Ancient Life Off Earth

Using light-capturing proteins in living microbes, scientists have reconstructed what life was like for some of Earth’s earliest organisms. These efforts could help us recognise signs of life on other planets, whose atmospheres may more closely resemble our pre-oxygen planet.

Smoky Milk

Air pollution from wildfires is having a significant impact on the health of dairy cows in Idaho, lowering their milk production and potentially threatening the US dairy industry.

Artificial Rhythms

Artificial light in US cities affects the seasonal rhythms of plants, advancing the date of breaking leaf and delaying the colouring of leaves.

Invasive Singing

The red-billed leiothrix, a small brightly coloured bird native to subtropical Asia, is threatening to change the soundscape of the British dawn chorus.

Immature Vapers

Flavoured e-cigarettes have led to more than 1 million young people (aged between 14 and 17) in the United States becoming daily tobacco users.

Diverse Bumbling

Bumblebees are important pollinators but are suffering from population declines due to land use intensification and the effects of the climate crisis. New research has used citizen science data to develop potential conservation strategies for the future of bumblebees.

Supernovae in the Stones

The Hypatia stone is a small stone that was found in the Great Sand Sea in south-western Egypt in 1996. Researchers have now used chemical analysis to show that this stone likely came from a Type Ia supernovae explosion, one of the most energetic events in the Universe.

Death in the Shipping Lanes

The whale shark is the largest fish in the world, growing up to 20m in length. Despite their great size, this species is endangered, with industrialised shipping now found to have lead to a large number of collisions and potential whale shark deaths across the world.

Unhealthy Debts

In the United States, of those students who take out loans to fund their university-level education, the average graduates with debts of more than $30,000. There has now been shown to be a positive correlation between student debt and cardiovascular disease risk.

Dead Red Tides

Almost all bodies of water have some algae, but in a red tide, the water changes colour because the population of algae living in the water becomes so dense. Off the west coast of Florida, these red tides are also likely to cause dead zones of life by starving the water of oxygen.