Science

Terrorists’ moral judgment probed in psychology test

Image copyright Thinkstock A project aiming to “scientifically understand the mindset of terrorists” has published insights that the scientists say could have implications for terror prevention. Researchers worked with a group of 66 incarcerated ex-combatants from a paramilitary terrorist group in Colombia, a country with one of the greatest insurgency rates in the world. This unique experiment revealed what the team described as an “abnormal pattern of moral judgment” in

Britain’s great explorations now online

Media playback is unsupported on your device Media captionThe first flight over Mount Everest captured by Major Stewart Blacker in 1933 The Royal Geographical Society is releasing the films of the scientific explorations it sponsored in the early 20th Century. The priceless footage, some of which has not been seen for nearly 100 years, is being digitised and put online. The films are also helping scientists today learn more about

Juno probe peers below Jupiter’s clouds

Image copyright NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/MSSS/Betsy Asher Hall/Gervas Image caption South Pole: The polar cloud structure at Jupiter is very different from that at Saturn Scientists working on the American space agency’s new Juno mission say its initial observations at Jupiter have taken their breath away. In particular, they have been amazed by the storms seen at the planet’s poles. “Think of a bunch of hurricanes, every one the size of the Earth,

Flamingo balancing act saves energy

Image copyright Science Photo Library Image caption The one-legged posture is passive, requiring no active muscular force Flamingos expend less energy standing on one leg than in a two-legged stance, scientists have confirmed. It may be their signature pose, but how and why the birds perch on one limb has been a longstanding puzzle. Now, a team from the US has shown that flamingos employ no active muscular effort when

The DNA detective

Image copyright MARTIN SPAVEN Image caption Julie Bell has no genetics background but has an extensive knowledge of how to analyse data A man left abandoned as a baby in a cinema toilet 61 years ago has tracked down his siblings with the help of a so-called “DNA detective”. But what do they do? “There’s an analogy I like to use: I can crack any safe, some will just take

Tax plastic drinking straws, firm says

Image copyright Getty Images A waste disposal firm has stepped into the row over hard-to-recycle products by demanding a tax on plastic drinking straws. The firm, BusinessWaste.co.uk, says manufacturers should revert to old-style paper straws, which biodegrade. Plastic straws were described as “the ultimate in human wastefulness” by the firm. It follows news that the most hated products for recyclers are Pringles and Lucozade Sport. BusinessWaste’s spokesman Mark Hall said:

All three chicks at Cairngorms osprey nest die

Image copyright RSPB Scotland Image caption An osprey with a fish at the nest on Monday morning All three chicks being raised by a well-known female osprey in the Cairngorms have died, RSPB Scotland has confirmed. EJ has weathered a snow storm and harassment from rival ospreys while incubating her clutch of three eggs. All hatched over the past few days. The RSPB suspects mate Odin, who was bringing fish

Ancient walker

Image caption Artwork: Tiny could be one of the earliest four-limbed land animals we know of It’s not a household name, but an ancient creature found in the Scottish borders fills a crucial period in the evolutionary record. It sheds light on how four-limbed creatures became established on land. An ancient animal found in rocks from the Scottish borders is thought to be the earliest known example of an animal

China claims breakthrough in mining ‘flammable ice’

Image copyright Alamy Image caption Methane hydrate, or ‘flammable ice’, is a highly energy-intensive fuel source China has for the first time extracted gas from an ice-like substance under the South China Sea considered key to future global energy supply. Chinese authorities have described the success as a major breakthrough. Methane hydrates, also called “flammable ice”, hold vast reserves of natural gas. Many countries including the US and Japan are

UN looks to protect birds from green energy threats

Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Birds have long been a concern in relation to wind turbines but the expansion of green energy has increased the urgency The global boom in renewable energy is posing new threats to birds say experts. At the UN climate conference in Bonn, researchers said wind turbines and power lines were a particular problem for migratory soaring birds. Shutting down wind farms on demand is