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Scientists are trying to perfect a technique for growing crops in space

Scientists are trying to perfect a technique for growing crops in space

Technology
This story is from Inside Science. Scientists in Norway and the Netherlands may have brought us closer to workable space farms, which experts agree are necessary if astronauts are ever going to reach the red planet. "Astronauts stay on the International Space Station for six months and they can bring everything they need in either freeze-dried or vacuum packs, but the next goal for all space agencies is to reach Mars where travel is much longer," explained Silje Wolff, a plant physiologist at the Centre for Interdisciplinary Research in Space in Trondheim, Norway. In the best possible conditions, it would take a spacecraft between six and nine months to reach Mars and the same to get back -- not to mention the additional months they would likely spend there. "It's very challenging, ...
Natural world at severe risk, Attenborough tells Prince William

Natural world at severe risk, Attenborough tells Prince William

Technology
Sir David Attenborough warned of the "echoes and implications" in the natural world of everything humans do in the urban world as he took questions from old friend Prince William. In front of a packed audience at the World Economic Forum in Davos, the Duke of Cambridge spoke to the 92-year-old broadcaster and naturalist for half an hour, talking about their shared passions for conservation, tackling climate change and Sir David's long broadcasting career.After William asked what advice Sir David would give to people of his age, the broadcaster said: "We have to recognise that every breath of air we take, every mouthful of food that we take comes from the natural world, and that if we damage the natural world we damage ourselves."We are one coherent eco-system, it's not just...
Greenland's ice melting four times faster than in 2003

Greenland's ice melting four times faster than in 2003

Technology
Greenland is melting faster than previously believed, with its ice retracting four times more quickly than in 2003. Researchers concerned about rising sea levels have studied melting glaciers in Greenland for many years, specifically from the southeast and northwest regions of the country.Glaciers here are responsible for pushing enormous iceberg-sized chunks of ice into the Atlantic Ocean, which eventually float away and melt.However, a new study into Greenland's southwest region - which is mostly devoid of large glaciers - found that the rate of ice loss was even higher than previously believed.Here, instead of glaciers pushing icebergs into the sea, ice is actually melting inland and entering the ocean as melt-water."Whatever this was, it couldn't be explained by glacier...
WhatsApp enforces new restrictions to combat spread of fake news

WhatsApp enforces new restrictions to combat spread of fake news

Technology
WhatsApp is limiting the number of times a message can be forwarded on in a bid to combat the spread of fake news. The messaging service rolled out the change in India last summer after rumours spread on social media led to several brutal murders and lynchings - and now, the restrictions are being imposed worldwide.Android users will be the first to receive the update, and it will arrive shortly afterwards on iPhone.Victoria Grand, the vice president for policy and communications at WhatsApp, said the Facebook-owned company was determined to fight "misinformation and rumours". Image: The Facebook-owned company has come under similar scrutiny to other social platforms over its stance on fake news The update, which drops...
Anxiety in Alaska as endless aftershocks rattle residents

Anxiety in Alaska as endless aftershocks rattle residents

Technology
Seven weeks after a massive earthquake rocked Alaska, aftershocks are still shattering 7-year-old Connor Cartwright's sense of safety. They shake the earth far less than the 7.0 magnitude quake that sent a mirror, TV and dishes crashing to the ground in the Anchorage home where Connor lives with his mother, father and 11-year-old brother. But the seemingly never-ending aftershocks deepen quake anxiety for the second-grader and many other Alaska residents in the wide swath of the state shaken by the Nov. 30 quake. When the big aftershocks hit, Connor fears his home will collapse. "I feel like the house won't hold up," he said. Many of the aftershocks are so small that people don't notice them, like a recent one that Connor didn't feel at school — but his teacher made all the student...