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Pollution hits fungi that nourish trees – study

Image copyright Getty Images Scientists are warning that pollution could be starving Europe’s trees of vital nutrients by damaging essential fungi. The fungi live on the roots of trees, supplying them with minerals and water. Current pollution limits may not be strict enough to protect the forest fungi, say researchers. Signs of tree malnutrition, such […]

Has US physics lab found a new particle?

Image copyright Fermilab Image caption The result is based on 15 years of MiniBooNE data The field of particle physics has been going through a bit of soul-searching of late. There was jubilation when the Higgs boson particle was detected at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) in 2012. But since then, the major new discoveries […]

European Commission seeks to boost space spending

Image copyright COPERNICUS DATA/SENTINEL HUB/P.MARKUSE Image caption Sentinel imagery: Copernicus gathers space data to inform and enforce EU policies The European Commission has set out how it wants to spend the next EU space budget. Officials have proposed spending some €16bn (£14bn) over the years 2021-2027. The biggest segment, €9.7bn, would go on the further […]

Women outnumber men in Spain PM Sánchez’s new cabinet

Image copyright EPA Image caption Three of the key figures in the new government are Economy Minister Nadia Calviño (L), Deputy PM Carmen Calvo and Finance Minister María Jesús Montero Spain’s Socialist Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez has given 11 of his 17 cabinet posts to women, a higher proportion than anywhere else in Europe. A […]

European astronaut set to command ISS launches on Soyuz

Image copyright Reuters Image caption German astronaut Alexander Gerst will be the second European to command the ISS The next European commander of the International Space Station has just blasted off into orbit. German Alexander Gerst was joined in his Soyuz craft by Russian Sergei Prokopyev and Serena Auñón-Chancellor from the US. The trio should […]

50 nations ‘curbing plastic pollution’

Image copyright Getty Images Fifty nations are now taking action to reduce plastic pollution, according to the biggest report so far from the UN. It reveals that the Galapagos will ban single-use plastics, Sri Lanka will ban styrofoam and China is insisting on biodegradable bags. But the authors warn that far more needs to be […]

What do slugs hate? Home remedies put to the test

Media captionSlug munching on lettuce (video courtesy of Hayley Jones, RHS) Home remedies used by gardeners to deter slugs and snails are to be tested scientifically for the first time. Researchers at the Royal Horticultural Society are investigating whether the likes of egg shells and copper have any effect in keeping slugs away. The RHS […]

Carbon ‘bubble’ could cost global economy trillions

Image copyright SPL Image caption Reserves of oil and gas could rapidly become uneconomical to extract A rapid reduction in demand for fossil fuels could see global economic losses of $1-4 trillion by 2035 according to a new report. Energy efficiency and low carbon technology could cause the downturn, even if governments fail to take […]

Does Jurassic Park make scientific sense?

Image copyright Universal/Tippett Studio In 1993, Steven Spielberg’s film Jurassic Park defined dinosaurs for an entire generation. It has been credited with inspiring a new era of palaeontology research. But how much science was built into Jurassic Park, and do we now know more about its dinosaurs? As its 25th anniversary approaches, visual effects specialist […]

Margaret Atwood: ‘If the ocean dies, so do we’

Image copyright Angela Dennis, courtesy of Invisible Dust The celebrated author Margaret Atwood has told a conference that humanity’s future is linked to the survival of ocean ecosystems. Commenting on ocean plastic pollution, she said: “Something has to be done… If the ocean dies; end of us.” Ms Atwood was speaking at the Under Her […]