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Where will we find the first telltale signs of the Anthropocene?

Posted on 1 Sep 2016 in Earth Science, Featured, Journalism

The idea of the Anthropocene – the period in which human activity profoundly shapes the environment – has taken an important step closer to general acceptance. If it is made official the real work will begin. Somewhere near the top of the to-do list is one burning question: where in the world gives us the best view of the dawn of the Anthropocene? Image: Sara Simmonds

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Weather bombs could help us see deep inside Earth

Posted on 25 Aug 2016 in Earth Science, Journalism

Severe storm clouds have an unexpected silver lining: they may help us visualise parts of our planet’s interior that are otherwise hidden. Image: Francesca Sacco

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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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Ice age fashion showdown: Neanderthal capes versus human hoodies

Posted on 8 Aug 2016 in Archaeology, Journalism

Early modern humans dressed for ice age success – Neanderthals, not so much. An analysis of animal remains at prehistoric hominin sites across Europe suggests modern humans clad themselves in snug, fur-trimmed clothing, while Neanderthals probably opted for simple capes. Image: Nationalmuseet

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Some of the earliest plants took root by growing up, not down

Posted on 8 Aug 2016 in Earth Science, Environment, Evolution, Journalism

It was one of the first examples of geoengineering: when plants began to colonise the land they stabilised sediments, generated soils and greened the planet. Now we have a window on the process, thanks to a spectacular rock formation in South China. Image: Jinzhuang Xue

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Our ancestors may have spread anthrax all around the world

Posted on 6 Aug 2016 in Archaeology, Featured, Genetics, Health, Journalism

Somehow, a disease that is intrinsically unfit for international travel became a globetrotter thousands of years ago – and there is a good chance humanity is, inadvertently, to blame. Image: NASA Goddard Photo and Video

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