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Science & Nature News

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

Last updated on  September 1st, 2014

Xenon and argon banned for athletes: Click here
Doping experts have yet to find an effective test to uncover athletes using the gases xenon and argon to boost performance, as a ban is introduced.

African food security on the menu: Click here
African ministers and business leaders gather in Ethiopia to consider ways to trigger a green revolution and improve the continent's food security.

Antarctic waters 'rising faster': Click here
Melting ice is fuelling sea-level rise around the coast of Antarctica, a new report finds.

Greenhouse gas fear over meat eating: Click here
New research estimates greenhouse gases from food production will go up 80% if meat and dairy consumption continues to rise at its current rate.

Iceland issues new volcano alert: Click here
Iceland issues an aviation alert after a fresh lava eruption from a fissure near the Bardarbunga volcano, but the warning is later lowered.

Legal challenge to badger cull fails: Click here
A High Court bid to halt this year's badger culling, which will take place without independent monitoring, fails.

DNA tells story of Arctic peopling: Click here
A study of genetic sequences sheds light on the settling of the North American Arctic, from ancient "Paleo-Eskimos" to the modern-day Inuit.

UN seeks climate change 'Malala': Click here
Five hundred people will learn tomorrow if they have won the chance to vent their frustration at world leaders over the global citizens stalemate over climate policy.

Genetic clues to spread of Ebola: Click here
Scientists have tracked the spread of Ebola in West Africa, revealing genetic clues to the course of the outbreak.

Dead stars 'can re-ignite' and blow: Click here
Astronomers have shown that dead stars known as white dwarfs can re-ignite and explode as supernovas.

A sheepdog's 'two rules' for success: Click here
Scientists produce a simple mathematical model that explains how a single sheepdog can herd a large number of sheep.

Global coal 'binge' missed in data: Click here
The climate impacts of the world's fossil-fuelled power plants are being underestimated because of poor accounting, say researchers.

Magnetic levitation in 3D advances: Click here
Harvard researchers develop a system to orientate small objects in any direction using magnetic levitation.

Scientists solve 'sliding rocks' puzzle: Click here
Scientists have finally worked out how rocks on a dry lake bed in California move across the ground.

Memories 'flipped' from bad to good: Click here
Neuroscientists artificially turn a mouse's fearful memory into a positive one, and vice versa.

Row over polish to detect 'rape drug': Click here
Rape-prevention tool draws online backlash from anti-rape advocates

Potential comet landing sites chosen: Click here
Europe's Rosetta mission, which aims to put a robot on a comet in November, has identified five potential sites for the touchdown.

Whole organ 'grown' in world first: Click here
A whole functional organ has been grown from scratch inside an animal for the first time, say researchers in Scotland.

Galileo satellites on wrong orbit: Click here
The European Space Agency says the latest two satellites for Europe's version of the US GPS sat-nav system have not gone into the correct orbit.

MH370 search faces tough next phase: Click here
The next part of the hunt for the missing Malaysia Airlines jet MH370 will be very challenging in places, sea-floor mapping data suggests.

Lockheed Martin in space junk deal: Click here
US defence giant Lockheed Martin is teaming up with an Australian technology firm to track space debris that can damage multi-billion dollar satellites.

Woman finds 3ft wasp nest on bed: Click here
A pest controller takes on the "biggest job of his career" when he is called to deal with a nest of more than 5,000 wasps.

World's rarest bird needs new home: Click here
The last remaining population of the world's rarest bird, the Madagascar pochard, needs a new wetland home if it is to thrive again, a study reveals.

Methane vents bubble up off US coast: Click here
Researchers say they have discovered more than 500 bubbling methane vents on the seafloor off the US east coast.

Stench of decay turns coral away: Click here
Baby coral and fish can smell the difference between good and bad reefs, say marine ecologists.

Seals 'brought TB to the Americas': Click here
Marine mammals brought tuberculosis to the Americas before the Europeans arrived, a study suggests.

Urban areas are hives for wild bees: Click here
A study finds a "considerable richness" of bee species in urban habitats, suggesting cities could help maintain healthy populations of the vital pollinators.

Rare antelope births 'fantastic': Click here
The birth of a pair of rare bongo antelopes in captivity is "fantastic news" for the "critically endangered" species, say conservationists.

Badger cull targets are announced: Click here
A target number of badgers to be killed in this year's pilot cull to tackle tuberculosis in cattle is announced.

Rare species found in marine study: Click here
Divers discover rare species of marine life such as stalked jellyfish and squat lobsters in a study of Somerset's Porlock Bay.

VIDEO: Footage of powerful solar flares: Click here
The US Space Agency Nasa has released new footage showing a series of powerful solar flares.

VIDEO: RSPCA seeks ban on monkeys as pets: Click here
The RSPCA is calling for a ban on keeping primates as pets after a rise in the number of calls to its cruelty and advice line concerning animals such as monkeys and marmosets.

VIDEO: Greenhouse gas fear over meat production: Click here
Global consumption of meat needs to fall to ensure future demand for food can be met and to help protect the environment, a study says.

VIDEO: 100-year-old tortoise is on the move: Click here
An extremely rare Galapagos tortoise thought to be 100 years old has been given a new home at a zoo in Ohio.

AUDIO: Global citizens to address climate summit: Click here
Five hundred global citizens frustrated at the stalemate over climate policy will learn today if they have won the chance to vent their anger at world leaders.

VIDEO: Litter bug mountaineers 'must recycle': Click here
Over the decades tonnes of disposed tents, spent oxygen cylinders and bottles have been left behind on Mount Everest by people trying to scale it. Now authorities are urging them to bring the waste back down with them to recycle it.

VIDEO: Scientists trial knotweed killers: Click here
Swansea University scientists are conducting the largest field trial in Europe to find new ways of killing Japanese knotweed.

AUDIO: Puffins 'Frankie Howerd of bird world': Click here
A study by the National Trust suggests seabirds around the UK coastline are being hit by a "triple whammy" of extreme weather, predators and disturbance by humans.

The girl with three biological parents: Click here
The girl with three biological parents

Mouse on lily tops photo competition: Click here
Animal nightlife - and other great images from photo contest

VIDEO: Teaching children to be engineers: Click here
The summer school teaching children to be young engineers

'Antarctic audit' for marine life: Click here
New atlas catalogues 9,000 Southern Ocean species

TV white space could be a lifesaver: Click here
Could unused TV signal improve rural broadband?

Sniffing out the allergy epidemic: Click here
Why so many of us are developing allergies

Warning over electrical brain stimulation: Click here
Warning over electrical brain stimulation

UK air pollution fuels official concern: Click here
Measuring and tackling an invisible killer

Study creates 'virtual time travel': Click here
Using virtual reality to 'go back in time'

Fence to stem human-elephant conflict: Click here
Sri Lanka tree barrier could prevent conflict

Galileo: We know where you are: Click here
What pinpointing positions on the planet could mean for you

Antarctic hides extreme ecosystem: Click here
An ecosystem thrives in the freezing Antarctic underbelly

Can eating meat be eco-friendly?: Click here
Which is the best eco option - eating beef, chicken or mussels?

The economic impact of Ebola: Click here
How Ebola crisis has affected West Africa's economies

VIDEO: Could this man help save the world?: Click here
UK man keeps eye on dangerous asteroids

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