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The latest stories from the Science & Environment section of the BBC News web site.

Last updated on  April 24th, 2014

Blood 'is not from headless king': Click here
An elaborately decorated gourd thought to contain the blood of French King Louis XVI may not be authentic, scientists say.

UK team to shoot for fusion record: Click here
The director of a UK science facility says it could set a new world record in nuclear fusion by the end of the decade.

Mystery of 'ocean quacks' solved: Click here
The mystery of a bizarre quacking sound often heard in the Southern Ocean has finally been solved, scientists report.

Asteroid impact risks 'underplayed': Click here
A visualisation showing where sizeable asteroids have hit the Earth in recent years has been released by the B612 Foundation.

Graphene 'made with kitchen blender': Click here
Scientists have outlined how they managed to make the wonder material graphene using a kitchen blender.

Flood defence assessment completed: Click here
For the first time in its history, the Environment Agency assesses the state of all flood defences in England following 'unprecedented' winter storms.

Malta criticised for mass bird shoot: Click here
A leading British naturalist accuses Malta of failing to prevent large-scale illegal shooting of migratory birds by hunters.

SpaceX launches station cargo flight: Click here
US company SpaceX launches its latest re-supply mission to the International Space Station, sending up a Dragon freighter to rendezvous with the orbiting platform on Sunday.

Female cave insects have 'penises': Click here
Female insects with 'penises' have been discovered in Brazil - the first example of an animal with sex-reversed genitalia.

US 'delays' Keystone XL decision: Click here
The US state department gives federal agencies more time to review the Keystone XL oil pipeline before determining whether to issue a permit.

'Most Earth-like planet yet' found: Click here
A planet that is close in size to the Earth and that could hold water on its surface has been identified by the Kepler telescope.

EU green light for UK carbon project: Click here
A British project to capture CO2 and bury it under the North Sea looks set to receive a 300m-euro boost from the EU.

Birth of 'new Saturn moon' witnessed: Click here
Scientists say they have discovered what could be the birth of a new moon in the rings of Saturn.

Czech deer still avoid Iron Curtain: Click here
A new study has found that deer on the border between the Czech Republic and old West Germany still stick to their sides despite the barrier having vanished long ago.

'World's fastest' lift to be built: Click here
Hitachi says it will install a lift capable of reaching speeds of 72km/h (45mph) into a skyscraper in Guangzhou, southern China.

EU Sentinel returns first images: Click here
The first images come back from the radar satellite launched as part of the European Union's new flagship Earth-observation project.

Artists have unique brain structure: Click here
Artists' brains are structurally different to non-artists in areas relating to fine motor movements and visual imagery, a study finds.

Early air points to cold, dry Mars: Click here
Scientists use impact craters to work out the characteristics of the air on Mars 3.6 billion years ago.

Americas see 'Blood moon' eclipse: Click here
Skywatchers in the Americas have caught a rare celestial show caused by the Earth's shadow falling across the Moon.

Hepatitis C trial a 'turning point': Click here
A new treatment for hepatitis C cured 90% of patients with the infection in 12 weeks, say scientists after studies in Europe and the US.

Pentagon eyes drone wi-fi hotspots: Click here
The US defence department is working on how to use old drones to provide wi-fi in remote locations, such as on the battlefield.

Birds choose best building materials: Click here
Birds learn to choose the the best building materials for their nests, rather than building from instinct, say scientists.

EU approves alien species blacklist: Click here
The European Parliament has approved new legislation to stem the spread of invasive species such as "killer" shrimp or Japanese knotweed.

Double whammy threatens Amazon trees: Click here
The combination of fire and extreme weather events could accelerate tree mortality in the Amazon, a study suggests.

Asia pollution drives Pacific storms: Click here
Air pollution in China and other Asian countries is having far-reaching impacts on weather patterns across the Northern Hemisphere, a study suggests.

Water quality at beaches 'excellent': Click here
A record 73% of beaches in the UK have "excellent" water quality because of last summer's dry weather, says the Marine Conservation Society.

Dutch unveil glow in the dark road: Click here
Streetlights on a 500m stretch of highway in the Netherlands are replaced by glow in the dark road markings in a pilot project.

Squirrel 'supermum' stuns wardens: Click here
A red squirrel at a conservation centre in Norfolk stuns wardens by producing her 48th kitten in six years.

Scottish wildlife rescues up 18%: Click here
The Scottish SPCA's new national wildlife rescue centre released nearly 2,800 injured animals back into the wild in 2013.

Seal cull abandoned amid protests: Click here
A major wild salmon producer says it is giving up the culling of seals after protests at a harbour in the north east of Scotland.

VIDEO: Film features plight of African park: Click here
The lethal realities of life in Virunga National Park are the subject of a British documentary which has just had its world premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York.

AUDIO: Migrant birds 'shot as trophies': Click here
Wildlife expert Chris Packham and Sergei Golovkin from Malta's Wild Birds Regulation Unit discuss the number of illegal bird hunters operating in Malta.

VIDEO: Water voles fighting back in Sussex: Click here
The number of water voles has declined by a fifth in the UK since 2011, recent figures suggest. But in one small part of Sussex, the water vole is surviving as Roger Finn reports.

VIDEO: Footage of rare 'blood moon' eclipse: Click here
People in the Americas have been treated to a rare "blood moon" lunar eclipse. Jonathan Amos explains the science behind the colour change.

VIDEO: The end of the beard is nigh: Click here
The end of the beard is nigh - not according to fashion stylists, but to evolutionary biologists.

VIDEO: 'Most Earth-like planet yet' found: Click here
A planet that is close in size to the Earth and that could hold water on its surface has been identified by the Kepler telescope.

VIDEO: How to pack a dinosaur for a move: Click here
How to prep dinosaur remains for a 2,000 mile road trip

VIDEO: World 'must end dirty fuel use': Click here
A long-awaited UN report on how to curb climate change says the world must rapidly move away from carbon-intensive fuels.

'Little progress' on forest protection plan: Click here
Forest protection schemes make little progress

Energy storage: The key to a smarter grid: Click here
Can energy grids cope with demand and volatile supply?

'Friendly' drone flies on dog leash: Click here
Camera takes flight on a dog leash

What are the hazards facing a plane stowaway?: Click here
How can a person endure clinging to a plane wheel?

Did removing lead from petrol spark a decline in crime?: Click here
Did removing lead from petrol spark a decline in crime?

Chlorine: From toxic chemical to household cleaner: Click here
The element that makes a familiar smell when mixed with urine

Fire ice: The energy of the future?: Click here
Could mining ice provide for all our energy needs and save the world?

Sweet or sour? Duping our taste buds: Click here
Would this dessert taste different on a black plate?

A 13-year-old eagle huntress in Mongolia: Click here
A 13-year-old catching foxes with her golden eagle

How to move a T-Rex dinosaur: Click here
Moving a dinosaur skeleton across the US

What was the mysterious black ring in Leamington Spa?: Click here
Just what is the black ring in Leamington Spa?

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