Science/Nature

Petrichor: why does rain smell so good?

Image copyright Science Photo Library It turns out it’s not just gratitude that makes rain smell so appealing after a long period of dry weather. There’s actually some chemistry involved too. Bacteria, plants and even lightning can all play a role in the pleasant smell we experience after a thunderstorm; that of clean air and […]

Science/Nature

Climate change made heatwave 'twice as likely'

Image copyright Getty Images Image caption The current UK heat wave has dried out some reservoirs Climate change made the current Europe-wide heatwave more than twice as likely to occur, finds a preliminary scientific report. Researchers compared the current high temperatures with historical records from seven weather stations, in different parts of Europe. They found […]

Science/Nature

Marine wilderness 'disappearing' globally

Image copyright Bruce Rocherieux Scientists have mapped marine “wilderness” areas around the world for the first time. These are regions minimally impacted by human activities such as fishing, pollution and shipping. The team, led by researchers in Australia, found that just 13.2% of the world’s oceans could be classed as wilderness – most in international […]

Science/Nature

Einstein theory passes black hole test

Image copyright SPL Image caption Artwork: The “supermassive” black hole at the centre of the Milky Way is known as Sagittarius A* The black hole at the centre of our galaxy has helped astronomers confirm a key prediction of Albert Einstein’s ideas. By observing a cluster of stars near the hole, they were able to […]

Science/Nature

Regular heatwaves 'will kill thousands'

Image copyright Science Photo Library The current heatwave could become the new normal for UK summers by 2040 because of climate change, MPs warn. The Environmental Audit Committee warns of 7,000 heat-related deaths every year in the UK by 2050 if the government doesn’t act quickly. Higher temperatures put some people at increased risk of […]

Science/Nature

Liquid water 'lake' revealed on Mars

Image copyright Science Photo Library Researchers have found evidence of an existing body of liquid water on Mars. The proposed “lake” sits beneath the Red Planet’s south polar ice cap, and is about 20km across. Previous research found possible signs of intermittent liquid water flowing on the martian surface, but this is the first sign […]

Science/Nature

Gene editing is GM, says European Court

Image copyright DNA The European Court of Justice has ruled that living things altered through the relatively new technique of genome editing counts as genetic engineering. Until now, gene editing, involving the precise replacement of one DNA sequence with another, has been a grey area. Traditional genetic engineering involves the less precise insertion of foreign […]