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Madagascar emerges as whale shark hotspot

Image copyright Simon J Pierce Image caption Whale sharks are the largest living fish Large numbers of endangered whale sharks have been sighted in waters off Madagascar. The first major scientific survey in the area shows there are far more of the huge fish than previously thought. Eighty-five individuals were identified in a single season […]

Scientists detect oxygen legacy of first stars

Media captionRichard Ellis: “Our bodies are made of atoms that were synthesised in stars” Astronomers have made the most distant ever detection of oxygen. They observed it in a galaxy of stars that existed just 500 million years after the Big Bang. But what is really fascinating is that this oxygen can only have been […]

Mysterious rise in emissions of ozone-damaging chemical

Image copyright NASA/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY Image caption Ozone depletion over the Arctic has been much less pronounced than over the Antarctic Scientists have detected an unexpected rise in atmospheric levels of CFC-11, a chlorofluorocarbon (CFC) highly damaging to the ozone layer. Banned by the Montreal Protocol in 1987, CFC-11 was seen to be declining as […]

1,600 IT workers and engineers denied UK visas

Image copyright Getty Images More than 1,600 IT specialists and engineers offered jobs in the UK were denied visas between December and March, BBC News has learned. They were denied because the number applying exceeded the monthly limit allowed to enter the UK. Critics argue that the immigration policy will hamper the government’s efforts to […]

Copy of BepiColombo Mercury mission goes on display

Image copyright SCIENCE MUSEUM Image caption The BepiColombo Structural Thermal Model will become the centrepiece for events that will be held at the museum to mark key milestones in the progress of the European mission to Mercury A near-exact replica of the probe Europe will be sending to Mercury later this year has gone on […]

Switzerland to vote on pesticide ban ‘in 3 years’

Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Farmers in Switzerland may have to end their use of synthetic pesticides Swiss citizens will get the chance to vote on a complete ban on the use of synthetic pesticides after campaigners secured enough signatures to force a referendum. More than 100,000 Swiss signed the call for a ban […]

Stephen Hawking thanksgiving service public ballot closes

Image copyright AndrĂ© Pattenden Image caption Professor Stephen Hawking’s life will be celebrated at a service in June Organisers of a public ballot for places at a thanksgiving service for Professor Stephen Hawking said the number of applicants “could have filled Westminster Abbey 12 times”. The ballot for 1,000 places at the 15 June service […]

‘Feel good’ factor not CO2 boosts global forest expansion

Image copyright Getty Images Image caption The researchers say that human wellbeing and development are the main drivers of increased global forest cover Forests are increasing around the world because of rising incomes and an improved sense of national wellbeing say researchers. The authors refute the idea that increasing levels of CO2 in the atmosphere […]

UK ups the ante on Galileo sat-nav project

Image copyright ESA Image caption The Galileo system was conceived to give Europe an independent sat-nav capability The Brexit row between the UK and the EU-27 over Galileo is escalating. Britain’s space agency has written to 13 firms to remind them that they need security authorisation to engage in any future contracts on the sat-nav […]

‘Memory transplant’ achieved in snails

Image copyright David Glanzman Image caption Despite the obvious differences, there are similarities between the way that snail nerve cells function and the way that human cells work Memory transfer has been at the heart of science fiction for decades, but it’s becoming more like science fact. A team successfully transplanted memories by transferring a […]