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Secrets of how primates can live at extreme altitude revealed

Posted on 23 Aug 2016 in Animal Behaviour, Conservation, Evolution, Journalism

It can be lonely at the top. Snub-nosed monkeys live at a higher altitude than any other non-human primate – but they are also among the rarest of all primates. Image: jackhynes

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The birds that are winning and losing thanks to climate change

Posted on 31 Mar 2016 in Conservation, Journalism, Life

They may be separated by an ocean, but birds in the US and Europe are responding to climate change in a surprisingly similar way: winners are outperforming losers to a comparable degree. Image: Andy Morffew

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Two dolphin species band together to form unprecedented alliance

Posted on 22 Jul 2015 in Animal Behaviour, Conservation, Evolution, Journalism

It’s a social network like no other. The dolphins of the Bahamas forage and play together and forge alliances – even though they belong to two distinct species. They’re not the only example of mixed-species dolphin groups, but this level of interaction is unprecedented. Image: harrisongavin18

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Did humans do this? Mystery of weird Amazonian savannah solved

Posted on 1 Jul 2015 in Conservation, Environment, Journalism

What is a vast grassland doing in the middle of the world’s largest rainforest? Conservationists say that fires started by the indigenous people have destroyed the forests. Others argue that the savannah has existed for millennia and that the fires conserve this natural landscape. Both could be wrong. Image: Duda Arraes

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IUCN list shows no new extinctions – but they loom large

Posted on 23 Jun 2015 in Conservation, Environment, Journalism, Life

Good news or bad? The latest update to the IUCN Red List shows many species are in decline – but no additions to the Extinct category. Even so, evidence is growing that the world is entering another period of mass extinction. Image: Austronesian Expeditions

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Pharma to fork: How we’ll swallow synthetic biology

Posted on 10 Apr 2014 in Chemistry, Conservation, Environment, Featured, Health, Journalism

Yeast-grown artemisinin is being hailed as a triumph for synthetic biology. It is touted as a backup source of the potent anti-malaria drug in case of shortfalls in traditional supplies from a plant called sweet wormwood. But the story isn’t that simple. Are the yeast in Bulgaria a one-off vanity project that will lead nowhere? The answer could soon be arriving on your dinner plate. Image: henna lion

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