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News from the web

The following links are to articles we think may be of interest to you. We hope they stimulate your thinking and help you find new ways to create economic and social wealth, while reducing your impact on the environment.

If you think a particular story was a good read, please post a comment and tell us. If you’ve found a useful article on sustainable development, please let us know and we’ll try to include it here for others to enjoy.

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VIDEO: NASA launch to study soil moisture
  NASA has launched an Earth-observing satellite, which will measure the amount of moisture in soil.

VIDEO: Starlings 'ballet' thrills city
  People in Norwich have been turning their heads skywards at thousands of starlings performing a "mesmerising murmuration" en route to a new city roost.

Study fells cosmic inflation claim
  Scientists who claimed to have found evidence for a cosmic super-expansion at the Big Bang made no such discovery, a soon-to-be published study will say.

Cicada's fleeting sex life is nothing to sing about this summer
  It may look like summer, it may feel like summer, but it doesn't sound like summer.Gardeners will be happy but most who enjoy the seasonal sounds of the cicada's courtship call will have noticed a definite absence of the unmistakable...

Controllers banking on Philae wake-up
  The European Space Agency says it will conduct no more dedicated searches for its lost comet lander, and will now wait for the probe itself to call home.

'Cold plasma' kills off norovirus
  Norovirus, the most common cause of gastroenteritis in the world, can be killed with "cold plasma", scientists report.

Will the falling oil price undermine green energy?
  What do falling oil prices mean for green energy?

Leak suggests cosmic study was wrong
  Scientists who claimed to have found evidence for a cosmic super-expansion at the Big Bang made no such discovery, a leak of a concluding study suggests.

Scars reveal ageing whales' secrets
  Scientists studying one of the most mysterious whale species find they form long-term alliances, sometimes lasting many years.

VIDEO: Bottlenose whales show their scars
  The giant bottlenose whale - one of the most mysterious marine mammals - forms long-term alliances that last many years, footage reveals.

VIDEO: Giant beaked whales show their scars
  The Baird's beaked whale - one of the most mysterious marine mammals - forms long-term alliances that last many years, footage reveals.

Helen Wenley: Natural gems on our doorstep a delight to discover
  On a world scale Auckland must be truly unique.In Cornwall Park, not only do we have a slice of rural countryside so close to the CBD but we have one with a volcano right in the middle of it.Like many Aucklanders, as I walk round...

Chicks place low numbers on the left
  Scientists in Italy find that baby chickens associate low and high numbers with left and right, respectively - suggesting they may count using a "mental number line" like humans do.

Most rivers in New Zealand too dirty for a swim
  Two-thirds of more than 160 monitored river swimming spots in New Zealand have been deemed unsafe for a dip.Information released to the Green Party by regional councils and unitary authorities showed 66 per cent of the sites had...

Auckland's petrel problem - Part 2
  Yeti Yarns - Paul Charman takes a Skoda Yeti to find interesting people and places out of town Over the next few weeks I'll be taking my Yeti into the back blocks on various adventures, the first few on Great Barrier Island.Here...

Diplodocus v blue whale: Who'd win?
  Who'd win fantasy fight between diplodocus and blue whale?

Shell revives Arctic drilling plans
  Royal Dutch Shell revives Arctic drilling plans, despite announcing a $15bn cut in global spending and profit figures that disappointed investors.

Climate concern 'linked to floods'
  Belief in the reality of climate change has risen among the British public, partly because of the 2013 winter floods, according to a report.

VIDEO: 'New generation' drug research plan
  Pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca has announced a research programme to develop a new generation of medicines to treat the genetic causes of many debilitating diseases.

Icebergs 'have sound signature'
  Listening to icebergs could help to assess the extent of glacier melt, a study suggests.

Astra Zeneca drive for genetic drugs
  Astra Zeneca announces a research programme to develop a generation of medicines to treat the genetic causes of many debilitating diseases.

Ebola virus mutating, scientists say
  Scientists at the Institut Pasteur in France who are tracking the Ebola outbreak in Guinea say the virus has mutated.

Will the UK's gas holders be missed?
  Will the UK's iconic 'gasometers' be missed?

'Dippy' makes way for blue whale
  London's Natural History Museum is re-modelling its entrance, moving out the famous Diplodocus skeleton and moving in the bones of a blue whale.

Skull clue to exodus from Africa
  An ancient skull discovered in Israel could shed light on the migration of modern humans out of Africa some 60,000 years ago.

Curiosity rover back in the groove
  Nasa's Curiosity rover gets straight back to work after a software upgrade by drilling a new test hole.

Scottish fracking block announced
  The Scottish government announces a block on planned fracking operations, pending the outcome of further inquiries.

Sam Judd: Carbon crop crisis
  History has shown us time and again that the point of chaos arrives in society when people have nothing to eat or feed their families. While this may conjure images of the desperate conflict that have crippled many places such as...

AI will not kill us, says Microsoft
  The chief of Microsoft's research division says he does not believe artificial intelligence systems are going to wipe out humankind.

AI won't run amok, says Microsoft
  The chief of one of Microsoft's research divisions says he does not believe artificial intelligence systems are going to run out of control, threatening humankind.

'Mystery' beavers permitted to stay
  Mystery family of beavers allowed to stay in English river

'World can cut carbon emissions and live well'
  Cutting carbon emissions can be achieved while improving living standards - but big trade-offs in land use and energy are needed, say ministers.

VIDEO: Should Britain reintroduce beavers?
  Claire Marshall looks at the impact beavers have on the environment, ahead of a decision on whether a family of beavers should be removed from a river in Devon.

VIDEO: How beavers can change our rivers
  Claire Marshall looks at the impact beavers have on the environment, after a decision to allow a family of wild beavers to stay on the River Otter in Devon.

Florida cat crawls out of grave
  A cat in Florida who was presumed dead after being run over appears five days later having somehow escaped its grave.

First step towards saving rhino
  Experts are pinning their hopes on in-vitro fertilisation (IVF) to save the northern white rhino from extinction.

Kepler find reveals 'dawn of galaxy'
  An ancient solar system similar to our own is discovered by scientists at the University of Birmingham studying data from the Kepler telescope.

Kepler finds ancient solar system
  An ancient solar system similar to our own is discovered by scientists at the University of Birmingham studying data from the Kepler telescope.

No US-India deal on climate change
  Why the US and India walk different paths on climate

US museums consider London outpost
  The world's largest museum and research institution could be heading for London as part of a multi-million dollar redevelopment of the 2012 Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.

Best ever view of asteroid Ceres
  The best image ever acquired of Ceres, the largest asteroid in the Solar System, is now in the hands of science.

England's environment 'in decline'
  England's natural environment is in decline and its deterioration is harming the economy, an independent advisory group warns.

Planet hosts giant ring system
  Astronomers say they have discovered a gigantic ring system around a distant planet - the first such structure discovered outside our Solar System.

Near asteroid 2004 BL86 has a moon
  Scientists who tracked the large asteroid 2004 BL86 as it passed by Earth say it has a small satellite.

VIDEO: 3D printed heart saves girl's life
  A two-year-old girl who was born with a serious heart defect has had a life-saving operation thanks to a 3D printer.

'Time to link nature and wellbeing'
  Scientists need to work together to capitalise on a growing body of evidence showing a link between biodiversity and human wellbeing, a US review suggests.

How to build world's tallest lift
  How to build the world's tallest lift

Fracking moratorium rejected by MPs
  MPs overwhelmingly reject a bid to suspend fracking for shale gas - but agree to Labour proposals to impose new conditions.

Risk of extreme weather 'doubles'
  Extreme weather arising from a climate phenomenon in the Pacific Ocean will get much worse as the world warms, according to climate modelling.

Metal explosions 'driven by charge'
  New high-speed video footage suggests that the classic chemistry explosion of an alkali metal in water is driven by positive charges repelling each other.

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