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Environment

  • Yellow aloe

    Yellow aloe

    The yellow aloe is probably the only plant that is better known by its scientific name, Aloe vera, than by its common name. It is a succulent plant that probably originated in North Africa and no wild indigenous populations can be found anywhere...

  • Spiders use web to get information

    Spiders use web to get information

    Spiders act like guitarists to sound out what is happening in their webs, scientists discovered. They obtain vital information, such as the potentially deadly intentions of a prospective mate, by plucking the fine strands of silk and listening to...

  • How sheep parted company with goats

    How sheep parted company with goats

    A genetic blueprint of sheep shows how they parted company with goats on the path of evolution around four million years ago. The sheep genome could also aid the development of DNA testing to speed up selective breeding programmes for...

  • Quake Watch

    Quake Watch

    A total of 14 earthquakes struck close to Malta last month; two were approximately 145km west and south of Malta, and 12 quakes originated from the same fault system 40km south of Malta (red stars, inset map). The earthquakes began on May 21 and...

  • Marine geosciences research

    The University of Malta’s Department of Physics is offering Master and PhD students opportunities to conduct research into the environmental, societal and economic implications of numerous marine geological processes. Interested students are...

  • Economic impacts of jellyfish

    The first jellyfish to enter the Mediterranean from the Indian Ocean via Suez Canal was possibly not even noticed at the time. It was 1869 when the canal joining the two bodies of water was completed and opened to sea traffic. Today, native...

  • Tree-planting

    Tree-planting

    A group of schoolchildren from the Maria Regina College Mellieħa Primary School recently helped to plant over 200 oak and pine trees at Rdum tal-Madonna, Mellieħa, sponsored by Bank of Valletta in collaboration with the Environment Ministry. The...

  • Songbirds ‘show speech sensitivity’

    Songbirds ‘show speech sensitivity’

    Songbirds can be trained to understand non-language aspects of human speech, a study has found. Scientists showed that zebra finches are even more sensitive to “prosodic” variations, such as changes in the pitch, volume and duration of spoken...

  • Climate affects butterfly colour

    Climate affects butterfly colour

    Climate change has led to a `lightening up of butterflies and dragonflies in Europe, a study has found. Warmer temperatures have caused lighter-coloured species to out-compete darker varieties in many regions, the research shows. Scientists...

  • Rock buns anyone?

    Rock buns anyone?

    One would have thought there are few issues that capture the public’s attention more than those concerning public health and possible contamination of the food chain. And yet, this country seems to buck the trend when it comes to the environment,...

  • Successful Med-Jellyrisk conference

    Successful Med-Jellyrisk conference

    A two-day Med-Jellyrisk conference on the impact of jellyfish blooms on coastal tourism and aquaculture and on the range of innovative tools being developed to address the phenomenon was organised by the International Ocean Institute-Malta...

  • Young Reporters for the Environment experience a mission in Portugal

    Young Reporters for the Environment experience a mission in Portugal

    With a notepad in one hand, a pen in the other and a camera thrown over the shoulder, 18 youths aged between 14 and 20 recently set off on a mission to observe new lands, investigate and analyse controversial environmental issues, as well as...

  • M106 – a large spiral galaxy

    M106 – a large spiral galaxy

    Close to the Great Bear (Ursa Major) constellation lies a galaxy called M106 discovered in 1781 by the French astronomer Pierre Mechain. Over two centuries later, powerful telescopes and cameras manage to capture the galaxy in all its...

  • Blue potato bush

    Blue potato bush

    The blue potato bush is a species of flowering plant that belongs to the nightshade family. Also known as the Paraguay nightshade or the blue lycianthes, it is an evergreen bush with beautiful blue-violet or violet flowers. It is native to Brazil,...

  • Good business sense

    Good business sense

    Generation Awake – the European movement for smart consumers – aims to raise awareness on the importance of using more innovative and resource-efficient business models and optimal management of waste to sustain a greener economy. A number of...

  • Deep soil ‘poses carbon threat’

    Deep soil ‘poses carbon threat’

    Deeply buried organic soil rich in ancient carbon from fire ash and vegetation poses a previously unrecognised greenhouse gas threat, say scientists. Disturbance of the soils through erosion, agriculture, deforestation, mining and other human...

  • China to take 5m old cars off the roads

    China plans to take more than five million ageing vehicles off its roads this year in a bid to improve air quality, with 330,000 cars set to be decommissioned in Beijing alone, the government said in a policy document published...

  • Project to map Malta’s seabed habitats

    Project to map Malta’s seabed habitats

    Marine caves, sand banks and reefs around the Malta are being studied as part of a €1.3 million four-year (2013-2017) project entitled Benthic Habitat Research for Marine Natura 2000 Site Designation (Bahar), funded by the EU under the Life+...

  • Politics of bluefin tuna in Malta

    A paper entitled ‘The Politics of Bluefin Tuna in Malta’ by Dr Michael Briguglio, who lectures at the University’s Sociology Department, has been published in the international peer-reviewed academic journal Annuals of Marine Sociology. The paper...

  • Preserving environmental activism’s first records

    Preserving environmental activism’s first records

    A budding naturalist with an empty Horlicks jar collects stick insects and writes down his observations for posterity. Another ardent fan of nature observes how bats negotiate the man-made environment as they struggle to return to their roost – a...

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