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Science

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  • Solar activity not a key cause of climate change, study shows

    December 22, 2013 10:03 PM 27

    Climate change has not been strongly influenced by variations in heat from the sun, a new scientific study shows. The findings overturn a widely held scientific view that lengthy periods of warm and cold weather in the past might have been caused by periodic fluctuations in solar activity. Research examining the causes of climate change in the northern

  • New laws in force to protect Scottish shellfish waters

    December 22, 2013 1:20 PM 30

    Dozens of Scottish shellfish nurseries will be protected under new legislation that has come into force. A total of 84 protected areas have been identified as part of efforts to support Scotland's shellfish sector and help ensure products are safe for human consumption. Steps will be taken to prevent water quality in these areas from deteriorating

  • Sailing satellites into safe retirement

    December 21, 2013 11:09 PM 38

    When satellites reach the end of their working lives, they may pose a threat to other spacecraft as they continue to orbit in a dormant state for many decades. But now a new way to deorbit ageing satellites in a safe manner is nearing its first test in space. In the future, satellites might carry a packaged ultra-lightweight 'gossamer sail' to open as they head towards

  • Google marks the shortest day of the year with an animated doodle

    December 21, 2013 8:09 AM 30

    New Delhi: Celebrating the arrival of the winter in the Northern Hemisphere, Google has come up with an animated winter solstice doodle. Designed by German illustrator Christoph Niemann, the doodle shows a pair of hands weaving a long woollen hand glove that loops to form the Google letters. Google has used the same animated doodle on June 21 this year to mark the first

  • ESA gets set to wake up comet probe Rosetta

    December 21, 2013 7:27 AM 38

    (Sen) - A comet-chasing spacecraft is preparing to wake up, after two and a half years in hibernation, as it begins to close in on its target. The European probe, called Rosetta, was launched way back in March 2004 and has taken a circuitous route through the Solar System on its way to encounter Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. Rosetta will rendezvous

  • The cube that BREAK DANCES: Mechanical box that jumps, spins and balances could help create intelligent space probes

    December 20, 2013 4:43 PM 31

    A small cube that can balance on its edges and rotate on its corners, as well as walk along, has been created by Swiss engineers. Cubli measures just 15cm in height and uses reaction wheels that rotate at high angular velocities to enable it to jump up and travel in a given direction. While the clever cube is currently a prototype, some researchers hope to use its method

  • Dr. Henry Snaith in top 10 Scientists of the Year List for Pioneering Work in Solar Power

    December 20, 2013 11:12 AM 31

    Dr. Henry Snaith has been announced as one of the top 10 scientists of the year for his work to develop a cheaper form of solar power. He is from the University of Oxford and is the only scientists to be named in the list. Dr. Snaith and his team created cheap and efficient perovskite-based solar cells. These can be integrated into the glass fronts of buildings

  • Boffins take the brain out of the computer

    December 20, 2013 9:39 AM 32

    Approximate computing is the way forward Scientists have confirmed that one of the best ways for a computer system to save cash is to move to approximate computing. Purdue University has been conducting a study into "approximate computing". This aims to perform calculations good enough for certain tasks that don't require perfect accuracy. Rounding up or down has the ability

  • Doomed Species May Be Saved—A Global Search Locates a Female

    December 20, 2013 1:36 AM 33

    Back in May we told you about the sad fate of the Mangarahara cichlid. Native to the African island of Madagascar, this little fish had had its wild habitat destroyed by dams built to control the Mangarahara river. With its population in the wild wiped out, the Mangarahara cichlid was surviving only in zoos. But unlike some other animals that survive

  • University ends tests on baboons after undercover investigation revealed animals being exposed to 'terrible cruelty'

    December 20, 2013 1:24 AM 35

    A British university is to abandon experiments on baboons in Africa after an undercover investigation exposed ‘terrible suffering and cruelty’. Harrowing pictures revealed by the Mail showed the intelligent and sociable monkeys peering out of their bare wire cages, babies clinging to each other for comfort and adults having pieces of their brain removed