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Environment Science

Scientists attack maize’s fungal invader to save lost crops

Global health and food security is being threatened by fungus, as the fungus Aspergillus has been invading maize crops across the world. This is a problem because the fungus produces a protein called aflatoxin, which is toxic to humans and other animals, making the corn inedible. The toxic protein can cause liver cancer, as the […]

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Environment Science

Donald John Trump: president-elect and a complete disaster for environmental policy?

Put bluntly, Trump appears to be a threat to the environment. In May 2016, he took the stage in North Dakota, accompanied by some outdated pop tune, to talk about his environmental policy. Trump vowed to undo a series of moves made by President Obama to protect the environment. His “100-day action plan” includes revoking […]

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Environment Science

Global warming causes rapid decline in butterfly populations

Butterflies: the ethereal beauties that enchant as they drift by on a warm summers day. Butterflies: the flapping beasts that charge at your face while you try to enjoy a picnic. Butterflies: which my dad used to call ‘flutterbies’, much to my childhood annoyance. Whatever you may feel about them, it is undeniable that butterflies […]

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Science Science

Cafe Scientifique at the Royal Botanical Gardens

Last Monday, a science event took place at the Royal Botanical Gardens. The grand west gates were open to the public late into the evening. Inside the Terrace Cafe, the audience were gripped by a talk from leading botanist, Toby Pennington. He heads the Tropical Diversity Section at gardens and has an important message for […]

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Science

Is ‘alcosynth’ a much-needed alternative to alcohol?

We have collectively been drinking alcohol for centuries. There is no strong taboo around its use, it is perfectly legal, and, for the most part, alcohol’s effects are can be quite enjoyable. However, there is no doubt that alcohol has a dark side. Last year in Scotland, 22 people on average died a week due […]

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Environment Science Science Technology

Should the British Government still be investing in nuclear energy?

Electricity underpins modern life; powering everything from your lightbulbs, to your laptop to your toothbrush. The UK Government has been committed to securing a low carbon energy supply for years, signing the Kyoto Protocol in 1995, then the Climate Change Act of 2008. It pledged to reduce emissions by at least 80 per cet in […]