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Kew Gardens launches science strategy

Guardian Science - Mon, 2015-02-23 16:32

Scientists launch annual ‘health check’ of world’s plants

Scientists at Kew Gardens are launching an annual “health check” of the world’s plants to examine issues including wildlife loss, disease and invasive species.

Results of the first “state of the world’s plants” assessment will be published in December, forming part of the new science strategy for the Royal Botanical Gardens (RBG) at Kew.

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Categories: Science news

Kew Gardens launches science strategy

Guardian Science - Mon, 2015-02-23 16:32

Scientists launch annual ‘health check’ of world’s plants

Scientists at Kew Gardens are launching an annual “health check” of the world’s plants to examine issues including wildlife loss, disease and invasive species.

Results of the first “state of the world’s plants” assessment will be published in December, forming part of the new science strategy for the Royal Botanical Gardens (RBG) at Kew.

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Categories: Science news

Burst of warming may end lull in rising temperatures

New Scientist - news - Mon, 2015-02-23 16:00
The current dent in global warming may last another five years and will probably end with a blast of rapid warming at twice the background rate






Categories: Science news

Dolly woz here: the world’s most famous sheep gets a blue plaque

Guardian Science - Mon, 2015-02-23 15:29
The Roslin Institute in Edinburgh, where Dolly spent her whole life, is to be presented with a sign to commemorate its contribution to advances in the science of cloning

Name: Dolly the sheep.

Age: For ever six-and-a-half.

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Categories: Science news

Science’s embarrassing fossil fuel problem

Guardian Science - Mon, 2015-02-23 15:27

Alice Bell: Willie Soon has been criticised for taking money from the energy industry, but he’s more normal than much of science would like to admit.

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Mars One plan to colonise red planet unrealistic, says leading supporter

Guardian Science - Mon, 2015-02-23 15:00

Gerard ’t Hooft, Dutch Nobel laureate and ambassador for project, says he does not believe mission can begin in 2024 as planned

The budget and timeline for plans by a Dutch organisation to colonise Mars are highly unrealistic, one of the project’s most eminent supporters has suggested.

Gerard ’t Hooft, a Dutch Nobel laureate and ambassador for Mars One, said he did not believe the mission could take off by 2024 as planned.

Related: Mars One mission: a one-way trip to the red planet in 2024

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Shelf Life: the Olinguito's Skull

Guardian Science - Mon, 2015-02-23 14:10

Instead of travelling to remote locations in faraway countries, scientists sometimes discover a new species by looking a little more closely at an old specimen in a museum drawer.

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Stunning fossils: Snake eating baby dinosaur

New Scientist - news - Mon, 2015-02-23 13:00
Snake fossils are extremely rare, and this one was petrified just as it was about to eat a dinosaur hatchling (full text available to subscribers)






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Eyewitness: Isle of Wight

Guardian Science - Mon, 2015-02-23 11:54

Photographs from the Eyewitness series

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'Jon Snow's negative experience on skunk is very understandable'

Guardian Science - Mon, 2015-02-23 11:33

The scientist whose research led to Channel 4’s The Cannabis Trial explains the point of the experiment

“Skunk stole Snow’s soul”, “Just say no, Snow” – these were just some of the headlines this week in response to Jon Snow’s blogpost and video recounting his experience of smoking ‘skunk’-type cannabis as part of a scientific study at University College London (UCL) which will be shown in a live TV programme – Drugs Live: Cannabis on Trial – on Channel 4 on March 3.

We wanted to answer some of the questions raised by people about the trial as well as providing some of the wider context about this study, plus its aims and rationale.

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Campaigners split on ban of sex-based abortions

New Scientist - news - Mon, 2015-02-23 08:00
Should it be illegal to abort a fetus because of its sex? UK lawmakers will weigh up the idea, which critics say is unenforceable and erodes women's rights






Categories: Science news

There's no evidence e-cigarettes are as harmful as smoking

Guardian Science - Mon, 2015-02-23 06:00

A recent article claimed there’s no evidence that vaping is less harmful than smoking. Tobacco expert Linda Bauld argues otherwise

In his recent ‘Comment is free’ piece Nash Riggins claims that vaping is just as dangerous as smoking, and expresses robust support for NHS Boards in Scotland who intend to ban the use of electronic cigarettes when their grounds go tobacco free in April.

The reader might be left with impression that the use of nicotine is simply not compatible with public health aims, and that e-cigarettes should be subject to the same restrictions as tobacco products. However, to reach such a conclusion Riggins overlooks an extraordinary body of evidence pointing to the contrary. Disregarding this evidence could mean missing out on the potential of e-cigarettes to save lives. Let’s look at his assertions.

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The Imitation Game director defends film's lack of gay sex scenes

Guardian Science - Sun, 2015-02-22 23:03

Oscar-nominated director Morten Tyldum says none were necessary as Alan Turing’s life and relationships were ‘all about secrecy’

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Family of Alan Turing to demand government pardon 49,000 other men

Guardian Science - Sun, 2015-02-22 18:30

Campaigners to bring petition to Downing Street, demanding all men convicted under gross indecency law for their homosexuality are pardoned

The family of the codebreaker Alan Turing will visit Downing Street on Monday to demand the government pardons 49,000 other men persecuted like him for their homosexuality.

Turing, whose work cracking the German military codes was vital to the British war effort against Nazi Germany, was convicted in 1952 of gross indecency with a 19-year-old man, was chemically castrated, and two years later died from cyanide poisoning in an apparent suicide.

Related: Oscars 2015 - live! Red carpet, arrivals, ceremony... and winners

Related: The Imitation Game director defends film's lack of gay sex scenes

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Stunning fossils: Big Mama brooding

New Scientist - news - Sun, 2015-02-22 18:00
She was sitting on her nest keeping her eggs warm, just like modern birds do, when disaster struck (full text available to subscribers)






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Stunning fossils: Sauropod flees for its life

New Scientist - news - Sun, 2015-02-22 12:00
The trail of footprints left by a huge sauropod and a T. rex.-like dinosaur may record a predatory chase (full text available to subscribers)






Categories: Science news

A rounded education of science and arts should be for all

Guardian Science - Sun, 2015-02-22 00:05
Politicians need to back a curriculum that allows pupils to study a broad range of subjects Continue reading...






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To Explain the World review – a dry study of history’s greatest scientists

Guardian Science - Sun, 2015-02-22 00:05
Nobel prize-winner Steven Weinberg’s history of knowledge covers well trodden ground, barely straying from physics and astronomy

“I confess that I find Aristotle frequently tedious, in a way that Plato is not,” writes Steven Weinberg, “but although often wrong Aristotle is not silly, in the way that Plato sometimes is.”

It’s a school report to make the philosophers blush, but with his latest book, To Explain the World, Weinberg makes it clear he isn’t out to polish anyone’s pedestal. No, he has turned to the notes and theories from classical Greece to reveal how far our understanding, and investigative techniques, progressed between antiquity and the age of enlightenment. For, as Weinberg argues, while Aristotle prized theories based on mental rumination alone, it was the emergence of the scientific method, rooted in physical experimentation, that has allowed us to discover, explain and harness the laws of nature.

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Piltdown Man, Beringer’s lying stones, dinosaurs… are they all hoaxes?

Guardian Science - Sun, 2015-02-22 00:05
Palaeontologists of the past have fallen for some barely believable fakes. So what to think about ultra-sceptics who still question the existence of dinosaurs?

The history of palaeontology is littered with examples of famous frauds and fakes, often with eminent researchers in the field being thoroughly hoodwinked by some fairly shoddy fabrications.

One of the most famous is Piltdown Man. Discovered in a gravel pit in Sussex in 1912, a few ancient-looking fragments of a skull and jawbone quickly became hailed as evidence of a very early type of human, perhaps half a million years old. The specimens were named Eoanthropus dawsoni (“Dawson’s dawn man”), after their discoverer, amateur archaeologist Charles Dawson.

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Urgent call for new drugs to treat causes of Parkinson’s

Guardian Science - Sat, 2015-02-21 22:00
Doctors and scientists believe urgent action is needed to discover new medicines to tackle degenerative nerve ailment Continue reading...






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