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Earth Sciences - 28.12.2012
Living close to a rubbish tip reduces house prices by 2.6%, research shows
Living close to an active landfill site reduces house prices by 2.6% and the cost to home owners can still be counted two decades after the facility has shut, new research shows. Experts at the University of Birmingham have found that houses situated within 3 kilometres of an active site, or within 1 kilometre of a historic site, suffer a significant price drop.

Life Sciences - Earth Sciences - 19.12.2012
Inside the head of a dinosaur
Inside the head of a dinosaur
A new study of the brain anatomy of therizinosaurs, plant-eating dinosaurs that lived during the Cretaceous Period, has revealed interesting links with their notorious meat-eating 'cousins' Tyrannosaurus rex and Velociraptor . An international team of scientists, including PhD student Stephan Lautenschlager and Emily Rayfield of the University of Bristol, found that the senses of smell, hearing and balance were well developed in therizinosaurs and might have affected or benefited from an enlarged forebrain.

Earth Sciences - 19.12.2012
Ants aquaplaning on a pitcher plant
Ants aquaplaning on a pitcher plant
When the hairs of the plant are wet, the ants' adhesive pads essentially aquaplane on the surface, making the insects lose grip and slip into the bowl of the pitcher. This is the first time that we have observed hairs being used by plants in this way, as they are typically used to make leaves water repellent." —Dr Ulrike Bauer An insect-trapping pitcher plant in Venezuela uses its downward pointing hairs to create a 'water slide' on which insects slip to their death, new research reveals.

Earth Sciences - 18.12.2012
Study of 2011 census reveals greater diversity and integration
Study of 2011 census reveals greater diversity and integration
Dr Gemma Catney is a Leverhulme Trust Early Career Research Fellow in the Department of Geography and Planning A study of the 2011 Census by the University of Liverpool has found that the population of England and Wales is more diverse than ever yet is more integrated. The study of the data found that the proportion of people who report themselves as being from an ethnic group other than `White' has increased to 14 per cent, an increase of five percentage points since 2001.

Earth Sciences - 06.12.2012
New light on the Nazca Lines
New light on the Nazca Lines
The first findings of the most detailed study yet by two British archaeologists into the Nazca Lines - enigmatic drawings created between 2,100 and 1,300 years ago in the Peruvian desert - have been published in the latest issue of the journal Antiquity. As part of a five-year investigation, Nicholas Saunders of the University of Bristol's Department of Archaeology and Anthropology and Clive Ruggles of the University of Leicester walked 1,500 km of desert in southern Peru, tracing the lines and geometric figures created by the Nasca people between 100 BC and AD 700.

Earth Sciences - Environment - 29.11.2012
Scientists perform Nature hat trick
Scientists perform Nature hat trick
Three papers by researchers from the University of Bristol's Faculty of Science are published in this week's edition of Nature, one of the world's most prestigious scientific journals. Gary Barker, Alexandra Allen and Keith Edwards of the School of Biological Sciences are co-authors of research which has unlocked key components of the genetic code of one of the world's most important crops: bread wheat.

Environment - Earth Sciences - 28.11.2012
Scientists develop new approach to support future climate projections
Scientists develop new approach to support future climate projections
A new approach for evaluating past climate sensitivity data has been developed by scientists to help improve comparison with estimates of long-term climate projections developed by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). The sensitivity of global temperature to changes in the Earth's radiation balance (climate sensitivity) is a key parameter for understanding past natural climate changes as well as potential future climate change.

Environment - Earth Sciences - 19.11.2012
University establishes Europe's first tall tower greenhouse gas measurements network
University establishes Europe’s first tall tower greenhouse gas measurements network
A network of integrated greenhouse gas measurements in the UK and Ireland - the first of its kind in Europe - has been established by researchers at the University of Bristol. A network of integrated greenhouse gas measurements in the UK and Ireland - the first of its kind in Europe - has been established by researchers at the University of Bristol.

Environment - Earth Sciences - 15.11.2012
USA’s ancient hurricane belt and the US-Canada Equator
The recent storms that have battered settlements on the east coast of America may have been much more frequent in the region 450 million years ago, according to scientists. New research pinpointing the positions of the Equator and the landmasses of the USA, Canada and Greenland, during the Ordovician Period 450 million years ago, indicates that the equator ran down the western side of North America with a hurricane belt to the east.

Earth Sciences - Health - 15.11.2012
College welcomes the fourth cohort of Junior Research Fellows
College welcomes the fourth cohort of Junior Research Fellows
Imperial's ever-popular Junior Research Fellowship Scheme has just welcomed its fourth cohort of 21 new Fellows to College, taking the total number of scientists supported by the scheme to almost 80. This year's Fellows are working in areas that include neurodegenerative disorders, neglected tropical diseases, algebraic geometry, electromagnetic waves, synchrotron X-rays, optoelectronics, quantum mechanics and general relativity.

Earth Sciences - Environment - 02.11.2012
From grasses to shrubs: how plants reinforce desertification
From grasses to shrubs: how plants reinforce desertification
Research into how fragile dryland ecosystems degrade into deserts has revealed that the transition from grasslands to desert shrubs may be reinforced by the plants themselves. The study, conducted at the University of Bristol, demonstrates for the first time that grass and shrub areas lose very different amounts of nutrients during rainfall events, which may be significant in how desert shrubs persist in these landscapes.

Astronomy / Space Science - Earth Sciences - 22.10.2012
New understanding of Antarctic’s weight-loss
New data which more accurately measures the rate of ice-melt could help us better understand how Antarctica is changing in the light of global warming. New data which more accurately measures the rate of ice-melt could help us better understand how Antarctica is changing in the light of global warming.

Environment - Earth Sciences - 16.10.2012
Ice sheet retreat controlled by the landscape
Ice-sheet retreat can halt temporarily during long phases of climate warming, according to scientists. A UK team led by Durham University has found that the geometry of channels beneath the ice can be a strong control on ice behaviour, temporarily hiding the signals of retreat. The findings, which provide the first simulation of past ice-sheet retreat and collapse over a tenthousand year period in Antarctica, shed new light on what makes ice stable or unstable and will help refine predictions of future ice extent and global sea-level rise, the researchers say.

Earth Sciences - Environment - 16.10.2012
Ice-sheet retreat controlled by the landscape
Ice-sheet retreat can halt temporarily during long phases of climate warming, a UK team including an expert from the University of Sheffield have revealed. The team has found that the geometry of channels beneath the ice can be a strong control on ice behaviour, temporarily hiding the signals of retreat.

Earth Sciences - 11.10.2012
Erosion research at iconic St Paul's shows benefit of declining pollution levels
Erosion research at iconic St Paul’s shows benefit of declining pollution levels
Erosion research at iconic St Paul's shows benefit of declining pollution levels One of London's most iconic buildings, St Paul's Cathedral, is safer from pollution eroding its limestone façade than it has been since it was built 300 years ago, according to scientists - but it might turn green in the future.

Environment - Earth Sciences - 09.10.2012
Marine scientists charting the location of North Atlantic deep-sea coral reefs
A team of marine biologists and geologists have unveiled the first-ever set of maps detailing where vulnerable deep-sea habitats including cold water coral reefs and sponge fields are likely to be found in the North East Atlantic. The team from Plymouth University, the Marine Biological Association, and the British Geological Survey, have used complex modelling techniques to chart a surface area more than three times the size of the UKs terrestrial boundaries.

Earth Sciences - Physics - 03.10.2012
New technique to counter the effects of solar activity on GNSS
It's long been known that increased activity related to the 11-year solar cycle may disrupt Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS). As we approach the 2013 solar maximum, researchers at the Nottingham Geospatial Institute (NGI) have developed a new technique which retains a high degree of accuracy under adverse ionospheric conditions.

Earth Sciences - 03.10.2012
Mollusc missing link revealed in 3D
Mollusc missing link revealed in 3D
Scientists have discovered a rare fossil called Kulindroplax , the missing link between two mollusc groups, which is revealed in a 3D computer model, in research published today in the journal Nature . The researchers have unearthed the worm-like partly shelled Kulindroplax , which they have modelled in a 3D computer animation.

Physics - Earth Sciences - 17.09.2012
Dark energy camera records first images
Eight billion years ago, rays of light from distant galaxies began their long journey to Earth. On 12 September, that ancient starlight found its way to a mountaintop in Chile, where the newly-constructed Dark Energy Camera, the most powerful sky-mapping machine ever created, captured and recorded it for the first time.

Environment - Earth Sciences - 10.09.2012
Droughts could profoundly harm river life
Critically low water levels in many rivers could lead to the partial collapse of food webs that support aquatic life, according to a study co-authored by a University of Leeds researcher. In one of the longest experiments on drought ever conducted in freshwaters, the team periodically lowered water flow in artificial streams, mimicking severe drought conditions in natural running water.
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