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Plant-eating dinosaurs 'strayed from veggie diet'

Plant-eating dinosaurs 'strayed from veggie diet'

Science
The idea of plant-eating dinosaurs having a strict vegetarian diet has been called into question.New evidence suggests that some dinosaurs snacked on shellfish and insects as well as plant food.A study of fossilised droppings indicates duck-billed dinosaurs dined on crabs at certain times of the year.Fossil remains of dinosaur dinners is rare, so this pescatarian diet may have been overlooked in the past.The popular perception of what dinosaurs ate was simplistic, said Dr Karen Chin of the University of Colorado, Boulder, US, who led the research."Plant-eating dinosaurs had more complex diets than we assumed that they had, and these diets included feeding on some animals, including at least crustaceans, and this was more like diets of modern plant-eating birds," she told BBC News.When the ...
The lecture that changed biology

The lecture that changed biology

Science
Sixty years ago this week, one of the greatest British scientists, Francis Crick, gave a lecture in London in which he accurately predicted how genes work, setting the course for the genetic revolution we are now living through. Here, evolutionary biologist Professor Matthew Cobb from Manchester University unpicks the predictions that set a new course for how we understand the very stuff we are made from. In one lecture, it has been said that Francis Crick "permanently altered the logic of biology". Only four years earlier, he and the young American Jim Watson had solved the double helix structure of DNA, using data gathered by Rosalind Franklin. Aged 41, Crick was still five years away from winning the Nobel Prize for this work, but he had a reputation as a powerful and profound thinker....
UK strikes research deal with US in run-up to Brexit

UK strikes research deal with US in run-up to Brexit

Science
The UK and US have reached a deal to develop a special relationship for science.An agreement between the two countries aims to make it easier for researchers to travel, collaborate and share facilities.US science bodies are said to be "eager" to take advantage of research opportunities lost because of Brexit.The deal is part of government efforts to develop research collaborations outside the EU.BBC News revealed earlier this year when the deal was being negotiated that the aim was to develop a legal framework to allow a freer flow of people, research grants and tariff-free exchange of equipment between the two countries.Possible strategic areas of collaboration include:synthetic biologyinformation technology GM researchThe agreement, signed by the Science Minister Jo Johnson and his US co...
Study weighs risks of human-drone impacts

Study weighs risks of human-drone impacts

Science
Sept. 19 (UPI) -- The risks of drone-human collisions vary widely, researchers at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University found in a new comprehensive survey.If drones are to take on more tasks, including package delivery, traffic management and more, the unmanned aircraft systems will have to fly over humans, raising the risk of drone-human collisions. But what do those risks actually entail? What might they look like?The latest study offers answers to those questions -- questions regulators at the Federal Aviation Administration and elsewhere are likely to pose as they consider whether or not to grant UASs greater access to airspace.Using a crash test dummy, Virginia Tech researchers analyzed the potential risk of head and neck injuries posed by three commercially available d...
Paris climate aim 'still achievable'

Paris climate aim 'still achievable'

Science
The 2015 Paris agreement's ambitious goal of limiting global warming to 1.5C remains within reach, a study suggests. The study is one of several to address the "carbon budget", which - among other things - determines how much CO2 the planet can emit and still reach a given limit for global warming.It indicates the 2015 target, perceived by some as tough, could be met with very stringent emissions cuts.It used computer models that project climate behaviour into the future.What is climate change?What is in the Paris climate agreement?The aim of the Paris deal was "holding the increase in global average temperature to well below 2C above pre-industrial levels and pursuing efforts to limit temperature increase to 1.5C."But scientists admit they were taken by surprise by the ambition of the 1.5...