Our top 10 science facts from 2018

Image credit - Horizon

By Jack Cowls From arsenic candies to underground winter forest fires, Horizon uncovered some fascinating facts while researching our articles. Here are our ten favourites from 2018. 1. Sleep-deprived brains may be asleep and awake at the same time. 2. Sea anemone sting cells accelerate faster than bullets. 3. Prehistoric caves were chosen for their echoes. 4. The outermost part of the … Read more

From robotic companions to third thumbs, machines can change the human brain

Image credit - Ruud Hortensius and Emily Cross

People’s interactions with machines, from robots that throw tantrums when they lose a colour-matching game against a human opponent to the bionic limbs that could give us extra abilities, are not just revealing more about how our brains are wired – they are also altering them. by Frieda Klotz Emily Cross is a professor of … Read more

How to protect the Arctic as melting ice opens new shipping routes

Increased maritime traffic raises the risks of oil spills in the Arctic.

by Gareth Willmer Early this year, the Eduard Toll set a record: laden with liquefied natural gas, the tanker was the first commercial vessel to cross the Arctic in winter without an icebreaker. This milestone in shipping may be a sign of things to come, with maritime activity expected to climb as global warming melts the region’s sea ice – declining … Read more

Drones and satellite imaging to make forest protection pay

Image credit - lubasi, licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

Every year 7 million hectares of forest are cut down, chipping away at the 485 gigatonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2) stored in trees around the world, but low-cost drones and new satellite imaging could soon protect these carbon stocks and help developing countries get paid for protecting their trees. ‘If you can measure the biomass you can … Read more

Arctic permafrost might contain ‘sleeping giant’ of world’s carbon emissions

Image credit - Prof. Igor Semiletov.

As temperatures rise in the Arctic, permafrost, or frozen ground, is thawing. As it does, greenhouse gases trapped within it are being released into the atmosphere in the form of carbon dioxide and methane, leading to previously underestimated problems with ocean acidification and potential mercury poisoning. About one quarter of the region is covered in permafrost, which … Read more

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