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

Last updated on  January 25th, 2015

MPs: Ban fracking on carbon grounds: Click here
A committee of MPs has called for a moratorium on shale gas fracking on the grounds that it could derail efforts to tackle climate change.

Eyes on Pluto for historic encounter: Click here
Nasa's mission to Pluto gets under way in earnest as the New Horizons probe starts taking the pictures needed for July's close fly-by.

Jellyfish 'can sense ocean currents': Click here
A jellyfish tagging study reveals the creatures' ability to swim against the current when forming their submarine swarms, say researchers.

Scientists slow the speed of light: Click here
A team of Scottish scientists make light travel slower than the speed of light by changing the shape of photons.

Comet shows off its 'goosebumps': Click here
Scientists working on Europe's Rosetta mission say they may have found evidence for how comets are formed.

Ebola vaccine 'shipped to Liberia': Click here
The first batch of a vaccine against Ebola is on its way to Liberia and trials are expected to start soon.

New record for SA rhino poaching: Click here
The number of rhinos killed in South Africa last year sets a new record, officials say.

Satellite system targets 'dark fish': Click here
A UK-developed smart application that incorporates satellite and other data is tracking illegal fishing on the high seas.

Meteorite is 'hard drive' from space: Click here
Researchers have decoded ancient recordings from fragments of an asteroid dating back billions of years to the start of the Solar System.

'Safer GMOs' made by US scientists: Click here
US scientists say they have taken the first step towards making "safer" GMOs that cannot spread in the wild, using synthetic biology.

Laser-etched metal 'bounces' water: Click here
By etching grooves into metal with a high-powered laser, physicists create a surface that repels water to the extent that droplets bounce away.

X-rays read burnt Vesuvius scroll: Click here
An X-ray scanning technique allows physicists to read letters from a fragile, burnt scroll dug from beneath Mount Vesuvius - without unrolling it.

Google robot severs its power cord: Click here
Atlas - one of the most advanced robots in the world - is upgraded by its owner Google to include a battery pack, allowing it go "wireless".

Soviet collapse felt among wildlife: Click here
The socioeconomic shocks following the collapse of the Soviet Union also affected the region's wildlife, a study suggests.

First transplant from UK newborn: Click here
Doctors have carried out the first organ transplant from a newborn in the UK, giving a dead baby's kidneys and liver cells to two separate recipients.

Malaria resistance genetics revealed: Click here
Genetic mutations that are associated with resistance to the frontline malaria drug are identified, scientists report.

Lost Beagle2 probe found on Mars: Click here
High-resolution images taken from orbit identify the landing location of the lost Beagle2 probe, and it appears to be in one piece.

'Designer baby debate should start': Click here
Rapid progress in genetics is making "designer babies" more likely and society needs to be prepared, leading scientists have told the BBC.

Global soil hunt for new drugs: Click here
US scientists are asking the public to send in soil samples that can be screened for compounds that could be used to make vital new drugs to fight deadly infections and cancer.

Micro-machines journey inside animal: Click here
In a case of science fiction meeting reality, microscopic machines have journeyed inside a living animal for the first time.

Disease threat to wild bees: Click here
The trade in bees used for honey or to pollinate crops could have a devastating impact on wild bees and other insects, say scientists.

2014 confirmed as warmest on record: Click here
The 12 months of 2014 were the warmest on record, with global temperatures 0.68C (1.24F) above the long-term average, say US government scientists.

Threatened birds of prey 'vanish': Click here
Two of the rarest birds of prey in England, which had been satellite tagged, vanish in unexplained circumstances.

Hyenas feast at vulture restaurants: Click here
"Restaurants" of dead meat set up for endangered vultures also attract an undesirable clientele of hyenas and jackals, according to a six-year study.

Brazil releases 'good' mosquitoes: Click here
Brazilian researchers release thousands of mosquitoes infected with a bacteria that suppresses dengue fever into the environment in Rio de Janeiro.

VIDEO: Ancient underwater forest discovered: Click here
BBC Inside Out reveals a 'lost world' with the discovery of a remarkable submerged forest thousands of years old underneath the sea off eastern England.

VIDEO: The big changes in British birdlife: Click here
RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch gets under way with thousands of people expected to record bird sightings in their gardens.

VIDEO: Rat eradication ship sets sail: Click here
A conservation team in the final phase of a mission to eradicate rats from South Georgia sets sail from the Falkland Islands.

VIDEO: Icy mystery: Pluto ready for close-up: Click here
The US space agency's mission to Pluto is about to take its first pictures of the mysterious icy world.

VIDEO: Killer whale could be set free: Click here
In the next few days the authorities in the United States will decide whether to put killer whales on the list of endangered species.

VIDEO: Manhole explosion just misses child: Click here
An explosion in a manhole on a Birmingham street "just missed" a child who was walking nearby.

VIDEO: Jellyfish swimming secrets revealed: Click here
Jellyfish tagging study reveals the creatures' ability to swim against the current, researchers say.

VIDEO: Northern White rhinos facing extinction: Click here
Northern White rhinos are on the edge of extinction with just five of them left in the world, but conservation experts are trying to find ways to save them.

Winston Churchill's passion for science: Click here
Charting Winston Churchill's passion for research

Rat-eradication mission sets sail: Click here
Eradicating rats from South Georgia to reclaim it for its seabirds

Poor outlook for Borneo's mammals: Click here
The threats to unique mammals of Borneo

Why India should not get complacent over its tiger population: Click here
India must not get complacent about its tiger recovery

GM crops: What do new rules mean?: Click here
What do the new rules mean?

'Planet' Pluto comes into view: Click here
The little world is finally about to come into view

Should tourists be banned from Antarctica?: Click here
Should tourists be banned from visiting the Antarctic?

In search of a personalised diet: Click here
Do obese people have slower metabolisms?

VIDEO: Deadly snakes aid medical research: Click here
How milking snake venom could save thousands of lives

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