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Light shed on mystery space radio pulses

Light shed on mystery space radio pulses

Science
Astronomers have shed more light on a mysterious source of recurring radio pulses from space.Fast radio bursts are one of the most persistent puzzles in astronomy; while usually short-lived, one source in the sky was sending out repeated flashes.Now, a team says the strange emission could be caused by a dead star with an exceptionally powerful magnetic field.Details were reported here at the 231st American Astronomical Society meeting.The first FRB was discovered in 2007, in archived data from the Parkes Radio Telescope in Australia. Astronomers were searching for new examples of magnetised neutron stars called pulsars, but found a new phenomenon - a radio burst from 2001. Since then, 18 FRBs - also referred to as "flashes" or "sizzles" - have been found in total.But only one of these sour...
RBS to close one in four branches and shed 680 jobs

RBS to close one in four branches and shed 680 jobs

Business
RBS is closing 259 branches - one in four of its outlets - and cutting 680 jobs as more customers bank online.The closures involve 62 Royal Bank of Scotland and 197 NatWest branches. RBS, which is 72%-owned by the taxpayer, said it would try to ensure compulsory redundancies were "kept to an absolute minimum".The bank said use of its branches by customers had fallen 40% since 2014, but the Unite union, which represents bank staff, called the cuts "savage".Following the closures, the RBS group will be left with 744 branches.'Difficult news'An RBS spokesperson said: "More and more of our customers are choosing to do their everyday banking online or on mobile."Since 2014 the number of customers using our branches across the UK has fallen by 40% and mobile transactions have increased by 73% o...
Fossilised eggs shed light on reign of pterosaurs

Fossilised eggs shed light on reign of pterosaurs

Science
The largest clutch of pterosaurs eggs ever discovered suggests that the extinct flying reptiles may have gathered together in vast colonies to lay their eggs.More than 200 eggs were discovered at one location in China.Little is known about how the pterosaurs reproduced.The find suggests that hatchlings were probably incapable of flight when they emerged from the egg, and needed some parental care.Predator attackFossilised pterosaur eggs and embryos are extremely rare. Until now only a handful of eggs have been found, in Argentina and north-western China.The large collection of eggs suggests pterosaurs may have nested in colonies, where they defended their offspring from predator attack.Pterosaur experts Xiaolin Wang of the Institute of Vertebrate Palaeontology and Paleoanthropology in Beij...
Nile Rodgers shed tears over new George Michael song

Nile Rodgers shed tears over new George Michael song

Entertainment
Producer Nile Rodgers has admitted to feeling "uncertainty" about working on George Michael's new single.Fantasy, a remix of a 1980s outtake, premiered on Radio 2 on Thursday.Rodgers' confession came in response to a fan who expressed "mixed feelings" over the song's release, eight months after Michael's death."You SHOULD have mixed feelings," he said on Twitter. "No one's heart was dragged through emotional ambiguity more than mine."Rodgers said he approached the remix with "tears, uncertainty, happiness & #LOVE".Media playback is unsupported on your deviceFantasy sounds vastly different to the version that was released as a b-side in 1990, and later as a bonus track on 2011's deluxe version of the Faith album.The tinny 80s production of the original has been completely overhauled in ...