Researchers link sisters' paralysis to an 'extremely rare' genetic variant

    Summary
    Following a nearly 25-year search across three continents, parents of a pair of sisters -- who as children slowly became paralyzed from the waist down -- finally have a diagnosis. Thanks to a chance viewing on French TV of a story about another physically disabled child who regained her mobility after being diagnosed at TGen, the parents of the two sisters contacted TGen, hoping to end their decades-long diagnostic odyssey.

    Master regulator in mitochondria is critical for muscle function and repair

    Summary
    New study identifies how loss of mitochondrial protein MICU1 disrupts calcium balance and causes muscle atrophy and weakness.

    Lichens are way younger than scientists thought

    Summary
    Lichens -- a combo of fungus and algae -- can grow on bare rocks, so scientists thought that lichens were some of the first organisms to make their way onto land from the water, changing the planet's atmosphere and paving the way for modern plants. But a closer look at the DNA of the algae and fungi that form lichens shows that lichens likely evolved millions of years after plants.

    Early DNA lineages shed light on the diverse origins of the contemporary population

    Summary
    A new genetic study demonstrates that, at the end of the Iron Age, Finland was inhabited by separate and differing populations, all of them influencing the gene pool of modern Finns. The study is so far the most extensive investigation of the ancient DNA of people inhabiting the region of Finland.

    Mapping disease outbreaks in urban settings using mobile phone data

    Summary
    A new study into the interplay between mobility and the 2013 and 2014 dengue outbreaks in Singapore has uncovered a legal void around access to mobile phone data -- information that can prove vital in preventing the spread of infectious diseases.

    Ballot initiative takes shape to give California stem cell agency a second life

    Summary
    Sponsor, CIRM board hash out vision for $5.5 billion in new funding

    Move by journals to ‘seamless’ off-campus access raises privacy concerns

    Summary
    Other journals eyeing service debuted this week by Nature

    Here’s a better way to convert dog years to human years, scientists say

    Summary
    New dog age calculator uses DNA changes to estimate how old your dog is in human years

    Top stories: A love-science symbiosis, vitamin-fortified foods, and earthquake-scouting drones

    Summary
    This week’s top Science news

    A mysterious disease is striking American beech trees

    Summary
    Researchers debate whether a tiny worm is to blame

    Hubble captures portrait of unique spiral galaxy

    Summary
    NASA shared a new Hubble Space Telescope image Friday featuring a galaxy that looks a lot like the Milky Way upon first glance.

    Lichens are much younger than scientists thought

    Summary
    Long thought to be some of the first living organisms to colonize land, new research suggests lichens aren't nearly as old as scientists thought.

    Pair of Neptune moons locked in 'dance of avoidance'

    Summary
    Two of Neptune's 14 moons are engaged in an orbital tango that ensures the neighboring satellites don't crash into one another.

    Astronauts conduct first in series of complex spacewalks to fix cosmic particle detector on ISS

    Summary
    NASA astronaut Andrew Morgan and ESA astronaut Luca Parmitano conducted the first of a series of complex spacewalks to repair the cosmic particle detector on the International Space Station.

    NASA renames Kuiper Belt rock after complaints about old name's Nazi ties

    Summary
    NASA scientists with the New Horizons team have renamed MU69, a Kuiper Belt asteroid. The space rock's new moniker is Arrokoth.

    Literally the most basic clamps you can make

    Summary
    [image: When you're working alone, clamps are your extra hands.] When you're working alone, clamps are your extra hands. (John Kennedy/) We’re going to come right out and say it: These clamps are just two pieces of wood bolted together. Not every DIY project has to be elaborate and beautiful—sometimes you just need to slap together something that’s purely functional. Need to hold something in place? Quickly? Great, that’s exactly what these do. If you’re trying to cut a long piece of wood by yourself, these clamps fill the middle ground between screwing one end of the board to your work surface and actually buying clamps. What’s good about these, too, is that if you’ve got enough scrap wood and random hardware, you can build them for free. Stats - <b>Time:</b> 5-15 minutes per clamp - <b>Cost:</b> $10 or less - <b>Difficulty:</b> easy Materials - 2 (at least 16-inch) pieces of 2-by-4 - <a href="https://homedepot.sjv.io/c/403151/456723/8154?u=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.homedepot.com%2Fp%2FPrime-Line-3-8-in-16-x-8-in-A307-Grade-A-Zinc-Plated-Steel-Carriage-Bolts-10-Pack-9064065%2F310149831&subid1=popsci" target=_blank>2 fully or mostly threaded carriage bolts</a> (minimum size: 8 inches long, 3/8-inch diameter) - <a href="https://homedepot.sjv.io/c/403151/456723/8154?u=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.homedepot.com%2Fp%2FEverbilt-3-8-in-16-Zinc-Plated-Hex-Nut-100-Pack-801750%2F204274086&subid1=popsci" target=_blank>4 nuts</a> (same diameter as the bolts) - <a href="https://homedepot.sjv.io/c/403151/456723/8154?u=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.homedepot.com%2Fp%2FEverbilt-3-8-in-Zinc-Flat-Washer-100-Pack-807230%2F204373312&subid1=popsci" target=_blank>4 washers</a> (same diameter as the nuts and bolts) Tools - <a href="https://amzn.to/2KrIx1x" target=_blank>Circular saw</a> (or <a href="https://amzn.to/2CLfHEX" target=_blank>miter saw</a>) - <a href="https://amzn.to/2rOCvBG" target=_blank>Drill</a> - <a href="https://amzn.to/32RAD82" target=_blank>Wood drill bit </a>(same diameter as the bolts) - <a href="https://amzn.to/341VMhn" target=_blank>Measuring tape</a> - <a href="https://amzn.to/2OaiE7i" target=_blank>Square</a> - Pencil - <a href="https://amzn.to/2On594C" target=_blank>Sandpaper</a> - <a href="https://amzn.to/3538xbt" target=_blank>Wrench</a> Instructions *1. Prepare the 2-by-4s.* Yes, you could buy a full, eight-foot 2-by-4 for this, but odds are you have some scrap pieces lying around from other projects. I’ve got so many I’m saving “just in case I can use them for something” that it’s almost embarrassing. You could also work with a single piece of wood, but this project is much easier if you start with two separate pieces. If you don’t have two, roughly cut a longer piece in half. Each piece should be a minimum of 16 inches long, just to make them easier to work with—they’ll eventually be cut down to nine inches each. - <b>Tip:</b> If you’re using scrap wood, it may not be in the greatest shape. Take a minute to pick the best bits to use for the two jaws of your clamp, even if you have to cut both ends. Try to avoid any beat-up sections and look for knots, too. These are hard to drill through, so it’s important to ensure there aren’t any in the spots you’re planning to put the bolts (centered, about 1 1/2 and 5 inches from the back end of each jaw). *2. Cut the front of the clamps’ jaws. *Once you’ve selected a nine-inch portion of each piece of 2-by-4, draw some guide lines with your pencil and decide which end of each one will be the front. If that end is already cut, great, you’re done. If it’s not, cut straight across the wood with your saw. - <b>Tip:</b> The next step involves cutting the front of each jaw at a 45-degree angle, and it’s much safer to do so with a longer piece of wood. Cuting a nine-inch piece of wood can be more unstable and might mean one of your hands is pretty close to the saw blade. That’s why we’re cutting one end at a time. *3. Cut the front of the jaws at a 45-degree angle. *This will help you properly put the clamps back together if they come apart. They might ultimately fit together in any configuration, but if they don’t, it’s easier to have a point of reference like this. Set your saw at a 45-degree angle and line it up so it’s not cutting directly to the bottom corner. There should be at least 1/4 inch of vertical wood on the front of the jaw before the angled cut starts. Cut each piece of wood like this. *4. Finish the clamp jaws.* Once the front of the jaws are set, return your saw blade to its starting vertical position and cut along the lines you’ve marked as the backs of your clamp jaws. Make the cuts. When you’re done, you’ll have two jaws, each nine inches long, with angled fronts. *5. Prepare to drill.* Stack the two wooden jaws together so the angled ends come together in a point. If you want to lash them together somehow, either with string or rubber bands, you may do so, but you should be able to hold them together with your hands. Find the center of the wood (1 3/4 inches on a 2-by-4), and use your square to draw a straight line dividing the top jaw in half, lengthwise. Then, mark the wood 1 1/2 and 5 inches from the back of the jaw. *6. Drill the bolt holes.* Holding the wood tightly together (if you haven’t otherwise secured them in place), drill through both pieces of wood at the same time, exactly where you marked at 1 1/2 and 5 inches. Doing both at once will ensure the holes aren’t misaligned in any way. *7. Sand down any rough edges.* It’s just much nicer to touch these if they’re not jagged and splintery. You can sand every surface, if you want. - <b>Tip: </b>Wrap the sandpaper around a small block of wood or use gloves to avoid any sharp pieces of wood from puncturing the sandpaper and your hand. [image: A finished clamp. Simple.] A finished clamp. Simple. (John Kennedy/) *8. Insert the bolts.* We’re using bolts that are a minimum of eight inches long so there will be enough space between the 2-by-4 clamp jaws to hold another 2-by-4. Shorter bolts mean less space. Thread one nut onto each bolt, going as far up as you can. Stop when you can’t thread it any further. Now, put a washer on. Put these through the bolt holes and once they’re through, put washers on the other ends. Then, thread on the other nuts. - <b>Tip:</b> You can also use <a href="https://homedepot.sjv.io/c/403151/456723/8154?u=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.homedepot.com%2Fp%2FEverbilt-3-8-in-16-Zinc-Plated-Wing-Nut-3-Pack-802391%2F204274204&subid1=popsci" target=_blank>wing nuts</a> on the bottoms of the carriage bolts, because they’re easier to tighten by hand. There. You’re done. The best way to use these is with the heads of the bolts facing down. You should be able to hand-tighten the nuts to adjust the clamp’s jaws, but if you need more torque, use a wrench. Quick and (very) dirty is how these guys roll.

    An unlucky, ancient beetle shows how flowers first blossomed

    Summary
    [image: Amber fossils have the power to preserve organisms in amazing detail.] Amber fossils have the power to preserve organisms in amazing detail. (Courtesy of Bo Wang/) 99 million years ago, the world looked very different. It was the middle of the Cretacious period. Dinosaurs roamed the Earth in herds. Ancient carnivorous birds were experimenting with flight. The forests were lush and green, filled with shrubby cycads and fan-leafed ginkgos. And—for the first time in Earth’s history—flowers were blooming. At some point, a tiny beetle happened to visit one of those flowers. Then, covered in tiny flecks of prehistoric pollen, this unlucky insect landed on the wrong tree and got caught in an avalanche of resin. In the ensuing millenia, that resin hardened into amber. According to a study published on Monday in the journal *PNAS*, that pollen-covered beetle has helped fill a significant gap in the fossil record, deepening the history of insect pollination by nearly 50 million years. “[This fossil is] finally showing us what we had hypothesized, or what we thought must be,” says David Dilcher, a paleobiologist and emeritus professor at Indiana university. Prior to this discovery, there had not been any fossilized evidence of the early relationship between plants and insects. Dilcher has spent the past five decades searching for “the first flower in the world.” To put it slightly less poetically, Dilcher is working to decode the origin and evolution of flowering plants—a narrative in which insects are indispensable players. [image: This tiny Cretaceous beetle is covered in ancient pollen grains.] This tiny Cretaceous beetle is covered in ancient pollen grains. (Courtesy of Bo Wang/) In 1998, Dilcher helped describe what may be one of the earliest known flowers, Archaefructus, a plant from the early Cretaceous period with an elongated stem and no petals. Other flowers that went on to flourish in the mid-Cretaceous looked similar to magnolias, buttercups, and laurels (but were also nothing like them). These simple blooms soon saw an explosion of diversity. Even as Dilcher discovered these fossilized flowers, he knew there was more to the story—a bigger picture that he couldn’t illustrate with flowers alone. “We said, ‘Well, these must be there to attract animals,’” he says, “but we never had the proof that animals did visit them.” A few years ago, Dilcher was at an “amber conference,” where he was approached by paleontologist and future collaborator Bo Wang. Wang showed him a piece of amber containing an insect covered in pollen, and Dilcher knew that this was the proof he needed. This tiny trapped beetle had a curved, wedge-shaped body, a downturned head, and strong hind legs. It wasn’t accidentally covered in pollen—this is what its body was built for. This relationship kicked off millions of years of coevolution. Flowers quickly evolved to display pretty colors as if to say, ‘Here I am, aren’t I beautiful?’ They developed nice fragrances and sweet nectar with the same goal. Insects couldn’t help but take notice of this attractive sweet-smelling display that offered food and a cozy place to mate or rest. And in the process, they also swept up and carried pollen, allowing flowers to disperse their genetic material and diversify at a very rapid pace. From carnations to corpse flowers, the sheer diversity of blooms that exist today proves that this strategy was successful. Flowering plants dominate the world with more than 300,000 known species, spread across almost all climates. “You might say, ‘Who is more clever, plants or animals?’” asks Dilcher. “Well, I think the plants have won out.”

    Seven TVs to upgrade your watching experience

    Summary
    [image: Choose the right TV for you.] Choose the right TV for you. Just a few short decades ago, we were sitting around watching ALF on our big, fat tube TVs. Now, however, we live in the age of streaming wars. Giant entertainment corporations are pumping out more gritty dramas, quirky comedies, and sci-fi epics than we could possibly watch. But, if you truly want to enjoy this glorious glut of entertainment, you need a TV that can take advantage of the contrasty, colorful streams. Unfortunately, upgrading can be confusing. So, before you take the plunge on a new panel, check out these tried-and-true options that suit almost any need. Then, fire up your favorite app, seamless a bellyful of Thai food, and let the waves of content wash over you. [image: Solid bet.] Solid bet. TV names are completely bananas with endless strings of nonsensical letters and numbers that make telling them apart seem impossible. If you’re looking for a great-looking, reliable TV, Sony makes an extremely solid option. It checks all the boxes you actually want like High Dynamic Range—or HDR—tech for improved color, and 4K resolution to make the most of high-quality streams. It runs on the Android TV platform instead of kludging together its own proprietary software, and a powerful processor inside helps upscale content that’s not quite ready for 4K on its own. So, if you’re clinging to that DVD of The Fifth Element you’ve had since college, it will still look pretty good. [image: Move up to OLED.] Move up to OLED. If you want to squeeze every bit of image quality you possibly can out of your watching experience, go with an OLED. Rather than relying on an array of lights behind the screen to illuminate the picture, each pixel in an OLED essentially lights up independently. As a result, the black areas of the picture are inky and dramatic. LG’s OLED displays use AI to analyze the picture on the screen and tweak its settings to optimize the picture in real-time. It’s compatible with the most popular HDR formats and has AirPlay built-in so you can sling content directly from your phone to the big screen without an extra box. [image: Almost an OLED.] Almost an OLED. If you’re not quite ready to dive into flagship price points, Vizio’s P-series TVs with its Quantum tech inside do a darn good OLED impression on a smaller budget. Behind the screen, 200 light zones push a picture with roughly 15-percent more colors than a typical LCD. It’s not quite as swanky as a true OLED, but it’ll make the tones really pop when you put on The Garfield Movie again. Plus, built-in Apple HomeKit lets you control the TV with your phone when the remote gets kicked under the couch and you’re too lazy to try and dig it out. [image: Good for a guest room.] Good for a guest room. Houseguests can be fun until they start encroaching on your TV time. No, we don’t want to watch The Great British Baking Show, aunt Brenda, because we’ve already seen all of them. Putting a quality TV with streaming capabilities in the guest room can help avoid this kind of awkward situation. Toshiba’s Fire TV edition models start at a manageable 43-inches and tote extremely affordable price tags. They run on Amazon’s Fire TV smart platform so your guests can sign in and stream whatever they want and make requests from Alexa. [image: Go big, go cheap.] Go big, go cheap. Rather than trusting TV manufacturers to keep their software and apps updated, you can buy a set with Roku’s excellent streaming platform built right in. TCL’s Roku TVs will get you lots of screen real estate for a small price tag and save you even more cash because they don’t require an external streaming box. Despite their low price, you still get HDR color and 4K resolution. It won’t compete with a high-end flagship, but it’s a ton of TV for the price you pay. [image: Ball out.] Ball out. You could spend more than a luxury SUV on a TV if you want, but after a certain point, the extra cash isn’t worth it. Sony’s Master Series sets have everything you could want out of a top-tier TV. The OLED display goes up to 77-inches and boasts compatibility with the popular image certifications like IMAX Enhanced, HDR 10, and Dolby Vision HDR. It has a powerful dedicated processor inside to recognize objects as they appear on the screen and adjust to make them look their best. So, when the old lady dies in Pixar’s Up, you can totally play it off as crying about the picture’s beauty instead of the emotional toll that the movie takes on its viewers. But hey, look at all those colors! [image: A TV that disappears when you’re not using it.] A TV that disappears when you’re not using it. When a TV is on, it’s a magic portal to fantastical lands full of drama and wonder. When it’s off, it’s a giant black rectangle that ruins the look of your entire room. Samsung’s Ambient Mode, however, turns the screen into a smart display that can show you artwork, photos, or passive information about your media library. Turn it on and you get everything you’d expect from a high-end display including ultra-HD resolution and Samsung’s renowned QLED color performance. Maybe use it to display a Banksy art piece so when your pals come over you can say, “Oh, that? Yeah, that’s my Banksy. It’s pretty cool,” and they’ll be impressed with your sophisticated tastes. Then throw on Rick and Morty and laugh at the fart jokes. Life is about balance.

    What looks like a deer, is the size of a rabbit, and was just photographed for the first time in decades?

    Summary
    [image: This little buddy has been MIA from scientific knowledge for the past 30 years.] This little buddy has been MIA from scientific knowledge for the past 30 years. (Southern Institute of Ecology/Global Wildlife Conservation?Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research/NCNP/) A mysterious fanged creature called the silver-backed chevrotain, or Vietnamese mouse-deer, made a surprising reappearance on a camera trap in the mountains of Southeast Asia. The shy, tiny creature, which has distinctive gray fur on its back, had been unseen by scientists for at least 30 years. The species had evaded the spotlight in the rugged Greater Annamites of north Vietnam until last spring, when scientists from Global Wildlife Conservation (GWC) and local universities captured hard footage of the rabbit-sized critter scampering through the undergrowth. They published a description of the find in *Nature Ecology and Evolution* this week. According to a press release from GWC there are 10 known species of chevrotain mainly in Asia, and none of them are mice or deer. Instead, they’re classified as the world’s smallest hoofed mammals (a.k.a. ungulates), weighing in at less than about 10 pounds. Typical prey includes fruits and other plants—the fangs, you see, are more for infighting; typical predators include leopards and pythons. The Vietnamese mouse-deer was one of GWC’s most sought-after lost species. Researchers already noted a decline in population numbers between the late 1970s and ‘90s due to hunting, the paper reports. The trend only got worse in the mid-’90s, as deforestation and increased wire-snare hunting plagued the Greater Annamites. But as journalist Erin Ross noted on Twitter, the chevrotain never went completely extinct. It was merely “lost to science” and re-found after researchers dug through piles camera-trap photos and happened to stumble on multiple individuals. They then set up new cameras with tips from Vietnamese villagers and rangers and gathered nearly 2,000 images of the mouse-deer. “For so long this species has seemingly only existed as part of our imagination,” An Nguyen, the expedition team leader, stated in the press release. “Discovering that it is, indeed, still out there, is the first step in ensuring we don’t lose it again, and we’re moving quickly now to figure out how best to protect it.”

    The science behind this adorable puppy’s forehead tail

    Summary
    [image: Narwhal's second tail, a congenital birth defect, probably won't ever wag but also won't cause him any harm.] Narwhal's second tail, a congenital birth defect, probably won't ever wag but also won't cause him any harm. Narwhal—a 20-week old dachshund mix—acts like any other puppy. He chews shoe strings and takes frequent naps on his owners’ lap. Except there is one feature of the dachshund mix that makes him unlike other pups—the tiny tail hanging between his two eyes. Narwhal’s veterinarian, Dr. Brian Heuring, has never seen a dog with a second tail in his 16-year career, let alone with one sprouting from the middle of its head. “We see other congenital defects like cleft palates, extra toes, and what not, but nothing like this,” he says. Congenital defects are conditions that are present from birth. While some may result in physical, intellectual, or mental disabilities, Narwhal’s miniature unicorn horn, it appears, won’t cause him any issues. Heuring is unsure what caused the second tail to emerge as it could be anything from genetics to environmental factors to toxins. After completing an X-ray of the pupper’s noggin, Heuring confirmed that the tail lacked bony attachments. Sadly, without any of these bony bits, the extra appendage cannot wag like a normal tail. For Narwhal, its essentially just some extra skin that is short enough to avoid interfering with his vision. “If it was to cause any problems or complications, I would recommend we remove it,” says Heuring who says any surgery right now would be entirely cosmetic. “But as of now, Narwhal is fine. He is one of the sweetest puppies. He is just outstanding.” Narwhal was found on Saturday in rural Missouri along with another older dog. Both dogs were transferred to the care of Mac’s Mission, a special needs dog rescue, after the director, Rochelle Steffen, was tagged in a social media post about Narwhal. According to Steffen there is an epidemic of dumped dogs in rural Missouri, which is what she believes happened to Narwhal and his companion. Besides some minor frostbite on Narwhal’s back paw, both dogs were discovered in relatively good condition. “I don’t know how long they would have survived since we just had a lot of snow and it is cold out,” says Steffen who founded Mac’s Mission eight years ago. The organization now has foster homes across the country. “I think they probably would have frozen to death.” As of this week, Mac’s Mission has received over 150 applications to adopt Narwhal. However, Steffen plans to hold onto the one-of-a-kind doggo for about two more months to make sure his miniature antler doesn’t develop into a full blown elephant tusk. She hopes that those who are not lucky enough to call Narwhal their own consider adopting one of their other special dogs or a pet from their local shelter. Meanwhile, Heuring has high hopes for Narwhal’s future: “I think Narwhal has the opportunity to go into schools or hospitals and show people of all ages that sometimes being different is okay.”

    As a Vast Swath of Australia Burns, the View From Space is Truly Frightening

    Summary
    Thick palls of smoke stream from Australia's sprawling bushfires in this view acquired by NASA's Aqua satellite on Nov. 11, 2019. The image consists of a natural-color view with an infrared overlay revealing areas of burning. (Source: NASA Worldview image processed by Pierre Markuse) So far, Australia's bushfires have scorched more than 4,000 square miles — an area greater than ten times the size of New York City. With hot and dry conditions predicted for weeks to come, there's not much

    Is the Human Olfactory Bulb Necessary?

    Summary
    Many people may be living life without a particular brain region - and not suffering any ill-effects. In a new paper in Neuron, neuroscientists Tali Weiss and colleagues discuss five women who appear to completely lack olfactory bulbs (OB). According to most neuroscience textbooks, no OB should mean no sense of smell, because the OB is believed to be a key relay point for olfactory signals. As Wikipedia puts it: The olfactory bulb transmits smell information from the nose to the b

    NASA Instrument Spots Its Brightest X-Ray Burst Ever

    Summary
    An illustration depicting a Type I X-ray burst. A similar supernova generated the extreme X-ray burst that NASA's NICER instrument recently recorded. (Credit: NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center/Chris Smith (USRA)) In late August, an instrument on the International Space Station, called NICER, spotted its brightest burst of X-ray radiation yet. NICER, or the Neutron Star Interior Composition Explorer, studies X-rays that come from neutron stars, the super-dense remnants of some stars afte

    A New, Prehistoric Bird Sheds Light on How They Took to the Skies

    Summary
    An artist's reconstruction of what Fukuipteryx prima may have looked like. (Credit: Masanori Yoshida) It was a typical Japanese summer — hot, humid and cloudy — when archaeologists pulled a well-preserved, fossilized bird from the ground in 2013. Their find, announced this week in Nature Communications Biology, might change our idea of what adaptations were essential to the development of flight. Close to Flight Named Fukuipteryx prima, the archaeologists date the bird to the Earl

    Zoonoses: The Diseases Our Cats and Dogs Give Us

    Summary
    (Credit: Gladskikh Tatiana/Shutterstock) Some of the biggest public health crises of the last few years can be traced back to animals. HIV got its start as a virus in monkeys, and Ebola probably jumped to humans from other primates or fruit bats. And there’s no points for guessing the animals we got bird flu and swine flu from. But animal-borne diseases can start a lot closer to home. In fact, there are a number we can pick up from our dogs and cats. Our Pets, Their Diseases Most d

    Analysis: Large-scale tree planting 'no easy task'

    Summary
    Trees are the latest green battleground in the election campaign, writes BBC Science editor David Shukman.

    Bloodhound land speed racer blasts to 628mph

    Summary
    The British jet-powered car goes faster still during trials on a dried-out lakebed in South Africa.

    Sentinel for sea-level rise enters testing

    Summary
    The satellite that will maintain the "gold standard" measurement of ocean height is nearly complete.

    Leaf blowers fatal to declining insects, Germans warned

    Summary
    The government says leaf blowers are "fatal to insects", which are in dramatic decline in Germany.

    Alarm' over winter flood prospects in England

    Summary
    The Environment Agency is worried about further flooding this winter after near-record rainfall.

`