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Lucy Sherriff

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Mars Express circles planet 5,000 times

Mars Express has completed 5,000 orbits of the red planet, just short of four years after it arrived on Christmas day, 2003. The craft has sent back marvellously detailed pictures of Mars' surface, adding to our knowledge of the planet's geological history and evolution. Clay deposits on Mars Clay deposits on Mars. Most …
Lucy Sherriff, 26 Nov 2007
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Galileo tugs on public purse strings

EU states have hit upon a compromise deal that will allow them to fund the Galileo satellite project, and save some face. States voted to back a €2.4bn funding deal, drawing cash from unused farming subsidies, and restructuring research and industrial spending for the year. This means the European rival to the US military's …
Lucy Sherriff, 26 Nov 2007
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Russia plans manned space launch centre

Russia is all set to build a new space launch facility, and has its eye on a completion date in 2015. The announcement is yet more confirmation of the rising temperature of international competition in space exploration, and of Russia's determination to be beholden to no one in its bid to conquer the stars. According to local …
Lucy Sherriff, 24 Nov 2007
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Researchers find massive mud flow off African coast

It happened 60,000 years ago, so we'll concede that we're a bit late with the news, but scientists have uncovered evidence of the largest ever flow of sand and mud, off the coast of north-west Africa. Researchers report in Nature that over the course of mere hours, or days, some 225 billion metric tonnes of sediment was dumped …
Lucy Sherriff, 23 Nov 2007
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UK gov bans 'terror' suspect from science class

The UK government is facing a High Court challenge over its decision to ban a suspected terrorist from studying sixth-form science courses, lest he use the knowledge he might gain for terrorist purposes. The government already suspects the man, an Iraqi national referred to in the case as 'A.E.', of terrorist affiliations, and …
Lucy Sherriff, 22 Nov 2007
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Britain's waterways turning 'healthy' brown

A new study has revealed that Britain's rivers and streams are much healthier, if less aesthetically pleasing, than they were two decades ago. The change has been linked with the decline of acid rain since the 1970s, clearing up a riddle that has puzzled researchers for some time. But researchers warn that similar work in the …
Lucy Sherriff, 22 Nov 2007
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UK Gov confirms new Foot and Mouth leak

The government has confirmed that it is investigating another "probable" leak of the foot and mouth virus from Pirbright, the site at the centre of the summer's outbreak of the disease. There are two facilities on the Pirbright site: one is the government owned and managed Institute for Animal Health, and the other, Merial, a …
Lucy Sherriff, 22 Nov 2007
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Moon makes us extra special, scientists say

Having a moon like ours makes us very special, cosmically speaking. This is according to proper scientists at the Universities of Arizona and Florida (as opposed to Mystic Meg), who've been searching the universe with the Spitzer space telescope for other planetary systems like ours. The Earth-Moon system is a rarity in the …
Lucy Sherriff, 22 Nov 2007
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Brian May appointed university chancellor

Ringlet-topped axe-slinger Brian May (PhD) has been appointed Chancellor of Liverpool's John Moores University, after he was named an honorary fellow of the university last year. Dr. May will take over from Cherie Blair in February next year. Dr. May was awarded his PhD after standing up to the academic scrutiny of a viva at …
Lucy Sherriff, 20 Nov 2007
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Analysts warn of US broadband meltdown

Updated Analysts in the US are warning that the country's broadband infrastructure will not be able to keep up with demand, and without massive investment will have reached maximum capacity by 2010. A study from Nemertes Research predicts a massive increase in the amount of traffic that the network has to carry, and a subsequent …
Lucy Sherriff, 20 Nov 2007
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Most doctors plan to dodge health database

The majority of family doctors have said they will shun a government plan to stuff a database full of all our medical records. According to a poll conducted by the Guardian, 59 per cent of GPs said they would not put records on the so-called spine without the consent of a patient, and fully three-quarters say records will be …
Lucy Sherriff, 20 Nov 2007
Recycle sign

Brown pledges to be greener than greens

Are we on the brink of a green revolution? One as world changing as the Industrial Revolution, or the invention of the microprocessor? According to Britain's prime minister, Gordon Brown, we had better be. In yesterday's speech about climate change, Brown took on the question of how we should tackle climate change with a …
Lucy Sherriff, 20 Nov 2007
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Having a migraine? Blame your brain

People who suffer from migraines have differently structured brains. According to new research, those who suffer from the severe headaches (often accompanied by nausea and "aura" - patterns of lights dancing before the eyes) have a thickening in the region of the brain that processes sensory information. A study of 24 …
Lucy Sherriff, 20 Nov 2007
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Americans clueless on NASA budgets

A recent survey, carried out on behalf of The Space Review, has revealed that the average American believes a quarter of the country's public purse goes towards funding NASA. The survey found that most people reported the belief that NASA is almost as well funded as the military. The Department of Defense does receive roughly …
Lucy Sherriff, 19 Nov 2007
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Stuff string theory - try E8 to explain the universe

The mathematics that underlie the E8 Lie Group, a 248-dimensional puzzle that was finally solved in March this year, have already been put to use in developing a new Theory Of Everything. A representation of E8. Credit: Peter McMullen A representation of E8. Credit: John Stembridge, based on the work of Peter McMullen …
Lucy Sherriff, 19 Nov 2007
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Brown blushes over green cuts

Gordon Brown is preparing to give his first major speech on the action the government is taking to tackle climate change, but it will be against a background of massive cuts in the government agency charged with managing the environment, the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra). According to a …
Lucy Sherriff, 19 Nov 2007
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Nano cancer-bombs and mini organs from MIT

Scientists at MIT have developed remote-controlled nano particles that, with the push of a button, can deliver drugs directly to a tumour. The same research director has also found a way to build tiny human "livers" just 500 micrometres across. This work should lead to more reliable toxicity testing for new drugs. According to …
Lucy Sherriff, 19 Nov 2007
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IPCC's final report on climate change due tomorrow

The final part of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's 2007 report is due to be published tomorrow. The IPCC scientists are expected to warn that the effects of climate change will be "abrupt and irreversible", according to reports. The report is, as you might expect, a distillation of the IPCC's publications during …
Lucy Sherriff, 16 Nov 2007
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UK patent rules put firms at disadvantage

Until recently InRotis, a small company spun out of Newcastle University, was part of a High Court action aimed at forcing the UK Intellectual Property Office to ensure the patent protection offered to UK patent holders matches that available in Europe. However, the firm was granted a European patent for its work, and as a …
Lucy Sherriff, 16 Nov 2007
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Aussie-Irish boozer ejects 'terrorist' drinker

In a story replete with irony, a man has been booted out of an Irish pub in Cairns after his fellow drinkers, disturbed by his choice of reading material, reported him to the pub management. He was reading The Unknown Terrorist, a fictional thriller that tells the story of a ballet dancer who has a dodgy one-night stand with …
Lucy Sherriff, 16 Nov 2007
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Museum archive turns up new dinosaur family

A PhD student has uncovered a new family of dinosaur, not in a cliff face, or in a desert, but tucked away in a dusty archive in the Natural History Museum in London since 1890. Mike Taylor said that the specimen leapt out at him as being totally unfamiliar. "I've spent the last five years doing nothing but looking at sauropod …
Lucy Sherriff, 16 Nov 2007
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Europe eyes six Martian landing sites

The European Space Agency (ESA) has compiled a shortlist of places it would like to look for life (past or present) on Mars. Artists impression of the rover. Credit: ESA Artist's impression of the Rover. Credit: ESA The agency says its ExoMars mission, planned for a 2013 launch, will touch down on some of the red planet's …
Lucy Sherriff, 16 Nov 2007
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Rosetta spies nightlife on our sleeping planet

What better way to start a Friday than with a stupendously glorious picture of our planet? Well, we couldn't think of many better ways that are legal, so we've gone for the picture option. The Earth's night side, as seen by Rosetta. Credit: ESA The Earth's night side, as seen by Rosetta. Credit: ESA This is a composite …
Lucy Sherriff, 16 Nov 2007
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Neuroboffins develop mind-reading computers

A man who has been paralysed for the last eight years might be able to "speak" again, by having his thoughts read by a computer. Eric Ramsey was in a car accident that left him aware of his surroundings, but unable to move or speak. The only way he can communicate is through eye movements. No surprise, then, that he …
Lucy Sherriff, 15 Nov 2007
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Watching the Earthrise over the moon

Video: From the department of very cool videos come two real corkers. Japan's space agency (JAXA) has released two high definition videos of Earthrise and Earthset, as witnessed by its lunar explorer SELENE, which is now orbiting our largest natural satellite. The mission arrived at the Moon on 18 October, when it was inserted into …
Lucy Sherriff, 15 Nov 2007

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