The birds' beauty belies their often menacing and destructive nature
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Tuesday 09 October 2012
There can be no doubt that Sir John Gurdon deserves the greatest accolade in science. As a graduate student in Oxford in the late 1950s he showed that every cell of the body carries all the necessary genes for making an entire individual.
Saturday 28 July 2012
Barenboim on Beethoven: Nine Symphonies That Changed the World
Sunday 17 June 2012
Water is not mere embellishment; it is the essence of my reverie." So says Felix Davey, a Belfast-born photographer so inspired by the sense of freedom he finds in all things aquatic that last year he was drawn to Scotland's west coast to seek out those he dubs the "Water Folk" – people for whom water is enmeshed in their lives. "These individuals' solitude and fortitude," he says, "speak of wild, beautiful places, and our place within them."
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Friday 24 February 2012
Oxford University held its first debate on the subject of evolution in 1860, just months after the publication of Darwin's On the Origin of Species. Then, the Bishop of Winchester, Samuel Wilberforce, famously enquired of the biologist Thomas Henry Huxley whether it was through his grandmother or his grandfather that he traced his descent from a monkey.
Wednesday 22 February 2012
Scientists are arguing that dolphins are so clever they should be treated like humans. But why stop there? Simon Usborne salutes the smartest species
Tuesday 17 January 2012
The Natural History Museum is today accused by a coalition of prominent academics and cultural figures of helping to break international law by leading a research project which involves an Israeli cosmetics company based in an “illegal” settlement in the occupied West Bank.
Tuesday 10 January 2012
A species of giant tortoise that disappeared after being heavily hunted in the Galapagos more than a century ago may still be living on an island 200 miles away, a study has found.
Monday 08 August 2011
Friday 08 July 2011
The mother of all polar bears lived in the British Isles about 100,000 years ago and she was not white but brown, according to a genetic study of the Arctic's biggest land predator.
Thursday 17 March 2011
For the Japanese to wheel out their Emperor to make a televised address yesterday on the nuclear crisis is virtually unprecedented. To produce the country's most sacred figurehead in this way and to risk involving him in a situation which could become deeply political shows just how concerned the government and establishment has become not just over the dangers of a nuclear meltdown but also of public reaction to it.
Sunday 06 March 2011
Friday 18 February 2011
This book rubbishes the view of one psychologist that "the female brain is predominantly hard-wired for empathy. The male brain is predominantly hard-wired for understanding."
Last Night's TV: The Elephant: Life after Death/Channel 4<br />Romancing the Stone: the Golden Age of British Sculpture/BBC4
Thursday 17 February 2011
They're not exactly picky eaters, hyenas. If you want proof try to catch up with The Elephant: Life after Death, a novel kind of natural-history programme in which a group of biologists and film-makers laid on a free buffet for the scavengers and detritivores of Tsavo West National Park in Kenya. Staked out in a clearing, surrounded by more remote-control cameras than a sink-estate crime spot, was the corpse of a male elephant – six million calories of fat, meat and guts just waiting for anything bold enough to come and claim a chunk. The hyena was the first guest to show up, looming unnervingly out of the blackness with its headlamp eyes. Half-a-mile away, in a tented control room, the scientists sat in front of a bank of monitors giving a running commentary. Very tough, the skin of an elephant, they reminded us, as the hyena circled warily. Even a hyena's immensely powerful jaws will struggle. He's most likely to go for the softer parts. At which point – after one last quick check around for lions – the hyena took a little run-up and jammed his head up to the shoulder blades in the elephant's rectum. I'm glad to say that even the biologists momentarily lost their scientific detachment at this point. "Urggh!" they said as one, and they all said it again a little later when the hyena's enthusiastic tugging triggered a sudden explosion of intestinal gas.
Sunday 30 January 2011
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
French court convicts three over homophobic tweets, in case hailed as a 'significant victory' by LGBT rights campaigners
Greece elections: Syriza and EU on collision course after election win for left-wing party
British Muslim school children suffering a backlash of abuse following Paris attacks
Islamic history is full of free thinkers - but recent attempts to suppress critical thought are verging on the absurd
Leaked documents show Ukip leaders approve NHS privatisation once it becomes more 'acceptable to the electorate'
- 3 The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
- 4 British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford faces execution by firing squad in Indonesia