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Plastic pollution: ‘Stop flushing contact lenses down the loo’

Image copyright Getty Images Researchers in the US have been investigating the final journeys taken by disposable contact lenses. They found 15-20% of US users simply flick these fiddly lenses down the drain via the bathroom sink or toilet. The Arizona State University study suggests that much of the plastic material then ends up in […]

When flying to Mars is your day job

Image copyright Farah Alibay Image caption “As a kid… I never really thought there was a job where you worked on spacecraft.” Sending missions to Mars for a living sounds like a dream job. But not every day can be launch day – so what do Nasa’s spacecraft engineers get up to the rest of […]

Earliest galaxies found ‘on our cosmic doorstep’

Image copyright AURIGA PROJECT Image caption A computer simulation of galaxy formation: White circles show some of the most ancient building blocks Some of the earliest galaxies to form in the Universe are sitting on our cosmic doorstep, according to a study. These faint objects close to the Milky Way could be more than 13 […]

Wheat gene map to help ‘feed the world’

Image copyright IGOR STEVANOVIC / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY The starting pistol has been fired in a race to develop “climate change resistant” wheat with the publication of a map of the crop’s genes. An international team of scientists has identified the location of more than 100,000 wheat genes. The researchers say the map will accelerate […]

New pesticides ‘may have risks for bees’

Image copyright Getty Images Attempts to find a new generation of pesticides to replace neonicotinoids have been dealt a potential blow. Neonicotinoids are the most commonly used insecticide in the world, but had been linked to bee declines. Studies suggest a new type of pesticide seen as an alternative to the chemicals, which have been […]

Being human: Big toe clung on longest to primate origins

Image copyright ValuaVitaly, Getty Scientists have found that our big toe was one of the last parts of the foot to evolve, a study suggests. As our early ancestors began to walk on two legs, they would also have hung about in trees, using their feet to grasp branches. They walked differently on the ground, […]

Next few years ‘may be exceptionally warm’

Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Staying cool has become a major concern in the current heat wave The next few years could be “anomalously warm”, according to a new study. Researchers have developed a mathematical model to predict how average global surface air temperatures will vary over the next few years. The results suggest […]

Palm oil: A new threat to Africa’s monkeys and apes?

Image copyright Getty Images Endangered monkeys and apes will almost certainly face new risks if Africa becomes a big player in the palm oil industry. That is the message of a study looking at how large-scale expansion of the oil crop in Africa might affect the continent’s rich diversity of wildlife. Most areas suitable for […]

Tax haven link to rainforest destruction and illegal fishing

Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Investments that have caused deforestation in the Amazon have been linked to offshore tax havens Deforestation in the Amazon and widespread illegal fishing have both been linked to tax havens, according to a new study. Some 68% of the investments tracked in the Amazon came from companies based in […]

Winged reptiles thrived before dinosaurs

Image copyright Brigham Young University Image caption A 3D printed model of the pterosaur skull discovered in Utah Palaeontologists have found a new species of pterosaur – the family of prehistoric flying reptiles that includes pterodactyl. It is about 210 millions years old, pre-dating its known relatives by 65 million years. Named Caelestiventus hanseni, the […]

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