Science/Nature

Origins of land plants pushed back in time

Image copyright Paul Kenrick Image caption Early plants would have looked much like this lava field in Iceland A seminal event in the Earth’s history – when plants appeared on land – may have happened 100 million years earlier than previously thought. Land plants evolved from “pond scum” about 500 million years ago, according to […]

Science/Nature

Pollution blights UK seagrass meadows

Image copyright R.UNSWORTH Image caption Shutting out the light: Algae attach themselves to the leaves of seagrass plants Pollution is having a damaging impact on UK seagrass meadow health, a new study has found. Scientists based in Wales have shown that excessive amounts of nitrogen present in sewage and livestock waste is finding its way […]

Science/Nature

Consumer products' air quality impact 'underestimated'

Image copyright Getty Images US research has found that chemicals in everyday household products are now a key contributor to city air pollution, rivalling some vehicle emissions. The study, led from Colorado University, focussed on so-called volatile organic compounds (VOCs). These are contained in petroleum-based products such as cleaning fluids and paints, and when they […]

Science/Nature

'100,000 orangutans' killed in 16 years

Image copyright Serge Wich Image caption Bornean orangutans’ forest habitat is changing at an “unsustainable rate” More than 100,000 Critically Endangered orangutans have been killed in Borneo since 1999, research has revealed. Scientists who carried out a 16-year survey on the island described the figure as “mind-boggling”. Deforestation, driven by logging, oil palm, mining and […]

Science/Nature

Cheddar Man: DNA shows early Briton had dark skin

Media playback is unsupported on your device Media captionDNA shows early Brit had dark skin A cutting-edge scientific analysis shows that a Briton from 10,000 years ago had dark brown skin and blue eyes. Researchers from London’s Natural History Museum extracted DNA from Cheddar Man, Britain’s oldest complete skeleton, which was discovered in 1903. University […]