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David Shukman

David Shukman Science editor

Welcome to my perspective on science stories in the headlines and behind them

Birth of 'new Saturn moon' witnessed

16 April 2014
Peggy
Ring-edge disturbance: The object would become the 63rd moon in Saturn's orbit if confirmed.

Scientists say they have discovered what could be the birth of a new moon in the rings of Saturn.

Informally named Peggy, the object would become the 63rd moon in Saturn's orbit - if confirmed.

The evidence comes from a black-and-white image of the outermost ring captured by the Cassini spacecraft.

"Witnessing the birth of a tiny moon is an exciting, unexpected event," said Linda Spilker of Nasa's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL).

Scientists noticed a bump or distortion on the edge of the ring that they believe indicates the presence of some kind of object.

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World must end 'dirty' fuel use - UN

13 April 2014

It took a long night of negotiations here in Berlin to finish this IPCC report and that meant keeping a lot of lights blazing - a painful irony given that nearly half of Germany's electricity comes from burning the very fossil fuels that the report wants to see phased out.

The authors do acknowledge the challenge of switching away from carbon-intense energy - in other words, there's no free lunch. They also admit that there's no silver bullet either, pointing out that renewable sources still need subsidies and capturing carbon dioxide from power stations is unproven on an industrial scale.

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Germany's green dreams meet harsh reality

11 April 2014

A vision for a greener future for the world seems very distant if you descend into the heart of one of Germany's largest coal mines.

While researchers and officials are in Berlin preparing the next report from the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the country's fossil fuel industry is as busy as ever.

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Air pollution: High levels 'begin to ease in most parts'

4 April 2014

This pollution spell is nothing compared to the "pea-soup" fogs that blighted British cities until the 1960s.

Our air has become cleaner over the past century but at the same time we have learned how even low levels of pollution can pose a long list of health risks.

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Air pollution: Forecasters hope for cleaner air on Friday

3 April 2014

This pollution spell is nothing compared to the "pea-soup" fogs that blighted British cities until the 1960s.

Our air has become cleaner over the past century but at the same time we have learned how even low levels of pollution can pose a long list of health risks.

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Climate inaction catastrophic - US

31 March 2014

British winters are likely to become milder and wetter like the last one but cold spells still need to be planned for, says the UK Met Office.

Summers are likely to be hotter and drier, but washouts are still on the cards, it adds.

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Climate impacts 'overwhelming' - UN

31 March 2014

British winters are likely to become milder and wetter like the last one but cold spells still need to be planned for, says the UK Met Office.

Summers are likely to be hotter and drier, but washouts are still on the cards, it adds.

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Scientists hail synthetic chromosome advance

27 March 2014
SynIII
Yeast is a target for synthetic biologists because of its potential for future industrial applications

Scientists have created the first synthetic chromosome for yeast in a landmark for biological engineering.

Previously synthetic DNA has been designed and made for simpler organisms such as bacteria.

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UK's future climate to be all sorts

25 March 2014

British winters are likely to become milder and wetter like the last one but cold spells still need to be planned for, says the UK Met Office.

Summers are likely to be hotter and drier, but washouts are still on the cards, it adds.

Read full article

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Dissent among scientists over key climate impact report

25 March 2014

British winters are likely to become milder and wetter like the last one but cold spells still need to be planned for, says the UK Met Office.

Summers are likely to be hotter and drier, but washouts are still on the cards, it adds.

Read full article

More Correspondents

  • Jonathan Amos, Science correspondent Jonathan Amos Science correspondent

    UK and European space and the latest major science stories


  • Matt McGrath Matt McGrath Environment correspondent

    Updates on emerging environmental news


  • Fergus Walsh, Medical correspondent Fergus Walsh Medical correspondent

    A focus on the medical and health issues of the day


  • Tom Feilden, Science correspondent, Today programme Tom Feilden Science correspondent, Today

    Analysis of the scientific issues making headlines


About David

Twenty years ago David visited the secret lab at Los Alamos that created the nuclear bomb and he's been fascinated by science and scientists ever since. His reports on research have taken him as far afield as the Antarctic ice-sheet, the Amazon rainforest and the depths of the Gulf of Mexico.

Since joining the BBC back in 1983, David has covered Northern Ireland, defence, Europe and world affairs. He is the author of three books.

His favourite memories include reporting from East Berlin during the fall of the Wall and exploring the tunnels of the Large Hadron Collider on a bike.

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