JPL-Caltech/SSI Image caption Cassini has been trying to weigh the rings The spectacular rings of Saturn may be relatively young, perhaps just 100 million years or so old. This is the early interpretation of data gathered by the Cassini spacecraft on its final orbits of the giant world. If confirmed, it means we […]

Smelly clue to bird navigation skills

Smelly clue to bird navigation skills

Image copyright B. G. Thomson/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY They migrate thousands of kilometres across the sea without getting lost. The Arctic tern, for instance, spends summer in the UK, then flies to the Antarctic for the winter. Yet, scientists are still unsure exactly how birds perform such extreme feats of migration, arriving in the right place […]

‘Sea dragon’ fossil is ‘largest on record’

‘Sea dragon’ fossil is ‘largest on record’

Image copyright Joschua Kn├╝ppe Image caption Ichthyosaurus were ”sea dragons” that ruled the oceans in Jurassic times The fossil of a marine reptile ”re-discovered” in a museum is the largest of its kind on record, say scientists. The ”sea dragon” belongs to a group that swam the world’s oceans 200 million years ago, while dinosaurs […]

What’s really the point of wasps?

What’s really the point of wasps?

Image copyright Getty Images A new citizen science survey aims to shed light on that fixture of summertime in the outdoors: the wasp. Though much maligned, these fascinating creatures perform a vital ecological role, say scientists. The only thing more certain to spoil an August Bank Holiday weekend BBQ than a sudden cloudburst? The arrival […]