Backyard Nature's Direct Feed from
The British Broadcasting Company's
Science & Nature News

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

Last updated on  July 4th, 2015

Solar Impulse completes epic flight: Click here
Solar Impulse, the aeroplane that is powered only by the sun, lands in Hawaii after making a historic 7,200km flight across the Pacific from Japan.

Cats 'control mice' with chemicals: Click here
Scientists say a compound in cat urine changes mouse behaviour, making them less afraid of cats.

CO2 emissions threaten ocean crisis: Click here
A major report warns that life in the seas will be irreversibly changed unless CO2 emissions are drastically cut.

Cystic fibrosis gene therapy boost: Click here
A gene therapy has stabilised and slightly improved cystic fibrosis in some of 136 patients in a trial.

Why insects are marvels of engineering: Click here
Super slow-motion video reveals the engineering secrets researchers can learn from the creatures' spring-loaded legs.

Limited badger cull to start in NI: Click here
Northern Ireland is to start a limited cull of badgers as part of a research project to combat a disease in cattle that costs the taxpayer £30m a year.

Pluto shows its spots to Nasa probe: Click here
The New Horizons mission to Pluto releases new colour views of the dwarf planet, revealing some intriguing dark spots.

BP to pay £12bn for Gulf oil spill: Click here
BP has reached an $18.7bn (£12bn) settlement with the US Department of Justice following the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

Global prize for anti-poverty leader: Click here
The founding chairman of a leading rural development and anti-poverty organisation wins the 2015 World Food Prize.

New test pins down 'time of death': Click here
Forensic researchers develop a new method for establishing an accurate time of death after as much as 10 days.

Rosetta spies cometary sinkholes: Click here
The comet being studied by Europe’s Rosetta probe is riddled with pits that formed much like sinkholes here on Earth, say scientists.

'Celeb mind game' gives memory clues: Click here
Researchers use "mind games" to reveal clues about how brain cells change when making new memories.

Oranges bug 'hacks insect behaviour': Click here
A deadly disease of citrus plants spreads by manipulating its insect host, research suggests.

'Leap second' delays midnight: Click here
Midnight came later on Tuesday as for the first time in three years an extra second was added to the official time set by atomic clocks.

Probe refines Pluto flyby path: Click here
The American New Horizons spacecraft makes its last planned targeting manoeuvre as it bears down on Pluto.

VIDEO: Acrobats of the insect world: Click here
Researchers are using super slow-motion footage to reveal the secrets of the most acrobatic insects

VIDEO: 'Irreversible change' to sea life from CO2: Click here
A major report warns that life in the seas will be irreversibly changed unless CO2 emissions from industrial society are drastically cut.

VIDEO: 'I feel like I can fly forever': Click here
A solar-powered plane that is attempting to cross the Pacific Ocean is encountering its first weather front.

VIDEO: The blind birdman of Brazil: Click here
Juan Pablo Culasso has been blind since birth but he has become one of the best "birdwatchers" in South America.

VIDEO: Ice lollies to keep zoo animals cool: Click here
Zoo animals across Europe are being fed frozen treats to keep them cool and hydrated during the current heatwave.

VIDEO: Leap second: What does it mean?: Click here
Midnight will come later tonight, as for the first time in three years, an extra second is added to the official time set by atomic clocks.

VIDEO: World's smelliest plant blooms in Edinburgh: Click here
One of the world's largest and smelliest flowers has blossomed for the first time in Scotland.

VIDEO: Sir David tells Obama how to save planet: Click here
The distinguished broadcaster and naturalist, Sir David Attenborough, has been on a visit to the White House at the personal invitation of President Obama.

In pictures: Lightning illuminates UK: Click here
The best images from Friday night's thunder storms

Robots on the march: Click here
Robots move into homes and the workplace

'Circademics' get serious about circus: Click here
'Circademics' get serious about the circus

Astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti on life in space: Click here
Italian astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti on life in space

Does the future of wildlife lie in captivity?: Click here
Does the future of wildlife lie in captivity?

China's carbon crunch: Click here
Charting China's climate change ambitions

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