Humans’ family tree revealed by ancient proteins

Humankind’s genetic links to long-extinct relatives are being mapped in a rapidly expanding research field called palaeoproteomics. By  Michael Allen They are a fixture of almost every novelty T-shirt shop: humorous pictorials of human evolution, five figures in silhouette – from ape to human – usually with the last replaced by a skateboarder, Darth Vader … Read more

Buzzing insights: tracking bees with robotic flowers and hive sensors

EU researchers are turning to the world’s top pollinator in an attempt to reverse biodiversity loss and help fruit growers. By  Anthony King Think of wildlife tracking and what probably comes to mind are documentaries following the majestic movements of elephants through the savannah, the graceful migrations of sea turtles in the deep blue and … Read more

Meteors help answer riddles about water

Minerals in ancient meteorites offer insights into the origin of almost three-quarters of the Earth’s surface.  By  Michael Allen Dr Alice Stephant, an astrophysicist, is helping to solve a longstanding mystery about water on Earth: where it came from.   Scientists long thought that water, which covers 70% of the Earth, is probably rare or non-existent … Read more

Flood warnings for Africa advance with EU expertise

Satellites and on-the-ground sensors are helping Kenya, Ghana and Zambia tackle inundation risks and farmers cope with drought. By  Anthony King Like most people, Mark Noort reacted with horror to images last month of devastating floods in Libya. Unlike most others, Noort had a professional reason to follow the drama. An expert in Earth observation … Read more