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Environment

  • Genetically-modified wheat at centre of row fails to repel aphids

    Genetically-modified wheat at centre of row fails to repel aphids

    A genetically-engineered wheat that gives off a special smell designed to repel aphids has flopped in field-scale tests, underscoring the difficulty of harnessing the controversial technology. Scientists said the result was disappointing but they...

  • Pregnancy hopes as panda conceives

    Pregnancy hopes as panda conceives

    Britain’s only female giant panda has conceived, but it could be some time before experts know if she is pregnant, according to keepers. Tian Tian was artificially inseminated earlier this year but keepers at Edinburgh Zoo said implantation, when...

  • Strange creature bares its teeth

    Strange creature bares its teeth

    A weird creature that lived half a billion years ago and is distantly related to modern insects and crustaceans has bared its teeth to scientists. For the first time, experts have been able to identify features of Hallucigenia’s head, including...

  • Crab named after deep-sea biologist

    Crab named after deep-sea biologist

    The first species of yeti crab from the hydrothermal vent systems of Antarctica has been named after a British deep-sea biologist. The species Kiwa tyleri, found in the East Scotia Ridge of the Southern Ocean, is named after world-renowned British...

  • Lovebirds avoid flying blind spots

    Lovebirds avoid flying blind spots

    Lovebirds rotate their heads at lightning fast speeds to avoid blind spots when making rapid turns in flight, research has shown. High-speed video showed the colourful birds turning their heads with jerky movements, or saccades, reaching...

  • Maltese wall lizard

    Maltese wall lizard

    The Maltese wall lizard is the only wall lizard found on the Maltese islands. It is endemic to our islands and to two Italian ones, Linosa and Lampione. Its scientific name, Podarcis filfolensis, comes from the island of Filfla, where a subspecies...

  • Endangered wildlife list swells in 2015

    The number of animals and plants at risk of extinction rose in 2015 despite government pledges to improve protection, with species under threat ranging from lions in West Africa to orchids in Asia, a study showed. The Red List of Endangered...

  • Battle over giant Hawaii telescope

    A battle is poised to unfold on a Hawaiian mountain where one of the world’s largest telescopes is set to be built. As work resumes on the Thirty Metre Telescope atop the Big Island’s Mauna Kea, protesters will try to peacefully stop the...

  • Solar plane departure postponed

    Solar plane departure postponed

    A solar-powered plane carrying no fuel has postponed its departure from central Japan for Hawaii due to worse than expected weather conditions. Swiss pilot and project co-founder Bertrand Piccard said the weather window for the flight early...

  • True bugs, flies and other insects

    True bugs, flies and other insects

    If we want to talk about biodiversity then where better to look than at the insect world where there are more species than any other kind of animal or plant on Earth. The recently released annual bulletin (volume 7) of the Entomological Society of...

  • Networking to promote students’ ocean literacy

    Networking to promote students’ ocean literacy

    Students from the Bishop’s Conservatory, Victoria, St Ignatius College secondary school, Ħandaq, Qormi, and San Andrea school, L-Imselliet, Mġarr, took part in the first Perseus@school event at the national aquarium, Qawra, an initiative that...

  • Ancient management of water resources

    Ancient management of water resources

    In an interview for University Matters on Campus FM 103.7, Patricia Camilleri, Keith Buhagiar talks about the ancient management of water in Malta. He talks about how water was used in late medieval Malta and later centuries for irrigation...

  • Lack of funds halting climate initiatives in poorest nations

    Lack of funds halting climate initiatives in poorest nations

    Urgent plans to help the world’s poorest people become more resilient to extreme weather and rising seas are on hold because of a lack of cash in a UN climate fund set up for least developed countries, amid fierce competition for limited...

  • Kangaroos are lefties

    Kangaroos are lefties

    Research on wild kangaroos in Australia is challenging the notion that having a strong hand preference is a trait that developed primarily in people and other primates. Scientists said that these Australian marsupials displayed a natural...

  • Elephant poaching hotspots pinpointed

    DNA testing on tons of ivory seized from traffickers has identified two elephant poaching ‘hotspots’ in Africa in a development scientists hope will spur a crackdown on the illegal trade decimating the population of earth’s largest land...

  • Striving for Blue Flag

    Striving for Blue Flag

    Now that the Blue Flag season has opened, Ronald Cassar takes a look at what’s new on our shores. He finds that there are now more managed beaches than ever before, offering more facilities and activities for everyone. Since the Malta Tourism...

  • Dunes of waste

    Dunes of waste

    Various environmental campaigns seem to be falling on deaf ears as the Cleansing Services Directorate can attest. Stephanie Fsadni digs into the tons of waste that are removed from beaches to find anything from cigarette butts to syringes to dead...

  • Jellyfish spotting and reporting as necessary as ever

    Jellyfish spotting and reporting as necessary as ever

    The Spot the Jellyfish citizen science campaign seaside boards are up along beaches for the sixth consecutive summer. This year, more than ever, as explained by coordinator Alan Deidun, the initiative is being bolstered through a close...

  • Bitterns ‘bouncing back’ in Britain

    Bitterns ‘bouncing back’ in Britain

    Once-extinct bitterns are bouncing back as a breeding bird in the UK, conservationists said after more than 150 males were recorded in surveying this year. The bittern, a type of heron known for the “booming” call of the males, were extinct in the...

  • The praying mantis: a very able hunter

    The praying mantis: a very able hunter

    Mantises are tropical insects and most of the existing 2,200 mantis species are found only in the warmer parts of the world. The praying mantis is related to cockroaches but they are not feared like the ubi-quitous American cockroach which often...

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