Study of DNA flags could reignite centuries-old evolution debate

Charles Darwin (left) and Jean-Baptiste Lamarck (right) are the faces of the earliest debate about evolutionary research.

Evolution could be partly based on environmental adaptation and not just random mutations, re-opening a centuries-old debate between Charles Darwin and Jean-Baptiste Lamarck, according to Professor Thomas Carell from Ludwig Maximilian University in Munich, Germany. He studies the way our genes are switched on and off over our lifetimes – a process known as epigenetics. How has … Read more

Sherlock Drones – automated investigators tackle toxic crime scenes

Using drones to gather information and samples from a hazardous scene can help incident commanders make critical decisions.

Crimes that involve chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear (CBRN) materials pose a deadly threat not just to the target of the attack but to innocent bystanders and police investigators. Often, these crimes may involve unusual circumstances or they are terrorist-related incidents, such as an assassination attempt or the sending of poisons through the mail. In the … Read more

Forest plantations are a potent blend for coffee production

Climate change is threatening Europe’s coffee supplies, but the impacts could be diluted by planting the crops amongst trees – a technique known as agroforestry, which is also being revived in European farming. The distinctive waft of freshly brewed coffee is a familiar wake-up smell but, next time the aroma tickles your senses, take a moment … Read more