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Science

Boaty McBoatface resurfaces. . . as a trio of submarines

Remember Boaty McBoatface? Last year, the National Environment Research Council (NERC) let the public have a say in naming their new research ship, and Britons everywhere wholeheartedly agreed on what the ship should be named. While the research vessel in the end didn’t get to bear the glorious name – the NERC instead opted for […]

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Science Science

Insects beware, pitcher plants are lurking all over the world

A recent study, published in Nature Ecology and Evolution, has found that different species of the carnivorous pitcher plants located on different continents developed their defining characteristics in response to similarly stressful environments. The plants were also found to have similar strategies for handling the insects they capture, despite the carnivorism developing independently in the […]

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Environment Science

A shift in US climate change politics impacts the EPA and Nasa

After Donald Trump became President of the United States, any and all information about climate change disappeared from the White House website. Under the heading ‘An America First Energy Plan’, the administration mentions wanting to utilise untapped oil and shale resources on American soil, as well as wanting to revive the American coal industry. According […]

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Environment Science

Namib’s polka dotted desert mystery has been solved

A polka dot pattern on patches of bare ground in the Namibian grasslands – termed fairy circles – have intrigued people for thousands of years. Ancient local legends speak of gods walking the earth, or dragons poisoning it with their breath. More recently, scientists have started to question what could be causing the fairy circles. […]

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Science Technology

UK government undertook illegal digital surveillance for 17 years

A court judgement last week by the Investigatory Powers Tribunal found that the government has been illegally collecting information about UK citizens over the last 17 years. The ruling concerned information collected by the Government Communication Headquarters (GCHQ) in the BCD (Bulk Communications Data) collection and the BPD (Bulk Personal Datasets) programme. The BCD contains […]

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Technology

The culture of open source: No copyrights, no patents

Image: Samuel Zeller In name, the open source movement started in computing in the 1990s. It was an effort to reawaken the mentality of early programmers, who would freely share their code with each other in order to learn more and to quickly make progress. Open source software is released under a license giving users […]