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New Species of Life for 2016

New Species of Life for 2016

Auger finds it quaintly droll when scientists ‘discover’ a new species. Unless a spaceship dropped the creature off, it will have been around for some time already. If we substitute the word ‘notice’ for ‘discover’ we may be getting closer to the truth. Nonetheless, we did collectively stumble over some interesting species last year.

Mercurial Results of Climate Change

Mercurial Results of Climate Change

Mercury is a dangerously toxic chemical. In fact, the World Health Organisation rates it ‘one of the top ten threats to public health.’ Despite this, we continue to use ‘quicksilver’ in measuring devices, and as gas form in some neon-type advertising and fluorescent lamps. Scientists at the Department of Marine Science at the University of [...]

Loo-Ti-Ful Stop Gap to Rising Sea

Loo-Ti-Ful Stop Gap to Rising Sea

We have known for some time that removing groundwater permanently causes the ground to sink. Take Beijing for example. It is dropping by up to four inches a year, and the process has been on the go since 1935. Officials in Virginia’s Hampton Roads Region suggest the reverse process should cause the earth to rise.

A Helpful App for Expectant Mums

A Helpful App for Expectant Mums

Not all apps are likely to budge human progress forward. To be honest, we do not suppose many will still be around in a few years’ time. It is almost as if developers are trying to fill every gap in the matrix of possibilities. However the latest one, ‘Babee on Board’ could be a runner.

I Think I’ll Have Mine Sans Acrylamide

I Think I’ll Have Mine Sans Acrylamide

Acrylamide, or acrylic amide is a chemical nasty used in laboratories, for polymer manufacture, and as a binding agent in a variety of uses. The U.S. consumes 250 million tons of it a year, despite defining it as potentially carcinogenic, and an extremely hazardous substance in the Community Right to Know Act.

Ants Use Vision Homing Backwards

Ants Use Vision Homing Backwards

Prof Barbara Webb of Edinburgh University’s School of Informatics has been studying how ants navigate when walking backwards. Informatics is the science of information and computer data systems before you reach for your thesaurus. Her main interest is insect behaviour, ‘as their smaller nervous systems may be easier to understand.’

Why UK Sinkholes Take Longer to Fill

Why UK Sinkholes Take Longer to Fill

Japanese success in filling the giant Fukuoka Sinkhole in two days set geotechnical engineer Tony Bracegirdle to wondering why some UK residents have to wait for weeks to get their homes back, if they ever do. It makes sense to fill them as soon as possible, before the surrounding soil ‘relaxes’ and starts to crumble.

The Secret Life of the British Squirrel

The Secret Life of the British Squirrel

Squirrels have been the bane of gardeners’ lives ever since we began planting out spring bulbs. Sarah Jessica Parker who played Carrie Bradshaw in Sex and the City went as far as saying, “A squirrel is just a rat with a cuter outfit.” However, these problems fade into insignificance according to Chris ‘Space Rogue’ Thomas. [...]

The Fish Dwelling in the Twilight Deep

The Fish Dwelling in the Twilight Deep

There are more fishes in the sea than there are chickens on the earth, and let’s face it, there are an awful lot of those. David Cox, writing for the BBC questions whether it is time to fish the deeper twilight zone, that human frailty largely prevents us from accessing.

The Periodic Table Finally Completed

The Periodic Table Finally Completed

The periodic table, as most of us should know who listened up in class, is an arrangement of the chemical elements in a table. We say ‘the’ chemical elements because scientists have believed there is a finite number since Russian chemist Dmitri Mendeleev published an early version in 1869.

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